US election 2020: Rapper Lil Wayne endorses Donald Trump and backs ‘platinum plan’ | Ents & Arts News

Lil Wayne has tweeted his support for Donald Trump after meeting with him to discuss his plan to help black Americans – just four days before the election.

The rapper praised the US president’s work on criminal justice reform and said his “platinum plan” will “give the community real ownership”.

Alongside a picture of the two smiling and giving a thumbs up, Lil Wayne wrote: “He listened to what we had to say today and assured he will and can get it done.”

The president, who famously tweets regularly, did not follow the meeting with a response but retweeted the rapper’s post.

Mr Trump’s “platinum plan” was unveiled in September, with the president claiming it was specifically designed to provide an economic boost to the black community.

One of the many proposals includes marking “Juneteenth” – or June 19th – as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US.

His plans also include prosecuting the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organisation.

Lil Wayne said Trump ‘listened to what we had to say’ about black issues

However, at a presidential debate last month, Mr Trump repeatedly declined to condemn white supremacy and violent right-wing groups – despite several requests by moderator Chris Wallace.

He instead urged far-right group Proud Boys – known for street brawling – to “stand by”.

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In 2016, Mr Trump won just 8% of the black vote – compared to his rival candidate Hillary Clinton who secured 88% – according to the Edison Research for the National Election Pool.

The Lollipop rapper is not the only famous hip hop star to endorse the president’s work.

Kanye West previously expressed support for Trump but has since launched his own presidential bid and insisted he has 'more money than Trump'
Kanye West previously expressed support for Trump but later launched his own presidential bid

Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube defended his role in advising Mr Trump with the proposals, saying “black progress is a bipartisan issue”.

Kanye West has also publicly supported the president, though he later launched his own bid to become president.

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Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions for the first time

Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which premiered on Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

The papal thumbs-up came midway through the film that delves into issues Francis cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film.

Pope Francis puts on his face mask as he attends an inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome. (AP)

“What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favour of civil unions as pope.

The Jesuit priest who has been at the forefront in seeking to build bridges with gays in the church, the Rev. James Martin, praised the pope’s comments as “a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBT people.”

“The Pope’s speaking positively about civil unions also sends a strong message to places where the church has opposed such laws,” Martin said in a statement.

Pope Francis attends a inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome. (AP)

One of the main characters in the documentary is Juan Carlos Cruz, the Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse whom Francis initially discredited during a 2018 visit to Chile.

Cruz, who is gay, said that during his first meetings with the pope in May 2018, Francis assured him that God made Cruz gay. Cruz tells his own story in snippets throughout the film, chronicling both Francis’ evolution on understanding sexual abuse as well as to document the pope’s views on gay people.

Director Evgeny Afineevsky had remarkable access to cardinals, the Vatican television archives and the pope himself. He said he negotiated his way in through persistence, and deliveries of Argentine mate tea and Alfajores cookies that he got to the pope via some well-connected Argentines in Rome.

Pope Francis attends a inter-religious ceremony for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, in Rome. (AP)

“Listen, when you are in the Vatican, the only way to achieve something is to break the rule and then to say, ‘I’m sorry,'” Afineevsky said in an interview ahead of the premiere.

The director worked official and unofficial channels starting in early 2018, and ended up so close to Francis by the end of the project that he showed the pope the movie on his iPad in August. The two recently exchanged Yom Kippur greetings; Afineevsky is a Russian-born Jew who lives in Los Angeles.

But “Francesco” is more than a biopic about the pope.

Wim Wenders did that in the 2018 film “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. “Francesco,” is more a visual survey of the world’s crises and tragedies, with audio from the pope providing possible ways to solve them.

Afineevsky traveled the world to film it: the settings include Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh where Myanmar’s Rohingya sought refuge; the US-Mexico border and Francis’ native Argentina.

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican on Wednesday, October 14. (AP)

“The film tells the story of the pope by reversing the cameras,” said Vatican communications director Paolo Ruffini, who was one of Afineevsky’s closest Vatican-based collaborators on the film.

Ruffini said that when Afineevsky first approached him with the idea of a documentary, he tried to tamp down his hopes for interviewing the pope.

“I told him it wasn’t going to be easy,” he said.

But Ruffini gave him some advice: names of people who had been impacted by the pope, even after just a brief meeting. Afineevsky found them: the refugees Francis met with on some of his foreign trips, prisoners he blessed, and some of the gays to whom he has ministered.

“I told him that many of those encounters had certainly been filmed by the Vatican cameras, and that there he would find a veritable gold mine of stories that told a story,” Ruffini said. “He would be able to tell story of the pope through the eyes of all and not just his own.”

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Criminal responsibility age to be raised from 10 to 14 if ACT Labor re-elected, after Government endorses reform

The ACT Government has broken ranks to become the first jurisdiction to endorse raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age.

Children as young as 10 can currently be prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to juvenile detention in the ACT and across Australia.

A national push to raise the age stalled after state, territory and federal attorneys-general determined more work needed to be done to find alternatives to dealing with young offenders.

