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  • Veteran GOP strategist predicts Trump's debate performance will suffer thanks to tax bombshell

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    GOP political consultant Mike Murphy predicts President Trump will be distracted at tonight's debate as a result of reports on his taxes.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:23:40 -0400
  • The family of one of the officers who killed Breonna Taylor started an online fundraiser so he can retire early and focus on his 'safety'

    Golocal247.com news

    The family of Detective Myles Cosgrove is trying to raise $75,000 so that he can buy out the rest of his service time and retire early.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 05:57:04 -0400
  • Mitch McConnell ‘refusing to debate his election rival if there is a female moderator’

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    ‘He continues to resist allowing women to host debates,’ said McConnell’s opponent in the Kentucky Senate race

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:57:57 -0400
  • Brake failure, 'egregious disregard for safety' caused NY limo crash that killed 20 people, NTSB says

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    Two years after the country's worst road transportation disaster since 2005, the NTSB finalized its report on the cause of the Schoharie, New York, crash.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 17:12:25 -0400
  • China clamps down on climbing 'wild Great Wall'

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    Tens of thousands of people are expected to visit the Great Wall as Golden Week approaches.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:49:30 -0400
  • A new SpaceX video shows never-before-seen footage of its first astronaut flight

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    The newly released footage tracks astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley as they fly SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship to and from the space station.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:11:00 -0400
  • People with this name can get a free flight to Florida on Frontier Airlines

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    The eligible flights are in October, the airline said.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:20:39 -0400
  • Kuwait's emir Sheikh Sabah dies in US hospital at 91

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    Kuwait's emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, architect of the nation's modern foreign policy and mediator in some of the worst crises to grip the Gulf, died on Tuesday at the age of 91.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 15:20:14 -0400
  • Pro-Life Senator Joni Ernst Says There’s a ‘Very Minimal’ Chance Supreme Court Will Overturn Roe v. Wade

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    Pro-life Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) said on Monday that she thinks the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that made abortion legal, is “very minimal.”Ernst’s comments during an hour-long debate for the U.S. Senate race against her pro-abortion opponent, Democrat Theresa Greenfield. Moderator David Yepsen asked what each candidate would do if the Court overturned the ruling, which President Trump has suggested may happen now that he has nominated pro-life Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court. If confirmed, Barrett’s appointment would create a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court. Ernst explained that she is “proudly pro-life” and thinks “every life has value and is worthwhile" but expressed skepticism that the ruling would be overturned.“I think the likelihood of Roe v. Wade being overturned is very minimal. I don’t see that happening, truly I don’t see that happening," she said.The Iowa Republican went on to say that what pro-lifers can do, in lieu of a Court decision, is educate the public on how important life is.“I think that the views that are being taken by Theresa Greenfield and those that are backing her from the coasts, from California and New York, it's inappropriate and not acceptable to most Iowa voters,” she said. Ernst has supported overturning the ruling in the past, and in January joined 206 other members of Congress in petitioning the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Greenfield said she believes abortion rights are “settled law.”“I will always defend a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions with the guidance of her doctor,” she said. Barrett, when asked in 2016 about ways a future Supreme Court might allow states to pass more restrictions on abortion, said she didn't believe the core case behind Roe v. Wade would change."I think don't think the core case – Roe's core holding that, you know, women have a right to an abortion – I don't think that would change. But I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, how many restrictions can be put on clinics – I think that would change," she said.Greenfield is currently polling 2.6 points ahead of Ernst, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polling totals. Editor's Note: A previous version of this article identified Theresa Greenfield as anti-abortion, when she is in fact pro-abortion.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 09:52:31 -0400
  • Comey Claims He Only Learned Details of Russia Investigation Abuses from IG Report after Leaving FBI

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    Former FBI director James Comey claimed on Wednesday that he learned of various details related to the FBI's investigation in to collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign from the DOJ Inspector General report on FISA abuse, years after Comey had left his former agency.Comey headed the FBI from 2013 until May 2017, when he was fired by President Trump. During Comey's tenure, agents carried out the Crossfire Hurricane probe, investigating allegations that the Trump-campaign had ties to Russian intelligence. Many of those allegations were compiled in the so-called Steele dossier, whose primary source, Igor Danchenko, was revealed last week to be a suspected Russian spy.The DOJ Inspector General report, released in December 2019, detailed "significant" errors and omissions in FBI agents' applications to surveil former Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page. That report also cast doubt on the veracity of some allegations in the Steele dossier.On Wednesday, Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify regarding questions on the Crossfire Hurricane probe."Before the Inspector General's report on the dossier…did you know that the information that was reported by [Inspector General Michael] Horowitz that should have raised questions about the reliability of the Steele dossier?" Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) asked."I learned a lot about the Steele material and the sub-source interviews from the Horowitz report that I didn't know before then," Comey replied.Earlier in the Wednesday hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), asked Comey if he was aware that the FBI interviewed Danchenko in January 2017."I don't remember anything about interviews with [Danchenko]," Comey said.Comey has previously said he learned many of the details of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation from what has been publicly reported. The former director stated in December 2019, following the release of the IG report, that he "didn’t know the particulars of the investigation" while he head of the FBI."As a director sitting on top of an organization with 38,000 people, you can’t run an investigation that’s seven layers below you," Comey told Fox News at the time. Attorney General William Barr criticized Comey's statement several days later, saying "One of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors."During Wednesday's hearing, Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah), a proponent of reforms to federal surveillance practices, criticized Comey for appearing to know little about the Crossfire Hurricane probe."Mr. Comey, with all due respect, you don't seem to know anything about an investigation that you ran," Lee said.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 12:18:53 -0400
  • Portland asks US to rescind deputization of city police

