The coronavirus pandemic — and the economic fallout that has come with it — boosted health insurance enrollment counselor Mark Van Arnam’s workload. But he wants to be even busier.The loss of employment for 21 million Americans is a double blow for many because it also means the loss of insurance, said Van Arnam, director of the North Carolina Navigator Consortium, a group of organizations that offer free help to state residents enrolling in insurance.Calls to the consortium have increased sharply, but he believes many more people are going without insurance and could use his help. He suspects...
A right-wing Arizona legislator who has fully embraced Donald Trump's election lies marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by sharing a social media post by a white nationalist.
State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff), a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who was instrumental in her state's bogus election "audit," retweeted a post by white nationalist Scott Greer celebrating Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
Today, on #MLKDay, Arizona lawmaker Wendy Rogers has retweeted a post by white nationalist Scott Greer calling on people to celebrate leaders of the Confederacy.pic.twitter.com/0zLtvDbC3Z— Nick Martin (@Nick Martin) 1642440452
Rogers, who recently announced that her campaign raised nearly $2.5 million last year, has previously shared content from whit nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
The GOP legislator has also pushed Trump's election lies in right-wing media, including appearances on QAnon-related podcasts.
Wealthy venture capitalist's podcast goes off the rails after he dismisses Uyghur genocide: 'It is below my line'
During the All-In podcast this weekend, billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya gave his thoughts on the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China, saying that the genocide of a religious minority by an authoritarian government is not high on his list of things to be concerned about.
While the panel discussed things President Joe Biden could do jumpstart his seemingly stalled agenda, All-In co-host Jason Calacanis posited that him being more aggressive on "China policy" could be one approach. But Palihapitiya disagreed.
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay?" said Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and minority owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
"You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."
"That's disappointing," a stunned Calacanis said.
Palihapitiya said that he cares about things like the economy suffering "if China invades Taiwan," and climate change, and America's "decrepit" health care infrastructure, "but you're asking me if I care about a segment of a class of people in another country -- not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us."
"I think it's a sad state of affairs when human rights as a concept globally falls beneath, you know, tactical and strategic issues that we have to have," Calacanis replied.
"That's another luxury belief," Palihapitiya shot back.
"I don't believe [that] believing in the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights is a luxury belief," Calacanis said.
The co-hosts of the podcast continued to argue about the topic for more than half an hour.
The US House of Representatives last year passed legislation banning imports from China's Xinjiang region over its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
Members of the House voted 428-1 to pass the "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act," which requires corporations to prove "with clear and convincing evidence" that any goods imported from the region were not made using forced labor.
"Right now, Beijing is orchestrating a brutal and accelerating campaign of repression against the Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told lawmakers ahead of the vote.
"In Xinjiang, across China, millions are enduring outrageous human rights abuses: from mass surveillance and disciplinary policing; to mass torture including solitary confinement and forced sterilizations; intimidation of journalists and activists who is have dared to expose the truth."
She added: "And, the government of China's exploitation of forced labor reaches across the oceans to our shores and across the world."
China has denied the accusations concerning its treatment of the Uyghurs.
Watch the exchange below:
E63: Insurrection indictments, human rights in the US and abroad, groundbreaking MS study and more youtu.be
With additional reporting via AFP
The rabbi of a Texas synagogue that was the scene of a hostage stand-off recounted Monday how he threw a chair at the gunman, allowing those being held to escape.
During the "last hour" of the 10-hour ordeal Saturday their captor "wasn't getting what he wanted," Charlie Cytron-Walker, rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in the small town of Colleyville, near Dallas, told CBS.
"It didn't look good. It didn't sound good," he said.
"It was terrifying," he added, his voice still marked by emotion. "When I saw an opportunity where he wasn't in a good position, I made sure that the two gentlemen who were still with me, that they were ready to go."
The exit wasn't far away from them, he said.
"I told them to go. I threw a chair at the gunman and I headed for the door, and all three of us were able to get out without even a shot being fired."
The FBI has identified their captor as a British national named Malik Faisal Akram, 44.
Including the rabbi, Akram took four people hostage Saturday in the synagogue in what President Joe Biden has described as an "act of terror."
He appears to have been demanding the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist sentenced in 2010 by a New York federal court to 86 years in prison on terrorism charges.
One of the hostages was released after several hours of negotiations, while the other three were freed by evening, all safe and sound.
But Akram died after a police intervention involving gunfire. Details have not yet been released, and it is not clear if he killed himself or was killed by law enforcement.
Cytron-Walker explained that he has received security training, including from the police, on how to react in active shooter situations.
"They really teach you in those moments that when your life is threatened, you need to do whatever you can to get to safety. You need to do whatever you can to get out," he said.
He added that religious leadership training also conveyed "the idea of being a calm, non-anxious presence ... I did the best I could to do that throughout the standoff."
Akram had reportedly initially knocked on the door of the synagogue, and the rabbi offered him a cup of tea.
The service was being livestreamed on Facebook when it was interrupted, and some audio of the negotiations between Akram and law enforcement could be heard.
In it, Akram describes the moment he entered the synagogue.
"They gave me a cup of tea," he said, according to Yhe New York Times. "So I do feel bad."
Cytron-Walker said the tea presented "an opportunity for me to talk with him."
"I didn't hear anything suspicious," he said.
But during prayer, as he turned his back on Akram to face towards Jerusalem, "I heard a click... It was his gun."
© 2022 AFP