News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.
In The News:
Danger: Across America, convicted criminals are quietly being released early – here’s your “prison reform”
Yesterday, 527 people serving ‘low-level drug and nonviolent offenses’ went free in what Oklahoma lawmakers are calling the largest single-day commutation in both state and U.S. history.
The commutation is a success for criminal justice reform efforts in a state that has a long history of harsh sentencing practices and high incarceration rates.
Here’s what’s going on in New York, in the meantime.
Nearly 900 incarcerated people in New York City could be celebrating Christmas early courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a plan to quietly free them before the state’s bail-reform law goes into effect next year.
Just in case early release wasn’t enough of a gift, Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising to follow up with even more presents for these accused criminals, by giving them free baseball tickets, movie passes and gift cards to encourage them to return to court, sources familiar with the program said.
CBS 3 said that as the officers approached the home, they saw their suspect, 47-year-old Larry McConneyhead, pushing a garbage barrel to the edge of his driveway. When McConneyhead looked up and saw the approaching force, he turned and sprinted back into his house.
As the agents went to the door of the home and made entry, they were greeted by their suspect, now reportedly armed with a handgun.
The sight of the firearm caused one of the officers to call out, which officials say may have prompted the misfire.
Clearcreek Township police were called to a residence on the 7000 block of Waterway Drive in Waynesville at around 2:24 p.m. Friday over reports of a “possible overdose.”
Once on the scene, police discovered Mary Matthews, 49, lying unresponsive on the bathroom floor, partially naked from the waist down and covered in blood and what appeared to be bite marks, according to a police report.
The responding officer noted that there was a significant amount of blood in the home, including on door frames, the washer and dryer and the walls leading to the bathroom where Matthews was found.
He said her injuries included “numerous cuts or puncture marks and at least one chunk of her flesh appeared missing from her upper ankle area.”
In recent years, experts have been unearthing new details of centuries-old sites in the U.S. An ancient Native American village in Louisiana, for example, is revealing its secrets thanks to new research.
In another project, for example, archaeologists discovered incredible evidence of a huge Wichita Indian town in Kansas that was once home to 20,000 people. In a separate project, archaeologists discovered an “unprecedented” 7,000-year-old Native American burial site beneath the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
The ancient people of North America started building mounds as early as 4,500 B.C., experts say.
Washington restaurant robbery was actually a ‘hoax’ in failed bid to obtain immigration visas, police reveal
King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht says investigators are now questioning 10 people linked to the fake incident reported on Oct. 19 at Bob’s Burgers and Teriyakis in SeaTac, where officers raced after receiving a 911 call claiming “patrons were allegedly tied up, robbed of jewelry and two female members were said to be sexually assaulted.”
“I can confirm to you that it was all a lie,” Johanknecht revealed at a press conference Monday. “Every employee present that evening, every customer participated in a deliberate hoax.”
Johanknecht said the robbers were described as two Samoan males who escaped in a brown pickup truck that belonged to one of the victims.
But “fairly early in the investigation,” she said, “there were several things that were not making sense.”
The report found the FBI had failed to interview Hassan when it found out about his contacts with terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, waited too long to pursue leads and completed an assessment that was, “belated, incomplete and rushed, primarily because of their workload.”
It also detailed the decision to not interview Hasan after a San Diego official recommended the FBI do so in June 2009: “This is not (San Diego), it’s D.C. and (the Washington office) doesn’t go out and interview every Muslim guy who visits extremist websites,” a paraphrase in the report says.
“Even political correctness should not have prevented people from noticing he had been radicalized and was a threat,” Gohmert said Tuesday.
“Thankfully, we now have a president and an administration who understand radical Islamic jihadists are a danger to our way of life.”
Three complete strangers with a similar curiosity did what millions have done – take a DNA test with Ancestry.com or 23 and Me. However, their results traced back to one man.
Almost a dozen strangers across the country all related to the fertility doctor in Grand Junction and Woman`s Healthcare of Western Colorado.
“Each of the siblings was coming forward and we all have the same story,” Hults said, adding “My mom went to doctor Jones, my mom went to doctor Jones, you start to think in the back of your mind after ten Dr. Jones’ that something is going on here.”
The assault occurred about 4:20 a.m. Saturday, when police were called to a domestic violence incident.
Police say 27-year-old Timothy Walker assaulted his girlfriend with a knife, sending her to the hospital where she is listed in stable condition.
Police say Walker fled the scene, and turned himself in Tuesday morning. He was held on $250,000 bond and expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
Testifying on the witness stand Monday, pro-life activist David Daleiden claimed that Texas Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast planned to “move forward” with a deal he pitched to them as an undercover investigator to sell aborted baby livers at $750 each.
The transcript of the testimony reads as follows:
Ex-abortion doctor says that when God ‘opened his eyes’ about the ‘war against babies,’ it changed everything for him
Robinson, 66, who recently became the director of medical affairs and education for pro-life group 40 Days for Life, told “The Pure Flix Podcast” about how his stunning transformation took form.
