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Rev William Barber calls on Democrats to host debate on poverty racism

first_img Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — The Rev. William Barber II, a progressive activist and pastor, addressed the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee on Friday (Aug. 23), calling on party leaders to host a presidential debate focused on poverty and to do more to address the concerns of poor and low-income Americans.The co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, named for the last major campaign of Martin Luther King Jr., Barber insisted that poverty touches all people and regions of the United States and overlaps with related concerns such as racism, voter suppression, healthcare, “ecological justice,” militarism and religious nationalism.“We have to say the word, ‘Poverty,’” said Barber, according to a copy of his remarks provided to Religion News Service. “We need to lift up the stories of folks in Appalachia and Kansas and the Mississippi Delta. We need to hold them alongside the folks in our gentrifying cities, some of whom work two jobs and still sleep in their cars at night.”The speech, delivered during the DNC’s summer meeting in San Francisco, California, comes as Democratic primary candidates are jostling for votes among the party’s progressive base, for whom Barber has become an increasingly visible leader since speaking at the 2016 Democratic Convention..@CoryBooker & @KamalaHarris watching @RevDrBarber backstage pic.twitter.com/IGJaR836ca— Sabrina Singh (@sabrinasingh24) August 23, 2019When Barber concluded his speech, many in the room leapt to their feet in raucous applause as DNC Chair Tom Perez declared “Let the church say, ‘Amen’!” Perez then called on those present to take a moment of contemplative silence.Officials from the Poor People’s Campaign said Barber planned on calling for a Democratic debate on the topic of poverty, but the chances of having such a debate are slim. In June, DNC officials told RNS that the party does not intend to hold single-issue debates. On Thursday (Aug. 22), the DNC resolutions committee voted 17-8 against holding a debate focused on climate change, sparking outrage among environmental activists.Asked about a potential poverty debate at a candidate forum hosted by the Poor People’s Campaign in June, however, all nine Democratic presidential hopefuls who attended — including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris — said they would support it.The Poor People’s Campaign, which now has established chapters in more than 40 states, has long championed the notion of creating a “new electorate” of poor and low-income Americans, who are often less likely to vote than other Americans. If mobilized, Barber and his allies argue, the less well-off could potentially swing elections.In his address, Barber announced his intention to launch a nine-month, 22-stop “We Will Do MORE” campaign focused on mobilizing, organizing, registering and educating poorer Americans. In a statement issued before Barber’s address, the Poor People’s Campaign noted that it was not meant to endorse any party or politician, adding that officials also reached out to the Republican Party but have not yet heard back. In addition, Barber argued in his speech that the issue of poverty is not about “left versus right, but right versus wrong.”Even so, the pastor, who helped lead North Carolina’s Moral Mondays protests credited with helping to unseat the state’s Republican governor in 2016 — had harsh words for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, comparing his decision to block efforts to pass voting rights legislation to infamous segregationist Strom Thurmond’s decision to filibuster the Civil Rights Act in 1957.Barber also voiced thinly veiled criticism of the Trump administration’s policies and of Christians who support them.“For too long, faith has been hijacked by those who say abortion and sexuality are the only moral issues,” Barber said. “They tell religious people to vote their pro-life/pro-family values, then they use their political power to pass policies that keep families in poverty, separate families at the border, keep families from getting healthcare and endanger the lives of children in schools, worshipers in churches and the planet itself.”He invoked scripture to dismiss claims that polices designed to help the poor would be tantamount to socialism.“If someone calls it socialism, then we must compel them to acknowledge that the Bible promotes socialism,” he said. “This current administration is practicing socialism to corporations and the greedy through tax cuts, deregulation and economic incentives. And then they refuse to bail out communities and human beings.”Barber mentioned Pastor Cecil Williams of San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church, whose shelter has served 80,000 meals to the city’s poor.“When we have 26 presidential debates and not one hour is focused on living wages, we must have a movement,” Barber said in his speech, referring to past presidential election cycles.He later added: “We need a revolution of values in public life, and we need leadership that will draw on our deepest religious and Constitutional traditions to fight not only for what seems achievable, but for what is our moral duty.”Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign have already exhibited unusual influence on the 2020 Democratic primary. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, bearing “silent witness,” showed up at a protest Barber and his co-chair, the Rev. Liz Theoharis, held outside the White House in June to decry the Trump administration’s policies.Buttigieg later referred to Barber while speaking at a Black Church PAC event in August. Joe Biden, too, has referenced arguments made by the Poor People’s Campaign when making claims about widespread poverty in the U.S. Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Share This! Jack Jenkins Jack Jenkins is a national reporter for RNS based in Washington, covering U.S. Catholics and the intersection of religion and politics.,Load Comments,Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 We are not all the same, and in our difference we are divine August 30, 2019 Columns • Opinion • Simran Jeet Singh: Articles of Faith Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins German town welcomes hundreds from different faiths for food, worship and unity By: Jack Jenkins jackmjenkins Catholicism Tags2020 election Democratic Party homepage featured Poor People’s Campaign religious left Top Story,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! Share This!last_img read more

