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    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure gradually hiking the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, the highest in the Midwest. It was one of the new Democratic governor's top campaign promises. He signed the six-year plan Tuesday at the Governor's Mansion. Illinois is on track to be the first state in the Midwest to push its base wage to $15. It increases from $8.25 by $1 on Jan. 1, and jumps to $10 on July 1, 2020. Then, it increases $1 each Jan. 1 until 2025. Business groups opposed the plan. They wanted a longer phase-in and a regionalized approach with lower minimum wage levels for areas outside Chicago. Pritzker noted there are payroll tax credits in the law to ease the transition for employers.
  • The FBI developed a backup plan to protect evidence in its Russia investigation soon after the firing of FBI Director James Comey in the event that other senior officials were dismissed as well, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. The plan was crafted in the chaotic days after Comey was fired, when the FBI began investigating whether President Donald Trump had obstructed justice and whether he might be, wittingly or not, in league with the Russians. The goal was to ensure that the information collected under the investigations, which included probes of Trump associates and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, would survive the firings or reassignments of top law enforcement officials. Those officials included special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed eight days after Trump fired Comey in May 2017. Andrew McCabe, who became acting director after Comey was fired, asked investigators to develop a plan to ensure evidence would be protected, said the person, who was not authorized to talk about those discussions publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press. A plan was then created, according to the person, who would not provide specifics. A second person familiar with the talks, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the FBI discussed preserving evidence so that it would outlast any firing or effort to stymie the investigation. A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment Tuesday. McCabe hinted at that anxiety in an interview that aired Sunday with CBS News's '60 Minutes,' saying he met with investigators after Comey's firing. 'I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,' McCabe said. 'That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.' He added, 'I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground and if somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision.' Trump has repeatedly decried the Mueller probe as a 'witch hunt' and has suggested that investigators themselves should be investigated. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced out last year amid the president's anger over his recusal from the Russia investigation. McCabe himself was fired last year after the Justice Department's inspector general concluded that he had misled officials about his role in a news media disclosure. McCabe has denied the allegations, described his firing as politically motivated and, in a series of interviews this week, has said he plans to sue the Justice Department over it.
  • An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State after becoming radicalized online realized she was wrong and now wants to return to the United States, a lawyer for her family said Tuesday. Hoda Muthana, 24, regrets ever aligning herself with the terrorist organization and is putting herself at risk by speaking out against it from a refugee camp where she has lived since fleeing the group a few weeks ago, said attorney Hassan Shibly. Muthana, who dodged sniper fire and roadside bombs to escape, is ready to pay the penalty for her actions but wants freedom and safety for the 18-month-old son she had with one of two IS fighters she wed, he said. Both men were killed in combat. In a handwritten letter released by Shibly, Muthana wrote that she made 'a big mistake' by rejecting her family and friends in the United States to join the Islamic State. 'During my years in Syria I would see and experience a way of life and the terrible effects of war which changed me,' she wrote. After fleeing her home in suburban Birmingham in late 2014 and resurfacing in Syria, Muthana used social media to advocate violence against the United States. In the letter, Muthana wrote that she didn't understand the importance of freedoms provided by the United States at the time. 'To say that I regret my past words, any pain that I caused my family and any concerns I would cause my country would be hard for me to really express properly,' said the letter. Shibly said Muthana was brainwashed online before she left Alabama and now could have valuable intelligence for U.S. forces, but he said the FBI didn't seem interested in retrieving her from the refugee camp where she is living with her son. A Justice Department spokesman referred questions to the State Department, which did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Muthana's father would welcome the woman back, Shibly said, but she is not on speaking terms with her mother. Ashfaq Taufique, who knows Muthana's family and is president of the Birmingham Islamic Society, said the woman could be a valuable resource for teaching young people about the dangers of online radicalization were she allowed to return to the United States. 'Her coming back could be a very positive thing for our community and our country,' Taufique said.