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    The mayor of Portland has asked U.S. officials to end the federal deputation of dozens of police officers in Oregon's largest city as part of the response to ongoing protests in the city. Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement late Tuesday that he had “asked the U.S. Attorney’s office to withdraw the designation” that deputized the officers. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that deputizing the Portland officers gives federal prosecutors the option to charge anyone arrest by those officers with federal crimes, which often come with more severe penalties than the state crimes for which local police usually make arrests.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 10:29:25 -0400
  • 'He has dementia': Rudy Guiliani makes unfounded claims about Biden during rambling Fox News interview

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    The president’s lawyer left Fox News hosts looking uncomfortable as he ramped up his fake conspiracies against Joe Biden

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 09:41:16 -0400
  • North Carolina senate candidate commits grievous sin: confusing grilling for barbecuing

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    You've got to hand it to North Carolina — they have some truly scrumptious scandals down in the Tar Heel State.Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham found himself in hot water on Monday night after tweeting a photo of himself standing next to a gas grill, spatula in hand as he apparently readied hot dogs and hamburgers. "There's nothing better than BBQ — except for winning this Senate seat, of course," he wrote as a caption.> There's nothing better than BBQ—except for winning this Senate seat, of course. pic.twitter.com/oEsDXIZ5O2> > — Cal Cunningham (@CalforNC) September 28, 2020But North Carolinians quickly took issue with the fact that "the tweet itself appears to suggest, wrongly, that barbecue can be made on a gas grill, or worse, that grilling falls within the realm of barbecue," explains the Raleigh-based News & Observer. Sure enough, Cunningham was soon the target of many angry foodies online:> My dude, folks are not going to think you really have a whole hog on that tiny grill. And I know you are not referring to cooking hotdogs & burgers as "BBQ." > > It may behoove you to issue a statement on NC barbecue forthwith. You can thank me later.> > — Aylett "What's your voting plan?" Colston (@EveryVoiceNC) September 29, 2020> This is Dukakis in a tank bad in North Carolina. Why. https://t.co/POTba6FIot> > — Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) September 29, 2020Sure enough, the North Carolina GOP even issued a statement, slamming Cunningham by writing, "In North Carolina, we have Eastern BBQ and Western BBQ but neither involves a spatula, hot dog buns or gas grills. Cunningham is an elitist trial lawyer, and this BBQ gaffe demonstrates that he is out of touch with North Carolina voters who actually know what North Carolina BBQ is."Cunningham, a native of Lexington, quickly backtracked, telling The News & Observer that he would never mix up grilling with barbecuing. "No self-respecting son of Lexington would ever do that," he emphasized, claiming he'd only used the term because he was showing off his new campaign swag, an apron which reads — perhaps now rather audaciously — "Ambassador for North Carolina BBQ."More stories from theweek.com The worst presidential debate of all time Undecided voters describe Trump as a 'crackhead,' 'arrogant' in post-debate focus group Trump pummels Biden — and America

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:56:22 -0400
  • Vatican Accuses Team Trump of Trying to Exploit Pope Francis

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    ROME—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not having a very good Roman holiday. His 30-plus car motorcade glided over the cobblestone streets of the uncharacteristically dreary, overcast Italian capital Wednesday morning for his second visit in a year. But rather than receiving a hero’s welcome, as he did last time—complete with a private audience with Pope Francis and a visit to his ancestral home outside of Rome, he was accused of trying to exploit the pope on President Trump’s behalf.The trilateral between the U.S., Italy and the Holy See should have been a pre-election opportunity to show that U.S. relations with Rome are stronger than ever. Instead it was overshadowed by Italian headlines mocking Trump’s debate debacle in Ohio Tuesday night, topped off by an icy cold shoulder from Pope Francis, who refused to meet him this time around.Pompeo instead headlined an event called, “Advancing and Defending International Religious Freedom through Diplomacy,” put on by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich in a socially distanced conference room at the posh Excelsior Hotel on the Via Veneto near the U.S. embassy. Bishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, gave an address after Pompeo, but the most he could give by way of papal blessing was to say, “his holiness is aware of this meeting.”When pressed earlier in the week about why the pontiff was seemingly snubbing Pompeo after having so warmly welcomed him just one year ago, the Vatican press office said the pope doesn't like to hold audiences with high ranking government officials so close to important elections. Immediately after speaking, ANSA news agency asked Gallagher to confirm if the reason “amounted to exploitation of the pope in the final stages of the U.S. presidential campaign.” Gallagher answered affirmatively, “Yes, that is precisely why the pope will not meet American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”The pope was also said to be upset by Pompeo’s comments regarding the Holy See’s growing warmth with China and the renewal of a 2018 agreement that aims to bring Chinese Catholics into the fold by legitimizing the Beijing-mandated Chinese Catholic Church.Pompeo wasted no time on Gingrich’s stage to call out such a move. “Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than it is inside of China today,” Pompeo said. “As with all communist regimes, the Chinese Communist Party deems itself the ultimate moral authority.”Pompeo reportedly angered the pontiff earlier this month by pressuring the Vatican to abandon the agreement in the conservative Catholic magazine First Things. “The Holy See has a unique capacity and duty to focus the world’s attention on human rights violations, especially those perpetrated by totalitarian regimes like Beijing’s,” he wrote. “What the church teaches the world about religious freedom and solidarity should now be forcefully and persistently conveyed by the Vatican in the face of the Chinese Communist party’s relentless efforts to bend all religious communities to the will of the party and its totalitarian program.”The Chinese Catholic Church has been a priority for Francis since his election in 2013 and it would seem no amount of pressure from abroad will have any impact whatsoever on the pope’s desire to give Chinese Catholics an opportunity to be blessed by the Vatican.Pompeo’s Roman itinerary also includes meetings with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio who is a member of the Five Star Movement, which has just called for many of their parliamentarians to isolate after a small COVID cluster seemed to be spreading among the party members. He will also get a private tour of the Borghese Gallery before being hosted at the ambassador’s residence for a small but glitzy dinner Wednesday night. Thursday, Pompeo will visit a Catholic charity that deals with Syrian refugees and meet privately with the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, where China relations will top the agenda.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:06:47 -0400
  • Body camera footage shows Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale being tackled by police outside his Florida home

