Advocates Say Mitch McConnell’s Anti-Smoking Bill Is Flawed And Will Be Exploited By Tobacco Companies

WASHINGTON — On first glance it seems like a huge win for anti-smoking activists: a bipartisan bill to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco up to 21, introduced by the most powerful man in Congress.

But anti-smoking groups are raising concerns that a bipartisan bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is drafted in such a way that it could reverse tobacco control measures passed by local governments. McConnell introduced the bill with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia.

The Tobacco-Free Youth Act is pitched as a response to the massive spike in vaping by school-age children, which McConnell called a “public health epidemic.” The bill requires all states to pass their own legislation raising the purchasing age of tobacco and vape products to 21, or else they will not receive federal grants for prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

The tobacco company Altria, which owns a one-third stake in Juul Labs and their wildly popular vaping products, supports this so-called Tobacco 21 movement of a nationwide limit. But what has anti-smoking activists worried is that Altria and Juul have repeatedly deployed lobbyists at the state level to push for state laws that can carve out protections for the industry or even block cities from passing stricter reforms.

When Arkansas raised its legal limit for purchasing tobacco to 21, the legislation contained a clause blocking any county, municipality, or other level of government from passing regulations on “the manufacture, sale, storage or distribution of tobacco products” that are more restrictive than the state law.

This was a blow to anti-smoking advocates, who are pushing for much more drastic changes than just raising the legal limit for purchasing. Their wish list includes banning flavored tobacco and vaping products, tobacco and vaping advertisements directed at youths, and online sales of vaping products.

Multiple anti-smoking groups told BuzzFeed News they had concerns that the McConnell legislation will set up a series of state-level battles that could end in laws blocking local anti-smoking initiatives.

“It creates the opportunity to push for undoing,” said Gregg Haifley, director of federal relations at the American Cancer Society’s advocacy arm, Cancer Action Network. “It gives the industry an opportunity in every state that doesn’t already have a Tobacco 21 law to muck around in that legislation, as they always do when given the opportunity.”

The American Cancer Society was publicly supportive of the bill and it said was “one of several important federal policy changes” necessary to ensure young Americans do not become addicted to tobacco products.

But Haifley called the section of McConnell’s bill that requires states to pass their own laws a “favor” to the tobacco industry. He and other advocates are encouraging Congress to take up an alternative, such as a bill from Sens. Brian Schatz and Todd Young that just raises the federal limit, or a House bill from Rep. Frank Pallone that goes further with a list of measures like requiring graphic public health warnings on cigarette packages.

McConnell’s office pointed to his Senate floor speech Wednesday, where he said that the bill is crafted to let states to decide their own standards. “It’s a bill designed with the states in mind and it would allow states to take measures even more restrictive than the federal law if they choose,” he said.

Kaine steadfastly rejected the idea that their legislation was industry-friendly. He said that raising the federal limit would only provide enforcement by federal agencies, while pushing states to pass their own laws allows for more robust enforcement by state and city governments.

“I’ve worked on these enforcement issues at the state and local level,” he said. “The state doesn’t enforce federal immigration laws, the state doesn’t enforce the ATF laws. Cities don’t either. Why not make the enforcement mechanism as powerful as you can?”

Kaine said he supported more extensive regulations akin to what is in the House bill, but that he does not believe they would get enough votes to pass the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi Is Accusing Trump Of A Cover-Up, But Tells Democrats To Hold Off On Impeachment For Now

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her caucus Wednesday to hold off on starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump, while also publicly accusing Trump of staging a cover-up.

In a closed-door meeting, Pelosi and party leadership attempted to quell a growing movement in the party that is calling for an impeachment inquiry into the president in the wake of the Mueller report and as the White House refuses to comply with House investigations in obstruction. Leaders argued that the more time is needed for committee investigations to continue, but they also ratcheted up their attacks on the president.

“We believe that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States. And we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said after the meeting.

