TIME Texas

Second Video Emerges of Texas Shooting by Deputies

"All I can tell you is the video is disturbing"

(SAN ANTONIO) — A second video has emerged that gives authorities a “very clear view” of a confrontation between deputies and a Texas man who had his hands raised before he was shot and killed, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood described the new video and one broadcast earlier as “disturbing,” but cautioned against a rush to judgment as authorities investigate the shooting that killed 41-year-old Gilbert Flores northwest of San Antonio.

An initial video recorded by a motorist from some distance was posted online by a San Antonio TV station. It shows Flores outside a residence Friday facing two deputies when he raises his hands — one arm obscured by a utility pole. The deputies fired multiple times.

Sheriff’s officials say Flores was armed, though didn’t specify with what, and that nonlethal efforts to subdue him, including a Taser, were unsuccessful. LaHood declined to say Tuesday whether Flores’ arm motion was surrender.

“I don’t know what his intent was,” he said. “All I can tell you is the video is disturbing. But my encouragement to everyone is to press the pause button.”

San Antonio attorney Thomas J. Henry, who is representing the family, said in an interview Tuesday that the initial video appears to show that deadly force was unnecessary but he is seeking more evidence.

“From a lay perspective, seeing the video, it does appear the immediate danger is gone because he had both hands in the air,” Henry said. “Now there are other videos and other pieces of evidence that we want to gather.” He said the family is considering filing a lawsuit to compel authorities to turn over more evidence.

Flores’ death is the country’s latest law enforcement shooting to draw heavy scrutiny for using deadly force in a situation where it may not have been necessary. Law enforcement officials in the U.S. have expressed concern that the deadly confrontations have spawned retaliatory shootings of officers, including last week’s death of a suburban Houston deputy at a gas station.

The second video was recorded by a witness closer to the incident, LaHood said, but he declined to provide further information about what it reveals or when authorities acquired it. An investigation is underway to determine whether the deputies will face criminal charges or whether the danger to them was imminent, LaHood said.

Deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez, who were not equipped with body cameras at the time of the encounter, have been placed on administrative leave. Sanchez has worked more than 20 years with the sheriff’s office and Vasquez has been with the agency more than 10 years, according to records with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Both had received training in use of force and nonlethal devices.

Michelle Lee, a special agent for the FBI in San Antonio, confirmed Tuesday that “experienced civil rights investigators” are monitoring the investigation.

The deputies had responded to a domestic disturbance, authorities have said, and found a woman at the residence with a cut on her head and a baby who appeared to be injured. Sheriff’s officials have not indicated whether they believe Flores harmed the two.

Attempts to contact members of Flores’ family were unsuccessful Tuesday, but Henry said that Flores’ wife is devastated. The couple have a child who is just 21 days old, he said.

Bexar County court records show Flores was convicted in 2003 of aggravated robbery, and the San Antonio Express-News reports he also has a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, who represents part of the San Antonio area, said in a statement that Friday’s shooting was “extremely disturbing.”

“This incident is further evidence that police officers and deputies should wear body cameras,” he said. “The widely supported technology brings transparency and accountability that protects law enforcement and civilians alike.”

Bexar County commissioners approved a county budget Tuesday that includes more than $630,000 to provide deputies with body cameras and also cameras for patrol vehicles.

TIME Crime

Missouri Executes Man for 15-Year-Old Girl’s 1989 Killing

Missouri Execution
AP This April 22, 2014 file photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Roderick Nunley

He was sentenced to death in 1991

(BONNE TERRE, Mo.) — A man who spent nearly 25 years on Missouri’s death row was executed Tuesday for the kidnapping, rape and fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl who was waiting for a school bus.

Roderick Nunley became the sixth inmate put to death in Missouri this year. During the lethal injection, the 50-year-old inmate’s breathing became labored for a few seconds. He briefly opened his mouth before becoming still.

He was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m. CDT.

