Posts tagged with "Donald Trump"

Allison Christensen for use by 360 Magazine

Virtual Meeting w/ Biden × Xi

By: Conan Zhang

US President Biden and China’s Chairman, Xi Jinping had their first virtue summit on November 15th. This summit was set towards the improvement of bilateral cooperation but there was no concrete action after three and a half hours of the conference.

The summit had its focus on a wide range of issues, including human rights, climate change, and the economy. However, among all the topics, the future of Taiwan has been one of the major focuses of the globe.

Since the uncertainty of the global pandemic and political concern, Xi has canceled all his traveling plans since January 2020. The two leaders have spoken through telephone twice this year, nevertheless this time they were intended to lead a more exhaustive discussion of the previous issues.

Although the summit was taken place virtually, the place was carefully selected. Xi along with his allies was at the East Hall in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Biden and his team were at the Roosevelt Room at the White House.

During the conference, each side has mentioned their dispute which concerns them the most. While the disservice has been deeply rooted which offered little room for compromise. Although Xi called Mr. Biden “my old friend” at the beginning of the summit and used a metaphor that compared the two superpowers to ships that navigate together in the ocean’s wind, under the water, there is disagreement and conflict which is hard to be resolved.

Spotlight focus: Taiwan Affairs

Taiwan affairs are always the most significant issue among China and US. The White House and Xinhua News Agency, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, have individually quoted Biden and Xi’s speeches, which demonstrated their respectively different opinions.

According to a statement issued by the White House, Biden said that “the United States is still committed to the ‘One China policy, which is implemented under the guidance of the “Taiwan Relations Act”, the three joint communiqués and the six guarantees.”

While on the other hand, Xinhua News Agency quoted Biden as saying, “The U.S. government is committed to pursuing the long-term and consistent one China’ policy and does not support Taiwan independence.

Despite the fact that Xi Jinping always mentioned Taiwan in the past, This time his words are tougher, and more sounds like a warning. He warned that “Taiwan independence” is “very dangerous. It is playing with fire, and you will burn yourself if you play with fire.” He emphasized that the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint communiqués are the foundation of China-US relations.

Seek common ground while reserving differences

It is impossible to solve the enormous divisions that occur among the world’s two superpowers through just one meeting. While the virtual summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden obviously has removed the concern whether China-US would spiral into a new Cold War. The relationship is rebounding from the Trump era which there was a great misunderstanding. Cooperation of the world is urgently needed, since the COVID pandemic, economic recession, and climate crisis.

Although there is dissension in many ways, the communication was structural and honest, The fact that the summit has taken place for almost four hours is a clear sign that both leaders are putting a great amount of effort to achieve substantive and constructive results. They showed a strong desire to eventually find a way to reach a consensus. And Biden in his word said that we need to have “commonsense guardrails” and prevent the China-US competition from “veering into conflict”.

Conclusion

China-US collaboration and benign competition are appreciated by the world. History has witnessed the benefits of both superpowers working together from the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 to the joint declaration on enhanced climate actions announced recently in Glasgow. Just like what Xi mentioned at the begging of the summit, “Humanity lives in a global village, and we face multiple challenges together. China and the US need to increase communication and co-operation.”

Image by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HEAT WAVES × THE FUTURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

By: Andrew Shibuya

It seems as though only months or weeks pass nowadays between environmental global crises. While heat waves, floods, and the like are by no means novel, the twenty-first century has undoubtedly seen an unrelenting torrent of environmental disasters. In the past week alone, a record-breaking heat wave in the Pacific Northwest left nearly one-hundred dead, two separate oil fires burning on the surface of the ocean in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea, and innumerable small fires blazing across the West Coast following Fourth of July celebrations.

The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest impacted Oregon the most, with a total of 95 heat-related deaths on Sunday alone. Temperatures throughout the state reached a record-high of 117 degrees, leaving those without air conditioning or access to a cooler environment the most vulnerable. The Oregon government attempted to mitigate the effects of the heat wave by offering numerous cooling centers and even air conditioners to those at risk of harm.

Of course, the June heat wave that struck the Pacific Northwest was not unusual, nor will it be an outlier in the future by any means. In talking about the heat wave, Oregon Governor Kate Brown most succinctly stated, “This is a harbinger of things to come.” Other Oregon officials echoed this sentiment, with Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey writing the following in a press release for the heat wave: “This tragic event is almost certainly a glimpse into the future for Multnomah County, Oregon, the nation and the world. The impacts of climate change with heat waves, severe winter weather, wildfires, floods, and other rippling effects are happening now and will happen with more frequency for the foreseeable future.”

