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America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and over 200 Latino artists ‘speak out loudly against hate’

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Actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrera and more than 200 other Latino artists and civil rights leaders on Friday penned a letter of support to the Latino community in the United States after a mass shooting in Texas and immigration raids in Mississippi.

Musicians Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Lin-Manuel Miranda gave their backing to the letter, which called on those outside the Latino community to “speak out loudly against hate.”

“If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone,” said the letter, addressed to the Querida Familia Latina (Dear Latino Family) and published in the New York Times, La Opinion and other newspapers.

The letter followed a shooting targeting Mexican-Americans and Mexicans in the predominantly Latino border city of El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3 that killed 22 people, as well as the arrest of nearly 700 people in immigration raids last week on seven agricultural processing plants in Mississippi.

Both followed accusations that President Donald Trump has stoked racial divisions with his rhetoric and his crackdown on immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico.

“We will not be broken. We will not be silenced. We will continue to denounce any hateful and inhumane treatment of our community. We will demand dignity and justice,” the letter said.

It called on allies of the Latino community to “speak out loudly against hate, to contribute your resources to organizations that support our community, and to hold our leaders accountable.”

Former “Desperate Housewives” star and the executive producer of ABC’s “Grand Hotel” Longoria said in a statement that the U.S. is facing “a moral crisis … and we chose to use this moment to raise our voices and speak up.”

The letter was signed by many of the leading Latino voices and activists in United States, including veteran labor leader Dolores Huerta, novelist Sandra Cisneros and Voto Latino political group president Maria Teresa Kumar.

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'Selfless' Farage is a national hero! Brexit Party leader praised for election plan – poll

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NIGEL FARAGE has been praised after announcing his decision to stand aside in certain constituencies, an Express.co.uk poll has revealed.

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Former Trump official balks at Mulvaney’s bid to join impeachment testimony lawsuit

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WASHINGTON — A former Trump administration official and lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee urged a federal judge Monday to block Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, from joining an existing lawsuit over a subpoena to testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

Mulvaney sought to intervene in a suit filed late last month by Charles Kupperman, President Donald Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, that named both the House and Trump as defendants. Faced with a subpoena to testify before the House and also a letter from the White House counsel instructing him not to do so, Kupperman asked a federal court to rule which command he should obey.

Last week, the House withdrew the subpoena and urged the judge to dismiss the lawsuit as moot. But before Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled on that, Mulvaney asked to intervene in the suit, arguing that he, too, faced the same dilemma. But in seeking to join the case, Mulvaney put himself in the odd position of suing his own boss, even though he claimed to be challenging only the House subpoena.

Both Kupperman and the House told the judge that Mulvaney should file his own case. Kupperman’s lawyers said Kupperman didn’t care which way the judge ruled on whether he should have to comply with a congressional subpoena or should obey the White House order to disregard it. By contrast, they said, Mulvaney has made it clear he wants the judge to rule against the House.

By publicly saying there was a quid pro quo in the phone call, Mulvaney might have already waived, or given up, any claim he has to immunity from the subpoena, Kupperman’s lawyers argued. They added that allowing Mulvaney into the case could bog it down in new issues that would drag the case out, when it was likely to be dismissed because the House withdraw Kupperman’s subpoena.

Because the federal courts are closed for Veterans Day, it was not clear how journalists could cover the hearing.

Judge Leon denied an emergency motion filed by several news organizations, including NBC News, for some way to listen in on the 5 p.m. conference call regarding Mulvaney’s motion to intervene in the Kupperman lawsuit.



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Pentagon official testifies Trump directed freeze on aid to Ukraine

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Laura Cooper, the top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy regarding Ukraine, told House impeachment investigators last month that President Donald Trump directed the relevant agencies to freeze aid to Ukraine over the summer, according to a transcript of her testimony released Monday.

Cooper, during Oct. 23 testimony before the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s Ukraine dealings, testified that she and other Pentagon officials had answered questions about the Ukraine assistance in the middle of June — so she was surprised when one of her subordinates told her that a hold had been placed on the funds after an interagency meeting in July.

“I got, you know, I got a readout from the meeting — there was discussion in that session about the — about OMB [Office of Management and Budget] saying that they were holding the Congressional Notification related to” Ukraine, Cooper testified, according to the transcript.

Cooper, according to the transcript of her testimony, described the hold as “unusual.”

Cooper said that she attended a meeting on July 23, where “this issue” of Trump’s “concerns about Ukraine and Ukraine security assistance” came up. She said the president’s concerns were conveyed by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

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Days later, on July 26, she testified that she found out that both military and humanitarian aid had been impacted.

Asked if the president was authorized to order that type of hold, Cooper said there were concerns that he wasn’t.

“Well, I’m not an expert on the law, but in that meeting immediately deputies began to raise concerns about how this could be done in a legal fashion because there was broad understanding in the meeting that the funding — the State Department funding related to an earmark for Ukraine and that the DOD funding was specific to Ukraine security assistance. So the comments in the room at the deputies’ level reflected a sense that there was not an understanding of how this could legally play out. And at that meeting the deputies agreed to look into the legalities and to look at what was possible,” she said, according to the transcript.

At the next meeting with national security personnel, she said she told attendees “there were two legally available mechanisms should the President want to stop assistance” — a presidential rescission notice to Congress or for the Defense Department to do “a reprogramming action.”

“But I mentioned that either way, there would need to be a notification to Congress,” she said, according to the transcript.

Asked if that happened, Cooper said, “That did not occur.”

Investigators have zeroed in on the testimony of several key figures in the Ukraine affair — including Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state who worked on Ukraine and five other countries — to support the allegation that the Trump administration froze aid intended for Ukraine as part of an attempt to pressure the country to open probes that would benefit Trump politically.

In a statement, the chairs of the three committees leading the inquiry — House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.; and House Oversight Committee acting Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. — said Cooper testified that Trump “through the Office of Management and Budget, directed the freeze on hundreds of millions of dollars of critical military aid for Ukraine, against the judgment of career officials in the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other relevant agencies.”

They also said that she had “raised concerns, as did others on several occasions, to senior U.S. government officials about the legality of withholding the congressionally-authorized money, and the challenges that White House delays would put on spending it.”

Cooper’s testimony was delayed by five hours after a group of House Republicans who don’t sit on the committees that questioned her stormed the secure room where her deposition was taking place.



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