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  • AOC lowers expectations on Medicare for All, admitting Sanders 'can't wave a magic wand' to pass it

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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday that if Bernie Sanders were elected president, he still might not be able to get Medicare for All, his signature health plan, passed in Congress.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:29:43 -0500
  • Trump budget zeroes out funding for Stars and Stripes, the military's newspaper

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    The Trump administration pulled funding in its 2021 budget for Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military news organization that has published a daily newspaper continuously since World War II for troops stationed around the world.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:18:02 -0500
  • Woman’s Grisly Murder in Mexico Puts AMLO on the Defensive

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    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 18:14:06 -0500
  • Is that Harriet Tubman on a bank debit card, throwing a Wakanda salute?

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    A new debit card by the largest black-owned bank in the U.S. drew criticism and expressions of disbelief for its image of the famed abolitionist making a gesture similar to one in "Black Panther."

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 19:57:00 -0500
  • Inside the Family's Manhattan Apartment

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    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • Swarms of up to 80 Million Locusts Decimating Crops In East Africa, Threatening Food Security For 13 Million People

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    The United Nations (UN) has called on the international community to provide nearly $76 million to finance aerial spraying of pesticides in East Africa, where…

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 12:45:42 -0500
  • Assistant principal accused of raping student avoids jail

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    An assistant principal charged with raping a 16-year-old student in Missouri has avoided jail time by accepting an Alford plea, which allows her to assert innocence while acknowledging the evidence proves her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:28:45 -0500
  • Democratic rivals tell billionaire Bloomberg: Let's debate

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    Two U.S. Democratic presidential candidates said on Sunday they would welcome the chance to square off against billionaire Michael Bloomberg if he qualifies for the next debate in Nevada. Bloomberg, a media mogul who has vastly outspent his rivals in campaign advertisements, was a late entry into the 2020 Democratic race for a nominee to face Republican President Donald Trump in November. Bloomberg, 78, has not qualified for any presidential debates but will be included in Wednesday's event if he scores higher than 10% on one more public opinion poll.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 11:26:45 -0500
  • Just Ask This Russian Submarine: The Cuban Missile Crisis Nearly Ended The World

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    It was a closer call than you think.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 01:30:00 -0500
  • The Latest: Buttigieg says he's proud of his husband

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    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he’s proud of his marriage and his husband. Buttigieg said he came out as gay during a general election as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and received more support from voters than he did in his first race.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:57:03 -0500
  • ‘Disturbing’: Federal Judge Blasted DOJ for Leaving McCabe in ‘Limbo’

