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Court bans Dutch arm of Bandidos motorcycle gang

Court bans Dutch arm of Bandidos motorcycle gang

A court in the Netherlands banned the Dutch branch of the Bandidos motorcycle club Wednesday, ruling in a civil case that the biker gang is a threat to public order. The ban “is necessary to protect society,” said the Central Netherlands Court. The court also banned members of overseas Bandidos chapters from operating in the Netherlands. Prosecutors hailed the ruling as a victory in efforts to clamp down on motorcycle gangs in the Netherlands. “We are very satisfied,” said Jirko Patist, a spoke…
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Ukraine worried about Russia’s pullout from monitoring team

Ukraine on Wednesday criticized Russia’s decision to withdraw its military observers from a joint group monitoring the truce in eastern Ukraine, saying it could fuel hostilities. Russia announced the move earlier this week, saying that Ukraine was putting up obstacles and restrictions obstructing Russian officers’ work and recently introduced new demands that made their further involvement in the group impossible. The development is the latest sign of heightened tensions in the area, where figh…
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Urban killings rise in clusters as many areas grow safer

When she started an urban farm in one of Indianapolis’ roughest neighborhoods, retired chemist Aster Bekele wanted to teach at-risk kids how to garden, and maybe sneak in a little science. Then the city’s homicide rate started soaring, with most of the killings happening around the community center where Bekele and the teens tended their vegetables, chickens and compost piles. After her own son was killed last summer, she found herself teaching a different lesson: how to deal with death. A few miles away, another rough neighborhood was experiencing a change — equally dramatic but just the opposite. The Fountain Square section near downtown, which once saw nearly as many killings as Bekele’s area, was transforming into one of the city’s safer spots thanks to an influx of affluent people drawn to its hip restaurants, bicycle trails and art festivals. The contrast illustrates an Associated Press analysis of homicide data that showed some large cities seem to be getting safer and more dangerous at the same time. Slayings in Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis are becoming concentrated into small areas where people are dying at a pace not seen in years, if ever. Around them, much of the rest of the city is growing more peaceful, even as the total number of homicides rises. “There’s two different worlds,” said Anthony Beverly, who grew up in Indianapolis and now runs an organization called Stop The Violence. “Downtown is just popping. … We struggle.” The AP collected 10 years of homicide data from the cities that had the highest homicide rates in 2016. Reporters used spatial analysis to identify clusters of killings and track the changing geographic patterns over time. The neighborhoods enduring the most violence were largely poor and African-American, as were the killers and the victims. Researchers say the disparity may be linked to increased joblessness, segregation and the growth of the so-called wealth gap. Over the past three decades, the wealthiest Americans have grown markedly richer while low earners lost jobs and struggled and some turned to violence. The trend goes beyond the problem neighborhoods and trendy, low-crime enclaves that are found in almost every city. The inequality between the two realities deepened in recent years, allowing people in the same metropolis to live in one realm with little sense of the other and creating districts of despair where everyone has seen or had someone close to them shot or killed. Daniel Hertz, a Chicago-based policy analyst, has argued for years that citywide homicide statistics are “basically meaningless” because of the big differences. Looking at smaller geographic areas, he said, gives a far more accurate picture. “The conversation we are used to hearing is ‘Is a city safe?'” Hertz said. “But there’s no citywide statistic that tells you the story of a city.” The Rev. Marshall Hatch, whose church is in a West Side Chicago neighborhood that has seen a disproportionate number of homicides, said the findings reinforce the need to deal with the root causes of violence in what he calls “pockets of intense desperation.” “We know these problems tend to compound when they’re not addressed,” he said. “It’s going to be very problematic for cities, because people are not going to just stay in their neighborhoods and commit crimes.” Adding to the dilemma over what’s going on and what to do about it is that the narrowing homicide pattern isn’t happening everywhere. “What we have is an epidemic, and epidemics often happen in ways that are unpredictable,” said Charles Ransford, director of science and policy for Cure Violence, a Chicago-based group that works to stop the spread of violence by treating it as a public health issue. ___ RISING KILLINGS, SINKING INCOME Indianapolis, often called the “Crossroads of America,” is best known as the home of auto racing’s Indianapolis 500. The nation’s 15th largest city saw a record 149 homicides in 2016 and just surpassed that total this year. The most intense violence is happening in a relatively limited area. The city’s three deadliest ZIP codes in 2016 accounted for 43 percent of all homicides. More than 20 percent of the slayings occurred in a single ZIP code on the city’s northeast side, where Bekele lives. The predominantly African-American neighborhood grew steadily poorer in recent years. Lost working-class jobs, many from the shutdowns of plants run by Navistar and Carrier, were a possible factor. The city has 10,000 fewer manufacturing jobs today than in 2007. “All those manufacturing jobs have left so those neighborhoods have really died,” said Jim White, the former commander of a state police post in Indianapolis. “Folks without an education are just left out there.” The concentration of violence extends to Chicago, which ended 2016 with 762 homicides, the highest in two decades. The city has been described by President Donald Trump as resembling “a war zone.” But in almost a third of ZIP codes that have reported a homicide in the last decade, the trend has been fewer killings. Now 60 percent of the killings were in only 10 of the