Hickenlooper signs executive action barring Colorado resources from being used to separate immigrant families – The Denver Post

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday took executive action barring any state resources from being put toward the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrants illegally crossing the border into the U.S. from their children — a decision that’s unlikely to have widespread impact but represents a rebuke to the White House.

“To see the images and hear from religious leaders, psychological professionals and academics — political individuals from all backgrounds — unanimously to condemn this kind of activity is rare,” Hickenlooper said at a news conference. “That you see that broad a consensus with that same passion and sense of urgency (is rare).”

The term-limited Democrat and potential 2020 presidential candidate added: “We wanted to make sure that we added our sense of urgency with that.”

Under a “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

Sessions announced the effort April 6, and Homeland Security began stepping up referrals in early May, effectively putting the policy into action.

Roughly 2,000 children were separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s policy in a six-week span between April and May.

The policy has become the center of fierce political debate in Washington, D.C., and across the country as the question of how and where to make changes to U.S. immigration law rages on. Democrats and immigrant advocacy groups, along with some conservatives, have lambasted the policy.

When asked if any state resources are currently being used to separate immigrant families, Hickenlooper said “not to our knowledge. We’ve looked into it, and no one is aware of it.”

“I think it’s fair to say it’s a rebuke,” the governor said of his executive order. “But it’s also just saying: ‘It’s not going to happen in our backyard.’ We are very clear that this is not something that is acceptable. It’s hard for me to imagine that this is happening in the United States of America at the scale it is — at any scale.”

Hickenlooper’s executive action does not apply to cases in which a court has determined it is in a child’s best interest to be removed from a parent or guardian, or in which a child is a victim of a crime or at risk of becoming a victim.

“We recognize the importance of maintaining safety at our international borders, but intentionally separating children from their families is cruel and un-American,” the order says. “… Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to cause interference with routine state law enforcement activities, even if such activity results in independent federal law enforcement involvement and enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

Hickenlooper said he and his office have been examining other ways to push back against the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including in instances where people are referred to federal immigration officials from state authorities.

“We’re certainly looking at all the various options in terms of how do we push back against what we see as an unacceptable — it really becomes a moral decision, right, that this is OK,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source link

The rising cost of America First

WITH the ink still drying on the Singapore declaration, President Donald Trump was asked why the North Koreans were any likelier to honour its terms than all the previous nuclear agreements they have flouted. The difference, he said, was himself. “I don’t think they’ve ever had the confidence, frankly, in a president that they have right now.” It was a reminder that the only unifying principle in Mr Trump’s maverick foreign policy is his relentless eye for personal advantage.

That is apparent in his North Korea policy more broadly. To use a real-estate analogy: when he was first briefed on the state of North Korea diplomacy by his predecessor, Mr Trump perhaps saw it less as an existential threat than a fixer upper—an opportunity for an easy win. Negotiations had long been frozen over America’s demand that Kim Jong Un’s regime should give up its nuclear arms and the regime’s refusal to do so. Yet there were two ways an America president could shake things up: by promising Kim Jong Un more normal relations, or threatening him with war. Most North Korea-watchers considered the first unconscionable and the second unrealistic. Mr Trump, unburdened by such niceties, tried them both, sometimes in the same breath.

Whatever the merits of the ensuing detente, the tactic has paid off handsomely for the president. It has enabled him to create a semblance of historic progress, which has driven his supporters wild with glee and bookmakers to slash their odds against him bagging the Nobel peace prize. And in case the deal comes to nothing, he says he has a contingency plan. He will simply “find some kind of an excuse” to absolve himself of blame. This was so predictable it is amazing Mr Trump retains such power to shock. Almost all his disruptive foreign-policy moves, the rows with allies, withdrawals from international agreements, tariffs and threats of worse on every front, can be viewed primarily as tactical ploys intended to push his self-image as a decisive leader, honour ill-considered campaign pledges or stoke the partisan, nationalist and xenophobic sentiment from which he draws strength. Yet this strategy is liable to produce diminishing returns.

