Manic Monday Markup 4/27/15…
…And the World:
We begin today in Nepal, where the earthquake that struck Katmandu has now believed to have killed 3,800 and some estimates peg the death toll at over 4,000. The city is in chaos, but one common denominator unites many of the victims: poverty. The quake also struck and trapped climbers ascending Mount Everest, amid avalanches. The Times reports on how the quake only added to the political and economic tremors that have rocked the country in recent years.
A list of places to donate to help with relief.
The general election in the United Kingdom is shaping up to be more intense than previously assumed. Tight polls and the Scottish Nationalists domination in their home court likely means no party will win a majority. The strength of the SNP comes at Labour’s expense to the north, but the polls still would suggest Opposition Leader Ed Miliband will have more options to form a government than incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron.
Australia’s foreign minister declares ISIS a bigger threat to Australia than Communism.
The board looks set for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new, narrow right-wing government. Jewish Home Party Leader, Naftali Bennett, perhaps cowed by his party’s losses in the March election, seems set to accept the Education Ministry after demanding his party (and likely he) lead the Defense or Foreign Ministries. If Bennett has backed down, Netanyahu will be able to form a government before the May 7 deadline. If he does not succeed, somebody else will be selected to form a government, but more than likely new elections would be held.
Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, has called for action to process asylum claims in Africa following last week’s capsizing of a boat carrying refugees that killed hundreds ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers on the matter.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes for a boost during his trip to Washington.
The Baltimore Sun writes a compelling editorial about the events surrounding the death of Freddies Gray, the black man who died in Baltimore police custody last week. The New York Times ed board chimes in with some equally important thoughts about the problems the inner-city poor face, particularly its male population.
The Guardian notes that whatever the jury decides in terms of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fate, the odds are actually fairly low that he would be executed. Since reinstating the death penalty, the US government has only killed three death row inmates.
Via The Plum Line, Senate Republicans prepare for war against President Barack Obama’s efforts to address climate change by trying to undermine the president’s foreign policy powers, just as they have done with Iran. Though Americans seems to back the Iran efforts so far.
Loretta Lynch is sworn in as Attorney General.
Connecticut’s Democratic-led budget-writing panel released its proposed budget, which evades the state’s constitutional spending cap. Republicans, who are in the minority of both legislative chambers, released their own plan, which relies heavily on wage freezes or, failing that, layoffs.
Elsewhere in Connecticut politics, Tony Ravosa, a former Springfield City Councilor and, is proposing to use the site of a closed movie theater in East Hartford to house a casino to compete with MGM Springfield.
The State of Things:
Activists are gearing up to put a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot (the earliest date possible) that would enable Massachusetts to enact a graduated income tax rate (the rich would pay a higher rate).
Gov. Charlie Baker’s MBTA reforms are getting a frosty reception from Beacon Hill so says the Boston Herald. This weekend, we assessed what to make of Charlie’s recent surge in approval rating, partly thanks to the MBTA’s meltdown. The Globe checks in on the relationship among the powers that be: Baker, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and House Speaker Bob DeLeo.
The Defense begins its case in the penalty phase of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid tribute to the victims at the finish line on Boylston Street in Boston during his American tour.
In light of Cathedral High School’s troubles and Catholic education in Greater Springfield generally, the tale of St. Columbkille’s in Brighton seems worth sharing.
Elsewhere in Holyoke, the state board of education will hold a hearing on taking over the schools this evening.
In local election potpourri: Longmeadow School Committee member Katie Girard kicked off her reelection bid. The town election is June. Easthampton City Council Jennifer Hayes also announced her bid to win reelection in November.
Former MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott will kick off an event sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on transit equity.
More on Ravosa in East Hartford from Pete Goonan at The Republican: Nothing wrong with competition.
In times like these, there really is no one place to properly send people to provide assistance and by no means are the efforts of the UN’s World Food Program the only game in town. In light of the devastation and the pressing need in Nepal, the choice for Tweet prize must be one of those providing relief. We are featuring the World Program as no specific endorsement of them above anybody else. But help is gravely needed! Please consider donating to the WFP or one of the other charities linked to via the New York Times website.
— World Food Programme (@WFP) April 27, 2015