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To get their lives back, teens volunteer for vaccine trials

“And I also thought it was important to have people of different ages and races represented,” added Audrey, who, like her brother, is Asian. (Their mother, Rachel, a nurse researcher who volunteered for a vaccine trial, requested that their last name not be released for confidentiality reasons.)

Overall, trials in adolescents may be less diverse, as the results of trials in adults showed no discernible difference in results by race. And because trials on adults have been so successful, up to two-thirds of adolescents may be offered the vaccine itself rather than a placebo.

Pfizer, whose trial is fully registered, is awaiting results from its trials for children ages 12 to 15 in the first trimester of this year, which it will then submit to the Food and Drug Administration for review. Moderna is still recruiting for its trials on adolescents, with data expected this summer. Other companies are planning to start trials with adolescents soon. Shortly after, researchers will open trials for children as young as 5, probably with smaller doses.

As in any medical trial, investigators are impartial when discussing the risks and benefits. Rather than lecturing to young subjects, Dr. Campbell, whose clinic will be conducting a Moderna trial for young children, engages them in a conversation.

“Do you remember your tetanus injection? Talk to me, ”he might say. And then, “This is how it’s similar and how it’s different.” He wants to make sure that the teenager is actively involved in the decision making. “We always say, ‘Don’t do this for your parents.’ “

Dr Sarah Hasan, senior recruiter for DM Clinical Research, which oversees the Houston Fights Covid campaign and most of the city’s vaccine trials, said information sessions for teens and adults differ strikingly. She has more fun with teenagers.

“Usually the adults go through the form, ask a few questions and you’re done,” she says. “But kids ask a lot more questions than adults and they actually listen, which is pretty cool.”

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Do you know where the vice president lives?

At first glance, the stately home with the green shutters could belong to anyone.

But the 128-year-old home of Number One Observatory Circle is the designated home of the Vice President of the United States and where Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will live for at least the next four years.

Located about two miles from the White House and adjacent to several embassies, the secluded home sits on 72 acres of land known as the United States Naval Observatory. It is not open to the public.

Here’s what you need to know about the residence seven vice-presidents have made their home.

The 9,000-square-foot Queen Anne-style home, with a library, basement kitchen, and several bedrooms, was designed by Washington architect Leon E. Dessez. It was built in 1893 and was originally intended for the superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory, a science agency that moved to the site the same year from his original home in the Foggy neighborhood. Bottom in Washington. From the 1920s and for the next five decades, the house served as the residence of chiefs of naval operations and their families.

Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. was the last Navy official to live in the house, which was designated as the House of Vice Presidents in 1974.

Credit…Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

Traditionally, Vice Presidents have lived in their homes or in hotels during their tenure. But the second-in-command’s desire for his own residence dates back to at least 1923, when the wife of Senator John B. Henderson of Missouri offered a newly built house as the vice president’s official residence, according to the New York Times. . The house was described as “imposing” and valued at $ 500,000.

Calvin Coolidge, who served as Vice President from 1921 to 1923, lived in a hotel during his tenure and later stated in his autobiography that an “official residence with proper maintenance should be provided to the Vice President. “And that the post” a permanent and sedentary dwelling and place, regardless of the financial capacity of its temporary occupant.

Charles Denyer, author of the Number One Observatory Circle and expert on cybersecurity and national security, said the secret service was hampered by the vice president’s lack of an official address because security protocols could not be established whether each residence was different.

“It was a very interesting situation that the second most powerful person in the United States of America, one of the most powerful people in the world, did not have a designated temporary home,” Mr. Denyer said.

In March 1966, the House Public Works Committee approved the construction of a three-story mansion for $ 750,000 on the grounds of the Naval Observatory for the Vice President. The following month, President Lyndon B. Johnson postponed construction until economic conditions improved, but the house was never built. At the time, Vice President Hubert Humphrey lived in his own home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

After years of spending thousands of dollars on security measures at Vice Presidents’ private residences – $ 81,000 for Gerald Ford’s house in Virginia and $ 245,000 for Spiro T. Agnew’s house in Maryland, between others – Congress designated the Number One Observatory Circle as the Vice President’s “official temporary residence” in 1974. (The “temporary” designation remains.) It was the first time in history that a house was provided for the second in command. At the time, lawmakers approved $ 315,000 for repairs, renovations and some furniture.

