• Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise
    Politics
    Bloomberg

    Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise

    The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, an official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as saying that Iran had increased its output of 3.67% enriched uranium as of Monday, and that the United Nations nuclear watchdog had been informed. Crucially, Iran hasn’t increased the level to which it is enriching beyond the agreed limit. Tehran has already announced it stopped complying with a 300-kilogram cap on the storage of enriched uranium and heavy water imposed by the multilateral accord, and said it would abandon limits on uranium enrichment unless Europe throws it an economic lifeline within 60 days, setting an ultimatum for the survival of the landmark agreement.

  • Here's why pummeling tornadoes are coming for the Southern Plains
    News
    Mashable

    Here's why pummeling tornadoes are coming for the Southern Plains

    It's an ominous Monday in the southern Great Plains. Entire school districts are closed as storm scientists expect "high risk" weather and severe thunderstroms, with conditions ripe for powerful tornadoes throughout much of the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. A confluence of robust elements have combined forces to produce an exceptionally dangerous day."It's an environment that we don't see very often," said Bill Bunting, operations chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center. "Maybe once or twice in the career of a forecaster." Here is a zoomed in image of our High Risk for 20 May 2019 for use in social media. pic.twitter.com/TZd9Fr3atW -- NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) May 20, 2019Bunting is stationed in Norman, Oklahoma, the dead center of a region that is likely to experience the formations of a dangerous type of thunderstorm with rotating updrafts, called a supercell. These storms can produce tornadoes. "One of our forecasters said last night that it's the first time he lost sleep thinking of the day ahead," said Bunting. The (unfortunately) right conditions It's severe weather season in the Great Plains, but environmental conditions have really ramped up, much more than usual. "What's unique about today is the expected magnitude [of storms]," noted Bunting. There's a profound amount of instability in the atmosphere, from the ground to around a mile up in the sky, explained Brian Tang, an atmospheric scientist at the University at Albany. This is driven by strong winds blowing from different directions at different heights, notably a parade of potent storms blowing in from the Rockies after deluging Northern California with rare, late-season rain. These storms have now met powerful winds blowing in from the southeast. Dawn breaks on the Southern Plains and GOES gives us a look at the wind shear part of the severe weather forecast. Low clouds streaming up from the SE are being overtaken by mid-to-high clouds coming from the SW. This turning of the winds helps storms that form start to rotate. pic.twitter.com/qW0NYbR7A0 -- National Weather Service (@NWS) May 20, 2019But this wind-driven atmospheric chaos (technically called "wind shear") is not acting alone. There's an unusual amount humidity in the air. Thunderstorms feed off this moisture, growing more powerful. "There's a ton of energy that can be harnessed that can generate these really intense thunderstorms," said Tang.And once there are intense supercell thunderstorms circulating through an area, there's greater potential for these storm systems to start spinning, thereby spawning violent tornadoes. "There are going to be several thunderstorms that do reach an intensity that become tornadoes," said Bunting.  SEE ALSO: Fearless TV weather forecasters air the planet's soaring carbon levels"It's like having an All-Star baseball team. It's like having a bunch of sluggers," said Tang. "The chances of hitting a home run are that much higher." "This is not your normal severe weather day in Oklahoma," the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Norman, Oklahoma said Monday morning.  Exactly what causes a particular supercell thunderstorm to form a tornado, however, is still an area of deep and ongoing investigation. Midday SPC update added a 45 percent tornado risk for a big chunk of western and central OK. A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch coming for that area. https://t.co/RO92Y2cfmG pic.twitter.com/N2h0Ipq9is -- U.S. Tornadoes (@USTornadoes) May 20, 2019NOAA's Bunting noted that Monday's weather outbreak comes on the exact anniversary of an EF-5 tornado (the most severe tornado rating) that killed 24 Oklahomans in 2013 while causing billions in damage. Today's violent thunderstorms won't just bring the likelihood of wide tornadoes in heavily-populated areas, but the risk of deadly floods. These storms dump deluges of water. "More people traditionally die from floods than tornadoes," the Norman NWS said Monday.Meteorologists and storm scientists have prepared for the worst. "It's really created a palpable sense of anxiety and just wanting to get done with today," said Bunting."There's definitely certain days when there's a sense of dread," added Tang, noting that the meteorological community reacted similarly to the approaching Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, which is the highest hurricane rating. "Today has that same feel," said Tang. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

  • Abortion ban: Georgia prosecutors refuse to enforce 'heartbeat' law
    News
    The Independent

    Abortion ban: Georgia prosecutors refuse to enforce 'heartbeat' law

    District lawyers in Georgia have announced they will not prosecute women for getting an abortion after the US state effectively banned the procedure.Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed the controversial “heartbeat” abortion ban into law earlier in the month – giving the southern state one of the most restrictive laws in the US.The legislation, which has provoked outrage among women’s rights groups, bans abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo. This can be as early as six weeks – at which point most women do not yet know they are pregnant. The bill imposes jail sentences for women found guilty of aborting or attempting to abort their pregnancies, with the potential for life imprisonment and the death penalty. It is not scheduled to come into effect until 1 January and is expected to face challenges in the courts – with it potentially being postponed. But anti-abortion activists hope challenges will lead to the US Supreme Court reversing Roe vs Wade – the landmark Supreme Court decision which legalised abortion nationwide in 1973 – especially with new conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh sitting on the court.The Supreme Court has previously ruled that states cannot ban abortion before a foetus is viable – about 23 to 25 weeks.District prosecutors for Georgia’s four most populous counties – Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb – have said they would not, or could not, prosecute women under the controversial new law.“As District Attorney with charging discretion, I will not prosecute individuals pursuant to HB 481 [the heartbeat bill] given its ambiguity and constitutional concerns,” DeKalb County district attorney Sherry Boston told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.“As a woman and mother, I am concerned about the passage and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Georgia, Alabama, and other states.”She added: “There is no language outlined in HB 481 explicitly prohibiting a district attorney from bringing criminal charges against anyone and everyone involved in obtaining and performing what is otherwise currently a legal medical procedure”.According to the publication, the technical language of the bill means that district attorneys could potentially seek a murder charge against someone who breaches the heartbeat law.“As a matter of law (as opposed to politics) this office will not be prosecuting any women under the new law as long as I’m district attorney,” Gwinnett County DA Danny Porter said. He said he did not think it would be possible to prosecute a woman for either murder or unlawful abortion if she got an abortion after six weeks.John Melvin, acting District Attorney of Cobb County, echoed this position, saying women could “absolutely not” be prosecuted under the unlawful abortion statute.Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard “has no intention of ever prosecuting a woman under this new law", a spokesperson said, adding that he also would not prosecute abortion providers.Georgia’s new bill does include exceptions for cases involving rape, incest, or in situations where the health of a mother is in danger.“Planned Parenthood will be suing the State of Georgia. We will fight this terrible bill because this is about our patients’ lives,” Dr Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said.Georgia’s bill comes after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a controversial abortion bill into law last week that is the most restrictive abortion bill in the US.Under the law, doctors would face 10 years in prison for attempting to terminate a pregnancy and 99 years for carrying out the procedure. The abortion ban, which has been branded a “death sentence for women”, would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest. Ms Ivey said the new law might be “unenforceable” due to Roe v Wade but said the new law was passed with the aim of challenging that decision.Alabama state lawmakers compare abortions in America to the Holocaust and other modern genocides in the legislation – spurring Jewish activists and abortion rights groups to rebuke the bill as “deeply offensive.”Alabama’s new bill comes as politicians in several other states propose legislation to restrict abortion – with some 16 other states looking at new measures.More than a dozen other states have passed or are considering versions of Georgia’s law. Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected. On Friday, Missouri lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after eight weeks.Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia vowed to sue on the day the governor signed Georgia’s heartbeat bill. It has also fuelled many in the entertainment industry to threaten to boycott Georgia.“We’re putting lawmakers on notice: Your votes are far outside the mainstream, and we will now spend our time and energy launching a campaign to replace you,” Staci Fox, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said at the time.A federal judge blocked a heartbeat bill in Kentucky which was scheduled to come into effect instantly as it could be unconstitutional, while Mississippi passed a six-week abortion law in March that is not due to come into force until July and is also facing challenges.Ohio passed a similarly restrictive law in 2016 which was vetoed by the governor.

