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Border Patrol released 375,000 illegals directly into USA Last Year…


Despite propagating hardline immigration rhetoric, the Trump administration released nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants into the United States general population last year.

In fiscal year 2019, which ran from October 2018 to September 2019, Border Patrol agents detained 851,508 immigrants who illegally entered the U.S. via Mexico. Of those, more than half, 473,682, arrived with family members, Customs and Border Protection data showed.

According to the Washington Examiner, more than 375,000 immigrants who were detained as part of family units were later released directly into the U.S, including 145,000 who were released directly from Border Patrol stations between March and September.

More from the Examiner:

Border Patrol made the unusual move last March of releasing people directly from its custody rather than turning people over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE cited two issues that made it difficult to hold families: it lacked the bed space and a 2015 court ruling blocked it from detaining families more than 20 days.

Because the 145,000 family members released by Border Patrol were not transferred to ICE, they were released with a legal document known as a notice to appear. The document states when they should show up for a hearing to determine if they will be returned to the county of origin. An additional 230,000 family members were sent to ICE and then released from ICE facilities, according to an ICE spokesperson.

In total, ICE deported 267,258 illegal immigrants last year, agency data showed.

The Examiner reported that just 5,702 of those deported had arrived to the U.S. with family, showing that immigrants who illegally enter as a family unit are much less likely to be deported.

Although illegal immigration spikes every spring and summer, illegal immigration was down significantly at the end of last year, likely a result of Mexico’s increased efforts to combat illegal migration.



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VIDEO: Brawl Erupts During Sanders Speech…


DENVER (CBS4) – A fight broke out in the middle of the Bernie Sanders rally on Sunday evening at the Colorado Convention Center. The Democratic presidential candidate rallied thousands of supporters in Denver in a campaign stop before the March 3 Colorado primary.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4’s news camera was capturing video of the event when two men began fighting. They pushed through a metal barrier fence toward the back near the media risers as they grappled with each other and one man knocked the other down onto the ground after lifting him up. They both landed on the ground partially under the stage Sanders was in the middle of delivering his speech from.

(credit: CBS)

Friends of both people quickly intervened and after some more shoving successfully broke up the fight.

It wasn’t immediately clear to CBS4’s crew what the two men were fighting about, but someone contacted CBS4 on Monday by phone and said he is a Sanders supporter and one of the people involved. He said his name is Tyler and that a person with a T-shirt on that read “Black Guns Matter” was with two other men and they were booing during the speech. When Tyler tried to capture video of the booing on his phone’s camera, the man shoved him through the barrier. Tyler then retaliated. It was that action which was captured by CBS4’s camera.

Another video provided to CBS4 by an anonymous viewer shows the moments leading up to the brawl. It allegedly shows Tyler, in a jeans jackets, and another man arguing about the man’s shirt. That man with the “Black Guns Matter” shirt also contacted CBS4, although anonymously. He called Tyler the aggressor and said he is African American.

“He had a problem with the shirt I was wearing,” this man said. “I was recording the event, he walks up and calls me a racist. But I thought, ‘What’s he know about black lives, about discrimination, or, for that matter, the representation of the shirt.’”

Throughout American history, the man continued, “Black people and their ability to own firearms has historically been very restricted. The shirt I got from a conceal-carry class.”

He said he agrees with Sanders on a number of policies but definitely not on gun ownership.

“I think it’s really a sad thing at a Bernie rally, when someone has a difference of opinion, that someone would be treated like that. I thought it really would be a lot more inclusive than that. It’s not a safe place to express differences. I would expect that sort of thing at a Trump rally.”

 

Neither one of the men was escorted out — security instead chose to instruct them to separate from each other in the crowd.

Sanders didn’t pause during his speech at any point during the fight.

PHOTO GALLERY: Bernie Sanders Campaign Rally In Denver



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Campaigns warn of chaos ahead of Nevada caucuses…



LAS VEGAS – With the Nevada caucuses days away, campaign officials and Democratic activists are increasingly alarmed that they might prove a debacle as damaging as the vote in Iowa, further setting the party back in its urgent effort to coalesce around a nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

Campaigns said they still have not gotten the party to offer even a basic explanation of how key parts of the process will work. Volunteers are reporting problems with the technology that’s been deployed at the last minute to make the vote count smoother. And experts are raising serious questions about an app the party has been feverishly assembling to replace the one scrapped after the meltdown in Iowa.

“It feels like the [state party is] making it up as they go along,” said one Democratic presidential aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the process. “That’s not how we need to be running an election.”


Adding to the challenge is the complexity of Nevada’s caucuses. Unlike in Iowa, where caucuses are conducted in one evening, Nevadans have the option of voting early. At sites across the state, Democrats can rank their top presidential choices on a paper ballot.

On Saturday, caucus day, Democrats can gather at one of about 2,000 sites to vote for their preferred candidate. If their first choice doesn’t get enough backing, voters can throw their support behind someone else, a second round of voting known as “final alignment.” Early voting preferences will be treated the same way, as though the voter were attending in person.

The party had planned to use two specially designed apps for reporting results, developed by political technology firm Shadow, the same company that designed the vote-recording app blamed for the chaos in Iowa. A coding error in the Iowa app made it impossible to tally results, prompting confusion and delays. Shortly afterward, Nevada Democrats announced that they were scrapping the Shadow products.


