107,000 Georgia Voters Purged Because They Didn’t Vote

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Around 100,000 people have been removed from Georgia voter rolls because they didn't vote in previous elections, according to an APM Reports investigation published Friday.

Georgia had cut more than half a million people, or 8 percent of registered voters, last July from voter rolls. Voters are commonly purged when certain things happen, like moving out of state, or dying, for example. But in this case, an estimated 107,000 of them lost their right to vote because of Georgia's "use it or lose it" law.

Here's how that Georgia law works. In a three-year span, if someone doesn't vote or respond to notices sent by election officials, that "use it or lose it" process kicks in and flags them. If they don't show up in the next two federal election cycles, they'll lose their right to vote. 

Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose office is in charge of elections, says the policy is used to maintain accurate voter registration lists and to prevent voter fraud. Kemp is running for governor in this election.

Georgia isn't the only state to have "use it or lose it," though. Per APM Reports, at least eight other states have similar policies, including Ohio and Oregon.

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Federal Judge Sets Sentencing Date For Paul Manafort

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A federal judge in Virginia set Paul Manafort's first sentencing date.

The former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump will be sentenced Feb. 8 on eight counts of bank and tax fraud crimes. The judge dismissed 10 additional counts the jury couldn't reach a verdict on, but prosecutors could re-file those charges later.

Since his conviction in August, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in a separate case, and he's been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. 

That cooperation could prompt prosecutors to ask for a shorter sentence. But legal experts expect Manafort will spend at least 10 years in prison. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Historic Lakota Treaty Meeting in Green Grass, Oct 20 — 21, 2018

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Contact: Floyd Looks For Buffalo Hand; Naca Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty CouncilIvan Looking HorseCanupa Gluha Mani. Itacan and Spokesman Strong Heart Warrior SocietyHistoric Lakota Treaty Meeting in Green Grass, SD This WeekendWHO: Lakota Treaty Representatives, Headsmen, and other Traditional Representatives of the Oceti SakowinWHAT:  Oceti Sakowin and Allies Read more

The Disastrous ‘War on Terror’ Has Come Home

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by Robert Scheer.

French theorist Michel Foucault saw the writing on the wall. In his 1975 book, “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison,” which drew on the work of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, he introduced the social theory of “panopticism” to explain, at least in part, how surveillance functions as a system of power.

Today, we are very much living in a tech panopticon—one in which our purchasing habits, individual data and even physical movements can be tracked without our knowledge. What does this mean for the future of personal privacy? How has the “War on Terror” radically altered the ways we fight crime, and in what ways might the state use the increasingly sophisticated tools at its disposal to abuse its authority?

For Jamie Garcia of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, the possibilities are terrifying and limitless. In the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” she explores the dangers of predictive policing, specifically for people of color: “It takes us back to post-9/11 in which Congress wanted to set up a way to make domestic law enforcement the eyes and ears of the federal government.”

Not even the country’s most liberal states are immune to these kinds of civil rights violations. Take California, where Garcia notes the LAPD has ignored the will of the people at every turn to implement a controversial new drone program. “When you have your own city council not listening to the wishes of the community,” she laments, “you realize that there is no community control of these [initiatives].”

Despite this, Garcia refuses to abandon hope. “We [have to] to talk about how the police is functioning,” she concludes. “We just assume, like a public utility, that they’re doing their job. That they’re providing us food or water or safety. And I think that will open our eyes to how harmful policing is in our lives.”

Listen to Garcia’s full interview with Robert Scheer below:

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Caravan Migrants Break Guatemala Border Fence, Rush Mexico

Read more of this story here from Truthdig RSS by SONIA PEREZ D. and MARK STEVENSON / The Associated Press.

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala — Migrants traveling in a mass caravan burst through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory on Friday, defying Mexican authorities’ entreaties for an orderly crossing and U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of retaliation.

On the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

The gates were closed again, and police used a loudspeaker to address the masses, saying, “We need you to stop the aggression.”

Mexican federal police chief Manelich Castilla, speaking from the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, told Foro TV that his forces achieved their main objective of preventing a violent breach by the 3,000-plus migrants. In a separate interview with Milenio television, he accused people not part of the caravan of attacking police with firecrackers and rocks.