“Despite openly admitting his guilt to the court, it has taken 25 years to get him to the execution chamber,” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement afterward. “Nunley’s case offers a textbook example showing why society is so frustrated with a system that has become too cumbersome.”

Of 20 executions nationally in 2015, all but four have been in Missouri and Texas. Nunley’s execution was delayed by last-minute appeals from attorneys for death penalty opponents in Missouri questioning the competence of Nunley’s lawyer.

Nunley made no final statement and no one witnessed his punishment on his behalf, although he visited earlier in the day with his daughter and a spiritual adviser.

Robert Harrison, the father of the girl killed, watched the execution along with the victim’s uncle and two family friends.

The disappearance and death of Ann Harrison haunted the Kansas City area in March 1989. She was waiting for a school bus on her driveway, 20 yards from her front door, when Nunley and Michael Taylor drove by in a stolen car and made the spur-of-the-moment decision to abduct her.

Her body was found in the trunk of the abandoned car three days later.

Both men were sentenced to death in 1991. Taylor was executed last year.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday denied a clemency request for Nunley, filed by death penalty opponents, asserting that racial bias played a role in the case because a prosecutor refused a plea deal that would have given Nunley life in prison without parole. Nunley was black, as was Taylor, while the victim was white.

The U.S. Supreme Court, meanwhile, denied several appeals from Nunley’s attorney, including one claiming that the death penalty amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

According to prosecutors, Nunley and Taylor binged on cocaine and stole a car in the pre-dawn hours of March 22, 1989. At one point, a police officer from neighboring Lee’s Summit chased the car but was called off by a supervisor when the stolen car crossed into Kansas City.

Later that morning, the men were driving around Kansas City when they saw Ann, her school books and flute on the ground beside her.

“They were just cruising and she’s out at the driveway waiting for the school bus,” retired Kansas City detective Pete Edlund said.

The girl’s mother had stepped inside to get a younger daughter ready for school. When she heard the bus, she looked outside. The books and flute were still there, but Ann was gone.

“She knew something was wrong,” Edlund said.

Taylor and Nunley had grabbed the girl and taken her to Nunley’s mother’s home. She was raped and sodomized, then stabbed repeatedly in the stomach and neck.

Taylor and Nunley put the girl’s body in the trunk of the stolen car, then abandoned the vehicle in a residential area. The body was found three days later.

Edlund said the case was cracked months later when a man in jail for robbery — and seeking a $10,000 reward in the case — turned in Taylor and Nunley. Both men confessed, and some of Ann’s hair was found in carpeting at the home where the crime occurred.

Edlund said Ann’s father was a former reserve officer with the Police Department, and her uncle was a Kansas City officer.

“To all of us, she was part of our police family,” Edlund said. “That made it even more important that we solve the case.”

TIME Crime

Wrestler ‘Superfly’ Snuka Charged in Girlfriend’s 1983 Death

Celebrities Visit SiriusXM Studios - January 9, 2013
Astrid Stawiarz—Getty Images Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka visits The Opie & Anthony Show at SiriusXM Studios in New York City on Jan. 9, 2013

An autopsy determined she died of traumatic brain injuries and had more than three dozen cuts and bruises

(ALLENTOWN, Pa.) — Former professional wrestling star Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was charged Tuesday with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of his mistress more than three decades ago.

Prosecutors in Lehigh County announced the results of a grand jury investigation into the death of Nancy Argentino, 23, of New York.

Snuka, who had been at a World Wrestling Federation taping at the Allentown Fairgrounds, told police shortly after Argentino’s death that he had returned to the couple’s Whitehall Township hotel room to find her unresponsive in bed. She was pronounced dead at a hospital several hours later.

An autopsy determined she died of traumatic brain injuries and had more than three dozen cuts and bruises, and concluded her injuries were consistent with being hit with a stationary object. At the time, forensic pathologist Isidore Mihalakis wrote that the case should be investigated as a homicide until proven otherwise, according to a grand jury report released Tuesday. But the investigation went cold.

