Jeff Ray's Spooky Halloween Forecast
Jeff Ray's Spooky Halloween Forecast
The allegations, provided without credible evidence of widespread fraud or misconduct, have been rebuffed in courts in other states.
There were no visible wounds to the body and a cause of death hadn't yet been determined for the 26-year-old, police said.
A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed.
Trans children should not receive controversial puberty blockers unless they understand the risks, according to a landmark High Court ruling, as judges warn that most teenagers cannot give their consent. The ruling means that children who wish to undergo gender reassignment can now only legally consent to taking puberty blockers if they are able to understand the “long-term risks and consequences of the administration of” the drugs. The case had been brought against Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service (GIDS) for children, by Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before “detransitioning”. She said the clinic should have challenged her more over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager. The legal challenge was also brought by a woman who can only legally be identified as ‘Mrs A’, the mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is currently on the waiting list for treatment. At a hearing in October, their lawyers said children going through puberty are “not capable of properly understanding the nature and effects of hormone blockers”. They argued that there is “a very high likelihood” that children who start taking hormone blockers will later begin taking cross-sex hormones, which they say cause “irreversible changes” and that the NHS Trust offers "fairytale" promises to children because they are unable to give their consent to the sex-change process. However in the judgement handed down on Tuesday, Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting with Lord Justice Lewis and Mrs Justice Lieven, said that children under 16 needed to understand “the immediate and long-term consequences of the treatment” to be able to consent to the use of puberty blockers. The judges said in their ruling: “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.” They added: “In respect of young persons aged 16 and over, the legal position is that there is a presumption that they have the ability to consent to medical treatment. “Given the long-term consequences of the clinical interventions at issue in this case, and given that the treatment is as yet innovative and experimental, we recognise that clinicians may well regard these as cases where the authorisation of the court should be sought prior to commencing the clinical treatment.” During the High Court hearing in October, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust - as well as University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, to which Tavistock refers children and young people experiencing gender dysphoria - argued that taking puberty blockers and later cross-sex hormones were entirely separate stages of treatment. But, in its ruling, the High Court said: "It is said therefore the child needs only to understand the implications of taking puberty blockers alone ... in our view this does not reflect the reality. "The evidence shows that the vast majority of children who take puberty blockers move on to take cross-sex hormones." The court added that both treatments were "two stages of one clinical pathway and once on that pathway it is extremely rare for a child to get off it". Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice after the ruling, Keira Bell said she was "delighted" with the High Court's ruling, adding that “common sense has prevailed”. "This judgment is not political,” she said, “it's about protecting vulnerable children." A statement was also read on behalf of her fellow claimant, Mrs A, which said: "I'm relieved to hear the court have understood and agreed with our concerns about... treating children and young people with puberty blockers." Their solicitor Paul Conrathe said the ruling was "an historic judgment that protects children who suffer from gender dysphoria". He added: "Ultimately this case was decided on the facts that were known by the Tavistock. "Ironically - and as matter of serious concern - despite its international reputation for mental health work, this judgment powerfully shows that a culture of unreality has become embedded in the Tavistock. "This may have led to hundreds of children receiving this experimental treatment without their properly informed consent." In response, a spokesperson for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is disappointed by today’s judgment and we understand that the outcome is likely to cause anxiety for patients and their families. “Our first duty is to our patients, particularly those currently receiving hormone blocking treatment and we are working with our partners, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, to provide support for patients concerned about the impact on their care. “The Trust is seeking permission to appeal the judgment, and in the meantime, confirms its ongoing support for the review commissioned by NHS England being led by Dr Hilary Cass. “We will update our statement once we know the outcome of today’s further court proceedings.” Lui Asquith, from the trans children's charity Mermaids, said the ruling was a "devastating blow for trans young people across the country”. “We believe very strongly that every young person has the right to make their own decisions about their body and that should not differ because somebody is trans. "The court today has decided to treat trans young people differently to every other child in the country. "We believe that we're entering a new era of discrimination, frankly. We see day in, day out at Mermaids the positive impact hormone blockers can have on some trans young people - in all honesty, they can save lives. "They allow some young people to be able to go outside, engage in society, go to school, and we're now in a position whereby those young people are not necessarily going to be able to access it. "We're entering a new era of experimentation, that experiment being what happens to trans young people who need hormone blockers who can't get them."
