DC’s go-go sound becomes anti-g 上海419论坛entrification battle cry

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s the soundtrack of “Chocolate City,” the non-federal Washington that has traditionally been a tent pole of black America.

Go-go music, a distinctive D.C.-specific offshoot of funk, has endured for decades through cultural shifts, fluctuations in popularity and law enforcement purges.

Now go-go has taken on a new mantle: battle hymn for the fight against a gentrification wave that’s reshaping the city.

“It’s a very deep cultural thing,” said Justin “Yaddiya” Johnson, an activist and creator of the #Don’tMuteDC campaign. “When you think about go-go, you should think about D.C. culture. It should be the symbol of our culture.”

Many longtime Washingtonians fear that culture is being steadily eroded as the city becomes whiter and richer. A recent controversy over an innocuous noise complaint placed go-go at the center of a perfect storm of gentrification symbolism.

The owner of a popular mobile phone store in the historically black Shaw neighborhood was told to turn off the go-go that he had been playing through sidewalk speakers for more than 20 years. He claims the complaint came from a resident of the gleaming new mixed-used apartment building erected on the next block.

The reaction was fierce. Seemingly overnight, a protest movement and petition drive sprung up and members of the D.C. Council started weighing in. Within days, the decision was reversed.

The mini-controversy was over almost before it started. But it obviously touched a nerve.

“I think that was messed up. Go-go IS D.C. Go-Go is our history,” said community activist Tiffany Richardson, one of the thousands of fans who turned out on a Tuesday night this month for an outdoor concert/protest featuring go-go mainstays Backyard Band. “They’re not going to stop go-go.”

The concert, mischievously named “Moechella,” was organized by Johnson under the #Don’tMuteDC banner. And since it was a protest, he didn’t need to secure a permit, so police obligingly blocked off several city blocks. The location —the corner of 14th and U streets — was no accident. That intersection was once one of the hearts of black D.C.; now it’s within two blocks of a Trader Joe’s and a lululemon.

To the uninitiated, go-go music seems indistinguishable from funk. What sets it apart are a specific conga-driven syncopation, known as the pocket beat, and a culture of call-and-response that turns the crowd into part of the show. Go-go bands feature multiple percussionists and often multiple vocalists— with one usually designated as “lead talker.”

“It’s the drumming it’s the rhythm,上海龙凤论坛wqb, pattern. It’s the feel of the rhythm,” said Liza Figueroa Kravinsky, founder of the band Go-Go Symphony. “In go-go, the fans know who the conga player is more than the guitar player.”

The late Chuck Brown is generally considered the godfather of the sound, starting in the early 1970s. And bands like Rare Essence and Trouble Funk have all flirted with mainstream success, but there has never been a full-scale breakout star. Probably the most famous go-go song is “Da Butt” by Experience Unlimited, which was showcased in the Spike Lee film “School Daze.”

While the music retains a local fanbase, musicians and devotees say the scene is still recovering from the effects of the crack epidemic, which ravaged Washington and turned go-go shows into magnets for violence. Eventually police began shutting down famous clubs like the Ibex in 1990s and forcing the shows out of the city.

Anwan “Big G” Glover, lead talker of Backyard Band, still recalls the time with bitterness. Authorities bl,爱上海utyl,amed the music for drawing violence when he says go-go was simply the ambient soundtrack of a city in crisis .

“Those rave parties in the suburbs with these rich kids — if anything happened there, they could just cover it up. That was the difference,” he said.

The purge was especially damaging because go-go is all about live performances. Glover and others say there’s a missing generation of fans who weren’t exposed to live go-go in their youth.

“The reason a lot of kids don’t know about go-go is that it’s been erased,” said Angela Byrd, founder of “Made in the DMV” incubator for local artists and activists. She was speaking at a recent #Don’tMuteDC conference. “I feel like go-go was pushed out, but it’s coming back.”

This official mistrust has continued. As recently as 2010 the alternative weekly City Paper published the Metropolitan Police Department’s bi-weekly internal “go-go report” tracking all the shows in the area.

Glover says the attitudes of the police have eased a bit in recent years and Backyard Band and others now play regular shows around the district. But there’s still a shortage of the all-ages shows that used to be the main gateway for young new fans. That age gap was evident during one of Backyard Band’s recent shows at a bowling alley in Chinatown. The concert drew a healthy crowd of about 150 people — many of whom were obvious hardcores who knew every song by heart. But almost everybody seemed to be at least 35 years old.

Now the renewed attention comes at a time when go-go may organically be approaching one of its periodic flirtations with mainstream popularity .

Glover has gained personal fame for a memorable recurring role as Slim Charles on the popular TV show “The Wire.” Artists as diverse as Snoop Dog and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters have paid public tribute to the genre. Rare Essence and Backyard Band have both performed at the South by Southwest music festival and Backyard Band recently scored an improbable hit with a go-go cover of Adele’s “Hello.” Wale, the most famous Washington rapper, pays regula,上海千花qp,r homage to go-go and recorded a song with TCB, purveyors of a neo-go-go sound called bounce-beat.

But local musicians still feel authorities have kept the culture at arms-length. They want to see the District government embrace go-go the way Chicago has done with blues and New Orleans with jazz. They want a go-go museum , a hall of fame and go-go landmark-themed tours.

Glover says District politicians tend to rediscover their affection for go-go during election season.

“They love us at campaign rally time,” he laughed. “They know that’s the only way to bring people out.”

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Kawh 上海贵族宝贝论坛i Leonard Proves He Is Worth Risking It All

One of the better Kawhi Leonard anecdotes of the season, not surprisingly, involves the team that will be trying as hard as any to steal him from the Toronto Raptors after the N.B.A. finals.

The Los Angeles Clippers are said to have quietly looked into the feasibility of purchasing the portion of the rights to Leonard’s “Klaw” logo that is still owned by Nike. The Clippers did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but such an acquisition would theoretically enable them to bestow full control of the logo upon Leonard as part of their anticipated free-agency pitch meeting with the Toronto superstar.

Forget for a moment that the financial outlay necessary to complete thi,上海419论坛mpl,s kind of purchase, by any team, would most likely be considered a salary-cap violation. Let’s also briefly tune out t,上海龙凤论坛rhos,hat Nike, as emphasized to me recently by a top official from the sportswear giant, is intent on rebuffing all approaches and retaining its rights to that logo for as long as it can — to assure that it would not appear on gear made by Leonard’s new contract partners at New Balance.

[N.B.A. Finals Preview: Will Golden State’s complacency be its doom?]

As Leonard leads the Raptors into the finals for the first time in franchise history, it’s not questions about the viability of those maneuvers that make the story memorable. It’s that the league insiders who passed along the information found it completely normal — natural, even — for the C,爱上海xtzk,lippers to consider hatching such a scheme.

Because these are the sorts of lengths you go to in the N.B.A., or at least explore, for the chance to acquire a difference-maker like Kawhi Anthony Leonard.

Image
Among his many feats, Leonard delivered an N.B.A. first this postseason: the only deciding Game 7 buzzer-beater, against Philadelphia in the second round of the playoffs.CreditFrank Gunn/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

Alabama set to 爱上海execute man for pastor’s slaying

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A man who was nearly put to death before an execution,上海龙凤论坛okuh, warrant expired last month amid disagreements between U.S. Supreme Court justices is again set to die by lethal injection in Alabama.

Christopher Lee Price’s execution is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Holman prison.

The 46-year-old was convicted of using a sword and knife to kill a country preacher during a 1991 Christmastime robbery. Price would become the second inmate put to death in Alabama in two weeks .

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused a stay on Wednesday for Price, who is challenging the state’s method of using three drugs during lethal injections. He could again ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

Price has asked to instea,上海419论坛rhgn,d die by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method Alabama has legally authorized but not developed. His lawyers argue the method, which kills by depleting the body of oxygen, would be less painful than lethal injection.

Price sued the state over Alabama’s current practices, and the inmate’s attorneys contend the state is rushing to execute him two weeks before the trial date. State attorneys asked the 11th Circuit to deny a stay, arguing that Price is bringing up previously decided issues at the last minute just to seek a delay.

Price was convicted of killing Bill Lynn, a Church of Christ minister in rural Fayette County, on Dec. 22, 1991.

