Michigan goes green – NBC News
Michigan goes green
Michigan voters on Tuesday approved legalized marijuana for recreational use, NBC News projected, as 58 percent of the state’s residents chose “yes” on ” Proposal 1 ,” with 55.7 percent of the vote tallied.
Michigan already had a sizable medical marijuana industry , but Tuesday’s vote means residents 21 and older can now consume the drug and grow up to 12 plants for personal use.
The state will also be able to issue licenses for dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses, with taxes on the businesses projected to bring in $112 million to $275 million a year, according to estimates collected by The Detroit Free Press .
Michigan becomes the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Nov 7 2018, 12:02 am ET by Jason Abbruzzese latest posts from 2018 Midterms NBC News Exit Poll Desk 13 minutes ago NBC News Exit Poll: White evangelical women stand squarely with the Republicans
White evangelical women are not abandoning the Republican Party or President Donald Trump, the NBC News Exit Poll found.
While both white evangelical men and white evangelical women were less likely to vote for Republicans for the House in 2018 than they were to vote for Trump in 2016, both groups remain steadfast Republican supporters and the decline is actually steeper for white evangelical men. In fact, the 11-point gender gap that existed among white evangelicals in 2016 shrunk to six points in 2018.
Why are evangelical women continuing to support Republican candidates in 2018? While slightly more than a quarter of white evangelical women either somewhat or strongly disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president, the remaining three-quarters approve of Trump’s job performance. These numbers are similar for white evangelical men. Ali Vitali and Adam Edelman 14 minutes ago Nelson to deliver ‘full statement’ tomorrow, campaign says
Three-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, trailing Republican challenger Rick Scott by more than 55,000 votes as of 12:50 a.m. ET, will make a “full statement tomorrow,” a campaign spokesperson said early Wednesday.
“This is obviously not the result Senator Nelson’s campaign has worked hard for,” the spokesperson said. “The senator will be making a full statement tomorrow to thank all those who rallied for his cause.”
Moments earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that President Donald Trump had made congratulatory calls to winning Republican Senate candidates, including Scott.
The race is too close to call, according to an NBC News projection.
With 99 percent of the vote tallied, Scott, the outgoing GOP governor, had 50.3 percent of the vote, while Nelson had 49.7 percent. However, Florida has a mandatory recount rule if candidates are within 0.5 percent of each other.
If Scott wins, it would add to the GOP’s growing cushion in the Senate. Republicans had, as of 12:30 a.m. ET, successfully held several seats they were defending (including in Tennessee and Texas) and picked up two other seats held by Democrats in Indiana and Missouri. NBC News Exit Poll Desk 24 minutes ago NBC News Exit Poll: Just 1 in 4 voters say Trump’s trade policies helped their local economies
Just 25 percent of voters nationwide report that President Donald Trump’s trade policies have helped their local economies, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. Thirty-seven percent of voters think Trump’s trade policies have provided no local economic benefit, while 29 percent think trade policies have actually hurt their local economies.
By region, voters in the South and Midwest are the most likely to report that Trump’s trade policies have helped their local economies (29 percent).
Out of the states in which NBC News Exit Polls were conducted, voters in Tennessee and West Virginia are among the most likely to say that Trump’s trade policies have helped their local economies. In contrast, about three in 10 voters in Wisconsin, Ohio and Virginia think Trump’s trade policies have hurt their local economies.
Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi freed from prison – BBC News
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Asia Bibi’s escape from Pakistan death row Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row, has been freed from prison.
Last week’s Supreme Court ruling sparked violent protests from Islamists and the government agreed to their demand to stop her leaving Pakistan.
News of her release led to some confusion, with reports she had been taken to another country.
But the foreign office later said she was still in Pakistan.
The case is highly sensitive and Information Minister Fawad Hussein said journalists had been “extremely irresponsible” in reporting she had left the country without official confirmation.
Those reports were based on comments from her lawyer, Saiful Malook, who has been granted temporary asylum in the Netherlands after facing death threats.
Asia Bibi’s husband had said they were in danger and pleaded for asylum. A number of Western countries are understood to have held discussions with Asia Bibi’s family about granting them asylum.
Pakistan’s ‘historic’ Asia Bibi ruling Why Pakistan’s Christians are targeted Blasphemy laws around the world The mother-of-five was released from prison in the city of Multan on Wednesday and the foreign office says she is in “a safe place in Pakistan”.
Also known as Asia Noreen, she was convicted in 2010 of insulting the Prophet Muhammad during a row with neighbours.
The Pakistani government has said it will start legal proceedings to prevent her going abroad after agreeing the measure to end the violent protests.
Image copyright EPA Image caption Asia Bibi’s acquittal sparked protests by Islamists Many of the protesters were hardliners who support strong blasphemy laws and called for Asia Bibi to be hanged.
One Islamist leader said all three Supreme Court judges also “deserved to be killed”.
A spokesman for the hardline Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) party, which blocked roads in major cities for several days, said Asia Bibi’s release was in breach of their deal with the government.
“The rulers have showed their dishonesty,” TLP spokesman Ejaz Ashrafi told Reuters.
