Chuck Berry didn’t just cross barriers — he obliterated them

(CNN.com)Whatever else that may be stated about Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” when it shot out of America’s radios just like a Redstone rocket in the dazzling late summer of 1955, one tough, accurate thing remains clear after these 62 years: Nothing nothing beats it ever existed before.

Here’s why: There was no group that may safely include it. It charted No. 1 on the rhythm and blues charts, which was where most black recording artists such as Berry could be located. But its own sensibility and its defeat were as deeply-rooted in the mostly white conventions of swing and country blues.
Though it was de rigueur in Jim Crow’s waning times for white musicians to “cover” African American musicians’ hits, “Maybellene” crossed a lot of obstacles that it all but obliterated them — or, anyhow, made them less imposing. How, precisely, could anyone “cover” this? It was too large to cover; large enough in its 2-minutes-and-extra-change size embrace generations to include tons, immerse continents and alter the planet.
    It was, in a nutshell, roll and rock. And Chuck Berry was one of its own discoverers, its grasp engineer and — claim all you need but the available evidence overwhelms — its chief designer, or even THE inventor.
    Berry’s departure at 90 was declared Saturday. Of rock ‘n’ roll’s foundation huge dads increasing the temperature of boiling, static tradition of the fifties to complete boil, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis — a survivor that is comparably unlikely — now stay among the living.
    Likely it is as great a spot as any to notice that while touring with at an early rock star revue, Lewis was so incensed that Berry was selected over him to shut a display he gave a climactic established actually incendiary enough to finish with him placing his piano on fire. As Lewis raged away, smelling of lighter fluid and smoke, he handed by Berry and snarled sotto voce, “Top that (expletive deleted)!”
    And, as Lewis allegedly said afterwards, “He damn near did, too!”
    I am betting he did more than that because Berry personally was, nicely into senior citizenship, galvanic and as powerful as Berry on report. Berry did not want his crowds to be sent by pyrotechnics into the o-zone. His phase shift, the duck walk, was ample.
    Well, that … and his guitar. Rolling Stone magazine once declared it is easy to help make the claim that rock guitar started with Berry and, yet again. Liquid, Berry’s licks and riffs, supple and multi-tiered, stay electrifying to empower wave up on wave of guitarists seeking mo-Re blues in much more beats and their beats.
    He was one of these artists who could happen to be remarkable whose influence might be noticed in every guitarist who adopted, although when they broke through. (Begin wherever you need — “I’ll take Keith Richards for $5,000, Alex!” — but the listing of Berry’s acolytes that follows stretches through presidencies, wars and downturns.)
    Eventually, there are the tunes, particularly those “great twentyeight” Berry recorded for Chess in the fifties and early sixties. They were s O a whole lot a lot more than pieces of pop that tickled your dopamine was hidden. “Roll Over, Beethoven,” “Back in the U.S.A.,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “You Never Can Tell,” “I am Talking About You,” “School Days,” “Promised Land” and on and on and actually onward. Several the others and these expressed entertaining, experience, mischief and, most of all, never-ending possibility inside their names alone.
    You were invited by those names in. You were taken by the tunes as significantly as you dared to go or desired. And also you simply take curves in to your face like Berry’s fiery reddish Cadillac you could now see in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, whirl and can hear every solitary lyric roar.
    As muchas the matter he assisted devise devised or, at least, Chuck Berry given us from the times of old, staying an authentic that was American to the ending. The issue with originals is they come, like 4 5-RPM records. The finest the remainder of us can perform is use his contraptions to energy our personal journeys to reckoning that is rapturous.
    Go!

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/18/opinions/chuck-berry-seymour/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Why Trump just can’t (and probably won’t) quit the wiretap story

    Washington (CNN)For nearly two weeks now, President Donald Trump and his aides have floated a conspiracy theory involving President Barack Obama wiretapping then-candidate Trump’s phone lines in his Manhattan office building.

    Even now, as bipartisan agreement has emerged that no such thing happened, Trump has dug in, leaving Trump aides and allies fumbling for excuses and explanations — like that spying microwaves are apparently a thing, according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
    Standing next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Friday news conference, Trump showed that he was not ready to quit the wiretapping story, giving it another boost, even if it meant embarrassing a world leader.
      “At least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump said, gesturing to Merkel, whose phone was once tapped by the National Security Agency.

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      He launched a kind of trial run for the White House in 2011 by embracing birtherism, laying the groundwork for his successful 2016 bid by aligning himself with the far right, talk radio wing of the GOP. Long after most had given up speculating about Obama’s birthplace — and years after Obama released his birth certificate — Trump clung to the racially charged conspiracy theory, insisting that there were still more unanswered questions.
      Now, it seems, Trump may have landed on a conspiracy theory that has equal staying power.
      In fact, the contours of his recent Obama fixation have much in common with birtherism. With his wiretapping claims, Trump once again positions himself as the great unmasker of Obama, a fraudulent figure who isn’t who he says he is — or so the theory goes.
      For Trump’s base, Obama is the ready-made villain, now recast as the embodiment of the “deep state.”
      But with Congress, the press, (even Fox News hosts), and intelligence agencies all casting doubts on his claims, Trump is a man on an island, a familiar and comfortable place. As with birtherism, it’s Trump against almost everybody, a vantage point that allows him to constantly be the embattled, populist outsider, even as he sits in the White House.
      Key to his birtherism claims were constant promises of the big reveal. Investigators had been dispatched to Hawaii, Trump claimed. Once that approach grew thin, Trump’s relationship to birtherism devolved into a constant cliffhanger, which is precisely where things stand now with the wiretapping claims.
      Does Trump believe Obama wiretapped or spied on him more broadly at Trump Tower or anywhere?
      For now, Trump seems happy to tell the country what he said for five years about Obama’s origins: stay tuned. Let the countdown clock ’til the big reveal begin.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/17/politics/donald-trump-wiretap-obama/index.html

      Categories CNN

      Police: Hunt continues for armed teacher who kidnapped student

      (CNN)Six days without a credible tip — that’s how long authorities have been digging for answers in the alleged abduction of a 15-year-old by a teacher at her Culleoka, Tennessee, high school.