Since then, state party officials have issued a series of memos trying to explain how things will work. But the party has left crucial questions unanswered, 2020 campaign aides say.

“If the party had this process well-defined and had confidence in it, I think that we’d know a lot more about it,” one of the Democratic aides said.

State party officials have strenuously denied a lack of communication, pointing to group conference calls and briefings they’ve held with 2020 officials as they quickly retooled their caucus process.


“We are in constant contact with the campaigns,” said a state Democratic Party official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak more candidly about the process. “We communicate at a very high level with the campaigns . . . and we have kept them informed every step of the way.”

But several campaigns complained that those interactions seemed designed to avoid questions. On Monday, aides from different campaigns said they were given just minutes notice for an evening conference call announcing a key decision about early voting. The call was so sudden that one top campaign aide, in the middle of a caucus training for volunteers, was unable to join.

On Thursday, when the party released an update on early voting, several campaigns said they learned of the memo from reporters before they received it from the party. “We have been learning more about this process from the media than the state party or the DNC,” said a Democratic aide, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, several campaigns complained that the conference calls they had held with party officials had only increased their sense of alarm that something could go wrong.

One 2020 aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity so as not to sour relations between the aide’s campaign and the state party, likened the calls to phoning into a “call center where the customer service person only had three prompts that they use.” The Nevada Democrats’ staff, joined on the call by their attorney, offered vague answers that seemed to have been scripted by a legal team to offer as little substance as possible, the aide said.

Aides for several campaigns said this left them in a tough position, torn between trying to be publicly optimistic about a potentially flawed caucus vote in a politically important state and raising concerns.

“All of us, every campaign, regardless of policy position or strength in the race, we all want that process to work. And there’s a disincentive to . . . screaming from the rooftops about how this all might not work,” said a Democratic aide, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to anger Nevada Democrats.

Several campaigns said they contacted the Democratic National Committee with their concerns. All said they had received no response back – with one campaign likening the DNC to a “brick wall.”

“They are the ones who also can demand answers,” one of the Democratic aides said. “They are supposed to be the ones who are the adults in the room who can trust and verify. And that hasn’t happened, to our knowledge.”

A DNC official pushed back on that claim. “The Nevada State Democratic Party and the DNC are in regular communication with campaigns and will continue to answer questions about the process in the state and the nominating process,” DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “We are confident that they are doing everything they can to implement lessons learned in Iowa, and we have deployed staff to help across the board, including tech support and volunteer recruitment.”

A state party official also said the party had invited campaigns to observe early caucusing and plans to allow representatives to observe the ballot processing as the party prepares the data for Saturday’s in-person voting.

Experts also have raised serious concerns about the state party’s plan for tallying votes on caucus night.

Nevada officials have said they plan to use a Google-based form, pre-installed on party-purchased iPads, to register voters when they arrive during early voting. Those voters will then be given a paper ballot to rank their candidate choices.

Those ballots would be verified and scanned at processing centers before they are somehow transmitted to precincts for the in-person caucuses. On caucus night, caucus administrators will access the early vote data through a Google Forms-based web application the party has referred to as a “Caucus Calculator” on party-issued iPads.

Some technical aspects of how the iPad software will work are unclear. According to the party, the iPads will be connected to the Internet using cellular and WiFi connections. Party volunteers, who have been training to run the caucuses, have been told that the Google Form will work, even if an Internet connection is not available.

But Google Forms does not offer offline support, raising more questions.

“Browser-based forms don’t work well,” said Joe Verschueren, founder of Formutus, a company that makes customized forms that can interact with Google Forms. Verschueren said that to make its software work offline, the Nevada Democrats will have to have a mobile app downloaded directly onto the iPad.

The party has not said whether that is the case.

The other problem, Verschueren said, is that Google Forms is limited in how it can be customized, which could present challenges for the party if it is trying to make the software perform the complicated work of folding the early vote tallies into the caucus night results. “Google Forms is very simple,” he said.

Nevada Democrats said their new process reflected input from independent security experts, the DNC, the Department of Homeland Security and Google, which was consulted “to ensure the process would remain secure.”

“We understand just how important it is that we get this right and protect the integrity of Nevadans’ votes,” Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Director Alana Mounce wrote Thursday in a memo to presidential campaigns. “We are confident in our backup plans and redundancies.”

But it’s not clear exactly how the party has been working to vet security issues. DHS did not respond to a request for comment on its involvement.

Volunteers also have begun sounding the alarm, saying party officials have left them unprepared. Seth Morrison, a volunteer site leader, had publicly raised concerns about the party’s mixed messages to volunteers and the lack of hands-on training on the Caucus Calculator.

He said several people have raised questions about different scenarios they might encounter, such as whether an early vote with no viable candidates should be thrown out. Nobody seems to know, he said.

The first day of early voting did little to ease worries. On Saturday, there were long lines all over the state for early caucusing. More than 18,538 people turned out, according to the state Democratic Party.

Volunteers in some precincts reported technical issues, including problems with the Google Form-based registration that led some sites to switch to paper. State party officials blamed those issues on high turnout, not technical problems.

