President must force Moore to quit race

first_imgThe Cook Political Report has moved the race from a safe Republican seat to a “toss up.”If more credible allegations emerge before Election Day, Moore’s remaining support could crumble. If more voters are persuaded as more evidence emerges, it could give Democrats the margin of victory.Win or lose, Moore’s candidacy is a disaster for the GOP.If he wins despite the allegations, it will send a signal to women everywhere that Republicans do not believe that credible allegations of a grown man molesting a 14-year-old girl are disqualifying. And if he loses, his defeat will dramatically increase the chances that Democrats will win control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections.That means no more conservative judges, no more conservative legislation — effectively ending the Trump presidency. Democrats would also be in charge of the Russia investigation and have unbridled subpoena power.And if Democrats also win control of the House, then it’s impeachment time. If any of that comes to pass, Trump can thank one man: Bannon.Even if Republicans manage to hold the Senate, Bannon’s campaign to unseat GOP incumbents is making it less likely that Republicans will expand their Senate majority in 2018. For all the grand talk of expelling Moore after he is elected, it is an open question whether Republicans would really set the precedent of kicking out a senator for alleged behavior — no matter how heinous — that happened decades before he was elected to the Senate, particularly if it was known to the voters who elected him.Moreover, expulsion is not so simple. Moore would be seated, and there would be an ethics investigation that could take months — with public hearings and witnesses. That is a spectacle no one wants.The best solution is to make sure Moore never makes it to Washington. Some have suggested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions launch a write-in campaign, but this could split the GOP vote and thus make a Democratic victory more likely.So Republicans, including the president, had better act quickly and get Moore to step aside.Marc A. Thiessen is a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and former chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe allegations by five women that Roy Moore pursued and sexually molested teenage girls while he was in his 30s are disgusting, and disqualify him to serve in the United States Senate.Conservatives should be outraged at Moore for his loathsome conduct. But they should also be outraged at the man who helped put Moore on the ballot and is in the process of destroying the Trump presidency: Stephen K. Bannon.If the man Trump supported in the primary, Sen. Luther Strange, were the Republican nominee today, the GOP would be cruising to an easy victory in the Dec. 12 special election. But thanks to Bannon’s insurgent campaign for Moore, Republicans could lose the Alabama Senate seat.center_img It should be clear by now that having 52 GOP senators is not enough to pass Trump’s agenda. So conservatives should be pouring all their resources into defeating vulnerable Democrats, not diverting millions from those efforts to fund Bannon’s needless internecine war.Now that Bannon is doubling down in supporting Moore, Republican donors must stop supporting Bannon’s war against Republican incumbents.And Trump should intervene to stop Bannon’s continued support of Moore and publicly urge the members of Alabama’s Republican Party central steering committee to pull Moore’s nomination when they meet later this week.Competitive primaries can be a good thing. But in this case, Republicans ended up with an alleged predator.Goodness knows he would not be the first one to walk the halls of the Senate.In this case, Alabama voters would be sending Moore to Washington with full knowledge of the allegations against him.That puts Republicans in a quandary.last_img read more

Tighten up language on bullying laws

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn regards to Sen. James Tedisco’s Nov. 19 guest column [“Notify parents when their children are bullied”] on bullying in our schools, why not write something like, “mandatory reporting with complete enforcement” into the first law and then maybe some of that 31 percent of unreported bullying cases in our schools may go down and the second law need not be written.Words in a law like, “make a reasonable” and “good faith effort” don’t seem to cut it from a legal stand point.This opens the law up for everyone’s own interpretation on how to proceed next, including people managing schools.Why all this vagueness and contradiction in these bullying laws? Let’s do better to help children being bullied.Paul W. TrinciMaltaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

IMAXed out?

