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  • Donald Trump is suddenly scared of Mike Bloomberg — as he should be

    Golocal247.com news

    Mike Bloomberg probably isn’t going to win the Democratic nomination for president. But he might beat Donald Trump anyway. The reason? Well, there are a couple billion of them — namely, the $2 billion Bloomberg plans to spend on Democrats' behalf.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 17:30:05 -0500
  • Two pedestrians killed by snowplow in Kansas

    Golocal247.com news

    The two victims were struck by a snowplow north of the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, authorities said.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 18:39:20 -0500
  • Damaged By Drone Strike: Suleimani's Sainthood Is Now Being Questioned

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran’s brand is thinning among the Shi’a and Suleimani’s departure creates breathing room for the Shi’a in the region.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:52:00 -0500
  • Victims' bodies still at New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel months after collapse

    Golocal247.com news

    * Wind blows tarp off one of two bodies amid ruins * Unstable building to be imploded in MarchThree months after the partial collapse of the Hard Rock hotel construction site on the tip of New Orleans’s historic French Quarter, a macabre reminder of the tragedy that claimed three lives was visible to passersby this week.Among the collapsed building’s twisted remains and rubble, the dangling legs of a wedged corpse were revealed to the public after a tarpaulin sheet covering the body was blown away by wind.The gruesome sight came as city officials are scrambling to dismantle the 18-storey, 350-room hotel, which remains an eyesore and still holds the trapped remains of two workers, Quinnyon Wimberly and José Ponce Arreola.After images of the exposed corpse provoked outrage on social media, city firefighters installed a new tarp on Wednesday afternoon. As of Thursday morning the covering remained intact, as police maintained a heavy presence around the collapsed building.The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, urged members of the public and the media not to photograph or share images of the body.“To be clear: capturing or sharing images of the victims in such a condition is irresponsible, it is indefensible, and it is not who we are as New Orleanians,” a statement from the mayor’s office read. “We urge news outlets, residents, and social media users to have nothing to do with making a tragic situation needlessly worse.”Cantrell has faced significant criticism for her handling of the saga and it remains unclear if the collapse is being criminally investigated. Last week, city officials announced new plans to implode the building by mid-March, after the firm that owns the site – 1031 Canal Street Development – had lobbied for a gradual demolition process that would have extended into next year.The mayor’s office said on Wednesday that “respectful recovery of the remains” is still a “top priority” but that the building’s continued instability had made recovery “extremely difficult and very dangerous”. One of the bodies is trapped over 11 storeys above street level.A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office declined to comment further on Thursday.The city is preparing for the annual Mardi Gras season, which draws about a million tourists to New Orleans in February and brings in about $400m to the local economy.The collapse has also drawn attention to the plight of the city’s undocumented community after one worker, Delmer Joel Ramírez Palma, was deported to Honduras by federal authorities, having been hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the incident.Ramírez Palma had alerted authorities to dangers in the construction process before the collapse and was interviewed by Spanish language TV in the aftermath. He had lived in New Orleans for 18 years.Several lawsuits have been filed against the project’s developers and contracts, citing allegations of negligence. Plaintiffs include both bystanders and workers injured during the collapse.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:19:43 -0500
  • US military investigating after finding Pornhub video of Navy service members shot through peephole

    Golocal247.com news

    The Navy is reportedly investigating videos found on the website Pornhub that they believe show unsuspecting service members through a peephole in a bathroom.The videos were discovered earlier this month by an agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Series, according to a report by NBC News.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 16:34:47 -0500
  • U.S. charges former Mexican police commander in El Chapo-linked cocaine investigation

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. prosecutors on Friday charged a former Mexican federal police commander with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Mexican drug cartels to help them send cocaine into the United States, in a case linked to imprisoned drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:31:08 -0500
  • Anti-Semitic attack sparks Italy protest

    Golocal247.com news

    Mondovì (Italy) (AFP) - Hundreds of people carrying candles protested in an Italian town Friday after unknown vandals wrote "Jews Here" on the front door of the house of a Nazi concentration camp survivor. A Star of David and the words "Juden Hier," German for "Jews Here", were daubed in black paint on the door in the Piedmont town of Mondovi, where a member of the Italian anti-Fascist resistance lived until her death in 1996. Lidia Beccaria Rolfi's son Aldo, who lives in the house now, said the attack followed the publication of an article in which he talked about his mother and warned of the rise of anti-Semitism.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 17:34:16 -0500
  • A University of Minnesota student was arrested in China and sentenced to 6 months in prison for tweeting cartoons making fun of President Xi Jingping

