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The Intercept: Judge Collaborated with Prosecutors to Put Ex-President Lula and Others Behind Bars

Jun 11, 2019

A damning new report by The Intercept reveals that the judge overseeing the case that put former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva behind bars likely aided federal prosecutors in their corruption cases against Lula and other high-profile figures. Leaked cellphone messages among Brazilian law enforcement officials and other data obtained by The Intercept point to an ongoing collaboration between Judge Sérgio Moro and the prosecutors, whom he advised on strategy throughout what is known as “Operation Car Wash,” which resulted in the jailing of hundreds of executives, politicians and other parties. Lula was considered a favorite in the lead-up to the 2018 presidential election until he was put in jail and forced out of the race on what many say were trumped-up corruption charges. The jailing of Lula helped pave the way for the election of the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, who then named Judge Sérgio Moro to be his justice minister. In light of the report, Brazil’s Supreme Court said Monday it would re-consider an appeal by Lula.

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DOJ Agrees to Hand Over Some Mueller Docs to House Dems

Jun 11, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department have reached an agreement for the handover of some of the underlying evidence in the Mueller report, related to potential obstruction of justice by President Trump. House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler said the House would hold off on a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt over his refusal to turn over the full, unredacted report. A vote will still proceed today on a resolution authorizing the committee to enforce its subpoenas against Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in federal court.

Trump Touts Trade Deal with Mexico, Renews Tariff Threats Against China

Jun 11, 2019

As President Trump continued to tout his immigration deal with Mexico Monday, the Mexican foreign minister refuted Trump’s Twitter claim of a yet-to-be-revealed agreement between the two countries. Marcelo Ebrard said the two parties agreed to re-evaluate the migration situation in the coming months to determine whether further action is needed.

Meanwhile, Trump threatened on Monday to impose a further 25% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods if Chinese President Xi Jinping fails to appear at the G20 summit in Japan later this month.

Kushner-Owned Co. Received $90 Million from Unknown Foreign Sources Since Start of Trump WH

Jun 11, 2019

The Guardian is reporting a real estate company partly owned by presidential son-in-law and Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner has received $90 million in investments from unknown foreign sources since Kushner entered the White House in 2017. The company, Cadre, received money through an offshore vehicle in the Cayman Islands run by Goldman Sachs. Kushner maintained a stake in Cadre after he joined his father-in-law’s White House team. His stake is now worth an estimated $50 million. Kushner did not disclose this information in his initial ethics disclosure form. Unnamed sources told The Guardian that funds received by Cadre came in large part from other offshore tax havens, as well as from Saudi Arabia. Kushner was denied a security clearance when he joined the Trump administration, reportedly over concerns about outside business interests and “foreign influence.”

Transportation Sec. Chao Helped Boost Projects Favorable to Husband Sen. McConnell

Jun 11, 2019

Politico is reporting Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has been using her office to bolster projects benefiting her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. According to the report, Secretary Chao designated a “special liaison” to handle grant applications “and other priorities” for McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, resulting in at least $78 million in federal funds approved for local projects. McConnell is running for re-election next year in Kentucky.

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics and a senior adviser at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, tweeted, “This is the sort of thing that should lead to the impeachment of a corrupt official—that is, if her corrupt husband weren’t in a position to block that impeachment. We are now a full-fledged banana republic. We have nothing to teach the rest of the world except what not to be.”

Migrants Held in Cramped Cells for 2.5 Weeks After Asylum Hearings as Part of “Remain in Mexico” Plan

Jun 11, 2019

In immigration news, a group of migrants told The San Diego Union-Tribune they were held for 18 days in cramped, tiny port-of-entry holding cells in San Ysidro after attending court hearings on their asylum cases. The group is part of Trump’s controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy, which sends asylum seekers who entered the U.S. via the southern border back to Mexico while their cases make their way through U.S. immigration courts. The imprisoned migrants were reportedly only allowed to leave for 20 minutes each day to eat, and had to wear the same clothes for two-and-a-half straight weeks. The detention facilities are intended for stays of just several days.

Judge Offers Temporary Relief to Missouri’s Last Abortion Clinic

Jun 11, 2019

In reproductive rights news, a Missouri judge granted a temporary injunction to Planned Parenthood Monday that will keep the state’s only abortion clinic open for now. The order sets a deadline of June 21 for the Missouri Department of Health to make a decision on whether it will renew Planned Parenthood’s license to perform abortions.

Model Karlie Kloss Asks Fans to Support Planned Parenthood in Abortion Ban Fight

Jun 11, 2019

In related news, model and television host Karlie Kloss took to Instagram to urge her fans to support Planned Parenthood in the fight against state abortion bans. Kloss is married to Joshua Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in law.