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Allsop: why we had to cancel the auction

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Reading regeneration: Reading’s high hopes

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Top banks increase property lending

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Former BT property chief to head Network Rail estate

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‘If you asked me, I’d say no’: Jokowi personally against repatriation of Indonesian IS members

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has voiced his personal disapproval of the idea of repatriating Indonesian nationals who belonged to the Islamic State (IS), although he added that a Cabinet meeting would be held to discuss the matter further.             “If you asked me, before the Cabinet meeting, I would say no [repatriation], but it will be [discussed] in the Cabinet meeting,” said Jokowi at the State Palace on Wednesday.“We will calculate in detail the pluses and minuses, and the decision will be made after hearing from relevant ministries,” he added. Some 660 Indonesian citizens have been identified as foreign terrorist fighters who have pledged allegiance to IS and joined the movement in Syria and surrounding countries.Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD separately conveyed a view similar to Jokowi’s, saying that he personally disagreed with the idea of repatriating Indonesian citizens who went abroad to join IS.“I agree that they should not be repatriated because they could pose a danger to the country, and in legal terms, their passports could be revoked as they went there [to IS territory] illegally,” he said.Mahfud said that many countries from which foreign terrorist fighters departed have yet to repatriate their citizens with the exception of certain special cases.He added, however, that the government was still considering the legal and constitutional aspects of transnational terrorism, particularly related to its citizens who joined terrorist movements abroad.Topics :last_img read more

China virus toll hits 722 as Hong Kong imposes quarantine

first_imgThe death toll from China’s coronavirus outbreak soared to 722 on Saturday as Hong Kong imposed a mandatory quarantine on mainland arrivals to block the spread of an epidemic that has caused global panic.With 86 more people dying in mainland China — the highest one-day jump so far — the toll was closing in on the 774 killed worldwide during the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.Nearly 35,000 people have been infected by the new strain, which is believed to have emerged in a market selling wild animals in the central city of Wuhan last year before spreading across China. Hong Kong began enforcing a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, under threat of both fines and jail terms.Most people will be able to be quarantined at home or in hotels but they will face daily phone calls and spot checks.The financial hub has 25 confirmed cases with one patient who died earlier this week.The city has been on edge as the virus has revived memories of the SARS outbreak that killed 299 in the semi-autonomous city.City officials hope the new measures will virtually halt the flow of people across the border while allowing the financial hub to remain stocked with food and goods from the mainland.The SARS epidemic left profound psychological scars and saddled residents with a deep distrust of authorities in Beijing who initially covered up the outbreak.In the last week, Hong Kong has been hit by a wave of panic-buying with supermarket shelves frequently emptied of staple goods such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser, rice and pasta.The government has blamed unfounded rumours of shortages.Cruise ship quarantined Other governments around the world have hardened their defences, with several countries banning arrivals from China and advising their citizens to avoid travelling there.Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China.Asian cruise ships have become a focal point as dozens of cases have been confirmed on a vessel off Japan’s coast.Sixty-four people aboard the Diamond Princess off Yokohama have tested positive and passengers aboard the cruise ship have been asked to stay inside their cabins to prevent new infections.Another cruise ship carrying a passenger suspected of infection with coronavirus will not be allowed to dock in southern Japan, the government said.In Hong Kong, 3,600 people were confined aboard the World Dream, where eight former passengers have tested positive for the virus.- Hero doctor -On the mainland, the death Friday of a Wuhan doctor who was reprimanded by police after he had sent messages warning about the virus back in December sparked a rare outpouring of grief and anger on social media.Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist who contracted the disease while treating a patient, was eulogised as a “hero” while people on Twitter-like Weibo railed against “fat officials” and demanded “freedom of speech”.Videos shared on Weibo showed a small group of people blowing whistles late Friday in front of a floral tribute to Li at Wuhan Central Hospital, where he died.As people across China fumed, the government expressed condolences and ordered an investigation. Wuhan’s government will award Li’s family 800,000 yuan ($114,000) in compensation covered by “work-related injury insurance”, according to the official Xinhua news agency.- Scientists scramble -Researchers, meanwhile, are scrambling to develop a drug to combat the virus.The US health department is working with pharmaceutical firm Regeneron to develop a treatment using a class of drug that has boosted survival rates among Ebola patients.Two weeks ago Chinese doctors confirmed they had been giving anti-HIV drugs to coronavirus patients in Beijing, based on a 2004 study published after the SARS outbreak that showed “favourable” responses.Scientists around the world are also working to develop a vaccine, which experts say could take months.Chinese researchers looking at how the virus spread said the endangered pangolin, also known as the scaly anteater, may be the “missing link” between bats and humans.An earlier study — since discredited — pointed to snakes, and there remain numerous other possible candidates in the Wuhan wildlife market thought to be ground zero of the epidemic.Topics : The epidemic has prompted the government to lock down cities home to tens of millions of people, as anger mounts over its handling of the crisis, especially after a whistleblowing doctor fell victim to the virus.Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, on a visit to quarantined Wuhan this week, instructed officials to take a “wartime” approach as they implement drastic measures that include combing the city for feverish residents.With panic spiralling around the globe — more than 320 cases have emerged in nearly 30 other countries — researchers were racing to find treatments and a vaccine to fight the virus.Hong Kong quarantine last_img read more