      A lawyer for Elizabeth Thomas’ father said the teen’s alleged abductor is armed, dangerous and “obviously a man who is not in control of his faculties.”
      On Saturday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation updated its Amber Alert explaining how little has turned up since investigative efforts placed Elizabeth and teacher Tad Cummins in Decatur, Alabama, about 70 miles south of Culleoka. State investigators have received 250 tips, from 24 states, including California, but none has helped them locate the girl.
        They’re left to believe Cummins could be staying out of sight.
        “He potentially may have them sleeping in the vehicle or Cummins may have driven them far away from Tennessee to a rural community. Having now been on the run for more than five days, Cummins may have taken her, frankly, anywhere,” the Amber Alert update said.
        According to authorities, a friend dropped Elizabeth off at a restaurant in Columbia, about 45 miles south of Nashville, on Monday. Near the same time, Cummins was captured on surveillance footage pumping gas nearby, they said.
        Police said they believe Cummins has two handguns. They are trying to evaluate how much cash he may have. Cummins took out a $4,500 loan days before he disappeared, police said.

        ‘Left in the dark’

        The 50-year-old Cummins has been placed on Tennessee’s most-wanted list. He stands charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual misconduct with a minor.
        Jason Whatley, an attorney for the girl’s father, Anthony Thomas, said the teen’s abduction came after a chain of events that began January 23, when a Culleoka high school student allegedly saw Elizabeth and Cummins kissing in a classroom. The incident was reported to the school the next day, he said.

        Elizabeth Thomas: The 15-year-old has light brown or blond hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.

        Tad Cummins: The 50-year-old has brown hair, brown eyes and a gray goatee. He is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He is believed to be armed.

        Vehicle: Silver Nissan Rogue, Tennessee tag 976-ZPT

        Reward: $1,000

        Who to call: 1-800-TBI-FIND

        Source: TBI

        It was another week, Whatley said, before a detective with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department notified Anthony Thomas of the allegations.
        According to a letter Whatley sent to Superintendent Chris Marczak on February 6, Anthony Thomas called the school the next day, Feburary 1, and spoke to a woman who expressed regret that he had been “left in the dark,” promised to keep him informed of further findings and assured him there would be no more contact between his daughter and Cummins.
        Whatley wrote in his February 6 letter that since that February 1 call, Elizabeth had told her father she still had a class with Cummins, and her phone history indicated the two were still in contact.
        “If it is true that contact between this student and Mr. Cummins has continued in light of these allegations, I can tell you that my client will use whatever legal means are at his disposal, including filing suit, to assist Maury County Schools in protecting (Elizabeth) from Mr. Cummins,” the attorney wrote.
        The school district said in a February 8 internal memo, provided to CNN by Whatley, that Elizabeth had been removed from Cummins’ forensics class, and assertions she was still in his class were false.

        Teacher fired last week

        A January 30 investigative report, also provided by Whatley, includes statements from Elizabeth and Cummins, both of whom denied they’d kissed. Cummins called Elizabeth “a really good friend” and said she came to see him when she needed someone to calm her down.
        “He loves his wife and has never cheated on his wife and would never do anything to jeopardize his marriage,” the report said of Cummins, who had taught at Culleoka since 2011.
        Elizabeth said, like many students, she looked to Cummins as a counselor. She’s been to church with him, she said. He never made her feel uncomfortable and he never touched her, except for the occasional fist bump. He also grabbed her hands one time to calm her down, she said, according to the report.
        A faculty member identified in the report as “Teacher 1” said she had seen Elizabeth in Cummins’ classroom a great deal and felt Cummins “should have a better boundary between his role as the student’s teacher and the student’s friend.”
        However, Teacher 1 said she never witnessed anything inappropriate, and Cummins’ door was always open when students were in his classroom, according to the report.
        The report concluded the allegation the two had kissed could not be confirmed but recommended Elizabeth be taken out of Cummins’ class. Elizabeth should be told to bring anxiety issues to counselors and administration in the future, it said.
        Four days later, an official reprimand issued to Cummins indicated that Elizabeth had been in his classroom for a half-hour earlier that day.

        Teacher fired last week

        Maury County Public Schools officials have been quiet about the incident. There doesn’t appear to be any word about the missing student on the school’s website or Facebook account.
        The school’s website recently listed Cummins as part of the health science faculty at the Culleoka Unit School, the site has been updated and now says “TBD” where Cummins’ name used to be.
        Calls and emails to the school district and Marczak were not immediately returned over the weekend. Marczak did not immediately respond to a direct message sent via Twitter.
        The Daily Herald in Columbia reported that school spokeswoman Kim Doddridge provided a timeline of the school’s handling of the incident. The day after a student reported seeing Elizabeth and Cummins kissing, the Culleoka Unit School contacted the central office, she told the newspaper.
        The district kicked off an investigation that ran from January 25 to January 31, after which the results were given to Cummins, she said, according to the paper.
        “During the investigation, both the teacher and the student were instructed to have no contact. The student was transferred out of Cummins’ class. At that time, there were no findings to substantiate suspension of the teacher. The suspension on February 6 was precipitated by insubordination by Mr. Cummins. There was a continuing investigation by the Maury County Sheriff’s Office. Cummins’ dismissal on March 14 was a result of the TBI’s issuance of the alert,” the paper quoted Doddridge as saying.
        The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed to CNN that Cummins was fired last week.

        Dad ‘not doing well’

        Whatley said that despite his Feburary 6 letter to Marczak, school officials did not do enough to keep Cummins away from Elizabeth and, at one point, placed Elizabeth in in-school suspension when they learned the two remained in contact.
        Anthony Thomas was upset to learn Cummins was not only still pursuing a relationship with his daughter, but also still teaching, the attorney said.
        Whatley described Anthony Thomas, a single father of 10, as a blue-collar guy. Elizabeth’s mother does not live with the family, Whatley said.
        Asked how Anthony Thomas is holding up, the lawyer said he’s sad, anxious and suffering from high blood pressure.
        “He’s not doing well at all,” Whatley said

        Did teacher plan abduction?

