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Why GOP Governor Wants a Georgia Boycott So He’ll Have ‘Someone to Blame’ ―Stacey Abrams

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Stacey Abrams says that Georgia governor Brian Kemp is “reveling in the potential of a boycott” from Hollywood or other organizations because it would give the GOP governor “someone to blame for his own actions.”

Abrams said she’s a daughter of the South and respects the idea of boycotts. But in this situation, in response to the restrictive voting laws passed by the state’s legislature, she feels a boycott could be “devastating” to the economy and to the people the oppressive voting laws specifically impact.

“Boycotts work best when the target of your boycott is responsive, and unfortunately we are not dealing with good actors here. The governor of Georgia is reveling in the potential of a boycott because it gives him someone to blame for his own actions,” Abrams said in a panel discussion Friday. “Unlike previous boycotts that have worked in the South, the length of time it takes for a boycott to take effect would be devastating to an economy, devastating to people, devastating to the targets of this terrible, vicious legislation.”

Abrams spoke on a panel called “Women in Focus” sponsored through Chapman University and Glamour and was asked specifically about the prospect of Hollywood pulling productions from Georgia by moderator Janice Min, the contributing editor of TIME.

“My deep concern is that if we call for a boycott, the very people who are helping change the nature of economic opportunity and political opportunity will leave us behind. So my message is stay and fight,” Abrams continued. “Come and lift up your voices and join us. But do not let them force out the very people we need to have here and the very jobs we need to have here to make the potential change real in the South. So come, stay, fight, we’ll get it done.”

Abrams was joined on the panel by Samantha Barry, editor-in-chief of Glamour, “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee, Amazon’s Jennifer Salke, Walt Disney Television chairman of entertainment Dana Walden, and actor and activist Eva Longoria.

Stacey Abrams previously pleaded with corporate leaders to not boycott the state of Georgia, laying out three steps organizations can take to combat voter suppression. And it was also reported earlier this week that Abrams tried to convince MLB to keep the All-Star Game in Georgia.

Abrams was also asked by Min whether she’s planning on running for governor in Georgia, though she said that she has not yet made any decisions. She is however already having conversations for what her next project will be in Hollywood.

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Uvalde Shooting horror: Families, community hold makeshift memorial at elementary school

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A makeshift memorial for the students, families and staff of Robb Elementary School has formed outside the campus after the shooting.

Family, friends and community members came to pay their respects adorning the campus’ welcome sign with bouquets of roses, sunflowers and balloons, American-Statesman reporter Luz Moreno-Lozano reported.

The last week of classes at Robb Elementary School ended in terror when a gunman opened fire, killing 21 people on Tuesday. Instead of making summer plans, the families of these 19 school children and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde are making funeral plans. Their young, innocent lives were ended by an 18-year-old gunman with just two days left in the school year during what is now the deadliest elementary school shooting since Sandy Hook. All of the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom. Before they were victims, they were children, brothers, sisters, and elementary school students.

Rosa Gonzalez, who visited the campus Wednesday, said she wanted to show support for her community and her friends who lost their children.

“This is so hard to explain,” she said, fighting back tears. “My kids went to school here. My grandkids went to school here. We never thought this would happen here.”

 

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Enough is Enough! O’Rourke Confronts Gov. Abbott during the Uvalde Press Conference

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“You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke said to Texas officials who were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

UVALDE, Texas ― In a stunning moment on Wednesday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over gun control policy at a press conference where officials were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials assembled on the stage.

UVALDE, Texas ― In a stunning moment on Wednesday, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over gun control policy at a press conference where officials were giving updates on the mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school.

“You’re doing nothing. You’re all doing nothing,” O’Rourke told the officials assembled on the stage.

One of them repeatedly shouted back, “Sir, you are out of line!”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) told O’Rourke he was “an embarrassment.”