city’s roughly 58 ZIP codes. Chicago’s violence is fueled by gang factions that splintered from the major gangs of years ago. More factions mean more rivalries and more potential for violence. Police estimate the city has some 80,000 gang members, up from about 68,000 five years ago. They also point to gang competition to meet the growing demand for heroin and opioids. One ZIP code on Chicago’s “Heroin Highway,” so called because suburbanites use the expressway to drive into the city for drugs, had 54 homicides in 2016, up from 24 just a year earlier. Similar forces are at work in St. Louis, which had a record number of homicides in 2015, a spike that contributed to the overall U.S. homicide rate increasing more than 10 percent. But most of that increase came from just two ZIP codes, and in seven of the city’s 17 ZIP codes, homicides fell. The danger of the more concentrated violence, Hertz said, is that it can become easy for most people to ignore it, and that can intensify the problem. “It can create this sense of ‘Let’s wall it off,'” he said. People who can leave start to move out if they don’t feel safe, reducing a city’s tax base and the number of students in its schools and increasing the number of vacant properties in a particular neighborhood. It becomes a vicious cycle. A ONCE-DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOOD DRAWS NEW CROWDS Richard Campi bought his 1872 Italianate home in Fountain Square in 1983, when the neighborhood was one of the riskier ones. “It was a redneck area,” Campi says, recalling a streetscape of junked-out cars in yards, scrap metal businesses and rent-to-own stores. When he put ads in The Indianapolis Star advertising apartments to rent in the house, no one would even come take a look. But things started to change when nearby Fletcher Place, one of the city’s earliest neighborhoods, was designated a historic district and preservation buffs began moving in. A local couple bought the long-vacant Fountain Square Theatre, hoping to capitalize on the nostalgia of an old vaudeville showplace. They reopened the duckpin bowling lanes, and soon hipsters and old-timers started coming to knock over pins and drink craft beers. Galleries and independent businesses followed. In 2011, the Cultural Trail, an 8-mile bike and walking path that links downtown to cultural districts and entertainment hot spots, made its way to Fountain Square, and more college-educated young people with higher incomes streamed in. Bon Appetit magazine came to write about the restaurants. There’s still crime, but it’s not the same. In the Fountain Square ZIP code, homicides fell from nine in 2011 to four last year. The home Richard Campi bought for $23,000 is now worth about $500,000. A TRANQUIL NEIGHBORHOOD TURNS DEADLY The area of northeast Indianapolis where Aster Bekele and her husband bought their home almost 40 years ago used to be so peaceful they sometimes slept in the backyard with their kids. That’s hard to imagine that now, with all the shootings. The neighborhood is roughly 9 square miles of apartments, small homes, vacant storefronts, gas stations and liquor marts that double as grocery stores. “We’re right in the middle of it,” says Bekele, 64, who came to the U.S. from Ethiopia as a college student. Her son, Senteayehou Henry, got into trouble as a young man. In 2002, he went to prison for selling drugs. After he was released, he moved into the home next door and made a living flipping houses, she said. On Aug. 1, 2016, Bekele found her 40-year-old son dead on the floor of his house after his girlfriend arrived and saw the back door standing open. No one has been arrested. These days, Bekele doesn’t take meetings at night so she won’t have to walk from her car to her house in the dark. She can easily distinguish between the sound of gunshots and firecrackers. Twice in a recent three-week span she skipped gardening to take the teens to funerals for people close to them who were killed. While the city’s median household income has increased slightly, this area’s fell by 3.5 percent per year. More than a third of its residents have household incomes below the federal poverty level. THE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS The shrinking geographic scope of the problem has made some crime-fighting approaches more feasible. With less ground to cover, authorities are better able to flood a zone with officers. High-tech tools can be effective on a small scale. Take Chicago, where police began using “ShotSpotter” technology, or sensors that monitor for the sound of gunfire and alert police. They say it’s contributed to a drop in shootings this year in some of their previous hot spots because officers can respond more quickly. The Cure Violence group in Chicago employs “interrupters” — often former gang members — who seek out people likely to commit a violent crime and intervene, potentially also stopping a string of retaliations. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says he wants to put 150 more police officers on the street by the end of 2019, many on foot patrols in small areas. Police Chief Bryan Roach is aiming to have 80 such beats next year, up from 19 now. On the city’s troubled northwest side, a group of ministers and former gang members known as the Ten Point Coalition has earned national recognition for its efforts. Four nights a week, they walk their streets, talking to young people and trying to point them away from trouble. Sometimes that’s through a basketball league. Other times it’s introducing them to the Job Corps, where they can learn trades and later get work. In 2015, the ZIP code where they are focusing their efforts saw 24 homicides. Last year there were nine. “We can’t stop them from doing wrong,” says team leader Wallace Nash. “But we can encourage them to do something else.” John Hagedorn, a criminology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the crime is driven by poverty, chronic joblessness and hopelessness, especially in black communities in the Rust Belt. Cities along the coasts with less violence have seen more investment citywide, not just in the downtowns. In those places, wealth is more widely distributed and there is less racial isolation, he said. “There’s a degree of hope that takes place in these communities where violence is low,” he said. “There’s a sense that life isn’t over.”
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XXXTentacion to be released from jail on house arrest

