Variability of the Ross Gyre, Southern Ocean: drivers and responses revealed by satellite altimetry

first_imgYear‐round variability in the Ross Gyre (RG), Antarctica, during 2011‐2015, is derived using radar altimetry. The RG is characterized by a bounded recirculating component, and a westward ‘throughflow’ to the south. Two modes of variability of the sea‐surface height (SSH) and ocean surface stress curl are revealed. The first represents a large‐scale SSH change forced by the Antarctic Oscillation. The second represents semiannual variability in gyre area and strength, driven by fluctuations in sea level pressure associated with the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL). Variability in the throughflow is also linked to the ASL. An adequate description of the oceanic circulation is achieved only when sea ice drag is accounted for in the ocean surface stress. The drivers of RG variability elucidated here have significant implications for our understanding of the oceanic forcing of Antarctic Ice Sheet melting, and for the downstream propagation of its ocean freshening footprint.last_img read more

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Security Services distribute terrorist warning posters

first_imgOUSU’s BME Students Officer, Nikhil Venkatesh, told Cherwell, “It is of course important that the University and colleges take the security of students seriously, and the attacks in Paris show that we cannot assume we are always safe from terrorism. However, we need to be aware that increased fears about terrorism can be particularly harmful to Muslim students.“They are now more likely to face Islamophobic attacks, or feel that people are scared of them, when the vast majority of Muslims have nothing to do with terrorism. In fact, there are more racist attacks by white supremacists in Britain than there are terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists. The security of everyone is best served when we stand together, regardless of religion or background.”Venkatesh continued, “This all ties into our concerns about the University’s implementation of ‘Prevent’: this legislation requires that staff monitor student events, our web usage and political views, and refer those who they think are at risk of ‘radicalisation’ to the police. We know that Muslim and BME students are more likely to be suspects in this regard, particularly as Prevent defines ‘extremism’ as holding views incompatible with ‘traditional British values’, whatever they are. There was a case of a student at another university who was arrested after a librarian saw him reading a book on terrorism. He was writing a thesis about terrorism and how to fight against it, but because he was Muslim he was immediately suspected.”Analysis: Keep calm and stay vigilant: the need for doublethink (Freddie Hopkinson)I must admit that, last Friday, when I first received an email from the History Faculty “in light of events in Paris over the weekend”, I was a little surprised. Even with attacks as close to home as those in Paris, it is always hard to envisage something like that ever happening to you. Looking again at the email made me realise that, as much as I would personally like to carry on as if nothing has happened, something about the events of two weeks ago has made people’s behaviour change. On one level or another, this year’s wave of terror attacks has found its way deep into the public’s subconscious. The leaflet makes it clear that we should be “alert and not alarmed”, that we must not let fear of terrorism stop us from going about our day-to-day lives as normal, that, in the words of Thames Valley Police, we should remain “vigilant”. In all of these statements there is a strange paradox between the desire to ignore and defy the message of terror attacks and the need to be alert. It is almost as if the university authorities are afraid to admit that they are paranoid about the dangers of an attack.If you bother to read the leaflet, you’ll find that it is mainly common sense. It seems to have been written long before any specific attack and screams the obvious: if you see an armed man or woman on campus, for God’s sake, call the police and get away.What is more interesting about its circulation in some colleges and in my faculty is that people feel they have to say something now. Taking either perspective, this overreaction, or understatement, of the threat that could possibly face us represents a localised reaction to what is going on all over the world.The wave of terror attacks that has devastated France, Kenya, and countless other places this year has, for the first time since 9/11, really forced people all over the world to reconsider their role in the global conflicts fundamentalists are trying to instigate. Sadly, this leaflet is yet another example of us being reluctantly drawn into a game of fear with our potential attackers. In universities all over the place, the depressing state of affairs that means students are being reminded to stay vigilant is a sign that the times have changed – we can no longer naturally assume safety on our own campuses.Perhaps one day there will be an attack like the one described in the leaflet here in Oxford, and perhaps the instructions on this leaflet will save someone’s life – I can only hope and pray that there isn’t. In the meantime, we need to take the leaflet’s advice and not be too alarmed by the possibility of an attack.In a global context, our continuation of our studies, our interests and our social lives is the most significant thing that we can do to defy those that want to intimidate us. Only by carrying on as normal will we show up the warped logic behind terrorism. Terrorism contigency posters have been distributed across the University, including at University libraries, Merton, St Catherine’s, Christ Church, and the History Faculty buildings.The posters encourage students to evacuate or hide in the event of an “incident”, before going on to mention terrorism explicitly. One section reads, “Staff and students should remain alert to the danger of terrorism but should not let the fear of terrorism stop them from going about their day-to-day life as normal.”The University has been keen to reassure anxious students, including one passage on the poster’s design reading, “the purpose of this guidance is to alert and not to alarm – it is not being provided in response to any specific information.”The posters were recently circulated in an email, to all students in the History Faculty, which referred to the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month. The notice stated, “In light of events in Paris over the weekend all University departments have been asked to circulate the attached information sheet. Colleges have been similarly advised. Thames Valley Police advises that people should continue to go about their business as normal but remain vigilant.”The History Faculty’s Head of Administration and Finance, David Hyland, who sent the original email, said that he decided “that it would also be helpful to circulate it now by email to all students, in light of recent events in Paris and elsewhere.” He added, “Not all History students come into the main Faculty building all that often and so several students might not have read the notice.”In a separate statement, a University spokesperson underlined the University’s commitment to the government’s anti-terror ‘Prevent’ programme and that the alerts were purely precautionary. The statement read, “In the light of a number of armed attacks around the world recently, the University’s Security Sub-committee, in consultation with OUSU, has developed an information sheet for staff and students on what to do in the event of such an attack.“It is important to note that this information is not being provided in response to a specific threat to the University, and staff and students should not be unnecessarily alarmed by it. However, the University believes that, given recent events around the world, it is sensible and appropriate to provide guidance on this issue, as it routinely does on other health and safety matters.”last_img read more