“It’s a bit of a shame that we waited as long as we did to give the vice president a home of their own,” said Mike Purdy, presidential historian and author of “101 Presidential Insults.” “But in some ways, this reflects the insignificant role of the vice-presidency as it has been seen for so many years.”

After the house was officially designated in 1974, another three years passed before a vice president took office, according to the White House. Vice President Gerald Ford rose to the presidency before he could use it, and his own Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller, had his own home, using the Number One Observatory Circle only as an entertainment space.

Under President Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale served as the first vice president to live in the house, starting in 1977.

Ironically, and in parallel with the rise of the office of the vice-president over the years, in particular with the election of vice-president Walter Mondale in 1976, the house has also grown considerably in terms of equipment and security upgrades, ”Mr. Denyer told me. “Vice President Mondale has probably become the most important Vice President to date. Carter got him involved in almost everything.

Credit…White House photo by David Bohrer

The Navy still maintains the house, Mr Denyer said, while the Vice President’s Residence Foundation raises private funds for any redecorating or improving the house.

Each vice president and his family contributed to the evolution of the house, Mr. Purdy said, noting that George HW Bush, who was vice president from 1981 to 1989, built a horseshoe pit and a track quarter mile on property. His successor, Dan Quayle, installed a swimming pool, which years later received praise from Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen have hosted numerous private dinners with donors and business executives, but made minimal changes to the house, Mr Denyer said. In 2017, Ms. Pence unveiled a beehive at the residence.

On January 20, Ms. Harris will become the first woman, the first black person and the first person of Asian descent to be sworn in as the Vice President of the United States. And if history is any indicator, she and Mr. Emhoff will put their mark on the house.

“Think about that, who lived in this house for over 45 years, white males, and here is this completely different person,” Mr Denyer said, adding that Ms Harris’s arrival will put a “much needed spotlight” on the House.

Eyes will also be on Mr. Emhoff, who will assume a traditionally defined position of welcoming and decorating for the holidays, as well as doing robust jobs like caring for military families and developing healthy eating habits for children.

In a video on TwitterMr Emhoff said he was honored and honored to be the first man to hold the post and said he would make it his own. “So I want to set an example for those who in the future can look back on the way I approached it and I hope that will help them as well,” he said.

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Video: Watch live: Biden pays tribute to lives lost to Covid-19

TimesVideoWatch Live: Biden Honors Lives Lost to Covid-19 President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will attend a ceremony at Lincoln Memorial to honor Americans who have died of Covid-19, per Reuters.

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‘What joke.’ Black Lives Matter activists note contrast in police response to Capitol Hill

As she protested the police murder of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri several years ago, Johnetta Elzie said she was manhandled by police officers. She said they pointed guns at black women pushing toddlers in strollers and cursed them to turn around.

Similar scenes unfolded throughout the summer, as police clashed with dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters. Several times the officers used batons and chemical agents to disperse the crowds.

And so what Ms. Elzie saw on television Wednesday afternoon infuriated her: A mob of mostly white Trump supporters stormed police and vandalized the United States Capitol while officers, after having initially offered their resistance, mostly stood. Some officers pushed aside the barricades, others kept the doors open and one was seen on video escorting a woman on the steps.

“What a joke,” Ms. Elzie said. “I mean, they didn’t even pinch the Whites. It wasn’t even like a family argument. In a family argument, you could at least hit your sister or something like that. It wasn’t even that. It was almost as if tear gas was not readily available.

Black Lives Matter activists across the country expressed outrage on Thursday at what they said was a lukewarm response from law enforcement to predominantly white protesters, saying it contrasted starkly with the aggressive tactics it was making. they endured for years – officers in full riot gear who used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. He also highlighted the country’s uneven justice system, many said, and gave credit to their insistence that black people are devalued and seen as inherently dangerous.

In a nationwide address Thursday afternoon, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. acknowledged the seemingly disparate treatment, saying he received a text from his granddaughter who questioned the police response on Capitol Hill .

“She said, ‘Pop, that’s not fair. No one can tell me that if it was a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs who stormed the Capitol, ”he said. he declared, adding: know that it is true. And this is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. “

Officials from the Capitol Police, a federal law enforcement agency tasked with securing the Capitol building, defended Thursday’s response, saying officers were under-prepared and overwhelmed by the pro-Trump mob.

Joel Shults, former chief of police at Adams State University in Colorado, said that “the right balance between quelling a disturbance and allowing the disorder to continue” was a difficult calculation for law enforcement. Each case presents its unique challenges, he said, adding that a lack of information and the location of Wednesday’s riot could have influenced the police response – not the race of the largely crowd. Blanche who stormed the building.

“Having a lot of violence between citizens and police on the steps of the Capitol,” he said, “I think it was really important that this didn’t happen.

Black activists noted that when planning protests, police rarely seemed ill-prepared. This week, for example, National Guard troops descended on Kenosha, Wis., And metal barricades were erected around that city’s courthouse the day before a prosecutor announced that no charges would be made. filed against an officer who allegedly shot a man, Jacob Blake, on several occasions. in the back last summer.

Last summer, a peaceful violinist vigil in Aurora, Colo., To commemorate a black man who died in police arrest was halted when officers in riot gear charged the park and dispersed pepper spray, sending families with children on the run. Police claimed there was a small group of agitators among the crowd, a claim disputed by many participants, who were sitting on the lawn listening to people playing violins when police descended.

And in the aftermath of the November presidential election, hundreds of activists marched through the streets of Minneapolis, arguing for an end to police brutality. The group, which were spirited but peaceful and included parents with children, eventually walked down a highway. The plan was to walk to the next exit, something that should only have taken about 15 minutes, said Sam Martinez, one of the organizers.

Instead, state police surrounded the group on the freeway and demanded that everyone sit down to be arrested. Local officials frantically tried to negotiate with the authorities to let the protesters leave the highway, to no avail.

Police, claiming that the protesters violated the law and endangered public safety by entering the freeway, either arrested or cited and released nearly 650 protesters. The process took about five hours. Most have been charged with misdemeanor, but a 19-year-old woman has been charged with the felony of riot for throwing a laser pointer into the eyes of a police officer.

“This is a glaring example of the injustice of this system,” Mx said. Martinez, noting the disparity between the hundreds of arrests on the highway and the handful of arrests on Capitol Hill. “If it was us, there would have been more than one victim.”

The freeway protest in Minneapolis came months after city police killed George Floyd, sparking widespread protests and calling for an end to systemic racism. Amid chaotic protests in the days following the murder, police withdrew from a police station headquarters, allowing protesters to descend on it and set it on fire.

But even that didn’t compare to what happened on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, said Jeremiah Ellison, a Minneapolis city councilor. In the days leading up to the compound fire, police had fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters in what Mr Ellison said he believed was sometimes an overreaction.

Capitol Police did not show the same hostility towards protesters there, he said.

“I think the police will view a leftist protester with a gas mask as more dangerous than a right-wing protester with a semi-automatic rifle,” Mr Ellison said.

Activists protesting against the police say they believe they are targeted because of their criticism of the police.

In a federal lawsuit against the city of St. Louis, a judge wrote in a 2017 ruling on a preliminary injunction that plaintiffs were likely to prevail over their claim that the police department “ has a custom or a policy of using chemical agents without warning on citizens ”criticizing the police.

The trial centers on the arrest of more than 120 people in 2017 during a protest against the acquittal of a white officer who killed a black man in Saint-Louis. Earlier in the evening, protesters smashed windows and overturned large flowerpots in the city center. Police declared the gathering illegal and ordered people to leave.

Hours later, there were still dozens of people moving peacefully around a downtown street corner a few blocks from where the police told the crowd to leave. The officers eventually moved in and arrested anyone still outside – sweeping up Air Force members who were in the area and at least one reporter in the process.

