Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early US voting

Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early US voting
Former US first lady Michelle Obama is also launching a challenge to encourage more people to vote before Nov. 3. (AP)
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Updated 19 October 2020

Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early US voting

Michelle Obama, LeBron James team to help boost early US voting
  • ‘Millions of Americans have already cast their ballot and with only 21 days until Election Day’

WASHINGTON: A voter initiative led by Michelle Obama is partnering with a similar group founded by NBA star LeBron James and other prominent Black athletes and entertainers to sponsor events in major US cities starting next week to generate excitement about voting early for the Nov. 3 election.
Mrs. Obama’s When We All Vote and James’ More Than A Vote are teaming to provide information, transportation, food, music, personal protective equipment and other support at early voting sites around the country Oct. 18-31.
“Millions of Americans have already cast their ballot and with only 21 days until Election Day. Making your plan to vote early is critical,” Mrs. Obama said Tuesday in a statement to The Associated Press. “It’s now up to us to do everything in our power to get our friends and family ready to vote early and safely together. We can’t leave anyone behind.”
The former first lady is also launching a challenge to encourage more people to vote before Nov. 3. Her group also announced more than $1 million in grants and supplies to local partner organizations to host their own activities.
Last week, Mrs. Obama repeated her endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a lengthy new video message that was sharply critical of Republican President Donald Trump.
In-person events are planned for Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Orlando, Florida; and Philadelphia. They will be held within walking distance of early voting sites and include free food from the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, DoorDash and other providers.
Music, celebrity appearances, personal protective equipment and support for voters’ rights from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and the Election Protection coalition will also be provided. Lyft has agreed to provide discounted transportation.
When We All Vote also plans to host a virtual couch party on Oct. 23.
Other partners include BET, Comedy Central, Johnson & Johnson, MTV, the National Urban League, Radio One and United Way Worldwide.
All attendees and staff on the ground will be required to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Biden plans immediate end to Trump’s ‘travel ban’ on Muslim majority states

Biden plans immediate end to Trump’s ‘travel ban’ on Muslim majority states
Updated 20 January 2021

Biden plans immediate end to Trump’s ‘travel ban’ on Muslim majority states

Biden plans immediate end to Trump’s ‘travel ban’ on Muslim majority states
  • The controversial ban was introduced during Trump’s first week in office and caused widespread protest
  • The policy followed Trump’s pledge where he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US”

WASHINGTON: Joe Biden will sign orders hours after being sworn in as US President to break from policies imposed by the departing President Donald Trump, including a ban on visitors from several majority-Muslim countries.
The controversial ban was introduced during Trump’s first week in office, causing widespread protest and condemnation.
After court rulings invalidated the first versions of the ban, in 2018 the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s third version, which applied to nationals of five majority-Muslim countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Trump claimed the ban did not target Muslims, and was meant to keep the US “safe and free.”
In 2020, the ban was extended to include restrictions on permanent immigration for people from six other countries, including Sudan and Nigeria.
The policy followed Trump’s pledge on his campaign trail in which he called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
Biden will also sign 16 other actions on the environment, fighting Covid-19 and the economy, aides said.
In first-day moves, he will halt construction of the wall that Trump ordered on the US-Mexico border to stem unauthorized migration.
He will also set a mask mandate on federal properties to stem the spread of COVID-19, restore protections of nature reserves removed by Trump, and seek freezes on evictions and protection for millions behind on their mortgages due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He also plans to send a bill to Congress to revamp immigration policies and give millions of undocumented migrants living in the country a path to citizenship that the Trump administration denied.
Biden “will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward,” the aides said in a statement.

(With AFP)