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SPLASH! News for April 19, 2017

Dive Into the News of the Day

Kiran Opal

SPLASH! News

Florida State Senator Drops Racist, Profanity-laden Rant on Colleagues

HuffPo – Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) went on a racist, profanity-laden tirade Monday night, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

The vulgar rant reportedly occurred during a private conversation over drinks Monday at a members-only club in Tallahassee, two senators told the publication. Artiles was speaking with fellow state Sens. Audrey Gibson (D) and Perry Thurston (D), who are both black, when he said that “six n****rs” had helped get Senate President Joe Negron (R) elected. Negron is white.

Also upset about a recent discussion surrounding a bill he sponsored, Artiles referred to Gibson as “this fucking asshole,” “this bitch” and “girl,” the senators told Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei. And he called Negron a

Democrat Falls Short of 50% In Georgia Election

the Guardian – Democrat Jon Ossoff will compete in a runoff in a traditionally Republican congressional district in suburban Atlanta, after falling just short of the majority threshold needed to win outright in a special election on Tuesday.

With 88% of precincts reporting, the 30-year-old had 48.3% of the vote. He will face Republican opponent Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, on 20 June, after Handel finished second in a chaotic 18-candidate field.

In a speech just before midnight, Ossoff painted his performance as a victory, saying: “We may not know the outcome for some time but let me tell you this, there is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages.”

Africans Wary of US Travel After Series of Border Denials

CNN – Real estate businessman Femi Olaniyi traveled to Los Angeles on February 21 with a two-year multiple entry visa. He says the experience proved to be an ordeal.

“When I got to the point of entry at Los Angeles Airport, an immigration officer interrogated me,” he told CNN. “He said I should come for biometric (tests) to check whether I have any criminal offense. I told him that I’m not a criminal and that he should go ahead.”

“Later, he brought some documents for me to sign and I told him that I would need to read before I sign. He quickly withdrew the document and put me in a cold cell. From there he held me for four days. He collected all my phones so that I would not get access to my family. He later revoked my visa and sent me back to Nigeria.”

Arkansas Inmates Set to Die On Thursday Are Claiming Innocence

TIME – Lawyers for Arkansas inmates condemned to die Thursday in a planned double execution are claiming they are innocent and one of them says advanced DNA techniques could show he didn’t kill a woman in 1993.

Their strategy to win stays of execution is in marked contrast to the first two inmates who faced the death chamber in Arkansas and were spared Monday by arguing they should not be put to death because of mental health issues.

Arkansas officials are vowing to press ahead with the Thursday executions despite the setback to plans to resume capital punishment after a 12-year hiatus.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson originally set out an aggressive schedule of eight lethal injections in 11 days that would have marked the most inmates put to death by a state in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The state set such a compressed schedule because its supply of one of the lethal injection drugs expires at the end of April.

What Trump’s H-1B Visa EO Actually Does

VOX – President Trump likes to say that he doesn’t want to announce in advance when he’s going to launch an attack. But on Tuesday, he signed an executive order that did just that.

While on a visit to the headquarters of Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the president ordered an interdepartmental review of the H-1B visa program, which allows companies to bring “skilled” foreign workers to fill jobs in the US for a few years. Administration officials have made it clear that “review” means they expect Cabinet officials to suggest changes to the program — either by way of regulation or by asking Congress to pass a bill — in the name of better protecting American workers.

In Kenosha, Trump drew a bright line on the H-1B visa: It “should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers.”

Written by Pamela Getz

Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is a Senior Writer for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News for April 19, 2017