In an effort to tackle the increasing number of migrants arriving in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams announced on Wednesday that his administration is taking new measures directly to the U.S.-Mexico border, some 2,000 miles away. The plan involves distributing posters near the border, telling migrants to “consider another city.”
The flyers also contain warnings about the high costs of housing, food and transportation in New York City. The aim is to discourage migrants from coming to the Big Apple, which has long been known for its welcoming stance towards migrants.
Adams said the flyers “honestly communicate our city’s situation to those thinking of coming here.” He said the posters will be handed out on the border and put on social media.
The city has received more than 90,000 migrants since April 2022, and some 54,800 remain in its care, the mayor’s office said in a statement Wednesday, July 19. New York is “at capacity.”
In response to the crisis, the Adams administration has opened 188 emergency shelters in city-owned buildings, hotels and old jail facilities. It has also opened 13 humanitarian relief centers, which are the first destination for new arrivals, Bloomberg reports.
Despite overall reports indicating a slowdown in border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, New York City says it continues to experience consistent batches of newcomers.
Meanwhile, the city also announced Wednesday new restrictions on the length of stay for individuals in emergency shelters.
In the coming days, the city will begin issuing 60-day removal notices to single men and women currently staying in the network of emergency shelters in order to make room for families with children.
“In an ideal world, we’re clear: Asylum seekers would be sheltered throughout the country, with expedited work authorization and proper support,” Adams said. “That’s not the ideal world that we’re living in. Without proper state and federal assistance, we must make difficult choices. The city must make difficult choices.”
Adams stated that the city will connect migrants with case workers to assist them in finding alternative housing options, such as staying with friends or family.
“Our goal is: no child, no family is sleeping on the streets,” Adams said. “That’s our goal, and we’re getting closer and closer to being unable to fulfill even that.”
A potential third-party challenger for a White House bid is upping its efforts to place an alternative candidate on the ballot in all 50 states for the upcoming general election. On Monday, July 17, the group called “No Labels” launched its official kickoff event in New Hampshire.
The leaders of the group are signaling the possibility of presenting a “bipartisan unity ticket” comprising one Democrat and one Republican. This would be done in the event that President Biden and former President Trump become their parties’ respective nominees in next year’s general election.
The idea has raised concerns among Democrats and some Republicans, who fear the effort could divide crucial votes.
No Labels recently hosted a “common sense” town hall, featuring national leaders such as former Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah and notably Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
In an interview with NBC News, Manchin continued to leave the door open to a third-party presidential run with No Labels, repeatedly declining to rule it out.
“Let’s see where everybody goes. Let’s see what happens,” Manchin, an outspoken critic of partisanship in Washington, told NBC News. “Maybe they’ll come to their senses and start doing the job they were elected to do.”
No Labels has emphasized it is not a political party and presents itself as a “moderate alternative” to a divided electorate. The group has been in existence for over 10 years, but this launch marks the furthest the group has gone to commit itself to going forward with its unity-ticket project, Politico reports.
These developments come amidst polling that reveals a significant portion of Americans do not wish to witness another Biden-Trump rematch next year.
An April poll indicated that 70% of voters believed Biden should not seek reelection, while 60% held the same view about Trump.
While this is seen as an opportunity for a third-party group like No Labels, it is worth noting that no third-party candidate has ever won a presidential election since the establishment of the two-party system.
Furthermore, polling shows both Trump and Biden have disapproval ratings above the 50% mark, Reuters reports. Critics argue that even a slight shift in voting caused by a third party could alter the outcome of the election in one party’s favor.
Co-chairman Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee, assures that it won’t come to that point, indicating that the group will abstain from involvement in the 2024 race if it appears the group would spoil it.
Federal disclosures are providing a glimpse of where presidential hopefuls stand in fundraising for a White House bid. The filings released Saturday, July 15, show that Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are dominating the fight for campaign cash in the Republican presidential contest.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis raised $20.1 million between April 1 and June 30. Notably, a significant portion of his contributions have come from big-dollar donations, as reported by the New York Times. However, DeSantis is also spending a considerable amount, with his campaign having utilized approximately 40% of the funds raised in the quarter.
Recent polls indicate DeSantis has slumped in his popularity. Politico reports DeSantis has reduced campaign staff amid struggles to meet fundraising goals.
Former President Donald Trump, who leads significantly in polling, raised $17.7 million during this year’s second quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Most of this amount was transferred from another committee, which will disclose its figures later this month, the Times reported.
Trump’s joint fundraising committee says it took in over $35 million from April through June, roughly doubling the $18.8 million it raised in the first three months of 2023.
