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Roger Stone Is Found Guilty in Trial That Revived Trump-Russia Saga

WASHINGTON — Roger J. Stone Jr., a former aide and longtime friend of President Trump, was found guilty on Friday of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in what prosecutors said was an effort to protect Mr. Trump

Mr. Stone, 67, was charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of another potential witness and concealing reams of evidence from investigators. Prosecutors claimed he tried to thwart the committee’s work because the truth would have “looked terrible” for both the president and his campaign. In all, he faced seven felony charges and was found guilty on all counts.

One person was killed and at least four others were injured in a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita early Thursday, authorities said.

The shooting was reported at the campus at 21900 Centurion Way about 7:40 a.m., prompting a massive law enforcement response. Paramedics swarmed the campus, treating the treated the wounded while authorities combed through nearby neighborhoods searching for a 15-year-old boy suspected in the shooting. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the sheriff’s department SWAT team also assisted with the search.

After a roughly an hour, authorities said that the suspect who is believed to be a student at the school had been apprehended. The teen, who was not immediately identified, is being treated at a hospital in unknown condition, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Four people from the school were transported to Henry Mayo Hospital for treatment. One patient, a female, died at the hospital. Two male patients are in critical condition and one male is in good condition, according to Patrick Moody, a spokesman for the hospital. Their specific injuries and ages was not immediately provided.

Politics / Deval Patrick Joins the 2020 Race
« on: November 14, 2019, 12:28:02 PM »
Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts officially entered the presidential race on Thursday, adding an 18th candidate and an 11th-hour twist to a turbulent Democratic primary with less than three months to go before the Iowa caucuses.

Mr. Patrick’s announcement, which he had signaled this week, came in the form of a video he released early Thursday morning. In it, he said he was running for people who “feel left out” and want a future “not built by somebody better than you, not built for you, but built with you.”

“I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field,” he said. “They bring a richness of ideas and experience and a depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country.”


Congress can seek eight years of President Trump’s tax records, according to a federal appeals court order Wednesday that moves the separation-of-powers conflict one step closer to the Supreme Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit let stand an earlier ruling against the president that affirmed Congress’s investigative authority on a day when the House was holding its first public impeachment inquiry hearing.

Trump’s lawyers have said they are prepared to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in this case and in several other legal battles between the president and Congress.

The D.C. Circuit was responding Wednesday to Trump’s request to have a full panel of judges rehear a three-judge decision from October that rejected the president’s request to block lawmakers from subpoenaing his longtime accounting firm.

The order does not mean Trump’s taxes will be turned over to Congress immediately. The D.C. Circuit previously said it would put any ruling against the president on hold for seven days to give Trump’s attorneys time to ask the Supreme Court to step in.

Trump’s attorneys also are planning to ask the high court as soon as this week to block a similar subpoena for the president’s tax records from the Manhattan district attorney, who is investigating hush-money payments in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The New York-based appeals court ruled against Trump this month and refused to block the subpoena to his accounting firm, Mazars USA.

The D.C. Circuit case centers on a House Oversight Committee subpoena from March for the president’s accounting firm records — issued months before the beginning of its impeachment inquiry, related to Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

The request for information followed testimony from Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen that Trump had exaggerated his wealth when he sought loans. Lawmakers are investigating potential conflicts of interest, including the accuracy of the president’s financial disclosures.

Women who inspired 'Hidden Figures' film will be honored with congressional gold medals

The historic black women scientists and mathematicians who inspired the 2016 blockbuster film “Hidden Figures” will be honored with congressional gold medals for their contributions to NASA during the Space Race.

Under the “Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act,” which President Trump signed into law on Friday, Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden will each be honored with Congressional gold medals, the country’s highest civilian award. Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson will also be posthumously be awarded with the honor.

The bill states that the stories of each of the women “exemplify the experiences of hundreds of women who worked as computers, mathematicians, and engineers” and whose “handmade calculations played an integral role in aircraft testing during World War II, supersonic flight research, sending the Voyager probes to explore  the solar system and the United States landing the first man on the lunar surface.”

Leaked emails from White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller from 2015-2016 reveal an obsession with white nationalism, the Confederacy and the denigration of black and Hispanic communities.

More than 900 private emails between Miller and Breitbart News were examined by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch section, revealing that 80 percent of the messages pertained to race or immigration. The emails sent between March 2015 and June 2016 straddle Miller's time as an aide to then-Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions and his later role on as a senior adviser for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign. Miller's emails tout eugenics and white nationalist conspiracy theories and offer news tips to Breitbart on how to cover immigration and amplify stories about black and Hispanic crime.

The number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI last year remain at the heightened levels they surged to in 2017, according to statistics released Tuesday by the bureau.

The statistics released in the annual Hate Crime Statistics report are a compilation of bias-motivated incidents submitted to the FBI by 16,039 law enforcement agencies. The new report collected data from 110 fewer agencies than 2017's.

The latest report found that 7,120 hate crime incidents were reported by law enforcement agencies to the FBI in 2018, just 55 fewer than had been reported in 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, the FBI found a 17% increase in reported incidents.

The current total included 7,036 hate crime incidents involving a single identified type of bias against a perpetrator's victims, and 84 incidents involved more than one type of bias motivating the perpetrator.

Of the single-bias hate crimes reported in 2018, 59.6% of victims were targeted because of the offenders' race/ethnicity/ancestry bias; 18.7% were targeted because of the offenders' religious bias; 16.7% were victimized because of the offenders' sexual-orientation bias; 2.2% were targeted because of the offenders' gender identity bias; 2.1% were victimized because of the offenders' disability bias; and, 0.7% were victimized because of the offenders' gender bias.

The data released Tuesday shows that bias against African Americans overwhelmingly comprised the largest category of reported hate crime offenses pertaining to race, with a total of 46.9% of them motivated by anti-black or African American bias. An FBI spokesperson tells CNN that an offense is defined as a specific action against persons, property or society, and that reported hate crime incidents can contain more than one offense.

Politics / Condoleezza Rice Concerned by Shadow Diplomacy on Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 08:20:34 PM »
"What I see right now troubles me. I see a state of conflict between the foreign policy professionals and someone who says he's acting on behalf of the president but frankly I don't know if that is the case," Rice, who also served as Bush's national security adviser, said at a conference in Abu Dhabi.

"It is troubling. It is deeply troubling," she said.

The House of Representatives' inquiry centers on Trump's July 25 request to Ukraine's president that he investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and Biden's son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Witnesses in the inquiry have described how Giuliani and others worked to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation of the Bidens. They said Trump and his administration sought to tie $391 million in security aid to Ukraine to an investigation, as well as a White House meeting.

The United States has been highly supportive of Ukraine against the threat from Russia, especially after the takeover of the Crimea in 2014.

Rice, who went to the White House as a Soviet specialist, said any non-official persons carrying messages for the U.S. administration should make sure they are carrying the same message as the secretary of state or national security adviser.

"This is just not a good thing. The world shouldn’t get confusing messages from the United States of America," she said.

Rice also criticized the July 25 call in which Trump made the request of Ukraine's newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"The call is murky, it is really murky. I don't like for the president of the United States to mention an American citizen for investigation to a foreign leader. I think that is out of bounds," she said.

Sports Forum / Delaware State upsets Bethune-Cookman 16-13
« on: November 10, 2019, 08:44:21 AM »

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Thomas Bertrand-Hudon rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries and Delaware State stunned Bethune-Cookman 16-13 on Saturday.

Delaware State (2-8, 1-6 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) used Tylik Bethea’s 22-yard scoring strike to Bizzet Woodley and a safety to lead 9-0 after one quarter.

Bertrand-Hudon’s 8-yard TD run stretched the Hornets’ lead to 16-0 with 5:39 left in the second quarter.

Bethune-Cookman (6-3, 4-2) got on the scoreboard when LeDerrien Wilson ran 2 yards for a TD, but the Wildcats missed the point after and trailed 16-6 at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, Bethune-Cookman pulled within three points when Tydarius Peters picked off Bethea and returned it 25 yards for a TD with 13:09 left in the game. The Wildcats’ final hurrah ended when they turned the ball over on downs with 2:35 remaining.

Bethune-Cookman had 257 total yards, one more than the Hornets.

W. George Allen, a hugely influential figure in Broward history and its black community, has died, his family confirmed Thursday. He was 83.

In 1962, Allen became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Florida. He once said: “I was admitted to Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, but I’m a native Floridian, and I felt that somebody had to integrate the University of Florida. The racists told me I didn’t belong there and I’d never graduate.”

But he did. And he became a leading lawyer in Florida and the nation. Allen was at the forefront of the civil rights movement, including playing a key role in integrating public schools in Broward County.

His son Jonathan Allen tweeted Thursday: "It is with profound sadness that I confirm the passing of our beloved Dad, attorney W. George Allen. We pause to pay our tribute of love, affection and respect to a legal maverick.

“He was also a Florida icon, fishing icon, family icon and a very distinguished gentleman.”

Attorney was a graduate of FAMU and sued the Broward County School Board to desegregate Broward County Public Schools. He was an Icon in Fort Lauderdale.

Rest in Peace Brother Allen

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers threw another wrench into the state's razor-thin gubernatorial outcome late Tuesday night, saying that the legislature could decide the race.

Stivers' comments came shortly after Gov. Matt Bevin refused to concede to Attorney General Andy Beshear, who led by roughly 5,100 votes when all the precincts were counted.

“There’s less than one-half of 1%, as I understand, separating the governor and the attorney general,” Stivers said. “We will follow the letter of the law and what various processes determine.” 

Stivers, R-Manchester, said based on his staff’s research, the decision could come before the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Under state law, Bevin has 30 days to formally contest the outcome once it is certified by the State Board of Elections. Candidates typically ask for a re-canvass of voting machines and a recount first.

The last contested governor's race was the 1899 election of Democrat William Goebel.

Stivers said he thought Bevin’s speech declining to concede to Beshear was “appropriate.” He said believes most of the votes that went to Libertarian John Hicks, who received about 2% of the total vote, would have gone to Bevin and made him the clear winner.

A candidate can file a formal election contest with the state legislature, but it must be filed within 30 days of the last action by the state board of elections. The state board is scheduled to certify the results of the race for governor on Nov. 25 this year.

Under this contest, the candidate challenging the results must specify the grounds for the action, such as a violation of campaign finance rules or specific problems when it comes to how ballots were cast.

Such an election contest is covered under Section 90 of the state constitution, which addresses a "contest of election for Governor or Lieutenant Governor."

Section 90 states: "Contested elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be determined by both Houses of the General Assembly, according to such regulations as may be established by law.

Politics / Somali-American Wins Municipal Election in Lewiston Maine
« on: November 06, 2019, 07:00:53 PM »
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The second-largest city in Maine, home to thousands of African newcomers, has elected a Somali American to its city council.

Safiya Khalid, 23, soundly defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday for a seat on the Lewiston City Council in a campaign that was marred in the final days by nasty attacks and threats fueled by social media.

Shrugging off the attacks, Khalid declared that her victory is proof that "community organizers beat internet trolls."

A federal appeals panel said on Monday that President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, a setback for the president’s attempt to keep his financial records private.

The three-judge appeals panel did not take a position on the president’s biggest argument — that he was immune from all criminal investigations. A lower court had called that argument “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.”

Instead, the appeals court said the president’s accounting firm, not Mr. Trump himself, was subpoenaed for the documents, so it did not matter whether presidents have immunity.


But the tax returns are not likely to be handed over soon. Mr. Trump has fought vigorously to shield his financial records, and the case appears headed to the United States Supreme Court.

The legal fight began in late August after the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his tax returns and those of his family business dating to 2011

Politics / US has been reducing troop strength in Afghanistan
« on: October 22, 2019, 09:42:30 AM »
US has been reducing troop strength in Afghanistan, commander says

KABUL — The United States has reduced its troop strength in Afghanistan over the past year, the commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan announced Monday, despite the abrupt end last month of peace talks with the Taliban that centered on a draw-down of American troops.

"Unbeknownst to the public as part of our optimization . . . we reduced our authorized strength by 2,000 here," Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller said at a news conference in Kabul, alongside Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who is visiting Afghanistan for the first time since he took office.

There are around 13,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Army Col. Sonny Leggett. When Miller took command in Afghanistan last year, troop levels were at 15,000.

Much of the reduction came from U.S. command headquarters in Kabul, Leggett said.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pledged to bring U.S. troops home from "endless wars" abroad. In a draft of a peace deal reached between U.S. and Taliban negotiators, the Trump administration said it was prepared to reduce the number of American troops to 8,600.

Leggett said the reduction was "an aggregate drop since General Miller took command" and not part of the drawdown to 8,600 American troops.

Politics / Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells Trump he plans to resign
« on: October 17, 2019, 05:55:09 PM »
Energy Secretary Rick Perry notified President Trump on Thursday that he intends to leave his job soon, two administration sources familiar with the matter said.

Perry was traveling with the president to Texas when he shared the news aboard Air Force One. Fox News is told he had planned to resign at the end of the year.

However, Perry had come under scrutiny over the role he played in the president's dealings with Ukraine, which are currently the subject of an impeachment inquiry -- raising questions as to whether the probe factored into his decision. House Democrats subpoenaed Perry earlier Thursday as part of their investigation.

Perry was scheduled to attend an energy conference overseas with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified Thursday in Democrats' inquiry. A Capitol Hill source and an official at the Energy Department told Fox News that Perry is still slated to head to Brussels and the Middle East next week as planned.

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