Connect with us

Latest Stories

Ministers accused of ‘appalling breach’ of debt owed to Afghan interpreters

Published

on

ministers accused of appalling breach of debt owed to afghan interpreters

Ministers were last night accused of an ‘appalling breach’ of the debt owed to Afghan interpreters who served alongside British soldiers during the 13-year war.

A cross-party group of MPs urged the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary to give sanctuary to the heroes and their families without delay.

In a letter seen by the Daily Mail, the 15 MPs said those who put their lives at risk for the UK ‘must be allowed to live in it’.

Dr Julian Lewis, chairman of the Intelligence and Security committee and champion for the Afghan translators, is among those who have signed the letter.

Honour: Former Prime Minister David Cameron meets a translator in Kabul, 2011

Honour: Former Prime Minister David Cameron meets a translator in Kabul, 2011

Honour: Former Prime Minister David Cameron meets a translator in Kabul, 2011

There are believed to be 150 interpreters remaining who are desperate for sanctuary but who have been denied a visa.

This newspaper’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign has reported how ministers pledged to let in 50 interpreters under a policy announced two years ago. 

But only two plus their families have so far been allowed into the UK under the revised scheme because officials got the figures wrong.

The specific criteria for a visa was so narrow that it only included translators who had served in Helmand for more than a year and had been made redundant. 

In another scandal, interpreters already in the UK under a previous scheme were told by the Home Office their wives and children could join them in March 2019. But more than a year later none of those women have been given visas.

The Home Office has previously said that although it is committed to the immigration rule change, it is a ‘complex’ operation involving many public bodies.

Last month Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel promised to work out a better deal for those left behind. 

MPs said last night that they must implement changes immediately.

The letter states: ‘These failures represent an appalling breach of the debt the UK owes to the interpreters who served in Afghanistan. Those who have put their lives at risk for our country must be allowed to live in it.

‘They must not be left to live in fear of reprisals for their service, nor must they be cruelly separated from their families.

‘We urge you to put this right without further delay.’

The letter was coordinated by Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Jamie Stone MP and signed by 14 others.

Rafi Hottak, once the supervisor of UK translators who now campaigns on behalf of his former colleagues wanting sanctuary in Britain, says he estimates there are between 120-150 interpreters still in Afghanistan needing help. Above: Afghan Interpreter 'Shaffy' who worked for the British Army on the front lines in Helmand, and once translated for David Cameron during a visit in 2011

Rafi Hottak, once the supervisor of UK translators who now campaigns on behalf of his former colleagues wanting sanctuary in Britain, says he estimates there are between 120-150 interpreters still in Afghanistan needing help. Above: Afghan Interpreter 'Shaffy' who worked for the British Army on the front lines in Helmand, and once translated for David Cameron during a visit in 2011

Rafi Hottak, once the supervisor of UK translators who now campaigns on behalf of his former colleagues wanting sanctuary in Britain, says he estimates there are between 120-150 interpreters still in Afghanistan needing help. Above: Afghan Interpreter ‘Shaffy’ who worked for the British Army on the front lines in Helmand, and once translated for David Cameron during a visit in 2011

It noted that it had been more than seven years since the late Lord Ashdown highlighted the ‘debt of honour’ the UK owes those who risked their lives to help our troops.

MPs referred to the Daily Mail report that it had been two years since the then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson expanded the policy towards interpreters.

Under the new rules, interpreters could come to the UK if they had served in Helmand in the years before 2012 and were made redundant. MPs noted that two years later just two had qualified.

The group also cited another report by the Daily Mail about how the Government had failed to uphold its promise to let in the wives and children of interpreters already in Britain. 

Mr Stone said: ‘How can ministers sleep at night knowing they have left them at the mercy of the Taliban?’

Interpreters denied sanctuary welcomed the letter. 

Latif, 36, who worked with the SAS on the frontline, said: ‘I ask the Government to listen to the MPs.’ 

A Government spokesman said: ‘The Home Secretary and Defence Secretary are committed to ensuring a fair system for the resettlement of Afghan interpreters and met last week to resolve outstanding issues.’ 

Q&A 

Who are the interpreters?

They served alongside UK forces during the Afghan war before combat troops were pulled out of the country in 2014.

Many risked their lives on the front line to help protect British troops from Taliban attack. 

After UK forces pulled out, the Taliban sought to hunt them down.

Who is eligible for a visa?

Afghan interpreters who served alongside UK troops in Helmand Province for more than a year and were made redundant.

This has let 445 interpreters plus some of their family come to the UK. 

Interpreters can also apply under a second scheme but must prove they have been threatened.

Who is still excluded?

Those whose contracts came to an end or those who quit because of death threats have been refused sanctuary in Britain.

Afghan interpreters who served less than a year in Helmand, and then went on to serve in places such as the capital Kabul, are also excluded.

How many are left there?

Rafi Hottak, once the supervisor of UK translators who now campaigns on behalf of his former colleagues wanting sanctuary in Britain, says he estimates there are between 120-150 interpreters still in Afghanistan needing help. 

Some translators became so desperate they paid people-smugglers to try to make it to the UK illegally.

Many have ended up stuck in refugee camps across Europe.

They have struggled to apply for a visa to the UK from a third country.

What about their families?

Interpreters who are already in Britain were allowed to bring their wives and children with them at the time.

But many did not for reasons such as wanting to find a job and a home first. In these cases, interpreters have not been allowed to bring their family later on.

In March last year, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid scrapped the rule. But so far none of these family members have been allowed in under the new rules.

 

<!—->Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Latest Stories

Trump says he will name RBG’s replacement on Friday or Saturday and is considering FIVE names

Published

on

By

trump says he will name rbgs replacement on friday or saturday and is considering five names

Donald Trump could nominate the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement to the Supreme Court as early as Tuesday, a new report revealed Monday.

The president has signaled an impending announcement following the death of Ginsburg last week, claiming it’s his ‘obligation’ to nominate a new justice ‘without delay.’

With Ginsburg’s passing, only two of the remaining eight justices are women, prompting Trump to promise over the weekend he will nominate a female.

There are four women who have made the shortlist – Amy Coney Barrett, who is considered the front runner, Kate Todd, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Rushing.

RBG, which the elder justice was lovingly referred to as, died at the age of 87 late last week due to complications from her ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trump said Saturday that his nomination for the open Supreme Court seat ‘will be a very talented, very brilliant woman.’

‘I like women more than I like men,’ he continued during a campaign rally in North Carolina over the weekend.

The president’s swift and impending nomination will be made in hopes of pressuring the Senate to ratify his decision before voters are given the chance to decide on a second term.

Trump spoke several times with Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell since Ginsburg’s death.

The Senate Majority Leader has since been lobbying for more moderate Republicans on-the-fence about the nomination to join in with the majority of the GOP – who intend to confirm Trump’s decision.

President Donald Trump could nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement as early as Tuesday as he prepares to fight Democrats to get his third Supreme Court pick through before Election Day

President Donald Trump could nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement as early as Tuesday as he prepares to fight Democrats to get his third Supreme Court pick through before Election Day

President Donald Trump could nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement as early as Tuesday as he prepares to fight Democrats to get his third Supreme Court pick through before Election Day

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee fell in line with the leader Sunday.

McConnell has locked down Alexander’s key swing vote for the Supreme Court fight after two other GOP senators said Ginsburg should not be replaced before the election.

Alexander threw his support behind McConnell in a statement, saying ‘no one should be surprised’ by a new appointment in an election year and that voters ‘expect it’.

The news is a blow to the Democrats, as the retiring Senator was viewed as a potential swing vote against McConnell and Trump’s plans to rush the court appointment.

Donald Trump on Saturday urged the GOP-run Senate to consider ‘without delay’ his upcoming nomination to fill Ginsburg’s seat, who died Friday after a battle with cancer. 

The move comes just six weeks before the election and has sparked fierce debate, with many Democrats – as well as some Republicans – insisting the seat must not be filled until after the election.   

The crux of the debate centers around the move made by Republicans back in 2016 – and led by McConnell – to block then-President Barack Obama from appointing a new justice to the court nine months before the election. 

Their argument at the time was that the position should not be filled until a new president was elected by the American people – a standard set by the Republicans that the Democrats now argue the party must continue to honor.   

Four GOP senators need to join the Democrats to stop a Supreme Court nomination going forward. 

‘No one should be surprised that a Republican Senate majority would vote on a Republican president’s Supreme Court nomination, even during a presidential election year,’ Alexander said in a statement. 

‘The Constitution gives senators the power to do it. The voters who elected them expect it.’ 

Mitch McConnell has locked down the key swing vote of GOP Representative Lamar Alexander for his Supreme Court fight

Mitch McConnell has locked down the key swing vote of GOP Representative Lamar Alexander for his Supreme Court fight

Mitch McConnell has locked down the key swing vote of GOP Representative Lamar Alexander for his Supreme Court fight

Alexander, who is retiring at the end of his current term, went on to say that Democrats would also rush to fill the seat ‘if the shoe were on the other foot’. 

‘Senator McConnell is only doing what Democrat leaders have said they would do if the shoe were on the other foot,’ he said.

‘I have voted to confirm Justices [John] Roberts, [Samuel] Alito, [Sonia] Sotomayor, [Neil] Gorsuch and [Brett] Kavanaugh based upon their intelligence, character and temperament.

‘I will apply the same standard when I consider President Trump’s nomination to replace Justice Ginsburg.’  

The senator has a history of bipartisanship, having worked closely with Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the past on making it easier for the Senate to confirm presidential nominees. 

He had also been eyed by Democrats as a swing vote during Trump’s impeachment trial, one of a handful of GOP senators that hinted they could vote to hear from witnesses with knowledge of Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine.

