Author: Bill Chappell

Former Top Security Officials Criticize Trump's 'Ill-Conceived' Ban In Court Filing

Enlarge this image Demonstrators in Los Angeles march to support a federal judge’s ruling that grants a nationwide temporary restraining order against President Trump’s order to ban travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption David McNew/Getty Images President Trump’s ban on some Muslim travelers and immigrants “was ill-conceived, poorly implemented and ill-explained” — and harms, rather than advances, U.S. interests, say 10 former officials who led parts of America’s diplomatic and security apparatus over the past 20 years. “In our professional opinion, this Order cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds,” the group wrote to the court weighing the legality of Trump’s executive order that targets seven majority-Muslim nations. The group, which includes former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, is siding with two states (Washington and Minnesota) that on Friday won a temporary restraining order that suspended Trump’s ban. Over the weekend, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit refused his administration’s request to restore the ban. The document that Albright and the other experts signed is entered as Exhibit A in the states’ case against Trump’s ban, which the states say “unleashed chaos” when it was enacted by executive order in late January. While Albright and the other experts cite their work in government that extends back decades, four...

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Hawaii’s House Republican Leader Says She Was Ousted Over Women’ March

Republican and Democratic leaders in the Hawaii House discuss how to proceed with a vote to remove Rep. Beth Fukumoto (center right) as minority leader Wednesday. Once a rising star in her party, Fukumoto says she’s asking constituents if she should switch parties. Cathy Bussewitz/AP State Rep. Beth Fukumoto is exploring a possible switch from the Republican to Democratic Party in Hawaii, after her stance against President Trump prompted her colleagues to vote her out as their minority leader, a post she had held since her election in 2012. Fukumoto said her fellow Republicans ousted her “because she participated in the women’s march protesting the Trump presidency,” reports Wayne Yoshioka of member station Hawaii Public Radio. Here’s how Fukumoto described the situation in an address to her peers: “They told me they would keep me in this position if I would commit to not disagreeing with our president for the remainder of his term. Mr. Speaker, I’m being removed because I refused to make that commitment, because I believe it’s our job as Americans and as leaders in this body to criticize power when power is wrong.” When she appeared at the recent Women’s March event in Hawaii, Fukumoto spoke about how she had been booed and insulted at her party’s convention last summer for refusing to endorse Donald Trump’s candidacy because she “thought his remarks were racist and...

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Tenn. Governor Seeks Free Community College For All Adults – NPR

Gov. Bill Haslam and his wife, Crissy, leave the House chamber after Haslam gave his annual State of the State address in Nashville Monday. Haslam is looking to expand a community college program to include adults. Mark Humphrey/AP Recent high school graduates in Tennessee are already allowed to attend community college at no cost. Now Gov. Bill Haslam is looking to expand the year-old program to provide free community college educations to adults, as well. Haslam, a Republican who’s been in office since 2011, made his pitch at Monday night’s State of the State address. Afterwards, he tweeted, “Let’s be the Tennessee we can be.” The pitch was well-received by members of both parties, as the governor pushes toward his goal of helping Tennessee have 55 percent of its 6.6 million citizens hold a post-secondary degree or certificate by the year 2025. The state currently needs 871,000 post-secondary degrees or certificates to reach that goal, Haslam’s office says. And it would help if free access to community college is given to adults — including the 900,000 Tennesseans who have taken some college classes but didn’t get a degree. “Since the fall of 2015, Tennessee has provided free community college for new high school graduates,” Nashville Public Radio reports. “Money for the program, known as Tennessee Promise, has come from a variety of sources, including federal Pell grants and the state...

