Kanye Running

Is Kanye West running for president? Probably not. – Yahoo News

On Saturday, just four months before the 2020 election, musician, provocateur and former ardent Donald Trump supporter Kanye West tweeted that he was launching his own bid to become president.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” West wrote on Independence Day.

His tweet was boosted by his wife, reality star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, and was endorsed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Fellow artists like rapper 2Chainz griped that he’s upset he voted in Georgia’s primary elections, implying that he’d rather have waited to cast his ballot for West, but that won’t be possible in many states where deadlines have already passed for names to be added to preprinted voting forms. 

So far, however, there’s little indication that West intends to follow through with his campaign announcement. No official FEC filing has been made under West’s name this year (back in 2015, however, a parody filing was made by Kanye “Deez Nuts” West).

In 2020, West would be forced to run as an independent, as Joe Biden has already become the presumptive Democratic nominee and Republicans are unlikely to substitute him for Trump. Deadlines to appear on several states ballots as an independent are also quickly approaching, and the chance to run in six major states, including delegate-rich Texas and New York, have already passed. West would have to assemble a campaign and file paperwork at breakneck speed to even be considered a viable candidate in the most traditional sense. 

Rapper Kanye West during a meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump in 2src18. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Rapper Kanye West during a meeting in the Oval Office with President Trump in 2018. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Of course, a West win could be possible (though, again, highly improbable) through a series of grassroots, write-in-ballots, which is more pie-in-the-sky thought exercise than anything else. 

Making his prospects even dimmer, write-in ballots aren’t even possible in eight states, and even if he were able to win the popular vote in other states, he would have had to file before Election Day with many other states for it to matter. 

So what’s West’s ploy, then? Is his last-minute campaign a bid to peel votes away from Biden? Or is the whole endeavor simply a PR stunt? 

West has always found his way into presidential politics. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, West declared live on television controversially that “George W. Bush doesn’t care about Black people.” West spoke openly about what he believed to be the president’s failure to reach ailing Black families in Louisiana in the aftermath of the deadly storm. 

After West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, President Obama called him a “jackass.” 

In 2012, West accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of not paying his taxes. 

In 2018, West made fresh waves by coming out in support of Trump, calling the Republican president “his brother” who he said possesses “dragon energy.” In 2019 his defense of Trump became much sharper, accusing Democrats of controlling the Black community and teasing his own future run with a simple “2024.”

President Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office in 2src18. (Sebastian Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump meets with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office in 2018. (Sebastian Smith/AFP via Getty Images)

West and wife Kardashian helped promote criminal justice reform legislation and have visited the White House on a handful of occasions. 

The Biden campaign has yet to make any public comment about West’s announcement to run for president. When asked for comment by ABC News, the Trump campaign simply said: “God bless America.”


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cartels Running

Rio cartels go from running drugs to pushing medication – CNN

Rio de Janeiro (CNN)Coronavirus rages on the edges of Rio de Janeiro — in the hills and slums run by drug gangs, where police dare not go unless on an armed raid.