Video of the mass arrest showed an officer firing pepper spray at those arrested, “who all appear to be on the ground and obeying police orders,” Federal Court Judge Catherine D. Perry wrote. district in its injunction.

Javad Khazaeli, a lawyer representing several of the plaintiffs, said that although his clients were peaceful, “the police chose to resort to violence.”

But Capitol Police on Wednesday “made the choice” not to do so, he said. “It couldn’t be a more perfect example for everyone to see the two different criminal justice systems we have in America.”

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Our digital lives are driving a brick and mortar boom in data centers

Goldman Sachs announced an investment of up to $ 500 million in data center infrastructure in October, and private equity firms Blackstone and KKR recently announced investments in data centers.

Data center-focused real estate investment trusts generated 19% returns in the first half of 2020, according to a recent report from JLL – one of only two REIT sectors to have seen growth. (The other sector, industrials, produced a modest return of 2%.) By comparison, returns for hotel and resort REITs fell 49%, retailers fell 37%, and floor space fell 49%. office space by 25%.

“It’s recognition that this is no longer a niche real estate market,” Lynch said.

Data centers have become an essential part of the digital infrastructure that connects people and businesses to each other and to the rest of the world, said Jon Lin, president for the Americas region at Equinix, one of the largest global data center companies.

“We are the basis, in many ways, of this digital infrastructure,” he said.

This infrastructure is no longer the sole responsibility of technology companies. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 prompted many companies in various industries in New York City, such as finance and media, to rethink their information technology as protection against disaster or damage. future. Today, office closures and remote working arrangements brought on by a pandemic are prompting companies to reassess where and how they house their central nervous system.

“Many companies had previously switched to cloud-based services, but the lockdown forced them to move to the cloud much faster,” said Keith Snyder, equity analyst at CFRA Research, an investment research firm.

The demand for space in data centers is also being fueled by the growing number of businesses that use cloud services to manage their operations without having to purchase, maintain and update hardware and software. Many providers of these services want to have electronic outposts close to their customers’ servers.

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‘They play with our lives’: what happens next for DACA ‘dreamers’

LOS ANGELES – Despite graduating from college, Maria Fernanda Madrigal Delgado in 2011 had no choice but to clean up buildings and return burgers to fast food outlets for money because she didn’t was not eligible to work in the United States. She had grown up undocumented in Southern California after being brought to the country as a child from Costa Rica.

In 2012, after President Barack Obama unveiled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that protected hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth from deportation and allowed them to work, she got a employment of legal assistant. In May, at age 31, she will graduate from San Diego Law School.

Yet almost from the time DACA was created, it has been hampered by legal challenges, which have kept Ms Madrigal and other so-called Dreamers on their toes. Shortly after President Trump took office in 2017, he canceled the program. The Supreme Court ruled in June that he had done so inappropriately, but the administration erected new roadblocks. “It’s literally like we’re in a ping-pong game,” Ms. Madrigal said. “They are playing with our lives.”

A federal judge ruled in favor of DACA recipients on Friday, ordering the program to be fully reinstated and opening it up to new applicants. But Mrs. Madrigal is not partying. “I realize this is not the end,” she said. “There may be another challenge. We have to get something more permanent. “

For undocumented young adults who were taken to the United States as children, Friday’s court decision was a milestone – an opportunity to gain safety after years of whiplash, as well as the possibility of a return.

Yet their future, most realize, ultimately remains uncertain. For years, DACA has been a political roller coaster, with court rulings and administrative actions every few months rescinding, reinstating and partially canceling the program.

As President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes office, he faces tremendous pressure to do what so many of his predecessors couldn’t – push through a legislative solution that addresses the plight of dreamers once and for all.

“DACA recipients may not yet feel safe, for a variety of reasons,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School. “The only real solution for DACA beneficiaries is legislation offering them a path to legalization. Given the polarization in Congress, this seems difficult to achieve.

In his ruling on Friday, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the Brooklyn U.S. District Court overturned a memorandum released this summer by Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, which limited the program’s protections to those already enrolled. No less than 300,000 new candidates can now participate, if the judge’s decision is upheld.

The Homeland Security Department attacked the decision on Saturday, saying it would comply with the ruling while working with the Justice Department on an appeal.

“DHS totally disagrees with this decision of another activist judge acting out of his own political preferences,” said Chase Jennings, a spokesperson for the department, describing the judge’s decision as “clearly a law or a incorrect logic. “

Unless Congress acts for the dreamers, DACA will likely be embroiled in litigation and legal doubt for some time.

“Unfortunately, dreamers may have to live with some level of doubt and anxiety for the foreseeable future,” said Michael Kagan, an immigration researcher at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He added: “To be clear: The situation for Dreamers is much more optimistic today than it was six months ago. DACA outlived Trump. And the new president is a big supporter. The question is, how far Biden can go to protect them and make the protection permanent.

In another challenge, a Texas federal judge could rule later this month in favor of conservative state officials hoping to dismantle the DACA. And if Mr. Biden issues a new executive order after he becomes president, Texas or other conservative states could sue to block it.

Moreover, the Supreme Court did not find that the president did not have the power to terminate the DACA, only that Mr. Trump did not follow the proper procedure to do so.

Michael A. Olivas, an academic with DACA, said he believed the program would survive, at least for several years. “The Texas challenge lurks, but the program is safe,” said Olivas, professor emeritus of immigration law at the University of Houston. “Having already referred to the Supreme Court, this continues. It would take several years to be canceled. “

He added, “Meanwhile, the current beneficiaries would have renewed every two years, and hundreds of thousands of people could have signed up,” creating an even larger pool of beneficiaries.

The Obama administration introduced the DACA after Republicans in Congress blocked the Dream Act, a bill that would have given Dreamers strong legal protections and a path to citizenship.

Mr. Obama viewed DACA as an interim measure that would only be in place until lawmakers act. But it did not happen. In 2013, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill with bipartisan support and encouragement from Mr. Obama.

But the Republican-controlled House refused to take this step, even though it would have pumped billions into border security, as it paved the way for citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants.

Further congressional efforts to resolve the issue were stalled during the Trump presidency as the administration demanded restrictive measures and Mr. Trump continued his sweeping restrictions on immigration.

A bipartisan deal brokered by Senators Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, collapsed after Mr. Trump denounced immigrants from “shitty countries.”

Mr. Biden has vowed to reverse Mr. Trump’s tough immigration policies and join the DACA program until he can work out a comprehensive immigration plan through Congress.

But immigration is not one of the president-elect’s top priorities, which includes tackling the pandemic, the economy, climate change and the unification of the country.

Mr Biden will come under immense pressure from immigrant rights groups to move beyond executive actions like DACA to permanently ensure protections for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants.

This will likely be more difficult given the Democratic Party’s infallible control over the House and an almost equally divided Senate. The outcome of two Senate rounds in Georgia early next month will determine whether Mr. Biden’s party controls the agenda in that chamber.

Either way, any solution to the country’s immigration problems will have to be bipartisan at a time when partisanship bitterly divides lawmakers and the country. Mr. Trump may continue to be a mailman even after leaving the White House.

Since entering politics, he has inflamed Republican voters by using xenophobic rhetoric and stoking fear among immigrants. This will continue to resonate in Republican districts, leaving party lawmakers to pause before taking a more lenient approach towards immigrants.

But DACA recipients are some of the friendliest undocumented immigrants, typically having been brought to the United States as a child. Many Republicans and Democrats have said dreamers shouldn’t be punished for growing up in America, often as honest members of their communities.

The Trump administration shut down the program in 2017 just before Arlette Morales of York, Pa., Was 15, when she reportedly qualified to enroll.

“I had lost all hope; I was devastated, ”said Ms. Morales, 18, who was brought from Mexico to the United States at the age of 2.

Immediately after the Supreme Court ruling in June, she prepared and submitted a DACA request, to have it fired after the Trump administration refused to accept new candidates. Again, she felt disappointed.

