Archive for the ‘bioinformatics’ Category

British Columbians heading to the polls on October 24 in fall election – Global News

September 21st, 2020

After weeks of public speculation, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan is calling a fall election during COVID-19 pandemic.

Horgan has asked for the B.C. Legislature to be dissolved and Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin has accepted his request. Election day will be October 24– ahead of the next scheduled election on October 2021.

“We are not at the end of COVID-19, we are at the beginning,” Horgan said Monday. “This pandemic will be with us for a year or more and that’s why I think we need to have an election now.”

“Let’s address the differences we may have now so that we can come together after the 24th of October and work together to meet the needs of all British Columbians.”

Read more: BC election 2020: How to vote during a pandemic

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Horgan noted this election will be unlike any other but there will be many opportunities such as advance voting and mail-in ballots to make sure everyone is able to vote safely.

“Over the next few weeks I look forward to engaging with British Columbians to focus on the events that really matter to them,” Horgan added.

A full NDP platform is set to be released soon, Horgan said.

“I want to get the election behind us, not for myself but for the people of B.C.,” he added. “I believe stability will come when the people of British Columbia identify the issues that are important to them and who they want to lead them.”

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Read more: Lieutenant governor should tell B.C. premier to ‘think about it’ before calling election: expert

0:56Emergency meeting of NDP provincial council fuels election speculation

Emergency meeting of NDP provincial council fuels election speculation

A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests if an election were held right now, the NDP would win a massive victory.

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The survey suggests 48 per cent of decided voters would choose the NDP, 29 per cent would vote Liberal, and 14 per cent would opt for the Greens.

3:33Would calling a snap election work for the BC NDP, or against them?

Would calling a snap election work for the BC NDP, or against them?

Read more: COMMENTARY: In B.C., John Horgan could be next to roll the election dice

The election will be unlike any other in B.C.’s history, as politicians campaign and the public visits polling stations under a pandemic that has led to more than 200 deaths in the province and more than 950,000 worldwide.

Horgan and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson are expected to spend the bulk of the campaign in Metro Vancouver, while newly chosen Green leader Sonia Furstenau will look to grow her party’s existing three seats on Vancouver Island by running candidates in all 87 ridings.

3:34What do the BC Liberals think about a possible fall election?

What do the BC Liberals think about a possible fall election?

Hamish Telford, University of the Fraser Valley political scientist, told Global News in a recent interview that voters could punish the NDP for triggering a vote during COVID-19.

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“There is no apparent need for an election. At least, I think that is what most people think, and he risks a voter backlash,” Telford said.

Elections BC said there will be advanced voting from Friday, Oct. 16 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The agency is reminding voters they can cast a ballot by mail in a bid to reduce crowds at polling stations.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ontario’s new COVID-19 cases surge to highest level in more than three months – CTV Toronto

September 21st, 2020

TORONTO — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario has spiked to levels unseen since the beginning of June.

Health officials reported 425 new infections of the novel coronavirus on Monday, the highest number since June 2 when 446 new cases were logged.

The province also added two more deaths and 178 resolved cases in the last 24-hour period.

Monday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed infections in the province to 47,274, including 2,829 deaths and 41,146 recoveries.

Of the new cases added Monday, more than half (217) were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 39. That age group represents the most of Ontario’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases at 15,746.

Another 94 cases were recorded in people between the ages of 40 and 59, while 68 new infections were reported in people 19 years of age and younger.

Thirty-six cases were added in people between the ages of 60 and 79 and eight new cases were documented in people 80 years of age and older.

On Saturday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new social gathering restrictions across the province as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in recent days.

The new limits cap gathering sizes at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors for at least the next 28 days. Previously, gathering limits were 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Where are Ontario’s new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new reported cases are in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

Those three “hotspot” regions were subject to the Ontario government’s new social gathering restrictions a day earlier than the rest of the province due to their high number of cases reported daily.

