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Judge orders special prosecutor be appointed to look into Jussie Smollett controversy

Judge orders special prosecutor be appointed to look into Jussie Smollett controversy | 21 June 2019 | A Cook County judge on Friday ordered the surprise appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the short-lived prosecution of Jussie Smollett, saying it may have been legally invalid from the very beginning. Judge Michael Toomin ruled that State's Attorney Kim Foxx had the right to withdraw herself from overseeing the prosecution but held no legal authority to delegate that responsibility to her top deputy. With the deputy holding no real authority, the Smollett case made its way through the court system without a prosecutor at the helm, the veteran judge said.

Jussie Smollett could be charged again, says Chicago judge

Jussie Smollett could be charged again, says Chicago judge | 21 June 2019 |A Chicago judge on Friday appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Jussie Smollett case -- which could mean new charges against the actor, reports said. Judge Michael Toomin ruled that a special prosecutor could "further prosecute Smollett" if the office deems it "in the interest of justice," the Chicago Tribune reported. Because Smollett was never acquitted or found guilty of a crime, he could still be tried in the case.

Iran Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone amid tensions

Iran Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone amid tensions | 20 June 2019 | Iran's Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, marking the first time the Islamic Republic directly attacked the American military amid tensions over Tehran's unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. The two countries disputed the circumstances leading up to an Iranian surface-to-air missile bringing down the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 jetliner and costing over $100 million. Iran said the drone "violated" its territorial airspace, while the U.S. called the missile fire "an unprovoked attack" in international airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf and President Donald Trump tweeted that "Iran made a very big mistake!"

FAA issues emergency order barring commercial operators from some Iranian airspace

FAA issues emergency order barring commercial operators from some Iranian airspace | 20 June 2019 | The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday evening issued an emergency order that bars U.S. aircraft from an overwater area of Iranian airspace amid increased U.S./Iran tensions, according to Reuters. The order covers a Tehran-controlled section over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. The agency also issued a separate advisory to operators that said the nearest civil aircraft was within approximately 45 nautical miles of the drone Iran shot down this week.

Trump approved Iranian strike before pulling back - report

Breaking: Trump approved Iranian strike before pulling back - report | 20 June 2019 | President Trump approved a military strike on Iran Thursday in response to the downing of a drone before eventually pulling back, according to a report from the New York Times. The New York Times reported that as late at 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting the military strike before dawn on Friday on a series of targets including radar and missile batteries. The strike was called off but the Times reported that it was unclear if Trump changed his mind or the administration changed its strategy on Iran. The White House and Pentagon officials declined to comment to the Times.

Here's where 2020 Democrats stand on slavery reparations

Here's where 2020 Democrats stand on slavery reparations | 20 June 2019 | As the 2020 race Opens a New Window. begins to heat up -- 23 Democrats have already filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission -- some of the biggest talking points and policy debates are beginning to come into focus. That includes the discussion of reparations for the descendants of slaves in the U.S., a policy that’s been addressed by several Democratic presidential hopefuls -- a marked turn from previous election cycles. Both Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, and former President Barack Obama opposed reparations...Here's a closer look at what the New Jersey Democrat [Sen. Cory Booker, who testified on the topic] and some of the top Democratic presidential candidates have said about reparations.

Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back | 20 June 2019 | President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions. As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president's top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations. Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

Trump can block funding to clinics that make abortion referrals, appeals court rules

Trump can block funding to clinics that make abortion referrals, appeals court rules | 20 June 2019 | A federal appeals court decided unanimously Thursday to lift three injunctions that barred the Trump administration from denying funds to family planning clinics that refer clients for abortions. The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a significant setback for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. The court said the 2019 Trump directive may be enforced pending appeal of orders by judges in California, Washington and Oregon blocking the new rule.

New York passes law allowing undocumented immigrants to have drivers' licenses

New York passes law allowing undocumented immigrants to have drivers' licenses | 19 June 2019 | New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed on Monday the Driver's License Access and Privacy Act, also known as the "Green Light Bill," which amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) to allow undocumented immigrants access to driver's licenses. The bill authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue standard drivers' licenses and restricts what information can be retained and given out on those applying or holding standard driver's licenses.The bill adds restrictions on the disclosure of personal information from non-commercial driver's license applications and on the release of records to immigration and law enforcement agencies.

