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Longtime anti-abortion rights Democratic Rep. Lipinski defeated in Chicago-area primary

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WASHINGTON — Anti-abortion rights Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski was ousted Tuesday night by progressive challenger Marie Newman in a high-profile primary in Illinois, giving liberals a glimmer of hope in what otherwise has been a dispiriting election year for them.

Lipinski had successfully fought back numerous challenges on his left flank, including one from Newman in 2018. But he finally succumbed Tuesday when The Associated Press called the rematch for Newman, who garnered 47 percent of the vote to Lipinski’s 45 percent, with two lesser-known candidates splitting the rest.

Lipinski, who in 2005 inherited his Chicago-area seat from his father, longtime former Rep. Bill Lipinski, has drawn the ire of a wide range of progressive groups for his votes and policy statements on abortion, health care and other issues.

That includes groups not known for rocking the boat too much in intraparty fights, such as the Sierra Club and Emily’s List, which joined with left-wing activists like the Justice Democrats to help topple the lawmaker. That group recruited Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in supporting Newman.

A long list of prominent lawmakers also backed Newman, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, maintained its support for Lipinski.

Marie Newman campaigns in Chicago on March 9, 2020.Charles Rex Arbogast / AP file

Lipinski, who had for months treated the threat cavalierly in public statements, was not ready to concede the race late Tuesday night.

“As we close this evening, there are still votes to be counted in this race. It is very close. We may have to wait overnight or into the morning for the final vote count,” he said in a statement to supporters provided by a spokesperson.

For the progressive movement, the outcome is a much-needed victory in what has otherwise been a disappointing election cycle so far.

The movement headed into 2020 with the wind at its back and thinking Sanders or Warren might capture the Democratic nomination and the White House. But Democratic voters’ fear of Presidential Donald Trump and emphasis on electability put them in no mood to “dream big, fight hard,” as Warren’s slogan demanded, and they instead appear to have rallied behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who easily carried Illinois on Tuesday.

“Marie Newman’s primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic Party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality and the fight for economic justice,” Yvette Simpson, CEO of the liberal group Democracy for America, said. “We can’t wait to fight alongside her for “Medicare for All,” a Green New Deal, and robust criminal justice reform through November and beyond.”



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Britons furious as Barnier offers Remainers two-year Brexit delay – ‘Get us out!’

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BRITONS have reacted with fury after Michel Barnier suggested a two-year Brexit delay in a letter to opposition leaders.

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Senators sound alarm over coronavirus in juvenile detention facilities

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A group of senators is pressing the Department of Justice to explain what it’s doing to protect youth in juvenile detention facilities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the senators raised concerns that parents of incarcerated youth in several states are not receiving information about their child’s health, or being told about the spread of the coronavirus in these facilities. The senators requested that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the Justice Department, publicly disclose the measures it has taken to ensure the health and safety of youth in detention during the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 thrives in juvenile detention facilities, where communal living arrangements make it difficult or impossible to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended public health measures such as maintaining social distance, self-isolating, and using personal protective equipment,” the senators state, later adding: “Because the majority of youth in detention are black or Hispanic, the spread of COVID-19 within juvenile detention may further perpetuate the disparate impact of the virus along racial and ethnic lines.”

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

The letter, organized by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asks for a response by June 12 to a list of detailed questions. The group includes 11 other Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Physicians, epidemiologists, defense attorneys, advocates for youth and parents nationwide have issued multiple calls for the release of children held in juvenile detention facilities in recent months.

While children are generally less likely to have severe reactions to the coronavirus, the disease poses a higher risk for people with underlying health issues, and youth in detention are more likely to have those conditions. Additionally, experts warn, children can spread the virus to the adult staff who then might take it home.

As of May 26, there are at least 488 youth and 580 staff in juvenile detention facilities who have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. However, this is an incomplete accounting and is highly dependent on what state and local officials decide to release.

Juvenile detention facilities are controlled at the local level — either by city, county or state governments — and releases can be subject to approval by a judge.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is set up to help local governments improve their juvenile justice systems and provides grants to states. The group of senators wants the office to disclose how many COVID-19 cases there are among the youth and staff of these grantees.

The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Brexiteers fear 'Frost is next!' Conspiracy claims over Cummings sack demands

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DEMANDS for Dominic Cummings to be sacked have sparked concern of a Remainer plot among Brexiteers – with some even worried the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost could be targeted next.

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