Feds crafting race-obsessed Guidelines for NYPD

Future cadets of the New York Police Department will receive instruction on not being racist or sexist, at the recommendation of a federal monitor overseeing reforms stemming from a federal lawsuit against the police department’s stop-and-frisk policy. Peter Zimroth, a federal monitor overseeing reforms to cops’ stop-and-frisk tactics under a court order, asked Manhattan federal Judge Analisa Torres Monday to greenlight 140 pages of new training material – including power-point slides to the current class of cadets who will be graduating this June.

The recommended guidelines were filed Tuesday due to Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s 2013 ruling that found the city’s stop-and-frisk tactics unconstitutional. Stop-and-frisk is defined as the practice of stopping a person solely on suspicion of criminal wrongdoing. The person stopped is often subjected to aggressive questioning and a lengthy search of their person or vehicle. The practice has been frequently criticized for having a significant racial bias and being ineffective in reducing crime. Zimroth in a letter to Torres said the guidelines were developed with input from the NYPD and that they could be modified for future rookie classes. Read more at Examiner.com

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Future of Air Force stealth bombers aimed at technological upgrades

The United States Air Force bomber program is now competing for the right to do high-tech upgrades, according to Pentagon officials on Tuesday. The Pentagon is faced with decision of who is the winner of the Long Range Strike Bomber contest in the coming months. Several options are on the table including Lockheed Martin, which does the design work for the Boeing-Lockheed team, who is responsible for almost the entire nation’s advanced stealth design work. They also have the option of staying with their regular contractor, Northrop Gruman, which would then build the entire stealth bomber fleet. The argument for the Boeing-led team rests principally on the fact that Boeing often can produce large numbers of large aircraft on time and at a reasonable cost. But Boeing’s record on commercial aircraft is mixed — 777 vs. 787 — and it’s encountering difficulties with the KC-46, a commercial aircraft that’s being modified for military tanker use.

It’s a really important competition, arguably more important for the industrial base and the American people than the incredibly painful and problem-plagued tanker program. The new bomber design details are under tight secrecy, however we do know that  the new aircraft will be designed with an eye towards upgrades and modularity.
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Hillary Clinton trades support of Colombia trade pact for foundation contributions

Hillary Clinton accepted millions of dollars from a Colombian oil company before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton favored a trade deal with Colombia despite claims of human rights violations. The International Business Times on Thursday first broke the news. This latest questionable donation raises more questions about the possibility of foreign nations influencing Hillary by donating to her family’s foundation. Clinton previously opposed the U.S. Colombia trade deal during her 2008 campaign for President. Clinton remained silent during a workers strike at the oil company Pacific Rubiales, which is the company in question. The Colombian military threatened violence if the workers did not disband.

Human rights advocates urged Clinton to reject the free-trade deal with Colombia because such tactics were common in the country. The founder of the oil company, Frank Giustra is now a board member of the Clinton Foundation. At the time discussions began of the trade deal, Giustra pledged to donate $100 million to a joint initiative between the Foundation and Colombian oil company Pacific Rubiales. A few months after, former President Bill Clinton was seen golfing with Giustra. In 2011, the U.S. State Department under the leadership of Hillary Clinton applauded Colombia’s human rights record saying “Colombian government continued to make progress on improving respect for human rights, both within the Armed Forces and in Colombia at large.”  Read more at Examiner.com 

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Iranian President threatens to end negotiations with the U.S.

Tehran has threatened to walk away unless the P5+1 nations lift economic sanctions placed on Iran, according to Iran’s president on Thursday. The P5+1 group which includes the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany reached an agreement with Iran last week that placed limits on their nuclear program in exchange for a lift on crippling economic sanctions. The United States previously said they would lift sanctions in phases but the details of the plan have not been agreed upon.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared in a televised address marking Iran’s nuclear technology day, appearing to rule out the planned removal of the sanctions in phases, which have crippled the nation’s energy and financial sectors, devastating its economy. The rough deal accepted after extending the deadline during talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, said sanctions will be suspended after international inspectors verify Iran is following the limitations detailed in the first version of a deal. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has final say on issues of the state which Rouhani reminded the media on Thursday and claimed that a fact sheet released by the United States detailing the nuclear deal was not what was agreed upon. Read more at Examiner.com 

Boston Bomber found guilty on all 30 counts

The jury in the Boston bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has reached a guilty verdict, after two days of deliberations, the United States attorney’s office announced Wednesday. The federal prosecutor’s office announced on Twitter that the court was scheduled to convene at 1:45 p.m. to hear the jury’s decision. Federal Judge George O’Toole met with attorneys from both the prosecution and defense. The charges facing Tsarnaev, totaling 30 counts, fall into four categories. Twelve counts are related to two pressure-cooker bombs used at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Three charges deal with conspiracy; three other cover the MIT shooting of security officer Sean Collier on April 18, 2013. The last 12 counts address the murder of Collier as well as a carjacking, robbery and the use of improvised explosives against Watertown, Massachusetts police officers.

The verdict arrived within days of the bombing’s second anniversary, bringing the city closer to reckoning as it prepares for the 119th Boston Marathon, to be held April 20. Tsarnaev was expected to be found guilty of a majority of the charges, since his defense team admitted from the beginning that he was involved in the attack. Their strategy was to save him from execution by painting him as a dupe of his radicalized older brother. Read more at Examiner.com 

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NYC Mayor De Blasio considering allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections

New York City officials announced on Monday, they are strongly considering allowing non-citizen legal residents the right to vote in local elections. The City Council has begun drafting legislation to let noncitizens vote in New York City’s municipal elections, a move that could strengthen immigrants in races across the five boroughs. The legislation if approved would make NYC one of just eight regions in the nation where U.S. citizenship isn’t required to cast a vote, according to iVote NYC. Reports suggest that the city council is discussing the legislation with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, and that a bill might be introduced as soon as this spring.

Legal residents would have to live in New York City for at least six months. A majority of city council members support it, as does Mayor Bill de Blasio, who says he would sign it if it gets to his desk. Supporters of the legislation argue that many non-citizen residents in the city already pay taxes and enroll their children in public schools, as well as becoming active members of the community. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York, non-citizen residents contribute $18.2 billion in income taxes each year. Currently in the US, six small towns in Maryland allow non-citizen voting in local elections. Chicago lets non-citizens vote in its school elections. 
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SIGAR reveals $45 billion in tax dollars goes missing in Afghanistan

Millions of dollars have disappeared from Afghanistan and the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction is placing the blame on the Pentagon’s mismanaged accounting practices for the problem. The SIGAR released the report Friday reporting that only 57 percent of the $795 million appropriated to CERP from 2002-2013 could be accounted for in terms of who was awarded contracts, and for how much money. The SIGAR report breaks down the $21 billion, by fund, into the highest-costing contracts and their recipients, from 2002 until May 2014.

The CERP initiative “enables U.S. commanders in Afghanistan to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements in their areas of responsibility by supporting programs that will immediately assist the local population” according to the report. CERP contracts are restricted in terms of spending on individual contracts; those that cost more than $1 million or $5 million have to be approved by oversight bodies, and no individual contract can exceed $20 million.
Read more at Examiner.com

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