Iranian UN envoy condemns 'unlawful destabilizing measures' by US

Iranian UN envoy condemns 'unlawful destabilizing measures' by US | 20 June 2019 | Iran's envoy to the United Nations has called on the international community to end "unlawful destabilizing measures" by the US, declaring that while Iran does not seek war, it "reserves the right to counter any hostile act." Iranian envoy to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi has condemned continuing US provocations that culminated Thursday morning in the downing of an American surveillance drone by the Iranian air force over Hormozgan province. The drone "had turned off its identification equipment and [was] engaged in a clear spying operation," Ravanchi confirmed in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding that the aircraft had ignored "repeated radio warnings" in order to enter Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.

Oregon governor authorizes state police to bring GOP lawmakers back to capital for climate vote

Oregon governor authorizes state police to bring GOP lawmakers back to capital for climate vote | 20 June 2019 | Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) authorized the state police to bring Republican lawmakers back to Salem after several left the state to avoid a vote on a climate bill. GOP state senators walked out this week after voicing concerns over the bill's impacts on a number of "energy intensive, trade-exposed" businesses in rural communities. Though the bill has already passed the House and Democrats hold a supermajority in the state Senate, Republicans have the numbers to deny a quorum in the upper chamber.

Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale

Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale | 20 June 2019 | The Senate voted to block President Trump's Saudi arms deal on Thursday, paving the way for a veto clash with the White House. The Senate voted 53-45 on resolutions to block two of the sales, with GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Todd Young (Ind.) joining Democrats. They voted 51-45 to block the additional 20 arms sales. Murkwoski flipped to vote for the sale, while Lee did not vote.

Man who shared video of New Zealand mosque shooting gets 21 months in prison

Man who shared video of New Zealand mosque shooting gets 21 months in prison | 18 June 2019 | A Christchurch businessman who shared a video of worshippers being slaughtered at a New Zealand mosque was sentenced on Tuesday to 21 months in prison. Philip Arps had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the video, which was livestreamed on Facebook by a gunman on March 15 as he began killing 51 people at two mosques...Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said Arps had sent the video to 30 associates. Under New Zealand laws aimed at preventing the distribution of objectionable material, Arps faced up to 14 years imprisonment on each count.

Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand

Supreme Court rules Peace Cross war memorial can stand | 20 June 2019 | The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Peace Cross war memorial on public land outside Washington, D.C., can stand, determining in a 7-2 decision that it does not violate the Constitution. Residents of Prince George's County, Maryland and the American Humanist Association (AHA) had sued to have the cross taken down, and the American Legion, whose symbol is also on the memorial, intervened to defend it. While the residents and AHA claimed that a cross memorial on public land violated the Constitution, the Court determined that factors, including the history of the memorial, support the idea that it is not religious in nature.

Men need not apply: university set to open jobs just to women

Men need not apply: university set to open jobs just to women | 18 June 2019 | A Dutch engineering university is taking radical action to increase its share of female academics by opening job vacancies to women only. Starting on 1 July, the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) in the Netherlands will not allow men to apply for permanent academic jobs for the first 6 months of the recruitment process under a new fellowship program. If no suitable applicant has been found within that time, men can then apply, but the selection committee will still have to nominate at least one candidate of each gender. The [insane] plan was announced today and is already attracting controversy.

Activists target Mayor Eric Garcetti with a recall campaign, citing homelessness crisis

Activists target Mayor Eric Garcetti with a recall campaign, citing homelessness crisis --According to the latest count, homelessness has swelled 16% over the past year. | 19 June 2019 | Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being targeted for removal from office over his handling of the homelessness crisis. On Wednesday, Alexandra Datig, a political commentator who is leading the effort, told reporters at a news conference outside City Hall that the mayor was served with a notice of intent for recall -- the first step of a long-shot attempt. "He can't handle the crisis," said Datig, a registered Republican who described herself as longtime Angeleno frustrated by the surging number of people living on the street. "He needs to step down."

