1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: Meet the 23-Year-Old Cambodian Woman Teaching Her Country About Consent

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Seated in a classroom on the bucolic fringes of Cambodia’s capital, three dozen teenagers put a radically new term to the test: affirmative consent.

Armed with only scissors and a definition, they are instructed to separate a list of scenarios – persistent requests for a kiss, drunken smooches, physical advances on a subordinate – into whether each is consensual or not. A debate ensues.

“No!” insists Venghour, a lanky 16-year-old who raises his arms above his head in emphasis. “If it’s reluctant then it’s not consent.” Behind him, a female classmate nods, picking out a lonely example for her consensual column.

It might sound like awkward, difficult territory to engage a sea of uniformed teens spanning the pubescent spectrum. But from the front of the room, Catherine V. Harry, a sprightly 23-year-old feminist activist, deftly guides the Gen Zers.

“Consent,” she says, on the sweltering afternoon of the tutorial, “is an enthusiastic, voluntary agreement before any sexual activity.”

Harry is at the forefront of a sexual revolution buzzing through Cambodia, one that takes cues from the women’s liberation movement, as well as the current, global #MeToo zeitgeist, but is also very much a homespun effort. A cohort of young activists are pushing back against he hangover of colonial morality, gendered expectations and deeply patriarchal norms epitomized by the local proverb that women, like cloth, are easily tainted.

“It’s the right time to talk about consent in Cambodia because we can see the rest of the world is having this conversation around MeToo, and we can use that as the spark to talk about the sexual assault and harassment issues that are happening here,” Harry says.

DOUNIAMAG-CAMBODIA-SEX-EDUCATION-FEMINISM-SOCIAL
Tang Chhin Sothy—AFP/Getty Images Catherine Harry edits a video for her blog in her Phnom Penh studio on May 22, 2018.

Cambodia has not yet had its own MeToo moment (“Women could lose not just their jobs, but their lives,” Harry says). But that hasn’t stopped Harry and others from opening the floodgates to some of the parallel shifts around gender equality and sexual relationships, and introducing the new language – like affirmative consent – available to discuss it.

In the West, affirmative consent only became a guiding credo of sexual behavior relatively recently. The term, pioneered by Antioch College students more than two decades ago, initially met with ridicule. But by the time it caught on, and the only a “yes means yes” mantra eclipsed “no means no” the conversation around sexual relations, entitlements and excesses had shifted, catalyzing new legislation, as well as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

In Cambodia, Harry describes herself as trying to kick-start a nationwide conversation about consent in a country she calls “50 or 60 years behind” in terms of women’s rights. Mainly, she wages her fight online, connecting to Cambodia’s youthful population on the platform they are most plugged in to: Facebook. More recently, she’s also increasingly ventured offline to facilitate public presentations and school dialogues, hoping to address an educational void around sexual rights, health and conduct.

Harry started her blog, “A Dose of Cath” when she was just 17. What began as an outlet to vent her frustrations about gender inequality evolved into a platform to educate fellow young Cambodians about everything from contraception to menstruation and masturbation. She has now amassed more than 250,000 followers and one of her videos, about obsession with women’s virginity, has been viewed more than 2 million times.

Broaching these topics has necessitated inventing new language. Harry says there is no comparable term for “affirmative consent” in Khmer, while feminism literally translates as “bias toward women.”

“In Cambodia, women face difficulty getting information about sex and are not supposed to talk about it in public. Even between mothers and daughters sex is not really discussed,” Ros Sopheap, head of advocacy group Gender and Development for Cambodia, tells TIME.

In the tiny nation where just 40 years ago the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime decimated nearly a quarter of the population, U.N. agencies have highlighted sexual violence as a critical problem. Cambodia has among the highest rates of gang rape in the region, and even has its own word, “bauk,” for what many men regard as a recreational activity. More than 1 in 5 Cambodian men between ages 18 and 49 openly admit to having raped someone, and more than half were just teenagers at the time, according to a 2013 U.N. survey. In the majority of cases, the men cited the belief that they have a right to sex with a woman regardless of her consent.

And yet, only 126 rapes were reported in the first six months of 2017 in a kingdom of 16 million people. Sex education, or the lack thereof, could be part of the problem.

Elements of sexual health have been a part of the national curriculum since 1998 when HIV/AIDs prevention was incorporated. But Cambodia has yet to roll out a comprehensive, nationwide sexual education curriculum. Public schools meanwhile continue to teach excerpts from a moral code for women, known as Chbab Srey, which instruct women to walk lightly, serve and satisfy their husbands.