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          Wife makes public plea for husband to return

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        On Friday, Cummins’ wife made a tearful plea for her husband to bring Elizabeth home and turn himself in.
        “Tad, this is not you. This is not who you are,” Jill Cummins said during a news conference. “We can help you get through this. No matter how far you’ve gone or what is happening right now, God’s grace is sufficient for you and he wants you to come home.”
        TBI Private Investigative Officer Josh Devine said last week the history of Cummins’ and Elizabeth’s relationship was unknown.
        Saturday’s Amber Alert update said the investigation has indicated a “troubling pattern of behavior” by Cummins, who possibly planned Monday’s abduction.
        “Nothing investigators have learned about Cummins or his intentions for the young girl since issuing the AMBER Alert calms the imminent concern for Elizabeth’s well-being. In fact, it only heightens it,” the Amber Alert update says.
        District Attorney Brent Cooper, who has jurisdiction in this case, weighed in last week to explain what made Elizabeth’s alleged kidnapping aggravated.
        “This is a 15-year-old child that has led a difficult life, basically going against a 50-year-old man. I believe it’s clear at this point that her removal by him is unlawful. And what makes it aggravated is that he was in possession of firearms,” he said.
        Cooper did not elaborate on what made Elizabeth’s life difficult.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/19/us/tennessee-teacher-manhunt/index.html

        Categories CNN

        South Korea: Park ‘deeply apologizes’ as she meets with prosecutors

        (CNN)South Korea’s ousted President Park Geun-hye met with prosecutors Tuesday, the first time since she lost her executive immunity.

        “I deeply apologize to the citizens, I will fully cooperate with the investigation,” she said outside the prosecutors’ offices in Seoul.
        Park is being investigated over her involvement in a scandal that has roiled South Korean politics for months and ended her presidency on March 10.
          Prosecutors can hold suspects for questioning for up to 48 hours without a warrant. It’s possible she could be charged.
          The now ex-President’s problems began in October, when revelations emerged about the influence her confidante and unofficial adviser Choi Soon-sil exerted at the top of South Korean politics.

            South Korea: Park Geun-hye impeachment upheld

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          ‘Truth will come out’

          Park left the Blue House — South Korea’s seat of government and her childhood home when her father, strongman leader Park Chung-hee, was in power — on March 12.
          She said she was “sorry that I couldn’t fulfill my duty as President until the end,” in a statement read on her behalf by Congressman Min Kyung-wook to crowds of supporters outside Park’s private residence in Seoul’s Gangnam district.
          “I thank people who have supported and believed in me,” Park’s statement said. “It will take time, but I believe that truth will definitely come out.”
          That process will begin this week. Park has promised to cooperate with prosecutors, who may soon seek to indict her and prevent her from leaving the country.
          An election for her replacement will be held on May 9.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/asia/south-korea-park-geun-hye-prosecutors/index.html

          Categories CNN

          Trump warns GOP: Don’t break your health care promises

          Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, in an attempt to sell the GOP Republican health care plan, warned Republicans about breaking all those promises to repeal Obamacare they’ve made over the years.

          The White House is currently unsure that Republicans have enough votes to pass the GOP health care bill. And for a president who fashions himself a deal-maker, the law has become a potent test of Trump’s ability to make it happen.
          “The American people voted for historic change. They also voted for serious action by delivering the House, the Senate and the White House,” Trump said at a National Republican Campaign Committee dinner Tuesday. “The American people gave us clear instructions. it’s time to get busy, get to work and to get the job done.”
            He added: “That legislative effort begins with Thursday’s crucial vote and it really is a crucial vote for the Republican party and for the people of the country to finally repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare.”
            On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
            “I’m asking for your vote so we can repeal and replace Obamacare and save health care for every family in Iowa and for every family in our great country — so important,” Trump said days before Election Day in Iowa.
            And so did House Republicans, who lambasted Obama during his presidency for the health care law and voted over 50 times since 2010 to repeal it.
            Trump’s margin in the House will likely be razor thin, whether the bill fails or passes. Nineteen Republicans have told CNN they will flat-out vote against the bill, and seven say they are leaning toward voting “no.” Republican leadership and Trump can only lose 21 Republicans and still win passage.
            Trump, after spending weeks largely hands off on the health care bill, has begun to get into the day-to-day sales pitch of the bill.
            The president went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to urge Republicans to back the bill. During the meeting, according to sources inside the room, Trump warned that Republicans could lose their reelection campaigns if they didn’t vote for the bill.
            “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018 if you don’t get this done,” Trump said, according to a source.
            White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer backed those comments on Tuesday, telling reporters that Republicans who voted against the health care bill “will probably pay a price at home.” Spicer also didn’t rule out Trump campaigning against those Republicans.
            “I think they will probably pay a price at home,” Spicer said. “This was a major component in the last election and I think there was not a single Republican member who went out and talked about this.”
            Trump called Obamacare a “nightmare” on at the Republican dinner Tuesday night, adding that the Republican bill is merely delivering on promises.
            “These are the conservative solutions we campaigned on and these are the conservative solutions the American people asked us as a group to deliver,” Trump said. “We are keeping our promises.”

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/politics/trump-warning-health-care-bill/index.html

            Categories CNN

            Why maternity and mental health coverage may decide health care bill’s fate

            (CNN.com)House GOP leaders are currently looking to shift a Obamacare provision that ensures all health insurance companies cover services including pregnancy, mental health health insurance and prescription medicines, in hopes of wooing conservative law-makers for their side.

