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    • NAACP, Black Journalists Hit CBS For Not Having Enough ‘Diversity’ On 2020 Politics Team

      By Tim Pearce - The civil rights group NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) are adding to criticism of CBS News for not including a black journalist on its initial 2020 politics reporting team. Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York drew attention to the supposed slight at the black community on Twitter Saturday after Ben Mitchell, an associate producer for CBS News, shared the outlet’s team for 2020 political coverage. “CBS News’ decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued,” the NAACP said in a statement. “As the voting bloc that will most certainly determine the direction of this country in the upcoming election, it is vital any and all media outlets have a diverse newsroom, including individuals of color in decision making positions to speak to and address the issues and concerns directly impacting the Black community.” “It is unfortunate that we are still having these discussions about diversity and inclusion,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said in a statement. “In 2019 we’re still asking media organizations specifically, and society as a whole to do the right thing. CBS’s political team takes previously heralded steps back half a century.” CBS has responded to the perceived scandal by promising to add more people to the team. The current group of a dozen reporters and editors is “an initial wave of what will be an outstanding and diverse group of journalists assigned to cover the 2020 election for CBS News,” CBS said in a statement, according to the NABJ. CBS officials met with Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California over the issue. Waters said the media company has promised to place black reporters on its 2020 politics team, Newsweek reports. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] NAACP, Black Journalists Hit CBS For Not Having Enough ‘Diversity’ On 2020 Politics Team is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • South Carolina Proposes Legislation that Requires Ultrasound, Bans Aborting Babies with Heartbeats

      Last Week, South Carolina introduced a bill that would make aborting a baby after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, illegal. View the full article

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    • Meet The Nation’s Youngest Black Legislator, Caleb Hanna

      By Evie Fordham - The West Virginia House of Delegates convened Wednesday with a record-setter in their midst — freshman Del. Caleb L. Hanna, who became the nation’s youngest black legislator when he was elected at age 19 in November 2018. “I always knew that I was not satisfied with the leadership I was getting within my own house district,” Hanna told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “I told myself if I ever had my opportunity to take that, I would give it my shot.” At first, his small Republican campaign was designed to push Democratic incumbent Dana Lynch to be “more proactive in the legislature,” Hanna told TheDCNF. But things shifted when Hanna realized he could win the Republican primary — even if he was running his campaign from his dorm room at West Virginia State University, where he studies economics. Leading up to the general election, Hanna faced doubts about his age and experience, a shoestring budget and one instance of racist flyers he reported to law enforcement. But Hanna defeated Lynch by roughly 25 points in West Virginia’s House of Delegates District 44 in November. Making It To Charleston Now Hanna is in the state capital Charleston as a member of the majority party in the House of Delegates. He said he’s ready to get to work on the economic issues that motivated West Virginia voters in 2018 as well as to stand for his principles, which he sums up as “God, guns and babies.” Gun rights is one of the first issues Hanna wants to dive into as a legislator by cosponsoring a campus carry bill. It’s an issue that has attracted the attention of party leadership in the House of Delegates, reported West Virginia Public Broadcasting. “The Constitution clearly lays out our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, not just in our homes but also in our places of work in our places of study,” Hanna told TheDCNF. “I live in my college dorm while I’m at the legislature. … I consider that to be my home. I feel like I should have the right to protect myself in my home.” Help Along The Way Learning the ropes of being a lawmaker hasn’t been easy, but Hanna said his colleagues, including those in leadership, are always ready to answer his questions. “Not far from my office is Del. Ben Queen, who is only 23. He’s served a term here already, and he’s also a young member, so he kind of was in the same shoes as me. He was a great inspiration for me to learn from,” Hanna said. Queen said he first met Hanna when the younger man was in high school. They were both fired up over the success of former West Virginia Del. Saira Blair, who upset a Republican incumbent in the primaries and became the youngest lawmaker in the U.S. at age 18 in 2014. Hanna is eager to listen to others and learn about issues, which are qualities that make a young lawmaker successful, Queen told TheDCNF. “Putting your name on the ballot is intimidating enough, let alone going through with a campaign,” Queen said of Hanna. “It’s really nice to have a seat at the table. I think that’s what young people are looking for here in West Virginia.” Hanna’s district is rural and spread out. He recalls driving for hours to cover enough ground while door-knocking. At least 70 percent of voters in each of the four counties in Hanna’s district voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, according to Politico. “For them to elect a young African-American goes to show that I don’t think racial discrimination in Trump supporters is actually there,” he said. Generation Z Enters The Political Arena Hanna traces his interest in running for office to former President Barack Obama. “It had nothing to do with policies,” Hanna told TheDCNF. “I was in third grade at the time, but I knew that that was something new. That wasn’t something normal, to have an African American hold the highest office in the United States. I kind of thought to myself in that moment, if he can do it, I can do it. That’s when I started following politics.” Now Hanna is in the vanguard of Generation Z politicians. He chuckled at a comparison of himself and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a millennial who became the youngest member of Congress at 29 in 2019. Before Ocasio-Cortez, Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik held the record for youngest woman elected to Congress. “I’m not a huge fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policies, the way that she goes about things, but I respect that she is a young person who set out to make a difference. I think you’re starting to see that throughout the country,” Hanna told TheDCNF. “We realize we have to stand up as Americans to do what’s best. That’s one thing I ran on in my campaign. We may be Republicans, and we may be Democrats, but we’re all West Virginians so we all have to come together.” Hanna is wary of making a career out of politics, however. He envisions starting a family and doesn’t think that’s something he wants to do in the public eye. “I didn’t come from a political family,” he told TheDCNF. “I’m living it one thing at a time.” Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Meet The Nation’s Youngest Black Legislator, Caleb Hanna is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Black Lawmakers’ Charity Didn’t Give Out A Single Scholarship, Top Pols Hide Financials

