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Dems have chance to get it right on sexual misconduct

first_imgBut the scandal has also forced Democrats to re-examine their own history of responding to accusations of sexual assault, especially when new claims surface against one of their own.Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has been accused of unwanted kissing and groping by a former model during a 2006 USO tour.Leann Tweeden recounted the incident in a blog post for the radio station where she works as an anchor and included a photo of Franken’s hands over her breasts while she slept.Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said he hopes there soon will be an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee, which has the authority to recommend expelling a senator.“Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated,” Schumer said in a statement.But this is not the same approach Democrats took decades ago when President Bill Clinton was facing allegations of sexual assault and harassment, a point Donald Trump and Republicans often made during the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton attempted to draw attention to the allegations against Trump.More than two decades ago, Democrats did not immediately believe the accusers. “The party was on the wrong side of history, and there are consequences for that.“Yet expedience is not the only reason to make this public accounting. If it is possible for politics and moral behavior to coexist, then this grave wrong needs to be acknowledged.“If Weinstein and Mark Halperin and Louis C. K. and all the rest can be held accountable, so can our former president and so can his party, which so many Americans so desperately need to rise again.”Democrats often campaign on being the party of women.Now is the opportunity to put action and policies behind campaign rhetoric and tweets.Eugene Scott writes about identity politics for The Washington Post’s The Fix. He was previously a breaking news reporter at CNN Politics.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation James Carville, Clinton’s then-strategist, once infamously said: “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”In a 1998 New York Times op-ed, feminist Gloria Steinem went as far as to blame the women in a manner that most would consider victim-blaming in 2017.Some have said, if they could turn back time, they’d approach the allegations against Clinton differently.With Franken, Democrats now have a chance.And many have responded strongly.Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the highest-ranking female Democratic senator, said: “This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad that Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it.”And Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, said: “There is never an excuse for this behavior – ever. What Senator Franken did was wrong, and it should be referred to the Ethics Committee for review.” Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON – All eyes have been on the Republican Party following the growing sexual misconduct allegations against their Senate candidate in Alabama.Most Democratic lawmakers who have spoken publicly about the allegations have called for an end to former judge Roy Moore’s political career.Capitol Hill has no place for politicians accused of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, they say. Franken first issued a brief apology and said he didn’t recall the incident the way Tweeden did, but he later issued a longer apology: “There’s no excuse” he said.He welcomed the ethics investigation, saying he will “gladly cooperate.”While Franken’s acknowledgment of his problematic behavior is a different approach taken by Moore or Trump, Democrats have to ask themselves: Will we respond to our own tribe with the intensity that they did Moore?While Franken has already agreed to participate in the investigation, only time will tell how his fellow party members will respond to these allegations.History has not consistently been on their side on this matter.The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan wrote:“The Democratic Party needs to make its own reckoning of the way it protected Bill Clinton. The party needs to come to terms with the fact that it was so enraptured by their brilliant, Big Dog president and his stunning string of progressive accomplishments that it abandoned some of its central principles.last_img read more

Opinion: Midlands needs vision

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Bonny on the Clyde

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Agent Ollerton lodged ‘bogus’ work invoices

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LandSecs plots hi-tech strategy

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Edinburgh brewery revamp

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PREMIUMJakarta poverty rate drops to third-lowest level since ‘reformasi’

first_imgForgot Password ? Log in with your social account Jakarta’s poverty rate — the ratio between the number of poor people and the total population — was recorded at 3.42 percent in September last year, the third lowest since widespread reforms were introduced in 1998. The lowest rate of 3.14 percent was recorded in 2001, while the second of 3.18 percent was recorded in 2004, according to a data released on Jan. 15 by Statistics Indonesia’s (BPS) Jakarta office.BPS Jakarta head Buyung Airlangga said poverty in the city was complex because the breadwinner in a poor family had to provide for nearly six family members. A 2018 Susenas survey by Statistics Indonesia found that a poor family consisted of at least five members and its affluent counterpart consisted of at least three members.”Therefore, the fact that the Jakarta administration managed to lower the poverty rate was worth noting given the complexity of the pr… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Facebook Google Linkedin #poverty poverty #UrbanPoor poverty-rate urban-poor #Jakartalast_img read more

