New Orleans Removes Its Confederate Monuments

New Orleans started taking down the first of four prominent Confederate monuments in the city early Monday morning, at about 1:30 a.m. The city is the most recent Southern stronghold to remove symbols interpreted by many to memorialize white supremacy and racism. The first monument to be removed overnight was one that “commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans,” according to local reports. City officials chose to take it down overnight in order to minimize disruption from those who take issue with the removal. Some have sent death threats. “There’s a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the Associated Press.

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The Daily Beast CHEAT SHEET
AM
EDITION
24
Apr
 
1. CHANGE OF GUARD
New Orleans Removes Confederate Statues
New Orleans started taking down the first of four prominent Confederate monuments in the city early Monday morning, at about 1:30 a.m. The city is the most recent Southern stronghold to remove symbols interpreted by many to memorialize white supremacy and racism. The first monument to be removed overnight was one that “commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans,” according to local reports. City officials chose to take it down overnight in order to minimize disruption from those who take issue with the removal. Some have sent death threats. “There’s a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the Associated Press.
READ IT AT ABC News  
 
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2. CHAIN REACTION
Anti-Semitic Attacks Jump Since Election
Anti-Semitic incidents—including bullying and vandalism—in the U.S. have sharply increased following the November election, according to new research. “There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016, and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. There’s been an 86 percent increase in incidents of vandalism and bullying alone since the beginning of the year, said Greenblatt. Incidents were reported in 30 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and California.
READ IT AT NBC News  
 
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David Duke’s Threatening Tweets Are Back
BY Ben Collins and Gideon Resnick
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. COP OUT
Facebook: We’re Not ‘Arbiter of Truth’
Sheryl Sandberg, feminist author and chief operating officer of Facebook, says the social-media giant doesn’t see itself as a publisher or an “arbiter of the truth.” The social-networking site has come under fire in recent months for not appropriately fighting “fake news” articles published on its pages. “We are really a platform and we take our responsibilities on false news very seriously. False news hurts everyone because it makes our community uninformed, it hurts our community, it hurts countries. And we know that people want to see accurate news on Facebook and that’s what we want them to see,” Sandberg told the BBC in an interview expected to be broadcast Monday. She added, “I don’t think we have to be the publisher and we definitely don’t want to be the arbiter of the truth. We don’t think that’s appropriate for us. We think everyone needs to do their part. Newsrooms have to do their part, [as do] media companies, classrooms and technology companies.”
READ IT AT CNBC  
 
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4. PANIC
Pence to Rush Home From Asia Trip
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly decided to cut his 10-day Asia trip short and rush back to Washington, where President Trump is preparing for a stressful week of tax-overhaul and do-or-die government funding plans. Pence had originally planned to spend two nights in Honolulu after visiting South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia, but he will now spend one day in Hawaii before returning Tuesday morning, an aide told reporters Monday. Plans for Pence to tour the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor have been cut out of the itinerary, the aide said, though Pence still intends to meet with leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command. The scheduling change comes as Trump braces for a potential government shutdown if he can’t get lawmakers to approve a new funding bill by Friday, when money will run out. Trump also plans to unveil his plans for a tax overhaul this week, having promised the public a “big announcement” Wednesday.
READ IT AT Reuters  
 
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How Trump Can Keep Congress
BY John Batchelor
 
 
 
 
 
 
5. SICK
Duterte: I’ll Eat Militants’ Livers
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said during a speech Sunday that he can be “50 times” more brutal than extremists and Muslim militants who’ve staged beheadings. Duterte warned that he would even “eat” terrorists—whom he also called “animals”—if they were captured alive. The president was speaking at a national sports tournament when he made the comments. “Just give me vinegar and salt, I’ll eat his liver,” Duterte said. Meanwhile, a Filipino lawyer on Monday requested that the International Criminal Court charge Duterte and 11 other officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the deaths of thousands of civilians over at least three decades. Jude Josue Sabio filed a 77-page complaint describing Duterte as the “mastermind” of an effort that killed nearly 10,000 people since 1988, when he was elected mayor of Davao City. “The situation in the Philippines reveals a terrifying, gruesome, and disastrous continuing commission of extrajudicial executions or mass murder from the time President Duterte was the mayor of Davao City,” the complaint says.
READ IT AT The New York Times   
 