A June 2013 investigation by The Morning Call of Allentown raised questions about the case. Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin told the paper last year that Argentino’s sisters approached him after the story ran, prompting him to give the case another look.

The grand jury’s report said Snuka had provided more than a half-dozen shifting accounts of Argentino’s injuries, at first telling paramedics he hit her during an argument outside their hotel room and that she struck her head on concrete, then claiming to police she slipped and fell during a bathroom break on their way to the hotel.

The grand jury also said it heard evidence that Snuka beat Argentino in a hotel room in Syracuse, New York, in January 1983 — four months before her death — and repeatedly assaulted his wife, Sharon, in the fall of 1993.

Snuka, now 72 and living in Waterford Township, N.J., has long maintained his innocence, saying the episode had ruined his life.

“Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true,” he wrote in his 2012 autobiography. “This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her.”

Argentino’s sister, Louise Argentino-Upham, told The Morning Call that the charges came as a relief, especially the prospect that her mother, who turns 90 this year, may see justice in the case.

“I think that it’s been a long road,” Argentino-Upham said. “They did the right thing in face of all the evidence.”

Nicknamed “Superfly,” the Fiji native was known for diving from the ropes and even the top of steel cages in a career that spanned four decades. He was admitted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1996, according to the organization’s website.

“WWE expresses its continued sympathy to the Argentino family for their loss,” the organization said in a statement Tuesday. “Ultimately this legal matter will be decided by our judicial system.”

Snuka was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and sent to Lehigh County Jail, but he was expected to post a portion of his $100,000 bail.

Argentino’s family won a wrongful death lawsuit against Snuka in 1985.

TIME Crime

Police Shoot Homeowner and Kill His Dog After Showing Up at Wrong House

Officer Shot Georgia
Ben Gray—AP DeKalb County police officers work at the scene where an Atlanta-based officer was shot on Aug. 31, 2015, five miles from Atlanta.

The homeowner and one of the officers were shot, likely by accident, investigators said

A homeowner and police officer were shot and injured after three Atlanta-area cops arrived at the wrong house while investigating suspicious activity that had been reported, investigators said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred on Monday night when DeKalb County police responded to a 911 call regarding a possible burglary at a “brick and tan one-story home,” according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). An exact address was not available, investigators said, and three officers were dispatched to an intersection to locate a residence matching the description.

After failing to establish contact with the home’s occupants, the officers entered through a rear door they said was unlocked, according to the GBI. When they encountered a dog, two officers fired their weapons, killing the animal.

Investigators said a man, who was later identified as the homeowner, Christopher McKinley, was shot in the leg by one of the responding officers, but did not sustain life-threatening injuries. Another officer, who was not identified, was shot in the hip and is in serious but stable condition following surgery.

“Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene,” the GBI said in a statement. “[It also] indicates that the responding officers likely entered a residence unrelated to the initial 911 call although it matched the given dispatched description.”

The case will be turned over to the district attorney following the independent investigation.

TIME Military

The Pentagon’s Dubious Dogfight

USAF The Pentagon plans to test the A-10, left, against the F-35 in 2018.

Test pitting new F-35 against venerable A-10 comes too late to matter

The good news is the Pentagon is finally pitting its tried-and-true A-10 Warthog against its brand-new F-35 Lightning II to see which one is better when it comes to helping out troops on the ground. The bad news is such testing won’t start for another three years, when the military will be too invested in the F-35 to do much about it.

In other words, the test will come too late to make much difference—for either the grunts on the ground, or the taxpayers footing the $400 billion bill for 2,457 of the planes Lockheed Martin is building for the Air Force, Marines and Navy.

“This is the endgame of a premeditated strategy that has led to this totally absurd situation,” says Chuck Spinney, a retired Pentagon warplane analyst. “It brings into sharp relief the whole way we buy our weapons.”

