Should the ZIP code of a child determine where its attends school?
It only takes a few clicks of a computer or laptop mouse to determine where a school applicant lives.
If she lives in, say, South Central Los Angeles, the cultural home of the violent Bloods, Crips and other gangs, her application might be deleted or placed in the affirmative-action basket.
And that’s because South Central is mostly black, is home to mostly rental units and has a median income of about $34,000 — all of which could be easily interpreted as a high-need situation.
Now cross the country and look at the public education system in the nation’s capital.
Parents are asked every year to participate in a lottery system to apply for public schooling for their children. The application allows up to 12 schools to be selected, and they can be ranked.
The process is not open-ended. For school year 2020-21, the D.C. Public Schools began accepting applications the week before Christmas, and the deadlines are Feb. 3 for ninth grade through 12th grade, and March 2 for students in preschool through eighth grade.
If you’re trying to determine the best fit for several children, pray for patience (and even if you don’t ordinarily seek patience, do it anyway).
The D.C. system is like those used by other school districts, colleges and universities — meaning, they’re selective.
Feigning “diverse” student bodies, public school systems don’t want to appear discriminatory, but you know they are.
For example, colleges and universities have legacy policies. Daddy, granddaddy or mama went to the college is a plus.
In D.C., if an applicant’s sister or brother attends the same school, it’s a plus — and the non-legacy can be bumped.
Discrimination? You bet.
Some D.C. parents are ignorant of this ploy because the system feigns diversity. Need an example?
One of the most sought-after traditional public high schools in the District is Woodrow Wilson, which is located in Upper Northwest. Wilson is a sort of academic gem, and it ranks high among parental requests.
Yet it’s socio-economic makeup is the opposite that of the geographic dividing line, Rock Creek Park, where the poorest and oldest residents of the District live.
So, if an applicant in ZIP code 20032, 20020 or 20019 applies, the child’s application could likely be treated as if they lived in South Central L.A.
The school system’s cover is blown because city hall begs day in and day out with reasons why children who live in similarly majority black and poor ZIP codes need more money, and why school choice is so popular in the District.
Politicians and unions harp on “high-quality” schools for all, but deliver them not.
What they do deliver is a systemic method of discrimination by ZIP Code.
As proof is the legislative proposal floating around city hall that exposes the bias by mandating that parents like Wilson High’s have no edge to fund and bolster programs with personal or donated money for their children.
Schooling can be separate, but schools will never be equal.
And that’s why the ZIP code of a child should not determine where that child attends school.
President Donald Trump inquired how long Ukraine would be able to resist Russian aggression without U.S. assistance during a 2018 meeting with donors that included the indicted associates of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
“How long would they last in a fight with Russia?” Trump is heard asking in the audio portion of a video recording, moments before he calls for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. She was removed a year later after a campaign to discredit her by Giuliani and others, an action that is part of Democrats’ case arguing for the removal of the president in his Senate impeachment trial.
A video recording of the entire 80-minute dinner at the Trump Hotel in Washington was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press. Excerpts were first published Friday by ABC News. People can be seen in only some portions of the recording.
The recording contradicts the president’s statements that he did not know the Giuliani associates Lev Parnas or Igor Fruman, key figures in the investigation who were indicted last year on campaign finance charges. The recording came to light as Democrats continued to press for witnesses and other evidence to be considered during the impeachment trial.
FILE – Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 15, 2019.
On the recording, a voice that appears to be Parnas’ can be heard saying, “The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we got to get rid of the ambassador.” He later can be heard telling Trump: “She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s gonna get impeached. Just wait.’ ”
Trump responds: “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”
Ukraine came up during the dinner in the context of a discussion of energy markets, with the voice appearing to be Parnas’ describing his involvement in the purchase of a Ukrainian energy company.
The group then praises Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to which the president says: “Pompeo’s going to be good. He’s doing a good job. Already he’s doing a good job.”
At the beginning of the video, Trump is seen posing for photos before entering the blue-walled dining room. A voice that appears to be Fruman’s is heard saying that “it’s a great room” before a chuckle. “I couldn’t believe myself.”
Also visible in the video are the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and former counselor to the president Johnny DeStefano. Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson of the golf icon, and New York real estate developer Stanley Gale also attended the event for a pro-Trump group.
Just a few minutes into the conversation, Trump can be heard railing against former President George W. Bush, China, the World Trade Organization and the European Union. “Bush, he gets us into the war, he gets us into the Middle East, that was a beauty,” Trump says. “We’re in the Middle East right now for $7 trillion.” He later says: “China rips us off for years and we owe them $2 trillion.” The president blames the WTO because it “allowed China to do what they’re doing.”
“The WTO is worse” than China, he declares. “China didn’t become great until the WTO.”
Trump also seemed to question the U.S. involvement in the Korean War: “How we ever got involved in South Korea in the first place, tell me about it. How we ended up in a Korean War.”
FILE – North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un walks with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore, in this picture taken June 12, 2018, and released from North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency.
Trump provided the guests with an update ahead of his first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, revealing that he’d settled on a date and location. One of the people in attendance sought to pitch a different location: Songdo, South Korea, which is 70% owned by Gale International and features a Nicklaus-designed golf course.
“You know that Kim Jong Un is a great golfer,” Trump is heard telling the guests, who roar with laughter.
Trump also discussed the border crisis and plans for a border wall with Mexico, insisting that he wants to build a concrete wall but had heard from law enforcement officials that it wasn’t viable. “You do have to be able to see through the wall, I think,” Trump says. He says drug dealers would throw heavy bundles of drugs over the wall, which could kill Border Patrol agents.
“They have a catapult and they throw it over the wall, and it lands on the other side of the wall and it can hit people. Can you imagine you get hit with 100 pounds?” the president says. “The whole thing is preposterous. I would’ve loved to have seen to see a concrete wall, but you just can’t do that.”
Toward the end of the dinner, the discussion turns to the upcoming election and media.
“Magazines are dead,” Trump says.
“I think cable TV is OK. If we ever lost an election, cable TV is dead,” he says, the partygoers laughing. “Can you imagine if they had a normal candidate? It’s all they talk about. If they had Hillary, crooked Hillary, their ratings would be one-fifth.”
Trump says that he believes he would have had a harder time in 2016 if Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee.
Near the end of the dinner Parnas can be heard presenting what he says is a gift to Trump from “the head rabbi in Ukraine” and rabbis in Israel drawing a parallel between Trump and the messiah. “It’s like messiah is the person that’s come to save the whole world. So it’s like you’re the savior of the Ukraine.”
“All Jew people of Ukraine, they are praying for you,” Fruman says, as Parnas tells Trump to show the gift to Jared Kushner, the president’s Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser, to explain its meaning. In the video, it appears Fruman is seated across the narrow part of the rectangular table and one seat over from the president.
Trump also tells the assembled guests that it is “ridiculous” and “wrong” that he can’t hold political fundraisers inside the White House, saying it would save the government money compared to driving him the four blocks to his hotel.
Now that the awards season is in full swing, it’s time to turn the spotlight on the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, which will take place Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For the second time, musician Alicia Keys is back on the Grammy stage as host of the awards ceremony, presented by the Recording Academy, to honor the outstanding achievements in the music industry.
This year, singer-rapper Lizzo leads the pack of contenders with eight nominations, while 18-year-old neo-goth songstress Billie Eilish and country-rap artist Lil Nas X follow closely behind with six nominations each.
Since the Grammys’ inception in 1959, this is the first year ever that two new artists — Lizzo and Eilish — have both garnered nominations in the top four Grammy categories: Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.
But the musical beat does not stop there — real-life couple Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are also set to perform together live for the first time in Grammy’s history.
Now that we have piqued your interest, here’s everything you need to know about music’s biggest night of the year.
Where, When And What To Watch The 2020 Grammys:
‘The Premiere Ceremony’ at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET
Grammy.com will kick off the 2020 Grammy Awards with a livestreamed premiere ceremony Sunday preceding the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. Slated to perform at the event are Nicola Benedetti, Chick Corea, I’m With Her, Angelique Kidjo and Yola.
‘E! Live From The Red Carpet’ at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Get all the scoop on the latest fashion trends and winner predictions from the red carpet. Watch Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic as they welcome celebrities, nominees, presenters and performing artists, including Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Camila Cabello, The Jonas Brothers, Aerosmith, Run-DMC, Bonnie Raitt, H.E.R., Dua Lipa and many more.
2020 Grammy Awards Tributes
The Grammys will pay tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle with show-stopping performances by John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill and Kirk Franklin. Posthumously, Hussle is nominated for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Rap Song.
The Recording Academy will also honor the legacy of the late Grammy legend Prince with a special celebration featuring an all-star tribute concert, enlisting the likes of Alicia Keys, Beck, Chris Martin, Juanes and many more.
‘The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards’ on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET
See if your predictions ring true as the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by Alicia Keys, airs live on CBS from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For those without access to a TV set, the awards ceremony can be streamed live through CBS’s website.
The 2020 Grammy Awards Nominees:
Album of the Year
Bon Iver – i,iLana Del Rey – Norman F—ing RockwellBillie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?H.E.R. – I Used to Know HerAriana Grande – thank u, nextLil Nas X – 7Lizzo – Cuz I Love YouVampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
Record of the Year
Bon Iver – Hey, MaBillie Eilish – Bad GuyAriana Grande – 7 ringsH.E.R. – Hard PlaceKhalid – TalkLil Nas X – Old Town RoadLizzo – Truth HurtsPost Malone – Sunflower
Song of the Year
Lady Gaga – Always Remember Us This WayBillie Eilish – Bad GuyTanya Tucker – Bring My Flowers NowH.E.R. – Hard PlaceTaylor Swift – LoverLana Del Rey – Norman F—ing RockwellLewis Capaldi – Someone You LovedLizzo – Truth Hurts
Best New Artist
Black PumasBillie EilishLil Nas XLizzoMaggie RogersRosalíaTank and the BangasYola
Best Pop Solo Performance
Beyoncé – SpiritBillie Eilish – Bad GuyAriana Grande – 7 ringsLizzo – Truth HurtsTaylor Swift – You Need to Calm Down
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Ariana Grande & the Social House – BoyfriendThe Jonas Brothers – SuckerLil Nas X – Old Town Road [ft. Billy Ray Cyrus]Post Malone – Sunflower [ft. Swae Lee]Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – Señorita
Best Pop Vocal Album
Beyoncé – The Lion King: The GiftBillie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?Ariana Grande – thank u, nextEd Sheeran – No.6 Collaborations ProjectTaylor Swift – Lover
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Andrea Bocelli – SìMichael Bublé – Love (Deluxe Edition)Elvis Costello & The Imposters – Look NowJohn Legend – A Legendary ChristmasBarbra Streisand – Walls
Best Rap Album
Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers IIIMeek Mill – Championships21 Savage – I Am > I WasTyler, the Creator – IGORYBN Cordae – The Lost Boy
Best Rap Song
YBN Cordae – Bad Idea [ft. Chance the Rapper]Rick Ross – Gold Roses [ft. Drake]21 Savage – A Lot [ft. J. Cole]Nipsey Hussle – Racks in the Middle [ft. Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy]DaBaby – Suge
Best Rap Performance
J. Cole – Middle ChildDaBaby – SugeDreamville – Down Bad [ft. J.I.D., Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, Young Nudy]Nipsey Hussle – Racks in the Middle [ft. Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy]Offset – Clout [ft. Cardi B]
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
DJ Khaled – Higher [ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend]Lil Baby and Gunna – Drip Too HardLil Nas X – PaniniMustard – Ballin [ft. Roddy Ricch]Young Thug – The London [ft. J. Cole and Travis Scott]
Best Rock Performance
Bones UK – Pretty WasteGary Clark Jr. – This LandBrittany Howard – History RepeatsKaren O & Danger Mouse – WomanRival Sons – Too Bad
Best Metal Performance
Candlemass – Astorolus – The Great Octopus [ft. Tony Iommi] Death Angel – HumanicideI Prevail – Bow DownKillswitch Engage – UnleashedTool – 7empest