Shortly after the cover-up accusation, Democratic leaders went to the White House to continue negotiations over a massive infrastructure bill.

Instead, according to a Democratic aide, Trump walked into the room, made reference to Pelosi’s “cover-up” comment, and walked out before anyone had even sat down or shaken hands. Trump repeated this complaint to reporters in the Rose Garden shortly afterward.

“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that had just said I was doing a cover-up. I don’t do cover-ups,” he said.

Trump said he will not negotiate while the investigations into his administration continue. Pelosi accused Trump of staging the walkout and never being serious about negotiating a deal.

Democratic committees investigating the White House are locked in a multipronged legal battle with the administration over witnesses and documents. This has helped cause the groundswell of Democrats in the House accusing Trump of obstruction and calling for an impeachment inquiry, the first step in a potential impeachment vote.

“I don’t think that anybody came to Congress last year wanting to move down this path. But honestly, we’re at the point where the administration’s leaving us no choice,” said Rep. Susan Wild.

Pelosi and committee chairs made the case that Democrats should stay on course and continue fighting in the courts for information. They pointed to a recent court victory and new agreement for the Department of Justice to hand over documents related to the Mueller investigation.

Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, said Tuesday that an impeachment battle “might tear the country apart” and that Democrats need to move carefully and gather more information.

But the number of members calling for an impeachment inquiry continues to grow. While there is no formal count (and many members refused to guess), estimates placed the number at around two dozen. Some members said it could be higher. They argue that the White House is undermining Congress’s constitutionally mandated oversight role and the House is compelled to act. Rep. Pramila Jayapal said she expects the pro-impeachment ranks to grow stronger as obstruction continues. “I think that more and more people will feel that way depending on the administration’s own behavior,” she said.

But for now, those who want to see an impeachment inquiry concede they are in the minority. Wednesday’s meeting ended with many members saying they want the legal battles and committee investigations to continue before impeachment gets broached.

“The overwhelming majority believe that we should continue to proceed along the course that we’re on right now,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of Democratic leadership.

An impeachment inquiry would be conducted by the House Judiciary Committee, which would consider whether there are grounds to draw up articles of impeachment against the president. If the committee concluded there was, it would go before a vote before the full House of Representatives. However, for the president to be removed from office an impeachment verdict would need to be confirmed by the Senate, which is almost unthinkable given that is controlled by Republicans who have been fiercely loyal to Trump.

Still, some Democrats argue the party has a responsibility to uphold the Constitution and begin the inquiry. For now, Democrats are remaining on course to fight the administration in the courts. But several members said Wednesday they only expect the calls for impeachment to grow.

“There’s still interest in going through the judicial process for most of us,” said Rep. Jackie Speier. “But at some point the clock runs out.”

Unsealed Documents Show Mueller Knew Trump Was Writing Secret Checks To Michael Cohen In 2017

WASHINGTON — Newly unsealed court records show special counsel Robert Mueller knew by the end of 2017 that President Donald Trump had been writing checks that year to his former lawyer Michael Cohen totaling more than $280,000 — months before FBI agents raided Cohen’s home and offices in April 2018.

A federal judge in Washington, DC, unsealed five search warrant applications on Wednesday that Mueller’s office filed in 2017 seeking access to email accounts tied to Cohen (see below). The documents shed light on just how much information Mueller had gathered on Cohen by the end of that year. The special counsel’s office didn’t pursue charges against Cohen related to his finances, however; they referred out that investigation to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

What isn’t clear is whether Mueller knew why Trump was writing checks to Cohen when his office listed the payments in two November 2017 applications. News reports, court records, and statements from Cohen and Trump’s own legal team would later confirm that the president reimbursed Cohen for a payment he arranged in the months before the 2016 election to stop adult film star Stormy Daniels from going public with claims that she had an affair with Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations in connection with that payment as well as hush money paid to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

When FBI agents executed search warrants on Cohen’s home and office in April 2018, the public learned for the first time that Mueller’s office had referred information about Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York to pursue. At the time, it wasn’t known what exactly the special counsel’s office gave the Manhattan prosecutors, or when. Based on the documents unsealed Wednesday, Mueller’s office had evidence of the Trump payments before making the referral to their New York counterparts.

