TIME 2016 Election

Gay Rights Activists Fire Early Shot At GOP Field

Governor Chris Christie in NH
Rick Friedman—Corbis N.J. Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Concord and Merrimack County GOP's 3rd Annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Concord, N.H. on Feb. 16, 2015.

The Human Rights Campaign is firing an early shot at the emerging presidential field, releasing polling and research highlighting their opposition to same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday, the group unveiled a micro-site highlighting GOP rhetoric on LGBT issues, including their positions on marriage, conversion therapy and bullying. The launch is pegged to this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, which has blocked the sponsorship of the GOP gay group Log Cabin Republicans. (Although the group will participate in a panel discussion.)

The group is highlighting the results of a survey it commissioned of 1,000 self-identified LGBT voters showing that few would even consider supporting Republican candidates. Only 15 percent would consider New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; 12 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; 9 percent, Sen. Rand Paul; 9 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio; and 5 percent former Sen. Rick Santorum.

“For those committed to LGBT equality, actions speak louder than words,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that a field with so many Republican candidates is so united against basic LGBT rights, from marriage equality to protecting LGBT Americans from discrimination.”

Among a sub-sample of 120 self-identified Republicans a majority say they would not back either Paul or Santorum, while the remaining candidates poll within the margin of error.

The GOP’s autopsy into the 2012 election found that gay rights issues are a gateway subject for LGBT voters, but also for young voters of all stripes. “We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too,” the Growth and Opportunity Project report stated. But while a number of Republican governors have dropped opposition to same-sex marriage in their states after court rulings, none have personally said they are supportive of such unions. The issue is a litmus test for many conservative voters in Iowa, and is set to be injected into the political debate once again as the Supreme Court ways the issue nationally.

The survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Human Rights Campaign by surveying 1,000 self-identifying lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals on Jan. 25-31. The full sample has a margin of error of ±3.1 percent, while the small sample of Republicans has a margin of error of ±8.28 percent.

Correction: The original version of this story mischaracterized the Log Cabin Republican’s involvement in CPAC. The group was invited to participate in the conference.

TIME 2016 Election

Running for President? Skip These Songs

Dropkick Murphys Perform in Concert in Madrid
Juan Aguado—Getty Images The Dropkick Murphys performs on stage at Sala La Riviera on Feb. 16, 2015 in Madrid.

It can be tough to find the perfect campaign song, and musicians make it even harder.

As several Republican presidential candidates gather in Washington for the Conservative Political Action Conference, which starts today, they’ll be searching for a good song to play as they take the stage.

But as other politicians — especially Republicans — can attest, they’d better be careful what they choose. The 2016 has barely started and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker already took heat from the Dropkick Murphys for taking the stage to one of their songs at an Iowa event last month.

So what should a political candidate do? For starters, avoid any of the songs below, which have faced complaints from the songwriters.

John Mellencamp vs. Scott Walker (2012)

The Dropkick Murphys are not the first to react against Walker using their music. In 2012, after Mellencamp learned Walker was using his song, “Small Town” in a recall campaign rally, his publicist sent a complaint to the Walker campaign, letting the governor know that Mellencamp supports union rights and collective bargaining.

Rage Against the Machine vs. Paul Ryan (2012)

After vice presidential candidate Ryan cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands in an interview with the Washington Post, the band’s guitarist, Tom Morello, retaliated with a scathing op-ed in Rolling Stone, where he wrote that Ryan, “is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.”

Twisted Sister vs. Paul Ryan (2012)

Twisted Sister band member Dee Snider publicly scolded Ryan for using his music at a rally, citing political differences. “I emphatically denounce Ryan’s use of my band Twisted Sister’s song, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ in any capacity,” Snider said. “There is almost nothing he stands for that I agree with.”

The Silversun Pickups vs. Mitt Romney (2012)

The Silversun Pickups issued a cease-and-desist order to Romney’s presidential campaign demanding it stop playing the song “Panic Switch” at events. In a statement, band frontman Brian Aubert wrote, “We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign.”