Best Rock Song
Tool – Fear InoculumThe 1975 – Give Yourself a TryVampire Weekend – Harmony HallBrittany Howard – History RepeatsGary Clark Jr. – This Land
Best Rock Album
Bring Me the Horizon – amoCage the Elephant – Social CuesThe Cranberries – In the EndI Prevail – TraumaRival Sons – Feral Roots
Best Alternative Music Album
Big Thief – U.F.O.F.James Blake – Assume FormBon Iver – i,iVampire Weekend – Father of the BrideThom Yorke – ANIMA
Best R&B Performance
Daniel Caesar – Love Again [ft. Brandy]H.E.R. – Could’ve Been [ft. Bryson Tiller]Lizzo – Exactly How I Feel [ft. Gucci Mane]Lucky Daye – Roll Some MoAnderson .Paak – Come Home [ft. Andre 3000]
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Bj the Chicago Kid – Time TodayIndia.Arie- Steady LoveLizzo – JeromeLucky Daye – Real GamesPJ Morton – Built for Love [ft. Jazmine Sullivan]
Best R&B Song
H.E.R. – Could’ve Been [ft. Bryson Tiller]Emily King – Look At Me NowChris Brown – No Guidance [ft. Drake]Lucky Daye – Roll Some MoPJ Morton – Say So [ft. JoJo]
Best Urban Contemporary Album
Steve Lacy – Apollo XXILizzo – Cuz I Love YouGeorgia Anne Muldrow – OverloadNao – SaturnJessie Reyez – Being Human in Public
Best R&B Album
BJ the Chicago Kid – 1123Lucy Daye – PaintedElla Mai – Ella MaiPJ Morton – PaulAnderson .Paak – Ventura
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
Bad Bunny – X 100PreJ Balvin & Bad Bunny – OasisFlor De Toloache – IndestructibleiLe – AlmaduraRosalía – El Mal Querer
Best Dance Recording
Bonobo – LinkedThe Chemical Brothers – Got to Keep OnMedusa – Piece of Your Heart [ft. Goodboys]RÜFÜS DU SOL – UnderwaterSkrillex and Boys Noize – Midnight Hour [ft. Ty Dolla $ign]
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Apparat – LP5The Chemical Brothers – No GeographyFlume – Hi This Is Flume (Mixtape)RÜFÜS DU SOL – SolaceTycho – Weather
Best Comedy Album
Jim Gaffigan – Quality TimeEllen DeGeneres – RelatableAziz Ansari – Right NowTrevor Noah – Son of PatriciaDave Chapelle – Sticks and StonesSpoken Word
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Various Artists – Beastie Boys BookMichelle Obama – BecomingEric Alexandrakis – I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years As A Two-Time Cancer SurvivorJohn Waters – Mr. Know-It-AllSekou Andrews & The String Theory – Sekou Andrews & The String Theory
Best Remixed Recording
Madonna – I Rise (Tracy Young’s Pride Intro Radio Remix)Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter (Wuki Remix)Jorja Smith – The One (High Contrast Remix)Mild Minds – Swim (Ford. Remix)Marie Davidson – Work It (Soulwax Remix)
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Various Artists – The Lion King: The SongsVarious Artists – Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in HollywoodTaron Egerton – RocketmanVarious Artists – Spider-Man: Into the SpiderverseLady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Alan Silvestri – Avengers: EndgameHildur Guðnadóttir – ChernobylRamin Djawadi – Game of Thrones: Season 8Hans Zimmer – The Lion KingMarc Shaiman – Mary Poppins Returns
Best Song Written for Visual Media
Chris Stapleton – The Ballad of the Lonesome CowboyDolly Parton and Linda Perry – Girl in the MoviesLady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – I’ll Never Love Again (Film Version)Beyoncé – SpiritThom Yorke – Suspirium
Best Recording Package
Voces Del Bullerengue – Anónimas & ResilientesChris Cornell – Chris CornellThe Muddy Basin Ramblers – Hold That TigerBon Iver – i,iIntellexual – Intellexual
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Thom Yorke – AnimaDavid Gray – Gold in Brass AgeJohn Coltrane – 1963: New DirectionsWilhelm Furtwängler & Berliner Philharmoniker – The Radio Recordings 1939-1945Various Artists – Woodstock: Back to the Garden – The Definitive 50th Anniversary
Best Album Notes
The Complete Cuban Jam Sessions – Judy Cantor-NavasThe Gospel According to Malaco – Robert MaravichPedal Steel + Four Corners – Brendan GreavesPete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection – Jeff PlaceStay ’68: A Memphis Story – Steve Greenberg
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Jack AntonoffDan AuerbachJohn HillFinneasRicky Reed
Best Music Video
The Chemical Brothers – We’ve Got to TryGary Clark Jr. – This LandFKA Twigs – CellophaneLil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus – Old Town Road (Official Movie)Tove Lo – Glad He’s Gone
Best Music Film
Beyoncé – HomecomingDavid Crosby – Remember My NameMiles Davis – Birth of the CoolVarious Artists – Shangri-LaThom Yorke – Anima
George Soros, the US financier and philanthropist, on Thursday pledged $1 billion for a new university network project to battle the erosion of civil society in a world increasingly ruled by “would-be and actual dictators” and beset by climate change.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Soros said humanity was at a turning point and the coming years would determine the fate of rulers like President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping as well as the world itself.
“We live at a transformational moment in history. The survival of open societies is endangered and we face an even greater crisis: climate change,” said the Hungarian-born billionaire.
He described the plan of the Open Society University Network (OSUN) as “the most important project of my life” and would be an international platform for teaching and research that existing universities all over the world would be able to join.
It would seek to reach out to “places in need of high quality education and in serving neglected populations” such as refugees, prisoners, the Roma and other displaced peoples like the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, he said.
If every cloud has a silver lining, no one told the United Nations. Casting an apprehensive eye toward the future of the planet, the world body is wringing its hands over dark threats hiding under the bed. Fortunately, silver linings are out there, indicating brighter days ahead.
The U.N.’s annual global forecast, released on Jan. 16, paints an anxiety-filled picture of humanity as the new year progresses, stumbling over uneven ground strewn with ominous obstacles. The main peril previewed in its report, titled World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020, results from a slowdown in global economic growth during 2019, which it measured at 2.3 percent, owing to “prolonged trade disputes.”
Looking ahead through 2020, the report placed likely global growth in the 1.8-2.5 percent range, depending on the emergence of “a flareup of trade tensions, financial turmoil, or an escalation of geopolitical tensions.” At the risk of seeming to be indifferent, it sounds like another year of business as usual on the big blue orb that humanity calls home.
The U.N. exists, though, to combat the all-too-human tendency toward indifference, and it reports that a slowing global economy could threaten efforts to eradicate poverty and create jobs, especially at a time when “pervasive inequalities and the deepening climate crisis” are contributing to worldwide turmoil. “These risks could inflict severe and long-lasting damage on development prospects,” writes U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in an accompanying statement. “They also threaten to encourage a further rise in inward-looking policies, at a point when global cooperation is paramount.”
The U.N. chief may not have noticed, but there are signs that 2020 could actually prove a blue-ribbon year. Before the U.N. sent warning signals up the flagpole from its headquarters in New York, President Trump nailed down a landmark deal with top U.S. trading partners in Washington. On Jan. 15, the president joined China Vice-Premier Liu He in signing the Phase One trade agreement with China. Nearly two years in the making, the pact begins the process of leveling the commercial playing field, which has long given China a competitive advantage.
Importantly, China agreed to end its practice of requiring U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese partners as a condition of market access. The Asian giant has agreed to halt intellectual property theft and currency manipulation, which gives its products an advantage in global markets. China also pledged to purchase an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods and services during the next two years. In return, the United States has agreed to cut tariffs from 15 percent to 7.5 percent on $120 billion worth of Chinese products.