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Night in Venice – I Love This Town

first_imgThis 62nd Annual Night in Venice was a fantastic day in Ocean City, NJ. Capped off by a tremendous fireworks show, it’s easy to see why Ocean City, NJ is truly America’s Best Beach!Video courtesy of Ryan Givens. Special thanks to Kirk & Suzy Dolaway.last_img

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The String Cheese Incident Makes “Joyful Sound” For Second Riviera Maya Performance [Setlist]

first_imgLos Muertos Con Queso wraps up today with two sets each from String Cheese and the weekend’s special Lost Muertos band, featuring Bill Kreutzmann, Dave Schools, Jeff Chimenti, Tom Hamilton and a (hopefully) fully recovered Bob Weir.Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Los Muertos Con Queso | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 1/27/17Set 1: Lonesome Fiddle Blues, These Waves, Let’s Go Outside, Barstool, Joyful Sound, Sand Dollar, That’s What Love Will Make You Do*Set 2: Beautiful, Close Your Eyes -> Mouna Bowa, Sing A New Song -> Rivertrance, Can’t Wait Another Day > RosieEncore: Under African Skies > Orange Blossom Special > Colorado Bluebird Sky*w/ Jackie Greene and Jason Crosby[Photo, setlist via SCI Twitter] The band delivered a joyful performance, featuring a few subtle nods to the beachfront locale (“These Waves,” “Let’s Go Outside,” “Sand Dollar,”). The show also featured a variety of excellent improvisational moments and segues, including a beautiful “Beautiful” and a pair of seamless second set segues (“Close Your Eyes” -> “Mouna Bowa”; “Sing A New Song” -> “Rivertrance”). The band finished set two strong with a high-energy “Rosie” before returning to the stage for a two-song, “sky”-themed encore of “Under African Skies” -> “Colorado Bluebird Sky”. You can check out some fan-shot videos of the show below via Instagram: Yesterday, Los Muertos Con Queso continued in Mexico with two sets from The String Cheese Incident as well as a performance by Jackie Greene. Following an excellent performance the previous night, String Cheese returned to the Riviera Maya venue for their second of three performances at the event.last_img read more

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Paul Crutzen, who shared Nobel for ozone work, has died