President Joe Biden
Incumbent President Joe Biden collected $19.9 million in donations for this quarter. Notably, Biden benefits from close collaboration with the Democratic National Committee and its fundraisers, who jointly report having raised a combined $72 million since Biden launched his reelection bid in April.
Notably, Biden’s fundraising numbers are behind both former President Trump and former President Obama during the same period of their respective past campaigns for a second term, NPR reported.
Other Republican hopefuls
As the fundraising numbers establish Trump and DeSantis in their own tier, other Republicans have brought in smaller numbers. Per the FEC filings, Vivek Ramaswamy raised $7.7 million, Tim Scott raised $5.9 million, Nikki Haley’s campaign raised $5.3 million, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who entered the race in June, raised only $1.2 million for his campaign during the April 1 to June 30 period.
The figures disclosed by the FEC do not give the full picture yet. Super PACs, external groups, and fundraising committees that contribute to these presidential hopefuls do not need to fully disclose their contributions until July 31.
While having substantial funds in the war chest is seen as critical for a shot at victory, GOP candidates must also demonstrate that they have at least 40,000 unique donors to qualify for a seat on the debate stage.
Qualifying candidates will face off on Aug. 23 in the debate set to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson is reportedly planning to launch his own Twitter-based media company following the recent launch of his own show on the platform. According to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, Carlson is teaming up with former White House adviser Neil Patel to raise funds for the new venture.
The duo is looking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the company, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Carlson has praised Twitter for being a forum for free speech. He has said “Everybody’s allowed here, and we think that’s a good thing.”
Notably, left-oriented news outlets have underreported Carlson’s reported plans, as indicated by the Straight Arrow News Media Miss tool. News coverage of this story is primarily coming from right and center-oriented outlets.
Meanwhile, as Meta’s new platform Threads poses competition for Twitter, the latter is increasingly becoming an appealing platform for creators, especially those seeking to monetize their content.
This week, Twitter delighted many users after it started pay out tens of thousands of dollars as part of its long-planned revenue sharing program. Musk announced plans earlier this year that would see Twitter compensate some verified users for ads served in their replies.
Among the recipients is internet personality Benny Johnson, who shared a picture showing he received nearly $10,000. Meanwhile political commentator Brian Krassenstein said he got $24,305.
In a Twitter post, prominent Youtuber Mr. Beast, who received close to $26,000, said he plans to give next month’s payout away.
The first batch of payments aren’t just for one month, but a backlog of the past five and a half months since Musk first promised he would share a percentage of ad revenue with creators.
Musk said the first block of payments for creators would total $5 million.
To qualify for payouts from Twitter’s ad revenue sharing program, users must have accumulated over 5 million tweet impressions each month for the past three months. Additionally, they must be subscribed to Twitter Blue, which costs $8 per month.
A group of scientists are warning about a “silent hazard” around climate change that could impact some of America’s largest cities in the coming decades. In a new study, a team from Northwestern University found that excessive underground heat is causing buildings in Chicago to sink.
The team called the phenomenon “underground climate change.”
Using over 150 temperature sensors both above and below the surface of Chicago’s Loop District, Dr. Alessandro F. Rotta Loria and his team found that since 1951, the ground between Chicago’s city surface and the bedrock has warmed by an average of 5.6 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in ground deformation.
The study further stated that near some heat sources, the ground beneath Chicagoans’ feet has warmed by 27 degrees Fahrenheit, which has caused layers of earthen to swell, contract, sink and crack.
There is no immediate threat of buildings collapsing. The researchers projections however indicate buildings in Chicago could sink by as much as 8 millimeters by 2051.
While this may appear subtle, the team emphasizes that it is sufficient to create problems in the future.
“The ground is deforming as a result of temperature variations, and no existing civil structure or infrastructure is designed to withstand these variations,” Loria said in a press release. “Although this phenomenon is not dangerous for people’s safety necessarily, it will affect the normal day-to-day operations of foundation systems and civil infrastructure at large.”
The study cited two recommendations that could help mitigate the effects of underground climate change.
First, it suggests improving thermal insulation on both new and existing buildings to limit the amount of heat entering the ground.
Additionally, the researchers hope that waste heat can eventually be recaptured with the right technology and utilized as an energy source.
Other cities around the world are also reported to be sinking, albeit for other reasons.
Disney World in Florida reportedly experienced one of its slowest Fourth of July attendances in years. This comes as the company undergoes changes to its park operations and fights an ongoing legal battle it initiated against Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
According to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal, wait times at Magic Kingdom on July 4, which is typically one of Disney’s busiest days, averaged 27 minutes. This is a decrease of four minutes compared to last year and 20 minutes compared to 2019.