The 2017 search warrant applications — which US District Chief Judge Beryl Howell agreed to unseal after a group of news outlets petitioned the court — show the special counsel’s office was exploring hundreds of thousands of dollars Cohen received from domestic and foreign corporate entities, and whether he’d been acting illegally as a foreign agent and working with companies trying to lobby the Trump administration. A search warrant application filed by Mueller’s office in July 2017 and two applications filed in August 2017 didn’t mention the Trump checks.

In the November 2017 applications, the government told the judge that they’d obtained records from an unnamed bank that showed an account was opened under Cohen’s wife’s name around March 2017. Records from that financial institution and a second unnamed bank showed Cohen had received at least seven checks from Trump totaling $280,000 since February. Cohen endorsed the checks over to his wife, who deposited them in the account in her name, according to the FBI agent who signed the affidavit.

The applications don’t include any other information about the payments. Representatives of the special counsel’s office and the US attorney’s office in New York did not immediately return requests for comment.

Some information about what Mueller’s office was investigating in 2017 related to Cohen was disclosed earlier this year when a judge unsealed search warrant applications filed by prosecutors in New York in 2018. The documents unsealed Wednesday offered more details about what Mueller’s office was investigating and what they’d found in 2017.

The 2017 applications also detailed payments Cohen received throughout the year from foreign or foreign-tied entities, including Columbus Nova LLC, an investment management firm that Mueller’s office said was under a holding company in Switzerland controlled by a wealthy Russian national with reported ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Viktor Vekselberg. The documents also listed payments Cohen received from a bank in Kazakhstan, a Korean aerospace company, telecommunications giant AT&T, and a subsidiary of pharmaceutical company Novartis International AG.

Columbus Nova said in a statement that Vekselberg was not involved in making decisions about or providing payments to Cohen. Columbus Nova is an American entity, and the Renova Group — the entity that Mueller said was based in Switzerland and controlled by Vekselberg — is its largest client, the company said.

Although Mueller’s office had been investigating whether Cohen unlawfully acted as an unregistered agent for a foreign entity, he was never charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. He reached a deal with prosecutors in New York in August 2018, pleading guilty to the campaign finance violations related to the hush money payments, as well as tax evasion and making false statements to a bank.

Cohen alleged Trump directed him to make the payments to Daniels and McDougal in order to influence the election, which turned the hush money payments into campaign contributions subject to federal contribution limits. Trump was not charged — the Justice Department has long held that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted — and he has denied that he broke the law.

In November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty in a separate case brought by Mueller’s office that accused him of lying to Congress about the timeline of efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016. Cohen had told congressional committees that the Moscow deal ended in January 2016, when in fact it was still being discussed within the Trump Organization in June of that year.

Cohen began serving a 3½-year sentence in a federal prison in New York earlier this month.

Now Trump Wants To Allow Anti-Transgender Discrimination In Homeless Shelters

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced plans Wednesday to let shelters and other recipients of federal housing money discriminate against transgender people by turning them away or placing them alongside others of their birth sex — refusing to let them share facilities with people of the same gender identity.

Critics warn the proposal, which guts protections created during the Obama administration, could put transgender people at a higher risk for homelessness and abuse. The rule would allow shelters to reject transgender applicants entirely or require trans women to share bathing and sleeping facilities with men.

It is the latest rollback of LGBT rights in President Donald Trump’s campaign to allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public and private settings.

Trump’s Justice Department has said transgender women in prison must be jailed in cells with men, argued that religious shopkeepers can refuse service to same-sex couples, and defended a ban on transgender troops in the military. On Tuesday, Trump released a “conscience” rule that would let health care providers recuse themselves from providing certain services to transgender patients.