            The remarkable shift — which would strike at whack in the heart of Obamacare — uses old-fashioned Freedom Caucus members lobbied President Donald Trump Wednesday to get rid of the provision, which isn’t in the present GOP health treatment program.
              The measure requires insurance companies to insure 10 “essential health benefits” in all coverages. It’s produced protection more complete and prevented insurance companies from selling strategies that have been affordable, but did not provide several advantages — if they wanted care, frequently leaving large bills to consumers.
              Before the Affordable Care Act, expensive things such pregnancy, prescription medications, drug abuse and mental health were frequently no alternative for a lot of purchasing policies in the personal marketplace.
              Removing the provision could significantly weaken the law’s defense of people that have pre-existing illnesses. With no necessity to insure coverages that are all-inclusive, insurance companies could choose exclude a number of the most pricey solutions that Americans that are ill want. Insurance companies would also need to insure preventative evaluations and yearly examinations totally free.
              On the flipside, the measure has pushed up rates and restricted customers’ option to get coverage that was more small. Enrollees who do not have children challenge while these maybe not of child bearing age claim they should not have to spend for pregnancy benefits, why they’ve to spend for pediatric solutions. Others are interested in being in a position to once again purchase “catastrophic plans” that come with large deductibles but cover policy-holders in the event of serious injuries or medical conditions.
              Republicans have wished to remove the vital health advantages pro Vision, which will be vital for their assurance to cut back premiums and provide alternative to customers.
              Because performing s O would probably run afoul of Senate principles regulating budget reconciliation, the process used to prevent a Democratic filibuster that Republicans will not be be capable to split it was not initially included by House leaders.
              Jettisoning the pro Vision was in the draft strategy which was leaked last month, but didn’t make it in the ultimate variation.
              Even before the remarkable shift of Wednesday, government officials and congressional Republicans were chipping a way in the mandate. The GOP expenses demands alleviating states of within the the gains inside their Medicaid plans, triggering an outcry the move would damage attempts to take care of the outbreak that is opioid.
              Additionally, Human health insurance and Health Services Secretary Tom Price informed House Republicans last week that he intends to de-escalate the provision by altering the rules governing it. The health secretary wields lots of power over the way in which the provision is in fact applied while the 10 advantages are spelled out in regulations.
              Pregnancy reporting may be on top of the listing to be watereddown. Seema Verma, who runs the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, stated throughout her congressional hearing that she does not believe the gain should be needed in every coverage.
              They are interested in having the GOP expenses to tear-down even mo Re of the grand insurance reforms of Obamacare while the vital health advantages provisions are being targeted by Freedom Caucus members first. Included in these are prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against people who have pre-existing illnesses, limiting the sum annually, policyholders need certainly to pay out of pocket from establishing a yearly or life time limit with their coverage, and keeping insurance companies. What the law states also requires insurance companies to cover contraceptive method to enrollees at no price.
              These principles affect these purchasing policies on the marketplace that is personal and through companies.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/essential-health-benefits-obamacare-freedom-caucus/index.html

              Categories CNN

              Source: ICE is targeting ‘sanctuary cities’ with raids

              (CNN)Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN.

              A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions — among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — identify as such.
              High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.
                This week, a federal judge in Texas seems to have confirmed that tactic. US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin revealed during an immigration hearing Monday that a mid-February raid in the Austin metro area was done in retaliation for a local sheriff’s recent decision to limit her department’s cooperation with ICE.
                “There’s been questions about whether Austin is being targeted. We had a briefing…. that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town. There was going to be a specific operation, and it was at least related to us in that meeting that it was a result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin says in audio of the proceedings provided by the court.
                The judge’s comments came as he questioned an ICE agent about a recent unrelated arrest.
                Austin said that in a late January meeting, local ICE officials told him and another federal judge that an upcoming enforcement operation was being done in direct response to Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s adoption of a sanctuary policy in Travis County.
                Earlier this year, Hernandez announced that beginning in February, her department would no longer honor ICE detainers unless the individual was arrested for murder, sexual assault or human trafficking, or a warrant had been issued. A detainer is a 48-hour hold request placed on suspected undocumented immigrants in local jails until federal agents can come in and take over the case.

                A showdown in Travis County, Texas

                It is a significant shift in the county’s immigration enforcement policy that has put the newly elected Democratic sheriff at odds with pro-enforcement local and state officials, including the Texas Senate, which recently passed a bill that withholds state dollars from sanctuary cities and Gov. Greg Abbott, who cut $1.5 million in funding to the county.
                Days after Hernandez enacted the new measure, a series of immigration raids in Austin netted 51 arrests, fueling speculation that the city was being intentionally targeted. The judge’s comments in open court have further fanned those flames.
                “My understanding, what was told to us, is that one of the reasons that happened was because the meetings that had occurred between the (ICE) field office director and the sheriff didn’t go very well,” said Judge Austin during the hearing. CNN reached out to the judge, but he declined to comment further.
                Hernandez refused to comment because she was not present at the meeting between the judges and immigration agents.
                ICE categorically denied any suggestion that planned operations were specifically aimed at the sheriff’s county.
                “Rumors and reports that recent ICE operations are specifically targeting Travis County, Texas, apart from normal operations, are inaccurate,” read a statement from ICE, although it did go on to say that “more ICE operational activity is required to conduct at-large arrests in any law enforcement jurisdiction that fails to honor ICE immigration detainers.”
                This increase in “operational activity” in sanctuary cities is one of the ways ICE is turning up on the heat on local authorities and part of a broader strategy to coerce cooperation, according to the senior immigration official who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.
                Officials in several sanctuary cities began complaining that they may be getting intentionally targeted after a series of raids around the country in February resulted in almost 700 arrests, but ICE described these operations as routine and said they were planned during the previous administration.
                The senior immigration official pointed out that the raids overwhelmingly took place in sanctuary jurisdictions.
                According to a representative from a pro-immigrant organization, during a recent meeting between ICE and some non-governmental organizations shortly after this operation took place, concerned pro-immigrant advocates were told by a high-ranking ICE official that if their agents were not going to be granted access to local jails, they had no choice but to carry out large-scale apprehensions in other public places or homes.
                She said the message was clear: cooperate or expect more raids. She was shocked to discover that for the first time, anti-illegal immigration, pro-enforcement groups, such as the Center for Immigration Studies, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, also had been invited to participate.
                Regular meetings between ICE and solely pro-immigrant groups were established in 2003 by the Bush administration in order to get the community’s input on enforcement actions and other concerns.
                ICE would not comment about those invited to the meeting.

