Justin Holcomb  - Watch: Refugee Boat Carrying at Least 500 Capsizes in Mediterranean
Posted: 5/26/2016 10:15:00 AM EST

The Italian navy captured the moment an overcrowded refugee boat overturned off the coast of Libya which left several people dead.  The fishing vessel apparently tipped over on Wednesday after the refugees and migrants rushed to one side of the boat.

Warning: Some readers may find this video disturbing

The vessel eventually fully overturned leaving all those on board stranded in the ocean.  

The Italian Navy rescued what survivors were left.

Justin Holcomb  - China Sending Nuclear Subs to the Pacific Ocean
Posted: 5/26/2016 9:30:00 AM EST

The Chinese military is reportedly planning to send nuclear armed submarines to patrol the Pacific Ocean for the first time over territorial disputes with the United States in the region.

The report, citing Chinese military officials, said that no time table has been determined but insists that such action is inevitable.

The Chinese are blaming the U.S. for plans leaked in March which include the installation of a new U.S. Thaad anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.  This news, paired with the American capability to hit China in less than an hour after missile launch, are seen as huge threats to the effectiveness of Chinese land-based deterrent forces.  

Last week, two Chinese fighter jets flew within 50 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane in what the Pentagon termed an "unsafe intercept."

Leah Barkoukis - Florida Muslim Professor Defends Chopping Off Hands Under Sharia Law
Posted: 5/26/2016 9:00:00 AM EST

Radical professors are teaching the next generation of Americans across the U.S. and if you thought they were made up exclusively of the leftist type, you’d be wrong.

Meet Professor Bassem Alhalabi from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, who recently was chosen to be on a panel of ‘experts’ regarding Islamophobia hosted by the school’s Muslim Student Association.

What sage advice did he have on Sharia law? Well, letting students know that it’s OK to chop off thieves’ hands. You know, because it’s for the greater good, or something.

“Where there is no Sharia, Islamic Sharia, they die in dozens and hundreds every day because of organized crime. People kill people, other people or steal pizza for $10 and so – so when Islamic Sharia is saying about capital punishment – so even though it sounds like it is severe but if that is the solution to prevent any crimes, then it still has a lot of rules and regulations. I will just mention one and stop here, which is let’s say, cutting off the hands of a person if they steal. It sounds very severe. It sounds very barbaric, I know. But if takes one or two people to have their hands cut off, and then there’s no more stealing and there’s no more stealing in the whole nation – that’s a much better resolution than having hundreds of people die every day.”

Leah Barkoukis - Gary Johnson: You Know, I Wouldn’t Be Running If There ‘Weren’t the Possibility of Actually Winning’
Posted: 5/26/2016 8:30:00 AM EST

Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson is polling in double digits in hypothetical general election matchups, which is particularly noteworthy given that nearly half (47 percent) of the electorate would consider throwing their support behind a third party candidate.

On top of that, not only are there a lot of undecided voters right now, recent polls also show Trump and Clinton are pretty unpopular among the national electorate.

So, does he have any shot at winning or is he just serving as a spoiler? According to Johnson, it's the former. 

“I wouldn’t be engaged in this right now if there weren’t the possibility of actually winning,” he told MSNBC, although he went on to note that a third party candidate’s only chance of winning is to be included in the presidential debates.

A candidate must poll at 15 percent to be invited to debate, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

 “Really key for us right now is just being in the polls that determines who’s in the debates,”he said.

Leah Barkoukis - Trump Aide: Picking a Woman, Minority as VP Would Be 'Pandering'
Posted: 5/26/2016 8:00:00 AM EST

Donald Trump isn’t about to pick a woman or a minority as his running mate simply to do better among that demographic, according to his top aide.

To do so “would be viewed as pandering, I think,” Paul Manafort told The Huffington Post in a lengthy interview.

“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do,” he continued.” He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.”

“There is a long list of who that person could be,” Manafort added, “and every one of them has major problems.”