Of the 425 new cases logged Monday, 175 were reported in Toronto, 84 were reported in Peel Region and 60 were reported in Ottawa.

Another 13 cases were reported in Waterloo and twelve cases were reported in Halton.

This is a breaking news story. More to come.


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Republicans, Democrats in bitter fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat – The Globe and Mail

September 20th, 2020

The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is mourned during a vigil in Monument Square in Portland, Maine on Sept. 20, 2020.


U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are in a fierce battle over the Supreme Court seat left empty by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fight that could upend the presidential race little more than six weeks from Election Day.

Mr. Trump is vowing to unveil his nominee this week in a bid to swiftly give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the court. Democrats are pressing moderate Republicans to block the appointment until after the election, while threatening to expand the court and pack it with their own justices if they win the presidency and the Senate on Nov. 3. And two Republican senators have already signalled that they may defy the President and vote against his pick.

With major decisions looming before the court – including on whether to roll back Affordable Care Act protections to tens of millions of Americans and on possibly determining the outcome of the presidential election itself – the stakes are high. And both sides are using the war over the judiciary to motivate supporters in the hard-fought presidential contest, in which early voting has already begun.

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Mr. Trump promised at a weekend rally in North Carolina that he would appoint a woman to the court. He named federal judges Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana and Barbara Lagoa of Florida as prospective candidates.

“I will be putting forth a nominee next week,” the President said. “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”

The loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adds a new element of bitterness to the political season

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death could ignite a political firestorm

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, has said he would push Mr. Trump’s nominee through. Such a move would break with Mr. McConnell’s own precedent, set in 2016, when he blocked a vote on Merrick Garland, then-president Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, because it was an election year.

Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, warned of a “constitutional crisis” Sunday if Mr. Trump goes forward, and appealed directly to Senate Republicans to stop the President.

“Don’t go there. Uphold your constitutional duty, your conscience. Cool the flames that have been engulfing our country,” he said in Philadelphia. “The infection this President has unleashed on our democracy can be fatal.”

Mr. Biden reiterated an earlier promise to nominate the first Black woman to the court if elected.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski on Sunday became the second Republican to oppose Mr. Trump’s move. “For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election,” she said in a statement. Susan Collins of Maine said Saturday that she believed whoever wins the presidency in November should fill the Supreme Court seat.

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Whether either will stick to their guns is an open question. On previous occasions, such as Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial and the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Ms. Collins toyed with defying party leadership only to ultimately back down. Four Republicans would have to defect to stop the appointment.

Some Democrats said Congress should add more seats to the Supreme Court to dilute the conservative majority if Mr. Trump plows ahead with the move.

“If [the Republicans] were to force through a nominee during the lame-duck session – before a new Senate and president can take office – then the incoming Senate should immediately move to expand the Supreme Court,” Congressman Jerry Nadler tweeted.

Asked if the Democrats would take even more drastic measures, such as impeaching Mr. Trump or Attorney-General Bill Barr to gridlock the Senate before the election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to rule anything out. “We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now,” she said on ABC.

Control of the court could have far-reaching consequences. In one major case set to be heard in November, Texas and several other conservative states are trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Such a move could strip more than 100 million Americans of coverage for pre-existing conditions and deny 20 million people health insurance.

The Supreme Court might also have to weigh in on some of the dozens of current cases across the country over the rules for mail-in voting. Such a decision could determine the outcome of the election, much as the court did in 2000 when it stopped a recount in Florida and made George W. Bush president.

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In addition, the court could be determining cases on abortion access and the status of “dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, in the coming months.

The battle gives Mr. Trump a more welcome issue to campaign on than the coronavirus pandemic and hard-hit economy. Control of the court has been a central issue for conservative voters for decades.

Within 48 hours of Ms. Ginsburg’s death, the President’s campaign had already sent out four text blasts to supporters soliciting donations by invoking the court. At the North Carolina rally, his supporters chanted “fill that seat!” and the campaign promptly produced T-shirts with that message.

