The Chicago Journal

Donald Trump stays as a top GOP favorite for 2024

Donald TrumpDonald Trump made history as the first president, former or current, to be charged last week.

After much deliberation, the Manhattan grand jury reached its conclusion.

This is one of a number of high-profile Trump issues.

A surprising rally

One would believe that Donald Trump’s political ambitions are jeopardized by a slew of accusations leveled against him.

Yet, many Republican leaders have refrained from attacking him.

Instead, they have targeted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the charges against Trump.

Similarly, betting markets continue to imply that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee in 2024.

Improved prospects

The indictment tipped the globe on its axis, ushering in a one-of-a-kind situation marked by altering political realities.

Donald Trump’s popularity is most likely due to three factors:

  • Despite the indictment hanging over his head, Trump’s polling lead in the GOP primary for 2024 has increased in the previous month.
  • Republicans think the inquiries are driven by politics.
  • Most Trump supporters are indifferent about his odds in November.

Similarly, surveys from Fox News, Monmouth University, and Quinnipiac University indicate that Donald Trump’s chances in the Republican primary are growing.

In March, Trump had a double-digit lead in surveys.

Furthermore, the former president earned an edge over his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to launch his campaign.

In February, Trump had a 12-point lead.

Divided sentiments

The Quinnipiac poll’s results were made public last week.

Just 18% of registered Republican voters believed Trump’s claims about a New York hush money scheme were true.

58% of people thought they weren’t.

The indictment may cause a shift in thinking, but it may not be as big as it appears.

The majority of Republicans, according to the Quinnipiac survey, do not believe Alvin Bragg is objective.

Virtually every Republican (93%) and the majority of people (63%), thought his case was politically motivated.

When it comes to any indictment, Republicans appear to be on Trump’s side.

According to a recent Marist College survey, respondents thought the multiple Trump probes were justified or a “witch hunt.”

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The 2020 elections

In addition to the Manhattan case, Donald Trump has been tied to the Capitol Riot.

Most Republicans believe his efforts to reverse the 2020 election result were not unlawful.

According to polls, the vast majority of Republicans feel President Trump’s actions were appropriate.

The majority of Americans thought Joe Biden won only because of voting fraud.

The bigger picture

Republicans’ notion that the cases are politically motivated is only part of the issue.

Another thing to consider is how Republicans see Donald Trump in comparison to the larger general electorate.

Republicans feel he is innocent, but his legal concerns will be a stumbling block in the general election because people believe the investigations are fair.

Polls suggest that agreement on ideology is more important than electability for Republican primary candidates.

A CNN survey found that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents preferred criticizing Biden over policy agreement by a margin of 59% to 41%.

Trump supporters were divided, with 61% believing that agreement on issues should take precedence over electability and 39% disagreeing.

The results indicate a significant shift from what occurred in the 2020 Democratic primary.

By March 2020, 73% of Biden backers had persuaded voters to choose electability above issue agreement.

In other words, Biden’s pitch to Democrats surpassed Trump’s pitch to Republicans.

A new hope

Even while most Republicans believe other possible contenders have a better chance of unseating Biden, Trump remains the favorite.

According to a February Marist survey, 54% of Republicans believe that someone other than Trump may help the Republican Party reclaim the White House in 2024.

But, Republican voters in 2023 may not have made a mistake.

Notwithstanding the expected electability challenges, Donald Trump appears to be developing a general election poll advantage against Joe Biden sooner in the 2024 cycle than he did in the 2020 cycle.

But, according to the same study, DeSantis outperforms Trump vs Biden, which is aligned with how most Republicans feel.

What We Know So Far about Upcoming Netflix Series Avatar: The Last Airbender

The announcement of a live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender was met with mixed reactions from fans. The previous attempt at a live-action adaptation, a movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was widely panned by both fans and critics. However, Netflix has promised that they will stay true to the original source material and have assembled a talented team to bring the show to life.

So, what do we know about the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix series? Read on as your trusted source of online entertainment news shares some updates:

The Cast

There have been two major announcements regarding the cast, as well as several additional castings throughout the process. In August 2021, the first group of actors who will be playing key roles in the upcoming series was revealed.

