Category: canada/family-law

Call for ‘coercive control’ law to help prevent abuse and events like N.S. mass shooting

The repeated threats and isolation a Nova Scotia mass shooter allegedly used against his spouse show why such cruelty should be a criminal offence in Canada, experts on domestic violence say.

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By The Wall of Law May 25, 2020 Off

‘Coercive control’ law could have helped prevent N.S mass shooting and domestic abuse

The repeated threats and isolation a Nova Scotia mass shooter allegedly used against his spouse show why such cruelty should be a criminal offence in Canada, experts on domestic violence say.

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By The Wall of Law May 25, 2020 Off

Biden aims to move left without abandoning centrist roots

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden worked out deals with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. He defended Vice-President Mike Pence as a “decent guy” and eulogized Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s “fairness, honesty, dignity, respect.”

When he launched his presidential campaign, such overtures to Republicans were central to Biden’s promise to “unify the country” and “restore the soul of the nation” after defeating President Donald Trump.

Now that he’s the presumptive Democratic nominee, Biden is sharpening his tone, still pitching consensus but touting a “bold agenda” aimed at mollifying progressives who remain skeptical he’ll deliver enough on health care, student loan debts and the climate crisis.

The idea is to avoid repeating the party’s 2016 defeat, when Hillary Clinton struggled to unite her moderate supporters and backers of Bernie Sanders. The dynamics are different in 2020, with Democrats united in their antipathy toward Trump. But Biden’s juggling of the left wing along with mainstream Democrats and independents and Republicans disgruntled with Trump could end up as an unsuccessful attempt to be all things to all people.

“It certainly seems like the approach that they’re taking right now is trying to have it both ways,” said Evan Weber, a co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, a climate action youth organization that is among the political groups working with the Biden campaign on policy proposals.

For younger voters, Weber added, “Going too far in the direction of trying to appeal to a moderate narrative or a bipartisan era that most people in our generation have never experienced … is not going to inspire a lot of confidence.”

Republican pollster Whit Ayres countered that Biden’s “sweet spot” is the centre-left.

“You’ve got to run on who you are,” Ayres said. “If he becomes a politician of the left, it’s going to hurt his ability to consolidate the 54% of Americans who voted for someone other than Donald Trump in 2016.”

Biden deflects the risks. Asked whether his recent moves mean he’ll govern as a “progressive,” Biden retorted on CNBC: “I’m going to be Joe Biden. Look at my record.”

Recent interviews and campaign events reveal the nuances Biden hopes can attract support in both directions. “I think health care is a right, not a privilege,” he said on CNBC, espousing an article of faith for the left. But, he added, “I do not support Medicare for All ” single-payer insurance.

Biden embraces some key principles of the Green New Deal sweeping climate plan as paths to “tens of millions of new jobs” but casts as impossible some progressives’ goal of zeroing out carbon pollution over a decade. He’s reaffirmed that he wants Republicans’ 2017 tax cuts repealed for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. But he prefers a 28% corporate tax rate – still lower than what it was before the cuts – and he’s not embraced a “wealth tax” on the fortunes of the richest Americans. He opposes the Keystone XL pipeline while stopping short of backing an outright ban on fracking.

The coronavirus pandemic has influenced Biden’s thinking, as well.

Once a senator who championed a balanced budget amendment, he’s aligned with congressional Democrats pushing trillions of dollars in aid for states, local governments, business and individuals. And, adopting the tenor of erstwhile rivals like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Biden has intensified his calls to rebuild the economy to reflect progressive values, including stamping out income inequalities baked into the pre-pandemic system.

Biden aides say he’s uniquely positioned for a wide “Biden coalition” because voters prioritize experience and temperament, along with policy. The campaign defines his coalition as young, African Americans and Latinos, as well as suburban, college-educated whites, women and those disaffected by Trump.

“We do not have to make a choice between one group or another group in terms of how we are going to win this,” Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said on a recent strategy call.

Campaign co-chairman Cedric Richmond said Biden can stitch together otherwise irreconcilable parts of the electorate for one reason: Trump.

“We have a president now with no discernible political philosophy other than what benefits him,” said Richmond, a Louisiana congressman. “Even people who are not as progressive (as Biden) and people who are more progressive at least like the consistency of knowing what a person believes in.”

Anti-Trump conservatives offer similar sentiments.

“We are living right now … with the damage that can be done when a president is elected and thinks that he only has to answer to his base,” said Jennifer Horn of the Lincoln Project, which has produced online ads to help thwart Trump’s reelection.