    Golocal247.com news

    According to Chinese court documents obtained by Axios, 20-year-old Luo Daiqing was arrested after returning to Wuhan for summer break.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:18:05 -0500
  • These 9 Dining Chairs Are Sculptural, Surprising, and Downright Sleek

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    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 08:00:00 -0500
  • GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn questions patriotism of Purple Heart recipient Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was engrossed in a book during Thursday's impeachment proceedings, but one thing managed to make her look up: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) referring to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, as an "American patriot.""How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America's greatest enemy?" Blackburn tweeted. She did not give any examples of Vindman speaking ill of the United States in front of Russia.Vindman, the director of European Affairs for the White House National Security Council, was on President Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and became concerned when he heard Trump request an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Vindman is also a veteran who served in the Iraq War, and received a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in an IED attack.Senators aren't supposed to be using electronics during the trial, but Blackburn tweeted throughout the afternoon and evening. Over multiple tweets, she accused Vindman of leaking sensitive material, being "vindictive," and wanting to "take Trump out." She appears to have a fixation with both Vindman and the idea of him being vindictive; in November, Blackburn tweeted, "Vindictive Vindman is the 'whistleblower's' handler." This remains her pinned tweet.More stories from theweek.com Trump debuts official Space Force logo — and it's literally a ripoff of Star Trek 14 dead, hundreds injured after 6.7 earthquake in eastern Turkey Donald Trump and the moral decline of the pro-life movement

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:48:00 -0500
  • Smugglers tried to bring 3,700 invasive crabs through the Port of Cincinnati

    Golocal247.com news

    Mitten crabs are a delicacy in Asia and sell for about $50 each in the United States, officials say. They are considered an invasive species.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 17:21:55 -0500
  • Want To Start A War With America? Go Try To Sink An Aircraft Carrier

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran and China shouldn't test their luck.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 16:00:00 -0500
  • Warren responds after angry dad confronts her on student loans

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    In the exchange, a father asked Warren if he is getting "screwed" because he saved money for his daughter's education.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:53:09 -0500
  • 2 elephants escaped a circus in Russia and rolled around in the snow before being recaptured

    Golocal247.com news

    Two elephants escaped a circus in Yekaterinburg, Russia. One of them rolled around in the snow. It took a dozen people to wrangle them.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:20:42 -0500
  • Mexico sees rise in gangs, vigilantes recruiting children

    Golocal247.com news

    One day after a vigilante group revealed that it was using children as young as 8 as “recruits” for armed defense patrols, Mexico's president said Thursday that drug cartels too are recruiting ever-younger kids. The whole issue has sparked a debate in Mexico over the use of children in armed confrontations, with rights groups saying the practice threatens not only kids' safety, but their mental health. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that because social programs are giving more youths opportunities to study or work, drug cartels are having trouble finding gunmen, leading them to recruit children.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:49:44 -0500
  • In southern Poland, archaeologists discover WW2 plane wreck

    Archaeologists have discovered the wreck of a U.S.-made bomber flown by the Soviet Red Army in World War Two, along with the remains of four crewmen killed when it crashed in southern Poland, private broadcaster TVN reported. Marta Wrobel in the town of Bierun during the war and told TVN that the blast from the crash had been powerful enough to blow out windows and doors. The remains of the four Soviet crewmen who perished in the crash will be laid to rest at a nearby Red Army cemetery.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:26:41 -0500
  • Photos show how China is grappling with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as 12 cities are quarantined and hospitals run out of space

    Golocal247.com news

    Chinese authorities quarantined people in 12 cities, halting transportation and cutting off nearly 33 million people to try and quell the outbreak.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 18:00:36 -0500
  • US charges ex-chief of Mexican anti-drug unit with trafficking