Headlines from right-leaning sources linked the decline in Disney’s ridership to the company’s ongoing feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis. Meanwhile, a headline from a left-leaning outlet, citing experts, suggested that Disney World’s noticeably lower attendance is “not a sign of DeSantis winning.”
DeSantis, who is currently on the presidential trail, has capitalized on the news, blaming Disney’s “woke agenda” for its low attendance.
However, there are several factors at play, as noted by The Wall Street Journal. Disney is currently undergoing cost cuts amounting to $5.5 billion, which has resulted in layoffs across its divisions. Additionally, the company deliberately raised admission prices recently, which has drawn the ire of many park fans.
Others have attributed the thinner crowds to Florida’s weather. The state’s heat index exceeded 100 degrees on several days in early July.
While industry analysts point to changes in pricing as a driving factor, Disney has not publicly attributed the drop in theme park attendance to a single reason. However, in May, the company stated that they were expecting lower demand in the second half of the year.
The outlook for Disney is mixed. The Walt Disney Company reported a 13% increase in quarterly earnings in May, primarily driven by its theme parks. NPR reports Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products division increased its profits by 20% to $2.2 billion.
An exchange between Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins is drawing criticism on Capitol Hill after Tuberville argued that white nationalism and its definition are a matter of “opinion.” His comments were made during an interview on CNN.
During the exchange, Collins defined a white nationalist as “someone who believes in the superiority of the white race.” Tuberville responded by saying, “Well, that’s some people’s opinion.”
This story is considered a media miss by the right, as it is being underreported by right-oriented news outlets and mostly covered by left-oriented outlets, according to the Straight Arrow News Media Miss tool.
Tuberville was invited on CNN to clarify statements he made during a previous interview with a Birmingham radio station in May. In that interview, when asked whether he believed white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Tuberville responded, “I call them Americans.”
Despite facing criticism, Tuberville has reiterated this stance on white nationalism, arguing that the term is merely a “cover word” used by Democrats to engage in identity politics.
In the CNN interview, Tuberville also emphasized his opposition to racism, stating, “If that white nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything that they want to do, because I am 110% against racism.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of non-white persons. Their primary goal is to create a “white ethnostate,” the legal advocacy organization says.
The Anti-Defamation League states that white nationalism is a term that originated among white supremacists as a euphemism for white supremacy.
Polling data indicates that the majority of Americans are against white supremacy. However, there is a notable political discrepancy in which side sees it as a significant problem in the country.
A joint poll conducted by YouGov and Vice News last year found that approximately 60% of Republicans identified white supremacy extremism as either a major problem or somewhat of a problem. In contrast, about 93% of Democrats held that position, per the poll.
Furthermore, separate polling carried out by the African American Research Collaborative reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans were worried or very worried about elected officials remaining silent or failing to speak out against white nationalists and extremists. Concerns were particularly higher among Black and Latino voters.
U.S. officials are investigating a company that recently purchased roughly 52,000 acres of land surrounding the Travis Air Force Base in California. There is growing speculation over whether foreign interests are involved in the company and its recent acquisitions, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Travis Air Force Base serves as a crucial hub for large transport aircraft used in worldwide aid and munitions deployment, as well as refueling operations for smaller planes.
Since 2018, public records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal reveal that a company called Flannery Associates LLC has spent around $800 million buying swathes of land around the base. It has left local, state and federal officials puzzled as to who they are and what they want with it, reported the Daily Mail.
An attorney representing Flannery said the company is controlled by U.S. citizens and that 97% of its invested capital comes from U.S. investors. The remaining 3% comes from British and Irish investors.
The company reportedly declined to provide specific information about its investors despite government inquiries.
“We don’t know who Flannery is, and their extensive purchases do not make sense to anybody in the area,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel. “The fact that they’re buying land purposefully right up to the fence at Travis raises significant questions.”
In a letter to Solano County, the company described itself as being “owned by a group of families looking to diversify their portfolio from equities into real assets, including agricultural land in the western United States,” according to county newspaper the Daily Republic.
The attorney representing Flannery Associates dismissed speculation that the company’s land purchases were motivated by the proximity to the military base, calling such claims “unfounded.”
Owning land near a military base is not inherently illegal or nefarious. However, the speculation surrounding Flannery’s purchases is seemingly rooted in recent events.
Just last year, a China-based food producer acquired 300 acres of land in North Dakota, mere minutes from a separate Air Force base reportedly housing sensitive drone technology. This raised concerns among lawmakers and military experts, amid particularly heightened tensions between China and the U.S.
Currently, China owns more than 192,000 acres of agricultural land within the U.S., with an estimated value of nearly $2 billion, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, commercial land in China remains under state control and is generally inaccessible to U.S. or foreign investors.