Even if Biden prevails in November, governing might prove tougher.

Republicans who dislike Trump – the kind who cut deals with Sen. Biden or Vice-President Biden – aren’t likely to back President Biden’s proposed “public option” health insurance expansion when they’ve never embraced the Affordable Care Act.

The same goes for tax hikes and mega-spending energy packages the fossil fuel industry opposes. And within Biden’s personal base, labour unions whose jobs are anchored in existing energy markets haven’t embraced the sweeping alternatives.

During the primary, Biden told skeptics in his own party he’d work with Republicans “without compromising our values,” but work to “beat them” in the 2022 midterms if that failed.

Meanwhile, Weber, the Sunrise activist, argued that despite Biden’s embrace of some progressive priorities, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”

Tim Miller, a former spokesman for Republican Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and a steadfast member of the GOP’s “Never Trump” faction, said more 2016 voters in decisive battleground states shunned both Trump and Clinton for centre-right alternatives in Libertarian Gary Johnson or Independent Evan McMullen than Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Winning back just that cohort back could be enough to secure Biden to the presidency alone this cycle, he said.

“I do think that there’s a concern that if he oversteps, overemphasizes a pivot to the left that could turn off certain voters who are gettable for him,” Miller said. “That’s going to be a continued tightrope through November.”


Barrow reported from Atlanta.

Will Weissert And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law May 25, 2020 Off

California woman arrested for posting racist notes at homes

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — A woman in the San Francisco Bay Area has been arrested on suspicion of posting handwritten messages at several homes, targeting Asian Americans and suggesting that those not native to the United States should leave the country immediately.

Police in San Leandro, a suburb of 89,000 just south of Oakland, said officers were called to the Heron Bay neighbourhood Friday evening after receiving reports of notes containing “insensitive messages towards minorities” taped to five homes.

“If you are a woman or man and was born in other country, return, go back to your land immediately, fast, with urgency,” the note said. It ended with “One American, white, brave, that serves the Nation or USA is going to live here.”

One resident gave the officers images captured on his doorbell security camera of a woman taping the note, and the officers soon found her in the area, police said in a statement.

Nancy Arechiga, 52, was carrying a backpack containing copies of the same notes, the statement said. She was arrested “for these inappropriate messages that instilled fear and intimidation upon those residents.”

“We welcome people’s rights to express themselves, but not in a manner that infringes upon a community’s sense of security and well-being,” Lt. Isaac Benabou said.

Arechiga was taken to Alameda County jail and booked for investigation of committing a hate crime. She was issued a citation and released from custody, another police official, Lt. Ted Henderson, said.

California has set bail at $0 for low-level crimes and misdemeanours in an effort to keep jails empty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arechiga was told to appear in court, though the date hasn’t been set because of the holiday weekend, he said.

It wasn’t known whether she has retained a lawyer. A phone number listed for Arechiga has been disconnected.

Police were also investigating whether Arechiga was responsible for a similar note found Thursday on a local trail. The note partially read, “no Asians allowed, leave immediately.”

An Asian-American woman told KGO-TV her family was shaken after finding a similar note posted on a tree trunk in the neighbourhood. The woman, who asked not to be named for safety concerns, said “reading this letter sends chills down my spine.”

“Obviously there’s been a spike in attacks against the Asian American community due to this pandemic,” she said. “It’s sad to see that.”

Associated Press, The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law May 24, 2020 Off

White House imposes coronavirus travel ban on Brazil

WASHINGTON — The White House on Sunday broadened its travel ban against countries hard-hit by the coronavirus by denying admission to foreigners who have been in Brazil during the two-week period before they hoped to enter the U.S.

President Donald Trump had already banned travel from the United Kingdom, Europe and China. He said last week that he was considering similar restrictions for Brazil.

The U.S. leads the world in the number of confirmed cases, followed by Brazil, now Latin America’s hardest-hit country. Third on the list is Russia.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany cast Trump’s latest move as one designed to “protect our country.”

The ban on travel from Brazil takes effect late Thursday. As with the other bans, it does not apply to legal permanent residents. A spouse, parent or child of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident also would be allowed to enter the country.

Brazil has reported more than 347,000 COVID-19 cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University count. It also has recorded more than 22,000 deaths, fifth-most in the world.

The U.S. has the highest number of infections, at more than 1.6 million, and has seen more than 97,000 deaths.

Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law May 24, 2020 Off