America’s corn belt farmers face uncertainty after rain and more rain

Cold, rainy weather has meant severe planting delays for farmers from Ohio to Nebraska and next weeks acreage report takes on heightened importance In his 32 years of farming, Steve Fourez says hes almost never been so late planting corn and soybean crops on the 500 acres he farms in east-central Illinois. Normally by the start of May hes finished planting corn, and soybeans are seeded soon after. This year, Fourez said, he wrapped up planting on 6 June, as cold, grey and rainy weather kept him idle. Fourezs experience is playing out across the corn belt, a deeply fertile agricultural region stretching roughly from Ohio to Nebraska. Planting is so tardy that the US Department of Agricultures June 28 …

Google rejects plans to fight sexual harassment and boost diversity

Board rejects all 13 shareholder proposals to address a range of issues even as workers protest outside event Alphabet, the parent company of Google, failed to pass several proposals to address sexual harassment, antitrust issues and diversity policies at its annual shareholder meeting, despite hundreds of employees protesting outside the event. The annual meeting comes as Alphabet faces growing pressure from shareholders and employees, including overethical concerns surrounding its artificial intelligence systems, its operations in China. But the companys board voted down all 13 proposals shareholders had put forward, which encompassed a wide range of social concerns surrounding the company. They included efforts to change employment practicesand end forced arbitration. Google Tuesdays announcement that it will contribute $1bn to help …

This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion

Council in Waskom, Texas, made up only of white men, votes to make town a sanctuary city for the unborn The entirely white male council of Waskom in Texas has voted to make the small town a sanctuary city for the unborn. The five men on the towns council voted this week to pass legislation known as an ordinance, which declared Roe v Wade, the landmark supreme court decision which legalized abortion, unconstitutional. The move, which is itself unconstitutional, comes after a raft of abortion bans have passed in states from Missouri to Ohio. Restrictions on abortion disproportionately affect poor women, who are more likely to seek abortions and less likely to have the resources to obtain one out-of-state. Despite …

Dr John, legendary genre-bending New Orleans musician, dies at 77

Family thanks all who have shared his unique musical journey after Rock & Roll Hall of Famer suffers heart attack Dr John, the New Orleans musician who blended black and white musical styles with a hoodoo-infused stage persona and gravelly bayou drawl, died Thursday, his family said. He was 77. In a statement released through his publicist, the family said James Booker.

Ocasio-Cortez: $2.13 tipped minimum wage is ‘indentured servitude’

The New York congresswoman returned to a restaurant in Queens on Friday, seeking to highlight the plight of workers she knows As she returned to New York to waitress and bartend for the first time since entering Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the federal tipped rose to national fame as the representative for New Yorks 14th congressional district, the 29-year-old from the Bronx worked at a Mexican restaurant in Manhattan. On Friday she went back to waiting tables and mixing drinks, in support of federal minimum wage for restaurant and bar workers and other tip-reliant jobs such as nail salon workers is just $2.13 an hour. Although the minimum wage in New York is $15 an hour, this does not apply …

Nancy Pelosi tells Democrats: I want Trump ‘in prison’ but not impeached

House speaker reportedly told Democrats I dont want to see him impeached in a closed-door meeting The House speaker, Donald Trumps Politico. Pressed on the issue by Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee, Pelosi said of Trump: I dont want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison. Pelosis spokeswoman, Ashley Etienne, would not confirm the speakers comments. Speaker Pelosi and the chairs had a productive meeting about the state of play with the Mueller report, Etienne said. They agreed to keep all options on the table and continue to move forward with an aggressive hearing and legislative strategy, as early as next week, to address the presidents corruption and abuses of power uncovered …

Banned bread: why does the US allow additives that Europe says are unsafe?

China, Brazil and members of the EU have weighed the potential risks and outlawed chemicals found in US loaves Give us this day our daily foam expander. It may sound odd, but in America, your loaf of bread can contain ingredients with industrial applications additives that also appear in things like yoga mats, pesticides, hair straighteners, explosives and petroleum products. Some of these chemicals, used as optional whiteners, dough conditioners and rising agents, may be harmful to human health. Potassium bromate, a potent oxidizer that helps bread rise, has been linked to kidney and thyroid cancers in rodents. Azodicarbonamide (ACA), a chemical that forms bubbles in foams and plastics like vinyl, is used to bleach and leaven dough but when …

Biden rejects Trump’s ‘clenched fist’ in appeal for Democratic and US unity

Former vice-president launches campaign in Pennsylvania, saying: I am running to offer our country a different path Formally launching his third presidential campaign, Joe Biden appealed for party and national unity while accusing Donald Trump of leading America with a clenched fist, a closed hand and a hard heart. Biden appeared at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon, two days ahead of a Trump rally elsewhere in Pennsylvania, one of the states in which blue-collar swing voters delivered the White House to the Republican in 2016. Introduced by his wife, Jill Biden, the former vice-president called on Democrats to eschew the politics of division and to fight for, defend and earn democracy. I know there are times when only …