K’naan vs. Mitt Romney (2012)

Somali-born, Canadian rapper K’Naan threatened to sue Romney after he used his hit single “Wavin’ Flag” without asking, saying he would have denied Romney the use anyway. In an added insult, the artist mentioned that he would have happily granted use to Barack Obama, and the song was the Coca-Cola anthem for the 2010 World Cup.

Survivor vs. Newt Gingrich (2012)

Frankie Sullivan, guitarist and songwriter for the band Survivor, sued Gingrich for using the Rocky III anthem “Eye of the Tiger,” which Sullivan co-wrote with a bandmate, in January 2012. After vocally fighting the suit for months, Gingrich settled in August.

Tom Petty vs. Michele Bachmann (2011)

Petty’s management team immediately sent a cease and desist letter to Bachmann’s campaign when she played his song “American Girl” at a rally at the beginning of her presidential run. Bachmann defied the order and continued to use the song a few more times on the trail.

The Talking Heads vs. Charlie Crist (2010)

David Byrne of the Talking Heads sued Crist, then the governor of Florida, for $1 million after he used “Road to Nowhere” in an ad attacking his senatorial opponent Marco Rubio. Byrne said the suit was not about politics but was simply about copyright. As part of the undisclosed settlement, Crist had to make a public apology on Youtube.

Rush vs. Rand Paul (2010)

Rush sent Paul a cease and desist letter after he played two of their songs — “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of Radio” — at his rallies. The band’s attorney claimed the reaction was about intellectual property rights, not politics. “We would do this no matter who it is,” he said.

Don Henley vs. Chuck DeVore (2010)

California state representative DeVore never made it out of the primary in his bid for the Senate, but the suit he settled with former Eagles member Henley was notable because DeVore was sued for parodies. He turned Henley’s “Boys of Summer” into “Hope of November,” and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” into “All She Wants to Do Is Tax” in ads.

Heart vs. Sarah Palin (2008)

The McCain Palin campaign did not respond to initial requests by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart to stop playing the song “Barracuda” at rallies. When it then played after McCain’s speech at the Republican National Convention, Nancy Wilson told Entertainment Weekly, “I think it’s completely unfair to be so misrepresented.”

Bon Jovi vs. John McCain (2008)

Jon Bon Jovi, a long time Democrat, had just hosted an expensive fundraiser for Barack Obama when McCain played his song, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” at a rally. He was livid at the misappropriation, but tied up with another lawsuit, so he did not threaten legal action.

Jackson Browne vs. John McCain (2008)

In a lawsuit that went on for more than a year, Jackson Browne sued John McCain for using his song “Running on Empty” in an ad, claiming that McCain was violating copyright, implying a false endorsement and violating Browne’s publicity rights. After a court ruled in Browne’s favor, they settled for an undisclosed amount in July 2009.

John Mellencamp vs. John McCain (2008)

It was a rough campaign for the McCain Palin ticket, musically. The other musician to shut them down was Mellencamp. When the campaign used “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” on the trail, his publicist sent a letter to the campaign explaining that he identifies as a Democrat, and that he would be supporting Democratic primary candidate John Edwards.

Boston vs. Mike Huckabee (2008)

Band member Tom Scholz complained in a letter to the Republican primary candidate and bass player after he used “More Than a Feeling” at a rally. Scholz wrote, “By using my song, and my band’s name Boston, you have taken something of mine and used it to promote ideas to which I am opposed. In other words, I think I’ve been ripped off, dude!”

Tom Petty vs. George W. Bush (2000)

The Bachmann incident was not Petty’s first scuffle with a politician. In 2000, Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” became a “fixture” at Bush’s campaign events and rallies. His publicist sent a cease and desist letter, and though Bush’s lawyer wrote back to argue they still could use the music, the campaign stopped. “So we backed down,” Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett later joked.

Sting vs. George W. Bush (2000)

Sting’s song “Brand New Day” was used regularly by the Bush and Gore campaigns, but when he asked Bush to take the song out of the campaign trail rotation, he said that is wasn’t political—the British rocker did not want to take a side in a country where he is a guest. According to his manager, he later asked Gore to ditch the song, too.

