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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Congress wanted to honor the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. President Donald Trump did not.

In extended remarks during a visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 — this year’s version of an annual bill that sets defense policy — Trump chose not to mention the former prisoner of war and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman who is battling brain cancer. He even omitted McCain’s name when citing the title of the bill.

The two men have long been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump’s supporters “crazies” in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a “war hero” because “he was captured.”

The snub at Fort Drum, home to the combat aviation brigade of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, did not escape the notice of McCain’s allies.

“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an a—— today. No more than I expected it to be Monday,” Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, wrote on Twitter.

McCain’s condition — dire enough that a recent HBO documentary on him was titled “John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” — has not stopped Trump from deriding the Arizona senator at political rallies. Though Trump does not use his name, he tells crowds that he would have been able to repeal Obamacare if not for a thumbs-down sign from one senator — McCain.

The senator’s own statement included Trump’s name in the headline and in a preamble written by staff. But the words attributed to McCain did not.

“I’m very proud that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 has been signed into law,” he said.

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America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and over 200 Latino artists ‘speak out loudly against hate’

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Actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrera and more than 200 other Latino artists and civil rights leaders on Friday penned a letter of support to the Latino community in the United States after a mass shooting in Texas and immigration raids in Mississippi.

Musicians Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Lin-Manuel Miranda gave their backing to the letter, which called on those outside the Latino community to “speak out loudly against hate.”

“If you are feeling terrified, heartbroken and defeated by the barrage of attacks on our community, you are not alone,” said the letter, addressed to the Querida Familia Latina (Dear Latino Family) and published in the New York Times, La Opinion and other newspapers.

The letter followed a shooting targeting Mexican-Americans and Mexicans in the predominantly Latino border city of El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3 that killed 22 people, as well as the arrest of nearly 700 people in immigration raids last week on seven agricultural processing plants in Mississippi.

Both followed accusations that President Donald Trump has stoked racial divisions with his rhetoric and his crackdown on immigration at the U.S. border with Mexico.

“We will not be broken. We will not be silenced. We will continue to denounce any hateful and inhumane treatment of our community. We will demand dignity and justice,” the letter said.

It called on allies of the Latino community to “speak out loudly against hate, to contribute your resources to organizations that support our community, and to hold our leaders accountable.”

Former “Desperate Housewives” star and the executive producer of ABC’s “Grand Hotel” Longoria said in a statement that the U.S. is facing “a moral crisis … and we chose to use this moment to raise our voices and speak up.”

The letter was signed by many of the leading Latino voices and activists in United States, including veteran labor leader Dolores Huerta, novelist Sandra Cisneros and Voto Latino political group president Maria Teresa Kumar.

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Trans workers not protected by civil rights law, Trump admin tells Supreme Court

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The Trump administration on Friday filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that transgender workers are not protected by federal civil rights law and can be fired because of their gender identity.

The brief was submitted in a case concerning Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was fired from a Detroit funeral home after she informed her employer that she was beginning her gender transition. The case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., is one of three cases concerning LGBTQ workers’ rights that the Supreme Court is expected to hear this fall.

Aimee Stephens and her wife Donna, right.Courtesy ACLU

The brief, submitted by Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco and other Department of Justice attorneys, argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, “does not bar discrimination because of transgender status.”

“In 1964, the ordinary public meaning of ‘sex’ was biological sex. It did not encompass transgender status,” the brief states. “In the particular context of Title VII — legislation originally designed to eliminate employment discrimination against racial and other minorities — it was especially clear that the prohibition on discrimination because of ‘sex’ referred to unequal treatment of men and women in the workplace.”

If the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration, it will be overturning a decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with Stephens in March 2018.

“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote in the 6th Circuit’s decision. “The unrefuted facts show that the Funeral Home fired Stephens because she refused to abide by her employer’s stereotypical conception of her sex.”



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Garden tax outrage: How PM Jeremy Corbyn could target YOUR home in Labour housing ‘attack’

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JEREMY CORBYN’S radical plan to overhaul garden tax has been rubbished as “wreaking havoc on the housing market”, piling huge debt on everyone from single homeowners to retired people and families with larger properties.

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