    Golocal247.com news

    A former commander of a Mexican federal police unit that worked hand-in-glove with US agents fighting drugs cartels has been indicted in New York on drugs trafficking charges, US prosecutors said Friday. Ivan Reyes Arzate was indicted by a grand jury in Brooklyn on Thursday with three counts of conspiracy to bring cocaine into the United States between September and November 2016. Reyes Arzate, who is being held in a New York prison, appeared before a federal judge on Friday and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 16:53:56 -0500
  • Biden Calls DACA Recipients ‘More American Than Most Americans’

    Golocal247.com news

    Former vice president Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Iowa Thursday that most undocumented immigrants benfitting from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are “more American than most Americans.”“These kids have come, they’ve done well, most of these kids — there’s a lot of them . . . they in fact have done very, very well,” Biden said. “In many cases, they’re more American than most Americans are because they have done well in school. They believe the basic principles that we all share. I think they should, in fact, put on a path to citizenship.”Biden, who earlier this week said he would fire any ICE agent attempting to deport illegal immigrants who had not committed a felony, has been an outspoken defendant of former president Barack Obama’s immigration record.“We didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families. We didn’t do all of those,” the former vice president said during the September Democratic debate. In November, the U.N. revealed that Obama held over 100,000 illegal immigrant children in detention in 2015.DACA is currently facing a Supreme Court decision on its survival, after the Trump administration decided to end it in 2017.A November report from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services showed that approximately one in 10 DACA recipients have an arrest record, after President Trump tweeted many had criminal backgrounds.“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” Trump wrote on November 12.Trump has also stated he would be open to a “deal” with Democrats to allow DACA recipients to stay in the U.S.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:29:01 -0500
  • New Moon Photos! Get Your New Moon Photos Here!

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    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 17:38:00 -0500
  • Successor to slain Iran general will be murdered if he kills Americans: U.S. envoy

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    The successor to the Iranian commander killed in a U.S. drone strike would suffer the same fate if he followed a similar path by killing Americans, the U.S. special representative for Iran said, according to the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:48:58 -0500
  • Italy's Crazy World War II Strategy of "Human Torpedoes"

    Golocal247.com news

    Was it successful?

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:00:00 -0500
  • 'Serious safety risk': Man arrested after pointing laser at planes, temporarily blinding one pilot

    Golocal247.com news

    Two planes were struck by a laser, temporarily blinding one pilot, as they flew into Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport on Wednesday night.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 11:46:01 -0500
  • Belarus' leader blasts Russia for pushing merger of 2 states

    Golocal247.com news

    The president of Belarus on Friday accused Moscow of pressuring his country to merge with Russia and vowed not to let it happen. The statement comes amid stalled talks on further strengthening economic ties between two countries, seen in Belarus as Moscow's plot to swallow its post-Soviet neighbor.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 08:44:00 -0500
  • Man apparently jumps from cruise ship docked in San Juan and dies

    Golocal247.com news

    Coast Guard says surveillance footage shows what appeared to be a "clean jump" from the Royal Caribbean's "Oasis of the Seas," which was docked in San Juan.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 06:42:10 -0500
  • Only one quarter of Americans trust the US Senate to hold a fair impeachment trial

    Golocal247.com news

    Republicans are more split than one might imagine: While 42% trust the Senate to do a fair trial, 33% do not.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:59:27 -0500
  • Ex-Maryland police officer has been charged with raping and attempting to transmit HIV to a woman he pulled over

    Golocal247.com news

    A Maryland Grand Jury has indicted former police officer Martique Vanderpool on charges that he raped and attempted to expose a woman with HIV.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:06:35 -0500
  • Sanders touts controversial comedian's 2020 support, sparking criticism

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders' decision to highlight an unofficial endorsement from Joe Rogan drew criticism on Friday due to the comedian's brand of humor that some see as dismissive of issues like equal pay and transgender rights. The online flap comes as Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has been trying to move past a weeks-long controversy over whether he told rival Elizabeth Warren, a friend and progressive ally, in a 2018 meeting that a woman could not beat Republican President Donald Trump, a charge he has denied. "Look, you could dig up dirt on every single human being that's ever existed if you catch them in their worst moment and you magnify those moments," Rogan continued in explaining his support.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:46:38 -0500
  • Protest violence won't work, leading Hong Kong activist says