The complete text of the draft rule by the Department of Housing and Urban Development was not immediately available. However, the Office of Management and Budget published a summary Wednesday that says it would allow shelter operators and others receiving HUD funds to cite safety, religious objections, and the person’s birth sex as reasons to determine where transgender people are placed.

The rule concerns single-sex or sex-segregated facilities, such as bathrooms, emergency shelters, and other accommodations.

“The proposed rule permits Shelter Providers to consider a range of factors in making such determinations, including privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with,” says an abstract of the draft regulation.

The proposal would need to be published in full and opened to public comment before it could be finalized as a regulation. The proposal says HUD is still “ensuring that its programs are open to all … regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

But critics immediately blasted the proposal as a threat to transgender people, who face high rates of discrimination in employment and housing, and as a result, disproportionately need shelters and other housing assistance.

The Obama administration had approved two regulations designed to protect LGBT people who are homeless and rely on HUD services, including a 2016 regulation titled “Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs.”

HUD’s website explains the 2016 rule “ensures equal access to individuals in accordance with their gender identity in programs and shelter funded under programs administered by HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development.”

While the new proposal would not rescind the older policies, it would allow shelter operators and others receiving HUD funds to skirt them.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the proposal an “attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The programs impacted by this rule are life-saving for transgender people, particularly youth rejected by their families, and a lack of stable housing fuels the violence and abuse that takes the lives of many transgender people of color.”

HUD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why the new rule is necessary and how it responded to concerns about the proposal.

The 2015 US Transgender Survey, the largest survey of its type to date, found 1 in 4 transgender adults had experienced housing bias within the previous year. Transgender people who are homeless were found to be more likely to face physical and sexual violence.

In April, HUD Secretary Ben Carson defended his department against criticism over withdrawing guidance on nondiscrimination by citing the Equal Access Rule in his testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee.

“We have not removed the rules,” he said at the time. “We have not changed the rules at all.”

Celine Dion Gave Away Her Shoes On “Carpool Karaoke”

You can add Celine Dion to the list of people who have appeared on James Cordens’s Carpool Karaoke, and you can actually put her at the top of the “Most Entertaining” list. It starts out with Corden picking up Dion and going for a ride down the Vegas strip, where she couldn’t let him finish a sentence without breaking into a song that related to the conversation.

The first song they sang together was “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” and you really get to see how talented the 51-year-old Canadian singer is. Dion belts the song out effortlessly, and Corden isn’t too bad either! The duo puts on a show, that’s for sure.

In the middle of the song, Dion rolls down the window to say hi to a group of fans eating on the patio. Who else can say they saw Dion during lunch?

One of the funniest moments was when Dion did a dramatic rendition of “Baby Shark” that as Corden says, no one will ever forget.

Next up was “Because You Loved Me,” another classic.

Then, Corden asked Dion how many pairs of shoes she owned. The singer went quiet for a bit, but finally gave an answer.

“Three thousand, five thousand…” Dion muttered.

“I’ve heard ten thousand,” Corden replied.

“…Maybe,” the diva said. “I didn’t want to say it.”

Dion went on to admit that she has a literal warehouse where she keeps all her shoes. She said that at her house in Florida, she had an automatic system where the shoes were organized by color and when she pressed a button, the shoes would rotate through in front of her so she could see which ones she wanted.

“How emotionally attached to these shoes do you think you are?” Corden asked.

“I’m attached,” she replied.

“Well we actually spoke your assistant, and they said that they felt that we needed to have a slight cull of the shoes,” Corden revealed. “So we’ve got some of your shoes.”

“F–k off!” Dion exclaimed.

“We thought we could give them away to people on the Las Vegas strip,” the host quipped.

Dion is very against this idea, but played along. Corden and Dion then drove around the strip, rolled down the window, and handed out shoes to strangers on the street.

