Appoint special prosecutor to investigate FBI, Justice Department

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionThe Washington Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President Donald Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.” The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016.Strzok may be completely innocent of anything except an off-handed joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose.But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus towards Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus towards Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau.That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question.If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works. Unless there’s a cover-up.Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him.To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, better a special counsel to conduct the inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report – someone without ties to the president or his opponents. They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.Hugh Hewitt is a Washington Post contributing columnist.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristscenter_img This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically.The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.The Strzok report comes on heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James Comey during 2016.Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era. As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are now demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI.Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy wrote in the National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.This is an excellent idea.last_img read more

Only girls aloud

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Jakarta ready to welcome ‘new normal’ soon, minister says

first_img“Based on Bappenas data regarding R0, some areas are ready [to welcome a new normal], including Aceh, Riau […] as well as Jakarta, by the end of their large-scale social restriction periods on June 4,” Airlangga said.Read also: Concerns mount over reopening of offices, malls as Indonesia steps into ‘new normal’The capital, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, has imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) since April 10 and has since extended the policy twice to curb the spread of the contagious disease.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, however, previously refuted a claim that the city was going to reopen shopping centers in early June, citing the potential to extend the PSBB. Bappenas chairman Suharso Monoarfa previously stated that Jakarta had the potential to become a model for the “new normal”, saying the capital had met all the requirements.Suharso also said that Jakarta’s R0 of COVID-19 had already fallen below 1, indicating low transmission. The capital also has more hospital beds for COVID-19 treatment than the number of new cases that require hospital care and conducted swab tests on more than 1,000 per 1 million people as required by the World Health Organization. Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto has suggested that several regions, including Jakarta, might be ready to welcome the so-called “new normal” phase as they have shown a decline in COVID-19 transmissions.Citing National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) data, Airlangga said the spread of the disease had slowed in Central Java, Bali, Jakarta and Yogyakarta, where the basic reproduction number (R0) of COVID-19 had fallen below 1.Some areas in Sumatra, including Aceh, West Sumatra, Riau and Bangka Belitung, as well as some provinces in Sulawesi and Kalimantan have also seen an R0 of below 1, Airlangga said, adding that “the trend keeps decreasing”. Topics :last_img read more

Sea crew quarantine let-off ‘may have caused Hong Kong spike’

first_imgHong Kong’s sudden spike in coronavirus cases may have stemmed from its willingness to let seafarers skip quarantine while changing ships in the city, a leading health expert said.After its previous success tackling the disease and ending local transmission, case numbers in the densely packed finance hub increased this month, sparking fears of a new outbreak spreading out of control.The city reported 123 new infections Friday, a new daily record, bringing the total tally to 2,372 with 16 deaths. Most of the new cases were locally transmitted. “When they entered Hong Kong, there were no immediate quarantine measures or testing arrangements. You could imagine, some of the crew members, the hotel they stay in maybe is downtown,” he said.Hong Kong has one of the world’s busiest container terminals.Leung added that, with the previous relaxation of social distancing measures in June, small restaurants had become high-risk venues, especially those frequented by taxi drivers.As confirmed cases suddenly surged earlier this month, the government ordered mandatory virus tests for arriving crew members, as well as forcing shipping agents to arrange isolated accommodation and point-to-point transfers to and from the vessel for crew members.A quarantine order was imposed on six different vessels anchored in the city’s waters after some of the crew members tested positive for the virus.The other crew members, about 140 in total, were being quarantined on board as authorities said the ships needed to be manned.More than 1,000 infections were confirmed in the last fortnight alone, more than 40 percent of the total since the virus first hit the city in late January. Some health experts have blamed an exemption from the usual 14-day quarantine which the government granted to “essential personnel” including cross-boundary truckers, aircrew and sea crew.But officials have said the arrangement was necessary, while insisting it was a “misunderstanding” that the new wave was attributable to the exemption.After analyzing virus samples from recent confirmed cases, Gabriel Leung, dean of the University of Hong Kong’s medical school, said on Thursday the virus’ resurgence most likely stemmed from such imported cases.He said the wave was “probably because of the multiple imported [cases], it could be the crew members or sailors exempted from quarantine”.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Granit Xhaka out of Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City after being left out of squad

