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Father of Navy SEAL killed in Yemen slams Trump, wants investigation

  • Soon after taking office, Trump made his first military command and ordered a raid in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of civilians, including an 8-year-old girl and Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens.
  • “Almost everything that could go wrong did,” the New York Times said about the raid, which was reportedly ordered without sufficient intelligence or preparation.  But White House press secretary Sean Spicer stood by the operation’s success, saying anyone who criticized it “does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens.”
  • That threat, however, won’t stop Owens’ father, Bill Owens, from challenging the president’s decision.
  • “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” Bill Owens said in an interview with the Miami Herald, attacking the White House’s remarks.“I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation." Read more (2/26/17 12:30 PM)

One of the key battlegrounds in the fight for LGBT rights is the local political arena. 

This week, five Mayors from across the United States join us for a Tumblr Issue Time to answer your questions on the ways that they’re promoting and protecting LGBT rights in their cities. 


Mayor Ed Lee • San Francisco, CA

The first Chinese-American mayor in the history of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee is one of the founding members of Mayors Against Discrimination (MAD). In 2016, Mayor Lee appointed Theresa Sparks as the Mayor’s Senior Advisor on Transgender Initiatives, becoming the first city in the nation to have a position dedicated to advancing the rights of and creating policies for the transgender community.

Mayor Jess Herbst • New Hope, TX

Jess Herbst is the mayor of New Hope, Texas and the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history. A lifelong Texan, Herbst has called New Hope her home for nearly 20 years and served on town council for several years, beginning in 2003. She publicly announced that she is transgender in January 2017 following a long journey of self-realization and is a proud member of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination.

Mayor Jorge Elorza • Providence, RI

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza was born in Providence and grew up in the city’s West End In 2010, he was appointed to the Providence Housing Court, where he served until 2013. Mayor Elorza was elected as Providence’s 38th Mayor and took office in 2015 and is focused on turning Providence around by creating economic opportunity for all, public services that work for everyone and innovative, ethical City government.

Mayor John Dennis • West Lafayette, IN

Mayor Dennis was born in Japan and moved to West Lafayette with his family as a young child, where he was raised and educated.  Upon graduation from Indiana State University, where he received his bachelor and master degrees, Mayor Dennis worked for a period of time in California, where he met his wife Mary.  Mayor Dennis, upon his return to West Lafayette, joined the Lafayette Police Department, staying with LPD for 23 years, retiring as Deputy Chief of Police.

Mayor William Peduto • Pittsburgh, PA

Mayor Peduto took office as Pittsburgh’s 60th Mayor in January of 2014. One of his first orders of business as Mayor was to sign on to the Mayors for Freedom to Marry campaign and Why Marriage Matters Pennsylvania. Mayor Peduto has formed an LGBTQIA+ Task Force, created the position of LGBTQIA+ Liaison within the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, been an active member of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination, and celebrated marriage equality following the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage by uniting 19 same sex couples during a group wedding ceremony during Pittsburgh PRIDE. 

Our panel of Mayors will begin answering your questions on Tuesday April 11. 



Astronaut John Glenn’s remains may have been desecrated, according to the Pentagon

  • Pentagon officials are investigating whether or not a senior mortuary official offered to show legendary astronaut John Glenn’s remains to military inspectors, according to a report obtained by the Military Times.
  • Mortuary branch chief William Zwicharowski of Dover Air Force Base in Delaware is being accused of offering inspectors a peek at Glenn’s body on Feb. 28 and March 2 while it was in his care, pet the Military Times.
  • Glenn died on Dec. 8 at age 95. His family gave his remains to Air Force personnel to look after before laying him to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on April 6. Read more (5/26/17)

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Prince William's 'touching' letter when my navy dad died
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are hosting a party on Saturday for children who've lost a parent in the armed forces.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are hosting a party on Saturday for children who’ve lost a parent in the armed forces.

The event at Buckingham Palace is a way, the palace says, to honour those whose mother or father have died fighting for their country.

Jamie Molyneux is going with his younger brothers and sister. Their dad Lt Cdr Ian Molyneux was killed in 2011.

He says it’s “comforting” to know they haven’t been forgotten.

“The Duke of Cambridge wrote to us soon after my dad was killed,” Jamie tells Newsbeat.

“It was very touching. He said he understood what we were going through as siblings, with his experience losing his mum Princess Diana.”

Jamie’s dad was murdered by a junior member of the navy while on board a nuclear submarine.

He received a posthumous George Medal for his actions in stopping others from being killed.

“It had been on the news but by some miracle none of us had seen,” Jamie remembers, sat at his kitchen table where a picture of his dad takes pride of place.

Aged 13, he answered the front door to a naval officer and a naval chaplain.

“If you see a priest and an officer, it’s generally a bad sign.

“I had two choices to make. I was either going to go off the rails and end up in prison or accept what’s happened and do the best I can.”

Jamie has followed in his dad’s footsteps and is beginning a military career.

He passed out of Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College in Leicestershire last year, earning the award for best naval cadet.

Six years after his dad passed away Jamie is still “very much” the big brother to his younger siblings, and helps support his mum Gill.

“We still talk about dad a lot,” Jamie says. “About all the stupid things he did with us when we were younger.

"That’s the main way we keep his memory alive.”

Sometimes I’m embarrassed to be in the same room with them. They are very affectionate with each other. Sometimes the President will call different members of her staff throughout the day and ask, ‘How’s my girl? How’s my girl doing?’
—  Maggie Williams, Hillary’s Chief of Staff when she was Flotus, 1996.

In 1970, MoMA presented the first retrospective of the young abstract artist Frank Stella. Then just 33 years old, he was—and still is—the youngest artist ever to have a retrospective at the Museum. The exhibition covered roughly a decade’s worth of the artist’s paintings and drawings, foregrounding his pioneering shaped canvases and emphasis on serial structures. The press release emphasized Stella’s originality and influence: “At a time when abstract painting is frequently characterized by narrowness of its stylistic range, Stella’s exhibition reveals an extraordinary variety, not simply in the aesthetic structuring of the pictures but in their expressive character.” William Rubin, Chief Curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, argued in the catalogue that just as the painterly exuberance of Abstract Expressionism seemed to run its course, “Stella had contributed to the already varied vocabulary of American art…one of the few genuinely new paths for the continued development of major non-figurative art.”

Read the out-of-print catalogue, see images of the installation, and more at 26 of #52exhibitions #MoMAhistory