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Wednesday, Sep 20th

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GOP Illinois Governor Signs Major Voting Reform Into Law

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs voting bill into lawIllinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a law Monday authorizing different state agencies to automatically register voters when they interact with them, marking a huge victory for voting advocates after Rauner vetoed similar legislation a year ago.

Illinois is the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration, a process by which people are automatically registered to vote or have their information updated on the rolls when they interact with the state’s motor vehicle agency or some other state agencies. Oregon was the first state to adapt automatic voter registration in 2015, and advocates say the reform can significantly strengthen voting rights.

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Maybe Trump is a kind of cry for help from the Earth, a human flare

Maybe Trump is a call for help from the EarthSo are we heading for a Mad Max-style future? I don’t think so. After having lived through Donald Trump we’ll surely just call him Max. Trump is behaving so strangely, we’re probably about a month away from not being allowed to make jokes about him.

He’s gone past Charlie Sheen and we’re now entering the bald Britney phase. It’s hard to imagine how America can go back to having a normal president after this. The next president will have to be a car with guns for wheels. After Trump, a Saturday Night Live sketch about Mike Pence would look like something by Samuel Beckett.

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The Trouble With Ivanka’s Business Partner

Moshe Lax, Ivanka's businss partnerHis vendors call him a “career grifter.” His father’s creditors claim he’s a fraud and a serial extortionist who shakes people down with trumped-up threats of criminal charges. With these and other allegations piling up in court records along with judgments—against him, his wife and his businesses—for millions of dollars, his lawyers are abandoning him, saying he’s a deadbeat. All the while, he’s been living in one of the most luxurious mansions in the Bronx.

Meet Ivanka Trump’s longtime friend, matchmaker and business partner, Moshe Lax.

For the past decade, Lax, a 43-year-old New York diamond heir and entrepreneur, has been Trump’s partner in Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the first major venture of her business career.

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Lawmakers mark Women’s Equality Day

Women's Equality DayVarious lawmakers marked Women's Equality Day on Saturday, celebrating women's achievements and the passage of the 19th Amendment, which allowed women to vote.

House lawmakers took the opportunity to push for new legislation providing services for working families, with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) proposing the House pass a bill tackling childcare costs for working parents.

TVNL Comment:  Equality?  Thirteen white, Christian, old men secretly drew up a GOP health care bill that denied women the right to control their own reproductive health.  Dozens of states across the nation, largely governed by GOP legislatures and governors, have denied basic health care to millions of women.  Women still earn less than men for the same work.  Where, in hell, is the equality?

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The Latest: Houston has responded to more than 1,000 calls

Houston under waterHouston Fire Chief Samuel Pena says that since midnight his agency has responded to more than 2,500 emergency calls and another 1,000 calls are waiting to be serviced.

Pena says his agency has made more than 250 water rescues, all of them people in vehicles, during a three hour period overnight.

But Houston Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite says there has been an increase in calls from residents with flooded homes in the city's northeast, southeast and southwest sections.

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Palestinian girl dies after being struck by settler car

Palestinian girl dies after being struck by settler carAn eight-year-old Palestinian girl who was run over by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank was buried on Sunday.

Aseel Abu Oun was killed a day earlier by a settler who drove his car near where she lived in the Foroush Beit Dajan village, in the Nablus district. She was leaving a supermarket around noon with a friend when she was struck.

Haaretz, the Israeli daily newspaper, reported that police detained the driver of the vehicle for questioning. Police said they opened an investigation, Haaretz reported, but did not specify whether the settler had been released.

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Floods kill over 1,200 in India, Nepal and Bangladesh

1200 dead in Asia floodsThe death toll from monsoon floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal has climbed above 1,200, as rescue workers scramble to provide aid to millions of people stranded by the worst such disaster in years.

All three countries suffer frequent flooding during the June-September monsoon season, but international aid agencies say things are worse this year with thousands of villages cut off and people deprived of food and clean water for days.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of flood-hit Bihar state on Saturday and has pledged a relief fund of $78m.

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Trump asked Sessions to drop charges against Arpaio months ago

Trump asked Sessions to drop charges against Arpaio months agoPresident Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about closing the criminal case against former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio months ago, The Washington Post reports.

According to the report, Trump was told it would be inappropriate to move ahead with such an action, and decided to let the trial take its course.

The president reportedly decided at the time that if Arpaio was convicted, he would grant him clemency.

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New Mueller Subpoenas Put Manafort in the Cross Hairs

Manafort firms receive subpoenasRobert Mueller’s probe into Russian electoral interference continues to ramp up. On Friday, NBC News reported that the ex-FBI head and special counsel had issued subpoenas seeking testimony from multiple public relations executives tied to ex-Trump campaign head Paul Manafort. This is the first time Mueller has sought grand jury testimony for his investigation; It’s also another piece of bad news for Manafort, who more than ever appears to be an essential figure in the ongoing inquiry.

Before running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last year, Manafort worked for a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party led by Viktor Yanukyovch, who was eventually driven out by a popular revolt. Manafort promoted Kremlin-friendly interests through sophisticated public relations campaigns, but did not register as a foreign agent until earlier this year. A criminal investigation into Manafort’s foreign activity, which stretches back many years, was underway even before the 2016 election.

The specific lobbying effort Mueller is looking into involves an effort to gain Ukraine entry into the European Union. But NBC reports that Mueller is trying to piece together a larger picture, which include’s Manafort’s “offshore banking transactions, his tax compliance and his real estate dealings.”

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