John Mellencamp vs. George W. Bush (2000)

In the first of a long line of complaints, Mellencamp’s agents called the Bush camp after he played “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” “They said OK, and then used it anyway,” Mellencamp later told reporters. As with the other incidents, he declined to take legal action. “What am I going to do? Am I going to sue the guy — that seems a little silly — and make a big ruckus out of it?” he said.

Bruce Springsteen vs. Ronald Reagan (1984)

In 1984, conservative columnist George Will called the song’s chorus a “grand, cheerful affirmation,” and suggested to the Reagan campaign that Springsteen be called upon to endorse Reagan in the election. Springsteen’s managers promptly refused, and the singer, a liberal, publicly mocked the suggestion at a concert and used the incident to inspire a new song, “Johnny ’99.”

“Hello, Dolly!” vs. Barry Goldwater (1964)

Broadway producer David Merrick politely asked that the Goldwater campaign stop using “Hello, Barry!” a rewrite of the popular musical’s title song. The Johnson campaign then approached Carol Channing, the musical’s star, about singing “Hello, Lyndon!” which became a hallmark of the campaign trail. Channing even returned to the White House to sing it live at LBJ’s inaugural ball.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: February 25

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Obama Aide: Bibi ‘Destructive’

President Barack Obama’s top national security aide lambasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress as “destructive [to] the fabric of the relationship” between the two countries, as political fallout continued to mount

Snowstorm to Snarl South

At least 20 million Americans were in the path of a deadly winter storm that was expected to dump snow from Texas to Virginia

Drones Spotted Over Paris Again

Drones were again spotted overnight hovering above Paris, prompting an investigation in the city just a day after they were first spotted

American Sniper Killer Is Found Guilty

A Texas jury found former Marine Eddie Ray Routh guilty in the murder of Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield. Routh was sentenced to life in prison, in a case that attracted national attention amid the blockbuster, Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Kyle’s book

Chicago Mayor Forced Into Run-off Election

Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face an even stiffer challenge in April against a runoff opponent aiming to consolidate the support of residents unhappy with how the former White House chief of staff has managed the nation’s third-largest city

Female Wrestler Accuses WWE of Unequal Pay

Inspired by Patricia Arquette’s Oscars speech about the gender pay gap in Hollywood, prominent female wrestler A.J. Lee has spoken out against alleged inequality in the WWE. Womne “receive a fraction of the wages & screen time” as men, she said

Hitler’s Mein Kampf to Be Reprinted in Germany

Reprints of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography will be hitting bookstores across Germany once more — the first time since the Nazi leader’s death. The new edition will be a heavily annotated 2,000-page volume that features criticism and analysis

X-Men: Apocalypse Casts U.K. Actor Ben Hardy in ‘Key Role’

British actor Ben Hardy has reportedly landed a key role in Bryan Singer’s upcoming movieX-Men: Apocalypse. Hardy’s part in the comic-book film sequel hasn’t yet been disclosed but reports suggest it will be “important”

Visa Holders’ Spouses Can Now Work

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a major immigration reform, allowing spouses of individuals on the H-1B visa (known as H-4 dependent spouses) to apply for work permits

Pot Is Now Legal in Jamaica

Contrary to its reputation as a toker’s paradise, Jamaica has long banned possession of marijuana. But a law enacted Tuesday decriminalized possession of small amounts, while also laying the groundwork for regulating its cultivation and medical usage

Agency Recommends Changes After Girl Kills Man With Uzi

Arizona’s workplace-safety agency has issued several recommendations that it says could help prevent accidental shootings like the one at a northwestern Arizona shooting range last year involving a 9-year-old girl using an Uzi

Derrick Rose to Undergo Surgery for Torn Meniscus

The Chicago Bulls announced on Tuesday that Derrick Rose will undergo surgery to address a medial meniscus tear, marking the third time he’s undergone knee surgery since May 2012. Rose reported feeling pain in his right knee, which led to an exam and an MRI