For additional context, consider that Mr Trump’s haymakers at the world order and diplomatic convention have so far been easy to throw. Obliterating Barack Obama’s legacy, by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Paris climate accord and Iran deal, was a cinch. Each step was applauded by partisan Republicans, and the costs America will incur as a result are mostly remote and hard to quantify. Haranguing America’s allies for better trade and security terms, the main vehicle for Mr Trump’s claim to be pushing America First, has been no harder. Western leaders are reluctant to argue back, because of America’s heft and occasionally—as in his scorn for their paltry defence spending—because Mr Trump has a point. The stifling etiquette of diplomatic relations has magnified the dramatic effect of his grandstanding. Mr Trump was horribly rude to Justin Trudeau after the G7 gathering last week. Yet the common diplomatic view that the sky fell in because he refused to sign the shindig’s communiqué seems faintly ludicrous. By such means Mr Trump has been able to smash the maximum amount of crockery, for maximum political effect, at a modest or intangible cost. But he will now have fewer opportunities for low-cost bullying or audacious dealmaking available to him.

He has no more big Obama foreign achievements to unwind. The next wave of international entities in his sights—NAFTA, NATO and the United Nations—would be far more damaging to leave, politically and otherwise. Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and levy metals tariffs on Canada and the Europeans has already raised the cost of mistreating allies. It has forced them to take retaliatory action and probably made them less willing to provide support for future Trump dealmaking, especially with Iran, which his advisers would like to turn to next. That is in part because they know the president’s disregard for the Palestinians has made the “ultimate deal”—a settlement of their argument with Israel—extremely unlikely. On trade, Mr Trump faces even more steeply rising costs. He has so far convinced his supporters that protectionism can be profitable as well as emotionally satisfying. Yet the negative consequences of the tariffs on foreign cars and trade war with China he has threatened might make them think again. Mr Trump’s opportunities for easy America First wins, in short, appear to have been exhausted.

Crude yet calculating

There are three ways this could go. First, he could restrain himself—a prediction often made, and never borne out. Indeed there are fresh reasons to think Mr Trump is not about to become more conventional. All presidents become more active abroad as their troubles mount at home; and he, beset by legal peril, could use a foreign distraction more than most. Alternatively, he could double down and attack the international system more fiercely. That would be consistent with his record—except in one respect. Mr Trump has proved the prognosticators wrong because he understands his interests better than they do. His divisive behaviour is more popular than they imagined. By extension, it is not uncalculated: Mr Trump wants to promote himself, not mayhem. So if the rising costs of his confrontational foreign policy erode his support, he would probably moderate the policy.

That raises a third possibility. The president may maintain his antagonistic style, but follow through on fewer threats and promises. He may still threaten war, in trade and militarily, but he will not start one, because wars are expensive and end up unpopular. He will still float audacious deals, but he will settle for smaller-bore pacts—recognition of an Israeli land-claim, perhaps, or a stillborn deal with the Taliban—that he can spin as something bigger. On balance, this seems likeliest. It is how he conducted his business. It also best describes the stunt he pulled in Singapore.

Source link

Fourth death confirmed in Osaka-area earthquake

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on a powerful earthquake in Japan (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

Authorities say the death toll from Monday’s powerful earthquake in western Japan has risen to four.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck north of Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city, injuring more than 300 people.

Officials in Takatsuki city confirmed the fourth death, of a city resident, but details were not known. Kyodo News said the victim was an 81-year-old woman who died after a wardrobe fell on her at home.

A 9-year-old schoolgirl was killed in the city earlier Monday when the concrete wall of a school compound fell on the street as she walked by. Two men in their 80s died after being hit by falling objects.

Dozens of flights were grounded and trains were halted, although some resumed operation by Monday evening.

8:20 p.m.

Authorities in western Japan say the number of people treated for injuries suffered in a strong earthquake Monday morning now exceeds 300.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the major city of Osaka killed three people, toppled concrete walls and store shelves and temporarily knocked out some power and water supplies.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 307 people have been treated at hospitals in five prefectures. Most of the injured were in Osaka, which did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor.