first_imgAdvertisement Metro Sport ReporterSunday 3 Feb 2019 7:50 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.3kShares Granit Xhaka is out of Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are set to be without Granit Xhaka for today’s game against Manchester City after the Swiss midfielder was left out of the Gunners’ squad that travelled to the north-west.Unai Emery eased the club’s injury crisis with the capture of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez earlier this week but the Spaniard still faces problems in central defence and central midfielder.Xhaka has been a mainstay under Xhaka so far this term and was expected to start at the Etihad.However, the midfielder was not with Arsenal’s squad that arrived in Manchester last night and it is likely that he has sustained a knock to keep him out of the game.ADVERTISEMENT Maitland-Niles’ absence gives Emery a headache at full back (Picture: Getty)To add to Emery’s troubles, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was also not spotted in the squad and is set to miss the game.AdvertisementAdvertisementThat could force Emery into a back three and the Spaniard will be hoping Laurent Koscielny can feature after sustaining a nasty jaw injury in an FA Cup defeat to Manchester United last week.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsManchester City’s defeat at Newcastle in mid-week threatened their title defence but they will be buoyed that Liverpool failed to fully capitalise by drawing at home with Leicester the following night.Pep Guardiola has considered dropping both Sergio Aguero and David Silva to make way for Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva, as he looks for a reaction to Tuesday’s defeat.MORE: Arsenal confident they have major advantage in race to sign Adrien Rabiot Advertisement Comment Granit Xhaka out of Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City after being left out of squadlast_img read more

Gov. Wolf: Department of Corrections to Establish Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration

first_img April 10, 2020 Gov. Wolf: Department of Corrections to Establish Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Press Release, Prison Reform, Public Health Under the authority granted to him by the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Emergency Management Services Code, Governor Tom Wolf today ordered Department of Corrections officials to establish a Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration to help aid the department in the transfer of qualifying individuals to community corrections facilities or home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Wolf Administration continues to take every possible action – and asks all Pennsylvanians to do the same – to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These actions, including those in the state corrections system, will save lives, help stop the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming our already-burdened health care system.“We can reduce our non-violent prison population and leave fewer inmates at risk for contracting COVID-19 while maintaining public safety with this program,” Gov. Wolf said. “I am pleased to direct the Department of Corrections to begin the process to release vulnerable and non-violent inmates at or nearing their release dates in an organized way that maintain supervision post-release and ensures home and health care plans are in place for all reentrants.”The Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration Program only applies to state prison inmates who have been identified as being non-violent and who otherwise would be eligible for release within the next 9 months or who are considered at high risk for complications of coronavirus and are within 12 months of their release.“Just as everyone in the community is dealing with COVID-19, the state prison system is doing the same,” Corrections Sec. John Wetzel said. “We must reduce our inmate population to be able to manage this virus. Without this temporary program, we are risking the health, and potentially lives, of employees and inmates. We can safely release individuals to the community to reduce their vulnerability and allow the department to successfully manage COVID-19.“Without any current legislation, we are moving forward with the understanding that future legislation could further advance these efforts.”As of this morning, there are 11 COVID-19 cases at one prison, SCI Phoenix in Montgomery County, but concern for cases spreading to other facilities is another reason for the expedited release of eligible inmates.Under the temporary reprieve program, approximately 1,500 to 1,800 inmates would be eligible, although given the reentry challenges of ensuring connection to the health care and behavioral health system, housing and food security, the number will likely be less than the eligible pool.Vulnerable inmates will include inmates aged 65 or older; anyone with an autoimmune disorder; pregnant inmates; anyone with a serious, chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, bone marrow or organ transplantation, severe obesity, kidney disease, liver disease,[and] cancer; or another medical condition that places them at higher risk for complications of coronavirus as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The releases could begin as early as Tuesday, April 14.Sec. Wetzel stressed that a thorough reentry component has been developed to ensure inmates will be successful.“While we need to release inmates to protect them and to allow us space to mitigate the impact of the virus in our system, we also know that we need to prepare inmates for release,” Sec. Wetzel said. “Our reentry plans will include several days of release planning with the inmate, preparing and connecting the inmate to treatment programs in the community, release transportation and a complete medical screening to ensure that we are not releasing sick inmates. We’ll also provide them with an appropriate medication supply and connect them to medical providers in the community.”While on temporary reprieve, individuals will be monitored similarly to parolees and will be supervised by parole agents. Upon expiration of the order, individuals would be returned to prison to complete any remaining portion of their sentences.A copy of the governor’s order can be found as a PDF here or on Scribd.Find the latest information, including a daily dashboard, on the DOC’s COVID-19 efforts here.Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.View this information in Spanish.last_img read more