And while these sentiments are hardly prescient, on the other coast of the United States, a similar heat wave scorched the Northeast. While likewise record-breaking in its own right, the intensity of the East Coast’s heat wave does not come close to matching the Northwest’s. And still, a heat advisory was issued in New York City, and Boston and Philadelphia both issued heat health emergencies.

Of course, this past week was only one of the first weeks of summer, and more heat waves and heat related disasters are likely ensuing. Another heat wave warning has been issued for this coming weekend in California, from the desert to the Bay Area. California also has yet to enter its own “fire season,” which annually typically sees a handful of newsworthy fires that continue for several weeks, ravaging local communities and habitats.

This does not, however, mean that there is a lack of fires. This past Fourth of July weekend saw a marked increase in human caused wildfires. Already under a fire warning, California alone has seen hundreds of fires in the past several days as a result of holiday celebrations gone awry.

And all this is without mentioning the current drought plaguing the West Coast. From 2012 to 2016, California experienced its worse drought in over a millennium. The current drought finds many questioning the future of many essential Californian industries, such as farming, which will undoubtedly affect the largest economy in the United States.

Though one may be curious about the origin of these disasters–namely the drought and heat waves–one needs to look no further for evidence than the two oil fires on the high seas this past week. The fires, one in the Caspian Sea and one in the Gulf of Mexico, were both caused by oil explosions. The former is said to have been caused by the eruption of a “mud volcano,” or possibly a mud volcano interacting with a nearby gas field. They are still investigating the cause of this fire.

The fire in the Gulf of Mexico, however, was solely and indubitably man caused. A gas leak from an underwater pipeline by Mexico-owned gas company Pemex saw the inferno come about just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. A Mexican official has stated that there was no spillage, but there is still no explanation for the blaze.

Given all this, and the increased quantity of these sorts of events yearly, one can only wonder what a solution might be, and if such a solution is even plausible. And as each new catastrophe arises, it seems as though they are becoming normalized, with no action taken besides Twitter outcry. Beside merely pointing fingers at each other and pushing the onus of the responsibility around, the multibillionaires, their corporations, and the government ought to be able to do something.

Of course, it’s not as simple as expecting those groups to fix these global issues, as it is wholly a worldwide effort. As trite as it might seem, solutions to global issues require the actions of whole global populations. But besides recycling, eating with the environment in mind, and similar small (yet important) actions, what is the average person to do? Still, corporations such as Amazon are allowed to pollute and produce millions of pounds of plastic waste annually without consequence. Furthermore, former president Donald Trump once pulled out of the Paris Agreement in the name of America’s economic interests.

And so, just as Robert Frost once pondered if the world would end in ice or fire, the answer to his question seems to be becoming most clear now. As economies and profits seem to be more important than humanity’s future, the world will continue to burn, oceans will continue to rise, and people will continue to die. And as is true with many great problems, the issue is easy to see and difficult to solve–whether humanity will rise to its challenge is another issue entirely.

Madame Trusseau's Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

Madame Tussauds New York Wax Museum

By: Emily Bunn × Vaughn Lowery × Armon Hayes

Have you ever dreamed of taking seat in the Oval Office, starring on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, or joining the Ghostbusters crew? With Madame Tussauds, what may have seemed impossible is now in fingertips reach. The wax museum hosts five floors of interactive, celebrity wax figures. Positioning the heart of New York City in Times Square, guests of Madame Tussauds wax museum are surrounded by star-struck fun. 360 Magazine visited the wax museum and had a VIP experience with by our favorite figures.

There are several different zones for interactive experiences at Madame Tussauds. In “Walk the Catwalk” guests will be coached by model Alessandra Ambrosio to embrace their best catwalk. Guests can even get their catwalk video recorded to share their strut online. Practices your poses with Heidi Klum and perfect your smize with Tyra Banks. What better place to practice your model moves than In the Fashion Capital of the World?

New York is also known, of course, for the city’s spectacular Broadway productions. Guests can become a part of the interactive, behind-the-scenes journey of exploring the most iconic Broadway shows. Whether you want to follow in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s footsteps and compose Broadway music scores, style the cast’s wardrobe, or act and sing your heart out, you can play your part at Madame Tussauds’ New York Broadway experience. Don’t miss your curtain call on this exciting opportunity.

If you’re looking for a more action-packed experience, be sure to visit Madam Tussaud’s Marvel exhibit! Save the world and rescue humanity alongside your favorite superheroes including The Hulk, The Hulk Buster, Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury, Iron Man, and Spiderman. This interactive Marvel experience lets guests develop their Spidey-senses and get closer to their favorite heroes than ever before.

