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Iran: US sanctions 'create some problems'; talks possible with conditions

Iran: US sanctions 'create some problems'; talks possible with conditionsIran says it would be willing to negotiate with the US if the Trump administration returns to the Iranian nuclear deal and drops economic sanctions.


Searchers recover bodies of 2 killed in Colorado avalanche

Searchers recover bodies of 2 killed in Colorado avalanche

6-year-old girl was committed to mental health facility without parent consent

6-year-old girl was committed to mental health facility without parent consentThe mother said her daughter can tell her "bits and pieces" of what happened: "'Mommy, they locked the door. They wouldn't let me out. Mommy, they gave me a shot.'"


Passenger Confirmed to Have Coronavirus After Leaving Cruise Ship That Docked in Cambodia

Passenger Confirmed to Have Coronavirus After Leaving Cruise Ship That Docked in CambodiaAn 83-year-old American woman who was aboard the Westerdam cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19 after disembarking in Cambodia and traveling to Malaysia


Barr Just Cost the Justice Department Its Prized Public-Corruption Fighter

Barr Just Cost the Justice Department Its Prized Public-Corruption FighterThe impact of Attorney General William Barr’s intervention in the Roger Stone sentencing won’t just be felt in the cases concerning President Donald Trump’s allies, current and former Justice Department officials warn. It’s cost the Justice Department one of its top public-corruption prosecutors at a time when public corruption is looking like a growth industry. That attorney is Jonathan Kravis. Kravis is the deputy chief of the fraud and public corruption section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, putting corruption within the federal government under his purview. Or he was until Tuesday, when Kravis resigned. The last straw for Kravis, who was part of Robert Mueller’s team that convicted Roger Stone of charges including lying to Congress, was the Justice Department overruling him on the recommended length of Stone’s prison sentence. Unlike his three outraged fellow prosecutors, Kravis didn’t just quit the Stone case, he quit the Justice Department.“It’s troubling and heartbreaking to see someone as talented and dedicated as Jonathan was known to be leaving under these circumstances,” said a federal prosecutor who requested anonymity during a precarious moment for the Justice Department. “His loss is all the greater given his focus on prosecuting fraud and corruption, at a time when both crimes appear to be on the march.” Before joining Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election interference and its connections to Trumpworld, Kravis, who had also served in the Justice Department’s public-integrity section, scored several anti-corruption victories against high-profile targets. In 2016, he helped convict former Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah on a host of charges including bribery, wire fraud and racketeering. A year earlier, he helped prosecute three aides to Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign for effectively bribing an Iowa state senator to endorse Paul ahead of the Iowa caucus. “He was probably one of the best public integrity prosecutors this country has,” a former colleague, Glenn Kirschner, told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell after the Stone prosecutors quit. Kravis did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Just as important as Kravis himself is the position that he held. The public-corruption section within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has widespread prosecutorial authority over the federal government, as well as election activities. “In this administration, it along with SDNY [the Southern District of New York] are the two most important venues for public corruption prosecutions. It’s a significant loss to that office,” said Kathleen Clark, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. And it comes at a time when there is no shortage of public-corruption targets. Noah Bookbinder, the executive director of the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a former Justice Department public-integrity line prosecutor, pointed to the president’s conflicts of interests deriving from the retention of his business empire as an early signal of toleration for brazen public graft. “There’s corruption at the federal government at a level we’ve perhaps never seen before,” Bookbinder said. “Somebody like Kravis resigning under the circumstances he did, and the entire team on the Stone prosecution withdrawing, is pretty clearly a protest that these line prosecutors believe DOJ was interfering for political reasons.” The Justice Department has spent all week denying the allegation. Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said Kravis’ departure was “bad for the nation,” but considered its broader importance to be what it augurs for the independence of the Justice Department. “In light of Barr’s change in the sentence recommendation for Stone, after Trump voiced his displeasure, this norm can no longer be assumed,” Gillers said. “That reality will discourage not only lawyers now working at DOJ from remaining, but also discourage good applicants who do not want to join a Department where their decisions may be subject to political interference.” “When someone like Jonathan Kravis leaves the office,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney, “that means he will be replaced by someone hired by the new U.S. attorney, Timothy Shea, whose conduct today does not instill a lot of confidence in his integrity, in contrast to Jonathan Kravis, whose conduct is consistent with the best traditions of the independence of the Department of Justice.” (Shea is a former Barr aide whom Barr recently installed as acting U.S. attorney for D.C.)CREW’s Bookbinder added that losing respected public-corruption prosecutors poses a unique challenge. Their high-profile, politically powerful targets frequently argue in court that the prosecutors themselves are corrupt. “You really need people with expertise and credibility who can come in and do those cases and not have anyone question what their agenda is,” Bookbinder said.Bill Barr Is the Most Dangerous Man in AmericaBut instead, said Joshua Geltzer, a former Justice Department national-security official, “you’re seeing more people leave who dislike Trump and more [loyalists] coming in. Trump brought such a politicized, polarized vision about who runs the executive branch that his effect on those leaving and entering the federal workforce is more dramatic than previous presidents.” After Senate Republicans saved Trump from impeachment, the president and his allies accelerated their efforts at making Main Justice an adjunct of the White House. In addition to the Stone sentencing reversal, Barr is now undercutting Mueller’s guilty plea from former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, for lying to the FBI. Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, whom Trump fired after she warned that Flynn was a counterintelligence liability, wrote in The Washington Post on Friday that the president was using the Justice Department for “retribution or camouflage.”“The president has made it clear that his insistence on loyalty includes loyalty from the institutions that administer criminal justice, including DOJ and the FBI,” said NYU’s Gellers. “You might say without exaggeration that Trump wants personal loyalty from the rule of law itself.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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    The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

    Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

    Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

    Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

    Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

    Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

    When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

    Living Wages Are A Global Problem

    The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

    Ukraine: Not What It Seems

    After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

    Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

    After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

    Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

    The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

     

     
     
     
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