Manic Monday Markup 4/20/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Italy which is reporting that hundreds are feared dead after a boat filled with migrants fleeing Libya capsized. The illegal crossings have left leaders in European countries scrambling. Comparing it to the situation in Bosnia twenty years ago, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whom The Guardian described as “visibly agitated,” said the continent could not afford to “close our eyes again and only commemorate these events later.”
Europe has struggled with the politics of immigration, especially amid the recent Recession and other economic turmoil. The EU has launched military operations to try and intercept other vessels crossing the Mediterranean and shut down smugglers who ferry the migrants to Europe.
In Africa potpourri: South Africa struggles with its xenophobia following attacks against migrant workers, which in the past week led President Jacob Zuma to cancel a foreign trip to address the matter. Meanwhile in Ethiopia, a blogger faces terrorism charges in a test for freedom of expression there.
Iran charges a Washington Post reporter with espionage.
Polish leaders have taken umbrage at FBI Director James Comey’s remarks that left the impression that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. The issue has been a touchy subject in the Eastern European country, the invasion of which, started World War II.
Some Tories think David Cameron’s attempts to scare voters about a Labour-SNP government could instead threaten Scotland’s place within the United Kingdom itself.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got more time to form a government from President Reuvin Rivlin as coalition talks drag on. Agreements with the center-right, but economic populist Kulanu party and with the religious parties seem close, although nothing is certain there. Large gaps remain between other right-wing parties and Bibi’s Likud, which dominated last month’s elections largely at the expense of the former. Threats of bolting from talks by right-winger Naftali Bennett and Kulanu’s Moshe Kahlon could upend Bibi’s new term in office. Opposition Leader and Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog ruled out a unity government with Netanyahu again and Haaretz implored Herzog to maintain that position.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis condemns the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe.
Hillary Clinton returns to the state that kept her campaign alive for President seven years ago: New Hampshire. Also Politico’s Glenn Thrush talks about the Clinton’s camp press policy. In short: less war, more containment.
Today in obvious: Chris Christie’s poll numbers in New Jersey continue to crater. One poll says a majority of Garden Staters think Christie knew about the now-infamous lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez says President Obama’s nominee for AG should get a vote.
The CT Mirror describes the difficult conversation Connecticut is having about the government it can afford and looks at the state’s unique spending cap. Last week, Attorney General George Jepson warned of legal risks in the proposed expanded gaming bill. Enfield will debate a resolution opposing a casino tonight.
After replacing the New York State Assembly’s long-serving speaker who resigned amid a corruption probe, Carl Hastie now faces his own ethical questions related to his mother’s dealings.
The State of Things:
With the penalty phase of the Boston Marathon bomber’s trial starting tomorrow, more victims are coming out against killing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, each of whom lost a limb (Kensky has since had a second amputated), called for Tsarnaev to serve life in prison. The family of 8 year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the bombing, likewise issued their opposition to the death penalty last week in an open letter on the front page of The Boston Globe.
Attorney General Maura Healey says her office will investigate the recent spike in prices for the anti-overdose drug Narcan. Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says the state should use its buying power to leverage better prices for anti-overdose medication that communities have increasingly purchased amid the commonwealth’s opiate crisis.
The Boston Herald flags an expenditure in Charlie Baker’s campaign finance report for polling in the immediate aftermath of last year’s gubernatorial election. Also in Charlie news, the governor gets good marks for his first hundred days in office, if on somewhat hazy grounds. The governor also sat down with WBUR and The Republican, among other outlets, to discuss the milestone.
However, Eric Lesser outdoes the guv by with a list of 100 actions taken over his first 100 days in office in an email to supporters.
Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has scheduled a kickoff for his reelection campaign on May 27.
West Springfield Mayor Ed Sullivan forgoes reelection after one term.
East Longmeadow voters approve a charter commission to examine the town’s government.
The Fourth Estatements:
The Pulitzer Prizes were announced today. In New England, The Boston Globe won for an editorial series on the issues facing food service employees. The Public Service award went to The Post and Courier in South Carolina, which documented deaths due to domestic abuse. Other notable wins include The New York Times for Ebola coverage and special interest influence on state attorneys general offices. The Washington Post was honored for its reports on the failures of the Secret Service as was Bloomberg News for explanatory reporting on corporate tax dodgers. The Seattle Times won the breaking news award for covering landslides last year that killed 43.
Our analysis of Politico’s planned expansion, which appears to include Massachusetts.
WGGB and WSHM formally merge tomorrow according to a report in Masslive. Their newsrooms will be merged, but the full implications have yet to be laid out.
Reminder Editor Mike Dobbs slams an offensive piece about Springfield that appeared in, of all places, The Valley Advocate.
The Massachusetts Historic Commission raises concerns about MGM’s plans, but about the armory, not the YWCA.
Plans for the new railcar facility on Page Boulevard are moving ahead at full steam with CNR’s purchase of the land where Westinghouse once had a factory.
The New York Times observed that The Post and Courier, which took the public service award this year’s Pulitzers, is the smallest outlet to get the award in five years and follows The Washington Post and The Guardian‘s reports based on Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. The subject matter itself is particularly poignant, too. Deaths due to domestic abuse is necessarily a grim and tragic issue, but writing about it should seemingly spur a call to action. Today we award the tweet prize to The Post and Courier itself both for its thanks and the link to its series. Perhaps the attention of the prize can amplify whatever impact the series itself has on addressing this heartbreaking issue.
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 20, 2015
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 20, 2015