stephen jay gould

(september 10, 1941-may 20,2002)
  • Contrasting responses to COVID-19 restrictions highlights split among evangelical Christians

    Contrasting responses to COVID-19 restrictions highlights split among evangelical ChristiansIn May, journalist Mindy Belz was frustrated by the way she saw white conservative Christians in America responding to the pandemic. Belz, by contrast, told Yahoo News that her tweet in May was driven by disappointment in the response of many American Christians to COVID-19.


    read more

  • Why is QAnon more obsessed with an imaginary sex-trafficking ring than with Jeffrey Epstein’s real one?

    Why is QAnon more obsessed with an imaginary sex-trafficking ring than with Jeffrey Epstein’s real one?Epstein’s long history of sexual misconduct, on private islands, in his Florida mansion, aboard yachts and and his private jet, with a who’s who of powerful “elites” including former President Bill Clinton (who denies having had a close relationship with Epstein or any knowledge of his crimes), is probably the closest real-world analogue of the imaginary global sex-trafficking ring at the core of the QAnon conspiracy. 


    read more

  • 'Totally irresponsible': Dems criticize Pence presiding over Amy Coney Barrett vote after aides contract COVID-19

    'Totally irresponsible': Dems criticize Pence presiding over Amy Coney Barrett vote after aides contract COVID-19"As vice president, I’m president of the Senate. And I’m gonna be in the chair because I wouldn’t miss that vote for the world," Pence said Saturday.


    read more

  • Harry Reid says that Biden should spend 'no more than three weeks' testing Republican cooperation before eliminating the Senate filibuster

    Harry Reid says that Biden should spend 'no more than three weeks' testing Republican cooperation before eliminating the Senate filibusterThe former Democratic senator from Nevada and Senate Majority Leader insisted that GOP obstruction should not be tolerated.


    read more

  • Fatal police shooting of Black 19-year-old prompts firing of officer

    Fatal police shooting of Black 19-year-old prompts firing of officerMarcellis Stinnette, 19, was killed, and a Black woman, Tafara Williams, 20, was injured when the officer shot at the vehicle in Waukegan on Tuesday night.


    read more

  • Ethiopia blasts Trump remark that Egypt will 'blow up' dam

    Ethiopia blasts Trump remark that Egypt will 'blow up' dam

    Ethiopia on Saturday denounced “belligerent threats” by President Trump over the huge dam it has nearly completed on the Blue Nile River. This comes a day after Trump said downstream Egypt will “blow up” the project it has called an existential threat.


    read more

  • Archbishop Pizzaballa appointed Jerusalem Patriarch

    Archbishop Pizzaballa appointed Jerusalem PatriarchArchbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Vatican’s apostolic administrator in the Holy Land, has been named as the new Patriarch of Jerusalem by Pope Francis. Pizzaballa, 55, a Franciscan friar, has served as the acting Patriarch for four years and has steered the diocese through a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, when the churches at the birthplace of Christianity were closed throughout its holiest season, Easter. In ordinary years, the Holy Land would be preparing for an influx of pilgrims over Christmas - but the outbreak has dealt a heavy blow to tourism in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Nazareth, home to some of its most famous churches.


    read more

  • JetBlue bans white man, donning Burger King crown, after racist scene on New York-bound flight

    read more

  • Cameroon: Children killed in attack on school in Kumba

    Cameroon: Children killed in attack on school in KumbaOfficials have blamed Anglophone secessionists for the attack on a private school in a restive region.


    read more

  • Pakistan's PM Khan accuses Macron of 'attacking Islam'

    Pakistan's PM Khan accuses Macron of 'attacking Islam'Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan accused French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday of "attacking Islam", after the European leader criticised Islamists and defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.


    read more

  • Trump reportedly doesn't 'want to help some' GOP senators amid warnings of 'potentially catastrophic' election