While some are cheering the aerial duel as a necessary sizing up of the two warplanes the Pentagon is counting on to keep American troops safe on 21st century battlefields, that misses a key point by a mile: the tardy testing highlights the second half of a two-act Pentagon play designed to make the F-35 a fait accompli:

• The opening act began with what’s known in the weapons-building trade as “concurrency”—letting something be designed and produced at the same time. Over the past decade, concurrency allowed production contracts to be spread around the country (45 of 50 states are building parts of the F-35) and, indeed, the world (11 nations are helping the U.S. build the plane). That has given it momentum on Capitol Hill.

• In the closing act, concurrency has delayed testing of the aircraft for years—including against the A-10—ensuring its production no matter what the belated testing might uncover.

Or, as they sometimes say at the Pentagon: too early to tell, too late to stop.

Concurrency’s cost could be seen late Tuesday, when the Pentagon announced a $311 million contract award to Lockheed for “retrofit modification hardware,” a common result of trying to build weapons when their blueprints remain in flux.

The A-10, with its single mission of protecting the grunts on the ground with its fierce 30mm cannon, has long been the favorite of soldiers and Marines who find themselves pinned down by enemy forces. But it’s that very attribute—that the heavily-armored A-10 is dedicated to a single mission—that has made the `hog vulnerable in an increasingly tight budgetary environment. Scrapping it, as the Air Force proposes, would save $4 billion over five years, the service estimates.

The F-35, on the other hand, is a Swiss-army-knife kind of warplane. The Air Force, Marines and Navy all had to compromise to come up with a design they could share. Outfitted to perform several missions—it can fly off aircraft carriers, drop bombs and shoot at other airplanes—it can’t excel at any of them. “The idea that we could produce a committee design that is good for everybody is fundamentally wrong,” declares retired general Merrill McPeak, a fighter pilot who served as Air Force chief of staff as the F-35’s development got underway in the early 1990s.

The Pentagon’s operational testing office issued a grim assessment of the most-costly weapons system in history in its latest annual report earlier this year. “Overall suitability continues to be less than desired by the Services, and relies heavily on contractor support and unacceptable workarounds,” it said, “but has shown some improvement.”

Michael Gilmore, director of the testing office, said last week that his office will send out separate formations of each plane to conduct what the military calls “close air support” missions. Such testing will highlight “capability gaps” between the F-35 and A-10. “It’s really not wise to guess,” he said. “You have to go out and get data and do a thorough and rigorous evaluation.”

That’s the only way, Air Force officials say, to know where to spend more money on the F-35 to make up for any shortcomings it might have compared to the 40-year-old A-10.

TIME Companies

Judge Lets Drivers’ Class Action Lawsuit Against Uber Go Forward

Uber
Eric Risberg—AP A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco on Dec. 16, 2014.

The lawsuit could set a precedent that reshapes some of the world's most promising young companies

A California judge handed down an order on Tuesday that could spell big trouble for the on-demand economy. Northern District Court Judge Edward Chen determined that 160,000 current and former Uber drivers in the state could be treated as a class, which will allow a lawsuit against the company to go forward. At stake are questions about the future of jobs in America and potentially billions of dollars for one of the world’s fastest-growing companies.

The lawsuit alleges that those drivers were misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, and that Uber has thus cheated them out of things that employees get under California law, like reimbursements for gas, worker’s compensation and other benefits. The lawsuit also claims that the company failed to pass on tips to the workers.

Chen said in his order the court will allow four named drivers to stand in for the whole lot as lawyers battle over their worker status and tips they may be owed. He denied their request to seek reimbursements for things like gas as a class—saying the four drivers might not be representing everyone’s best interest—but he also gave Shannon Liss-Riordan, the lawyer representing the drivers, 35 days to file arguments convincing him otherwise.

