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Tardy Tuesday Takedown 5/31/16…

City Slickers:

We begin today in Springfield, which will mark five years tomorrow since a tornado touched down in the city and adjacent communities. Monson and West Springfield suffered incredible damage, too, but the blow to Springfield was both blessing and curse. The destruction of Cathedral exposed longstanding pressures that were slowly killing the school. Federal and state dollars pouring into Maple Heights built new homes and a new Brookings School, but some storm victims’ treatment from the city—often feted rather than criticized in retrospect—those folks to quit the city.

…And the World:

In the United Kingdom an odd couple is taking on Brexit. Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, whom Cameron had attacked as too close to Islamic radicals during in the lead up to the city’s election this month, have joined forces to campaign on behalf of Britain remaining in the European Union. However, a survey from The Guardian shows Britons leaning toward bailing on the supra-national organization. Kahn, a Labour politician, is filling the gap left by Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s leader, who has endorsed the remain campaign, but done little to support it.

Elsewhere in UK Labour, a group of Labour MPs, luminaries and party leaders are starting an organization aimed at reviving the opposition party.

The World Health Organization recommends those that have visited areas hard hit by the Zika virus hold off at least eight weeks before attempting to conceive children to reduce the risk of their babies being born with a form of microcephaly linked to the disease.

Amid North Korea’s escalation of its nuclear program, Uganda cuts its military ties—some of the few North Korea has—to the cloistered regime.

The Mayor of Paris has announced plans to temporarily (but officially) house migrants in a locale where many are informally camped out.

In Israeli potpourri: In document obtained by Haaretz, France has formally presented its peace plan to Israel, which calls for rigid deadlines for progress on solving conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians. The paper’s Barak Ravid speculates the French effort could force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into a coalition government with Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog despite Avigdor Lieberman’s return to government. Potential anti-Bibi  Gabi Ashkenazi, a former Israeli military chief of staff, shrugged off concerns about Lieberman’s leadership of the Defense Ministry. In domestic news—as in Netanyahu’s household—a court found the prime minister’s wife, Sara, abused a former employee. Sara Netanyahu could still face charges.

The Feds:

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump defended his fundraising for veterans groups and denied he only cut checks under pressure from the media. Multiple media reports found that Trump only wrote the checks for veterans groups after The Washington Post did a deep dive on the fundraiser the candidate did in January. Trump discussed the issue at a press conference today.

The New York Times found a whole of nuance in Trump’s claims about standing up to China while making real estate deals. Meanwhile documents from the Trump university lawsuit are unsealed.

Regarding the above tweet re: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, if not holding press conferences, did conduct a number of phone interviews since last week’s releas of an unflattering if often misunderstood Inspector General’s report on State Department email (not just hers).

California Governor Jerry Brown endorses Clinton and notes a fact Sanders and his followers often elide when slamming the primary process: Clinton has won three million more votes.

While Clinton has been nursing email wounds, she remains lightyears ahead of Trump in digital organizing.

Trump’s popularity bewilders Stephen Hawking.

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder says former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden performed a public service. But Holder also said Snowden should come home and face whatever consequences there may be for the leaks. President Barack Obama disagrees.

Power Post contemplates Tim Canova’s primary challenge to Florida US Rep and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The State of Things:

Gov. Charlie Baker comes out of the closet on transgender rights. He says he will sign the House version of the bill, which includes a mandate for regulations that would prohibit individuals from abusing the the law that would allow transgendered citizens access to both bathrooms (in line with their gender identity), restaurants, stores and other public venues. However, he was caught in a rather painful back and forth with The Globe’s Josh Miller on whether he flip-flopped on the issue (he did.

The Senate passed its budget last week. Winners: High Speed rail (studies). Losers: Rattlesnakes and the Hampden District Attorney’s office.

Massachsuetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs lays out the options for the commonwealth after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Massachusetts is out of compliance with a bill intended to combat climate change by cutting emissions.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin releases the list of candidates for the legislatire, sherriff and more. See who’s running!

WMassP&I Editor Matt Szafranski and Afro-American Point of View Publisher Frederick Hurst again joined NEPR’s Susan Kaplan for the Short List.

Bennett Walsh starts work Monday as Superintendent of the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Of note: Walsh is the son of Springfield City Councilor Kateri Walsh and Daniel Walsh, also a former Springfield councilor, city veterans officer and decorate marine.

Four candidates in Northampton have stepped forward for the special election to fill former at-large Councilor Jesse Adams’s seat.

It’s Working:

Verizon and unions representing its employees, the Communication Workers of American and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have reached a deal. Workers return to the job Wednesday. The unions appear to have come away with a decent deal, though Verizon doesn’t appear to be complaining much itself.

The Fourth Estatements:

Donald Trump goes after the media after they scrutinize him.

Reminder Editor Mike Dobbs finds the era of Network has finally taken over America.

City Slickers (cont’d):

Mayor Domenic Sarno has requested city church bells ring on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary of the tornado.

Springfield City Council President Michael Fenton has formed an advisory committee on the Community Preservation Act ahead of a possible city referendum this November on the city adopting the state law. It allows a surcharge on city tax bills with state matching funds to invest in historic preservation, open space and affordable. Fenton pointed to the neglected Campanile, part of the Municipal Group, as a potential target for the funds.

The City Council’s budget meeting has been rescheduled for next Monday.

Twitter Chatter:

Regrettably, there is a paucity of Springfield tornado tweets to choose from, so we cannot focus on that today but rather switch to another story today: sigh, Trump. The rhetoric the bombastic blowhard builder has blasted is rife with hate and packed with impossible promises. Plenty around the world are raising the alarm as well in the United States, but it is worth asking if enough Americans realize how bad it really is. Today we award the Tweet Prize to the New York Times Opinion page for succinctly describing an editorial about the dangers of Trump. Specifically, the opinion page warns those unmoved by what Trump is peddling. It’s beyond the pale and people must recognize it before it is too late.