                Enforcement actions are not random, ICE says

                ICE has denied that any enforcement operations are meant as retribution against sanctuary jurisdictions, and reiterates that the raids are a continuation of the agency’s normal actions aimed at keeping the public safe.
                ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations across the country to enhance public safety and national security, and to ensure the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” the agency said in response to these allegations. “Our enforcement actions are not random and target specific violators based on prior intelligence.”
                What appears to be happening, however, is that the Trump administration has begun ratcheting up pressure on sanctuary cities.

                List of counties that declined detainers

                On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security published its first weekly report naming jurisdictions that refuse to hold and release immigrants who could be subject to deportation. Along with the nationwide list of places that have regularly failed to honor hold requests for individuals charged or convicted of a crime between January 28 and February 3, DHS also highlights the 10 counties that had the most declined detainers.
                Sheriff Hernandez’s Travis County in Texas is listed near the top. Based on the report, her jurisdiction had declined 128 ICE detainers and released dozens of inmates in that time period, a statistic that has intensified condemnations from her critics for her change in policy.
                The sheriff countered the report by saying that it covers the period just before her policy went into effect on Feb. 1, and that since then the number of declined detainer requests has gone down.
                President Donald Trump has argued that sanctuary cities endanger public safety and national security by harboring criminals and failing to turn over suspected and convicted criminals to federal authorities, thus the need for coordination with local authorities and enhanced enforcement operations.
                Throughout the campaign and since taking office, he has made cracking down on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities a top priority.
                Officials in most of these sanctuary cities have responded, however, by remaining steadfast in their commitment to sanctuary policies. But while some cities, including Los Angeles and New York, have recently adopted additional measures to protect their undocumented immigrant population, every indication is that they should brace themselves for more raids.

                Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/23/politics/sanctuary-city-ice-raids/index.html

                Categories CNN

                Where does the House Freedom Caucus go from from here?

                District of Columbia (CNN.com)House Speaker Paul Ryan had only told his convention Friday the Republican Party had failed to get enough votes to get a bill to repeal and substitute Obamacare, a seven-year campaign guarantee that had united Republicans and catapulted their Party into charge of the House, the Senate as well as the presidency.

                The implied message from leadership was it was time to proceed to an issue that is different — and the Republican House summit had
                The chamber was somber, according to members.
                  But perhaps not everybody was disappointed with the results.
                  Rushing from the summit assembly to catch his airplane, Rep. Mo Brooks, a member of the rebellious House Freedom Caucus — the team that had claimed at every change that the House bill did not go far enough — was happy with the strength his caucus had presented. If individuals had doubted the Freedom Caucus would stay an influential pressure under President Donald Trump, there is no challenging now their power to use enormous influence over not only the plan of their leadership but their new president’s as well.
                  “I would hope that the Freedom Caucus would get credit,” Brooks said. “What happened today was a very good thing for our country.”
                  Now,the inquiry is, after their important display of strength, what is going to become of the most traditional and now despised contingent of the House?
                  Prior to the bill was pulled, one GOP leadership aide warned: “I Have never noticed it as terrible as this can be now. Individuals have become upset and now there is a White House and president that are also rather mad.”
                  “If they actually took this down, they might feel like they flexed their muscles, but I feel like they’ve ostracized themselves like they haven’t ever done before,” the aide said. “I think this could be a breaking point for the membership of the Freedom Caucus.”
                  The groupis a familiar foe for direction — a cast of figures which continues to be front and centre in confrontations over authorities spending expenses as well as the ousting of House Speaker John Boehner. They demonstrated Friday that they might not give simply because they eventually have a Republican president in case the House Freedom Caucus had been a thorn in the medial side of frontrunners under President Barack Obama.
                  From the start, members of the House Freedom Caucus were among the most out spoken voices against the expenses of House leadership. The team fulfilled over repeatedly through the entire procedure, coming from innumerable late night conferences in the Rayburn off ice creating to declare they’d the votes to eliminate House frontrunners’ bill. Three members of the group — Reps. Dave Brat, Mark Sanford and Gary Palmer — had attempted to quit it from progressing out of the House Budget Committee, where it narrowly passed 1-9 to 17.
                  On Friday, Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, claimed the House Freedom Caucus had completed no Thing mo-Re than workout its power to enhance the laws — despite dire warnings from the White House and leaders that voting against the expenses could damage the President’s plan and endanger the celebration political future.
                  “It really is in dictatorships where some body only comes up having an item and and that is it. That is the ultimate product. Our republic, in our our bodies, something attempted. It could neglect then we take to again,” he mentioned.
                  The chairperson of the team, Rep. Mark Meadows, issued an assertion declaring he nevertheless needed to perform with Trump on healthcare.
                  “I promised the people of North Carolina’s 11th District that I would fight for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement with a market-driven approach that brings down costs and provides more choices for the American people,” Meadows mentioned in the assertion. “I remain wholeheartedly devoted to to following through with this promise. I understand President Trump is dedicated to repealing Obamacare and changing it having a method that operates for American households, and that I anticipate working with him do exactly that.”
                  Ultimately, Republican frontrunners did not have the votes they required to repeal and re-place Obamacare — a place that they had been set by members of both their flanks that are reasonable and old-fashioned in. However, the Freedom Caucus will undoubtedly take a sizable share of the blame in potential retellings of the saga for having negotiated aside cope with the White House in the eleventhhour and after that neglecting to get enough of these members to “yes.”
                  House leaders had attempted to declare in early stages that the American Health Care Act of the House was not open a place that was later sabotaged by Trump’s sign to the caucus that he was available to substantial fixes, for leading, far-reaching changes.
                  Ultimately, yet, regardless of the White House wanting to give members what they believed they needed — a repeal of 10 Essential Health Benefits insurance companies must insure underneath the Affordable Care Act — the House Freedom Caucus nevertheless needed more ordinances repealed, that they claimed would drive down prices. Members urged to repeal Article 1, rules that ordered insurance companies needed to let mature kids to keep on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and insure people who have preexisting states.
                  “It’s fairly amazing that even after meeting with President Trump, they are holding out for removing health care from people with preexisting conditions, something they know could never pass and goes against everything president Trump promised during the campaign,” one GOP aide familiar using the whip procedure informed CNN Thursday as it was growing increasingly obvious the Freedom Caucus was not budging enough to make up the distinction.
                  There was some movements toward passage: Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, had offered his approval to get behind the bill Thursday, but it nonetheless was not enough.
                  Through the method, Meadows declared that development had been made and he “desperately” desired to get to “yes.” Ultimately, nevertheless, there were not enough Freedom Caucus members on-board.
                  When requested how the White House seen the Freedom Caucus subsequent to the group had looked to be transfer the goalpost, a member comfortable using the whip procedure, stated: “As I told a freshman member when he complained to me that Meadows stabbed him in the back last year, ‘I’m sorry you had to experience what has already happened to the rest of us.'”

