TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Supreme Court had sharp questions on Monday for both sides in a historic fight over whether the state constitution prohibits gerrymandering that will decide the future of the Kansas City-area congressional district held by Democrat Sharice Davids. The justices have never before ruled on a challenge to a congressional map, but a group of voters alleges Republican-drawn district boundaries passed earlier this year dilute the power of minority voters and violate guarantees of free speech, equal protection and the right to vote in the state constitution. During arguments,...
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'Loser' Ronna McDaniel is still the best RNC chair given the 'MAGA maniac' alternative: former Ted Cruz spokeswoman
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Ronna McDaniel has not exactly run up a stellar track record of electoral success during her tenure, but former Ted Cruz campaign spokeswoman Amanda Carpenter nonetheless believes that she's the best the GOP has to offer.
Even though the Republicans lost control of the House, Senate, and White House under McDaniel's watch, and even though the GOP gained a historically low number of seats in last month's midterm elections despite having an environment with high inflation and gas prices, McDaniel is still likely to hang on to power.
One reason, Carpenter explains in a new column at The Bulwark, is that the GOP has no plausible challengers outside of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
Additionally, Carpenter believes that the party cannot possibly change until it acknowledges that its perpetual obedience to former President Donald Trump and its willingness to back his failed hand-picked candidates are preventing it from decisively winning elections.
As evidence, she cites a prophetic statement made by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about poor candidate quality earlier this year that has since been buried for fear of offending the former president and his allies.
"Back in August, McConnell lowered expectations and warned about 'candidate quality,'" she writes. "And then he disappeared behind the curtain. Forget any discussion about how the roster of MAGA maniacs came to have standing in the party. Too touchy! Can’t be too specific; can’t name Trump; might offend his voters!"
Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with Apple chief Tim Cook on Wednesday and "resolved the misunderstanding" that prompted him to declare war on the iPhone maker's App Store.
"Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store," Musk tweeted.
"Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so."
Musk also tweeted a video clip of "Apple's beautiful HQ" in Cupertino, California, noting that he had had a "good conversation" with Cook.
Apple did not reply to AFP requests for comment.
The world's richest person opened fire on the planet's most valuable company early this week over fees and rules at the App Store, saying Apple had threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.
The billionaire CEO had tweeted that Apple "threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won't tell us why."
Apple, which has not issued a public statement on the matter, typically tells developers if fixes need to be implemented in apps to conform to App Store policies.
Analysts told AFP the clash may have came down to money, with Musk irked that the App Store takes a commission on transactions such as subscriptions.
Musk has delayed the relaunch of the Twitter Blue subscription tier intended to have users pay for perks such as account verification check marks.
Twitter rolled out Blue early in November, but pulled the plug after impersonators paid for check marks to appear legitimate in what former head of safety and security Yoel Roth referred to as "a disaster."
Both Apple and Google also require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content.
But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter's workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have quit.
He has also reinstated previously banned accounts, including that of former president Donald Trump.
Describing himself as a "free speech absolutist," Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and has described his actions as a "revolution against online censorship in America."
© 2022 AFP
Stephanie Frappart's appointment as match referee for Thursday's crunch World Cup clash between Germany and Costa Rica is a step forward for women in a "sexist sport", according to Costa Rica manager Luis Fernando Suarez.
Frenchwoman Frappart will make history as she leads the first all-female refereeing team at a men's World Cup in the Group E match which Germany must win to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the last 16.
Suarez said it "spoke volumes" for Frappart's commitment to reach the top level in a profession dominated by men.
"I am a great admirer of everything women have conquered and I like the fact they want to keep on conquering things," the 62-year-old Colombian told reporters.
"This is another step forward. This speaks volumes for this woman, of her commitment, especially in this sport which is a very sexist one. It's very difficult to reach the point that she has reached, I think it's good for football and a positive step for football, to show that it's opening up for everyone."
The 38-year-old Frappart will be joined by Brazil's Neuza Back and Mexico's Karen Diaz as she puts down another marker for female officials having also been the first woman to referee a men's World Cup qualifier in March.
Last week, she became the first female official at a men's World Cup when she was fourth official for the Poland v Mexico Group C tie, but on Thursday she will be more in the spotlight.
Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges also welcomed her appointment for such a high-profile game.
"I think it's great and it's a huge achievement for women globally," Borges, who is playing in his third World Cup for the Costa Ricans, told reporters.
"If she is there it's because she has all the capabilities to perform on this stage. She has done it before in big matches so I don't see why tomorrow should be an exception.
"I just hope she has a good match and that we can help her make it an easy match."
Her appointment was also backed by Germany manager Hansi Flick who said he had "100% confidence" in Frappart.
"She deserves to be here based on her performance. I hope she is equally looking forward to the game just like we are, and I hope she can deliver a good performance," he said.
Germany defender Lukas Klostermann also welcomed the move, which he described as "the most normal thing in the game."
"I have never looked prior to the game if it is a man or a woman that will be with the whistle, and I hope it will remain a normality," he said.