J&K Governor N.N. Vohra, the man in the hot seat President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the imposition of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect, a senior government official said on Wednesday.Also Read Governor N.N Vohra sent a report to Union Home Ministry on Tuesday evening recommending Central rule in the State after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti submitted her resignation soon after the BJP pulled out of the alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).As Mr. Kovind is on a three-nation tour, the proposal was sent to Suriname, his current stop.“When the Governor sent the proposal on Tuesday evening, the President was already in transit from Athens to Suriname. As soon as he touched down in Paramaribo, he signed the recommendation giving his assent to Governor’s rule in J&K,” said the official.
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed seven more girls, who were at the Muzaffarpur shelter home where allegations of sexual assault surfaced last year, to reunite with their families. The top court had earlier allowed eight girls, out of 44 in all, to be reunited their families but only six of them have been able to do so. TISS project‘Koshish’ — a field action project of TISS — in its report told the court that 12 more girls, besides these 15, have been identified to be restored with their families. Several girls were reportedly sexually assaulted at the NGO-run shelter home in Bihar. The issue had come to light following a report by TISS, which had conducted a social audit. A Bench of Justices N.V. Ramana and Krishna Murari said that as and when their families are identified and the verification done, these girls can be reunited with them. Counsel for TISS told the Bench that out of the eight girls, only six have so far been restored with their families. It asked the State Child Protection Societies of West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Punjab to provide all necessary help to identify and verify the family members of the girls. The Bench clarified that it cannot monitor the restoration on day-to-day basis but in case of any problem, the matter could be mentioned for hearing. On September 12, the apex court had allowed eight of the 44 girls of Muzaffarpur shelter home to be reunited with their families. The top court had directed the Bihar government to provide all necessary financial and medical assistance to these eight girls identified by ‘Koshish’ as fit for being sent to their families.It had also directed the State government to assess the compensation liable to be paid to the girls under the victim compensation scheme and submit a report to the court in eight weeks. The decision came after TISS filed its report before the SC in a sealed cover, saying the eight girls were fit to be handed over to their families.
Judas from “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert” opens up about working on one of the year’s most-lauded TV specials and his new platform to marry music with making a differenceNate HertweckGRAMMYs May 11, 2018 – 5:22 am When “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert” aired on April 1, fans of both the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical and its modern all-star cast rejoiced. While viewers recognized the marquee recording artists who appeared, for many it was Judas who stole the show. The man behind that role? Brandon Victor Dixon, an accomplished actor and two-time Tony and GRAMMY nominee who has just released his first single, the uplifting and unifying “We Are.”Originally from Washington, D.C., Dixon has performed on Broadway in “The Color Purple” and “Hamilton,” on television in “One Life To Live” and “Law & Order,” and on stages from Los Angeles to New York to London. A true Renaissance man, Dixon formed his own production company two years ago to develop film and TV content. But his arrival as a recording artist is anything other than your typical stage-to-stereo crossover, and “We Are” is much more than a mere single.”I’m not necessarily building a recording career,” says Dixon. “I’m a very philanthropically oriented individual. There are a lot of causes that I support, and I’m a big fan of advocacy. In this day and age, I feel like if you’re not advocating for somebody or something then you have to ask yourself what you’re doing. I feel like the more we speak for and support others, the less we’ll have to worry about speaking for and supporting ourselves.”To that end, “We Are” represents a message of equality and compassion Dixon hopes to share with the world. The song originated when fellow actor Daniel J. Watts asked Dixon to write something to go along with a performance he was doing at a benefit event. Dixon crafted the hook and the rest fell into place with the help of South African producer Greg Dean Borowsky.Next, Dixon walked the walk and chose Young New Yorkers, an organization aimed at enrolling sentenced juveniles in arts programs instead of sending them to jail, as the beneficiary of the single’s proceeds.”It’s creating the #WeAre movement and