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Beto O’Rourke Sets To Run For Texas Governor 2022

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Beto O'Rourke Sets To Run For Texas Governor 2022
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Beto O’Rourke Sets To Run For Texas Governor 2022

Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on Monday launched his campaign to unseat Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2022.

“I’m running for governor,” he tweeted alongside a video announcement. “Together, we can push past the small and divisive politics that we see in Texas today — and get back to the big, bold vision that used to define Texas. A Texas big enough for all of us.”
In launching a campaign that many Democrats in Texas had identified as the party’s only chance of denying Abbott a third term, O’Rourke — an El Paso native and former punk rocker who launched an internet services company and served on the city council before being elected to Congress in 2011 — is making his third run for office in four years.
His first statewide run in Texas, a long-shot Senate campaign against Republican Ted Cruz in 2018, electrified Democrats in a state where the party has rarely been competitive for a generation.

He rose from little-known congressman to fundraising dynamo, setting what at the time was the all-time record for money raised for a Senate bid. And he did it with a relatively bare-bones campaign structure, mostly driving himself to campaign events across the state with two staffers and live-streaming it all on Facebook.
O’Rourke’s near-miss in the Senate race — he finished less than 3 percentage points behind Cruz — led to a short-lived presidential run the following year. By the time he dropped out of the race in October 2019, Democrats in Texas were already publicly musing about him as a candidate for governor in 2022.

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This time, though, O’Rourke faces longer odds. In 2018, with then-President Donald Trump in the White House, the political environment was extremely favorable for Democrats. In 2022, amid the Biden presidency, it’s Republicans who hope the midterm electorate will sweep them into power in Washington and statehouses.
O’Rourke’s support in Texas remains deep among Democratic loyalists, many of whom never took down their white-and-black “Beto” yard signs and bumper stickers. But with Democrats on defense across a much larger playing field, it’s not clear he’ll be able to tap into the same kind of national fundraising resources he did in 2018.

Still, O’Rourke has pointed himself toward a showdown with Abbott for months.
He has harshly criticized the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the new law that effectively outlaws abortions in Texas, the state’s restrictive new voting law and more.

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In social media posts, emails to his political group Powered by People and live-streams, he has hammered Abbott. In March, live-streaming on Facebook from his mother’s house, O’Rourke lambasted Abbott’s handling of a winter storm that shut down huge portions of the Texas power grid and said the governor had taken actions that were “unconscionable, unforgivable,” in ending his mask mandate and allowing all businesses to open at full capacity.

“Our governor has checked out of the fight. He’s surrendered to the virus. He’s going to allow it to run rampant in this state,” O’Rourke said in the video. “We are now on our own. But we are not on our own alone — we are on our own together. And that might be some cold comfort, but let’s take what we’ve got right now and let’s work together.”
In October, when Abbott banned all businesses in the state from imposing Covid-19 vaccine mandates, O’Rourke was similarly critical.

Beto O’Rourke Sets To Run For Texas Governor 2022

“Abbott’s latest anti-science, anti-public health order is creating more chaos and more confusion,” he said on Twitter. “Businesses need every tool at their disposal to survive the pandemic and keep workers and customers safe.”
One question O’Rourke would face if he attempts another statewide run in Texas is whether his disappointing presidential run, and the positions he took during the campaign, would hurt him.

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In the wake of a white supremacist gunman targeting Latinos and killing 23 people at an El Paso Walmart in August 2019, O’Rourke said assault weapons should be outlawed and the government should confiscate those currently legally owned.
“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said in a September 2019 presidential debate. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.”

But in Texas, where guns are ingrained in the state’s culture and mythology, Republicans say those comments — as well as progressive positions he took on immigration, including saying he would tear down the wall between Mexico and Texas, telling reporters it has failed to make his hometown on the border any safer — would badly damage a future O’Rourke campaign.
Abbott has already used O’Rourke’s comments from the presidential race on issues like gun control, the Green New Deal, health care reform, immigration and the Black Lives Matter movement — generally out of context — in an ad series he has posted on YouTube called “Wrong Way O’Rourke.”

Cnn.com

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Anti-Lockdown Riots Erupt In Belgium As Protests Sweep Across Europe (Pix, Video)

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Anti-Lockdown Riots Erupt In Belgium As Protests Sweep Across Europe
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Anti-Lockdown Riots Erupt In Belgium As Protests Sweep Across Europe

STREETS OF RAGE : Anti-lockdown riot erupts in Belgium as protests sweep Europe amid Covid Xmas fears – with 2.5million cases in one week

Six people were hospitalised including two police officers while 20 were arrested after protests broke out in Brussels.

Cops in Brussels used water cannons and tear gas as 8,000 people descended on the capital in protest at new restrictions introduced on Friday.

Crowds were heard chanting “Freedom! Freedom!” and held placards which read “everyday fascism” emblazoned with yellow stars as they marched towards to EU’s headquarters.

The demonstration turned violent when 100 rioters threw rubbish and other objects, including a bicycle, beer cans, and fire crackers, at police.