His choice of appointment could also give him an opportunity to reach out to specific demographics of voters. Ms. Lagoa, for instance, is both a seasoned judge and an Hispanic woman from a swing state.

Act Blue, the Democrats’ online fundraising portal, logged US$30-million in donations in the twelve hours after Ms. Ginsburg’s death. Crowds gathered outside the Supreme Court throughout the weekend to stand vigil, leaving messages and flowers in her honour.

The 87-year-old, who died Friday night of pancreatic cancer, was only the second woman appointed to the court. She was known for defending gender equality and voting rights. Her portrait, typically emblazoned with the nickname “Notorious RBG,” was plastered on T-shirts.

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In a deathbed statement to her granddaughter, Ms. Ginsburg said her “most fervent wish” was that she not be replaced until after the next president is sworn in.

The tributes could be only a preview of the street protests likely to result if Mr. Trump fills the court seat. They would come amid a wave of demonstrations against police brutality and racism that have swept the country this summer in the largest demonstrations since the 1960s civil-rights movement.

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2020 Emmy Awards: Full list of winners from 1st-ever virtual ceremony – Global News

September 20th, 2020

For the first time in history, the Emmy Awards went live and virtual.

Canadian standout comedy (and fan favourite) Schitt’s Creek swept the comedy categories, leaving other shows in the dust.

The ambitious 72nd Emmy Awards ceremony was hosted virtually by return emcee Jimmy Kimmel onstage at downtown L.A.’s Staples Center, central command for camera feeds relayed from 130 nominees socially distanced at home or elsewhere in 10 countries and 20 cities.

HBO’s limited series Watchmen was the leading nominee going into the show, and its star Regina King won her fourth Emmy for lead actress. Schitt’s Creek took every comedy trophy, including lead actress, lead actor, best supporting actor and actress, best writing (episodic) and best direction, and best overall comedy.

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It was the first time in Emmy history that a Canadian show has won that many awards — consecutively and cumulatively. For the first hour of the broadcast, Schitt’s Creek took every trophy.

3:062020 Emmy Awards: What to expect this season

2020 Emmy Awards: What to expect this season

Watchmen won best limited series, and series star Yahya Abdul-Mateen won best supporting actor for his work on the show.

Best actor in a drama went to Succession star Jeremy Strong, while Euphoria star Zendaya became the youngest winner in the drama actress category at age 24 (topping Jodie Comer, who was 26 when she won last year for Killing Eve).

The winners will be updated as the night goes on in the list of nominees below.

Drama Series

Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Killing Eve
The Mandalorian
Stranger Things

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1:43‘Watchmen,’ ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ dominate 2020 Emmy nominations

‘Watchmen,’ ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ dominate 2020 Emmy nominations

Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dead to Me
The Good Place
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
** WINNER: Schitt’s Creek
What We Do in the Shadows

Lead Actress, Drama

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
** WINNER: Zendaya, Euphoria

Lead Actor, Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
** WINNER: Jeremy Strong, Succession

Supporting Actor, Drama

Nicholas Braun, Succession
** WINNER: Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

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Supporting Actress, Drama

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Julia Garner, Ozark
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Sarah Snook, Succession
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Lead Actress, Comedy

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
** WINNER: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Lead Actor, Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
** WINNER: Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Supporting Actor, Comedy

Mahershala Ali, Ramy
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place
** WINNER: Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Supporting Actress, Comedy

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
** WINNER: Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
Yvonne Orji, Insecure
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere
Mrs. America
** WINNER: Watchmen

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TV Movie

American Son
Bad Education
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old Bones
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend

Lead Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
** WINNER: Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere

Lead Actor, TV Movie or Limited Series

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
** WINNER: Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

Supporting Actress, TV Movie or Limited Series

**WINNER: Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Jean Smart, Watchmen
Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America

Supporting Actor, TV Movie or Limited Series

** WINNER: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood

Competition Program

The Masked Singer
Nailed It!
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice

Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
** WINNER: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

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Host for a Reality or Competition Program

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye
Nicole Byer, Nailed It
Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank
** WINNER: RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef
Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, Making It

For a complete list of all Emmy Awards (including Creative Emmys), please visit the Emmy Awards official site.