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    Candice Parscale called 911 on Sunday, saying her husband had loaded a firearm and threatened to hurt himself, according to a police report.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 16:30:28 -0400
  • Tow company sold vehicles of Texas military members while they were on duty, feds say

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    One of the service members was at basic training when his car was towed, officials say.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 19:29:55 -0400
  • Governor endorsements adds more fuel to Georgia Senate race

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    A pair of new high-profile endorsements are adding fuel to an already contentious special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:40:55 -0400
  • No more 'ladies and gentlemen' on Japan Airlines flights

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    The airline says it has committed to not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:21:13 -0400
  • Former FBI Director James Comey defends Russia investigation, concedes on Carter Page

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    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has described James Comey's voluntary appearance Wednesday as "the day of reckoning."

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 13:34:13 -0400
  • 'Utter devastation': Three dead as multiple wildfires in California explode in size

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    "This was pretty devastating," one official said. "Just literally hundreds and hundreds of homes devastated with nothing standing."

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:37:00 -0400
  • Marine fighter jet lands safely after crashing in mid-air with another plane in Southern California

    Golocal247.com news

    Jet makes emergency landing in farm field after colliding with another plane

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 13:14:14 -0400
  • Biden Staffer Suggests ‘Intolerant’ Views of Orthodox Catholics, Jews, Muslims Should Disqualify Them from Supreme Court

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    A staffer on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign on Monday suggested that Orthodox Catholics, Jews and Muslims should not be allowed to serve on the Supreme Court because of their “intolerant” beliefs.The comments came during a Twitter conversation between Biden campaign deputy data director Nikitha Rai and Brookings Institute senior fellow Shadi Hamid in which Rai attacked Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic beliefs. A search for Rai's Twitter account now yields a message saying, "This account doesn't exist."Hamid had responded to a tweet that said Barrett was a trustee at a Catholic school that opposed same-sex marriage as homosexual acts are "at odds with Scripture." Hamid replied, “Wait, why is this news? Isn’t this the standard position for any orthodox Catholic?” “Unfortunately yes,” Rai said. When Hamid pointed out that Orthodox Muslims and Jews generally hold the same view, Rai said, “True. I’d heavily prefer views like that not be elevated to SCOTUS, but unfortunately our current culture is relatively intolerant. It will be awhile before those types of beliefs are so taboo that they’re disqualifiers.”> Here’s a @JoeBiden staffer saying that orthodox Christianity, Islam, and Judaism should be made “taboo” and driven from the public sphere. Beneath all the talk of “interfaith” and “pluralism,” this is what they really believe. pic.twitter.com/PrN8S1qaLG> > -- Jeremy McLellan (@JeremyMcLellan) September 29, 2020The former vice president often touts his Catholic faith on the campaign trail, though critics note that some of Biden’s positions — such as his support for abortion and same-sex marriage — stand in opposition to Catholic teachings.Barrett’s faith has been widely scrutinized in the media as “extreme” and cult-like since the president announced he would nominate the 48-year-old Notre Dame professor to fill the vacancy on the Court left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Barrett, a former clerk for the late Justice Antonin Scalia, has been attacked for her faith for years now, beginning with her 2017 confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee when Democrats questioned whether her Catholicism should disqualify her from being a judge.“Why is it that so many of us on this side have this very uncomfortable feeling that dogma and law are two different things, and I think whatever a religion is, it has its own dogma. The law is totally different,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) said at the time.“The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein added. “And that’s of concern.”

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:31:49 -0400
  • Hezbollah leaders tell French president to change approach

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    The leader of the militant Hezbollah group said Tuesday they still welcome the French initiative to help Lebanon out of its crisis, but said Paris has to change its approach in dealing with local factions and not blame everyone for the failure of forming a new Cabinet. French President Emmanuel Macron has been pressing Lebanese politicians to form a Cabinet made up of non-partisan specialists that can work on enacting urgent reforms to extract Lebanon from a devastating economic and financial crisis. Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib resigned Saturday during a political impasse that came amid Lebanon’s worst economic and financial crisis in decades — made worse by a massive explosion in Beirut in early August that killed and wounded many and caused widespread damage.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 16:08:44 -0400
  • A 2nd woman has reportedly accused Nikola Motors founder Trevor Milton of sexual assault

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    Two women have filed police reports against Milton, both accusing him of sexually abusing them when they were 15, CNBC reported.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 02:08:35 -0400
  • ICE reverses COVID-19 measure, says it will resume arresting non-criminal migrants

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    U.S. immigration officials quietly announced they would resume regular apprehension and detention practices, an apparent reversal from an earlier temporary suspension of non-criminal enforcement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 15:46:07 -0400
  • High road at Chilling: India builds Himalayan bridges and highways to match China

