The race between Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is growing increasingly contentious ahead of the New York primary on April 19. During a rally in Pennsylvania Wednesday, Bernie Sanders responded to Hillary Clinton’s claims that he is not qualified to be president by saying that she is the one who is “not qualified.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Well, let me—let me just say in response to Secretary Clinton, I don’t believe that she is qualified if she is—if she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don’t think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC.”
Also speaking in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton fired back at Sanders, saying his ideas are flawed because his numbers “don’t add up.”
Hillary Clinton: “But Senator Sanders and I have some real differences about how we would go about achieving our goals as president. And like a lot of people, I am concerned that some of his ideas just won’t work, because the numbers don’t add up.”
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump both faced opposition from New Yorkers Wednesday. Ted Cruz had planned to visit Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy, but his trip was canceled after the students threatened a walkout. In a letter written to the school principal, students wrote, “[Ted Cruz’s] views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love. … He is misogynistic, homophobic, and racist.” Instead of visiting the school, Ted Cruz met with voters in the Bronx, where he faced heckling by residents who yelled at Cruz, “This is an immigrant community!” Meanwhile, more than 200 protesters gathered at Donald Trump’s rally in Bethpage, Long Island, carrying signs reading “Dump Trump” and “Stand Against Racism.” Sixteen-year-old protester Yusra Ahmed spoke out.
Yusra Ahmed: “Basically, I came here out as a Muslim, because I know he like plans to ban all Muslims, which doesn’t really make sense to me, because he, you know, associates all of us as like that one small group of extremists that actually go against our religion. Our religion is meant to spread peace and even means like 'peacemaker.' So it doesn’t really make sense when he says all of us are trying to cause trouble.”
Wisconsin Congressmember Glenn Grothman has sparked controversy with his comments about Wisconsin’s controversial new voter ID laws, which prevented thousands of registered voters from casting ballots in this week’s primary. Speaking to NBC on Tuesday, Grothman admitted that he believed the state’s voter ID laws would give the Republican presidential candidate an advantage during the general election this fall.
Charles Benson: “Take this forward to November. You know that a lot of Republicans since 1984 in the presidential races have not been able to win in Wisconsin. Why would it be any different for a Ted Cruz or a Donald Trump?”
Rep. Glenn Grothman: “Well, I think Hillary Clinton is about the weakest candidate the Democrats have ever put up. And now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference, as well.”
Iceland has named a new prime minister amid continued fallout from the revelations of the Panama Papers. Iceland’s former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned Tuesday after the leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed he owned an offshore company with his wife, which he failed to declare when he entered Parliament. On Wednesday, Iceland’s coalition government announced Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson would take over as prime minister and that a general election would be held in the fall. Jóhannsson spoke out after the announcement.
Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson: “It’s a big burden in this situation. It’s not the most happy situation when I am taking the prime minister’s seat. But I will try to do my best, and I’m hoping that the people of Iceland will see that the new government will increase the stability both in politics and in the governance.”
Reporter: “How would you describe the last three days?”
Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson: “They have been dramatic.”
In more developments on the Panama Papers, new articles by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have revealed three of the most powerful people within the Chinese government, including President Xi Jinping, have relatives with offshore companies set up through the law firm Mossack Fonseca. This comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron and his family are facing increasing questioning over the revelations that David’s father, Ian Cameron, sought detailed advice on the best tax havens to use—even after his son became the leader of the Conservative Party.
The Tennessee House has passed legislation allowing mental health counselors to refuse service to LGBT patients on religious grounds, making Tennessee the latest state to pass anti-LGBT measures this year. This comes as the governors of New York, Washington, Vermont and Minnesota have all banned state officials from making non-essential trips to Mississippi, as part of the growing backlash against Mississippi’s sweeping new anti-LGBT law. New York has also banned all non-essential travel to North Carolina, in response to its passage of its anti-LGBT law, known as the bathroom bill.
In West Virginia, former coal company CEO Don Blankenship has been sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws in the years leading up to the 2010 explosion at a Massey Energy coal mine that killed 29 workers. It was the worst coal disaster in the United States in 40 years. The year-long sentence is the maximum allowed for the conspiracy charge. Last year, Blankenship was acquitted of the more serious charges of lying to regulators and investors.
Meanwhile, in Illinois, three Volkswagen dealerships have sued the auto giant, accusing Volkswagen of defrauding retailers by installing devices in its vehicles to skirt U.S. emissions regulations. U.S. regulators say Volkswagen vehicles were emitting up to 40 times more pollution than U.S. standards allow. Volkswagen has admitted to rigging some 11 million vehicles worldwide.
A Bangladeshi blogger and law student has been killed in the latest in a string of murders of secular activists and bloggers in Bangladesh. Police say 28-year-old Nazimuddin Samad was attacked by four men wielding machetes on Wednesday night. Fellow university students protested his killing. Student Billal Hossain spoke out.
Billal Hossain: “We are protesting here because one of our law students at the university was brutally killed. We want a proper investigation, and we want justice for the killing.”
In California, agents from the Justice Department raided the home of anti-choice activist David Daleiden, seizing computers and hundreds of hours of video footage. Daleiden is under criminal investigation in Texas for secretly filming and releasing heavily edited videos that falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of profiting off donations of fetal tissue.
Students at Ohio State University occupied the campus building Bricker Hall Wednesday to demand the university divest from the corporations Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and G4S over the companies’ business in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. The students also demanded more transparency in the university’s finances.
And Human Rights Watch is reiterating its call for the United States to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, after Human Rights Watch says it found evidence the Saudi-led coalition used U.S.-supplied bombs in the deadly airstrikes on a crowded market in Yemen last month. The strikes killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children. Medical clinic worker Othman Saleh spoke out about the aftermath of the attack.
Othman Saleh: “We received 44 wounded in total, including women, children and elders. Of those 44, two people died. Three others were in critical condition. They had to be taken to the ICU.”