The deal also saw officials agree not to block a petition for the Supreme Court to evaluate Asia Bibi’s acquittal in the light of Islamic Sharia law.
What was Asia Bibi accused of? The trial stems from an argument Asia Bibi had with a group of women in June 2009.
They were harvesting fruit when a row broke out about a bucket of water. The women said that because she had used a cup, they could no longer touch it, as her faith had made it unclean.
Prosecutors alleged that in the row which followed, the women said Asia Bibi should convert to Islam and that she made offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad in response.
She was later beaten up at her home, during which her accusers say she confessed to blasphemy. She was arrested after a police investigation.
Acquitting her, the Supreme Court said that the case was based on unreliable evidence and her confession was delivered in front of a crowd “threatening to kill her”.
Why is this case so divisive? Islam is Pakistan’s national religion and underpins its legal system. Public support for the strict blasphemy laws is strong.
Hard-line politicians have often backed severe punishments, partly as a way of shoring up their support base.
Christians: Pakistan’s ‘forgotten minority’ The last hours of a Christian sanitary worker in Pakistan But critics say the laws have often been used to exact revenge after personal disputes, and that convictions are based on thin evidence.
The vast majority of those convicted are Muslims or members of the Ahmadi community who identify themselves as Muslims but are regarded as heretical by orthodox Islam. Since the 1990s scores of Christians have also been convicted. They make up just 1.6% of the population.
The Christian community has been targeted by numerous attacks in recent years, leaving many feeling vulnerable to a climate of intolerance.
Since 1990, at least 65 people have reportedly been killed in Pakistan over claims of blasphemy.
Beleaguered US law chief Sessions quits – BBC News
Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions 8 November 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Staff applauded as Mr Sessions left the Department of Justice US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by President Donald Trump.
Mr Trump had criticised his top law official for months, mainly over his refusal to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in favour of Mr Trump’s election in 2016.
Mr Sessions’s chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, who has criticised the inquiry, will take over temporarily.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Mr Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation has resulted in a series of criminal charges against several Trump associates. Report End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump
In a resignation letter, Mr Sessions – a former Alabama senator who was an early supporter of Mr Trump – made clear the decision to go was not his own.
“Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation,” he wrote in an undated letter. All you need to know about Trump Russia story
“Most importantly, in my time as attorney general, we have restored and upheld the rule of law,” Mr Sessions added, while thanking the Republican president.
“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!” Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Relations between Trump and Sessions soured in 2017
“Clearly, the president has something to hide,” opposition Democratic party Senate leader Chuck Schumer said .
“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general.” Why was Sessions fired?
Mr Trump has repeatedly pilloried his top law enforcement official since Mr Sessions stepped aside from the Russia inquiry in March 2017.
In July 2017 Mr Trump told the New York Times: “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”
Mr Sessions voluntarily removed himself from the probe after Democrats accused him of failing to disclose contacts with the Russian ambassador during his Senate confirmation hearing.
The attorney general later said he had forgotten about those meetings, which happened during the Trump election campaign.
Mr Trump has at various times belittled Mr Sessions as “VERY weak” and “DISGRACEFUL”. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption President Trump: “This is a hot White House” What happens now?
Matthew Whitaker can now assume control of the Mueller inquiry, which has been under the control of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein until now.
The president cannot directly fire the special counsel, whose investigation Mr Trump has repeatedly decried as a witch hunt. But Mr Sessions’s replacement will have the power to fire Mr Mueller or end the inquiry.
Mr Whitaker has not shied away from sharing his concerns over the investigation. For example, in August 2017, he wrote a piece for CNN in which he stated that looking into Mr Trump’s personal finances, or those of his family, “goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel”.
He went on to call on Mr Rosenstein to “order Mueller to limit the scope of the investigation” or risk the inquiry starting “to look like a political fishing expedition”.
It was the deputy attorney general who appointed Mr Mueller to lead the Russia inquiry, after Mr Trump fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017.
The special counsel’s probe has also been investigating whether Mr Comey’s firing amounted to attempted obstruction of justice.
There has also been a question mark over Mr Rosenstein’s future since it was reported he had discussed invoking a constitutional clause to oust President Trump. Is Trump trying to shut down Russia probe?
Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC Washington
The presidential axe that had been hovering over Jeff Sessions for what has seemed like an eternity just came swinging down with a thud. Donald Trump had previously said he would wait until after the mid-term elections to decide his attorney general’s fate, and he did – but just barely.
And like that the duties of overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation shift from the man who appointed the special counsel, Rod Rosenstein, to a man who has been a critic of it, Department of Justice Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker.
In an opinion piece for The Hill before he took the Department of Justice job, Mr Whitaker wrote that calls for an as yet-to-be-named independent prosecutor would be “just craven attempts to score cheap political points”. In April 2017, h e wrote for CNN that any Mueller investigation into the president’s finances would be “going too far” .
What happens next is critical. Mr Mueller’s inquiry could continue unabated – although the special counsel must surely be considering tightening his timeline. There is also the possibility, however, that this is just the opening move of a White House effort to shut down the probe or keep its findings out of the public eye.
Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over planned name change – News
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Boy Scouts leader said they changed the programme’s name to make the group more inclusive The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for dropping “boy” from the scout group’s name.
The Boy Scouts of America announced in May they would rename the Boy Scouts programme Scouts BSA as they prepare to allow girls as members.
But the Girl Scouts say the change could erode their brand, calling the move “uniquely damaging” to them.
Their lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against trademark breaches.
“Only GSUSA has the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademarks with leadership development services for girls,” papers filed in a Manhattan federal court said.
The switch could “marginalise” the Girl Scouts, the complaint reads. It reportedly says the switch has already caused confusion, with some believing their organisation had merged with the Boy Scouts.
In response, the Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying it was reviewing the suit, and that it believed “there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities”.
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption What makes this Girl Scout group special? In October 2017, the Boy Scouts board of directors voted unanimously to open the programme to all children .
The Cub Scouts, for ages seven to 10, opened its local clubs to all children in 2018. Boy Scouts, for ages 11 to 17, will follow its footsteps next year when the programme name change becomes official.
But the Girl Scouts protested the decision at the time , with the group’s president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accusing them of a “covert campaign” to recruit girls to tackle a “well-documented” declining membership.
The Boy Scouts reportedly have close to 2.3m members in the US, down about a third since 2000, compared with around 2 million members for the Girl Scouts.
What is it like to prevent a suicide? – BBC News
What is it like to prevent a suicide? By Hamish Mackay BBC News 7 November 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Gillian Assor Image caption Gillian says she now has an “unusual” and “unbelievable” bond with Tommy “I’m not a hero,” says Gillian Assor, six months after preventing a suicide on a railway bridge near London. “I just happened to be walking past.”
According to figures from the British Transport Police, 2018 has seen a 20% rise in members of the public intervening to stop people killing themselves on railways.
In May, while out walking her dog, Gillian became one of those people.
“At first I didn’t know what it was,” she tells the BBC, recounting her journey back home past the bridge. “But as we got closer, I realised it was a person.
“They were crying, hysterically crying and making noises.” ‘I had to have a plan’
At that moment, Gillian decided to investigate, but it would not be until months later that she would realise the true impact of her actions.
“I knew I had to have a plan,” says Gillian.
She feared the man might be aggressive, either verbally or physically, but says she knew that, no matter what, she “wasn’t going to walk past him”.
Slowly, with her dog, she approached and called out to ask if the man “was OK”.
“No I’m not,” he shouted back.
“I could see that he was in a really bad state,” says Gillian. “He was angry but he was crying as well.”
She says she decided “she was going to be brave” and approach him.
Gillian persuaded him to sit down with her on the tarmac in the middle of the bridge with “him on one side, me on the other and the dog in between us”.
From experience of her daughter’s anxiety, Gillian knew of the importance of “grounding”, so began to ask basic questions such as his name and where he was from to “break his emotion”.
His name was Tommy. He was 23 years old.
After “10 or 15 minutes”, Tommy began to calm down but was “still monosyllabic”.
At that point, a train passed below them. It made Gillian wonder whether he “would have gone” if she had not been there. Information and advice
If you or someone you know is struggling with issues raised by this story, find support through BBC Action Line .
Tommy told Gillian why he was on the bridge, but that, she says, is a matter that will remain between them.
Eventually, she persuaded Tommy to call his parents and let them know where he was.
She waited until they arrived – about 25 minutes after she first approached Tommy – then retreated.
“I was a bit blown away, thinking: ‘Did that just happen?'”
Gillian only spoke to her mother and a friend about her experience – but later in the year realised people she had never met were discussing her story online.
One Sunday morning, her husband showed her a Facebook post.
It began: “I know I’m asking the impossible, and I know this is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but four months ago I tried to take my life and and a stranger stopped me with her dog…” Image copyright Gillian Assor Image caption Gillian, Tommy and Gillian’s dog, who sat between them on the bridge
As she read the post, Gillian realised she was the stranger.
She decided not to reply on the thread – “I thought, it’s not about me and it shouldn’t be about me. It was about him.”
Her husband sent Tommy a private message, explaining the stranger was his wife. The pair spoke on the phone that day.
Three days later they arranged to meet in a local pub.
“I saw him walking from the other side of the pub, he flung his arms around me and I thought: ‘Bless him.'”
He clung to her for more than a minute, saying: “You saved my life. You saved my life.” ‘Overwhelming’
They spent an hour together, which Gillian describes as “special”.
“Since then we’ve walked the dog a few times and we’re in contact two or three times a week,” she says.
“It is the most overwhelming feeling I’ve ever had, other than giving birth.
“He’s in my heart now. The bond is there and it is unbelievable.
“It’s a very unusual bond – it’s not spiritual, it’s just an invisible and not tangible thing in my heart.”
Tommy is still waiting for counselling on the NHS, Gillian says, but the pair have planned a trip back to the bridge where they met “to make a nice, new experience”.
The BBC thanks the Samaritans for assistance in researching this story. Related Topics