Competition keeping Conor keen

first_imgConor Murray insists there is still a fierce battle for Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations scrum-half berth despite Eoin Reddan’s calf strain. Cardiff’s Munster-bound loose forward Robin Copeland has kept his place in Ireland’s training squad after impressing in last weekend’s 14-8 Wolfhounds victory over England Saxons at Kingsholm. Murray hailed the back-rower as a good signing for Munster for next term, but also someone who could yet force his way into Six Nations action this term. Head coach Schmidt is expected to start Chris Henry at openside flanker in place of the injured Sean O’Brien. That frees up a loose forward slot on the bench, and Murray sees no reason why Copeland cannot fit that bill. “I’ve had a few chats to him since he’s been in camp,” said Murray. “He’s picked up three man-of-the-match awards for Cardiff in the Heineken Cup group stages which is unbelievable. “And up close he’s a real athlete, a powerful player and he seems to be a natural footballer. “It’s a good signing for Munster and he’s already having an impact here now as well.” Murray admitted Ireland have pored over their last-gasp 24-22 defeat to New Zealand from November in analysis, in a bid to stamp out little errors that cost them victory in cruel fashion. Keen not to linger on that All Blacks epic, the 24-year-old British Lion said: “That consistency element has definitely been a topic of discussion for a long time in our camp now. “It was a great performance against New Zealand, we came agonisingly close and we don’t want to dwell on it for too long, but we must look back and draw on the positives too. “I know a lot of rugby has been played since then, but that’s still our last performance. “We’ve looked at that game in detail, identified areas where we could have improved, and we’ve got to take that forward now.” Leinster half-back Reddan is rated “highly doubtful” for Ireland’s championship opener against Scotland in Dublin on Sunday by team manager Michael Kearney. Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has recalled Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss into his squad, and also has Connacht’s Kieran Marmion available if required. Press Association Should Reddan miss out, Murray will be expected to start on Sunday, but the Munster half-back rejected any notion of an easy passage into the number nine shirt. Scotching talk Reddan’s injury would clear the way for him to start, Murray said: “No definitely not, it’s exactly the same pressure as before. “Bossy’s there and Kieran Marmion is knocking around as well, so to be honest I’m just trying to focus on my own game and making sure I’m as sharp as I can be so I’m ready to go if I get the nod. “There are three or four players vying for each position, so I’m just trying to look after my own corner and make sure I can give everything I can.” Murray expects Scotland counterpart Greig Laidlaw to set the tempo for Scott Johnson’s side in Dublin. Admitting Ireland must shut down the Edinburgh playmaker and goal-kicker, Murray said: “I rate him highly as a player, he’s the focal point of their team, he drives a lot of their plays. “I’ve played against him quite a bit against Edinburgh and a couple of times against Scotland. “We’d like to think we know a bit about him but that doesn’t make it any easier to stop him so we’ve got to be focused.” last_img read more

