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'I really hope she is the future': AOC's support of Sanders fuels 2024 speculation

'I really hope she is the future': AOC's support of Sanders fuels 2024 speculationAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s aid of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is raising talk of the possibility she might run for the White House herselfIt was billed as a rally for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. But the only aging white man on the platform was the film-maker Michael Moore, and attendee Brittany Springmeier wasn’t there to see him.She was in Iowa City for real star of the show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.“She’s speaking for us. She’s speaking for the people. She has a passion for the millennials. She’s speaking for everyone in America who doesn’t have a voice,” said Springmeier, a millennial herself who is unable to work because of a disability.With the Vermont senator trapped in Washington DC by the impeachment hearings, Ocasio-Cortez was fronting for him at the University of Iowa on Friday evening in the last days before the Iowa Democratic caucuses.Much of the crowd had already made up its mind to back Sanders, which was just as well because the New York congresswoman gave a 26-minute speech without once mentioning the man she was ostensibly there to promote. A passionate discourse on healthcare and the case for comprehensive public insurance, a cause at the heart of Sanders campaign, then gave way to a rousing appeal to build a movement to transform “a nation in decline”.Ocasio-Cortez disparaged the Democratic leadership in Congress as fearful of any radical policies that might cost votes and called on supporters to “come together and organise” to repeated cheers.But through it all, even as Sanders picture stared down on her, his name did not once cross the congresswoman’s lips.Ocasio-Cortez has been unstinting in her support of Sanders’ presidential bid but Friday’s rally will only reinforce the perception that his campaign also provides her with a platform to push a more visionary agenda. That in turn has fueled media speculation about the extent of the 30 year-old’s ambitions, and the possibility she might run for the White House herself in 2024 – should Trump win a second term.Whatever her plans, the congresswoman will not have been discouraged by the reception in Iowa City, where she was greeted with an enthusiasm bordering on adulation.Jonathan Katz, a high school math teacher from New York City who travelled to Iowa to canvass for Sanders, was at the rally specifically to see Ocasio-Cortez.“When she showed the courage after Bernie’s heart attack to say ‘I’m going to be supporting Bernie’, my respect went up 1,000%. Because here’s someone at Bernie’s most difficult moment in the campaign saying ‘I’m with you Bernie’,” said Katz.Ocasio-Cortez’s backing has meant more than throwing her weight behind Sanders’ positions. She has amplified some of them, not least on the environment with her push for a Green New Deal, and injected a much greater diversity of voices into the Vermont senator’s campaign, which he has frankly admitted were lacking in his 2016 run.“She’s been very important to Bernie, bringing people in, especially young people,” said Springmeier. “She’s helped bring in minorities, bring some light to the fact that they don’t really have a voice. I think a lot of people are drawn to her who may not otherwise have been interested in politics, and that helps Bernie.“I really hope she continues on the politics. She’s a force to be reckoned with. I really think she’s going to do great things for the people, for we the people. She’s working in the establishment but I think she’s going to be speaking for us.”If Ocasio-Cortez has reinforced the Sanders campaign, it’s clear she can also draw from that enhanced strength. For some of Sanders supporters, she offers a vision beyond his presidential campaign. Wendy Stevenson, a librarian who caucused for Sanders four years ago, came to the rally with her 11-year-old daughter, Estelle, who wanted to see Ocasio-Cortez after watching a Netflix documentary about her.“I love her vision. I love her guts to go in first term as a representative and propose the Green New Deal. It changes the way our economy will work. It’s exciting. You need that kind of energy and ideas out there. And she’s not scared to challenge the establishment. Even the Democrats, she’s pushing them further than they feel comfortable going. I love having that voice,” she said.But for all that, Stevenson is not sure on where Ocasio-Cortez should set her sights. For now she wants to see her remain in Congress, where she thinks she could rise to great heights and have real power and influence over the policies that matter most.“I hope she’ll be a powerful future politician that can change the way things are done. I feel like she really feels strongly about representing her people in her district. She’s still young. I’m excited that things are moving further to the left with a lot more fresh ideas. I really hope she is the future.”



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'I stayed alive to tell' – Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp

'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death campA strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom’s living room. As the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it. Harshalom is one of some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today.



