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Twenty-One Things That Caught My Eye Today: Yemen as the New Ethiopia & More

1. NPR: As Yemenis Starve, Humanitarian Relief Group Pleads for International Help

“We are seeing a relentless countdown to a possible famine that the world hasn’t seen since Ethiopia in the 1980s,” says Jan Egeland, who is now secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The need is enormous: Nearly 50,000 Yemenis are already starving to death and 16 million will go hungry this year, according to the United Nations.

2. Karen Tumulty: Andrew Cuomo’s survival in office looks doubtful

The right thing to do is simple: Look at the evidence, not the politics. If there is a scant upside to all of this, it might be that it suggests that women themselves no longer believe that such behavior by powerful men should be tolerated. What is depressing, however, is that the message has not gotten through to too many of the men themselves.

3. Henry Olsen: If Andrew Cuomo doesn’t resign, he should be removed from office

The New York Post reported on Thursday that a top aide for the governor, Melissa DeRosa, said while speaking to a group of New York Democratic lawmakers that the Cuomo administration rebuffed earlier requests from the Justice Department and state legislature for updated figures for deaths in nursing homes because of fear of a potential federal investigation. If true, the Cuomo administration authorized a coverup of his activities to avoid potential political, and even legal, exposure.

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5. Elisha Maldonado: China drops the hammer on Hong Kong democracy — but activists aren’t backing down

Hong Kong Watch’s Benedict Rogers painted the reality of what’s going on quite starkly: “Today marks the first time that almost every prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist is either in jail, exile or on trial awaiting sentencing.” He adds that “the charging of pro-democracy organizers and candidates” is “a new low in Hong Kong’s steady decline into authoritarian rule.”

6. New York Post: Gay poly throuple makes history, lists 3 dads on a birth certificate

The trio won the right to their “poly birth certificate” just before Piper was born. “Had we not . . . one of us three parents would be a legal nobody to the kids,” Jenkins writes. “No right to visitation if we split up. No ability to consent for medical care. No say in decisions. No legal responsibilities. No automatic inheritance. This would have been really risky for the family.”

7. Good Morning America: Thousands of students reported ‘missing’ from school systems nationwide amid Covid-19 pandemic

A recent study by Bellwether Education Partners, a non-profit that focuses on underserved communities, estimates that approximately 3 million of the “most educationally marginalized students in the country” may have been missing from school since March 2020, when the pandemic forced school closures. The group said it arrived at the number by calculating a “likely percentage of at-risk groups not in school, based on media reports and available data.”

8. Matt Lewis: Should Never Trumpers Just Become Democrats? Absolutely Not.

9. Rachel del Guidice: Does DC Mayor Have More Power Over Children Than Parents Do? Sen. Mike Lee Weighs In

Lee: . . . The District of Columbia adopted a law applicable to D.C. residents that would allow kids to give their own consent to be vaccinated starting at the age of 11.

Now, look, I want to make very clear upfront I believe in vaccinations. I’ve had my own children vaccinated. But I believe that this choice is something that should be made by parents and not by the government.

Not everybody shares my view about vaccines and there’s nothing more fundamental and more sacred . . . than a parent’s right to have to be the one who gives consent, or withholds consent, for particular medical treatment—particularly, invasive medical treatment, like a vaccine.

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11. Sergiu Klainerman: There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math

Schools throughout the world teach the same basic body of mathematics. They differ only by the methodology and intensity with which they instruct students. 

It is precisely this universality of math — together with the extraordinary ability of American universities to reward hard work and talent — that allowed me, and so many other young scientists and mathematicians, to come to this country and achieve success beyond our wildest dreams. 

The idea that focusing on getting the “right answer” is now considered among some self-described progressives a form of bias or racism is offensive and extraordinarily dangerous. The entire study of mathematics is based on clearly formulated definitions and statements of fact. If this were not so, bridges would collapse, planes would fall from the sky, and bank transactions would be impossible.

