German magazine stands by its reporting on Ronaldo
Thursday, October 11
BERLIN (AP) — The German weekly magazine that first published the rape allegation against Cristiano Ronaldo says it has “hundreds of documents” that substantiate its report and there is no reason to believe they are not authentic.
Ronaldo’s lawyers issued a statement on Wednesday calling the documents cited in the report “complete fabrications.”
Der Spiegel magazine says “we have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic,” adding “we have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed.”
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit late last month in Nevada saying she was raped by Ronaldo in Las Vegas in 2009. Police have also re-opened an investigation.
The 33-year-old Ronaldo, who plays for Italian club Juventus, has denied any wrongdoing. But some sponsors, including Nike and video game maker EA Sports, have expressed concern about the rape allegation.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Waiting For Hitler
By Mel Gurtov
If there is one thing I have learned as a political analyst, it is that there is no such thing as “never again.” Use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians as well as soldiers? Widespread hostility toward immigrants? Ethnic cleansing and genocide? Putting autocrats in power by popular vote? A US president who is antidemocratic, criminal, and uncaring about human rights? And now, how about a new Hitler in the heart of Europe?
Seems inconceivable, but a far-right, white nationalist tide is engulfing several European countries where we thought democratic rule and liberal social policies were the unbreakable norm. There, as here, all it takes is a few violent incidents orchestrated by immigrants to fire up a crowd and enhance the popularity of right-wing parties. Almost needless to say, Donald Trump’s America is a central actor in this sad drama. When have you ever read articles on democracy in a mainstream publication that lumped the “authoritarian” US president with leaders in China, Russia, Egypt, and Turkey?
Social scientists seem to have reached a consensus about the causes of the nationalist upsurge (see Foreign Affairs for May-June 2018): the decline of the social-welfare state, economic downturn since 2008, failure of liberal parties to deliver on jobs and economic growth, scapegoating of immigrants, and the role of social media in broadcasting both real and imaginary reasons for loss of faith. Equally, however, these same social scientists seem to have run out of answers beyond saying the obvious about the need for economic, social, and political regeneration. While they pontificate, the Russians rub their hands: These supposed populists, united in their hostility to the European Union, typically look eastward for inspiration, financial support, and quite often election hacking. And Vladimir Putin is happy to oblige.
Steve Bannon has emerged as the Josef Goebbels to the next Hitler. Except that he is doing Goebbels one better: He’s marketing white nationalism around Europe, awaiting the next great leader who will hire him (as Ukraine did Paul Manafort). All the while, Bannon is propping up Trump, warning of how the deep state is out to get him. Bannon has become the sort of criminal whom Scotland Yard ought to be pursuing: a trafficker in hate and authoritarianism. Marine Le Pen, the right-wing leader of what is now called the National Rally party, disavowed Bannon’s support because he’s not a European. But will others do likewise? Bannon brings money and reputation, which are hard to resist. Ask Nigel Farage, who has teamed with Bannon to form The Movement, a foundation based in Brussels that aims to win seats in the European Parliament next year, largely on the basis of hostility to the EU.
Here is a profile of the far right’s major gains:
In Germany, neo-Nazis, represented by (among other groups) Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), are gradually normalizing the far right in Germany: AfD is now the second most popular party, and the German equivalent of “fake news,” Lügenpresse, or lying press, has gained legitimacy. Attacks on refugees and Jewish businesses are dismissed on the right. By one account, these are symptoms of an imperiled democracy that has “conservative politicians showing open sympathy for right-wing positions … the structural attack on the very notion of a rational discourse,” and disregard for the press in favor of “obvious lies and falsehoods” about the anti-immigrant rioting in the town of Chemnitz.
By another account, the far right has infected the political system to a greater extent than commonly realized: “A constellation of forces is now relearning to cooperate: right-wing street movements, right-wing news outlets, a fully fledged political party and a murky portion of the state bureaucracy.” That “portion” is the security services: the federal domestic intelligence service and local police. Attacks on immigrants occur more frequently in the former East Germany, whose economy and political voice lag behind the western half of the country.
In Hungary, “[Viktor] Orbán stands accused of undermining the independence of its judiciary and media, waging a propaganda and legal war against the Central European University, founded by the philanthropist George Soros, and mistreating asylum seekers and refugees while limiting the functioning of non-governmental organisations who seek to aid them.” The European Union is expected to sanction Hungary’s voting rights, as it did Poland’s in December, after a report that found the above.
In Italy: At a meeting with Orbán, the Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, vowed :”“We want to change Europe’s commission. We want to protect our borders. We are going to fight pro-migrant policies supported by [Emmanuel] Macron and [George] Soros.” Salvini called Orbán his “hero” for protecting Hungary’s borders from migrants. “Eastern Europe’s authoritarians and Russia are mentioned, esteemed, admired and defended by Italy’s leaders at every turn,” one observer writes.