That day, state and party officials spread out across the state, appearing at early voting sites to insist Nevada’s process would be a lot smoother than Iowa’s.

“The [early vote] is going to make Nevada look good,” former Senate majority leader Harry Reid said outside a voting site at a public library in East Las Vegas, calling out the “debacle that happened in Iowa.”

Outside an early vote site in Las Vegas’s Chinatown, Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat who has endorsed former vice president Joe Biden in the race, said she was concerned but optimistic.

“We’ve learned from Iowa. We’re not using that same app,” Titus said. “We don’t want anybody to kind of question the legitimacy of the result. So, we’ve had a little more time.”

“Might have been nicer to have a little bit more time,” she added.

– – –

The Washington Post’s Reed Albergotti, David Weigel and Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.



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Facial expressions do not reflect our innermost feelings, new research suggests…


Facial expressions have generally been thought to reliably reflect a person’s innermost emotions but new research indicates otherwise.

Based on preliminary findings presented at a science conference in the US, scientists have gone as far as to say “it might be more accurate to say we should never trust a person’s face”.

Aleix Martinez, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at The Ohio State University in the US, said: “The question we really asked is: ‘Can we truly detect emotion from facial articulations?’.

“And the basic conclusion is, no, you can’t.”

He also described the technology many companies use to recognise facial muscle movements and assign emotion or intent to those movements as “complete baloney”.

Prof Martinez and his team analysed four million facial expressions from 35 different countries.

They found that attempts to define emotions-based facial expressions “were almost always wrong”.

Prof Martinez said: “Everyone makes different facial expressions based on context and cultural background.

“And it’s important to realise that not everyone who smiles is happy. Not everyone who is happy smiles.

“I would even go to the extreme of saying most people who do not smile are not necessarily unhappy.

“And if you are happy for a whole day, you don’t go walking down the street with a smile on your face. You’re just happy.”

The researchers also looked at algorithms some companies use to determine customer satisfaction and other human emotions through facial expressions.

The context of an expression should also be considered, researchers said (PA)

Prof Martinez said: “Some claim they can detect whether someone is guilty of a crime or not, or whether a student is paying attention in class, or whether a customer is satisfied after a purchase.

“What our research showed is that those claims are complete baloney.

“There’s no way you can determine those things. And worse, it can be dangerous.”

According to Prof Martinez, the so-called danger lies in the possibility of missing the real emotion or intent of a person and then making decisions based on an assumption.

After analysing the data they gathered about facial expressions and emotion, the research team concluded that it takes more than facial expressions to correctly detect emotion and facial colour, body posture and, more importantly, context all need to be taken into consideration.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle.

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WILL BLOOMBERG DEBATE?


Speculation is increasing over whether Democratic presidential hopeful Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergWhere the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE will participate in next week’s Las Vegas primary debate after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) opened the stage to the former New York City mayor.

The DNC scrapped a donor threshold requirement that has kept the self-funded candidate out of previous debates.

He needs just one more state or national poll putting him over 10 percent to qualify. 

“If Mike qualifies, he will debate,” Bloomberg spokeswoman Galia Slayen told The Hill. 

But questions are looming about whether it will help Bloomberg to participate in the forum ahead of the Nevada caucuses, which he is not on the ballot for. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE (I-Vt.), former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Judd Gregg: Bloomberg rising MORE (D-Minn.), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Bloomberg hits Sanders supporters in new ad MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoe Biden lost his fastball — can he get it back before South Carolina? Where the 2020 Democrats stand on taxes Budget hawks frustrated by 2020 politics in entitlement reform fight MORE (D-Mass.) are all slated to be on Wednesday’s debate stage. 

The forum could allow Bloomberg, whose main strategy has been releasing ads across the country targeting President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussian sanctions will boomerang States, cities rethink tax incentives after Amazon HQ2 backlash A Presidents Day perspective on the nature of a free press MORE, the opportunity to look more transparent by facing off against his Democratic rivals even as his focus remains on Super Tuesday states.

“I think the transparency is important because you can’t ignore the fact that he’s a major player in the race,” Democratic strategist Brad Bannon told The Hill. “He is running a race that he completely controls. The Democratic primary voters should have the opportunity to have an unfiltered view of Bloomberg, in person, face to face with the other candidates.” 

Others, however, say the move would be a waste of time.

“I just don’t think it makes sense because politically he will not be getting any mileage out of it,” Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said. 

Whether he is physically on the stage or not, Bloomberg will likely be a presence in Wednesday’s debates. He has poured millions into nationwide ad buys, meaning his ads will be on the airwaves in Nevada. 

“We can all safely assume there will be Michael Bloomberg ads running in Nevada while the debate is going on,” Seawright said. “It’s different for the mayor because regardless of whether he’s on the debate stage or not, his message and his candidacy will be on display because you’re going to have candidates attacking him.”

Bloomberg’s quick ascendance in state and national polling has opened him up to greater scrutiny. 

The former mayor’s campaign is on the defensive following the reemergence of controversial comments in support of stop-and-frisk policing as well as reports of a number of sexist remarks. 

His rise in the polls, mixed with the unearthed remarks, have combined to provide an opportunity for the other candidates in the race to hit Bloomberg. 