Alvin Sargent, Oscar winner who wrote Spider-Man films, dies at 92

Screenwriter won Oscars for Julia and Ordinary People and won praise for Spider-Man The Oscar-winning screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who also wrote several Spider-Man movies, has died. He was 92. said Sargent was an exemplary screenwriter. Paper Moon, Ordinary People and Spider-Man 2 are all, in their very different ways, master classes tone-perfect, impeccably structured, witty, human, worth visiting and revisiting. Among added: Good night, sir. divorced in 1975. He married the producer Laura Ziskin, who was behind the Spider-Man films, in 2010, after 25 years together. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Broken promises and lost funding: how Mississippi prison reform failed

It was a model on which the Trump administration based its criminal justice reform efforts. But it isnt working Last November, as he rallied support for federal prison reform, Donald Trump signed the First Step Act, which aims to reduce the federal prison population and better prepare offenders for life outside bars. Yet the implementation of Mississippis reforms has been marked by broken promises and a lack of funding, according to interviews, data and documents reviewed by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica. The Mississippi law promised to send offenders to drug courts for treatment rather than to prison; provide ID cards to all offenders leaving prison to help them secure housing and jobs; offer training for offenders …

Alphabet: Google parent company’s shares drop after latest earnings report

Report comes as company faces internal worker turmoil, and a recent $1.7bn fine from the EU Google shares slumped on Monday after the company failed to beat analyst predictions, following a year of internal turmoil, privacy concerns, and several international fines. The companys stock was down 7% in after-hours trading after it reported first quarter revenue of $36.34bn, lower than the $37.33bn revenue forecast by analysts. The quarter one earnings represent a 17% increase from the same time last year, in which it reported $31.15bn in revenue. In a call with investors on Monday, Googles CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the company would continue to invest more in algorithms on YouTube, following recent incidents that saw the platform offering hate speech, …

Nipsey Hussle’s activism lives on as merchandise orders pour in

Teams at the rappers Marathon Clothing store say soaring sales arent just about fashion: People are trying to change and thats what Nipsey pushed for The death last month of Nipsey Hussle, the Crenshaw-based rapper and community activist, prompted an outpouring of grief. Tickets for a Los Angeles the Marathon Clothing store in 2017. Since he was shot dead there on 31 March, at the age of 33, sales have soared. Outside the store last week, employees were busy fulfilling orders. Sales had increased at least 100%, I know for sure, said Boutabag Wicced, 32, who identified himself as a member of the Rolling 60s gang and said he had been involved with the store for more than a month. …

‘I am a gaffe machine’: a history of Joe Biden’s biggest blunders

As the former vice-president enters a crowded 2020 field, will his well-documented past of confusing and embarrassing moments work against him? After months of speculation and hinting, Joe Biden but polls in recent weeks have consistently shown him leading the pack, perhaps because of his experience and lengthy record in office. But unlike some of his much younger opponents, its his decades in the public eye, and in particular his well-documented history of confusing or downright embarrassing gaffes and misstatements, that may end up working against him. He even made a gaffe about his intentions to run for the White House. Just last month he seemed to put his hands on his wife Stephanies shoulders, rubbing them and appearing to …

Brett Kavanaugh: backlash after US university hires justice to teach in UK

George Mason University selects justice accused of sexual assault for post at Runnymede, birthplace of modern democracy The US supreme court justice Magna Carta and called the birthplace of modern democracy to teach a course on the US constitution for an American university. But the appointment is sparking uproar among some students and they are demanding the school rescind its invitation. The judge, who faced a tempestuous and hugely divisive confirmed on 27 March and the Washington Post late supreme court justice who relished his position as a conservative bulwark on the court. Kavanaugh will be teaching the course with Jennifer Mascott, an assistant professor of law at George Mason who served as Kavanaughs clerk on the US court of …

Pennsylvania governor under scrutiny for role in approving pipeline

Tom Wolfs office has denied he ordered permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which is under criminal investigation for pollution and property damage, to be accelerated Internal government records obtained by the Guardian raise questions about the role of Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf in permitting construction of a controversial fossil fuel pipeline that now faces two criminal investigations stemming from widespread environmental and property damage. The 350-mile, $2.5bn Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline through southern Pennsylvania has sparked growing outrage. It has caused destroying numerous residential water wells, and openingA previous report on the text messages involving McDonnell and Bane substantial donations from companies with a financial stake in Mariner East 2, including $20,000 toward his 2018 …

Alaska judge blocks Trump on Arctic and Atlantic drilling

Green groups celebrate, justice department declines comment over reversal of April 2017 executive order against Obama protections Donald Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on 2017 executive order reversing the drilling bans. At issue in the case was the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Acting assistant US attorney general Jeffrey Wood said in a hearing before Gleason in November environmental groups were misinterpreting the intent of the law written in 1953. He said it is meant to be flexible and sensible and not intended to bind one president with decisions made by another when determining offshore stewardship as needs and realities change over time. In 2015, Obama halted exploration in coastal areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas …