May Day in Raleigh, N.C.

first_imgMarch to confront austerity, attacks on working classHistoric Thousands on Jones Street march, Feb. 9, Raleigh, N.C.Photo: North Carolina Student Power UnionDurham, N.C. — With extreme right-wing ideologues in the Legislature and governor’s seat, backed by a well-funded conservative political machine, the working class in North Carolina faces unprecedented attacks and swiftly degrading material conditions. In the face of this social crisis, workers, youth and students are mobilizing for a mass May Day march and rally in Raleigh, the state capital.The North Carolina Student Power Union, a grassroots statewide organization and movement, has been hard at work since its February conference fighting attacks on public education and public services. Its current campaign raises opposition to the regressive budget drawn up by state budget director, Art Pope, a wealthy CEO and conservative oligarch who seeks to divest nearly $200 million from the North Carolina public university system.If passed, the budget would also lay off thousands of workers, including teachers’ assistants and campus workers. It would force nearly 8,500 students off of need-based financial aid, making access to higher education out of reach for many.These attacks on public higher education are emblematic of a broader redistribution strategy that seeks to privatize and defund public services while increasing the accumulated wealth of the ruling class. Perhaps the most telling component of the budget is a repeal of the estate tax, which applies only to estates worth more than $5 million. Though only the 23 wealthiest estates in North Carolina are subject to the tax, repealing it would cost the state more than $50 million a year.Other attacks by the North Carolina Legislature include a proposal to amend the state’s constitution to include GS 95/98 — the state right-to-work (for less) law — a clear attack on workers’ rights and unions. Another proposed constitutional amendment would enshrine the state’s Jim Crow-era ban on collective bargaining for public sector workers.After the Legislature refused federal-funded Medicaid expansion for an estimated 500,000 poor residents, Gov. Pat McCrory recently revealed a plan to privatize Medicaid by selling off part of the state’s Medicaid program to out-of-state, for-profit companies.In addition, right-wing lawmakers are also pushing to eliminate the corporate and personal income tax at a cost of billions to the state, while simultaneously raising the sales tax, which disproportionately hurts low-income families.Targeting Black and Brown peopleThese legislative attacks are also deeply racialized. Lawmakers proposed closing one or two campuses, which would undoubtedly target historically Black colleges and universities and working-class campuses.The white supremacist majority is currently pushing forth racist voter repressive legislation to impose electoral barriers on communities of color, youth, women and the poor.Right-wing lawmakers have also introduced an Arizona-style immigration bill that would allow law enforcement officers to check the legal status of anyone they stop and detain them for up to 24 hours. This will encourage racial profiling and increased police repression of immigrant communities.Those in power are waging war on working people in North Carolina. They seek to implement a dangerous vision where public higher education is dismantled, public services are privatized, and Jim-Crow era white hegemony is reclaimed.A May Day demonstration could not be occurring at a more critical moment in the state political climate. The NCSPU is organizing a statewide youth and student contingent to join the broader May Day worker and immigrant march and rally at the state Legislature.Now more than ever, working-class struggles in North Carolina must be united in raising voices of opposition to this right-wing agenda. North Carolina serves as a key stronghold in the U.S. South with a rich organizing and civil rights legacy.If we don’t want the futures of our youth to be stolen, mass resistance is the only option.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more