The intense public backlash comes after the government tightened restrictions for a third week in a row – forcing kids as young as six to wear face masks and ordering schools to shut a week early.

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Belgium – with a population of 11 million – registered a weekly average of 17,862 new daily cases this week: a six per cent rise from last week, with hospital admissions also up four per cent.

Some 800 people are in hospital with severe forms of Covid while 44 people have died in the past seven days.

Protests have also kicked off across European capitals this weekend as the virus returns with a vengeance ahead of Christmas.

More than 2.5million cases have been recorded in the past week alone across Europe – with major surges in France, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Germany.

New restrictions are being rolled out across the continent with measures such as heavy fines, mandatory vaccinations and full lockdowns for the unvaccinated.

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And it comes as the new Omicron variant looms over the continent, despite WHO saying as of yet no one has died from the “super mutant” strain.

Governments are scrambling to try and control the Covid winter surge which appears to be have dealt a hammer blow to hopes of a normal Christmas.

Pictures from the last few days show large anti-lockdown marches in Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Austrian authorities have imposed lockdown on the unvaccinated and warned anyone who refuses to comply with jab status checks could be fined over £1,000.

Thousands marched through Vienna against the new measures designed to save lives and protect hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Austria was the first domino to fall in imposing new measures in Europe as it saw record case loads at the end of November of over 15,000 each day.

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Figures have now dropped to around 7,000 amid the new restrictions.

And meanwhile in Dutch town of Utrecht there was another several thousand strong march to rage against new restrictions.

It is the first major march in the Netherlands against the measures which include new closures of restaurants and bars.

Protests also erupted in Barcelona, Spain, as marchers spoke out against new Covid certificates required to enter bars, restaurants, gyms and care homes.

Germany also saw protests of people waving “we the people” banners in Frankfurt over their new restrictions – a crackdown on the unvaccinated.

And then in Italy, protesters hit the streets in Turin to speak out against the country’s new coronavirus health pass.

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US Teenager Who Shot 4 Students Dead Set To Be Charged As An Adult

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US Teenager Who Shot 4 Students Dead Set To Be Charged As An Adult
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US Teenager Who Shot 4 Students Dead Set To Be Charged As An Adult

The suspect in a Michigan school shooting will face charges of terrorism and first-degree murder following a rampage that left four students dead and seven injured.

Prosecutors on Wednesday charged Oxford High School student Ethan Crumbley, 15, as an adult.

He has pleaded not guilty. Police are yet to identify a motive in the attack.

The victims were named as Tate Myre, 16, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17.

Announcing the charges on Wednesday, Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said her office had “a mountain of digital evidence” to show the suspect had planned the attack “well before the incident”.

One such instance is a video of the suspect the night before the shooting, in which he discusses killing students.

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“This isn’t even a close call,” she said. “This was not an impulsive act.”

She added that it was “absolutely premeditated”.

Ms McDonald said the teen will face one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder, and 12 counts of possession of a firearm, with further charges likely as the investigation unfolds.

At a later news conference, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said charging the suspect as an adult was “the most appropriate” action.

“I agree with holding this individual wholly and completely responsible for the deplorable, tragic event that occurred by his choice,” he said.

The suspect will be transferred from a juvenile detention centre to the local county jail, where he will be held without bond.

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The teenager has refused to speak with investigators on the instructions of his family.

The sheriff stressed that the teenager had never been on the radar of law enforcement or the school. He also added there was no evidence the suspect had been bullied by his peers.

“There is nothing that he could have faced that would warrant senseless, absolutely brutal violence on other kids,” said Mr Bouchard.

US Teenager Who Shot 4 Students Dead Set To Be Charged As An Adult

He noted that the suspect’s parents had been called to the school hours before the shooting “for behaviour in the classroom that was concerning”.

Investigators have found the suspect loaded his firearm – purchased by his father on Friday – in the bathroom and then walked through the hallway firing more than 30 shots from the weapon.

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Mr Bouchard said the suspect appeared to fire indiscriminately during the attack at the school of around 1,700 students.

Tate Myre reportedly tried to disarm the shooter, and more than 75,000 people have signed a petition calling for the school to rename its football stadium after Tate.

The 16-year-old, who played on the football team, died in a police officer’s car on the way to hospital.

Madisyn and Hana also died on Tuesday, while Justin was confirmed dead on Wednesday.

Among those admitted to hospital, a 17-year-old female student remains in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.

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UK Puts Nigeria On Red Lists, Over Increase in Covid19 Omicron Variant

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UK Puts Nigeria On Red Lists, Over Increase in Covid19 Omicron Variant
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UK Puts Nigeria On Red Lists, Over Increase in Covid19 Omicron Variant

The UK Government has said Nigeria will be added to the countries on its red list.

This is due to the discovery of COVID-19 Omicron cases linked to Nigeria.

The decision was announced in a tweet by the UK on Saturday.

According to the new protocol, non-UK and non-Irish citizens who are travelling in from Nigeria will not be allowed entry into the UK.

Although the ban is described as temporary, the UK said the new protocol does not apply to persons “staying airside and only transiting through”.

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Details to follow..

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