      By Luke Rosiak - The caucus of black New York state lawmakers run a charity whose stated mission is to empower “African American and Latino youth through education and leadership initiatives” by “providing opportunity to higher education” — but it hasn’t given a single scholarship to needy youth in years, according to a New York Post investigation. The group collects money from companies like AT&T, the Real Estate Board of New York, Time Warner Cable, and CableVision, telling them in promotional materials that they are “changing lives, one scholarship at a time.” The group — called the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc.  — instead spent $500,000 on items like food, limousines, and rap music, the Post found. The politicians refused to divulge the charity’s 2017 tax filing to the Post despite federal requirements that charities do so upon request. Its main activity is holding and selling tickets to an elaborate party each year intended to raise money for its stated mission of providing scholarships for youth. But year after year, essentially all the money simply seems to go to festivities. Its chairman, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker of Brooklyn, claimed to have no knowledge of the charity’s failure to fulfill its mission. She told the Post through a spokesman that she “does not have any knowledge of the matter.” Walker is running to be the public advocate for New York City, its second-highest elected position and one tasked with investigating complaints. Walker did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment, which included a request that she share the latest tax filing. The charity’s treasurer, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow of Westchester, shrugged off his responsibilities. “I just sign the checks they give me,” he said. State. Sen. Leroy Comrie of Queens, the group’s number two, refused to come out when Post reporter Isabel Vincent stopped by his office. All of the politicians mentioned are Democrats. “The real purpose (of the charity) is to bring people to get over their apathy and out to Albany and get motivated,” the charity’s former chairman, Assemblyman Nick Perry of Brooklyn, previously said. The Post found, citing sources, that in the last two years there has been no money for scholarships. That’s even after the Albany Times-Union called out the charity in January 2017 for meager spending in prior years. The charity gave $36,000 of its $565,000 in revenue to scholarships in 2015. That year, it spent $85,000 on a concert with Eric Benet and Regina Belle, and $157,000 on food, according to the Times-Union’s analysis of its tax filings. The group said that year it planned to double the amount of scholarships it gave, but it didn’t happen. In 2017, its annual event featured the rap artist Big Daddy Kane. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Black Lawmakers’ Charity Didn’t Give Out A Single Scholarship, Top Pols Hide Financials is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more. View the original full article

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    • The FAQs: Chinese Scientist Claims First Gene-Edited Babies

      What just happened? In 2015 a team of Chinese scientists sparked a worldwide ethical debate when they used a technique to “edit” the genomes of human embryos. Although the embryos were never implanted and brought to term, the experiments led to concerns the technique would soon be used to create babies with edited-genes. This week a Chinese researcher announced he had done just that. He Jiankui (pronounced HEH JEE’-an-qway, with the surname first) reports that he altered a gene in a set of twins who were born this month. Seven couples seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF) allowed He to edit a gene in embryos before implantation. The gene was edited with the intention of preventing HIV from entering the child’s cells, increasing their ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. So far, two of the children that had a gene edited have been born. How did He Jiankui alter the gene?