“I wanted to become a physician since the time I was about 4 or 5 years old,” he said, noting that he grew up in South Central Los Angeles.
Listen to the doctor reveal how he transformed from an abortion provider to a pro-life advocate:
Mexican cartel massacre: Baby found unharmed in bullet-riddled vehicle; boy, 13, hid siblings in bushes
“They found Christina’s baby Faith with the vehicle around her riddled with bullet holes,” she said in the post, which the New York Post first reported.
“Somehow she had remained untouched, and alive. She was in her car seat, which looked to have been hurriedly placed on the floor of the vehicle by her mother for protection.”
Miller also described how the 13-year-old son of Dawna Ray Langford hid six of younger siblings – five of whom were bleeding – in the bushes and covered them with branches to keep them safe while he went for help.
The trial promises to be controversial as the defendant, who has been banned from using social media by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Fox News reported Tuesday.
Stone has not indicated whether he will be his own defense attorney or if he has hired a lawyer.
The trial could also focus on the testimony of former Trump aide Steve Bannon who is expected to be a witness.
Three women and six children are confirmed dead after they were shot and killed on their way to a wedding in Mexico.
President Trump on Tuesday offered U.S. assistance as he called on Mexico to “wage war” against the country’s murderous drug cartel “monsters” in response to the brutal killing of multiple Americans a day earlier.
“If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” Trump tweeted.
“The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”
Officials say at least six children and three women, apparently all U.S. citizens living in a community of Americans in Mexico, were gunned down after their convoy came under fire during a daylight ambush Monday.
Six children were found alive, five of whom have been taken to hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. One child is currently missing, and authorities are searching the mountainous area on the Sonora-Chihuahua border for the child.
VIDEO: Leaked ABC News Insider Recording EXPOSES #EpsteinCoverup “We had Clinton, We had Everything”
• “I’ve Had This Story for Three Years… (ABC) Would Not Put It on The Air” says Good Morning America Breaking News Anchor, and 20/20 Co-Anchor Amy Robach.
“It Was Unbelievable… We Had – Clinton, We Had Everything…”
• Robach: “We Had Her Whole Allegations About Prince Andrew…I Got a Little Concerned About Why I Couldn’t Get On.”
• Amy Robach Describes How She Interviewed a Woman Who Had the Courage to Come Forward “Years” Ago About Epstein: “She Had Pictures, She Had Everything.
She Was in Hiding for Twelve Years. We Convinced Her to Come Out. We Convinced Her to Talk to Us.”
On Feb. 24, 2016, a State Department official sent an email discussing an overture from a representative for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas firm, to Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli.
The Burisma representative argued that the allegations against the company were baseless, according to an email chain released as part of a lawsuit filed by investigative journalist John Solomon.
The Burisma representative specifically cited Hunter Biden’s name as the reason for why the allegations should stop.
At the time the email was sent, Novelli was the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department.
Karen Tramontano was the CEO of Bluestar Strategies, a consulting firm retained by Burisma to address the corruption charges against it in Ukraine.
The email chain shows that Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016.
While it’s unclear if that meeting took place, on the following day, March 2, 2016, Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, met with Secretary of State John Kerry, another email obtained by Solomon shows.
On Monday, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill threw in the towel, resigning after three years of service.
And upon learning of who would be stepping into the limelight to take over his spot, criticism started pouring in about the fact that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had hired “another white guy” to head up the Big Apple’s department.
Shortly after it was announced that NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea would be taking over as the new commissioner, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) took to Twitter to slam the mayor’s choice.
Commentary/Opinion: Last week, Sen. Warren, D-Mass., outlined a plan that would cost $52 trillion over the next decade, including $20 trillion in new spending, which would be covered largely by an array of taxes on corporations, the wealthy and employers in general.
“Now she is the darling of the left. But on this one, she is taking a shellacking,” Varney observed by running through some headlines from the country’s largest newspapers on Tuesday.
Commentary/Opinion: Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk says young, first-time voters favor President Trump than the Democratic candidates running for the 2020 election.
The employees were notified on Monday and will cease their work next week, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Politico news outlet first reported the move.
Castro later on Tuesday confirmed he was putting more focus on Iowa and Nevada, two of the four early-voting states holding their nominating contests in February, as well as his home state of Texas.
Castro may be hoping to appeal to voters who had supported the other Texan in the Democratic race, former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, who dropped out last week.
Commentary/Opinion: “Bee-too, Bet-oh, Bay-toe, real name Robert Francis O’Rourke, you can call him a lot of names but Mr. President is not one of them,” Tomi Lahren said on Fox Nation’s “No Interruption.”
Discussing the latest on former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s recent decision to withdraw from the 2020 presidential race, Lahren said she felt “a little bit safer thanks to the good news.”
The transcripts, though, also reflect officials’ concerns about the involvement of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in seeking politically related investigations out of Ukraine.