    Golocal247.com news

    Escalating protest violence is not the way to bring about change, Hong Kong democracy activist Jason Ng has said, urging demonstrators to embrace non-violent means in the struggle to throw off a feared tightening of Beijing's control. With the movement in a less frenetic and ferocious stage after seven months of unrest, Ng, who is also a lawyer, said people in Hong Kong were taking time to process what had happened and reflect on the way forward. Speaking to AFP in an interview in Barcelona, Ng said he hoped the protests would return to the non-violent ethos that had characterised the Umbrella Revolution, the mass pro-democracy demonstrations of 2014.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 21:34:00 -0500
  • General Says U.S. Troops Deployed to Middle East by Trump Admin. May Be There for ‘Quite a While’

    Golocal247.com news

    Marine General Frank McKenzie, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, warned troops deployed as part of a recent surge that he was “not sure how long you’re going to stay” in the region.“You’re here because I requested that you come,” McKenzie said to sailors and Marines aboard the USS Bataan amphibious assault ship, according to the Associated Press. “I’m not sure how long you’re going to stay in the theater. We’ll work that out as we go ahead. Could be quite a while, could be less than that, just don’t know right now.”McKenzie was addressing a small contingent of the 20,000 troops who have been deployed to the Middle East in the last eight months due to escalating tensions with Iran.The general told reporters that while Iran is “deterred right now, the nation “continues to pose a very real threat” to U.S. forces and interests. Iran said that they “did not intend to kill” American troops earlier this month, following a retaliatory rocket attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq.“Iran is very hard to read,” McKenzie said. “So I would say the fact that things are quiet for a while does not mean that necessarily things are getting better.”The U.S. caused waves on January 6 following the leak of a draft letter to Iraq’s Ministry of Defense that implied U.S.-led coalition forces were planning to withdraw from the country, only for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley to then say the letter was a “mistake.”The State Department then confirmed that U.S. forces would stay in Iraq after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to withdraw U.S. forces from the country.“America is a force for good in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “Any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how to best recommit to our strategic partnership — not to discuss troop withdrawal, but our right, appropriate force posture in the Middle East.”

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:00:32 -0500
  • Ok, 'Boomer': This Is the Deadliest Submarine Monster Lurking the Deep

    Golocal247.com news

    Ballistic missile submarines—or as sailors call them, 'boomers.'

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 01:54:00 -0500
  • Family of Kristin Smart, who went missing in 1996, now says there's no news coming soon

    Golocal247.com news

    Kristin Smart's mother said she was contacted by a former FBI agent, but there is no timeline for an announcement in her case, the family later said.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 08:15:40 -0500
  • Ghislaine Maxwell: Hackers 'breached' computer belonging to Jeffrey Epstein associate, attorney says

    Golocal247.com news

    Lawyers for the woman accused of procuring underage girls to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein told a judge that hackers “breached” her computer after a court failed to redact her email address in filings it released last year.Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer Ty Gee said in a December letter to Judge Loretta A Preska that, “despite the Second Circuit’s best efforts, it made serious mistakes” when redacting thousands of pages of records associated with a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:07:00 -0500
  • These gun enthusiasts at the Virginia rally carried more firepower than many US troops

    Golocal247.com news

    "This sends a strong visual message," a man holding a .50 caliber rifle said. Attendees also came with an armored vehicle and a grenade launcher.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:32:11 -0500
  • Genocide charge dents halo of Myanmar's Suu Kyi

    Golocal247.com news

    When Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi walked into the International Court of Justice last month, she gambled the remaining shreds of her hard-won international reputation on a rebuttal of accusations that her country's military committed genocide against minority Rohingya Muslims. This past week, it ordered Myanmar to take all possible measures to prevent genocide against the Rohingya. Suu Kyi's willingness to defend human rights abuses on the global stage was a move more likely aimed at burnishing her nationalist credential at home rather than swaying the court.