The inmate was set to be executed last month but the state death warrant expired at midnight before a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay that blocked the lethal injection. The court subsequently released documents that showed its internal squabbling over the death penalty.

The Alabama Supreme Court then set a new execution date even though U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose of Mobile had scheduled a trial set for June 10 to hear Price’s challenge to Alabama’s lethal injection process. DuBose denied an execution stay in a decision released Sunday.

Court documents show Lynn was at home with his wife Bessie assembling toys for grandchildren three days before Christmas when the electricity failed. He went outside to check on the power box, and the woman looked outside after hearing a noise to see a man dressed in black holding a sword above her husband.

The woman ran outside to find Lynn severely wounded, and she saw two men as she tried to start a van to flee. She was beaten and robbed of money and her wedding rings despite pleas that she be allowed to keep the jewelry, court documents show.

Price was arrested several days later in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He admitted participating in the robbery but blamed the actual killing on another man.

Kelvin Coleman pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison, while jurors convicted Price of capital murder and a judge sentenced him to death.

,上海贵族宝贝论坛ax,

Earlier this month, Michael Brandon Samra was put to death by lethal injection for his capital murder conviction in a quadruple killing near Birmingham. His lawyers didn’t cite any complaints with the process following the execution.

Alabama executed one other inmate this year in February.

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

M 上海龙凤论坛ets finally seeing Todd Frazier become an offensive force

LOS ANGELES — Todd Frazier was incredulous it took until his la,上海龙凤论坛kif,test blast, earlier this week, for somebody to ask about his tradition of pretending to check his watch during his home run trot.

“I check my watch and let [the pitcher] know it wasn’t the right time basically to throw that pitch,” Frazier said.

The Mets third baseman hasn’t enjoyed as many opportunities to check his watch as he would have liked, especially this season, but after a stretch in which his job appeared in jeopardy, Frazier lately is among the team’s hottest hitters.

He took a .985 OPS that included a 15-for-42 (.357) batting average over his past 12 games into Wednesday night’s 9-8 loss to the Dodgers before going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Suddenly, team brass’ faith in pla,上海贵族宝贝论坛uxjt,ying the 33-year-old former All-Star has been rewarded.

“I am swinging at good pitches,” Frazier said. “I have got my walks up a l,上海千花cnua,ittle bit and I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m on the right track. I am squaring up balls more and finding more holes and that’s baseball. I know what I’m capable of doing and I have just to keep on doing it.”

Seth Lugo threw a bullpen session and later reported feeling stronger than he has at any point this season. Callaway said it’s possible the right-hander will be activated from the injured list within the next few days.

“The way it feels and the way it’s coming out, I feel ready to go,” said Lugo, who is recovering from shoulder tendinitis.

Jeff McNeil (left hamstring) is running at about 70 percent as he participates in baseball activities in New York. McNeil is on the injured list with a strained left hamstring.

Rajai Davis was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse. The veteran outfielder had been designated for assignment last week.

Jarred Kelenic, the centerpiece prospect of the trade that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets, has received a promotion to the Mariners’ High-A team, according to a report. Kelenic, 19, had a .303/.391/.564 slash line with 11 homers at Low-A West Virginia. Kelenic, an outfielder, was the Mets’ top pick in the 2018 draft.

Yankees’ rotation not c 上海龙凤论坛ompletely set for Red Sox series

Aaron Boone said he hopes CC Sabathia will be able to face the Red Sox on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium in his first start back from the injured list.

As for who will precede the veteran left-hander against the Yankees’ blood rivals from Boston, the manager said that will depend upon what his team needs out of the bullpen leading into Friday night’s game.

“[Domingo] German will pitch Friday or Saturday, it just depends on what our usage is over the next couple of days,’’ Boone said before the Yankees’ 7-0 win over the Padres on Wednesday at the Stadium. “That makes the most sense because we will probably have another opener situation depending on how [Wednesday] and Thursday unfold. We will make that decision whether we want to do that on Friday or Saturday.’’

J.A. Happ will start the four-game,上海419论坛gjlb, series Thursday night, and if the Yankees value experience in a reliever starting a game, the choice should be Chad Green, who has done that three times this season. Green worked one inning Wednesday, throwing 19 pitches, but that shouldn’,爱上海up,t take him out of the mix to start Friday or Saturday.

Green’s previous start as an opener was Monday against the Padres, when he ,上海贵族宝贝论坛rmda,struck out the side, including Manny Machado, in the first inning.

Other candidates are Luis Cessa, Nestor Cortes Jr. and David Hale, but all are better fits to follow the opener rather than to start a game themselves.

Aaron Judge long-tossed in the outfield before the game and seemingly had more strength on his throws than he did last week in Baltimore.

Alabama set to execute man for 1991 past 上海龙凤论坛or’s slaying

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A man who was nearly put to death before an execution warrant expired last month amid disagreements between U.S. Supreme Court justices is again set to die by lethal injection in Alabama.

Christopher Lee Price’s execution is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Holman prison.

The 46-year-old was convicted of using a sword and knife to kill a country preacher during a 1991 Christmastime robbery. Price would become the second inmate put to death in Alabama in two weeks.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused a stay on Wednesday for Price, who is challenging the state’s method of using three drugs during lethal injections. He could again ask the Supreme Court to intervene.

Price has asked to instead die by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method Alabama has legally authorized but not developed. His lawyers argue the method, which kills by depleting the body of oxygen, would be less painful than lethal injection.

32 PHOTOS

States with the death penalty

See Gallery

Alabama

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Arizona

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Arkansas

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California

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Colorado

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Florida

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Georgia

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Indiana

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Kansas

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Kentucky

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Louisiana

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Missouri

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Montana

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Nebraska

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Nevada

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New Hampshire

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North Carolina

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Ohio

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Oklahoma

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Pennsylvania

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South Carolina

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South Dakota

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Tennessee

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Texas

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Utah

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Virginia

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Washington

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Wyoming

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U.S. Federal Government

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U.S. Military

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HIDE CAPTION

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Price sued the state over Alabama’s current practices, and the inmate’s attorneys contend the state is rushing to execute him two weeks before the trial date. State attorneys asked the 11th Circuit to deny a stay, arguing that Price is bringing up previously decided issues at the last minute just to seek a delay.

Price was convicted of killing Bill Lynn, a Church of Christ minister in rural Fayette County, on Dec. 22, 1991.

The inmate was set to be executed last month but the state death warrant expired at midnight before a divided U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay that blocked the lethal injection. The court subsequently released documents that showed its internal squabbling over the death penalty.

The Alabama Supreme Court then set a new execution date even though U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose of Mobile had scheduled a trial set for June 10 to hear Price’s challenge to Alabama’s lethal injection process. DuBose denied an execution stay in a decision released Sunday.

Court documents show Lynn was at home with his wife Bessie assembling toys for grandchildren three days before Christmas when the electricity failed. He went outside to check on the power box, and the woman looked outside after hearing a noise to see a man dressed in black holding a sword above her husband.

The woman ran outside to find Lynn severely wounded, and she saw two men as she tried to start a van to flee. She was beaten and robbed of money and her wedding rings despite pleas that she be allowed to keep the jewelry, court documents show.

20 PHOTOS

States without the death penalty

See Gallery

Alaska (since 1957)

(Photo via Getty Images)

Connecticut (since 2012)

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Delaware(2016)

(Photo via Getty Images)

Hawaii(since 1957)

(Photo via Getty Images)

Illinois (since 2011)

(Photo by Henryk Sadura via Getty Images)

Iowa (since 1965)

(Photo via Getty Images)

Maine (since 1887)

(Photo via Getty Images)

Maryland (since 2013)

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Massachusetts (since 1984)

(Photo via Corbis)

Michigan(since 1846)

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Minnesota (since 1911)

(Photo by Dan Anderson via Getty Images)

New Jersey (since 2007)

(Photo by Denis Tangney Jr via Getty Images)

New Mexico (since 2009)

(Photo by John Lund via Getty Images)

New York (since 2007)

(Photo byMatteo Colombo via Getty Images)

North Dakota (since 1973)

(Photo byWalter Bibikow via Getty Images)

Rhode Island (since 1984)

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Vermont(since 1964)

(Photo via Getty Images)

West Virginia (1965)

(Photo by Stan Rohrer via Getty Images)

Wisconsin (since 1853)

(Photo by Timothy Hughes)

Washington, D.C. (since 1981)

(Photo via Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION

SHOW CAPTION

Price was arrested several days later in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He admitted participating in the robbery but blamed the actual killing on another man.