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6. 535 DAYS
Astronaut Peggy Whitson Breaks Record
Peggy Whitson has broken a new record for the most days in space by a U.S. astronaut. The record was previously held by Jeff Williams, who had a total of 534. She already held the record for the oldest woman to have gone to space, most spacewalks carried out by a woman, and the first woman to command the International Space Station twice. She is 57. Earlier this month, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough turned command of the ISS over to her: “The Space Station is in great hands with Peggy.” Whitson is expected to have a 20-minute phone call with President Trump live on NASA Television, which will be streamed on Facebook at 10 a.m. ET.
READ IT AT BBC  
 
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7. WAR ZONE
American OSCE Member Killed in Ukraine
An American member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was killed Sunday after hitting a landmine while on patrol in eastern Ukraine, the first casualty of the monitoring group during its time observing the country’s conflict. His name has not yet been released, but he was described as a paramedic. Two other monitors, a German and a Czech national, were also injured in the incident, which occurred in rebel-controlled Luhansk. Despite a 2015 ceasefire agreement, fighting has continued in the area and the OSCE has regularly complained of hindered access and harassment from the Russian-backed separatists. In response to the incident Sunday, the U.S. State Department called on Russia to “use its influence with the separatists to allow the OSCE to conduct a full, transparent, and timely investigation,” spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. He added that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, telling him that “Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine remain an obstacle” for the U.S. in mending ties with Moscow.
READ IT AT Reuters  
 
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8. BE CAREFUL
Xi Calls for Restraint With N. Korea
During a phone call with President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for restraint in dealing with North Korea, Chinese state-run media reported. Beijing is said to hope “the parties concerned will exercise restraint and avoid actions that aggravate tensions on the [Korean] Peninsula,” the Xinhua news agency wrote. “Xi noted that if the parties shoulder their due responsibilities and meet each other halfway, they can solve the nuclear issue of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.” South Korea has reported that the North will likely conduct a nuclear test or missile launch on the anniversary of its military on Tuesday.
READ IT AT USA Today  
 
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9. TRAGIC
5 Killed in NYC House Fire
Five people were killed Sunday after a four-alarm fire tore through a Queens home, with three young children among the dead. New York City Fire Department crews reportedly struggled to get to the family trapped inside, with some of them stuck in the attic as flames engulfed the two-story house. Authorities said they have yet to determine the cause of the blaze. The victims have not yet been identified, but reportedly ranged in age from 2 to 21 years old. A 46-year-old man survived after jumping out a window. Neighbors described a horrific scene as firefighters were unable to rescue the family’s children in time. “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Foster McPhee, a 67-year-old neighbor, was quoted as saying by the New York Post. “The guy who was carrying the baby out, you could just see the stress on his face. I’m just emotional about it because I’m a grandfather and I have kids, too,” he said. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who held a press conference at the scene, described the fire as a “devastation.” The fire “moved very, very quickly, and the loss was horrendous,” he said.
READ IT AT New York Post  
 
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Oakland Fire Death Toll Hits 36
BY The Daily Beast
 
 
 
 
 
 
10. WINNING
‘Fate of the Furious’ Tops Box Office
Universal’s The Fate of the Furious dominated the weekend box office, raking in $38.7 million in North American theaters. The eighth installment in the Fast and the Furious saga surpassed even new releases like Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl, and the historical drama The Promise, both of which fell short of hitting $5 million. By its second weekend, Fate of the Furious brought in $908.4 globally, with analysts predicting the action film will top the $1 billion mark this week. It broke records in its debut weekend, becoming the biggest opening worldwide. The top three films this weekend were all holdovers, with no newcomers among the top earners. After Fate of the Furious, the animated film Boss Baby came in second, with about $12.8 million, followed by Beauty and the Beast with around $10 million.
READ IT AT The New York Times  
 
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