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MS-13 inmates sent to restricted unit after prison stabbing

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 16:59

The federal Bureau of Prisons is moving some MS-13 gang members in its custody into more restricted housing at certain high-security facilities across the U.S. after a gang stabbing in a Virginia prison, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Saturday. A brawl broke out Wednesday at the prison known as USP Lee between the MS-13 leader and a fellow inmate associated with the Mexican Mafia, and the gang member was stabbed, the people said. The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that the inmate was injured but survived the attack.


Discovery of unused disaster supplies angers Puerto Rico

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 16:56

People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency. The governor said she had ordered an investigation after learning the emergency supplies had been piled in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.


U.S. sanctions Iranian commander over Mahshahr killings

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 14:59

The U.S. State Department said on Saturday it had imposed sanctions on a general of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who commanded units blamed for a massacre of protesters in November. The U.S. State Department has said previously it had received videos of the Revolutionary Guards opening fire without warning on protesters in Mahshahr county in southwest Iran.


TSA issues apology to Native American woman who had braids pulled by agent

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 14:11

Tara Houska ‘humiliated’ by TSA agent who ‘snapped my braids like reins’ during screening at Minneapolis-St Paul airportThe federal Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a Native American woman who said an agent at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport “pulled her braids” and said “giddy up!” when she took a flight from there this week.“The agent said she needed to pat down my braids,” tweeted Tara Houska, an indigenous rights advocate and attorney. “She pulled them behind my shoulders, laughed and said ‘giddyup!’ as she snapped my braids like reins. My hair is part of my spirit. I am a Native woman. I am angry, humiliated. Your ‘fun’ hurt.”Houska, who is Ojibwe, added: “When I informed the middle-aged blonde woman who had casually used her authority to dehumanize and disrespect me, she said, ‘Well it was just in fun, I’m sorry. Your hair is lovely.’“That is NOT an apology and it is NOT OK.”According to the Washington Post, women of color have long experienced problems at TSA checkpoints, because natural, braided or twisted hair prompt “flags” on security devices, spurring “more invasive screenings”.Bring Me The News, a Minnesota website, appeared to have been first to report Houska’s experience.In a statement to the Guardian, the TSA said it had been “made aware of allegations made by a traveler about her screening experience at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport [on] Monday morning.“TSA officials investigated the incident and on Tuesday afternoon, TSA’s federal security director for Minnesota, Cliff Van Leuven, spoke with the traveler. He apologized for actions and a comment that were insensitive and made by a TSA officer to the traveler during the screening experience.”Van Leuven also wrote to airport staff.“In the news last night and today,” he said, “you’ve likely seen – or heard – of a TSA officer at MSP who was insensitive in screening the long braided hair of a Native American passenger Monday morning. Did it actually happen? Yes. Exactly as described? Yes.“This morning, I reached out to the passenger via email. She called me back early this afternoon. I apologized for how she was treated during the screening of her braids – and we had a very pleasant conversation.“She reiterated that she doesn’t want the officer to get in trouble, but she is hoping we’ll take the chance to continue to educate our staff about the many Native American Tribes/Bands in our state and region to better understand their culture.”The airport apologized on Twitter.Houska could not immediately be reached for comment.


Man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a memento

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 14:11

A Montana man told authorities that he cut off a grizzly bear's claws as a memento after shooting it in self-defense because he was mad that the bear was going to eat him, according to court records. Bryan Berg, 35, appeared in court on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula after pleading guilty to illegal transport of grizzly bear claws, a misdemeanor, according to the Flathead Beacon. Grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are classified as a threatened species.


A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the Midwest

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 13:49

Authorities issued alerts for areas across the Northeast as blizzard conditions were forecasted to New York and New England over the weekend.


Ten charred bodies found in vehicle in violence-plagued Mexican state

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 13:08

Mexican prosecutors are investigating the discovery of a burned-out vehicle containing the charred bodies of 10 people in the southwestern state of Guerrero, authorities said late on Friday. Police made the grisly discovery on a country road in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez after locals saw the vehicle on fire and alerted authorities, state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement published on Facebook.


The most iconic tourist attraction in 26 countries around the world

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 12:32

There's something powerful about finally seeing a famous landmark or natural wonder in person instead of on a postcard (or on Instagram).