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TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Aide Calls Israeli Leader’s U.S. Visit ‘Destructive’

Says planned address to Congress has "injected a degree of partisanship"

President Barack Obama’s top national security aide on Tuesday lambasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress as “destructive [to] the fabric of the relationship” between the two countries, as political fallout continued to mount ahead of Netanyahu’s controversial visit.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, delivering the Obama Administration’s strongest critique of the visit to date while speaking Tuesday night on PBS, said Netanyahu’s address next week has “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive [to] the fabric of the relationship.”

Netanyahu’s visit has been sharply criticized in both Israel and the U.S. as overly political, coming just weeks before Israeli elections and after House Speaker John Boehner invited him without informing Obama or congressional Democrats. Obama will not meet with Netanyahu while he’s in town, and many Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have signaled that they won’t attend his address to a joint session of Congress.

“The relationship between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always been bipartisan and we’ve been fortunate the politics have not been injected into that relationship,” Rice said. “It’s always been bipartisan. We need to keep it that way. We want it that way. I think Israel wants it that way, the American people want it that way, and when it becomes infused with politics, that’s a problem.”

The Israeli leader has steadfastly defended the speech as an opportunity to voice his concerns over a potential nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, and did so again Tuesday, saying he was coming to the U.S. to “do everything I can” to stop a deal with Iran, the New York Times reports.

“Therefore, I will go to Washington to address the American Congress, because the American Congress is likely to be the final brake before the agreement between the major powers and Iran,” Netanyahu said.

Still, the trip risked coming off as more partisan when Netanyahu turned down an invitation to address Senate Democrats.

“Thought I greatly appreciate your kind invitation to meet with Democratic Senators, I believe that doing so at this time would compound the misperception of partisanship regarding my upcoming visit,” Netanyahu said in a letter released by the office of Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.

Dubin wasn’t pleased with Netanyahu’s response.

“We offered the prime minister an opportunity to balance the politically divisive invitation from Speaker Boehner with a private meeting with Democrats who are committed to keeping the bipartisan support of Israel strong,” he said in a statement. “His refusal to meet is disappointing to those of us who have stood by Israel for decades.”

TIME Congress

Lawmakers Feel No Rush on War Powers Debate

Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images Senator Bob Corker questions Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington on Feb. 24, 2015

After over six months and over 2,300 airstrikes against Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, Congress doesn’t feel that much pressure to authorize the President to do what he already is doing.

Though lawmakers are faced with a debate over whether to formally authorize President Obama to take action against the extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the fact that he’s essentially claimed that authority under old post-9/11 authorization has kept the issue on the back burner.

“This is unusual because typically you authorize before actions are taken,” says Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who will helm a hearing on ISIS Wednesday. “In this case, people have been watching for six months and have a lot of questions as to whether they really are committed to dealing with ISIS. So that makes the dynamic here different than probably any authorization in modern history.”

“It’s not like anybody necessarily is going to feel a sense of urgency to act because they know it’s not going to alter the [current or immediate] operations in any way,” he told TIME.

The congressional war powers debate is one many members wished to avoid. Democrats, many of whom were elected on an anti-Iraq war platform, are especially wary of approving any resolution that would give the President the go-ahead to send troops into another Middle East quagmire. And if Republicans vote to approve what’s known as an authorization for use of military force—or an AUMF—they could open themselves up to criticism if the White House strategy fails.

But now, a few weeks after the White House sent over its war powers request, Congress will begin the politically divisive and solemn responsibility of debating the use of military action against a brutal enemy that split off from al-Qaeda a year ago. The first step will be to figure out what the role of U.S. troops should be.

Corker, who says he grabs breakfast with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger every two or three months and recently held a long phone call with another former Secretary of State to discuss the ISIS threat, is just as confused as a back-bench Congressmen with five words in the White House’s war powers request: “enduring offensive ground combat operations.” The White House’s proposed ban on such activities has led to head scratching across the aisle and will be the focus of intense hearings over the coming weeks.

