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National Politics

  • With Alabama's restrictive new abortion law stirring divisions on the right, President Donald Trump is imploring anti-abortion activists to stay united for the 2020 election. Trump says gains by anti-abortion activists will 'rapidly disappear' if, as he put it in a tweet, 'we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one.' Disagreement among Republicans is becoming apparent over Alabama's law, which forbids abortion in almost all circumstances, even in cases of rape and incest. Trump sees Democrats taking advantage of that. Without mentioning Alabama's law, Trump said he supports the right to an abortion when rape or incest is involved or when the life of the woman is stake. Those exceptions to abortion bans are also accepted by many anti-abortion social conservatives, who are an important constituency for Trump.

Local Politics

  • A protest outside the DeKalb County jail turned violent on Wednesday evening after some demonstrators refused to stop blocking traffic along Memorial Drive. Several people were taken to the ground, restrained in plastic handcuffs and loaded into a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office van. It appears that a Taser was used on at least one person. The Atlanta chapter of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an inmate-rights group, organized the protest that began at the Kensington MARTA station. The group, along with anarchist and anti-police-brutality organizations have complained for weeks about what they say are poor and unsafe conditions inside the jail. They claim that inmates are being denied access to healthcare and live in unsanitary conditions, including an ongoing problem with black mold. According to the protesters, inmates who complain face retaliation and abuse. DeKalb Sheriff Jeffrey Mann refutes claims that of human rights violations are occurring at the jail, but he said mold is an issue he is working to address. He offered last week to meet with IWOC representatives, but they declined and said he should hold a forum with current inmates instead. Related |DeKalb Sheriff Mann rebuts claims of unsafe, dirty jail Related | Protests continue over mold, conditions at DeKalb County jail Law enforcement officers initially closed Memorial Drive to allow about 100 protesters to march from the MARTA station to the jail. But the standoff grew intense when demonstrators refused to move to the sidewalk in order to restore the flow of traffic after about 30 minutes. Over 100 law enforcement officers were on scene, including the Georgia State Patrol and DeKalb County Police Department. The arrests happened around 7:35 p.m. After several people were detained, the protest continued without incident for another 90 minutes. Inmates inside the jail could be heard banging on windows to acknowledge the protest, and some drivers of cars stuck in traffic because of the protest honked their horns in support. A similar protest at the jail in April also resulted in arrests after demonstrators pushed their way inside the jail lobby. The Sheriff’s Office said one officer was injured and demonstrators threw firecrackers and smoke bombs. Organizers said they will protest again at the jail on Thursday.

Latest from Jamie Dupree

Georgia Politics

  • If U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is going to win Georgia’s Democratic presidential primary, as he vowed Saturday at his first campaign appearance in the state this cycle, he’s going to need voters like Wade Jackson. Jackson, 40, actually voted for Sanders in 2016 when he won just better than a quarter of the vote against Hillary Clinton. The lopsided result was due largely to Clinton’s overwhelming support from African-American residents. This time around, Jackson, a black Georgia voter, said he’s undecided for now about which Democrat he’ll support. He’s still considering a few of the nearly two dozen Democrats who have entered the presidential race. “People are waiting to see if he is who he says he is,” Jackson said. Coming to Augusta was a good start, he said. “He’s got to come to our communities and ask for our support,” Jackson said. Without them, Sanders doesn’t likely have a chance of winning any of the Southern states, where black voters make up the largest bloc of the Democratic electorate. “He’s done his homework this time,” said Kenneth Sullivan, a 25-year-old African-American voter. The Augusta resident said he noticed black faces everywhere behind the scenes, although there still weren’t many in the crowd of nearly 1,600 people who attended Sanders’ speech at the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre on the shore of the Savannah River. Sanders was introduced by black activist/author Cornel West, who has been front and center in Sanders’ outreach to African-American voters. “This goes far beyond skin pigmentation. It’s not about sexual orientation,” West told the crowd. “It’s about truth.” In his speech, Sanders quoted abolitionist Frederick Douglass and touted his new education plan named after Thurgood Marshall, America’s first black Supreme Court justice. But the centerpiece of his campaign pitch remains economic inequality. “You are living in the wealthiest country in the history of time and you have people working two or three jobs just to get by,” Sanders said. Some of the most expensive homes in Augusta loomed in the background. “For the first time, the younger generation will have a lower standard of living than their parents.” He said proposals he made four years ago that were considered radical at the time now have mainstream support. “I get accused of being radical and extreme. I am not,” he said. “The American people believe in Medicare for all. The American people believe if you work 40 hours a week you should not be living in poverty. The American people think the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.” In 2016, Sanders was criticized by some for focusing almost solely on economic matters at the exclusion of social issues tied to race and gender. But on Saturday, he denounced restrictive new abortion laws passed in Georgia, Alabama and elsewhere and “the broken and racist criminal justice system.” He also leveled sharp broadsides against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and President Donald Trump. “If you don’t have the guts to participate in fair, full and open elections get the hell out of politics,” he said, referencing Georgia’s governor. Then, appealing to a belief among some Democrats that the election was rigged in Kemp’s favor since he served as overseer of the state’s election system while he was campaigning against Democrat Stacey Abrams, Sanders drew his biggest applause of the afternoon when he said, “And I know that Gov. Abrams agrees with me.” Sanders also reached out to Trump voters, saying he understood why many found his message appealing. “You’re worried your job might go to China,” he said. “You’re worried your kid might not be able to afford college.” “Unfortunately, it turns out Donald Trump is a pathological liar and what he told the American people he had no intention of fulfilling,” he said. The choice in 2020, Sanders concluded, was between “an oligarchy, to an even more authoritarian government, with a president who holds the Constitution in disdain.” “I have a better alternative, to bring our people together with an agenda that works for all of us and not just our wealthy campaign contributors,” he said.

