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’Sundown Town’ In Illinois Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

The image on Facebook showed three raised fists — one white, one brown, one black — with the hashtag BLM overlaid in large letters. A date and place to meet was at the bottom: Thursday, June 4. The location: Anna, Illinois.

A Black Lives Matter protest. In Anna?

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Only One State Has Met Federal Criteria For Reopening

Only one state has met all of the criteria contained in guidelines issued by the federal government for safely reopening businesses and easing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis by ProPublica. Despite the lack of progress by the overwhelming majority of states, Donald Trump is still pushing them to reopen.

ProPublica based its analysis on state-level data, updated daily, for five metrics stemming from the guidelines for reopening issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its metrics are the number of positive tests per 100,000 people; the percentage of tests that are positive; the number of tests per 100,000 per day; the availability of ICU beds; and the number of hospital visits for "flu-like illness."

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Trump Loses Two Delegates Because Of Their Foreign-Sounding Names

Two Trump delegates with foreign-sounding (i.e., Muslim) names failed to make the top three spots during last night’s Illinois primary, despite overwhelming Trump support in the districts they represented.

The state has one of the most complex delegate allotment schemes in the country. Rather than receiving just one delegate per electoral district, the Illinois primary provides three delegates per electoral district. That means that Illinois has 54 delegates who have already pledged to a presidential candidate to draw from its 18 electoral districts. And following the results of the primary, the first place candidate, is awarded another 15 delegates during the national convention.

The results were further proof of Trump’s pandering to prejudice in his run for the Republican nomination. The two candidates, Nabi Fakroddin and Raja Sadiq, prevented Trump from winning even more candidates in Illinois. The drop in support for the two was notable because Trump delegates won in the third and sixth districts. In the sixth district, Paul Minch won the district with 35,435 votes while Barbara Kois got 35,120 votes. But Fakroddin finished sixth with 5,000 fewer votes, despite running as a Trump delegate. That allowed a John Kasich supporter to take the third place spot, giving the Ohio governor an extra delegate.

The same took place with Sadiq in the third district. He should have finished somewhere in the top three, again, given that Trump won the state. But he also finished in sixth place, with 25 percent fewer votes than Doug Hartmann, the Trump candidate who won. Ted Cruz supporters took second, third and fourth place there. Even the fifth place finisher, Toni Gauen, also a Trump delegate, got 4,000 more votes than Sadiq.

While the loss of a couple delegates won’t hurt Trump as he bulldozes his way to the Republican nomination, the virulent form of Islamophobia he has espoused likely played a roll in the results for Fakroddin and Sadiq. Trump’s supporters are among the most hostile to Muslims. Some 67 percent hold unfavorable views of American Muslims, while 87 percent said they support his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country.

It’s unlikely that this phenomenon will repeat itself, simply because there aren’t many Muslims supporting Trump. But if the Republican frontrunner’s targeting of other minorities (Mexicans, Hispanics, African Americans, women) continues, Trump delegates with non-white names could see themselves losing primary races due to the same man they represent. In that case, it would be perhaps the only time Trump’s overt appeals to white nationalism haven’t helped his campaign in some way.

Under Fire, Trump Seeks Breakthrough In Republican Primaries

By Steve Holland

TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) – Donald Trump could take a giant step on Tuesday toward securing the Republican presidential nomination if he wins the Florida and Ohio primaries, despite criticism that the billionaire businessman’s rowdy campaign is dividing America.

Trump has the potential to sweep five big states holding party primary contests for the November election: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri.

The Republican front-runner could knock out his two mainstream rivals, Ohio Governor John Kasich and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, if he wins their states. His closest challenger nationally is U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Tea Party favorite.

Trump, 69, has a significant lead over Rubio in opinion polls in Florida, but is neck and neck with Kasich in Ohio. Any win by either Rubio, Kasich or Cruz, 45, would give at least a small degree of hope to Republicans battling to deny the New Yorker the nomination.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 68, could put some distance between herself and rival Bernie Sanders, 74, a U.S. senator from Vermont, in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries.

An outbreak of clashes between Trump supporters and protesters that forced him to cancel a rally in Chicago on Friday, and scattered protests at some of his campaign events this week have prompted mainstream Republican Party figures to speak out against the former reality TV star.

Democratic President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he was dismayed by what was happening on the presidential campaign trail and, in a reference to Trump, said he rejected any measures to encourage violence.

“I reject any effort to spread fear or encourage violence … or to turn Americans against one another,” Obama said during an event on Capitol Hill.

Victories in the five states could put Trump – who has vowed to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, impose protectionist trade policies and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country – on a glide path to being his party’s presidential candidate in November. That seemed inconceivable only last year.

TRUMP IN DEMAND

Trump said on Tuesday that his momentum was already drawing in establishment Republicans who had previously balked at his candidacy but now see him as the likely nominee.

“They’re already calling,” he told NBC’s “Today” show, without naming names. “The biggest people in the party are calling.”

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, one of the most powerful Republicans in the country, said all presidential candidates must bear responsibility for helping curb violence at campaign events and creating a less hostile atmosphere.

“All candidates have an obligation to do what they can do … provide an atmosphere of harmony, to reduce violence, to not incite violence,” Ryan told reporters.

For the Democrats, opinion polls gave Clinton a big lead in Florida and North Carolina, but showed Sanders gaining ground in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri, a possibly worrisome sign for Clinton after his surprise victory in Michigan a week ago.

Speaking to reporters at a polling place in Raleigh, North Carolina, Clinton had Trump on her mind.

    “I think it is important that we really do focus on the very dangerous path that Donald Trump has laid out here,” she said. “The kind of bluster and bigotry and bullying that he is exemplifying on the campaign trail is disturbing to, I think, the majority of Americans.” 

Trump won an early round on Tuesday, taking the Northern Mariana Islands caucuses with almost 73 percent of the vote. The win in the U.S. Pacific commonwealth gave him nine delegates.

The Republican establishment’s only real hope for stopping Trump might be to deny him the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination, even though he may win a majority of them. That would extend the battle to the party’s nominating convention in July in Cleveland.

“If he’s the nominee, he is not going to be able to unite the party. In fact, I think he’ll bitterly divide it,” Rubio, 44, told Fox News.

Trump argues that his candidacy has brought a breath of fresh air to U.S. politics and says his campaign rallies are peaceful events except for a few incidents.

If Kasich and Rubio do drop out of the race after Tuesday, that would leave Cruz as the only Republican in the field against Trump. The Texan senator has struggled during the primary season to build support beyond his base of evangelical Christians and Republican Southerners.

At a voting site in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Elaine Handy, 74, said she voted for Cruz.

“He’s a man of principle,” she said. “I believe we really need men of principle in the government.” She said she did not consider voting for Trump. “He’s rash.”

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker in Ohio, Fiona Ortiz in Chicago, Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Peter Cooney, W Simon and Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Savannah Center in Cincinnati, Ohio March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein