What do you do with very large and controversial statues no one wants? What’s the dilemma faced by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake following a city commission recommendation to remove two statues — one of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and one of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, who authored the infamous Dred Scott decision — from city land.
“She wants to find an appropriate place for those monuments, if she decides to go ahead and remove them,” said Rawlings-Blake’s spokesman, Anthony McCarthy. “It hasn’t been as easy, to be honest, as we thought.”
In fact, the city has been quietly contacting “Confederate groups” to ask if they would like to buy the statues, the Wall Street Journal reports, but so far the organizations have balked either at the cost or the idea of helping to remove the memorials from public space. The commission recommended transferring the statues to a national park such as a Civil War battlefield, but it turns out parks aren’t allowed to accept the statues unless they were previously “removed from the park and are necessary to achieve the park purpose or authorized legislation.”
In the meantime, Rawlings-Blake has ordered new signage for both statues, as well as two other Confederate monuments the commission decided to keep, to explain their historical context.Read more
Birtherism is a smear against President Obama that was started by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, insisted in an interview with Chuck Todd on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, citing several Clinton staffers who reportedly entertained or promoted the conspiracy theory.
Conway was speaking in response to Trump’s recent concession that Obama was born in the United States. “This started with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, No. 1,” she said. “No. 2, it was Donald Trump who put the issue to rest when he got President Obama to release his birth certificate years later. And, No. 3, he said that ‘President Obama was born in this country, period.'”
Todd wasn’t satisfied, however, and pressed Conway on why “two wrongs make a right in this case,” arguing that birther allegations were a major feature of Trump’s public persona for years and highlighting the Trump campaign’s recent labeling of birtherism as a “smear.”
“The only people still obsessed about this,” Conway retorted, is the media.Read more
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a knife attack in a St. Cloud, Minnesota, mall on Saturday which injured eight people. “The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday was a soldier of the Islamic State,” said a Sunday statement in the terrorist organization’s Amaq news agency, “and carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition.”
— Michael S. Smith II (@MichaelSSmithII) September 18, 2016
St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson said the attacker reportedly asked his victims if they were Muslim before striking and made references to Allah during his rampage. Anderson’s department confirmed in a statement Saturday the stabber was killed by law enforcement in the mall.Read more
The explosion that hit New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29, Saturday night has no known connection to international terrorism, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday as he confirmed the blast came from a bomb. “A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism, but it’s not linked to international terrorism,” Cuomo clarified.
An extra 1,000 police officers and National Guard troops have been deployed to NYC’s public transit terminals “just to err on the side of caution,” Cuomo continued, though he said he wants “New Yorkers to be confident when they go back to work on Monday that New York is up and running, and we’re doing everything that we need to do.”
Previously, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said police have not identified a connection between the blast and any credible threats against the city. He also announced there is no known link to the Saturday morning pipe bomb blast in New Jersey.Read more
Here’s something Republican Donald Trump can add to his list of personal superlatives: He’s the most dominant presidential candidate ever! Well, he would be if he were a chimpanzee running for president of the jungle.
In comments shared in an article from the October issue of The Atlantic, famed chimpanzee expert and anthropologist Jane Goodall said she sees something familiar in the GOP nominee. “In many ways the performances of Donald Trump remind me of male chimpanzees and their dominance rituals,” Goodall remarked.
“In order to impress rivals, males seeking to rise in the dominance hierarchy perform spectacular displays: stamping, slapping the ground, dragging branches, throwing rocks,” she continued. “The more vigorous and imaginative the display, the faster the individual is likely to rise in the hierarchy, and the longer he is likely to maintain that position.”
Goodall added that she expects to remember one particular high-energy chimp named Mike while watching the upcoming presidential debates. Mike liked to kick kerosene cans as he walked so the noise would unsettle his enemies.Read more
A terminally ill 17-year-old in Belgium became the first minor euthanized after the country lifted age restrictions for voluntary euthanasia in 2014. The identity of the teenager and date of his or her death have not been released, though a Belgian official confirmed the euthanasia happened within the last week.
“Fortunately, there are very few children who are considered [for euthanasia], but that does not mean we should refuse them the right to a dignified death,” said Wim Distelmans, head of Belgium’s state euthanasia commission. Belgian law requires terminally ill children of any age to be conscious and possessed of “capacity of discernment” to request their own deaths, as well as permission from the minors’ parent or guardian.
Physician-assisted suicide is legal under certain circumstances in five American states — California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington — and promises to be a significant culture-war battle for years to come.Read more