“I’m going to get a chance to debate him on everything from redlining to stop and frisk to a whole range of other things,” former Vice President Joe Biden told ABC’s “The View” this week. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has also voiced her support for having Bloomberg on the debate stage, telling CNN on Sunday he “shouldn’t hide behind airwaves and huge ad buys.”

“I am also an advocate for him coming on the debate stage. I know that I’m not going to be able to beat him on the airwaves, but I can beat him on the debate stage,” Klobuchar said. 

Sanders, on the other hand, told CBS News on Friday that he does not think Bloomberg should participate in the debate, calling the DNC rule change “very unfortunate.” 

“That is what being a multibillionaire is about. Some very good friends of mine who were competing in the Democratic nomination — people like Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSpeculation swirls around whether Bloomberg will make Las Vegas debate stage Conway: Trump is ‘toying with everybody’ by attacking Bloomberg for stop-and-frisk comments Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE of New Jersey, Julián Castro — work really, really hard. Nobody changed the rules to get them in the debate,” Sanders said. 

Regardless of whether Bloomberg debates on Wednesday in Las Vegas, he will have another shot to make the stage in South Carolina, where the qualifying criteria is nearly identical.

Bloomberg will not be on the ballot in South Carolina, but appearing on the debate stage could benefit him with Super Tuesday around the corner. 

“He should participate in the South Carolina debate because it’s the most consequential state in this nomination process and is the only debate before Super Tuesday,” Seawright said. “I think the audience … will have some expectations for him to address the issues that are very loud and clear in his campaign, areas of concern, particularly for who I would argue are the most consequential group of people in the Democratic Party, African American voters.”  



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RACE INTENSIFIES…


http://news.yahoo.com/

The gloves continue to come off in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, with Bernie Sanders accusing billionaire Mike Bloomberg of buying the election and attacking the former New York City mayor’s record on race, and Bloomberg taking a swipe at the Vermont senator and his fervent supporters.

On Sunday, Sanders launched his latest offensive against Bloomberg at a Democratic Party dinner in Las Vegas, where he denounced “stop and frisk” policing that disproportionately targeted African-Americans during Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor.

“Regardless of how much money a multibillionaire candidate is willing to spend on his election,” Sanders said, “we will not create the energy and excitement we need to defeat Donald Trump if that candidate pursued, advocated for and enacted racist policies like stop-and-frisk, which caused communities of color in his city to live in fear.”

Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders. (David J. Phillip/AP, Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images)
Michael Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders. (David J. Phillip/AP, Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images)

Bloomberg, who has apologized for his past support of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics, responded in a tweet that included a video clip featuring alleged Sanders supporters — their names are blurred out — attacking other candidates’ fans on social media.

“We need to unite to defeat Trump in November,” Bloomberg tweeted. “This type of ‘energy’ is not going to get us there.”

Last week, Sanders was among several Democratic candidates to take aim at Bloomberg, who has staked his personal fortune on winning the White House, flooding the airwaves with ads that have helped him rise to double digits in some recent national polls.

“I don’t think people look at the guy in the White House and say, ‘Oh, I want someone richer,’” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on ABC’s “The View.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren attacked Bloomberg over a 2008 assertion that ending redlining, a discriminatory housing practice, helped trigger the economic meltdown.

“A video just came out yesterday in which Michael Bloomberg is saying, in effect, that the 2008 financial crash was caused because the banks weren’t permitted to discriminate against black and brown people,” Warren said at a Thursday rally in Virginia. “That crisis would not have been averted if the banks had been able to be bigger racists. And anyone who thinks that should not be the leader of our party.”

Warren also took a swipe at Bloomberg’s late entry into the Democratic race.

“We’ve been going at this for about a year,” she said. “Some people got in a little later than others. Michael Bloomberg came in on the billionaire plan — just buy yourself the nomination.”

Bloomberg, whose campaign is self-funded and not accepting donations, is close to qualifying for next week’s debate after the Democratic National Committee announced new rules eschewing the minimum donor requirements that were in place for all of the previous contests. The new threshold is 10 percent or more support in at least four DNC-approved polls by Feb. 18. (Bloomberg has three.)

Asked on “CBS This Morning” whether Bloomberg should be allowed on the debate stage, Sanders said, “Of course not.”

“Some very good friends of mine who were competing in the Democratic nomination — people like Cory Booker … Julián Castro — worked really, really hard,” Sanders said. “Nobody changed the rules to get them into the debate. But I guess if you’re worth $60 billion you can change the rules.”

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Plymouth Rock Vandalized Ahead Of 400th Anniversary Mayflower Celebration…




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Buttigieg's next test: Winning over minority voters…


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — So far, Pete Buttigieg has made it look easy.

The once little-known former mayor of a midsize Midwestern city vaulted over a former vice president and several U.S. senators in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire presidential primary. The 38-year-old’s fresh face, intellect and turn-the-page message won votes across many demographic groups in the kickoff states.

Now the promise of his candidacy is colliding with the reality of the central question about his viability: Can he win among minority voters who form the critical foundation of the party’s base?

That will be tested Saturday in Nevada, with a diverse blend of Latinos and African Americans, but especially in South Carolina, where two-thirds of the primary electorate could be black voters, the base of the Democratic Party that Buttigieg has struggled to attract.

