Elkhart’s Acting Police Chief Has Previously Been Demoted, Reprimanded and Suspended

Elkhart, IN (ProPublica) – When Ed Windbigler was suspended last month as the police chief in Elkhart, Indiana, his No. 2, Todd Thayer, became the Police Department’s public face, appearing at a town hall meeting, before a civilian oversight commission and on the radio. In each setting, Thayer defended the department — the “thin blue line” protecting law-abiding citizens from “predators” and “all the other garbage” — and attacked the media, with references to “tabloid” journalism and “ambush reporting.” On Monday, Windbigler resigned under pressure from Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese, who said he wants “new…

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US Senators Submit Draft to Hold SA Crown Prince Responsible in Khashoggi Case

Washington, DC (Sputnik) – Six US Senators have introduced a bipartisan resolution seeking to hold Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Senator Christopher Coons said in a press release on Thursday. “Senate Resolution… holds … Mohammed bin Salman accountable for contributing to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the blockade of Qatar, the jailing of political dissidents within Saudi Arabia, the use of force to intimidate rivals, and the abhorrent and unjustified killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the release said. The resolution was introduced by Senators Coons, Lindsey Graham, Dianne Feinstein, Marco…

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US Music Trade Groups Press to Make Unpaid Streaming a Felony

US (Sputnik) – The Recording Industry Of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) sent recommendations to US law enforcement claiming that unauthorized streaming should be prosecuted as a felony crime, alongside murder and tax fraud. Both music industry groups sent a letter US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Vishal Amin, asserting that legislative changes should be made to “help legal authorities and third parties better protect intellectual property rights,” cited by Motherboard. “These include fixing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), making it a felony to knowingly engage in unauthorized…

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Advocates say the timing is right for independent oversight of Texas prisons

Texas (TT) – After a recent slew of damning headlines regarding conditions within Texas prisons, reform advocates and lawmakers are hopeful that the timing is right to get legislation passed creating independent oversight of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. State Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, and state Sen. Borris Miles, D-Houston, filed identical bills in their respective chambers last week calling for a governor-appointed, independent ombudsman’s office to oversee and investigate complaints against the prison agency. The criminal justice department currently has an ombudsman within the agency, but Johnson and Miles…

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Refugees and disaster victims offered free housing in Arizona through Airbnb

Pheonix, AZ (Cronkite) – In a year where the number of refugees and displaced people worldwide has reached record highs, those who wish to help have a new way of doing so through Airbnb. The peer-to-peer house-sharing company is offering temporary housing through a program called Open Homes, which now is available in Phoenix. Hospitality Service Center in Glendale is a faith based volunteer group that helps in various efforts throughout the community. Jeannette Slater is the guesthouse manager at HSC; she also hosted a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo this…

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AN HONEST LOOK AT POVERTY IN THE HEARTLAND

Wisconsin (OW) – A few weeks before the election, a roomful of Wisconsinites gathered to share some of the stories that are often left out of political campaigns. At a Racine gathering of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, visitors shared real-life stories about poverty in the state. Solo Little John of Kenosha, Wisconsin was one of those who testified. He’s a fast food worker at Wendy’s and a leader of the Fight for $15 living wage campaign. “My voice represents the voices of the voiceless,” he said,…

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Recreational Cannabis Measure Passes in Michigan

Submission by Zach Binx Michigan (PT) – After the long and obnoxious mid-term campaigns, Michigan decided to free the weed. Meaning after the certified ballot count, recreational cannabis becomes legal in Michigan. Here’s the details of the proposal. Adults 21 and over will be allowed to possess marijuana in the amount of 2.5 oz (71 grams) of cured flower, 10 ounces(283 grams) of curing flower, and 12 plants. Image source; Pixabay The proposal did not include specifics of what constitutes “curing” and “cured” flower, nor did it detail what stages…

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Film Premiere in Riverwest, Milwaukee Remembers DAPL Protests

Milwaukee, WI (PT) – The one-night showing of Standing Rock: Take Me From The River attracted dozens to Riverwest’s Linneman’s Inn last month. Directed by Denny Rauen, the award winning documentary showcased footage shot during the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from 2016-2017. Speakers included Native elders now pushing against the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in northern Wisconsin. They’re message was simple: Wni Miconi, Lakota for “water is life.” Audience members were greeted with an acoustic guitar performance by Michael Bootzkin. The film introduces him with the slide…

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Russia May Begin Domestic Opium Production to Counter Economic Sanctions

Russia (TD) – The Russian government’s legislative commission has approved a draft law that would legalize licensed opium production in the country. Pixabay The purpose of the draft federal law, the government has said, is to establish a legal method for licensed groups to cultivate opium, so that “narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances” can then be produced with said opium. Russia currently manufactures some opioid drugs domestically, but the opium used in this production is imported. The state’s ability to continue this production is in jeopardy due to trade sanctions imposed…

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Austin issues city-wide boil water notice; calls for action “to avoid running out of water”

Austin, TX (TT) – Early Monday morning, Austin Water issued a boil water notice for all of its customers due to elevated levels of silt from last week’s flooding. And by Monday night, the city was warning residents that “immediate action” was needed to avoid running out of water. The water system is “the most recent infrastructure to struggle to keep up with” the impact of unprecedented rains, City Manager Spencer Cronk said at a Monday press conference. Record rainfall in Llano and Burnet counties in the Texas Hill Country cause…

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