News of Major League Baseball’s decision to pull this summer’s All-Star Game from Georgia over its sweeping new voting law reverberated across the U.S. Saturday with a fiery statement from former President Donald Trump denouncing cancel culture while calling for a boycott of a number of U.S. corporations. Georgia’s Gov. Brian Kemp vowed to defend the measure, saying “free and fair elections” are worth any threats, boycotts or lawsuits.
The Republican governor said at a news conference that MLB “caved to fear and lies from liberal activists” when it yanked the July 13 game from Atlanta’s Truist Park. He added the decision will hurt working people in the state and have long-term consequences on the economy.
“I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,” Kemp said.
“Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta may be scared of Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and the left, but I am not,” he said, referring to companies that have also criticized the new law.
Trump also blasted the league’s move, while former President Barack Obama congratulated MLB for its decision, saying there was no better way for baseball to honor Aaron, “who always led by example.”
“Happy Easter!” pic.twitter.com/Bo6802owC3
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona)
Trump in a “Happy Easter” message condemned what he claims is “WOKE CANCEL CULTURE” while calling for a boycott of MLB, Coca-Cola, Delta, ViacomCBS, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck.
Trump’s statement concluded, “Never submit, never give up! The Radical Left will destroy our country if we let them. We will not become a Socialist Nation. Happy Easter!”
Three groups already have filed a lawsuit over the measure, which adds greater legislative control over how elections are run and includes strict identification requirements for voting absentee by mail. It also limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line, among other provisions.
Critics say the law will disproportionately affect communities of color.
Georgia Republicans say the changes were needed to maintain voter confidence in the election system, and the governor insists opponents have mischaracterized what the law does. Yet GOP lawmakers made the revisions largely in response to false claims of fraud in the 2020 elections made by Trump and his supporters.
Abrams, who has championed voting rights since narrowly losing to Kemp in the 2018 election, is among those who have spoken out against the law. The Democrat is being closely watched to see if she seeks a 2022 rematch.
Baseball fans, meanwhile, appeared divided on pulling the game from Georgia.
Patrick Smith, a lifelong Braves fan in Ellisville, Mississippi, said he thinks the league made the right decision and noted that not taking a stand would have polarized some supporters.
“When governments restrict access to the ballot box, someone has to step in to encourage these entities to roll back those measures,” he said.
Lorre Sweetman, in Kahului, Hawaii, said it was a poor move by MLB because it wasn’t based on the actual new voting laws but on “political pandering” and misinformation.
Still, while some fans upset about the decision have called for a boycott of professional baseball, she said she will not stop watching games and her three grandsons are still learning the sport.
“They caved to pressure without considering the message this sends to fans who just want to enjoy the game and support their team,” she said. “We need to take politics out of sports.”
But Dick Pagano, a baseball fan in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, said he will not watch or attend any games this year.
“They shot themselves in the foot,” said Pagano, who added he will be disappointed to miss the planned Hank Aaron celebration during the All-Star Game, because he once saw him play in the 1957 World Series. Aaron, who played for the Braves in Atlanta and Milwaukee for most of his career, faced extensive hate mail and racism as he closed in on breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record.
Jeffrey Guterman, a retired mental health counselor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who calls himself an amateur baseball historian, said the decision shows baseball changing with the times.
“I’m surprised when people argue that moving it away from Atlanta is a bad move because it would bring lots of money to the area,” he said. “The question is what costs more, moving the All-Star Game or reinforcing the oppression of votes.”
The league did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred previously said he made the call to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft from Atlanta after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year. A new ballpark for the events wasn’t immediately revealed.
Kemp also criticized the league for not trying to improve voter access in its home state of New York, where he said voters need an excuse to vote by mail and have fewer days of early voting than in Georgia. He said its decision means “cancel culture” is coming for American businesses and jobs.
Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said he’s asked his staff to begin drafting a bill to remove the league’s antitrust law exemption in response to the decision.
“An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans support requiring an ID to vote, and any organization that abuses its power to oppose secure elections deserves increased scrutiny under the law,” he said in a tweet.
Baseball antitrust exemptions, in place since a 1922 Supreme Court decision, primarily allow MLB to prevent franchise moves without owner approval.
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Saudi Arabia Goes Full On ISIS To Terrify The World – News Punch
At the cost to world peace, the Saudi government experiments with terror on its perceived Shia enemies.
Dan Sanchez reports: The Saudis Go Full ISIS
In Their US-Backed Takfiri War on the Shia
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Saudi Arabia has perpetrated a mass execution that puts ISIS’s beach beheadings to shame. Forty-seven heads rolled on Saturday. One of them belonged to Nimr al-Nimr, a revered Shi’ite cleric who had been sentenced to death for sermons in which he criticized the government (especially for its persecution of the country’s Shi’ite minority). His brother has been sentenced to be crucified.