“It will be under the conditions that have been said since the start,” Castilla said. “Orderly, with established procedures, never through violence or force as a group of people attempted.”

The chaos calmed somewhat as migrants formed lines in a mass of humanity stretching across the bridge. Some returned to the Guatemalan side to buy water and food.

But others, tired of waiting, jumped off the bridge into the Suchiate River. Migrants organized a rope brigade to ford its muddy waters, and some floated across on rafts operated by local residents who charged a dollar or two to make the crossing.

Cristian, a 34-year-old cell phone repairman from San Pedro Sula, said he left Honduras because gang members had demanded protection payments of $83 a month, a fifth of his income. It was already hard enough to support his four daughters on the $450 he makes, so he closed his small business instead.

Cristian, declined to give his last name because the gangsters had threatened him. He estimated that about 30 percent of the migrants want to apply for refugee status in Mexico, while the rest want to reach the United States.

“I want to get to the States to contribute to that country,” Cristian said, “to do any kind of work, picking up garbage.”

Two buses arrived to transport women, children and the elderly to be processed by Mexican immigration authorities. But the migrants refused to board, fearing they would simply be deported.

“Walk! Walk!” they chanted, insisting they be allowed to continue on foot.

Earlier in the day, thousands of migrants, some waving Honduran flags and carrying umbrellas to protect against the sun, arrived at the Guatemalan side of the river, noisily demanding they be allowed to cross.

“One way or another, we will pass,” they chanted, climbing atop U.S.-donated military jeeps parked at the scene. Young men tugged on the fence, finally tearing it down, prompting the huge crowd of men, women and children to rush past and over the bridge.

Edwin Santos of San Pedro Sula was one of the first to race by, clutching the hands of his father and wife.

“We are going to the United States!” he shouted. “Nobody is going to stop us!”

Acner Adolfo Rodriguez, 30, one of the last through, said he hoped to find work and a better life far from the widespread poverty and gang violence in Honduras, one of the world’s deadliest countries.

“May Trump’s heart be touched so he lets us through,” Rodriguez said.

The U.S. president has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response. On Thursday he threatened to close the U.S. border if Mexico didn’t stop the caravan. Later that day he tweeted a video of Mexican federal police deploying at the Guatemalan border and wrote: “Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!”

Mexican officials said those with passports and valid visas — only a tiny minority of those trying to cross — would be let in immediately.

Migrants who want to apply for refuge in Mexico were welcome to do so, they said, but any who decide to cross illegally and are caught will be detained and deported.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Friday with President Enrique Pena Nieto and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray in Mexico City, with the caravan high on the agenda.

At a news conference with Videgaray, Pompeo called illegal migration a “crisis” and emphasized “the importance of stopping this flow before it reaches the U.S. border,” while also acknowledging Mexico’s right to handle the crisis in a sovereign fashion.

“Mexico will make its decision,” Pompeo said. “Its leaders and its people will decide the best way to achieve what I believe are our shared objectives.”

At Mexico City’s airport before leaving, Pompeo said four Mexican federal police officers had been injured in the border standoff and expressed his sympathy.

On Thursday, Videgaray asked the U.N. for help processing what Mexico expects to be a large number of asylum requests.

But Jose Porfirio Orellana, a 47-year-old farmer from Yoro province in Honduras, said he has his sights set on the United States due to woeful economic conditions in his country.

“There is nothing there,” Orellana said.

Migrants have banded together to travel en masse regularly in recent years, but this caravan was unusual for its huge size, said Victor Clark-Alfaro, a Latin American studies professor at San Diego State University. By comparison, a caravan in April that also attracted Trump’s ire numbered about 1,000.

“It grabs one’s attention that the number of people in these kinds of caravans is on the rise,” Clark-Alfaro said. “It is migration of a different dimension.”

Speaking on the Televisa network, Videgaray did not seem concerned about Trump’s threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it had to be viewed in light of the hotly contested U.S. midterm elections, in which Trump has made border security a major campaign issue.

Videgaray noted that 1 million people transit the border legally every day, and about $1 million in commerce crosses every minute.