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) warned on Monday that if the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to quickly rise, projections show the state's intensive care units could reach capacity by mid-December.Because of the risk of overwhelming parts of the state's health care system, Newsom said, he may soon have to impose a "more dramatic" and "arguably drastic" stay-at-home order for certain areas, so California can get its coronavirus numbers back down. The state, he said, will not "just sit back" and plans to "improve upon our existing efforts."There are 7,733 ICU beds in California, and 75 percent of them are now occupied. Newsom said 1,812 of the ICU beds are filled by coronavirus patients, the Los Angeles Times reports. As of Sunday, there were 7,787 coronavirus patients hospitalized in California, an increase of about 89 percent from two weeks ago. Over the last week, California has averaged 13,937 new cases per day, nearly a 75 percent increase from two weeks ago. More than 19,100 Californians have died from the coronavirus.Los Angeles County has placed new capacity limits at stores and banned most gatherings of people not from the same household, and this had to be done because "we are at the most difficult moment in the pandemic," L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "We don't really have any choice but to use all the tools at hand to stop the surge. Until there is a vaccine, each of us needs to protect all of those around us — both those we know and those we don't. The virus is running rampant through almost every part of our county."More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
The New Georgia Project, a voter registration group formerly led by Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Raphael Warnock, is under investigation for allegedly sending ballot applications to non-residents, the Georgia secretary of state said Monday.Warnock was CEO of the group, which was originally founded by failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, until February. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the group, and three others, are under investigation for improper registration activities.While Raffensperger, a Republican who has been vocal in debunking President Trump’s claims of election fraud, said that he has not seen signs of widespread, systemic fraud, there is evidence of "third-party groups working to register people in other states to vote here in Georgia."Raffensperger said the New Georgia Project "sent voter registration applications to New York City," in a potential violation of state law."Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony," Raffensperger said. "These third-party groups have a responsibility to not encourage illegal voting. If they do so, they will be held responsible."Warnock served as CEO of the group, which describes itself as a “nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians” from 2017 until February 21, 2020, according to the Washington Free Beacon. He has said he organized voter mobilization drives for the New Georgia Project, including an effort to register 80,000 new minority voters in 2014.The group says it has registered "nearly 400,000 people from underrepresented communities to vote in Georgia.”Warnock, who is competing against incumbent senator Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.) in a runoff race that could decide party control of the Senate, had called past voter fraud probes against the group “alarmist.”In 2014, the secretary of state's office conducted an investigation into the New Georgia Project after contractors working for the group were accused of forging voter registration applications. The case was referred to law enforcement three years later, though no charges were ever brought.Warnock claimed in 2017 that "using the word voter fraud is alarmist, and it was totally unnecessary." He argued that the New Georgia Project had "excellent internal controls and that we have followed the law," as evidenced by the lack of charges brought against the group.Three other voter registration groups are also under investigation, Raffensperger said, including America Votes, which allegedly sent "absentee ballot applications to people at addresses where they have not lived since 1994."Vote Forward allegedly registered a dead Alabama voter in Georgia while Operation New Voter Registration Georgia is accused of recommending college students temporarily change their residency for the purpose of voting in the state.
The retort came after Canberra demanded an apology over a fake image of a soldier killing a child.
Hamas's Gaza leader, Yehya Al-Sinwar, has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesman for the Islamist militant group, which runs the Palestinian territory, said on Tuesday. Sinwar, 58, is "following the advice of health authorities and taking precautionary measures", spokesman Hazem Qassem said, without disclosing whether the Hamas chief was in quarantine. Sinwar, a former head of Hamas's security apparatus, became the movement's Gaza leader in 2017, six years after he was freed in a prisoner swap with Israel after more than 20 years in jail.
President-elect Joe Biden has fractured his foot while playing with his dog, Major, in Delaware on Saturday. The 78-year-old president-elect will have to wear a walking boot for several weeks. It is unclear whether this will last until his inauguration on January 20. Initial X-rays did not show a break, but the diagnosis changed following a CT scan. “Initial X-rays did not show any obvious fracture, but his clinical exam warranted more detailed imaging," said Dr Kevin O'Connor. "Follow-up CT scan confirmed hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden’s lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the mid-foot. It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks.” On Sunday evening, he was seen walking with a slight limp to an SUV which took him to the Delaware Imaging Network for the CT scan. Commenting on the injury, US president Donald Trump tweeted: "Get well soon!"
