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Va. Supreme Court Strikes Down McAuliffe's Order On Felon Voting Rights

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Posted: Friday, July 22, 2016 6:05 pm
BY GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Supreme Court of Virginia on Friday struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe's sweeping executive order restoring voting rights to more than 206,000 Virginia felons.

The court declared McAuliffe's order unconstitutional, and ordered the Virginia Department of Elections to "cancel the registration of all felons who have been invalidly registered" under McAuliffe's April 22 executive order and subsequent orders. The court gave a cancellation deadline of Aug. 25.

As of this week, 11,662 felons had registered to vote as a result of McAuliffe's action.

Read more: http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/article_718d04d8-70b2-5bfb-aa8c-0ff1ca108b8d.html

Federal Judge Blocks Michigan Ban on Straight-Party Voting


DETROIT (AP) -- A judge on Thursday blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, saying it strikes at the rights of blacks who tend to vote for Democrats with a single mark on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction, a week after hearing arguments. He said the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on blacks in the fall election, the first election that would be affected.

Straight-party voting, in which all candidates of a single party are picked with just a single mark, is very popular in Michigan cities with large black populations, especially Flint and Detroit. It's been on the books for more than 100 years and has been a common choice in some counties that are steadfastly loyal to Republicans, such as Ottawa.

But it was repealed in January by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed a bill approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/federal-judge-blocks-michigan-ban-straight-party-voting-40773710

It Looks Like the U.S. Consumer Just Had Its Best Quarter in a Decade

The $13 trillion gorilla is beating its chest once more.

By Luke Kawa

You can't keep a $13 trillion gorilla down for long.

That's how Macquarie Capital Markets Analyst David Doyle describes the U.S. consumer, in a note to clients detailing the growing strength of the engine of the world's largest economy.

Doyle notes that the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model, last updated on July 19, suggests personal consumption expenditures will expand in the second quarter by an annualized 4.5 percent quarter-over-quarter. That's a pace of growth not seen since the first quarter of 2006.

"Macro data continues to show that the global economy’s $13 trillion gorilla, the U.S. consumer, is getting even stronger," the analyst wrote.



Can Turkey’s Republic Survive Erdogan’s Purge?

Keeping an independent newspaper in business is hard enough. Try doing it in Istanbul.

July 21, 2016

On the afternoon of May 6 the Turkish journalist Can Dundar was speaking to a television reporter outside Istanbul’s Caglayan courthouse when he noticed a man with a mustache and a navy-blue windbreaker walking toward him, holding a handgun. Dundar (pronounced DOON-dar) is editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, one of the few Turkish media outlets still openly critical of the government. He and Cumhuriyet colleague Erdem Gul were awaiting their sentences after a monthslong criminal trial. Dundar’s bodyguard had remained inside during the court’s recess. Seeing the gun, the TV reporter said, “Run.”

The man with the mustache fired two shots, shouting, “Traitor!” Dundar hopped to one side, his shoulders hunched, and ducked behind his interviewer, who moved to shelter him. Dundar’s wife, Dilek, grabbed the assailant’s right arm, and a parliamentarian who had been standing nearby bear-hugged the man from behind. Dundar ran a few steps off, then slowed and looked back. He was unscathed, though one bullet had grazed the leg of the TV reporter. Seconds later the attacker was kneeling, with the guns of three plainclothes police officers and the cameras of more than a dozen TV crews trained on him. Then Dundar and Gul went back into the courthouse to receive their sentences: five years in prison for Gul, five years and 10 months for Dundar. (They remain free while their case is on appeal.)

A trim man with a broad face and a springy mane of gray hair, Dundar, 55, became Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief in February 2015. His conviction this May—Dundar says he’s the defendant in so many concurrent cases he’s all but lost track—was the result of a story he published a year earlier detailing how Turkey’s national intelligence agency smuggled weapons into neighboring Syria, most likely for Islamic rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. After the story came out, Turkey’s president and former prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, went on television and promised that the parties responsible for the story “will pay a heavy price.” Six months later, Dundar and Gul were charged with aiding a terrorist organization, attempting to overthrow the government, espionage, and revealing state secrets. So far, the two have been convicted only of the last offense. They’ve already spent three months in pretrial detention, inhabiting adjoining cells in Istanbul’s Silivri Prison until Turkey’s constitutional court ordered their release.

Turkey has never had a truly free press. It has a long tradition of censorship, especially around the combustible politics of its religious and ethnic minorities. And that was before the bloody coup attempt of Friday, July 15, which began with fighter jets buzzing Ankara and military units in Istanbul closing both bridges across the Bosporus. Battles among civilians, police officers, and soldiers left 290 dead and 1,400 wounded. The putsch also showcased the courage of Turkish journalists: The staff at CNN Turk defied a helicopter full of putschist soldiers who showed up to take over their studios, and a photographer for the pro-government daily Yeni Safak was shot dead in the street.



Cleveland: Where the Trump Campaign Went to Die

JULY 21, 2016 10:16 AM EDT
By Francis Wilkinson

Conventions have multiple purposes, but the part that is televised in prime time has only one: to reinforce the themes and competitive advantages of the presidential candidate. That requires highlighting his strengths, minimizing his weaknesses and damaging his opponent. Three days of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland have produced a slightly different effect, leaving the rationales for Donald Trump's candidacy in tatters.