WHO calls for calm after Indonesia confirms cases of COVID-19

first_imgThe organization recommended that the public wash their hands properly by using clean running water and soap, or alcohol-based hand rub, and avoid close contact with any individual with a fever or cough.Paranietharan said children were not known to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.“Risk of severe disease is high for those over 60 years old and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease,” Paranietharan said.Monday’s announcement added Indonesia to the list of coronavirus-hit countries after the archipelago claimed there were zero cases for almost two months since the virus first emerged from Wuhan in late December.Many residents of the nation’s capital reportedly responded to the announcement by frantically stocking up on supplies, most notably face masks and hand sanitizers, at convenience stores across the city – a phenomenon known as panic buying – amid fears of a possible coronavirus outbreak in the city.Indonesia’s previous zero cases had raised concerns from many about the detection ability in the country of more than 260 million people, especially as reports had emerged of COVID-19 cases outside Indonesia in which the patients had visited the archipelago before being declared positive in other countries.The global death toll from COVID-19 soared pass 3,000 on Monday as the virus has now infected more than 89,000 people and spread to more than 60 countries to date, AFP reported. (rfa)Topics : President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday that two Indonesians tested positive for COVID-19, the first two confirmed cases of the disease brought by the coronavirus originating from China.Jokowi said the two people, a 64-year-old and her 31-year-old daughter, both residents of Depok in West Java, had been in contact with a Japanese citizen who tested positive in Malaysia on Feb. 27 after visiting Indonesia in early February.The WHO further urged citizens to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as tend to their personal hygiene, to reduce possible risks of viral infection.Read also: Indonesia monitors dozens in contact with first two COVID-19 cases in Greater Jakarta The World Health Organization has called on the public in general to remain calm after Indonesia confirmed its first coronavirus cases in the country, as the UN health body raised the possibility that more cases may be detected in the near future.“We are not surprised by the announcement and we can anticipate more cases in the coming days. Early detection of cases and laboratory confirmation is critical,” WHO representative to Indonesia N. Paranietharan said in a statement on Monday.“We have been working closely with the government to prepare for this scenario. Now that it is a reality, it is important that we ensure the activities planned during preparedness are implemented quickly.”last_img read more

