Friday, May 18, 2018

Cuomo Presents Governor's Medal for Public Service to 99-Year-Old WWII Veteran Sidney Walton

Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo met with WWII veteran Sidney Walton at the State Capitol and presented him with the Governor's Medal for Public Service. Mr. Walton, a New York native, is currently on a "No Regrets Tour" of the United States that aims to give anyone hoping to meet a WWII veteran the opportunity to do so. He plans to meet the governors of all 50 states and complete his tour at the White House on his 100th birthday in February. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Poetry Spotlight: 'Murderers' Devón

The dark money flows
False promises of hope
Liberty and Justice
Found hanging from a rope

Legislative leaders
Chairmen of the Board
Christianity be damned
For money is their Lord

America is broken
Africa left to bleed
Soulless Men of Wall
Blinded by their greed

Sunni versus Shia
Palestine’s aflame
Putrid smell of Death
Murder in God’s name

Sheridan in Whiteclay
Lakota Nation slain
Mother Earth is drenched
In sorrow, blood and pain

Man replaces Master
And sits upon the throne
Conscious filled with evil
His heart now made of stone

No fear of Revelations
Or The Horsemen on the way
The death dealers revel
But surely they will pay

For each will be judged
At the tolling of the bell
And the power they possess
Will not exist in Hell

This poem is one of 25 showcased in "The Awakening: A Collection of Poems....for the Dead". 

Santa Fe School Shooting: Possible Explosive Devices Found

Authorities have confirmed that possible explosive devices have been found both on school property and off-campus in connection with the Santa Fe High School shooting. Multiple fatalities have also been confirmed.

The EPA’s 'Leadership Summit' on PFOA Pollution Will Exclude Victims and Community Groups

By Sharon Lerner

In Partnership with The Investigative Fund

Kristen Mello wasn’t invited to the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming “National Leadership Summit” on PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS chemicals. For most of her life, Mello, a member of Westfield Residents Advocating For Themselves, drank water contaminated with the chemicals that are going to be discussed at the meeting. At least six compounds in this class seeped into local drinking water from firefighting foam used at the Air National Guard base in her hometown of Westfield, Massachusetts. Mello and several of her immediate family members have developed some of the health problems associated with the chemicals, including thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and liver problems. While most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS, Westfield is one of the growing number of communities to learn they’ve had an especially high dose of the chemicals as the result of living near a military installation or manufacturing site that used them.

But when Mello sent the EPA a request to attend the PFAS summit, which will be held May 22-23 at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., the agency said she wasn’t welcome.  

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

U.S. House Rejects Farm Bill, 198-213

The House rejects the farm bill 198-213. Speaker Ryan then moves to reconsider the vote. All the Democrats and 30 Republicans voted no. The time of reconsideration vote is not known and the House continued with Special Order speeches.

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN 

Trump Taps Robert Wilkie to Run Veterans Affairs in Surprise Announcement

Source: CBS News

Cuomo Issues Open Letter to President Trump, Elected Officials in the Wake of Santa Fe Shooting

To President Trump, Members of the House of Representatives and the United States Senate:

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. Orlando. Parkland.

And now, Santa Fe.

When is enough enough? How many more innocent people have to die before you act?

You were elected to lead - do something. Your first responsibility is to the people of this country, not the NRA - do something. My heart breaks for the families who have to grieve from this needless violence - DO SOMETHING.


Andrew M. Cuomo
Father of Cara, Mariah and Michaela
Governor of New York
NRA "F" Rated Elected Official 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

NYC Council Speaker to Discuss Marijuana Decriminalization at NAN Rally

On May 19 at 9:30 a.m., New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will make an appearance at  the National Action Network's (NAN) House of Justice, 106 West 145th Street, to discuss marijuana decriminalization. 

According to a May 15 report published in The Gothamist, "City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Al Sharpton met at City Hall to demand an end to the racial disparities of marijuana arrests, and to call for marijuana legalization." 

The rally will be streamed live on and Impact Television. It will also be available on WLIB 1190 AM.