After you’re done assuming your role as Captain America in the Marvel zone, get ready to use your powers in the Faceoff with King Kong zone. Featuring the largest animatronic in New York City, Madame Tussauds­-in collaboration with Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers-invites guests to battle King Kong. Guests will begin their daring adventure on the infamous Skull Island, in which they must evade jungle creatures and unearth iconic artifacts from the film. Along their voyage, guests will be accompanied by a new, wax figure of Captain James Conrad before battling the beast. The eighteen-foot tall, multi-sensory animatronic head of King Kong is sure to leave guests in awe and terror. Hear King Kong’s roar and unearth the secrets of skull island with this ferocious exhibition.

If you’re looking for more thrilling spooks, check out Madame Tussaud’s Ghostbusters zone. In honor of the return of the loved franchise, the museum has built a specialty experience inspired by the 2016 film. Escapade along the eerie, underground NY subway tracks and explore the dark basement of a haunted mansion while keeping your eyes peeled for ghosts and goblins galore. Beware of several spooks along the way as you bust ghosts and meet stars such as Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Melisa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig. Fans of the franchise can even take a spin on the Ecto-2.

Another star-studded zone Madame Tussauds offers is MTNY Studios exhibit. Whether you’ve dreamed of being a celebrity on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, forecasting breaking news alongside Michael Strahan, or reporting on the weather with Al Roker, you can be the TV star you’ve always wanted to be.

Finally, the last zone Madame Tussaud offers is the Oval Office experience. Get up close and personal with influential leaders of the past and present, like Barack Obama and George Washington. Instead of reading about history in a textbook, experience making history in-person alongside your favorite politicos.

Besides the museum’s seven interactive zones, there are also two riveting experiences: the Marvel 4D Film, and the Coney Island Carnival Carnage 7D Game.

With Marvel’s 4D experience, guests can feel a part of the movie with 3D film technologies including experiential sensory effects. Viewers are put in the middle of the action when viewing this incredible 4D film. Feel the wind and water, and even smells the same scents at the same time as your favorite heroes in the movie.

Guests are invited to face their greatest nightmares in the Coney Island Carnival Carnage Game. This 7D, multi-sensory experience invites guests to shoot lasers at enemies, ride carnival attractions, and spin the Wheel of Misfortune–all while running from killer clowns. This adrenaline-packed nightmare promises a rich gaming experience that may keep you awake at night–that is, if you can escape.

All of Madame Tussauds’ zones and experiences allow guests to get up more close and personal with their favorite Hollywood celebrities and figures than ever before. Madame Tussauds is available for group visits, school visits, corporate events, and even birthday parties. We went on a Friday afternoon, and had a blast exploring the five stories of experiential fun. The figures we found most lifelike were Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. All three figures of Michael Jackson impressed us, and we loved seeing his evolution through time. Our favorite zone was Ghostbusters– the subway set mirrored NYC’s own actual subways, which felt both surreal and cinematic. Those interested in visiting Madame Tussauds can visit this website for ticket purchase and further details. The wax museum is currently operating at reduced capacity and is following all COVID-19 protocols.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Trusseau's Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 MagazineMadame Tussauds Wax Museum NYC image shot by Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for use by 360 Magazine

Wendy Williams at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum NYC via Eliza Rose for use by 360 Magazine
Breaking News by Nicole Salazar

Weekly News Roundup: Week of May 3

President Biden Raises Refugee Admission Cap to 62,500 People

In a move to reverse former President Donald Trump’s stricter admission cap on refugees, President Biden has raised the admission cap to 62,500 people in the next six months. Originally, Trump had administered a cap on 15,000 refugees. At first, Biden said he would stick to this figure, but changed his stance after receiving condemnation from Democrats on Capitol Hill. In a statement issued by the White House addressing this political reversal, Biden commented “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” The New York Times says that Biden’s statement acknowledged how Trump’s budget and staffing cuts during his presidency makes it more unlikely to handle resettling 62,500 refugees within the coming year. In his statement, Biden admitted “the sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year,” he said. “We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway.”

Pfizer Vaccine to be Administered to Adolescents

The availability of the Pfizer vaccine is soon to more accessible to millions more Americans. The FDA is said to authorize the use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 by early next week. Pfizer has recently released trial results in which show their vaccine to be at least as effective for adolescents as it is for the adult population. If granted access, the CDC will likely meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and announce public health recommendations for adolescent vaccinations.  Over 100 million adults have already been vaccinated, and with the Pfizer vaccine becoming available to millions more, the level of public immunity is forecasted to rise, and the number of deaths and hospitalizations are to drop.