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — Dutch scientist Paul J. Crutzen, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work understanding the ozone hole, has died. The Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany confirmed that he died Thursday at the age of 87. Crutzen won the Nobel Prize in 1995 together with Mexican chemist Mario J. Molina and American F. Sherwood Rowland. In 2002, Crutzen published an article arguing that, because the effects of humans on the environment had escalated so greatly in the past three centuries that global climate could be significantly altered, the term ‘Anthropocene’ should be used to describe the period since the late 18th century. The term has since gained widespread use in scientific and environmental discourse.last_img read more

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US extends sole remaining nuclear arms treaty with Russia

first_imgThe United States has joined Russia in extending the last remaining nuclear-arms treaty between the two countries. The announcement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken comes two days before the pact limiting strategic nuclear weapons was due to expire. President Donald Trump had pulled out of two other nuclear arms treaties with Russia, as part of a general withdrawal from international agreements. The Biden administration’s move extends the New START treaty for five years. Blinken says the U.S. will use that time to try for more limits with both Russia and China on the world’s nuclear arsenals.last_img read more

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Zimbabwe a capella group Nobuntu performs at Saint Mary’s

first_imgThe music of a culture helps to connect and bind its members together. In Nobuntu, an a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, the five female members sing, dance and play simple acoustic instruments in order to share their music with the world.  Nobuntu came to visit Saint Mary’s on Tuesday in O’Laughlin Auditorium as one of the first stops of many on their United States tour. According to the group’s website, they will travel through the country, performing at colleges and other venues until finally ending at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It is their first time touring in the United States.  “It is a unique opportunity for the people of our community to experience the culture of Zimbabwe through women’s voices,” Richard Baxter, director of campus and community events at Saint Mary’s, said. “They have a pure, unfiltered sound that doesn’t need any amplification. It is a remarkable group with great prestige.”The Saint Mary’s Cultural Affairs Committee began planning Nobuntu’s performance in the fall of 2017 and has been working since then to bring them to the College. Nobuntu was first on Baxter’s radar because he and Nobuntu’s agent, Marc Baylin, frequently work together. This relationship allows Saint Mary’s to host various diverse groups and gives students the opportunity to learn more about different cultures and folklore.“He keeps us in mind if anything interesting comes up,” Baxter said.Baylin Artists Management, Nobuntu’s agency, promotes the group along with several other international artists. According to the agency’s website, Nobuntu was nominated for the Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015. Duduzile Sibanda, a member of the group, said Nobuntu was formed in 2011 after all the members auditioned with Baylin Artists Management and were placed together. They started by performing at small festivals and concerts throughout Zimbabwe. Since then, they have released two recordings, EKHAYA in 2016 and THINA in 2013. They performed in concert halls throughout Europe and went on tour in Canada during 2016. The women do a variety of genres, including traditional Zimbabwean songs, Afro Jazz and Gospel. “We hope to use our music in order to advocate for mutual respect, peace, love and an end to abuse around the world,” Sibanda said. “My favorite is the traditional music. We have a lot to share through it and it helps us really work for unity and friendship.” The five members grew up in the same city and have known each other since high school. Sibanda said they’ve grown closer by traveling and performing together, and their music has helped the entire group flourish. “We have all changed since joining this group and through the songs we sing,” she said. “We matured, discovered more about ourselves and where we come from. It’s a humbling experience that also allows us to learn about the traditions of our culture and how they impact us today.” Tags: a capella, Concerts, Cultural Affairs Committee, Nobuntu, Zimbabwelast_img read more

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Mobile credit union branch does triple duty

first_imgInnovation Credit Union’s new service center is equipped with all the latest technology—and has the added advantage of having no fixed address. Instead, the CU’s Mobile Advice Centre (see photo) will travel throughout western Saskatchewan serving members at fairs and other special events and in small communities without a permanent branch.The mobile unit is expected to enhance member service, double as a movable marketing vehicle—if you’ll pardon the pun—and even round out disaster recovery response, says CUES member Daniel Johnson, CEO of the $2.6 billion credit union serving 48,000 members.“A big part of this venture is to demonstrate to members and staff that banking doesn’t have to happen in a branch,” Johnson says.The 40-by-8-foot unit is equipped with video ATMs and computers with 55-inch touchscreens to let existing and prospective members perform a full range of transactions while interacting with financial service representatives at Innovation CU’s contact center or one of its 22 branches, says Chief Digital Officer Dean Gagne. Employees staffing the unit will also guide members through mobile access options on their smartphones or demonstrate with CU-supplied tablets and phones. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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The 2020 elections were a disaster for a decade of redistricting, further securing GOP minority rule