“Noooo! I need alcohol!” Dion shouted.

Dion also talked about being famous, and how her wedding was broadcast on national television in Canada. She also said that when her first son was born, she hadn’t even gotten to hold her baby yet and the doctor was on live TV announcing the birth.

The most outrageous part of the bit was when Corden and Dion reenacted the “I’m Flying” scene from Titanic. The pair got out onto the water, in full costume, and did the whole bit in one of the fountains on the strip, while people gathered and watched in awe.

The whole video is really a treat, and you can see Dion’s personality really come out. Take a look for yourself!

[embedded content]

What was your favorite part?

Eläinlääkäriliitto: Kolmen koirarodun buldoggimaisuus geenin aiheuttama vakava kehityshäiriö; koirien jalostaminen on epäeettistä.

Eläinlääkäriliitto: Kolmen koirarodun buldoggimaisuus geenin aiheuttama vakava kehityshäiriö; koirien jalostaminen on epäeettistä. submitted by /u/cmmts to r/Suomi
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Ylen Testaa, tunnetko sananvapauden rajat ensimmäinen kysymys on erittäin hämmentävä

En siis ymmärrä, mitä toimittaja hakee ensimmäisellä kysymyksellä, missä valkoihoinen suomalainen ei saisi "kritisoida" vähemmistöjä, mutta vähemmistöt saisivat sanoa, mitä haluavat enemmistöistä (laillista). Perustelee tätä sillä, että "Suomesta ei löydy oikeustapausta, jossa olisi käsitelty kiihottamista enemmistöryhmää vastaan", mutta eihän tämä tarkoita, että se olisi sallittua.

Mikä oli siis toimittajan motiivi tällä kysymyksellä? Kannustaa puhumaan hölmöjä suomalaisista mediassa, koska suomalaisten enemmistö ei ole kansanryhmä?


Ei ole vihapuhetta, jos kyseessä on suomalainenkö?!

submitted by /u/JepJaa51 to r/Suomi
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A twitter post but it’s real

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kisu part 2

kisu part 2 submitted by /u/tyhmakarhu to r/Suomi
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Suomi on kyllä ihanan kompakti kieli.

Suomi on kyllä ihanan kompakti kieli. submitted by /u/Mottis86 to r/Suomi
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That’s enough CSGO for one evening…

That's enough CSGO for one evening... submitted by /u/BillBobTheSecond to r/GlobalOffensive
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Eat Your Cereal On-The-Go With These Easy No Bake Bars

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We only suggest products that we believe in and want to share with others. If you make a purchase we earn a small amount of commission. Whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.What’s better than an ice cream sandwich? How about a cookie dough ice cream sandwich? Take your favorite flavor of ice cream and layer it between

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Maksulliset vessat ovat ihmisoikeuksien laiminlyöntiä.

Istun tällä hetkellä Jyväskylän matkakeskuksessa suuressa hädässä. Eipä löydy tältä veijarilta käteistä eikä matkakeskuksen vessoihin pääse ilman 1€ kolikkoa. Koska en ole paikallinen, en tiedä miten toimisin. Tajuan, miksi vessoista pyydetään maksua, mutta idea on järjetön. Ei naurata sitten yhtään, että tälläinen ihmisen tarve on maksullista.

Muokkaus: sopiva flairi.

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SDP on tehnyt tätä aikaisemminkin

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Ottaako henkeen?

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Porissa viime viikolla palaneessa kerrostalossa toimiva ravintola avasi taas ovensa

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Vielä yksi muistutus

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Basically every reasonable person

Basically every reasonable person submitted by /u/theofficialbeni to r/memes
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Guys, we 👏 need 👏 to 👏 save 👏 the 👏 turtles 👏

Guys, we 👏 need 👏 to 👏 save 👏 the 👏 turtles 👏 submitted by /u/Depressed_Yeeter to r/memes
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I swear mom

I swear mom submitted by /u/Raice19 to r/memes
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