012119-AFP_1CH0K5

012119-AFP_1CH0K5

WASHINGTON — A suburban Montreal high school is leading the cheers north of the border for graduate Kamala Harris, the California senator and former prosecutor who confirmed Monday she’s seeking to become the first black woman elected president of the United States.

“Run Kamala Run!!” Westmount High School’s social-media feeds gushed after Harris confirmed what much of the rest of the U.S. had assumed: she plans on being the Democrat who pries President Donald Trump out of the White House in 2020.

In a memoir Harris describes the heartache of moving from Oakland to chilly Montreal so her mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer researcher, could take a job at McGill University.

“The thought of moving away from sunny California in February, in the middle of the school year, to a French-speaking foreign city covered in 12 feet of snow was distressing, to say the least,” she writes in “The Truth We Hold: an American Journey,” released earlier this month.

Her initial foray into Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a school for native French-speakers, was a challenge: “I used to joke that I felt like a duck, because all day long at our new school I’d be saying, ‘Quoi? Quoi? Quoi?’ ”

By the time she was enrolled at Westmount, Harris had mostly adjusted to her life in Quebec, recalling fondly how her by-then divorced parents both attended her graduation, her mother resplendent in a bright red dress and heels.

“We’re super happy, we’re super proud — we’re always happy when a Westmount grad does well,” said teacher Sabrina Jafralie, whose school counts songwriter Leonard Cohen, former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and prime ministerial spouse Mila Mulroney among its famous alumni.

“I think she’s a role model for all of us. Coming from a great school like Westmount, possibly to the White House, is a great story to tell.”

It’s no accident that Harris, whose mother is from India and father from Jamaica, chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to confirm her plans, which she did during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“My parents were very active in the civil-rights movement, and that’s the language that I grew up hearing,” she said.

“(King) was aspirational like our country is aspirational. We know that we’ve not yet reached those ideals. But our strength is that we fight to reach those ideals … We are a country that, yes, we are flawed, we are not perfect, but we are a great country when we think about the principles upon which we are founded.”

Harris was far from the only Democratic hopeful, declared or otherwise, who was out and about on what would have been the civil-rights leader’s 90th birthday — evidence that thorny issues of race, gender and ethnic tensions will be prominent in the coming primary battles among an already dense and growing field of candidates.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2016 challenger to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, attended a church service and a rally Monday in South Carolina, where he fell short two years ago and will need support from black voters to contend again.

In this Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, photo demonstrators hold posters of Kamala Harris 2020 during the Women’s March in Los Angeles. Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday, Jan. 21.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

“It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a president of the United States who is a racist,” Sanders told rallygoers.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both in the race, also attended public MLK events, as did a number of other “maybe” names, including former vice-president and presumptive front-runner Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gillibrand said “white women like me” must share the burden of fighting for equality. Warren offered a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote. And Biden, who lingered on his close relationship with former boss Barack Obama, lamented his support for a crime bill in 1994 that imposed harsher sentences for crack-cocaine possession.

Harris, too, faces tough questions on issues of justice.

As a California district attorney and later as the state’s attorney general, Harris frequently opposed or ignored criminal justice reform measures aimed at levelling a playing field critics say is unfairly tilted against black defendants, the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent wrote last week in the New York Times.

During a question-and-answer session at Howard University in Washington, Harris acknowledged having regrets about some decisions during her tenure. But her office also introduced a number of initiatives to address racial profiling and bias in law enforcement, as well as sentencing reforms, she said.

“Instead of deciding either you’re soft on crime or tough on crime, let’s understand that if we’re going to be smart with the taxpayer’s dollars, let’s get people out of the system instead of cycling through the revolving door of jail,” she said. “One of my biggest regrets is that I’ve not had more time to do more, but it’s my intention to keep fighting for it.”

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By The Wall of Law January 22, 2019 Off

012119-AFP_1CH0K5

012119-AFP_1CH0K5

WASHINGTON — A suburban Montreal high school is leading the cheers north of the border for graduate Kamala Harris, the California senator and former prosecutor who confirmed Monday she’s seeking to become the first black woman elected president of the United States.

“Run Kamala Run!!” Westmount High School’s social-media feeds gushed after Harris confirmed what much of the rest of the U.S. had assumed: she plans on being the Democrat who pries President Donald Trump out of the White House in 2020.

In a memoir Harris describes the heartache of moving from Oakland to chilly Montreal so her mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer researcher, could take a job at McGill University.

“The thought of moving away from sunny California in February, in the middle of the school year, to a French-speaking foreign city covered in 12 feet of snow was distressing, to say the least,” she writes in “The Truth We Hold: an American Journey,” released earlier this month.

