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Showing posts with label Grio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grio. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2020

Eboni K. Williams launches new podcast ‘Holding Court’

Television host and attorney Eboni K. Williams announced the launch of her new podcast ‘Holding Court’ available soon on iHeartMedia.

Eboni K. Williams has announced a brand new podcast Holding Court on The Black Effect podcast network featured on iHeartMedia.

Read More: Eboni K. Williams to host, executive produce ‘Revolt Black News’

The podcast network is a new partnership between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God dedicated to bringing the most influential and trusted voices in Black culture to the podcasting space, according to a press release. Williams, along with co-host Dustin Ross, will use their airtime to cross-examine cases trending in news and provide teachable moments to navigate the criminal justice system.

“There’s no way around it, the legal cases we hear about in the news are shaping social justice and popular culture. We need to dissect them from a Black perspective in a way that doesn’t hold back. Dustin and I will give you the facts straight and our takes will be highly unfiltered,” said Williams in a provided statement.

Williams earned her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. As a practicing lawyer, she specializes in family law and civil litigation, providing legal advice on high-profile divorce, spousal support, and custody cases. The host also worked as a public defender and a private defense attorney representing criminal matters including murders, rapes, high volume drug cases, sex crimes, and federal offenses.

“I’ve been waiting two years to deliver this love child…⁣” she wrote in an announcement on Instagram.

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Ya’ll, I’ve been waiting two years to deliver this love child…⁣ ⁣ Thrilled to finally announce my podcast!!!⁣ Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams⁣ πŸ—£πŸ—£⚖️⚖️✊🏾✊🏾 ⁣ ⁣ Dropping this Wednesday October 21st!⁣ New episodes every single Wednesday Check out the trailer right now!! ⁣ πŸ”—Link in bioπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯⁣ ⁣ Attorney & TV host, Eboni K. Williams, will debut her new podcast ‘Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams’ on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. ⁣ ⁣ The podcast will join The Black Effect Podcast Network, a historic new partnership between iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God dedicated to bringing the most influential and trusted voices in Black culture to the podcasting space. New episodes of ‘Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams’ will drop every Wednesday. Williams, who is currently Host & Executive producer of ‘REVOLT Black News’ on REVOLT TV, is known for her sharp analysis of legal and cultural headlines.⁣ ⁣ Williams, along with cultural observer Dustin Ross, will cross-examine news-making cases and famous faces providing teachable moments to navigate a rigged justice system. Each week on ‘Holding Court with Eboni K.Williams’, Williams and Ross will break down what’s on the docket in American justice and what’s not.⁣ ⁣ “There’s no way around it, the legal cases we hear about in the news are shaping social justice and popular culture. We need to dissect them from a Black perspective in a way that doesn’t hold back. Dustin and I will give you the facts straight and our takes will be highly unfiltered,” ⁣ ⁣ Ya’ll excited?!?⁣πŸ˜† Because Dustin and I are, so let’s Hold Court… πŸ“Έ @sophyholland πŸ’„ @tcooperbeauty @iheartradio @cthagod @lookatdustin @blackeffect

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Williams has another high-profile gig on the way. The attorney was recently announced as the newest member of The Real Housewives of New York City, making her the first Black castmember, theGrio reported.

“[I] can’t wait to share a slice of life in this city that hasn’t been seen before,” she shared. “Anyone who’s aware of my work knows I don’t hold back. I’m going to keep it just as real here as I do everywhere else,” she said.

Williams believes her background as a lawyer prepared her for a career in television. During an interview with theGrio, she revealed that both professionally and personally, she operates freely and with intent.

Read More: How Eboni K Williams’ law background prepared her for a career in television

“I’ll speak for me. One thing I’m able to do because of the sacrifices of my lineage is I’m able to be way more intentional about romantic partnership, for instance. Right? I’m able to be way more intentional. My mother raised me as a very confident, very business savvy, brilliant, single Black mother. It’s a beautiful thing, but I am in a position now where I can choose to do that, or I can choose to do it a different way. So that’s an opportunity there for me.”

