06 26 2016
  12:13 pm  
     •     
read latest

breaking news

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • ST. LOUIS (AP) — A draft of the Democratic Party's policy positions reflects the influence of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign: endorsing steps to break up large Wall Street banks, advocating a $15 hourly wage, urging an end to the death penalty. Hillary Clinton's supporters turned back efforts by Sanders' allies to promote a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system and a carbon tax to address climate change, and freeze hydraulic fracking. While the platform does not bind the Democratic nominee to the stated positions, it serves as a guidepost for the party moving forward. Party officials approved the draft early Saturday. The Democratic National Convention's full Platform Committee will discuss the draft at a meeting next month in Orlando, Florida, with a vote at the convention in Philadelphia in late July. Sanders said Friday he would vote for Clinton, the presumptive nominee, in the fall election, but so far has stopped short of fully endorsing the former secretary of state or encouraging his millions of voters to back her candidacy. The Vermont senator has said he wants the platform to reflect his goals — and those representing him at a St. Louis hotel said they had made progress. "We lost some but we won some," said James Zogby, a Sanders supporter on the committee. "We got some great stuff in the platform that has never been in there before." Added Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a Sanders ally: "We've made some substantial moves forward." Deliberating late into Friday, the group considered language on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an issue that has divided Democrats. The committee defeated an amendment led by Zogby that would have called for providing Palestinians with "an end to occupation and illegal settlements" and urged an international effort to rebuild Gaza. The draft reflects Clinton's views and advocates working toward a "two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict" that guarantees Israel's security with recognized borders "and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity." In many cases, Clinton's side gave ground to Sanders. The document calls for the expansion of Social Security and says Americans should earn at least $15 an hour, referring to the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as a "starvation wage," a term often used by Sanders. Sanders has pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Clinton has supported efforts to raise the minimum wage to that level but has said states and cities should raise the bar as high as possible. Sanders' allies wanted the draft to specify calls for a $15 per hour minimum wage indexed with inflation. Clinton's side struck down a direct link, noting the document elsewhere included a call to "raise and index the minimum wage." The committee also adopted language that said it supports ways to prevent banks from gambling with taxpayers' bank deposits, "including an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall." Sanders wants to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. Clinton does not, but says her proposed financial changes would cast a wider net by regulating the banking system. Also in the draft is a call for the abolition of the death penalty. Clinton said during a debate this year that capital punishment should only be used in limited cases involving "heinous crimes." Sanders said the government should not use it. Sanders, a vociferous opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was unable to get language into the document opposing the trade deal. As a result, the party avoided an awkward scenario that would have put the platform at odds with President Barack Obama. Clinton and Sanders have opposed the deal. Committee members backed a measure that said "there are a diversity of views in the party" on the pact and reaffirmed that Democrats contend any trade deal "must protect workers and the environment." In a setback for Sanders, the panel narrowly rejected amendments that would have imposed a tax on carbon and imposed a national freeze on fracking. The panel deliberated for about nine hours following several late nights and long hours of policy exchanges between the two campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. Sanders, in a statement, said he was "disappointed and dismayed" that the group voted down the measure opposing the TPP. But he was pleased with the proposals on Glass-Steagall and the death penalty — and vowed to fight on. "Our job is to pass the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party," he said.
    Read More
  • VIDEO: Watch Columbia Riverkeeper argue trains are unsafe    
    Read More
  • VIDEO: Vermont senator says he will vote for Clinton if she wins nomination                  
    Read More
  • Nearly half of advisory panel members have ties to drug companies      
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

(CNN) -- Walking into a Pyongyang hospital room to greet her imprisoned son, Myunghee Bae was overcome with emotion. Talking exclusively to CNN, Bae said it was a "very happy moment. At the same time, I could not believe he was a prisoner in North Korea; a new realization."

Bae was granted a five-day visa to North Korea and three short visits with her son, Kenneth; a total of six hours, in which she says there was not one moment's silence. "He said he's being treated very fairly," she said. "He was taken to a special labor camp, so he was the only prisoner, and a whole lot of people have to stay with him, guards and doctors."

Kenneth Bae, an American citizen, was arrested in November of last year and sentenced in May to 15 years of hard labor. The North Korean regime says he was found guilty of "hostile acts" and attempts to topple the government. His mother says he has a profound love for the country and its people, and any offense he caused was not intentional.

"Always, he wanted to help the people over there, help the country," she said. "He always thought that way, but apparently he misunderstood their system, so a lot of things he realized -- he did some harm to their country." Bae added that her son's Christian faith was so strong, he wanted to convey his feelings. North Korea is officially an atheist state and has punished missionaries in the past.

Although Bae was unable to meet with North Korean officials to plead her son's case, she wants to make her message to them clear: "Please give him mercy and give him amnesty to send him home. We apologize as a family on his behalf, but his health cannot sustain any longer if he is sent back to the labor camp again."

Bae was forced to work in the camp for three months until his health deteriorated. His mother says his illnesses include diabetes, an enlarged heart, gallstones, back and neck pains, and high cholesterol. Bae says he looked better when she met him than he appeared in the footage of his hospitalization in August. But that brings its own concerns.

"My worst fear is to send him back to the labor camp because his health seems a little bit improved, that's my worst fear. Because I don't think his body can endure eight hours labor a day, six days a week."

Previous Americans detained in North Korea have been released when high-profile visitors have traveled to the country to plead their case. Most notably, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter went on two separate occasions in 2010. Bae believes her son's case has not encouraged such attention, as relations between Washington and Pyongyang hit a new low this year.

Myunghee Bae says it has been an agonizing 11 months, not only for her, but also for Kenneth Bae's wife and three children. "They all had a very hard time, and I think we all as a family felt helpless. We could not do anything for him, only sending letters ... we don't have any power to bring him home."

The most heart-breaking part of the trip for Bae was leaving Pyongyang and walking out of the hospital without her son. "It was very hard; I cannot express my pain and my heartache to leave him behind as a prisoner in North Korea. How long will it take to see him again?"

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

PHOTO GALLERY

Wake of Vanport Workshop

Hood to Coast 2016