At school, Harry says her teachers said sexual education was not important. At home, she found the topic equally verboten. Harry sees this enforced ignorance as enabling sexual violence. “How can women fight rape or sexual harassment if they don’t understand what that is?” she says.

Harry points out that popular culture in Cambodia trivializes sexual assault and domestic violence by depicting it in comedic terms. In a crude, popular joke that has aired on TV, a mother asks her daughter why she didn’t call out for help when she was being raped. In what’s meant to be the punch line, the girl responds that her mouth was busy.

Meanwhile the government has banned songs about adultery and last year slapped an actress with a yearlong moratorium from TV for dressing in revealing clothing. “We have restrictions on women appearing sexy, but no restrictions on depictions of violence against women,” Sopheap of Gender and Development for Cambodia, says.

When incidents of violence against women are reported, Harry says authorities tend to reinforce victim blaming by suggesting a woman’s “life-style, clothes, sexual desire or who she is with provokes rape.” Police reports often detail what the victim was wearing, while lawyers say judges, the vast majority of whom are male, routinely ask victims what they did to invite the abuse.

It also doesn’t help that many rapists never face legal consequences. The U.N. survey of the confessed rapists found that 66% of those arrested had their charges dropped.

“Our culture focuses on teaching women not to get raped, but doesn’t teach men not to rape,” Harry says.

While many NGOs assist survivors, Harry aims to change what she sees as prevailing attitudes of entitlement and cultural norms underpinning sexual violence. She hopes by fostering an understanding that intimacy requires explicit, mutual consent, women will no longer feel subservient.

Women’s rights groups and government surveys say women’s limited control over their own sexuality underpins everything from marital rape and the prevalence of sexual coercion among teens on Valentine’s Day, to the comparatively high rate of married women living with HIV and possibly the recent rise in teen pregnancies.

“The term ‘consent’ is not discussed, which means that women are not empowered. Women are seen only as objects to which men are entitled,” says Seng Reasey, a women’s rights advocate at local NGO Silaka. “We need more people like Catherine who can open up the discussion about sexual rights.”

Attempting to rewrite Cambodia’s sexual mores has earned Harry praise as well as tremendous backlash. “If I got a dollar for every time someone said I was ruining Khmer culture I would be a millionaire,” she jokes. But she adds that the MeToo movement has motivated her to “put her armor on.”

“It makes me feel like part of a collective group fighting against sexual harassment and sexual assault,” she says.

At the private school campus on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, students called Harry’s lesson revelatory, offering them concrete language for conversations they didn’t know they needed to have. “For girls, it will give them more courage to state what they want,” says Makara, 16.

For Harry, this is a victory. “Hopefully we can start by making people more aware of consent, and then move on from there,” she says.

World – TIME

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: South Says North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Will ‘Soon’ Visit Seoul

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(SEOUL, South Korea) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will “soon” visit Seoul as part of a flurry of high-profile diplomacy aimed at ridding North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

During a speech before parliament, Moon said that a second North Korea-U.S. summit is “near at hand” and that Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit North Korea soon. Moon also said he expected Kim to visit Russia soon and that Kim may meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Moon has previously said that Kim told him he would visit Seoul within this year when the leaders met in Pyongyang in September. South Korea’s presidential office said later Thursday that it had nothing to add to Moon’s speech about Kim’s trip. His comments were in line with previous statements, the Blue House said. They suggest that Moon is determined to push ahead with diplomacy to resolve the nuclear issue.

“Now, based on firm trust among one another, South and North Korea and the United States will achieve complete denuclearization and lasting peace of the Korean Peninsula,” Moon said. “This is an opportunity that has come like a miracle. It’s something that we should never miss.”

The prospects for a second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump improved after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his fourth visit to North Korea earlier this month. But no breakthrough has followed. U.S. officials have recently said a second Trump-Kim summit will likely happen early next year. Some experts have raised doubts over whether Kim’s Seoul trip would be realized by December.

Moon, a liberal who took office last year, favors a negotiated resolution to the decades-long international standoff over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. He has facilitated a series of high-level U.S.-North Korea exchanges, including their first-ever summit in Singapore in June.