    Trump reportedly doesn't 'want to help some' GOP senators amid warnings of 'potentially catastrophic' electionJosh Holmes, a top adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told Politico he thinks the Republican Party could win more Senate races than people expect on Nov. 3, but the fact that there are so many close contests means "you could have a whole bunch of scenarios play out on Election Day." The worst-case scenario for the GOP, he said, is "potentially catastrophic."As it turns out, the party may not get that much help from President Trump when it comes to avoiding such a fate. Trump privately told donors this past Thursday at a fundraiser in Nashville, Tennessee, that he isn't sure the party will maintain its Senate majority, The Washington Post reports. "I think the Senate is tough actually," Trump said at the event, an attendee told the Post on condition of anonymity. "The Senate is very tough. There are a couple senators I can't really get involved in. I just can't do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can't help some of them. I don't want to help some of them."Instead, the president reportedly said he believes the GOP will "take back the House," a stance that he made clear during Thursday's presidential debate, as well. Trump's optimism about the lower chamber isn't shared by many Republican officials and strategists, who consider it a long shot. Read more at Politico and The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump loses on the merits Who won the final 2020 debate? Call it a draw. Get ready for Trump TV, America


    read more

  • 'An incredibly tragic day for Ocala': Florida police chief Greg Graham killed in plane crash

    'An incredibly tragic day for Ocala': Florida police chief Greg Graham killed in plane crashThe death of Greg Graham, who became Ocala's 30th police chief in January 2012, stunned the central Florida city northwest of Orlando.


    read more

  • Democrats planning 30-hour 'digital filibuster' to try to stop Amy Coney Barrett being confirmed

    Democrats planning 30-hour 'digital filibuster' to try to stop Amy Coney Barrett being confirmedSenators including Kamala Harris and Chuck Schumer will deliver messages as part of a campaign of protest against the woman set to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court


    read more

  • Family of hiker missing for 2 weeks in Mount Rainier pushes for active search

    Family of hiker missing for 2 weeks in Mount Rainier pushes for active searchSam Dubal, 33, went missing while on an overnight trip that began Oct. 9. His family is pleading for three more days of searching.


    read more

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is heavily favored to win her reelection race. Her challenger has still raised $10 million because Republicans are desperate to beat her.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is heavily favored to win her reelection race. Her challenger has still raised $10 million because Republicans are desperate to beat her."I guarantee you 75% of his contributors don't know anything about him," a Republican strategist told The New York Times.


    read more

  • 'Murder hornet' nest vacuumed out of tree in Washington

    'Murder hornet' nest vacuumed out of tree in WashingtonThe state's agricultural department said it had spent weeks searching for and trapping the hornets, which attack honeybee hives and could pose a threat to humans, because they can sting repeatedly with venom that is stronger than a honeybee's. The state's entomologists succeeded by attaching radio trackers to three hornets they had trapped earlier in the week, one of which they followed to the nest, located in a tree near Blaine, Washington, on Thursday.


    read more

  • Gottlieb warns of "dangerous tipping point" as virus spread accelerates

    Gottlieb warns of "dangerous tipping point" as virus spread accelerates"These cases are going to continue to build. There's really no backstop here," Gottlieb said on "Face the Nation."


    read more

  • George Floyd death: A city pledged to abolish its police. Then what?

    George Floyd death: A city pledged to abolish its police. Then what?Minneapolis has struggled to keep a promise that made global headlines after George Floyd's death.


    read more

  • Evo Morales leaves Argentina for Venezuela: report

    Evo Morales leaves Argentina for Venezuela: reportBolivia's former president Evo Morales left Argentina for Caracas late Friday in an official Venezuelan aircraft, the official Argentine news agency Telam said.


    read more

  • AP Explains: Trump pushes questions about Joe Biden's son

    AP Explains: Trump pushes questions about Joe Biden's sonLooking to undermine Democratic rival Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s campaign is pushing a familiar line of attack: unverified allegations about Biden's son and his foreign business ties. The origins of renewed allegations trace back to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has repeatedly pushed unfounded claims about the Bidens.