Rebel Wilson declares 2020 'the year of health'

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 11:41

Rebel Wilson’s personal trainer posted a picture of the actress on Instagram where she looks noticeably slimmer. At the start of the year, Wilson had declared 2020 “the year of health.”


Trump Administration Proposes Rollbacks to Obama-Era School Lunch Programs on Michelle Obama's Birthday

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 11:32

The proposed rules would allowing more flexibilities in the amount of fruits and vegetables served


Fewer Americans are binge-drinking, but those who do are drinking more per session

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 11:31

New CDC data shows binge-drinking is declining, but American adults who do drink heavily are consuming 12% more alcohol per session.


Text messages show Devin Nunes' aide had extensive communications with Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about Trump's Ukraine efforts

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 10:44

The messages provide key new evidence that Nunes' team was aware of and involved in Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.


Why Did The U.S. Navy Surface 3 Submarines At The Same Time In Asia?

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 10:42

A stern message to China.


The Sanders campaign looked into whether Warren could serve as vice president and treasury secretary at the same time, according to report

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 10:00

Bernie Sanders reportedly researched whether Elizabeth Warren could hold two roles in his cabinet, and lawyers found no reason why she couldn't.


Parnas communicated with Nunes aide about Ukraine, documents show

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 08:52

Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who worked as his envoy in Ukraine, communicated with a top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) about an effort to find damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, documents released Friday night by House Democrats revealed.The evidence shows Derek Harvey, a former White House official and top aide to Nunes, communicated extensively with Parnas and sought to speak with Ukrainian prosecutors who were giving Giuliani information about Biden, reports The Washington Post. The documents corroborate Parnas' own claims about Nunes' office's involvement in the scheme.Parnas has said President Trump and his associates were working to push Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden. The messages, the Post writes, "indicate Nunes' office was aware of the operation at the heart of impeachment proceedings against the president — and sought to use the information Parnas was gathering." Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, did not comment on the documents.Read more at The Washington Post and NBC News.More stories from theweek.com Trump is getting the band back together The Patriots only have one option French officials warn of violence from subgroups in protest movement


Watch live: SpaceX is about to blow up a rocket in a crucial test to show NASA that its spaceship ready to launch astronauts

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 07:20

Elon Musk's SpaceX is going to make one of its own rocket boosters explode to prove that its Crew Dragon spaceship is ready to send people to space.


The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Top Stories - Sat, 01/18/2020 - 06:30