With her hopes revived on Saturday, Ms Morales said she would resubmit the request as early as Monday.

“I’m applying to colleges right now, and with DACA I can fulfill my dream of a career in criminal justice,” she said, noting that the protections provided by the program would also make her eligible for certain scholarships and studies in the state. course in Pennsylvania.

But she and other Dreamers share the hope of a permanent solution. Even those who qualify for the program must reapply every two years, creating further uncertainty.

“It’s frustrating to live in limbo and in two-year increments,” said Denia Perez, a New York lawyer who was brought to the United States from Mexico when she was 11 months old.

In 2018, she became the first DACA recipient to be called to the Connecticut Bar. For her, Friday’s decision was a huge relief.

“But that’s not enough,” she said. “We need something bolder and more permanent – not just a work permit, but a path to citizenship.”

Yet for some young immigrants, Friday’s court ruling was too little, too late.

After Mr. Trump was elected, Los Angeles DACA laureate Mariela Gutierrez felt increasingly pessimistic about her prospects in the United States despite a college education and good career prospects.

“I was tired of living as a second-class citizen, two years at a time, hoping DACA wouldn’t be wiped out,” said Ms. Gutierrez, who crossed the border when she was very young.

In 2019, she decided to apply for permanent residence in Canada, obtaining approval within months. She moved earlier this year to Toronto, where she is studying law.

“Moving to Canada was tough because my whole life was in Los Angeles – my family and friends,” she said, “but the decision made sense.”

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Bipartisan stimulus bill lives on

Democrats approve a stimulus compromise and wait for McConnell to sign on, while an departing Republican calls for harmony. It’s Thursday, and here’s your policy tip sheet. register here to get On Politics delivered to your inbox every day of the week.

Janssen Market Dinners in Wilmington, Del., Had lunch in front of a Biden cutout.

Did Governor Andrew Cuomo’s October Executive Order limiting the size of gatherings in New York City – including gatherings in places of worship – violate the Constitution? Last week the Supreme Court ruled that yes, it probably was.

The court temporarily struck down Cuomo’s executive order, pending a lower court ruling. Times columnist Bret Stephens wrote in his assessment of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s agreement that “the right to the free exercise of religion, although subject to regulation, deserves greater deference than the right to attend your local cineplex, ”and that Cuomo’s rules didn’t have. t been evenly applied.

In an Op-Ed article in October, Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, argued that Cuomo would find it difficult to try to defend the uneven application of the term “essential” by allowing or prohibiting certain gatherings, as it would “strive to rationalize the unequal treatment of schools, restaurants and places of worship.” Gatherings can be regulated, especially for the protection of human life, but to stand up in court, ” the rules really have to be non-discriminatory, ”Laycock wrote.

In the majority opinion last week, the Supreme Court noted that under Cuomo’s most restrictive order, “a synagogue or church cannot admit more than 10 people,” but that “businesses classified as “essential” can admit as many people as they wish. “

The unsigned opinion added: “The list of ‘essential’ businesses includes items such as acupuncture facilities, campgrounds, garages, as well as many whose services are not limited to those who can be. considered essential, like all chemical and microelectronic manufacturing plants. and all transportation facilities. “

Michael McConnell and Max Raskin, two law professors, wrote in an opinion piece this week: “When public health measures infringe on civil liberties – not just religious exercise, but other constitutional rights – judges will insist that the measures be non-arbitrary, non-discriminatory and no more restrictive than the facts and evidence require. In McConnell and Raskin’s view, the arbitrariness of Cuomo’s rules is inevitably an issue when the lower court hears this matter.

– Adam Rubenstein

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‘From the Front Lines’, stories of resistance and a movement for black lives

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The #EndSARS hashtag first surfaced in 2017, as activists in Nigeria sought to abolish a federal police unit called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which locals said had abused its power. Known as SARS, protesters accused the unit of inflicting violence on residents.

That year, a movement to end police brutality was born.

Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. was inspired by the protests in Nigeria, which continue regularly. As host of the Resistance podcast, Mr. Tejan-Thomas spoke to several Nigerian activists for an episode titled “See You On The Road”.