Kelvin Coleman pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison, while jurors convicted Price of capital murder and a judge sentenced him to death.

Earlier this month, Michael Brandon Samra was put to death by lethal injection for his capital murder conviction in a quadruple killing near Birmingham. His lawyers didn’t cite any complaints with the process following the execution.

Alabama executed one other inmate this year in February.

500 Tornad Jassiroes Hit U.S. In 30 Days, Leaving Trail Of Death And Destruction

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Malaysia to s 爱上海end back plastic waste to foreign nations

PORT KLANG, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia says it will send back some 3,000 metric tonnes (330 tons) of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries including the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia in a move to avoid becoming a dumping ground for rich nations.

Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin says 60 containers stacked with contaminated waste were smuggled in to illegal processing facilities in Malaysia. She said Tuesday that 10 containers will be shipped back within two weeks as she showed reporters contents of the waste at a port ou,上海龙凤419xbt,tside Kuala Lumpur.

The waste that was displayed included cables from the U.K., contaminated milk cartons fr,上海贵族宝贝论坛axkc,om Australia and compact discs from Bangladesh. Also shown were electronic and household waste from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and China.

Copyright ©2019 The Associ,上海419论坛tucn,ated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Two killed including girl, 12, in Japan st Chazabbing spree

The attack took place near a park in the city of Kawasaki, about 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Tokyo, authorities said.

The Kawasaki Fire Department earlier reported that 16 elementary school students and three adults were injured.

Victims were taken to four different hospitals. A spokesperson at the Nippon Medical School Musashiko,上海419论坛qzh,sugi Hospital confirmed the young girl and a 39-year-old man died.

“It was horrifying incident,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

The suspected attacker also died from a “self-inflicted wound,” Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. Police officers previously told NHK that the man, believed to be in his 40s or 50s, had stabbed himself in the neck.

NHK reported earlier Tuesday that three people — including an elementary school student — were in critical condition. It’s unclear if the girl who died was among them.

Japan is considered one of the world’s safest developed countries. It boasts one of the world’s lowest homicide rates, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.

Mass stabbings are extremely rare. In 2016, 19 people were killed in a stabbing spree at a care home for disabled people — the deadliest mass killing in Japan s,上海贵族宝贝论坛uc,ince the end of World War II.The country also strictly regulates weapons, and it’s illegal for people to carry a pocket knife, craft knife, hunting knife or box cutter in public, according to the US State Department.The incident took place during US President Donald Trump’s visit to the country. Speak,上海龙凤论坛pigk,ing aboard a Japanese helicopter carrier, Trump said the American people grieved for the victims’ families.

Britney Spears family seeks renewed order barring Shelwinex-friend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge will consider whether to,上海龙凤419frzv, extend a temporary restraining order Tuesday that keeps a former associate of Britney Spears away from her and her family.

Sam Lutfi, 44, a onetime Spears confidante who has said he once acted as the pop star’s m,上海龙凤论坛zu,anager, was ordered on May 8 to stay at least 200 yards (183 meters) from Spears, her parents and her two sons, and to refrain from contacting or disparaging them. The order could be extended on Tuesday afternoon. Spears, 37, is unlikely to appear.

Lutfi was a major presence in Spears’ life at the height of her fame, leading up to her public meltdown in 2008.

The petition Spears’ attorneys filed for the order alleged Lutfi had been sending harassing and threatening texts to Spears’ family and disparaging them on social media.

Lutfi’s attorney Marc Gans said the restraining order if overly broad and violates his client’s civil rights. Gans said he and Lutfi looked forward to fighting the order at the hearing.

It’s the second time the family has received a restraining order against Lutfi, who has been in legal battles with them for a decade. He sued them in 2009, alleging Britney Spears had breached a contract with him, her father punched him and her mother defamed him in a memoir. The suit was settled in 2016.

The petition for the latest restraining order alleged that Lutfi’s “unjustified interference in her life” threatens Spears’ “safety and well-being” and have caused her “severe mental trauma” at a time when stress and the poor health of her father have prompted her to put her career on hold indefinitely.

It also alleges that Lutfi has sought to undermine the conservatorship that for 11 years has kept her affairs almost entirely under the control of her father.

The status means a judge is unlikely to require Spears to appear at Tuesday’s hearing.

Conservatorships, known in many states as guardianships, are normally reserved for people with conditions far more severe than Spears, including those with dementia or in a coma.

But judges have allowed the arrangement to remain in place far longer than was expected when it was first imposed at a moment of crisis for Spears.

There have been signs the arrangement may change.

Spears made a rare appearance earlier this month at a status hearing on the conservatorship in a Los Angeles courtroom, along with father Jamie and mother Lynne. The courtroom was cleared and only those involved know what the three said, but a judge subsequently ordered an examination of the circumstances by a court official.

Jamie Spears, who has reportedly been in poor health,上海贵族宝贝论坛hln, though no specifics have been made public, earlier this week notified the court that he is seeking to extend the conservatorship from California to Louisiana, Hawaii and Florida.

___

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Tornadoes Cause Damage, Mass Power Outages Ac 上海龙凤论坛ross Ohio

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Japan Rolled Out the Red C 上海龙凤论坛arpet. Trump Veered Off Into Personal Fixations.

TOKYO — It was just after 6 a.m. on the final day of a state visit to Japan designed to flatter and entertain him, and President Trump was in his comfort space: Twitter.

Hours earlier, he had been the honored guest at an extravagant six-course dinner — turbot, steak, a Mount Fuji-shaped dessert — with Japan’s new emperor at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Ahead of the president was a visit to a military base near the capital, his fourth straight day at the side of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But Mr. Trump’s mind was, again, preoccupied by politics at home.

“Super Predator was the term associat,上海贵族宝贝论坛dw,ed with the 1994 Crime Bill that Sleepy Joe Biden was so heavily involved in passing,” he wrote of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential front-runner. “That was a dark period in American History, but has Sleepy Joe apologized? No!” The day before, his mind had been on Democratic “obstructionists,” possible “treason” by Russia investigators, and the perfidy of the “fake news media.”

Mr. Trump traveled almost 7,000 miles to become the first foreign leader to meet with Emperor Naruhito since his enthronement this month. The president’s closest ally on the world stage, Mr. A,上海龙凤论坛ky,be, regaled him with golf, a sumo tournament, a cheeseburger lunch and a robatayaki dinner, hoping to cement what the prime minister described as their “unshakable bond.”

Throughout his visit, though, Mr. Trump acted like a man who could never be fully present. From start to finish, his stay in Japan was def,上海419论坛wg,ined more by his focus on politics at home than diplomacy abroad, expressed as a running refrain posted online seemingly every time he was left alone with his screens.

Image
Mr. Trump aboard the Wasp on Tuesday.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Rights group: Abuses in Egypt’s 爱上海 Sinai amount to war crimes

CAIRO (AP) — A leading international rights group on Tuesday accused Egypt’s security forces of committing widespread abuses against civilians in the Sinai Peninsul,上海419论坛gen,a, where Egypt has been battling Islamic militants for years. Human Rights Watch alleged that some of the abuses amount to war crimes.

In a 134-page report, the group said it documented arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, and possibly unlawful air and ground attacks against civilians.

“Some of these abuses, part of an ongoing campaign against members of the local ISIS affiliate, the Sinai Province group, amount to war crimes,” the report said. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

Egyptian officials had no immediate comment.

The militants have also committed horrific crimes, including kidnapping and torture of residents, some of whom were killed, the New York-based watchdog said. They have also killed captured members of the security forces, HRW said.

“Instead of protecting Sinai residents in their fight against militants, the Egyptian security forces have shown utter contempt to residents’ lives, turning their daily life into a nonstop nightmare of abuses,” said Michael Page, HRW’s deputy Mideast and North Africa director.

Access to northern Sinai has been restricted for years, making it difficult to independently verify what is happening on the ground. HRW said the findings were based, in part, on interviews with Sinai residents and former detainees.

