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How a world-renowned cellist used Bach to blast Trump

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In a rebuke to the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies and rhetoric, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma gave a performance at the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday, where he praised culture’s ability to “build bridges, not walls.”

With the international bridge connecting the two countries visible behind him, the audience in Laredo, Texas heard the musician play an excerpt of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites. An audience in the sister city of Nuevo Laredo was treated to a performance as well shortly after.

Texas Public Radio captured video of the performance:

Ma also read from Emma Lazarus’s poem on the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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“We must live by those words,” he said.

Taking direct aim at President Trump’s recent rhetoric, Ma said, “A country is not a hotel and it’s not ‘full.'”

“I’ve lived my life at the borders—between cultures, between disciplines, between musics, between generations,” he said.

The performance was part of The Bach Project, his two-year effort to bring the composer’s suites for cello to 36 locations around the world, with performances alongside days of action to harness culture as a unifying force.

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“The Bach Project,” the website for the initiative explains, “explores and celebrates all the ways that culture makes us stronger as individuals, as communities, as a society, and as a planet.”

The border performance was embraced by many on social media:

 

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Iran ups pressure, sets date to surpass uranium stockpile limit

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Iran said Monday it will surpass from June 27 its uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal with world powers, turning up the pressure after the US walked away from the landmark pact last year.

"Today the countdown to pass the 300 kilogrammes reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time... we will pass this limit," Iran's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at a press conference broadcast live.

The move "will be reversed once other parties live up to their commitments," he added, speaking from the Arak nuclear plant south-west of Tehran.

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Morning Joe guest reveals why even Ivanka is afraid to deliver bad news to Trump: ‘He’ll explode’

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President Donald Trump's inner circle is growing smaller and smaller, and the few aides he trusts are afraid to deliver any bad news to him -- and panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" agreed the situation was dangerous.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire if the president trusted any of his advisers, and the White House correspondent said he may still seek out counsel from Ivanka Trump.

"He might listen to his daughter, who is in there, but no," Lemire said. "That has been what's happened over the last year and a half, in particular, is the erosion of the guardrails, the erosion of adults in the room who could walk in there and say something. Mind you, it didn't always work, (but) now those people don't even exist."

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2020 Election

New Republican group wants to register more voters to keep Texas red

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The push by the group, a super PAC called Engage Texas, comes as national Democrats zero in on the state in 2020.

With national Democrats looking to make Texas a battleground, a new Republican group is launching to register hundreds of thousands of new voters here and convince them to help keep the state red in 2020.

The group, a super PAC named Engage Texas, is the brainchild of some of the state's biggest GOP donors, and it is led by a former top staffer at the Republican National Committee. It comes as Texas Republicans look to gain ground in an area where their Democratic counterparts have dominated in recent years: signing up new voters.

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