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Biden addresses the charges against his son, saying, ‘I think this is kind of foul play.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday defended his son, Hunter Biden, who is the subject of a federal tax evasion investigation, saying the wrongdoing charges against him were “a kind of foul play” .

“I am not concerned about the charges against him. It’s used to touch me, ”Biden said in an interview with late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert.

“I think it’s kind of a foul play,” Biden said in an excerpt from the interview CBS aired Thursday afternoon, several hours before it aired on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He added: “This is what it is.”

Last week, Hunter Biden revealed that the Delaware attorney’s office was investigating him for tax evasion. The two-year investigation began as an investigation into potential money laundering crimes, according to several federal officials familiar with the investigation. FBI agents were unable to gather enough evidence to move forward with the money laundering aspect of the case, they said.

“I am confident that a professional and objective examination of these matters will demonstrate that I have conducted my affairs in a legal and proper manner, including with the benefit of professional tax advisers,” young Mr. Biden said in a statement.

Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden’s transition team, said Mr Biden was not calling the investigation himself. Mr. Bates shared a transcript of the interaction on Twitter it showed Mr Biden made his statement after Mr Colbert asked him what he thought about his son being used as a “club” against him.

The investigation into Mr Biden’s son has already had political fallout. President Trump was furious to learn that Attorney General William P. Barr had kept the investigation under wraps in the run-up to the election – behavior consistent with Department of Justice policies.

Mr. Trump said on twitter that more people could have supported his party in the election had they known about the investigation, and his fury over the lack of disclosure contributed to Mr Barr’s announcement that he will step down as attorney general starting next week.

The investigation also made it difficult for Biden to choose the attorney general, who will have to oversee the investigation. It appeared this month that Doug Jones, the former Democratic senator from Alabama, was a top choice for the job, largely based on his close relationship with Mr Biden.

Now, such close ties could make the confirmation process difficult, as senators are sure to grill the candidate on his ability to prevent the White House from influencing the investigation. Republicans are already asking for the appointment of a special advocate to oversee the investigation and protect it from political interference.

The president-elect’s own comments could also complicate matters for who he chooses to lead the department. Earlier this week, Mr Biden defended his son, telling a reporter he was “confident” his son had done nothing wrong.

In the interview with Mr Colbert, the elder Mr Biden said his son was “the smartest man I know from a pure intellectual capacity”. He added, “As long as he’s good, we’re good.”

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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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Live and play ‘Female Queen Joy’

Rosa Isabel Rayos, 28, is an Afro-Latina transgender rapper whose goal is to make music that uplifts, supports and encourages black transgender women – including, at times, herself.

“Anyone who raps just remembers what they know,” said Ms. Rayos, who passes by Ms. Boogie when she performs. Her motive happens to be very clear: to connect with other trans people who need to remember that they deserve to feel safety, love and joy.

“It is imperative for me to focus my work on spreading this ‘joy of a queen woman’,” Ms. Rayos said. “It seems like the right thing to do, to create emotionally, to create the things that I needed and still need to hear. I give myself too. “

Black transgender women live under such a constant threat of violence that the American Medical Association declared the wave of murders of trans people last year an “epidemic.” “We’re at the bottom of the totem pole,” Ms. Rayos said, “right next to the cisgender black woman.”

Media coverage of trans life is minimal and typically portrays tragedies resulting from harassment and discrimination. This makes the rare positive portrayals of trans people all the more important, according to advocates for the trans community.

Steven Canals, creator, director and executive producer of “Pose” – a TV show about the 1980s New York City LGBTQ ballroom community that includes trans members – recalls being approached by two young black trans women , who were extras, one day on the set.

“One of them grabbed my hand,” he said. “With tears in their eyes, they were like, ‘As a young girl, I wanted to be an actor, but because I’m black and trans, I always felt like that would never happen. for me. I let the dream go. Being here on this set has allowed me to dream again. ”

Raquel Willis, a transgender activist and former national organizer of the Transgender Law Center, also stressed the importance of positive pop culture and media representation for transgender people.