I caught up with Mr. Tejan-Thomas to talk about his podcast, which describes itself as “stories from the frontlines of the black lives movement, told by the generation fighting for change,” and his talks with activists Nigerians. Our conversation has been changed slightly.

PL: How are the stories told by “Resistance” different?

STT: These are the personal stories you get from activists and ordinary people who become activists. This is the writing of the show. We spend a lot of time trying to make the writing intimate, precise and beautiful to listen to.

We really try to make it look like black people are talking to black people. Also, try to make it look like we are talking about these stories in a way that is outside of blank gaze. It’s a show that’s mostly for black and brown voices and black and brown voices and so we try to make sure that we speak that way. Let the show make it look like someone you know or someone I know is doing it.

PL: How did the episode “See You On The Road” come about?

STT: I discovered #EndSARS on Twitter over a month ago. A lot of my Nigerian and West African friends tweeted about it and so I started to lean into it and some of the things people were saying about SARS and their experiences with it seemed horrible. This is the kind of violence you hear about in Africa but nothing ever gets done.

I felt like I recognized him because I come from Sierra Leone and experienced the civil war in Sierra Leone as a child. I walked through the government fighting the rebels, the rebels fighting their own people and beyond I saw cops in Sierra Leone who are very aggressive and unashamedly asking you for bribes wine.

So I started calling and a Nigerian friend of mine put me in touch with his cousin, Joel, who lives in Lagos. I could just hear the anger in his voice, but I could also hear the belief that he was really dedicated and energized and wanted to do something to end this.

And then another member of our team Wallace Mack Jr., a producer, connected with a lot of activists around the world and he had a relationship with this woman Fey and he told us about the work that Fey had done with Safe House. in Nigeria to ensure the safety of gay Nigerians.

This was all automatically very interesting to me because we can talk about what’s going on in Nigeria – the police brutality, the corruption, the horrible things that the cops have been accused of doing – but what I think is probably in disappearing. it’s inside the movement, and even inside the country. Homosexuals are pushed to the side and fight against marginalization.

So when Mack brought up the fact that gay Nigerians are also fighting this fight and trying to be on the front lines, it was really surprising to me because being queer anywhere is like a health risk. You risk a lot. But being queer in Nigeria is even more so.

To see that people were stepping in and just being blatantly weird, I felt like this was a story we needed to push to the fore and emphasize.

PL: It was really scary to hear Kokoma, a queer activist, talk about her nearly lost death at a protest and how her mother was more concerned about her being queer and telling her that she couldn’t. not go home. Why was it important for you to highlight these specific experiences?

STT: The series is meant to be heavy and dark because the things people fight against are often dark and heavy, but the lives of these people are also filled with color, joy, love, humor and much more.

With Kokoma, we felt we needed someone who had suffered violence from both sides. The violence of being repelled by your mother for being queer, but also the violence of the government. One that everyone, a lot of people in the country, queer or not, has experienced, like the Lekki Toll Massacre.

PL: How has the Lekki toll shootout affected the movement now?

STT: From the few people I spoke to on the ground in Nigeria, I feel like it was a major moment in the movement, before the Lekki toll shootout. there were tons of protests in the streets. After the protests, the government cracked down, and to be honest I think seeing a lot of people being shot and people dying is a big deterrent for people not to want to protest anymore.

Thousands of people went through something traumatic together and I think it really bonded them in some way and gave them, if nothing else, a dark and harsh understanding of the efforts that their government is prepared to do to prevent them from protesting. I think this is something that will probably stay with them for a long time.

PL: What do you hope people take away from the episode?

STT: That the movement for blacks is a global movement and that it is somehow happening all over the world. Wherever there are blacks, there is a fight. I think in Nigeria what we see is a really surprising wave of young people trying to determine the future of their country and really take it in their own hands.

Of course there will always be people fighting and organizing in these places like Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Haiti, but the numbers that Nigerians came out in were really surprising and I hope that people will take far as the fight across the globe for black lives will continue no matter what.