first_imgThat would lead to a divided government in case the commission gets struck down, meaning that barring a bipartisan compromise, new maps would likely be drawn by the courts, which favor nonpartisan districts. Republicans in the legislature have also repeatedly sought to undermine the commission, so ending the GOP’s control of state government would help insulate the panel from further attack.CONNECTICUTGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Democratic holdState House: Democratic holdDemocrats failed to gain the two-thirds supermajorities that they would have needed under the state constitution to gain control over redistricting, leaving bipartisan control in place, though it’s not clear whether they would have pursued the opportunity even had they reached that threshold.FLORIDAGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican holdState House: Republican holdRepublicans remain in control in Florida after Democrats failed to flip either chamber. Voters passed two ballot initiatives in 2010 to try to ban gerrymandering, but the state Supreme Court has taken a lurch far to the right after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won in 2018. It’s therefore unlikely to enforce the amendments to curb GOP gerrymandering.GEORGIAGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican holdState House: Republican hold- Advertisement – – Advertisement – A repeat of GOP minority rule is now a strong risk for 2022 and beyond, both in the House and in the states, since control of legislative redistricting will also heavily favor Republicans, as shown on the map below.Click to enlargeThree states have legislative chambers with majorities in doubt as of Thursday morning: The Arizona Senate and House, Minnesota Senate, and Pennsylvania Senate and House. The GOP currently leads for all three states. Additionally, Democrats could gain a two-thirds supermajority in New York’s state Senate once mail ballots are counted after Nov. 6. We are tracking each key state and will update this post as races get called in the coming days.- Advertisement – Republicans maintained full control over redistricting after Democrats failed to flip the gerrymandered state House or Senate, even though the presidential race is neck and neck.IOWAGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold (half of seats up)State House: Republican holdSince the 1980s, a nonpartisan agency has proposed maps to the Iowa legislature, which has always adopted them. However, since Democrats failed to flip the state House to break the GOP’s full control, next year will be the first time in several decades under this system that one party has unified control over state government.That would allow the GOP to simply reject the agency’s proposals and implement their own gerrymanders, or even repeal the statute that created the agency. The only possible deterrent is fear of a public backlash, but as we’ve seen in so many states, gerrymandering is the very thing that can protect incumbents from anger over gerrymandering.KANSASGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican supermajority holdState House: Republican supermajority holdDemocrats needed to flip just a single state House seat or three state Senate seats to break the GOP’s veto-proof majorities, but they failed to do either. Consequently, Republicans will be able to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes, including of the very congressional gerrymander that the Republican Senate leader was recently caught on tape vowing to fight for. MICHIGANGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican (up in 2022)State House: Republican holdLike Arizona, Michigan also has an independent redistricting commission, but while it’s new for the 2020 cycle, it too could get invalidated by the Supreme Court. Even if it survives, though, litigation over the eventual maps the commission produces is likely, which is why it’s critical that Democrats gained a 4-3 majority on the state Supreme Court. However, the court’s power to block gerrymandering is also threatened by the U.S. Supreme Court, just as the commission is, and even Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto power could be as well.Michigan Democrats failed to retake the gerrymandered state House even though it’s very possible that, once again, their candidates will have won more votes. If that comes to pass, it would mark the fourth of five elections over the last decade when the same thing has happened, offering the starkest example of how GOP gerrymandering has replaced democracy with entrenched minority rule.MINNESOTAGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold—uncalled State House: Democratic holdIt appears that Democrats have failed to gain full control in Minnesota, falling just short in the state Senate, though final tallies have not yet been announced. While the state currently has nonpartisan maps drawn by a court and is poised to again after 2020, racial segregation in the Minneapolis area creates a “geography penalty” that harms Democrats, which means even ostensibly nonpartisan maps have the effect of functioning like GOP gerrymanders. Case in point: Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidates won more votes statewide than Trump and Republicans in 2016 but failed to win a majority of seats in the state Senate. That seems to have happened once more to Senate Democrats this year.MISSOURIGovernor: Republican holdState Senate: Republican supermajority hold (half of seats up)State House: Republican supermajority holdMissouri voters passed an initiative in 2018 to reform the state’s existing bipartisan legislative redistricting commission by requiring new maps be drawn that explicitly take partisan fairness into account, which would negate the geographic penalty against Democrats caused by white-flight racial segregation. However, Republicans successfully deceived voters into passing a disingenuous amendment this year that guts this reform by making the fairness requirement toothless. Congressional redistricting, meanwhile, is still handled by the legislature and governor, both of which remained firmly in GOP hands.NEBRASKAGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold, no supermajority gained (half of seats up)Republicans control Nebraska’s unicameral and