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/house-freedom-caucus-whats-next/index.html

                  Categories CNN

                  Morocco guide: 10 things to know before you go

                  (CNN.com)Rainbows of colour, spice-marketplace odors, a city orchestra of sounds: Morocco can be overpowering in the beginning.

                  Lying 8 miles, or 1 3 kilometers, in the shore of Spain, the North African nation blends European dash, Berber tradition and Middle Eastern magic.
                  Tourism has more than doubled to almost 10 million guests in 2011, since 2002. King Mohammed VI needs to improve the yearly visitor figures to 18 million by 2020.
                    The ruler’s scheme is underpinned by infrastructure improvement, creating touring across the nation even more easy.
                    Add to this a plan of on-going economical, political and societal reforms, and Morocco is among the very reasonable and peaceful nations in the area.
                    Here are 10 things you will need to understand prior to you arrive:
                    1. Cafes reign life in Tangier.
                    Cafes will be the essential spot to socialize, for Moroccan guys at least. As they go about their relationships, they assemble to consume mint tea watching people.
                    The northern port town of Tangier has a background of illegal goings-on and literary bohemianism, thanks to its standing as an International Zone from 1923 to 1956.
                    The heady decades that followed, as well as the Interzone years, found authors, rock eccentrics and stars flock to the town ‘s 800-plus cafs.
                    Two must-visit places: Cafe Hafa (Ave Hadi Mohammed Tazi), overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, was a favourite hangout of Tangier’s most well-known expat, author and composer Paul Bowles.
                    Smoky and somewhat edgy, Cafe Baba (1 rue Sidi-Hosni) is the coolest place in the Kasbah. A picture of Keith Richards, kif-pipe in hand, still adorns the walls that are grimy.
                    2. Mosques are off limits to non-Muslims.
                    Almost 99% of the people is Muslim, and hearing the muezzin call to prayer for the very first time is a spine-tingling second.
                    While quite few Moroccan mosques are open to non-Muslims, one exception is the towering Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (Blvd Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah; +212 522 22 25 63).
                    Located on a promontory over the Atlantic Ocean, the mosque was finished in 1993 and holds 105,000 worshipers indoors and outside.
                    Tradition and engineering sit alongside, with brilliant zellij (mosaic tiles), elaborate stucco and carved cedarwood complementing the retractable roof and heated flooring.
                    In the event that you if you fail to make it to Casa, Marrakech’s 16th century Ali ben Youssef madrassa-turned-museum (Pl Ben Youssef; +212 524 44 18 93) is open to all and additionally features notable Islamic layout.
                    3. Multilingual Moroccans will place you to disgrace.
                    Swap languages that are Moroccans mid-sentence, representing the cultures — Berber, Spanish, French and Arab — which have crisscrossed the state.
                    Arabic is the official-language, and you’re going to hear Darija, the Moroccan dialect, talked on the road.
                    French proceeds to be broadly spoken in towns; non citizens in many cases are addressed in this first. Spanish is nonetheless spoken in Tangier.
                    Additionally, there are three principal dialects spoken by the Berber bulk in the country’s: Tamazight Tashelhit and Tarifit.
                    You will have the ability to get by with English in the principal tourist hearts, even though “La, shukran” (“No, thank you” in Arabic) is one phrase to to understand.
                    4. Do not get stuck in Marrakesh.
                    Marrakesh is well-liked, however there is so significantly mo-Re.
                    Fez tops the listing because of its labyrinth-like medina, wonderful foodie scene and yearly Festival of World Sacred Music.
                    To get a portion of the Sahara, there is the desert city of Merzouga, near the remarkable Erg Chebbi sand dunes, reachable via camel treks.
                    Productive kinds can trek between Berber villages in the High Atlas or check out the blue-hued Andalusian city of Chefchaouen to learn more about the Rif Mountains.
                    Beach bums will adore laidback Essaouira and Sidi Ifni on the Atlantic coastline, while surfers regularly head south to Taghazout.
                    For tranquil contemplation, Morocco’s holiest city, Moulay Idriss, is tough to overcome. Plus, youare going to possess the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis virtually to yourself.
                    5. You might starve should you not enjoy cumin.
                    Cumin is among the primary spices utilized in cooking that is Moroccan. This pungent powder can be used to flavor every-thing from tagines to mechoui (sluggish-roasted lamb).
                    Cumin can be used as a condiment of all Moroccan tables, in addition to chili and salt. It is additionally a popular fix for diarrhoea.
                    “Cumin has anti-parasitical properties, so if you’ve got an upset tummy, a spoonful of cumin knocked back with water will help,” said foods manual Gail Leonard with Plan-It Fez.
                    6. Trains are cozy, affordable and dependable.
                    Train business ONCF runs among the greatest train networks in Africa, creating it the easiest means to vacation between towns.
                    It is worth spending added for firstclass, which has a reserved seat as well as A/C.
                    First class passenger cars have six-seat open-plan or compartments seating. Stock through to snacks, or purchase them on-board, as it really is usual to talk about food.
                    In regards to visiting smaller cities and hamlets, buses and grand cabs, generally old Mercedes sedans that can seat six (at a squash), are greatest.
                    7. Couscous is served on Fridays.
                    You will view it it on every cafe menu, when households collect after prayers, but typically, cous cous is served on Fridays.
                    The reason being the appropriate (not package) material has quite a long time to get ready.
                    Rough semolina is hand rolled in to tiny granules to be steamed and fluffed three-times. It is served with meat or veggies and/ or fish and light in colour creamy.
                    Bread is the basic carb and is served with each meal, except cous cous.
                    It is baked in communal wood-fired ovens, one of five conveniences found in every area (the others being a hammam, or bathhouse; an ingesting fountain; a mosque along with a preschool).
                    8. Riad stone that is roof-tops.
                    The original Moroccan house (riad) is constructed around a central courtyard with windows facing inwards for privateness.
                    They are decked-out with complex zellij, stucco and cedar that was painted and so are readily the most atmospheric places to remain.
                    A roof terrace is where to be-come sun Set while Moroccans have a tendency to make use of their roof tops as clotheslines.
                    In Marrakech, Italian-designed Riad Joya (Derb El Hammam, Mouassine Quarter; +212 524 391 624; www.riadjoya.com) h-AS prime views of the Koutoubia Mosque minaret, while five star La Sultana (403 rue d-e manhattan project Kasbah; +212 524 388 008; www.ghotw.com/la-sultana) looks out on the Atlas Mountains.
                    Top selections in Fez would be the bohemian Riad Idrissy (13 Derb Idrissi, Sieje, Sidi Ahmed Chaoui, +212 649 191 410; www.riadidrissy.com) and its sun-trap terrace, while Dar Roumana (30 Derb el Amer, Zkak Roumane; +212 535 741 637; www.darroumana.com) h AS sweeping views of the planet ‘s greatest living medieval Islamic town.
                    9. When you hear ‘balak!’ out observe.
                    The souks in Morocco aren’t for the fainthearted. The streets teem hustlers, with hagglers, mule-drivers motor scooters and.
                    Rule No. 1 is to action a side when you hear “Balak!” It signifies there exists a mule bearing-down for you or a heavily packed handcart.
                    As maps do not normally contain the warren of little streets that make up the medina you will necessarily get lost.
                    Helpful information might help you fend off touts, but bear in mind that whatever you purchase will have his commission integrated to the cost and get your bearings.
                    Instead, taking snapshots of landmarks along with your smart phone can assist you to locate your way back to your own lodging.
                    10. It is maybe not unusual to be bathed by way of a stranger.
                    There are a lot of posh resort hammams, but no Thing beats a trip into a nofrills community bathhouse.
                    As most indications are composed in Arabic seeing the entry may be tricky. Locate a store selling a mosque or toiletries, as all these usually are nearby.
                    It is wise to stock through to black olive-oil soap, ghassoul (clay used as hair conditioner), a kiis (exfoliating glove) as well as a mat to take a seat on. Visitors should take their very own comb, towels and shower shoes.
                    Girls strip for their knickers (no bra), and guys wear drawers. Then till you are squeaky-clean, you’ll be steamed, scrubbed and pummeled.