An 18-year-old ran into Robb Elementary School in the small west Texas town on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two teachers with an AR-15 rifle. Seventeen more were injured, Abbott said earlier at the press conference. The man, who was killed by responding officers, had shot his grandmother in the face before driving over to the school. He posted his intentions to Facebook shortly before the rampage, Abbott said.

As Abbott finished his remarks and introduced Patrick, O’Rourke approached the stage to interrupt. His initial remarks were drowned out by crosstalk from different attendees ― some cheering him and many others jeering.

O’Rourke made a clear comment directed at Abbott while law enforcement moved to escort him out.

“This is on you,” O’Rourke said. “Until you choose to do something different, this will continue to happen. Somebody needs to stand up for the children of this state or they will continue to be killed just like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.”

A man standing near O’Rourke interjected: “This is propaganda, bro. Get out of here. You’re trash, man.”

As O’Rourke exited, some of his supporters chanted, “Let him speak!” One person asked, “How about the First Amendment?”

The Republican elected officials at the dais criticized O’Rourke with varying degrees of subtlety once he was out of the room.

“There will be plenty of time to discuss and analyze what happened yesterday,” Patrick said.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) concurred. “Mayor, I’m sorry you had to witness that outburst,” Phelan said to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. “Now is not the time to politicize pain and suffering.”

In his initial remarks, Abbott had acknowledged that “people are rightfully angry about what’s happened,” but did not offer gun policy solutions. “Now more than ever,” Abbot said, what the Uvalde community needs “is our love.”

“What they need is uplifting from all of our fellow Texans and all of our fellow Americans,” the governor said. “And let me emphasize something that I know you all know, but the reality is as horrible as what happened, it could’ve been worse. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do.”

Abbott called for better mental health care in the west Texas region. But when asked by a reporter whether he would reconsider accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid to that end, he said no.

Patrick similarly suggested there was little policy action that could be taken, saying, “Evil will always walk among us.”

“In times like this, I’ve seen it … in these other shootings, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, Odessa, Santa Fe, it’s God that brings a community together,” he added, referencing previous mass shootings in the state. “It’s God that heals a community.”

Following the outburst, Abbott criticized the relatively strict gun control policies of states with the nation’s larges cities, including California, Illinois and New York.

“There are, quote, real gun laws in Chicago,” Abbott said, then claimed such measures do not work. “Hate to say this, but there are more people who were shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas.”

Chicago has strict gun control laws, but nearby states like Indiana do not, which allows people to easily access weapons.

Outside the venue, O’Rourke continued his call for stronger gun control measures and better access to mental health care.

“Now is the time to stop the next shooting,” he said. “Right after Santa Fe high school was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after El Paso was the time to stop the next shooting. Right after Midland, Odessa was the time to stop the next shooting.”

“In each case, we say, ‘This isn’t the time.’ Now is the time.”

Culled from the HUFFPOST

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UN cutting refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity

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The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine is one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa

Food rations for refugees and displaced people are being cut by up to half in parts of the Sahel due to a massive funding shortfall with millions set to go hungry as prices rise and climate shocks hit yields, U.N. agencies said on Friday.

The U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA) estimates that some 18 million people face severe food insecurity in the next three months across the arid belt that stretching across Africa beneath the Sahara. Its $3.8 billion appeal for the region is less than 12% funded, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said.

“The situation has reached alarming levels in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, where people will experience emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August,” he told a media briefing, saying that the levels of food insecurity were the worst since 2014.

In Burkina Faso, rations are currently at 75% in areas that are hard-to-reach and the most food insecure, and 50% at other sites, the World Food Programme said.

Rations have already been cut by half for displaced people and refugees in Chad, it said. The WFP will be forced to reduce them further from July if more funding is not received.

In Mauritania, the food component of the food-cash ration is being cut by 50% at Mbera camp, it said.

The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine is one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa. That crisis has also diverted aid from other areas.

“Why is it as bad now? We have conflict in the West African region, you have COVID still raging, you climate-induced shocks, you have rising costs which are all colliding to put basic needs out of reach for millions of people,” Tomson Phiri from the WFP told the briefing.

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