    read more

  • Opposition leader flees Venezuela, heads towards Spain and the United States

    Opposition leader flees Venezuela, heads towards Spain and the United StatesVenezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López escaped from the South American country and was traveling on Saturday to Spain, where he will spend time with his family before eventually heading towards the United States to continue the efforts to outs the Nicolas Maduro regime, sources close to the former political prisoner told el Nuevo Herald.


    read more

  • Op-Ed: The COVID-19 vaccines are coming. Here's how they should be rolled out

    Op-Ed: The COVID-19 vaccines are coming. Here's how they should be rolled outWell before Operation Warp Speed delivers COVID-19 vaccines en masse, we need to be prepared to distribute them effectively. Here's how we should do it.


    read more

  • Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfire

    Elderly couple who wouldn't evacuate killed in Colorado wildfireThe couple, in their 80s, cherished their home and refused to leave, the sheriff and family said. There are no other known missing people in the blaze.


    read more

  • Stimulus checks could take weeks or months to arrive as Pelosi and Mnuchin remain locked in negotiations

    Stimulus checks could take weeks or months to arrive as Pelosi and Mnuchin remain locked in negotiations"It'd take a colossal get-together, just a huge get-together, to put a stimulus package together, and I don't see it happening."


    read more

  • Kuwait retail co-ops remove French products over Prophet cartoon

    Kuwait retail co-ops remove French products over Prophet cartoonKuwait's retail co-ops have pulled French products in boycott over the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a French school class on freedom of expression whose teacher was then beheaded by a Chechen teenager. France's foreign affairs ministry said there had been calls to boycott French products, notably food products, in several Middle Eastern countries as well as calls for demonstrations against France over the cartoons.


    read more

  • Hotels are trying to attract families with gourmet cooking classes, cabana classrooms, and yoga breaks as kids continue with remote schooling across the US

    Hotels are trying to attract families with gourmet cooking classes, cabana classrooms, and yoga breaks as kids continue with remote schooling across the USHotels are beckoning families with "schoolcation" packages that tap into their newfound flexibility to travel during the school year.


    read more

  • British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert detained in Iran moved out of desert prison

    British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert detained in Iran moved out of desert prisonKylie Moore-Gilbert, the British-Australian academic who has been detained in Iran for the past two years, has been moved from the notorious desert prison of Qarchak to an unknown location. Her move was first reported by the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists, who said that she was moved, along with all of her belongings, on Saturday. A source close to the case confirmed the move, but did not know any further details. There has been no official word from the Iranian government. Dr Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic Studies, was arrested for espionage after attending a conference in Qom in 2018. She was charged in a secret trial and given 10 years imprisonment. Both Dr Moore-Gilbert and the Australian government reject the charges, which they say are politically motivated. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claim that someone she interviewed for a research project flagged her as suspicious so they stopped her from returning to Melbourne. Qarchak prison, in the desert on the eastern outskirts of Tehran, has a reputation for being the most dangerous of the country’s women’s prisons. Dr Moore-Gilbert had been moved from Evin prison in Tehran to Qarchak in August, which activists at the time believed to be a “punishment”. It was not immediately clear where Dr Moore-Gilbert has been taken. Just 11 days prior to her movement she had been transferred to Ward Eight (formerly known as the Mothers’ Ward) of Qarchak, alongside at least 15 other political prisoners. While those campaigning for her release see her move as a sign of hope, not knowing where the mystery location she has been sent to or the reason behind the move, gives little to base it on.


    read more

  • More mass testing in China after 137 virus cases in Xinjiang

    More mass testing in China after 137 virus cases in XinjiangChinese officials were racing Sunday to smother a fresh coronavirus outbreak in the country's far northwest after 137 new infections were discovered.


    read more

  • Trump travel anticipates race decided by one Electoral College vote

    Trump travel anticipates race decided by one Electoral College voteThe president heads to Maine and Nebraska this week as his team cites several scenarios under which the election could come down to one or two electoral votes.


