Trump ends fight to include citizenship question on census and unveils new planKadia Tubman Reporter•Trump ends fight to ask citizen question on censusScroll back up to restore default view.President Trump officially dropped his controversial bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census on Thursday. Instead, he announced at a Rose Garden ceremony that he was issuing an executive order that instructs federal agencies to report data to the Commerce Department in order to better tabulate the number of U.S. citizens.“Today I’m here to say we are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population,” Trump told his invited guests, many of whom attended a forum on social media immediately beforehand. “It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and noncitizens that make up the U.S. population — imperative. Knowing this information is vital to formulating sound public policy, whether the issue is health care, education, civil rights or immigration.”Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in June that the Trump administration’s stated reason for including the citizenship question in the census was “contrived,” temporarily blocking it from being included. Acknowledging that whatever new rationale his administration put forth to justify the addition of the citizenship question would face lengthy court fights, Trump detailed his plan B.“Therefore, we are pursuing a new option to ensure a complete and timely count of the noncitizen population,” Trump said. “Today I will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately. I’m hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country.”Trump said the collected data would be used “to gain a full, complete and accurate count of the noncitizen populations, including databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.”“We have great knowledge in many of our agencies,” he added. “We will leave no stone unturned.”By eliminating obstacles to data sharing, Trump said, the information would “ultimately allow us to have an even more complete count of citizens than through asking the single question alone.”Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who stood beside Trump and Attorney General William Barr in the Rose Garden, had contended that the citizenship question, which had been requested by the Trump administration, was necessary to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protects against voting discrimination.But several weeks before the Supreme Court decision to block the question, evidence was entered in a related case in New York, showing that the origins of the administration’s request were political. Documents disclosed that the proposal had been designed by a Republican consultant as a way to weight census results in favor of Republican-leaning neighborhoods.Critics of the citizenship question believe that its inclusion could drastically reduce response rates in immigrant communities that could, in turn, result in fewer government services in minority communities and a higher representation of Republicans in Congress. In his remarks Thursday, Trump ignored those concerns.“The Department of Commerce sensibly decided to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census as has been done many, many times throughout the history of the United States,” Trump said Thursday. “Unfortunately, this effort was delayed by meritless litigation,” he added, accusing “far-left Democrats” of “concealing the number of illegal aliens in our midst.”President Trump, flanked by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, left, and Attorney General William Barr (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP)A question about citizenship has been included on the census form before. The last time it was asked of every household was 1950. During the next census, in 1960, there was no mention of citizenship, just place of birth. In 1970, the Census Bureau created the first long-form questionnaire, which was sent to one in six households and included a citizenship question, although the short form, which continued to be sent to all households, did not ask about citizenship. In 2010, the long form was eliminated in favor of a yearly American Community Survey, while the short form is still sent out every 10 years, per the constitutional mandate.Trump said the citizenship data, as collected by his executive order, would be “relevant to administering our elections,” as “some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter-eligible population.”Barr, who earlier this week said there was still a pathway to adding the citizenship question to the census, conceded that “any new decision would be subject to immediate challenge” and jeopardize the ability to carry out the census in a timely matter.191“Turning to today, I applaud the president for recognizing in his executive order that including a question on the census is not the only way to obtain this vital information,” Barr said. “The course the president has chosen today will bring unprecedented resources to bear on determining how many citizens and noncitizens are in our country, and will yield the best data the government has had on citizenship in many decades.”