  • Is It Cheaper To Buy A 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback From Britain?
    Lifestyle
    motorious

    Is It Cheaper To Buy A 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback From Britain?

    This immaculate 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback is estimated to sell at British auction for $95K. It’s hard not to whisper Steve McQueen’s name when presented with a Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback, even if it isn't a 1968 model. The American classifieds may provide evidence of eye-watering sums being traded for healthy Fastback specimens, but it’s not always the case in Great Britain.

  • News
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Capital murder charge filed in police shooting

    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on shootings of police officers in Auburn, Alabama (all times local):

  • Dog sitter caught walking around naked in customer's home
    Lifestyle
    Yahoo News Video

    Dog sitter caught walking around naked in customer's home

    A dog sitter has been caught on camera walking around her client’s house naked. Rosie Brown hired Casey Brengle to look after her two dogs, Penny and Daisy, while she went to a wedding for four days.

  • Ford to cut 7,000 jobs, 10% of global staff 
    Business
    AFP

    Ford to cut 7,000 jobs, 10% of global staff 

    Ford plans to cut 7,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its global workforce, as part of a reorganization as it revamps its vehicle offerings, the company said Monday. The reorganization will involve some layoffs and reassignments and should be complete by the end of August, a Ford spokeswoman said. Ford has been phasing out most sedan models in the United States as more consumers have opted for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

  • China's Navy Is Growing So Fast Its Running Out of Names For Its Warships
    World
    The National Interest

    China's Navy Is Growing So Fast Its Running Out of Names For Its Warships

    China’s navy has a new problem: not enough names for its rapidly growing fleet of warships.“China is running out of provincial capitals to name new destroyers, and it might have to turn to other big domestic cities, which reflects the country's rapid naval development in recent years,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times.The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently named its first Type 055 destroyer the Nanchang, which is the capital city of East China's Jiangxi Province.One of the three other Type 055 destroyers will be named Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, according to Chinese media. That just leaves Nanning and Taipei as the names of provincial capitals for destroyers (Taipei is Taiwan’s capital, though Taiwan has not yet declared independence as a separate nation from China).Which means non-capital cities will have to bequeath their names to Chinese destroyers. The latest destroyer is named Qiqihar, which is a non-capital city in in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A few ships have been named after major cities, such as the Shenzen, a Type 051 destroyer.“Chinese destroyers and frigates should be named after big and medium Chinese cities, according to the naval vessels naming regulation,” Global Times said. “This means naming of destroyers does not necessarily have to use provincial capitals, as it was a non-binding tradition.”

  • Business
    Reuters

    WRAPUP 2-Southwest Airlines mechanics dispute ends just as American's heats up

    Southwest Airlines Co's mechanics union said on Tuesday its members had overwhelmingly voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the airline, ending seven years of labor negotiations fraught with legal disputes and flight disruptions. The agreement, which brought to a close one of the most disruptive labor disputes to hit a top-four U.S. airline in more than a decade, came a day after rival U.S. carrier American Airlines Group Inc said it was filing a labor-related lawsuit against its mechanics. Mechanics at both American and Southwest have complained that the airlines are moving to outsource maintenance work that has traditionally been done in-house.

