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Senator Bob Casey appears to be pro-life, but opposes Amy Coney Barrett.

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Senator Bob Casey appears to be pro-life, but opposes Amy Coney Barrett.

Students for Life of America (SFLA) gathered in Philadelphia on Friday, October 23 for a rally outside Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Casey’s District Office urging him to vote in favour of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

“We’re here today for our Justice for Life Tour,” said SFLA Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizer Liana Hollendonner to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We explicitly selected senators who claim to be pro-life, but their voting record does not represent that.”

The SFLA party of about two dozen people sang, “Fill the seat! “Besides the District Offices of Casey, a self-proclaimed pro-life Democrat. Casey has proved to be a supporter of abortion rights as his votes coincided with Planned Parenthood 75% of his time in the Senate since 2011, according to Politico.

Casey published a statement on Sept. 23 in reaction to President Donald Trump’s appointment of Barrett to the Supreme Court, in which he said, “I can not endorse a member of the Supreme Court who would strip tens of millions from health care, threaten workers ‘ rights and bid large corporations.”

SIGN THE PETITION: vote to confirm the nomination of the Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett

Barrett “just embodies real xenophobia, being a mom and having been popular in her chosen profession,” Hollendonner told DCNF. “Judge Amy’s appointment to the Supreme Court is, I believe, merely showing the triumph of the first wave and the second wave of xenophobia in our country, and it should be a moment for every woman across America to celebrate,” said SFLA president Kristan Hawkins in an interview with DCNF.

The SFLA group wrote on the sidewalk chalk statements endorsing Barrett along with different pro-life sentiments, but told the sidewalk outside 2000 Market St.—which houses Casey’s office suite — was private property. A security staff member for the building ordered the SFLA party to stop chalking, explaining that the party was defacing “private property.”

The Civil Affairs Unit of Philadelphia stated that the sidewalk area in front of the Market St. building was public land, according to Hollendonner, who called the Civil Affairs Unit.

The Civil Affairs Unit also claimed that the police would provide the same explanation to the employees of the building if they were to call 911, Hollendonner said.

Building workers at 2000 Market St. hosed the sidewalk chalk of the SFLA party until the rally was over.

SFLA also gathered in other key swing states on October 23, including Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Minnesota, North Carolina, Colorado, and Washington, where student groups gathered outside the offices of each state’s senator to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

“Our goal this week was to go out and show the U.S. to the States. The Senate needs this pro-life generation to do their job and confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, “Hawkins told DCNF.

The Justice for Life Tour this weekend comes after the SFLA counter-protest at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. Last Saturday, the party was met with a lot of animosities, according to Hawkins.

“The Democrats have tried really hard to get Amy Coney Barrett to affirm the future of Obamacare, but what it really is about is the future of abortion law in our country, and that’s why we saw what we saw last Saturday at the Women’s March and the violence against our team members and the threats of violence,” Hawkins said in an interview with DCNF.

Barrett did not commit to a position to abolish abortion precedents such as Roe v. Wade but stressed before the Senate Judiciary Committee that, while late Justice Anton Scalia was a mentor of hers and held a pro-life position in court, this did not mean that she would judge the same as him.

“As far as textualism is concerned, the judge treats the text as it was written with the meaning it had at the time and does not infuse its own meaning into it,” Barrett said during her appointment hearing. “But I want to be sure to suggest that if I’m confirmed, you won’t have Justice Scalia. You’re going to get Justice Barrett. And that’s because the originalists don’t always agree. And neither are textualists, “she said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would hold a vote to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, October 26.

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Burkina Faso’s President Christian Kabore is held by mutinous soldiers

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Burkina Faso’s President Christian Kabore is held by mutinous soldiers

By SAM MEDNICK

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Mutinous soldiers said they detained Burkina Faso’s president on Monday, a day after rebellious troops seized a military barracks, setting off a series of gunbattles in the capital of the West African country.

It was not clear who was in control of the country, which was once a bastion of stability in the region but has been beset by an Islamic insurgency and internal political turmoil in recent years. A statement on President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s Twitter account called for soldiers to lay down their arms — but did not address whether he was in detention. Meanwhile, mutinous soldiers surrounded state news station RTB.

“Our nation is going through difficult times,” read the statement on Twitter. “We must, in this precise moment, preserve our democratic advances. I invite those who took arms to lower them in the interest of the nation. It is with dialogue and listening that we must resolve our contradictions.”