    read more

  • Nigeria's police order massive mobilization after unrest

    Nigeria's police order massive mobilization after unrestNigeria’s top police official on Saturday ordered the immediate mobilization of all officers to “reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters” after days of unrest and demonstrations over police abuses that left at least 69 people dead. The police order could further heighten tensions in Africa’s most populous country after some of its worst turmoil in years. Nigeria’s inspector general of police, M.A. Adamu, ordered colleagues to “dominate the public space” while announcing that enough is enough, a statement said.


    read more

  • Hurricane force gusts prompt extremely critical fire risk in California

    Hurricane force gusts prompt extremely critical fire risk in CaliforniaMeanwhile, record shattering cold brings heavy snow and wind chills below zero to Colorado.


    read more

  • 'Not just numbers': The women disappearing in Peru

    'Not just numbers': The women disappearing in PeruThousands of women go missing in Peru every year and many are never found.


    read more

  • The operator of this Boeing 767 private jet says the plane has an air system so advanced it kills pathogens so passengers don't need to wear a mask onboard – see inside

    The operator of this Boeing 767 private jet says the plane has an air system so advanced it kills pathogens so passengers don't need to wear a mask onboard – see insideThis luxury flying apartment costs an hour what a New York City studio costs for an entire year. The difference being this one kills COVID in the air.


    read more

  • CNN's Jake Tapper presses White House chief of staff after new round of coronavirus cases among top officials

    CNN's Jake Tapper presses White House chief of staff after new round of coronavirus cases among top officials

    CNN’s Jake Tapper grilled White House chief of staff Mark Meadows after it was revealed that top aides to Vice President Pence tested positive for COVID-19. Under CDC guidelines, this development would call for Pence, who has been in close contact with them, to self-isolate. But Pence is still hitting the campaign trail.


    read more

  • Lebanese Christian cleric to Hariri: avoid 'secret deals' in forming cabinet

    Lebanese Christian cleric to Hariri: avoid 'secret deals' in forming cabinetLebanon's top Christian cleric urged Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri on Sunday to avoid back-door deals and to quickly form a new government that will start lifting the country out of financial crisis. Veteran Sunni politician Hariri was named premier for a fourth time on Thursday, a year after huge protests against the ruling elite pushed him to quit. Hariri promised a cabinet of specialists to enact reforms set out in a French plan to unlock foreign aid.


    read more

  • Pfizer has expanded its COVID-19 vaccine trial to include minors. Some say it's risky. Others argue it's necessary.

    Pfizer has expanded its COVID-19 vaccine trial to include minors. Some say it's risky. Others argue it's necessary.After months of testing its COVID-19 candidate vaccine in adults, Pfizer recently lowered the age of participation to 16.


    read more

  • Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78

    Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee, who transformed the South Korean firm into a global tech titan, died at the age of 78 on Sunday, the company said.


    read more

  • US election 2020: Donald Trump joins a record 53 million early voters by casting ballot in Florida

    US election 2020: Donald Trump joins a record 53 million early voters by casting ballot in FloridaPresident Donald Trump cast his vote in Florida on Saturday, joining a record breaking total of 53 million Americans in casting an early ballot ahead of the November 3 election. The president voted in person at West Palm Beach, near his Mar-a-Lago estate, after switching his permanent residence and voter registration last year from New York to Florida, a must-win battleground for his re-election bid. The election could be on track to see the highest voter turnout in more than a century, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project. With just 10 days to go until the election, Mr Trump is due to hold campaigning rallies in three swing states later on Saturday. Democratic rival Joe Biden and his wife Jill also will hit the campaign trail, traveling to the vital battleground of Pennsylvania for two events on Saturday.


    read more

  • Black contractor braves threats in removing Richmond statues

    Black contractor braves threats in removing Richmond statuesDevon Henry paced in nervous anticipation, because this was a project like nothing he’d ever done. An accomplished Black businessman, Henry took on a job the city says others were unwilling to do: lead contractor for the now-completed removal of 14 pieces of Confederate statuary that dotted Virginia’s capital city. “You did it, man,” said Rodney Henry.