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    Justice Department attorneys struggled with mounting frustration and skepticism from a federal judge about producing documents related to the investigation of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, according to transcripts of closed-door conversations released in response to a lawsuit from a government watchdog group. The McCabe case—and President Donald Trump’s personal involvement in it—prompted federal judge Reggie Barnett Walton to call the government’s handling of it “disturbing,” a “mess,” and veering close to a “banana republic.”“I think it’s very unfortunate,” Judge Walton told prosecutors as the case hung in limbo in late September. “And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”The comments were made in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) against the Justice Department.Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for CREW, said the eventual release of the court transcripts on Friday, after a lengthy court battle, showed that the government was “trying to cover up the fact that they were stringing this [lawsuit] along while looking for a reason to indict McCabe.”Justice Department Won’t Charge Former FBI Official Andrew McCabe in Lying CaseThe court released the transcripts on Friday afternoon hours after McCabe’s lawyers released a letter from Justice Department officials saying they did not plan to charge McCabe with a crime. Two years ago, the DOJ’s top watchdog released a report finding that McCabe lacked candor when answering questions about leaks to the media. McCabe vehemently disputed the report’s findings. The CREW lawsuit sought material on how the Trump administration handled the criminal investigation into McCabe, who served as the acting FBI Director after Trump fired James Comey. In that capacity, McCabe helped oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. He also became one of Trump’s top bête noires. The president has tweeted about him dozens of times, once accusing him of treason. McCabe, in turn, has vociferously pushed back. After Trump insinuated that McCabe deserved the death penalty, McCabe told CNN the comment was “quite honestly terrifying.” “It’s just a disgusting level of disrespect for the people who serve this country every day,” he said. Throughout the course of the CREW lawsuit, prosecutors appeared unable to predict when their investigation of McCabe would conclude, which would allow them to hand over documents related to the case through the Freedom of Information Act process.In mid-September, McCabe’s attorneys wrote in an email to the Justice Department that they’d heard “credible” rumors that a grand jury investigating possible criminal charges against their client “had declined to vote an indictment.” They asked Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to drop the case but Rosen declined.By the end of September, the transcripts released by the CREW lawsuit show the Justice Department had asked the court for another three months to decide whether to continue the McCabe case, calling it “an exceedingly difficult matter and situation.”  That requested delay, as well as others in the months preceding it, created mounting frustration for Judge Walton as the government seemed unable to determine whether the case against McCabe would continue throughout the summer and fall of September 2019.Walton chided prosecutors in late September, saying that their delays hindered CREW’s right to the documents and “from the standpoint of Mr. McCabe, he has a right to have the government make a decision and not hold his life in limbo pending a decision as to what's going to happen.”“I don't know why it's so difficult for a decision to be made. Either you have a case or you don’t,” he said.Judge Walton also took issue with President Trump’s apparent personal involvement in the case. He told prosecutors that Trump’s comments about the case complicated the ability to receive a fair hearing in the FOIA lawsuit.“[T]he public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you’ve got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted,” Walton told prosecutors when they asked for another delay in late September. “I just think it's a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably—even if not—influencing the ultimate decision. I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue, inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.”As recently as December 10, prosecutors pushed back on the release of the transcripts showing Walton’s questions about the timing of prosecutors’ decisions in the McCabe case. They argued it would give the public an incomplete picture of the investigation and potentially compromise the case. “To understand the Department’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion in this case would necessitate a broader disclosure of internal deliberative information than contained in the staled ex parte hearing transcripts,” J.P. Cooney, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., wrote in one filing obtained by the CREW lawsuit. Their release, he claimed, “risks unfairly calling into question the integrity of the investigation and any future decisions in the McCabe matter”.Trump Is Beyond Obsessed With Andrew McCabeLibowitz said Friday that it was “not surprising that the announcement of no indictment [of McCabe] was timed along with the release of these transcripts.”A 2018 investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility found McCabe had “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions” about the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and handling of classified information. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 just hours before his scheduled retirement date. 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.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:08:17 -0500
  • India women facing sedition charges over school play get bail

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    Two women held for two weeks by Indian police on sedition charges over a school play which allegedly criticised a contentious citizenship law have been granted bail, officials said Sunday. Teacher Fareeda Begum, 50, and parent Nazbunnisa, 36, were arrested on January 30 for helping the children stage the play at Shaheen Public School in Karnataka state. The play depicted a worried family talking about how they feared the government would ask millions of Muslims to prove their nationality or be expelled from India.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:22:26 -0500
  • 6-year-old girl was committed to mental health facility without parent consent

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    The mother said her daughter can tell her "bits and pieces" of what happened: "'Mommy, they locked the door. They wouldn't let me out. Mommy, they gave me a shot.'"

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:36:00 -0500
  • Why Xi's 'defensive' coronavirus speech could backfire

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    Chinese state media published an internal speech delivered by President Xi Jinping on Saturday in which he describes taking action on the coronavirus outbreak as early as Jan. 7.In the speech, which was given Feb. 3, Xi said he had "issued demands about the efforts to prevent and control" the virus during a meeting of the Communist Party's highest council, the Politburo Standing Committee, last month, and that he personally authorized the lockdown of the epicenter, Wuhan, beginning on Jan. 23. "I have at every moment monitored the spread of the epidemic and progress in efforts to curtail it," he said.Publishing the speech is viewed as an attempt to show Xi has been involved from the start since he's been criticized for remaining in the shadows. "The overall tone of the speech of appears to be defensive," Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, told The New York Times. "He wants to change the narrative, which until this point has been very unfavorable to the top leadership."But some analysts think it could backfire and lead to even more criticism about how the government kept the public in the dark for too long. "It seems like he's trying to indicate that 'we weren't asleep at the wheel,'" Jude Blanchette, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Times. "But it comes off like 'we knew this was a problem, but we weren't sounding the alarm.'" Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren 6 books Erik Larson keeps returning to Everyone would fall for a Trump deepfake