“That’s part of what people are hoping to understand,” says Corker, who adds that the 700,000 U.S. troops involved in the Gulf War could not classify as an “enduring” operation. “Obviously they haven’t limited enduring defensive [operations and] they haven’t limited Special Ops … But what does that mean?”

“I think ‘enduring’ is defined however the White House intends it to be,” says Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr. “I don’t know whether that’s a week, three weeks, a month … I’d rather go into this with the President asking for more than he needs and not use it as much than not asking for enough and not following through with the mission.”

Some Republicans would like to see the Administration interpret those five words to allow the President to send in ground troops against ISIS. No Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted for a Democrat-led AUMF late last year that would have limited ground operations to intelligence collection, operational planning and the protection of U.S. troops from “imminent danger.” Over the past several months, Senate Republicans have met with top Administration officials, including White House counsel Neil Eggleston, and lobbied for expanded authority on the ground.

“It wasn’t just a message to us, it was input from our side too,” says Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake of the Administration meetings, where he says Republicans pushed back on any “strict prohibition” of ground troops.

“What the president put forward reflects a lot of what I think Republicans have wanted,” he adds. “Obviously we didn’t like the product that the Democrats pushed through the committee in December; we thought that that was too restrictive. This is better but we’ll see what works in the process.”

Burr, for example, thinks that the draft should be even broader to explicitly allow the President to send in troops. “I don’t think he does [have that authority] the way it’s written,” he says.

Much of the opposition to the AUMF will come from the President’s party on this issue. While some Democrats are trying to change the draft’s wording to include greater geographic or time constraints, many more will pressure Obama to ban in the AUMF what he said he would in an accompanying letter: “long-term, large-scale ground combat operations.”

“I think it’s quite open-ended,” says California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of the AUMF. “When they say no enduring offensive operations, that means there will be offensive operations. And when you ask, ‘What is the definition of enduring?’ No answer comes back. So that’s a big problem for me—huge.”

Asked if she supports the AUMF as written, Boxer added: “No, no, no, no, no.”

There are other concerns from liberal Democrats who believe that the Administration should be authorized to attack ISIS only in Syria and Iraq. But most Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have dismissed that idea and the White House’s draft doesn’t include such restrictions.

“I don’t think you do a geographic limitation,” says Boxer. “How can you? These guys sprout all over the world. You’ve got to take the fight to them. Not say we’re only going to go after them in these two places. Then they can go to other places and they know they’re free—that doesn’t make sense.”

Other progressives have expressed concern that the White House draft only repeals a 2002 Iraq AUMF and not another written in the aftermath of 9/11, which the White House has been using to go after ISIS. Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a member of the House Democratic leadership, has called the 2001 AUMF a “blank check” for indefinite war while hawks like Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is exploring a White House bid, has called it the “the cornerstone of the war on terror.”

Most Democrats, however, are pleased that the AUMF proposes a rare self-imposed foreign policy constraint: a three-year “sunset” in which the next president would have to go back to Congress for reauthorization.

“If it’s open ended like that foolish thing the Senate voted for on Iraq—I was one of the 22 who voted against it—I’d vote no,” says Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy. “Let’s see what it says though.”

Complicating the political calculus are libertarian-minded Republicans like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has written his own AUMF that is more restrictive than the White House’s war powers request, including how the roles of troops are defined. With Rubio and Paul, another Senator considering a White House run, on the same panel at the center of the debate—and a wide gulf between many Democrats and President Obama—the AUMF debate could become exactly what Corker fears most.

“What I hope doesn’t happen: that this in some way dissolves into some partisan exercise,” he says.

TIME chicago

Chicago Mayor to Face Runoff Against County Commissioner

Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces President Obama to deliver remarks and announce the Pullman National Monument at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago on Feb. 19, 2015

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately

(CHICAGO) — After failing to persuade a majority of Chicago voters to back his re-election bid, Mayor Rahm Emanuel could face an even stiffer challenge in April against a runoff opponent aiming to consolidate the support of residents unhappy with how the former White House chief of staff has managed the nation’s third-largest city.