Source: Mercury

Sen. Sanders No Longer Accepting Applications for Free Computers

The following statement was submitted today by the office of New York State Senator James Sanders, Jr. 

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) had a very limited amount of computers to donate to non-profit organizations located in his district who are in need. However this process is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications.

Why Puerto Rico Deserves Statehood

The months-long recovery effort in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria has reignited the debate around statehood for the U.S. territory. Jose Fuentes, former Attorney General for Puerto Rico, explains why it’s time to make Puerto Rico the 51st state.

Trump Targets Planned Parenthood, Family Planning Services with New Abortion Rule

by Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved forward with a proposal Friday that would effectively ban Planned Parenthood and similar organizations from providing abortion and related services under the same roof as operations funded by federal family-planning grants, according to an administration official.

The so-called Hyde amendment prohibits the use of competitive federal family-planning grant funds for abortion, but organizations like Planned Parenthood have traditionally used the federal money for other health services while using private money for abortions and related services — sometimes at the same facilities and with the same staff.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Governor Andrew Cuomo Responds By Issuing
Letter to NYSDOH Commissioner Howard Zucker

The governor directed Zucker to take immediate steps to protect and support New York's reproductive health facilities, which are critical to families across the state, no matter their financial status. The Governor issued the letter in light of reports of actions to be taken by the federal administration that would silence providers, limit health care, and restrict support for these services. 

Click here to view the letter. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Rapper Meek Mill Backs Out of White House Talk on Prison Reform

by Dartunorro Clark

Rapper Meek Mill abruptly backed out of a prison reform event at the White House on Friday because he was concerned that a meeting with President Donald Trump would have distracted the public from the topic, according to a statement obtained by NBC News.

"I was originally scheduled to be part of a panel on Prison Reform at the White House to help shed light on the issues within the system," said Mill, whose legal name is Robert Rihmeek Williams.

Click here for summary. 

Source: NBC News 

Trump Responds to North Korea's Summit Threat

President Trump to Speak at White House Prison Reform Summit

Source: PBS NewsHour

Hate Group Leader Appointed to U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

By Heidi Beirich

It’s deeply disturbing that Tony Perkins has been appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

As head of the hate group Family Research Council, Perkins specializes in spreading false propaganda that demonizes the LGBT community and Muslims.

Perkins’ idea of "religious freedom" is having the freedom to discriminate against entire groups of people he doesn’t like.

His well-documented bigotry has no place in any government entity.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

UK's anti-Slavery Czar Resigns

Source: euronews.

Trump: 'The European Union Has Been Terrible to the United States on Trade'

Source: euronews.

EU Acts to Protect EU-Iran Business from US Sanctions

Source: euronews.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro Seeks Another Six Years in Power

Source: euronews.

Russian Former Spy Discharged from UK Hospital

Source: euronews.

Catholic Church Abuse Scandal: Chilean Bishops Offer Mass Resignation to Pope Francis

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Bronstein: 'Arab Countries Should Put All the Leverage They Have to Help Their Palestinian Brothers'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Violence Against Women in India: 'A Lot Needs to Be Done to Better Enforce the Law'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye On Africa: Yahya Jammeh Accused of Ordering 50 Migrant Deaths in 2005

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Racism Revelations from New York to Paris

This report was published on YouTube on May 17. 

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Homophobic Attacks on the Rise in France

This report was published on YouTube on May 17. 

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Calls for Boycott of 2018 FIFA World Cup

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, calls on high-ranking U.S. government officials, sports fans and leaders of industry, to follow the lead of the United Kingdom, Poland and Iceland, and boycott the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Furthermore, FIFA sponsors of the 2018 World Cup, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, HyundaiKia, VISA, Anheuser-Busch, and McDonald's, as well as U.S. broadcasters FOX Sports and Telemundo, should be informed of the inexcusable and illegal actions undertaken by Russia in the run-up to hosting soccer's biggest tournament.

“The United States needs to send a clear & loud message to Russia that there are consequences for not respecting international law and order,” stated UCCA President Andriy Futey.  “We cannot tolerate this type of behavior and need to condemn the Russian Federation by boycotting the 2018 FIFA World Cup!”