Williams is also currently the host & executive producer of Revolt Black News.

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Five things to know about presidential debate moderator Kristen Welker including what Trump had to say about her

She is the first Black woman since 1992 to moderate a presidential debate on her own

A Black woman will be the moderator for the next presidential debate, the first to do so since 1992.

Kristen Welker will moderate the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden. The Harvard Unversity graduate and NBC News White House correspondent is now the co-anchor of Weekend Today. The Philly native is the first Black woman to moderate the event solo since Carole Simpson in 1992, according to an NBC press release obtained by theGrio. If you are unfamiliar with the journalist’s history, here are five things you should know.

She has a long history with NBC.

Welker, 44, started as an intern with Today in 1997 and worked as a weekend researcher there. In 2011, she began covering the White House for the outlet. She traveled with President Barack Obama, the first lady, and former vice president Joe Biden and in 2016 she covered Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She was named co-anchor of Weekend Today in January.

President Trump Announces His Supreme Court Nominee
NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker particiapates in a stand-up shot as she reports from the White House January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump will announce his pick for the Supreme Court associate justice nominee at the East Room this evening. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Read More: SNL spoofs Pence-Harris VP debate in cold open

This isn’t Welker’s first time moderating a presidential debate

In 2019, she joined fellow journalists Andrea Mitchell, Rachel Maddow, and Ashley Parker for an all-female panel to moderate the presidential debate. The women received raved reviews and their coverage won them a Special or Variety – Breakthrough award at the 45th annual Gracie Awards.

She’s an award-winning journalist and stellar reporter

Welker is familiar with receiving accolades. She was recently honored with the Outstanding Journalism in Broadcast Television award at the 7th Annual Washington Women in Journalism Awards. The reporter also received praise from viewers – and her colleagues – for showing professionalism during a live report that went awry. Despite an errant gust of wind during the segment, Welker quickly recovered without missing a beat.

Welker met her husband after being set up by their mutual friends

The journalist married her husband, John Hughes, a marketing executive, in 2017, according to The New York Times. After their first date, he initially thought she was out of his league. He told the outlet, “I remember thinking to myself, ‘If I can just make her laugh, maybe I’ll have a chance.’”

Read More: Biden, Trump to participate in competing town halls instead of second debate

Trump once praised her, but then slighted her after she was announced as debate moderator

The president congratulated Welker at a press conference this year after she was named co-anchor of Weekend Today. “They made a very wise decision,” he said.

But today, when asked by media at a press stop, he’d changed his assessment.

“Kristen Welker is a radical left Democrat,” he told media assembled to talk to him on the tarmac at a campaign stop in Phoenix, Arizona. “I told you about the last one and I was right and I told you about Savannah Guthrie and I was right,” he said. “Then ask her why did she delete her account,” he continued. “Kristin Welker should put all of her statements back on. She deleted her entire account. She shouldn’t do that.”

It’s unclear what account Trump was referring to, as Welker’s Twitter account is still active. It was deactivated temporarily earlier this month when CSPAN host Steve Scully claimed his account was hacked before the scheduled, then cancelled, Oct. 15 presidential debate.

The final presidential debate on Oct. 22nd airs at 9 p.m.

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California ballot box intentionally set on fire

In California, a ballot box was intentionally set on fire and officials are investigating to see whose ballots may have been impacted

A ballot box in California was set on fire and after putting out the blaze, dozens of damaged ballots were discovered.

Read More: New Jersey postal worker arrested for allegedly tossing ballots, mail

According to ABC7, an official ballot drop-off box in Baldwin Park went up in flames on Saturday night. Baldwin Park police discovered the fire around 8 p.m. Los Angeles County Fire Department put out the fire by inserting a hose into the ballot box, then the crew used a chainsaw to cut the box open. Once the officials gained entry, multiple damaged ballots were removed.

The news outlet detailed an estimated up to 100 damaged ballots were taken into police custody after firefighters claimed the fire was intentionally set. Investigators said a newspaper was lit and dropped into the ballot box.

Mayor Manuel Lozano said they believed up to 100 ballots were damaged by either the fire set or the water used to put it out.

