Facebook Twitter Google LinkedIn
Community Benefits Group, Inc. Solutions that empower business success


International News

[ Business | Entertainment | Health | Sports | Technology | Top Stories ]

Some women of color frustrated by Biden's presidential bid
Date/Time: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 19:14:33 -0400

Some women of color frustrated by Biden's presidential bidHOUSTON (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden's decision to enter the Democratic presidential race is causing consternation among some Democrats, particularly women of color, who have been hoping for a nominee who better reflects the nation's diversity.



Read More

Spurned by Washington, North Korea's Kim seeks a friend in Putin
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 17:51:58 -0400

Spurned by Washington, North Korea's Kim seeks a friend in PutinThe two men will sit down together on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim's summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row. The summit in Vladivostok - the first ever between Putin and Kim - provides Pyongyang with an opportunity to seek support from a new quarter, Russia, and possible relief from the sanctions hurting its economy. In an interview with Russian state television as his train made a stop off on the journey to Vladivostok, Kim said he was looking forward to useful talks.



Read More

#FeelingCute challenge: Texas prison guards fired after probe into 'inappropriate' posts
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 21:55:58 -0400

#FeelingCute challenge: Texas prison guards fired after probe into 'inappropriate' postsThe trend often involves uniformed workers posting selfies coupled with captions joking about what their work day may entail.



Read More

Sri Lanka troops join hunt for bomb attack suspects
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 23:44:43 -0400

Sri Lanka troops join hunt for bomb attack suspectsSri Lanka deployed thousands of additional troops countrywide overnight to help police hunt for suspects in the Easter Sunday suicide blasts that killed nearly 360 people, a spokesman said Thursday. Brigadier Sumith Atapattu said the army increased its deployment by 1,300 to 6,300, with the navy and airforce also deploying 2,000 more personnel. "We are armed with powers to search, seize, arrest and detain under emergency regulations," Atapattu told AFP.



Read More

Rouhani says U.S. must lift pressure and apologize before Iran will negotiate
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 04:20:27 -0400

Rouhani says U.S. must lift pressure and apologize before Iran will negotiateGENEVA (Reuters) - Iran is willing to negotiate with America only when the United States lifts pressure and apologizes, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, according to state media. Oil prices hit their highest level since November on Tuesday after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply. "We have always been a man of negotiation and diplomacy, the same way that we've been a man of war and defense. ...



Read More

'I smiled in the face of bigotry': A woman's response to anti-Islam protesters goes viral
Date/Time: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 10:00:35 -0400

'I smiled in the face of bigotry': A woman's response to anti-Islam protesters goes viralA group of anti-Islam protesters gathered at a conference in Washington, D.C. One woman's reaction: 'I smiled in the face of bigotry.'



Read More

Texts between the FBI's Strzok and Page draw investigator focus
Date/Time: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 18:16:02 -0400

Texts between the FBI's Strzok and Page draw investigator focusNine days after the presidential election, FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanged texts that Fox News has learned are under new scrutiny by congressional investigators reviewing the genesis of the Russia probe; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports.



Read More

Elizabeth Warren's plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a reality
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 06:00:18 -0400