  • 9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender
    Lifestyle
    Popular Mechanics

    9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender

    Created by the custom shop Himalaya, this Defender is a Land Rover like you've never seen before-complete with a Chevy V8 and a Jeep steering box.From Popular Mechanics

  • Ukraine's Zelenskiy calls early elections as he disbands parliament in first act as president
    World
    The Telegraph

    Ukraine's Zelenskiy calls early elections as he disbands parliament in first act as president

    Ukraine’s new president dismissed parliament and called a snap election just moments after being sworn into office on Monday. Volodymyr Zelensky, whose Servant of People party has no representation in the current parliament, also used his inaugural address to promise an end to the war in the east of the country and asked MPs to fire several key officials including the current defence minister.  “All my life I tried to do all I could so that Ukrainians laughed,” Mr Zelensky, a television comedian, told MPs during a ceremony in the parliament in Kiev. “Now I will do all I can so that Ukrainians at least do not cry any more.” Mr Zelensky, 41, won the presidency last month with a landslide run-off victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who had been in power since 2014. He had no prior political experience, and he was mostly known for his role in a television comedy ‘Servant of the People’, in which he played a school teacher who accidentally becomes president of Ukraine after ranting against corruption. He named his party after the TV show.  Zelenskiy greets his supporters as he walks to take the oath of office ahead of his inauguration ceremony Credit:  REUTERS Critics say he has given few specific details about his plans for presidency and have questioned his links to Ihor Kolomoisky, a billionaire oligarch who had fallen out with the previous government.   On Monday he dispensed with the traditional motorcade and arrived at the parliament building on foot, he stopping to pose for selfies and high-five his cheering supporters who gathered outside. Inside, he delivered a punchy and at times confrontational speech in which he said his priority would be ending the war, which has claimed at least 13,000 lives since Russia sent troops across the border to support a separatist uprising in 2014.  "I'm ready to do everything so that our heroes don't die there," he said. "I'm ready to lose my popularly and, if necessary, I'm ready to lose my post so that we have peace," he said. He said he would begin by demanding Russia release Ukrainian prisoners.  When one MP heckled for switching from Ukrainian into Russian in an appeal to residents in the east, he snapped back: "Thank you for continuing to divide our people". He also spoke against a deep-rooted culture of corruption among the government officials, saying politicians themselves had created “the opportunities to bribe, steal and pluck the resources.” He suggested the MPs should lift their own right to immunity from prosecution and demanding the dismissal the defense minister, the head of the Security Service, and the prosecutor general.  The next elections for the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s single-house parliament, were scheduled to take place in October. Mr Zelensky said they would be brought forward to July.  The move appears designed to help his party win a majority of seats before the surge of popularity on which he rode to office dissipates.  In a symbolic move Volodymyr Groysman, the current prime minister, said he would resign Wednesday, inviting Mr Zelenskiy to take full responsibility for the country. If parliament accepts his resignation, he will remain as a caretaker prime minister until the snap election.  Russian media reported that no officials were invited to the ceremony from Moscow. The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin would not congratulate Mr Zelensky on his electoral victory until there was progress in ending the war.

  • Marlen Ochoa-Lopez: Mother and daughter 'distracted pregnant murder victim with photo album' before strangling her
    News
    The Independent

    Marlen Ochoa-Lopez: Mother and daughter 'distracted pregnant murder victim with photo album' before strangling her

    The pregnant 19-year-old who was murdered in Chicago was allegedly distracted by a mother and daughter with a photo album before being killed, according to court documents.The details surrounding the murder were made public by prosecutors as they sought to convince a judge not to release suspects Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and Desiree Figueroa, 24, who have been accused of executing a plot to kill Marlen Ochoa-Lopez in her ninth month of pregnancy.They reportedly lured the victim into their home by offering free baby clothes and a stroller, which they posted about online. Recently released details indicate the pair first tried to kill her by strangling her with a cord from behind.Prosecutors say that Ochoa-Lopez was able to get her fingers between the cord and her neck when the elder Figueroa first attempted to kill her. The alleged murderer then called for her daughter’s help, before then continuing to strangle Ochoa-Lopez for four to five minutes.The elder Figueroa then called emergency services, and said that the child she had just delivered was not breathing. The child is now reportedly in poor health, ad with “zero brain activity”.Police did not connect the murders until May, when they were made aware of Facebook communications between Ochoa-Lopez and the women.