“People are frustrated across the country, it’s no different in Baldwin Park,” Lozano told ABC7. “The incident that happened…does send a very bad message, as it is, the frustration with the voting box and then this occurs.”

Virginia Gov. Northam Greets Early Voters In Fairfax
A voter drops off an absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020 elections into a collecting bin outside Fairfax County Government Center on October 19, 2020 in Fairfax, Virginia. Ballot boxes like these are allowing voters to submit absentee and early mail-in ballots. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Officials worked to return the ballots to the registrar’s office so voters whose votes may have been compromised are made aware. John Rios, a resident who dropped their ballot in the targeted box told ABC7 he is worried about his submission a couple of weeks ago.

“It makes me very mad because I’ve never seen it, I’ve never seen this,” said Rios, according to the report. “I’m 80 years old, I’ve been voting since I was 19, I’ve never seen something like this.”

This is not the first issue California voters have faced in 2020 with ballot boxes. Republicans placed unofficial ballot boxes at churches, gun shops, and other locations before they were ordered to remove them by state officials, according to theGrio. Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said state law only allows county election officials to set up official ballot drop boxes.

Read More: Absentee Ballot tracking service launched for Georgia voters

Republicans however, refused to remove the boxes, saying they are only trying to make things easier for voters.

“As of right now, we’re going to continue our ballot harvesting program,” California Republican Party spokesman Hector Barajas said according to theGrio.

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Obama urges South Carolina voters to elect Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison is running against Lindsey Graham for a seat on the U.S. Senate

Barack Obama has made it clear he wants South Carolinians to vote for Jaime Harrison.

Harrison of South Carolina is gunning for a seat on the U.S. Senate and he has a well-known supporter on his side. Obama released a special video urging voters to place a ballot for Harrison in the upcoming election and says if you want a candidate who will fight, vote for Harrison.

“If you want a Senator that will fight for criminal justice reform, lower college costs, and to make health care affordable, you’ve got to vote for my friend, Jaime Harrison,” said Obama in a press release.

“This year you can vote early or you can vote on election day, November third. Early voting is happening right now. Go to iwillvote.com to find your early vote location, make your plan, and vote for Jaime today.”

Read More: Jaime Harrison breaks fundraising record for senate race

Harrison is up against Lindsey Graham for the seat. Graham has held his spot since 2003 but according to Politico, by going up against Harrison, he’s “been forced into the race of his life” because Harrison is the “best-funded Senate candidate in American history.”

Harrison brought in $57 million in campaign funds in the third quarter of this year alone which beat the $28 million Graham brought in for the same quarter.

Screenshot of Debate (via CSPAN)

“This campaign to bring hope back to South Carolina is getting stronger every day,” Harrison said in the press release. “As Senator, I will fight to bring strong character and values back to Washington, where too many politicians are playing political games instead of fighting for us. It is an honor to receive the support of President Barack Obama, and I will continue to fight to restore hope to South Carolinians in the midst of this pandemic.” 

Read More: Viola Davis urges South Carolinians to vote in new Harrison ad

The Orangeburg, South Carolina native comes from humble beginnings. He was born to a teenage mother and raised by his grandparents and said watching his grandparents’ home being taken from them inspired him to become a lawyer.

“I came into this world as an underdog,” said Harrison told the City Paper. “The odds were always long for me in terms of whether or not I could succeed and break out of the generational poverty.”

Despite election day being a few weeks away, Harrison says he already won the race in a way.

“See, I’ve already won. Seriously, I’ve already won,” he told the publication. “This campaign is about bringing hope back. It is about inspiring a whole new generation of leaders. Letting folks know that they can do things that they can achieve and be what they want to be.”

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A 5-point plan to addressing climate change and protecting the planet

OPINION: Before, during and after Election Day, we should stand for the abundance that the earth can offer when we allow it to grow and us to grow safely with it. 

When it comes to tackling global climate change sadly both Vice President Mike Pence, with his Trumpian dismissal of the Green New Deal, and Senator Kamala Harris for her defense of hydrofracking, missed the mark on the debate stage. 