3 p.m.

Authorities in western Japan say the number of people treated for injuries suffered in a strong earthquake Monday morning now exceeds 210.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake near the major city of Osaka killed three people, toppled concrete walls and store shelves and temporarily knocked out some power and water supplies.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 214 people have been treated at hospitals in five prefectures. Most of the injured were in Osaka, which did not give details, but the injuries reported in Kyoto and three other neighboring prefectures were all minor.


11:45 a.m.

A 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s have been killed by a strong earthquake in the western Japan metropolis of Osaka.

The Osaka prefectural government reported two deaths, and an Ibaraki city official confirmed a third.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck north of Osaka city Monday shortly after 8 a.m.

It set off multiple building fires and toppled walls. Train service was suspended across a wide area during the morning commute.


10:45 a.m.

Japanese disaster authorities say two people have been found without vital signs and 41 others injured by an earthquake in western Japan.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the city of Osaka and the surrounding area Monday about 8 a.m.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said one person had no heartbeat and wasn’t breathing and a second person also had no vital signs. Japanese media reported one of the likely victims is a 9-year-old girl found at a school.

Japanese authorities don’t confirm death until after an examination at a hospital.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has updated the magnitude of the quake to 6.1, stronger than the initial 5.9 magnitude.


9:10 a.m.

A strong earthquake has shaken the city of Osaka in western Japan. There are reports of scattered damage including broken glass and concrete.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says a quake with preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Monday around 8 a.m. The inland earthquake poses no tsunami risk.

Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says there were no reports of major damage as of 8:30 a.m. No injuries have been reported.

Train and subway service including the bullet train have been suspended to check for damage to equipment.


Get news as it happens. Sign up for Boston.com’s email news alerts.

Thanks for signing up!

Source link

Alleged Westminster road rage killer held without bond; Family of victims creates GoFundMe page – The Denver Post

An Adams District Court judge denied bond Monday morning for a 23-year-old man who allegedly fatally shot a teenager and shot and critically injured his mother and younger brother.

Jeremy Webster

Westminster Police Department

Jeremy Webster

Jeremy Webster is being held at the Adams County Detention Facility for investigation of first-degree murder, criminal attempt to commit murder with extreme indifference and first-degree assault, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Thirteen-year-old Vaughn Bigelow is dead. His 41-year-old mother, Meghan, and 8-year-old brother, Asa, remain in critical condition at a hospital. A bystander, John Gale, is recuperating from gunshot wounds to both arms.

The road-rage encounter, which started at a busy street corner and ended at a Westminster office complex, took no more than 10 minutes.

Family and friends of the Bigelows have raised more than $90,000 on a GoFundMe page.

A message on the page said that Meghan Bigelow and her three children were on their way to a routine dental appointment when she became part of a road rage encounter.

“Currently Meghan and her youngest son (8) are in critical condition and fighting for their lives…  Please help us in raising money for this incredible family as they are experiencing such are tragic time and have a long road of recovery ahead of them,” the site says.

Webster told Westminster police detectives that he began taking a new prescription medication for mental health issues Thursday hours before the fatal encounter, according to a search warrant affidavit.

At around 3 p.m. Thursday, Webster and Meghan Bigelow had some type of angry encounter in traffic near Sheridan Boulevard and Turnpike Drive. Webster allegedly followed the Bigelows into a complex of commercial stores and offices where Bigelow parked in front of Children’s Dentistry, 5250 West 80th Ave.

Source link

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox joins High Times board

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Former Mexico President Vicente Fox, who calls himself a soldier in the global campaign to legalize marijuana, is joining the board of directors of venerable cannabis publication High Times to advance his agenda.

Speaking with The Associated Press about his views on cannabis and his new appointment, Fox said he foresees a day when a robust legal marketplace will produce new jobs and medicines while sharply reducing cartel violence in his home country.