The president bagged a second major economic victory when the U.S. Senate joined the House in passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement by a vote of 89-10. The deal is expected to add three-quarters of a point to U.S. gross domestic product, create around 350,000 jobs per year and attract $100 billion in new foreign investment, says National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow.
Commerce is king for the man from the Empire State, and he touted its salutory effects before global leaders Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: “Perhaps the most transformative change of all is on trade reform, where we’re addressing chronic problems that have been ignored, tolerated, or enabled for decades.” Indeed, it is a fact that Mr. Trump eased “trade tensions” — a U.N. bugaboo — with nations the International Monetary Fund reckons account for nearly 45 percent of the global economy, in the course of just two days.
U.S. stock markets have climbed during the Trump era, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 60 percent since Election Day 2016 and 20 percent over the past year. And ripples of prosperity are widening: During the past 12 months, stocks in China have risen nearly 19 percent; India, 14 percent; Germany, 22 percent; and Russia, 40 percent.
Trade that triggers robust economic growth is easing some of the major headaches troubling the United Nations. For example, extreme poverty that gripped 40 percent of China’s population in 2000 has fallen to a vanishingly small 0.2 percent, according to the World Bank.
Nations that establish fair trade are less likely to trade hostile fire. Trump-style deal-making is a form of diplomacy that yields not just peace, but prosperity. It could prove a silver lining to the U.N.’s ominous forecasts.
On Thursday as Democrats outlined why his “dangerous” actions warrant removal from office.
The Democratic congressmen leading the case against the US president used their second day of arguments in the Senate trial to focus on his alleged abuse of power.
They argued that by holding back almost $400 million in aid to Ukraine while seeking an investigation into political rival Joe Biden the president had undercut his country’s interests.
“The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous. And it captures the worst fears of founders and framers of the Constitution,” said Jerry Nadler, the Democrat from New York.
He said the argument from Mr Trump’s legal team that because laws were not broken the president should remain in office was “terrifying” because it excuses all other wrongs.
“This conduct is not American first, it is Donald Trump first,” Mr Nadler said, inverting one of Mr Trump’s slogans from his 2016 election campaign.
The 76-year-old John Kapoor became the first owner of a pharmaceutical company to be jailed. The opioid crisis that he made has killed tens of thousands of Americans.
John Kapoor, the founder of US drug maker Insys, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison on Friday for helping to fuel America’s deadly opioid crisis.
Kapoor was convicted in May of an elaborate scheme that saw Insys pay doctors money to prescribe the company’s addictive painkiller Subsys to patients who did not need it.
He was found guilty of criminal conspiracy, along with four other former executives of the Arizona-based firm, following a 10-week trial in Boston.
In 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.
The national chain retailers in northern Virginia and DC are gloomy. The retail chain Papyrus announced plans to close all of its stores.
Papyrus, a stationery retailer, is closing all of its stores across the country, according to Fortune. The chain operates three Washington, D.C., stores and six Virginia stores, including shops in McLean, Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.
The company, which once had 450 locations, is down to 260 stores, which have begun liquidation, reports indicate.
Papyrus hadn’t issued a formal statement announcing the closings, Fortune reported, but the website now states that all sales are final and no returns or guarantees will be honored. A 20 to 40 percent off storewide sale was also promoted on the Papyrus website.
The region’s Papyrus stores are located at:
Columbia Square: 1270 F St NW, Washington, DCGeorgetown: 1300 Wisconsin Ave., Washington, DCUnion Station: 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DCKing Street: 721 King St., AlexandriaFashion Centre at Pentagon City: 1100 S Hayes St., ArlingtonFair Oaks: 11912 Fair Oaks Mall, FairfaxTysons Corner Center: 7934 Tysons Corner Center, McLeanMacArthur Center: 300 Monticello Ave., NorfolkStony Point Fashion Park: 9200 Stony Point Pkwy., Richmond
Papyrus joins other chains that are closing all or some of their DC and Virginia stores, including Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Kmart, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn and more.