But Moon has faced growing outside skepticism over whether his engagement policy will eventually end the nuclear standoff amid ups and downs in his diplomatic push. Many conservatives in South Korea and the United States say North Korea has no intention of fully giving up its nuclear program and only intends to buy time to perfect its weapons program.

Since entering nuclear talks earlier this year, North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests and dismantled its nuclear testing site. The United States suspended some of its annual military drills with South Korea, but is reluctant to provide the North with big political or economic benefits unless it takes more serious disarmament steps.

The two Koreas remain split along the world’s most heavily fortified border since the three-year Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice. If Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader, visits Seoul, he would be the first North Korean leader to cross the border into the South since the war’s end. Last year saw increased fears of a second war on the peninsula as he exchanged threats of destruction and crude insults with Trump over North Korea’s push to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

World – TIME

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): RSS: Во Владивостоке проходит сбор руководящего состава радиотехнической службы ВМФ

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Участники сборов провели рабочее совещание в штабе Тихоокеанского флота, встретились с руководителями и ведущими специалистами предприятий ОАО «Изумруд» и ПАО «Дальприбор», которые тесно взаимодействуют со структурами Военно-Морского Флота.

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): RSS: На Камчатке стартует традиционный турнир по хоккею на кубок командующего Подводными силами ТОФ

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Турнир проводится девятый год подряд и считается одним их самых престижных соревнований по хоккею на Камчатке.

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: Taliban Appoints Ex-Guantanamo Prisoners To Be Afghan Peace Negotiators

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The Taliban says it has appointed five militants who spent more than a decade in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay to be members of its political office in Qatar, where they will take part in any future Afghanistan peace talks.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): US – Russia relations – Google News: ANALYSIS – US-Russia Relations To Deteriorate If Congress Splits, Mueller Probe May Get Boost – UrduPoint News

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The Nation.

ANALYSIS – USRussia Relations To Deteriorate If Congress Splits, Mueller Probe May Get Boost
UrduPoint News
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 01st November, 2018) Victory for the Democrats in next week’s midterm elections would represent a serious blow to USRussian relations and could ultimately lead to an intensification of Special Counsel Robert …
Who’s Really ‘Undermining’ American Democracy?The Nation.

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US – Russia relations – Google News

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The Global Security Review from mikenova (11 sites): FBI News Updates: FBI investigating ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s death as homicide

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October 31, 2018
FBI investigating ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s death as homicide
Andrew McCabe – Google News: Fact check: Is Trump’s Twitter ‘truth’ false? – WUSA9.com
fbi scandal – Google News: Meadows: Investigate FBI for being ‘weaponized’ by Obama – WND.com
Crime and Criminology from mikenova (8 sites): political criminology – Google News: Professor angry over university’s handling of extra credit for Abrams’ rally – Atlanta Journal Constitution
THURSDAY AT 5: FBI Pittsburgh tracks online drug sales, ‘very much almost like an Amazon’

FBI investigating ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s death as homicide

UPI.com
Oct. 31 (UPI) — Federal authorities said Wednesday they’re investigating the death of notorious Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger as a homicide. The 89-year-old was found dead Tuesday at USP Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, W.Va., within a day of his transfer to the facility.
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Andrew McCabe – Google News: Fact check: Is Trump’s Twitter ‘truth’ false? – WUSA9.com

FBI from mikenova (25 sites)
President Donald Trump Joe Raedle President Donald Trump says social media is “my form of telling the truth.” In fact, there are many well documented examples of Trump — as a candidate and as president — spreading false information on Twitter.
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fbi scandal – Google News: Meadows: Investigate FBI for being ‘weaponized’ by Obama – WND.com

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Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele The term “FBI investigation” has struck terror in the heart of many a wrong-doer over the years.
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Crime and Criminology from mikenova (8 sites): political criminology – Google News: Professor angry over university’s handling of extra credit for Abrams’ rally – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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A Clayton State University associate professor told AJC.com Wednesday that she felt pressured by a colleague to offer students extra credit if they attended a campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
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THURSDAY AT 5: FBI Pittsburgh tracks online drug sales, ‘very much almost like an Amazon’

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0 THURSDAY AT 5: FBI Pittsburgh tracks online drug sales, ‘almost like an Amazon’
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1. Podcasts from mikenova (19 sites): Audio | The Guardian: Trump of the tropics: meeting Jair Bolsonaro

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How did a far-right, pro-torture, dictatorship-praising populist become Brazil’s president-elect? The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, describes his run-in with Bolsonaro and the fallout from his election. Plus: Polly Toynbee on her Newsnight confrontation with former chancellor George Osborne

For his 27 years in Brazil’s congress, Jair Bolsonaro was a mostly marginal figure who made occasional headlines with his extreme views on the LGBT community, minorities and women. But after one of the most vicious and divisive elections in the country’s history, Bolsonaro has emerged as Brazil’s president-elect.