While certain states have enacted local laws to restrict Chinese land ownership, some federal lawmakers are pushing for a national strategy.
Last year, two Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would prohibit members of the Chinese Communist Party or individuals working for the CCP from purchasing real estate in the U.S. And earlier this year, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a separate bill aiming to restrict the sale of U.S. agricultural land to individuals or entities tied to the governments of Iran, North Korea, Russia or China.
By Mahmoud Bennett (Reporter/Producer), Jack Aylmer (Digital Producer)
Recent reports have revealed that cocaine was discovered near to the West Executive Entrance of the White House, close to the Situation Room. Law enforcement officials are currently investigating how this substance, classified as a Schedule 2 drug by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency, ended up in one of the most secure government buildings in the world.
The media coverage of this incident appears to vary among news outlets, with right-leaning sources giving it more prominence than left-leaning outlets, while some outlets are presenting their own spin on the story.
Online betting websites have also joined in on the speculation, listing Hunter Biden among a list of potential owners of the drugs. However, it remains unclear who brought the cocaine into the highly-trafficked area. One law enforcement official familiar with the ongoing investigation reportedly told Politico that it is unlikely the culprit will ever be found due to the nature of the discovery.
When asked about the incident, the White House referred to the Secret Service, stating that the investigation falls under their “purview.” The White House expressed confidence in the Secret Service’s ability to uncover the truth.
“We’re going to allow certainly the investigation to continue,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “And we have confidence the Secret Service will get to the bottom of this.”
President Biden has not responded directly to questions about the cocaine discovery. House Republicans have now initiated an investigation into the matter.
“The presence of illegal drugs in the White House is unacceptable and a shameful moment in the White House’s history,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer wrote.
The House Oversight Committee says it plans to assess White House security practices and determine the failures that led to the evacuation of the building and the discovery of the illegal substance.
According to NBC, the bag containing the drugs is being tested for fingerprints and DNA as part of an investigation of the incident by the Secret Service. The agency’s inquiry is also reviewing visitor logs and camera footage to gather further information.
“I don’t think that this stayed around very long undetected, which gives the Secret Service a leg up because they will have some type of time frame to look through what White House pass holders, some press people, whoever else came through that West Wing tours, to see who came through the West Wing during a set time period,” former Secret Service Agent Charles Marino said.
A premier federal surveillance tool, initially developed in the aftermath of 9/11, is facing hurdles in Congress amid an ongoing dispute between Republicans and the FBI. The tool, authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, has held support from both political parties but is approaching a deadline for renewal.
Section 702 is a key provision of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 that permits the government to conduct targeted surveillance of foreign persons located outside the United States.
The government says it uses the information collected to protect the U.S. and its allies from hostile foreign adversaries, including terrorists, proliferators, and spies, and to inform cybersecurity efforts.
First enacted into law by President Bush in 2008, the provision has been renewed multiple times by Congress with modifications to its limitations. This despite consistent opposition from civil rights organizations, who have long argued that it could be exploited to monitor ordinary Americans.
The public was more receptive to surveillance of activity outside of the U.S. a decade after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. That attitude had shifted significantly by the 20th anniversary of the attacks in 2021.
In a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press, 48% of Americans said they believed it necessary to sacrifice their rights and freedoms to prevent terrorism. That number is down from 54% in 2021 and nearly two-thirds in 2011. That decrease was especially dramatic among Republicans, with just 44% saying that it is sometimes necessary compared with 69% in 2011. Among Democrats, 55% still say it is necessary, similar to the 59% who said so in 2011.
With Section 702 set to expire in December, leaders of both parties have warned the Biden administration that Congress will not renew the law without changes to prevent federal agents from freely searching the email, phone and other electronic records of Americans in touch with surveilled foreigners.
Republicans have accused the government of weaponizing its powers against conservatives and ordinary Americans.
“There’s no way we’re going to be for reauthorizing that in its current form — no possible way,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said. Jordan, a key ally of Trump, is leading a special House investigation into the weaponization of government against conservatives.
“We’re concerned about surveillance, period,” Jordan said.
Meanwhile The New York Times reports that Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado who is part of the Intelligence Committee’s Section 702 working group, said they have been “very clear with the administration that there is not going to be a clean reauthorization — there’s no path to that.”
According to an analysis conducted by the APM Research Lab, public support for the FBI has dwindled.
Only 4% of Republicans said they “just about always” trust the FBI to do what is right compared to 17% of Democrats. The data further found only 7% of Democrats indicate that they “hardly ever” trust the FBI to do what is right, compared with 30% of independents and 32% of Republicans.