In a race Tuesday against four challengers, Emanuel discovered it wasn’t enough to spend millions of dollars on TV ads, earn the backing of the city’s business leaders, and secure the hometown endorsement of President Barack Obama. In order to keep the job, he’ll need to win another race in six weeks against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner who claims the backing of teachers, unions and neighborhood residents disillusioned with Emanuel.

Emanuel pledged to rev up campaigning immediately, starting Wednesday morning by shaking hands with residents at Chicago Transit Authority stops.

“We will get back out there, talking to our friends and families and neighbors as they make a critical choice about who has the strength, who has the leadership, who has the ideas to move this great city forward,” Emanuel told supporters Tuesday evening.

But Garcia and his supporters said they’d be ready for another contest, with national groups poised to weigh in on the mayor’s race.

“This city deserves a mayor who will put people first, not big money, special interests,” Garcia said. “I will be that mayor.”

Garcia, born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, billed himself as the “neighborhood guy.” He drew on his contacts with community organizers and support from the Chicago Teachers Unions, whose leader, Karen Lewis, considered a mayoral bid before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

With nearly all the votes counted, Emanuel had 45 percent, Garcia 34 percent, and the three other candidates divided the rest.

During the campaign, Garcia and the three other challengers played on discontentment in Chicago’s neighborhoods, where frustrations linger over Emanuel’s push to close dozens of schools. They also criticized Emanuel’s roughly $16 million fundraising operation — more than four times his challengers combined — and attention to downtown improvements.

The American Federation of Teachers said the election showed “a real yearning” for a mayor who listens to working families. Also, at least one of Emanuel’s other challengers — businessman Willie Wilson who captured more than 10 percent of the vote — said he wanted to meet with Garcia.

Garcia, Wilson and the other challengers — Alderman Bob Fioretti and activist William Walls — also critiqued the mayor on his handling of violence.

Voters noted both issues at the polls, with estimates signaling lower turnout than 2011 after former Mayor Richard Daley retired, leaving the mayor’s race wide open. About 42 percent of eligible voters came to the polls then, compared with roughly 34 percent Tuesday.

Emanuel won his first mayoral race in 2011 without a runoff.

Joyce Rodgers, who is retired, said she believed the school closings cost Emanuel the trust of the African-American community — and possibly the president’s. Most Chicago Public Schools students are minorities.

“There is total disappointment (in Emanuel),” she said. “I believe that Obama’s been let down, too, he’s just not going to say it.”

Still others said they were supporting Emanuel because of his work on job creation, education and safer neighborhoods.

“Rahm has all (those) contacts and he is getting those corporations here, so he is giving people hope they can get a good job,” said Willie King, a 56-year-old retired janitor.

On the campaign trail, Emanuel said his first term saw some tough decisions and payoffs, including budgets that didn’t rely on property tax increases, drawing business to the city, getting a longer school day and raising the minimum wage.

“We have come a long way, and we have a little bit further to go,” Emanuel told supporters.

TIME Immigration

Dependent Spouses of Highly Skilled Immigrant Workers to Get Work Permits

The immigration reform will take effect at the end of May

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a major immigration reform on Tuesday, allowing spouses of individuals on the H-1B visa (known as H-4 dependent spouses) to apply for work permits.

The new rules were announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez and will take effect on May 26 this year, according to a government release.

“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” Rodriguez said, adding that the move would incentivize highly skilled workers and their families to stay in the country long enough to acquire green cards.

The reforms, announced as part of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, were met with relief in countries like India, which sends a large number of workers into the U.S. tech industry while their spouses are unable to legally work.

“I miss my job, I miss my financial independence,” said software engineer Swapnil Gupta, who moved to the U.S. in 2011 with her husband, according to Reuters.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to what I love doing,” she added, calling the new regulations a “great relief.”