the song is really designed to get people to remember that there’s no you without me, there’s no me without you and remember that, at one point, we knew how close we were as human beings together on this planet,” says Dixon. “This first movement and this first song is about children, and the children that are caught up in our for-profit justice system.” Brandon Victor Dixon On Music & Philanthropy brandon-victor-dixon-jesus-christ-superstar-john-legend-we-are-new-single Brandon Victor Dixon On “Jesus Christ Superstar,” John Legend & “We Are” New Single Facebook Twitter Email Dixon speaks passionately about several different philanthropic efforts, including mass incarceration, gun control, LGBTQ issues, racial equality, and feminism. Music provides him with an avenue to reach people and advocate for these causes.”I started writing music over the last couple years, particularly when I was doing ‘Motown.’ I started to connect with people in the music industry, and Ryan Shaw, who played Stevie Wonder in that show, and I started working on some projects together,” says Dixon. “Then this year, coming off of ‘Hamilton’ and going into ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ I just felt it was time to start putting out some music.”Dixon’s “… Superstar” experience put him shoulder to shoulder onstage and in living rooms around the world with GRAMMY winners such as John Legend.”It was really awesome to see someone like John … voluntarily step out into a slightly more foreign territory and be just as dedicated and giving of himself and, beyond that, to stretch forward to drive himself into a new creative territory,” Dixon says. “You don’t see that in everybody who is established and comfortable with what they’ve built.”He was excited by all the wonderful work happening around him. John produced it, and he was very proud and excited about the overall project and the reaction to it.”Dixon’s breakout performances of “Heaven On Their Minds,” “Superstar” and “The Last Supper,” a pivotal confrontation with Legend, introduced him to a whole new audience. While he cites Sara Bareilles’ beautiful rendition of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” as among his personal highlights, choosing his top moment of the night comes easy.”Coming out in a bedazzled tank top and silver jeans and singing ‘Superstar’ with a 36-piece band and 28 dancers around me is one of the dopest things I’ve ever had the opportunity to do,” says Dixon.The adrenaline rush of taking the stage was no doubt magnified by the performance being broadcast live on television. Though Dixon’s initial approach to his role as Judas and the show was not unlike his prior work on Broadway, the live filming element added another layer of technical wrinkles.”We want everybody at home to feel what we’re doing live in the arena, and it seems like they really succeeded at that,” says Dixon. “The storytelling and the heart came through, and that’s largely because of the technical ability of the group we had around us.”The hard work was worth it, as the show Dixon calls “a permanent part of our cultural artistic fabric” made a huge splash with TV audiences, spurring a host of acclaim from critics and the public alike.”I think the best thing somebody said to me was, ‘The way you portrayed Judas and the way this production told the story, it makes me think about the world around me in a very different way,'” says Dixon. “That’s moving for me, because, for this show, you walk into it labeling Judas as a villain, and evil and bad, and the goal for me was to strive to make people feel differently about someone they thought they knew. And hopefully that will translate to the real world where you can think differently about people around you that you think you know … maybe even help you think a little differently about yourself.” News With so much under his belt already as an entertainer, it’s clear Dixon’s true purpose moving forward is all about enacting positive change, a daunting task for any artist. Naturally, maintaining a balance is also important.When he’s not onstage or in the studio, Dixon says he can be found playing pickup soccer in New York City or snagging a stack of comic books and a bag of Twizzlers to unwind. But he’s quick to assure us more music and videos are in the works, all aimed at showing the world we are one.”My message is very democratic, so hopefully that’s the spirit in which people will receive it and will feel happy to share it.”Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”Read more