The saying goes fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Well, when it comes to heeding the scientific consensus about the impacts of global climate change and taking steps to stop It well, then, it’s shame on all of us. We have allowed climate change deniers and industry apologists to tell us how to tackle the most existential crisis we face.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

Read More: Underwater and on fire: US climate change magnifies extremes

Protesters gather around a small sailboat that was dropped off in Times Square as part of a protest by the environmental group Extinction Rebellion on October 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.” 

We can’t keep doing the same thing. What we need is a plan that can move the natural world out of the crosshairs of human activity. The plan needs to work at all multiple scales, from the individual to the population level so that all people can be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. 

This 5-Point plan adapted from my good friend Jason McLennan and fellow board member of the Living Future Institute is, “our big assignment.”

First, we need to decarbonize everything. We have to cut off the source and stop using oil, coal, and gas to generate electricity. Instead, we need the rapid development of renewable energy sources. The good news is that we actually have the technology to take advantage of clean energy.

Tech like LED lights, heat pump-based HVAC systems, and induction stoves will be crucial. So will micro-mobility which refers to small, lightweight vehicles typically bicycles, Ebikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, and electric pedal-assisted bicycles. It is time to stop privileging one mode over the others and align our infrastructure to this critical decarbonization goal.

Second, we need to ban all single-use plastics. Single-use plastics include grocery bags, plastic cutlery, food packaging and beverage bottles, and product packaging that all make up 40% of all plastic production. According to the Ocean Collectiv, we’re on track to have more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

(Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

A quarter of all fish and a third of all shellfish sampled in US markets contains microfibers and microplastics. Eighty-three percent of drinking water samples from around the world are contaminated with microplastics. There is a lot more to do but banning single-use plastics is a good start. 

Read More: Fox News host Tucker Carlson says only liberals believe climate change and systemic racism are real

Third, we need to save what’s left in the natural world. Ten percent of the world’s arable acres lie within the United States. But these lands are constantly under threat by development. We need to support local, regional and state-level policies that can help protect farmland, ranchland, and support organizations, like the Trust for Public Land, that secure and conserve natural areas.

Land trusts, park developments, family trusts that protect land are all vital. All of us need to visit natural areas and support others having access to sunshine, trees, vistas, breezes and clean air.

Four, we need to heal scarred earth and invite life back. One of my personal heroes is Leah Penniman, the farmer, educator, author, who co-founded and manages Soul Fire Farm in Upstate New York. She is part of a movement of farmers who seek, in part, to bring back traditional regenerative farming practices that capture carbon and return organic matter and native biodiversity to the soil.

At Soul Fire Farm they have gone from 2% organic matter to 12% — which represents a return to the state that the soil was in pre-colonial times. Efforts like these should be the standard for how we renegotiate our relationship with the earth. 

Finally, we need to be involved where we live and challenge the dominant worldview of colonialism, consumerism, and the concentration of power governed through violent force and advance a worldview of sacredness and care, as well as ecological and social well-being governed through deep democracy.

Voting is crucial. However, before, during and after we vote we must build relationships with people and create our future right now regardless of who is in power. Politicians should follow our lead and we should stand for the abundance that the earth can offer when we allow it to grow and us to grow safely with it. 

Let’s start there. Let deserts bloom, forests heal from fires, wetlands restored, over-tilled land to be replenished, and people to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and to live lives of dignity.


Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is the author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet and is the co-founder of Green Squash Consulting a management consulting firm based in New York that works with people, organizations, companies, coalitions and governments committed to equity and justice and specializes in dynamic strategic and focused stakeholder management and partnership development. He sits on the board of the International Living Future Institute encouraging the creation of a regenerative built environment.

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Trump falsely claims Biden family a ‘criminal enterprise’

Trump supporters at his rally responded with an ever-familiar chant: ‘Lock him up.”

President Donald Trump labeled the family of his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, a criminal enterprise.

“They’re corrupt people,” Trump said to a cheering crowd at a campaign stop in Carson City, Nevada. “But Joe Biden is from a failed and corrupt political class that enriched itself while draining the economic life and soul from our country.”