However Alexander disappointed Democrats in this instance too, deciding against the calling of witnesses and calling the trial a ‘partisan impeachment.’

The Tennessee Senator threw his support behind McConnell in a statement Sunday, saying 'no one should be surprised' by a new appointment in an election year and that voters 'expect it'

The Tennessee Senator threw his support behind McConnell in a statement Sunday, saying 'no one should be surprised' by a new appointment in an election year and that voters 'expect it'

The Tennessee Senator threw his support behind McConnell in a statement Sunday, saying ‘no one should be surprised’ by a new appointment in an election year and that voters ‘expect it’

Two GOP senators – Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins – have already dissented on the Supreme Court vote, vowing to derail Trump’s nomination plans until after the November 3 election.  

Murkowski became the second Republican senator Sunday to say the chamber should not take up the president’s nominee before the American people vote for their next president, hours after Trump threw shade at her publicly and after her colleague and frequent collaborator Collins made her own opposition to a quick vote known. 

‘For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election,’ the Alaska senator said.  

‘Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed,’ she continued.

‘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.

‘We are now even closer to the 2020 election – less than two months out – and I believe the same standard must apply.’      

Murkowski in her statement was referencing the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, which never got a hearing despite Barack Obama nominating Garland nine months before the 2016 elections.  

Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed to derail Trump's nomination plans

Sen. Lisa Murkowski vowed to derail Trump's nomination plans

Sen. Susan Collins has also dissented

Sen. Susan Collins has also dissented

Two GOP senators – Lisa Murkowski (left) and Susan Collins (right) – have already dissented, vowing to derail Trump’s nomination plans until after the November 3 election

WHO’S WHO ON TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT SHORTLIST 

REPUBLICAN SENATORS

Ted Cruz, Texas. 49

Josh Hawley, Missouri. 40

Tom Cotton, Arkansas. 43

JUDGES 

Bridget Bade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 54

Stuart Kyle Duncan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 48

James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 47

Gregory Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 56

Barbara Lagoa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 52

Carlos Muñiz, Supreme Court of Florida. 51

Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 41

Peter Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 47

Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. 43

Allison Jones Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 38

Lawrence VanDyke, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 47

CURRENT AND FORMER REPUBLICAN OFFICIALS 

Daniel Cameron, Kentucky Attorney General. 34

Paul Clement, partner with Kirkland & Ellis, former solicitor general. 54

Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. 46

Noel Francisco, former U.S. solicitor general. 51

Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico. 56

Kate Todd, deputy White House counsel. 45

<!—->Advertisement

Trump took a slap at Murkowski hours before she released the statement Sunday morning, as he kept up his pressure campaign on his own party and prepared to nominate a Supreme Court Justice in an upended election. 

The president kept his comments brief, penning a simple ‘No thanks!’ as he retweeted a promotion by the Alaska Chamber of Commerce speech by Murkowski for Tuesday.

Murkowski voted against Trump’s last Supreme Court pick – Justice Brett Kavanaugh. More critically for the current scramble underway, were statements she said shortly before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. 

‘I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election,’ she said, Alaska Public Radio reported. 

She referenced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision not to grant a hearing to Garland in 2016 nearly nine months before the election.

‘That was too close to an election, and that the people needed to decide,’ Murkowski said.

‘That the closer you get to an election, that argument becomes even more important.’  

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine – with whom Murkowski often votes when diverging from party orthodoxy – came out with her own statement Saturday.

‘In fairness to the American people, who will either be re-electing the President or selecting a new one, the decision on a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court should be made by the President who is elected on November 3rd,’ Collins, facing a tough re-election race herself, said on Twitter. 

Collins is up for reelection in a close race.   

The two dissenters have left Democrats still shy of the count of four needed to derail a nomination, but points to the possibility they could prevent it by winning over an additional pair of Republicans. 

With Alexander no longer a possible dissenter, the focus has shifted to Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who votes with conservatives but also voted for an impeachment article against Trump and has called him out occasionally in public. 

Democrats have put several other options forward to stall or counteract Trump rushing through the appointment for Ginsburg’s replacement.

Several including Rep. Joe Kennedy III have threatened to pack the Supreme Court if they capture the Senate in November and Republicans have already pushed through a conservative successor to Ginsburg.  

33398954 8754441 image a 8 1600667838493

33398954 8754441 image a 8 1600667838493

President Trump said Saturday his Supreme Court nominee is most likely to be a woman. On Sunday he tweeted about Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski

President Donald Trump tweeted a dig at GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said before Ginsburg's death that she would not vote for a replacement close to the election

President Donald Trump tweeted a dig at GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said before Ginsburg's death that she would not vote for a replacement close to the election

President Donald Trump tweeted a dig at GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who said before Ginsburg’s death that she would not vote for a replacement close to the election

What is court packing? 

Court packing is the move to appoint extra justices to the Supreme Court.