nominally nonpartisan legislature, but they just narrowly failed to gain the the two-thirds supermajority needed to overcome a filibuster of any new gerrymanders. The GOP could also eliminate the filibuster with a simple majority, but it’s far from clear that enough Republican lawmakers are willing to make that move due to their internal divisions. Therefore, if the status quo prevails and Democrats sustain a filibuster, new maps would be handled by the courts.NEW HAMPSHIREGovernor: Republican holdState Senate: Republican flipState House: Republican flipRepublicans unexpectedly regained their gerrymandered majorities to obtain full control over redistricting for the second decade in a row in New Hampshire. It’s possible that Republicans will have once again won majorities despite Democrats winning more votes once outstanding mail votes are finalized.NEW JERSEYGovernor: Democratic (up in 2021)State Senate: Democratic (up in 2021)State House: Democratic (up in 2021)Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the heavily Democratic legislature don’t face the voters again until 2021, after legislative redistricting is supposed to take place. However, voters approved Question 3, which Democrats hope will push back redistricting (only for the legislature) to the 2023 elections if the census doesn’t provide the data lawmakers need by Feb. 15. Delaying redistricting two more years would further disadvantage the state’s growing Asian and Latino populations, likely intended to be to the benefit of white Democratic incumbents in primaries.No matter which year New Jersey conducts its redistricting, the process will see two bipartisan commissions (one for Congress and one for the legislature) appointed by a combination of legislative leaders and state party leaders calling the shots. Democrats therefore won’t have the chance to adopt extreme partisan maps, though either party has a chance at seeing somewhat favorable districts enacted depending on what proposal each tiebreaker picks.NEW YORKGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Democratic—uncalled supermajorityState Assembly: Democratic supermajority hold New York has a new bipartisan redistricting commission appointed by lawmakers, but Democrats could override the commission’s recommendations and pass maps to their own liking if they win a two-thirds supermajority. It’s unclear whether the GOP’s gerrymander will further collapse and let Democrats hit that threshold in the state Senate once absentee ballots are counted. (Democrats hold a more secure supermajority in the Democratically gerrymandered Assembly.)However, many Democratic lawmakers in New York have often been all too happy to ignore their party’s broader interests if it means getting a seat that insulates them from a potential primary challenge. It’s therefore unclear whether Democrats would be able to pass aggressive partisan gerrymanders even if they were to win supermajorities.NORTH CAROLINAGovernor: Democratic holdState Senate: Republican holdState House: Republican holdState Supreme Court: Democratic hold (three seats up)North Carolina has seen the worst and most pervasive Republican gerrymandering of any state in modern history, and the battles over redistricting are set to continue after Republicans unexpectedly gained seats by ousting several Democratic legislators to maintain their majorities. And even though Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper won reelection, he is unable to veto most key redistricting bills. Making matters worse, Republicans ousted at least one Democratic incumbent on the state Supreme Court and lead in two uncalled races where absentee and provisional ballots will decide whether Democrats majority stays at 6-1 or narrows to 5-2 or even 4-3. The size of Democrats’ majority is important because it means the GOP could regain control of the court as soon as 2022 if they sweep every seat up this year. That opportunity could be delayed until 2024 if Democrats hang on in the two unsettled races.State courts curtailed the GOP’s gerrymanders last year, but while those rulings curbed the worst excesses of Republican gerrymandering, they didn’t entirely eliminate the problem. Furthermore, state-level judicial review is not guaranteed to succeed again given the increasingly radical stances taken by the U.S. Supreme Court.OHIOGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold (half of seats up)State House: Republican holdState Supreme Court: Republican hold (two seats up)Ohio’s legislature was hopelessly gerrymandered by Republicans this past decade, but while Democrat Jennifer Brunner flipped a seat on the state Supreme Court, fellow Democrat John O’Donnell failed to oust a second GOP incumbent, leaving the GOP with a narrower 4-3 majority. Such a majority will likely mean the court won’t enforce the protections added by the GOP in bad faith to Ohio’s constitution in 2018 in an ostensibly bipartisan compromise to reform congressional redistricting, leaving Republicans free to gerrymander while falsely claiming they curbed the legislature’s power to do so.OREGONGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Democratic hold—uncalled supermajority (half of seats up)State House: Democratic hold but failure to gain two-thirds supermajorityOver the last two years, Oregon Republicans repeatedly fled the state to deny Democrats the two-thirds legislative supermajority needed to conduct any business under Oregon’s unusual quorum rules, successfully defeating a Democratic bill to enact climate protections. They may try that move to stop Democrats from controlling congressional redistricting next year, since Democrats failed to gain a two-thirds supermajority in the state House. If the GOP once more succeeds at quorum-busting, a court would likely draw the congressional map.However, Democratic state Sen. Shemia Fagan flipped the open secretary of state’s office held by Republicans, meaning that if lawmakers don’t pass new legislative districts by July 1, 2021, the secretary of state takes over that process. Had Fagan not prevailed, a GOP walkout would have handed legislative redistricting to a Republican secretary of state.PENNSYLVANIAGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican—uncalled but likely hold (half of seats up)State House: Republican—uncalled