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  • The first day of the fall season is noted as the autumnal equinox signals the beginning of astronomical fall. This year, that happens across North America on Monday, Sept. 23. As the weather begins to cool across most parts of the country, here are some things to know about autumn. >> Read more trending news  What exactly is an equinox?Twice a year, either on March 20 or 21 and Sept. 22 or 23, the sun’s rays shine directly over the earth’s equator. March is known as the vernal equinox, or spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. September is known as the autumnal equinox. What occurs during the autumnal equinox?During the autumnal equinox, day and night are balanced to about 12 hours each all over the world. Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun. What is the definition of equinox?The word equinox was formed by two Latin words: 'Equi' is the Latin prefix for 'equal' and 'nox' is the Latin word for 'night.' Fall back: When does daylight saving time end?This year, daylight saving time began on March 10. It will end on Sunday, Nov. 3. What time is the official start of fall season?It depends on where you live, of course. Autumn officially arrives in 2019 at 3:50 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Enter your city to find the specific time fall arrives in your area.
  • Democrats on Sunday denounced President Donald Trump, the Justice Department, and the acting Director of National Intelligence, accusing the Trump Administration of violating federal law by withholding information from a whistleblower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community, as the top Democrat in Congress said this could dramatically escalate the standoff over various investigations of the President. 'If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Sunday. Her letter came as critics of the President said Mr. Trump had used a phone call with the new leader of Ukraine to urge him to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, who did work for a Ukrainian gas company. 'We must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest,' Speaker Pelosi added. Democrats said the Justice Department and the Acting Director of National Intelligence - who took over in that position just last month when two other top officials were pushed out - were violating federal law by withholding the whistleblower information, evidently about President Trump and Ukraine. By referring to a 'new stage of investigation' involving the President in her letter to fellow Democrats, Speaker Pelosi immediately raised questions about whether she might change her mind on the idea of impeachment proceedings. 'Republicans, it's time to stop making excuses for Trump,' said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). 'Enough is enough.' 'No one is above the law, not even President Trump,' said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'The DNI needs to refer this complaint to Congress immediately.' 'Trump wants to bury a whistleblower complaint that the Inspector General has deemed urgent,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). 'It’s the law,' said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). 'It’s. The. Law.' tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). At issue is what's known as the 'Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act,' which says if an internal complaint is judged to be urgent by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community - then it is sent to the Congressional intelligence committees. The Inspector General has ruled exactly that - but the Trump Administration refuses to turn over the information. The law does include a provision that if the Director of National Intelligence refuses to give Congress the material, the whistleblower could do it on his or her own. On Sunday, President Trump told reporters his conversation with the President of Ukraine had been a 'beautiful' one, and did not involve any wrongdoing on his part. 'Well, this whistleblower - or whoever it was - because it sounds like it’s not a whistleblower,' the President told reporters.  'You can’t have that happen to a President of the United States,' he said.
  • The White House campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) teetered on the edge of being abandoned in coming days, as the candidate on Saturday publicly confirmed the existence of an internal memo which bluntly said that unless Booker could get a surge of donations in the next ten days, his 2020 campaign was doomed. 'I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory,' Booker wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, 'but I can’t walk it alone.' Booker's comments came soon after NBC News had reported that the campaign's top aide told the candidate and staff that a major infusion of money was needed to keep Booker's campaign going. 'This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press,' said Addisu Demissie. Booker's predicament in the Democratic race is much like a large number of other candidates right now - they are mired in low single digits in most polls, and have shown no ability to break out of that group to challenge the leaders in the race. For example, in the latest national poll from Fox News on the Democratic race, Booker is a 3 percent - that's where he was in August, June, and May. Others who have shown little to no ability to jump up in recent polls would include Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, John Delaney and Michael Bennet. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in that group - he officially quit the race on Friday. Others stuck in the polls have been Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke - and even Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris - who while they are above most of those in the race, the two have been unable to make up ground on the Democratic Party leaders. Harris encountered rough waters in the last week as repeated stories reported that her campaign was going to focus much more on Iowa - a decision which is often a signal of broader difficulty for a presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders seem locked in to the top three spots in the Democratic race, with little evidence that any of the other Democrats were going to be able to pull them down at this point. And for Booker - it's been a bridge too far. “Now or Never,” his campaign chief wrote.

Washington Insider

  • Democrats on Sunday denounced President Donald Trump, the Justice Department, and the acting Director of National Intelligence, accusing the Trump Administration of violating federal law by withholding information from a whistleblower inside the U.S. Intelligence Community, as the top Democrat in Congress said this could dramatically escalate the standoff over various investigations of the President. 'If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Sunday. Her letter came as critics of the President said Mr. Trump had used a phone call with the new leader of Ukraine to urge him to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, who did work for a Ukrainian gas company. 'We must be sure that the President and his Administration are always conducting our national security and foreign policy in the best interest of the American people, not the President’s personal or political interest,' Speaker Pelosi added. Democrats said the Justice Department and the Acting Director of National Intelligence - who took over in that position just last month when two other top officials were pushed out - were violating federal law by withholding the whistleblower information, evidently about President Trump and Ukraine. By referring to a 'new stage of investigation' involving the President in her letter to fellow Democrats, Speaker Pelosi immediately raised questions about whether she might change her mind on the idea of impeachment proceedings. 'Republicans, it's time to stop making excuses for Trump,' said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). 'Enough is enough.' 'No one is above the law, not even President Trump,' said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'The DNI needs to refer this complaint to Congress immediately.' 'Trump wants to bury a whistleblower complaint that the Inspector General has deemed urgent,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). 'It’s the law,' said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). 'It’s. The. Law.' tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). At issue is what's known as the 'Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act,' which says if an internal complaint is judged to be urgent by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community - then it is sent to the Congressional intelligence committees. The Inspector General has ruled exactly that - but the Trump Administration refuses to turn over the information. The law does include a provision that if the Director of National Intelligence refuses to give Congress the material, the whistleblower could do it on his or her own. On Sunday, President Trump told reporters his conversation with the President of Ukraine had been a 'beautiful' one, and did not involve any wrongdoing on his part. 'Well, this whistleblower - or whoever it was - because it sounds like it’s not a whistleblower,' the President told reporters.  'You can’t have that happen to a President of the United States,' he said.