                    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/08/travel/10-things-morocco/index.html

                    Categories CNN

                    The world’s most beautiful island hotels

                    (CNN)From Australia to the Caribbean, there’s no shortage of beautiful island hotels around the world.

                    Lacaula Island (Fiji)

                    Let’s be honest: Beautiful is an understatement for this luxurious South Pacific hideaway, owned by Red Bull founder and CEO Dietrich Mateschitz.
                      It’s built on its own 3,500-acre private island studded with lush coconut groves and ringed by pristine white sand beaches.
                      Each of its 25 villas — inspired by traditional Fijian bure — boast leafy tropical gardens and private infinity-edge pools.
                      As if that weren’t enough to keep you occupied, there’s also an equestrian center, five restaurants and countless coral reefs to be explored (via submarine, naturally).

                      Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort (Mozambique)

                      It doesn’t get much more far-flung than this resort, tucked away on a tiny private island in the Quirimbas Archipelago, off the northern coast of Mozambique.
                      But the views alone are worth the trek. Upon arrival, you’re greeted with miles of empty, powder-white sand and ocean so blue it barely looks real.
                      The resort itself is gorgeous, with its castaway-chic aesthetic and whimsical, Arabian Nights-inspired decor.
                      And though its wooden, thatched-roof villas may look simple, don’t be fooled: They’re decked out with luxe deep-soak tubs, roomy outdoor decks and plunge pools built just steps from the ocean.

                      Southern Ocean Lodge (Australia)

                      Built atop scrub-covered bluffs on the southwest tip of Australia’s Kangaroo Island, this unique resort is another spot offering incredible views.
                      Each of its 21 glass-fronted suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows and are cantilevered to ensure jaw-dropping panoramas over Hanson Bay.
                      In contrast to its rugged coastal landscape, the lodge is sleek and ultramodern, built from sustainable materials like recycled gumtrees and local limestone.
                      It’s also luxurious: Each suite has its own private terrace, sunken lounge and standalone bathtubs, perfectly positioned to soak in the glorious views.

                      Cap Juluca (Anguilla)

                      This intimate boutique hotel, situated on Anguilla’s turquoise-blue Maundays Bay, is a Caribbean classic.
                      Its domed, Moorish-style villas are cheerful and stylish, decorated with colorful batiks, rattan furniture and coconut wood accents.
                      Though the vibe is beachy and relaxed, rooms abound with posh amenities like plush Frette linens and Herms bath products.
                      Added bonus: Every room is beachfront and has an ocean-facing patio.