California declares emergency over coronavirus as death toll rises in US

first_imgThe US death toll from coronavirus infections rose to 11 on Wednesday as new cases emerged around New York City and Los Angeles, while Seattle-area health officials sought to allay anxiety and discourage social gatherings amid the nation’s largest outbreak.The first California death from the virus was an elderly person in Placer County, near Sacramento, health officials said. The person had underlying health problems and likely had been exposed on a cruise ship voyage between San Francisco and Mexico last month.It was the first coronavirus fatality in the United States outside of Washington state, where 10 people have died in a cluster of at least 39 infections that have emerged through community transmission of the virus in two Seattle-area counties. Although the Placer County patient who died was not believed to have contracted the virus locally, that case and a previous one from the San Francisco Bay Area linked to the same ocean liner have led health authorities to seek other cruise passengers who may have had close contact with those two individuals.Hours after the person’s death was announced, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency in response to the coronavirus, which he said has resulted in 53 cases across the nation’s most populous state.”The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said in a statement.Six new coronavirus patients were confirmed in Los Angeles County, public health officials said on Wednesday. One was a federal contractor who may have been exposed while conducting medical screenings at Los Angeles International Airport, the US Department of Homeland Security reported. Three others likely were infected while traveling recently to northern Italy, one of the areas hardest hit in the global outbreak. Of the six in Los Angeles County, only one has been hospitalized. The other five are recovering in home isolation.The greater Seattle region represents the biggest concentration of cases detected in the United States from a virus that has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide, mostly in China, where the epidemic originated in December.With most of the Seattle-area cases not linked to travel or exposure to people who might have been infected abroad, that means the virus has gone from being an imported phenomenon to taking up residence in Washington state, health officials say.At least 18 cases, including six deaths, were connected to a long-term nursing facility for the elderly, called LifeCare Center of Kirkland, in a Seattle suburb.’DISTANCING MEASURES’Seattle health authorities urged a number of measures for curbing further spread of the disease, including recommendations for anyone aged 60 and older and individuals with underlying chronic health problems or compromised immunity to stay home and away from large gatherings and public places.They also urged companies to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible, stagger shifts to ease commuter congestion on public transportation and avoid large work-related gatherings when possible.”The distancing measures that we’re recommending are essential because we need to slow the spread of the disease to the point where we are able to continue to handle the load,” said Patty Hayes, the public health director for Seattle and King County.A growing number of US companies are adopting such steps. On Wednesday Microsoft Corp asked its employees in the Seattle region near its headquarters and in the San Francisco Bay Area to work from home if possible until March 25.In New York state, the number of cases rose to 10 on Wednesday. Three family members and a neighbor of a lawyer who was previously identified as infected tested positive. The neighbor’s wife and three of his children have also contracted the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.About 1,000 people in suburban Westchester County, where the two families live, were under self-quarantine orders because of possible exposure, Cuomo said.”We are, if anything, being overcautious,” he said.AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, said Wednesday that people in a group from New York that attended its 18,000-person policy conference in Washington, D.C., this week potentially had been in contact with an individual who contacted the coronavirus before the conference.Dozens of Congress members attended the conference, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.EMERGENCY FUNDSUS lawmakers reached bipartisan agreement on an $8.3 billion emergency bill to help fund efforts to contain the virus. The bill garnered enough votes to pass in the House of Representatives.The Senate is expected to act quickly so President Donald Trump can sign the measure into law.More than $3 billion would be devoted to research and development of coronavirus vaccines, test kits and therapeutics. There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the fast-spreading illness.The administration is working to allow laboratories to develop their own coronavirus tests without seeking regulatory approval first, US Health Secretary Alex Azar said.The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 129 confirmed and presumed cases in the United States, up from the previous 108. They were 80 reported by public health authorities in 13 states plus 49 among people repatriated from abroad, according to the CDC website.Those figures do not necessarily reflect Wednesday’s updates from three states.Topics :last_img read more

Indonesia scraps national exams due to COVID-19

first_imgThe government and House of Representatives have agreed to cancel the national exam for elementary, junior high and high school students amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.Syaiful Huda, chairman of House Commission X overseeing education, told the press on Monday night that the decision was made in a teleconference between the lawmakers and Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim on Monday”The spread of the COVID-19 is expected to occur until April, so it is impossible for us to force students to gather for the national exam under the threat of the pandemic. Therefore, we agreed that the national exam will not be administered,” the National Awakening Party (PKB) politician said. There is also the option of implementing an online national exam.“We do not want to gather students in school buildings,” he said.Nadiem previously planned to abolish the national exam and replace it with a very different kind of educational assessment for 2021. However, lawmakers were against the idea.Nadiem in December 2019 explained that the minimum competency assessment referred to a test that would mainly evaluate students’ literacy and numerical competence.The number of coronavirus infections nationwide reached 579 as of Monday, with 49 deaths and 30 recoveries.Topics : The national exam for high school students was supposed to run next week, while junior high and elementary school were scheduled for the end of April.Syaiful added that there were several options the government and lawmakers were looking at to replace the national exam, one of which was to use assessments based on cumulative grades on report cards from three years of study for high school and junior high students, as well as six years of study for elementary students.Read also: Some 70,000 Indonesians could be infected with COVID-19 before Ramadan, scientists say”Later on, the school will calculate the grades considering all aspects on the report cards, including curricular and extracurricular activities,” he said.last_img read more