XXXTentacion to be released from jail on house arrest The saga of XXXTentacion — whose rise as one of the year’s biggest breakout rappers is overshadowed by a felony domestic violence case — continues. He was released from jail days after being taken into custody for violating his bond. A judge ordered the MC to be released from custody and placed under house arrest on Wednesday, according to court records.   The South Florida native, born Jahseh Onfroy, had been sent back to jail on F…
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Mothers Connect To Help Families Cope With Loss Of Loved Ones

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Denise Brown has something in common with all the parents whose children’s photos hang from her office wall. “There’s no getting over this. Ever,” she said. It was March 1, 2012, when Brown got the devastating news that her brother had died after a battle with cancer. Her grief still fresh, her phone rang again just a few hours later. This time the person on the other end told her son had been shot. “I…
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Constitutional arguments begin in Canadian polygamy case

Constitutional arguments begin in Canadian polygamy case

A Canadian man found guilty of marrying two dozen women says he believed he was entitled to practice polygamy because he wasn’t charged when police investigated him in the 1990s. Winston Blackmore appeared in British Columbia Supreme Court in Cranbrook this week where a judge is hearing arguments on whether Canada’s polygamy laws infringe on his rights to freedom of religion and expression. Blackmore is a leader of the community of Bountiful, British Columbia, where residents follow the teachin…
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Judges to examine if drug stash-house stings racially biased

