States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges. Last December’s federal law appropriating $25 billion for emergency rental assistance scattered the money to some 500 grantees across all 50 states—but it also authorized the U.S. Treasury Department to recapture unused funds beginning Sept. 30. Under the law, the Treasury can take back money from grantees that failed to spend or allocate at least ...
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Former President Donald Trump is not known for his sensitivity, but a new report from Semafor describes him as being "hurt" by the fact that other Republicans may soon announce 2024 presidential bids.
One source close to the Trump campaign tells the publication that Trump had assumed no one would run against him because he's experienced "six years of people sucking up to him" and telling him "that he was the greatest president ever."
Trump has been warned by advisers that complaining about rival candidates not showing him the proper deference could be a turnoff to some voters, but he's blown them off and continued publicly airing grievances about "very disloyal" Republicans who are challenging him for the 2024 nomination.
That said, the report also notes that a crowded field could benefit Trump in 2024.
In 2016, for instance, a crowded field split the non-Trump vote in the Republican primary, which resulted in him securing the nomination with only a plurality of the total primary vote.
"“I would view a crowded primary to be much like a repeat of 2016," one GOP strategist told Semafor. "I think the worst case for the Trump team would be if everyone else coalesced around one candidate."
Notre-Dame Cathedral's spire will be back in place by the end of the year, but a full reopening following the devastating fire of 2019 will not happen before next year's Paris Olympic Games.
The reconstruction is still on track for completion by the end of 2024, the culture ministry told AFP.
"The site is progressing at a good pace," a spokesperson said.
The authorities have previously given December 8 -- the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- as a likely deadline.
It means the 12th century cathedral, which previously saw some 12 million annual visitors, will not be able to welcome attendees of the Olympic Games which Paris is hosting in July and August 2024.
But the sharp spire, added by architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc during the cathedral's redesign in the 19th century and replacing a previous wooden spire that had fallen into disrepair, will be back in place by the end of 2023, the ministry said.
The collapse of the wooden spire was one of the most dramatic moments of the fire of April 15, 2019.
An identical version has been made from the same original materials: 500 tonnes of oak wood for the structure and 250 tonnes of lead for the cover and ornaments.
There have been health concerns over the lead debris from the fire, and the use of lead in the reconstruction, with French officials having to reassure their European counterparts that adequate safety measures have been taken.
Preparatory work to start reinstalling the spire began this week, with scaffolding put in place and custom-cut base stones delivered along the River Seine.
Once completed the spire will reach 100 meters high.
Meanwhile, the painstaking clean-up work of the cathedral's interior walls -- a total of 42,000 m2 -- has been completed, along with that of murals, ironwork, joinery, stained glass and sculptures that survived the fire.
A temporary hangar has been built in front of the main facade for sculptors to restore and replace its statues.
New interior designs are being considered with a winning plan due to be selected this summer.
There was controversy over last year's decision to include contemporary art among the pieces displayed in the cathedral.
Archbishop of Paris Laurent Ulrich recently said he wanted "an educational and spiritual journey... not the equivalent of a museum".
© 2023 AFP
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski strongly rejected Rep. Lauren Boebert's (R-CO) complaint about Capitol rioters being unarmed during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The Colorado Republican clashed with Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee over a proposed ban on members carrying guns in the hearing room, and the "Morning Joe" co-host was astonished that Boebert used the attack on the U.S. Capitol -- which she foreshadowed that morning on Twitter -- as justification to arm herself in Congress.
"It was the first time in many, many years that I have been unprotected," Boebert told the committee. "I was disarmed, not unarmed, disarmed, because I was not allowed to possess my firearm."
Brzezinski was stunned by the right-wing lawmaker's comments.
"My God, it's headache-inducing, honestly," she said. "By the way, the amendment failed in a party-line vote. Here, this woman is talking about Jan. 6 -- her guy and her people, like, this was an insurrection to try and interrupt the process of the 2020 election. I don't even know where to begin. We have such violent stupidity."
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson noted the irony that Boebert was suggesting she wanted to shoot the rioters who were coming to disrupt the election that she wanted overturned.
"She lives in some sort of weird, you know, firearms Disneyland where everybody has guns and everybody shoots everybody all the time," Robinson said. "It's insane, it's just insane."
Brzezinski agreed, but said it also betrayed a basic lack of intelligence.
"I mean, we're saying this with all seriousness and without trying to -- I mean, it's hard," she said. "You have to say it like it is. We have a stupidity problem on the Republican side, literal stupidity, or something worse then -- stupidity with a violent edge to it. I mean, they want to have loaded -- this is -- what has become of Republicans in Congress?"
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