“Before taking decisions of that kind,” Videgaray said, “there would be many people in the United States … who would consider the consequences.”


Associated Press writer Peter Orsi in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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As A Nod To Kaepernick, Rihanna Reportedly Won’t Perform At Super Bowl

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The 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta has yet to officially announce a half-time performer — but it likely won't be Rihanna. Us Weekly reports her reason for turning the offer down is because she wants to support Colin Kaepernick. 

Kaepernick is a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who knelt when the national anthem played before NFL games. It was a move to peacefully protest the systemic oppression of racial minorities, including police brutality

But his act of kneeling quickly became a controversial issue, garnering criticism from some, including President Donald Trump, as being anti-patriotic or against American troops. Keep in mind a U.S. Army veteran initially suggested Kaepernick kneel. 

SEE MORE: NFL: Kaepernick's Social Justice Causes Deserve 'Attention And Action'

Kaepernick hasn't been signed to an NFL team since 2016. There's also an ongoing collusion case Kaepernick filed against the NFL. 

As for Rihanna, she has yet to confirm her reason, but if it's because of Kaepernick, she joins a list of other performers and musicians that have used their platforms to show their support or distaste. 

For example, Ted Nugent posted on social media urging NFL players who kneel to "take a little trip to Valley Forge in January" and that "there's a lot of places to take a knee. Real Americans have given their lives all over the world."

And Stevie Wonder knelt on both knees "for America" during a concert in solidarity with Kaepernick.

So far, turning down a performance has been a less common way to show support toward Kaepernick. 

But that's what Jay-Z also reportedly did when asked to perform at the 2018 Super Bowl. That speculation seemed to be confirmed in Jay-Z and Beyoncé's collaborative album. 

Lyrics to the 2018 song "APESHIT" read: "I said no to the Super Bowl. You need me, I don't need you. Every night we in the end zone. Tell the NFL we in stadiums too."

So far several outlets have cited sources that say Maroon 5 will perform at the 2019 Super Bowl. 

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US Agencies Warn Of Interference Attempts Ahead Of Midterm Elections

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Just weeks away from the November midterm elections, U.S. national security agencies are warning about "ongoing" attempts to interfere in the U.S. election process.  

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, FBI and Homeland Security issued a joint statement Friday, saying they're concerned countries like Russia, China and Iran are running meddling campaigns. 

They cautioned that social media and English-language outlets may be used to spread disinformation about political candidates and influence voter decisions in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.  

To be clear, the federal government said it doesn't currently have any evidence that the actual voting process has or will be disrupted. 

Election meddling has been a hot topic for the intelligence community following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and officials have warned that the 2018 midterm elections would be a target for that kind of activity. 

Two of the countries listed in the statement, China and Russia, have denied interference in U.S. elections.  

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Before lecture on war powers, Gorsuch laments public’s lack of knowledge of the judiciary

Read more of this story here from SCOTUSblog by Jon Levitan.

Before lecture on war powers, Gorsuch laments public’s lack of knowledge of the judiciary

On Wednesday night, the Supreme Court Historical Society hosted a lecture by Professor Matthew Waxman on Charles Evans Hughes’ evolving thoughts on the flexibility of constitutional restrictions on government during wartime and peacetime. As is typical of these events, a sitting justice introduced the lecturer. This time it was Justice Neil Gorsuch, the first time he has spoken at a historical society event. Generally, the justices speak briefly. They usually thank the society for hosting the lecture, praise the speaker for her work and perhaps crack a memorable joke. But Gorsuch used his time to deliver an impassioned defense of the judiciary and civility, while criticizing the American public’s ignorance of the structure of our government.

Gorsuch said he has been astonished to learn that “a lot of people in America just don’t understand the role of an independent judge. They don’t know the difference between judges and politicians. They assume judges make campaign promises, and should… And that judges are just politicians in robes.” He ascribed these feelings to a general lack of civic knowledge among the general public. He cited an Annenberg study showing that one third of Americans cannot name any branch of government. Gorsuch pointed to another study and said, “Almost nobody knows that James Madison wrote the Constitution, they all think it was Thomas Jefferson … and he was in France!” The justice noted that even law clerks who come to his office fail to recognize a portrait of Madison hanging above a fireplace.