In this 2012 photo, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (far right), Hunter Biden (center) and Ashley Biden watch their father, Joe Biden, speak on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“They get away with it, you know why? Because those people are more corrupt than anybody,” he said, pointing to the media. “They don’t even ask him.”

The president was referring to stories about alleged emails reportedly found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop, a machine said to have been owned by Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s middle child. The New York Post has published several stories about the emails, which the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper claims were provided by Rudy Giuliani.

Read More: Rudy Giuliani’s daughter endorses Biden, slams dad and Trump in op-ed

Other news outlets have doubted the authenticity of the emails, one of which purportedly suggested a meeting had occurred between Joe Biden and a Ukrainian man with Burisma, a natural gas company in the Ukraine that counted Hunter Biden among its board members.

Giuliani has claimed that he chose to give the contents of the found hard drive to The Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”

Read More: Black officers break from unions over Trump endorsements

The FBI has seized the laptop through a grand jury subpoena, according to NBC News.

An attorney for Hunter Biden said in a statement, “We have no idea where this came from, and certainly cannot credit anything that Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post, but what I do know for certain is that this purported meeting never happened.”

Read More: Trump, Biden go on offense in states they’re trying to flip

The Biden campaign has maintained that they were never questioned about the alleged emails or a meeting alleged in the messages.

“Joe, he’s corrupt,” Trump said. “And you know what, they found the laptop.”

“They call it the laptop from hell,” Trump claimed later. “Let’s see what happens with it.”

Read More: Supreme Court set to have 3 Bush v. Gore alumni sitting on the bench

Supporters responded by chanting, “Lock him up!”

Trump supporters had previously used the chant during the 2016 election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump also falsely claimed Democrats are raising more money than his campaign because “they are making deals.”

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Trump, Biden go on offense in states they’re trying to flip

Both candidates are trying to make inroads in states that could help secure a path to victory

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense Sunday, with each campaigning in states they are trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election that is just over two weeks away.

Trump began his day in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before a fundraiser and an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, Nevada has not swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.

The rally drew thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering Trump and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard against the coronavirus. The president, as he often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and at one point appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists.

President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport on October 17, 2020 in Janesville, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression,” Trump said.

Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before campaigning in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since Barack Obama in 2008.

Both candidates are trying to make inroads in states that could help secure a path to victory, but the dynamics of the race are remarkably stable. Biden enjoys a significant advantage in national polls, while carrying a smaller edge in battleground surveys.

Read More: Gov. Whitmer accuses Trump of inciting violence during rally

With Trump seated in the front row at the nondenominational International Church of Las Vegas, the senior associate pastor, Denise Goulet, said God told her the president is the apple of his eye and would secure a second term.

“At 4:30, the Lord said to me, ‘I am going to give your president a second win,’” she said, telling Trump, “you will be the president again.”

Trump offered brief remarks, saying “I love going to churches” and that it was “a great honor” to attend the service. The president also said that “we have a group on the other side that doesn’t agree with us,” and he urged people to “get out there on Nov. 3 or sooner” to vote. He dropped a wad of $20 bills in the collection plate before leaving.

Trump also attended a fundraiser at the Newport Beach home of top GOP donor and tech mogul Palmer Luckey, which raised $12 million for his election. The Beach Boys performed.

The message was far different later in the day, when Biden attended a virtual discussion with African American faith leaders from around the country.

Biden held up a rosary, which he said he carries in his pocket every day, and described it as “what the Irish call a prisoner’s rosary” since it was small enough to be smuggled into prisons.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden waves as he departs the stage during a drive-in campaign rally at Riverside High School on October 18, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I happen to be a Roman Catholic,” Biden said. “I don’t pray for God to protect me. I pray to God to give me strength to see what other people are dealing with.”

Earlier, at a drive-in rally in Durham, North Carolina, Biden focused heavily on promoting criminal justice changes to combat institutional racism and promised to help build wealth in the Black community.

He noted that Trump had said at one of his rallies that the country had turned the corner on the pandemic.