Her initial foray into Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a school for native French-speakers, was a challenge: “I used to joke that I felt like a duck, because all day long at our new school I’d be saying, ‘Quoi? Quoi? Quoi?’ ”

By the time she was enrolled at Westmount, Harris had mostly adjusted to her life in Quebec, recalling fondly how her by-then divorced parents both attended her graduation, her mother resplendent in a bright red dress and heels.

“We’re super happy, we’re super proud — we’re always happy when a Westmount grad does well,” said teacher Sabrina Jafralie, whose school counts songwriter Leonard Cohen, former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and prime ministerial spouse Mila Mulroney among its famous alumni.

“I think she’s a role model for all of us. Coming from a great school like Westmount, possibly to the White House, is a great story to tell.”

It’s no accident that Harris, whose mother is from India and father from Jamaica, chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to confirm her plans, which she did during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“My parents were very active in the civil-rights movement, and that’s the language that I grew up hearing,” she said.

“(King) was aspirational like our country is aspirational. We know that we’ve not yet reached those ideals. But our strength is that we fight to reach those ideals … We are a country that, yes, we are flawed, we are not perfect, but we are a great country when we think about the principles upon which we are founded.”

Harris was far from the only Democratic hopeful, declared or otherwise, who was out and about on what would have been the civil-rights leader’s 90th birthday — evidence that thorny issues of race, gender and ethnic tensions will be prominent in the coming primary battles among an already dense and growing field of candidates.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2016 challenger to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, attended a church service and a rally Monday in South Carolina, where he fell short two years ago and will need support from black voters to contend again.

In this Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, photo demonstrators hold posters of Kamala Harris 2020 during the Women’s March in Los Angeles. Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday, Jan. 21.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

“It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a president of the United States who is a racist,” Sanders told rallygoers.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both in the race, also attended public MLK events, as did a number of other “maybe” names, including former vice-president and presumptive front-runner Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gillibrand said “white women like me” must share the burden of fighting for equality. Warren offered a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote. And Biden, who lingered on his close relationship with former boss Barack Obama, lamented his support for a crime bill in 1994 that imposed harsher sentences for crack-cocaine possession.

Harris, too, faces tough questions on issues of justice.

As a California district attorney and later as the state’s attorney general, Harris frequently opposed or ignored criminal justice reform measures aimed at levelling a playing field critics say is unfairly tilted against black defendants, the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent wrote last week in the New York Times.

During a question-and-answer session at Howard University in Washington, Harris acknowledged having regrets about some decisions during her tenure. But her office also introduced a number of initiatives to address racial profiling and bias in law enforcement, as well as sentencing reforms, she said.

“Instead of deciding either you’re soft on crime or tough on crime, let’s understand that if we’re going to be smart with the taxpayer’s dollars, let’s get people out of the system instead of cycling through the revolving door of jail,” she said. “One of my biggest regrets is that I’ve not had more time to do more, but it’s my intention to keep fighting for it.”

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By The Wall of Law January 22, 2019 Off

Trudeau Says Conservatives ‘Pretend To Be For The People’ In Campaign-Style Speech To Caucus

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses his national caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Jan. 20, 2019.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sharpened his core re-election message on Sunday, telling his MPs to present a positive message to Canadians while he branded his Conservative opponents as a detached party of the elite.

The prime minister delivered a campaign-style speech at the start of a two-day Liberal caucus retreat on Parliament Hill, characterizing his party as a beacon of hope for Canadians in a world of upheaval. At the same time, Trudeau attacked the opposition Conservatives as a party rooted in the past and mired in the divisiveness of its former leader, Stephen Harper.

While the prime minister wielded political attacks against Harper and current Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, the message to rank-and-file MPs in the four-hour, closed-door meeting was to keep it positive in their ridings, insiders said.

Watch: Highlights from Trudeau’s remarks to his caucus

The MPs discussed the strategy for the federal election in October, where the “importance of a positive message and not personal attacks” was stressed to “contrast with the opposition,” one source said.

Much like the party’s successful “sunny ways” strategy in 2015, this year’s campaign will be “all about positive politics,” Health Minister Ginette Petipas-Taylor said after the meeting.

“Our caucus is going to be engaged in making sure that Canadians are aware of the good work that we’ve done, and also that we want to continue to meet the needs of all Canadians.”

Trudeau used his speech to tell his MPs to stay focused on helping Canadians at home in this coming election year, despite the anxiety created by global turbulence.

He referred to the China-U.S. trade war and the pending Brexit divorce of Britain and Europe, as well as the threat of climate change and the economic upheaval of lost jobs to artificial intelligence.

Make no mistake: The Conservatives pretend to be ‘for the people,’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is still very much the party of Stephen Harper.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

But Trudeau avoided mention of the other woes that have undercut his government’s attempts to grow the economy and diversify trade, including the wide gulf in relations with China, and uncertainty about moving forward with Canada’s top ally and trading partner — the Trump protectionists in Washington.