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 07:30:00 -0500
  • The coronavirus could cripple China's economy for longer than Wall Street wants to believe

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    China's economy can't snap back from the coronavirus as fast as it did after SARS because it's growing more slowly and the banking system is a mess.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:28:00 -0500
  • Australian soldiers caring for rescued koalas

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    The soldiers fed 28 rescued koalas and helped build climbing structures for them in their new home.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 00:19:46 -0500
  • Rebuffed by UK, U.S. pitches 'big tent' for Huawei rivals in Europe

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    The United States is seeking to rally European support for competitors to Huawei Technologies following disappointment in Washington over Britain's decision to use 5G equipment made by the Chinese company. U.S. officials at a global security conference in Germany this week urged governments and business leaders to build an ecosystem of "industry champions" that can provide alternatives to Huawei, the world's biggest maker of mobile networking equipment. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Reuters on Friday there was no credible evidence that Huawei was a threat to U.S. security.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 09:05:38 -0500
  • Hitler's Submarines Almost Launched A Missile Attack On America

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    In March, the Allies intercepted a message from German Admiral Godt dispatching seven Type IX long-range submarines to “attack targets in American coastal zone” as part of an attack group awesomely codenamed Seewolf.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0500
  • Man gets 1 year in case of dog left in cage with tide rising

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    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 12:18:02 -0500
  • Buttigieg: I won't 'take lectures on family values' from Rush Limbaugh

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    Pete Buttigieg had a simple response on Sunday when asked about talk show host Rush Limbaugh's questioning whether Americans are ready to back a gay candidate for president.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:59:56 -0500
  • The Scandal Rocking California’s Weed Industry