Stockholm Declaration pathway toward 2030 global goals on road safety

first_imgDelegates of 140 countries have adopted the Stockholm Declaration as the final outcome document of the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety: Achieving Global Goals 2030, which was held in Stockholm and ended on Thursday.The declaration aims to strengthen the commitment to achieve global goals by 2030 and emphasize countries’ shared responsibility.“Reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda, recognizing the synergies between the SDG [Sustainable Development Goal] policy areas, as well as the need to work in an integrated manner for mutual benefits,” the declaration’s first of 18 point reads. Swedish Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth said the Stockholm Declaration had forward-looking elements, in that it focused on action and how countries could reach their 2030 targets. The declaration clearly connected road safety to the Agenda 2030, and there was an interdependence between the SDGs and road safety, he went on.Read also: UN calls on nations to make roads safer “Road safety is directly and indirectly connected to several other SDGs and targets, and when we work to ensure road safety, we also contribute to development, equity, gender equality, the fight against climate change as well as creating sustainable cities for all citizens and road users,” Eneroth told journalists on the sidelines of the conference.               The Stockholm Declaration was built on the Moscow Declaration (of 2009) and Brasilia Declaration (of 2015) and prior UN General Assembly and World Health Assembly resolutions, the minister further explained. Some of the declaration’s recommendations were based on input from an independent academic expert group. “We recognize our shared responsibility and call on member states to contribute to reducing road traffic deaths by at least 50 percent from 2020 to 2030,” the declaration further says.Last week, the Swiss government decided to expand its ambition during a meeting in Sweden to reduce road traffic deaths by 50 percent to 2030 and, citing this as an example, Eneroth said he hoped other countries would follow suit.“At least 50 percent […]. If we are serious about halving the number of deaths on our roads by 2030, we need a holistic perspective and include road safety and a safe system approach as an integral element of land use street design, transportation system planning and governance,” he said.According to official data, road traffic injuries rank eighth among the leading causes of death globally and are the number-one killer of people aged between 5 and 29 years. More than 1.35 million people die and up to 50 million are severely injured in road accidents every year. According to the World Bank, reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by half could add 7 – 22 percent to per-capita gross domestic product in five selected low- and middle-income countries over the next 24 years.As a safe system approach, Vision Zero – a multinational road traffic safety project to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries from road traffic – has been implemented in Sweden for 15 years after its first introduction in the 1930s. It had reduced fatalities in the country by 80 percent during, Eneroth said.Looking at Sweden’s experience in road safety, Eneroth said, human error would always be a factor, but technology could be a determining factor in whether accidents would claim human lives. “We need to encourage and incentivize the development, application and deployment of existing and future technology and other innovations to improve all aspects of road safety from prevention to emergency response and trauma care,” the minister said.There are some well-known and proven behavioral road safety measures that could save hundreds of thousands of lives annually; unfortunately, many of these measures are still not being implemented in most countries. “We need to focus on speed management, including the strengthening of law enforcement to prevent speeding and mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 kilometers [per hour] in areas where vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and public transportation users — and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner,” Eneroth asserted.During the two-day conference, delegates had programs with plenary discussions where they had ministers and senior officials discussing the lessons learned from A Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020, which will expire at the end of this year, and setting priorities for the next 10 years. On Wednesday, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a doubling of its support for global road safety, committing another US$240 million from 2020 to 2025 to save 600,000 more lives and prevent 22 million injuries in low- and middle-income countries around the world.To delegates, Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter of the late Nelson Mandela, shared her experience as a global advocate and campaigner on road safety since the start of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2011.The World Health Organization’s director for social determinants of health, Etienne Krug, said there had been progress in the prevention of traffic deaths and injuries in Southeast Asian countries, such as progress on some legislative issues in the Philippines and Cambodia. Taiwan and India also showed some achievements.“There is progress, but the road is still very long. We need much more enforcement of existing legislation; continue to improve the laws. We also need to make progress on the quality of vehicles,” Krug said.Topics :last_img read more