      The Chinese scientist engaged in gene editing (or genome editing), a form of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, replaced, or removed from the genetic material of a cell using artificially engineered enzymes, or “molecular scissors.” A common method of gene editing, and the process used by He Jiankui, is the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The simplistic explanation is that the “molecular scissors” (Cas9, an RNA-guided DNA enzyme) cuts an enzyme on a specific spot of DNA in the nucleus of a cell. The cell then repairs the break using a piece of single-stranded DNA that has been injected into the cell by a scientist. Was He Jiankui’s alteration to the gene successful? Currently, there is no independent confirmation that He Jiankui successfully edited the genes on the children. His claims have not been verified by other scientists or published in a scientific journal, though He said he will make his raw data available for third-party review. He announced the results at a recent conference and in an interview with the Associated Press (AP). According to the AP, several scientists reviewed materials He provided to the news agency. Their conclusion is that tests so far are insufficient to say the editing worked or that it would not harm the children. Is gene editing unethical? The main ethical consideration for gene editing is the purpose (i.e., therapeutic or enhancement) and long-term effect. This is why the ethical issues differ for gene editing on somatic cells, non-reproductive cells that would affect only the individual being treated, and on germline cells, reproductive cells (i.e., sperm, ovum, embryonic cells) that could potentially affect not only the individual but also their offspring and future generations of their descendants. The concern for editing germline cells is that therapeutic treatments passed along to future generations may have unexpected and unintended consequences. In essence, we would be experimenting on future generations without their consent, without knowing the outcome, and without knowing whether we can reverse the damage we cause. The other concern is that the procedure could eventually be adopted for non-therapeutic genetic enhancement, a form of eugenics. For instance, wealthy people could create “designer children” whose genetic “improvements” (e.g., height, intelligence, longevity) would be passed along to future generations. What is the specific concern in this situation? Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, the president and medical director for the National Embryo Donation Center, told TGC that this situation raises three concerns: First off, this research was apparently conducted without the approval of any recognized ethics panel, and was performed under conditions that would never have been approved by any established institutional review board. Second, there is no empirical evidence to show that disabling the CCR5 gene in an embryo will produce the desired outcome. We have no idea what the short-term or long-term consequences could be for the twins who were born, let alone the potential negative effects that could be passed down to future generations. Furthermore, very effective solutions already exist for treating and/or avoiding HIV/AIDS, so engaging in human experimentation as a possible alternative is absolutely indefensible. As an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving life in its embryonic stage, the National Embryo Donation Center is firmly opposed to this research. Is it legal to edit the genes of embryos? In the United States and throughout much of Europe, it is illegal to genetically engineer an embryo that will be implanted in a woman. In China, the vice minister of science and technology ordered He Jiankui to halt his experiments, saying they were illegal and unacceptable. How has the international community responded? Scientists and bioethicists around the world have been nearly unanimous in denouncing the experiment by He. As Ed Yong notes at The Atlantic, ethicists and watchdogs have already called the work “monstrous,” “unconscionable,” and “a grave abuse of human rights.” Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, issued a statement saying, “The need for development of binding international consensus on setting limits for this kind of research, now being debated in Hong Kong, has never been more apparent. Without such limits, the world will face the serious risk of a deluge of similarly ill-considered and unethical projects.” Why did He conduct the gene-editing experiment? “I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He told the AP. “Society will decide what to do next” in terms of allowing or forbidding such science. The website maintained by He’s lab says: For billions of years, life progressed according to Darwin’s theory of evolution: random mutation in DNA, selection and reproduction. Today, human [sic] meet great challenge when the industrialization has caused great environment change. Genome sequencing and genome editing provided new powerful tools to control evolution. In our lab, we work hard to develop single molecule sequencing platform to read the genetic code of life. We aim to bring down the whole genome sequencing to the goal of $100, and make it available to everyone. As long as the genetic code is known, we use CRISPR-Cas9 to insert, edit or delete the associated gene for a particular trait. By correcting the disease genes, gaining protective alleles, we human [sic] can better live in the fast changing environment.” What should Christians think about non-therapeutic gene editing and germline editing? Within the realm of Christian ethics, it can be difficult to distinguish between therapy and enhancement. Additionally, not all therapy is beneficial, and not all enhancements are sinful. Nevertheless, we can still formulate some general guidelines to help us think about the moral use of medical technology. From a Christian perspective, therapy implies fixing a malady that is a result of sin entering the world. Certain therapeutic uses of gene editing—such as correcting conditions of individual patients—may be morally unproblematic when used to cure diseases or restore broken physical systems to a healthy condition. However, non-therapeutic gene editing for the purposes of “enhancement” is attempting to make improvements to the body that are not the result of sin or not necessarily caused by human brokenness. Using gene editing for non-therapeutic enhancement is troubling for several reasons. For example, using the process for this purpose implies humans know how to “improve” on God’s general design for the human body. It also can imply that certain traits (such as height or a high IQ) are so preferable that they should be purposefully engineered so that they can be distributed in a way that is outside the normal distribution range for the human species. (Even He Jiankui thinks that gene editing for enhancement purposes “should be banned.”) Other concerns include questions about the cultural and social effects of having certain humans be engineered to have the “right” traits. Creating “designer” children who possess preferred traits may cause those who lack them to be treated as inferior or sub-human. This may also lead to discrimination against groups (such as evangelicals) who are unwilling to modify their children’s genome to fit society’s preferences. Similarly, germline editing raises problems about unintended consequences and experimenting on current and future generations without their consent. Ultimately, the reason we should oppose germline editing is because children (and future generations of children) are to be considered as gifts from God (Ps. 127:3) and not as products that we can tweak to suit our taste. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events


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