Buttigieg’s strategy is to earn a fresh look from black and brown voters by flashing his support in the first two contests, drawing on the validation of minority leaders who have endorsed him and leveraging the personal networks of his supporters.

With the South Carolina primary rapidly approaching Feb. 29, he faces a steep climb.

“I’ve not seen any real support coming from black local officials. Pete has to make the case himself,” said state Sen. Gerald Malloy, a longtime supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s who has not endorsed a 2020 candidate. “He’s obviously a tireless warrior and making the calls. The question is: Will people answer?”

The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, who has registered negligible support among black voters nationally, has been to South Carolina 10 times and has been airing ads on black radio stations in South Carolina since last fall, as well as ads in black newspapers.

He has been airing TV ads in the state since December, and this month began a spot reflecting his call for parting with the politics of the past.

In it, Walter A. Clyburn Reed, the grandson of Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in the House, and Abe Jenkins, grandson of civil rights activist Esau Jenkins, pay tribute to their forebears but call Buttigieg “a fresh start.”

It and other ads blanketing YouTube and Facebook reinforce Buttigieg’s heavy outreach to younger black voters, especially on college campuses, such as the historically black institutions South Carolina State University and Claflin University in Orangeburg.

Reed said college students are intrigued by Buttigieg’s Douglass Plan, aimed at ending systemic racism, but especially are drawn to his call for a culture of belonging.

“That’s something that they haven’t heard from a candidate,” Reed said. “So, really, when he started to hone in on that message, college voters were very attracted to it.”

But for older black voters, both in South Carolina and Nevada, Buttigieg faces another kind of test: whether they will vote for a gay candidate.

Joan Houston, a 63-year-old African American minister and social worker in Las Vegas, said she can’t support Buttigieg because of his sexual orientation.

“I’m against homosexuality. I love everybody, but I’m against that lifestyle,” Houston said as she waited to cast her vote for Biden at an early caucus site.

As part of his effort to persuade voters like Houston, Buttigieg has turned from larger-turnout events to more intimate listening sessions that give the candidate a better sense of South Carolina black voters and them a better sense of him, aides said.

Buttigieg has since hosted small-group meetings and has dispatched black elected officials, such as South Bend Councilwoman Sharon McBride and Waterloo, Iowa, Mayor Quentin Hart.

Buttigieg faced criticism last month for hesitating before committing to attend a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in Columbia, South Carolina, with other 2020 candidates. He continues to face questions about the departure of South Bend’s first black police chief shortly after Buttigieg took office and about his department’s handling of the deadly shooting of an armed black man by a white officer in June.

And he recently struggled when pressed during the ABC debate in New Hampshire about the disproportionate arrests of black people for marijuana possession.

There are at least modest signs of progress, including in California, one of 14 states in the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries. Nina Smallwood, who attended a Buttigieg event in Sacramento, California, on Friday, said she thought he could win over voters of color.

“In this next debate, he’s going to have to really make a plea,” the 41-year-old Smallwood said. “Black people want to feel like our voices are heard, as well as everybody’s. I definitely think he has an opportunity.”

In Iowa and New Hampshire, Buttigieg’s coalition looked more like the electorate overall by age and education than the other top candidates’, though voters in those states reflected little racial diversity, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate.

In New Hampshire, about 1 in 10 voters were nonwhite. Buttigieg earned support from 14% of such voters, roughly comparable to support for other top contenders, except Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, backed by roughly 4 in 10 nonwhite voters.

Buttigieg is also targeting pockets of black voters scattered widely across South Carolina, in part by tapping his campaign organizers’ personal networks of churches and pastors.

Malloy, though uncommitted, is a pastor in Hicksville, in rural central South Carolina, and welcomed Buttigieg to his church in August. In December, Buttigieg visited tiny Allendale, in southwest South Carolina, which had been visited by one other Democratic presidential candidate — former Sen. John Edwards in 2008 — in the past 50 years.

Although Biden is the favorite in South Carolina, Buttigieg could claim success by chinning himself into double-digit support among black voters, aides say.

He has the opportunity to improve his standing with a respectable showing in Nevada, where he also is touting the validation of supporters, such as fellow millennial Nevada state Rep. Sandra Jauregui, who is Latina.

Buttigieg was the first candidate to begin airing Spanish language ads in New Hampshire and began airing a new one last week in which the candidate, fluent in seven languages, speaks Spanish throughout.

His team conducts caucus training in Spanish, as 40% of his organizing staff speaks Spanish.

After opening his headquarters in Las Vegas, Buttigieg’s first Nevada field office opened in September in the heavily Latino neighborhood of East Las Vegas.

While Nevada could provide some energy to the campaign, South Carolina will go a long way to answering whether Buttigieg can survive as a candidate, said Malloy.

“He’s very capable, and he has the money. But the network and the money without the people with him isn’t good enough,” Malloy said. “There’s time, but I’m not sure how much.”

___

Associated Press writers Hannah Fingerhut in Washington, Jonathan J. Cooper in Las Vegas and Adam Beam in Sacramento, California, contributed to this report.

___

Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”



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Thrown Off Balcony…


A Hollywood sex therapist who was once engaged to Drew Carey has been murdered by a different ex-boyfriend after the restraining order she took out against him expired.  