PL: Will there be other episodes in the future?

STT: We really want to continue to diversify. We want to have a big picture because at the end of the day the resistance movements that we see across the country are all interconnected at a time when things like populism, truly conservative presidents, and fascism are all the rage around the world. . There has to be a step back and a countermove to that. I think what we’re seeing right now is exactly that – people standing up and fighting back, people we didn’t necessarily expect them to ever do.

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Black Lives Matter meets QAnon as new members of Congress arrive

Perhaps the most significant feature of the new class is the fact that Republican women have doubled their numbers, adding members like Ms Hinson and Ms Mace. Of the 10 outgoing Democrats who lost their constituency seats last week, eight were beaten by Republican women.

“It’s not just female Democrats who have a monopoly on breaking glass ceilings; Republican women have been doing it their whole lives, ”said Ms Mace, the first female Citadel graduate, who last week defeated Representative Joe Cunningham, a centrist Democrat, to become the first woman to represent her state in the Congress. “It doesn’t matter your political affiliation. If you want women to take a seat at the table, if you want to be in power, we have to run to win.

But when the new members arrived on Capitol Hill, Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and leader of the Minority, found himself defending a pair of newly elected members to the far right of his party: Ms Greene, a follower of QAnon, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado. , who commented favorably on the viral conspiracy movement.

Mr McCarthy claimed the two had disowned the group, which has been called a potential threat of national terrorism, and urged reporters to “give them a chance” before seeking to characterize them. While Ms Boebert has stated that she is not a follower of QAnon and Ms Greene recently said that she has chosen to go “another way”, Ms Greene has never denounced the group, whose theory Convoluted falsely claim that a Satan-worshiping cabal, pedophile Democrats are plotting against President Trump.

In an interview with reporters, Ms Boebert, a late conservative Glock-toting brand, highlighted the historic nature of Republican gains for women. Only 13 Republican women have held seats in the House this year, while at least 27 will when new members take office in January – surpassing the record 25.

“I’m not only the first woman to represent this district, but I’m the first mom,” Ms. Boebert said. “It’s an incredible honor to bring these values ​​to Washington, DC, at a time when I think we need more common sense.”

In addition to an influx of Republican women, the class of freshmen is diversifying the ranks of Congress: Marilyn Strickland, Democrat of Washington, is the first black woman to represent her state in Congress and the first elected Korean-American; Ms. Bush is the first black woman to represent Missouri; and Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres, both New York Democrats, are the first openly gay black men to sit in Congress.

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Voters say Black Lives Matter’s protests were significant. They don’t agree on why.

Black voters have said they don’t believe Mr. Biden will be a solution to all of the policing issues in their communities. But at least he recognized the systemic racism, they said, which Mr. Trump refused to do. They hoped Mr. Trump’s exit would mean more civility.

“We have a lot of people who have shown their faces and their horns,” said Lakaisha Stoner, 27, a small business owner in Louisville, adding that she hoped racism would be less visible in the future. “I’m just ready for a positive change, I can’t stress that enough,” she said.

A new president is the starting point, she added.

In a sign that the video of a police officer killing Mr. Floyd made an impression on the public, even among supporters of the president, 70% of voters polled in the AP VoteCast poll said racism in police services was a very serious or fairly serious problem. , and of those voters, three in ten voted for Mr. Trump.

And for some immigrants who are neither black nor white, the protests have unfolded in a complicated way. Jose Nunez, an electrician who immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2002, said he voted for Mr. Trump in 2016, but this time voted for Mr. Biden. He changed because he noticed an ugliness among Mr. Trump’s supporters with waving flags and angry placards. But, he said, Democrats also needed to broaden their appeal to him.

“I don’t want to talk about race or everyday police brutality,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

Others really wanted both sides to talk about other things. Jose Soto, 37, a Navy veteran in Madison, Wisconsin who now works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, said he cares most about education and health care, but none of the issues seemed to be raised in the countryside. He loved Bernie Sanders, saying, “That feels like every time he talks he talks to me “and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. On Tuesday he voted for Mr. Trump.