This was done as the Saudis continue to drop American bombs on Shia in Yemen (boosting Al Qaeda there) and to hire jihadis to help ISIS and Al-Qaeda kill Shia in Syria.
It is no mystery why the Saudis are such brothers in arms with the Bin Ladenites, sharing both their hyper-sectarian aims and their gruesome methods. The Wahhabist Saudis and the Salafist terrorists are both “Takfiris”: theocratic, fundamentalist Sunnis who justify sectarian persecution and bloodshed on the grounds that their victims are not true Muslims, but apostates.
Both the Saudis and ISIS regularly behead people for apostasy. The Saudis just do it in white robes and with swords, while ISIS does it in black pajamas and with knives. Saudi Arabia (the older, bigger oil rich extremist theocracy between the two) has been aptly characterized as “An ISIS That Has Made It.” The Saudis are so sensitive about this obvious comparison, they threaten to sue anyone who makes it.
The House of Saud relies on the support of the country’s Wahhabi clerics for its divine right to rule. To appease the clerics and their threateningly zealous followers, the Saudis must constantly promote their extremist brand of Islam both within the country and internationally. They do this by using billions of petrodollars to finance both indoctrination (state-sponsored radical madrassas, media propaganda, etc) and jihad (the CIA-backed Afghan Jihad of the 80s, the CIA-backed Syrian Jihad underway now, etc). Saudi support for the Afghan Jihad resulted in the rise of Al Qaeda. Saudi support for the Syrian Jihad resulted in the rise of ISIS.
Since 2006, the Saudis have been obsessed with waging a proxy jihad against what it conceives as a burgeoning Iran-led “Shia Crescent” (including Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, and Yemen) that threatens their interests in the region. This anti-Shia vendetta has been supported by its fellow Gulf sheikhdoms, the US, the EU, Turkey, and Israel.
Starting in 2011, this campaign went into overdrive in Syria, where the Saudis and their Western and regional allies have sided with and sponsored the Takfiri militants fighting to conquer and “cleanse” the Levant. That axis is being opposed by “Crescent” powers and by Russia.
In 2015, another front opened up in Yemen, where the Saudis began a US-supplied brutal air war against that country’s new Shiite Houthi government and a starvation blockade of its people. This war has helped the Takfiri terrorists of AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) conquer territory in the country.
With the beheading of Nimr, this proxy war between the Saudis and Iran has threatened to become a direct conflict. Enraged at the execution, Shi’ite protesters in Iran ransacked and firebombed the Saudi embassy. The Saudis reacted by completely breaking off diplomatic contact with Iran. Soon after, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan slashed ties as well. It should be noted that Bahrain is a majority Shi’ite country oppressively ruled by Sunni governing minority.
Given how quickly the Gulf sheikdoms made such a serious break over an incident that involved no bloodshed and likely no state involvement (the Iranian government arrested several of the protesters), it seems likely that the Saudis were itching for an excuse to ramp up the conflict and hoped the execution of the cleric would provoke Iran into providing one.
The severing of diplomacy is often a prelude to full war. If a direct war between the Saudis and Iran were to break out, the blood-drenched chaos now afflicting the Middle East would widen even further. It would also pull each country’s allies even deeper into conflict, possibly leading to full-on direct war between Israel and Hezbollah, Turkey and Syria, even NATO and Russia.
We in America must demand that our government stop sending terror toys to Takfiris before the Saudis and their fellow travelers in ISIS and Al Qaeda precipitate a world war in which we could all lose our heads.
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WORLD NEWS: MH17 plane crash families prepare for critical trial phase – U-S-NEWS.COM
MH17 plane crash families prepare for critical trial phase
June 4, 2021
By Stephanie van den Berg
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Families of people who died in the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 said they were preparing to hear painful details when a critical stage of a trial over the crash starts on Monday.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting with Ukrainian government troops, international investigators say.
All 298 people on board were killed, two-thirds of them Dutch nationals.
Dutch judges overseeing the murder trial of three Russians and a Ukrainian man accused of having responsibility for the downing will summarise evidence at the hearing in a high-security courtroom next to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
“On the one hand we want to know exactly what happened, why it happened and who was responsible, but the price you pay for that is that there is also information released that could be shocking,” Piet Ploeg, a spokesman for the relatives, said.
“Eventually that should lead to getting justice and justice includes at least that we have an independent court rule on who was responsible,” he told Reuters. Ploeg lost his brother, sister-in-law and nephew in the crash.