The famous characters will be portrayed by these performers:

  • Gordon Cormier as Aang
  • Kiawentiio Tarbell as Katara
  • Ian Ousley as Sokka
  • Dallas Liu as Zuko
  • Maria Zhang as Suki
  • Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi
  • Casey Camp-Horinek as Gran Gran
  • Elizabeth Yu cast as Azula

The roles of Uncle Iroh, Gyatso, and Commander Zhao have been assigned to Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Lim Kay Siu, and Ken Leung in that order.

Other cast members include:

  • George Takei as Koh
  • Randall Duk Kim as Wan Shi Tong
  • Thalia Tran as Mai
  • Irene Bedard as Yagoda
  • Tamlyn Tomita as Yukari
  • François Chau as the Great Sage of the Fire Temple.
  • Ryan Mah as Fire Navy officer Lieutenant Dang (an original character)
  • Meegwun Fairbrother as Avatar Kuruk
  • Joel Oulette as Hahn of the Northern Water Tribe
  • Arden Cho as June
  • Joel Montgrand as Hakoda
  • Momona Tamada as Ty Lee
  • Rainbow Dickerson as Kya (Sokka and Katar’s mother)
  • James Sie as a cabbage merchant
  • Nathaniel Arcand as Chief Arnook
  • Danny Pudi as Mechanist
  • A Martinez as Master Pakku
  • Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue of the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Utkarsh Ambudkar as King Bumi of Omashu

Although there were rumors, Dante Basco, the voice actor for Prince Zuko in the animated series, later confirmed that he would not be reprising his role.

Who Are Involved in This Netflix Project?

One of the most thrilling developments at the start of the project was that the individuals who initially produced the Nickelodeon show would be participating.

Regrettably, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the creators of the show and would be in charge of overseeing it as executive producers and showrunners, left the project in the middle of 2020.

Netflix announced in February 2023 that Takeshi Furukawa would be responsible for the music in the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Moreover, the original themes of the show will be incorporated into the new series as well.

Furukawa is responsible for creating the music for The Last Guardian video game on PlayStation and Mythic Quest on Apple TV+.

Dan Lin, through his company Rideback, is credited as an executive producer for some of Warner Brothers’ biggest movies, such as the Sherlock Holmes series, the Lego Movies, and the IT movies. He’s now listed as an executive producer for Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Albert Kim is now managing the show Avatar: The Last Airbender. He has previously worked with TNT on Leverage and Nikita. Ryan Halprin and Lindsey Liberatore have also joined the team as producers, with Rideback Productions being the main company behind the production. Rideback has also recently sold a different project to Netflix named Parallel.

IMDBPro has announced that Jang Chol Lee will be the concept designer for the series. He has previously worked on movies such as Big Hero 6, Tangled, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Beowulf.


The Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix series has the potential to be a great adaptation of the beloved animated series. With a promise to stay true to the source material, fans can rest assured that the show will be in good hands. 

While there is still much we don’t know about the series, fans are eagerly anticipating any news and are excited to see their favorite characters brought to life in a new way. Only time will tell if the Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix series will live up to the hype, but we remain hopeful.

Watch out for more updates on this exciting upcoming show on The Chicago Journal’s online web portal.

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FC Barcelona appears clear of refereeing controversy

FC BarcelonaFC Barcelona, the Catalan soccer powerhouse, has previously been accused of misbehavior by Spanish authorities.

Former club presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu were accused of taking bribes from the former vice president of the referees committee.

Yet, new information in the sports scandal indicated that Spanish officials found no proof of repeated payments.

What happened?

Cheating in athletics has always been condemned, no matter the nation.

FC Barcelona was accused of bribing José Maria Enriquez Negreira, vice president of Spain’s officiating committee, in order to benefit the squad.

The following declaration was made:

“Through presidents [Sandro] Rosell and [Josep] Bartomeu, Barcelona reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with the defendant Negreira, so that, in his capacity as vice president of the refereeing committee and in exchange for money, he would carry out actions aimed at favoring Barcelona in the decision making of the referees in the matches played by the club, and thus in the results of the competitions.”