Trump the CEO. Trump's never been much of a manager, as my Trump-authority colleague Tim O'Brien just made clear. And experts often explain that running the federal government is nothing like running a company -- especially a family company like Trump's. Oddly enough, a convention sort of is. It's entirely your show. You set the schedule, pick the speakers and, in all but exceptional cases, precisely vet what they say. (You don't, however, get to pick its location. Trump seems to have lied about that for no particular reason other than that's how he rolls.)

CEO Trump's convention has been a fiasco. Incompetence is everywhere. Seats throughout the arena are empty in prime time. The schedule has run late, causing key speakers to miss valuable television slots. The arena's video monitor fritzed out on Wednesday night. And, of course, there was the epic plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech. The series of blatant untruths the campaign produced to try to quell the controversy was amateurish even for this group. Worse, the speech plagiarized Michelle Obama of all people. Worse again, it plagiarized a passage on the Obama family values -- which Donald Trump had gone to great lengths to portray as alien and un-American. ("There's something going on there."

Takeaway: If Trump can't run his own convention, how can he run anything more complex? Like a large country?



Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Decline to Three-Month Low

Source: Bloomberg

July 21, 2016 — 8:30 AM EDT

The number of applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, reaching a three-month low, indicating the labor market remains steady.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 1,000 to 253,000 in the week ended July 16, from an unrevised 254,000 in the prior period, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 265,000. Continuing claims decreased.

Employers continue to retain staff amid improving U.S. growth and a shortage of skilled workers that they’re looking to hire. Sustained low levels of firings also signal a strong outlook for the job market that will help lift household spending, the biggest part of the economy.

“Demand for labor is high,” Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said before the report. “We’re not likely to see a material increase in the trend for layoffs.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-21/jobless-claims-in-u-s-unexpectedly-decline-to-three-month-low

Schlumberger Cut More Than 8,000 Jobs In 2nd Quarter

Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, cut more than 8,000 jobs while recording a $2.16 billion loss in the second quarter.

Schlumberger, Houston’s largest energy employer as of a month ago, has now eliminated about 50,000 jobs in the two years of the ongoing oil bust.

The energy services giant, which has its principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague, also eliminated 8,000 jobs in the first quarter and another 10,000 in the fourth quarter of last year.

Schlumberger reported a headcount of 113,000 people at the beginning of this week, but the earnings release Thursday said the company has about 100,000 employees, so more cuts could have come in July.



Turkey Attempted Coup: EU Says Measures 'Unacceptable'

Source: BBC

The European Union says Turkey's measures against the education system, the judiciary and the media following the failed coup are "unacceptable".

In a statement, High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn said they were "concerned" by Turkey's decision to declare a state of emergency.

The move gives Turkey's leaders "far reaching powers to govern by decree".
Thousands of people have been sacked or arrested following the failed coup.

The two top EU officials urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respect the rule of law, rights and freedoms.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36861154

Republican National Convention: It’s Official, Trump Is The GOP Nominee

Source: Washington Post

By Karen Tumulty, Robert Costa and David A. Fahrenthold July 19 at 7:13 PM

CLEVELAND —Donald Trump was formally nominated for the presidency by Republican delegates here on Tuesday night, a landmark moment in American political history that capped the business mogul’s surprising conquest of the GOP.

Trump formally reached the threshold of 1,237 delegates at 7:12 p.m. Eastern time, with votes cast by delegates from his home state of New York.

Trump’s clinching votes were cast by his own son, Donald Trump Jr., who spoke for the New York delegation.

“It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight,” he said. “Congratulations, Dad, we love you!”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republican-national-convention-scrutiny-of-melania-trumps-speech-follows-plagiarism-allegations/2016/07/19/3efc4208-4da4-11e6-a7d8-13d06b37f256_story.html

Hillary Clinton ✔ @HillaryClinton

Donald Trump just became the Republican nominee. Chip in now to make sure he never steps foot in the Oval Office. http://hrc.io/2aagnFA

Airport Workers Stage Walkout Ahead Of Planned Strike During DNC

Source: Metro.us

Low-wage workers employed by subcontractors at Philadelphia International Airport gave a taste of their plans to strike during the DNC next week.

PUBLISHED : Today 4:48 pm

A group of low-wage airport workers walked off the job at Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday in a brief preview of a strike planned for the Democratic National Convention.

Nearly 1,000 members of 32BJ SEIU rallied outside the airport in support of baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, line queues and wheelchair attendants employed by subcontractors at the airport in a protest for a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize.

“Today was a look at what’s to come next week. We still plan on striking if we have to,” Alfred Williams, a baggage handler with subcontractor PrimeFlight, said in a statement. “We won’t back down even as our employers threaten, bribe and intimidate us.”

Many employees of subcontractors at the airport, primarily Prospect and Primeflight, have been fighting for higher wages and to get union representation by 32BJ SEIU. Members voted last week to strike for higher wages during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), running July 25-28.

Read more: http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/airport-workers-stage-brief-walkout-ahead-of-planned-strike-during-dnc/zsJpgs---FhyeumUrsM/
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