Monday Former New York Representative Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 month in federal prison for sexting a 15 year old. He was also sentenced to three years supervised release and must register as a sex offender.
Weiner began messaging the victim intimately after she initially reached out to him on one of his social media sites.
Weiner’s defense made a point that he was also texting 19 other girls who were of legal age, arguing that the incident was out of sex addiction and not out of an attraction to young females.
Weiner’s trial gained national attention after FBI discovered emails forwarded to Huma Abedin, Weiner’s estranged wife and long time Hilary Clinton aid, that were related to Hilary Clinton. This caused the FBI to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s emails just weeks before the election although nothing illegal was found. A move Clinton has since labeled as one of factors that damaged her campaign.
New York Times
Anthony Weiner’s Wikipedia
Wednesday the Trump Administration announced its plans to cap the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States at 45,000 for 2018. This figure is the lowest since the modern refugee admission system was put in place in 1980.
The Obama Administration set the cap at 110,000 for 2017 but only about half that number has been reached due to the Trump Administration’s temporary ban on refugee resettlement. Refugee resettlement agencies are asking for at least 75,000 to deal with the humanitarian needs around the world.
According to CNN, the US plans to admit no more than 45,000 refugees in the coming year, with regional caps of 19,000 for Africa, 17,500 for the Near East and South Asia (which includes most Middle Eastern countries), 5,000 for East Asia, 2,000 for Europe and Central Asia, and 1,500 for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Although the debate is often labeled as between humanitarian goals and national security, the Trump Administration has argued the economic aspect of the matter.
“For the cost of resettling one refugee in the U.S., we can assist more than 10 in their home region,” President Trump said in a speech to the United Nations earlier this month as told on NPR.
Critics argue that refugees help stimulate the economy and that they are some of the most vetted individuals as the refugee screening and resettlement process takes between 18-24 months on average.
On Thursday Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced the Trump Administration’s plans to waived the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones act, which experts say has slowed Puerto Rico’s recovery.
On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico with category 4 winds. The storm left most of Puerto Rico without power due to an outdated power grid. Following shortly after the storm roughly 4 percent of the residents had power.
The Jones Act requires that all goods delivered from the mainland to parts of the non-contiguous United States be transported on U.S. Flagged ships. This subjects foreign ships to high tariffs when they do business with Puerto Rico.
According to Bloomberg, goods shipped from the US mainland to Puerto Rico — often transferred from foreign ships onto US vessels in Florida — are double the price they are in neighboring islands, including the US Virgin Islands, not subject to the Jones Act.
Governor Ricardo Rossello reached out to the president to get the law waived.
Trump recently temporarily waived the Jones Act for Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
San Diego Union Tribune
Sunday a gunman killed one and injured six at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, TN.
The gunman, Emanuel Kidega Simpson, 25, arrived at the church as service was letting out around 11:15. According to multiple reports, he killed one person in the parking lot before he entered the church wearing a mask and injured six more while firing indiscriminately. Most of the victims were 60 or older.
Robert Caleb Engle, 22, a long time member of the church, confronted the gunman and during a struggle with Engle, Simpson shot himself. Engle eventually used his own licensed weapon to subdue the Simpson until the authorities arrived.
Two pistols were recovered at the church and a pistol and a shotgun were found in Simpson’s vehicle. Simpson is currently being charged with murder and more charges will be added later.
Currently Simpson’s motivations are unclear but he is believed to have been a member of the congregation a year or two ago.
Simpson is originally from Sudan but is currently a legal resident but not a citizen. He is believed to have entered the country in 1996.
On Friday Sept. 15, a St Louis Judge found Jason Stockley not guilty of murder in the 2011 police shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.
The Prosecution argued that the defendant intended to kill Smith as video footage from within the police car captures Stockley saying “We’re going to kill this motherfucker” and that Stockley planted the weapon recovered from the scene as only his fingerprints were found on the weapon and not Smith’s.
The judge argued that the prosecution couldn’t prove the officer intended to kill Smith or that the gun was planted as video didn’t show the gun in Stockley’s possession prior to finding it.
In December of 2011, Stockley and his partner, Brian Bianchi, attempted to stop Smith after a suspected drug deal in a parking lot. In video captured from the scene, Smith can be seen fleeing in his car causing the officers to take pursuit before they finally crash into Smith’s car. As the officers close in on Smith, video from inside the police car captured Stockley saying “we’re going to kill this motherfucker.”
Shortly after the car is stopped, both the officers make their way to the driver side of the car and eventually Stockley fires five shots into the car and kills Smith. Stockley exits the car with his department issued pistol and his own personal Ak-47 which is against department policy to carry. He later puts the weapon away before using his issued pistol to shoot into the car.
A gun was recovered from the car but only it only had Stockley’s fingerprints on it. Heroin was also recovered from the scene.