In order to target vaccinations to younger Americans, Biden announced on Tuesday that mass vaccinations sites would shift to more local settings. He also stated his goal of vaccination 70% of Americans by July’s Independence Day. To those who are unvaccinated, Biden plead: “This is your choice. Its life and death.” On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced that tens of millions more Americans need to get vaccinated before the rate of the coronavirus will be low enough to return to normalcy.

Subway Overpass Collapse Results in the Death of 23 People

Late Monday night in Mexico City, the collapse of a subway overpass–and subsequent fall of an active train car– resulted in the deaths of 23 people. Dozens of more victims are suffering injuries. The accident occurred on Line 12, one of the newer tracks in Mexico’s subway system. The subway system has been plagued by safety concerns from the public after a severe earthquake in 2017. Over 70 people were transported to the nearby hospitals, most of them delivered to Belisario Dominguez Hospital. Mexico’s fire fighters, military, and forensics department all arrived on scene to aid in the rescuing and recovery of the accident’s victims. Currently, Line 12 will remain closed as authorities investigate the harrowing accident. The Mayor of Mexico City, Claudio Steinbaum, spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning: ” At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened. There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”

Derek Chauvin Files for New Trial Regarding Murder of George Floyd

The trial of the police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of second-degree manslaughter by Judge Peter Cahill. However, Chauvin’ lawyer, Eric Nelson, is now claiming that Chauvin’s rights were violated during the trial since Judge Cahill refused a change of venue regarding where the trial was help. As a result of such, Nelson claims that the pre-trial publicity deprived Chauvin of a fair trial. NPR reports that Nelson also has cited “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.” In Nelson’s file motion that requests another trial, he argues that the court “abused its discretion” because of the nationwide publicity of the high-profile trial. Due to the mass publicity of the trial, Nelson says that the defense’s expert witnesses and jury felt “threatened of intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings.”

NPR reports that according to Nelson’s file motion, the court abused its discretion by:

  • When it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media
  • When it permitted the State to present cumulative evidence with respect to use of force
  • When it failed to order that a record be made of the numerous sidebars that occurred during the trial
  • When it submitted instructions to the jury that failed to accurately reflect the law with respect to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and authorized use of force

NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports on how infrequently officers are called to conduct while in uniform, “Some studies show only seven police officers since 2005 have been convicted of murder for their actions on the job. That’s even though about 1,000 or 1,100 people a year die at the hands of police.” The way in which Derek Chauvin’s initial trial ended was a long-awaited plea for justice that many Americans felt finally acknowledged and held accountable the perpetrators of police violence and systemic racism in the nation. Ultimately, it is up to Judge Peter Cahill to decide whether to open trial again for Chauvin.

Facebook’s Suspension of Donald Trump Continues

Since the Capitol insurrection on January 1, Facebook has suspended Trump’s usage of the platform. The length and permanence of the suspension has been hotly debated lately, especially since Facebook doesn’t have a standard policy or punishment regarding indefinite suspensions. On Wednesday, a team of journalists, activists, and lawyers upheld the social media company’s ban of Trump. Their discussion ended any immediate return of Trump to the platform, and sparked debate concerning freedom of speech online. Facebook’s Oversight Board cited their reasoning for banning Trump in January, stating that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. At the time of Mr. Trump’s posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions.” After Facebook reviews its action, Trump may be able to return to the platform later down the line. Other social media giants, including Twitter and YouTube, also locked Trump’s accounts after the Capitol chaos. Trump has responded to the rulings with agitation, stating that “free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth.” The New York Times reports that Facebook responded to their ruling in a statement, stating that the company is “‘pleased’ that the board recognized that its barring of Mr. Trump in January was justified. It said it would consider the ruling and ‘determine an action that is clear and proportionate.’”

Liz Cheney May Be Sequestered from G.O.P.

Rep. Liz Cheyney has received backlash from Republican lawmakers in the GOP party due to her public criticisms of former President Donald Trump. After Trump’s insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, she voted to impeach him from office. This vote to impeach Trump increased tensions between Cheyney and the members of the GOP leadership and other Republican lawmakers. Notably, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy questioned Cheyney’s ability to carry out her position in office, stating “I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority.” At the Conservative Political Action Committee, Cheyney was asked if Trump should speak at the conference. She replied, “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which following Jan. 6 I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.” While her party oppositions have landed Cheyney in controversy, Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted on Tuesday, recognizing her honesty and dedication to her stance: “Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie.”