Astros’ Yuli Gurriel will face hostile environment at Dodger Stadium

first_imgHOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel will arrive in Los Angeles on Monday with a target on his back. Not literally, of course, and Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish has tried to quell any possible backlash against Gurriel’s racially motivated remark and gesture Friday.After hitting a home run against Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series, Gurriel was caught on camera saying the word Chinito – Spanish slang for a person of Chinese descent – and pressing his fingers against his eyes.Gurriel apologized, first through the media, then to the Japanese-born pitcher via text message. Darvish forgave Gurriel and encouraged others to move on.“What he has done today isn’t right,” Darvish wrote on his Twitter account, “but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. … Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.” The following day, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced a five-game suspension for Gurriel. The MLB Players’ Association did not appeal the punishment.But because the suspension will not begin until next season, Gurriel has continued to play in the World Series. He was received warmly during the lineup announcements before Games 4 and 5 at Minute Maid Park. The Astros know that will not be the case prior to Game 6 at Dodger Stadium.“I don’t think I need to talk to (Gurriel) about it,” Manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think everyone is aware it’s going to be a rough setting for him. I don’t think you can convince 55,000 fans to turn the page as fast as maybe the two teams have. And that goes out of support for their own players and their own people.“But Yuli has got a good heart. He made a mistake. He’ll pay for it … obviously in the looming suspension to come but also with the reaction in L.A., I’m sure will be on the aggressive side.” Though Darvish took the high road, MLB has seen fans take the low road before.Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley slid into the leg of then-New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during the 2015 National League Division Series, fracturing Tejada’s fibula and ending his postseason. The backlash that followed nearly defied precedent. Threats against Utley and his family forced the Dodgers to deploy extra security when the team flew to New York the next day.After the game in which he injured Tejada, Utley expressed his sincere remorse. But those words were lost on Mets fans, who booed Utley mercilessly for the remainder of the series – a trivial gesture in comparison to the off-the-field threats.“It’s not an ideal situation, something you don’t wish on anybody,” Utley said Sunday, “but it is what it is nowadays.”TURNER BRUISEDDodgers third baseman Justin Turner took a hard ground ball off his left calf during Game 4, prompting Roberts to lift him for a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of that game and move him to DH for Game 5.Roberts said the bruise is not serious and “if we were in L.A. (without the DH), he would play” at third base.With the DH and the Astros starting their lone left-hander, Dallas Keuchel, Roberts’ right-handed option to add to the roster was Charlie Culberson. He opted to start Culberson at second base, move Logan Forsythe to third base (positions both are very familiar with) and start Turner at DH.“Charlie has never DH’d. Corey (Seager) doesn’t like to DH,” Roberts said. “So if you put that all together and he (Turner) is fine with it, why wouldn’t you?”BULLPEN INCOGNITODodgers left-hander Rich Hill was in the bullpen and available for use in Game 4. To try and go unnoticed, he tried to disguise himself by wearing a hoodie and adding towels under his jacket.Roberts said having Hill, who will start Game 6 Tuesday, available Saturday night was “part of the plan – but the outfit or whatever, that was on his own.”Darvish threw just 49 pitches in his Game 3 start but Roberts said he would not be in disguise in the bullpen Sunday. Darvish is lined up to start a potential Game 7 on Wednesday in L.A.ALSOAccording to a report on FanRagSports.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to hire Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler as their next manager, pending an official announcement. Kapler did not respond to a text message Sunday. Kapler was the runner-up to Roberts to replace Don Mattingly as Dodgers manager in 2015. … According to the network, Game 4 of the World Series registered 15.9 million viewers across FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO. That’s down 8 percent compared to last year (16.7 million), when the Cubs played the Indians, but up 13 percent compared to 2015 (Royals-Mets) and up 43 percent compared to 2014 (Giants-Royals).Staff Writer Bill Plunkett contributed to this report.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Brazil exorcize Paraguay penalty demons to reach Copa semis

first_imgBrazil’s Gabriel Jesus (second from right) celebrating after scoring his penalty to defeat Paraguay in Porto Alegre, BrazilPorto Alegre, Brazil | AFP |  Gabriel Jesus scored the winning spot-kick in a tense penalty shoot-out as Brazil exorcized their demons to beat Paraguay on Thursday and reach the Copa America semi-finals.Twice before in 2011 and 2015 Paraguay had beaten Brazil at this same stage on penalties at the South American extravaganza.Willian came closest to scoring in normal time for Brazil when he hit the post as Paraguay held out for a 0-0 draw for more than 40 minutes following the dismissal of Fabian Balbuena for a professional foul on Roberto Firmino.Brazilian media had been almost in a state of paranoia before the match recalling the painful memories from Argentina in 2011 and Chile four years later when Paraguay produced stubborn defensive displays before snatching victory in the spot-kick lottery.But it wasn’t to be this time as Brazil goalkeeper Alisson saved Gustavo Gomez’s opening spot-kick at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre.Although Firmino dragged his effort wide, Derlis Gonzalez also fired past the post allowing Jesus, who missed a penalty in Brazil’s last match, to be the match-winner.The tournament hosts will face either perennial rivals Argentina or Venezuela in Tuesday’s semi-final in Belo Horizonte.Brazil started brightly and produced a beautiful passing move in the fourth minute as local favorite Everton drove in off the left wing and found Dani Alves on the edge of the area, with the full-back slipping the ball on to Firmino, whose weak shot was straight at goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez.Gremio forward Everton’s popularity was clear in his home stadium as fans wildly cheered his every touch.But the game quickly settled into the expected pattern, with Brazil dominating possession and playing countless passes while a well-drilled Paraguay doggedly held their shape and looked to counter at pace with direct runners.Brazil lacked a cutting edge and even when Philippe Coutinho seemingly played in Firmino behind the defence following a Richard Sanchez mistake, the Liverpool forward was easily muscled off the ball.The best chance of the first quarter fell to Paraguay as Hernan Perez found Gonzalez unmarked at back post but Alisson saved his near post shot.It was turgid fare on offer to the Porto Alegre crowd, who started a slow clap just after the half hour.Brazil reporters had asked coach Tite before the game if he was worried about fouls, which he replied were part of the game. But three Paraguayan players were booked before half-time for overly robust challenges.It wasn’t until five minutes from half time that Coutinho got in behind the defence on the left and fired in a shot from an angle that Fernandez saved comfortably.– Brazil jeered again –Predictably, Brazil were booed off at half-time, for the third time in four matches.Tite wasted no time in making a change, but it was a curious one swapping left-back Felipe Luis for Alex Sandro.Neat interplay saw Firmino tee up Coutinho just outside the box but his precise finish was easily saved again.Brazil had changed tactic and were driving more purposefully at the heart of the defence, with Arthur flashing a shot over the bar.It paid dividends on 54 minutes when Firmino won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area — overturned from the original decision of a penalty by VAR — and Balbuena was shown a red card for a professional foul.Dani Alves’s fierce low free-kick was deflected wide, though.Brazil started to pull Paraguay’s overworked defenders out of position and Arthur forced Fernandez into a diving save before Jesus dragged an effort wide.With Paraguay unable to pose any threat Tite withdrew his defensive midfielder Allan and threw on winger Willian, with Jesus pushed into the middle alongside Firmino.Almost immediately, Jesus missed a gilt-edged chance from eight yards out before Firmino headed a Marquinhos cross wide.Tite went for broke, bringing on attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta for full-back Alves and it almost worked but Willian saw his low left foot shot cannon back off the post sending the match into a tense penalty shoot-out.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more