“When you have been so maligned and marginalized you have no choice but to imagine a better world or imagine a fuller life because you have been forced to find that in some of the most difficult circumstances ”Ms. Willis said. “We have to recreate ourselves, whether it is for ourselves or to navigate a world that we often feel other people have tried to create for us.”

Born and raised in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, Ms.Rayos started performing on the New York warehouse rave circuit six years ago and found that she felt empowered on stage. She had previously walked the New York City ballroom scene and used that experience to develop a distinct physicality and presence that blends rap with the ballroom. As a musician, Ms. Rayos has performed under the name Jay Boogie.

As its popularity increased, its success increased. She started touring different cities and countries and was the subject of admiring profiles in Vice and other publications, but the life she was living was not what she felt.

“I was in a very conflictual situation in my life,” Ms. Rayos said. “I was torn.”

The performance provided an outlet for her gender expression. “In a lot of ways, it used to be like getting ready for a performance and getting into glamor was an opportunity for me to feel closer to my femininity,” she said. “I could not wait to be there.”

In 2018, Ms Rayos came out publicly in a letter published in Paper Magazine, writing: “In a practical world I would be a ‘trans woman’, but in the world that I have built for myself and my loved ones I am. just myself.

What followed, on stage, was a transformation into an effervescent performer that Ms Rayos conjured up as she mixed in a bit of her mother’s tenacity, a punch of confidence from Grace Jones and several spoonfuls of pretty aura. Brooklyn daughter of Foxy Brown.

The extreme assertiveness she hopes to embody is not meant to mask the reality of the dangers she and other trans people disproportionately face in the United States and around the world, but to address them. “My joy and self-determination in no way prevents me from being targeted,” Ms. Rayos said.

She feels obligated to learn the stories of other trans women and to fight for them, she said. But she also works to let herself enjoy the moment. She has a new single, “Fem Queen”, an upcoming album, and was recently featured in Vogue Mexico.

“I’m thrilled to just do things and keep telling my story, create more and give some queens more gifts,” Ms. Rayos said.

Travel News

How to play Black Friday Travel Deals during a pandemic

In St. Lucia, the all-inclusive Windjammer Landing Resort offers villas at 50% off, starting at $ 141 through December 4, and a spa credit of $ 150 for stays of three nights or more through 18 December 2021. (If Saint Lucia is on your radar, check out the island’s page for Cyber ​​Monday deals with discounts of up to 50%).

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurants can woo your selfless inner with a 25% room discount and a $ 5 a night donation to the No Kid Hungry charity on bookings at over 70 hotels around the world, November 30 through December 2 on stays until September 7, 2021 (cancel up to three days before arrival without penalty).

Acre Resort in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, is reducing rooms by a third (to as low as $ 183) on three-night stays through October 2021, including daily breakfast and morning yoga , cocktails on arrival, mezcal tasting and tour – round trip airport transport (email by December 1 and reference AcreBlackFriday2020 to book).

In many cases, the discounts are bigger this year.

At the Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, Sheldon Suga, executive vice president, said management weighed the possible tourism revival in 2021 against the fact that many families were suffering financially.

“We decided to do the right thing and extend our discount and the booking window,” he said of the one-week offer, until November 30, which offers 40 % off vs. 30% last year for travel through October 31 (rates start at $ 191, pre-discount).

Last year, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts offered its rooms at 35% off during the seasonal sale. This year the deal is running at 40%, meaning a $ 1,000 available room at Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands would be $ 600. The agreement runs from November 27 to December 1, with a penalty-free cancellation window of 24 hours before arrival, until June 30, 2021.

In Orlando, SeaWorld-owned Discovery Cove Marine Park said this year’s sale was the largest ever. Until November 30, discounts range from 20 to 50 percent off; a regular swim with the dolphins package at $ 204 down payment will be as low as $ 102 on tours throughout 2021. The park also offers a free re-reservation up to 48 hours of arrival and full refunds more than 30 days.