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    Sometime in 2018, a Chicago-area union honcho named Joseph Senese started showing up at cannabis industry mixers in California.Senese represented himself as a leader of the National Production Workers Union, an Illinois-based outfit. As he put it to curious cannabis business owners and consultants, the union was getting into weed with a new California-based local called “ProTech Local 33.” The idea was to help West Coast cannabis businesses fulfill a labor-friendly licensing requirement necessary for them to obtain a state permit and open up shop.To Johnny Delaplane—an Illinois native and partner in Berner’s on Haight, the first legal weed store in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury—ProTech Local 33 sounded great. Or at least a fine option to satisfy local authorities with what’s called a “labor peace agreement” (LPA), essentially a promise between management and a union to not sabotage organizing efforts.But when Delaplane and his partners submitted their signed LPA to the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development for final approval, there was a problem: Their new union partner, according to the city’s workforce development director, might not actually be a union. Not only had nobody heard of ProTech Local 33—the group is not a member of state or local labor councils or federations—but it didn’t appear to have any members. Even worse, the office found “several articles and court cases” suggesting ProTech was a “company union,” a so-called labor outfit actually controlled by employers. For these reasons, MOEWD Workforce Director Joshua Arce wrote in a December email obtained by The Daily Beast, ProTech had not cleared the threshold of being a “Bona Fide Labor Organization.”A Drop of Cannabis Oil Could Land This Pennsylvania Woman in JailThe episode has touched off a furor in California labor and in the larger cannabis industry—which, with more than 250,000 workers nationwide, most of whom are engaged in low-wage retail or agricultural work, represents a potential bonanza for organizers. So far, however, with the exception of some limited wins by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters, organized labor has failed to make many inroads into cannabis, much as it has struggled to make much major headway organizing skilled workers at Silicon Valley powerhouses like Google and Facebook.The strange saga of a weed labor organizer from the Midwest poking around the local scene doesn’t seem to be making it any easier.When things went wrong for ProTech in San Francisco, Senese struck back. In a blistering letter obtained by The Daily Beast, he suggested ProTech’s rejection was made at the behest of other existing labor organizations incensed at a newcomer encroaching on their turf. “This smacks of collusion,” he wrote, insisting the Production Workers had been operating in San Francisco and in California “for over 20 years.” But while ProTech Local 33’s website lists a phone number and an address at an office park in Bakersfield, a hardscrabble city in that state’s Central Valley, several calls over a period of days to a number listed on the website were not returned. That’s because that office has been closed, Senese explained to The Daily Beast in a telephone interview Thursday from Illinois, where he said he orchestrates West Coast organizing efforts.Those efforts are on the up-and-up, he insisted.In addition to the dispensary in San Francisco, ProTech has signed “close to 100” LPAs with other California cannabis businesses and has actually organized workers at five shops, Senese said, including distribution and processing centers. (“Don’t hold me to that number,” he cautioned of the “100” figure.)The fact that none of ProTech’s members appear in any labor filings reviewed by San Francisco regulators can be explained by the fact that the union was only chartered a year ago, in January 2019, and none of that data has been reported yet, he added.Asked to name any of the outfits he’d organized, Senese declined. “That’s not something most unions talk about,” he told The Daily Beast. (Most other unions, for what it’s worth, do talk about organizing victories, extremely publicly.)Nor would he name any other cannabis businesses with whom his shop had signed labor-peace agreements, except to say that ProTech Local 33 was active “from San Diego to Sonoma” County, north of San Francisco. Senese specifically claimed to have signed other LPAs with San Francisco-based cannabis businesses.The Daily Beast struggled mightily to verify these claims. Labor organizations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the state’s two most prominent cities with thriving cannabis industries, did not appear to be familiar with ProTech. “We have not heard about any union called ProTech,” Christian Castro, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Labor Federation, told The Daily Beast in an email. “They are not affiliated with us or the AFL-CIO.” Rudy Gonzalez, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, likewise said he’d never heard of ProTech Local 33. In California’s state Capitol of Sacramento, Jerome Parra, a spokesman for Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who authored the cannabis regulation bill that contains the labor-peace language, said he was also not familiar with the organization.The union was news to cannabis regulators in other cities, too. Rayna Plummer, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, said her office had never heard of ProTech—and that it did not have any LPAs on file for any of the city’s hundreds of permitted cannabis operations. (In an email, Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, said any information his agency might have about ProTech would be in pending license applications, and thus not subject to open-records laws.)For his part, Delaplane, who runs the San Francisco Cannabis Retail Alliance, a network of weed sales permit-holders and permit-seekers in that city, said he “did not know” of any other LPAs signed with ProTech among his members.ProTech also departs from typical union tradition with its membership in a trade group representing business owners. ProTech is the only labor outfit that’s a member of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA)—Senese even ran for a position on its board, and lost—which recently circulated a white paper instructing owners on how to sign business-friendly labor peace agreements. Disney Sued by Labor Union for Failing to Pay Living Wage: Employees Have to ‘Live in Their Cars’Josh Drayton, a spokesman for the CCIA, declined to discuss ProTech, including whether the association vetted it before accepting payment for the union’s membership, and similarly declined to discuss the memo aside from denying engaging in any union-busting activities. ProTech had been a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, spokesman Morgan Fox confirmed, but the organization’s membership lapsed in September. Privately, labor officials have suggested National Production Workers, and, by extension, ProTech, is a business-friendly front meant to help companies meet state labor requirements without ever intending to allow workers to organize. Indeed, ProTech appeared to dance very close to the definition of “a company union”—ersatz worker organizations set up by management to crush organizing efforts before they can begin—which have been banned under federal labor law since the 1930s. “This ‘union,’ and you can put that in quotes, does not look on the face of it to be a ‘bona fide labor organization,’” said Ken Jacobs, director of the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center.“You’ve got a union that doesn’t appear to have many, or any members, is offering a labor-peace agreement that is extremely favorable to companies, and matches the criteria put forward in an anti-union memo from the industry association,” said Jacobs, who added that ProTech appears to be following a well-established pattern of anti-organizing behavior.“It looks to me like San Francisco made the right call,” he added.Senese defended his reputation and National Production Workers. “This union has never ever been found guilty of anything,” he said Thursday. San Francisco “was throwing the whole kitchen sink at us” in an effort to reject the LPA, he added. For now, he said, he would let the matter sit. But “if another one of my peace agreements gets rejected,” Senese vowed, “I will take legal action.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 05:10:06 -0500
  • Paris mayoral candidate quits race over sex tape