“As my grandfather would say, this guy’s gone around the bend if he thinks we’ve turned the corner. Turning the corner? Things are getting worse,” Biden said.

In addition to public polling that indicates Biden has an edge, the former vice president enjoys another considerable advantage over Trump: money. Over the past four months, his campaign has raised over $1 billion, and that has enabled him to eclipse Trump’s once-massive cash advantage.

Read More: Biden, Harris dodge questions about Supreme Court expansion

That’s become apparent in advertising, where Biden and his Democratic allies are on pace to spend twice as much as Trump and the Republicans in the closing days of the race, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.

Though Trump has pulled back from advertising in Midwestern states that secured his 2016 win, he’s invested heavily elsewhere, including North Carolina, where he is on pace to slightly outspend Biden in the days ahead.

In Nevada, which Trump came close to winning in 2016, Democrats are set to outspend Trump in the closing days by a more than 3-to-1 ratio.

Trump’s visit to the state is part of an aggressive schedule of campaign events, where he has leaned heavily into fear tactics.

As he tries to keep more voters from turning against him, Trump has sought to paint Democrats as “anti-American radicals” on a “crusade against American history.” He told moderate voters they had a “a moral duty” to join the Republican Party.

If elected, Biden would be only the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. history and first since John F. Kennedy. Biden speaks frequently about his faith and its importance in his life.

Biden started his day with Mass in Delaware at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine, as he does nearly every week. He and his wife, Jill, entered wearing dark-colored face masks. She carried a bunch of flowers that including pink roses.

The church is a few minutes’ drive from Biden’s home. Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, is buried in the cemetery on its grounds. Joe and Jill Biden visited the grave after the service.

Trump attends church far less often but has drawn strong support from white Evangelical leaders and frequently hosts groups of pastors at the White House. Trump often goes to the Church of Bethesda-By-The Sea near Mar-a-Lago in Florida for major holidays, including Easter, and he attended a Christmas Eve service last year at Family Church in West Palm Beach before the onset of the pandemic.

As the virus forced most churches to pause in-person services this spring, Trump announced plans to tune into live-streamed worship led by some leading evangelical supporters, including Texas-based megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress’ Easter service and a March service by Georgia-based pastor Jentezen Franklin.

Slodysko reported from Washington and Weissert from Durham, North Carolina. Associated Press Writer Elana Schor in Washington contributed to this report.

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Black-owned gym, Harlem Cycle, vandalized

The owner is seeking $5,000 to help offset the cost of damages

Harlem Cycle, a Black-owned workout studio in Harlem, was vandalized over on the weekend.

The owner, Tammeca Rochester, was at a loss for words when she found out. The gym was already facing mounting pressure from the pandemic.

Read More: Harlem’s small Black businesses struggle amid pandemic

“On Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 I received a call noting me that our studio had been vandalized. As I arrived to our location I was met with the police who informed me of a break-in and the glass in our our front door completely shattered,” Rochester said.

So far, details of the vandalism are not known besides the fact that the front glass door was busted, and the vandals who broke into the gym have not yet been found.

“I’m slowly loosing my faith ….. Woke up this morning and Harlem Cycle has been vandalized. In my 5 years at this location I’ve never worried about theft because I believe when you take care of the community they will take care of you. Well today I’m feeling quite let down and heart broke,” Rochester wrote on Instagram.

“[With] 8+ months of business closure, broken pipes, constantly pivoting our business, creating a whole new digital business, not knowing if we will ever be able to hold classes again and now this. I’m so f*ing tired,” Rochester continued.

TheGrio has reached out to Harlem Cycle for comment, but did not immediately get a response.

Harlem Cycle saw an outpouring of love from the community after the vandalism.

“We will come back stronger TOGETHER,” Rochester said.

Rochester has launched a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of repairs.

As of reporting, Rochester has raised more than half of her goal.

Located on 2350 Adam Clayton Powell, in the heart of Harlem, Harlem Cycle hosts various health classes for Harlemites of all level of fitness.