After years of collecting evidence, a team of international investigators concluded in May 2018 that the missile launcher used to shoot down the aircraft belonged to Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade.
The Dutch government holds Moscow responsible. Russia denies any involvement.
Prosecutors, who say the four defendants all held leading positions in pro-Russian militias operating in Ukraine, will present evidence and may call witnesses, court officials said.
None of the defendants are in custody. One, Russian Oleg Pulatov, is represented in the proceedings and has said he had no involvement in the crash.
The other three are being tried in absentia and have not appointed lawyers to represent them.
Prosecutors say the investigation into MH17 is still ongoing and they are looking at other possible suspects, including the people who manned the missile system and ordered its firing.
After the prosecution presents its view on the judges’ summary of the case file on June 17 and 18, the defence will have an opportunity to respond.
No date has yet been set for closing arguments, but the court said that victims’ families could address the judges directly about the impact of the crash on their lives in hearings in September.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Anthony Deutsch and Andrew Heavens)
question, you know it’s been at least
15 years since I’ve been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
where you read about this ?
of course I can, it was here
WORLD NEWS: WHO asks for re-checks of research on when coronavirus first surfaced in Italy – U-S-NEWS.COM
June 2, 2021
By Emilio Parodi
MILAN (Reuters) -Samples from a study suggesting the coronavirus was circulating outside China by October 2019 have been re-tested at the World Health Organization’s (WTO) request, two scientists who led the Italian research said.
There is growing international pressure to learn more about the origins of the pandemic that has killed more than 3 million people worldwide and U.S. President Joe Biden last week ordered his aides to find answers.
The WHO said on Friday experts were preparing a proposal on the next studies to be carried out into the origins of the virus, but that there was no set timeline. [nL2N2ND20N]
The UN body reacted to Biden’s announcement that intelligence agencies were pursuing rival theories, including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China, by saying the search was being “poisoned by politics”.
COVID-19 was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, while Italy’s first patient was detected on Feb. 21 last year in a small town near Milan.
However, a study published last year suggested antibodies to either the virus or a variant were detected in Italy in 2019.
That prompted Chinese state media to suggest the virus might not have originated in China, although the Italian researchers stressed the findings raised questions about when the virus first emerged rather than where.
“The WHO asked us if we could share the biological material and if we could re-run the tests in an independent laboratory. We accepted,” Giovanni Apolone, scientific director of one of the lead institutions, the Milan Cancer Institute (INT), said.
The WHO’s request has not previously been reported.
“WHO is in contact with the researchers that had published the original paper. A collaboration with partner laboratories has been set up for further testing,” a WHO spokesman said.
The spokesman said the WHO was aware that the researchers are planning to publish a follow-up report “in the near future”.
He said the UN agency has contacted all researchers who have published or provided information on samples collected in 2019 that were reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, but does not yet have the final interpretation of the results.
The Italian researchers’ findings, published by the INT’s scientific magazine Tumori Journal, showed neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in blood taken from healthy volunteers in Italy in October 2019 during a lung cancer screening trial.
Most of the volunteers were from Lombardy, the northern region around Milan, which was the first and hardest hit by the virus in Italy.
“None of the studies published so far have ever questioned the geographical origin,” Apolone told Reuters.
“The growing doubt is that the virus, probably less powerful compared to later months, was circulating in China long before the reported cases,” Apolone added.
The WHO chose the laboratory of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam for the re-test, Emanuele Montomoli, co-author of the original study and professor of Public Health at the Molecular Medicine Department in the University of Siena, said.
The Erasmus University did not reply to requests for comment.
Italian researchers sent the team in Rotterdam 30 biological samples from October-December 2019 that they had found positive, 30 samples from the same period they had tested negative and 30 samples from as far back as 2018, negative.
“We sent them blind, that means our colleagues did not know which samples were positive and which negative,” Apolone said.
“They rechecked our samples with commercial tests, which are much less sensitive than the ones we devised and validated,” Montomoli said.
Despite the differences in the two detection methods, both Italian scientists said they were satisfied with the results, delivered to them in late February, adding that they could not comment further until the team of Italian and Dutch scientists have published their findings.
“We did not say in our study that we could establish without a doubt that the coronavirus, later sequenced in Wuhan, was already circulating in Italy in October,” Montomoli said.
“We only found the response to the virus, namely the antibodies. So we can say that this coronavirus or a very similar one, perhaps a less transmissible variant, was circulating here in October,” he added.
(Reporting by Emilio ParodiEditing by Keith Weir and Alexander Smith)
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