The recent Armenia-Azerbaijan war, a result of failed diplomacy, has thrown up a new victor and paved the way for Turkey to extend its influence.
"She grabbed a jug of five-pound hand sanitizer and launched it at me while I was holding my son." That's when the nearly 60-year-old grandma grabbed whatever she could including a table, flipped it, and pushed it toward the woman to defend her family and her business.
Monday's Late Show was all Stephen Colbert's interview last week with former President Barack Obama, and Obama took his share of needling.Many Americans missed Obama during President Trump's tenure, Colbert included, he said. "Did you miss you? Did you ever look at something going on in the news and go, 'You know what this situation needs? A little Barack Obama.'" Obama laughed and said he'd only want another turn as president if he could call the shots from his basement. "I found the work fascinating," he said. "But I do not miss having to wear a tie every day." Colbert also poked at Obama's cadence, telling him that if you listen to his audiobook recording at double speed, "you can't tell that it's actually going faster," because it's "normal human talking speed." In another interview, Obama swatted back, telling Colbert, "If that was an imitation of me, that was terrible."Colbert threw in some questions he believed Obama had never been asked, including: "How does Dolly Parton not have a Presidential Medal of Freedom?" "That's a mistake -- I'm shocked," Obama replied. "That was a screw-up. I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already got one, and that was incorrect. She deserves one. I'll call Biden."They also discussed more serious topics, like how Obama and his family stayed relatively grounded in Washington and amid their "outsized fame," and the downsides of president-elect Joe Biden facing a Senate led by "sand in the gears" Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "Look, I experienced divided government and I will tell you that gridlock and dysfunction is a recipe for not only not solving big problems but also growing cynicism among the electorate that further polarizes folks," he said. "I think that Joe's presidency will help lower the temperature" and he'll "have some success in building back social trust," but "we're going to have a larger challenge in figuring out what to do about this splintered media landscape" and its assault on shared facts.Obama also ruminated on the temptations and weight of drone warfare. "The problem with the drone program was not that it caused an inordinate amount of civilian casualties -- although even one civilian casualty is tragic," he said. "The problem is it starts giving you the illusion that it is not war." More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
"The Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to retaliate. I don't see any way around it," retired Adm. William McRaven said.
Turkey's seismic exploration vessel Oruc Reis returned to port on Monday from disputed Mediterranean waters, less than two weeks before a European Union summit where the bloc will evaluate possible sanctions against Ankara. NATO members Turkey and Greece have conflicting claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions flared in August when Ankara sent Oruc Reis to map out energy drilling prospects in waters also claimed by Greece.
Switzerland is emerging as a model for how the coronavirus can be contained without a national lockdown, after daily new infections halved since the start of November despite pubs, restaurants, gyms and sports remaining open in much of the country. The figures were hailed as a triumph for the “Swiss special way” by Swiss government doctors last week, and will be seen as evidence that regional tiers can work in the UK. Rather than ordering a general lockdown, Switzerland allowed regions to decide their own measures and only the worst-hit imposed tough restrictions. But critics have charged that the success came at too high a price, after the country experienced some of the highest death rates in Europe. Switzerland has been described as the “new Sweden” after it refused to follow the UK and other countries into a second lockdown this month. The Swiss government imposed only minimal restrictions at a national level, including a limit of ten on private gatherings, an 11pm curfew for restaurants and the compulsory use of facemasks in crowded areas.
Amid the long-raging deadly strife in Indian-controlled Kashmir, another conflict is silently taking its toll on the Himalayan region’s residents: the conflict between man and wild animals. According to official data, at least 67 people have been killed and 940 others injured in the past five years in attacks by wild animals in the famed Kashmir Valley, a vast collection of alpine forests, connected wetlands and waterways known as much for its idyllic vistas as for its decades-long armed conflict between Indian troops and rebels. The Himalayan black bear is at the heart of this trouble.