  • The White House campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) teetered on the edge of being abandoned in coming days, as the candidate on Saturday publicly confirmed the existence of an internal memo which bluntly said that unless Booker could get a surge of donations in the next ten days, his 2020 campaign was doomed. 'I want people to see where we are and understand that we have a pathway to victory,' Booker wrote on Twitter Saturday morning, 'but I can’t walk it alone.' Booker's comments came soon after NBC News had reported that the campaign's top aide told the candidate and staff that a major infusion of money was needed to keep Booker's campaign going. 'This isn’t an end-of-quarter stunt or one of those memos from a campaign trying to spin the press,' said Addisu Demissie. Booker's predicament in the Democratic race is much like a large number of other candidates right now - they are mired in low single digits in most polls, and have shown no ability to break out of that group to challenge the leaders in the race. For example, in the latest national poll from Fox News on the Democratic race, Booker is a 3 percent - that's where he was in August, June, and May. Others who have shown little to no ability to jump up in recent polls would include Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Julian Castro, John Delaney and Michael Bennet. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was also in that group - he officially quit the race on Friday. Others stuck in the polls have been Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, and Beto O'Rourke - and even Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris - who while they are above most of those in the race, the two have been unable to make up ground on the Democratic Party leaders. Harris encountered rough waters in the last week as repeated stories reported that her campaign was going to focus much more on Iowa - a decision which is often a signal of broader difficulty for a presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders seem locked in to the top three spots in the Democratic race, with little evidence that any of the other Democrats were going to be able to pull them down at this point. And for Booker - it's been a bridge too far. “Now or Never,” his campaign chief wrote.
  • Led by California, almost two dozen states filed a federal lawsuit on Friday to stop the Trump Administration from revoking a waiver which has allowed California and other states to set tougher auto emission standards than required by the federal government. “California won’t bend to the President’s reckless and politically motivated attacks on our clean car waiver,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom, who has clashed with the President on a variety of policy fronts.  'The Administration insists on attacking the authority of California and other states to tackle air pollution and protect public health,' added California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. But under federal law, California had the right to ask for a waiver to permit tighter emission controls on new cars - and the state had been doing so for nearly 50 years.  A number of others states had joined in accepting those same requirements. The Trump Administration argues there should only be a single national standard for emissions and gas mileage. The change by the feds 'will insure there is one - and only one - set of national fuel economy standards, as Congress mandated and intended,' said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday. The lawsuit can be seen here.
  • While saying he does not know the identity of a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community who lodged a complaint about unknown actions involving the President and another world leader, President Donald Trump on Friday blasted the unidentified accuser, labeling the episode a 'political hack job.' Asked if he had discussed the ability of the government of Ukraine to start an investigation related to Democratic Party front runner Joe Biden and his family, the President brushed off the query, as he ridiculed the press corps in the Oval Office. 'It doesn't matter what I discussed,' as he called the media a 'joke,' and the 'laughing stock of the world.' The comments came in the wake of reports in recent days that the Trump Administration was preventing the Congress from finding out details behind a whistle blower complaint. The Inspector General for the Intelligence Community had judged the issue to be of 'urgent concern,' but instead of following established federal law - which requires notifying Congress - the Justice Department and the acting Director of National Intelligence had refused to pass on the material. The President argued that it was all politics. 'I just hear that it's a partisan person,' Mr. Trump said, who was asked specifically if he had requested the help of the government in Ukraine to investigate someone who might be his opponents in 2020. 'This is all impeachable,' said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). 'Not a close call. We need more facts, but we would be derelict in our duties not to pursue the facts wherever they lead,' he added. 'Everybody's read it,' President Trump said of the whistle blower's complaint, without confirming any details. 'They laugh at it.' 'It doesn't matter what I discussed,' the President said of his conversation with another world leader - presumably of Ukraine. 'But I will say this, somebody ought to look into Joe Biden's statement,' as Mr. Trump all but confirmed his desire for a foreign country to help investigate the Democratic Party leader for 2020. On Capitol Hill, top Democrats said the President was clearly not following the law. “The President and Acting DNI’s stonewalling must end immediately, and the whistleblower must be provided with every protection guaranteed by the law to defend the integrity of our government and ensure accountability and trust,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Unable to make any substantive impact on the 2020 race for President, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that he was giving up his bid for the Democratic Party nomination for the White House, saying it was obviously not his moment. In a series of appearances on news programs from New York, the mayor of America's biggest city acknowledged that he was never able to break out of a group of candidates consistently mired at the bottom of the polls, and far behind Democratic leaders. “It’s true: I’m ending my candidacy for president,” de Blasio said.  “But our fight on behalf of working people is far from over.” “I feel like I've contributed all I can to this primary election and it's clearly not my time,” the Mayor said. DeBlasio's two Democratic Party debates left little in the way of memorable moments for him. In the second debate in Detroit, de Blasio tried a unique tactical move on stage, using his time to direct questions at front runner Joe Biden, in an effort to confront the race leader. But the effort did little to change the dynamic of the race, where de Blasio and other candidates were unable to qualify for future debates, and had become asterisks in the 2020 race. The news gave President Trump a target which he could not resist. The latest national poll on the Democratic field, from Fox News, showed de Blasio far back in the pack - along with a number of other Democrats.