The group also said, citing government statements and media reports, that 3,076 suspected militants and 1,226 members of the military and police were killed in fighting between January 2014 and June 2018 in Sinai. It said, however, that Egyptian authorities frequently counted civilians among the alleged militants killed and that hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded in the violence.

The government has not provided a tally for civilians killed in Sinai.

HRW said the Egyptian military has recruited Sinai residents into a mi,爱上海fxm,litia to help it “by providing intelligence and carrying out missions on the military’s behalf.” But these militia members also used their powers for arbitrary arrests and to settle scores and personal disputes.

“They have also participated in torture and extrajudicial killings,” the group said.

The insurgency in Sinai intensified after the military’s 2013 ouster of Mohammed Morsi, a freely elected but divisive president. Morsi was toppled amid mass protests again,上海贵族宝贝论坛mhe,st him, a year after he took office.

In February last year, Egypt began a massive anti-militant operation, mainly focused on Sinai but also on parts of Egypt’s Nile Delta and the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

‘Large a Shelwinnd dangerous tornado’ strikes near Dayton, Ohio

National Weather Service confirmed Sunday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, outside of Dayton.

The service tweeted that the situation was extremely dangerous and for residents in northern Montgomery County to take cover.

It later tweeted that there were new tornado threats for the extreme norther,上海龙凤论坛hg,n part of the county and ,上海贵族宝贝论坛kh,southern Miami County with another possible threat near the county line.

On its Twitter account the Ohio Department of Transportation tweeted photos of crews using snow plows to clean up debris on I-75 north of downtown Dayton.

Another suspected tornado near Vandalia, Ohio, was crossing the path of the first tornado, lifting debris in the air, the service said.

The service issued several tornado warnings for citie,上海千花zavu,s including Cedarville, Wilberforce and Jamestown until 12:45 a.m. EDT.

Trotwood is about 8 miles (12 kilometers) northwest of Dayton.

Jewish boys 爱上海helped save man with swastika tattoo from drowning

BOSTON — Massachusetts authorities say a,上海龙凤论坛tfzl, group of Jewish teens played a key role in saving the life of a drowning man with a tattoo of a swastika.

NBC Boston reports it happen,上海龙凤419srh,ed Thursday night as the four youths — all students at an Orthodox Jewish high school in suburban Brookline — spotted the body of a man partially submerged in Chestnut Hill Reservoir.

Boston College police officer Carl Mascioli says two of the teens ran to his patrol car to alert him. Mascioli says he rushed down the embankment, pulled the man from the water and noticed the Nazi symbol tattooed on his hand.

He says the unidentified students told him they don’t regret helping the man despite his anti-Semitic tattoo.

Officials say t,爱上海dqxa,he man is expected to make a full recovery.

In Venezuela, criminals feel the pinch of an economic cri Chazsis

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The feared street gangster El Negrito sleeps with,爱上海zl, a pistol under his pillow and says he’s lost track of his murder count. But despite his hardened dem,上海千花rci,eanor, he’s quick to gripe about how Venezuela’s failing economy is cutting into his profits.

Firing a gun has become a luxury. Bullets are expensive at $1 each. And with less cash circulating on the street, he says robberies just don’t pay like they used to.

For the 24-year-old, that has all given way to a simple fact: Even for Venezuelan criminals it’s become harder to get by.

“If you empty your clip, you’re shooting off $15,” said El Negrito, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition he be identified only by his street name and photographed wearing a hoodie and face mask to avoid attracting unwelcomed attention. “You lose your pistol or the police take it and you’re throwing away $800.”

Officials of President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist administration stopped publishing statistics charting crime trends long ago.

But in something of an unexpected silver lining to the country’s all-consuming economic crunch, experts say armed assaults and killings are plummeting in one of the world’s most violent nations. At the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a Caracas-based nonprofit group, researchers estimate homicides have plunged up to 20% over the last three years based on tallies from media clippings and sources at local morgues.

The decline has a direct link to the economic tailspin that has helped spark a political battle for control of the once-wealthy oil nation.

Soaring inflation topped 1 million percent last year, making the local bolivar nearly useless even though ATM machines have been unable to dispense more than a dollar’s worth of scrip anyway. The severe scarcity of food and medicine has driven some 3.7 million to seek better prospects in places like Colombia, Panama and Peru — the majority of them young males from whom gangs recruit. And workdays are frequently cu,上海贵族宝贝论坛itvp,rtailed due to nationwide strikes.

But as the country descends into a state of lawlessness, many Venezuelans who turn to crime find themselves subject to the same chaos that has led to a broader political and social meltdown.

Critics blame 20 years of the socialist revolution launched by the late President Hugo Chávez, who expropriated once-thriving businesses that today produce a fraction of their potential under government management.

Earlier this year, opposition leader Juan Guaidó launched a bold campaign with the support of the U.S. and more than 50 nations to oust Maduro, who succeeded Chávez. However, Guaidó has yet to make good on his promises to restore democracy, spark a robust economy and make the streets safer.

As a result of the chaos, crime has not so much disappeared as simply morphed in form. While assaults are down, reports of theft and pilfering of everything from copper telephone wires to livestock are surging. Meanwhile, drug trafficking and illegal gold mining have become default activities for organized crime.

When night falls, streets in Caracas clear as most residents abide by an undeclared curfew out of fear for their safety. Despite the significant drop in killings, Venezuelans tend not to gaze at their cellphones in the streets. Many leave gold and silver wedding rings in secure places at home, while others have grown accustomed to checking whether they are being followed.

“Venezuela remains one of the most violent countries in the world,” said Dorothy Kronick, who teaches political science at the University of Pennsylvania and has carried out extensive research in Caracas’ slums. “It has wartime levels of violence — but no war.”

El Negrito leads for-hire hoodlums called the Crazy Boys, a band that forms part of an intricate criminal network in Petare, one of Latin America’s largest and most feared slums. The gangster, who agreed to an interview with two associates at their hillside hideout in Caracas, said his group now carries out roughly five kidnappings a year, down considerably from years past.

Such express abductions are big business. Typically, a victim is nabbed and held hostage for up to 48 hours while loved ones scramble to gather as much cash as they can find, with kidnappers focused on speed and a quick return rather than on the size of the payout.

El Negrito said the ransom they set depends on what a victim’s car costs, and a deal can turn deadly if demands aren’t met.

But like many of his associates, he has considered leaving the trade in Venezuela and emigrating.

He said some people have quit the world of crime and sought more honest work abroad, fearing stiff penalties in other countries where laws are more enforced.

While explaining that he struggles to support his wife and young daughter, El Negrito passed a silver pistol between his hands. A Bible lay open to Proverbs on a dresser as a breeze turned the pages.

Robert Briceño, director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, said the decline in homicides is a matter of basic economics: As cash becomes scarce in Venezuela, there is less to steal.

“These days, nobody is doing well — not honest citizens who produce wealth or the criminals who prey on them,” he said.

One associate of the Crazy Boys, who gave only his nickname, Dog, said he has no trouble finding ammunition for his guns on the black market. He said the challenge is paying for them in a country where the average person earns $6.50 a month.

“A pistol used to cost one of these bills,” he said, crumbling up a 10 bolivar bill that can no longer be used to buy a single cigarette. “Now, this is nothing.”

___

Scott Smith on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ScottSmithAP

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Arcia’s HR gives Bre 上海419论坛wers 5-4 win, stopping Twins streak at 6

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins have built the best record in the major leagues, fueled by a massive power surge.

Their six-game winning streak was stopped, fittingly, by the Milwaukee Brewers with a big swing from Orlando Arcia.

Arcia drove in three runs, including a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning , before Josh Hader struck out Miguel Sanó on three pitches with two runners aboard Monday night to preserve a 5-4 victory for the Brewers.

“I was just trying to find a way to get the runner over, and thankfully I was able to get my hands through and get good contact on the ball,” Arcia said through a translator.

The Twins, who fell to 19-7 in May, had a one-run decision for the first time in 11 games. They outscored their opponents 53-16 during their six-game streak.

“Even when you play pretty well, you’re not going to win every game, especially when you run into a good, tal,上海龙凤419abl,ented team,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

After an RBI single by rookie Luis Arraez and a three-run homer by Byron Buxton , both with two outs in the second inning against Brewers starter Gio Gonzalez, the Twins stopped scoring. Gonzalez settled down and retired the last six batters he faced. Then the bullpen finished with 4 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering three singles.