The former presidents & payments

Sandro Rosell was the president of FC Barcelona from 2010 to 2014, when Josep Bartomeu took charge.

Bartomeu remained in charge of the sporting superpower until 2020, when he resigned, and Joan Laporta replaced him in 2021.

The cash was sent to Negreira’s firm, Dasnil 96 SL, according to Barcelona.

They were apparently created for “technical reporting on refereing,” assuming that such services were common in the game.

Laporta, president from 2003 to 2010, would be called to testify.

He, on the other hand, denied that Barcelona had bribed the authorities.

“Barca have never bought referees nor influence,” said Laporta. “That was never the intention, and that has to be clear.”

“The facts contradict those that are trying to tell a different story.”

Meanwhile, Negreira issued his own comment, saying:

“FC Barcelona considered that the team was harmed and other teams were favored. This is a personal hypothesis, nobody has told me directly.”

“My obligation was to give my opinion about the matches in terms of arbitration and the players. Technical advice.”

“What FC Barcelona wanted was to make sure that no decisions were made against the club, that everything was neutral.”

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Investigations and charges

In 2018, José Maria Enriquez Negreira stepped down as deputy president of Spain’s referees committee.

Despite the fact that he has been out of job for years, he was the only target of a tax office probe for payments from Barcelona totaling roughly €1.4 million ($1.51 million) between 2016 and 2018.

Prosecutors indicted Rossell and Bartomeu, as well as ex-FC Barcelona officials Oscar Gau and Albert Soler, after scrutinizing payments from 2014 to 2018.

Yet, after a three-year wait, La Liga president Javier Tebas ruled that FC Barcelona will not face sporting sanctions.

He did, however, agree to return to the subject when the legal proceedings were concluded.

The Spanish Football Association and La Liga have presented UEFA with the necessary papers and information.

Individuals may decide to take action as a result of the outcome.

FIFA might just get involved.

The latest development

The FC Barcelona money-laundering probe is progressing.

The newest results, according to EFE, suggest that the club’s €7.5 million ($8.1 million) payments to Negreira had no impact on on-field decisions.

The allegations include a failure to explain and document the millions of euros handed to Negreira’s business interests, implying that the club continued to pay for illicit services.

The allegations are a significant win for FC Barcelona after the charges earlier this year turned the club on its head.

The club has remained silent on the subject, preferring to concentrate on external probes and internal operations.

After acquiring all of the essential proof and information, Joan Laporta intended to talk with the press.

According to Laport, Barca will soon give intelligence that is ready to strike and protect.

A former La Liga referee also testified on Barcelona’s side, alleging that Negreira never asked him to influence decisions in favor of the Catalan club.

Paul Rusesabagina makes his way back to the US after release

Paul RusesabaginaLast Week, Rwandan human rights activist Paul Rusesabagina was freed from a Kigali jail.

He returned to the United States on Wednesday.

According to a State Department official, the man who inspired the Don Cheadle-led movie Hotel Rwanda had landed at the United States Army’s Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio.

The return

On Wednesday, an official published a statement proclaiming Paul Rusesabagina’s safe return.

“The US government is focused on ensuring that Mr. Rusesabagina and his family’s well-being are prioritized, and that all assistance available is offered in an appropriate and timely manner,” the official said.

In order to preserve the family’s privacy, the official also declined to offer any details.

Carine Kanima, Rusesabagina’s daughter, also confirmed her father’s return online.

“PAUL RUSESABAGINA IS FREE,” she tweeted, sharing a photo of her father smiling in an airplane.

“Dad has just arrived in San Antonio, Texas.”

“Thank you to EVERYONE who worked soooo hard to bring home,” she added.

“Our Family is finally reunited today.”

Rusesabagina and his release

This Monday, Paul Rusesabagina was released from a Rwandan prison when President Paul Kagame commuted his sentence.

On Friday, senior US officials told reporters that he had been transported to Kigali and was living at the home of the Qatari diplomat.

“He will be spending a limited period of time hosted by the Qataris, likely a couple of days,” said one official.