Earlier this month, Pier 1 said it would likely close half of its stores to “better align its business with the current operating environment.”
A dozen Virginia stores, including one each in Manassas, Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria, were removed from the chain’s website. The company confirmed on social media the stores removed from the website were slated for closure. Patch has posted the full list of the 12 Pier 1 stores expected to close.
Lord & Taylor said in November it is closing two stores in Northern Virginia, its Tysons Corner Center store and its Dulles Town Center store in Sterling, the Washington Business Journal reported. The Lord & Taylor store at Tysons will lay off 117 employees, effective Jan. 31. The store at Dulles Town Center laid off 79 employees when it closed Christmas Eve, according to the report.
The women’s clothing store Avenue is closing more than 200 locations across the country, including three stores in Virginia. Read more.
In November, craft supply store A.C. Moore announced it was closing all of its stores. The arts and crafts supplier operates at least 15 stores in Virginia. Under the transition, as many as 40 A.C. Moore stores will become Michaels. The locations to become Michaels have not yet been named. Read more.
The news is a continuation of the recent climate for brick-and-mortar stores across America. A record 9,300-plus store closings were announced in 2019, and that number could be even higher in 2020, according to a report by Business Insider.
RELATED: NoVA, DC Store Closings By Chain Retailers In 2019
Whether by accident or by deliberate osmosis, Israel and the United States have adopted similar solutions to their existential problems.
Before 2002, during the various Palestinian intifadas, Israel suffered hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries from suicide bombers freely crossing from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel.
In response, Israel planned a vast border barrier. The international community was outraged. The Israeli left called the idea nothing short of “apartheid.”
However, after the completion of the 440-mile border barrier — part concrete well, part wire fencing — suicide bombings and terrorist incursions into Israel declined to almost nil.
The wall was not entirely responsible for enhanced Israeli security. But it freed up border manpower to patrol more vigorously. The barrier also was integrated with electronic surveillance and tougher laws against illegal immigration.
The wall also brought strategic and political clarity. Those who damned Israel but freely crossed its borders sounded incoherent when they became furious that the barrier prevented access to the hated Zionist entity.
The Trump administration is currently seeking funds to create new border walls and replace old, porous fencing in order to stem illegal immigration on the southern border.
The strategy seems similar: The wall will free up manpower for better border policing. It likewise provides a certain political clarity. The United States is often criticized by Mexico and other Latin American countries. It is now being taken to task for the effort to make it more difficult to illegally enter such a supposedly unwelcome and hostile landscape.
For years, Israel’s great weakness was its dependence on imported energy, while its neighboring enemies grew rich exporting oil and natural gas. Yet in the last decade, Israel has ramped up production to take advantage of its vast natural gas reserves — to the point that it is not just self-sufficient in fossil fuels but soon will become a major exporter.
Now, Israel cannot be threatened economically by either Iran or various Persian Gulf monarchies. Its economy is stronger than ever. Europeans suddenly are more accommodating, given that Israel may well become a natural gas exporter to a fuel-hungry Europe.
Like Israel, but unlike Europe, the United States was eager to frack and horizontally drill to tap vast new fossil fuel reserves. The change in U.S. strategic energy independence is similarly astounding.
America is now the largest producer of natural gas and oil in the world. Its output has increased world supply, dropped prices and hurt America’s oil-exporting enemies.
The relative power of Russia and Middle Eastern nations, such as Iran, over U.S. decision-making has radically diminished — along with the need to station huge numbers of American troops in the volatile Middle East.
As in Israel, opponents either argued that more drilling would ruin the environment or that it would not work. They seem to be wrong on both counts.
Israel’s foreign policy could be called Jacksonian. Israel allies with friends, neutrals and former enemies whenever they share particular strategic goals.