Stockley was eventually suspended in 2013 for violating departmental procedures for pursuit and use of force and eventually resigned from the police force. In 2016 charges were brought against Stockley. He waived his right to a jury trial and requested a bench trial and a judge eventually found him not guilty.
Following the not guilty verdict Friday, protestor took to the streets to demonstrate. Initially the protest were peaceful but eventually turned violent as protesters began throwing rocks at the mayors house and smashed the windows of police cars. Officers in riot gear used tear gas to disperse the crowds and at least 80 people have been arrested so far.
St. Louis Today
On Aug 12, the Justice Department announced it would end the investigation into Freddie Gray’s death in police custody without prosecution stating “that the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Caesar Goodson, Officer William Porter, Officer Garrett Miller, Officer Edward Nero, Lieutenant Brian Rice, or Sergeant Alicia White willfully violated Gray’s civil rights.”
According to the Justice Department’s report, Gray made eye contact with a uniformed bicycle patrol and began to flee prompting the officer to pursue Gray before eventually detaining him. Once he was detained, the officers found a knife that they claimed was a “illegal switchblade” which was later found to be a legal knife. His arrest was captured on video by passerby.
Gray was put into the back of the police van head first on his stomach and wasn’t secured with a seat belt which is against the police departments procedures. On the way to transport Gray, the van made four stops and somewhere during the 30 minute drive Gray suffered suffered a fatal spinal injury. Once Gray arrived at the police station he wasn’t able to breathe or talk and was given medical attention.
Gray later died after being in a coma for seven days prompting the Obama Administration’s Justice Department to launch an investigation into the death of Gray and into the Baltimore Police. The Baltimore Police and the Justice Department entered a consent decree in 2016 which requires reforms accords the department.
Freddie Gray Wikipedia
Baltimore Sun Verdict
The Rolling Stone
Confederate Statue surrounded by a barricade after a suspected drunk driver crashed into it.
Close up of damage sustained from the crash
Damage sustained from the crash
The Statue as it stood prior to the crash Saturday
The plaque that was dislodge as a suspected drunk driver crashed into the confederate statue located on the campus of Ole Miss
Another angle of the damage sustained by the monument when a suspected drunk driver crashed into it
Saturday night a suspected drunk driver crashed into the confederate monument located on the University of Mississippi’s campus.
The two occupants of the vehicle were transported to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries and the driver was charged with DUI.
The statue received some damage to the decorative base but still stands. The plaque that was added in 2016 to add historical context to the monument was knocked loose. According to police the plaque and other debris was removed from the scene and is in the possession of Facilities Management until the pieces can be replaced.
The campus police department is handling the investigation and tweet shortly after the incident. The crash is believed to be unintentional despite the growing controversy surrounding confederate statues.
On Wednesday, the Olympic Committee formally announced that the 2024 and 2028 Summer Olympics would be hosted in Paris and Los Angeles respectively.
Paris and Los Angeles were the last two cities in the running for the bids after Hamburg, Rome and Budapest pulled out due to financial concerns.
According to researchers at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, the overrun cost of the 2016 Olympics was $1.6 billion. Both Paris and LA have most of the facilities needed for the games reducing the cost of hosting the Olympics.
Los Angeles’ planning committee estimates the cost to be around $5.3 billion.
The last time Paris hosted the Olympics was in 1924 and 2024 will mark the city’s 100 year anniversary of hosting the Olympics. The 2024 Olympics will be the third time Paris has hosted the event adding them to the exclusive list of three timers with London.
Los Angeles hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984. The 2028 will be LA’s third has hosted the events adding them to the list with London and Paris.
The U.S. has hosted the Olympics nine times making it the most of any country. The last times it hosted the summer games was in 1996 in Atlanta and it hosted the winter games in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted the government’s request to block a lower courts ruling that said the administration cannot prevent refugees who are in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program or have formal assurances from resettlement agencies.
Hawaii is currently suing the Trump Administration over the travel ban, which prevents citizens from six muslim majority countries and momentarily halts the country’s refugee resettlement plan.
Earlier this month, the 9th circuit prevented the administration from denying entry to grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended members of the family.
“Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents,” Judge Derrick Watson wrote. “Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”
The Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the travel ban on Oct. 10.
The administrations 90 day travel ban will expire in late September and the 120 day ban will end a month later in October.
Currently if you are not a U.S. citizen and have a relative here, have been admitted into an American university or have been hired by a U.S. employer, you can probably still get a visa. Although, relationships with entities must be formal, documented and must be organic. The justices wrote that an immigrant non-profit organization could not simply add a foreign national to a client list just so they can come to the U.S.
The current travel ban would not block people at U.S. airports like the original travel ban but instead deny them a visa.
Washington Post – What the Supreme Court’s ruling means
New York Times