“Whether you are a seasoned athlete or a newcomer to strength and cardiovascular training, Harlem Cycle has a program for you,” Harlem Cycle wrote on their site.

READ MORE: Harlem church hit hard by coronavirus loses nine members within a month

On March 15th, New York City mandated a citywide shutdown. The company began uploading a series of paid, on-demand videos on its Vimeo account in order to stay afloat.

Available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, those willing to get a Harlem-style workout can pay $40 for a collection of videos designed to keep members in shape.

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Black officers break from unions over Trump endorsements

Many Black officers say the endorsements for Trump don’t fairly represent all dues-paying members

Police unions nationwide have largely supported President Donald Trump’s reelection, amid mass demonstrations over police brutality and accusations of systemic racism — but a number of Black law enforcement officers are speaking out against these endorsements, saying their concerns over entering the 2020 political fray were ignored.

Trump has touted his support from the law enforcement community, which includes endorsements from national, city and state officers’ unions — some of which publicly endorsed a political candidate for the first time. He’s running on what he calls a “law and order” platform and tapping into a strain of anger and frustration felt by law enforcementwho believe they are being unfairly accused of racial discrimination.

Read More: Trumps says ‘more white people’ are dying from police violence than Blacks

There are more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., with large departments holding sway nationally. The number of minority officers in policing has more than doubled in the last three decades, but many departments still have a smaller percentage of Black and Hispanic officers compared to the percentage of the general population those communities make up.

Many fraternal Black police organizations were formed to advocate for equality within police departments but also to focus on how law enforcement affects the wider Black community. There have often been tensions between minority organizations and larger unions, like in August, when the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers issued a letter condemning use of deadly force, police misconduct and abuse in communities of color.

While support for the Republican incumbent does not strictly fall along racial lines, many Black officers say the endorsements for Trump don’t fairly represent all dues-paying members.

“We are members of these unions, and they don’t take into consideration our feelings about Donald J. Trump, then they don’t care about us and … they don’t care about our dues,” said Rochelle Bilal, the recent past president of the Guardian Civic League of Philadelphia, calling the National Fraternal Order of Police’s Trump endorsement an “outrage.” 

Bilal, who was elected as Philadelphia’s first Black female sheriff last year, spoke at at an early October news conference with other Black law enforcement groups in Philadelphia to condemn Trump endorsements and the process they say ignored their concerns over what they perceived to be racist remarks, support for white supremacist groups and a lack of respect for women from Trump.

But national union leaders say the process is designed to give everyone a voice and the endorsement represents the majority of officers. The Fraternal Order of Police represents close to 350,000 officers nationally, but does not track racial demographics.

“I am a Black American and a Black law enforcement officer,” said Rob Pride, the National Fraternal Order of Police chair of trustees. “It’s been emotionally a rollercoaster ride for me since the George Floyd incident. It was horrific.” 

Pride, who oversees the vote that leads to the organization’s presidential endorsement, says the May 25 police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis and the political climate “is tearing America apart” and having a similar effect on the FOP.

National FOP leaders said they have heard from members who don’t agree with the Trump endorsement — and they’re open to talking over concerns — but that all 44 state Fraternal Orders of Police chapters that cast a ballot voted for Trump. Pride said the whole process starts locally, with lodges passing out candidate survey answers and ballots and then voting at a statewide meeting. State delegates then voted at the national meeting.

Read More: U.S. police chiefs worried about armed men at polling stations

“We could probably have an hourlong conversation about why some folks feel President Trump is racist and why others disagree,” he said. “But there are a lot of officers of all races of all backgrounds who feel he best represents and supports the interests of law enforcement.”

On the local level, police reform bills driven by protests against police brutality in the wake of Floyd’s killing have also stoked local unions’ endorsements of candidates for state offices at higher rates this year — some issuing endorsement for the first time in decades. While many union leaders say the endorsements aren’t based on political parties, they have largely been for Republicans challenging candidates who have voted for what unions call “anti-police” reform bills. 

Philadelphia’s FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby said in a statement that the group, which represents 6,500 members, did not make an endorsement in the presidential race, and deferred to its parent union’s endorsement. But members said that despite being the largest lodge in the state, they weren’t given a chance to vote or be counted by the state or national delegates.

