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Horrific acts of Chicago Police Department brutality, from killings to racial profiling to harassment of youth, do not spring from a few bad apples alone. Mounting evidence from city residents, grassroots organizations like We Charge Genocide and even the Department of Justice shows that the problem is system-wide, extending from streets to courts to jail cells and condoned by the chain of command, all the way up to the mayor’s office. However, focusing on the bad behavior of individual cops, and examining how the system responds, can be instructive.
In late March, the New York Times’ editorial board called President Trump’s move to dismantle Obama-era climate protections “deeply dismaying,” citing “the rock-solid scientific consensus that without swift action the consequences of climate change—rising seas, more devastating droughts, widespread species extinction—are likely to get steadily worse.” Today the paper announced it has hired a climate denier as an op-ed columnist.
-via In These Times
Iowa farmer Karl Fox is drowning in corn.
Reluctant to sell his harvest at today’s rock-bottom prices, he has stuffed storage bins at his property full and left more corn piled on the ground, covered with a tarp.
He would rather risk potential crop damage from the elements than pay the exorbitant cost of storage elsewhere.
Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) may finally be giving up. AL.com reported that the governor, for whom impeachment hearings started Monday, is expected to step down this week over his elaborate efforts to conceal an alleged affair with a former aide that investigators say misappropriated state resources and ran afoul of ethics laws.
Bentley’s lawyers are now reportedly trying to ease his departure from the governor’s mansion. Sources told AL.com that those attorneys are engaged in negotiations to allow Bentley to resign from office and plead to lesser charges.
-via Talking Points Memo
But here’s what folks who shared the meme might not know about that photo: The image is a still taken from a video that shows me on the phone, walking on the sidewalk, when Seattle police officer Sandra Delafuente, totally unprovoked, opens up a can of pepper spray in my face. If only Kendall had been there with a cold can of Pepsi!
-via I Am An Educator
A coalition of transparency advocacy groups filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to compel President Trump’s protective detail to turn over the names of individuals that he is meeting.
The scope of the FOIA action includes visitor names and the dates they met with the President at the White House and at other Trump residences: Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and Trump Tower in New York.
-via The District Sentinel
The UK Government plans to water down regulations surrounding climate change and illegal wildlife trading in an effort to help secure post-Brexit trade, civil service documents have reportedly revealed.
Tim Hitchens, the director general of economic and consular affairs at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), will say in a speech later this month that the UK must change its focus to carry out Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision of the country as a “great, global trading nation”.
-via The Independent
It shouldn’t be surprising, but it is to me nonetheless: Plenty of liberals who’ve long criticized Donald Trump as unfit to be president are praising his strike on Syrian airfields.
On CNN’s New Day Thursday, global analyst Fareed Zakaria declared, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night. To his credit, Zakaria has previously called Trump a “bullshit artist” and said, “He has gotten the presidency by bullshitting.” But Zakaria apparently thinks firing missiles make one presidential.
-via The Nation
The U.S.’s largest police force is finally rolling out police body-worn cameras — but footage will mostly be for cops’ eyes only.
Though both de Blasio and the NYPD have touted the measures as a way to increase police accountability and win back the public’s trust, the guidelines are decidedly one-sided when it comes to who gets to see the footage.
Now Helbert has been fired by the university, after legislators objected to her report and complained that she hadn’t identified herself to them. Helbert has filed a lawsuit in response, while freedom of the press activists have organized rallies and petitions in her defense.
On April 17, the state of Arkansas plans to kill Don Davis and Bruce Earl Ward, two men who have been on death row since the early 1990s. Neither has applied for clemency. Both will die on the same gurney, back to back, if all goes according to plan. Executioners will start by injecting them with a sedative called midazolam, never before used by the state, but which is supposed to render them unconscious for the two lethal drugs to follow. No one, apart from a handful of officials, knows where the drugs will come from, or who exactly will do the injecting.
-via The Intercept
The company behind a large and contentious coal mine proposed for the west side of Cook Inlet is suspending all permitting efforts, suddenly putting the Chuitna Coal Project in limbo.
Dan Graham, project manager for PacRim Coal, told officials at the Alaska Department of Natural Resources about the company’s decision late last week. DNR posted an update on its website Friday.
-Alaska Dispatch News
The number of advertisers boycotting Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program has increased to at least 52, following revelations that he and the network paid out $13 million to settle lawsuits by five women who accuse O’Reilly of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior. Meanwhile, a third Fox News employee has joined a lawsuit charging the network with racial discrimination. The employees claim top executives—including former CEO Roger Ailes.
-Via Democracy Now
The Trump administration just got a harsh reminder just how strongly Americans feel about protecting public lands. A few days ago, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which oversees millions acres of public land under the Department of the Interior, swapped its homepage image of a beautiful park to a massive pile of coal at a mine in Wyoming.
-via Earth Justice
A December oil pipeline spill in western North Dakota might have been three times larger than first estimated and among the biggest in state history, a state environmental expert said Friday.
About 530,000 gallons of oil is now believed to have spilled from the Belle Fourche Pipeline that was likely ruptured by a slumping hillside about 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County, Health Department environmental scientist Bill Seuss said. The earlier estimate was about 176,000 gallons.
-via NBC News
When Mike Duggan became the mayor of Detroit in 2014, he made a bold pledge to improve the city’s ambulance response times from a miserable 18 minutes to the national standard of 8 minutes.
It would be no easy task. For decades, Detroit has struggled with ambulance and staff shortages, mismanagement, inadequate training and response times twice the national average. Ambulances were so slow that Detroiters debated whether they should even call 911.
But that is changing in a radical way.
-via Motor City Muckracker
Floodwaters from three swollen rivers surged through a Colombian city this weekend, burying homes under an avalanche of mud and rocks.
Aerial survey footage by the Colombian Air Force shows the scale of devastation in Mocoa, the capital of the southwestern Putamayo province.
Over the past decade, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has permanently seized $3.2 billion in cash from individuals who were never charged with a crime, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday.
Authorities confiscated this money using a controversial process known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows police to take property ― including vehicles, jewelry, houses and, most commonly, cash ― based solely on the suspicion it’s tied to crime.
-via Huffington Post
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