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Full Clapper: 'My Dashboard Warning Light Was Clearly On' Over Trump Campaign's Russia Communications

Full Clapper: 'My Dashboard Warning Light Was Clearly On' Over Trump Campaign's Russia CommunicationsFormer Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells Chuck Todd that he was "very concerned about the nature" of approaches between the Trump campaign and Russian agents during the 2016 elections




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 2:48 AM

Report: WH Prepping ‘War Room’ to Push Back On Russia Investigations

Report: WH Prepping ‘War Room’ to Push Back On Russia InvestigationsAccording to the Washington Post, the White House is looking to go on the offensive after weeks of revelations that have undermined the administration’s credibility.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:31 AM

The Latest: Hundreds evacuated from theater in London

The Latest: Hundreds evacuated from theater in LondonMANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on the concert bombing in Manchester, England (all times local):




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 10:20 AM

Young Boy Thrown Off Slide At Dublin's New Water Park

Young Boy Thrown Off Slide At Dublin's New Water ParkThe water slide that was responsible for the accident, the Emerald Plunge, was shut down and is being reevaluated for possible construction flaws.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 6:48 AM

2 Men Charged After Allegedly Forcing An Alligator to Drink Beer And Then Posting Snapchat Videos of It

2 Men Charged After Allegedly Forcing An Alligator to Drink Beer And Then Posting Snapchat Videos of ItThey then watch the animal swim away.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 5:21 PM

Trump tells 'confidants' U.S. will leave Paris climate deal: Axios

Trump tells 'confidants' U.S. will leave Paris climate deal: AxiosU.S. President Donald Trump has told "confidants," including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge. On Saturday, Trump said in a Twitter post he would make a decision on whether to support the Paris climate deal next week. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 9:33 PM

Bodies of Indian climbers who died on Everest recovered

Bodies of Indian climbers who died on Everest recoveredRescuers have retrieved the body of an Indian climber who died on Mount Everest and airlifted it to Kathmandu on Sunday, along with those of two others who perished last year. Ravi Kumar, 27, died this month after summiting the world's highest mountain and becoming separated from his guide soon afterwards. Rescuers said its recovery was a risky operation.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 9:21 AM

For Siemens and Other Companies, Apprentice Programs

For Siemens and Other Companies, Apprentice ProgramsWhen Siemens wanted to find U.S. workers to build gas turbines, only 15 percent of those who applied had the skills needed.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 11:46 AM

Men Stabbed To Death By Man Spewing Hate Speech At Women Identified By Police: 'He Was a Hero'

Men Stabbed To Death By Man Spewing Hate Speech At Women Identified By Police: 'He Was a Hero'The suspect is facing murder and attempted murder charges.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 1:23 PM

'Close to Treason’ DHS Sec. Kelly Calls Out Intel Leaks

'Close to Treason’ DHS Sec. Kelly Calls Out Intel LeaksHomeland Security Sec. John Kelly tells Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that it’s “totally unacceptable” for intelligence to be leaked, after details of the U.K.'s investigation into the Manchester bombing were published by American news outlets.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 1:50 AM

Post Report On Kushner Overshadows Trump’s End of First Foreign Trip

Post Report On Kushner Overshadows Trump’s End of First Foreign TripThe Washington Post report that Jared Kushner asked for a secret communications channel with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin last December added to the growing controversy surrounding Trump’s son-in-law




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 11:31 AM

Australia's most notorious drug smuggler returns from Bali

Australia's most notorious drug smuggler returns from BaliSYDNEY (AP) — Australian drug smuggler Schapelle Corby, whose trial and imprisonment on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali mesmerized her country for more than a decade, returned home Sunday.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 4:30 AM

Several teachers disciplined after student given 'most likely to become a terrorist' award

Several teachers disciplined after student given 'most likely to become a terrorist' awardLizeth Villanueva, a 13-year-old from the Anthony Aguirre Junior High school in Texas, was handed the certificate one day after the Manchester attack. Ena Hernandez, Lizeth’s mother, said she was upset by prize, especially considering the timing. “I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,” Ms Hernandez told The Washington Post.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 6:07 PM