Trump Admits To Making Up Trade Deficit In Talks With Canadian Prime

first_imgChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with President Trump at the White House in October. Trump was recorded telling attendees at a private GOP fundraiser that he had falsely stated the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada in a meeting with Trudeau.Updated at 12:26 p.m.In audio of a closed-door fundraiser obtained by the Washington Post and NBC News, President Trump boasts to donors that he “had no idea” whether he was correct when he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada.It doesn’t. In fact, according to the U.S. Trade Representative in 2016, the U.S. had a $12.5 billion goods and services trade surplus with Canada. Trump sometimes ignores trade in services, which pumps up trade deficit numbers, but that isn’t an accurate way to look at the U.S. trade relationship with other countries.Trump was in the midst of a 30-minute speech at a fundraiser in St. Louis on Wednesday when, according to the Washington Post write-up, he riffed on a conversation he’d had with Trudeau.” ‘Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin. He said, “No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,” ‘ Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio of the private event in Missouri obtained by The Washington Post. ‘Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — “Donald, we have no trade deficit.” He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed. …” ‘So, he’s proud. I said, “Wrong, Justin, you do.” I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, “You’re wrong.” You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, “You’re wrong, Justin.” He said, “Nope, we have no trade deficit.” I said, “Well, in that case, I feel differently,” I said, “but I don’t believe it.” I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out, I said, “Check, because I can’t believe it.” ‘ “This caught-on-tape moment comes less than a week after Trump signed proclamations putting stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Those tariffs won’t immediately apply to Canada and Mexico, as those countries are in the midst of renegotiating, along with the U.S., the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Based on other comments, Trump is planning to leverage the threat of tariffs to negotiate better trade terms with U.S. trading partners.It’s not clear how this admission that the president contradicted another world leader without basis will affect future negotiations or relationships with Trudeau and other leaders. A failure to agree on basic facts would seem to make such negotiations more difficult.Asked by reporters during a photo opportunity in the Oval Office whether he has always been truthful with Trudeau, Trump ignored the question.But he is standing by his assertion that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, tweeting Thursday morning, “P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!”We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018Canada is America’s second-largest goods trading partner, according to U.S. data. Trade with Canada supported some 1.6 million jobs in the U.S., according to 2015 Commerce Department figures.A spokeswoman for the Canadian government declined to comment on Trump’s remarks and directed NPR to a tweet from the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, who cited the same American figures.From the Office of the United States Trade Representative: “The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016” … (including energy and lumber) https://t.co/9ZZFGebNHM pic.twitter.com/XFIen13R4s— David MacNaughton (@AmbMacNaughton) March 15, 2018This is far from the first time Trump has inaccurately described the trade relationship with America’s neighbor to the north.In a December New York Times interview, Trump claimed that “[We lost] $17 billion with Canada — Canada says we broke even. But they don’t include lumber and they don’t include oil. Oh, that’s not. … [Inaudible] … My friend Justin [Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister] he says, ‘No, no, we break even.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you’re not including oil, and you’re not including lumber.’ When you do, you lose $17 billion, and with the other one, we’re losing $71 billion.”NPR’s Domenico Montanaro fact-checked this at the time. It is entirely unclear where Trump got his numbers. In a recent paper, Canada-based researchers said that if energy exports are excluded, the country runs a $78 billion manufacturing trade deficit with the United States.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