In discussions about his search for a running mate, Trump has mentioned a few women, including Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

But one qualification Trump and his aides have made clear is that his vice presidential pick will have significant political experience. It will be “somebody that can help me with legislation and somebody that can help me get things passed and somebody who’s been friends with senators and congressman so we don’t have to go the executive order route as much as Obama did where he can’t get anything approved,” the businessman has explained.

Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was even more specific this week, noting that Trump’s running mate will likely be someone with “federal elective experience.” 

Cortney O'Brien - 'Freedom to Work Is Back': Wisconsin Right-to-work Law Reinstated by Appeals Court
Posted: 5/26/2016 7:30:00 AM EST

Labor unions have again been defeated in the state of Wisconsin. A court of appeals has issued a stay in the case between labor groups like AFL-CIO and the Badger State over Gov. Scott Walker's right-to-work legislation, which prevents employees from having to pay mandatory union fees. In her decision, Judge Lisa Stark concluded that a lower court was wrong when it said labor unions would suffer undue harm under the law.

The order by the state District 3 Court of Appeals, based in Wausau, overrules a decision made earlier by Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust to not issue a stay of his own ruling throwing out the law on the grounds that the law unconstitutionally takes property from unions without compensation. 

Walker, who has been a champion for right-to-work since becoming governor, applauded the court's decision on Twitter.

Walker is used to victory in his never-ending battle with his state's labor unions. The feud made national headlines a few years ago when unions demanded he face a recall election for scaling back public employees' right to collective bargaining. He didn't back down - and he won reelection handily.

More than half of the states have already enacted right-to-work legislation. As such, DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos said he is confident it will be deemed constitutional in the Badger State.

Justin Holcomb  - Airlines Not Happy Helping With TSA Lines: "We are Concerned for This Weekend"
Posted: 5/25/2016 9:00:00 PM EST

With a projected record year for summer holiday travel approaching, U.S. airlines and airports are spending millions on added workers to help shorten the increasingly long security lines.  Summer air travel is forecast to climb 4 percent this year to a record 231.1 million passengers.  Some predictions indicate that more than 38 million Americans will travel by air and road this weekend, which would be the second-highest since 2005.

The efforts of added workers are an attempt to create quicker security lines as some have become as long as three hours in a report last month. This caused thousands of travelers to miss flights and led to hearings in Congress this week on the agency’s woes. 

“We are concerned for this weekend, where we’ll see higher than normal flight loads,” said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines Group Inc. “That will just continue into June and pretty much all the way to September.”

American, Delta and United airlines are expected to spend as much as $4 million each for extra workers at their busiest airports to help manage lines, shuffle bins at checkpoints, and help the TSA officers do their job.

“At this point it’s all hands on deck, and we’re thinking about everything we can do to help our customers make their flights on time,” Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly told reporters.

The TSA plans to add 768 new screeners by mid-June to deal with increasingly long airport security lines.

Sophie  Carson - Obama To Vietnamese Youth: Tackle Climate Change
Posted: 5/25/2016 7:00:00 PM EST

At the end of his four-day tour of Vietnam, President Barack Obama told a gathering of young people that they should tackle the issue of climate change, complimenting them for their environmentally-conscious attitudes.

Obama answered questions from members of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative at a town hall event in Ho Chi Minh City. YSEALI is “Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia,” according to its website.

In response to a question about the preservation of a Vietnamese cave, Obama lectured the group about the environmental issues facing the country, something he has made a focus of his presidency. “He said Vietnam will be one of the countries most affected by the trend of warming temperatures and rising seas,” AP reported.

“That could have a huge impact on Vietnam's ability to feed its people, on fishermen, on farmers, and it could be a really big problem if we don't do something about it, so it's going to be up to you to start,” Obama said.

He added, "One of the great things about your generation is that you're already much more conscious about the environment than my generation was or previous generations were.”