                      Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea (Sicily, Italy)

                      Though you’d be hard pressed to find a hotel in Sicily that’s not picture-perfect, there’s something especially dreamy about this one.
                      Built as a villa in 1830, the beautifully renovated Belmond has retained the laid-back charm of a private family residence (think homemade Sicilian pastries upon check-in and fresh flowers in every room).
                      Suites are huge and indulgent, outfitted with enormous marble bathrooms and furnished French balconies that offer sweeping views over the Bay of Mazzar.
                      Added bonus: It even has its own private stretch of beachfront, fringed by lush subtropical gardens.

                      Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina (Hawaii)

                      Opened in the summer of 2016, Oahu’s newest resort — located on the quiet western side of the island — might also be its most beautiful.
                      The property is sleek yet earthy, and takes advantage of its gorgeous oceanfront setting with plenty of sun-drenched, indoor-outdoor spaces.
                      All 371 rooms are decorated in a modern Hawaiiana style, with banana-leaf wall coverings, banana leaf-printed pillows and local wood accents.
                      But the hotel’s pice de rsistance is its blissful adults-only infinity pool, which is tucked away from the main pool and beach area and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

                      Secret Bay (Dominica)

                      Perched on a clifftop on the island of Dominica, this uber-luxe hotel remains relatively undiscovered compared to other Caribbean resorts of the same caliber.
                      But therein lies its charm: Unlike the crowded, all-inclusive resorts of Bermuda and the Bahamas, this low-key boutique property feels like your own secret Caribbean hideaway.
                      Its eight treehouse-style bungalows are hidden amidst thick, jungle-like foliage and equipped with so many luxe features — hammocks, plunge pools, sundecks, personal libraries — that you won’t ever want to leave.
                      But you must, if only to walk down to its two stunning beaches or watch the sun set over the Caribbean Ocean from the gorgeous Vetiver Sunset Deck.

                      Soneva Jani (Maldives)

                      With 24 over-water villas and one sprawling island villa set on a private lagoon in the Maldives, the newest Soneva resort is one of the world’s most beautiful hotels, period.
                      Each of the resort’s multi-level water villas — made out of renewable plantation wood — has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars.
                      Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below.
                      Other hotel highlights include an observatory — home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean — and an outdoor floating cinema.

                      The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa (Phuket, Thailand)

                      Nestled on the northwest tip of Naka Yai island, off the coast of the larger island of Phuket, this Thai resort feels blissfully isolated.
                      It’s not a private island resort, but it feels that way, with just 67 villas draped along miles of deserted, unspoiled beachfront.
                      Villas are earthy yet luxurious, made entirely of wood, stone and clay, and equipped with private pools and steam rooms.
                      If you can manage to drag yourself from your villa, make a beeline for the beachfront Z Bar, which serves up potent cocktails and epic sunset views.

                      The Cliff Hotel (Jamaica)

                      Though it sits directly on the ocean, this new boutique hotel isn’t your typical beach getaway.
                      For starters, there’s no beach: True to its name, the hotel is perched on low, jagged cliffs that jut out dramatically onto the ocean.
                      Unlike its colorful, kitschy neighbors, The Cliff opts for a neutral-toned, minimalist vibe that allows its striking natural setting to steal the show.
                      Still, its 33 rooms are as luxe as they come, outfitted with stylish hammocks, roomy balconies and, in some cases, private plunge pools.

                      Cavo Tagoo (Mykonos, Greece)

                      Hugging a cliff high above the Aegean Sea, Cavo Tagoo remains a haven of peace and serenity on Greece’s most touristed island.
                      The vibe is refreshingly modern and minimalist: whitewashed surfaces, exposed wood and stone, and sleek, clean furnishings.
                      Rooms come with with whirlpool baths, ocean-facing balconies and, in some cases, private plunge pools.
                      No pool? No worries: The resort’s communal infinity saltwater pool has an aquarium bar and the best sunset views on the island.

                      Belmond La Samanna (St. Martin)

                      Easily the best resort in St. Martin, La Samanna brings tranquility and a touch of glamor to a fairly tourist-clogged island.
                      Its 83 lavish rooms and eight Mediterranean-style villas are hidden behind 55 lush tropical acres on the unspoilt shores of Baie Longue.
                      Property highlights include two infinity pools, a heavenly spa, two French-Caribbean restaurants and a 12,000-bottle wine cave.
                      But what you’re really here for is the Moroccan-themed beach bar, which serves up potent cocktails and killer ocean views to match.

                      Nihiwatu (Sumba Island, Indonesia)

                      Though it’s just an hour’s flight from Bali, Nihiwatu feels worlds away: It sits on a private 1.5-mile beach backed by 560 acres of tropical jungle.
                      Its 28 thatched-roof villas are rugged yet luxurious, decorated with teak furnishings, traditional ikat-print fabrics and local Sumban art.
                      Though every villa is impressive, the Marrangga villas — which feature beds elevated on cliffside platforms overlooking the ocean — are where you want to be.

                      North Island (Seychelles)

                      Breathtaking natural beauty and innovative design come together on this heavenly private island resort in the heart of the Seychelles.
                      Its 11 newly renovated villas feature a glamorous, castaway-meets-Colonial vibe that blends seamlessly into its jungle-like natural surroundings.
                      Of course, there are five-star amenities to boot: indoor-outdoor bathrooms, deep-soak tubs and personal plunge pools, to name a few.
                      It’s no wonder that the resort’s guest list includes the likes of Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt, George and Amal Clooney and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

                      CBlue Villas and Beach Resort (Anguilla)

                      Opened in 2014, CBlue is one of Anguilla’s newest and most luxurious resorts.
                      It has just eight eco-friendly hideaways built into the verdant hills above tranquil Crocus Bay on the island’s northwest coast.
                      Lodgings are sleek and modern, and equipped with large saltwater swimming pools, 3,000-square-foot sun decks and frangipani-filled private gardens.
                      Thanks to the resort’s linear, terraced design, guests can enjoy panoramic views over the Caribbean Sea from every single window.

                      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/27/hotels/most-beautiful-island-hotels/index.html

                      Categories CNN