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'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-Ed

'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-EdChesley “Sully” Sullenberger opened up about his past struggles with stuttering in defending Biden and his speech.



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Warren to Bernie Sanders during handshake moment: 'I think you called me a liar on national TV'

Warren to Bernie Sanders during handshake moment: 'I think you called me a liar on national TV'In audio released by CNN Wednesday night, you can hear Warren saying, "I think you called me a liar on national TV."



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'I would obey any subpoena': Joe Biden now says

'I would obey any subpoena': Joe Biden now says"Well, first of all, I would obey any subpoena that was sent to me," Joe Biden said after an Iowa audience member asked him about the issue.



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'I got a lot of problems': Rand Paul airs his impeachment grievance as part of Seinfeld's 'Festivus'

'I got a lot of problems': Rand Paul airs his impeachment grievance as part of Seinfeld's 'Festivus'The Republican senator from Kentucky took to Twitter Monday morning to air silly and semi-serious grievances as part of the made-up holiday.



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Biden answers critics of his moderation: 'I have no love' for Republicans who attack me

Biden answers critics of his moderation: 'I have no love' for Republicans who attack meAt the Democratic debate, former Vice President Joe Biden responded to critics on the left who say he is too moderate — and too willing to work with Republicans who have enabled President Trump — to be the party’s nominee.



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Tulsi Gabbard on Trump impeachment: 'I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no'

Tulsi Gabbard on Trump impeachment: 'I could not in good conscience vote either yes or no'Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said she worked for the best interests of the country whether in the military or in Congress and could not in good conscious vote.



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'I forced her out because she's corrupt': Rudy Giuliani triples down in saying he wanted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch out of her job

'I forced her out because she's corrupt': Rudy Giuliani triples down in saying he wanted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch out of her jobYovanovitch has testified she was forced from her job as US ambassador to Ukraine after a smear campaign launched by Giuliani and corrupt Ukrainians.



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'I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People'