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    Ligen Eliyas deftly turns the excavator's hydraulic arm to push a huge boulder into the Zanskar river below in a cloud of dust, clearing another bit of land for a strategic highway that India is hurriedly building near the Chinese border. The construction site near the hamlet of Chilling in the Ladakh region is around 250 km (150 miles) west of the area where Indian and Chinese troops are locked in the most serious confrontation in decades.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 04:58:41 -0400
  • Texas sheriff indicted and booked in own jail after probe into Black man's death

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    A Texas sheriff has been indicted on charges of destroying or concealing video in an investigation into the death in custody of a Black man, Javier Ambler, that was filmed by the police reality TV series “Live PD," prosecutors said Monday.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 19:52:54 -0400
  • Lindsey Graham on Spreading Potential Russian Disinformation: It Doesn’t Matter If It’s True

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    Former Hillary Clinton aides, ex-intelligence officials and Senate Democrats are accusing Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe of laundering Russian disinformation before an election after Ratcliffe suggested Clinton attempted to manufacture a scandal about Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of President Trump.On Tuesday, Ratcliffe, a loyalist whom Trump placed atop U.S. intelligence in the spring, sent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) a letter claiming that in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence acquired “insight” into a Russian intelligence analysis. That analysis, Ratcliffe summarized in his letter, claimed that Clinton had a plan to attack Trump by tying him to the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee. Trump, in late July 2016, had publicly called for Russia to purloin Clinton’s emails. And both U.S. intelligence and former special counsel Robert Mueller have since attributed that hack to Russia.None of the subsequent Trump-Russia investigations have verified the claims Ratcliffe published, although top House intelligence-committee Republican Devin Nunes of California has insisted baselessly that Clinton and not Trump colluded with Russia.Ratcliffe stated that the intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or to the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” Though he subsequently insisted that his letter was not itself a disinformation campaign by Russian officials, his move to send the letter, and Graham’s decision to release it, was roundly criticized.“DNI Ratcliffe should be ashamed of his blatant politicization of his position,” said Nick Shapiro, the former CIA deputy chief of staff to John Brennan, who was CIA director in 2016 and whose notes are cited in Ratcliffe’s summary.Trump’s Pick for Intelligence Chief Follows a Slew of QAnon AccountsGraham, who spoke to The Daily Beast on the phone Tuesday evening, said he did not know whether the information presented by Ratcliffe was true and said he was not concerned with releasing the uncorroborated allegations to the public even with the presidential election just 35 days away."There are allegations from the CIA that the Clinton campaign was involved in Russia. I don't know if that is true,” Graham said. “It's not about whether it is true. It's about whether the FBI took [the allegations] seriously. That's the question. I supported the Mueller investigation. I don’t get why you wouldn’t look with the same suspicion with both campaigns. The point is what did they [the FBI] do with the information?"Graham’s post-facto rationalization was just the latest illustration of how uniformly invested Trump allies have become in the narrative that Russian involvement in U.S. politics is either overstated or deliberately fabricated as a means of delegitimizing the president. Now that belief has been adopted at the senior most level of U.S. intelligence, something Democrats and former intelligence officials greeted with alarm.“It's all straight-up Russian disinfo,” said Jesse Lehrich, the foreign-policy spokesperson for the 2016 Clinton campaign.Since the 2016 presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials have paid particularly close attention to the ways in which Russia uses disinformation to sow chaos among Americans. As early as March of 2019, officials in the intelligence apparatus and within the national security community have tracked how Moscow uses proxies, including journalists and Russia-friendly politicians, to propagate conspiracy theories about Biden, his son Hunter, and their dealings in Ukraine.Several internal reports warned of the efforts of Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian parliamentarian, to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Derkach worked closely with Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to do so, and his talking points showed up in Giuliani’s cable appearances on Fox News and One America News throughout 2019 and 2020. Last month, the Treasury Department listed Derkach as a “Russian agent” and for his attempts to meddle in the 2020 election.Despite several warnings from the intelligence communities that Russia is actively trying to denigrate the Biden campaign and interfere in the 2020 election, Democrats now say that Graham and Ratcliffe have themselves engaged in proliferating Russian propaganda. Indeed, both the substance and the timing of the Ratcliffe summary, coming hours before the first presidential debate, drew the ire of former Clinton aides, intelligence veterans and the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee for politicizing intelligence.“It’s very disturbing to me that 35 days before an election, the director of national intelligence would release unverified Russian rumint,” or rumors-intelligence, said Sen. Mark Warner, the panel’s top Democrat. Politico reported that the Senate intelligence committee, on a bipartisan basis, rejected the allegation Ratcliffe published as false. “I’m very, very proud of the bipartisan work of the intelligence committee [over] three and a half years and five volumes, and that work speaks for itself,” Warner told reporters on Tuesday.Mueller Defends Russia Investigation After Top Aide’s Criticism in Tell-All BookWarner’s Democratic colleague on the panel, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, said Ratcliffe was abusing his power “exactly as I feared he would” shortly before November’s election.“His politicization of intelligence, including through selective releases to political allies, damages the country and undermines the intelligence community he purports to lead,” Wyden said in a Tuesday statement. “Ratcliffe is even willing to rely on unverified Russian information to try to concoct a political scandal, a shocking abdication of his responsibilities to the country.”Ratcliffe’s summary comes two days after Maria Bartiromo reported for Fox News that it was unlikely a Justice Department prosecutor scrutinizing the intelligence agencies’ origins of the Trump-Russia probe was unlikely to bring charges before the election. Attorney General William Barr claimed earlier this month that bringing charges prior to the election was a possibility, despite the long-standing policy of the Department to not announce charges so close to Election Day. Ratcliffe’s statement suggested that Barr concurred with the decision to release the summary, saying Barr “has advised that the disclosure of this information will not interfere with ongoing Department of Justice investigations.”The office of the Director of National Intelligence did not clarify Barr’s role in the Tuesday release of the summary.A former senior intelligence official stopped short of claiming Ratcliffe was laundering Russian disinformation, claiming a lack of familiarity with the underlying intelligence.“This should be taken with an entire shaker of salt unless the actual documents are released,” the ex-intelligence official said. “The selective release of information is getting rather obvious. Fits right in the pattern in the Flynn case, where they are releasing every document that suggests that an individual agent had a concern.”Representatives for the director of national intelligence did not respond when asked if they would release the material undergirding Ratcliffe’s summary.Ratcliffe’s summary alleged that then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama and others on both the alleged Russian intelligence and a claim that Clinton had approved a plan to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference from Russian security forces.” That interference remains the assessment of U.S. intelligence.Ratcliffe cited Brennan’s “handwritten notes” as the basis for that heretofore unknown assessment. Clinton’s alleged approval came, per Ratcliffe, on July 26, 2016, the day she accepted the Democratic presidential nomination—an assertion her former campaign staffers found preposterous.“Hillary would never sign-off on manufacturing a scandal the way the alleged Russian intel, as summarized in Brennan's notes, indicate,” said Lehrich, the former Clinton campaign spokesperson. “For one thing, she would've been incensed that anyone would think she needed to cheat to beat Donald Trump.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:13:56 -0400
  • Narrabri gas field: Australia approves controversial project