Dr. Amie Harwick, 38, was found unconscious on the ground at around 1.15am on Saturday after officers responded to a report of a ‘woman screaming’ in a Hollywood Hills neighborhood, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. 

She had been thrown from her third floor apartment’s balcony, according to police. 

Gareth Pursehouse, 41, was arrested at around 4.30pm on Saturday in Playa Del Rey on suspicion of murder.

Harwick had previously told friends she feared he would hurt her. She had filed a restraining order against him but it had expired two weeks ago.  

The doctor’s roommate told police that after Pursehouse broke in, they ran out of the apartment to get help for her. 

By the time officers arrived at the property, she had been thrown from the balcony. 

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Dr. Annie Harwick, a popular sex therapist in Hollywood, was found unconscious outside her Hollywood Hills home after falling from her third-floor balcony early Saturday morning. She was pronounced dead at a hospital

Dr. Annie Harwick, a popular sex therapist in Hollywood, was found unconscious outside her Hollywood Hills home after falling from her third-floor balcony early Saturday morning. She was pronounced dead at a hospital

Gareth Pursehouse, Harwick's ex-boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department

Harwick, a former Playboy model, recently expressed fear about Pursehouse (seen above) and filed a restraining order against him. The restraining order had expired two weeks ago and the two had seen one another in the past few weeks, police said

Gareth Pursehouse, Harwick’s ex-boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with murder, according to the Los Angeles Police Department

Harwick was found unconscious after falling from a third-floor balcony in her home (seen above) at around 1.15am on Saturday

Harwick was found unconscious after falling from a third-floor balcony in her home (seen above) at around 1.15am on Saturday

Harwick, the author of The New Sex Bible for Women, was the former fiancée of Carey, host of The Price Is Right game show. 

The two split in 2018 after dating for more than a year.

Los Angeles Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Carey’s publicist for comment. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Pursehouse has worked as a photographer as well as a software engineer and developer.

His most recent job was as lead architect at Internet Brands.

Hours after Harwick died and before his arrest on Saturday afternoon, Pursehouse, who is active on Twitter, posted messages on the site.

‘You can’t get fit without that new gym clothing,’ he wrote at 9.07am on Saturday.

‘But they won’t give you that gear until you’re fit. Soo … Tough t***ies bucko.’ 

Hours before the alleged murder, Pursehouse tweeted about politics.

Harwick was once engaged to Drew Carey, host of The Price Is Right. The ex-couple is seen above in this 2017 file photo

Harwick was once engaged to Drew Carey, host of The Price Is Right. The ex-couple is seen above in this 2017 file photo

The New Sex Bible for Women is described as 'an all-encompassing and fully comprehensive guide for women covering everything from masturbation, oral sex, self-esteem and self-care, sex positions, safety and concerns, and sex aides'

The New Sex Bible for Women is described as ‘an all-encompassing and fully comprehensive guide for women covering everything from masturbation, oral sex, self-esteem and self-care, sex positions, safety and concerns, and sex aides’

‘I can’t figure out why gerrymandering isn’t a federal crime,’ he wrote on Friday evening.

His Twitter page is full of tweets critical of President Trump.

‘Reminder… Once Trump is not president, the FBI can prosecute him for all the Mueller report findings…,’ he wrote on Wednesday. 

Harwick is a well known sex and family therapist in the Hollywood area.

She received her degree in psychology from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. 

Hours after Harwick died and before his arrest, Pursehouse, who is active on Twitter, posted messages on the site. ‘You can’t get fit without that new gym clothing,’ he wrote at 9:07am on Saturday. ‘But they won’t give you that gear until you’re fit. Soo … Tough t***ies bucko.’

Hours after Harwick died and before his arrest, Pursehouse, who is active on Twitter, posted messages on the site. ‘You can’t get fit without that new gym clothing,’ he wrote at 9:07am on Saturday. ‘But they won’t give you that gear until you’re fit. Soo … Tough t***ies bucko.’

Hours before the alleged murder, Pursehouse tweeted about politics. ‘I can’t figure out why gerrymandering isn’t a federal crime,’ he wrote on Friday evening

Hours before the alleged murder, Pursehouse tweeted about politics. ‘I can’t figure out why gerrymandering isn’t a federal crime,’ he wrote on Friday evening

Harwick is pictured above at the University of Southern California in October 2019

Harwick is pictured above at the University of Southern California in October 2019

She also earned her masters of arts in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. 

In 2014, Harwick published The New Sex Bible for Women: The Complete Guide to Sexual Self-Awareness and Intimacy

In 2014, Harwick published The New Sex Bible for Women: The Complete Guide to Sexual Self-Awareness and Intimacy

In 2015, Harwick appeared in the popular online documentary titled Addicted to Sexting.

A year later, she made an appearance on the reality television show Braxton Family Values.

The show, which airs on WE tv, follows the lives of the Braxton sisters – Toni, Tamar, Traci, Towanda, and Trina – as well as their mother, Evelyn. 

Harwick has also published articles in various online news and advice sites. 

According to her web site, Harwick worked out of an office on Santa Monica Boulevard.

She offered weekly therapy sessions at $200 per session, according to her site. 