With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada’s 1st female chief justice recalls ‘wonderful moments’ with Ruth Bader Ginsburg –

September 20th, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quiet eloquence, incisiveness and victories for women’s rights is what the former head of Canada’s top court says she will remember most about the U.S. Supreme Court justice, who died Friday at the age of 87.

“I write in my memoir about a lunch at a restaurant in the Gatineau hills and our talk about the progress of women in Canada,” former chief justice Beverley McLachlin recalled in an interview with CBC News Network.

“‘What is the history of the progress of women in Canada?’ she asked. And I found myself launching into a series of stories, beginning with the Famous Five. Wonderful moments.”

Ginsburg was first appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by then-president Bill Clinton, becoming the court’s second female justice. She was embraced by supporters for her defence of the rights of women and minorities, and the strength and resilience she displayed in the face of personal loss and health crises.

Just four years before Ginsburg was appointed, McLachlin had been sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, ascending to the court’s top job in 2000 — the first woman to hold the position. McLachlin “drew confidence” from Ginsburg, who she said she first met at a lecture series in Cambridge, England.

WATCH | Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and the impact of her death:

CBC Washington correspondent Keith Boag and lawyer Marie Henein talk about the mark Ruth Bader Ginsburg has left on the world and what could happen with her vacancy in the United States Supreme Court. 6:28

“We had a lovely tea in the garden after her lecture,” McLachlin said. “Over the years, we got together again and again. We had exchange visits with the Supreme Court of Canada and she was an enthusiastic supporter of that.”

McLachlin said that while Canada and the U.S. have a strong commitment to rights and freedoms, both countries have different approaches when it comes to protecting those freedoms.

“But from a point of view of the values … particularly on the issue of equality? The ideas Ruth Bader Ginsburg put forward resonate here in Canada very strongly,” she said.

As for what happens to Ginsburg’s advocacy now that she is gone, McLachlin said her legacy endures.

“Whatever happens, I don’t think anyone will be able to ignore the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she wrote so carefully, so powerfully in her decisions.”

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Notable names on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees – CTV News

September 20th, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump has updated a roster of more than 20 potential Supreme Court nominees in recent weeks, a list that includes prominent and lesser-known conservatives.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, a liberal icon, provides Trump with an opportunity to appoint his third justice to the bench, a move that is sure to infuriate Democrats and satisfy Republicans looking to add a sixth conservative justice to the court.

Hours after Ginsburg’s death, Trump vowed to nominate a woman to replace the late justice, who was a fierce advocate for women’s rights.

Here are some of the more notable members of Trump’s list of potential nominees:

Amy Coney Barrett

A former clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Barrett was Trump’s pick for a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Born in 1972, she served as a professor of law at her alma mater, Notre Dame.

During her confirmation hearing, she had a contentious exchange with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who asked her about past writings concerning faith and the law. At one point, Feinstein asked Barrett if the “dogma lives loudly in her.” Supporters of Barrett suggested Feinstein was attempting to apply a religious litmus test to the nominee.

Barrett is quoted in a 2013 publication affiliated with Notre Dame as saying she thinks it is “very unlikely at this point” that the Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

Amul Thapar

Thapar was handpicked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to serve as the US attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. In 2006, he went on to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Trump nominated Thapar to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017.

Born in Michigan in 1969, Thapar has served in government as well as the private practice. In 2007, he was the first American of South Asian descent to be named to an Article III federal judgeship.

Former U.S. Solicitors General Paul Clement and Noel Francisco

Francisco, who stepped down as solicitor general in July at the end of the Supreme Court’s last term, had served as many controversial issues came to the court, including disputes regarding the President’s financial records, the travel ban, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, religious liberty and the effort to add a citizenship question to the census.