Uber itself has said that if the case doesn’t go in their favor, allowing them to keep treating drivers as contractors—which in turn allows them to avoid costly outlays ranging from payroll taxes to minimum wage—the company might be forced to change its entire business model. That kind of precedent could also send many other companies who have followed Uber’s lead rushing to revamp their business models, converting their booze deliverers or cleaners or handymen to employees. And it would likely influence judges overseeing more than a dozen other cases about the status of workers in the on-demand economy.

At a hearing in early August, Uber’s lawyers argued that their drivers are too diverse—and have such various relationships with the company—that they cannot reasonably be treated as one class. There is no such thing, they asserted, as a “typical” Uber driver. If that argument had prevailed, those 160,000 people would have been left to bring lawsuits on their own, a costly and time-consuming task most likely wouldn’t pursue.

But Chen said that the company was taking an impossible position: asserting on the one hand that all drivers are categorically contractors and then also asserting that they’re so wildly different that no court could treat them all the same. “Uber argues that individual issues with respect to each driver’s ‘unique’ relationship with Uber so predominate that this Court (unlike, apparently, Uber itself) cannot make a classwide determination,” Chen wrote.

A further conference regarding the case has been set for October 22.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

TIME Drugs

Man Who Got Life Sentence for Marijuana Goes Free

Marijuana Life Sentence Jeff Mizanskey
Justin L. Stewart—AP Jeff Mizanskey speaks after being released from the Jefferson City Correctional Center after serving two decades of a life sentence for a marijuana-related charge in Jefferson City, Mo., on Sept. 1, 2015.

He plans to advocate for the legalization of weed

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) — A man sentenced to life without parole on a marijuana-related charge was freed Tuesday from a Missouri prison after being behind bars for more than two decades — a period in which the nation’s attitudes toward pot steadily softened.

Family, friends, supporters and reporters flocked to meet Jeff Mizanskey as he stepped out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center into a sunny morning, wearing a new pair of white tennis shoes and a shirt that read “I’m Jeff & I’m free.”

“I spent a third of my life in prison,” said Mizanskey, now 62, who was greeted by his infant great-granddaughter. “It’s a shame.”

After a breakfast of steak and eggs with family, Mizanskey said, he planned to spend his post-prison life seeking a job and advocating for the legalization of marijuana. He criticized sentencing for some drug-related crimes as unfair and described his time behind bars as “hell.”

His release followed years of lobbying by relatives, lawmakers and others who argued that the sentence was too stiff and that marijuana should not be forbidden.

Mizanskey was sentenced in 1996 — the same year California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, and recreational marijuana has been legalized in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C.

“The reason he’s getting out is because the public clearly has changed its opinion about marijuana, and it’s just one of many ways in which that has been reflected in recent years,” said Mizanskey’s attorney, Dan Viets.

Such “extreme” cases could further fuel changing perceptions of nonviolent drug crimes, said Michele Deitch, a senior lecturer at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Austin at Texas.

“These cases really become exhibit A in the need for sentencing reform,” said Deitch, an attorney and expert in criminal-justice policy.

Just last year, the heavily Republican Missouri Legislature passed a law to allow certain people with epilepsy to seek treatment with a marijuana extract containing little of the chemical that causes users to feel high and larger amounts of a compound called cannabidiol, or CBD. The patients can include children, Viets said.

“Nobody saw that coming,” he said. “That is a pretty radical statement.”

Police said Mizanskey conspired to sell 6 pounds of marijuana to a dealer connected with Mexican drug cartels. At the time, the life-with-no-parole sentence was allowed under a Missouri law for repeat drug offenders. Mizanskey already had two drug convictions — one for possession and sale of marijuana in 1984 and another for possession in 1991.

He was the only Missouri inmate serving such a sentence for a nonviolent marijuana-related offense when Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon agreed in May to commute his sentence. The commutation allowed Mizanskey to argue for his freedom before a parole board, which granted the request in August.