Read next: Why Congress Is Feuding With Obama Over the Homeland Security Budget

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Backs Strongest Net Neutrality Rules

Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives the keynote speech during LeadOn:Watermark's Silicon Valley Conference For Women at Santa Clara Convention Center on Feb. 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.
Marla Aufmuth—Getty Images Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives the keynote speech during LeadOn:Watermark's Silicon Valley Conference For Women at Santa Clara Convention Center on Feb. 24, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.

Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate voices support for Title II

Hillary Clinton said at a Silicon Valley conference for women leaders Tuesday that she supports President Barack Obama’s call for the strongest possible rules to safe guard net neutrality.

That includes, Clinton said, reclassifying broadband providers under what’s known as Title II of the Communications Act, the most controversial option available to the government. It’s the first time the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate has voiced support for the Title II option.

Clinton’s speech and interview at the Lead On Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women marked the first time she has spoken publicly in the country this year. And while she didn’t directly address any 2016 plans, it was the closest she’s come to saying that she’ll run.

In an interview with longtime tech journalist and Re/Code editor Kara Swisher after her speech, for which she was paid handsomely, Clinton admitted she’s “obviously” thinking about running, but has to check a few more things of her list before making a decision.

“I have a very long list. I’m going down it. And I haven’t checked off the last couple of things yet,” she said, cheekily. The crowd, dominated by women entrepreneurs, applauded in approval.

While the former secretary of state’s prepared speech traded largely in platitudes about equal pay for women and breaking glass ceilings, the interview with Swisher afterward was one of the most substantive public discussions Clinton has had in months. Swisher asked primarily about technology-related policy issues, like net neutrality, encryption, and privacy.

Clinton was most precise in her policy position about whether the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) should reclassify broadband providers under Title II of the Communications Act—a controversial move that puts Internet companies in the same category as more highly-regulated industries, like mobile phone companies and public utilities.

“For the FCC to… create net neutrality as the norm, they have to have a hook to hang it on,” Clinton said. “[Title II] is the only hook they’ve got.” The FCC will vote Thursday on whether to use Title II to regulate net neutrality rules.

With regards to former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, Clinton acknowledged that while she can’t condone his decision to leak secret documents about the agency’s surveillance programs, she said her own position is mixed. She called on the NSA to be more transparent with the public—”I think a lot of the reaction about the NSA was that people felt betrayed,” she explained—but added later that some surveillance is necessary. “I do want to get the bad guys,” she said.

As for the threat of ISIS in the Middle East, Clinton said she supports the Obama administration’s efforts against the Islamist militant group. “I think the right moves are being made,” she said, before underscoring the complexity of the issue. “It’s a very hard challenge because you can’t very well put American or Western troops in to fight this organism. You have to use not only air force but also army soldiers form the region, and particular from Iraq.”

Clinton laid blame on former U.S. ally, ex-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for stoking sectarian conflict in Iraq and “decimating” the country’s army, which helped allow ISIS to become “a metastatcizing danger” in the region.

The interview ended with a couple softball questions. If Clinton could wave a magic wand and change anything she wanted in the country, what would it be? Swisher asked.

Clinton said she would “get us back to working together cooperatively again.” The crowd roared.


U.S. Military Takes Baby Step Toward Allowing Transgender Soldiers

Advocates hopeful the longstanding ban could be lifted after recent comments from top officials

The new Secretary of Defense may be ushering in a new era of openness in the American military. Recent remarks made by Ashton Carter and the White House have raised the hopes of advocates that the nation’s ban on openly transgender soldiers may be starting to crack.

Carter publicly reignited the issue Sunday during a town hall meeting with soldiers in Afghanistan. Asked about changing the longstanding policy, Carter replied: “I’m very open-minded about [it] provided they can do what we need them to do for us. That’s the important criteria. Are they going to be excellent service members? And I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.”

On Monday, The White House sounded a note of support. “The President agrees with the sentiment that all Americans who are qualified to serve should be able to serve,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said when he was asked about Carter’s response. “We here at the White House welcome the comments from the Secretary of Defense.”