They stated he will fly to Doha before returning to the United States.

According to a US congressional staffer acquainted with Rusesabagina’s case, he will participate in the Pentagon’s PISA program (Post-Isolation Support Activities).

Some recently freed US illegal detainees have taken part in the program, which has a maximum duration of 19 days.

The program is designed to help persons reintegrate into society.

Paul Rusesabagina was released after writing to President Kagame and asking for a pardon in October 2022.

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“If I am granted a pardon and released, I understand fully that I will spend the remainder of my days in the United States in quiet reflection,” he wrote.

“I can assure you through this letter that I hold no personal or political ambitions otherwise.”

“I will leave questions regarding Rwandan politics behind me.”

Rusesabagina is a dual Rwandan and Belgian citizen who was set to be released together with 19 other people convicted with him.

Upon the news of his release, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken released the following statement:

“It is a relief to know that Paul is rejoining his family, and the US Government is grateful to the Rwandan Government for making this reunion possible.”

“We also thank the Government of Qatar for their valuable assistance that will enable Paul’s return to the United States.”

The arrest and sentence

Paul Rusesabagina was detained by Rwandan authorities in 2020 while traveling abroad.

According to his family, the arrest was the consequence of an abduction.

Rusesabagina was convicted of terrorism-related charges in September 2021 and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

During his trial, he was accused of belonging to the terrorist organization MRCD-FLN, which was responsible for two deadly attacks in 2018.

According to the Clooney Foundation for Justice, the decision was a “kangaroo court.”

The conviction, according to the group, lacked the basic fairness assurances required by African and international norms.

A senior US official earlier indicated that no concession to the US government will result in the release of Paul Rusesabagina.

Instead, a strategy was developed in partnership with Rusesabagina, the Rwandan government, and the US administration.

It took months to come to an arrangement that was acceptable to all sides.

Hospitals still filled despite a dropping number of patients

Hospitals The 2020 Covid-19 outbreak resulted in serious issues since US hospitals were overrun with sick people.

Patients regularly filled the hallways and rooms due to the high patient volume.

However, vaccinations have helped to lessen the problem.

Despite the virus’ lower danger, hospitals in the US are nonetheless congested.

Winter recovery

The COVID-19, the flu, and RSV posed a triple danger to the US during the winter.

As a sign that the country has been healing, the majority of states now report little to no activity in respiratory diseases.

According to government statistics, there have been 30% fewer visits to emergency departments for respiratory conditions since January.

The number of flu-related hospitalizations is almost at its lowest point since October.

4% of hospital beds are still occupied by patients statewide, notwithstanding a recent reduction in Covid-19 admissions.

A shift

The new data reveals a dramatic change between January 2022 and the first Omicron wave, when Covid-19 patients overran hospitals.

However, the situation is still packed in hospitals, and it doesn’t appear that things will improve any time soon.

Experts claim that hospitals already struggled with capacity and resource challenges since patients were sicker than ever before to the epidemic.

According to Nancy Foster, vice president for patient safety and quality at the American Hospital Association:

“It’s been a continuing trend over the last decade or so that there’s been this greater acuity of patients inside the hospitals.”

“So what you see is this incredibly sick group of people inside of hospitals.”

“If you’re a doctor or nurse or respiratory therapist or pharmacist or any other health professional working inside the hospital, that means it’s always a difficult puzzle you’re trying to solve to help that patient out.”


The patient mix at hospitals is comparable to pre-pandemic levels, according to Aaron Wesolowski, vice president of policy research, analytics, and strategy at the American Hospital Association.

According to Foster, if the number of Covid-19 patients decreases, so too could the stress on medical personnel, which at first felt resentful of the limited resources available to help them.

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However, according to Wesolowski’s analysis of Strata data, fewer people attended inpatient and emergency departments in 2022 than they did in 2019.

Experts claim that several complex issues grew worse during the course of the epidemic, taxing the available resources.

“Length of stay is longer because people are needing more acute care,” said Wesolowski.

“Because of work force pressures, there are not as many people who can be treated in an inpatient setting all at once.”

“So both things, I think, can be true.”