He also sees pot being part of the North American Free Trade Agreement among Mexico, Canada and the U.S., where some 30 states are embracing legalized marijuana in some form.

Fox’s appointment to the magazine’s board points to the growing acceptance of the once-scorned industry. Earlier this year, former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, reversed his long-held position against legalization and became an adviser to a cannabis company.


Reason one, Fox says, is freedom, “which is maybe the highest value that human beings have.”

“I don’t think that governments will ever have the capacity to impose behaviors, to impose conduct, to human beings. At the very end, prohibitions don’t work. What works is your own free decision.”

Then, it’s history. “The war on drugs has been a total failure” since the days of former President Richard Nixon, Fox concludes.

Fox also cites the experience in Mexico, where tens of thousands of killings have been attributed to drug violence.

The trend toward legalization “is moving out of a crime activity, a criminal activity that causes death and blood on the streets, into a business, an industry, that is proving every day that it is sustainable,” Fox says. “To me, marijuana, cannabis, it’s only the first steps. At the very end, these principles that I spoke about apply to all drugs.”


“Well, I am a soldier, in the sense of being an activist, working for this new future, working to break the paradigm,” he says. “In short, joining together those who believe in this future.”


Mexico has legalized medicinal marijuana, but Fox says regulations are needed to put the change into effect. With legalization spreading in the U.S., and Canada expected to broadly legalize cannabis later this year, Fox is eager to see Mexico follow suit.

“We have to come up to where the United States is,” he says. “This is happening in several key states throughout the union, and also like other world nations are doing, like Holland, like Portugal, Uruguay, so Mexico has to be updated on this public policy.”

If Mexico takes the next step to full legalization “one of the things that I’m absolutely convinced that will happen in Mexico is that we’ll take away half of the money that cartels get from selling drugs in the United States, and that half of the money will reduce the amount of guns and ammunition bought by the cartels.”


Yes, Fox says. Once it’s a legal industry and a legal farming product, “it should form part of NAFTA,” Fox says. “It’s another product that can enhance our private sector, corporations, farmers, retailers … so it should happen. We should promote it.”


The only fix, Fox says, is to change policy at the federal level. However, “I’m not appealing to … (President Donald) Trump because he never understands anything,” Fox says.

Fox believes members of Congress should visit states where marijuana has been legalized.

“Go around California, visit Washington state, visit Colorado. Look at the successful stories … Look at the amount of taxes that are being collected, look at the peaceful and harmonious way this new industry is being grown.”

“We need … Congress to pay attention to this.” Fox says.


“The thing is, those criminals that used to have control of this industry in the United States are still there,” Fox says.

“This is one more reason why in the long term I think that all drugs should be legalized. … But we must educate people. We must educate consumers. We must prevent the wrong things from happening.”


Michael R. Blood is a member of AP’s marijuana beat team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MichaelRBloodAP. Find complete AP marijuana coverage here: apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuana.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Source link

Lime electric scooters to be removed from Denver streets

After about three weeks on Denver’s streets, Lime’s scooters will be removed from the city for the next two weeks, the company announced Monday.

The announcement comes two days after Denver Public Works said it was initiating a new pilot program for “dockless mobility technology” to keep the city’s streets and sidewalks clear but allow riders to take advantage of dockless forms of transportation.

As the city sought a way to respond to the dockless scooters released by Bird and Lime, it told companies to remove scooters from obstructing public sidewalks and streets. Then, officials removed over 250 Lime and Bird scooters last week, charging a $150 fine per scooter.

Lime said it would comply with city officials’ requests.

Source link

Prosecutor: Mobster afraid nightclub owner would rat him out

Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme was at the pinnacle of his criminal career when he rose to the head of the New England family of La Cosa Nostra in the early 1990s.

But a nightclub owner who Salemme believed was ratting him out to authorities was threatening that, a federal prosecutor told jurors Monday. So Salemme had the man killed to keep him quiet, the prosecutor said.