The Guardian’s Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, has followed every twist of the 2018 campaign, including a surreal encounter with Bolsonaro in the Amazon. He traces his rise from the military to the presidency, and looks ahead to why his victory is so alarming for indigenous groups, environmental activists and his political opponents.

Continue reading…

Audio | The Guardian

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1. Podcasts from mikenova (19 sites): NPR News Now: NPR News: 10-31-2018 11PM ET

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Indonesia official says ‘ping’ getting clearer in hunt for jet’s black box

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A “ping” sound believed to be emitted by the black box of an Indonesian jet that crashed into the sea this week with 189 aboard is getting clearer, the deputy of a national transport safety committee said on Thursday.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: No-fly zone, military drill ban near Korea border take effect

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A no-fly zone and a ban on military drills near the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea came into effect on Thursday as the once uneasy neighbors push to further defuse tensions.

Reuters: World News

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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Cyber Warfare – Google News: Asia stocks kick off November with mostly positive trade; Softbank falls more than 7 percent – CNBC

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CNBC

Asia stocks kick off November with mostly positive trade; Softbank falls more than 7 percent
CNBC
Shares in Asia were mainly higher in the first morning of November trading after a roller coaster October rocked stocks in the region. The Greater China markets were higher in their first hour of trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.45 percent
A chapter closes: last Hong Kong bookshop selling titles banned in China shutsThe Guardian

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Cyber Warfare – Google News

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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Cyber Warfare – Google News: A private survey shows China’s factory activity unexpectedly grows – CNBC

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CNBC

A private survey shows China’s factory activity unexpectedly grows
CNBC
Chinese factory activity expanded sightly in October despite an ongoing trade dispute with the U.S., a survey of small and medium-sized enterprises in China showed. On Thursday, Caixin and IHS Markit reported October Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) …

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Cyber Warfare – Google News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Sex abuse by officials ‘endemic’ in North Korea: rights group

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Sexual abuse by officials in positions of authority in North Korea appears to be “endemic”, a watchdog group reported on Thursday, as activists complain the isolated country’s rights record is being ignored amid an international push to improve relations.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: ‘Shines with the color of pearls’: Myanmar’s trade in human hair booms

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Hair helps to pay the rent for Za Za Lin, whose eyes filled with tears as her long black mane was combed, cut, and untangled by practiced hands at a roadside market stall in Myanmar’s commercial hub of Yangon.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Voice of America: Trump Airs Grievances, Immigrant Fears as Campaign Blitz Begins

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday kicked off his final campaign rally blitz before the midterm elections by accusing the media of sowing division and stoking fears about illegal immigration.

Trump’s rally in Estero, just outside Fort Myers, was the first of 11 events he will hold across eight battlefield states over the next six days as he tries to bolster Republican turnout and counter Democratic enthusiasm heading into Election Day, which will determine whether the GOP retains control…

Voice of America

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): FOX News: Secret Nixon ‘Watergate Roadmap’, newly unsealed, could provide guidance for Mueller probe, analysts say

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Highly secretive documents finally released Wednesday, including a draft of a would-be criminal indictment against former President Richard Nixon, could provide guidance for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump, according to the group of legal analysts that sued to unearth the materials.

FOX News

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): Voice of America: NRA Cuts Election Spending as Gun-Limit Groups Rise

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The National Rifle Association, long seen as a kingmaker in Republican politics, is taking a lower profile in this year’s high-stakes midterm campaign, a sign of the shifting dynamics of the gun debate as the GOP fights to maintain its grip on Congress.

The NRA has put $11 million into midterm races this year, less than half what it spent four years ago in a campaign that gave Republicans full control of Congress. This year’s totals are also far below the $54 million the group spent in 2016 on both the presidential and congressional races.

The shift comes as spending to support tougher gun control measures has surged. Everytown for Gun Safety, a group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, pledged $30 million for this year’s election, and has continued to put new money into competitive races in the final days. A political action committee formed by Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman wounded in a shooting, is spending nearly $5 million.

​NRA may be outspent

It’s the first time under current campaign finance laws that the NRA might be outspent by gun control groups, though the organization often ramps up spending late in the campaign. That money won’t show up in federal financial reports until after Election Day.

It all underscores a changing political landscape on guns after a series of election year mass shootings, including the February massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 people dead, and Saturday’s deadly attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

“The politics of guns has changed,” said Jim Kessler, the senior vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist think tank. “The groups supporting more gun safety restrictions are smarter than in the past and have more resources, both in terms of people and money, than in the past.”

Support for tightening laws

With polls showing that the majority of Americans now support at least some tightening of gun laws, the issue is no longer taboo in swing districts, particularly the suburban areas that could determine which party controls the House next year. Everytown and Giffords’ group are on the air in competitive districts in Texas, Virginia, Kansas and elsewhere.

After the Pittsburgh shooting, a Bloomberg aide said Everytown bought another $700,000 in advertisements aimed at ousting Rep. Mike Coffman, a vulnerable Republican who represents a suburban Denver district, a significant sum to spend on a single House race in one week.

The group has also spent about $4 million in the Atlanta suburbs to back Democrat and gun control advocate Lucy McBath, whose son was shot and killed in 2012.

Despite the public polling, there are no guarantees that sending more pro-gun control lawmakers to Washington would result in tougher legislation. Modest measures have repeatedly been blocked in Congress, even as Americans have grown more supportive of steps like banning assault weapons and tightening background checks.

Not walking away

Bloomberg, who is weighing a run for president as a Democrat in 2020, promises to keep up the pressure on lawmakers and candidates he’s backing if they end up on Capitol Hill.

“I’ve put an awful lot of my money and an awful lot of my time into this,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’m not going to forget it. I’m not going to walk away.”

He continued: “The nice thing about the House, it may be a stupidly designed system but if they don’t do what they said they were going to do, you get another crack at deciding to support them or somebody else two years from now.”

An NRA spokeswoman would not comment on the group’s election spending compared with organizations pushing for stricter gun laws.

Bloomberg, who is spending $120 million on the midterms, has helped pro-gun control groups level a playing field long dominated by the NRA.

The organization was riding high after the 2016 election, with a strong supporter in the White House and Republicans in charge of both the House and Senate.

Tumultuous year for NRA

But 2018 has proved to be a tumultuous year for the NRA, which has been faced with boycotts from parts of corporate America in the wake of mass shootings and an investigation into what federal authorities allege were covert Russian agents seeking to influence the 2016 election to benefit Trump by courting NRA officials and funneling money through the group.

Publicly, the NRA has portrayed itself as being in financial distress because of deep-pocketed liberal opposition to guns and what it calls the mainstream media “spewing toxic lies” about the group. Over the summer, the organization raised its annual dues fees from $40 to $45, the second increase in two years.

NRA watchers dismiss the notion that the organization is in trouble and say it’s more of a ploy to energize its ardent supporters, which in turn could help bring in more donations.

“It’s in the NRA’s interests to exaggerate how much trouble it’s in,” said Robert J. Spitzer, chairman of political science at the State University of New York at Cortland and an expert on guns and the Second Amendment.

Indeed, the group’s political fundraising is up this year compared to the last midterm election. According to data provided by an NRA official, the group’s Political Victory Fund has raised more than $12 million this year compared to nearly $11 million at this same point in the 2014 midterms.

Other ways to sway votes

While the NRA is not pumping the same levels of money into this year’s elections, it still has much at its disposal to try to sway campaigns: its NRATV media arm, social media and an ability to mobilize its millions of members to get them to the polls.

The NRA’s membership rolls and finances are not public, but the organization has said it has about 6 million in its ranks. Those who closely watch the group believe its membership is closer to 4 million.

Both the NRA and groups such as Everytown can also quietly influence elections with money that doesn’t have to be reported in publicly available campaign finance reports.

Voice of America

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Voice of America: Canada to Step Up Deportations of Illegal Migrants

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Canada’s border agency said Wednesday that it planned to increase its deportations of illegal migrants by 10,000 a year.

These are to include not just failed refugees and asylum-seekers but those authorities regard as national security threats.

“While Canada is a humanitarian country that has welcomed many immigrants and asylum-seekers over the years, those coming to our country are expected to abide by our laws and processes,” a border agency spokesperson told the state-run Canadian…

Voice of America

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