Rolling Thunder, French Open, Manchester tribute and more — it happened today: May 28 in pictures

Rolling Thunder, French Open, Manchester tribute and more — it happened today: May 28 in picturesMotorcyclists pass Marine Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers, Ret., and Christian Jacobs, 6, of Hertford, N.C., as they salute in Washington; fans watch the qualification round match between Luxemburg’s Gilles Muller and Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez during the French Open in Paris; and marathon runners pay respects at flower tributes in St Ann’s square in Manchester, England. These are some of the photos of the day.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 4:31 PM

Bodies of civilians dumped near Philippines city besieged by Islamists

Bodies of civilians dumped near Philippines city besieged by IslamistsBy Tom Allard MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Bodies of what appeared to be executed civilians were found in a ravine outside a besieged Philippine city on Sunday as a six-day occupation by Islamist rebels fending off a military onslaught took a more sinister turn. The eight dead, most of them shot in the head and some with hands tied behind their backs, were laborers who were stopped by Islamic State-linked militants on the outskirts of Marawi City while trying to flee clashes, according to police. The discovery confirms days of speculation that Maute rebels had killed civilians during a takeover of Marawi, that the military believes is aimed at winning the Maute recognition from the Islamic State as a Southeast Asian affiliate.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 5:38 AM

Anti-jihadist Ramadan advert goes viral

Anti-jihadist Ramadan advert goes viralA video advertisement that depicts a would-be suicide bomber confronted by the faithful has gone viral two days into the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. During that time, believers abstain from eating, drinking -- even of water -- smoking and sexual relations between sunrise and sunset.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:24 AM

2 Toddlers Die After Becoming Trapped In Hot Car

2 Toddlers Die After Becoming Trapped In Hot CarPolice are investigating.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 10:34 AM

NBC News Exclusive: a Look at Taiwan’s Military Drills As China Looms

NBC News Exclusive: a Look at Taiwan’s Military Drills As China LoomsNBC News gained rare access to Taiwanese military exercises, including testing of American-made firepower — all against the threat of a Chinese invasion.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:40 AM

Full Interview: Mitch Landrieu On Removing Confederate Monuments

Full Interview: Mitch Landrieu On Removing Confederate MonumentsNew Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu discusses his decision to remove Confederate monuments from the city in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 9:17 AM

Impeached Leaders Of 21st Century

Impeached Leaders Of 21st CenturyWhile the nation immerses itself in a heated debate over whether President Donald Trump should be impeached, here is a look at the different circumstances under which eight world leaders in the 21st Century were impeached.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 6:00 AM

Jared Kushner’s Growing Stench of Treason

Jared Kushner’s Growing Stench of TreasonNobody knows yet whether the president's son-in-law broke any laws. But "traitor" is more than just a legal term.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 2:15 PM

Soccer, West Point graduation, Kashmiri protests and more — it happened today: May 27 in pictures

Soccer, West Point graduation, Kashmiri protests and more — it happened today: May 27 in picturesCeltic's Tomas Rogic celebrates scoring, graduates of the United States Military Academy toss their hats and more of today’s news from around the world in pictures.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 4:44 PM

Thousands protest against Moscow housing resettlement, but numbers fall

Thousands protest against Moscow housing resettlement, but numbers fallThousands of Muscovites protested in the south-west of the Russian capital on Sunday against government plans to resettle millions of citizens from shoddy Soviet-era apartment blocks, but numbers had fallen compared to earlier rallies. A Reuters witness said around 5,000 people attended the latest rally, compared to organizers' estimates of 60,000 at a protest on May 14. Moscow residents are also concerned about the location and quality of the planned new accommodation, a lack of services and infrastructure and about threats the redevelopment may pose to the historic face of the Russian capital.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:17 AM