It is a move several Democrats have proposed if the party takes control of the Senate in order to increase the presence of liberal justices on the bench. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt made attempts to pack the court back in 1937 when the Republican president wanted to pass his New Deal laws and needed more conservative justices in the court to vote in favor of them. 

Roosevelt’s attempts failed and he was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for the move.

However Democrats argue court packing will be necessary to rebalance the court if President Trump does not wait until after the presidential inauguration to appoint Justice Ginsburg’s replacement. 

The issue in contention is that Republicans barred President Obama from appointing a justice in the election year in 2016.

Many Democrats say this meant the seat – finally filled by a Trump nominee after he entered the White house – was ‘stolen’ by Republicans and that if Republicans now do the very same thing they banned Democrats from doing in 2016 by rushing through an appointment, Democrats will then be within their rights to rebalance the court.

<!—->Advertisement

Joe Kennedy III, who represents Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District and is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, tweeted Sunday: ‘If he holds a vote in 2020, we pack the court in 2021. It’s that simple.’ 

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler wrote on Twitter: ‘If Sen. McConnell and @SenateGOP 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.’  

Court packing is a controversial move, however Democrats argue it will be necessary to rebalance the court if Trump does not wait until after the presidential inauguration to appoint Ginsburg’s replacement. 

Other options on the table are the pursuit of impeachment charges, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not rule out in an interview Saturday. 

‘We have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country,’ she told ABC’s ‘This Week‘ when asked about the prospect.

‘This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election,’ Pelosi continued. 

‘Our main goal would be to protect the integrity of the election as we protect the people from the coronavirus.’ 

AOC echoed the possibility of pursuing impeachment charges at a joint press conference with Schumer Sunday saying there has been ‘an enormous amount of lawbreaking’ under Trump’s watch and branding Barr ‘unfit for office’. 

‘I believe that certainly there has been an enormous amount of lawbreaking in the Trump administration,’ she said, when asked about impeachment.

‘I believe Attorney General Bill Barr is unfit for office and that he has pursued potentially law-breaking behaviors.’

She said America must ‘use every tool at our disposal’ and turn to ‘unprecedented ways’ to stall the appointment and that means putting all options ‘on the table’.

‘I believe that also we must consider again all the tools available to our disposal and all these options should be entertained and on the table,’ she said.   

Two other senior Republicans, Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio, backed McConnell in public statements Sunday. 

Conservative Trump loyalist Sen. Tom Cotton told ‘Fox News Sunday’ the president should act ‘without delay.’

‘The Senate will exercise our constitutional duty,’ he said. ‘We will move forward without delay.’ 

Trump’s public pressure comes hours after he said at a campaign rally he will act swiftly to make a nomination. 

‘I will be putting forth a nominee this week,’ he said at a campaign rally in North Carolina 

‘It will be a woman,’ Trump added. 

The nomination would fail if Republicans were to lose four members from their 53-vote majority. 

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday pushed the Senate to vote on a nomination before the election, but would say his party has the votes.

‘I don’t know the answer to that. I believe we will’ he said.  

Before he left the White House for the rally, Trump had named two conservative women who he has elevated to federal appeals courts as contenders, a move that would tip the court further to the right.

Trump, who now has a chance to nominate a third justice to a lifetime appointment on the court, named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.

He praised Lagoa, in particular, as an ‘extraordinary person’.  

GOP Sen. Tom Tillis (center) holds a sign as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, September 19 in Fayetteville, North Carolina

GOP Sen. Tom Tillis (center) holds a sign as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, September 19 in Fayetteville, North Carolina

GOP Sen. Tom Tillis (center) holds a sign as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, September 19 in Fayetteville, North Carolina

Lest there be any questions about the political implications, Trump is expected to make his choice in a matter of days. Those close to the president are encouraging him to announce his pick before the first presidential debate against Democratic challenger Joe Biden on September 29.

Biden said the winner of the November election should choose the next justice. Biden’s team is skeptical that the Supreme Court clash will fundamentally change the contours of a race Trump was trailing so close to Election Day. Indeed, five states are already voting.

In fact, Democrats say it could motivate voters to fight harder against Trump and Republicans as the Senate breaks the norms with an unprecedented confirmation at a time when Americans are deciding crucial elections.

‘Everything Americans value is at stake,’ Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democratic senators on a conference call Saturday, according to a person who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private call and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Biden is not planning to release a full list of potential court nominees, according to a top aide, because it would further politicize the process. The aide was not authorized to publicly discuss private deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Biden’s team suggests that the court fight will heighten the focus on issues that were already at stake in the election: health care, environmental protections, gender equity and abortion.

Who is Amy Coney Barrett? 

33383750 8754441 image a 9 1600667838497

33383750 8754441 image a 9 1600667838497

On Saturday afternoon, Trump named Amy Coney Barrett, 48, of the Chicago-based 7th Circuit and Barbara Lagoa, 52, of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit as possible nominees.

Emerging as the favorite is Barrett, 48, a mother of seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and one with special needs.

 Her involvement in a cult-like Catholic group where members are assigned a ‘handmaiden’ has caused concern in Barret’s nomination to other courts and is set to come under fierce review again if she is Trump’s pick.

The group was the one which helped inspire ‘The Handmaids Tale’, book’s author Margaret Atwood has said. 

Barrett emerges now as a front runner after she was already shortlisted for the nomination in 2018 which eventually went to Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump called the federal appellate court judge ‘very highly respected’ when questioned about her Saturday. 

Born in New Orleans in 1972, she was the first and only woman to occupy an Indiana seat on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Married to Jesse M. Barrett, a partner at SouthBank Legal in South Bend and former Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, the couple have five biological and two adopted children. 

Their youngest biological child has Down Syndrome.

Friends say she is a devoted mother – and say with just an hour to go until she was voted into the 7th District Court of Appeals by the U.S. Senate in 2017, Barrett was outside trick-or-treating with her kids. 

Barrett’s strong Christian ideology makes her a favorite of the right but her involvement in a religious group sometimes branded as a ‘cult’ is set to be harshly criticized.    

In 2017, her affiliation to the small, tightly knit Christian group called People of Praise caused concern while she was a nominee for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. 

The New York Times reported that the practices of the group would surprise even other Catholics with members of the group swearing a lifelong oath of loyalty, called a covenant, to one another. 

They are also assigned and held accountable to a personal adviser, known until recently as a ‘head’ for men and a ‘handmaid’ for women and believe in prophecy, speaking in tongues and divine healings. 

Members are also encouraged to confess personal sins, financial information and other sensitive disclosures to these advisors. 

Advisors are allowed to report these admissions to group leadership if necessary, according to an account of one former member. 

The organization itself says that the term ‘handmaid’ was a reference to Jesus’s mother Mary’s description of herself as a ‘handmaid of the Lord.’

They said they recently stopped using the term due to cultural shifts and now use the name ‘women leaders.’ 

The group deems that husbands are the heads of their wives and should take authority over the family while ‘the heads and handmaids give direction on important decisions, including whom to date or marry, where to live, whether to take a job or buy a home, and how to raise children,’ the Times reported. 

Unmarried members are placed living with married couples members often look to buy or rent homes near other members. 

Founded in 1971, People of Praise was part of the era’s ‘great emergence of lay ministries and lay movements in the Catholic Church,’ founder Bishop Peter Smith told the Catholic News Agency. 

Beginning with just 29 members, it now has an estimated 2,000. 

According to CNA, some former members of the People of Praise allege that leaders exerted undue influence over family decision-making, or pressured the children of members to commit to the group. 

At least 10 members of Barrett’s family, not including their children, also belong to the group. 

Barrett’s father, Mike Coney, serves on the People of Praise’s powerful 11-member board of governors, described as the group’s ‘highest authority.’ 

Her mother Linda served as a handmaiden.  

The group’s ultra-conservative religious tenets helped spur author Margaret Atwood to publish The Handmaid’s Tale, a story about a religious takeover of the U.S. government, according to a 1986 interview with the writer.

The book has since been made into a hit TV series. 

According to legal experts, loyalty oaths such at the one Barrett would have taken to People of Praise could raise legitimate questions about a judicial nominee’s independence and impartiality. 

‘These groups can become so absorbing that it’s difficult for a person to retain individual judgment,’ said Sarah Barringer Gordon, a professor of constitutional law and history at the University of Pennsylvania. 

‘I don’t think it’s discriminatory or hostile to religion to want to learn more’ about her relationship with the group.

‘We don’t try to control people,’ said Craig S. Lent. ‘And there’s never any guarantee that the leader is always right. You have to discern and act in the Lord. 

‘If and when members hold political offices, or judicial offices, or administrative offices, we would certainly not tell them how to discharge their responsibilities.’

During her professional career, Barrett spent two decades as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, from which she holds her bachelor’s and law degrees.

She was named ‘Distinguished Professor of the Year’ three separate years, a title decided by students. 

A former clerk for late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, she was nominated by Trump to serve on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 and confirmed in a 55-43 vote by the Senate later that year.

At the time, three Democratic senators supported her nomination: Joe Donnelly (Ind.), who subsequently lost his 2018 reelection bid, Tim Kaine (Va.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), according to the Hill.

She was backed by every GOP senator at the time, but she did not disclose her relationship with People of Praise which led to later criticism of her appointment. 

Barret is well-regarded by the religious right because of this devout faith.

Yet these beliefs are certain to cause problems with her conformation and stand in opposition to the beliefs of Ginsburg, who she would be replacing.

Axios reported in 2019 that Trump told aides he was ‘saving’ Barrett to replace Ginsburg.

Her deep Catholic faith was cited by Democrats as a large disadvantage during her 2017 confirmation hearing for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

‘If you’re asking whether I take my faith seriously and I’m a faithful Catholic, I am,’ Barrett responded during that hearing, ‘although I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear in the discharge of my duties as a judge.’