TSA officers attacked at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

TSA officers attacked at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport | 19 June 2019 | A man was arrested after attempting to rush through the security checkpoint and attack Transportation Security Administration officers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the TSA. At about 9:45 a.m., multiple TSA officers were attacked inside Terminal 4 when a man, later identified as Tyrese Garner, 19, attempted to rush through the security checkpoint, according to Lorie Dankers, spokeswoman for the federal agency. TSA officers quickly subdued Garner and Phoenix police officers stationed at the airport immediately intervened and Garner was arrested, according to the statement.

Koch Brothers and George Soros Band Together to Enforce Big Tech Censorship Heading Into 2020

Koch Brothers and George Soros Band Together to Enforce Big Tech Censorship Heading Into 2020 --The Koch and Soros networks are teaming to 'fight against hate and extremism online.' | 12 June 2019 | The globalist Koch Brothers have announced recently that they will not be supporting Donald Trump's re-election campaign with their oligarch money in 2020, and they intend to support Democrats during that same election cycle. Now, they are colluding with George Soros and other thought-control organizations to enforce corporate censorship on monolithic social media platforms. The Charles Koch Institute will be sending representatives to the second annual "After Charlottesville Project" in San Francisco, California, on July 17. The event, which is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal, the Kresge Foundation and the Soros Fund Charitable Foundation, intends to exploit the tragedy of Charlottesville to push for even more Orwellian censorship.

Feds arrest Syrian refugee accused of plotting terrorist attack on Pittsburgh Christian church

Feds arrest Syrian refugee accused of plotting terrorist attack on Pittsburgh church | 19 June 2019 |The Department of Justice announced the arrest of a Syrian refugee on Wednesday in connection with an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh. Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, was accused by federal prosecutors in court documents filed on Wednesday of planning to attack a church on the north side of Pittsburgh, the Legacy International Worship Center, "to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States." According to the criminal complaint, Alowemer was born in Daraa, Syria and was admitted to the U.S. as a refugee in August 2016.

Connecticut high school athletes file complaint over transgender policy

Connecticut high school athletes file complaint over transgender policy | 19 June 2019 | Three Connecticut high school track and field athletes have filed a federal discrimination complaint against a statewide policy on transgender athletes, saying it has cost them top finishes in competitions and possibly college scholarships. The conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom filed the complaint on behalf of the girls Monday with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights. It seeks to reverse a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rule allowing athletes to compete in sports corresponding with their gender identify.

Trump launches re-election bid before jam-packed arena, vows to 'Keep America Great'

Trump launches re-election bid before jam-packed arena, vows to 'Keep America Great' | 18 June 2019 | President Trump formally launched his 2020 re-election campaign Tuesday night before a jam-packed crowd in Orlando's Amway Center arena, and quickly unloaded on the media organizations and government actors he said tried their hardest with "everything they had" to bring down both his candidacy and presidency..."We stared down the unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests who made a living bleeding our country dry," Trump said. "The swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently. For the last two and a half years, we have been under siege." And after polling the boisterous crowd, Trump appeared to settle on a new campaign slogan: "Keep America Great."

Connecticut parents sue state for releasing school-by-school vaccination data

Connecticut parents sue state for releasing school-by-school vaccination data | 18 June 2019 | Two Connecticut parents are suing the state Department of Public Health over the release of school-by-school vaccination data, saying the information prompted a torrent of social media criticism against parents who choose not to inoculate their children. Kristen and Brian Festa of Woodstock are the parents of a 7-year-old who attends Meliora Academy, a private school in Meriden that teaches children on the autism spectrum. Last month, the state health department released vaccination rates at all of Connecticut’s public and private schools.

Shanahan drops out of contention to lead Pentagon, as Trump taps Army secretary

Shanahan drops out of contention to lead Pentagon, as Trump taps Army secretary | 18 June 2019 | President Trump abruptly announced Tuesday that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is withdrawing from consideration to lead the Pentagon and he's naming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper as his replacement. While speculation has brewed for days about Shanahan's status, the announcement came shortly after the publication of an explosive USA Today report that the FBI has been probing a violent domestic dispute from 2010 between Shanahan and his then-wife as part of his background investigation.