News

  • A Mississippi teen is fighting for her life after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Jonestown, Mississippi. >> Read more trending news  Family members said Lamonshae Williams was shot in the stomach during a graduation party overnight. She was rushed to Regional One in critical condition. Williams graduated from Coahoma Early College High School on Saturday. Relatives told FOX13 she graduated sixth in her class.  Another victim who was shot at the scene was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Lamonshae's mother Luetisha Gardner said she is heartbroken about the situation. She told FOX13 that Lamonsha's older sister was killed a few years ago. Jonestown has very limited police coverage, so Coahoma County deputies are currently handling the case. Officers have not identified any suspects at this time. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
  • A year ago, the world watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at Windsor Castle’s historic St. George’s Chapel. Less than a year after their nuptials, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. On Sunday, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary. >> Read more trending news  Harper’s Bazaar reported that the couple has shared behind-the-scenes moments from their big day in an Instagram post on Sussex Royal. Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline The video slideshow begins with a series of black-and-white photos that include images of Markle holding hands with her mother, Doria Ragland, and Prince Harry pretending to hitchhike to his wedding. Audio of “This Little Light of Mine,” which Sussex Royal said was selected by the couple for their recessional, can be heard as the images are displayed. The video slideshow ends in color images of the big day and wedding bells. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also shared a message to supporters, saying, “Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world. Each of you made this day even more meaningful.” Watch the video below.
  • Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College at institution’s Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.  But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019.  >> Read more trending news  “This is my class, and I know my class will pay this forward,” he said. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony. The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning. Tonga Releford, whose son, Charles Releford III, is a member of the class of 2019, estimates that her son’s student loans are around $70,000. “I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith’s gift has been estimated at $40 million. Tonga Releford’s husband, Charles Hereford Jr., is also a Morehouse graduate. He said their younger son, Colin, is a junior at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college. The father said he doesn’t know who the keynote speaker will be at Colin’s graduation ceremony but is hoping for a return performance by Smith.  “Maybe he’ll come back next year,” he said.
  • The creepy, unsettling image of the “Momo challenge” will be coming to the big screen, according to one report. Deadline reported that “Getaway,” a horror film directed by Lilton Stewart III, will follow a group of teens on their last summer vacation before college who end up secluded in a cabin. >> Read more trending news  “In ghost story fashion, one tells the story of the urban legend, MOMO, a strange spirit of a bird-like woman that taunts its victims with specific personal details and violent commands via text message and phone calls,” Deadline reported. “What starts out as a harmless prank soon turns more sinister over the next 24 hours as the teens start disappearing without any motive or pattern.” The urban legend is inspired by the viral internet hoax that made the rounds last year. Related: What is the ‘Momo challenge’ and is it a hoax? Despite endless media coverage and local law enforcement warnings on social media of the supposed internet challenge, there were no verified cases of the “challenge” or people being harmed because of the game. “We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube,”  the video platform said on Twitter in February 2019. “Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”
  • DJ Khaled has released the music video for his single “Higher,” which stars John Legend and the late rapper Nipsey Hussle. The song comes from the producer-DJ’s new album “Father of Asahd.” >> Read more trending news  Billboard reported that the video, directed by Eif Rivera, starts with a tribute to Hussle, who died after he was shot outside his now-shuttered The Marathon Clothing brick-and-mortar store March 31. The video, TMZ reported, is the last one Hussle shot. Behind-the-scenes video obtained by the tabloid site shows Legend, Hussle and Khaled standing on top of a parking structure with a piano and retro cars in shades of blue. Khaled said in a statement Wednesday that the video footage was shot days before Hussle died. Legend reflected on shooting the music video after news broke of Hussle’s death. “Recently, I embarked on a soul-searching journey down a road I never thought I would travel in a million years. It began when a tragedy robbed the world of an enlightened soul, a brother, a father, a partner and my friend, Nipsey Hussle,” the statement said. “Just days prior, he shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called, ‘Higher.’ After much prayer and reflection, and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that moment with the world. “The very title of the song reminds us that vibrating on a ‘Higher; level was the essence of Nipsey’s soul. It is in this spirit, of moving forward, of preserving his mission that I, my co-workers, producers and label partners are donating 100% of all our proceeds from 'Higher' to Nipsey's children, Emani and Kross. “The Marathon Continues.” Watch the music video on YouTube and see a teaser below.
  • Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro and 'Saturday Night Live' cast members took one last jab at President Donald Trump's administration this week in the comedy show's final cold open of the season. In Saturday's sketch, Baldwin's Trump led first lady Melania Trump (Cecily Strong), Vice President Mike Pence (Beck Bennett), White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) and other cast members in a musical number set to the tune of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now.'  >> Click here to watch 'Tonight, I'm gonna have myself a real good time,' Baldwin's Trump crooned from behind his Oval Office desk before the others joined in, one by one, dancing and singing. 'He's a billionaire unless you take a look at his tax returns,' Strong's Melania Trump sang at one point. 'He's gonna hide, hide, hide, oh, there's no showing you.' 'I wanna make a super-straight man out of you,' Bennett's Pence chimed in later. >> Read more trending news  Several other 'SNL' regulars appeared in the sketch, including Kenan Thompson as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Chris Redd as Kanye West, Kate McKinnon as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. and Alex Moffat as Eric Trump. But DeNiro, appearing as special counsel Robert Mueller, nearly put a damper on the celebration. 'Wait a second,' DeNiro's Mueller bellowed. 'I have something very important to say to the American people – something they need to hear.' 'No collusion, no obstruction, so don't stop me now,' Baldwin's Trump interjected as the song resumed. Read more here.