Clement served as solicitor general during George W. Bush’s presidency. One of the most experienced appellate advocates in the country, he has argued more than 100 cases before the court, including those involving health care, religious liberty and voting rights.

Barbara Lagoa

Trump appointed Lagoa to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019. Before that, she was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman on the Supreme Court of Florida.

If appointed to the high court, she would be its second justice of Latino descent, joining Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who became its first Latino member in 2009.

Sen. Tom Cotton

Trump added several new names to his list earlier this month, including three Republican senators. Though two of them have said they aren’t interested in a spot on the bench, the third, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, could prove to be a highly consequential addition to the court if appointed.

Cotton, who responded to the news of being on Trump’s list by saying he “will always heed the call of service to our nation,” also said at the time that “It’s time for Roe v. Wade to go.” Trump, who opposes abortion rights and gun regulations, warned after the list’s unveiling that “our cherished rights are at risk including the right to life and our great Second Amendment.”

Cotton, however, said Sunday that he was no longer on Trump’s list for the spot and that he’s “communicated with the White House that now is not the time to have me under consideration.”

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Biden blasts Trump’s plan to push Supreme Court nominee ahead of election – The Globe and Mail

September 20th, 2020

A person places a candle in a makeshift memorial during a vigil outside of the New York State Civil Supreme Court building held for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg, September 19, 2020.


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden blasted as an “exercise in raw political power” President Donald Trump’s plan to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court weeks before an election that would cement a 6-3 conservative majority.

“Voters of this country should be heard … they’re the ones who this Constitution envisions should decide who has the power to make this appointment,” Biden said in Philadelphia. “To jam this nomination through the Senate is just an exercise of raw political power.”

Biden said that if he wins the Nov. 3 election, he should have the chance to nominate the next Supreme Court justice.

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Biden’s remarks came the day a second Republican in the U.S. Senate on Sunday voiced objections to Trump’s plan. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she did not support the move, becoming the second of the 53 Republicans in the 100-seat chamber to object publicly following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.

Trump’s plan to quickly fill the vacancy drew immediate criticism from Democrats, who noted that in 2016 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on a Democratic appointee, saying it was inappropriate to do so in an election year.

“I did not support taking up a nomination eight months before the 2016 election to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Justice Scalia,” Murkowski said in a statement. “We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply.”

Senator Susan Collins of Maine voiced similar concerns on Saturday. Collins is locked in a tight re-election battle, while Murkowski’s current term extends two more years.

A majority of Americans, some 62% including many Republicans, told a Reuters/Ipsos poll that they thought the winner of the Nov. 3 election should get to nominate a justice to fill the vacancy.

Justice Antonin Scalia, a close friend of Ginsburg’s, died in February 2016, but McConnell blocked a vote on Democratic President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

Trump on Saturday said he will make his nomination this week and named Amy Coney Barrett of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible candidates to fill the vacancy created by Friday’s death of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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The passing of Ginsburg upended the November election contests, energizing both Trump’s conservative base – eager to see the court overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide – and presenting new complications in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

“I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where supporters chanted “fill that seat.” “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”

Trump and McConnell have time to make the nomination and schedule a vote. While elections are on Nov. 3, a new Congress won’t be sworn in until Jan. 3, with the winner of the presidential contest sworn in on Jan. 20.


Republican Senator John Barrasso on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday brushed off Democratic complaints about the nomination process.

“Let’s be very clear – if the shoe were on the other foot and the Democrats had the White House and the Senate, they would right now be trying to confirm another member of the Supreme Court,” Barrasso said.

Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 election, on the same program called that view “indefensible.”

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“What’s happening in our country is incredibly dangerous,” said Clinton, a former secretary of state whose husband, Bill Clinton, nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993. “Our institutions are being basically undermined by the lust for power.”

Trump has already appointed two justices: Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed after a heated confirmation process in which he angrily denied accusations by a California university professor, Christine Blasey Ford, that he had sexually assaulted her in 1982 when the two were high school students in Maryland.

