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Native American 2020 candidate aims to raise awareness of indigenous peoples

Native American 2020 candidate aims to raise awareness of indigenous peoplesMark Charles knows his bid is a long shot but hopes to shed light on the historic abuse of Native Americans and other ethnicitiesMark Charles speaks on 20 August 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesIn a video launching his presidential campaign, Mark Charles, hair tied in a tsiiyéeł, a Native American hair knot, introduces himself in the Navajo language.“Yá’ át’ ééh. Mark Charles yinishyé,” Charles says.“Tsin bikee dine’é nishłí. Dóó tó’aheedlíinii bá shíshchíín. Tsin bikee’ dine’é dashicheii. Dóó tódích’ íi’ nii dashinálí.”Roughly translated, Charles is explaining that his father was Navajo and his mother Dutch American. What doesn’t need explaining is that if Charles were elected in November 2020, he would become the first Native American president of the United States.It’s an extremely long-shot bid. But Charles is also aiming to use his campaign to raise awareness of the historic, and continuing, abuse of Native Americans and other ethnicities, hopefully resulting in an improved constitution that he believes would better reflect the modern-day US.“Do we want to be a nation where we the people actually means all the people?” Charles says.“Because if we do, then we have some foundational level work to do.”Native American people living on reservations, Charles says, have always been overlooked by politicians. The territory of the Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles alone – enough to make it the 48th largest state in the US. Despite that, Charles says, the territory of 350,000 people is rarely visited by politicians running for president.Charles is determined to change that with his campaign. He held his first campaign event on the Navajo Nation, at a chapter house – a communal meeting place – near Fort Defiance, north-east Arizona. His second event was at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and another at the Denver Indian Center.“Almost every state I go to I want my first contact to be with the indigenous nations, the indigenous peoples of that state,” Charles said.“I really want to connect with them again because I’m coming on to their land to campaign and I want them to know me and to understand who I am and, and why, why I’m there.”Charles believes he is the best person to lead the country as a whole, but he is also running with some ideas that would specifically help Native Americans, African Americans and other people of color. On the stump he talks a lot about creating a “common memory” – educating people on the atrocities committed in the past and the challenges different races face.Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles speaks on 20 August 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesAt the center of Charles’s platform is the establishment of a “truth and conciliation commission”, which would work towards creating that memory. His idea is modeled on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up in South Africa, after the end of apartheid.“I don’t call ours truth and reconciliation because reconciliation implies a previous harmony, and if you know our history you know that’s not true.”In South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation committee hearings, which allowed both victims and perpetrators to explain their experiences, were broadcast live, in what has been described as the “gold standard” for how a divided society might deal with a violent past. Charles believes his committee could eventually lead to an at least partial rewriting of the US constitution.Charles said he had the idea for “that type of conversation years ago”.“But I did not know the best way to bring that proposal to the nation. And after observing several presidential campaigns, I realized every four years we have a dialogue about who we are and where we’re going: our presidential campaign cycle.“So I felt like this is an important enough of a proposal that it actually could very well be the center of a presidential campaign. So one of my motivations in running for president is to raise this issue of truth and conciliation to the national level.”Charles grew up in New Mexico, and went to university in California, before spending 11 years living in the Navajo Nation, which is spread across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.Three of those years were spent on a remote sheep camp, where Charles and his young family lived in a one-room hogan, a traditional Navajo house, which had a dirt floor, no running water, no electricity and was six miles from the nearest paved road.Charles isn’t the first Native American to run for the White House. Russell Means, an activist from the Lakota tribe who died in 2012, ran for the Libertarian party nomination ahead of the 1988 election, but came second to the Texas congressman Ron Paul.In 2018 there was a breakthrough for Native American women in particular, when Sharice Davids, from Kansas, and Deb Haaland, from New Mexico, became the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. Both Davids and Haaland are Democrats. Charles says he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the past, but believes his best chance for office is to eschew both parties.“I don’t want people to think that becauseI’m running as an independent I’m not a serious candidate,” Charles said. He believes he would not clinch the Democratic or Republican nomination – aside from anything else, he isn’t a member of either party – but he plans to be on the ballot in all 50 states, and is committed to running all the way through to November.“If our country does not begin creating this common memory, and does not make a decision on whether we want to be a place where we the people means all the people,” Charles said, “We’re going to continue to face these deep racial divides that we’ve had in our country since its founding.”



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Sanders' criminal justice plan aims to cut prison population

Sanders' criminal justice plan aims to cut prison populationDemocratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is proposing a criminal justice overhaul that aims to cut the nation’s prison population in half, end mandatory minimum sentencing, ban private prisons and legalize marijuana. “We have a system that imprisons and destroys the lives of millions of people,” Sanders told The Associated Press before the planned released of his proposal Sunday. Sanders was promoting the plan during a weekend of campaigning in South Carolina, where the majority of the Democratic electorate is African American.



