Friday Night News Dump: VP Pick Tim Kaine Announced Friday 8:00 p.m. via Text Message

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(CNN)Hillary Clinton has chosen Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to be her running mate, turning to a steady and seasoned hand in government to fill out the Democratic ticket, she announced Friday.

“I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others. -H,” she tweeted.

She is set to introduce her new partner at a campaign rally Saturday in Miami, a recognition of Florida’s pivotal importance in the fall. It’s also a chance for Kaine, a fluent Spanish speaker, to introduce Clinton to Latino voters, a critical slice of the electorate in her quest to defeat Donald Trump.PANTSUIT-REPORT

Clinton is hoping to seize the spotlight from Republicans after their convention in Cleveland. The site of Kaine’s first expected joint appearance with Clinton is Florida International University, where the student body is more than half Hispanic.

The announcement came on the heels of an attack in Munich, Germany, that dominated the afternoon news cycle. The Clinton campaign deliberated over how to avoid a split-screen scenario that could be perceived as insensitive, but in the end, proceeded with its plan to make the unveil on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »


Ernest Hemingway’s Cuba Home to Get $900,000 in U.S. Improvements

Ernest Hemingway's home near Havana, Cuba, is expected to soon receive an infusion of badly needed building supplies from the United States. An American foundation restoring the legendary writer's home in Cuba on Saturday, June 20, 2015, signed an agreement with the Cuban government to -- for the first time -- import construction materials directly from the United States to aid the preservation efforts. (CNN)

Ernest Hemingway’s home near Havana, Cuba, is expected to soon receive an infusion of badly needed building supplies from the United States. An American foundation restoring the legendary writer’s home in Cuba on Saturday, June 20, 2015, signed an agreement with the Cuban government to — for the first time — import construction materials directly from the United States to aid the preservation efforts. (CNN)

HAVANA (AP) — A U.S. foundation will ship nearly $900,000 in supplies to build a state-of-the-art facility to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s books, letters and photos – the first major export of construction materials to Cuba since President Barack Obama loosened the trade embargo on the island.

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The Boston-based Finca Vigia Foundation has been trying for years to help Cuba stop thousands of pages of documents from slowly disintegrating in the baking heat and dripping humidity of the sprawling homewhere the American writer lived and worked outside Havana from 1939 to 1960. Officials with Cuba’s National Cultural Heritage Council, which runs the Finca Vigia, have been enthusiastic about building a conservation laboratory but said they didn’t have the funds or supplies to do it.

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High-quality building materials are virtually impossible to find throughout much of Cuba, with homeowners forced to buy paint and water pumps stolen from government agencies and pay overseas travelers to bring items as large as sinks and kitchen cabinets in their checked luggage. In state-run hardware stores, a request for an item as mundane as a box of screws can provoke peals of laughter from salesclerks.

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The foundation’s proposal to send four shipping containers with as much as $862,000 of materials ranging from nuts and bolts to tools and roofing was approved by the U.S. government in May, after Obama created a series of exemptions to the embargo. The exceptions include permission for Americans to export supplies donated for the purpose of supporting the Cuban people in fields such as science, archaeology and historical preservation. Read the rest of this entry »


Fed up with Congress? Then help elect more Republican women

danielle-thomsenDanielle Thomsen is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. She will begin a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University in January. This piece was published in partnership with the Scholars Strategy Network.

Danielle Thomsen writes: According to a new Gallup poll, Americans are more frustrated with Congress than ever before. In the aftermath of the government shutdown in October, who can blame them? Here is one solution for all those who are fed up with the dysfunction of Congress: Elect more Republicans.

Well, not just any Republicans. Elect more Republican women.

This may sound surprising to those who blame the GOP for the government shutdown. Yet as you may recall, a group of female senators led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has been credited for moving beyond obstructionist politics and compromising to reach a deal to reopen the government.

Soon after the shutdown ended, the Scholars Strategy Network released a brief by political scientists Craig Volden of the University of Virginia and Alan Wiseman of Vanderbilt University showing that women are more effective legislators than their male counterparts.

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But it isn’t that simple. To maximize the effectiveness of women in office, we must focus on recruiting, training, supporting and electing more Republican women to Congress. While there is a dearth of females in Congress, Democratic congresswomen now outnumber Republican congresswomen more than three to one in the House and four to one in the Senate. Read the rest of this entry »