And in Sweden, we have the neo-Nazi Sweden Democrats (SD): In parliamentary voting on September 9, the SD won 17.6 percent of the vote, below the predicted 25 percent but about 5 percent higher than in 2014. The Social Democrats won 28.4 percent, a century-low and not enough to form a government on its own. The deadlock means great difficulty for all the parties as they try to find coalition partners. (Note: On a per capita basis, Sweden has allowed in more immigrants—163,000—than any other EU country.)
Far-right parties are also in power in Norway, Finland, and Austria. Right-wing nationalists almost succeeded in France, and they have a strong foothold in Britain, evidenced by the Brexit vote. Even where the far right isn’t yet a factor, as in Romania, the rule of law and democratic institutions are under assault.
Here at home we have an administration whose conduct not only helps promote Euroskepticism but also reminds historians of the rise of fascism in Europe. Trump is not another Hitler, but his wanton destruction of democratic processes, his efforts to undermine institutions of international cooperation, and his thinly veiled incitements of supporters to violence are all too reminiscent of the Nazi era. See Christopher R. Browning’s important essay, which traces the similarities as well as the differences. So far, our lower courts, city and state governments, and especially NGOs have courageously resisted the onslaught on our rule of law and protections of human rights and the environment. But unless we’re vigilant and prepared to fight back, we’ll lose our democracy as surely as the Europeans are in danger of losing theirs.
Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.
October 11, 2018
Attorney General DeWine Awards $111.8 Million in Grants to Crime Victim Service Providers
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that he is awarding $111.8 million in grants to crime victim service providers across Ohio, including $29 million to help child victims.
The grants are being awarded to support more than 400 programs throughout the state through Victims of Crime Act and State Victim Assistance Act funding.
“These grants will help provide comprehensive care and critical services for victims of crime,” Attorney General DeWine said. “The funding will support and expand existing programs throughout Ohio and allow new, innovative programs to develop. This year, we placed a special emphasis on providing funding for programs that help Ohio’s youngest and most vulnerable – child victims.”
Of the total grant funding announced today, an estimated $28 million will go toward providing services to domestic violence victims, an estimated $25 million will go toward services for victims of sexual assault or human trafficking, and about $29 million will go toward programs that serve child victims. Funding also will go to programs that serve victims with disabilities, elderly victims, and other victims of crime.
Some of the children’s programs funded by the grants include:
University Hospitals Health System, $670,293: Grant funding will be used to provide intensive trauma-informed crisis care and holistic case management services for children who are treated for gunshot wounds and violent assaults.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Joining Forces for Children, $655,323, and Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children, $319,025: Grant funding will be used for programs that help children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and that work to reduce ACEs and build resilience.
YMCA of Central Ohio, $203,443: Grant funding will be used to assist students who have been identified as experiencing trauma from abuse, loss, or chronic stressors, or who have stated specifically that they have been victims of crime.
Grant Us Hope, $239,990: Grant funding will be used to mediate the impact of crime-related trauma on students throughout Ohio, including by training school staff in trauma-informed approaches, training student peer leaders, and creating a crisis/trauma response team to respond to and support schools if a tragic or violent event occurs.
Public Children Services Association of Ohio – Ohio START, $3 million: Grant funding will be used to expand the Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma) program, which provides specialized victim services, such as intensive trauma counseling, to children who have suffered victimization due to parental drug abuse.
Kinnect – 30 Days to Family, $1.9 million: Grant funding will be used to expand the 30 Days to Family program, a family finding and foster family recruitment program.
Additionally, some of the programs receiving new grant awards this year are:
Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center (Lucas) $600,000: Grant funding will be used to establish a trauma recovery center at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center to provide case management and support services to victims of crime who enter the emergency department.
Reaching Above Hopelessness and Brokenness Ministries (RAHAB) (Summit) $1.3 million: Grant funding will be used to provide safe houses and trauma-informed holistic healing and support services for female victims of human trafficking in northeast Ohio.
Tiffin University (Seneca) $116,500: Grant funding will be used to provide trauma-informed counseling, advocacy, and support services to student victims of sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
The Linda Vista (Montgomery) $79,927: Grant funding will be used to provide case management and support services to women and families who are exiting domestic violence shelters.
Of the total awards announced today, $108.4 million is from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant funding awarded to Ohio from the U.S. Department of Justice, financed by federal settlements, fines, and fees. Another $3.4 million is from the State Victim Assistance Act (SVAA).
Today’s announcement is part of the “Ohio Attorney General’s Expanding Services and Empowering Victims Initiative,” which Attorney General DeWine created in 2015 to determine how grant funds could best be spent to serve victims of crime.
A list of agencies receiving VOCA and SVAA grants can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Llewellyn King: Hurricanes Could Blow In a Carbon Tax
By Llewellyn King
There are no solutions to complex problems — except when the problem becomes so complex it must have a simple solution.
That is the paradox thrown up by global warming and the shattering report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report cries out for dramatic, simple remediation of the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere every day by industrial society.
The complex solution is a case-by-case, country-by-country, industry-by-industry, polluter-by-polluter remediation: power plants, automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, aircraft and manufacturers.
The simple solution to this complex problem is to tax carbon emissions: a carbon tax. Make no mistake, it would be tough. Some industries would bear the brunt and their customers would carry the burden — initially a light burden growing to a heavier one.
The obvious place to start is with electric utilities. Those burning coal would get the heaviest penalty. Those burning natural gas — the fuel favored by its low price and abundance in the nation — some penalty, but not as heavy.
Nuclear, which is having a hard time in the marketplace at present, would be the big winner of the central station technologies, and solar and wind would continue to be favored.
When it comes to transportation and farming, the pain of carbon taxation rises. The automobile user has choices like a smaller car, an electric car or simply less driving. But heavy transportation, using diesel or kerosene, is where the pain will be felt: buses, trucks, tractors, trains, aircraft and ships. The burden here is direct and would push up prices to consumers quickly.
Jets are a particularly vexing problem. Although they represent about 3.5 percent of pollution, it is the altitude at which they operate (above 30,000 feet) that makes them particularly lethal greenhouse gas emitters.
A carbon tax must be introduced gradually but firmly so that technology and alternatives have a chance of coming to the rescue. Some things, like airline tickets, will just cost more before manufacturers improve engines and work on new propulsion. Farming will he hard hit, and farmers may have to get rebates.
When a carbon tax was proposed in the 1970s, it was defeated in Congress by a phalanx of industry groups led by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Coal Association, now part of the National Mining Congress. Its purpose then was to cut demand for fuel during the energy crisis, which was in full swing. Today these groups are less vocal on the subject as their members begin to entertain the idea of a tax.
Although Congress is still opposed to it — an anti-carbon tax resolution was overwhelmingly passed in the House in July — industry is coming around.
ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total have signed on, and several Republican lobbying groups outside of Congress are working with members of the House and Senate, including the new Americans for Tax Dividends. Alex Flint, executive director of the Alliance for Market Solutions, an influential group of Republican graybeards and financiers, says they get a good hearing in private conversations with lawmakers.
The U.N. climate study with its awesome conclusions may have come too late to play a big role in the midterm elections. But, especially after hurricanes Florence and Michael, it will blow through the 116th Congress at gale force, the public demanding action.
The quick fix — rough-and-ready and punitive — may be the only quick fix: Tax carbon where it enters the atmosphere. History tells us the economy will adjust creatively.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Llewellyn King is executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle” on PBS. His email is email@example.com. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.
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Lesser-known broadband policy leaves rural areas out
By Johnathan Hladik, policy director, firstname.lastname@example.org, Center for Rural Affairs
Connectivity is the defining aspect of our 21st century economy. Access to broadband internet offers the best in education, health care, and economic development. Unfortunately for many, the best isn’t available.
More than 24 million Americans lack broadband access. This includes 31 percent of households in rural areas, but only 2 percent in urban. Over, 19 million of 25 million households without broadband are in rural areas.
Old fashioned data collection guarantees this will continue.
The Federal Communications Commission collects data on broadband service at the Census block level, of which there are 11,078,297. In rural areas, these blocks can stretch for hundreds of square miles. Nationwide, 3,200 Census blocks are larger than the District of Columbia.
In a Census block, if one household has access, the entire block is reported as “served.” Providers may report an area as “served” if they could provide access without “an extraordinary commitment of resources.”
This means the number of “served” areas is frequently overstated. States are unable to accurately invest resources in broadband development because they are relying on erroneous data. Improving this process is the most important step we can take to improve availability in rural areas.
We are in the midst of a digital revolution, and millions of rural Americans are being left behind. A closer look shows the problem isn’t always money – it comes back to policy. Now is the time for lawmakers to think innovatively and act swiftly to ensure rural America isn’t left out.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.
CLEVELAND’S WEST SIDE MARKET AMERICA’S BEST FOOD LOVERS’ MARKET
6-State Trooper Project to focus on Interstate 70
COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol and other members of the 6-State Trooper Project will collaborate to focus on speed, safety belt and OVI enforcement along Interstate 70. This initiative will begin on Friday, October 12 at 12:01 a.m. and end on Sunday, October 14 at 11:59 p.m. The high-visibility enforcement will include the Indiana State Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
There were 14,389 OVI-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways in 2017, killing 397 and injuring 8,803. Last year, 34 percent of all fatal crashes in Ohio involved alcohol and/or drugs.
“Troopers will be focusing on violations that contribute to fatalities on our roadways,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “We want every motorist in Ohio and our neighboring states to arrive safely at their destination.”
The 6-State Trooper Project is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.