Trudeau took several partisan shots at the Conservatives, saying they have no plan for tackling climate change and the economy, while citing Liberal gains in lowering taxes and unemployment. The prime minister singled out the Canada Child Benefit as a boon to working families.

He accused the Conservatives of voting against several of his government’s initiatives in an effort to “protect the wealthy, the well-connected, and the powerful,” at the expense of working Canadians — even referencing a campaign slogan used by conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“Make no mistake: The Conservatives pretend to be ‘for the people,’ but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is still very much the party of Stephen Harper,” Trudeau said.

“We have sent a clear signal to the rest of the world — Canadians are ready to work and Canada is best place to do business.”

Former Treasury Board president Scott Brison sits with Finance Minister Bill Morneau during a Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Jan. 20, 2019.

But Trudeau did not mention Canada’s personal list of international woes, including its plummeting relations with China after the RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1 at the behest of the United States.

Days later, China detained Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested on vague allegations of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security.” A third imprisoned Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, received a death sentence last week on drug charges in a sudden retrial.

“People across the country — and really, around the world — are anxious about what they see happening on the news, and in their communities,” Trudeau said.

“The world’s two largest economies are at odds, and our founding European nations are going through unprecedented political turmoil.”

Trudeau also id not mention the uncertainty surrounding the unfinished economic business with the Trump administration in Washington. This includes ratifying a newly renegotiated North American free trade agreement and getting rid of punishing U.S. sanctions on Canadian steel and aluminum.

More from HuffPost Canada:

Those international headaches could make it more difficult for the Trudeau Liberals to keep the focus on domestic concerns as they navigate their way through an election year.

Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he expects to spend a lot of time travelling the country in the coming months, attempting to deliver on government promises to fund thousands of projects to ease public transport gridlock, “green” the economy, and extend growth to less populated communities.

“This is about governing. It’s not about campaigning,” Champagne said, brushing aside suggestions the infrastructure rollout has been too slow.

Liberal MP William Amos, whose West Quebec riding of Pontiac is two-thirds rural, said his constituents are “impressed by what they’ve seen so far” from the government.

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By The Wall of Law January 22, 2019 Off

Cyprus: 2 men missing with baby they allegedly bought

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriot police say they are seeking two men who are missing with a baby girl that they allegedly tried to adopt after a domestic worker purchased the child in the Philippines on their behalf.

Police said Monday the two men, a Greek Cypriot man and a foreign national who are believed to be a couple, face charges including people trafficking, conspiracy and forgery.

Police said the female domestic worker — who had worked for the Greek Cypriot man’s father — had brought the baby back to Cyprus pretending it was hers.

The woman is in custody, but the baby is believed to be with the couple, who have so far evaded arrest.

The Associated Press

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By The Wall of Law January 21, 2019 Off

brad-pitt-new-love-charlize-theron-feud-with-angelina-jolie-pp-

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Brad Pitt’s new love Charlize Theron has been involved in a long-running feud with Angelina Jolie.

Pitt, 55, and Theron, 42, have been getting closer to one another over the awards season after being introduced by her former fiance Sean Penn.

However, Jolie, 43, will not be happy about hearing of her estranged husband’s new romance.

RadarOnline.com previously reported that the pair have been “feuding for years” over film roles and can’t stand each other.

Their disagreements started after Jolie was “stalling on committing to a ‘Bride Of Frankenstein’ remake” just to frustrate the Theron.

Radar reported Jolie was “stringing Theron along, refusing to commit to the project, and denying the star the opportunity to accept other roles, as she awaits a decision.”

The source said: “Angie hasn’t made a deal with Universal to do their next monster flick, but the offer’s still on the table. She could use the $20m paycheck. She seems to enjoy sticking it to Charlize, who wanted to do this film and is convinced Angie stepped in to take it off her.”

This led to the two leads battling out for various roles for several years.

Theron was considered for a part in the remake of “Murder On The Orient Express”, which Jolie at first turned down, but then wanted.

In the end neither of them accepted a role for the film, which was later taken by Michelle Pfeiffer.

Jolie also starred in “The Tourist” after Theron turned it down, according to various sources.

“The hate fest between these two started a long time ago and just won’t stop,” the insider told Radar.

“It’s as though directors are getting a buzz out of playing them against each other, by dangling a script to both of them then leaving them to b—- and slug it out.”

Now Pitt is reportedly romancing South African born beauty Theron that could lead to major complications.

He has endured a bitter divorce with Jolie over the past two years that reportedly was nearing completion this year.

But news of his relationship with Theron could further anger Jolie and halt proceedings.

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By The Wall of Law January 21, 2019 Off