“He had aspired to be a gangster his entire adult life,” Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland said of now-84-year-old Salemme. “All of the effort and time he put into making his name, so to speak, in the world of organized crime was being put at risk by Steven DiSarro.”

Ferland’s comments came in his closing arguments after a more than-month long trial for Salemme and his co-defendant, Paul Weadick, who are charged with killing DiSarro in 1993. Salemme and Weadick, who was friends with Salemme’s late son, deny any involvement in the killing.

Salemme’s attorney tried to poke holes in the government’s case and the story of their star witness, Salemme’s former best friend, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.

Flemmi told jurors this month that he was looking for Salemme when he walked into a home on May 1993 and happened upon the killing. Flemmi says he saw Salemme’s son strangling DiSarro while Weadick held DiSarro’s feet and Salemme stood by. Salemme’s son, known as “Frankie boy,” died in 1995.

Boozang called Flemmi —who’s serving a life sentence for 10 slayings— a “sociopath” and “career opportunist.” He accused Flemmi, also 84, of lying about Salemme because he believes helping the government will give him a chance to get out of prison before he dies.

“He’s lying to you and he’s lying to the government,” Boozang told jurors, as Salemme watched intently with his hands folded in front of him. “Anyway they can survive, they will. And the way to survive is to take down Frank Salemme.”

Boozang also questioned why Salemme would admit to several gangland slayings after he agreed to cooperate with the government in 1999, but never fess up to the DiSarro killing.

“He’s done some bad things in his life, some things I’m sure at his age he regrets,” Boozang said. “But that’s the life he led.”

Ferland sought to bolster Flemmi’s credibility, telling jurors the former gangster hasn’t wavered in his story in more than a decade. Flemmi first told investigators about Salemme’s involvement in DiSarro’s killing in 2003, but Salemme wasn’t charged until 2016 when DiSarro’s remains were dug up behind a mill building in Providence, Rhode Island. The mill owner told authorities about the remains after he was charged in a federal drug case.

Flemmi also knew details —like the fact that DiSarro was strangled— before they were confirmed by authorities when his remains were found, Ferland said.

Salemme, who was wearing a light grey suit and blue tie, shuffled into the courtroom and waved to the press as court began for the day, and occasionally passed notes to his lawyer as Ferland spoke. He and Weadick face up to life in prison if convicted.

Ferland put images of a younger, “buff” Salemme on the screen and urged jurors not to be swayed by the now-elderly man now sitting in front of them in the courtroom.

“He looks like a seasoned, old, polite, elderly gentleman,” Ferland said. “That’s not who we are talking about here. We’re talking about Frank Salemme from 25 years ago,” he said.

Source link

Donald Trump taunts Angela Merkel on Twitter over immigration

More than 1.6 million migrants, mostly Muslims fleeing wars in the Middle East, have arrived in Germany since 2014. Contradicting Trump’s claim, figures from Germanys internal ministry released last month show the crime rate to be at its lowest level in 30 years.

German Interior Minister and Chairman of the Christian Social Union party Horst Seehofer

German Interior Minister and Chairman of the Christian Social Union party Horst Seehofer

Photo: dpa

Germany registered 5.76 million crimes in 2017, a 9.6 per cent decline from the previous year and the lowest rate since at least 2003, according to its federal police office, or BKA. The number of suspects that were immigrants fell 41 per cent.

In a second tweet the President said: “We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”

Merkel’s photo ‘Fake News’

Trump’s intervention came as Merkel made a political concession over immigration. It followed the disastrous G7 summit a fortnight ago, where Mr Trump arrived late and left early after a major row with Canada’s Justin Trudeau.

Teens who've been taken into custody on the US-Mexico border rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas.

Teens who’ve been taken into custody on the US-Mexico border rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas.

Photo: US Border Protection

Merkel released a photograph of her alongside appearing to confront Trump. On Monday Trump published several photographs showing him in much more flattering light, with Merkel smiling at him.

“Please clear up the Fake News! They only show the bad photos (implying anger) of negotiating an agreement – where I am asking for things that no other American President would ask for!” President Trump wrote on Facebook.