    read more

  • Snow due to hit Colorado wildfire areas

    Snow due to hit Colorado wildfire areas"We don’t anticipate it will be a season-ending event, but we do believe it will help us a great bit," said a fire incident spokesman.


    read more

  • A 58-year-old woman who's a suspect in her elderly mother's stabbing told police 'she deserved it and now she's in a better place'

    A 58-year-old woman who's a suspect in her elderly mother's stabbing told police 'she deserved it and now she's in a better place'When Salt Lake City authorities questioned Lori Lee Donlay's motive, she told them "she'll take it to the grave," according to Utah's Deseret News.


    read more

  • Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once reportedly advised Adam Neumann to stop growing WeWork so quickly and fix its problems. Neumann responded 'F--- that.'

    Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once reportedly advised Adam Neumann to stop growing WeWork so quickly and fix its problems. Neumann responded 'F--- that.'Back in 2018, co-working startup WeWork was one of the most valuable private companies in the world, intent on growth at all costs.


    read more

  • Inside the Refugee Camp on America's Doorstep

    Inside the Refugee Camp on America's DoorstepMATAMOROS, Mexico -- A butter yellow sun rose over the crowded tent camp across the river from Texas, and a thick heat baked the rotten debris below, a mixture of broken toys, human waste and uneaten food swarming with flies.Clothing and sheets hung from trees and dried stiff after being drenched and muddied in a hurricane the week before.As residents emerged from the zipper-holes of their canvas homes that morning in August, some trudged with buckets in hand toward tanks of water for bathing and washing dishes. Others assembled in front of wash basins with arms full of children's underwear and pajamas. They waited for the first warm meal of the day to arrive, though it often made them sick.The members of this displaced community requested refuge in the United States but were sent back into Mexico and told to wait. They came there after unique tragedies: violent assaults, oppressive extortions, murdered loved ones. They are bound together by the one thing they share in common -- having nowhere else to go."Sometimes I feel like I can't hold on anymore," said Jaqueline Salgado, who fled to the camp from southern Mexico, sitting outside her tent on a bucket as her children played in the dirt. "But when I remember everything I've been through, and how it was worse, I come back to the conclusion that I have to wait."Salgado is one of about 600 people stranded in a place that many Americans might have thought would never exist. It is effectively a refugee camp on the doorstep of the United States, one of several that have sprung up along the border for the first time in the country's history.After first cropping up in 2018, the encampment across the border from Brownsville, Texas, exploded to nearly 3,000 people the following year under a policy that has required at least 60,000 asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for the entirety of their legal cases, which can take years.Those who have not given up and returned home or had the means to move into shelters or apartments while they wait have been stuck outside ever since in this camp, or others like it that are now strung along the southwest border.Many have been living in fraying tents for more than a year.The Trump administration has said the "remain in Mexico" policy was essential to end exploitation of American immigration laws and alleviate overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities after nearly 2 million migrants crossed into the United States between 2017 and 2019.The Mexican authorities have blamed the U.S. government for the situation. But they have also declined to designate the outdoor areas as official refugee camps in collaboration with the United Nations, which could have provided infrastructure for housing and sanitation."It has been the first time we have been in this situation," Shant Dermegerditchian, director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' office in Monterrey. "And we certainly don't support this."The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to review the policy after it was successfully challenged in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case will not be resolved until after the election, so those living in the camp have months of waiting ahead, if not longer.The camp drew attention during Thursday night's presidential debate, when former Vice President Joe Biden noted, "This is the first president in the history of the United States of America that anybody seeking asylum has to do it in another country," he said. "They're sitting in squalor on the other side of the river."The arrival of the coronavirus has made things much worse. Though only a few cases broke out at the camp, most of the American aid workers who entered regularly to distribute supplies stopped coming, hoping to avoid transporting the virus.The Gulf Cartel, which traffics drugs across the border and is as powerful a force as local law enforcement, moved in to fill the void.The gang charges tolls to camp residents who decide to swim across the river on their own and sometimes kidnaps them for ransom. Beatings and disappearances have also become more common -- sometimes to protect women or children who are being abused, but other times because camp residents have violated the gang's rules about when and where they are permitted to roam outside their tents.Nine bodies have washed ashore on the banks of the Rio Grande near the camp in the last two months; the Mexican authorities said most of the deaths were a result of a rise in gang activity during the pandemic."I haven't done anything, I haven't stolen anything, and still I have to keep escaping. Why?" Salgado said that day in August.She said she and her children were on the run from her abusive husband, who