Karlie Kloss: “I want to talk to you about what’s happening in my beloved home state of Missouri and around the country. We are in an urgent public health crisis. And for the first time since Roe v. Wade, more than 1.1 million women of reproductive age in Missouri could be left without access to a single health center in their state that provides safe abortion care. Across the country, these bans are attacking our rights to own our decisions that affect our bodies and our health.”

Canada to Ban Single-Use Plastic by 2021

Jun 11, 2019

Canada will ban many common single-use plastic items by 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan Monday, which follows similar moves by the European Union and the U.K. in recent months. Plastic straws, cotton swabs, cutlery and some plastic bags are on the list of soon-to-be-banned single-use products. Under Canada’s plan, companies that manufacture or sell plastic products or products packaged in plastic will be responsible for the collection and recycling of their plastic waste. Only around 9% of plastic is recycled, and the U.N. estimates there are 100 million tons of plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

At Least 95 Dead in Mali as Ethnic Tensions Mount

Jun 11, 2019

In Mali, at least 95 people from an ethnic Dogon village were killed Monday in an overnight raid. The attack comes less than three months after armed men with a group identified as Dogon killed nearly 160 people from a Fulani community. No group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack, but local officials noted the increase in interethnic conflict between the Dogon and Fulani as the likely backdrop for the mass killing.

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India Sentences 3 Men Who Raped and Killed 8-Year-Old Muslim Girl to Life in Prison

Jun 11, 2019

An Indian court has sentenced three men to life in prison for the rape and murder of Asifa Bano, an 8-year-old Muslim girl, in 2018. The brutal crime took place in the disputed northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, inflaming interreligious tensions and setting off protests around the country.

U.S. Ambassador: Israel Has Right to Annex West Bank

Jun 11, 2019

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The New York Times that Israel has the right to annex parts of the West Bank. In April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a campaign promise to annex the territory. Before becoming ambassador, Friedman worked as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer and had no diplomatic experience. His comments came just two days after five Democratic senators, including 2020 hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, introduced a resolution condemning an Israeli plan to annex the occupied West Bank.

U.S. Submits Extradition Request for Julian Assange

Jun 11, 2019

The U.S. has submitted its formal extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to media reports. An indictment filed in May charged Assange with one count of conspiring to hack into a government computer and 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, in the first-ever case of a journalist or publisher being indicted under the World War I-era law. Assange is currently behind bars at London’s Belmarsh Prison for skipping bail in 2012, after being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorean Embassy by British police in April. His lawyers and the U.N. rapporteur on torture have warned of Assange’s deteriorating health due to his ongoing detention and years of “psychological torture.”

California to Offer Healthcare to Some Undocumented Adults

Jun 11, 2019

California is poised to become the first state to offer healthcare coverage to undocumented adults. Democratic lawmakers agreed to extend healthcare coverage through the state’s Medicaid program to some low-income undocumented residents. The plan will cover an estimated 90,000 adults between the ages of 19 and 25. The measure, which is included as part of the latest state budget, is expected to be signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom later this week. California would help fund the expansion by imposing a penalty on people who don’t have health insurance, similar to the individual mandate feature of the Affordable Care Act, which was eliminated as part of the 2017 Republican tax reform.

NRA Gave Money to 18 Board Members

Jun 11, 2019

A new exposé by The Washington Post reveals the National Rifle Association has directed vast sums of money to 18 people on its 76-member board over recent years. The beneficiaries include a former pro football player who was paid $400,000 for public outreach and training, while musician Ted Nugent received $50,000 for public appearances. Experts say the payments demonstrate a lack of oversight and possible conflicts of interest. The latest revelations come after New York Attorney General Letitia James launched a probe into the NRA’s tax-exempt status in April and Democratic lawmakers also weigh possible investigations into the group.

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NYC Trans Community and Allies Demand Justice for Layleen Polanco After Rikers Death

Jun 11, 2019

And in New York City, hundreds gathered Monday evening to demand justice for Layleen Polanco, a transgender Afro-Latinx prisoner who was found dead in a cell at Rikers Island on Friday. Her family’s lawyer told the crowd she suffered from a seizure disorder and had been held in solitary confinement prior to her death. Activists gathered called for Rikers to be shut down immediately. This is Cecilia Gentili speaking at Foley Square.

Cecilia Gentili: “Layleen loved New York, that you couldn’t get her out of here. She loved the buildings. She loved the vibe. She loved the people of New York City. And ultimately it has been this city that led to these circumstances, and we need to ask for answers.”

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