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    The major fossil fuel project was overwhelmingly opposed by local residents and environmentalists.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 00:30:48 -0400
  • Police officer who choked black man during stop will never serve again

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    Officer captured on camera saying he had choked Desmond Marrow

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 17:46:23 -0400
  • South Carolina city apologizes to Black residents for racial injustice resulting from its policies

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    The Spartanburg city council unanimously approved a resolution that acknowledges systematic racism.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:49:15 -0400
  • Joe Biden reports his biggest fund-raising hour yet during and after his Trump debate

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    "The Trump campaign is trying to say that the president put in a strong performance" at Tuesday night's presidential debate, "but Robin, nobody really believes that," ABC News' Jonathan Karl told Robin Roberts on Wednesday's Good Morning America. "I heard from Republicans after the debate, some during the debate, frankly exasperated by the president's performance -- the bullying, the rudeness, the incessant interrupting of the moderator, the utter inability to make a case for what he would do in the next four years if he was re-elected.""You know, Democrats weren't particularly thrilled with Joe Biden's performance, but they believe the contrast was crystal clear, that there was only one person on that stage who appeared plausibly presidential," Karl said, and it wasn't Trump. Biden's campaign also said it raised $3.8 million between 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. -- during and right after the debate -- breaking its single-hour fundraising record.> The Biden team reports their single best hour of fundraising during last night's debate and both camps respond to last night's slugfest. @jonkarl reports. https://t.co/sYnd3PPPlx pic.twitter.com/hi1KTLeRuX> > -- Good Morning America (@GMA) September 30, 2020At the very least, Politico says, "Biden cleared the very low bar Trump set for him: He was cogent, and not the mental mess the president has been suggesting for months." But as CNN's Dana Bash said, the entire debate was "a sh-tshow," and despite what Biden's campaign says, it is possible we watched "the last presidential debate of 2020." On CNN's New Day, John Avlon said Trump owed any children watching their first presidential debate an apology for throwing "rhetorical feces" at Biden and America. > .@JohnAvlon: "If there were any kids watching their first presidential debate last night we owe them an apology. Really Donald Trump owes them an apology. Because Joe Biden showed up for a presidential debate and Donald Trump...made a mess of the process"https://t.co/J1SNjZHRX2 pic.twitter.com/ksKJJKGwyB> > -- New Day (@NewDay) September 30, 2020More stories from theweek.com The worst presidential debate of all time Undecided voters describe Trump as a 'crackhead,' 'arrogant' in post-debate focus group HHS wanted A-list celebrities for an ad campaign to 'inspire hope' amid the pandemic. It got Dennis Quaid.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 07:56:58 -0400
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    Crown prince becomes oil-rich Kuwait's new ruling emir

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    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 12:28:20 -0400
  • Florida reported a spike in COVID-19 cases just days after allowing restaurants and small businesses to fully reopen

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    Florida's cases were declining but large crowds gathered this weekend following Gov. Ron DeSantis' order loosening restrictions on many businesses.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:30:48 -0400
  • China Accelerates Its Crackdown on Foreign Journalists