but likely holdWhile many mail ballots that lean heavily Democratic are yet to be counted, Democrats are unlikely to win either chamber even if they win more votes—which is precisely what happened in 2018 and 2012. Like North Carolina, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has a Democratic majority that, in 2018, issued a ruling striking down the GOP’s congressional gerrymander. However, even if Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf once again blocks Republican legislators from passing an extreme gerrymander, the state Supreme Court may not get the opportunity to draw a fair map of its own, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court interferes.However, because the state Supreme Court determines the majority tiebreaker on the bipartisan commission used for legislative redistricting, Democrats are poised to control that process after two decades of Republicans running the show. A Republican effort to pass a constitutional amendment that would effectively gerrymander the court could be even more consequential, though. The GOP passed their amendment earlier this year and would need to pass it again after 2020 before voters weigh in via a 2021 referendum. A Democratic state House could stop that power grab dead in its tracks if absentee ballots help Democrats pull off an upset to win control this year.TEXASGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold (half of seats up)State House: Republican hold (four seats up)The most important state for Republican congressional gerrymandering is Texas, and Democrats failed to make significant gains needed to flip the state House to break the GOP’s control, even though the GOP’s gerrymander showed major cracks in 2018 when Democrat Beto O’Rourke won a majority of seats despite losing 51-48 overall to Ted Cruz.Democrats also failed to lay the groundwork for striking down gerrymanders later this decade after Republicans swept all four seats up this year to maintain their 9-0 state Supreme Court majority. While Democrats could in theory gain control over the court as soon as 2024 (at least three seats are up every two years depending on vacancies), Texas may simply not be blue enough for that to be realistic by then.VERMONTGovernor: Republican holdState Senate: Democratic supermajority holdState House: Democratic supermajority lostDemocrats and their third-party Progressive allies lost their two-thirds supermajority in the state House needed to override Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s vetoes and gerrymander the legislature (Vermont only has a single statewide congressional district). Independents now hold the balance of power for veto overrides in the state House (the GOP failed to break the Democratic-Progressive state Senate supermajority).However, it’s far from a given that Democrats could have even overridden a veto anyway given the state’s penchant for rejecting the sharpest sort of partisan politics common just about everywhere else. After 2010, the Democratically dominated state government passed new maps with wide GOP support, so something similar could happen after 2020.VIRGINIAGovernor: Democratic (up in 2021)State Senate: Democratic (up in 2023)State House: Democratic (up in 2021)Virginia voters have approved the creation of a bipartisan redistricting commission after the new Democratic majority in Virginia’s legislature agreed to hold a vote earlier this year on a GOP-backed reform to enact a bipartisan redistricting commission. The amendment was a compromise that passed with widespread Democratic support in the state Senate but almost unanimous Democratic opposition in the state House.While the measure is not without its own flaws, it should help ensure Virginia districts are by and large nonpartisan following the 2020 census if it passes. Democrats, however, were divided in their support and opposition for the ballot measure. While its passage should help ensure fair maps for Virginia in isolation, particularly for legislative maps, it means Democrats lose a counterweight at the national level to GOP congressional gerrymandering elsewhere.WISCONSINGovernor: Democratic (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican hold, no supermajority (half of seats up)State House: Republican hold, no supermajorityDemocrats blocked Republicans from gaining the two-thirds supermajorities needed in the badly gerrymandered legislature to override Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes, meaning an Evers veto would send redistricting to court instead of letting the GOP gerrymander.However, a more uncertain but plausible risk is that the partisan 4-3 conservative majority on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court will overturn a 1965 precedent and let Republicans pass a new gerrymander by stripping Evers of his veto power, potentially making the size of the GOP’s majorities irrelevant since they still will control both chambers. Beyond these four states, the future of redistricting is highly contingent upon the Supreme Court’s new far-right majority, which could both further undermine the Voting Rights Act and strip away checks on GOP state legislatures. We also don’t know to what degree Trump has corrupted the accuracy of the census in a way that could disproportionately hurt Democrats.We’ll delve into the results in all the important states, and their implications for the coming decade, just below. We’ll also address the threat of the Supreme Court and a tainted census in an article to follow. You can also explore our guide to the rules that govern which party (if any) controls redistricting state by state.ARIZONAGovernor: Republican (up in 2022)State Senate: Republican—uncalledState House: Republican—uncalledArizona has had an independent redistricting commission in place since 2000, but there’s a significant risk that the Supreme Court will strike down all commissions that were passed by citizen-initiated ballot measures, especially with Amy Coney Barrett now on the court. Republicans control the governorship, and while Democrats had high hopes of flipping the legislature, the GOP currently leads in key uncalled races as of Thursday.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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China flies more medical supplies to Indonesia