Gorsuch spoke passionately about the benefits and importance of an independent judiciary. He said, “as difficult as our times sometimes seem, we are very blessed.” He asked rhetorically, “how many places in the world can you go where you can rest assured that you can have an independent judge decide your case?” Gorsuch singled out North Korea for having an expansive bill of rights that promises its citizens a right to free education, free medical and relaxation. He joked that he would enjoy a right to relaxation, but he argued that those North Korean rights are “not worth the parchment they’re written on because you don’t have judges to enforce them.”

Gorsuch then moved on to the second concern he has noticed during his time as a judge. He listed civility, human decency and kindness as “under assault in our society right now, and in our profession.” He criticized civil litigation specifically for its lack of civility and expressed concerns about civility becoming a bad word or passé. He wrapped up his point by stressing to the audience that people they may disagree with “love this country as much as you do.”

Gorsuch’s remarks were not all negative. He began with praise for the historical society and reflected positively on his first year and a half on the court. He admitted that he was surprised by how little the court has changed since he clerked for Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy 25 years ago. He joked that he was excited to have recently received his first email from one of his colleagues. It was not even work related: “[H]e was asking for directions to my house for dinner.” He was also excited to introduce Waxman, whom he described as “one of my very favorite people in the world.”

Waxman’s lecture focused on Justice Charles Evans Hughes. Hughes served two stints on the court: as an an associate justice from 1910 to 1916 and as chief justice from 1930 to 1941. Waxman focused, not on any rulings Hughes made on the court, but rather on a 1917 speech in which Hughes, speaking as a private lawyer five months after the United States entered World War I, introduced what Waxman defined as Hughes’ war powers axiom: “that the power to wage war is the power to wage war successfully.” In other words, Hughes argued that to achieve success in an overseas, industrial-scale war, constitutional restrictions on the federal government should be loosened during wartime. Hughes was a private citizen when he made this speech, but it had a significant impact nonetheless. He had just run for president as a Republican against President Woodrow Wilson, but he presented an analysis of why Wilson and the Democratic Congress were justified in pursuing expanded powers during wartime. The New York Times covered the speech on its front page, while many other newspapers printed the speech in full. Waxman said that Hughes’ influence was enhanced by the fact that, as Justice Robert Jackson once said, “Hughes looked like God and talked like God.”

According to Waxman, Hughes was specifically arguing that Congress should be allowed to take two controversial actions during wartime. First, it should be allowed to institute a selective service draft. At the time, Waxman pointed out, it was not settled law that the federal government could conscript citizens to join the army. Second, Congress should be allowed to regulate the national economy to fit the needs of the war effort. This was the height of the Lochner era, and any restrictions on economic freedoms were looked upon with skepticism by the courts. Hughes argued that the “necessary and proper” clause in Article I of the Constitution required that congressional powers must expand during wartime. Waxman noted that this theory of elasticity in constitutional powers during wartime eventually won out and has since been accepted by all three branches of government.

Hughes’ theory requires that there be clear lines between wartime and peacetime and that the expanded constitutional powers granted to the government are retracted once the war ends. As it turned out, Hughes began to speak out against the expanded rights of the federal government just a few years after he had advocated for those expanded powers. A November 1918 armistice effectively ended the fighting in Europe; to Hughes, this meant that the war was over and that normal constitutional restrictions on the federal government must return. But for Wilson, who in his request for a declaration of war defined his goals as “[preventing] the recurrence of war and to make the world safe for democracy,” the war was not over just because fighting had stopped. Waxman noted that Hughes was anxious over the continued use of wartime powers, saying that the country risked “losing its soul” if wartime powers were exercised in peacetime. Hughes even litigated against the government for seizing undersea cables operated by private companies after the armistice, arguing that the war was over and so the government should not have been allowed to seize the cables. Not only did Hughes lose, but the judge in the case even used Hughes’ own axiom, that “the power to wage war was the power to wage war successfully,” against him.