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Ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane Says He Declined Offer To Be Defense Secretary – NPR

Drew Angerer/Getty Images President-elect Donald Trump asked him to serve as secretary of defense, retired four-star general Jack Keane tells NPR’s Rachel Martin — but Keane declined the offer, citing personal reasons. Keane says he recommended retired generals James Mattis and David Petraeus for the job. Mattis and Petraeus are seen as the front-runners to lead the Defense Department — and in light of recent reports that portrayed Mattis and Keane as Trump’s top choices, Mattis would now seem to be the top pick. Mattis is one of several possible Cabinet office-holders visiting Trump at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., this weekend; Keane visited Trump Tower in New York on Thursday. On Sunday morning, Trump said Mattis “was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!” General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016 Trump’s other visitors Saturday included Mitt Romney — who is rumored to be in the running for secretary of state — and two possible candidates to lead the Department of Education: former Washington, D.C., schools chief Michelle Rhee and former Michigan GOP chairwoman Betsy DeVos. Today, the incoming president is meeting with more potential appointees and advisers. The list includes: conservative writer John Gray; Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; investor (and rumored Commerce...

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Taco Truck Owner Racks Up Sales At Trump Event In Detroit

Nancy Paz and Jose Badajoz stand in front of their taco truck, which they positioned near the church Donald Trump visited Saturday morning. Rick Pluta/Michigan Public Radio Donald Trump’s visit to an African American church in Detroit brought both cheers and protests Saturday — but one of the star attractions was a taco truck. One of the humble vehicles, which now straddle the worlds of political symbol and internet meme, was parked outside. The Tacos El Caballo truck set up near Great Faith Ministries International to provide a counterpoint to critics of U.S. immigration policy, its owners told Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta. Nancy Paz, who immigrated from Mexico, tells Pluta that she parked her family’s taco truck near the church Trump visited on Detroit’s west side Saturday in the hope that the Republican presidential candidate might glimpse it on his way in. “Because Donald say the Mexican people, they doesn’t work,” Paz told Pluta. “We come here to say, yes, we work hard, for the family.” The truck did brisk business this morning — so much so that a form of surge pricing kicked in, raising the price for a steak, pork, or chicken taco from $1.50 to $2.50, Pluta reports. Inside the church, Trump delivered a short speech that mentioned discrimination and the marginalization of young black men; he also stressed the importance of family, speaking to a...

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Partial Transcripts Of Orlando Gunman’s 911 Calls Show Vows And Threats – NPR

Federal investigators are still filling in details about Omar Mateen; the FBI released partial transcripts of the gunman’s calls with police during the June 12 shooting at the Pulse nightclub. FBI During his three-hour attack on an Orlando nightclub, gunman Omar Mateen spoke to police negotiators for nearly 30 minutes, according to partial transcripts that the FBI released Monday. But his victims — people trapped in the club — were also on their phones, detailing the situation for police. Toward the end of the standoff, survivors of the attack also told police “the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes,” the FBI says. The agency says that while it won’t release audio or transcripts of communications from victims inside the club, “significant information obtained from those victims allowed [Orlando Police] to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.” In releasing the partial transcripts, U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said that the materials should be viewed as an aid to understanding the situation that police confronted, saying “lives were saved because of their heroic work.” Bentley and other local and federal officials spoke at a news conference Monday morning, providing more details and an expanded timeline of the June 12 attack. As we’ve previously reported, Mateen threatened to use explosives, including a car bomb and a suicide vest. Investigators say they didn’t...

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Gawker Files For Bankruptcy As It Faces $140 Million Court Penalty – NPR

Nick Denton, seen here during his legal battle with Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections for Gawker Media, the company he founded 13 years ago. Getty Images Gawker Media, the gossip and news company that lost a high-profile court case in which it was ordered to pay $140 million over a violation of Hulk Hogan’s privacy, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors. In addition to its eponymous website, Gawker operates several other popular sites, including Deadspin, Jezebel and Gizmodo. But reports out Friday suggest Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, may be trying to find a buyer for the company. Gawker filed bankruptcy papers with a court in the Southern District of New York Friday, claiming an estimated $50 million – $100 million in assets and between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities. A massive chunk of those liabilities rests in a punishment levied on the company for making public a video in which professional wrestler Hulk Hogan was seen having sex with a woman who was married to a man who’s been called Hogan’s best friend. That case was part of a pattern for the company, which has sought to bring previously unknown details about public figures into the public realm. After the ruling, it emerged that a wealthy businessman who’d previously been the subject of Gawker’s reporting had...

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