General de Gaulle's grave vandalised, say French police

General de Gaulle's grave vandalised, say French policeThe grave of General Charles de Gaulle, France's World War II hero and post-war president, was vandalised on Saturday, police said. De Gaulle led the Free French Forces in London from 1940-44 and reshaped the country's political landscape after the war, founding the Fifth Republic in 1958. De Gaulle died in 1970 shortly before his 80th birthday.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 4:55 PM

Experts say blue whale washed up on Bolinas beach likely hit by ship

Experts say blue whale washed up on Bolinas beach likely hit by shipPeople are flocking to a beach in Bolinas Saturday after an 80-foot-long blue whale washed ashore that mammal experts say was likely struck by a ship.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 9:14 PM

The Latest: FBI assisting investigation in Portland attack

The Latest: FBI assisting investigation in Portland attackPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a stabbing on a Portland, Oregon, train that left two dead (all times local):




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 8:01 PM

3-Week-Old Dies in Dog Attack After Being Left Alone With Family's Three Pit Bulls

3-Week-Old Dies in Dog Attack After Being Left Alone With Family's Three Pit BullsThe mother said she left her alone for five minutes with.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:14 AM

Greg Allman, Founder of the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69

Greg Allman, Founder of the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69The legendary Southern rocker who composed countless hits as frontman for The Allman Brothers Band and battled a very public addiction with drugs died Saturday at his home. He was 69.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 11:41 AM

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ‘refuses to hold Ramadan event’ in break with tradition

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ‘refuses to hold Ramadan event’ in break with traditionDonald Trump’s Secretary of State has refused to host an event to mark Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, seemingly breaking with a long bipartisan tradition. Since 1999, Republican and Democratic secretaries of state have nearly always hosted either the reception or an iftar dinner to break the day’s fast during Ramadan. Mr Tillerson turned down a request from the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host the Eid reception, two unnamed US officials said.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 8:41 AM

Philippines military says close to defeating Islamist rebels

Philippines military says close to defeating Islamist rebelsBy Tom Allard MARAWI, Philippines (Reuters) - The Philippines military said on Monday it was close to retaking a southern city held for a seventh day by Islamist militants, as helicopters unleashed more rockets on positions held by the rebels aligned with Islamic State. The clashes in Marawi city with the Maute militia, a group hardly known a year ago, has become the biggest security challenge of Rodrigo Duterte's 11-month presidency, with gunmen resisting air and ground assaults and still in control of central parts of a city of 200,000 people. The military said the rebels may be getting help from "sympathetic elements" and fighters they had freed from jail during the rampage that started on Tuesday and caught the military by surprise.




POSTED MAY 29, 2017 6:16 AM

Right-wing provocateurs say they are being silenced. Cry me a river | Christian Christensen

Right-wing provocateurs say they are being silenced. Cry me a river | Christian ChristensenWhen those who pontificated about the evils of the “nanny state” and the genius of consumer choice and the “invisible hand” suddenly realize that consumers don’t like them any more, and that the invisible hand is about to yank them out of their position of power.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 6:00 AM

Somali Islamist insurgents stone man to death for adultery

Somali Islamist insurgents stone man to death for adulteryBy Feisal Omar MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Somali Islamist insurgents stoned a man to death on Sunday as punishment for alleged adultery, they said, a reminder that the militia is still strong enough to carry out public executions despite losing its grip on most towns and cities. Hundreds of witnesses watched the death of 44-year-old Dayow Mohamed Hassan in Ramo Adey village in the south-central Bay region, the regional governor representing the al Qaeda-linked insurgency said. Moalim Geedow told Reuters that Hassan was buried neck-deep in a hole then pelted with stones.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 3:09 PM

Civilian deaths a 'fact of life' in war on IS, Pentagon head says

Civilian deaths a 'fact of life' in war on IS, Pentagon head saysCivilian casualties are inevitable in the war against the Islamic State group but the United states is doing "everything humanly possible" to avoid them, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in an interview aired Sunday. A US-led international coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the IS group in Iraq and Syria since 2014, and nongovernmental organizations say the attacks are claiming ever more civilian lives. Some NGOs have blamed the rising civilian death toll on a push by President Donald Trump's administration to accelerate the pace of combat in an effort to "annihilate" the jihadists.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 1:00 PM

Religion, And Why Atheists Aren't Necessarily Sinners

Religion, And Why Atheists Aren't Necessarily SinnersDo we become atheist to just do whatever we want?




