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Bernie Sanders calls for resignation of Michigan governor: ‘The people of Flint deserve more than an apology’

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Bernie Sanders has called for the governor of Michigan to resign over the lead poisoning crisis that has hit the water supply of the city of Flint, saying on Saturday Rick Snyder has “no excuses” for the the disaster.

 

“The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint’s water,” the Vermont senator said in a statement issued by his campaign. “He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned. Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov[ernor] Snyder should resign.”

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In April 2014, as a cost-saving measure, the city of Flint switched its main water source from Lake Huron to the Flint river. Despite reports of problems with the water from sources including General Motors, which stopped using it, residents were advised by state officials to “relax” and continue to drink it.

Sanders’ main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, has called such advice “unconscionable”.

Water from the Flint river has been linked to increased lead levels in children’s blood; E coli bacteria has also been found in such water. A spike in cases of Legionnaires’ disease has also been reported, though not conclusively linked to river water.

After the declaration of a public emergency in October, Snyder – who was once seen as a possible presidential contender – acknowledged mistakes had been made in the transition to the Flint River.

Nonetheless, he has defended the handling of the crisis and rejected calls to resign. This week he told Time magazine: “As soon as I became aware of elevated lead levels in blood, we took action.”

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The 100,000 people who live in Flint, a post-industrial city whose precipitous decline was made famous by the film-maker Michael Moore, remain dependent on bottled water handed out by the national guard.

Snyder, who is one of the subjects of a federal lawsuit from residents, said in December he was “very sorry” for the water crisis. After an internal investigation, two state officials resigned. In January, Snyder declared a state of emergency, and sought help from the White House.

In his statement on Saturday, Sanders said: “Because of the conduct by Gov[ernor] Snyder’s administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives.

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“Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems. The people of Flint deserve more than an apology.”

 

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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