Olympians And Officials to Be Offered Pfizer Vaccine

The International Olympic Committee announced on Thursday that, in an effort to quell public safety concerns, athletes and official will be offered the Pfizer vaccine before arriving in Japan. Through utilization of domestic inoculation programs, vaccines are to be administered to patients in their home countries. However, there is no requirement for athletes, coaches, officials, or others attending the game to be vaccinated. So far, approximately only 1% of Japan’s residents have been fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times’ database. In a statement put out by the International Olympic Committee, it was notes that “any additional doses delivered by Pfizer and BioNTech will not be taken out of existing programs, but will be in addition to existing quotas and planned deliveries around the world.” Hopefully, the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer will bring celebration, instead of crisis.

The Nation cover illustration by Heather Skovlund (Original cover art Illustration by Barry Blitt) for 360 Magazine

Elie Mystal × The Nation

Can Biden Fix the Courts That Trump Broke?

There is no progressive future without a serious fight to reclaim the judiciary from the grips of conservative judges.

In The Nation’s latest cover story, justice correspondent Elie Mystal explains:

“While previous Republican administrations tried to break government, Donald Trump tried to break democracy. He did this boldly and brazenly, by attacking elections, and he did it less boldly but no less brazenly, by working alongside Mitch McConnell to take over the unelected branch of government that sets the rules for all the others: the federal judiciary. That branch is now stuffed with conservative ideologues masquerading as jurists.”

Making the case that there is no progressive future without a serious fight to reclaim the judiciary from the grips of conservative judges, Mystal evaluates whether Biden can fix the courts that Trump broke: Happily, there is a solution, and that solution is to expand the lower courts.

Congress has used its constitutional authority throughout history to expand the federal judiciary. Historically, these lower court expansions were bipartisan: As the country grows in population, so does the number of lawsuits. Adding judges is just a thing we used to do to keep the judiciary running smoothly. But since 1990, when the last judgeship bill was passed, the US population has grown by a third; the number of district court cases has grown by 38 percent; and the number of cases involving a felony defendant has grown by 60 percent. The number of judges has not changed.

“I absolutely believe that if Trump had won reelection and McConnell had hung onto the Senate, Republicans would be working on court expansion right now,” writes Mystal. “There just aren’t a lot of vacancies left in the federal judiciary. Republicans can always find some casus belli for stacking the courts with conservative judges. The only question is whether Democrats will ever realize there’s a war, and they’re losing it.”

“To balance out decades of inequity, Biden’s judicial appointments shouldn’t ‘look like America;’ they should overrepresent the kinds of Americans routinely excluded by Republican administrations,” he continues. “You can’t balance a seesaw by standing in the middle when an elephant is sitting on one side.”

Read the full cover story here. Mystal, who covers the courts, the criminal justice system, and politics for The Nation, has also recently reported:

Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Is Designed to Fail

Biden’s recently announced commission to study court reform isn’t designed to offer solutions—it’s designed to be an excuse to do nothing.

How the Supreme Court Gave Cops a License to Kill

Derek Chauvin’s defense team is hoping that the 1989 Graham v. Connor ruling will be his ticket to acquittal.

The Blue Wall of Silence Is Crumbling Around Derek Chauvin

For one of the first times in memory, police are testifying against one of their own. But will it lead to an actual conviction?

ABOUT Elie Mystal

Elie Mystal is The Nation’s justice correspondent—covering the courts, the criminal justice system, and politics—and the force behind the magazine’s monthly column, “Objection!” He is also an Alfred Knobler Fellow at the Type Media Center. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Mystal was previously the executive editor of Above the Law and a former associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. He’s a frequent guest on MSNBC and Sirius XM. 

Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter, serving as a critical, independent, and progressive voice in American journalism.

Tom Odell "monsters v.2." image shot by Netti Hurley for use by 360 Magazine

TOM ODELL – monster v.2.

Tom Odell Releases New Single + Video “monster v.2.” Listen | Watch 

New album monsters to be released June 25th Via Sony Music U.K./RCA Records

Pre-Save/Pre-Order album

Brit Award and Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter, plus platinum-selling, chart-topping artist Tom Odell today releases his new single “monster v.2” via Sony Music UK/RCA Records. Listen/Watch monsters v.2.”

Odell’s fourth studio album, monsters, will be released June 25th.  Pre-order HERE and find track listing below.

After a dark period of mental health stalked most of his 2018 and 2019, Odell wrote his way through it, eventually letting down his guard and pouring his feelings into new music that became his brand new album monsters. The album feels like both a daring creative rebirth and a solidifying of Odell’s strengths.