Denouncing the endorsement processes, The Guardian Civic League has asked its about 1,200 members to be prepared to withdraw their dues from the national FOP, as has the Club Valiants of Philadelphia — an organization of more than 500 minority firefighters — from the Local 22 of the International Fire Fighters and Paramedics Union. In endorsing Trump, Local 22 broke from its parent organization, which endorsed Democrat Joe Biden.

Valiants leaders said the Local 22′s endorsement was based on survey responses from about 500 of the union’s nearly 5,000 members. Local union leaders said a redo survey is being sent to members in response to the backlash and its endorsement will be revised if necessary by the end of the month.

“The election is Nov. 3, and people are out there voting now. What is it going to do to rescind the endorsement days before the election?” said John Elam, a Philadelphia firefighter and Valiants member. “We want a fair process. We wanted a fair process from the beginning.”

In New York City, Patrick Lynch — the head of the Police Benevolent Association that represents about 24,000 officers — announced the union’s endorsement of Trump at August’s Republican National Convention, something members said they had no warning would happen. An unsigned letter from the Guardians Association said the Black and minority officers the group represents felt blindsided by Lynch’s endorsement and wished the union had stayed neutral.

Lynch said it was the union’s first presidential endorsement in at least 36 years. 

“That’s how important this is,” Lynch said to the crowd during an event at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, telling the president: “You’ve earned this.” 

During September’s presidential debate, Trump ticked off the locations where he felt he had support from law enforcement. “I have Florida, I have Texas, I have Ohio,” he said. “Excuse me, Portland, the sheriff there just came out today and said, ‘I support President Trump.’”

That sheriff — Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese — quickly took to Twitter to deny any support.

Terrance Hopkins, president of the Black Police Association of Dallas, said a handful of officers left the Dallas Police Department’s largest union, partly driven by its support for Trump, and had joined his organization. 

“A lot of these officers feel like they aren’t being considered. A lot of the issues that push them to that point border along racial lines,” Hopkins, a 30-year veteran officer, said. “And it’s not just here. I got a call from some Black officers in Kansas City, Missouri, who wanted to join my organization because they don’t have any other outlet and they don’t feel like they are being represented.”

Associated Press writers Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut, and Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.

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Supreme Court set to have 3 Bush v. Gore alumni sitting on the bench

ACB declined to commit to recusing herself from any Trump election case even though she worked on Bush v. Gore

After her confirmation, Amy Coney Barrett will be one of the three current Supreme Court justices who assisted the legal team of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the Florida ballot recount conflict that came down to only one vote at the Supreme Court.

The court’s decision to cut off Florida recounts in 2000 tore apart the justices and the nation, and now, twenty years later, the controversial case still hovers in the air as America approaches the next presidential election.

Read More: Trump selects Amy Coney Barrett for SCOTUS seat

Other current-day justices benefited from the ruling that gave Bush the White House over Vice President Al Gore, as they ultimately became Bush appointees to the bench.

In November 2000, John Roberts, then in private practice, flew to Florida to assist Bush’s legal team. He helped prepare and offered advice to the lawyer who presented Bush’s case to the Florida state Supreme Court.

After Bush became president, he nominated Roberts to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and the Senate confirmed him in 2003. In 2005 Bush elevated Roberts to the chief justice position. During his Senate confirmation hearing, Roberts refused to disclose his opinion of the justices’ 2000 decision, stating that a disputed election could come to the court again.

Read More: Biden says he’s open to adding Supreme Court justices if needed

Justice Brett Kavanaugh was also in private practice in 2000 and assisted the Bush legal team. After the election, Bush hired Kavanaugh to be a counsel and then staff secretary.

Bush later appointed Kavanaugh to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. In 2018, President Donald Trump elevated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

During her hearings, Barrett admitted to working on the Bush v. Gore case, but she told senators that she couldn’t recall specifics of her involvement.

Under questioning from Democratic senators she declined to commit to recusing herself from any Trump election case.

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