Nevertheless Trump’s Twitter barbs at Merkel are direct and pointed and set against the backdrop of domestic criticism of his own “zero tolerance” immigration policy which has seen parents without documents separated from their children at the border.

Merkel buys time

Merkel on Monday won a reprieve in striking a two-week window with her rebellious interior minister Horst Seehofer to negotiate a tougher immigration deal with her European counterparts.

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

Photo: AP

The issue threatens her government if left unresolved. Seehofer wants EU governments to facilitate the return of migrants to the countries where they were first registered.

Seehofer heads Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party – a key coalition partner in Merkel’s governmemnt and sister to the Christian Democratic Union that she leads.

Merkel will now attempt to forge a deal by an EU summit on June 28-29, and will report back to her Christian Democratic Union on July 1.

“Whoever knows Europe, realises this is no easy task,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Monday after a meeting of her CDU party’s executive. But “the European project is at risk,” and “we have a particular responsibility,” she said.

In accepting the compromise, Merkel looks to be having a last throw of the dice to avert unilateral action by Germany that she argues would risk a “domino effect,” collapsing the entire EU asylum process and unraveling the bloc’s already frayed unity.

“We do not really have a handle on this whole issue of migration,” Seehofer told reporters in Munich as Merkel spoke in Berlin.

The defiance by Merkel’s smaller, more conservative Bavarian sister party is still a blow to the chancellor and will further embolden the hard-line stances of countries such as Hungary, Italy and Austria. Even with a sharp decline in the numbers crossing to Europe over the Mediterranean, migration has surged to the top of the political agenda.

Latika Bourke

Latika Bourke is a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age based in London. She has previously worked for Fairfax Media, the ABC and 2UE in Canberra. Latika won the Walkley Award for Young Australian Journalist of the Year in 2010.

Most Viewed in World


Morning & Afternoon Newsletter

Delivered Mon–Fri.

Source link

Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter headline list of top forwards

Marvin Bagley III dominated at Duke, while fellow freshman Michael Porter Jr. barely saw action at Missouri due to injury. Yet they’ll likely be the first forwards to hear their names called during Thursday’s draft.

Bagley is a possible No. 1 overall pick and double-double machine with a long frame. But many considered Porter to be the top NBA prospect in last year’s class as he works to prove he’s past the back injury that required surgery and limited his college career to just three games.
Here’s a look of the top forwards in the draft:


Bagley lived up to all expectations, being named The Associated Press player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference and a first-team All-American.

STRENGTHS: The 6-foot-11 forward checks a lot of boxes: athleticism, inside-out ability, length. He averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the floor and nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. He has good touch around the rim, the ability to shoot over defenders and was a strong finisher.

CONCERNS: Bagley is still developing defensively, particularly when it comes with what is happening away from the ball. He also tends to be too left-hand reliant at times and needs to improve going the other way.


The injury creates plenty of uncertainty and makes the 6-10 forward a bit of a wild card, one who could return top-of-the-draft value for a mid-lottery price.

STRENGTHS: Porter was considered by many as last year’s top recruit with his scoring, playmaking ability and athleticism. He was a McDonald’s All-American in high school after averaging 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game during his senior year.

CONCERNS: There’s little to evaluate with Porter against college competition considering he was hurt minutes into the season opener. He didn’t play again until the postseason. It’s unclear if the injury will limit his ceiling in any way.


Michigan State’s sophomore is a versatile lottery prospect in a pro-ready 6-7 body.

STRENGTHS: Bridges did a lot of things well last year while averaging 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He’s strong enough to both tussle with bigger players and overpower perimeter forwards. And he was excellent at the foul line (.853) to cash in when drawing contact.

CONCERNS: Bridges needs to continue honing his perimeter skills. He shot nearly 39 percent from 3-point range as a freshman, but slid to 36 percent last year.

The 6-7 junior swingman developed into a potential top-10 pick for national champion Villanova.

