Tuesday, Sep 26th

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With Ivanka Trump’s Blessing, White House Ditches Equal Pay Rule

Ivanka ikays gender equality pay changeDays after issuing a bland statement supporting women’s equality, the Trump administration halted a key equal pay initiative on Tuesday put in place by the Obama administration.

The scrapped provision would have required employers to report aggregate information on how much they pay workers ― broken down by gender, race and ethnicity ― and would have been a critical first step in figuring out the scope of the pay gap at different companies.


Philadelphia sues Sessions over sanctuary city ban

Sessions sued by PhiladelphiaThe city of Philadelphia has filed a federal lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the Trump administration’s proposal to add new restrictions to grants for local governments in order to block sanctuary city policies.

The city cited new conditions the Justice Department announced in July for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, which provides federal criminal justice grants to local and state governments.

The Trump administration directive requires applicants to provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials with access to undocumented immigrants detained by local authorities, a move targeting cities that refuse such federal requests.


Cyber experts were blocked in their push to patch voting systems in 2016

Cyber experts blocked in 2016 electionThey knew Russian operatives might try to tamper with the nation’s electronic voting systems. Many people inside the U.S. government and the Obama White House knew.

In the summer of 2016, a cluster of volunteers on a federally supervised cybersecurity team crafting 2018 election guidelines felt compelled to do something sooner. Chatting online, they scrambled to draw up ways for state and local officials to patch the most obvious cyber vulnerabilities before Election Day 2016.


The Civil Rights Division has a proud legacy. Eric Dreiband is unfit to lead it

Civil Rights Division deserves a better leaderOver half a century ago, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 in what was a watershed moment for the US. In spite of intense opposition, including Strom Thurmond carrying out the longest spoken filibuster in the history of our country, Congress enacted the first significant African American civil rights measure since the Reconstruction era.

The legislation established the US Commission on Civil Rights, on which I was honoured to serve for five presidential administrations, and it created a specific division within the Department of Justice dedicated solely to protecting civil rights.


ESPN Football Analyst Walks Away, Disturbed by Brain Trauma on Field

Peter CunninghamIf Ed Cunningham had not already seen enough, he would be back in a broadcast booth on Saturday afternoon, serving as the color analyst for another top college football game televised on ABC or ESPN. It is the work he has done each fall for nearly 20 years.

But Cunningham, 48, resigned from one of the top jobs in sports broadcasting because of his growing discomfort with the damage being inflicted on the players he was watching each week. The hits kept coming, right in front of him, until Cunningham said he could not, in good conscience, continue his supporting role in football’s multibillion-dollar apparatus.


Rightwing alliance plots assault to 'defund and defang' America's unions

Rightwing alliance out to destroy US unionsRightwing activists across the US have launched a nationwide campaign to undermine progressive politicians by depriving them of a major source of support and funding – public sector unions.

A network of conservative thinktanks with outposts in all 50 states has embarked on a “breakthrough” campaign designed to strike a “mortal blow” against the American left. The aim is to “defund and defang” unions representing government employees as the first step towards ensuring the permanent collapse of progressive politics.


Flash Floods Hit Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas, after Harvey Makes Landfall

Beaumont, Texas floodedThe Texas cities of Beaumont and Port Arthur were watery wastelands Wednesday after they felt the wrath of Harvey.

The storm that inundated Houston swamped the cities with a record 30 inches of rainfall, unleashed flash flooding that police said claimed two lives in Beaumont and forced hundreds of residents to flee to local shelters.

For many there was no escape from the water.


Mattis: Transgender troops can keep serving pending study

Transgender ban halted pending studyDefense Secretary James Mattis announced Tuesday that transgender troops in the military would be allowed to continue serving pending the results of a study.

The announcement comes days after President Trump signed a memo barring transgender people from enlisting in the military while instructing Mattis to explore how to handle those currently serving in the armed forces.


Mattis responds to Trump: US 'never out of diplomatic solutions' on North Korea

DefGeneral Mattisense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday sought to downplay President Trump’s earlier assertion that seemed to rule out a diplomatic solution to North Korea's ongoing missile tests.

"The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Mattis broke from that view, telling reporters asking about the tweet at the Pentagon, “We’re never out of diplomatic solutions.”


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