Nixon’s actions are “a reflection of political confidence in changing norms around marijuana use,” said Cecelia Klingele, a criminal justice policy expert at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

The governor cited Mizanskey’s nonviolent record, noting that none of his offenses involved selling drugs to children. The law under which he was originally sentenced has been changed.

Other states are re-evaluating punishments for drug possession, motivated in large part by the high cost of imprisoning low-level, nonviolent offenders.

In Connecticut, a new law will make possession of small amounts of hard drugs, including heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, a misdemeanor for a first-time offense, rather than an offense carrying up to seven years in prison. Nebraska and Alabama expect to save hundreds of millions of dollars by using new laws to cut down on the number of offenders locked up for possessing small amounts of drugs.

In Missouri, backers of two ballot initiatives to legalize pot have permission from the secretary of state to begin collecting signatures to put the issue before voters in 2016. Another petition proposes reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenders who are serving time with no opportunity for parole.

Now that he’s free, Mizanskey said, he will not smoke marijuana. He’s on parole, after all.

But if the drug ever becomes legal on the state and federal levels, he said, “definitely.”

 

TIME Alaska

President Obama Stares Down Melting Glacier in Alaska

"This is as good of a signpost for what we're dealing with"

(SEWARD, Alaska) — President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska on Tuesday in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change.

From a distance, Exit Glacier appears as a river of white and blue flowing down through the mountains toward lower terrain. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The 2-mile-long chock of solid ice has been retreating at a faster and faster pace in recent years — more than 800 feet since 2008, satellite tracking shows.

“This is as good of a signpost for what we’re dealing with on climate change as just about anything,” Obama said, with the iconic glacier at his back.

Obama trekked up to the glacier with photographers in tow in a carefully choreographed excursion aimed at calling attention to the ways human activity is degrading cherished natural wonders. The visit to Kenai Fjords National Park, where the glacier is located, formed the apex of Obama’s three-day tour of Alaska, his most concerted campaign yet on climate change.

The president, dressed for the elements in a rugged coat and sunglasses, observed how signposts along his hike recorded where the glacier once stood and now only dry land remains.

“We want to make sure that our grandkids can see this,” Obama said, describing the glacier as “spectacular.”

Obama is counting on Alaska’s exquisite but deteriorating landscape to elicit a sense of urgency for his call to action on climate change. He opened the trip on Monday night with a speech painting a doomsday scenario for the world barring urgent steps to cut emissions: entire nations submerged underwater, cities abandoned and refugees fleeing in droves as conflict breaks out across the globe.

Some 700 square miles in the Kenai Mountains are blanketed by glacier ice, remnants of the Ice Age, when roughly a third of the Earth was covered with sheets of ice. One of nearly 40 glaciers springing out from Harding Icefield, Exit Glacier has been receding for decades at an alarming rate of 43 feet a year, according to the National Park Service.

Obama’s trip was more about visuals than words, and the White House has put a particular emphasis on trying to get the message across to audiences who don’t follow the news through traditional means.

To that end, Obama planned to tape an episode of the NBC reality TV show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” putting his survival skills to the test while in the national park. He also planned to board a U.S. Coast Guard vessel to tour the national park by boat before returning to Anchorage later Tuesday.

TIME Congress

Obama Is a Single Vote Away From Victory on Iran Deal

Bob Casey senator iran deal
Andrew Harnik—AP Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 26, 2015.

Eight more votes would spare Obama from having to use his veto pen

(WASHINGTON) — Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal are on the cusp of clinching the necessary Senate votes to keep the contested agreement alive and hand President Barack Obama a major foreign policy victory, in spite of furious opposition.

Democratic Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Chris Coons of Delaware on Tuesday became the 32nd and 33rd senators to announce support for the deal, just one shy of the 34 votes needed to uphold an Obama veto of Republican legislation aimed at blocking the agreement.