Last week, Tom released a stripped down version of the song and video titled “monster v.1.” CLASH described it “rustic and intimate…A song developed out of distaste, anxiety and personal responsibility, ‘monster v.1’ is a plea to better oneself despite pain. The video is starkly personal and filmed by Odell himself at home. Presented as personal diary tapes, “monster v.1” feels like watching someone’s most confidential moments of mental turbulence.”  Watch the video/listen HERETom debuted “monster” with a stripped down performance on The Graham Norton Show – Watch Here.

Last month, Odell premiered the album’s first single “numb”  via BBC Radio 1 “Hottest Record In The World” with an accompanying video filmed in Tom’s home in England and directed by Tom Odell & Joseph Delaney. Watch it HERE.

“monster v.2” is the perfect companion track to follow “numb”–with the confrontational chorus (“you’re just a monster and I’m not scared”), lyrics initially inspired by Trump, and more specifically climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s staring down the former U.S. president at the UN Climate Summit in 2019. The song’s meaning soon morphed into something more abstract. The song became a self-help mantra for Odell’s ongoing battle with anxiety.  Tom also releases a video today for which Tom’s fans sent in clips of what the word ‘monster’ meant to them.

Watch “monster v.2” here

Tom explains:  “in 2019, my anxiety got so bad that I had to stop making music for a while. There was a period when it felt like I couldn’t leave the house without having a panic attack. I wrote this song, ‘monster’ about trying to overcome my struggles with those mental health problems. The more I’ve begun to speak about this subject, the more I’ve realized so many people are going through the same thing. I asked my fans to show me what the word ‘monster’ meant to them, and I thought I was just gonna make a 30 second video for Instagram or something, but the first time we put all the clips together I cried. It was so moving to see people being so vulnerable, so I scrapped the whole other music video I had made for the song and ended up going with this as the main music video, as it was so good.  I think it’s one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever been involved with.”

Odell has been working as a musician in the public eye since he was 21 when his self- penned debut album Long Way Down, earned him a UK number one album, top 10 single (the epic “Another Love” which propelled him to global notice) as well as the coveted Brit Award. A masterful performer, Tom has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonThe Graham Norton Show, Late Late Show with James CordenLate Night with Seth Meyers and so many more.

Now, 30, it’s clear to Tom that the whirlwind around his debut kick started a work ethic that eventually became an obsession.  It reached an apex in September 2019 when Odell, fresh off touring his album Jubilee Road, left his home in London and went straight to LA to start writing the next album.  “Then this chronic anxiety that I’d had for a couple of years just got worse.” Odell woke up one morning “and I couldn’t do any more music.” He knew something had to change.  In the end he flew back home, went straight to his parent’s house and slowly got better.

Odell turned that challenging experience into this new album.  He also realized  his broader lyrical horizons needed to be matched by a musical expansion, with a lot of the songs on the album–created alongside songwriter Laurie Blundell and producer Miles James–leaning into a more electronic, bedroom pop sound that Odell has steadily become obsessed with over the last few years. This newfound love of DIY electronic pop chimed with the pandemic’s arrival and Odell crafted songs in a more threadbare way with instruments he had at hand, like Moog synths. It was a move underpinned by both necessity and a desire to explore. Eerie synths and head-rattling beats augment the sound.  While his new music is at times weighty, there is a lightness of touch that means Odell is able to pull off pop’s greatest trick of hiding sadness in the melodies. In this strangest of times, this new music represents the start of chapter two in Odell’s ongoing musical journey.

Tom Odell has enjoyed over 2.6 billion streams, three UK top 5 albums including the platinum-selling, chart-topping Long Way Down; two UK top 10 singles, a 2013

Brit Award for Critic’s Choice and was awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello award for Songwriter of the Year.

Tom Odell recently announced live dates for his UK 2022 “the monsters tour.” Tickets are available at Gigs and Tours, Ticketmaster and AXS. *Fans pre-ordering the album (vinyl, cd, cassette and more) on Tom’s official website will guarantee first access to tickets.

monsters album track listing:

  1. numb
  2. over you yet
  3. noise
  4. money
  5. tears that never dry
  6. monster v.2
  7. lockdown
  8. lose you again
  9. fighting fire with fire
  10. problems
  11. me and my friends
  12. country star
  13. by this time tomorrow
  14. streets of heaven
  15. don’t be afraid of the dark
  16. monster v.1

Pre-Order monsters here

 

 

Donald Trump illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Donald Trump Impeached Again

By Dana Feeney

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time in his four-year term as president, which started in January of 2017. He is the third president to be impeached and the first president ever to be impeached more than once. This second impeachment comes shortly after the riots in the capital last week on January 6th, 2021. Trump is being impeached on the charge of “incitement of insurrection’’ because of the statements he made on January 6. He told his supporters to “fight like hell” because the Democrats were stealing the election. You can watch the speech hereDuring the riots, Trump supporters carrying a variety of racist and white supremacist paraphernalia swarmed the Capitol and forced their way into the building to stop the count of electoral votes. The riot caused the deaths of at least five individuals, including a Capitol police officer. 