Pentagon announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine

Pentagon announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine | 18 June 2019 | The US will provide [the Nazis running] Ukraine with $250 million worth of military equipment, training and support, the Pentagon announced, saying Ukraine's Navy and marines would be among the beneficiaries. The Ukrainian military will get sniper rifles, grenade launchers, counter-battery radar systems, night vision equipment and communication devices, the Pentagon statement said... The statement said the package will bring total US security assistance to Ukraine to $1.5 billion since 2014, when a US-backed coup in Kiev ousted Ukraine's elected government. [Right, a textbook example of "foreign interference in an election" on steroids.]

US sending 1,000 additional troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions

US sending 1,000 additional troops to Middle East amid Iran tensions | 17 June 2019 | The US will send 1,000 additional US forces and more military resources to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran, the Pentagon announced Monday. Shortly before the announcement the Pentagon released a detailed set of photos that it said showed Iranian boats removing a mine from one of two tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman on June 13. The US attributes the attack to Iran. Tehran has vigorously denied the charge. News of the additional troop deployment comes as the State Department announced Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel Tuesday to the command center that oversees Middle East military operations.

WWII Army veteran, 101, gets over 5,000 birthday cards

WWII Army veteran, 101, gets over 5,000 birthday cards | 16 June 2019 | When John Frey’s family requested 101 birthday cards to celebrate the World War II veteran's 101st birthday in Utah, they were expecting to get 500 at most. At a celebration on June 8, a day after his birthday, Frey ended up with well over 5,000 cards, the Daily Herald reports...The cards came from all 50 states and at least 12 countries.

Trump supporters line up 42 hours early for Orlando campaign rally at Amway Center

Trump supporters line up 42 hours early for Orlando campaign rally at Amway Center | 17 June 2019 | With tents, sleeping bags and coolers of water in tow, Donald Trump supporters began lining up early Monday for Tuesday's campaign rally in Orlando, nearly two full days before the event. Outside the Amway Center, where President Trump will officially kick off his 2020 re-election bid at 8 p.m. Tuesday, about two dozen people and counting had staked out a spot along Division Street as of Monday morning. The line had grown to about 50 as of 3 p.m...The Amway has capacity for about 20,000 people. Trump tweeted Monday that there had been more than 100,000 requests for tickets.

New York may soon OK licenses for immigrants in US illegally

New York may soon OK licenses for immigrants in US illegally | 17 June 2019 | New York state may soon allow immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to get driver's licenses. The measure passed the state Assembly last week and could get a vote in the Democrat-led state Senate as early as Monday afternoon. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports the bill...Republican lawmakers, however, say approving the measure could lead to voter fraud and say people shouldn't be rewarded for violating immigration rules.

Scott Baio accuses Joe Biden of stealing his 'let's make America America again' speech: 'He's a plagiarizing fraud'

Scott Baio accuses Joe Biden of stealing his 'let's make America America again' speech: 'He's a plagiarizing fraud' | 12 June 2019 | ...It's unlikely Biden has any shot of winning over conservative actor Scott Baio, who has called the politician a "plagiarizing fraud." Biden's 1988 presidential campaign was hit with charges that he plagiarized British politician Neil Kinnock. More than three decades later, the former Delaware senator is facing similar accusations regarding the wording in his climate plan and other 2020 campaign material. Conservatives are accusing Biden of ripping off Michael Avenatti with "[Trump] says, 'let's make America great again...let's make America America again." But Baio says he was the first to use "let's make America America again," using the phrase during his speech at the 2016 Republican Convention. The actor also insisted that his words vary from "Let America Be America Again," the title of a 1935 Langston Hughes poem.

Kremlin compares US attacks on Iran to fake 'white powder evidence' against Iraq in 2003

Kremlin compares US attacks on Iran to fake 'white powder evidence' against Iraq in 2003 | 16 June 2019 | The US campaign for a war against Iraq in 2003 serves as a cautionary tale against saber-rattling and finger-pointing amid current tensions in the Persian Gulf, the Kremlin's spokesperson has said. "We didn't forget the vials with white powder. We remember and, therefore, have learnt to show restraint in our assessments," Dmitry Peskov said on a TV show aired on 'Rossiya 1' channel on Sunday...The Kremlin's spokesperson stated that no sufficient proof has yet been presented to blame anyone. Jumping to conclusions and making hasty decisions could lead to dire consequences, he said.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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