Republicans now believe that she performed well in her defense during this hearing, leaving her potentially capable of doing the same if facing the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She is a former member of the Notre Dame’s ‘Faculty for Life’ and in 2015 signed a letter to the Catholic Church affirming the ‘teachings of the Church as truth.’

Among those teachings were the ‘value of human life from conception to natural death’ and marriage-family values ‘founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman’.

She has previously written that Supreme Court precedents are not sacrosanct. Liberals have taken these comments as a threat to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Barrett wrote that she agrees ‘with those who say that a justice’s duty is to the Constitution and that it is thus more legitimate for her to enforce her best understanding of the Constitution rather than a precedent she thinks clearly in conflict with it’.

Among the other statements that have cause concern for liberal are her declaration that ObamaCare’s birth control mandate is ‘grave violation of religious freedom.’

LGBTQ organizations also voiced their concern about her when she was first named on the shortlist.  

She has also sided with Trump on immigration. 

In a case from June 2020, IndyStar reports that she was the sole voice on a three-judge panel that supported allowing federal enforcement of Trump’s public charge immigration law in Illinois, 

The law would have prevented immigrants from getting legal residency in the United States if they rely on public benefits like food stamps or housing vouchers.  

<!—->Advertisement

Who is Barbara Lagoa? 

33383704 8754441 image a 5 1600661941353

33383704 8754441 image a 5 1600661941353

Barbara Lagoa , 52, was named by Trump as one of his potential nominees to the Supreme Court. 

A Cuban American who parents fled to the U.S., Lagoa was born in Miami in 1967. She grew up in the largely Cuban American city of Hialeah.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, her parents fled Cuba over five decades ago when Fidel Castro’s Communist dictatorship took over. 

During the 2019 news conference in Miami announcing her appointment to the Supreme Court, she told the crowd that her father had to give up his ‘dream of becoming a lawyer’ because of Castro. 

If nominated to the nation’s high court by Trump and confirmed by the Senate, the mother of three daughters would be the second Latino justice to ever serve.

She served on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for less than a year after being appointed by Trump and confirmed by the Senate on an 80-15 vote

Prior to that she also spent less than a year in her previous position as the first Latina and Cuban American to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.

Lagoa is considered a protégé of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close Trump ally.

Her position in crucial swing state Florida could help Trump politically.

Last week, she voted in the majority in a ruling that barred hundreds of thousands of Florida felons who have served their time from voting unless they pay fees and fines owed to the state.

This decision could have a major impact on the presidential race as Florida is often won by a candidate by only razor-thin margins.

‘Florida’s felon re-enfranchisement scheme is constitutional,’ Lagoa wrote in a 20-page concurrence, according to USA Today.

‘It falls to the citizens of the state of Florida and their elected state legislators, not to federal judges, to make any additional changes to it.’

In 2000 Lagoa was one of a dozen mostly pro bono lawyers who represented the Miami family of Elián González, a Cuban citizen who became embroiled in a heated international custody and immigration controversy.

In 2016 while in the Florida Third District Court of Appeal, she wrote an opinion reversing the conviction of Adonis Losada, a former Univision comic actor sentenced to 153 years in prison for collecting child porn. 

She ruled that a Miami-Dade judge erred in not allowing Losada to defend himself at trial. 

That same month she became unpopular with free press advocates when she was one of three judges who allowed a Miami judge to close a courtroom to the public for a key hearing in a high-profile murder case. 

They ruled that publicity surrounding the machete murder of a student in Homestead might unfairly sway jurors at a future trial. 

Lagoa is a graduate of Florida International University and Columbia University Law.

She is is a member of the conservative Federalist Society, which stresses that judges should ‘say what the law is, not what it should be.’

She is married to lawyer Paul C. Huck Jr., and her father-in-law is United States District Judge Paul Huck. 

<!—->Advertisement

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

Secretive snow leopard cub slinks up to a camera trap, sniffs it then disables it in Russia

Published

on

By

secretive snow leopard cub slinks up to a camera trap sniffs it then disables it in russia

A secretive snow leopard cub is seen butting an intrusive camera trap in its remote habitat in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia.

The powerful animals are rarely seen – and the kitten apparently likes it this way.

A video shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs. 

However, one cub approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens. 

A video of snow leopards in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia shows one young cub disabling the camera trap set up to monitor the rare animals

A video of snow leopards in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia shows one young cub disabling the camera trap set up to monitor the rare animals

A video of snow leopards in the Altai Mountains of southern Russia shows one young cub disabling the camera trap set up to monitor the rare animals

The bold young leopard pokes its face into the camera, apparently disabling the prying lens.

The rare footage of the family is from the Chikhachev mountain ridge close to Russia’s state border with Mongolia.

At least eight rare cats have been identified on this ridge, including the snow leopard patriarch of the area, a 13-year-old called Khorgai.