    Sat, 25 Jan 2020 00:10:20 -0500
  • Australia's Kangaroo Island is looking for volunteers to feed animals injured in bushfires

    Golocal247.com news

    Nearly half of Kangaroo Island was burned by the bushfires this month alone. The RSPCA has posted an application form.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:10:25 -0500
  • Lindsey Graham is offering unsolicited legal advice to Trump's team

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a juror in President Trump's impeachment trial, is offering free legal advice to his counsel, if they want to accept it.So far, the House impeachment managers have "done a good job" of "painting ... a tapestry, taking a series of events and telling a story," Graham told reporters on Thursday. When Trump's legal team starts delivering his defense on Saturday, they will "start pulling on the threads."Graham also thinks Trump's attorneys will need to shift the focus to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, and is in the center of a debunked conspiracy theory being peddled by Trump allies, including Rudy Giuliani. Graham said Trump's team needs to "really go hard at the idea that when they tell you there's not a scintilla of evidence, groundless, baseless, phony accusations regarding the Bidens, I would challenge that very hard."More stories from theweek.com Trump debuts official Space Force logo — and it's literally a ripoff of Star Trek 14 dead, hundreds injured after 6.7 earthquake in eastern Turkey Donald Trump and the moral decline of the pro-life movement

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 23:24:52 -0500
  • 'What choice do I have?' Lock-down strands millions in China's Wuhan

    Golocal247.com news

    A trickle of passengers at the train station in the Chinese city of Wuhan put on a brave face on Friday as they arrived in the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 26 people, infected hundreds and raised fears of a pandemic. Authorities have all but shut down Wuhan, a city of 11 million and a major transport hub, at what is normally the busiest time of year - the Lunar New Year holiday - when millions of people travel home to visit their families. Millions of people in surrounding cities are virtually stranded after public transport networks were shut to stop the spread of the virus, believed to have originated at a Wuhan market illegally selling wildlife.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 06:07:34 -0500
  • Wax On, Wane Off: A Guide to All the Lunar Phases

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    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:14:00 -0500
  • America's B-25G Bomber Was The Air Force's Very Own Flying Tank

    Golocal247.com news

    And it shot like one too.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:00:00 -0500
  • No qualms for India's hangman before first job of executing rapists

    Golocal247.com news

    Pawan Kumar feels zero sympathy for the four men he is due to hang next month for a 2012 gang rape and murder that appalled India. The group set to meet their demise before dawn on February 1 -- although it may be delayed -- were convicted for a brutal crime against Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old student. Angry demonstrations by tens of thousands of people broke out across the vast South Asian nation, sparking soul-searching about the plight of Indian women and leading to heavier sentences for sex crimes.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 03:53:29 -0500
  • Parishioner Who Stopped Texas Church Shooter Criticizes Bloomberg on Gun-Control Efforts

    Golocal247.com news

    The armed parishioner who took down a shooter at a Texas church in December criticized former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control efforts on Wednesday."Mr. Bloomberg, had we operated by his standards or his wishes, the carnage would have been significantly greater because the individual still, after the shooting, still had seven live rounds in his gun and three more in his pocket," Jack Wilson said in an interview on Fox News. Wilson, a member of West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, fired a single round at an armed intruder on December 29, killing the assailant.Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey hit back at Wilson in a Thursday appearance on Fox."Mr. Bloomberg supports his right to carry a gun," Sheekey said. "We salute him. But the question is, should anyone who is criminally insane be able to get a gun? I would say no."Earlier in January, while speaking about the Texas incident, Bloomberg appeared to criticize policies that loosen restrictions on gun control."Somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people, but it is the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot," Bloomberg said. "You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place."Bloomberg has been heavily involved in gun-control efforts over the years. His proposals for the 2020 presidential election include universal background checks and "red flag screening" measures. In 2013, Bloomberg founded Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit that advocates for stricter gun control measures.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 16:41:22 -0500
  • The FBI reportedly stopped a Saudi plot to kidnap a YouTuber on US soil after he criticized Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi's killing

    Golocal247.com news

    Abdulrahman Almutairi used social media to criticize the Saudi government. It appears to have almost cost him his life.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 22:58:09 -0500
  • Tennessee governor signs anti-LGBT adoption bill

    Golocal247.com news

    Tennessee has become the latest state to assure continued taxpayer funding of faith-based foster care and adoption agencies even if those organizations exclude LGBT families and others based on religious beliefs. Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill Friday without fanfare or an official announcement, making it the first law to be implemented in Tennessee this year. Some faith-based agencies had already not allowed gay couples to adopt.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 16:00:30 -0500
  • 'The new evidence raises deeply troubling questions': did Arkansas kill an innocent man?

