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MUST SEE: Van Jones and Angela Rye give two Trump surrogates epic lesson on institutional racism

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CNN commentators Van Jones and Angela Rye took on two Donald Trump surrogates on Sunday after she suggested that complaints about systemic racism were overblown.

During a panel discussion about how the presidential candidates had responded to recent protests against police violence in Charlotte, Jones accused Trump of a “botched, zig-zaggy outreach to African-Americans.”

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“On the one hand, he sticks up for one of the shooting victims in Tulsa,” Jones noted. “And then he turns right around and says, ‘I want stop and frisk.’ Stop and frisk is the most unpopular, the least effective and the most alienating policy — period — in policing in 20 years, found unconstitutional. And he reaches out for that.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a surrogate for Trump, cautioned the panel to “be careful about how they talk about these issues on TV.”

“It is imperative that we support a thin blue line,” she opined. “It is what separates us from order and anarchy.”

Turning to Jones, Blackburn pushed back on claims of institutional racism.

“You cannot say all cops are bad,” the Tennessee Republican insisted.

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Rye interrupted: “It’s very important when we talk about institutional racism to understand where that really comes from.”

“And what gets dangerous is when we pretend that history isn’t is what it is,” she continued. “So as we commemorate the first national museum of African-American history and culture, let us also acknowledge the very treacherous history of law enforcement and black people that [have] roots back to 1704 when you had the very first slave patrol. That is our first interaction with law enforcement. The foundation of the institution is horrible for us.”

“And you pass those tales down by generation to the point where kids like me growing up — now, I’m 36 — are afraid of the police. And that’s not for nothing, there’s a history there… So, we can’t pretend like this came out of nowhere and this is a new phenomenon.”

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Turning back the presidential campaign, Trump surrogate Andre Bauer defended Trump’s call for nationwide “stop and frisk” policy.

“In New York, it did work,” Bauer said. “So, he’s trying to come up with a way to to fix a problem as someone who is looking at it from a bigger picture than worrying about what polls the best.”

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“What African-Americans want is an effective and fair policing,” Jones replied. “When someone says there’s institutional racism, they are not saying every single police officer hates black people. What they’re saying is, something is happening where there’s a bias, where an African-American kid wearing a hoodie seems to be a threat; a white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen maybe as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. And there’s an unfairness there.”

“When you start talking about data, when you start talking about trends, and somebody says, ‘Well you just hate all cops,’ that shuts down the discussion as well,” Jones observed. “This stop and frisk mess needs to end.”

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast Sept. 25, 2016.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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