The Electoral College is a political abomination. As I have written before, rather than protecting the influence of small states, it grants overwhelming power to a handful of states that randomly happen to have a close partisan balance, which are mostly fairly large. Worse, it allows popular vote losers to win — which has happened twice in the last 20 years. Indeed, theoretically a candidate could lose the popular vote four to one and still win the electoral vote.Moreover, since 2012 the divergence between the Electoral College and the popular vote has been steadily growing. As I'll show below, while Joe Biden won a clear victory in the popular vote, he just barely squeaked through in the Electoral College. This idiotic anachronism must be destroyed.Let's take a look at this over the last two decades. One way to examine this question is to look at the most "efficient" way that losing candidates could have won the Electoral College. In other words, if we add up the state totals for previous elections going back to 2000, how might the losers have won by flipping the least number of votes?Using data from U.S. Elections Atlas, and 2020 data from the The New York Times (including a rough extrapolation assuming Biden wins 80 percent of the mail-in votes that haven't been counted yet in New York state), I calculated how the popular vote losers could have won the Electoral College — or lost, in the case of George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.In 2000, of course, Bush officially "won" Florida by 537 votes, and therefore the presidency with 271 electoral votes, while Al Gore won the popular vote by about 550,000. (In reality, Gore probably would have won a fair recount in Florida if it hadn't been stopped by a conservative Supreme Court on nakedly partisan grounds, but I'm going to ignore that for the time being since it doesn't matter for this particular argument.) That means a flip of just 269 votes in one state from one candidate to the other would have changed the result. In 2004, Bush won re-election with a margin of about three million votes, and 286 electoral votes. John Kerry famously could have won if he had just flipped Ohio, where the margin was just 118,601 votes. However, it would have been slightly more efficient in vote terms to flip New Mexico, Iowa, Nevada, and Alaska, with a cumulative margin of 117,411. That means a flip of just 58,706 votes would have given Kerry the presidency.In 2008, Barack Obama steamrolled John McCain with a popular vote margin of over 9.5 million, and 365 electoral votes. But it would have taken relatively few vote changes to overturn even that landslide result. Obama won Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Rhode Island, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire, Indiana, and North Carolina by a cumulative margin of just 1.436 million votes — therefore flipping just 718,138 would have given McCain an additional 97 electoral votes and victory. Similarly in 2012, Mitt Romney could have won by taking the nine closest states in terms of total votes, requiring only 384,188 flips. Then in 2016, Trump of course squeaked out an Electoral College victory with tiny margins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — just 38,868 flips would have given Clinton the win.That finally brings me to 2020. Biden won the popular vote easily, with a margin maybe in the neighborhood of 6.9 million or so (depending on what happens in New York.) But it would have taken just 33,139 flips in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin to deliver a Trump second term.Bringing this all together: If we plot these minimum vote flips to change the Electoral College result as a percentage of the popular vote margin, we can get a sense of how badly it diverges from the principle of one person, one vote:Courtesy: U.S. Elections AtlasWhat this shows is that the Electoral College is routinely on the edge of handing the popular vote loser the presidency even when it doesn't happen — and it seems to be getting worse. In 2008 and 2012, it would have taken a flip of 7.5 percent and 11 percent of the popular vote margin (still not great), but in 2016, flipping just 1.3 percent of the margin would change the result. The 2020 election, meanwhile, is the worst result since 2000 — though Biden did win, a flip of a mere 0.48 percent of the popular vote margin (or something like 0.02 percent of the total vote) would have let Trump win. Moreover, while the 2008 flipping scenario outlined above relies on implausible large percentage swings in small states like Vermont, Biden's victory depended on razor-thin margins in three swing states.All this speaks for itself. But before Republicans get too smug about cooking up justifications for the Electoral College because it happens to help them at the moment, consider that in 2004, flipping just 1.9 percent of the popular vote margin would have delivered the presidency to the Democrat even though Bush got three million more votes. Because the Electoral College's rules are so goofy and arbitrary, it is very easy to imagine demographic trends handing the Dems a near-automatic victory every time — if Texas went solidly blue, for instance. It would be better and fairer for everyone if the presidency simply went to the candidate that got the most votes.More stories from theweek.com Americans are choosing death over deprivation GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tries to explain how Democrats are both 'Marxists' and 'corporatists' Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead.
"There are very few people who have been as aggressively critical of the progressive left," a former colleague of Tanden's said.
The United States imposed sanctions on Monday on Chinese firm China National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), accusing it of supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's efforts to undermine democracy. The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement the Chinese company supported the leftist government of Maduro in its "efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents." "The United States will not hesitate to target anyone helping to suppress the democratic will of the Venezuelan people and others around the world," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Sincere Pierce, 18, was one of two teenage victims in the 13 November killing by a Brevard County deputy officer