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    Emmanuel Macron's candidate for Paris mayor, Benjamin Griveaux, withdrew from the race over a leaked sex video Friday in a blow to the French president's party ahead of March local elections.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:11:47 -0500
  • Chinese president says he took early action against COVID-19

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    The disclosure came after Chinese leadership was criticized for slow and muted reaction to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 23:36:07 -0500
  • Hillary Clinton 'wants back in' as Bloomberg campaign tries to quiet speculation she could be his VP pick

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    While Clinton said her entering the 2020 race as a VP was unlikely she said "never say never." The Bloomberg campaign didn't deny the report, either.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 10:18:39 -0500
  • Israel says Hamas used 'attractive' women in thwarted cyberattack

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    Israel's military said on Sunday it had thwarted an attempted malware attack by Hamas that sought to gain access to soldiers' mobile phones by using seductive pictures of young women. The phones of a few dozen soldiers were affected, but the military "does not assess that there has been a substantial breach of information", said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an army spokesman. Conricus said this was the third attempted malware attack by Hamas in less than four years, but that the latest effort indicated the Islamist group, which controls the Gaza Strip, had improved their capacity to wage cyber-warfare.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 06:46:26 -0500
  • Coronavirus panic could be the endangered pangolin's new threat

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    Bill Zeigler, a top researcher at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, shared his concerns.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 23:30:39 -0500
  • I Am Watching China Wage a 'People's War' Against Coronavirus (65,000 Cases and Growing)

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    Our latest on-the-ground reporting as the world's emerging superpower tackles an unprecedented challenge.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 07:46:00 -0500
  • Hong Kong protesters rally against planned virus quarantine centers

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    Hundreds of demonstrators rallied for a second day in Hong Kong on Sunday to protest against plans to turn some buildings into coronavirus quarantine centers, reviving anti-government protests in the Chinese-ruled city. The virus has opened a new front for protesters after months of demonstrations over the perceived erosion of freedoms had largely fizzled out over the past month, as people stayed at home amid fears of a community outbreak of the virus. About 100 people braved rain in the New Territories district of Fo Tan, where authorities plan to use a newly built residential development that was subsidized by the government as a quarantine center.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 05:13:31 -0500
  • Border Patrol Will Deploy Elite Tactical Agents to Sanctuary Cities