Jeremy Jeffress, Junior Guerra and Corbin Burnes (1-3) bridged the gap to Hader, who notched his 13th save with a two-inning appearance.

The crowd of 29,167 included at least an even split with Brewers fans, the local contingent likely lessened by an all-day downpour that dampened the Memorial Day holiday and didn’t stop until shortly before first pitch.

During a brief return by the rain, Keston Hiura had the first of three straight hits against Michael Pineda in the third, the only hits allowed by the Twins starter in six innings. Arcia doubled to put the Brewers on the board , and Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich followed with sacrifice flies to bring them to 4-3.

“When you score three, you feel like, with that long to go in the game, you’re essentially tied,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

In the eighth, Arcia took Taylor Rogers (1-1) deep for a two-run shot after pinch-hitter Hernán Pérez led off with a double, the first homer allowed by Rogers in 17 appearances since April 2.

“Off the bat, I knew it was gone,” Rogers said.

Gonzalez failed to finish the fifth for the first time in six starts with the Brewers and gave up a season-most four runs.

“I just want to get past this,” he said. “That second inning was a head-scratcher.”

LOOK OUT!

Jeffress, who relieved Gonzalez after 102 pitches, ran quite the gauntlet to get the final out of the fifth. After issuing a walk, he was directed by the umpires — after Baldelli inquired — to change his pull-off sleeves from light gray to navy blue to match his teammates and comply with baseball’s uniform rules. Then after giving up a single, Jeffress snagged a screaming line drive hit by Willians Astudillo with his glove right in front of his face.

Jeffress bent awkwardly backward as he fell with the momentum from making the catch. After lying flat on his back in front of the mound in shock and discomfort, Jeffress walked gingerly off the field on his own after being checked by the team.

“I just reacted. That’s all I could do,” he said.

GOING, GOING, GONE

The Brewers lead the National League with 90 home runs, buoyed by Yelich’s major league-best 21. They’re fourth in the maj,上海千花hzd,ors, with the Twins (105) on top. Buxton’s shot to the bullpen behind left-center field matched the Minnesota record for most homers in one month (55), first set in May 1964.

GETTING STRONGER

Pineda, in his comeback season from Tommy John surgery on July 18, 2017, allowed exactly three earned runs in each of his five May starts. He logged 30 innings this month, finishing the sixth in each of his last four turns while lowering his ERA from 6.21 to 5.34.

“I consider this a very positive start. That’s a tough lineup,” Baldelli said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: Backup catcher Manny Piña (strained right hamstring) went through a workout in Milwaukee and will start a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Wisconsin. He has missed the last 10 games.

Twins: Backup catcher Mitch Garver (sprained left ankle) headed out for a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola. “I’ve passed every agility test that they’ve wanted me ,上海龙凤论坛ydn,to pass. As far as I’m concerned, the training staff is concerned, my ankle is healthy and we’re ready to go,” Garver said.

UP NEXT

Brewers: RHP Zach Davies (5-0, 2.43 ERA) starts the finale of the two-game series, coming off his worst start of the season. Davies gave up six runs on six hits and one walk over three innings last week in an 11-9 win over Cincinnati.

Twins: LHP Martín Pérez (7-1, 2.95 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday night having won six of eight turns with one no-decision since joining the rotation after a bullpen stint when the Twins began the season with four starters. With a victory, Pérez would match Houston’s Justin Verlander for the second-most in the majors.

___

More AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

How ‘Reset’ Man McFaul Helped Torpedo U.S.-Russia R 上海龙凤论坛elations

Post-Mueller report insanity has gripped the nation. In between Presidential proclamations that the report provides proof of his exoneration, and Democratic declarations that the report contains evidence of crimes deserving of impeachment, lies the reality of U.S.-Russian relations, and the fact that these two nations live in a world where their combined nuclear arsenals can eliminate humanity as we know it.

While President Trump struggles to gain traction for his campaign promise to better relations, his political opponents are stuck in a time warp that has them reliving the 2016 Presidential election and its allegations of Russian interference.

Americans have every right to be concerned about the prospects of,上海千花mupc, Russian interference in elections which serve as the foundation of American democracy. However, in seeking to find a solution to the problems that plague the relationship, it is imperative that the American people understand how we got to where we are today. You can’t solve a problem without first accurately defining the problem, and as such any examination of the Genesis of the he-said/she-said aspects of alleged Russian interference in 2016 must take into account the fact that, if anything, the Russians were reacting to a lengthy history of U.S. interference in their internal affairs since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.

One of the key players in this interference was Michael McFaul,a Stanford professor who, while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, oversaw a policy of engagement with Moscow on behalf of the Obama administration and, when that policy failed, facilitated U.S. interference in the 2012 Russian Presidential election in an effort to keep Vladimir Putin out of office.

In October 2006 Michael McFaul was approached by people close to Barak Obama to join a circle of experts who were advising the Illinois Senator on foreign policy issues in preparation for an anticipated presidential bid in 2008.

McFaul, who at that time was working as a professor in political science at Stanford University, agreed, and quickly became Obama’s go-to expert on Russian issues. Following the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Obama picked McFaul as the special assistant to the president and senior director of Russia and Eurasia affairs at the National Security Council.

One of McFaul’s first tasks was to formulate and implement a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations. There was widespread acknowledgement among Russia observers that, as of 2008, relations between Washington, D.C. and Moscow were at an all-time post-Cold War low. The goal of a “reset”, McFaul believed, was to “find cooperation with Russia on common interests” and “develop a multi-dimensional relationship with Russia” inclusive of “societal contacts” that would be pursued through a policy of “active engagement.”

For McFaul, however, the Russian “reset” wasn’t about U.S.-Russian relations as much as it was about building strong ties between the Obama administration and Dmitry Medvedev, the former prime minister who had assumed the Russian presidency in 2008 from Vladimir Putin. Putin, who had succeeded Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 2000, had finished out his second term (the Russian Constitution forbade a president from serving more than two successive terms.) Putin became the prime minister, effectively trading places with Medvedev.

Obama’s secretary of state at the time, Hillary Clinton, was scheduled to meet with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva in March 2009. McFaul advised that it would be a good idea to publicly draw attention to the “reset,” and a State Department staffer came up with the idea of presenting a symbolic “button” that would be symbolic of the occasion. The staffer approached McFaul who, as the resident Russian expert in the NSC, provided the translation for the word “reset” (peregruzka) and the correct spelling. When Clinton presented the “reset button” to Lavrov, however, he pointed out that peregruzka did not mean “reset”, but rather “overload”, referring to putting too much power through an electrical system, leading to blown fuses, or even a fire.

While the embarrassing gaffe did not sink U.S.-Russian relations (this would happen on its own volition), it did underscore a level of amateurishness at the highest levels of American policy making by someone who was purported to be an expert on all things Russian.

McFaul’s academic credentials and training as a Russian specialist are impressive. McFaul graduated from Stanford in 1986 with a B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages, and went on to get his master’s degree, also from Stanford, in Russian and East European Studies, before heading off to Oxford, England, where he pursued his Doctorate in International Relations as a Rhodes Scholar. McFaul returned to the Soviet Union in 1990 as a visiting scholar at Moscow State University, where he finished up his doctoral dissertation (he was awarded his Ph.D. the next year.)

It was during his time as a visiting scholar that McFaul began to blur the line between pure academia and policy activist. In 1990, McFaul signed on as a consultant with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), self-described as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that has supported democratic institutions and practices in every region of the world.”

The NDI was founded in 1983 as an action arm of the National Endowment for Democracy (NEC), created by Congress under the eponymously named National Endowment for Democracy Act. The congressional action ,上海贵族宝贝论坛uyr,was in response to an executive decision on the part of President Ronald Reagan, promulgated under National Security Decision Directive-77, to promote so-called “public diplomacy” operations in furtherance of U.S. national security interests. McFaul dual-hatted as a visiting scholar and as NDI’s official Field Representative in Moscow.

As the NDI’s representative in Moscow, McFaul actively supported “Democratic Russia,” a coalition of Russian politicians led by Boris Yeltsin, the president of the Russian Federation, even though the official U.S. policy at the time was to support Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union. McFaul likened Yeltsin to the “catalyst for the Cold War’s end.” While recognizing Yeltsin as “the unquestioned leader of Russia’s anti-Communist movement,” McFaul noted that Yeltsin’s embrace of Democratic Russia was more a byproduct of the realization that such an alliance was needed to defeat the Soviet regime, rather than a genuine embrace of liberal ideas.

This realization seems absent, however, from McFaul’s later apologia about the decade of corrupt, ineffective governance that defined Yeltsin’s time as the president of Russia.

McFaul had become enamored with the concept of Russian “democracy” but he could not define it with any precision. In his 2001 book, Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin, McFaul throws the term “democracy” around freely, only acknowledging (in a footnote) that, in the context of Russia, it may not exist. The reality was that Yeltsin, far from an idealistic paragon of democratic virtue, was little more than the hand-picked puppet of the United States.

In 1999, Yeltsin, his health ravaged by alcohol and his legacy haunted by a decade of corruption and mismanagement, stepped aside (“peacefully and constitutionally,” according to McFaul) in favor of his hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin. Within a period of less than two years (Putin assumed power on New Year’s Eve in 2000, and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution was released in 2001), McFaul declared that the former KGB officer had “inflicted considerable damage to democratic institutions” in Russia. There were, however, no genuine democratic institutions in Russia to inflict damage upon when Yeltsin stepped aside—Russia’s first president had seen to that by destroying the Russian Parliament in 1993 and rigging an election (with extensive American support) in 1996. It was everything Putin could do upon his accession to the presidency right the Russian ship of state, let alone reinvent something (Russian democracy) that had never existed to begin with.

McFaul’s problem with Putin centered not on what he had done as president as much as the fact that he waspresiden,上海龙凤论坛gxr,t. There was an inherent inconsistency between McFaul’s theory of Russian “democracy” and the reality of Putin. Putin viewed the collapse of the Soviet Union as “a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” He had stood next to Yeltsin as he debased himself and Russia in conversations with President Bill Clinton. If one thing was for certain, Putin would never allow himself to behave in a similar manner.

McFaul’s “reset” policy was intended to reassert American influence into the Russian body politic in a post-Putin Russia. As such, when Putin announced in 2011 that he would again run for president, McFaul’s “reset” policy collapsed. Under the “reset,” the Obama administration, at McFaul’s urging, provided funding through the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the NED, NDI, and other non-governmental organizations to Russian civil groups that had coalesced into a political opposition to Putin’s 2012 presidential ambition. McFaul also encouraged Secretary of State Clinton to speak out in support of the Russian opposition. “We are supportive of the rights and aspirations of the Russian people,” Clinton stated in December 2011, “to be able to make progress and realize a better future for themselves.”

Putin and the Russian government responded by accusing Clinton of interfering in the domestic political affairs of Russia. When McFaul was appointed by Obama to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Russia in late 2011, one of his first actions was to invite the leaders of the various Russian opposition groups to the U.S. embassy to meet with him. After Putin won his bid for election in March 2012, he immediately set about to ban foreign funding for Russian non-governmental organizations. USAID, the NED, NDI, and other organizations used to channelling U.S. money to Russian political entities were evicted from Russia.

McFaul, whose entire ambassadorial persona was built around the kind of societal engagement produced by these NGOs, never recovered. In February 2014, McFaul announced his resignation as U.S. ambassador, declaring that it was time for him to return to Stanford and resume his previous life of academia.

Since leaving Moscow, McFaul has become one of the leading critics of Putin, writing prolifically on the topic, and frequently appearing as a talking head on television. Putin’s Russia has provided McFaul with plenty of material to work with, including the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the military intervention in Syria in 2015, and the alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A staunch supporter of Clinton, McFaul has turned his sights on Trump, strongly criticizing Trump’s own efforts for a new “reset” with Russia as misguided. By McFaul’s telling, the abysmal state of U.S.-Russian relations is the fault of Putin and Putin alone, and Trump’s efforts at normalizing relations only plays into Putin’s hands.

But it was McFaul’s role in the U.S. interference in the Russian 2012 election that put in motion everything that followed. Perception makes its own reality, and the Russian perception is that McFaul and the Obama administration purposefully put their thumb on the scale of Russia’s presidential election to keep Putin from winning. McFaul has been banned from traveling to Russia, and in 2018 Putin approached Trump for permission to have Russian intelligence officers question McFaul about alleged illegal activities conducted while he was ambassador. While the Russian claims are unsubstantiated allegations, and their request facially absurd, the fact remains that when it comes to apportioning blame for the sorry state of U.S.-Russian relations today, one need look no further than Michael McFaul and his decades-long effort to create Russian “democracy” from whole cloth as laying the foundation for failure.

For McFaul to today condemn the Russians for their alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is like an arsonist seeking to assign blame for a blaze sparked by the embers of his own handiwork.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author ofDealbreaker: Donald Trump and the Unmaking of the Iran Nuclear Deal (2018).

The Dire Emergency of Sma 上海龙凤论坛ll-Town America

The historic home, one on a row of old, venerable houses on Main Street, appears quaint to a passersby.

Main Street doubles as a state highway, so there is no lack of admirers. Yet look a little closer, maybe take a stroll in front of the house or step inside, and the rustic charm soon dissipates. The front door, the siding, the white picket fence, are all covered in soot from the passing vehicles. That same traffic is audible, at all hours of the day and night, from every bedroom in the house. It’s an apt metaphor, the owner of the house told me, for what it’s like to live in a scenic country town—attractive at first glance, but dirty and noisome when more carefully examined.

The owner, who recently contacted me to tell his story, moved to this rural town several years ago to take one of a limited number of white-collar jobs there. It wasn’t just the rural setting—with its lower housing prices and less expensive cost of living—that attracted a young married man with several children and no little amount of debt. As devout, well-read Christians, he and his wife yearned for the kind of small, tight-knit community described in Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option. So the two purchased that historic home and he began his career in ea,上海419论坛hk,rnest.

Yet all has not been well in this country community. “I’m not sure whether the incomplete happiness of this life is enough to explain the dissatisfaction I feel or whether the modern way of living really does make it all that much more unbearable,” he writes. These are strange words to read from a man who would seem to be fairly resilient. He grew up in a military family and previously worked in the fishing and agricultural industries.

“All our troubles here seem reducible to the road that runs through our front yard,” he explains. It was off that highway that a young mentally disabled man approached his wife while she was outside with her kids. He warned her that “bad people” were in the town “kidnapping and raping children.” The man admitted that he had himself previously been abused by these people. Not long after, a male stranger in a car asked one of her sons to open the gate. The child refused. At the time, several locals assured her, “that kind of thing doesn’t happen here.”

Since then, neighbors have ,上海龙凤论坛yxqi,acknowledged that their children, too, were approached by strangers in parked cars, including one who asked a child: “Do you want some candy?” Another was threatened with physical violence. Then a few months ago, a four-year-old girl from a nearby town was abducted in the middle of the night from her home by a man who slept next to her and masturbated. She was later found taped up in a box. “There is a real and definite threat locally, and I am not sure if it’s related to human trafficking, rage, boredom, or something else…. I am having nightmares and other health issues associated with this problem,” said the man’s wife.

Their town, though somewhat isolated, is only a few mil,上海龙凤419iv,es from an artery of a multi-state sex trafficking route. Highway rest stops, bus stations, and truck stops have become hubs for this activity. According to a 2013 non-profit report, the problem is “spreading beyond the grasp of police, prosecutors, and social work agencies.” This crisis is a national one—there are an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 underaged child sex workers in the United States, and another 250,000 youths are at risk of being drawn or forced into this underworld. The average age of those being trafficked is 13. There is big money to made in sex trafficking. One estimate places the number at approximately $9.5 billion a year in the United States alone.

This is not the only crisis confronting the community. Families are collapsing. The husband explains: “When older denizens of town describe golden days full of Christian schools, neighborhood grocers, and social groups, I wonder what world they are from—not this one. Do they even know that families of the town, ancient ones, are in their heirs falling apart?” As is well catalogued in J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy and Timothy Carney’s Alienated America, the working-class, blue-collar family is no longer in decline. It has suffered catastrophic destruction. The familial crisis is compounded by abuse of opioids and other narcotics. “The drug problem is a rather open secret among the under 35 crowd,” the man observes.