  • Chicago police are investigating a tip that on the night 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett reported being attacked by two masked men he was in an elevator of his apartment building with two brothers later arrested and released from custody in the probe. Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the person who lives in the building or was visiting someone there reported seeing the three together the night last month that Smollett says two masked men hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and looped a rope around his neck. Guglielmi says police haven't confirmed the person's account. Detectives plan to interview the person on Tuesday. Last week, police announced that the 'investigation had shifted' following interviews with the brothers and their release from custody without charges. Police have requested another interview with Smollett.
  • The tension between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton resurfaced on Tuesday after the Vermont senator announced his second run for the White House. Longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines tweeted that the media had given Sanders a 'WELCOME BACK!' reception despite his 2016 primary loss while telling Clinton to 'go away.' Jess McIntosh, a communications adviser to Clinton's 2016 campaign, focused on Sanders' contention on Vermont Public Radio that 'we have got to look at candidates, you know, not by the color of their skin, not by their sexual orientation or their gender and not by their age.' McIntosh shot back on Twitter: 'If Bernie is going to start this contest telling us he's at a disadvantage as a white man it is going to be a LONG year.' Sanders is running against four women this time around — Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar — as well as three candidates of color in Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro. A representative for Clinton didn't immediately comment on Sanders' candidacy. An enthusiastic progressive who embraces proposals ranging from Medicare for All to free college tuition, Sanders stunned the Democratic establishment in 2016 with his spirited challenge to Clinton. While she ultimately became the party's nominee, his campaign helped lay the groundwork for the leftward lurch that has dominated Democratic politics during the Trump administration. The question now for Sanders is whether he can stand out in a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates who embrace many of his policy ideas but are newer to the national stage.
  • President Donald Trump's former chief liaison to Congress is returning to the White House as chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says Marc Short will begin his new role in mid-March. Short left the White House less than a year ago. He had worked for Pence and a group affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers' political operation before entering the White House. Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, left the White House at the end of 2018 after turning down an offer to become Trump's chief of staff. Sanders says Shahira Knight, who succeeded Short as director of legislative affairs, will continue to be Trump's chief emissary to Capitol Hill.
  • President Donald Trump is moving closer toward his goal of creating a Space Force, just not as the separate military department he envisioned. The Space Force instead will begin as part of the Air Force - similar to how the Marine Corps is part of the Navy - but could become its own separate department in the future. That's according to senior administration officials who briefed journalists on a directive Trump planned to sign Tuesday establishing the Space Force. Trump says it's needed to ensure U.S. dominance in space. Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about the need and potential cost. Cost details will be included in the 2020 budget proposal Trump sends Congress next month. Administration officials spoke on condition of anonymity under grounds rules set by the White House.
  • Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration. Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the U.S. technology were transferred without proper safeguards. The Democratic-led House oversight committee opened an investigation Tuesday into the claims by several unnamed whistleblowers who said they witnessed 'abnormal acts' in the White House regarding the proposal to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the Middle Eastern kingdom. The report raises concerns about whether some in a White House marked by 'chaos, dysfunction, and backbiting' sought to circumvent established national security procedures regarding nuclear power technology. It also comes as Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is developing a Middle East peace plan that could include economic proposals for Saudi Arabia. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the report, the effort was pushed by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in early 2017. Derek Harvey, a National Security Council official brought in by Flynn, continued work on the proposal, which has remained under consideration by the Trump administration. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, announced the investigation Tuesday. Relying on the whistleblower accounts, email and other documents , the committee's report details how NSC and ethics officials repeatedly warned that the actions of Flynn and one of his senior aides could run afoul of federal conflicts of interest law and statutes governing the transfer of nuclear technology to foreign powers. The probe puts new scrutiny on Flynn's early days in the administration as he awaits sentencing for lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. Congressional investigators are also probing the role of Tom Barrack, a proponent of the nuclear proposal who ran Trump's presidential inaugural committee, which is separately under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. Rick Gates, a former Barrack employee and cooperator in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, was also involved in advocating for the nuclear proposal. An attorney for Flynn declined to comment. Harvey and representatives for Barrack did not immediately return requests for comment. According to the report, the whistleblowers came forward to the committee because they had concerns 'about efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act and without review by Congress as required by law — efforts that may be ongoing to this day.' The report tracks closely with public reporting, including a 2017 article by the nonprofit news outlet ProPublica, which detailed some of the concerns raised inside the National Security Council about the nuclear proposal — known as the 'Marshall Plan for the Middle East — advocated by a company called IP3 International. IP3 is led by a group of retired U.S. military officers and national security officials, including retired Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and former Reagan national security adviser Bud McFarlane. IP3 and other proponents of nuclear power in the Middle East argue that the U.S. needs to be involved because otherwise it will lose out to Russia, China and others on billions of dollars in business. They also say that the U.S. involvement — and the limits on nuclear fuel that come with it— are essential to stem an arms race in the region. IP3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Up until the month before he joined the Trump administration, Flynn listed himself as a consultant to a previous iteration of Hewitt's company advocating a similar nuclear power proposal, though the company told The Washington Post that Flynn was offered a role as an adviser but never formally came aboard. Still, according to the report, Flynn served as a conduit for IP3 inside the White House. Just days after Trump's inauguration, the company sent Flynn a draft memo for the president's signature that would have appointed Barrack as a 'special representative' in charge of carrying out the nuclear power proposal and called on the director of the CIA and the secretaries of State, Energy, Treasury and Defense to lend him support. The report also quotes former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland as saying Trump personally told Barrack he could lead the plan's implementation. The report also catalogs the actions of Harvey, the Flynn confidant who was put in charge of the NSC's Middle East and North African affairs. According to the report, upon entering the White House in January 2017, Harvey saw his mission as getting Trump to adopt the nuclear proposal despite the objections of ethics and national security officials. Even when H.R. McMaster, who replaced Flynn as national security adviser, and NSC lawyer John Eisenberg directed for work to stop on the proposal because of concerns about its legality, Harvey ignored them and continued pursuing the proposal, according to the report. Harvey was fired from the NSC in July 2017. He then joined the staff of GOP Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a Trump ally and the former Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee. ___ Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Ben Fox and Stephen Braun in Washington, Jim Mustian in New York and Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report. ___ Read the report: http://apne.ws/yuaJskv
  • Human rights advocates are meeting in Paris to discuss the strategy of the G7 group of industrialized nations for ending violence and discrimination against women. French President Emmanuel Macron named 35 advocates to make recommendations and the group had its first meeting Tuesday. France took over the G7's presidency on Jan. 1, and Macron has said he wants gender equality to be a main focus. Participants include three Nobel Peace Prize winners: Tunisian businesswoman Wided Bouchamaoui, Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad. Actress Emma Watson also is part of the group. The advocates are addressing three main topics: combating violence against women, promoting girls' education and women's entrepreneurship. France wants G7 leaders to adopt joint actions for women's rights at an August summit based on the group's recommendations.