Post a comment Tags Enlarge ImageYou’ll be able to get your Defender in three or five door shapes with seating up to eight people. Land Rover We’re still months away from the official debut of Land Rover’s long-awaited second-generation Defender, but the news leaks just keep on coming. This time though, it’s not more photos — instead it’s about the three different sizes of Defender that the folks at Jaguar Land Rover will offer.Automotive News published word on Tuesday that the Defender will be offered in three body styles aimed at three different kinds of customers. The first is the Defender 90. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the classic Defender that we got in the US in the 1990s with a 90-inch wheelbase.The new D90 will be a three-door model available with either five or six seats. It’s growing a foot in length over the previous short-wheelbase Defender, which is pretty dang significant. The next size up will be the Defender 110 (another historic designation), and this model will be sold as either a five-, six- or seven-seat model. It will be 17 inches longer than the new Defender 90.The biggest version of the Defender will be the Defender 130, which was previously only offered as a double-cab truck. Now though, it’ll be an even bigger five-door SUV than the 110 (by an additional 14 inches) and will seat eight people. Land Rover’s approach to marketing these new Defender models is somewhat unique. The smallest version will be the range’s halo model, though whether that means it gets sexier engine options or more off-road goodies isn’t yet clear. The 110 and 130 will be the volume models. Land Rover is referring to the 110 as the “Definitive Defender,” while the 130 is being called the “Premium Explorer,” according to Automotive News. We have no idea how much room there will be between trims in terms of pricing, or even where pricing will start for the Defender.Even though what we don’t know about the new Land Rover Defender could fill a book, it’s probably the most exciting model to come from the brand in years, and that’s not only because it’ll be the first new Defender to hit the US since 1997.Land Rover representatives declined to discuss market details for the Defender until the model debuts at Frankfurt. More From Roadshow 2018 Range Rover Velar: Effortless SUV elegance on- and off-road 2019 Land Rover Range Rover P400e review: A hard hybrid to recommend Hey, neat, more pictures of the new Land Rover Defender SUVs Future Cars 13 Photos Land Rover Share your voice 0 Land Rover 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque review: Style, now with more substance
Khaleda condemns govt for stopping BNP’s aid for Rohingyas. Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday condemned the ruling Awami League for allegedly obstructing the trucks carrying relief materials for distribution among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.In a twitter message, the former prime minister described the government’s step of preventing relief trucks as an “abuse of state power”.“The government’s obstacle to the BNP’s help to displaced Rohingyas is an abuse of state power for selfish ends. It deserves the strongest condemnation,” Khaleda tweeted.Read more: BNP’s 22 relief trucks to Ukhia obstructedOn Wednesday, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) alleged that 22 trucks carrying relief materials for Rohingya refugees in Ukhia, Cox’s Bazar, were stopped by the government.The trucks contained rice, lentils, flattened rice (cheera), oil, salt, sugar, biscuits, water and other relief goods.UNICEF on Thursday said nearly 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the persecution carried out by Myanmarese security forces and their allies on the minority group into Bangladesh since 25 August, with thousands more arriving every day.Around 60 per cent are children, according to preliminary estimates.
A view of the district court that convicted Naveen Gadke of raping and murdering a baby girl in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, on 15 May 2018. — ReutersNaveen Gadke was arrested on April 20 and charged with the rape and murder of a baby girl in central India.Three weeks later a court sentenced the 26-year-old odd-job man to death in the fastest such trial known to have happened in modern India, a nation where public outrage is running high because of a series of rapes and related killings.Police, prosecutors and the district court in the city of Indore worked at a furious pace to get the conviction quickly, amid a backlash on the streets, including marches in this city of about 2 million, 550 miles south of Delhi.This is in a country where prime minister Narendra Modi’s government last month introduced the death penalty for rapes of girls under 12 years in response to public pressure but which has a notoriously slow court system, with cases taking at least six years on average to final ruling, according to governance tracking group Daksh.But the pace of the trial, the intensifying push for speedy hearings in rape cases, and questions about the legal defense provided to Gadke – who pleaded not guilty – have raised concerns among some legal rights advocates.They are fearful there will be wrongful convictions and hangings when a defendant cannot afford to hire a good lawyer.“While expeditious trials are ideal, these should not be at the cost of fair trial safeguards like the right to adequate time to prepare a defense and the presumption of innocence,” said Leah Verghese, senior campaigner at human rights group Amnesty International India, in an email response to questions.Senior Supreme Court lawyer Rebecca John said she was concerned. “As a principle, I am opposed to rushing through investigative processes and trial processes” she said.But reflecting the mood of the nation, well-known Supreme Court lawyer Dushyant Dave, a vocal supporter of capital punishment, said India “needs to send at least 500 people to death in the next one year to end this endemic” of rape.