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    The Trump administration is deploying law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country, an escalation in the president's battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement.The specially trained officers are being sent to cities including Chicago and New York to boost the enforcement power of local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, according to two officials who are familiar with the secret operation. Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco; Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey.The move reflects President Donald Trump's persistence in cracking down on sanctuary cities, localities that have refused to cooperate in handing over immigrants targeted for deportation to federal authorities. It comes soon after the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security announced a series of measures that will affect both American citizens and immigrants living in those places.Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, confirmed the agency was deploying 100 officers to work with ICE, which conducts arrests in the interior of the country, "in order to enhance the integrity of the immigration system, protect public safety, and strengthen our national security."The deployment of the teams will run from February through May, according to an email sent to CBP personnel, which was read to The New York Times by one official familiar with the planning.Among the agents being deployed to sanctuary cities are members of the elite tactical unit known as BORTAC, which acts essentially as the SWAT team of the Border Patrol. With additional gear such as stun grenades and enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification, the officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.The unit's work often takes place in the most rugged and swelteringly hot areas of the border. It can involve breaking into stash houses maintained by smuggling operations that are known to be filled with drugs and weapons.In sanctuary cities, the BORTAC agents will be asked to support interior officers in run-of-the-mill immigration arrests, the officials said. Their presence could spark new fear in immigrant communities that have been on high alert under the stepped-up deportation and detention policies adopted after Trump took office.In a statement, ICE's acting director, Matthew Albence, said the deployment comes in response to policies adopted by sanctuary cities, which have made it harder for immigration agents to do their jobs."As we have noted for years, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities," he said. "When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims."But Gil Kerlikowske, the former commissioner of CBP, which oversees tactical units along the border, said sending the officers to conduct immigration enforcement within cities, where they are not trained to work, could escalate situations that are already volatile. He called the move a "significant mistake.""If you were a police chief and you were going to make an apprehension for a relatively minor offense, you don't send the SWAT team. And BORTAC is the SWAT team," said Kerlikowske, who is a former chief of police in Seattle. "They're trained for much more hazardous missions than this."It was a gun-wielding BORTAC agent who, in April 2000, seized Elian Gonzalez -- a Cuban boy who was embroiled in an international asylum controversy -- from his uncle's arms after agents had forced their way into the home where the boy was staying.The Border Patrol squads will be charged with backing up ICE agents during deportation operations and standing by as a show of force, the officials said.ICE agents typically seek out people with criminal convictions or multiple immigration violations as their primary targets for deportation, but family members and friends are often swept up in the enforcement net in what are known as "collateral" arrests, and many such people could now be caught up in any enhanced operations.ICE leadership requested the help in sanctuary jurisdictions because agents there often struggle to track down unauthorized immigrants without the help of the police and other state and local agencies.Law enforcement officers in areas that refuse to cooperate with ICE and the Border Patrol -- which include both liberal and conservative parts of the country -- often argue that doing so pushes people without legal status further into the shadows, ultimately making cities less safe because that segment of the population becomes less likely to report crimes or cooperate with investigations.The goal of the new joint operation, one of the officials said, was to increase arrests in the sanctuary jurisdictions by at least 35%.The operation reflects an increasingly hawkish approach to immigration enforcement, following the firings and resignations of leaders who have been viewed in the White House as unwilling to take the harsh steps Trump and his advisers view as necessary to slow illegal immigration.Other recent attempts at aggressive enforcement by ICE have faltered, such as a series of raids targeting more than 2,000 migrant families that were planned during the summer of 2019. Trump's advance warnings on Twitter led many of those who were targeted to refuse to open their front doors, and ultimately, only 35 of those who had been targeted were arrested in the operation's first several weeks.Even with the added show of force from BORTAC, agents will be limited in their abilities compared to the police or sheriff's deputies. Unlike operations on the border, where BORTAC agents may engage in armed confrontations with drug-smuggling suspects using armored vehicles, immigration agents in cities are enforcing civil infractions rather than criminal ones. They are not allowed to forcibly enter properties in order to make arrests, and the presence of BORTAC agents, while helpful in boosting the number of agents on the ground, may prove most useful for the visual message it sends.The agents will not be busting down doors or engaging in shootouts, said one official with direct knowledge of the operation, who like the other official would not be identified because he was not authorized to discuss it.Some CBP agents are permitted certain enforcement powers, including setting up immigration checkpoints, within 100 miles of a land or coastal port.Naureen Shah, senior advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, questioned whether the teams would use that authority in the targeted cities, most of which are within that 100-mile zone."This is about further militarizing our streets," Shah said. "It could actually have deadly effects. We could see CBP officers who aren't trained for interior enforcement using aggressive force."Many ICE agents say their jobs have become increasingly difficult, three years into Trump's presidency, because of robust campaigns by immigrant advocacy organizations seeking to safeguard unauthorized immigrants by educating them on the legal limitations that ICE officers face. As a result, in many communities where immigrants reside, people now turn immediately to their phones when ICE agents are spotted to alert neighbors that they should stay inside.Trump campaigned on a promise to crack down on sanctuary cities. Within a few months of taking office, the Justice Department moved to withhold certain federal funds from the jurisdictions. Last week, the department filed suit against state and local governments in California, New Jersey and Washington state over sanctuary policies there. Also this month, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would ban New Yorkers from enrolling in programs that allow travelers to speed through customs checkpoints in airports and at the border as a result of the state's decision to offer driver's licenses to immigrants living in the country illegally and bar Homeland Security agencies from accessing the state's motor vehicle database.The president again highlighted the issue in his State of the Union address, arguing that sanctuary cities "release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public."In January, a New York City Council member wrote an open letter for his fellow councilors expressing concern about increasing ICE activity in the region, including collateral arrests. Last week, an acquaintance of a man in New York who was being arrested by ICE was shot in an incident that the agency later blamed on sanctuary policies.The aggressive immigration enforcement tactics being implemented around the country are not limited to any one agency. In a widely circulated video recorded in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday night, Border Patrol agents are shown subduing and using a Taser to apprehend a man in a Burger King restaurant.The video shows the man pleading repeatedly with the agents while shouting that he had done nothing wrong. A female bystander asks the agents to leave the restaurant, as she cries while witnessing the episode. While the man was writhing in pain on the floor after being stunned repeatedly, another woman in the video approached the agents and asked, "Why are you still hitting him?"A Border Patrol spokesman said in a statement that the apprehended man was a "suspected alien smuggler," without offering any evidence to support that assertion. The spokesman did not respond to a request for the man's name and nationality."The man refused to cooperate with the verbal instructions and attempted to avoid being handcuffed, and a struggle ensued," the Border Patrol spokesman said.In the same statement, the spokesman said that a "citizen" had notified law enforcement of a suspicious vehicle parked on his property. The Border Patrol said the man apprehended by the agents on Tuesday was the driver of the vehicle and that "record checks indicated that the man was in the country illegally and had a positive criminal history."An ICE spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of the latest effort in sanctuary cities, citing the agency's policy against sharing information about enforcement operations before they have taken place. However, the spokesman added that the agency had "made it abundantly clear for years that, in jurisdictions where we are not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, our officers would be redirected to make at-large arrests."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 10:19:18 -0500
  • Virginia teen accused of killing mother, brother arrested