Because of the insurrection, Democrats pushed for Vice President Mike Pence to enact the 25th amendment, which he could use to declare Trump unfit to serve as president and remove him from office. Republicans blocked this move. U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) introduced the article of impeachment to the House of Representatives on the morning of January 11, 2021. The article of impeachment is co-sponsored by 211 members of Congress according to Cicilline’s press release. You can read the full article of impeachment here. On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump with a 232 to 197 majority. 10 Republicans voted to impeach, more members of the president’s party than in any prior impeachment.

Impeachment does not mean removal from office; impeachment is adjacent to an indictment. The difference in American law is that indictment applies to criminal charges, while impeachment is the accusation of misconduct in a political setting. Any civil officer in the United States can be impeached. In the case of the President or Vice President, the first step is the introduction of the article(s) of impeachment in the House of Representatives. After the article(s) of impeachment are introduced to the House, the House then votes on each article of impeachment, and if any pass by a simple majority, more than 50%, the articles will be tried in front of the Senate. During the Senate trial, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate trial, the Senate body functions as the jury, a committee of House representatives, called “managers,” act as the prosecution, and the president and his or her lawyers act as the defense. All articles of impeachment are argued on the Senate floor, then are voted on by the Senate body to either convict or acquit; to convict, there must be a two-thirds majority. Only two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were impeached and reached the Senate trial, both were acquitted. Despite an extensive impeachment investigation, Richard Nixon was never impeached because he resigned.  

Yesterday, January 13, 2021, the House voted to impeach Trump with only six days until the inauguration of Joe Biden. It is highly unlikely that Trump will be removed from office before the end of his term as president. The Senate is not set to be in session until January 19, 2021, and neither Democrats nor Republicans benefit from rushing the trial to be any sooner as this Senate trial will be a lengthy process that requires preparation from both the prosecution and the defense. Despite Trump losing the support of some members of his party, it is unclear how likely it is that Trump will be convicted because, even Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach in the first impeachment, has implied he is unsure that this is the right way to go. Many Republicans may hesitate to vote to convict because of the 74 million people who voted for Trump; these are the people who control whether Republicans will be reelected in the future. The main person who could cause a possible shift is Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. If McConnell chooses to vote to convict Trump, other members of the Republican party may do the same. McConnell released this statement on January 13 saying that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”

Trump has been silent since besides releasing this video condemning violence and has not acknowledged the second impeachment. He has been banned from social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, and Snapchat. Along with these bans, the tech industry has made broad statements against this recent violence. Apple and Google have removed the app Parler from their app stores. The app was used by Trump supporters and white supremacists to communicate and coordinate the attack on the Capitol. Further, Amazon Web Services, which hosted the app, has cut off its service to Parler on the premise that it violated its terms of service. One feature of the app was that users could upload a photograph of their government-issued ID or driver’s license to become a “Verified Citizen.” The app lost the support of its security services, which protected user data, leaving it vulnerable to hackers who stole the data and turned it over to the FBI to be used to identify terrorists present at the riot. Read more about it here. Additionally, there are accounts publicly identifying people in photographs from the riots on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Federal officials are identifying and arresting individuals who were at the event.

 The riots have caused many security changes in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the U.S. as Joe Biden’s inauguration grows closer and threats of further violence continue to spread online. These changes include the resignation of the U.S. Capitol Police chief, Steven Sund, increased police and national guard presence in Washington D.C. and the implementation of high security barriers around the Capitol building. Many D.C. businesses inside of the security perimeter are already making changes in preparation for the inauguration. Some are boarding up their windows in preparation for possible protests while others are preparing to serve guests who come to D.C. for the inauguration. In response to various local, state, and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., Airbnb has canceled all reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the inauguration week, according to this press release. Some hotel chains in the city have stated that they will be hosting guests; as of now, nothing has been done to prevent this.

The events in this article, including the Senate trial, the consequences of the riots, and the coming inauguration, are all ongoing.