A Council of Attorneys-General report into the issue is due next year, and ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay had previously said the capital would remain in line with national progress on reform.

But yesterday, the Legislative Assembly voted in favour of a motion showing in-principle support for the move, with Labor committing to changing the law if it wins October’s election.

More than 20 community sector organisations in Canberra, including social justice groups and the Greens, urged the Government to move on the issue and change its position.

Only one child under the age of 14 has been sentenced to detention in the 11 years to 2019, and four under 12 were held on remand at the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.

Rachel Stephen-Smith said the age of 10 was “too young” for criminal responsibility.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

ACT Minister for Children, Youth and Families and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Rachel Stephen-Smith, said the age of 10 was “too young” for a child to be held criminally responsible.

“We recognise how strong the evidence is in terms of a minimum age of criminal responsibility of 10 years old being too young,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government had approved the use of proceeds of crime to fund an analysis of what would need to be done to successfully raise the age.

She said the move was more than “just the stroke of a pen”.

“[We need] to ensure that they are rehabilitated, that they understand the consequences of their actions, and that they are provided with therapeutic, wrap around support to integrate into the community and to engage in positive behaviours so that they don’t end up just ending up in the justice system at an older age,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

Doubts over consensus led to ‘going it alone’

Shane Rattenbury speaks behind a host of media microphones.
Shane Rattenbury said movement on the reform so far was happening at a “galacial pace”.(ABC News: Jake Evans)

The ACT Government has expressed its desire for national consensus on the issue, but Labor yesterday said it was prepared to go its own way if that could not be done.

“If we could get to a national consensus within what we consider to be a reasonable timeline, then that is what we will pursue. If we get to a point where it is not looking like there is a national consensus, a national agreement, we will then move,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“We’re five weeks out from the beginning of pre-poll [voting], so we’re just over eight weeks out from the election.

“Obviously nothing is going to happen between now and then, but a re-elected Labor Government will progress this work with the community sector, with our community partners, to make sure that we understand the supports that are going to be needed for young people.”

ACT Law Society president Chris Donahue said Labor’s motion in the Assembly yesterday indicated its commitment outside of a national consensus.

“Part of the motion says there’s a desirability of national consensus on the minimum age but this does not prevent the jurisdiction from making an independent decision to raise the age,” Mr Donahue said.

Young person peering through window.
Children as young as 10 can currently be prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to juvenile detention.(Unsplash: Daniel Garcia)

The Canberra Liberals voted against the motion yesterday, but said they were open to raising the age of criminal responsibility in the future.

“There needs to be careful thought before we do enact this, it is clear this is a very complex area of law,” they said.

ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury, who moved the motion to raise the age of criminal responsibility, said he preferred consensus but the issue could no longer wait.

“It is clear … that this issue has slowed to what I consider a glacial pace,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“We believe with the right supports in place and a well-resourced youth sector, we can provide better alternatives.”

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New York City police union endorses President Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during an event Trump National Golf Club, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Bedminster, N.J., with members of the City of New York Police Department Benevolent Association. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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UPDATED 9:30 AM PT – Saturday, August 15, 2020

New York City’s largest police union has thrown its support behind President Trump’s reelection campaign. The Police Benevolent Association (PBA) made the announcement on Friday at the president’s private club in New Jersey.

The PBA President Patrick Lynch highlighted the importance of the endorsement and noted he couldn’t remember the last time the union had endorsed anyone for a presidential election.

“Mr. President, today it’s an honor for me to stand at this podium and be the voice for 24,000 New York City police officers, proud police officers, that are here today chanting ‘USA,’ chanting ‘Trump for president,’” stated Lynch. “They mean it each and every time they say it.”

During the event, President Trump blasted his political opponent by saying “no one will be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

“It’s a left-wing war on cops,” he said. “If sleepy Joe Biden were to become president, he would immediately pass legislation to gut every single police department in America.”

Photo via NYC PBA Twitter.

The president went on to promise that he will back the blue.

“So we’re going to give you back your stature, give you back your status. I hate to say it, but it’s been taken away. We’re going to give you back the right to be New York’s finest, the finest of all time, the greatest of all time.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

As nationwide protests continue to call for police reform, the president’s campaign has tightened its focus on “law and order.”

“My agenda is anti-crime and pro-cop all the way,” added the president. “That’s what it’s got to be.”

President Donald Trump speaks during an event Trump National Golf Club, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Bedminster, N.J., with members of the City of New York Police Department Benevolent Association. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

This comes as many cities across the nation are spending millions to try and repair the damages incurred during recent riots. Debt-ridden areas are now feeling the financial burden of protests and riots following the death of George Floyd, among others.

As of this week, looters, injured policemen and property damage have reportedly cost these cities millions. In Minneapolis, total costs in damages could potentially skyrocket to a high of more than $500 million.

Portland, Oregon has seen similar issues. Almost 80 nights of protests and riots have cost the city around $23 million in total damages.

MORE NEWS: Chicago Police Chief: Looters Will Be Arrested

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