Click here for the full announcement and to read the UCCA's April and May 2018 newsletters, which are available in English and Ukrainian.  

Source:  The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Justin Trudeau's Full Commencement Speech to NYU Graduates

Source: CBC News

North Korea Threatens to Call Off Next Month's Summit with U.S.

Source: CBS News

Gina Haspel Confirmed as CIA Director

Source: CBS News

GIVE and SNUG to Receive Over $17 Million to Combat Violent Crime, Shootings

More than $17.8 million in funding will be provided to the Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative and SNUG, New York's street outreach program - both of which received national recognition for employing an evidence-based approach toward reducing gun violence. The 17 counties and 20 law enforcement agencies participating in the GIVE initiative will share $13.3 million of the funding, while the 11 SNUG sites throughout the state will share $4.5 million. This funding will allow communities to build on the work supported by GIVE and SNUG, which helped them significantly reduce gun violence and homicides in 2017.

"By investing in evidence-based practices with a proven record of success, New York is committed to combating gun violence in every corner of this great state," Governor Cuomo said. "From enacting the strongest gun safety laws in the nation to supporting these crucial programs, this administration is doing everything in its power to combat gun crime and protect New Yorkers."

Crime data from GIVE police agencies in 2017 show the number of individuals killed by gun violence has declined since 2016 by nearly 23 percent, while shooting incidents involving injury dropped by 15 percent. Firearm activity in GIVE jurisdictions also decreased compared to the five-year average between 2012 and 2016, with 21 percent fewer individuals killed by gun violence, and 7 percent fewer shooting incidents. There were 866 shooting victims in 2017, which was fewer than any of the previous eight years.

There were 546 murders statewide in 2017, which is a 13 percent decrease compared to the previous year and the lowest number since reliable record keeping began in 1965. Preliminary data indicates that firearm homicides dropped from 368 in 2016 to 292 in 2017 - a 20 percent decrease and the fewest on record.

Click here for the full announcement

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Senator to Announce Lawsuit Against Duo Who Accused Him of Bribery


On May 20 at 12 p.m., on the steps of City Hall, State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) will hold a press conference to announce plans to sue in civil court a couple from Far Rockaway for $1 million because they intentionally tried to defame him by spreading lies that he sought a bribe.

In 2016, Marion Moses and Malisa Rivera leaders of an agricultural group called Culinary Kids, Culinary Arts came forward with some very serious accusations, which Sanders believes were politically motivated.

The duo, who are former chefs, said they came to Sanders when he was a City Councilman seeking funding to advance their organization and that he promised to give them $1.7 million in taxpayer money in exchange for a $250,000, which is false.

“These individuals made statements, which are untrue, and now they are going to have to face the consequences of those actions,” Sanders said. “This lawsuit that I will be filing is about setting the record straight. I have consistently fought for the districts I have represented during my time in politics, both at the city and state level, and I will not allow these people to ruin my record of service to my constituency because of their nefarious motivations or agenda.”

Moses and Rivera went so far as to take their claim to investigators.

Culinary Kids, Culinary Arts does not have 501(c)3 status and could not have received discretionary funding in the first place. Even, hypothetically, if money were to have been given, it would have had to go through a city agency – the Parks Department, because the land they wanted to utilize was parkland. The Parks Department would have then reimbursed them for the money they spent if they were able to document their expenditures with receipts.

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr.

New Multi-Agency Effort Launched to Combat Maternal Depression

At the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Department of Financial Services will require all New York commercial health insurance policies to cover maternal depression screenings, including screening for the mother under the child's policy. The Department of Health and Office of Mental Health will launch a strategic awareness campaign to provide critical information about symptoms and treatment options for maternal depression. Finally, the Office of Mental Health will open the first State-operated intensive outpatient clinic focused on maternal depression. These comprehensive actions will ensure that women in New York can access crucial screenings and treatment to combat maternal depression. This policy is part of the Governor's 2018 Women's Agenda.