  • 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art
    Lifestyle
    motorious

    1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art

    The Ford Mustang is an American automotive icon known the world over. Ford’s pony car is the four-wheeled embodiment of the American dream. Petty’s Garage is well-known for its work on modern Mustangs, enhancing their performance and producing limited edition special models.

  • Eiffel Tower climber 'admitted to psychiatric unit'
    World
    AFP

    Eiffel Tower climber 'admitted to psychiatric unit'

    A man, believed to be Russian, who sparked a mass evacuation of the Eiffel Tower by scaling the iconic Paris landmark has been admitted to a psychiatric unit, legal sources said Tuesday. The man caused chaos Monday and the closure of the monument to tourists by spending six hours clinging to the outer metal framework of the Eiffel Tower. An investigation has been opened for unauthorised entry into a cultural monument, a judicial source said.

  • Could One of America's Allies Take Down the F-35 Program?
    Business
    The National Interest

    Could One of America's Allies Take Down the F-35 Program?

    What does America need to save its troubled F-35 stealth fighter?Turkey, that’s what.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently warned that the multinational F-35 program, of which Turkey is a member, would fail if Turkey were excluded. Turkey is facing sanctions, including being dropped from the F-35 program if it goes ahead with purchasing Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which has raised Washington’s fears that F-35 secrets might be leaked to Russia. The U.S. has stopped shipping equipment to Turkey for that nation’s planned purchase of 100 F-35s, while the first two aircraft officially delivered to Turkey are still in the United States.For its part, Ankara is adamant that it has a right to purchase both American stealth fighters and Russian anti-aircraft missiles, despite the fact that the S-400 is one of the most likely Russian weapons to be used against the F-35. “We were surely not going to remain silent against our right to self-defense being disregarded and attempts to hit us where it hurts,” Erdogan said at a Turkish defense trade show. “This is the kind of process that is behind the S-400 agreement we reached with Russia.”“Nowadays, we are being subject to a similar injustice - or rather an imposition - on the F-35s ... Let me be frank: An F-35 project from which Turkey is excluded is bound to collapse completely.”

  • Trump says tariffs making companies leave China, a deal can't be '50-50'
    Business
    Reuters

    Trump says tariffs making companies leave China, a deal can't be '50-50'

    In an interview with Fox News Channel recorded last week and aired on Sunday night, Trump said that the United States and China "had a very strong deal, we had a good deal, and they changed it. Trump took the step after China soured the negotiations by seeking major changes to a deal that U.S. officials said had been largely agreed. Since then, China has struck a sterner tone in its rhetoric, suggesting that a resumption of talks aimed at ending the 10-month trade war between the world's two largest economies was unlikely to happen soon.

  • The Latest: Merkel, Macron and Putin discuss Iran situation
    World
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Merkel, Macron and Putin discuss Iran situation

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):

  • These impossibly sleek Pixel 4 renders look so much better than the iPhone 11
    Technology
    BGR News