first_imgThe Chinese government has flown out much-needed medical equipment from the city of Shanghai to Indonesia to support the country’s prevention and control measures against COVID-19.The Chinese Embassy in Indonesia announced the distribution shortly after the medical supply packages, consisting of test kits, N95 masks, surgical masks, protective gear and portable ventilators, were shipped on Tuesday.“At the moment, Indonesia is suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak, the government and the people of China have the same solicitude as the people of Indonesia,” the embassy wrote on its website. Read also: China sends experts, aid to Italy to help virus fightAccording to the embassy, the assistance was a way of returning the favor to the international community, including Indonesia, which had helped China in its hardest time during the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the government and various sections of the Indonesian community have supported China through various means to combat the disease. The Chinese government and people are very grateful for this,” it added.On Monday, Indonesia received thousands of medical supplies transported on a military aircraft which landed at Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta after picking up medical equipment from Shanghai. During a press conference on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the Chinese government would without any hesitation reciprocate the kindness of countries that had assisted China in its fight against COVID-19.“We will offer assistance as our capability allows to friendly countries that are in a severe situation and lack prevention and control materials, especially those developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as regional organizations such as the African Union,” Geng said as released by the embassy.Read also: COVID-19: Jokowi issues decree on relief budget reallocation, medical supply distributionBesides medical equipment support, the Chinese government has been working extensively to offer information guidance to the international community fighting against the epidemic, based on its experience of COVID-19 prevention and control as well as clinical treatment.On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, together with the National Health Commission and the General Administration of Customs, held an online video conference to brief 19 Eurasian and South Asian countries regarding such matters.“Going forward, China will continue to uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and the spirit of mutual assistance and solidarity, share information with the international community […] in an open, transparent and responsible manner,” Geng added.Topics :last_img read more

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