“This agreement will substantially constrain the Iranian nuclear program for its duration, and compared with all realistic alternatives, it is the best option available to us at this time,” Casey said in a statement. In remarks at the University of Delaware, Coons said: “I will support this agreement despite its flaws because it is the better strategy for the United States to lead a coalesced global community in containing the spread of nuclear weapons.”

Earlier Tuesday Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, predicted that Obama would get to 34 votes by week’s end.

Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign unanimously oppose the deal, which aims to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. The Israeli government is vehemently against it, contending concessions made to Iran could empower that country, which has sworn to destroy Israel. But critics have failed to use Congress’ summer recess to turn the tide against the agreement, despite a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign funded by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Only two Democratic senators have come out against the deal — Chuck Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey — while in recent weeks undeclared Democratic senators, even from red states, have broken in favor one after another.

With 34 votes looking to be within reach, supporters have begun to aim for 41 votes, which would block the disapproval resolution from passing in the first place and would spare Obama from having to use his veto pen. That would require at least eight of the remaining 11 undeclared Democratic senators to back the deal.

In a session with students at Johns Hopkins University, Cardin, who said he remains undecided, discussed the pros and cons and said he will decide based on which approach is likeliest to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons state. As a top-ranking Jewish Democrat, Cardin is the most-watched undeclared senator.

“I think it’s a tough call and I sort of bristle when people say this is such an easy decision, why haven’t you made it,” Cardin said. “I don’t think it is an easy judgment call. I think there are high risks either way.”

Cardin said the pressures from both sides have been enormous. AIPAC was hosting an event in a Baltimore suburb on Tuesday evening aimed at elevating opposition on Cardin’s home turf, but in a statement the group’s spokesman stopped short of holding out hope for blocking the deal.

“Three facts about this flawed deal are crystal clear – polls show the American people reject it, a bipartisan majority in Congress will oppose it and no major arms control agreement has ever been approved with only the support of a partisan congressional minority,” said AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann.

The disapproval resolution would be sure to pass the GOP-led House, but there, too, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has pledged to muster enough votes to sustain Obama’s veto — which could only be overturned with two-thirds votes in both chambers.

Even if Congress were able to pass the disapproval resolution, it might not be enough to stop the deal, which was agreed to among Iran, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. In July, the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal, approving a resolution that would lift the international sanctions on Iran in 90 days.

In a letter to Coons seeking his support for the deal, Obama pledged the agreement would not foreclose any options for the U.S. “It does not take away any of our own capacity to respond to Iranian threats to our friends and allies in the region, particularly Israel,” the president wrote in the letter released Tuesday by Coons’ office.

Casey said he reached his decision only after speaking one-on-one with the president three times in July and August.

In the end, Casey said in a phone interview with The Associated Press, “I never got information that was in any way persuasive that walking away could lead to either a better agreement or frankly an enhanced security environment.”

TIME Food

McDonald’s Will Serve Breakfast All Day, Nationwide

"I think this could be the catalyst for our turnaround”

Rushing to McDonald’s before breakfast closes will soon be a thing of the past.

The fast-food chain announced Tuesday that it will begin serving breakfast all day, nationwide, beginning Oct. 6. The chain previously stopped serving its breakfast menu at 10:30 A.M.

The announcement comes after a trial and review process, which concluded in a vote by franchisees last week, according to the Wall Street Journal. McDonald’s will implement new safety measures, including rolling carts with utensils used especially for handling eggs, to aid the transition.

In an interview, McDonald’s America President Mike Andres told the Journal that extending breakfast hours was the company’s biggest move since adding the McCafe line of beverages in 2009.

“This is the consumers’ idea. This is what they want us to do,” Mr. Andres said. “That’s why I think this could be the catalyst for our turnaround.”

In acknowledgment of the longtime desire among McDonalds fans for all-day breakfast, the company has been tweeting news of its announcement to customers who previously suggested longer breakfast hours.

 

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com