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    These days, foreign journalists are facing unprecedented challenges in China.A March report from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) finds that in 2019, “82% of [foreign] reporters [in China] experienced interference or harassment or violence while reporting. . . . 43% said digital/physical surveillance affected reporting. And 70% reported interviews cancelled due to actions taken by Chinese authorities.” The FCCC also finds that Chinese authorities continue to restrict foreign journalists’ access to certain parts of China, including Xinjiang, where millions of Uighur Muslims languish in internment camps. The most striking finding of the report, however, is that not even a single foreign journalist said working conditions in China had improved from 2018 to 2019.It seems that this state of affairs has only gotten worse in 2020. Just this week, the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield published a story about the difficulties she’d faced as a foreign reporter in China. “Reporting in China increasingly feels like reporting in North Korea,” she tweeted. Beijing has expelled around 17 foreign journalists this year, including 15 Americans, and is threatening to expel more. Chinese authorities also continue to punish some foreign journalists by refusing to renew their visas.In August, Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen of Chinese descent who worked for the state-owned China Global Television Network (CGTN), was detained by Chinese authorities. No charges were filed, and Cheng simply “disappeared.” China's foreign ministry waited until early September to announce that she was suspected of “criminal activity endangering China's national security.” Her family and friends still do not know her whereabouts, and it is unclear if she has any legal representation.The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s announcement of Cheng’s detention came after the Australian government was forced to mount a frantic mission to extricate the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Bill Birtles and the Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) Mike Smith from the country. Both had been questioned by Chinese authorities regarding their dealings with Cheng, and both sought help from the Australian consulate. They were allowed to leave China only after a five-day diplomatic standoff. Birtles’s former boss, the ex-ABC China bureau chief Matthew Carney, recently disclosed the threats and interrogations that he and his family, including his 14-year-old daughter, had to endure from Chinese authorities back in 2018, which eventually led them to leave the country, too.Early this month, a Los Angeles Times reporter was detained by Chinese police in Inner Mongolia while investigating the central government’s push to teach Mongolian children key curriculums in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. Many parents and students have been protesting that effort, which they view as Beijing’s latest attempt to erase their cultural identity. The Times reporter said plainclothes men “took her to a police station, where she was interrogated and separated from her belongings, despite identifying herself as an accredited journalist. She was not allowed to call the U.S. Embassy; one officer grabbed her throat with both hands and pushed her into a cell.”Beijing’s treatment of foreign journalists is appalling. But surprisingly, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, for decades, the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) welcomed foreign journalists when it found them to be of use in helping achieve its strategic policy goals.The most famous example of this phenomenon was American journalist Edgar Snow. In the 1930s, Snow visited the CCP’s stronghold in the Chinese countryside and interviewed its leaders, including Mao Zedong. Back then, the People’s Liberation Army was no more than a ragtag bunch of poorly fed, ill-equipped guerrilla fighters. Mao was dismissed by the ruling Nationalist Party as a “bandit,” and he was virtually unknown to the West. Mao recognized the help that Snow could provide in solving that problem. He granted Snow access that was unavailable to any Chinese journalist and charmed the American. Snow, who was somewhat naive and ideologically left-leaning, fell for Mao’s charisma. Mao asked that the texts of Snow’s interviews be translated from English back to Chinese so he could “correct any inaccuracies” prior to the publication, and Snow granted him his wish.The final output was Snow's 1937 book, Red Star Over China, which presented Mao as a great leader who was candid, thoughtful, and funny. It described the goal of the Communist revolution as the creation of a new China that would be egalitarian and democratic. Nowhere did it mention Mao’s brutal purge of a rival faction within the Communist Party, which ended with the arrest of over 100 party members and the execution of more than a dozen. The purge was an early indication of Mao’s ruthlessness in quashing dissent, and there would be many more like it to come.Unfortunately, the inaccurate portrait painted by Snow’s book cast Mao and the Communists in such a positive light that it won them many domestic and international supporters. This, in turn, set a precedent. Recognizing the propaganda value that Snow had provided, Mao invited him back to China several more times over the next three-plus decades. Each time, he manipulated Snow into serving as his mouthpiece for domestic and international audiences.After Mao’s death, a succession of Chinese Communist Party leaders followed the same template, welcoming foreign journalists to China as the regime launched its campaign of economic reform and opened up to the rest of the world. These leaders recognized that they needed the foreign press to tell stories about China, and sure enough, the resulting stories helped attract badly needed foreign investment and tourism to boost the country’s economy.In a country where corruption is rampant and justice is whatever local authorities say it is, many Chinese people have come to believe that the fastest way to get their grievances heard and resolved is through reporting by journalists, especially foreign journalists. As Yuan Yang, the Financial Times’s deputy Beijing bureau chief, has noted, “Sometimes it is not the coverage itself, but the mere appearance of a foreign journalist on the scene, that gets officials to start listening intently to their problems.”Sadly, even that means of getting authorities’ attention is increasingly being closed off by China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, who demands absolute loyalty from all corners of China including the media. Unlike his predecessors, Xi doesn't see foreign media as a friend or a useful tool, but rather as a threat to the narratives advanced by his propaganda and an obstacle to his goal of building a new, China-centric world order. Especially after the coronavirus outbreak, Xi has needed an obedient media to tell a story of Chinese success under his leadership, which has only increased his incentive to keep a tight leash on critical reporting.Xi seems to believe that China is now wealthy, powerful, and resourceful enough that it no longer needs the prestige that foreign media outlets once lent it; state media can tell the stories he wants told both at home and abroad. Since Xi doesn’t see foreign journalists as useful to his own strategic objectives, Chinese authorities have intensified their attacks on foreign journalists. If any informed observer had any remaining doubts about the true nature of the Chinese regime, this crackdown should have dispelled them.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 06:30:23 -0400
  • College student wakes to armed police raiding dorm in false report, Texas family says

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    “This could have been a Breonna Taylor circumstance.”