    Golocal247.com news

    Revealed: two years after Ledell Lee was executed, damning evidence emerges that experts say could prove his innocenceThe day before Ledell Lee was executed on 20 April 2017, he talked to the BBC from death row. He said that while he could not prevent the state of Arkansas from killing him, he had a message for his executioners: “My dying words will always be, as it has been: ‘I am an innocent man’.”Almost two years after Lee was strapped to a gurney and injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs, it looks increasingly likely he was telling the truth: he went to his death an innocent man. New evidence has emerged that suggests Lee was not guilty of the brutal murder of a woman in 1993 for which his life was taken.The deceased inmate’s sister Patricia Young lodged a lawsuit on Thursday with the circuit court of Pulaski county, Arkansas, petitioning city authorities and the local police department in Jacksonville to release crime scene materials to her family.The ACLU and the Innocence Project, who are investigating the case on the family’s behalf, believe state-of-the-art forensic examination of the materials, including DNA testing and fingerprint analysis, could definitively prove Arkansas did indeed execute an innocent man.An 81-page filing in the lawsuit provides damning new evidence that key aspects of the prosecution case against Lee were deeply flawed. The complaint includes expert opinion from a number of world-leading specialists who find glaring errors in the way forensic science and other evidence was interpreted.The lawsuit also includes a bombshell affidavit from Lee’s post-conviction attorney who admits to having struggled with substance abuse and addiction throughout the years in which he represented him.Lawyers who prepared the filing, led by Cassandra Stubbs of the ACLU and the Innocence Project’s Nina Morrison, conclude: “It is now clear that the state’s forensic experts from trial misinterpreted the evidence in plain sight, and their flawed opinions were further distorted by the state in its zeal to convict [Lee] of the crime. The new evidence raises deeply troubling questions about the shaky evidentiary pillars on which the state executed Ledell Lee.”Innocence has always been the achilles heel of America’s death penalty: how to justify judicially killing prisoners who may have been wrongfully convicted. The question is far from academic: since 1973 no fewer than 167 death row inmates have been exonerated.The most harrowing question is whether innocent prisoners have been executed before the flawed nature of their convictions emerged. In recent years, there have been several cases that, with near certainty, suggest that innocent men have been put to death.They include Cameron Todd Willingham executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly having caused a fire that killed his three young daughters. After the execution, further evidence emerged that conclusively showed that he could not have set the fire.The Columbia Human Rights Law Review carried out a groundbreaking investigation in which it concluded Carlos DeLuna was innocent when he was executed – also by Texas – in 1989. The six-year study discovered that the convicted prisoner had almost certainly been confused with another man, a violent criminal who shared the name Carlos.Now Ledell Lee looks as though he may be added to the grim rollcall of the wrongly executed. He relentlessly insisted he was not guilty from the moment he was arrested less than two hours after the brutally beaten body of Debra Reese was discovered in her home in Jacksonville on 9 February 1993.The difficulties with the case against Lee began almost immediately. He was picked up nowhere near the crime scene and was not in possession of any possessions that could be linked to the break-in at Reese’s home.The only evidence against him was inconclusive at best. There were two eyewitnesses, but they gave conflicting reports of the suspect’s identification.> In recent years, there have been several cases that, with near certainty, suggest innocent men have been put to deathThe crime scene was shocking, with blood splattered over the walls and floor. Yet when Lee was arrested on the same day detectives could find no blood on his clothes or body including under his fingernails and nothing was found in a forensic search of his house.Given the paucity of evidence, it is not surprising that it took two trials to find Lee guilty and sentence him to death. The first trial collapsed after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.The ACLU and Innocence Project took up Lee’s case very late in the day having been asked to get involved shortly before his scheduled execution date. What they discovered when they opened the case records astounded even these experienced death penalty lawyers.Very quickly they established there were major problems with the prosecution case against Lee. One area that especially concerned them was the inadequacy of Lee’s legal representation, both during the second trial in which defense attorneys inexplicably failed to call alibi witnesses that could have placed Lee elsewhere at the time of the murder, and in terms of the help he received at the appeal stage of his case.At one post-conviction hearing, a lawyer working for the state of Arkansas approached the judge and raised concerns about Lee’s attorney, Craig Lambert. “Your honor, I don’t do this lightly, but I’m going to ask that the court require him to submit to a drug test,” the counsel said. “He’s just not with