"Every woman deserves access to high quality health care, and through our efforts, we're taking action to provide this necessary, skillful and compassionate care to all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "This administration will continue to break down barriers to health care access and provide this critical support to new and expecting parents, creating a stronger, healthier Empire State for all."

Research shows that skillful, prompt and compassionate care can make a critical difference for women with maternal depression, which affects as many as one in seven mothers nationally. Screening increases detection, diagnosis and intervention for maternal depression, which is highly treatable if identified early. However, not all insurance plans cover screenings—and many women lack access to information about available services.

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

David Dinkins to Receive Children's Health Fund Award

Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here for additional information. 

Source: CHF

Macron and Merkel Round on Trump as Europe Rages Over Steel Tariffs

EU Says It Will Refuse to Negotiate
with 'Sword of Damocles' Over Its Head

By Jon Stone

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel have rounded on Donald Trump over planned steel tariffs on EU producers, telling the US president to scrap his new policy if he wants to negotiate betters trade terms with Europe.

The European leaders reiterated their common position that they would be happy to address Mr Trump’s complaints about the “unfair” way US businesses are treated by the EU – but only if European steel producers are permanently exempted from the new tariffs.

In March, Mr Trump slapped 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent tariffs on foreign aluminium, but gave the 28 EU countries a temporary exemption until the end of May.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Independent

President Trump Hosts California Sanctuary State Roundtable

This report was broadcast on May 16. 

President Trump hosts California politicians who have fought against the state’s so-called sanctuary law, which aims to protect immigrants in the state illegally by restricting local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Representative Scott Calls Farm Bill Racist

This report was broadcast on May 16. 

In an emotional speech on the House floor, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) calls the Farm Bill racist. He says the bill perpetuates differences in how African American schools created by land grants in 1890 are treated from other land grant schools.

Click here for video.

Inside Facebook's Race to Separate News from Junk

This report was published on YouTube on May 16. 

Source: PBS NewsHour

Trump Administration Eliminates Top Cybersecurity Job

Source: CBS News

Gun Law Loophole Allows Volunteer Cops to Get Privileges Meant for Police, Report Claims

Source: CBS News

Previewing California's June 5th Primary Races

Source: CBS News

How States Can Protect Net Neutrality If Congress Won't

Source: CBS News

Rex Tillerson Warns of 'Growing Crisis' When Americans Go 'Wobbly on the Truth'

This report was published on YouTube on May 16. 

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued Wednesday that the U.S. is experiencing a "growing crisis of integrity and ethics" in his first public speech since leaving the Trump administration almost two months ago. "When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America," Tillerson told the graduating class of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute.

Source: CBS News

US Worried About Chinese Technological Advances

Iran Will Not Compromise on Self-Defence Capability

South Korea Determined to Keep Talks with the North

First Doses of New Ebola Vaccine Reach DRC Amid Outbreak

UN Warns of Intensified Violence in Northern Myanmar

Venezuela Election: Opposition Sceptical About Fair Polls

Burundi Referendum Voter: 'I Don't Think It Will Be Free and Fair'

Palestinian Official: Nikki Haley is Not World's 'Schoolmarm'

Turkish Banker Sentenced in US Case Over Iran Sanctions

This report was published on YouTube on May 16.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Two Transgender Women Found Dead in Dallas in Less Than a Week

by Brooke Sopelsa

Dallas police are investigating the apparently unrelated deaths of two transgender women of color whose bodies were found within a span of four days.

The body of a black transgender woman was found Saturday floating in a creek, Dallas Deputy Chief Thomas Castro told reporters Tuesday. Her body was found in a “severe state of decomposition” by a kayaker who called 911.

Castro said the department is investigating the case as an “unexplained death,” but he indicated that could change.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Senators Vote to Begin Debate on Repealing Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

Washington (CNN)The Senate voted Wednesday to begin debate on repealing changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission.

The measure, which is backed by all 49 Democrats and Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, is expected to pass the full Senate later Wednesday and then be sent to the GOP-led House, where it'll likely go nowhere -- and President Donald Trump is unlikely to back it.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: CNN
Statement from Governor Cuomo on the Senate Net Neutrality Vote 

"The federal administration wants to destroy the internet as we know it and hand the reins over to cable companies and powerful corporations. The FCC's dangerous order to roll back net neutrality rules next month puts corporations over people and goes against our fundamental belief in the free exchange of ideas. 