“Our system is archaic and extremely inefficient,” he added.Such views have resonated with the mother of the dead three-month-old girl as she sat on the front yard of a 200-year-old palace where her homeless family sleeps in the open.She told Reuters she was happy with the swift verdict but her daughter would get justice only when Gadke is hung to death, just as quickly.“Once such men are hanged, no one will dare to do anything like this to any girl,” she said.Rape victims and their families cannot be identified under Indian law.Gadke could not be contacted as journalists are not allowed to speak with convicts in jail as per a home ministry directive.Sachin Verma, Gadke’s lawyer, said his client told him that his estranged wife “framed” him, but said little else.Reuters could not trace Gadke’s wife to seek comment.SLAPPING AND SHOVINGAt trial, the mother, police officers and the prosecution lawyer said security cameras showed Gadke taking away the infant as she lay asleep by her parents. Fifteen minutes later, he was seen coming out of the basement of a nearby building, where her blood-smeared body was found, police said.Medical tests, completed quickly under instructions from government officials, confirmed she was raped, and the semen from a vaginal swab was found to be a DNA match with Gadke, according to court documents reviewed by Reuters.Gadke’s lawyer Verma, who specializes in matters related to crimes against children, said he reluctantly took the case on state government orders.That was after four other lawyers refused to defend Gadke, Verma said. In a sign of how high temperatures were rising in the community, around a dozen lawyers attacked the defendant outside the court when he first arrived, slapping and shoving him, according to police.Prosecutors presented 29 witnesses, including police and shopkeepers who found the victim’s body, and “everybody supported the prosecution”, said Verma. He presented no witnesses for Gadke’s defense.Verma said he could have done better if he had more time to prepare for the case.“They had to create a story and they had to decide quickly,” said Verma, who is expecting to receive 4,000 rupees ($58) from the state government for representing Gadke. “My client told me: ‘Everyone has already decided I am guilty. What’s the point of all this?’”Special prosecutor Mohammad Akram Shaikh said that they had “conclusive evidence” against Gadke.Judge Varsha Sharma, who deals with matters related to crimes against children and ruled on the case, declined to comment.SENDING A MESSAGEPolice pressed charges against Gadke within seven days of the crime, said Police Inspector Shivpal Singh Kushwah.“All of us wanted to send a message that the law can work fast, and we succeeded,” he said.The court sat for seven straight working days to hear the case, unusual in India where one court is often dipping in and out of several cases on the same day. A government-run laboratory conducted tests on forensic evidence within four days of a police request. This usually takes more than a month, Kushwah said.After hearing details of his crime from Shaikh and the witnesses, Judge Sharma found Gadke guilty and ordered his death by hanging.“This falls under the rarest of rare case and it would be appropriate to hand such a criminal the toughest punishment,” the judge declared.The sentence has to be confirmed by a higher court, for which Gadke will be provided a different lawyer by the state government. The court’s decision can be challenged in the Supreme Court. An appeal to India’s president is the last resort. The entire process can take years.ACCELERATION DEMANDEDEven before Gadke’s trial, there were growing calls to speed up child rape trials.Lower courts take an average of five years to complete cases of prisoners sentenced to death, high courts one year and four months, and the Supreme Court two years and one month, according to a 2016 report by the Centre on the Death Penalty in the National Law University of Delhi.The university study found that 74 per cent of 373 death row prisoners they interviewed were economically vulnerable. The majority were from low castes and religious minorities. In the Indore case, Gadke did various jobs like cleaning utensils in eateries.By contrast, trials involving India’s rich and powerful sometimes take more than 10 years. Gurmeet Ram Rahim, a wealthy self-styled godman who had many followers, was convicted last year on charges of raping two followers – 15 years after the case was registered.Government statistics show that since 2012, when a young woman was gang raped in a moving bus in Delhi igniting national uproar, reported rape cases have climbed 60 per cent to around 40,000 in 2016 – about one every 15 minutes – with child rape accounting for about 40 per cent.
Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,WASHINGTON (RNS) — As he prepared for the State Department’s second summit on global religious liberty next week, Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador on religious freedom issues, defended the event against critics who say that the first summit failed to accomplish more than creating new statements about helping religious minorities.In a telephone briefing with reporters on Friday (July 12), Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, cited efforts in Iraq, where a partnership that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development has begun to assist “the redevelopment and repopulating of northern Iraq by Yazidis and Christians that had been run out during ISIS.”He also pointed to the International Religious Freedom Fund, established at last year’s ministerial to help religious persecution victims, for which the department has collected millions of dollars from donors. He said money from that fund was “offered in Sri Lanka after the Easter bombings,” in which more than 250 people were killed in terrorist attacks on churches and hotels.The ambassador painted the summits as catalysts for interfaith understanding and support.“Our effort is to stir actions. We want to see really a global grassroots movement around religious freedom,” said Brownback. “We want to get the various faiths to bind together and to stand for each other’s freedom of religion.”Participants at the 2018 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington on July 24, 2018. Photo by State Department/Public DomainHe said the focus of the July 16-18 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom will be on mutual respect but not a common approach to theology.“There is no common theology in this discussion, but it is towards a common human right,” he said.“And that human right is that everybody is entitled to be able to practice their faith peacefully and without fear.”Brownback said the summit will be “the biggest religious freedom event ever held in the world,” with two days of discussions among religious leaders and civil society activists and a final day with as many as 115 invited foreign ministers.RELATED: State Department religious freedom summit ends with commitments, critiquesHuman rights activist Nadia Murad in Vienna, Austria, on May 22, 2017. Murad received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.(AP Photo/Ronald Zak)The gathering, a successor to a first-time event last July, will also feature first-person stories of survivors of religious persecution, including Nadia Murad, a Yazidi and former Islamic State group captive from northern Iraq who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American who was freed this year after a two-year detention in Turkey.The plans have so far failed to convince some religious freedom watchdogs, who say the first gathering failed to live up to its billing, that the summit will lead to substantive results.Shaun Casey, director of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, said the first ministerial appears to have “made no difference” in U.S. foreign policy for persecuted religious minorities around the globe.“You look at what’s happened to Rohingya and you look at what’s happening to Uighurs in China,” said Casey, the special representative for religion and global affairs at the State Department during the Obama administration. “There’s been no attempt to address the mass migration, if not the genocide, of Muslims in Myanmar.”H.A. Hellyer, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a think tank on international security, said the success or failure of the ministerial will relate to the State Department’s current policies.“The new commission on ‘unalienable rights’ is simultaneously being cast as another step in the administration’s culture wars,” said Hellyer, who also is the nonresident senior fellow of the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council. “As such, I am not convinced this ministerial is going to deliver on any promises it may make.”RELATED: Muslim scholar catches flak for serving on new State Department rights panelNadine Maenza, left, commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, speaks at the April 29, 2019, event when USCIRF released its annual report in Washington, D.C. Commissioner Tony Perkins is on the right. RNS photo by Adelle M. BanksNadine Maenza, a commissioner of the independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, argued that the first ministerial “raised the level of conversation” about global religious liberty far beyond Washington. In the last year, she has spoken with government officials in Egypt and civil society leaders in Indonesia, Thailand and Bahrain, where dialogue has become “just a natural thing” and less confrontational.But she thinks Brownback and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are seeking long-lasting results from the ministerials and that it will take time.“I really see them looking for long-term changes and how to help countries to want to move toward religious freedom,” she said. “But it is hard to measure in a year.”The ministerial comes less than a month after the State Department released its 2018 international religious freedom report. At that time, Pompeo announced that his department is elevating both the office for the envoy addressing anti-Semitism and the Office of International Religious Freedom. He said the reorganization would provide the offices with additional resources and staff and “empower them to better carry out their important mandates.” News • Photos of the Week By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Share This! Share This! Catholicism Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Share This! Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,With more migrants stalled in Mexico, Baptists may play larger role on border As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Adelle M. Banks Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Tagshomepage featured ministerial Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Sam Brownback State Department Top Story,You may also like By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Nuns & Nones helps millennials find surprise soulmates in Catholic sisters Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw Adelle M. Banks AMBankstw