The question of whether federal agents display racial bias by staging phony drug stash-house stings overwhelmingly in black neighborhoods is the focus of hearings beginning Thursday in Chicago and could determine whether agencies curtail or even abandon their use nationwide. A first-of-its-kind panel of federal trial judges holds two days of hearings on the stings, which are overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and typically involve agents posing as cartel couriers who talk suspects into agreeing to rob drugs that don’t exist from what they are told are guarded stash houses that are also fictitious. The nine panelists — each of whom presides over 12 separate stash-house cases with 43 defendants in all — chose to hear evidence simultaneously on the question after defense teams in the dozen cases all moved for the indictments to be tossed on grounds of racial bias. How the judges rule in coming weeks — and they could submit a single ruling — is expected to influence how courts around the country deal with similar claims about the stings, which have been a favorite tool of federal law enforcement dating back to the 1990s. Rulings in Chicago could also encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to take up issue. Among the panelists is Ruben Castillo, whose ruling in 2013 that there’s a “strong showing of potential bias” in the stings generated years of legal motions and dueling expert reports — culminating in this week’s hearings. He ruled just weeks after he was sworn in as the federal court’s first Hispanic chief judge. Stash-house stings have been criticized on other grounds, including in how agents dangle the prospect of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars to often poor, desperate subjects. Some courts have warned the stings risk crossing the line into illegally entrapping suspects. Authorities insist they’re careful not to entrap anyone, targeting only those with records of violent crimes and who say unequivocally they want in on armed robberies. The answer to the question of whether the stings discriminate by race hinges largely on competing interpretations of statistics. Defense lawyers say the fact that around 80 percent of stings are conducted in predominantly African-American neighborhoods speaks for itself. Their main witness is Jeffrey Fagan, a professor at Columbia Law School. In his report for defense lawyers, he notes that out of 94 stash-house defendants in the Chicago area between 2006 and 2013, 74 were black, 12 were Hispanic and just eight were white. That and other data, he writes, proves a “pattern of discrimination.” But government lawyers say it’s only natural that trafficking-related stings are focused where trafficking activity is highest — in low-income areas on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Fagan’s report, they contend in one filing, “is riddled with false assumptions … designed to manufacture a racial disparity where none exists.” Their expert is Max Schanzenbach, a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law. After scrutinizing the same data, he faulted Fagan’s methodology. “A straightforward comparison of the stash house defendants to reasonable comparison groups — those arrested for similar crimes, in particular a home invasion involving a firearm — finds no statistical evidence of discrimination,” he concludes. Some judges have gone on the record criticizing agents’ power to arbitrarily increase the severity of charges and potential sentences simply by increasing the amount of drugs they tell targets are in the non-existent stash houses. And suspects can be charged not only with trying to steal but with trying to distribute the phantom drugs, charges that carry stiff mandatory prison terms. “The time has come to remind the Executive Branch that the Constitution charges it with law enforcement — not crime creation,” a U.S. judge in central California, Otis Wright, wrote in a scathing 2014 ruling. “The Constitution will not tolerate subjecting an individual to prosecution for an imaginary crime subject to a very real punishment.”
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Appeals court strikes down Miami Beach minimum wage increase

Minimum wage workers in Miami Beach — and the political ambitions of Mayor Philip Levine — took a hit Wednesday when an appeals court affirmed a Miami-Dade circuit court decision from earlier this year to reject the city’s proposed minimum wage law. Levine introduced his proposal to great fanfare in June 2016, which mandated the city set a minimum wage at $10.31 as of Jan. 1, 2018, then increase it by a dollar a year until 2021. City officials understood the proposal flew in the face…
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Minnesota Senate appointment creates a mess back home

The elevation of Minnesota’s Republican state Senate president to lieutenant governor as part of a chain reaction after U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s resignation will likely lead to a legal fight over whether she can hold two jobs. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to take Franken’s seat when he steps down, which she indicated would likely be in early January. That choice quickly triggered major constitutional questions of how she’ll be replaced and partisan b…
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GCR to host seventh antitrust conference in Miami

US Federal Trade Commission official Bruce Hoffman and US Department of Justice deputy head Barry Nigro lead a packed line up of global antitrust enforcers at GCR Live’s 7th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum in Miami early next year. The forum, held over two days in early February, will gather speakers from government, private practice and academia to discuss pressing issues in antitrust, in the US and internationally. Charles Rivers Associates vice president Margaret Sanderson and Blake…
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Commercial fishing of Dungeness crabs hit with another delay

Commercial fishing of Dungeness crabs hit with another delay

The commercial fishing of Dungeness crabs has been delayed again for Oregon and parts of Washington and California, giving the crabs more time to plump up. The Daily Astorian reports fishery managers with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have delayed the fishery opening to Dec. 31 after testing found the crab meat yield too low. Ongoing testing will determine if the fishery will open by that date or if another delay is called for. The opening is traditionally set for Dec. 1, but testi…
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Man whose relatives died mysteriously must give gun info

A Vermont man whose mother and grandfather died in mysterious circumstances must turn over information related to a missing gun, as well as phone and other records, in a Rhode Island lawsuit over insurance on his sunken boat. Nathan Carman must turn over the information about a Sig Sauer .308-caliber semi-automatic rifle he owned, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan said Friday. That weapon is now missing, according to documents filed in a different lawsuit in New Hampshire. The documents s…
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California’s 2018 abalone fishing canceled by officials

California wildlife officials have voted to cancel the 2018 abalone fishing season due to concerns about mass starvation among the mollusks along Sonoma and Mendocino coasts. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the state Fish and Game Commission voted 4-0 Thursday during a public meeting in San Diego. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife made the recommendation to cancel next year’s season after six scuba diving scientists surveyed seafloors and logged 37 percent of the abalone they…
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Ransomware slows North Carolina county government to a crawl