Footage shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs (pictured)

Footage shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs (pictured)

Footage shows the mother, Guta, walking past the camera followed by two of her cubs (pictured)

One brave cub approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens and manages to disable the camera

One brave cub approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens and manages to disable the camera

One brave cub approaches the camera, putting its face right up close to the lens and manages to disable the camera

Experts from the World Wide Fund [WWF] for Nature are seeking to undertake a census of the species in this area.

‘WWF Russia and WWF Mongolia have joined forces to establish the exact number of snow leopards in the frontier zone of the two countries,’ said Alexander Karnaukhov, senior coordinator in the Altai-Sayan region.

It is unknown exactly how many snow leopards there are in Russia but a previous WWF census counted 61 snow leopards, including 23 cubs and 38 adult individuals.

Snow leopards are no longer classified as ‘endangered’ but their conservation status is now ‘vulnerable’, meaning they are still at risk of extinction. 

Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, and the cubs are generally born in April to June

Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, and the cubs are generally born in April to June

Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, and the cubs are generally born in April to June

Scientists say the rare animals are threatened by poaching for their fur, illegal snares and even climate change.

There is a global population of at least 4,700 snow leopards in the wild and their habitat covers more than 600,000 square miles, across 12 countries. 

Snow leopards have a gestation period of 90 to 100 days, with the cubs generally born in April to June.  

The litter sizes vary from one to five cubs.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Latest Stories

Welsh towns including Newport and Merthyr Tydfil are plunged into lockdown

Published

on

By

welsh towns including newport and merthyr tydfil are plunged into lockdown

The areas of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent will be placed under a local lockdown following an increase of coronavirus cases, the Welsh Government has announced.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said there had been a ‘worrying and rapid rise’ in cases of Covid-19 in the four areas in south Wales. 

Pubs and bars have been ordered to close by 11pm and meeting people from outside your own household is now banned.

More than 850,000 people in South Wales are now affected by the changes following a spike in cases.

Health minister Vaughan Gething (pictured) said there had been a 'worrying and rapid rise' in cases of Covid-19 in the four areas

Health minister Vaughan Gething (pictured) said there had been a 'worrying and rapid rise' in cases of Covid-19 in the four areas

Health minister Vaughan Gething (pictured) said there had been a ‘worrying and rapid rise’ in cases of Covid-19 in the four areas

The town of Bridgend (pictured) is one of the areas that will go into a local lockdown

The town of Bridgend (pictured) is one of the areas that will go into a local lockdown

The town of Bridgend (pictured) is one of the areas that will go into a local lockdown

Cars at a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Ebbw Vale in Wales. New coronavirus lockdown restrictions will come into force

Cars at a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Ebbw Vale in Wales. New coronavirus lockdown restrictions will come into force

Cars at a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Ebbw Vale in Wales. New coronavirus lockdown restrictions will come into force

All licensed premises will have to close at 11pm.

Mr Gething said many of the coronavirus cases had been linked to people socialising indoors without physical distancing.

‘We are seeing evidence of coronavirus spreading,’ Mr Gething told a press conference in Cardiff.

‘We need to take action to control and, ultimately, reduce its spread and protect people’s health.

‘It’s always a difficult decision to introduce restrictions but coronavirus has not gone away – it is still circulating in communities across Wales and, as we are seeing in parts of South Wales, small clusters can quickly cause real issues in local communities.’

The Welsh Government will call an urgent meeting of all local authority, health board and police forces from Bridgend to the English border on Tuesday.

People on the high street in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, which will be one of the next areas to have a local lockdown

People on the high street in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, which will be one of the next areas to have a local lockdown

People on the high street in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, which will be one of the next areas to have a local lockdown

33403014 8755687 image a 22 1600689664620

33403014 8755687 image a 22 1600689664620

33403034 8755687 image a 24 1600689668852

33403034 8755687 image a 24 1600689668852

This will discuss ‘the wider situation in south Wales and whether further measures are needed across the region’, the government said.

Last week, Caerphilly county borough and Rhondda Cynon Taf were also placed under local lockdown. 

It comes just hours after the Sir Patrick Vallance said the UK could see 200 or more deaths per day by mid-November if the current rate of infection is not halted, 

The Government’s chief scientific adviser said the ‘vast majority of the population remain susceptible’ to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.

He added that if current infection rates continue, the UK could see around 50,000 cases a day by the middle of October.

It comes as ministers make final decisions on what national measures are needed to tackle rising cases, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock strongly hinting that separate households could be prevented from mixing.

In the first televised address alongside England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty that was not attended by politicians, Sir Patrick said there was ‘no doubt’ the UK was seeing increasing cases of Covid-19 among all age groups.

He said it was ‘not a prediction’, but the current doubling of cases every seven days could lead to a dramatic rise in hospitalisations and deaths.

In mid-September, around 3,000 new cases were recorded every day in the UK, he said.