In 2016, Harwick made an appearance on the WE tv reality series Braxton Family Values

In 2016, Harwick made an appearance on the WE tv reality series Braxton Family Values



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Can a Republican take on Trump and survive? Mitt Romney proving it's possible…




Mitt Romney wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by The Washington Post



BOUNTIFUL, Utah —Since Mitt Romney became the first senator in history to defy his party with a vote to convict in an impeachment trial, he’s been called a “disgrace” by President Trump. He’s been pilloried as a traitor each night on Fox News. And he’s been formally censured by GOP organizations as far away as Louisiana.

Here in Bountiful, a devout and devotedly Republican city in Romney’s home state, voters might be expected to join in. And to an extent, they have.

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“I was disappointed,” said Gary Wight, who runs a formalwear shop, Latter Day Suits, across the street from the white-steepled tabernacle that sits at the heart of town. “Senator Romney isn’t doing what we sent him there to do.”

But Wight, a Republican who backed Romney in the last election, was quick to note a caveat: That doesn’t mean he won’t vote for him again.

It’s a refrain echoed across this mountainside city, one that reflects the wide latitude Utah’s junior senator is being given at home. Even as Romney has become the ultimate object of Trump-fueled derision outside the state, it’s a different story within Utah, where efforts to reprimand the senator have foundered and he has unlocked support from unusual quarters.

“Democrats in Utah were more excited about Mitt Romney’s vote than Republicans were disappointed,” said Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. The response among critics, he said, has been conspicuously “muted.”

A truism of the Trump era — borne out in the wreckage of numerous once-promising careers — is that no Republican can take him on and hope to stay in politics.

Yet the measured reaction in Utah suggests that Romney has pulled off — for now, at least — what no other Republican has: openly challenging the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and living to tell the tale.

That doesn’t mean that Romney has lit a path for other would-be renegades. Rather, the complex constellation of factors that surround his political survival in the face of a Trumpian barrage reflect just how difficult it might be to re-create elsewhere.

“Utah is different,” said Perry, a former chief of staff to Republican Gov. Gary R. Herbert. Unlike other red states, majority-Mormon Utah has long been ill at ease with Trump’s crude style, including his xenophobic attacks on refugees and his fondness for profanity.

Romney — with his pedigree as a former Republican presidential nominee and savior of Salt Lake City’s 2002 Winter Olympics — is different, too.

And so is the manner in which the 72-year-old announced his vote to convict, a solemn and faith-filled address from the Senate floor on Feb. 5 in which he cited “an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me.”

“Utahns like politicians who have a conscience and a set of principles they follow,” Perry said. “There are many here who don’t agree with what Senator Romney did. But they’re not willing to go after him for voting his conscience.”

Trump, of course, has no such qualms. Romney, the president charged the day after the impeachment vote, “used religion as a crutch.” It’s an accusation that doesn’t sit well with many religiously observant voters here.

“I’m disgusted by it,” said Elaine Snarr, a political independent who thumbs through a well-worn copy of the Book of Mormon when not ringing up shoe sales from a shop on Bountiful’s postcard-perfect Main Street. “Faith is the foundation of everything, and Mitt Romney is a man of faith. How can Trump lead the country if he doesn’t have faith?”



a sign on the side of a road: Rachel Namba waves to cars along a road during a canvassing event in Bountiful, Utah, on Oct. 30, 2018, when Romney faced off with Democrat Jenny Wilson in the midterm election.


© Kim Raff/Bloomberg
Rachel Namba waves to cars along a road during a canvassing event in Bountiful, Utah, on Oct. 30, 2018, when Romney faced off with Democrat Jenny Wilson in the midterm election.

Like Utah itself, Romney has walked a fine political line on Trump, the thrice-married president who has been caught on tape boasting about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women.

In a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat for president in over half a century, Trump came up short of a majorityin 2016, winning with 45.5 percent of the vote.

Romney — a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah’s dominant faith — was among those who declined to support the Republican nominee. (He has said he wrote in his wife’s name instead, and that Ann Romney would probably get another vote this year.)

Yet Romney also interviewed to be Trump’s secretary of state. As Trump’s approval ratings among Utah Republicans have risen, Romney has voted with the president nearly 80 percent of the time. Democrats who had hoped that Romney might lead the GOP wing of the anti-Trump resistance have largely been disappointed.

But in his most critical decision to date on Trump — the ultimate whose-side-are-you-on test that was the impeachment vote — Romney broke rank, even as 99 other senators fell into line with their parties.

Brad Wilson, the Republican speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, found out via text while on the House floor.

“He might be a one-term senator,” Wilson remembers thinking.

Romney had not known exactly what the fallout from his vote would be. But he understood it would probably be seismic. He talked about it privately with a tight brain trust — including former campaign manager and longtime confidant Beth Myers as well as Matt Waldrip, his Senate chief of staff.And he acknowledged the reality in his speech before casting his vote, predicting he would be “vehemently denounced” and receive “abuse from the president and his supporters.”

“He is clear-eyed and at peace with his decision,” Waldrip said. “But that doesn’t mean he didn’t understand the gravity of it.”

By the time Romney visited Wilson and the other Republicans state legislators in Salt Lake City the next day — his first stop after flying home the night before — the backlash was well underway.