Further, they offer varying accounts of whether a quid pro quo of some kind — involving either a meeting or the release of U.S. military aid — may have been presented.
In a transcript of his closed-door deposition last month with lawmakers conducting the impeachment probe, Volker was asked if Trump withheld or delayed a meeting with Zelensky absent a pledge to probe concerns Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
With several potential appeals judges awaiting confirmation, Trump’s nominees could soon make up more than a quarter of those serving on the appellate bench.
Out of 179 Circuit Court positions, 43 are occupied by Trump picks, with four current vacancies and another five spots opening up due to upcoming retirements.
Mike Davis, president of The Article III Project, which works to help secure the confirmation of Trump’s picks, noted that the president’s success in this area fulfills one of his 2016 campaign promises.
“President Trump has delivered on his promise to American voters,” Davis said, pointing to Trump’s appointments of Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, “and an all-time-record number of circuit judges to the critically important federal courts of appeals.”
Despite the House impeachment inquiry , the White House and top aides to the California Democrat have been in regular communication on efforts to curb drug prices, a mutual objective. Prospects for legislation this year appear dim.
The official said that while Trump is not ideologically opposed to Medicare negotiating prices for medicines, Pelosi’s approach can’t be quickly retooled.
Her bill would levy steep taxes on drug makers who refuse to accept a Medicare price keyed to what’s paid in other economically advanced countries.
The senior White House official pointed to the lack of Republican support for the Pelosi bill and said it is structured to essentially give Medicare the power to dictate prices.
The report on the government-run NHS system in England, released last month, details increased wait times for services ranging from emergency room visits to cancer care.
And the study reports historic waiting lists totaling over 4.5 million people, up 40 percent in five years, for treatment with specialists.
“Cancer waiting times are the worst on record,” the report also declares.
The Plot Against Trump, From Spygate to the Impeachment Inquiry—Lee Smith | American Thought Leaders
Commentary/Opinion: Just why does investigative journalist Lee Smith believe the so-called “Steele dossier” was not actually written by Christopher Steele? Who does he think did the authoring?
How has the mainstream media been complicit in the Spygate scandal? What are the broader implications for America?
And why does Smith believe that all of this, including the current impeachment inquiry against President Trump, is part of a broad coup attempt against the President?
Today we sit down with Hudson Institute senior fellow Lee Smith, author of “The Plot Against the President:
The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.”
Sweden’s national bomb squad has responded to around 100 explosions so far in 2019, more than twice the number that took place over the same period last year, The Guardian reported.
“There are 10 million people in Sweden and I have not found the equivalent of this level of explosions in any industrialized country,” bomb squad analyst Ylva Ehrlin told Sweden’s Sveriges Television (SVT).
Nearly a third of the blasts have taken place in Malmö, a city beset by increased gun and bomb attacks in recent years.
Right-wing politicians have blamed the violence on the influx of immigrants after the 2015 migration crisis.
Rasmiya Awad, 65, was detained in a raid near Azaz, the official said, referring to a Turkish-controlled Syrian town near the border. When captured, she was also accompanied by five children.
“We hope to gather a trove of intelligence from Baghdadi’s sister on the inner workings of ISIS,” the official said.
Little independent information is available on Baghdadi’s sister and Reuters was not immediately able to verify if the captured individual was her.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said the woman’s capture was evidence of Turkey’s determination to fight against ISIS.
“The arrest of al-Baghdadi’s sister is yet another example of the success of our counter-terrorism operations,” Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter early on Tuesday.
“Much dark propaganda against Turkey has been circulating to raise doubts about our resolve against Daesh,” he wrote, using another name for ISIS.
Vijaya Reddy, 37, was attacked at her office in the village of Abdullapurmet by a local farmer who set her and her office ablaze. She died from her injuries at the scene of the attack.
India’s NDTV reported the suspect, identified as Suresh Mudiraju, snuck a bottle of kerosene into her office along with his land documents at the center of the dispute.
Two staff members said they heard screams from inside the office, but discovered the door had been locked from the inside, the BBC reported.
Hundreds of protesters in Russia warn of the dangers posed by socialist ideas to the world as that country marks a series of national holidays.
One America’s Kristian Rouz has more.
Security and medical officials said a protester was killed and eight more were wounded in Umm Qasr, a key oil terminal on the Persian Gulf.
The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, a semi-official agency, said two people were killed and 23 wounded in clashes in the southern city of Nasiriyah.
“This is Iraqi blood on the ground!” one of the protesters screamed. “Iraqi blood is being spilled because of this rotten government.”
Security forces in Iraq have killed at least 267 protesters in two major waves of anti-government demonstrations since Oct. 1 in Baghdad and across the mostly Shiite south.
The owner of the facility and eight others have been arrested, according to local media.
Conditions at the mosque were inhumane, Mr Shina Olukolu, state commissioner of police, told the Punch newspaper.
In the past month, more than 1,000 people have been rescued from similar institutions in Nigeria.