Ransomware slows North Carolina county government to a crawl

A cyberattack slowed county government to a crawl Wednesday in North Carolina’s most populous metro area as deputies processed jail inmates by hand, the tax office turned away electronic payments and building code inspectors switched to paper records. Data was frozen on dozens of Mecklenburg County servers after one of its employees opened an email attachment carrying malicious software earlier this week. County manager Dena Diorio said late Wednesday that the county will not pay the $23,000 de…
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MDPD Director Speaks After Officer Shot

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez met with the media outside of Jackson Memorial Hospital, giving an update on the officer who was shot in a Walmart parking lot and a passionate plea to end gun violence. (Published 1 minute ago) Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez met with the media …
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Trump move on Jerusalem highlights Arab divisions

BEIRUT (AP) — Muslims across the Middle East warned Wednesday of disastrous consequences after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but in a region more divided than ever, many asked what leaders can do beyond the vehement rhetoric. Arab powerhouses are mired in their own internal troubles, their populations tired of wars, and the days when Arab leaders could challenge the United States in a meaningful way are long gone. Beyond the eruption of protests and po…
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House votes to kill Democrat’s resolution to impeach Trump

The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to kill a resolution from a liberal Democratic lawmaker to impeach President Donald Trump as most Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the move. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said Trump had associated his presidency with causes rooted in bigotry and racism. To back his claim accusing Trump of high misdemeanors, Green cited incidents such as Trump’s blaming both sides for violence at a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his rec…
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PSJHS SGA gives to fight against domestic violence

Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School’s Student Government Association presented Tiffany Carr, President of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, with a check for $800 last week in Tallahassee. The money was raised through the sale of the 2017 Homecoming T-Shirts and will be used to assist children living in domestic violence shelters in the Miami/Key West area who were impacted by Hurricane Irma….
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Yemenis shelter from airstrikes, battles in capital

Yemenis shelter from airstrikes, battles in capital

Yemeni rebels killed their erstwhile ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s former president and strongman, as their forces battled for control of the capital, Sanaa, officials said. The collapse of their alliance throws Yemen’s nearly 3-year-old civil war into unpredictable new chaos. The circumstances of Saleh’s death were unclear but Houthi officials said their forces caught up with him as he tried to flee Sanaa. A video circulating online purported to show Saleh’s body, his eyes open but gl…
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White nationalist held on Charlottesville charge given bond

A white nationalist who says he pepper-sprayed a demonstrator in self-defense on the campus of the University of Virginia has been granted bond. Local media outlets report that 37-year-old Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, was given $25,000 secured bond at a hearing Monday in Albemarle Circuit Court. He will have home electronic monitoring and must stay in Virginia. The Daily Progress reports that Cantwell will not be released until he can find a court-approved home in Virginia. Can…
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Woman Punched by Officer at Miami Hurricanes Game Will Perform Community Service, Pay Fine

An unruly UM fan has struck a plea deal with authorities related to the violent altercation with an officer. NBC 6’s Jamie Guirola reports. A woman who was punched by an officer as she was being carried out of a Miami Hurricanes game at Hard Rock Stadium last month in a drunken incident that was caught on camera will be serving 50 hours of community service and must attend an anger management course as part of a deal reached with prosecutors Monday. Bridget Freitas, 30, will also pay a $100 fin…
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by Rashmi Goel, Tamara R. Lave et al.

Part I: Reimagining Gender Violence Home > University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review > Vol. 5 > Iss. 2 (2015) Rashmi Goel Tamara R. Lave, University of Miami School of LawFollow Elizabeth MacDowell Adele Morrison Rashmi Goel et al., Panel on Problematizing Assumptions About Gender Violence (Transcript), 5 U. Miami Race & Soc. Just. L. Rev. 347 (2015) Available at: https://repository.law.miami.edu/umrsjlr/vol5/iss2/12…
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Campaign to sink Colombia peace process turns violent in Miami

Violence erupted in a Miami supermarket over the weekend after migrants campaigned against a peace process near a voter registration booth. A supporter of the opposition led by controversial former President Alvaro Uribe said in a video recorded at a local hospital that he would file charges over the incident. The peace process with the Marxist rebels is controversial, particularly among conservative voters. Opposition supporter Mario Gallo was the first to report the violence. He claimed secur…
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New chief legal counsel appointed to the Wisconsin DNR