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 9:30 AM

Karl: Sources close to president say it may be time for Kushner to take leave of absence

Karl: Sources close to president say it may be time for Kushner to take leave of absenceABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas report on the Russia investigation and latest developments about Jared Kushner.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:17 AM

Slain Virginia drug enforcement officer called "Superman"

Slain Virginia drug enforcement officer called "Superman"RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia State Police special agent fatally shot by a convicted felon in a Richmond public housing complex was remembered Sunday as a man dedicated to improving the lives of children.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 7:52 PM

4-Year-Old's Preschool Teacher To Give Kidney to Boy's Dad: 'She's An Amazing Lady'

4-Year-Old's Preschool Teacher To Give Kidney to Boy's Dad: 'She's An Amazing Lady'Their surgery is set for next month.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 3:41 PM

Sputnik's White House correspondent quits, claiming they would rather have 'propagandists' than 'real journalists'

Sputnik's White House correspondent quits, claiming they would rather have 'propagandists' than 'real journalists'Sputnik’s White House correspondent, Andrew Feinberg, has quit the Russian-state news organisation, claiming they would rather have “propagandists” than “real journalists”. Mr Feinberg, has taken to social media to give full details about his reasoning for resigning and has claimed he was forced to chase stories that were contrary to the facts on the ground. “Seems Sputnik isn't happy with real journalists.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 7:53 AM

G7 leaders divided on climate change, closer on trade issues

G7 leaders divided on climate change, closer on trade issuesBy John Irish and Crispian Balmer TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - Under pressure from Group of Seven allies, U.S. President Donald Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism on Saturday, but refused to endorse a global climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide. The summit of G7 wealthy nations pitted Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled. "We are satisfied by how things went," said Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, while acknowledging splits with Washington in some areas.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 2:36 PM

Islamist militants kill 19 in south Philippines: army

Islamist militants kill 19 in south Philippines: armyIslamist militants locked in street-to-street battles with security forces in a southern Philippine city have killed 19 civilians, the military said Sunday, bringing the official death toll from nearly a week of fighting to at least 85. The violence prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law on Tuesday across the southern third of the Philippines to quell what he said was a fast-growing threat of militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 12:32 AM

Meet the Three Brothers Who Just Graduated West Point Together

Meet the Three Brothers Who Just Graduated West Point TogetherThe Ogrydcziak brothers graduated in the same class on Saturday, the first time that has happened at the famed military academy in more than 30 years.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 11:57 AM

Palestinians end mass hunger strike in Israel jails

Palestinians end mass hunger strike in Israel jailsHundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17 have ended their mass protest after Israel agreed a deal following weeks of refusing to negotiate, sources on both sides said on Saturday. Some 30 of the more than 800 hunger strikers had been hospitalised in recent days, raising fears of an escalation of clashes with Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians hailed the deal as a victory for the hunger strikers after Israeli authorities repeatedly vowed not to negotiate with convicted "terrorists".




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 7:36 AM

Student Loan Debt In The US Is So High That Many Aren't Even Paying It

Student Loan Debt In The US Is So High That Many Aren't Even Paying ItMore and more Americans are struggling to make their loan payments -- and it's a real problem.