drank excessively and would beat them when he was upset, and because her brother had been kidnapped and killed. Just then, her 11-year-old son, Alexander, who seemed to have only vaguely been paying attention, put down his toys and started to heave."He is constantly nervous," his mother said. "Every time we fought, his anxiety would make him sick and he would end up vomiting."Most children in the camp have not attended formal schooling since they left home. Parents agonize over whether they will be able to make up for the lost time. Some have become worried enough to launch their children across the river on the backs of smugglers, sending them alone on the last leg of their dangerous journey to the United States.Those who cannot bear to make such a decision are often tormented by second-guessing."I was scared I would never see him again because he's all I have," said Carmen Vargas, clinging to the arm of her 13-year-old son, Cristopher, who has a mop of curly brown hair and is tall for his age. "But my son needs to go to school. He's only 13 years old, and practically he has lost two years already."Cristopher teared up listening to his mother describe the life they had left behind. She pulled out identification cards showing that she had been a municipal police officer in Honduras, but said her success became a liability when she put a powerful drug cartel member in jail in 2018. Within hours, the cartel announced a hit on Vargas. She and Cristopher fled, leaving behind the ornate wooden furniture she had saved up to buy and a refrigerator full of food.With cupped palms, Vargas caught beads of sweat that dripped down her forehead as she spoke. She apologized for the stench; just outside her tent, insects crawled around a pile of feces that had washed up when the river flooded. "You have to withstand everything here: sun, water, cold, heat, we have it all."The camp residents are chronically sick with flulike viruses and stomach bugs that wend endlessly through the tents and with respiratory problems aggravated by the dusty air. Their skin is pockmarked from the throngs of mosquitoes that overwhelm the camp after it rains.Most acknowledge that life on the other side of the border would hardly be charmed -- especially if they lost their asylum cases and had to live in the shadows."Without papers, is it still better to be in the U.S. rather than here? Yes, it's a thousand times better," said Lucia Gomez, from Guerrero, Mexico, as she picked up clothing and toys that had been scattered outside their tent by hurricane winds. "They might find you, detain you and deport you," she said. "But if you manage to avoid them, you will be able to put food on the table."In her arms, she held her youngest child, an 8-month-old boy named Yahir, whose back was covered in a bumpy heat rash. Her son William, 16, plopped cherries into his mouth from a plate that was covered in flies.Gomez said her family had made a run for the camp from southern Mexico after their home was ransacked and her husband and father-in-law were shot to death. "A man came in and shouted, 'Put your hands up!'" her 8-year-old son Johan chimed in, holding his arms up as if he were holding an imaginary gun."That is why we wait," she said. "We try to get through this unworthy life. And we try to resist for our children's sake."Volunteer groups bought the laundry basins and water tanks, as well as hand-washing stations and a row of concrete showers that, after months of laying dry in the middle of the camp, were recently connected to a water source.But their efforts have often felt futile. Since the camp appeared, the invisible wall of policies blocking its inhabitants from being allowed into the United States has only grown taller and more fortified.Some have found ways to improvise a modicum of comfort. Antonia Maldonado, 41, from Honduras, stood in a kitchen she had cobbled together under tattered blue tarps suspended from trees. She placed raw chicken onto a grate over an open flame, using a scavenged piece of wood resting on two stacks of upside-down buckets as a countertop.She said she had been looking toward the election for hope that a new administration might ease some of the restrictions put into place by President Donald Trump."Not a leaf gets into that country without his permission," Maldonado said, adding, "I just want to live with dignity. I'm not asking for riches."Some parents pinch pesos to buy decorations and treats from supermarket reject bins for their children's birthdays. But many walk around the camp with bloodshot eyes, constantly on the brink of tears, or in a zombielike state, as if they have shut down emotionally.When Rodrigo Castro de la Parra arrived in Matamoros, he alternated between emotional extremes. In the span of a year, he had gone from being a shy high school student who liked to stay up late at night and draw flowers in his notebook to the head of his entire family. That was after the 18th Street Gang, the most brutal and powerful gang in Guatemala, murdered his mother and sister -- signaling a grudge that meant he and the rest of his relatives could be next on its kill list."I can't sleep," he said one afternoon, sitting outside the tents where he lived with his wife, daughter, grandmother, orphaned niece and his 16-year-old-sister, who had given birth after arriving at the camp. "Sometimes I feel hysterical." He said he worried that someone else in his family could be killed.But only two weeks later, it was Castro de la Parra's body that washed out of the river at one edge of the camp. His death was a mystery. The police investigated it as a possible homicide but ultimately determined that he had drowned.His wife, Cinthia, was still in shock when she took a bus back to Guatemala City for the repatriation of her husband's body. She also hoped to replace her travel documents that had been soaked in his pants when he died.She would need them when she went back with their 2-year-old to try again.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    read more