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Trump vows to nominate a woman for US supreme court vacancy within a week – The Guardian

September 19th, 2020

Donald Trump has promised to put forward a female nominee in the coming week to fill the supreme court vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pushing the Republican-controlled Senate to consider the pick without delay.

Taking the stage at a North Carolina rally to chants of “Fill that seat”, the president said he would nominate his selection despite Democrats’ objections.

After conducting what he joked was a “very scientific poll” of the Fayetteville crowd as to whether supporters wanted a man or a woman, he declared the choice would be “a very talented, very brave woman”.

“I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said. “I think it should be a woman because I actually like women much more than men.”

He added that he did not yet know whom he would choose.

“We win an election and those are the consequences,” said the president, who then seemed to signal that he’d be willing to accept a vote on his nominee during the lame duck period after the election. “We have a lot of time. We have plenty of time. We’re talking about 20 January.”

He praised Ginsburg as a “legal giant … Her landmark rulings, fierce devotion to justice and her courageous battle against cancer inspire all Americans.”

Earlier, Trump had said that he had an “obligation” to act without delay. “We have an obligation. We won and we have an obligation as the winners to pick who we want. That’s not the next president. We’re here right now.”

One Republican senator has already broken ranks, with Maine’s Susan Collins, who is in a tough re-election battle, saying on Saturday that she believed replacing Ginsburg should be the decision of the president who is elected 3 November. Three more defections from the GOP ranks would be needed to stop Trump’s nominee from joining the court.

At stake is a seat held by a justice who spent her final years on the bench as the unquestioned leader of the court’s liberal wing. The Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, vowed to call a vote for Trump’s nominee, but Democrats countered that Republicans should follow the precedent that GOP legislators set in 2016 by refusing to consider a supreme court choice in the run-up to an election.

The impending clash over the vacant seat – when to fill it and with whom – scrambles the stretch run of a presidential race for a nation already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 200,000 people, left millions unemployed and heightened partisan tensions and anger.

McConnell pledged to Trump in a phone call Friday night to bring the choice to a vote, though he has not said if it would be before the election. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said any selection should come after 3 November.

“Voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice to consider,” Biden said.

The president this month added 20 more names to his roster of potential court nominees, and aides in recent days have focused on a short list heavy on female candidates, according to four White House aides and officials close to the process. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

Those under close consideration for the high court include three women who are federal appeals court judges: Amy Coney Barrett, beloved among conservatives and an early favorite; Barbara Lagoa, who is Hispanic and comes from the battleground state of Florida; and Allison Jones Rushing, who clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and for Neil Gorsuch, when the current Trump-appointed justice was an appeals court judge.

McConnell, who sets the calendar in the Senate and has made judicial appointments his priority, declared unequivocally in a statement that Trump’s nominee would receive a confirmation vote. In 2016, McConnell refused to consider Barack Obama’s nominee months before the election, eventually preventing a vote on judge Merrick Garland.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York convened a conference call with Democratic senators at midday Saturday, according to a person on the private call who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. He told senators the “number one goal” must be to communicate the stakes of the confirmation vote.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v Wade, a long-time goal of conservative activists. Even with the current conservative majority, the court voted 5-4 in July to strike down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law.

Cristine Crispell, who works in special education in Reedsville, Georgia, drove five hours to attend Saturday’s rally with her two teenage daughters.

She said Trump “absolutely” had the right to nominate a new justice, even so close to the election. “I would like to see Roe v Wade overturned,” she said. “Sanctity of life is a huge thing.”

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John Turner, former Canadian prime minister and friend of Princess Margaret, dies at 91 – The Guardian

September 19th, 2020

John Turner, a Liberal party politician who served stints as Canada’s justice and finance ministers before a very brief turn as prime minister, has died at age 91.

Marc Kealey, a former aide speaking on behalf of the family, said Turner died peacefully in his sleep at home in Toronto on Friday night.