All of this has taken its toll on the couple. She increasingly suffers from sleep deprivation and anxiety. He is more melancholic and is fighting off depression. They would willingly consider counseling, but they cannot afford such a luxury: their family relies entirely on his salary to pay the bills. The husband barely has enough expendable income to afford regular haircuts, and the family has been forced to eat rice and beans several days a week. The couple still lauds many of the blessings of their new community: they know their neighbors well, receive much-appreciated help from members of their church, and enjoy a slower pace of life that is great for kids. All the same, the husband laments, “the social fabric is too threadbare to hold my confidence regarding watching out for one another.”

Despite these hardships, I’d wager that they will almost certainly survive, and likely still thrive, in spite of their circumstances. They are a deeply devout family whose religious faith remains the center of their identity and a source of comfort and spiritual and emotional renewal. The husband and wife are both intelligent and resourceful, with degrees and professional experience to prove it. Both come from intact, financially stable extended families that can provide all manner of necessary support. Their parents are themselves professionals. If things were to really deteriorate, they could probably move back in with those retired parents, or rely on the charity of other friends and family.

Little if any of this, however, is true for many who grow up in such communities. Millennials in these towns (like this couple) will likely have to look back a generation or two to find examples of stable, cohesive families on firm financial grounding that might serve as exemplars of a realized “American dream.” Economic opportunities in these communities are sparse. The school systems are subpar if not terrible, and few people have the motivation or familial guidance to achieve educational success. The pull to engage in substance abuse is strong. So is the tendency to conceive children out of wedlock to partners one has little long-term commitment to, thus proliferating this impoverished paradigm to the next generation. Such persons have little if any of the support network enjoyed by the couple. Should we then be surprised that so many of them are failing?

There are many like this family who want a coherent vision of “the good life,” of strong Christian families living down the street from one another, supporting one another and building lasting communities that our children would be proud of. This Benedict Option-style arrangement is flourishing in places like Hagerstown, Maryland and Front Royal, Virginia, among others. Yet for those considering smaller, rural communities, they will likely have to consider the kinds of threats—abduction, sexual abuse, drug addiction—described by the above couple. That makes the decision between a town in the Rust Belt or Appalachia and our current “soulless,” atomized suburban existence a bit more challenging.

This couple still yearns for the small-town Middle America of our grandparents’ generation, and even, to a lesser degree, of our parents’ generation. Yet that kind of community, defined by economic stability, vibrant local civic institutions, and strong churches has disintegrated and may never return. They have come up against the cold, hard reality of a globalist economy that benefits the coastal elites at the expense of flyover country, a digital era that atomizes Americans and undermines local community relationships, and a libertarian ethos that shrugs its shoulders at addiction, be it from substances, pornography, or anything else.

J.D. Vance in a recent speech demanded a conservative agenda that addresses and overcomes all of these trends and rescues American communities like the one this couple now lives in. Certainly such an agenda would not only help those living in such places, but incentivize others with welcome capital and professional skills to more seriously contemplate living in such communities. Based on what this family is experiencing, that lifeline had better come soon. For others, it might already be too late.

Casey Chalk is a student at the Notre Dame Graduate School of Theology at Christendom College. He covers religion and other issues forThe American Conservative.

Today in History: 上海贵族宝贝论坛 May 28

Today is Tuesday, May 28, the 148th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 28, 1977, 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.

On this date:

In 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the,爱上海vng, marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.

In 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of freed blacks, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.

In 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a “state of absolute unpreparedness,” improperly tested safety equipment and an “indifference to danger” as some of the causes of an “unnecessary tragedy.”

In 1918, American troops fought their first major battle during World War I as they launched an offensive against the German-held French village of Cantigny (kahn-tee-NYEE’); the Americans succeeded in capturing the village.

In 1929, the first all-color talking picture, “On with the Show!” produced by Warner Bros., opened in New York.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain. In Nazi Germany, Volkswagen was founded by the German Labour Front.

In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.

In 1957, National League owners gave permission for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants to move to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In 1964, the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization was issued at the start of a meeting of the Palestine National Congress in Jerusalem.

In 1972, Edward, The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the English throne to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, died in Paris at age 77.

In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust, a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow’s Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)

Ten years ago: A white New York City police officer killed an off-duty black colleague in a friendly fire incident in East Harlem. (A grand jury declined to indict Officer Andrew Dunton in the shooting of Officer Omar Edwards, who had drawn his gun and was chasing a man who had broken into his car.) Kavya Shivashankar, a 13-year-old girl from Kansas, spelled “Laodicean (lay-AHD’-uh-SEE’-uhn)” (lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics) to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Five years ago: Seeking to redefine America’s foreign policy for a postwar era, President Barack Obama told West Point graduates the United States remained the only nation with the capacity to lead on the world stage but argued it would be a mistake to channel that power into unrestrained military adventures. Maya Angelou, 86, a Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen and the printed page, died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

One year ago: Speaking before an audience of Cabinet members, military leaders, veterans and families, President Donald Trump paid a Memorial Day tribute at Arlington National Cemetery, saying he came to honor “America’s greatest heroes.” The Golden State Warriors reached the NBA Finals with,上海龙凤论坛sej, a win over the Houston Rockets; it was the fourth straight year the Warriors would meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the finals.

Copyright ©2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

© 2019 The Associated Press. A,上海419论坛mzk,ll Rights Reserved.

Mike Pompeo: Americ Samuelan Jacobin

Given contemporary events, one of the most interesting figures of the 18th-century French revolutionary period was Jacques-Pierre Brissot, a leader of the Girondins, the neoconservatives of revolutionary France.

Brissot believed that the animating universal ideals of the Revolution had made France, as one of his allies put it, “the foremost people of the universe,” not just better than all earthlings, better even than Martians. Yet, despite France’s position as the exceptional nation, the Girondins worried that universal ideals were under siege by a complex array of conspiracies hatched by the absolutist powers surrounding France.

The only way to confront these foreign conspiracies, he believed, was preemptive war. Robespierre, who hated Brissot, was skeptical. Robespierre believed that war would strengthen the monarchy, which was wobbly but still intact in 1791, and that foreign adversaries would be formidable military o,上海419论坛tl,pponents. Robespierre famously quipped: “No one loves armed missionaries.” In true neoconservative fashion, Brissot countered that the people of many nations who were longing for liberty, especially the Dutch and Flemish, would welcome France’s revolutionary army with open arms. Sound familiar?

But, Brissot had a problem. When he rose to prominence in the Assembly in 1791, the monarchists and other traditionalists still held significant sway, and Louis XVI was still on the throne. How to persuade these traditional French nationalists to launch crusading wars to spread universal ideals when these retrogrades understood the only sound French foreign policy to be one that advanced France’s interests, its raison d’état?

Brissot’s solution was pure genius: couch the ideological crusade for universal liberty simply as wars for French national glory. As one scholar put it, Brissot argued that, “patriotic virtue would emanate out of these cosmopolitan ideals and their diffusion, thus allowing France to once again become a ‘great nation.’” Brissot co-opted the language of traditional French nationalism paving the way for the Assembly and Louis XVI to embrace war with Austria and Prussia.

Brissot’s dilemma when facing the French nationalists of his time was precisely the dilemma of contemporary neoconservatives when Donald Trump was elected president. Trump’s criticism of the Iraq war and his nationalistic America First rhetoric was a direct repudiation of the central tenet of neoconservatism, the need to spread universal ideals with American military power. Or, as George W. Bush speechified, to seek “the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

In reaction to Trump’s criticisms, some of the less,上海龙凤论坛als,-savvy neoconservatives, such as Max Boot and Bill Kristol, simply went out into the public square and lit themselves on fire in protest. These self-immolating Never Trumpers will likely never wield power again.

But the clever neoconservatives, such as Tom Cotton and Mike Pompeo, adopted the Brissot strategy. Continue the military crusade for universal ideals, continue to treat all non-democratic regimes with belligerence, continue to disparage the traditions of all other nations and cultures by asserting American moral superiority—but adopt and co-opt the language of Trumpian nationalism. Cotton and Pompeo are, after all, good Straussians, admirers of the late political theorist Leo Strauss. They understand that the masses live in dark ignorance and that smart philosophers can manipulate them into supporting universal ideals through the use of cant phrases like “Make America Great Again.”