  • The web platform was named for a revered French populist philosopher and created by an Italian internet entrepreneur to transform common grievances into proposals and activists into political candidates. When Italy's deputy prime minister offered the populist 5-Star Movement's Rousseau platform to France's yellow vest protesters, he took a step too far for French President Emmanuel Macron. The French leader recalled France's ambassador to Italy for a week in the sharpest diplomatic dispute between the two allies since World War II. The sharing of the Rousseau technology marks the most brazen attempt to date to internationalize Europe's populist movements. It is a harbinger of the upcoming European Parliament elections in May, in which populist euroskeptics could win an unprecedented one-third of the seats, under current projections . This could well cause a collapse of the mainstream group, which up to now has held the largest voting bloc in Parliament. However, the EU elections will also be a test of how far populist parties, which tend to be virulently nationalistic, can unite over borders and across the political spectrum. In Italy alone, the government's two populist ruling parties, the 5-Star Movement and the League, compete at least as much as they cooperate. 'These parties are against Europe, but they are using Europe and the pan-European space to create a political debate,' said Alberto Alemanno, an Italian analyst. At their most basic level, populists on both the right and the left pit the common people against the elite, the entrenched political class. Technology has helped them advance . The 5-Star Movement used the Rousseau portal to let activists click their way to choosing candidates and policies, much as Spain's upstart Podemos party used Reddit to energize online debate beginning five years ago and still uses online referendums. France's populist yellow vest protesters have yet to come up with a common online space, with proliferating Facebook groups and YouTube channels that have a varied outpouring of demands. If ideology and organization can trump geography, populist parties in Europe could form a bloc capable of weakening or even paralyzing the EU legislature, if projections released this week by the parliament hold. 'We must reject the financiers who see themselves as demigods. Reject the Brussels bureaucrats representing their interests and reject the fake civil society activists,' Hungarian President Viktor Orban said in his state of the nation address earlier this month. On Friday, 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio announced a new grouping of populist movements from across Europe, bringing together a far-right Polish party led by a former rock musician and a free-market Finnish party founded by a businessman-turned-reality TV star. Notably absent were nationalists, leaving open the question of how much sway the new alliance could have without expanding further. Getting the far-left France Unbowed to vote in tandem with populist Orban's Fidesz party seems a big hurdle. Italy's government, split between the two populist groups, is largely an unhappy marriage of convenience, with the 5-Star Movement and the League diverging at least as much as they agree. But among the yellow vests, known in French as the 'gilets jaunes,' ultra-right and ultra-left have marched together in hopes of bringing down the government. 'Here is the beauty of it: They are both the left and the right. It is a populist thing,' political strategist Steve Bannon told France's l'Express magazine in an interview published just after Macron recalled the ambassador. Bannon has created a foundation in Brussels to strike at the heart of the European Union. Europe's populists on the right — France's Marine Le Pen, Hungary's Orban, Italy's Matteo Salvini — haven't exactly embraced him, but nor have they pushed away the American who many credit with propelling Donald Trump into the White House. Bannon been largely ignored by the populist far-left. The European Parliament elections are actually a four-day series of national elections held May 23-26 across Europe that decide the makeup of the legislature. Members make Europe-wide law, decide international agreements, and — crucially — can censure EU countries for violating core values such as an independent judiciary and upholding the rights of minorities and migrants. But even if they can unite on the issues that brought them to power, the anti-EU populists may run into trouble with voters. Across the board, trust in the European Union is higher than trust in national governments, according to the latest Eurobarometer poll taken in November 2018 — just as the yellow vest protests were taking root. The poll found 42 percent of Europeans trusted the EU, compared with 35 percent who trusted their own national governments or parliaments. So even as Orban and Italy's populists position themselves squarely against the pro-EU Macron, they are keenly aware that their own citizens have little desire to overthrow the EU, although they list immigration as their prime concern. And Macron himself is something of an upstart — he vanquished France's two mainstream parties in the first round of France's 2017 presidential election and Le Pen in the second. France's two centrist mainstream parties, the Socialists and the Republicans, have since sunk in popularity. They held their seats in Brussels but are widely expected to further their political collapse in May's EU vote. However, voters may also use the European Parliament vote to protest. Under current projections, the extremes on the right and left are set to gain at the expense of the mainstream. 'Those voters who vote for the more radical parties just to express their frustration with Europe, they face a risk of voting for solutions that they wouldn't normally agree to,' said Pawel Zerka, one of the authors of a study last week by the pro-EU European Council for Foreign Relations that said euroskeptics stand to gain the most in the EU vote. Even some who are pro-EU think an alliance among euroskeptic populists is not necessarily bad for the parliament. For Alemanno, the Italian analyst based in Paris whose last name translates loosely as 'the German,' it's ironic proof that the European idea is strong and durable, as populists come together in a European union of their own. 