It could not be confirmed if Kabore posted the statement himself, but his government had previously tried to downplay the mutiny, while acknowledging that a few cities were affected, and earlier denied he was in custody.

Two soldiers, however, told The Associated Press that they were holding the leader but they not say where they were keeping him. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Unrest began Sunday night, when soldiers took control of a major military barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou. In response, civilians rallied in a show of support for the rebellion but were dispersed by security forces firing tear gas. Burkina Faso has seen a series of anti-government protests as anger has mounted over the handling of the Islamic insurgency.

Groups of people celebrated again in the streets of the capital on Monday morning after reports of Kabore’s capture.

Kabore was elected in 2015 after a popular uprising ousted longtime strongman President Blaise Compaore. Kabore was reelected in November 2020, but frustration has been growing at his inability to stem the spread of jihadist violence across the country. Attacks linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group are escalating, killing thousands and displacing more than an estimated 1.5 million people.

The military has suffered losses since the extremist violence began in 2016. In December, more than 50 security forces were killed and nine more died in November.

Mutinous soldiers told the AP that the government was out of touch with troops and that they wanted military rule. Among their demands are more forces in the battle against extremists and better care for those wounded and the families of the dead.

About 100 military members have planned the takeover since August, according to one of the mutinous soldiers.

Sahel experts say the government was overstretched, but it’s unlikely the mutiny will change anything.

“Burkina Faso’s army is profoundly ill-equipped and unprepared for the war it’s asked to fight. It’s out of its depth. Its frustration with an equally out-of-its-depth government is understandable. Regrettably, this is unlikely to improve anything,” said Michael Shurkin, a former political analyst at the CIA and director of global programs at 14 North Strategies, a business intelligence consultancy based in Senegal.

But as protests over the weekend and on Monday showed, discontent among the general population is also growing.

“People are tired with this situation of insecurity. Everyday, people are killed. In Burkina, there are areas that can’t be accessed. We have lost a big part of our territory,” said Jean-Baptiste Ilboudou, a civilian who was biking near the military base when gunshots were heard.

The West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, which already has suspended Mali and Guinea in the past 18 months over military coups, issued a statement of support for Burkina Faso’s embattled president and urged dialogue with the mutineers.

Burkina Faso, too has seen its share of coup attempts and military takeovers — though it experienced a period of relative stability under Compaore, who ruled for 27 years until his ouster in 2014.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested a group of soldiers accused of participating in a foiled coup plot. It was not immediately known whether there was any connection between those soldiers and the ones rebelling now. Military prosecutors said nine soldiers and two civilians were being held in connection with the plot.

In 1987, Compaore came to power by force. And in 2015, soldiers loyal to him attempted to overthrow the transitional government put into place after his ouster. The army was ultimately able to put the transitional authorities back in power, who led again until Kabore won an election and took office.

___

Associated Press writer Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal, contributed.

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Alize Cornet reaches quarterfinals at her 63rd Grand Slam

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Alize Cornet reaches quarterfinals at her 63rd Grand Slam

By JOHN PYE

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Alize Cornet dropped to her knees on the hard blue court, clasped her hands and took a few moments to let it sink in.

In her 17th trip to the Australia Open, her 63rd run at a Grand Slam, and two days after celebrating her 32nd birthday, Cornet finally qualified for the quarterfinals at one of the four major events in tennis.

Cornet recovered after a second-set meltdown in the hot Melbourne sun on Monday to advance to the last eight at the Australian Open with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over two-time major champion Simona Halep.

Her victory over Halep, a former Wimbledon and French Open champion and runner-up in Australia, gave her a record for most appearances at a major before reaching the quarterfinals. Tamarine Tanasugarn previously held the mark at 45, set at Wimbledon in 2008.

“It’s never too late to try again!” Cornet said in her on-court TV interview. “To be in my first quarterfinal. It’s a dream come true.

“The journey goes on. I still can’t believe it.”

No. 115-ranked Kaia Kanepi had the same feeling, waiting until she was 36 to reach the quarterfinals in Australia and finally advancing when, after wasting four match points, she upset second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7).

Within seconds, fourth-seeded Stefanos Tistsipas defeated No. 20 Taylor Fritz 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena to conclude Day 8.