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 10:52:41 -0400
  • Trump tax revelations spark outrage among some, but supporters defend president

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    A report that Donald Trump paid little or no federal income tax in recent years sparked broad outrage on Monday, from rich Democrats to teachers and coffee shop workers taking to social media to claim they had paid more taxes than the U.S. president. The #IPaidMoreTaxesThanDonaldTrump hashtag began trending on Monday, while Democratic rival Joe Biden's election campaign seized on the backlash, launching merchandise with the words: 'I Paid More In Taxes Than Donald Trump.' Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmentalist and a fierce critic of the president, took to Twitter to castigate Trump over his taxes and called for voters to kick him out office on Nov. 3.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 15:58:56 -0400
  • Germany walks away from Lockheed, Boeing cargo helicopter offers

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    The surprise decision halts an acquisition race that was scheduled to a see a contract awarded in 2021.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 12:09:52 -0400
  • Fire on Navy Cruiser Antietam Injures 13 in Philippine Sea

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    The fire is the fourth to break out on a Navy ship in recent months.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:15:38 -0400
  • In California wine country, wildfire-fatigued residents weigh the unthinkable: Moving out

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    The thought of leaving the picturesque wine country is not typically tempting. But as wildfires become a repeat occurrence, some say it's time to go.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 14:16:08 -0400
  • Pelosi eyes last-ditch shot at stimulus deal with Mnuchin

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    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:46:35 -0400
  • Breonna Taylor: Officer who may have fired fatal shot looking to retire after receiving 'countless threats'

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    A Kentucky police officer who may have fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor is seeking to retire after receiving “countless threats”, his family has said. According to an online fundraising drive apparently organised by the family of Myles Cosgrove, it is no longer safe for the Louisville officer to remain in his job. It said his relatives were trying to raise enough money for him to stand down from the force, and take care of his family.

    Mon, 28 Sep 2020 20:20:42 -0400
  • Engineers found the location of an elusive leak on the space station: It's in a Russian module that provides crucial life support

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    The source of the small leak on the International Space Station is on a module on the station's Russian side, according to NASA.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 14:24:00 -0400
  • Chinese rail stations and airports swamped during holiday, raising fears of fresh Covid outbreak

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    People have begun swarming into China’s rail stations and airports as the country where the coronavirus pandemic emerged enters into its first major public holiday week after lockdowns began easing, potentially raising the risk of new infections. Nearly half of the country’s 1.4 billion people are expected to hit the road during China’s “Golden Week,” kicking off on Oct 1 as the nation celebrates its founding anniversary. Chinese authorities have relaxed some travel restrictions as the number of daily infections have begun dropping significantly. About 30 people were confirmed with the coronavirus through Tuesday this week, a figure that could rise given increased movement of people over the holiday. As such pandemic precautions remain in place, including detailed contact tracing via mobile phone apps that allow users to flash a green, yellow or red code – a health contagion profile that determines whether someone might pose an infection risk.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:36:32 -0400
  • Hathras gang rape: India victim's death sparks outrage

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    The 19-year-old woman died after fighting for her life in a hospital for two weeks.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 08:33:59 -0400
  • Trump v Biden in the first 2020 presidential debate: our panelists' verdict

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    Donald Trump set the tone for a brawl that offered a bleak picture of American democracy Geoffrey Kabaservice: ‘There were no winners’As this annus horribilis grinds toward its close, the first (and final?) presidential debate provided further evidence that 2020 is a bad scriptwriter. What might possibly have been an interesting and even educational exchange turned out to be a distressing and largely unwatchable pissing contest.For long stretches of the so-called debate, Donald Trump refused to let Joe Biden (or even the moderator, Chris Wallace) so much as complete a sentence without an interruption or insult. Trump undoubtedly did show himself as the more domineering candidate, for whatever that was worth, though he succeeded mainly in reducing the debate to chaos rather than making a coherent case for his presidency.Biden mostly kept his cool but struggled to make sustained arguments in the face of Trump’s bullying barrage. At times he fell prey to his traditional verbal infelicities. To the extent he was able to break through the noise, he missed golden opportunities to make what, according to traditional debating standards, would have been effective arguments on a host of issues.But unlike Trump, Biden did come across as a reality-based, non-conspiratorially minded politician who is opposed to white supremacy and committed to our basic national institutions and the continuation of American democracy. And he was at his most effective in the final third of the debate, particularly on law enforcement and the election, at a point when, according to conservative media, he should have run out of energy and brainpower.This was the worst presidential debate in our history and a grievous national embarrassment. I can think of no reason to hold another such event so long as Trump is on the stage and the moderator lacks a mute button. Both sides predictably will claim victory. In truth, both candidates lost, although I suspect the outcome will be worse for Trump because he seemed so unhinged and unfit for the presidency. But if the “debate” showed anything it is that we are a nation in decline, united only by our contempt for each other. The real winners were those who wish us ill. * Geoffrey Kabaservice is the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington DC as well as the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party Derecka Purnell: ‘A manifestation of our government’The presidential debate did not demonstrate a decline of America’s government, but a manifestation of America’s government. Trump yelled and cheated his way through, even attacking the moderator in addition to his opponent. He lied often and loudly. Biden’s truths were quiet and damaging. He wants to give more money to police. He is against socialism. He is against the Green New Deal.Biden was audibly frustrated and visibly annoyed with Trump. The former vice-president told him to shut up and called him a clown and a racist. This volley may have ironically saved Biden’s performance, as he regularly fumbled through his “uninterrupted” time and rebuttals.By far the scariest moment happened when Trump refused to agree that he would accept the results of the election. Hopefully, the rest of us will be more prepared for this reality than Biden let on.Trump and Biden may have argued who would better protect America and her values, but the people in this country must eventually be saved from them both. * Derecka Purnell is a Guardian US columnist. She is also a social movement lawyer and writer based in Washington DC Lloyd Green: ‘This debate was a poor advertisement for our democracy’Donald Trump dominated the debate stage from the opening moment. He continually hectored Joe Biden. Beyond that, Trump did nothing to hide his disdain for his opponent. This is what “modern presidential” looks like.Inexplicably, Biden took nearly 40 minutes to raise the issue of Trump’s taxes, one of the president’s greatest vulnerabilities, and then failed to return to the topic. Rather, the former vice-president appeared timorous. It was painful to watch.Still, Biden’s admonition of “Will you shut up, man?” was the debate’s most memorable quote. His words were an expression of disgust with the president, but also of exasperation with Chris Wallace, the moderator who failed to police a president who refused to yield the floor. Wallace looked like a traffic cop who was flattened by a convoy of runaway trucks.Getting beyond atmospherics, Trump’s exhortation to white supremacists to “stand back and stand by” may have been the evening’s most significant pronouncement. Charlottesville continues to echo.Biden entered the debate with a steady but surmountable lead in the polls. He is ahead of where Hillary Clinton stood at the same point in her campaign. The president also trails his opponent in states he won four years earlier.Whether the brawl in Cleveland alters the campaign dynamic is the open question. Regardless, it is unlikely that Trump successfully wooed suburban moms with his performance.The debate was a poor advertisement for our democracy. Sadly, it may portend what comes after election day: a four-alarm dumpster fire. * An attorney in New York, Lloyd Green was opposition research counsel to George HW Bush’s 1988 campaign and served in the Department of Justice from 1990 to 1992 Art Cullen: ‘Undecideds were hardly impressed’President Donald Trump needed to knock Joe Biden down a few pegs. He didn’t get the job done. Biden has the lead and did nothing to let it slip. Trump was belligerent, absolutely horrible, upbraided repeatedly by the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace for shouting over Biden. Trump embraced white supremacists. Those few yet undecided could not have been favorably impressed.To maintain his position, Biden needed to appear competent and honest, appealing for unity. He did just that. Trump needed to land blows. He couldn’t. Biden laughed him off as a “clown”. He scored his points on Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic, called him out as a liar and cheat, and appealed for national unity. He checked off every debate box. Biden smiled while Trump scowled at the close. That sort of said it all. * Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. He is a Guardian US columnist and author of the book, Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope in America’s Heartland