Laura Loomer the New GOP AOC?

first_imgLoomer says her social-media gag order partly inspired her run.“They silenced me and violated my civil rights,” Loomer explains. “I started thinking to myself, that what happened to me will happen to everyday Americans who don’t have my soap box.”In addition to taking on big tech, Loomer has marketed herself as strongly pro-Israel, tough on terrorism, pro-gun and an unswerving supporter of President Trump.If elected, Loomer says she planned to take on AOC and her Squad mates — several of whom she casually refers to as “Jihadis.”“I am a one-woman squad,” she adds. “Republicans need more firepower. They need people who aren’t going to cower in fear of these women.”Campaign manager Giorno explains, “The experience I had on the campaign with Donald Trump is really one of the reasons why I took a look at Laura Loomer. She reminded me a little bit of Donald Trump. She is very frenetic, in a good way, constant energy, high expectations of herself and others … she impressed me and I don’t get impressed very easily.”Team Loomer add that they expect to blow out the crowded GOP field in the Aug. 18 primary before going into a final matchup with the Democratic incumbent — Lois Frankel, a former West Palm Beach mayor who was elected to Congress in 2013. In 2016, Frankel defeated Republican Paul Spain with 62.7% of the vote, even as Donald Trump won Florida by more than 100,000 votes.Loomer will join Jen and Bill on The South Florida Morning Show, right here on 850 WFTL, Monday morning at 9:35 a.m. A Florida hurricane may be about to make an impact on the nation’s capital…but not the kind you’re probably thinking.Laura Loomer, a 26-year-old conservative who is running for Congress right here in the Sunshine State, is gaining support among activists and donors who believe she is the conservative answer to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.“She’s the Republican’s AOC,” longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone told The New York Post. “She’s young. She’s energetic. She’s feisty. She’s anti-establishment, and she has an enormous national following, as does AOC, which can help finance a congressional race.”Loomer declared her candidacy in the heavily-blue 21st district in August of last year and has had stints at James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas and the Canadian far-right Rebel Media.She is also well known for her criticism of Islam, which has resulted in bans from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Paypal, Venmo, GoFundMe, Lyft, Uber, Uber Eats, and MGM Resorts.Her campaign collected $204,786 in the first quarter of 2020, according to April filings with the Federal Election Commission. That brings her total to nearly $600,000, which is significantly more than her eight GOP primary rivals combined.Home Depot billionaire Bernard Marcus ($2,800) and Eric Javits, a former US ambassador ($1,000), are among Loomer’s more than 9,000 individual donors.Courtesy: Laura Loomer/FacebookKaren Giorno, a 30-year veteran of GOP politics who served as President Trump’s 2016 Florida state director, is running Loomer’s campaign.last_img read more