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Mom aims head-on at a tanker to kill herself, sons. When truck dodges, she doubles back

Mom aims head-on at a tanker to kill herself, sons. When truck dodges, she doubles backPolice say a Gainesville, Florida, mom of two young boys told a friend she was going to kill herself and her sons by crashing her car with everyone inside.



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Harris's $100 Billion Plan Aims to Help Black Families Buy Homes

Harris's $  100 Billion Plan Aims to Help Black Families Buy Homes(Bloomberg) — Taking aim at the racial wealth gap in the U.S., Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris proposed a $ 100 billion program to help black families and individuals buy homes.Speaking at the Essence Festival in New Orleans on Saturday, Harris said the program would help with down payments and other costs associated with purchasing homes.The program, she estimated, would help 4 million families who live or rent in historically red-lined areas, or those where loans are often refused because borrowers are seen as poor financial risks.“We must right the wrong, and after generations of discrimination give black families a real shot at home-ownership — historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth,” Harris said.The program, which would be administrated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would give grants of up to $ 25,000 to families with incomes of up to $ 100,000, or as much as $ 125,000 in high-income communities. Harris said the plan would, over time, reduce the wealth gap between black and white families by one-third.Rising in PollsHer campaign cited research from Demos, a progressive public policy group, showing that less than 50% of black households own their home while 75% of white ones do.Rising in the polls after her breakout debate performance in late June, Harris is seeking to dislodge Democratic front-runner Joe Biden and is especially trying to make inroads with black voters, a crucial constituency for Democrats and a voting bloc where Biden has deep support.Harris’ plan comes after Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, another Democratic candidate, announced a plan in March to provide grants to first-time homebuyers in formerly red-lined and low-income neighborhoods.Harris has previously laid out proposals to offer relief for renters and working families.To contact the reporter on this story: Tyler Pager in New Orleans at tpager1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Boeing aims to finish software fix to 737 Max in September

Boeing aims to finish software fix to 737 Max in SeptemberBoeing says it expects to finish work on updated flight-control software for the 737 Max in September, a sign that the troubled jet likely won’t be flying until late this year. A Boeing official said Thursday that the company expects to submit the software update to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval “in the September timeframe.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Boeing has not publicly discussed timing of the update. Once Boeing submits its changes, the FAA is expected to take several weeks to analyze them, and airlines would need additional time to take their grounded Max jets out of storage and prepare them to fly again.



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Venezuela's Guaido aims at control of PDVSA, Citgo as U.S. imposes sanctions

Venezuela's Guaido aims at control of PDVSA, Citgo as U.S. imposes sanctionsThe moves were aimed at intensifying pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, who was re-elected last year in a contest widely seen as fraudulent. Guaido proclaimed himself president last week, but without a source of revenue or control of the military, he faces difficult odds in assuming the post, despite support across most of the Western Hemisphere. Guaido, who has not yet appointed a Cabinet, faces the intricate legal challenge of nominating new leadership for PDVSA and its subsidiaries, including Citgo Petroleum, who would manage the companies during a transition.



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Elizabeth Warren’s Tax Proposal Aims at Assets of Wealthiest Americans

Elizabeth Warren’s Tax Proposal Aims at Assets of Wealthiest AmericansWarren, a Massachusetts senator who recently established an exploratory committee for the 2020 Democratic nomination, said she would use the revenue to rebuild the middle class, potentially by using the money to pay for child care or relieve student debt. The proposal underscores Warren’s economic populist message at the heart of her campaign to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. A former Harvard law professor, she has written extensively about the shrinking middle class and made enemies on Wall Street for pinning the blame for rising income inequality on the wealthy and large corporations.



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The Latest: Giuliani aims to clarify collusion comments

The Latest: Giuliani aims to clarify collusion commentsWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the special counsel's Russia investigation (all times local):



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House Democrats' 1st bill aims for sweeping reforms

House Democrats' 1st bill aims for sweeping reformsWASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats on Friday unveiled more details of their first bill for the new Congress, a good-government package that would limit big money in politics, make it easier for citizens to vote and require presidents to disclose their tax returns.



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U.N. aims for Yemen talks by year-end, not end of month

U.N. aims for Yemen talks by year-end, not end of monthA proxy war is playing out in Yemen between Iran and Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-allied Houthi group. The United States and Britain last week stepped up calls for an end to the nearly four-year war that has driven impoverished Yemen to the verge of famine, raising pressure on Saudi Arabia as it faces a global outcry over the murder of a prominent Saudi journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.



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