• Politics
    The Guardian

    I used to be critical of Kamala Harris. Now I am going to defend her at every turn

    While the announcement caught very few of us by surprise, a jolt of excitement was inserted into this election. And rightly soThe historic announcement of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s VP pick is another reminder that multiple things can be true at the same time. Harris is undeniably brilliant, has recently introduced bills that would specifically improve the quality of live for Black Americans, and by all accounts she is superior in every way imaginable to the current president. In fact, adding her to the ticket has made me far more enthusiastic about this race than I was even days before the announcement.Throughout this campaign, Biden has said things that made me question his understanding of the Black community, let alone his commitment to fight against social inequality. And yet, here we are, squarely seated in that space where many truths exist at once. Does Biden give me pause? Oh, absolutely. Do I believe he will be a better leader than Trump? Without a shadow of a doubt. But is that the bar? Are millions of Americans expected to capitulate to such a defeating standard from our future leaders? While I wholeheartedly still believe in the power of voting, I’m now more committed to what I call zoning inThat question lingered in the air of every political conversation I had with my peers over the past few months. Yet with the announcement that caught very few of us by surprise, a jolt of excitement was inserted back into this election. Rightfully so. While lots of articles will focus on the historical weight of this moment, we cannot ignore that Harris isn’t just representation. She is a viable force who has the skills to be the vice-president of the United States. This will undoubtedly bring out more support for the ticket. However, here we are again, still parked at that intersection and carefully holding space for multiple facts to exist at the same time.What does this selection mean for those of us who had fair criticism of Harris when she was running for president? How do we even express this concern knowing that our policy-based questions could be conflated with the sea of misogynoir she will surely face? If Hillary Clinton faced an insane amount of hatred and sexism, what does this mean for Harris in a country where we are still fighting to declare that Black lives actually matter?I was one of the people who publicly expressed concern about Harris during her presidential campaign. A few key things have changed since then. She impressed me with her actions, and I’m hoping that this apparent pivot is what voters can expect of her. Yet more importantly than her recent actions, my politics have changed.While I wholeheartedly still believe in the power of voting, I’m now more committed to what I call zoning in. I’m narrowing the focus of my political efforts and treating voting as simply one tool for change. This change in my political view has caused me to emotionally divest more from a failing two-party system that often places its most vulnerable citizens in the position of choosing between how slowly we want to be metaphorically killed. This is my truth.Yet it is also true that I intend to vote for the Biden and Harris ticket because I believe they present a better chance at improving the lives of marginalized communities than this current administration. I will do this while increasing my efforts to organize on a local level and use every weapon at my disposal to fight for a path for justice that isn’t predicated on me choosing between the “lesser of two evils”. Simultaneously, while Harris starts to fight like hell to re-energize the Democratic base, I’ll use my position as a writer to push back on unfair attacks on her that are simply misogynoir masked as criticism. This nomination almost guarantees that valid criticism and utter hatred of Black women will be on full display, and we will have to quickly learn the difference and respond accordingly.For those currently expressing concern, I challenge you to sit with it a minute and consider if this concern was ever present for any of the other highly questionable candidates. I invite those with criticism to still express it and demand the best from Harris, but I will challenge them to interrogate the root of their angst. I intend to do the same. I’m going to stand with Harris and fight against sexist and racist attacks, celebrate with the Black women who are rejoicing in pride, while I simultaneously organize on a local level and strategize ways to help ensure my community gets more than just a false sense of hope from this ticket. All of this can happen at the same time. * Shanita Hubbard is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Northampton Community College in Pennsylvania

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  • Celebrity
    LA Times

    Amy Schumer is quitting IVF: 'I can't be pregnant ever again'

    Comedian Amy Schumer and chef Chris Fischer will pause plans to expand their family because she can no longer tolerate IVF treatments or another pregnancy.

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  • Celebrity
    In The Know

    Couple causes rift in family over 'appalling' parenting decision: 'They think we are messing up the child'

    “You’re setting your kid up for a childhood of mockery and torment.”

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  • World
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Seizes Four Iranian Tankers Carrying Fuel to Venezuela

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. seized four tankers carrying Iranian gasoline bound for Venezuela in an unprecedented move by the Trump administration that carries the potential to destabilize global oil shipments if Iran retaliates.The tankers were transporting 1.116 million barrels of petroleum, which has now been confiscated after help from “foreign partners,” the Justice Department said in a statement Friday. It is not clear where the ships were at the time of the seizures because they had all turned off their satellite-tracking systems to avoid detection between May and July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran,” according to the DOJ statement, which said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, designated a foreign terrorist organization, was behind the shipment.The prospect of retaliatory action by Iran has the potential to disrupt oil markets if Iran interferes with international oil tankers transiting the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most critical choke point for oil shipments. However, the impact to oil prices may be limited from what it once might have been given lower fuel consumption in the face of pandemic-driven lockdowns.“The seizure did not escalate militarily because there were no Iranian naval vessels escorting the tankers that had orders to engage,” said Scott Modell, managing director of Rapidan Energy Group. “But this is getting closer to the line. Tehran will show caution, for now, knowing that Iran’s collaboration with Venezuela was unlikely to ever go beyond a few small-scale transactions and public displays of anti-Trump solidarity.”In DefianceIran was exporting gasoline to fuel-starved Venezuela in defiance of U.S. sanctions that are intended to choke off both nations from oil revenue. Presently, Venezuela is unable to produce gasoline because of widespread mechanical failures at its refineries and needed the shipments to alleviate fuel rationing. Five Iranian tankers arrived without incident in May and July, delivering about 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and stunning observers who wondered at the time if Iran would so blatantly defy U.S. sanctions efforts.Subsequently, in July the U.S. filed a complaint seeking to forfeit the cargoes aboard four more tankers underway for South American nation. A seizure order was granted for the M/T Bella, M/T Bering, M/T Pandi and M/T Luna. The Wall Street Journal reported that the ships are being directed toward Houston in the coming days.The Pandi, also known as Andy, and the Luna turned off their satellite signals on July 7 near the Strait of Hormuz, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Bering switched off its transponder on May 11 while approaching the Aegean Sea. The Bella was last seen May 11 near the Philippines.The disclosure of the seizure adds to a broader effort by the Trump administration to turn up the heat on Iran. The United Nations Security Council is nearing a vote on a U.S. resolution to extend an international ban on arms deals with Iran, threatening to assert the right to “snap back” sanctions eased under the 2015 nuclear deal that President Donald Trump abandoned.President Donald Trump was asked about the tankers at a press conference in Washington. “Iran’s not supposed to be doing that,” he said. “We seized the tankers and we’re moving them” to Houston, he said. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo tweeted that the proceeds of the confiscated cargoes could go to help U.S. victims of state-sponsored terrorism if they’re forfeited by the courts.The Trump administration views the maritime industry as the weak spot in sanctions enforcement. In May, the Treasury released an advisory on what the shipping sector should be looking for in terms of evasion techniques and potential red flags with a focus on Iran, North Korea and Syria.For now, oil markets have taken the cargo seizures in their stride. Prices in New York and London are lower for a second day with fears that a resurgence in virus cases will hamper demand outweighing concerns of a potential flare up in oil shipping lanes.(Updates with UN vote in ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • U.S.
    The Independent

    Chainsaw-wielding men covered in blood arrested on Toronto beach

    Two men have been arrested after appearing on a Canadian beach spattered in blood and wielding chainsaws.Witnesses alleged that they menaced and “charged” at various people gathered at Toronto‘s Cherry Beach on Sunday morning, before police quickly intervened, responding to reports of a large fight.

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