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    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:51:22 -0500
  • Classmates rally, help release woman from immigration detention

    Golocal247.com news

    Meidy Guzman’s release means returning to school, and possibly graduating with her classmates, while also seeking asylum and battling possible deportation.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:03:00 -0500
  • This college was accredited by a DeVos-sanctioned group. We couldn’t find evidence of students or faculty.

    Golocal247.com news

    At present, Reagan National University apparently has no students or faculty. Yet it was accredited -- by a group saved by the Education Department.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:35:13 -0500
  • Young adults support Bernie Sanders because they want to benefit from 'boomer socialism' that older Americans already enjoy

    Golocal247.com news

    Young adults and other newcomers to the American economy are pushing to widen the reach of government benefits to include them as well.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 09:12:00 -0500
  • Lebanese national carrier to only accept US dollars

    Golocal247.com news

    Crisis-hit Lebanon's national carrier will only accept payments in US dollars from Monday, according to state media. Lebanon is in the throes of an economic meltdown and a biting liquidity crunch that has seen the local currency depreciate on the parallel market and banks impose stringent controls on withdrawals and transfers abroad. "From Monday, Middle East (Airlines) and other airline companies operating in Lebanon will only accept payments in US dollars," the official National News Agency (NNA) reported on Sunday.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 08:11:21 -0500
  • How Bloomberg's philanthropy may have secured his political influence

    Golocal247.com news

    Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is gaining some traction in the Democratic primary, despite his late entry. Part of the reason he's been able to do that, The New York Times reports after reviewing years of campaign and nonprofit tax filings, may be because he spent years building influence by donating hefty funds to certain causes.Per the Times, some — though not all — of Bloomberg's philanthropic endeavors appear to have secured the allegiance of powerful institutions, as well as leaders within the Democratic Party. The Times is clear that no one interviewed for the story described anything akin to threats or coercion, but Bloomberg's financial influence did speak for itself in some cases. "They aren't going to criticize him in his 2020 run because they don't want to jeopardize receiving financial support from him in the future," said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the good-government group Common Cause.In 2015, the Times reports, researchers at the Center for American Progress turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the U.S., which included about 4,000 words on New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities. Bloomberg, because he was the city's mayor, was mentioned a handful of times. But when the report was published, the chapter was gone. A spokeswoman for the policy group said the chapter was removed for editorial reasons, but Yasmine Taeb, the author of the report, said there was fear about how it would be perceived by Bloomberg. An email reviewed by the Times also shows at least one official wrote that there would be a "strong reaction from Bloomberg world if we release the report as written," and three people with direct knowledge of the situation reportedly confirmed Bloomberg was a factor in the decision. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren 6 books Erik Larson keeps returning to Everyone would fall for a Trump deepfake

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:11:00 -0500
  • Remember When Iran Took Out Saddam Hussein's Navy In One Day—With American-Made Jets?

