Search Results for State of the Union

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U.S., Turkey Agree on Turkish Cease-Fire with Syrian Kurds

U.S., Turkey Agree on Turkish Cease-Fire with Syrian KurdsANKARA, Turkey — The U.S. and Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, requiring the Kurds to vacate the area in an arrangement that largely solidifies Turkey’s position and aims in the weeklong conflict. The deal includes a conditional halt to American economic sanctions. After negotiations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence hailed the five-day cease-fire as the way to end the bloodshed caused by Turkey’s invasion of Syria. He remained silent on whether it amounted to a second abandonment of America’s former Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria a week ago, two days after President Donald Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the U.S. military from the…


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Pity the Kurds

Pity the KurdsI stood on the wind-swept Kalowa Hill in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya as Pershan Hassan, a stocky 53-year-old woman, clambered quickly up the dirt track leading to where a mass grave was being excavated. She clutched a framed black-and-white picture of a boy. She pushed her way through the crowd that was looking down at the unearthed remains of dozens of bodies. Suddenly, she let out a gasp of pain and recognition as she saw the skeletal remains of her 13-year-old son, Shafiq. A faded blue blindfold was wrapped tightly around his skull. The casings from spent bullets were scattered around his dark brown bones. “I know him by his clothes,” she whispered, her voice breaking as she lifted the garments and kissed them. “I raised him without a father.” It was December 1991, after the first Iraq war. Saddam Hussein had ruthlessly crushed a Kurdish…


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Federal Judge: Florida Can’t Block Felons From Regaining Voting Rights For Inability...

Federal Judge: Florida Can’t Block Felons From Regaining Voting Rights For Inability…Florida can’t bar residents with felony records from regaining their right to vote just because they’re unable to pay off their court fines and fees, a federal judge ruled Friday night. Last November, Florida voters approved Amendment 4. The constitutional amendment was supposed to restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million Floridians with felony records, the largest single expansion of the franchise in recent history. Complications emerged almost immediately. The language of Amendment 4 said that voting rights would be restored “upon completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation,” but it did not say whether “all terms” included financial obligations imposed by courts. So Florida Republicans introduced and passed a bill to require payment of fines and fees as a condition of regaining one’s right to vote. Legislators said they were merely clarifying the language,…


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New York City Council Votes To Build Four New Jails and To Close Notorious Rikers Island

New York City Council Votes To Build Four New Jails and To Close Notorious Rikers IslandAfter years of pressure from criminal justice reformers and civil liberties groups, New York City is tentatively moving ahead with a plan to shutter its notorious Rikers Island jail complex—the second-largest jail complex in the U.S.—within the next decade. The New York City Council voted Thursday to approve an $8.7 billion plan that will require building four new jails to replace the Rikers Island complex, which since it began holding inmates in the 1930s has been a high-profile magnet for abuse, violence, corruption, and death. “This is about valuing our people, no longer condemning people and sending them on a pathway that only made their lives worse and worse,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio following the vote. “Today we made history: The era of mass incarceration is over.” Of course, it’s much…


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5G Is the Future

5G Is the FutureA decade ago, the iPhone was still a novelty. Apple’s App Store was barely a year old. Online gaming required consoles or computers, Wi-Fi connections, and power outlets. Your phone could make calls and receive emails, but it would be two years before Facebook even had a mobile app. Today your phone is a portal to entertainment and essential services, from online games to driving directions to health care records, all of which is available to you just about anywhere. Less than a decade from now, an even better wireless internet system might let you play a console-quality game on your phone, then click an app to video chat with a physician who can read your vital signs and prescribe medication—all without leaving your house, or perhaps while zipping around town in an autonomous vehicle. The fourth generation of wireless telecommunications technology, or “4G,” allowed for streaming…


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Snake Loops: Sport Touring East of the Hudson

Snake Loops: Sport Touring East of the HudsonAbove the Amenia Hairpin, this lay-by looks over the New York landscape east of the Hudson River.Snakes employ astonishing methods of locomotion. Legs? Who needs ’em! Using muscles and scales, snakes hug the landscape as they wind along their way. Roads can be like that, with narrow, winding runs of asphalt that hug each rise and bend. Snaking asphalt brings joy to this motorcycle rider, and east of the Hudson River there’s a region with plenty of it. This area of small towns, farms and woodlands straddles New York’s border with Connecticut and Massachusetts. The rolling landscape means the roads rarely go straight, and with some route planning it’s easy to avoid population centers. Connecting roads with snake-like curves is the inspiration for this ride. Roughly in the center of this region is the western Massachusetts town of Great Barrington. It has a…


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