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 10:30 AM

Report: After Pulse massacre, police training needs changes

Report: After Pulse massacre, police training needs changesORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — As a law enforcement foundation reviews how the Orlando Police Department responded to a 2016 mass shooting at a gay nightclub, the organization's staffers say in a paper that police training and protocols may need to change.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 4:53 PM

Two men killed in Oregon train stabbings after anti-Muslim rant

Two men killed in Oregon train stabbings after anti-Muslim rantA man fatally stabbed two passengers aboard a Portland, Oregon, commuter train after they tried to stop him from harassing two young women who appeared to be Muslim, police said on Saturday. Police identified the assailant, who was arrested soon after the Friday afternoon attack, as Jeremy Joseph Christian of Portland, a 35-year-old convicted felon. A senior researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a blog post, said Christian's Facebook page showed he held "some racist and other extremist beliefs." The attack unfolded hours before the start of Ramadan, Islam's holy month, when most of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims observe a daily religious fast.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 6:01 PM

Double Up on Sun Safety

Double Up on Sun SafetyConsumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Here comes summer—and along with it, poolside parties and beach vacations. If you plan on taking refuge from the sun's U...




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 2:04 PM

Mother charged with involuntary manslaughter after accidentally smothering son as she slept

Mother charged with involuntary manslaughter after accidentally smothering son as she sleptA mother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after she allegedly smothered her child while they slept next to each other. Arissa Ward, 23, called police in Middleton, Pennsylvania, on 30 December last year after finding her infant son unresponsive on the couch next to her where they had been sleeping. The coroner also found traces of marijuana in the child’s system as Ms Ward had been breastfeeding.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 6:04 PM

Why 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes are the most powerful meme of the resistance yet