In the topsy-turvy Middle East, Israel is now sometimes a strategic partner with formerly hostile regimes in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies. They all share greater fears of theocratic Iran and its terrorist appendages in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
Apparently, much of the Arab world is no longer as interested in the Palestinian desire to destroy Israel. Many Palestinian groups are allied with a despised Iran, while many Arabs believe that Israel’s strength can sometimes be strategically useful.
Current American realism is similar. The United States is neither isolationist nor an interventionist nation-builder. Its foreign-policy goals are to enhance its military, expand its already powerful economy, limit its strategic exposure, and bank its resulting hard and soft power to use only as a deterrent force against those who kill Americans or endanger U.S. interests.
Instead of cajoling allies to join us in expeditionary wars abroad, the United States increasingly appears reluctant to intervene, especially in the Middle East. As a result, former critics are now becoming suppliants requesting U.S. assistance.
As with Israel, the United States is less eager to apply political litmus tests to its occasional allies. It also seeks to avoid quagmires where its overwhelming conventional firepower can be neutralized by terrorists and urban guerrillas.
The promoters of these unconventional policies, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump, are both despised by their respective establishments and under constant threat of removal by their livid political opponents.
Yet, they both have transformed their respective countries. Their policies remind us that it is sometimes preferable to be respected rather than just be liked — and that when a nation is strong and does not beg for help, it often finds more than it needs.
• Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is the author of “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won” (Basic Books, 2017).
Prosecutors on Monday portrayed former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a serial predator who used his power to manipulate and sexually assault young women, while the defense argued that his accusers engaged in consensual sex that they later reframed as attacks.
During opening statements in the high-profile rape case, New York prosecutors accused Weinstein of committing violent attacks on aspiring actresses who suffered shame and humiliation as they internalized trauma from the encounters.
Defense attorneys countered that emails from the accusers to Weinstein would show they maintained warm relations, which could undermine a case that appears to rely primarily on the testimony of the accusers.
Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, Mimi Haleyi and Jessica Mann. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.
The trial is a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement, in which women have gone public with allegations against powerful men in business and politics.
“The man seated right there was not just a titan in Hollywood, he was a rapist,” said Assistant District Attorney Meghan Hast as Weinstein looked on from the defense table.
She described in detail Weinstein’s alleged attacks on former production assistant Haleyi and actress Mann, as well as on actress Annabella Sciorra. Sciorra’s allegation is too old to be the basis of a separate charge but is being used by prosecutors to establish a pattern of serious sex crimes against multiple women.
Sciorra is expected to testify on Thursday, according to Weinstein’s spokesman, Juda Engelmayer. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
Hast told a jury of seven men and five women that Weinstein manipulated women with promises to open doors in Hollywood, coaxing them to hotel rooms or private apartments and then overpowering and violently attacking them.
One female juror seemed to wince at the graphic details, which included Hast recounting Weinstein forcibly performing oral sex on Haleyi, yanking out her tampon.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Damon Cheronis, said the evidence would show that consensual interactions were being relabeled as attacks.
Haleyi reached out to Weinstein multiple times after the alleged assault, including once to “reminisce” about their time together in 2006, Cheronis said.
The lawyer said Mann repeatedly sought out Weinstein’s company and told the producer she loved him and even wanted him to meet her mother.
“While the narrative they painted for you is one that may reinforce your preconceived notions, it’s not the truth,” Cheronis told jurors.”You don’t call Harvey Weinstein a predator in 2020 when you want to introduce him to your mother in 2015,” he said.
Hast cautioned jurors that rape isn’t a “back alley” attack at the hands of a stranger. She promised to bring in an expert to explain that victims are often assaulted by someone they know and do not report the crime. Victims even “reach back out to their attacker,” she said.
Since 2017, more than 80 women, including many famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Weinstein, who reshaped the independent film industry with critically acclaimed pictures such as “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied the allegations and said any sexual encounters were consensual.
Justice James Burke told potential jurors last week that they must decide Weinstein’s case based on the evidence and not make the trial “a referendum on the #MeToo movement.”
The trial began on Jan. 6 and could last about six more weeks.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial, Weinstein faces additional charges in California.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on Jan. 6 that Weinstein had been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013.