Sir Patrick Vallance today warned the UK could face 50,000 new coronavirus cases by mid-October if the spread of the disease is not curtailed. He is pictured alongside Professor Chris Whitty in Downing Street this morning

Sir Patrick Vallance today warned the UK could face 50,000 new coronavirus cases by mid-October if the spread of the disease is not curtailed. He is pictured alongside Professor Chris Whitty in Downing Street this morning

Sir Patrick Vallance today warned the UK could face 50,000 new coronavirus cases by mid-October if the spread of the disease is not curtailed. He is pictured alongside Professor Chris Whitty in Downing Street this morning 

Official Downing Street slides showed that if the current rate of infection continues there could be 50,000 coronavirus cases every day by the middle of October and that could lead to 200 plus deaths a day by the middle of November

Official Downing Street slides showed that if the current rate of infection continues there could be 50,000 coronavirus cases every day by the middle of October and that could lead to 200 plus deaths a day by the middle of November

Official Downing Street slides showed that if the current rate of infection continues there could be 50,000 coronavirus cases every day by the middle of October and that could lead to 200 plus deaths a day by the middle of November 

‘If – and that’s quite a big if – but if that continues unabated and this grows, doubling every seven days, then what you see, of course, let’s say there were 5,000 today, it would be 10,000 next week, 20,000 the week after, 40,000 the week after, and you can see that by mid-October, if that continued, you would end up with something like 50,000 cases in the middle of October, per day.’

He said the ‘50,000 cases per day would be expected to lead a month later, so the middle of November, say, to 200-plus deaths per day.

‘The challenge therefore is to make sure the doubling time does not stay at seven days.’

Sir Patrick said it was not the case that the rise in coronavirus in the UK was down to more testing being carried out.

‘Could that increase be due to increased testing? The answer is no. We see an increase in positivity of the tests done – so we see the proportion of people testing positive has increased, even if testing stays flat.’

Prof Whitty hinted that curbs to social lives were needed to prevent coronavirus spiralling out of control, saying there was a need to ‘break unnecessary links’ between households and a need to ‘change course’.

The map of the UK on the left shows spikes in cases in the north west of England but cases are increasing almost across the board

The map of the UK on the left shows spikes in cases in the north west of England but cases are increasing almost across the board

The map of the UK on the left shows spikes in cases in the north west of England but cases are increasing almost across the board

He said there were four things to do – washing hands and using masks, quarantine measures, and investing in vaccines and drugs.

‘The third one, and in many ways the most difficult, is that we have to break unnecessary links between households because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted,’ he said.

‘And this means reducing social contacts whether they are at work, and this is where we have enormous gratitude to all the businesses for example who have worked so hard to make their environments Covid-secure to reduce the risk, and also in social environments.

‘We all know we cannot do this without some significant downsides.

‘This is a balance of risk between if we don’t do enough the virus will take off – and at the moment that is the path we’re clearly on – and if we do not change course we are going to find ourselves in a very difficult problem.’

Prof Whitty warned the country should be braced for a tough winter, adding that colder months were known to benefit respiratory viruses.

‘So we should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively, it’s not indefinite,’ he said.

Mortality rates from Covid-19 were ‘significantly greater’ than seasonal flu, which killed around 7,000 annually or 20,000 in a bad year, he added.

He suggested that science would eventually ‘ride to our rescue’ but ‘in this period of the next six months, I think we have to realise that we have to take this collectively, very seriously’.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is expected to hold a press conference on Tuesday, spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what steps should be taken next.

Mr Hancock said on Monday that final decisions were still being made but hinted at curbs to households socialising.

He told ITV’s This Morning: ‘I think the main thing in terms of what we learnt is that where people catch the disease tends to be in social settings, people coming around to your house, or you going out and socialising essentially.

‘We’ve seen relatively few cases caught through schools and relatively few through people at work.’

He said the Government was ‘determined’ to keep schools open, adding: ‘The evidence is that schools aren’t where a lot of transmission happens, it’s more about people socialising.’

Asked by presenter Phillip Schofield if people would be ‘locked down in our own homes socially’, Mr Hancock said: ‘Well there are already parts of the country where, sadly, there are measures in place to say you shouldn’t socialise with people in your household.’

Mr Hancock said he wanted Christmas to be ‘as normal as possible’, adding: ‘It depends how much we can control it now.

‘If this runs out of control now, then we’ll have to take heavier measures in the future.

‘The more we can control it now by everybody doing that bit, including us – absolutely – but everybody together, then the easier it is going to be to have as normal a Christmas as possible.’

On the possibility of a vaccine, Mr Hancock said: ‘For the mass rollout we’re talking about the first bit of next year, if all goes well.’

He said there was a chance it would ‘come on stream before Christmas’ but said the most vulnerable – such as those in care homes and older age groups – would get it first.

Mr Hancock also dismissed as ‘completely overblown’ reports of rifts within Government between himself and Chancellor Rishi Sunak over the response to coronavirus and whether health risks or the economy should be prioritised.

Powered by: Daily Mail

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.