    Golocal247.com news

    One of the most intense air battles since World War II.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 01:00:00 -0500
  • Nine homeless drug users shot dead in Afghan capital: police

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:51:26 -0500
  • Trump defends China's alleged cover-up of coronavirus victims: 'You don't want the world to go crazy'

    Golocal247.com news

    Donald Trump has launched an extraordinary defence of China’s alleged attempts to cover-up the extent of the spread of coronavirus.The US president, who has claimed without evidence the virus will likely “go away” by April, said Beijing has handled the epidemic “very professionally”, despite accusations the country had attempted to suppress information about the crisis.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 08:42:21 -0500
  • U.S., China, Russia making world more dangerous: German president

    Golocal247.com news

    Germany's president took an indirect swipe at U.S. President Trump on Friday in accusing Washington, China and Russia of stoking global mistrust and insecurity with a "great powers" competition" that could threaten a new nuclear arms race.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:07:21 -0500
  • Israeli army: Hamas hackers tried to 'seduce' soldiers

    Golocal247.com news

    The Israeli military on Sunday said it has thwarted an attempt by the Hamas militant group to hack soldiers' phones by posing as young, attractive women on social media, striking up friendships and persuading them into downloading malware. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters that the phones of dozens of soldiers had been infected in recent months, although he said the army detected the scam early on and prevented any major secrets from reaching the Islamic militant group. Conricus said this was the third attempt by Hamas to target male soldiers through fake social media accounts, most recently in July 2018.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 05:05:37 -0500
  • As sea levels rise, Venice fights to stay above the waterline

    Golocal247.com news

    A 17-year project to build underwater floodgates in the city has been mired in delays and corruption.

    Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:31:00 -0500
  • Germany wants another crack at a EU mission in the Strait of Hormuz

    Golocal247.com news

    Berlin last summer rejected a request to join a U.S.-led naval protection mission for fear of getting tangled up in shooting war between the United States and Iran.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 13:25:07 -0500
  • CBS News and Congressional Black Caucus Institute to co-host debate

    Golocal247.com news

    The debate will take place in South Carolina on February 25. The Democratic National Committee announced details for the first four early-voting state presidential primary debates.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 20:10:09 -0500
  • Delta CEO: Passengers should ask permission before reclining their seats on planes

    Golocal247.com news

    "The proper thing to do is if you're going to recline into somebody that you ask if it's OK first and then you do it," Bastian told CNBC.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:14:11 -0500
  • Battle of the Bulge: Hitler Sets One Last Trap

    Golocal247.com news

    Part one of a two-part series detailing one of the last big battles of World War II.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 06:00:00 -0500
  • Ex-priest convicted in Texas beauty queen's murder dies while serving life

    Golocal247.com news

    John Feit was convicted in 2016 of a murder that happened over 50 years ago.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:57:36 -0500
  • Knives come out for Bloomberg as billionaire former mayor rises in the polls

    Golocal247.com news

    Democratic candidates and President Trump took fresh aim this week at the former New York City mayor who has staked his personal fortune on winning the White House.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:15:20 -0500
  • China toll leaps past 1,600 as first death reported outside Asia

    Golocal247.com news

    The death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak surpassed 1,600 in China on Sunday, with the first fatality reported outside Asia fuelling global concerns. More than 68,000 people have now been infected in China from a virus that emerged in central Hubei province in December before spreading across the country and some two dozen countries. Amid criticism over the handling of the crisis, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for tighter policing to protect social stability, while Beijing ordered people returning to the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days in the latest drastic measure aimed at containing the virus.

    Sat, 15 Feb 2020 18:35:09 -0500
  • Amid coronavirus fears, a second wave of flu hits US kids

    Golocal247.com news

    A second wave of flu is hitting the U.S., turning this into one of the nastiest seasons for children in a decade. The number of child deaths and the hospitalization rate for youngsters are the highest seen at this point in any season since the severe flu outbreak of 2009-10, health officials said Friday. Experts say it is potentially a bad time for an extended flu season, given concerns about the new coronavirus out of China, which can cause symptoms that can be difficult to distinguish from flu without testing.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 12:48:04 -0500
  • Truck spilling cement on roadway causes 'violent crash,' killing 2

    Golocal247.com news

    A driver traveling northbound drove over the wet mortar, jumped the median and hit a car going southbound, police said.

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 16:46:18 -0500
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