New chief legal counsel appointed to the Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has appointed a lawyer from a conservative public interest litigation group to be the state Department of Natural Resources’ new chief legal counsel. Jake Curtis’s appointment is the first time the department has hired an outside lawyer to handle legal issues. Curtis has been an attorney for nearly 10 years and joined the department on Monday. He replaces attorney Quinn Williams, who has moved to the Department of Administration. The appointment is troubling because …
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NY queries Project Veritas over leader’s past conviction

Project Veritas, which has used disguises and hidden cameras to uncover supposed liberal bias in the mainstream media, could lose its ability to raise money in New York because it didn’t disclose its founder’s criminal record, the state attorney general said. The Democratic prosecutor’s office wrote to the nonprofit on Wednesday, two days after The Washington Post reported that a woman affiliated with the group tried to get the newspaper to report a false sex assault allegation against Republic…
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Egypt’s FM says no restrictions on presidential hopeful

Egypt’s foreign minister says there is no legal reason restricting former air force commander and government minister Ahmed Shafiq from contesting the 2018 presidential elections. Sameh Shoukry’s remarks on Friday came at a forum in Rome just days after Shafiq announced his intention to run. “I know he’s had some issues with the judiciary. I am not sure whether those have been resolved or not,” Shoukry said, adding that in principal anyone without pending legal cases is free to run. Shafiq narr…
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Local attorney suspended from practicing law

MIAMI COUNTY — A former Miami County lawyer had his license to practice law suspended indefinitely by the Ohio Supreme Court as of Nov. 29. Christopher R. Bucio, a former partner of Roberts, Kelly & Bucio, LLP, (now called Roberts and Kelly), had his license suspended on an interim basis following a seven-year legal battle in Shelby County Common Pleas Court in January of this year. Bucio was found to have violated several professional conduct standards regarding the unauthorized use …
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Miami Law’s Innocence Clinic Takes on New Client with a Compelling Case

Miami Law’s Innocence Clinic recently began investigating a case with a potentially compelling claim of innocence. Kenneth Patterson was arrested in February 1998 after his co-defendant Tevenin Wagenson identified him as the getaway driver for the armed robbery he committed at an IHOP in Miramar, Florida. Curiously, Wagenson admitted to committing the robbery and originally said a man named Charles, not Patterson, was the getaway driver.  After agreeing to cooperate with the State, Wagenson…
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Removal of Jefferson Davis plaque in Kentucky delayed

Removal of Jefferson Davis plaque in Kentucky delayed

A plaque in the Kentucky Capitol declaring the only president of the Confederacy to be a hero and a patriot will stay until a lawyer with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration can determine if the decision to remove it was legal. The plaque is attached to a 15-foot (4.5 meters) marble statue of Jefferson Davis, who was born in Kentucky and was president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Efforts to remove the statue have been ongoing for years, but they gained momentum following the…
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The Latest: Court weighs parent rights in same-sex divorce

The Latest on a Mississippi court case where a woman is seeking parental rights along with her ex-wife (all times local): 1:45 p.m. A lawyer for a woman seeking parental rights to a 6-year-old boy told the Mississippi’s Supreme Court that it must rule in her favor after the U.S. Supreme Court authorized same-sex marriage nationwide. But a lawyer for her ex-wife, who bore the child while the two were married, says a court needs to first terminate the parental rights of the anonymous sperm donor….
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Second lawsuit filed over state education board turmoil

A Springfield teacher is suing the Missouri Board of Education over a closed session it held last week to discuss plans for removing Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Laurie Sullivan claims the board “purposefully violated” the state’s open meetings law when members held a closed meeting Nov. 21 to decide who from southwest Missouri would be able to vote on Vandeven’s future, The Springfield News-Leader reported . Gov. Eric Greitens had appointed and then remov…
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Positive pot test derails plea deal for woman who maimed Miami principal in DUI crash

After months of waffling, the woman who maimed a popular South Dade High principal in a drunken car crash was ready to accept seven years in prison. Then things went up in smoke. Just minutes before she was to take a plea deal on Wednesday, Marilyn Aguilera tested positive for marijuana, which spurred a judge to call off the arrangement and order her re-arrested for violating the conditions of her release from jail. Now, she’ll sit in jail without knowing her fate, at least until Dec. 11. Tha…
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Miami Developer Sues Law Firm, Shareholder Over Failed Real Estate Project