World What the A-10 Warthog Would Do in a Second Korean War Stephen Bryen•By U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Blake R. Borsic – http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/000217-F-0656B-004.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=505075 Stephen Bryen Technology, Asia Here’s what we know.What the A-10 Warthog Would Do in a Second Korean WarNorth Korea has a very large army that may number 3.5 million men and women, although the quality of the forces is open to question and skepticism.The much-maligned A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack airplane could prove to be a savior if fighting breaks out with North Korea. However, the US Air Force wants to get rid of the plane, and is not asking for funds to fix the wings on some 100 A-10s, which therefore may end up in the scrap yard.In any conflict with North Korea, a US-South Korean-Coalition’s objective will be to knock out North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missiles. This will surely involve strategic bombers and maybe even stealth aircraft. But one immediate consequence will be that North Korea will attack South Korea, probably aiming first at neutralizing US and Korean forces by destroying bases, airfields, depots and equipment.This first appeared in January 2018.North Korea has a very large army that may number 3.5 million men and women, although the quality of the forces is open to question and skepticism. The country also has a considerable armored capability. There are 4,200 tanks, 2,200 armored personnel carriers, 8,600 artillery pieces and 4,800 multiple rocket launchers. While most of these are of old designs, if North Korea is able to move them in position, cross the DMZ and mount an attack on the south, its army could quickly defeat the south.Recommended: How North Korea Could Start a War Recommended: This Is What Happens if America Nuked North Korea
Missing girl’s family lawyer: no bones in Vatican tombsFRANCES D’EMILIO•VATICAN CITY (AP) — The tombs of two 19th-century German princesses were pried open at a tiny Holy See cemetery on Thursday and turned out to be completely empty, dashing any expectations they might have contained remains of a teenager who vanished in 1983 after leaving her family’s Vatican City apartment.Emanuela Orlandi’s disappearance is one of Italy’s most enduring mysteries, and the opening of the tombs at her family’s request was just the latest of possible leads that failed. Instead, the gravesite inspections raised only new questions: what happened to the remains of the two princesses who were buried in the side-by-side tombs in 1836 and 1840, respectively, in peaceful Teutonic Holy Field near St. Peter’s Basilica?”The tombs are empty. We are all amazed,” Orlandi family lawyer Laura Sgro told reporters. It was Sgro who had received an anonymous letter suggesting the family check out the tomb in the cemetery where a stone angel holds a scroll reading in Latin „Rest in peace.”Witnessing the tomb’s opening along with Sgro, and a technical expert for the Orlandi family was also Pietro Orlandi, whose 15-year-old sister disappeared after she went to her music lesson in Rome on June 22, 1983. The siblings’ father worked as a messenger for the Vatican, and the family lived in Vatican City State.The Vatican said in a statement that the opening of the tombs „yielded a negative outcome. No human remains nor funereal urns were found.”It said the inspection of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe’s tomb turned up an underground chamber measuring roughly 4 by 3.7 meters (13 by 12 feet) that was „completely empty.” Then the stone lid of an adjacent sarcophagus of Princess Charlotte Federica di Mecklenburg was removed and inside „no human remains were found,” the Vatican said.It added that relatives of the two princesses were informed that the tombs of their loved ones were empty.A Holy See spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said the Vatican is combing through documentation about two structural projects that involved the cemetery area, one in the late 1800s, and the other between the 1960s and 1970s, in case that work might explain why the princesses’ remains weren’t there.The Vatican had announced it had engaged a forensic anthropology expert, who is a professor of forensic medicine at a Rome university, to examine the remains and prepare them for DNA testing. But that arrangement proved premature when no remains were found.Pietro Orlandi said that in a certain sense that no bones were found was „personally a relief,” since it would have been upsetting to view remains that might have been those of his sister.Speculation has swirled around Orlandi’s fate for years. Conspiracy theories have abounded, including perhaps she was kidnapped as a part of a failed bid for the release of the Turkish gunman who shot and severely wounded Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in 1981.Last year, two set of remains were found during renovations in the basement of a building on the grounds of the Vatican’s embassy in Rome. Scientific testing ruled out that the remains were Orlandi’s._Trisha Thomas contributed from Vatican City. Frances D’Emilio is on Twitter at www.twitter.com_This story has corrected the day of the week to Thursday, not Wednesday.
•MOSCOW, July 11 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy held their first telephone conversation on Thursday and discussed settling the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the return of prisoners, the Kremlin said.Zelenskiy, a former comic actor with no previous political experience, won Ukraine’s presidential election in April and he has declared the settlement of the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev’s forces one of his priorities.The Kremlin said the phone call between Putin and Zelenskiy had been initiated by the Ukrainian side.The two men discussed the possibility of continuing contacts on the issue in the ‘Normandy’ format, which involves the participation of France and Germany, the Kremlin statement said.Zelenskiy said on Sunday he planned to continue European-backed talks with Russia on a so-far largely unimplemented peace deal and would try to free Ukrainians imprisoned in Russia. These include 24 Ukrainian sailors, among others.The conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine in 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, and more than 10,000 people have been killed. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Gareth Jones)