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January 30, 2014
We will not break the law to enforce the law. That’s my solemn promise to every New Yorker, regardless of where they were born, where they live, or what they look like. Those values aren’t at odds with keeping New Yorkers safe — they are essential to long-term public safety.
NYC Police Commissioner William J. Bratton • Promising to abandon the New York Police Department’s unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policies during a press conference at Brownsville Recreation Center. The conference also doubled as a platform for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce an out-of-court settlement with civil rights lawyers that had sued the city as a result of the controversial NYPD policy. source
15:44 // 1 month ago
Missouri has executed a man convicted of killing a jewellery store owner during a 1991 robbery after the US supreme court denied last-minute appeals that in part challenged the drug used in the execution.
"After the United States supreme court vacated three separate stays of execution on January 29 2014, Herbert Smulls was executed for the 1991 murder of Stephen Honickman," said Chris Koster, the Missouri attorney general.
Smulls, 56, was pronounced dead at 10.20pm local time at a state prison in Bonne Terre after receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital, the corrections department said.
15:13 // 1 month ago
January 29, 2014
The US Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for the Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, after his lawyers protested that the state had refused to disclose the source of the drug due to be used to kill him.
Justice Samuel Alito signed the order that was sent out on Tuesday night after Barack Obama’s state of the union speech.
Smulls’ lawyers had made last-minute pleas on Tuesday to spare his life, focusing on the state’s refusal to disclose from which compounding pharmacy they obtain the lethal injection drug pentobarbital. Missouri has argued the compounding pharmacy is part of the execution team and therefore its name cannot be released to the public.
22:27 // 1 month ago
U.S. House greenlights $956 billion for new farm bill
- $956B in funding for the nation’s latest farm bill was approved in a bipartisan vote on Wednesday, though more than 100 Democrats and 60 Republicans voted against the measure. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate, and President Obama has already said he will sign the bill if/when approved.
- $23B was shaved from the country’s farm and nutritional title programs, nearly six times the $4 billion that Democrats were aiming for, but that’s still astronomically lower than the $160 billion that House Republicans originally requested.
- $8.6B was cut from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) budget by raising the program’s home heating auto-qualification rules to only cover people receiving $20 per month (or more) in heating assistance from the federal government. The program originally covered anyone receiving any amount over one dollar. source
22:06 // 1 month ago
We The People petition garners enough signatures to earn official response on Bieber deportation
- 110K+ people have signed a petition on We The People that asks the federal government to deport Canadian pop star Justin Bieber in the wake of his recent legal troubles. source
15:11 // 1 month ago
January 28, 2014
Sen. John McCain said Tuesday that his state party’s vote this past weekend to censure him for being insufficiently conservative might make him more likely to seek another term in 2016.
"If there’s such a thing as motivation to more seriously consider it, it’s what just happened,” McCain told the AP.
McCain added that the censure vote “shows that, again, a very extremist element of the party has taken over the party apparatus.”
16:47 // 1 month ago
President Obama is expected to announce an executive order that would circumvent Congress to raise the minimum wage of federal employees, from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. The order will reportedly be part of a larger pledge from President Obama to seek change that doesn’t require help/approval from Congress, Speaker of the House John Boehner says Republicans won’t take action against the pay raise, but warned that any further attempts to encroach on Congress’ turf would be met with legal action. (Photo via State of Maryland) source
13:46 // 1 month ago
January 23, 2014
On a cold day in early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch.
The men put the boxes in a van and weaved through the Polish capital until coming to the headquarters of Polish intelligence.They were met by Col. Andrzej Derlatka, deputy chief of the intelligence service, and two of his associates.
The Americans and Poles formalized an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison — a remote villa in the Polish lake district — to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects. The Polish intelligence service had some more funds, and the agency had a solid location for its newest covert operation, according to former CIA officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the interrogation program, including previously unreported details about the creation of the agency’s black sites.
16:57 // 1 month ago
January 22, 2014
Pentagon pushing for all or nothing on Afghan troop levels
- 10K troops should remain in Afghanistan to help with peace keeping operations, according to a new recommendation from senior Pentagon officials. The recommendation also says that, if the United States isn’t willing to leave at least 10,000 active duty soldiers inside the country, they should bring home every single service member currently stationed in Afghanistan. To station any less would leave those who remain incapable of defending both themselves and the diplomats, military officials, etc that they’d be responsible for. source
14:20 // 1 month ago
January 21, 2014
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife were charged on Tuesday in federal court with illegally accepting large loans, luxury vacations and expensive gifts from a businessman.
A federal grand jury indicted the couple on 14 counts related to their decision to receive thousands of gifts and loans from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., an executive at dietary supplement company Star Scientific.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, could face prison sentences that amount to decades and fines of more than $1 million.
18:27 // 1 month ago