    These impossibly sleek Pixel 4 renders look so much better than the iPhone 11

    The Pixel smartphone series began its life as a shameful iPhone copycat. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise since the original Pixel and Pixel XL phones were designed by Google in partnership with HTC. Once a market leader, HTC had already fallen quite far at that point, and it had just released its own iPhone 6 copycat in hopes of boosting sales. Google's first-generation Pixel phones were based on the design of that iPhone 6 ripoff, which was called the HTC One A9s. The Pixel was basically an Android-powered iPhone 6, while the Pixel XL was an Android-powered iPhone 6 Plus. The only real difference in designs was the big glass panel the Pixel phones had on the back.Google's current-generation Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren't quite as blatant when it comes to copying Apple. Of course, the larger Pixel 3 XL still takes inspiration from Apple's latest iPhone models and includes a big notch at the top of the display. If everything we've heard so far pans out, however, Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will be nothing like Apple's iPhone XS or the next-generation iPhone 11. Instead, they'll take design cues from Samsung's Galaxy S10 series -- and if the results end up looking anything like the renders you're about to see in this post, there's a very good chance that Google's 2019 Pixel phones will look even better than the iPhone 11 series handsets Apple is planning to release later this year.Thanks to months worth of leaks and rumors, we know almost exactly what Apple's iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max, and iPhone 11R will look like when they're announced this coming September. In a nutshell, the iPhone 11 is going to be a copy of the iPhone XS, but it'll have a huge square camera bump on the back that houses Apple's new triple-lens camera system. Here's what it'll look like when Apple unveils the iPhone 11 series in a few months:It doesn't look bad, not by a long shot, but it also isn't anything special. For the second time, Apple plans to use almost the same exact smartphone design for three straight years instead of two, just like the company did with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7.In contrast to the iPhone 11 series phones set to debut in September, rumors suggest Google's next-generation Pixel 4 lineup will feature a complete design overhaul. Google is said to have ditched the massive, unsightly bezels on its Pixel 3 phones in favor of an all-screen design with hole-punch cameras just like the Galaxy S10 from Samsung. In fact, the Pixel 4 will supposedly have one hole-punch selfie camera like the Galaxy S10 and S10e, while the larger Pixel 4 XL will apparently have dual selfie cameras in an oblong cutout, just like the Galaxy S10+.Graphic designer Jonas Daehnert, who goes by @PhoneDesigner on Twitter, has seen the same rumors as the rest of us. Unlike the rest of us, however, Daehnert has the chops to turn those rumors into reality by mocking up lifelike smartphone designs. He recently turned his attention to the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, and the results are absolutely stunning. Take a look:And here's his vision of the Pixel 4 XL in white:There may end up being a few things here and there that are off the mark. For example, the latest rumor suggests that Google's new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones won't have any buttons on them at all. But for the most part, these renders are likely a very good indication of what we can expect from the real Pixel 4 series phones once Google releases them this coming October.

  • Bernie Sanders Launches a Deeply Misguided Attack on Charter Schools
    News
    National Review