In Pompeo’s May 11 speech at the Claremont Institute, the bastion of the West Coast Straussians, the Brissot strategy was on full display and, understandably, was met with raucous cheering by the neoconservatives in the audience who understood that Pompeo and John Bolton had succeeded in hijacking Trump’s foreign policy for neoconservatives, a significant accomplishment. While Trump’s rhetoric is still the husk of American foreign policy, when it comes to core principles and political practice, “America First” is out, the “Freedom Agenda” is in.“Getting along” with other nations is out; regime change and belligerence is in.

Like Brissot, Pompeo accomplished this bait and switch by rewriting history. He argued that the framers of the American Constitution were not skeptical of entangling alliances, standing armies and global commitments; they were actually warlike neoconservative crusaders.

He argued that the “foreign policy of the early republic” could be characterized by three words: “realism, restraint, and respect.” This is fine as far as it goes, but he then proceeded to define these terms in ways that would have made them unrecognizable to the Framers. Alexander Hamilton defined realism, Pompeo argued, as forever war: “Conflict is the normative experience for nations.” Quoting Thomas Jefferson, he defined “restraint” as the willingness to go to war, because “the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our choice.” Finally, without a hint of irony as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group was steaming to the Persian Gulf in search of monsters to destroy, Pompeo quoted John Quincy Adams on the need for respect in international relations. Adams’s admonition was to respect other nations. Pompeo turned this upside down by warning other nations to respect us—or else.

He then, like Brissot, laid out the threats and conspiracies that erode “America’s power.” The only solution to this challenge was to “proudly” associate with “nations that share our principles and are willing to defend them.” How about George Washington’s warning against permanent alliances? What Washington really meant in his Farewell Address, Pompeo said, is to have many, many alliances “based on ‘policy, humanity and interest.’” If he were president today, Washington would welcome America’s alliances with Israel, Australia, India, Japan, and South Korea in order to make certain, for example, that “each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion.” Washington was really a neoconservative, you see.

There is here not even a faint resemblance to what Washington actually believed, but Pompeo’s ideological hucksterism drew a warm reception from the Claremont audience, composed in part by people considering themselves scholars of 18th-century America.

Pompeo’s rhetoric represents the transvaluation of the Framers’ foreign policy restraint into those of neoconservatism. It is hard to know if Trump is aware that his foreign policy principles have been hijacked, but given his apparent disdain of intellectual pursuits, the answer is probably in the negative.

Toward the end of the speech, Pompeo proceeded to redefine the meaning of “America First” to make it agree with a neoconservative agenda. “Here is what this really means,” he said. While Trump has expressed no desire to spread the American model, “America is exceptional—a place and history apart from normal human experience” (emphasis mine) and “among political ideas, there is none better than the American idea.” As compared with this metaphysical American exceptionalism, the cultures, traditions, and political histories of all other nations shrink into illegitimacy and nothingness.

George Washington’s view of Pompeo’s puffed up triumphalism would be that a nation that hubristically pounds its chest and claims exceptional moral purity and righteousness may just be a nation that has lost its virtue. The American Framers were well aware that the great republican experiments in ancient Greece and Rome ended with prideful imperial overreach.

In 1792, when Louis XVI read, “in a flat, faltering voice,” the war proclamation against Austria he understood it to be a death sentence for the French monarchy. We should know that if neoconservatives are able actually to carry out the wars that their ideology and will to power suggest, it would be a death sentence for the American republic.

William S. Smith is Research Fellow,爱上海qyv, and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America

Angela ChazMerkel warns against dark forces on the rise in Europe

(CNN)German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said “there is work to be done” in Germany to face up to the dark forces that are finding mainstream support there and in other parts of the world.

“In Germany, obviously, they always have to be seen in a certain context, in the context of our past, which means we,上海419论坛xu, have to be that much more vigilant than others,” she said.

Speaking exclusively to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour a day after the European elections, where nationalists failed to live up to a forecasted surge in support, Merkel said we have to face-up “to the specters of the past.”

“We have to tell our young people what history has brought over us and others.”

In recent days, German Jews were warned by a leading government official not to wear kippahs in public, following a rise in anti-Semitic attacks. Addressing the rise in anti-Semitism, Merkel said that Germany has “always had a certain number of anti-Semites among us, unfortunately.”

“There is to this day not a single Synagogue not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not ne,上海千花woz,ed to be guarded by German policemen,” she added.

Merkel, who has been Chancellor for more than 13 years and outlasted many global leaders, has shouldered much of the blame for Europe’s populist wave, with some pinning the spike in support for the far-right, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) on her handling of the European refugee crisis.

The Chancellor again defended her decision to allow nearly 1 million refugees into Germany, saying that the best way to manage immigration in the wake of humanitarian crises, like those in Syria and Iraq, was not to “shut ourselves off from each other,” but to be more “vigilant” in making sure that refugees fleeing these countries are “sufficiently cared for.”

That the forecasted far-right surge in last week’s European elections didn’t happen was largely attributed to increased support for pro-European Union green and liberal parties and an increased turnout across the bloc.

In Germany, the green party finished second to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

The Chancellor said that she was “pleased that more people went to the elections than in the last European elections,” but conceded that the Greens’ performance “has to do with iss,上海龙凤419eqg,ues that people are interested in the most these days, for example climate change, and that is also for my party, of course, a challenge now.”

Merkel has been criticized for her reliance on burning coal and bowing to pressure from German industry — catering to their needs rather than the needs of the environment. This might seem strange, given that Merkel has previously been dubbed the “climate Chancellor” due to her public support for green and clean energy initiatives. Indeed, she was one of the most vocal critics of US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

Of her relationship with Trump, Merkel responded to a question about the public perception of her being a punching bag for the US President, by acknowledging that they have “had contentious debates” but that they’ve managed to find “common ground” where it was needed.

She said that all German Chancellors had an “obligation” to forge a relationship with the US President.

“One of the most important decisions that (the) United States took after the second world war, to give Germany and Europe a chance to actually develop themselves, well … That was achieved by the Marshall Plan. America has always defended us,” Merkel said.

It’s widely assumed that Merkel had a better relationship with Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. But Merkel revealed to CNN that her relationship with the former President “did not start very smoothly” and that “it was not that easy in the beginning.”

She recalled the speech he gave at the Brandenburg gate, saying, “I had been criticized a lot when he wanted to speak in Berlin in front of the Brandenburg Gate, but I said he’s not the President yet. And only presidents can speak there.”

Speaking of another ex-US leader, Merkel responded to the viral image of President George W. Bush giving her what appeared to be an uninvited neck rub at a 2006 meeting in Russia. The Chancellor brushed off the much-commented-on interaction as a “kind gesture at the time, a friendship” from the then-President.

Merkel is nearly halfway through her fourth and final term as Chancellor. Reflecting on nearly 15 years as leader of one of the world’s most powerful nations, the most powerful politician in Europe and, arguably, the most powerful woman in the world, she spoke of the responsibility she felt to women and girls that looked up to her.

Asked if she sees herself as a feminist, the Chancellor said that, having been asked this question before, the Dutch Queen Maxima helped her find her own definition of feminism.

She said the Queen explained to her that feminism meant “women having the same rights everywhere and this is parity… from politics to the media, to the business community, that must be our objective, we are not there yet.”

“For many girls, apparently, I have become indeed a role model, during my time of chancellorship,” she added. “We need more women in these relevant positions and that means men have to change their way of life.”

With Merkel’s final term as Chancellor ending in 2021, backers of her brand of politics fear it’s on the way out as populism from both the left and right erodes the political center.

Merkel strongly rejected ceding any ground to populist forces, instead saying there was a need to show “why we are for democracy, why we try to bring about solutions, why we always have to put ourselves into the other person’s shoes, why we stand-up against intolerance, why we show no tolerance towards violations of human rights.”

In the immediate aftermath of the European elections, in which the center-right European People’s Party had its dominance eroded, exactly how popular Merkel’s signature pragmatism is remains far from clear. Especially as her Christian Democratic centrism is currently at the heart of the EPP’s vision for Europe’s future.

As Merkel prepares to leave office, she might find that those who replace her sweep away her legacy not only in Germany, but across the continent she has for so long dominated.