Miami Developer Avra Jain filed a malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, seeking about $15 million from the firm and shareholder Richard A. Morgan. Jain is a Wall Street financier-turned-developer, known for transforming warehouses to lofts and condominiums, and revamping motels on Biscayne Boulevard near downtown Miami. But after a courtroom defeat in a multimillion-dollar spat with a onetime partner, Jain wants the court to ho…
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The Latest: Pope meets with powerful Myanmar military chief

The Latest: Pope meets with powerful Myanmar military chief

The Latest on Pope Francis’s trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh (all times local): 7 p.m. Pope Francis has met with Myanmar’s powerful military chief and spoken about the “great responsibility” that authorities have in Myanmar’s transition. The Vatican said the meeting with Gen. Min Aung Hlaing and three officials from Myanmar’s bureau of special operations took place Monday evening at the residence of the Myanmar archbishop and lasted about 15 minutes. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke didn’t provide d…
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Pakistan law minister resigns, Islamists celebrate victory

Pakistani Islamists celebrated their victory over the government and called off their sit-in on Monday after the country’s law minister resigned, caving in to the fundamentalist protesters who have been demanding his ouster in a three-week-long rally. After Zahid Hamid’s resignation, the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party, which was behind the sit-in in Islamabad and protests in other cities and towns across Pakistan, said they were dispersing peacefully under an agreement with the government. The development underscored how a small Islamist party was able to pressure the Pakistani government and force it to accept its demands through a protracted standoff that started earlier in November. The Islamists had demanded Hamid’s resignation over an omitted reference to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in a parliamentary bill. He apologized for the omission in the bill, saying it was a clerical error that was later corrected. But the Islamists persisted, taking to the streets and setting up their sit-in at the Faizabad intersection on the edge of the Pakistani capital. The Islamists effectively blocked the country’s key highway, the Grand Trunk Road motorway, linking Islamabad with the eastern Punjab province and the northwest, disrupting life and forcing commuters to look for alternate routes. Clashes erupted on Saturday when riot police tried to disperse the Islamabad sit-in and descended on the protesters with tear gas and batons, leaving six dead and dozens injured. The violent crackdown also triggered solidarity protests by Islamists in other Pakistani cities and towns, leading to what could have been a major political crisis that could have paralyzed many urban areas. Hamid, the law minister, submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi late on Sunday after security forces held back from another attempt to disperse the protesters, three security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Justice Shaukat Sadiqui of the Islamabad High Court on Monday that the government signed an agreement with the rally organizers to avoid a “civil-war like situation.” Islamabad-based analyst Imtiaz Gul described the outcome of the standoff as a “retreat” by the state. He said Saturday’s crackdown “was a miserably planned and poorly executed.” “This operation was launched by thousands of security forces against Islamists and it ended up with the state’s retreat,” Gul told The Associated Press. At the Faizabad intersection, jubilant Islamists kissed the hand of their leader and party chief, firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, handed out sweets and chanted, “God is Great” and “Prophet, we are here for you.” In announcing the deal with the government, Rizvi told supporters they “are immediately ending” the rally. He also thanked the army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, for facilitating the agreement under which Hamid would resign and all detained party activists would be freed. Rizvi asked his followers to pack up but await the return of their detained activists so they could all go back together to the city of Lahore, the party’s base. Buses lined up near the site amid tight security to take them back to Lahore later Monday. After Rizvi spoke, security forces began removing shipping containers surrounding the sit-in that had meant to prevent the protest from spreading deeper into the city. Under the deal, the Islamists also agreed not to issue a fatwa, or Muslim edict that could endanger Hamid. The minister’s home in eastern Punjab province was twice attacked by Islamists in recent days though he was not there at the time. The government agreed not to seek any compensation from the organizers for the damage caused to government and public property during Saturday’s violence in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and in other parts of the country. Ghulam Nabi Joya, a middle-aged bearded man from the district of Jhang in Punjab province, was among those celebrating Hamid’s resignation at Faizabad. “This is the greatest news I ever heard in my life. Our efforts in love of the Prophet bore fruit,” said. Shahid Irfan, 22, who was wounded in face and right hand in Saturday’s clashes, said he was overjoyed. “What else we can want from Allah after this,” he asked. “I think we are all on a pathway to heaven. … Prophet, we are here for you.”
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XXXTentacion to Host Anti-Rape Event at 2017 Art Basel in Miami