"In New York, we believe in a free and open internet and we are taking action to protect and strengthen net neutrality. I call on Senators in Washington to join us in this fight and vote against the FCC's attempt to end net neutrality. The fate of the internet - with open access to content and applications for everyone - depends on it." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

NYPD Officer Edwin Raymond on the Department's Quota System

This video was published on YouTube on November 20, 2017. 

NYPD officer Edwin Raymond describes his hopes of fixing the system from the inside by becoming a cop — and how his idealism was stamped out once he graduated from the academy and was forced to meet quotas. 

Director: Jenny Carchman 

"We Are Witnesses" is a portrait of crime and punishment in America. 

Source: The Marshall Project 

Note: Raymond and other NYPD officers are featured in the acclaimed documentary "Crime + Punishment", which exposes disturbing cases of corruption within the New York City Police Department.  

NAACP Issues List of Demands in the Death of Keeven Robinson

Source: WWLTV

Governor Cuomo Tours Storm Damage in Putnam County and Issues Recovery Update

Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo toured storm damage in Putnam County and delivered a recovery update in response to several severe thunderstorms that occurred throughout Tuesday.

At the height of the storm, over 200,000 utility customers were without power, mainly in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. The severe weather felled trees and power lines, damaged vehicles and homes, and resulted in at least two fatalities. As part of the recovery effort, the Governor has deployed 125 members of the New York National Guard and to further assist communities with recovery efforts.

Currently, thousands of state and local personnel are on site in the affected areas with pre-deployed equipment to clear transportation corridors of debris and assess damage throughout the affected areas.

More information is available here.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

4 Women Running on Socialist Platforms Unseat Male Incumbents in PA Primary

A Wake-Up Call for Dems? 

Source: Democracy Now!

Qatari Investor: Michael Cohen Asked Me For a Million Dollars

By Ryan Grim

In the blink of a Michael Avenatti tweet, Ahmed al-Rumaihi has suddenly found himself internet-famous. It began on Sunday evening, when the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels posted a screenshot of video footage from Trump Tower’s lobby, recorded on December 12, 2016.

Viral speculation followed, with online detectives identifying al-Rumaihi, the former head of a $100 billion wing of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, in the image and linking him to a Russia-Qatar deal to sell a portion of the oil company Rosneft, which had been referenced in the Steele dossier, a set of raw intelligence reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

From there, Slate took over, headlining a piece late Monday night“Michael Cohen’s Meetings With Michael Flynn and a Qatari Diplomat Might Be the Key to Unlocking the Steele Dossier.” 

Over the past two months, al-Rumaihi has shared details of his meetings that week in off-the-record interviews with The Intercept. al-Rumaihi said he was reluctant to speak out publicly, so as not to create diplomatic problems for his country, which has been the subject of a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since June. Qatar has been relying on the United States to mediate the dispute, and al-Rumaihi said he did not want to get in the way of that effort.  

But al-Rumaihi, who was educated in the U.S. and served as the No. 2 in the Qatar embassy in Washington from 2008 until 2013, has changed his mind.  

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

White Supremacist Jason Kessler: Unite the Right Anniversary Rally Could Be Held in Front of White House

By Emily Shugerman

The organiser of a deadly, white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer has said he's planning round two – but few of his former associates seem to be on board.

For months, white supremacist blogger Jason Kessler has fought unsuccessfully for a permit to return to Charlottesville – the site of his infamous Unite the Right rally, which brought hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members, and “alt-right” activists to the small college town last summer.

Now, he says he has a backup plan: The White House.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Independent

Spike Lee Unedited and Uncensored: 'Blackkklansman' Press Conference

This video was published on YouTube on May 15.  

Warning: Mr. Lee's comments contain very strong language.  