'I Got Tired of Hunting Black and Hispanic People'NEW YORK — At a police station tucked into an end-of-the-line subway terminal in South Brooklyn, the new commander instructed officers to think of white and Asian people as "soft targets" and urged them to instead go after blacks and Latinos for minor offenses like jumping the turnstile, a half-dozen officers said in sworn statements."You are stopping too many Russian and Chinese," one of the officers, Daniel Perez, recalled the commander telling him earlier this decade.Another officer, Aaron Diaz, recalled the same commander saying in 2012, "You should write more black and Hispanic people."The sworn statements, gathered in the last few months as part of a discrimination lawsuit, deal with a period between 2011-15. But they are now emerging publicly at a time when policing in the subway has become a contentious issue, sparking protests over a crackdown on fare evasion and other low-level offenses.The commander, Constantin Tsachas, was in charge of more than 100 officers who patrolled a swath of the subway system in Brooklyn, his first major command. Since then, he has been promoted to the second-in-command of policing the subway system throughout Brooklyn. Along the way, more than half a dozen subordinates claim, he gave them explicit directives about whom to arrest based on race.Those subordinates recently came forward, many for the first time, providing signed affidavits to support a discrimination lawsuit brought by four black and Hispanic police officers.The officers claim they faced retaliation from the New York Police Department because they objected to what they said was a long-standing quota system for arrests and tickets, which they argued mainly affected black and Hispanic New Yorkers.The authorities have deployed hundreds of additional officers to the subways, provoking a debate about overpolicing and the criminalization of poverty. Videos of arrests of young black men and of a woman selling churros in the subway system have gone viral in recent weeks. Demonstrators have taken to the subway system and jumped turnstiles in protest.Six officers said in their affidavits that Tsachas, now a deputy inspector, pressured them to enforce low-level violations against black and Hispanic people, while discouraging them from doing the same to white or Asian people.Tsachas declined to comment when reached by telephone this week, but his union representative said the inspector denied the allegations of misconduct. The Police Department also declined to address the allegations.The department has said in the past that its enforcement of fare evasion is not aimed at black and Hispanic people.More than three years ago, when Tsachas was promoted to his current rank, the police commissioner at the time, William J. Bratton, said that allegations Tsachas pushed quotas were false."I have full faith and support in him," Bratton said. He added that Tsachas had "the requisite skills and comes highly recommended."Most of the people arrested on charges of fare evasion in New York are black or Hispanic, according to data the Police Department has been required to report under local law since 2017.Between October 2017 and June 2019, black and Hispanic people, who account for slightly more than half the population in New York City, made up nearly 73% of those who got a ticket for fare evasion and whose race was recorded. They also made up more than 90% of those who were arrested, rather than given a ticket.Some elected officials have complained about the apparent racial disparity in arrests, saying it may indicate bias on the part of officers or an unofficial policy of racial profiling by the police."The focus of black and brown people, even if other people were doing the same crime, points to what many of us have been saying for a while," the city's public advocate, Jumaane Williams, said. "The same actions lead to different results, unfortunately, depending on where you live and an overlay of what you look like."Enforcement has surged nearly 50% in 2019, as city police officers issued 22,000 more tickets for fare evasion this year compared to 2018, according to Police Department data from Nov. 10.While the affidavits focus on a time period that ended nearly five years ago, they suggest at least one police commander openly pushed racial profiling when making arrests in the subway."I got tired of hunting Black and Hispanic people because of arrest quotas," one former officer, Christopher LaForce, said in his affidavit, explaining his decision to retire in 2015.In the affidavits, the officers said that different enforcement standards applied to different stations across Transit District 34, which spanned stations across South Brooklyn: Brooklyn's Chinatown in Sunset Park; neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish communities; a corner of Flatbush that is home to many Caribbean immigrants; and the Russian enclave around Brighton Beach."Tsachas would get angry if you tried to patrol subway stations in predominantly white or Asian neighborhoods" LaForce said in his affidavit. He added that the commander would redirect officers to stations in neighborhoods with larger black and Hispanic populations.Diaz, who retired from the Police Department last year, described in his affidavit how on one occasion Tsachas seemed irritated at him for having stopped several Asian people for fare evasion and told him he should be issuing tickets to "more black and Hispanic people."At the time, Diaz said, he was assigned to the N Line, which passes through neighborhoods with large numbers of Chinese Americans. He had arrested multiple residents of that neighborhoods for doubling up as they went through the turnstiles, according to his affidavit.Other officers described similar experiences. Some of the officers claimed in affidavits that Tsachas urged his officers to come up with reasons to stop black men, especially those with tattoos, and check them for warrants.Of the six officers, all but one is retired. They are all black or Hispanic. The affidavits were given to The New York Times by one of the four officers who has sued the Police Department, Lt. Edwin Raymond.The allegations in the affidavits were bolstered by a police union official, Corey Grable, who gave a deposition in June in the same lawsuit that recounted his interactions with Tsachas. He recalled Tsachas had once complained about a subordinate who Tsachas said seemed to go for "soft targets."Unsure what that meant, Grable asked if the officer was ticketing old ladies for minor offenses? Tsachas responded: "No, Asian."Grable, who is black, asked, "Would you have been more comfortable if these guys were black or Hispanic?""Yes," Tsachas replied, according to Grable's recollection.Tsachas joined the Police Department in 2001 and patrolled public housing developments in Harlem for five years. He later analyzed crime patterns in Queens and across the city before being transferred to the Transit Bureau. He was a captain in 2011 when he was appointed to command Brooklyn's District 34, a position he held for at least four years.In 2015, he took command of neighboring Transit District 32, where Raymond, who is currently suing him, worked. At the time Raymond held the rank of police officer.Raymond has charged in the lawsuit that Tsachas blocked his promotion by giving him a low evaluation as punishment for not making enough arrests.Raymond, who is now a patrol supervisor in Brooklyn, recorded a conversation in October 2015 in which Tsachas encouraged him to arrest more people and gave an example of the sort of arrest he did not want: a 42-year-old Asian woman with no identification arrested on a charge of fare beating."That's not going to fly," he said, according to the recording, first described in a New York Times Magazine article.Raymond, who still had the rank of police officer at the time, responded that it was unconstitutional to consider race when deciding whom to arrest. Tsachas, a captain at the time, then apologized, saying the comment "didn't come out the way it's supposed to."Raymond said he believed Tsachas should not have been promoted. "It's a spit in the face of communities of color that this man is given more power after being exposed as a bigot," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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