XXXTentacion has announced that he’ll host an anti-rape event during this year’s Art Basel in Miami. The Florida rapper says the event will encourage rape victims and allow them to share their stories and receive support in a safe space. “At Art Basel this month, I will be hosting an anti-rape event where basically rape victims can come to this event and tell their stories and help others, and support others who have been through a similar instance,” he said in a video post…
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Refugees escaping Myanmar hope Pope’s visit will bring peace

Many of the refugees who have been flooding into Bangladesh to escape the Myanmar military say they’re hopeful that a visit to the region by Pope Francis will help bring peace. Francis will be treading a difficult diplomatic line on his visit to Bangladesh and Myanmar, where he is due to arrive Monday afternoon. While the international community has condemned Myanmar’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims as “ethnic cleansing,” the Catholic church has resisted the term and defended Myanmar’s civilian …
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10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHICH BRITISH ROYAL IS ENGAGED Prince Harry, fifth in line for the British throne, will marry American actress Meghan Markle in the spring. 2. TRUMP’S MAR-A-LAGO STAY A WELCOME BREAK FROM DC CHALLENGES The president draws a wiggly line between work, play and business at the private club he calls his “winter White House.” 3. FBI LEAVES U.S. TARGETS OF RUSSIAN HACKERS IN THE DARK The Associa…
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Shark Tagging

Shark Tagging

This slideshow requires JavaScript. I had this captivating biology teacher—a real firecracker who could go on and on about exotic animals and plants from all over the world. His enthusiasm was contagious. However, the information he delivered (exciting as it was) was never significant to me as a student sitting in his classroom. For that reason, I always felt like something was missing. Twenty years later, I’m the one at the front of the classroom, driven by the philosophy that students lea…
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Fight over access to state boat ramps continues

Vermont lawmakers and wildlife authorities continue the debate surrounding access rights to the state’s public boat launches. Vermont Public Radio reports the state Department of Fish & Wildlife manages more than 180 boat launches. The general public is prohibited from using the sites for anything other than boating and fishing. The sites are financed through federal and state funding. Democratic Rep. David Deen says the boat launches should be available to all Vermonters who pay state and …
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Miami’s iconic offshore Stiltsville survived Hurricane Irma

By Jennifer Kay, Associated Press Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 | 9:17 a.m. MIAMI — Stiltsville, a stubborn relic of Miami’s less-glitzy past as a sun-soaked outpost, has survived Hurricane Irma’s brutal winds and waves, much to the surprise of the landmark’s caretakers and fans. Perched at the edge of sea grass flats where the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay meet the dark and choppy Atlantic Ocean, the cluster of wooden shacks has no protection from killer storms. But when Irma’s clouds cleared in …
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Where one predator meets another: tracking sharks and fishing effort

Technology above the clouds is helping scientists study sharks beneath the waves. A new initiative combines shark movement data with publicly available vessel identification data—both transmitted to researchers via satellite—to identify where sharks and fishing activity intersect in time and space. A predator of sharks As the ocean’s top predators, sharks play an essential role in marine ecosystems. They tend to reproduce slowly, and high rates of catch-related mortality may help to expla…
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Giving thanks for Lefty's wit and wisdom

Giving thanks for Lefty’s wit and wisdom

For nine years starting in 1965 Lefty managed The Miami Herald’s light tackle fishing tournament that included the hottest South Florida and western Bahamas fishing areas. Originally from Frederick, Maryland, and a World War II veteran, Lefty was already an adequate writer, fishing guide, bird caller, trick shot artist for Remington and all around outdoorsman handyman. Through his mentor and previous tournament director, Joe Brooks, Lefty discovered fly casting, met every great guide, hotshot…
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Search underway for crew of capsized fishing ship off Palau

A search is underway for two Japanese and five Indonesian crew members after their fishing ship was found capsized about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the Pacific island of Palau. Planes and ships from the U.S., Japan and Palau are taking part in the search for the Japanese-flagged Gyotoku Maru No. 1, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday. The 15-meter (50-foot) tuna fishing boat capsized southwest of Palau. Japan’s Kyodo News service said the ship sent a mayday signal Monday afternoon and a ve…
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Florida Governor Waives Saltwater Fishing Licenses For Saturday

TALLAHASSEE, FL — In what is becoming a Thanksgiving holiday tradition, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that Saturday will be a license-free saltwater fishing day — not only for the state’s nearly 20 million residents, but for the schools of tourists who migrate to the Sunshine State to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. “As Floridians gather with their loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, this license-free fishing day is a great opportunity for families and visitors to enjoy ou…
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