 

Kaelen Felix illustrates Ritchie Torres for 360 Magazine

TRAILBLAZER: CONGRESSMAN RITCHIE TORRES

By Elle Grant

January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.

“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.

He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”

Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.

“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”

“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”

Congressmen Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.

The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”

Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.

These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.

Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”

Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3rd, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”

360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”

Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”

“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad’ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.

Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.

On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”

Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.

Will Trump Attend Inauguration?

BookMaker.eu released odds on whether President Trump will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden and the public vehemently disagreed with their prediction. “Initially we priced President Trump at a 1/2 (-200) favorite to attend. Meaning you had to wager $2 to win $1 on Trump attending,” said Head Political Trader Angus Hamm. “The public did not share our belief in Trump adhering to tradition and we were buried in bets against Trump attending to the point where the odds shot up to 1/3 (-300) that Trump will not attend.” 

Live Odds — https://www.bookmaker.eu/live-lines/politics

Will Donald Trump attend the inauguration of Joe Biden?

Yes- 5/2 (+250)
No- 1/3 (-300)

Since 1985, BookMaker.eu has earned its reputation as “Where The Line
Originates” among professional and recreations sports bettors by always
paying and never kicking out winners. Widely-recognized by oddsmakers worldwide as the principal market mover in North American betting markets, BookMaker.eu is the industry authority and a leading media source for betting information on sports, entertainment, and political betting
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Twitter: @bookmaker_eu

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden illustration for 360 MAGAZINE by Kaelen Felix

Biden’s victory means workers once again have a seat at the table

Joe Biden’s election victory is one for working families throughout this country.

It brings with it a renewed sense of optimism that they will once again have their voices heard in the revered Oval Office. As we celebrate this victory, we know there is much work to be done, and we, the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), look forward to working with the Biden administration to reestablish and further the interests of all working Americans.

Earlier this year, a survey of OPEIU members—the first-ever of its kind in our union’s history—showed a strong majority of us support the election of Biden as the forty-sixth president of the United States. OPEIU members throughout the country worked tirelessly in the months leading up to the election to help get out the vote for Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris.

The democratic ticket is one of hope. Biden and Harris recognize the power of unions and worker organization. They promise that, as a part of their plan as leaders of the U.S., that they will “grow a stronger, more inclusive middle class – the backbone of the American economy – by strengthening public and private sector unions and helping all workers bargain successfully for what they deserve.”

His specific plan for doing is outlined on his website. Among his talking points, he swears to check the abuse of corporate power, encourage and incentivize unionization and collective bargaining, and ensure that workers are “treated with dignity and receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.”

“This is a historic day for working people. Not only has our members’ work to oust an anti-worker president come to fruition, but working people now have someone in the White House who will strive to protect America’s working families, not just the wealthy and powerful, and help bring our nation back together to heal after four years of divisiveness,” said OPEIU President Richard Lanigan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump has not protected workers. After the benefits of the CARES Act expired in July, which allotted citizens who filed for unemployment an extra $600 per month, Trump opposed its extension, leaving citizens without fiscal support from the government.

“Though we anticipate a wave of last-ditch legal challenges from the Trump campaign, our union will move forward knowing working people’s needs and struggles will be considered as President-elect Biden begins to assemble his cabinet,” he continued.

Trump has so far brought almost a dozen cases to smaller courts in Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgie, calling into question the validity of ballots and calling for the count to stop. Trump has made clear that he wants to take the election to the Supreme Court where it will determine a winner. But, according to the Associated Press, the margins with which Biden won the race make it difficult for Trump to build a case for himself.

“We congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,” he concluded. “Working people across the country, especially OPEIU members, are looking forward to fighting side-by-side as we confront the biggest issues facing our country today: the COVID crisis, the attack on workers’ rights, economic inequality, racial justice and climate change.”

Biden and Harris won the popular vote and the Electoral College, securing, as of now, more than 74 million popular votes and 279 electoral votes, and counting. The AP called the election for Biden today.

OPEIU stands ready to work with the Biden administration to expand workers’ rights, make billionaires pay their fair share, combat inequality in all its forms, and undertake the difficult but necessary work required to protect our planet for future generations.

ABOUT OPEIU

The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) represents more than 103,000 working people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Representing employees in nonprofit organizations, credit unions, hospitals, insurance agencies, colleges and universities, hotels, administrative offices and more, OPEIU is committed to advancing economic justice for working people no matter their occupation.

Professional organizations and guilds affiliated with OPEIU are a diverse group that includes podiatrists, registered nurses, teachers, Minor League Baseball umpires, and helicopter pilots.

The first female, black and South Asian Vice President-elect.