us … His speech is slurred.”In an affidavit obtained since Lee’s execution, signed by Lambert in October, the lawyer admits: “I was struggling with substance abuse and addiction in those years. I attended inpatient rehab. Ledell’s case was massive and I wasn’t in the best place personally to do what was necessary.”Partly as a result of poor legal representation, terrible errors were made in Lee’s defense – both at trial and for years afterwards during the appeals process. The complaint goes into detail about these “deeply troubling” shortcomings.One of the key examples relates to the marks found on the victim’s cheek. The state’s experts mistakenly interpreted the marks as having come from a pattern on a rug in Reese’s bedroom where she had been beaten to death with a wooden tire club.In fact, the filing says, the pattern on the body’s cheek did not match that on the rug. Instead it was consistent with the murderer stomping on Reese’s face directly with his shoe.That is critically significant because the shoes that Lee was wearing that day, which the state used during the trial as evidence against him, were incompatible in the composition of their soles with the injury pattern on Reese’s face.To establish this point, an affidavit is provided by Michael Baden, former chief pathologist for New York who is recognized internationally as a leading forensic pathologist. He concludes: “The soles of Mr Lee’s sneakers have a much more closely spaced pattern than was transferred in the cheek imprint.”That inconsistency is just one of many that were uncovered when Baden and four other specialists were invited to review the case.Lee was executed in a flurry. When the state of Arkansas realized its supply of one of its three lethal drugs, the sedative midazolam, was about to expire at the end of 2017 with no hope of replacing it due to a global ban on medicines being sent to the US for use in executions, it went into overdrive.It announced plans to kill eight prisoners in 11 days.The declaration prompted revulsion from around the US and the world and accusations that the state was engaging in conveyor-belt executions. It was in that climate that attempts by the ACLU and the Innocence Project to have materials gathered at the crime scene of Reese’s murder released for DNA testing fell on deaf ears.Though the lawyers presented a strong argument that DNA testing could be crucial in casting doubt on Lee’s conviction and pointing towards the real killer, a federal district court denied the request on grounds that Lee had “simply delayed too long” in asking for the materials.It is too late now for Lee. But his lawyers hope that it is not too late to get to the bottom of the case posthumously.The city of Jacksonville is in possession of a rich array of crime scene materials including “Negroid” hairs collected from Reese’s bedroom and fingernail scrapings likely to contain DNA from the actual killer – Lee or otherwise.“This evidence can now be tested with state-of-the-art methods unavailable at trial, and compared to Mr Lee’s unique DNA profile,” the filing says.After a welter of legal challenges, Arkansas succeeded in killing four prisoners in one week, including the first double execution held in the US in a single day since 2001. The first of the four to die was Ledell Lee.Should Arkansas now agree belatedly to hand over the crime scene materials for testing, he may yet be proven to have been, just as he always said he was, an innocent man.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 10:00:00 -0500
  • Philippine President Duterte threatens to end military deal with U.S.

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States on Thursday he would repeal an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises if Washington did not reinstate the visa of a political ally.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 11:51:50 -0500
  • Mexican security forces detain 800 Central American migrants

    Golocal247.com news

    Mexican authorities on Thursday adopted tougher measures against Central American migrants, detaining 800 of them who had entered Mexico illegally from Guatemala intending to reach the border with the United States. Mexico is under intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to contain mass movements of migrants, most of them from Central America, who have been crossing through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border.

    Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:51:54 -0500
  • Amtrak engineer in fatal Washington state derailment sues railroad

    Golocal247.com news

    The Amtrak engineer whose train derailed in Washington state in December 2017, killing three passengers, has filed a lawsuit against the railroad.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:04:12 -0500
  • 'This time I'm scared': experts fear too late for China virus lockdown

    Golocal247.com news

    China's bid to contain a deadly new virus by placing cities of millions under quarantine is an unprecedented undertaking but it is unlikely to stop the disease spreading, experts warn. The contagious virus has already reached elsewhere in China and abroad, and even an authoritarian government has only a small timeframe in which trapped residents will submit to such a lockdown, they say. "I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention," said Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University.

    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 05:38:55 -0500
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