The ability of mathematics to provide right answers to well-formulated problems is not something specific to one culture or another; it is really the essence of mathematics. To claim otherwise is to argue that somehow the math taught in places like Iran, China, India or Nigeria is not genuinely theirs but borrowed or forged from “white supremacy culture.” It is hard to imagine a more ignorant and offensive statement.

12. Richard North Patterson: When Will Progressives Accept Accomplishments?

. . . Progressives often overrate their appeal to the broader electorate — and even to Democratic primary voters. In 2016, they complained that Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders because the party establishment put its thumb on the scale. The prosaic truth is that Clinton won 3.7 million more primary votes.

In 2020, Biden’s margin over Sanders was a crushing 9.4 million ballots. One strains to imagine that Sanders could have defeated Trump.

13. William McGurn: It’s Joe Manchin’s Moment

In a Senate split 50-50 along party lines, the Democrat from West Virginia already doomed Neera Tanden’s nomination as director of the Office of Management and Budget when he came out against her. Mr. Manchin’s opposition to a $15-an-hour minimum wage likewise helped force it off the Covid-19 relief bill. The question now is whether he really means to serve as a check on the Biden administration, or whether bringing down Ms. Tanden was a token act designed to buy him a pass for supporting more-extreme picks such as Xavier Becerra, the California culture warrior tapped for health secretary.

14. ‘A mission Church once again’ — Representative Jeff Fortenberry on Pope Francis in Iraq

Fortenberry: in my own prayer, I pray for the church in Iraq and Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, and other places. These minority communities have served, not only as the remnant of Christianity, but they’ve served as a stabilizing element for these societies, and provided services for all people of all faiths, especially education and medicine. 

To lose particularly the Christian minority would be an absolute tragedy for the Middle East. And I have heard Muslim political leaders from the Middle East tell me that directly.

15. Nadine Maenza: Pope Francis’ Visit Offers an Opportunity for Christians in Iraq

In November 2020, I met with Christian leaders from the Nineveh Plains in the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil. They praised much of the US government’s support, including the work of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in coordinating with international and local partners to rebuild houses, churches, and communities. They pleaded with me that they did not need more churches, but they do need a say in their own governance and security.

16. Iraq: To give youth hope and a future

17. Iraqis to welcome pope, but first they recall a slain bishop

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19.  The rise of the luvvie lynch mob

In The Color Purple, Celie is raped and impregnated by Pa, her father. It would be bizarre to demand that the actor playing Pa must approve of child rape. Celie has an affair with a nightclub artiste, Shug Avery, who dislikes organised religion. ‘Don’t say church to me’, she snaps. Must the actress playing Shug Avery be an activist who campaigns against collective worship?

Of course not. It seems that Omooba was singled out because of her belief in Christianity, which happens to be the established church of this country, and whose bishops sit in the House of Lords and vote on the laws that bind us all. It should not be controversial to agree with the sacred texts of our own legislators.

20. Deseret News: The joy of the big, messy family

Looking back, she says, the hardest part about having six children in the span of eight years wasn’t juggling diapers or dealing with morning sickness; instead, it was telling others that she was pregnant. “I was pregnancy-shamed, and it made me feel unconfident. It got in my head,” she told me. “I thought to myself, ‘Maybe I am irresponsible. Maybe I am neglecting my children.’”

21. Christian Post: Gov. Kemp aims to make Georgia ‘sanctuary state for people of faith’

In an interview with CBN News Wednesday, Kemp discussed the “Faith Protection Act,” which he announced earlier this month would bar Georgia governors from using emergency powers to “specifically limit the practice of any religion” after seeing the impact of such actions in other states.

. . .

Kemp stressed that religious freedom is “embedded in our Constitution as a fundamental right of this country” and explained that Georgians were never forced to shut down religious services during the pandemic but worked to implement safety guidelines by either worshiping virtually or holding services outdoors. Though it was not mandated, many Georgia pastors decided to close their churches to in-person services to reduce infections among their congregations. 

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