To critics of the ban, the prominent backing is a sign that the military may finally be ready to scrap one of its last gender-based prohibitions. But experts caution that the likelihood of an actual policy shift remains uncertain.

“I’m hopeful that this means that the regulations will be brought into line,” says Joshua Block, an attorney with the ACLU’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & AIDS Project. “But the ball is squarely in DOD’s court to move forward with this.”

Transgender people are prevented from serving under Pentagon and military medical regulations barring people who have had a sex change operation and/or have “gender identity disorders.” Advocates for transgender service say these policies, which date to the early 1960s, are out of touch with the current medical thinking. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic bible, replaced “gender identity disorder” with gender dysphoria, a recognition that transgender people do not suffer from a mental illness.

Indeed, though the army does not provide hormone therapy to transgender soldiers, it approved the treatment for Chelsea Manning, the former army private convicted of leaking national security secrets, after she sued the federal government for failing to provide the treatments.

There are no official statistics on the number of transgender people in the military. A 2014 report from the Palm Center, a research institute that aids sexual minorities in the military, estimated that there as many as 15,000 transgender troops currently serving.

As a practical matter, the transgender service policy would be relatively easy to change. It does not require an act of Congress or an executive order by the President, but could be changed by the Secretary of Defense. Experts said this process should follow a formal review soliciting military, medical and scientific expertise that could take a few months, and a requisite training period to follow.

Pentagon spokesman Nathan Christensen said “there is no specific review of the Department’s transgender policy ongoing.” But Christensen said officials did begin a routine review of the Department of Defense’s medical policy earlier this month that will cover 26 systems of the human body, which would include—but is not specific to—the policy on transgender service. The review is expected to take up to 18 months.

This is not the first time the Obama Administration has expressed openness to changing the policy. In May of 2014, Carter’s predecessor, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, told ABC News that he was “open” to a change in the policy. To advocates of ending the ban, the lack of concrete action following Hagel’s remark is a reminder to keep their hopes in check.

“It’s significant that this is the very first time that Secretary Carter has spoken publicly on this issue, it’s significant that it was five days after he was sworn in, it’s significant that the question came from the field from an actively serving naval officer. It’s especially significant to have the White House chime in so enthusiastically,” says Allyson Robinson, a veteran and advocate for transgender service. “But I don’t have a lot of faith in the regular routine review process. We need a top-down intentional review of these particular regulations at the DOD and service level and the only way that happens is from an order from the Secretary of Defense.”

TIME White House

Obama Vetoes Keystone Pipeline, Only 3rd in Presidency

Keystone Pipeline
Andrew Cullen—Reuters A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, N.D. on Nov. 14, 2014.

President Obama issued his first veto since 2010, striking down a law that would authorize the Keystone XL pipeline, a major symbolic battle between environmental activists and the oil industry.

“Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest,” Obama said in a statement.

The pipeline would help link up to 830,000 barrels a day from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast oil refineries. Over the past six years, the project has become one of the highest-profile environmental debates in the country and could pose problems for some Democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential cycle.

But with low oil prices, the 1,179-mile pipeline will likely have less of an effect on both the environment and economy by lowering the chance that it will be completely utilized. The State Department reported last year that the pipeline would indirectly and directly support around 42,000 jobs over two years, but would only employ around 50 people once the pipeline was functional.

The new Republican-led Congress decried the veto before the ink was dry. In a USA Today op-ed, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote that the Administration had blocked a job-creating project to heed the voices of special interests.

“The allure of appeasing environmental extremists may be too powerful for the president to ignore,” they wrote. “But the president is sadly mistaken if he thinks vetoing this bill will end this fight. Far from it. We are just getting started.”

“This shouldn’t be a difficult decision,” they added. “It shouldn’t be about politics, that’s for sure.”

Of course, the Keystone debate has drawn lobbyists on both sides of the aisle and a reason why Senate Republicans brought the bill up first was because it would pass and draw a favorable political contrast. Polls show that around 60% of Americans agree with the GOP’s position.

The Keystone veto was only the third in the Obama presidency.

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