Absent of help from the state — President Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to crush criminals “like cockroaches” — the gangs have stepped up. Where before they peddled narcotics with the rule of the gun, now they also push curfews, social distancing and food handouts for the neediest.
“We fear the virus, not Bolsonaro,” said Ronaldo, a gang member who, like most people interviewed, either requested anonymity or gave a false name. “We can’t count exactly how many have already died. The hospitals kill more than if you stay home and take care of yourself.”
A drug gang granted CNN access one of Rio’s poorest and most socially isolated communities, to illustrate how it has dealt with Covid-19. It’s an area inaccessible to state healthcare. Alcohol gel, medication and cash handouts are all part of a system that gang members were eager to display, with Brazil now the country with the second highest number of coronavirus infections behind the United States, and where cases are still doubling every two weeks.
Four young men climb off their motorbikes and begin to lift large plastic bags from the back of a pickup truck. The first package of groceries goes to a manicurist who has been out of work for four months. The second goes to a street vendor.
“Things are getting very difficult,” said the street vendor, who requested anonymity. She says she is trying to set up a stall in the community, but there is nobody to buy her products.
“I’m trying at least,” she said. “Kids and lots of people are getting sick. The food they’re giving us helps a lot.”
She says her father-in-law died in April from Covid-19. He seemed stable, she adds, until he was transferred to hospital, where he died within the day.
“Until now we didn’t get a full report on what happened, except that it was Covid-19,” she said. “It took two weeks for him to be buried.”
She says that her uncle is now sick and hospitalized, having caught the virus while at his supermarket job.
Medical help is available in the community, and hospitalizations are rare.
“Doctors from the community are helping the sick people voluntarily,” Ronaldo said. “The people who have money can get assistance. The ones who haven’t just can’t.”
The local community sometimes chips in to pay for burials, says Ronaldo.
“The isolation was going well here but now even the President himself — in his own words — is disregarding it,” Ronaldo said. “But we can’t ease it. We’ve seen a lot of death. We know it’s not a small thing.”
As he spoke, two teenagers played pool nearby. Many here violate the social-distancing rules, like they do on the wealthier coast below.
“It’s complicated to enforce quarantine on people,” Ronaldo said.
These drug dealers — young and armed with old semi-automatic rifles, short-barreled M4s and, in Ronaldo’s case, a Glock pistol adapted into a rifle — have become as knowledgeable about Covid-19 as they are about narcotics.
When asked if they would accept any of the two million doses of hydroxychloroquine that the United States has agreed to send Brazil — despite the drug being ruled ineffective against Covid-19, and perhaps dangerous by the World Health Organization — Ronaldo replies:
“I don’t think hydroxychloroquine helps. It’s BS. Everything that comes to Brazil from abroad has already been contaminated.”
The streets seem busy for curfew. Bars are closed, however, and business has adapted to the pandemic.
Neia, a hairdresser before the pandemic, has turned to making masks. She sells them through her front window, which allows her to stay inside. They’re free for children, and three face masks cost 10 reals (about US$1.75) for adults. But Neia says that drug dealers give her 15 reals.
“I am more afraid of the virus than anything else here,” she said. “An elderly man who lives there (next to her home) died. People in general are respecting isolation.”
Crime has often cut this community off from the rest of Rio. Police regularly raid the area, as part of Bolsonaro’s crackdown on favelas. He has said that a policeman who does not kill is not a real policeman. And the resulting uptick in deadly operations has led to outcry from human rights advocates.
The most recent raid near this favela occurred ten days ago and left at least seven dead. The signs another raid may be on its way are everywhere: a big rock blocks a road, the sound of firecrackers from a rooftop — a warning that a lookout has seen something strange, and the police may be coming again.
Nearly everyone we spoke to had a story of death or infection from coronavirus. Daniel, who runs a street food stall, told stories of deaths he had heard of as he prepared pastels.
“Today there was a girl who lives nearby who died,” he said, adding a friend of his with diabetes and a heart condition also died suddenly at home. The street he lives on has seen two deaths, he says.
“There’s less movement in the streets,” Daniel said. “I wash my hands here all the time. I use hand gel, masks and clean the stall a lot.”
The dealers have barred restaurants from putting tables out, he says.
“The virus is in control here,” Daniel said. “Even the dealers are afraid. It’s not possible to control everybody.”
The motorcycles whizz back and forth, some carrying gunmen, others ferrying teenage girls out for the night. The streets buzz with activity. At times it feels like a world before lockdowns.
But locals say it’s fairly empty. Bars, they say, would normally hum with music and drug dealing would be more prevalent.
Areas like these will be an enduring concern to healthcare workers as the pandemic grows. The state will know little about how the virus has spread in these communities. Residents here may live apart from wealthier Rio neighborhoods, but many work there, nonetheless, and may spread the virus.
Firecrackers suddenly crackle again, and a lookout fears the police are on their way.

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