  • Distortions and Smears Surround California’s Affirmative Action Bid

    Distortions and Smears Surround California’s Affirmative Action BidAmid the chaos of nationwide racial violence and lawlessness, proponents of Proposition 16 — on the California ballot in November — claim the need for state-sanctioned racial preferences in order to fight alleged systemic racism.Prop 16 aims to overturn Proposition 209, passed in 1996 by California voters, which prohibits racial preferences and discrimination in admissions to public universities, and in hiring and contracting for state jobs.Many Prop 16 supporters talk of the “failed experiment” of Prop 209’s mandate of equality, an assertion as baseless and absurd as it is insulting to the memory of countless Americans of all races — from Union soldiers willing to “die to make men free” in the Civil War to Freedom Riders risking their lives to fight racial segregation in 1961.It is as if Prop 16 supporters are not aware that the North won the war and that Americans today, regardless of their race or sex, are living proof of the level of equality that has been achieved since then.There is likely no country in the world where the fight for human equality has been as successful as it has been in the United States. There will always be racists; but to claim, as the Prop 16 crowd does, that the United States is still a systemically racist country is a lie.Whatever their motives, Prop 16 supporters want to return to the bad old days of judging people by skin color and sex. They disguise their campaign before the public with words such as “diversity” and “a level playing field.” Who could be against that?Many people will likely buy this version. But those who see through it are calling out Prop 16 on its true aim, and these people are often brought in line through the intimidation tactics so regularly employed by the far left. At venues ranging from business organizations -- such as the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce -- to the general public, anyone who openly opposes Prop 16 is denounced and shamed as a racist. In today’s America, there is nothing worse than being called a racist, so this blunt instrument works on Californians averse to confrontation and on confused, well-meaning people. As such, it takes great courage to refuse to support Prop 16, as groups such as the League of California Cities has done.But when Prop 16 supporters can’t win by honest debate, they turn to the most vicious, weak lies: They are smearing the No on Prop 16 campaign — spearheaded by me, a black man, with a proud multiracial background and with a dedicated multiracial staff — as a white supremacist effort.The Prop 16 proponents are also spending massive amounts of money to buy this referendum, vastly outspending the No on Prop 16 campaign. No on Prop 16, fighting for the foundational principle of equality, is supported by numerous small-dollar donations. Yes on Prop 16 is funded by “woke” billionaires who want to dictate racial preferences to Californians, and by special-interest groups eager to curry favor with Sacramento politicians. Some examples of large donations to the Prop 16 campaign are below: * Amidst an unprecedented pandemic, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Blue Shield of California spent $1.5 million and $500,000, respectively, on promoting racial preferences instead of devoting those resources to Californians’ health. * Pacific Gas & Energy (PG&E) donated $250,000. PG&E’s incompetence has led directly to, or exacerbated, wildfires and blackouts in California. * Quinn Delaney, wife of a real-estate tycoon, contributed $6.5 million; Steve Ballmer, former COO of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and his wife donated $1 million. * The Open Society Policy Center, a George Soros outfit pushing left-wing causes, contributed $1 million. * Patricia Quillin, wife of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, donated $1 million; Salesforce contributed $375,000; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative donated $100,000 — all examples of Silicon Valley money being used to pursue the Left’s racial-grievance agenda.The mainstream media, for its part, whether uninformed or in agreement with the agenda, give plentiful and positive coverage to Prop 16 proponents. The Prop 16 side has cash and clout to go after dissenters -- and it does.They call equality an “experiment.” Our Founding Fathers did not see it as a mere experiment. President Abraham Lincoln didn’t see it as an experiment. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and millions of black people who cried out for freedom and equality in the 1960s didn’t see it as an experiment.In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court had already ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. In 1967, the Court held in Loving v. Virginia that banning interracial marriage is a violation of the 14th Amendment. These rulings were also not experiments.Yet here we are in the year 2020: millions spent to promote racial discrimination, intimidation and smears used to destroy those with a different view.None of this makes sense. Has California gone crazy? A good number of people here certainly do act like it has. It is up to the rest of California to make sure that the race-baiters do not take over, and destroy, this great state. Californians who believe in equality can start by voting No on Prop 16.


    read more

  • Police chief: Illinois officer who shot Black couple in car fired

    Police chief: Illinois officer who shot Black couple in car fired

    A police officer who shot a Black couple inside a vehicle — killing a 19-year-old man and wounding his girlfriend — has been fired, the police chief announced Friday.


    read more

  • UK 'SBS' special forces storm tanker and detain stowaways in Channel

    UK 'SBS' special forces storm tanker and detain stowaways in ChannelTroops from the Special Boat Service, a navy special forces unit whose headquarters in just a few miles away from where the vessel began showing signs of distress, boarded the Nave Andromeda near the Isle of Wight off southern England. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel authorised the armed forces to board the ship "to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking", the defence ministry said. The defence ministry declined to confirm or deny the involvement of the SBS - in line with British government policy of not commenting on special forces operations.


    read more

  • The Electoral College can pick a president who got fewer votes. Here's why and how.

    The Electoral College can pick a president who got fewer votes. Here's why and how.The 2020 presidential election again highlights one of the most confusing and controversial parts of the U.S. elections: The Electoral College.


    read more

  • Foreign students show less zeal for US since Trump took over

    Foreign students show less zeal for US since Trump took overOn a recruiting trip to India’s tech hub of Bangalore, Alan Cramb, the president of a reputable Chicago university, answered questions not just about dorms or tuition but also American work visas. The session with parents fell in the chaotic first months of Donald Trump’s presidency. After an inaugural address proclaiming “America first,” two travel bans, a suspended refugee program and hints at restricting skilled worker visas widely used by Indians, parents doubted their children’s futures in the U.S.


    read more

  • Texas boy, 3, dies after accidentally shooting himself in the chest at birthday party

    Texas boy, 3, dies after accidentally shooting himself in the chest at birthday partyThe Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said its "thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this tragic accident."


    read more

  • Colombia surpasses one million Covid-19 cases: ministry

    Colombia surpasses one million Covid-19 cases: ministryColombia on Saturday surpassed the benchmark of one million cases of Covid-19 registered in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, the health ministry announced.


    read more