'In a way, I look at the yellow vests from an Italian perspective. I see the 5-Star Movement 10 years ago,' he said. The kind of interference that Macron found so intolerable from the 5-Stars will become more common and even welcome, he said. In the short term, he added, the EU parliament and by extension the EU itself may well be nearly ungovernable. Le Pen has already shifted away from her longstanding position of abandoning the EU and the euro, the common currency that is used by 19 EU nations. She renamed the nationalist party founded by her father, and Bannon made a surprise appearance at a major rally last year. And, she says, her brand of populist nationalism is no longer the exception. 'We can legitimately envision today to change Europe from inside, to modify the very nature of the European Union,' Le Pen said, 'because we consider ourselves powerful enough.' ___ This story corrects the date of Orban's speech to earlier this month.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Unless there is a major earthquake, you may not pay much attention to the United States Geological Survey. >> Read more trending news  But when the earth shakes, it’s the USGS that provides important initial information on where the damage occurred and how big the quake was.  However, while that is a very important function of the agency, it's only part of the mission of the USGS, or the Survey, as it is commonly called. The agency, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, also provides “reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life,” according to the agency’s website. To study and catalog the country’s resources, the USGS employs a broad array of sciences, including biology, geography, geology and hydrology.  Created on March 3, 1879, the USGS’s original mission was 'classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.” The Survey was immediately tasked with the exploration and inventory of new lands the U.S. government had acquired through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the Mexican–American War in 1848.  The agency also produces various publications in which its research is reported and runs the United States Geological Survey Library. The USGS employs more than 8,600 people across the United States. Related stories: 15 things you may not know about earthquakes What is the strongest earthquake to hit the US? What should you do if you are caught in an earthquake? What are the 10 deadliest earthquakes in recorded history? How likely will the ‘big one’ occur in our lifetime?  New earthquake simulations show how the 'big one' could shake the Pacific Northwest Building an emergency disaster kit can be easy and cheap, here's how
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned to her bench eight weeks after undergoing lung cancer surgery. >> Read more trending news  NPR reported that the 85-year-old underwent a pulmonary lobectomy Dec. 21 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The surgery removed two malignant growths on her left lung, according to court officials. No further evidence of cancer was found on her lungs. Related: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery The Associated Press reported Ginsberg returned to the Supreme Court building Friday for the justices’ private conference. She came back to the bench for the first time Tuesday, wearing her black robe and ornamental collar. CNBC reported that Ginsberg participated in the court’s cases while she was away, unprecedented for a justice. NPR reported she was also walking more than a mile a day and working with her trainer twice a week, according to friends.
  • A day after posting a photograph online of a federal judge which included a crosshairs near her head, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Roger Stone to appear at a Thursday hearing to explain what he was doing, and whether it should impact restrictions imposed on Stone about charges brought against him in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and any ties to the Trump campaign. In an order issued Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson summoned Stone to explain “why the media contact order entered in this case and/or his conditions of release should not be modified or revoked in light of the posts on his Instagram account.” Stone posted the photo on Monday – and stood by it for much of the day – repeating his objections to having his case assigned to Judge Jackson, who is also presiding over a case brought by the Special Counsel’s office against 12 Russian intelligence agents, charged with hacking materials from Democrats during the 2016 campaign. “Any inference that this in someway threatens the judge is false,” Stone wrote on Monday about the photo – which he then pulled down. Roger Stone now directly attacking the federal judge presiding over his case and posting a pic of her head beside crosshairs pic.twitter.com/ze3lnuoSOE — Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) February 18, 2019 Monday night, Stone’s lawyers submitted an official “Notice of Apology” to the judge, trying to head off any sanctions. “Undersigned counsel, with the attached authority of Roger J. Stone, hereby apologizes to the Court for the improper photograph and comment posted on Instragram today. Mr. Stone recognizes the impropriety and had it removed,” his lawyers wrote. But that evidently was not enough for Judge Jackson, whose order raised the question of whether further limits would be placed on Stone, a political operative who worked briefly for the Trump campaign, and has been charged with coordinating actions between the campaign and Wikileaks over emails involving the Hillary Clinton campaign. Stone has charged that the Special Counsel’s office wrongly tipped off CNN to his imminent arrest in late January; last week, the judge ordered the feds to submit information about that matter.