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin’s favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin’s regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts.Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue. (Remember, this is fantasy.) At the very first televised hearing, when he alleged that President Trump told Ukrainian president Zelensky, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent . . . lots of it,” Schiff was not defrauding the public. Instead, impeachment’s Inspector Clouseau can actually prove that Trump was asking a foreign government to manufacture out of whole cloth evidence that Vice President Biden and his son were cashing in on the former’s political influence (as opposed to asking that Ukraine look into an arrangement so objectively sleazy that the Obama administration itself agitated over what to do about it).What do these two scenarios have in common, besides being fictional? Answer: If either of them were real, we’d already be talking about President Pence’s upcoming State of the Union address.This is the point that gets lost in all the endless chatter over impeachment strategy and procedure. Everything that is happening owes to the fact that we do not have an offense sufficiently grave for invocation of the Constitution’s nuclear option. If we had one, the machinations and the posturing would be unnecessary — even ridiculous.Why are we talking about how Chairman Schiff, Speaker Pelosi, and House Democrats rushed through the impeachment inquiry without making a real effort to interview key witnesses?Why was the Democrats’ impeachment gambit driven by the election calendar rather than the nature of the president’s offense? Why were the timing of hearings and the unreasonable limits imposed on Republicans’ ability to call witnesses dictated by the frantic rush to get done before Christmas recess -- to the point that Democrats cynically vacated a subpoena they’d served on a relevant administration witness, fearing a few weeks of court battles that they might lose?Why did Democrats grope from week to week in a struggle over what to call the misconduct they accused the president of committing – campaign finance, extortion, quid pro quo, bribery? How did they end up with an amorphous “abuse of power” case? How did they conclude that an administration that goes to court rather than instantly surrendering potentially privileged information commits obstruction?Why such tedious recriminations over adoption of Senate procedures that were approved by a 100–0 vote the last time there was an impeachment trial? Why all the kvetching over whether witnesses will be called when those procedures provide for the calling of witnesses in the likely event that 51 senators — after hearing nearly two weeks of presentation and argument from both sides -- want to hear from one or two of them?Why, with Election Day only ten months away, would Speaker Pelosi stoke an impeachment vote that could be perilous for many of her members, on the insistence that Trump was such a clear and present danger she could brook no delay, but then . . . sit on the impeachment articles for a month, accomplishing nothing in the interim except to undermine the presidential bids of several Senate Democrats, who will be trapped in Washington when they should be out campaigning with Iowa’s caucuses just two weeks away?None of this would have happened if there had been a truly impeachable offense.Adam Schiff is a smart guy. He did not idly dream up a “make up dirt” parody. He framed it because he knows that’s the kind of misconduct you would need to prove to warrant impeachment and removal of a president. In fact, Schiff could never prove that, but he figured parody is good enough for 2020 campaign purposes — and that’s what this exercise is all about.If collusion with Russia had been fact rather than farce, Trump would never have made it to an impeachment trial. He’d have had to resign, Prior to November 8, 2016, Republicans were not the ones in need of convincing that Russia was a dangerous geopolitical threat. If it had been real collusion that brought Democrats around to that conclusion, the votes to impeach and remove would have been overwhelming.And the timing would have been irrelevant. If Americans had been seized by a truly impeachable offense, it would not matter whether Election Day was two years, two months, or two weeks away. The public and the political class would not tolerate an agent of the Kremlin in the Oval Office.If there were such egregious misconduct that the public was convinced of the need to remove Trump, such that two-thirds of the Senate would ignore partisan ties and do just that, there would be no partisan stunts. Democratic leaders would have worked cooperatively with their GOP counterparts, as was done in prior impeachments. They would have told the president: “Sure, you can have your lawyers here, and call whatever witnesses you want.” There would be a bipartisan sense that the president had done profound wrong. There would be a sense of history, not contest. Congressional leaders would want to be remembered as statesmen, not apparatchiks.If there were a real impeachable offense, there would be no fretting about witnesses at the trial. Senate leaders would be contemplating that, after hearing the case extensively presented by both sides, there might well be enough votes to convict without witnesses. But if there were an appetite for witnesses, witnesses would be called . . . as they were in Watergate. And just as in Watergate, if the president withheld vital evidence of appalling lawlessness, the public would not be broadly indifferent to administration stonewalling.If there were an obviously impeachable offense, the garrisons of Fort Knox could not have stopped Nancy Pelosi from personally marching impeachment articles into the Senate the second the House had adopted them -- in what would have been an overwhelming bipartisan vote (of the kind that Pelosi, not long ago, said would be imperative for a legitimate impeachment effort).The Framers expected presidents to abuse their powers from time to time. And not just presidents. Our Constitution’s theory of the human condition, and thus of governance, is that power is apt to corrupt anyone. It needs to be divided, and the peer components need to be incentivized to check each other. The operating assumption is that, otherwise, one component would accumulate too much power and inevitably fall prey to the tyrannical temptation. But as Madison observed, men are not angels. Separation of powers arms us against inevitable abuse, it does not prevent abuse from happening. Abuse is a given: Congress uses lawmaking power to encroach on the other branches’ prerogatives; judges legislate from the bench, presidents leverage their awesome powers for political advantage. The expectation is not that government officials will never overreach; it is that when one branch does overreach, the others will bring it into line.That is the norm: corrective action or inaction, political pressure, naming and shaming, power of the purse, and so on. We expect to criticize, inveigh, even censure. We don’t leap from abuse to expulsion. We don’t expect routinely to expel members of Congress or impeach presidents and judges. That is reserved for historically extraordinary wrongs.On Ukraine, nothing of consequence came of President Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop excesses. Sure, they ought to be a 2020 campaign issue. Democrats, instead, would have us exaggerate them into historically extraordinary wrongs. For that, you need gamesmanship. If there were real impeachable misconduct, there would be no time or place for games.


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