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 02:11:44 -0400
  • Texas man had 13-year-old drive him for ice cream because he was too drunk, cops say

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    The driver told the officer she was “driving her stepfather to get ice cream because he was drunk.”

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 20:40:06 -0400
  • Turkey begins developing its first surface-to-surface, laser-guided missile

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    The missile is expected to complement Turkey’s unarmed TB2 Akinci drone fleet.

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:46:44 -0400
  • FBI investigates land owned by missing Colorado mom's husband

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    The scent of human remains has been discovered on land owned by Barry Morphew, the husband of missing Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew, her brother told multiple media outlets on Monday.

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 18:45:14 -0400
  • ICE Planning Arrests in Sanctuary Cities

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    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is planning an enforcement operation next month that would target arrests in cities and jurisdictions that have embraced “sanctuary” policies, according to a new report.U.S. officials told the Washington Post that the operation, known informally as the “sanctuary op,” could begin as early as this week in California before moving on to cities including Denver and Philadelphia.The officials called the plan more of a political messaging campaign than a major ICE operation, as the agency already focuses on immigration violators with criminal records and most arrests fly under-the-radar.While ICE agents in sanctuary jurisdictions can take custody of suspected immigration violators, they receive little-to-no cooperation from the local government. Jurisdictions with such policies generally decline to hold immigrants in jail longer than they are required to in order to allow ICE officers to take detainees into custody. They also refuse to check the legal status of suspects who are arrested or detained for minor offenses. ICE officials have told cities and counties considering sanctuary policies that more agents would be sent to make arrests in their jurisdictions should they adopt such a policy.“We do not comment on any law enforcement sensitive issues that may adversely impact our officers and the public,” said Mike Alvarez, an ICE spokesman, according to the Post. “However, every day as part of routine operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement targets and arrests criminal aliens and other individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws.”Jurisdictions that don’t work with ICE increase risks for agents and the public, Alvarez said. “Generally speaking, as ICE has noted for years, in jurisdictions where cooperation does not exist and ICE is not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, ICE is forced to arrest at-large criminal aliens out in the communities instead of under the safe confines of a jail,” he said.Sanctuary policies limit the number of potential deportees who can be easily taken into custody, hindering the agency’s ability to do its job. Seventy percent of the agency's arrests happen after it has been made aware of an immigrant's pending release from jail or state prison.ICE has brought more than 160,000 such “detainers” with local law enforcement agencies since 2019, according to the Post.The policies have also deepened a backlog of “at-large criminal and fugitive aliens ICE seeks to apprehend,” according to the agency.ICE announced on Monday it had arrested a dozen people in Mecklenburg County, N.C., where the county's sheriff had minimized its cooperation with the agency. Six of those arrests included immigrants with criminal convictions who were wanted on immigration violations, ICE said, adding that sanctuary policies left them “free to reoffend until their capture.”ICE official Henry Lucero said in a statement to the Post that the agency “cannot stand by idly while knowing the public is being misled about the role ICE plays in keeping the public safe.”“The fact is local policies prohibiting agencies from working with ICE put you in danger and waste police resources,” Lucero said. “The public should hold its leaders accountable and demand to know what type of criminals are being released from local custody instead of turned over to ICE.”

    Wed, 30 Sep 2020 08:25:44 -0400
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