Turner failed to live up to the great expectations of his early career, serving as prime minister for just 79 days in 1988 after a difficult, decades-long climb to the top job.

A track athletics star, Turner graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1949, winning a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. After studying law, he went to Paris to work on a doctorate at the Sorbonne.

John Turner in 2006.
John Turner in 2006. Photograph: Shaun Best/Reuters

The young lawyer caused a stir when he danced with Princess Margaret at a party in 1959, giving rise to speculation that the two would become a couple. The two remained friends for life.

Turner moved to Montreal to practise law but was lured into politics in 1962.

As justice minister in Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet from 1968 to 1972, Turner proposed a national legal aid system – an issue close to his heart – and created the federal court, among other reforms. He defended the decriminalization of homosexuality and abortion in the 1960s

He was named finance minister in 1972 and held the job for three turbulent years, marked by high unemployment and high rates of inflation.

As Liberal party leader and Canada’s new prime minister, he decisively lost the 1988 federal election to Brian Mulroney over the Canada-US free trade agreement, which Turner vehemently opposed.

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Ginsburg’s death draws big surge of donations to Democrats – CTV News

September 19th, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats raised more than $71 million in the hours after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, demonstrating how the liberal icon’s passing and the contentious nomination fight that lies ahead have already galvanized the party’s base.

The jaw-dropping sum was raised by 9 p.m. Saturday after news of her death broke late Friday, according to a donation ticker on the website of ActBlue, the party’s online fundraising platform.

The 2020 campaign, which will decide control of the White House and the Senate, had already delivered record-shattering fundraising totals for the Democrats, a sign of the motivation within the party to rebuke President Donald Trump on Election Day.

But Ginsburg’s death brought new impetus to the campaign, particularly after Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both pledged to move forward with finding a new justice.

That would further tilt the court in a conservative direction, carrying wide-ranging implications for the fate of abortion access, environmental regulations and health care.

Though ActBlue hasn’t yet disclosed who the biggest recipients were, Democratic challengers to Republican senators were in line to benefit from the influx of cash.

A group of Democratic strategists raising money through an effort called “Get Mitch or Die Trying,” which shares donations among Democratic Senate contenders, reported that within hours of Ginsburg’s death they more than doubled what they had previously raised.

“In tribute to the extraordinary life of Justice Ginsberg, I’m matching donations to this fund up to $10,000 tonight,” tweeted Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff.

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, included a link to the fundraising effort in his tweet: “Don’t pick your favourite candidate or the one you’ve heard of. Give here. I repeat, this money goes directly to the most competitive races, not just the most famous candidates.”

A separate Senate-focused Democratic fundraising push specifically mentions Ginsburg’s legacy.

“In this moment it is vital to give to Senate candidates,” reads an ActBlue fundraising page called “Protect RBG’s Legacy”

“Time to apply maximum pressure so that they do the right thing & refuse to vote to confirm before the 2020 election.”

A representative for ActBlue did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday. A spokesman for WinRed, Republican’s ActBlue counterpart, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Democrats were not the only ones who raised the spectre of the coming Senate nomination fight while raising money.

In Iowa, vulnerable Republican Sen. Joni Ernst sent out fundraising pleas shortly after Ginsburg’s death was announced, drawing a swift online backlash.

“BREAKING: The future of the Supreme Court is on the line,” read the subject line of fundraising email from Ernst.

“Our Conservative values and constitutional rights are now on the line,” the email said. “The next Supreme Court nominee will shape major decisions for decades to come.”

Ernst later issued an apology.

“This email never should have gone out,” she said in a statement. “Though I never saw it, it was sent out under my name and I take responsibility for it. Tonight, my prayers are with the family of Justice Ginsburg.”

On Saturday, Trump’s campaign also texted out a fundraising solicitation to supporters.

“Pres. Trump will fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a conservative justice,” the message read. “Make America Great Again!”

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