Samuel Scarpino, the director of Northeastern University’s AI and life sciences department, believes that the current situation is characterized by a “perfect storm” of issues, including the following:

  • Covid-19 and ongoing control measures hospital use to keep in place
  • A backlog of patients with a delayed need for acute care
  • A workforce that’s burnt out after three years of the pandemic

Covid-19, according to Scarpino, is still the most crucial component.

Instead of building additional hospital beds because a new type increases hospitalizations, hospitals must create extra beds as a safety net due to uncertainty.

“The biggest risk is almost certainty associated with what’s coming,” said Scarpino.


The declaration of a pandemic emergency, according to Nancy Foster, permitted patients to use telehealth services outside of hospitals.

The emergency status has been continuously renewed by the federal government since January 2020, although it is believed that it will terminate in May.

Without the announcement, hospitals would likely have been busier than they are now, especially since the range of treatment options available outside of hospitals might once again become more limited.

“Part of the reason we have the kind of inpatient hospital scarcity that we have right now is that we do have a number of flexibilities that were granted by [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] and other federal agencies and the states during Covid that are being used for a wide variety of patients,” said Foster.

“If those were to disappear overnight, we would be struggling to care for the current level of patients.”

Donald Trump indictment announced by Manhattan grand jury

Donald TrumpIn a Manhattan grand jury indictment, Donald Trump is indicted with more than 30 charges of corporate fraud, according to two sources.

The indictment marks the first time in American history that a current or past president has been charged with a crime.

Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

The indictment was filed under secrecy and will be released soon, but no charges have been released.


The District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan was looking into Donald Trump’s possible involvement in a hush money payment scheme and protection involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The adultery scandal broke almost a decade ago, but the hush money claims broke just before the 2016 presidential election.

Although grand jury proceedings are private, a source alleges that a witness spoke with the grand jury for more than 30 minutes before deciding to indict Trump.

The decision

With this decision, the American political system will undoubtedly alter and enter unknown territory.

The fact that a previous leader faces criminal charges while running for president for the second time is unprecedented.

Notwithstanding this, Donald Trump issued a statement following the indictment in which he alleged political persecution and high-level electoral intervention.

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” said Trump.

“The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it.”

“So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Getting the news

According to one insider, Trump was surprised by the grand jury’s decision to charge him.

Trump predicted an indictment, but he expected it to take several weeks.

“Is this a shock today? Hell yes,” said the anonymous source.

Meanwhile, Bragg’s office summoned Trump’s legal team.

“This evening, we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan DA’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” Bragg’s office said on Thursday.

“Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Read also: Donald Trump begins 2024 campaign with Waco rally

The campaign and witch hunt

Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2024 received a new twist when he announced his intention to run despite criminal accusations.

Trump has often called his probes a “witch hunt.”

He has tried to persuade the public by presenting himself as a victim of Democratic prosecutors’ political investigations.

As the day for his indictment approaches, Donald Trump urged his followers to protest his arrest, repeating his call to action in the 2020 election, when he swore retribution for his failure.

He has long dodged legal consequences for his personal, professional, and political acts, settling numerous private civil cases and making payments to get out of Trump Organization issues.

As president, he was impeached twice by the Democratic-led House but was not convicted by the Senate.

Despite the fact that he has not been indicted, the Trump Organization was charged with multiple tax fraud offenses in December.

Trump loyalists and Republicans alike pressured the Manhattan district attorney’s office for the indictment in 2024.

“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” said former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday.

“It appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that’s driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president.”

GOP comes to Trump’s defense

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised to look into the incident.

Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, rushed to Trump’s support, accused Bragg of waging a political witch hunt on Twitter.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan slammed the charges and requested that Bragg come before Congress about the probe.

Senator Ted Cruz called the indictment “completely unprecedented,” claiming that it further militarizes the justice system.

On the other side, one Republican trusted in the judicial system.

“I believe in the rule of law,” stated Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon.

“I think we have checks and balances and I trust the system.”

“We have a judge. We have jurors. There is appeals. So I think in the end, justice will be done.”

“If he’s guilty, it will show up. But if not, I think that will be shown too.”