Source: Festival de Cannes (Officiel)

Democrats Float Ideas Ahead of Midterms and 2020 Presidential Race

Source: CBS News

FBI Investigates Deadly Building Explosion

5 Confirmed Dead as Severe Storms Hit Northeast

Kilauea Volcano Grows More Explosive

Putin Opens Russia-Crimea Bridge: 'A Miracle Has Happened'

Police vs Privacy: New Law Plan Angers Bavarians

Ex-FBI Agent Caught Teaching Police Islamophobic Ideas

Former Arab League Chief: 'The One-State Solution Should Be Put on the Agenda'

A FRANCE 24 Exclusive

Iran: President Hassan Rouhani and the Survival of the Nuclear Deal

Source: FRANCE 24 English

'Abenomics' Hits Road Bump as Japan's Economy Shrinks for First Time in Two Years

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Nicolás Maduro: 'Nothing the IMF Says About Venezuela is Credible'

Laser Research in Europe Set to Revolutionise Our Lives!

Source: euronews.

Brexit's Most Significant Moment Since the Referendum

Source: euronews.

North Korea Throws US Talks in Doubt

Source: euronews.

Time Running Out for 111-Year-Old Refugee Stranded in Greece

Source: euronews.

Gaza City Mourns Eight Month Old Layla Al Ghandour

Source: euronews.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Senate Republican Leadership News Conference

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says White House aide Kelly Sadler should publicly apologize for comments she made about Senator John McCain's health during a recent communications staff meeting. Ms. Sadler has apologized privately to Meghan McCain. 

Click here for video.

Senate Democratic Leadership News Conference

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and leadership colleagues field questions from reporters following their weekly caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Recording Artist Smokey Robinson Testifes on Copyright Laws

Recording artist Smokey Robinson, along with other musicians, songwriters, and music industry executives, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on federal copyright laws and music licensing rules.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Ahead of Vote on Gina Haspel, Senate Pulls Access to Damning Classified Memo

By Ryan Grim

As the Senate prepares for a Wednesday vote on whether to confirm Gina Haspel as director of the CIA, the Senate Intelligence Committee has restricted access to a classified memo that Democratic staff put together, detailing Haspel’s role in advocating for torture and later destroying related evidence. 

On Monday morning, Elizabeth Falcone, a senior aide for Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top-ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee, announced the decision to restrict access in an email to Democratic legislative directors. The memo had previously been available for senators and staff with security clearances to review in a Secure Compartmented Information Facility housed within Congress. Staff will no longer be able to review the document, and senators will only be able to do so upon request. It has been removed from the SCIF.

In Falcone’s email, which a Senate source shared with The Intercept, she said that the memo was “unable to be viewed.” (Over the weekend, both The Intercept and NBC News inquired about the existence of the memo, and NBC reported Monday afternoon that it had been removed from the Senate’s secure space.)

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Intercept

Police Are Mislabeling Anti-LGBTQ and Other Crimes as Anti-Heterosexual

ProPublica sent public-records requests to more than 50 police departments that reported anti-heterosexual hate crimes to the FBI. None of the reports we could track down actually included evidence of hate crimes against straight people.

by Rachel Glickhouse and Rahima Nasa

Rob heard a loud knock at his door late one night in August 2014. His landlord had been calling him about maintenance issues in his Columbus, Ohio, apartment, but that night she came with a male companion and began to scream at him. According to a police report, the man jumped into the argument and threatened Rob — who asked that we not use his full name — with a homophobic slur. Fearing an escalation, he called the police.

“A thing that I’ve dealt with my entire life as a gay man is extreme prejudice, from threats to constant harassment,” Rob said, noting that his landlord had previously told his neighbors that he was a “filthy queer.”

Columbus police acknowledged Rob’s concern that the incident may have been motivated by bias, but they got a key detail wrong in their incident report: They mistakenly marked it as a case of anti-heterosexual harassment.

Since 2010, Columbus police have reported six incidents that list bias against heterosexuals as the purported motivation. That’s more than any other local law enforcement agency in the nation reported during that period. Columbus Police Department Sgt. Dean Worthington acknowledges it’s likely that the officers who filed the reports marked the wrong box. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: ProPublica