IITKGP Alumni sets up Chair Professorships in memory of martyred batch mate

first_imgKolkata: The alumni of 1993 batch of IIT Kharagpur have joined hands with their alma mater to set up six Distinguished Chair Professorships in AI and Machine Learning in memory of their martyred batch mate. Ajay Kumar Singh, an IPS officer, had laid down his life during an operation against insurgents near Ranchi in 2000.IIT KGP Director Prof Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said on his Facebook page, “A Truly KGP-ian way to remember a martyred batch mate who had dedicated his life in Service of the Nation and performed the highest sacrifice. Let us use this to build a new initiative to touch the lives of the People of India. Thanks 1993 team. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIIT KGP is already in the process of setting up a Centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and researchers in several departments in the institute are working on product development or applications related to AI.The campaign for Chair Professorships in AI was led by Neeraj Mendiratta and created buzz among his batch mates across the globe with around hundred alumni having donated close to Rs 75 Lakh, an IIT KGP statement said.Of the total amount, a sum of Rs 36 Lakh will be contributed towards the Ajay Kumar Singh Chair Professorships in AI and the remaining for endowment in the name of the batch. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe alumni are aiming to reach Rs 50 Lakh figure for the endowment which will give them a classroom at IIT KGP named after their batch.Dean of Alumni Affairs, Prof. Subrata Chattopadhyay said, “I am overwhelmed with the initiative of IIT KGP alumni to give back to their alma mater. We just need to create avenues which the alumni would find worthwhile and beneficial for country and they would generously contribute towards it.” The Chair Professorships will be for two years duration for existing and new teachers including visiting and adjunct faculty in Artificial Intelligence starting from academic year 2018-19. The support will be in the form of a top-up salary which will be Rs 25,000 every month.”We, the batch mates of Ajay, fondly remember him as a braveheart . We wanted to commemorate his name in association with an initiative like excellence in teaching and research in the area of machine learning which can do wonders for India,” batch mate Paresh Krishnakant Joshi said.He expressed hope that through this initiative, IIT KGP would be able to promote AI teaching and in a way that it could be simplified and mass marketed.AI and Machine Learning has become the next big thing in the 21st century impacting healthcare, electronics and communication, space technology, transport, automobiles and even home appliances.last_img read more

MCCI organises highlevel meet with Polish Ambassador

first_imgKolkata: Adam Burakowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in India said Poland’s GDP grew by 4.2 percent in 2017 which was considerably higher than the EU average growth of 2.4 percent.Other EU countries account for 75 percent of Poland’s total exports. However, Poland has growing trade links with non European countries. Poland has been steadily improving its position in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rank and it has climbed from 74th position in 2012 to 24th position in 2017. With regard to the labour force, 43 percent of Poles attain a tertiary education degree and 90 percent of adults attain at least upper secondary education. The unemployment rate is low in Poland. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights He was speaking on a theme “Doing Business with Poland” organised by the Merchant Chamber of Commerce and Industries on Tuesday afternoon. Mohan Goenka, Honorary Consul of Poland in Kolkata was present and spoke on the occasion. Arun Kumar Garodia, Regional Chairman, Eastern Region, EEPC India was also present and addressed the gathering. Burakowski stated that Poland is an attractive investment destination on account of its strategic location and economic stability, attractive labour market with increasing labour productivity, mature business environment, variety of manufacturing sectors, dense network of suppliers, thriving services sector and presence of industrial clusters and investment support ecosystem comprising 14 Special Economic Zones and local tax relief. The 14 SEZs in Poland had received investments of $27 billion by 2016 and 2,87,000 jobs had been created. Burakowski added that about 121 Indian companies operate in Poland. Indian investments in Poland amount to $3 billion and include Videocon, TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro among others.last_img read more