Why 'Handmaid's Tale' costumes are the most powerful meme of the resistance yetEarlier this week, 18 women dressed up in red cloaks and white bonnets, stood in pairs in the rotunda of the Texas state capitol, and began chanting, "Shame!" in unison. They didn't stop shouting for eight minutes.  They call themselves the Texas handmaids. You probably first saw them back in March, when images of their original protest in Austin went viral. That's when they sat silently in the Texas senate gallery, watching as lawmakers debated bills that would make it harder for women to get an abortion. SEE ALSO: Ivanka Trump is not your friend and she's not coming to save you What you may not know is that their demonstrations, inspired by Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale and Hulu's vivid TV adaptation, are slowly spreading across the country. Women are holding sewing parties to turn yards of blood-red fabric into capes. They're swapping ideas on private Facebook pages about how to stage protests. They're even planning a coordinated demonstration where dozens of handmaids simultaneously show up at state capitols or in other public places in cities across the country.   #fightbackTX #sb8 pic.twitter.com/SnA8ndmHge — Shift. (@shift_stigma) May 23, 2017 If the visually striking meme takes off, it could become one of the most effective acts of protest from the resistance. The sight of even a dozen women wearing the handmaid costume, while staying silent and keeping their heads down, offers a stark contrast to a group of mostly white men deliberating over what happens to their bodies. The imagery is practically made for the digital era.  The point, activists say, is to send a powerful message: We're closer to a government that strips women of their bodily autonomy than you might think.  Shame on the #txlege for continuing to pass unconstitutional, dangerous abortion restrictions #fightbacktx pic.twitter.com/h7Xw05w5mV — NARAL Pro-Choice TX (@naraltx) May 23, 2017 "The easiest way we try to explain it is that the handmaids represent a future where women are nothing more than their reproductive capacity," says Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. "Unfortunately, with the laws that are being passed, that future is not so unrealistic and not so distant."  The idea to enlist Texas women as handmaids started with Busby a few months ago. She happened to see women dressed as the title character from The Handmaid's Tale at South by Southwest. That was a marketing stunt by Hulu, the streaming entertainment provider that brought Atwood's novel to the small screen.  But Busby then joked on Facebook about how someone should send the handmaids down to the capitol, where lawmakers had been busy introducing bills that would curtail abortion rights. Soon NARAL Pro-Choice Texas ordered white bonnets from Amazon Prime and a volunteer rented red capes. A small group of volunteers quickly drew up a plan. They liked the element of surprise in showing up at the capitol in costume — and wanted to let legislators know that women were watching. After that yielded local and national press coverage of the legislative agenda in Texas, activists around the country started reaching out to Busby for tips on how to start their own handmaids brigade.  We have to get creative to make our voices heard, so the Handmaids made a trip back to the Capitol to protest anti-abortion laws. #txlege pic.twitter.com/MIagryJKpL — Shift. (@shift_stigma) May 9, 2017 You could argue that all of this is moot, that the United States is nowhere close to becoming the Republic of Gilead, The Handmaid's Tale's totalitarian, theocratic state that freezes women's bank accounts, forbids them to work, sends them to re-education camps, and forces many of them to bear children for leaders and their wives.  The New York Times' conservative columnist Ross Douthat argued this week that liberals are seeing the wrong parallels. On the same day, Times op-ed contributor Mona Eltahawy wrote that the Republic of Gilead already exists in Saudi Arabia, where women can't drive and may be imprisoned for disobedience. For her part, Atwood has said that nothing in her novel hasn't already happened before in history.  For the volunteers who are deep into the work of creating and wearing the costumes in public, it's not about whether they still have credit cards or the right to get a job. What they see is the federal and state governments largely in the hands of conservative, even authoritarian, men who've vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and roll back reproductive health rights like abortion and access to affordable birth control. At the same time, those men plan to funnel money to abstinence-only education and vouchers for "school choice," which includes religious schools.  The fact that they're led by Donald Trump terrifies these women.  "We have somebody in the White House who thinks it's OK to grab women and do whatever he wants, and I'm supposed to sit back and be cool with that?" says Emily Morgan, executive director of Action Together New Hampshire, an activist group that emerged in the wake of Trump's election.  Earlier this month, Morgan contacted Busby for details on how to create handmaid costumes. But instead of bringing women into the New Hampshire legislative gallery during a debate or hearing, Morgan and her co-organizers asked them to appear at a press conference calling for the resignation of Rep. Robert Fisher, a Republican who The Daily Beast identified in April as the creator and former moderator of Reddit's popular men's rights "Red Pill" forum. The message board bills itself as a "discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men," and Fisher regularly questioned whether rape is real, according to The Daily Beast. (Fisher resigned later in the day following the press conference.)  A sexual assault survivor with handmaids demanding Rep. Robert Fisher's resignation, on May 17, 2017, in Concord, N.H.Image: Granite State Progress"Fisher and the Red Pill embody exactly what The Handmaid's Tale is a foreshadowing of or is a warning against," Morgan says. "Saying that we're not there — it's sort of degrading to what's actually happening to women."  In the days before the press conference, volunteers made six costumes, but some of the women bowed out after learning the media would be in attendance. Morgan says they feared in-person and online harassment. Nevertheless, she thinks more women will step forward to participate in upcoming demonstrations, particularly since volunteers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are sewing new cloaks so that activists in New England quickly have access to them for future protests.  The time-intensive, costly aspect of buying the bonnets and making the cloaks is one challenge to growing the handmaid ranks. There's also the danger that different groups will splinter in an effort to launch the first nationwide demonstration. Morgan is moderating a private Facebook page to coordinate a national action. A similar page started by one of the Texas handmaids has close to 300 members.  #HandmaidsTale in the House, wondering why hats are allowed on the floor today but not theirs #moleg #PraiseBe pic.twitter.com/7PhAMzTnaL — NARAL Missouri (@NARALMissouri) May 3, 2017 The handmaids' signature costumes are also a relatively obscure reference compared to pussyhats, the knit pink caps that have become a symbol of the resistance. But they're also memorable even if you don't know the origin.  Ane Crabtree, the costume designer for the Hulu series, says the outfit's visual power is rooted in both the bright red color, which can signify blood, birth, and passion, and how the cloak conceals women who wear it. The combination tells the viewer what she needs to know about how the body underneath the costume is oppressed.  "It's an easy form of expression to say that everything's been taken away and is being taken away, and it’s a real thing," says Crabtree, who is encouraged and inspired by people making their own version of the costume.  Deborah Marsh, a 65-year-old retiree who is one of the Texas handmaids, says people who get the reference often approach her on the street or in the capitol's rotunda to thank her profusely for the act of defiance. Some, however, have seen the symbolism and don't like it. Marsh says a few people on the street have had "outbursts" or called the women "pathetic."  And the handmaids are sneaking peeks from their smart phones. #TXlege https://t.co/tG1lcX16uI — Joe Pojman, Ph.D. (@joepojman) May 19, 2017 Joe Pojman, executive director of the anti-abortion rights nonprofit group Texas Alliance for Life, seemed to criticize the handmaids a few times, focusing on the fact that they've used smartphones while silently protesting in the gallery, a silly point that Marsh feels makes their case about men who are obsessed with policing women's behavior.  What Marsh didn't expect was how confident she would feel while wearing the costume. "It's such a bold costume, it's making such a bold statement," she says. "And my body is inside that costume, so why wouldn’t I feel bold? Why wouldn't I feel empowered?"  The spirit of @MargaretAtwood is with us today and every day in the #txlege as they continue to take away reproductive rights. pic.twitter.com/fGEzy73LvE — Blake Rocap (@BlakeRocap) March 20, 2017 Among reproductive rights activists like Marsh, the Texas legislature is infamous for its anti-abortion legislation. In 2013, the state passed a law that effectively led to the closure of dozens of abortion clinics, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional last year. The Republican-led legislature recently voted to ban the safest type of second-trimester abortion and require hospitals and abortion clinics to bury fetal remains, including those from miscarriages that happen at home. Texas has already moved to keep Planned Parenthood from state and federal funding.  In other words, as Texas limits access to both abortion and reproductive health care like birth control, it's easy to imagine a future in which women have little practical control over how and when they have children. That vision shouldn't be limited to Texas either; other Republican-dominated states are pursuing a similar agenda with regard to limiting access to reproductive health care, as is the Trump administration.  "I still have a credit card, I still have a nice car, but I can feel the future here," Marsh says. "If [people] aren't affected by it today, they are going to be affected by it in four yours. Texas is a little bit ahead of the game." Stephanie Martin, a mom from Round Rock, in central Texas, who recently dressed up as a handmaid for the first time, says she's realistic about who the message is going to reach.  "Am I going to change someone's mind who is pro-life?" she asks. "I don't expect that. I'm aiming higher. I want to change the culture." It's still early to gauge exactly how that culture will respond beyond the videos and photos that have gone viral. But the parallel between the male aggression and control that characterizes Gilead feels particularly fresh in a week where a Republican congressional candidate body slammed a reporter for asking a question he didn't like, and the president appeared to shove aside a European leader to get a better position in a photo-op.  Let's not forget the complicity of Ivanka Trump, who promotes herself as a champion of gender equality but says nothing critical about healthcare and budget proposals that are arguably hostile to women. Nor can we ignore the benign-looking malevolence of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who couldn't come up with a single instance of discrimination at publicly funded schools that would give her pause when asked about it at a congressional hearing. In Gilead, after all, the women who are not outrightly oppressed get the privilege of wielding what small power they have against the vulnerable and marginalized.  Morgan admits that some people won't make connections between what's happening today and Atwood's fiction. Yet she urges skeptics to focus less on a dramatic, sweeping end to women's rights. What's more important, at this point, is the underlying implication of attitudes and laws that see no harm in making it more difficult or even impossible for women to determine their own fate. "These are steps on the same path," she says of the parallels between Gilead and Trump's America. "You have to start somewhere."  WATCH: Pete Souza's perfectly timed Insta-shade only keeps getting better and better




POSTED MAY 28, 2017 9:00 AM

Anti-India protests hit Kashmir after top rebel is killed

Anti-India protests hit Kashmir after top rebel is killedSRINAGAR, India (AP) — One civilian was killed and dozens of others injured Saturday after massive anti-India protests and clashes erupted in Indian-controlled Kashmir following the killing of a prominent rebel commander and his associate in a gunbattle with government forces in the disputed region.




POSTED MAY 27, 2017 10:28 AM

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