Later in his career Hughes’ thoughts evolved yet again. He “curiously seems to have backed off these worries” about wartime powers extending into peacetime, Waxman said. As Chief Justice, Hughes even quoted his war powers axiom in a seemingly unrelated case about state mortgage regulation during the Great Depression. Waxman theorized that Hughes may have  reverted to his original position in part out of political expediency. Hughes served as secretary of state for President Warren Harding, who pledged a “return to normalcy,” and Hughes even negotiated the peace treaty that formally ended the war. To Waxman, it remains somewhat of a mystery how Hughes reconciled his theory of expansive wartime powers with his concerns about those powers extending into peacetime.

Waxman concluded by saying that World War I was the moment when “the differential between the federal government’s war powers and its peacetime powers reached its apex.” Although war powers provided the initial basis for Congress’ expanded power to regulate the economy, such regulation is justified now under a broader reading of the commerce clause. While war has grown more and more complex, “legislative war powers have not had to keep up, in part because other constitutional powers no do so much work,” Waxman said. Ultimately Waxman argued that there is no longer a large set of legislative powers for war to open up today, though a few do remain.

The post Before lecture on war powers, Gorsuch laments public’s lack of knowledge of the judiciary appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

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Khashoggi Case Forces US To Choose Between Interests And Values

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Paul Salem is the president of the Middle East Institute, a think tank in Washington D.C. The organization recently voted to suspend its financing from the Saudi Arabian government following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Salem told Newsy, "This crisis is the biggest crisis in U.S.-Saudi relations since the events of 9/11 in 2001."

"It's an easy decision, it's a clear decision," Salem said. "Jamal Khashoggi, in addition to being a journalist and all of that, was a friend, and a colleague, and a participant in many of MEI's conferences, events, publications. So we are particularly reactive to this."

Khashoggi's disappearance has put the Trump administration in a difficult spot. The White House is facing political pressure to push for answers on Khashoggi's death, but also doesn't want to mess up its close relationship with the Saudi government.

SEE MORE: Jamal Khashoggi Calls For More Press Freedom In 'Final' Column

Trump told reporters last week, "I don't like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States."

Salem said, "He's come out and said it, he's said look, the business relationship and U.S. interests are much more important to him than this tragedy or this huge violation of human rights."

"This is a recurring debate in U.S. foreign policy: the government is supposed to pursue the interests of a certain country. Now it also carries values with it, and there are some leaders and analysts that say the values should go along with the interests."

"The fact that this administration is fairly illiberal, and fairly, well almost fascistic in some of the ways it deals domestically. And the clear signaling it sends internationally, that President Trump is very comfortable with autocrats and very uncomfortable with democratically elected leaders — and is willing to, or eager to forgive and look away from crimes of this nature. This is a major crisis in the evolution, now retreat of democracy all over the world. Including in the Middle East."

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USC Agrees To A $215 Million Settlement For Gyno’s Alleged Harassment

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The University of Southern California announced Friday it will pay $215 million dollars to patients treated by a former gynecologist accused of sexual misconduct. The settlement will give a minimum of $2,500 to each student who saw Dr. George Tyndall, even if they didn't press charges. This comes one day after 93 former students came forward in two new lawsuits against him.

"The impact of my appointments with Dr. Tyndall went far beyond just discomfort while I was with him. It has impacted my ability to trust male physicians about sensitive topics and even with touching my body," Marie Nowacki, a former USC student, said.

CNN reports Tyndall was the only full-time gynecologist at the school's student health facility for 30 years. In July, more than 50 students and alumni filed lawsuits against the former USC doctor, saying he sexually abused, harassed and molested them. 

One of the women who came forward Thursday described feeling intimidated by Tyndall after she said he made "racially charged, sexist comments about black women's fertility, sexuality, and physicality."

"During small talk, after inquiring what I studied and my career aspirations, I shared that I was interested in opening businesses in low-income black communities, to which Dr. Tyndall responded, and I quote, 'You should open up more clinics so they can stop having so many babies,'" Shernae Hughes, a recent USC graduate, said.

The Los Angeles Times reports more than 460 people have taken legal action against USC over the matter. The University of Southern California's president stepped down following criticism over the way the school handled the claims of sexual harassment.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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