Even with GOP frustrations, a majority of Republicans (56 percent) say Mueller should be allowed to finish his investigation, while almost a quarter think he should be fired and 20 percent are undecided. Among all adults polled, 65 percent say Mueller should be retained, 15 percent want him terminated, and 20 percent aren’t sure.Democrats and independents back Mueller by slightly higher margins than the entire American public, but even those numbers have fallen over the past month. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats want Mueller to finish his investigation, though that’s down from 83 percent in March; just 10 percent say Mueller should be fired, up from just 4 percent last month. Among independents, 68 percent say Mueller should be kept on with 14 percent saying he should be let go — a 14 point swing from March, when just 8 percent said Mueller should be fired and 76 percent supported keeping him.Republicans see FBI as biased against TrumpThere have also been big changes in how the public views the FBI — driven by a surge in Republican distrust, the poll shows. The new numbers come just as former FBI director James Comey, who was fired last year by Trump, is releasing his explosive new memoir and giving several media interviews, including one to NPR.Overall, there’s been an 18-point increase in Americans who believe the FBI is biased against Trump in the past two months. This month, 61 percent said that the FBI was just trying to do its job while 31 percent said they believed the nation’s chief law enforcement arm was biased against the Trump administration. Back in February, 71 percent of Americans polled said they believed the FBI was acting within its bounds, while 23 percent thought the agency was biased against the GOP White House.That swing has been due to rising Republican anger. For the first time, a 56 percent majority of Republicans say the FBI is biased against the president, with just 34 percent saying it’s only doing its job. That’s a 16-point swing against the FBI among the GOP, when just fewer than half of Republicans said in February that the FBI was biased but 43 percent still thought it was doing its job.Democratic views of the FBI have remained about the same in the past few months, but there’s been a major uptick among independents, too, who think the FBI is biased against Trump. Today, 62 percent of those polled say the FBI is just doing its job while 30 percent say it’s biased against the president. That’s a 22-point swing from February, when almost three-quarters of independents said the FBI was just doing their job and only 20 percent thought it was biased against the Trump administration.Faith in the FBI has remained about the same since polls earlier this year, however, with 54 percent of Americans saying they have some degree of confidence in the FBI and with 41 percent having little or no confidence. Those numbers have tightened by 5 points since February.Public believes Russian interference in midterms is likely Americans also think it’s possible Russia will seek to interfere in the U.S. elections again this November, the poll indicates, and that Congress hasn’t done enough to stop that from happening — though Republicans overwhelmingly don’t believe that is a possibility.Overall, 55 percent say Russian interference come November is likely or very likely, while 40 percent say it’s unlikely or won’t happen at all. That’s a net increase of 5 points from last month amid congressional hearings over how Russia sought to influence the U.S. elections through social media platforms like Facebook.However, 61 percent of Republicans say they don’t think there will be Russian interference in the midterms, with just 36 percent saying it’s likely or very likely. That number among the GOP has dropped by 36 points since February, but they’re the only group that still believes there’s not a great chance the country will try to interfere. Democrats have believed for months Russia will try to interfere again, with 77 percent saying they will and just 21 percent saying they won’t; that’s a 32 point swing since February.And since then, independents’ views have shifted with a solid majority believing Russia will try to interfere again. This month, 53 percent of independents said they believe the country will try to meddle, while 39 percent don’t. However, two months ago those numbers were almost flipped, with 56 percent thinking Russia wouldn’t seek to influence the U.S. elections again while just 40 percent thought they would.One thing that hasn’t changed since February in the polling is that Americans across the board, by a more than 4-to-1 margin, don’t think Congress has done enough to ensure that Russia won’t interfere in the elections again. Seventy-four percent said Congress has done little or nothing at all to prevent it from happening again with only 16 percent saying the’ve done a great deal or a good amount. That even includes almost three quarters of Republicans (73 percent) who agree that Congress hasn’t done enough to prevent Russian interference from happening again.Americans lose confidence in social media sitesAlex Wong/Getty ImagesFacebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing last week.The public also doesn’t believe that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have done enough in the past two years to prevent Russian interference. Only 12 percent of Americans say they’ve done enough or a good amount to prevent interference from happening again, while 74 percent say they’ve done only a little or nothing at all. Those low marks are consistent across party lines and haven’t changed much since February, either.Americans polled overwhelmingly don’t think Facebook will safeguard their personal information, either. Eighty percent of adults say they have no confidence at all or very little in the social media site to protect their privacy, with only 12 percent having a great deal of confidence or quite a lot of faith in Facebook’s ability to do so. Again, that distrust is low among Republicans, Democrats and independents.The poll also showed that people don’t trust what they read on Facebook. An overwhelming 92 percent of Facebook users don’t have much or any confidence that what they see on the site is true, with only 5 percent having some degree of higher confidence.The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll surveyed 1,011 U.S. adults from April 10-13. There is a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesFormer FBI Director Robert Mueller, special counsel on the Russia investigation, leaves following a meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June 2017.Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on how they see special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to President Trump’s campaign, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.Overall, the former FBI director’s favorability ratings have dropped over the past month as Trump and other Republicans have ratcheted up their attacks on Mueller and his ongoing probe. There’s been a net-negative swing of 11 points over the past month, with 32 percent of all Americans holding a favorable view toward Mueller, 30 percent viewing him unfavorably, and a 38 percent plurality still not knowing enough to have an opinion.Independents, meanwhile, are more mixed — 35 percent view Mueller favorably, similar to March. But 30 percent of independents view him unfavorably, up 9 points, and 34 percent aren’t sure or don’t know enough about him. A 45 percent plurality of all Americans believe Mueller’s investigation is fair — a 7-point net drop from March — while 30 percent believe it is unfair and just over a quarter are undecided.But again, the Mueller probe is being seen through an increasingly partisan lens by Americans. For the first time, a majority (55 percent) of Republicans say his investigation is unfair, with just 22 percent calling it fair — which is a 17 point swing since last month. Almost three-fourths of Democrats say Mueller’s investigation is being handled fairly, a 5-point net uptick since last month, along with almost half of independents — though there’s a 9-point net drop.