STRENGTHS: Bridges offers the desired combination of 3-point shooting and defensive ability, a valuable package in today’s NBA. Bridges shot nearly 44 percent from behind the arc. He also has the length to be a disruptive defender after leading the Wildcats with 61 steals.

CONCERNS: Bridges needs to add some more strength to a lean 209-pound frame. He also blended in offensively on a deep and efficient offense, so he didn’t need to show a lot when it came to creating his own shot.


The 6-9 freshman out of Kentucky brings a stretch-4 skillset with good size and shooting range, making him a possible lottery pick.

STRENGTHS: Knox has NBA shooting range, fluid offensive moves and the ability to get out in transition. He showed his high ceiling with 34 points on 11-for-17 shooting with five 3-pointers in a win at West Virginia in January.

CONCERNS: He was a bit of a streaky shooter at times who hit just 34 percent of his 3-pointers. He also could be a tougher rebounder; he had only two double-figure rebounding outputs in 37 games compared to 13 games with four or fewer boards.

Source link

The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial | Opinion

When she was interviewed on Sunday’s BBC One Andrew Marr programme, Theresa May knowingly and dishonestly suggested that leaving the European Union was the central dynamic behind her new NHS spending pledges. Having started by saying she was determined to secure the NHS’s future, she immediately invoked the shoddy Brexit campaign bus slogan of 2016 with implied approval. Then she talked about the money Britain would save by leaving the EU; finally she deliberately spoke in ways that would lead any unwary listener to assume that a so-called “Brexit dividend” was the windfall that enabled her to make the new spending pledge. Characteristically, Boris Johnson was even more mendacious, calling the pledge “a down payment on the cash we will soon get back from our EU payments”.

All of this was a lie. It disgraces Mrs May to tell such a whopper. True, by the time that she gave her speech on NHS spending on Monday, her words were rather more circumspect; the essential deception nevertheless endured. “Some of the extra funding” will come from money that now goes to the EU, she said at London’s Royal Free Hospital, “but the commitment I am making goes beyond that Brexit dividend.” That is true with bells on, since the NHS pledge dwarves any future savings on the UK’s Brexit payments.

That’s partly because the dividend is itself a pretence. The UK has agreed a £39bn divorce payment, plus more for the backstop agreement and further sums if it accesses EU programmes after Brexit. That’s without taking account of any weakening of the public finances – a sum put at £15bn per year by the Institute for Fiscal Studies – as a result of Brexit. But it is also because this scale of support for the NHS, welcome as it may be, can only be paid for in three ways: by cutting other spending programmes; by increasing the tax take; or by borrowing more. Ministers – more specifically the chancellor, Philip Hammond – have not yet settled on the key details and are still fighting over them.

There were others deceits in Mrs May’s speech, not least in her section on NHS history. There is also this week’s politics. It is possible that Mrs May is calculating that she needs to embrace the Brexiter position on the NHS because she knows she will shortly have to upset them on issues like a customs agreement or single market access, or because she expects to lose Wednesday’s vote on MPs’ right to stop her taking Britain out of the EU without a deal. Yet the ultimate criticism of Mrs May’s speech is that she has been unable to say where the money is coming from. The politics of this are massive. For 40 years, the Conservatives have been a tax-cutting party, so to tax income or wealth on the necessary scale would represent a historic (and desirable) change of direction. For eight years they have been an anti-borrowing party too, so to change tack there would be almost equally wise and epochal.

Putting more money into the NHS is desirable. The government’s commitment to do so is necessary and overdue. The sums announced on Monday – a front-loaded 3.4% real terms increase in current spending amounting to £20.5bn extra year for England, plus further sums for Scotland and Wales and to secure NHS pensions – are serious. But they cannot be explained as a consequence of Brexit, and the instant dismissal of that claim from backbench Tories, the IFS and the rightwing Institute of Economic Affairs, among many others (including some Brexit enthusiasts), underlines the sheer economic speciousness of the approach that Mrs May has so far adopted to one of the most profound decisions of her premiership.

Source link