Large fire at an abandoned train station leaves 1 injured in Delray Beach

first_imgAccording to Delray Beach Fire Rescue, at least one firefighter was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday while trying to put out a large fire that broke out at an abandoned train station in Delray beach near Interstate 95 and Atlantic Avenue.The firefighter who was taken to the hospital is said to be facing non-life threatening injuries.The roof of the building has collapsed. “It’s unclear how the fire started or if anyone is inside the building,” said Moschella, spokesperson for the Delray Beach Fire Department.Officials said homeless people sometimes sleep in the train station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.“It’ll be interesting to find out what exactly was in that building that caught fire,” said Moschella.The cause of the fire is under investigation.last_img read more

NPFL: Rangers Dethrone MFM FC from Summit of Group A

first_imgMFM will further go down if Lobi Stars triumph over Sunshine Stars in a rescheduled match in Akure today.Two goals within three minutes through Ifeanyi George’s in the 25th minute and Godwin Aguda gave Rangers a two-goal lead at the interval.But Ebenezer Odeyemi reduces the tally in the 65th minute, capitalising on a defensive slip.Rangers however hold their nerves till the final whistle to run out of the Kwara State capital with maximum three points in the kitty.The AITEO Federation Cup champions have been on a steady rise in the domestic league since exiting the continent CAF Confederation Cup tournament last month, chalking up valuable points at home and on the road that have now seen the ‘Oriental Landlords’ move up the Group A log to the top even with three outstanding games to spare.Ifeanyi Egwim, the attacking sensation of Rangers who fractured his leg in the last match of the trophy winning squad of 2016 got few minutes appearance.He was full of praises for the Enugu State government, management and coaches of Rangers for his treatment and rehabilitation.“This was a very emotional moment for me. To be back on the pitch playing competitive football after over two years on the treatment table, is very emotional and I thank everybody that made it happen and above all I thank God for His grace in today’s match where we earned our first victory on away soil.”Also speaking on the victory, Coach Olugbenga Ogunbote said: “We give God all the glory for this first victory on the road. I equally commend my players for their doggedness and determination shown during the match while also thanking the government of Enugu State as well as management and supporters of the club for their belief in what we are doing.“It was not an easy match as our opponent came all out in the second half but we showed maturity to contain them,” observed the coach.Ogunbote however stressed that Rangers was now on course despite the slow start to the season. “Our target at the start of the season is on cause as we aim for a top three finish and finish well at the end of the season top six play-off.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Duro IkhazuagbeRangers International defeated Kwara United 2-1 Wednesday in a rescheduled Match-day 6 in Ilorin to go on top of Group A of the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Enugu landlords now have 24 points from 11 matches.The Flying Antelopes, who are now one point ahead of the Lagos side, still have three outstanding matches – one at home against defending champions Lobi Stars, and the other two versus Rivers United and Bendel Insurance. Rangers’ Solomon Okpako and Akpos Adubi challenging Ebenezer Odeyemi of Kwara United during the rescheduled Match-day 6 clash in Ilorinlast_img read more

Marcelo Suspension Reduced

first_imgThe Spanish Football Association appeal committee have reduced Marcelo’s two match suspension to one match for kicking out at Levante’s midfielder Jefferson Lerma.Marcelo, who captained Real in the game, saw red in the dying minutes of Real Madrid’s frustrating 1-1 draw at home against Levante.The 29-year-old Brazilian will only miss Real Madrid’s trip to Real Sociedad on Sunday.Cristiano Ronaldo will also not feature in the Anoeta visit as he serves the final game of his five match ban.19-year-old Theo Hernandez, who joined Real from city rivals Atletico, is set to replace the Brazilian at left back. RelatedSergio Ramos Admits Fault In Real Madrid’s WoesMarch 11, 2019In “Spain”Sergio Ramos’ Mentor? The Man With The Most Red Cards Before Real Madrid’s Skipper Broke His RecordFebruary 17, 2019In “Europe”Another Real Madrid Star Accused Of Tax Fraud!October 17, 2017In “Lifestyle”last_img read more