Kanepi’s match had to be shifted off the main stadium court because of a late-finishing day program. Kanepi wrapped it up just after midnight on Margaret Court Arena to set up a showdown against 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Sorana Cirstea 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

“I thought I was going to lose it after the match points I had on my serve,” said Kanepi, who had reached the quarterfinals twice at each of the other three majors. “It was difficult to come back.

It helped her that Sabalenka’s service woes continued and she made 15 double-faults, giving her 56 for the tournament.

“Australian Open was the only quarterfinal of a Grand Slam I was missing,” Kanepi said. “At my age, I didn’t believe I would do it.”

Cornet had her issues, too. She led by a set and 3-1 before losing five consecutive games and 16 straight points as Halep took the match to a decider.

The match was 2-2 in the third set after Cornet held a service game at love, saying “allez” after every shot she hit.

Halep got a break-point chance two games later with a forehand down the line that just caught the outside of the paint and which Cornet could barely believe. She saved it and held serve, then broke Halep’s serve for a 4-3 lead that set her on course for the quarterfinals.

Cornet will next play American Danielle Collins, a 2019 Australian Open semifinalist who beat 19th-seeded Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in an almost three-hour match to open play on Rod Laver Arena.

Cornet made her main draw Grand Slam singles debut as a wild-card entry at the 2005 French Open. She lost five previous fourth-round appearances but had gone close to reaching the quarterfinals before, having match points in the fourth round in Australia in 2009 before losing to eventual runner-up Dinara Safina.

With a ranking of 61 — 50 lower than her career-high No. 11 — Cornet came into the 2022 season acknowledging retirement must be close and that it was now or never for a Grand Slam breakthrough.

“I don’t know if it’s helping,” she said. “I just told myself that if it should happen, then it will happen. Maybe leave it in the hands of fate, destiny, I don’t know.”

The marquee afternoon men’s match was on Margaret Court Arena, where U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev beat 70th-ranked Maxime Cressy 6-2, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (4), 7-5.

The second-ranked Medvedev is trying to become the first man in the Open era to win his second major singles title in the next Grand Slam event. The U.S. Open champion is now potentially three wins from achieving that.

Cressy’s serve-and-volley style created some frustrations for Medvedev, who said late in the fourth set that this was the “most unlucky day I’ve ever had in my life.” His luck changed quickly. After saving eight break-point chances in the set, Cressy was broken in that game and Medvedev served out at love.

He will next play ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, 7-6 (4). Medvedev beat the Canadian in the semifinals at last year’s U.S. Open.

No. 11 Jannik Sinner ended Australia’s last hope in the men’s draw when he beat No. 32 Alex de Minaur 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4. He will next face Tsitsipas, last year’s French Open runner-up.

The temperature hit 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees F) during the late afternoon, with extra breaks allowed for players to cope with the heat.

Cornet used bags of ice to cool down her head during changeovers, and draped cold towels over her neck.

“I just stopped thinking after … 30 minutes of playing. My brain was already like, overloaded,” Cornet said. “My vision was not clear anymore. My hands were shaking.”

But, she added, “I thought, on the other side of the court, she was not feeling much better than me.”

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Cherry Creek’s Riley Stewart wins third Colorado Gatorade Girls Cross Country Player of the Year

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Cherry Creek’s Riley Stewart wins third Colorado Gatorade Girls Cross Country Player of the Year

Riley Stewart made history on Monday, winning her third consecutive Colorado Gatorade Girls Cross Country Player of the Year.

The Cherry Creek senior is the first girl and just the second runner from the state to win three cross country player-of-the-year honors, joining former Valor Christian standout Cole Sprout (2017-20).

The Stanford-bound Stewart won the Class 5A state title in the event with a time of 17 minutes, 20.9 seconds and helped the Bruins finish second in the team competition. She finished first in the Eastbay Midwest Regional Championships with a time of 16 minutes, 54.4 seconds and placed third at the national Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships with a time of 16 minutes, 28.4 seconds.

“Riley has not been beaten by a Coloradan in a cross-country or track race since the spring of her freshman year,” Cherry Creek head coach Ethan Dusto said in a news release. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a string of success quite like Riley’s.”

In addition to her athletic accomplishments, she also carries a 4.11 grade-point average and is a member of her school’s Student Athlete Leadership Council.

Stewart also won the Colorado Gatorade Girls Track & Field Player of the Year award last year as a junior.

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