Elizabeth Warren's plan to end student debt is glorious. We can make it a realityWe fully support the 2020 nominee’s student debt relief proposal. But to make it happen, we’ll need to kick our efforts into higher gear ‘Elizabeth Warren’s proposal is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people’s lives.’ Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP This week, Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, announced a proposal to cancel student debt for millions of people and make public college free. This is a stunning, visionary plan that would transform our educational system and dramatically improve millions of people’s lives. But like every other progressive proposal now being touted by presidential hopefuls, from Medicare for All to the Green New Deal, the call for debt relief and free education first came from the grassroots. And if we want a real student debt jubilee to actually happen – to go from policy paper to reality – the grassroots will need to continue to push for it. Fortunately, it’s a battle that can be won. Raising our voices is how we got this far. Ten years ago, student debt, even as it soared, was not seen as a serious issue. Writers including Tamara Draut and Anya Kamenetz were early to sound the alarm, exposing young people’s disproportionate indebtedness as a structural issue. Scholars such as Darrick Hamilton and Tressie McMillan Cottom would later go on to document the racially disparate impact of student loans, which burden women and people of color most of all. But it took the Occupy Wall Street movement to make public how profoundly the pinch of monthly payments was felt by an entire generation. Sign up to receive the latest US opinion pieces every weekday In April 2012 a group of Occupiers organized a “1T Day” protest to mark the day student debt in America surpassed $1tn. Seven years later, that number has ballooned to more than $1.5tn. That protest represented a watershed moment, the point when student debt went from being a personal problem to a political one, the result of decades of disinvestment in public colleges and universities that turned education into a consumer product instead of a public good. Some of the organizers of that event would go on to help launch the Debt Collective, a union for debtors that I co-founded. We kicked things off with the Rolling Jubilee fund, a public education campaign that bought and cancelled more than $30m in medical, student debt, payday loans and private probation debts. Then, in 2015, the Debt Collective launched the country’s first student debt strike. Since the strike was announced, we have won more than $1bn (and counting) in student debt cancellation for people who attended fraudulent for-profit colleges. Our team accomplished this by building a membership base of for-profit borrowers themselves. These debtors, a multiracial group of working-class people from across the country, led a campaign to pressure the Department of Education to cancel their loans. Their victory – and the fact that our primary demand of a debt jubilee and free college is now on Warren’s platform – demonstrates the power of grassroots organizing. The precedent-setting significance of the Debt Collective’s work is clear and cannot be overstated: Warren knows that student loans can be cancelled because they already have been on a smaller scale for for-profit college borrowers. That said, Warren’s plan, as bold as it is, is hardly inevitable. Her proposal of canceling student debt and ensuring free college seems contingent on the passage of a millionaire’s tax that, barring a miracle, is likely to be stymied by an intransigent Congress. In order to win a jubilee, then, we will have to kick our grassroots efforts into a higher gear. Debtors must continue to fight for their rights and advocate for the best possible solutions. We are preparing to do just that. Since 2016, along with our partners at Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, we have been working out a roadmap that would allow all federal student loans to be cancelled without waiting for Congress to act. Congress, it turns out, has already given administrative agencies the power to cancel debts. Just as the Securities and Exchange Commission can cut low-dollar deals with banks that break the law, for example, the secretary of education can settle with debtors for a fraction of what they owe or suspend the collection of student debt altogether. When it was first given the power to issue and collect student loans in 1958, the Department of Education also received the power to “compromise, waive, or release any right” to collect on them. And when the Higher Education Act of 1965 made student loan authorities permanent, it solidified their power to compromise. Nothing in the law prevents the secretary of education from using compromise and settlement authority to address the worst effects of decades of failed higher education policy. But only a movement with that as its goal can get us there. Student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country To win a jubilee, we need a movement focused on motivating candidates to commit to using the full powers available to them in office to address this emergency and stop collections on all student loans. While millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at a much higher rate, in the short term we should not let a Congress bought off by the super-rich prevent us from doing what’s right and legal – and economically beneficial. Indeed, student debt abolition and free college would be a win-win for the entire country. Not only would debtors get relief, academic research shows it would be a significant stimulus that might “supercharge” the economy and help address the racial wealth gap. Money currently used to pay back loans with interest would be redirected to other goods and services. But the win would be more profound than just an economic boost. Education could finally be a public good and not a commodity (or worse, a debt trap). This transformation would help inaugurate a new political vision that redefines liberty as the ability to freely access the social services that we all need to survive and thrive. The Debt Collective has been leading this fight for years – and our growing membership will continue to do so. Grassroots organizing is what got us this far, and it’s the only thing that can get us to the finish line: an end to student debt and free public college for everyone, once and for all. Astra Taylor is a writer, organizer, and documentarian. Her books include the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age and Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Her most recent film is What Is Democracy?



Read More

13-year-old Houston girl dies after fight at middle school
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 14:14:53 -0400

13-year-old Houston girl dies after fight at middle schoolA 13-year-old girl who was placed on life support after being attacked bythree other girls has died, according to ABC 13



Read More

Trump news: President vows to ‘fight all subpoenas’ as Democrats increasingly call for impeachment
Date/Time: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 11:54:00 -0400

Trump news: President vows to ‘fight all subpoenas’ as Democrats increasingly call for impeachmentThe Trump administration is being accused of “stonewalling” Congress by ignoring a deadline for the Treasury to hand over Donald Trump's tax returns and defying a subpoena requesting ex-personal security director Carl Kline appear before a House investigative committee.“It appears that the president believes that the Constitution does not apply to his White House, that he may order officials at will to violate their legal obligations, and that he may obstruct attempts by Congress to conduct oversight,” said Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.President Trump made his feelings on Democrat-led investigations in the wake of the Mueller report perfectly clear in an interview on Tuesday, stating: “There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan - obviously very partisan. I don’t want people testifying to a party, because that is what they’re doing if they do this.”He continued to attack the special counsel and ongoing congressional investigations Wednesday, telling reporters before departing the White House his administration is "fighting all the subpoenas." “We have been – I have been – the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far,” Mr Trump said.“We’re fighting all the subpoenas. These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020," he added.He added that he “thought after two years we’d be finished with it," referring to the investigations surrounding his campaign. Meanwhile, Democrats have stepped up their enquiries in the aftermath of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference.One congressional subpoena the administration is expected to challenge has gone out to Don McGahn, former White House counsel who cooperated with Mr Mueller.And the White House is pushing back on other fronts, including House Democratic efforts to obtain Mr Trump’s tax returns and his business’ financial records.Additional reporting by AP. Check out The Independent's live coverage from Washington below.



Read More