This commentary comes two days after Obama lifted the decades-long weapons embargo on the communist country. The decision angered critics, among them Vietnam War veterans. “Obama defended the decision to lift the arms ban despite Vietnam's dismal record on human rights -- involving the jailing of dissidents and stalled political reforms -- saying sales would be evaluated on a ‘case-by-case’ basis,” CNN reported.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has said rising ocean levels, caused by the melting of polar ice caps, will drastically impact low-lying Vietnam. Public Radio International reported that some also worry about salt water intruding the country’s many rice paddies.

“Vietnam is also one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change," according to USAID. "A one-meter rise in sea-level will inundate approximately 9 percent of Vietnam’s territory, directly affecting an even larger percentage of the nation’s population, with economic damages costing 10 percent of the gross domestic product.”

It is curious Obama chose to focus on climate change in Vietnam, as the country is arguably dealing with much more important issues. The Heritage Foundation labels Vietnam as “mostly unfree,” writing, “the Socialist Republic of Vietnam remains a Communist dictatorship characterized by political repression and an absence of civil liberties.”

Obama continued his tour of Asia in Japan Wednesday, where he will be the first sitting visit U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.

Cortney O'Brien - Shameful: Sanctuary City Protections Remain in San Francisco Even After Kate Steinle Death
Posted: 5/25/2016 6:15:00 PM EST

In a slap in the face to the family of Kate Steinle, a young woman who last year was killed by an illegal immigrant, San Francisco has decided to retain its status as a sanctuary city

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation that upholds the city's policy on limiting law enforcement from providing assistance to federal immigration authorities aiming to apprehend or deport individuals. 

The board's decision allows illegal immigrants like Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez to escape proper punishment. Sanchez, who had been deported five times before, shot and killed Steinle last summer while she was walking along the San Francisco pier. Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi released Lopez-Sanchez even though federal authorities wanted the city to keep him behind bars. The tragedy spawned Kate's Law, legislation that would demand a minimum 5-year prison sentence for any illegal immigrant here in the U.S. who been previously been deported. 

Yet, San Francisco officials have apparently decided political correctness is more important than its citizens' safety. God forbid their disastrous decision results in more Kate Steinles.

A second vote on the sanctuary city ordinance is scheduled for next Tuesday. 

Catherine  Dunn - Hillary Still Searching for a Campaign Slogan That Sticks
Posted: 5/25/2016 6:00:00 PM EST

This Monday on “Meet the Press,” Hillary Clinton unveiled a new campaign slogan: “Stronger together.” Since then, many in the press have criticized the slogan as sounding defensive and as lacking a truly unifying message.

“I’m not 100 percent sure what it means and how it unites voters,” said Joy-Ann Reid in a roundtable discussion on “Meet the Press.” She noted that the slogan fails to provide a central vision, a “driving dream,” for her supporters to rally around, unlike, for example, Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

In the same discussion, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said that her slogan sounds “a little defensive,” given the weakness she has displayed in her race against Bernie Sanders. “Stronger together” might be interpreted as a plea for the party to unite behind her, so that she has the political strength to win the presidency. It’s a defensive gesture in that it defends her against charges of weakness—on the condition, however, that the party as a whole supports her.

“Stronger together” is by some counts the seventh slogan Clinton has employed throughout her campaign. Others include, “I’m with Her,” “Make America Whole,” “Love and Kindness,” “Break Down Barriers,” “Build Ladders of Opportunity,” and “Love Trumps Hate.” She changed slogans with similar frequency during her 2008 campaign, wherein she used, among others, the slogans, “Working for Change, Working for You,” “Ready for Change, Ready to Lead,” and “I’m in to Win.”

Her difficulty in articulating a vision for the country has plagued both of her campaigns, drawing complaints from supporters and detractors alike. “I’ve been waiting to hear a vision,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in June 2015, explaining why he hadn’t yet endorsed Clinton. In early 2016, Republican consultant Beth Myers criticized Clinton’s “muddled message” to an electorate desperate for “clarity of vision.”

Whether “Stronger together” is an effective answer to her critics remains to be seen. Given its initially cool reception, however, it appears unlikely that it will have the impact and staying power of her opponent’s.

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