Popular D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets.Radio personality Rush Limbaugh, known for his racist tirades, attacked popular D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets, because “it dissed his two children’s books.” The ultra-conservative talk show host was upset that the executive director of Teaching for Change remarked on a C-Span network that it specialized in children’s books written by and about people of color and many times ignored best sellers, like that of Rush Limbaugh.Teaching for Change, a nonprofit organization, operates the bookstore located at 14th and V. It provides teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world.Deborah Menkart, executive director of Teaching for Change, explained its concept. “Only one out of 10 children’s books being published currently is by or about people of color. These are also not the books that are on the best-seller lists. In fact, one of the books on the best-seller list for children right now is by Rush Limbaugh. You will not find that book in our bookstore,” Menkart said.“It’s also getting lots of awards. To flip the trend, flip the script, 90 percent of the children’s books that we sell at the bookstore – the independent, progressive, nonprofit bookstore here [at Busboys and Poets] – are by or about people of color. Those are the books that we find and we feature. So we prove there is a market for them.”Rush Limbaugh said D.C. bookstore, Busboys and Poets dissed his two children’s books.Limbaugh played the audio of the remarks for his listeners. Things went wild from there. “The point here is really not that my books got dissed. I’m just taking the occasion of that here to make another point. This woman would be stunned to find out that my books have people of color in them, and she would likewise be shocked and stunned to learn that the “people of color,” as she talks of them, in my books are heroes,” said Limbaugh on a June telecast. “Who looks at the world this way? Barack Obama on down looks at the world this way.”Limbaugh continued, “She said, ‘We’re not breaking even.’ Maybe that’s their objective. That’s right. Nonprofit means they don’t dare show a profit. They can’t show a profit. Profit’s evil. But they’re not even breaking even. And so you say who runs a business this way? Nobody with any brains runs a business this way. This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be. And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being. They claim that they’re tolerant. They claim they’re open-minded. They claim that they are colorblind and all that. They are the most bigoted, racist people. They exclude here and exclude there and then they don’t make any money and they can’t figure out why.”“Limbaugh is distorting the definition of racism,” Teaching for Change’s contributing author Enid Lee explained, “One of the things that we have to make clear is that racism is about power and the ability of one group of persons, based on their race, to control institutions like publishing and marketing. What Teaching for Change is doing is reversing trends of racism by ensuring that people of color have a voice and that their lives are represented in children’s literature.”Limbaugh continued to rant on the airwaves. “These people are loony. They simply are dumb. They don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing. And they happen to be running the country. And I don’t just mean in Washington. People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care. People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers. …“They think that’s how the world works. And it is what the Democrat Party is becoming, and it is this demographic, the way the left or a Democrat looks at the country and sees it versus the way a conservative Republican looks and sees it, those two disparate views of the country are getting wider and wider and further and further apart.”Menkart noted that people do come in large numbers to the Teaching for Change bookstore in search of the titles that reflect the diversity of the country we live in. In addition to featuring children’s books by and about people of color, Teaching for Change vets titles for historical accuracy. As a review, in the respect Booklist notes, Limbaugh’s books fall way short in that category.Menkart said although the bookstore received lots of very derogatory calls and threats from Limbaugh listeners and followers, the negative publicity has also increased its visibility. “People are going to our website that didn’t even know we existed. They liked what they’re seeing and have offered to support us,” Menkart said.