Beneath the gray neoclassical dome that rises dramatically atop Salt Lake’s Capitol Hill, there was already a push among state legislators to censure the senator — or even to enable a recall.

Trump, meanwhile, had attacked Romney that morning at a normally apolitical prayer breakfast, and again during remarks at a “celebration” in the East Room of the White house.

The White House had also released talking points slamming Romney’s vote as a “display of self-serving political expediency.” Fox News hosts had gone into overdrive, referring to Romney as a modern-day Benedict Arnold.

By then, Romney was a long way from Washington. The senator had wanted to meet Utah’s top lawmakers as soon as possible after the vote because he thought it would help him communicate his decision to constituents. He also wanted to directly confront some of the dissension and public frustration percolating among his home state’s local leaders.

Sitting with Wilson in the speaker’s office, Romney immediately had the chance: What did Romney have to say, Wilson wanted to know, to those who thought his vote was less about conscience or faith and more about a personal grudge against Trump?

“It was a tense question,” Wilson recalled. But Romney had a “very good answer” based on his understanding of the evidence, “his fidelity to the oath that he took and his fidelity to God.”

Wilson had opposed Trump’s impeachment, like the vast majority of Utah Republicans. But the senator’s response “led me to believe he felt comfortable with the decision he came to based on the information that he was given.”

Instead of an escalation, the meetings in Salt Lake helped to defuse the anger, with both sides doing a lot of listening, according to people familiar with the exchanges.

There were other signs, too, that the reaction from home was not going to be as harsh as some feared.

During impeachment, each member of Romney’s staff took a turn answering constituent calls — from the interns to the senior aides. The goal was to make sure everyone understood how voters felt.

Within the first two days after Romney’s vote, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, according to someone familiar with the call reports.

Romney’s Senate Republican colleagues, while not offering support, at least signaled to Romney that they wouldn’t hold the vote against him.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reached Romney by phone the day after the vote and offered a gracious message of understanding, said two people familiar with the conversation. The Senate Republicans — who hold a slim majority — needed his vote going forward, and his decision on impeachment would not affect their working relationship.

It was a dramatically different message from the one that Trump was sending. At a White House event on Feb. 10, featuring the nation’s governors, Trump again turned his attention to the senator. “How’s Mitt Romney?” the president asked Herbert, Utah’s governor. “You keep him. We don’t want him.”

Had Herbert been inclined to seize the moment to take the president’s side, he hardly could have had a better opportunity. Instead, he ignored Trump’s remarks and asked about the national debt.

Herbert, who did not support Trump in 2016 after rescinding an earlier endorsement, was among the many Republican leaders in Utah who spoke out against the legislative push to reprimand Romney.

By Feb. 11, after a 90-minute meeting of the Republican caucus, Wilson announced that the effort had fizzled. Instead, lawmakers intend to pass a resolution commending the president, especially for his help in boosting the state’s surging economy.

Wilson said he still hears from “Republicans friends and neighbors who are mad as hornets” about Romney’s vote. But many, he said, “have taken a deep breath” and just want to move on.

“We’ve got work to do. And Mitt Romney’s done a lot of great things for this state,” he said.

Similar dynamics were at work within the state GOP, where central committee member Brandon Beckham drafted his own censure resolution.

Romney’s vote, Beckham said, “brought embarrassment to our party” and should be formally rebuked. But he soon found that not everyone agrees. Within hours of announcing the resolution, Beckham said his Facebook page was full of criticism and abuse.

“There’s a lot of sympathy for Romney with his statement about religion and God,” Beckham lamented. “It’s almost like he’s a prophet in the way that he’s untouchable. He can’t do anything wrong.”

On the streets of Bountiful — a city of 44,000 that dates to its 19th-century founding as the Mormons’ second settlement in Utah — that’s not entirely true.

Wight — who tailors suits for LDS missionaries before they embark on their journeys — said he was skeptical of Romney’s claim that he had acted out of principle.

“I’m not saying he’s a liar,” said Wight, 70. “I’m just saying he’s a politician.”

At Lost and Found — an antique shop stocked to the rafters with furniture, art and knickknacks — co-owner Rex Rodda was similarly unpersuaded.

“It was personal,” said Rodda, 54. “He’s like a spoiled little kid. Trump got the prize that he wanted.”

Rodda, a Republican who was once an enthusiastic Romney supporter, said he was unlikely to vote for the senator should he decide to run for reelection in 2024.

But even if Romney loses Rodda’s vote, the senator has gained the backing of one of Rodda’s customers, Colleen Rasmussen.

“I didn’t vote for him last time around,” said the white-haired Democrat as she picked out valentines. “But I’ll vote for him next time. He did what his heart told him to do. That took a lot of courage.”



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Mitt Romney speaks during a backyard campaign stop in American Fork, Utah, on June 20, 2018, after being forced into a Republican primary against a conservative state lawmaker.


© Rick Bowmer/AP
Mitt Romney speaks during a backyard campaign stop in American Fork, Utah, on June 20, 2018, after being forced into a Republican primary against a conservative state lawmaker.

griff.witte@washpost.com

ashley.parker@washpost.com

Parker reported from Washington.



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