  • A judge in Washington has set a hearing for political consultant Roger Stone to allow him to explain why he shouldn’t have the conditions of his bond modified -- or even revoked -- after he posted a photo on social media that showed the judge next to what appeared to be a rifle’s crosshair. >> Read more trending news In a notice filed Monday in court, Stone apologized to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson 'for the improper photograph and comment posted on Instagram.' >> Mueller investigation: Judge issues gag order in Roger Stone case He had earlier in the day posted the image to Instagram along with his repeated objections to having his case assigned to Jackson, Vox.com reported. The judge is also tasked with overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against 12 Russian intelligence agents who have been accused of hacking  the Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Roger Stone ordered to explain posted photo of federal judge In a court filing Tuesday, Jackson ordered Stone to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Jackson last week put restrictions on prosecutors and on Stone’s attorneys to keep either party from making statements near the courthouse to either members of the media or the public. She also ordered Stone to refrain from making public comments on the case within the vicinity of the courthouse. >> Who is Roger Stone, what links him to Trump? In Jackson’s ruling, Stone was allowed to continue expressing his opinions via social  media, which he is known for, though Jackson reserved the right to adjust the order in the future. Stone, who served as a campaign manager for Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, faces charges brough by Mueller’s team of obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering. >> More on Robert Mueller's investigation Since his arrest Jan. 25 at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Stone has been outspoken in proclaiming his innocence and criticizing Mueller’s team, which he has accused of targeting him because of his politics. Stone is the sixth Trump aide to be charged in connection with Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump campaign officials.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has announced that he is running for president in 2020, Vermont Public Radio is reporting. Sanders, 77 and one of two independents in the U.S. Senate, has run before, losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016. In the past few months, Sanders sparked conversation about a second run as he shored up his digital and social media operations. He is also being urged to run again by “Organizing for Bernie.' The grassroots organization has held more than 400 “house parties” to drum up support nationwide. His response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech also has those watching the 2020 race more convinced he will be announcing a run soon. The three-term senator has been dealing with issues from his 2016 campaign for the White House.  Recently, he came under fire over reports by several female campaign workers that they were sexually harassed by male staffers. In addition, he has faced charges that he paid male aides more than his female aides.  “To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologize,” Sanders said last week. “Our standards, our procedures, our safeguards, were clearly inadequate.”  Sanders will be facing a crowded Democratic field, including Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, all of whom have announced their candidacies. Here are some things you may not know about Sanders:  He was born on Sept. 8, 1941, in New York's Brooklyn burough.  He’s been married twice and has one child and three stepchildren.  He attended Brooklyn College from 1959-1960 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago in 1964. He was a member of the Young People's Socialist League while at the University of Chicago.  He did not serve in the military but applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War.  He is an independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He is the longest-serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress.  He ran for governor of Vermont in 1972, 1976 and 1986. He lost all three times. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1972 and 1974, losing both times.  In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, winning the seat by 10 votes. He was re-elected three more times.  In 1988, he lost a race for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but won a bid in 1990.  He served eight terms in the U.S. House.  In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2018.  He announced his run for president on April 30, 2015, and within 24 hours had raised $1.5 million.  Sanders won the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, 2016.  He endorsed Hillary Clinton for president on July 12, 2016.  He was nominated for a Grammy in the spoken word category for an album he and actor Mark Ruffalo performed.  

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