Mickelson says he’s cooperating in trading probe

first_imgPhil Mickelson adjust his hat as he walks off the first tee during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Dublin, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson confirmed that FBI agents investigating insider trading approached him this week at the Memorial Tournament. The five-time major champion said Saturday he has done “absolutely nothing wrong.”A federal official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press the FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are analyzing trades Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters made involving Clorox at the same time activist investor Carl Icahn was attempting to take over the company.The official was unauthorized to speak about the ongoing investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Reports of the investigation appeared in several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.Smiling as he stood before a room packed with reporters and cameras, Mickelson said the investigation had not been a distraction until FBI agents approached him after his opening round Thursday. He did not offer any other details, including his relationship with Walters or any stock advice he might have received.He said it would not affect his preparations for the U.S. Open in two weeks, the only major he lacks for the career Grand Slam.“It’s not going to change the way I carry myself,” Mickelson said after an even-par 72 at Muirfield Village left him far behind the leaders. “Honestly, I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m not going to walk around any other way.”The federal official told the AP that Mickelson and Walters placed their trades about the same time in 2011. Federal investigators are looking into whether Icahn shared information of his takeover attempt of Clorox with Walters, and whether Walters passed that information to Mickelson.The New York offices of the U.S. Attorney and the FBI declined to comment.The newspaper reports said federal officials also were examining trades by Mickelson and Walters involving Dean Foods Co. in 2012.After a brief interview, Mickelson stepped outside and signed autographs for about 20 minutes, like it was any other day at a tournament. Fans were supportive as ever on the golf course, and Mickelson gave away so many golf balls to children and his caddie asked a tour official to retrieve more balls from his locker when they reached the turn.He had released a statement early Saturday, and said that he wouldn’t release details.“I can’t really go into much right now, but as I said in my statement, I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” Mickelson said. “And that’s why I’ve been fully cooperating with the FBI agents, and I’m happy to do in the future, too, until this gets resolved.”He declined to answer questions about his relationship with Walters, who owns several golf courses. And when asked whether Walters advised him to invest in Clorox or Dean Foods, Mickelson matter-of-factly replied to a Wall Street Journal reporter, “You should know. You wrote the article.”Icahn, 78, is one of Wall Street’s most successful corporate raiders, famous for buying stock in underperforming companies, pressuring them to reform and selling out for a fat profit. In recent years, his targets have included Apple Inc., eBay and Dell Inc. His efforts have made him one of America’s richest people: Forbes magazine puts his net worth at more than $20 billion, making him the 18th-wealthiest American.In the 1980s, he pioneered so-called greenmail raids in which financiers threatened companies with hostile takeovers unless they were paid a premium to go away.Walters is a legendary figure in sports betting circles, widely feared by sports book operators as one of the few people who can consistently win. He’s bet millions on Super Bowls alone, and told “60 Minutes” in a 2011 profile that he has never had a losing year. An early user of computer data, Walters was one of the few bettors whose opinion was so respected that he could move point spreads if it was known what side he was betting on.Walters and a group of bettors dubbed The Computer Group were indicted in the mid-1980s for running what prosecutors said was a bookmaking operation, but were acquitted at trial. Walters was also indicted on money laundering charges in 1998 and had $2.8 million in cash confiscated from a safe deposit box, but the charges were later dismissed and the money returned.Walters was also a high stakes gambler on the golf course, regularly playing celebrities or PGA Tour pros for cash. He told Golf Digest that he once lost a $2 million bet and once made a 40-foot putt worth $400,000. Walters teamed up with touring pro partner Fredrik Jacobson to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by 10 strokes in 2008 while playing as an 11 handicap.Walters also owns golf courses and auto dealerships. Politically connected in Las Vegas, Walters is also known for his philanthropy, particularly toward Opportunity Village, which trains developmentally disabled adults.Mickelson, 43, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He goes to the U.S. Open next month in North Carolina with a chance to become only the sixth golfer to capture all four major championships. He has not won since the British Open last summer in Scotland.Mickelson has long had a reputation to gamble, though he has said he scaled back his habit after his son, Evan, was born in 2003 following a troublesome pregnancy. The most publicized payoff was when Mickelson and friends won $560,000 on a preseason bet (28-1 odds) that the Baltimore Ravens would win the 2001 Super Bowl.On the golf course, he has a long history of playing money games during the practice rounds. He occasionally gets a group of players and caddies together for dinner and small wagering during the NBA and NHL playoffs, and prominent fights.A year ago, Mickelson was criticized for public comments that tax increases in California kept him from being part of the San Diego Padres’ new ownership group and might cause him to leave his native state. He said his federal and state taxes amount to over 60 percent.___Associated Press writer Tom Hays in New York, Associated Press writers Paul Wiseman and Eric Tucker in Washington, AP Sports Writer Tim Dahlberg in Las Vegas and AP Sports Writer Rusty Miller in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.last_img read more