    Bernie Sanders Launches a Deeply Misguided Attack on Charter Schools

    One of the great benefits of living life well outside the Beltway is that it’s easy to take my eyes off the swamp, look to the states surrounding me, and see places where politics actually function as they’re supposed to. I can even, occasionally, see those issues on which Democrats and Republicans might work together, united in common purpose, for the common good.Exhibit A: the charter-school movement. It’s granted an invaluable degree of educational choice to families who long lacked the flexibility that prosperous suburban and upper-middle-class parents take for granted, and its extraordinary growth is a bipartisan achievement.There are times when it seems like everyone likes charter schools. The Trump Department of Education has issued hundreds of millions of dollars in charter-school grants. The Obama administration invested in charter schools. As Newark mayor, Democrat Cory Booker “bet big” on charter schools, and athletes and celebrities have personally invested in their success, often with outstanding results.Of course, not every charter school is good. Not every charter school is a success. But if there has ever existed anything like a broad point of left–right agreement in the American education debate, it’s that charters represent a vital piece of the educational puzzle, an option that can and does transform students’ lives.So why did Bernie Sanders announce last week that, if elected president, he would declare war on charter schools? His poorly named Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education (after all, urban, nonwhite students are among the prime beneficiaries of charter-school choice) would “ban for-profit charter schools,” and “halt the use of public funds to underwrite new charter schools” until they complied with a series of federal conditions that would change their governance and facilitate their unionization (many charter-school faculties aren’t unionized). In so doing, it would remove many of the distinctive qualities that helped make charter schools truly competitive with conventional public schools.It’s tempting to explain the plan as little more than coalition politics, Sanders’s effort to cozy up to the teachers’ unions at the expense of student welfare. But that’s unfair. I know enough people in the greater Bernie orbit to know that they sincerely believe a unionized public-school monopoly in K–12 education represents the best chance for new generations of kids. They believe that, properly funded and led, such a system would facilitate academic achievement and social cohesion.But here’s the core problem: The interest in a collective solution to a series of individual educational challenges understates the reality that choice, by itself, is a vital value in a child’s education. And the power of choice cannot be measured by test scores alone, even though the best charter schools yield spectacular results.I think about my own parenting experience. Like many millions of American families who take their power over their kids’ education for granted, we enjoy multiple privileges a poor family doesn’t. We have the job flexibility to live in any number of places, and we can afford housing in a good school district. If we lived in a county or town with a struggling school district, we could afford modest private-school tuition. And back when we lived in Center City, Philadelphia — at a time when we couldn’t easily move and couldn’t afford private school — we were fortunate enough to win a lottery to put our oldest child in an outstanding charter elementary school.With each of the choices we’ve made for our kids’ education over the years, test scores were among the least important factors we considered. We wanted to know the culture of the school and the character of the teachers. We wondered about athletic opportunities. We were concerned with peer and parental influence. The school was going to play a part in raising our children, and a slight percentage change in a math or language test score was meaningless compared to our concern with the growth and development of their personal characters.The Sanders approach wouldn’t take away choice from parents like us. We could still find private schools. We could still move to better school districts. We could still home school. Charter schools exist in the suburbs and in rural America, but they haven’t had the same impact there that they’ve had in American cities. We’d barely feel the effects of the Sanders policy; its brunt would instead be borne by America’s most vulnerable families. Sanders’s plan tells those families that he knows what’s best for them, that his partners in the unions know how to build the schools they need better than they do.This is anything but equity. It’s anything but fairness. One of the enduring challenges of American public life is the sad reality that children face fundamentally different educational opportunities through the accident of birth. The existence of choice itself is a luxury. It’s a thing of immense value, and many millions of parents can’t even comprehend a life where they don’t have the true, final word over their child’s education.I’m writing these words as I fly to give a series of speeches in Texas sponsored by the Texas Charter Schools Association and the National Review Institute. I’ve been writing and speaking about school choice for much of my adult life. I’ve been litigating on its behalf for just as long. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the desire to choose what’s best for one’s own child crosses racial, religious, and partisan lines. It’s a broadly felt human need.Bernie Sanders makes his intentions crystal clear. In his plan, he writes, “We do not need two schools systems; we need to invest in our public schools system.” This is exactly wrong. One size does not fit all. Sanders looks at parents and declares that he knows best. Parents should look back at him and respond, quite simply: I know my child, and I want to shape his destiny. Your collective solutions cannot meet my family’s needs.Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained a reference to the success of LeBron James’s I Promise school in Akron, Ohio, as an example of celebrity support for charter schools. The I Promise School is not a charter but a nontraditional public school that operates within the Akron public-school system. We regret the error.

  • Mountain region of Slovakia named best destination in Europe 2019: Lonely Planet
    Lifestyle
    AFP Relax News

    Mountain region of Slovakia named best destination in Europe 2019: Lonely Planet

    A wild, rugged, mountainous region of Slovakia dotted with plunging waterfalls and lakes and hiking trails has been named the top European destination of 2019 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet. 

  • Hospital that treated baby cut from womb investigated
    News
    Associated Press

    Hospital that treated baby cut from womb investigated

    CHICAGO (AP) — The agency that licenses and inspects health care facilities in Illinois has started an investigation of a suburban Chicago hospital where doctors treated a baby brought in by a woman claiming to be his mother, a spokeswoman for the agency said Tuesday. The woman was charged weeks later with killing the actual mother and cutting the child from her womb.

  • Australia's conservatives secure majority government: ABC
    World
    AFP

    Australia's conservatives secure majority government: ABC

    Australia's ruling conservative coalition is set to secure a governing majority in its shock election victory over the centre-left Labor Party, the national broadcaster ABC projected Monday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National coalition will hold at least 77 seats in the 151-member lower house, one more than needed to govern on its own, ABC's election analysts projected. A number of close races across the vast island continent were still to be officially decided following Saturday's vote, with the formal count by the Australian Electoral Commission not expected to conclude until later this week.