ABC and a South Dakota meat producer finally settled in a $1.9 billion lawsuit on Wednesday. The defamation case began in 2012 after ABC aired a segment where BPI's beef product was referred as pink slime, an unsafe product that isn’t nutritious. Sales dropped from 5 million pounds to less than 2 million pounds after the reports, forcing the company to three plants and layoff 700 workers.The terms of the agreement are confidential. The network still stands behind it’s reporting.
Australia's senior Roman Catholic prelate and one of Pope Francis's top advisers has been charged with sexual assault, police in the Australian state of Victoria said Thursday. Cardinal George Pell became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses. Pope Francis has instituted several initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals involving Catholic leaders had shaken the church around the world. This case will test those initiatives. Pell is the finance chief of the Vatican and has repeatedly denied accusations of sexual assault against him.
Puerto Rico has voted overwhelmingly to apply to Congress to become the 51st state in the union. However, only about 23 percent of eligible voters participated in the vote on Sunday. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said voters in the U.S. island territory sent a strong message to Congress. Puerto Rico has been struggling economically for some time and requested in early May to enter into a bankruptcy-like proceeding to restructure its massive debt load after talks with creditors failed. The restructuring of Puerto Rico's estimated $70 billion in outstanding debt would be the largest in the history of the U.S. municipal bond market. Currently, every Puerto Rican citizen also automatically receives U.S. citizenship at birth.
Five people, including Majority Whip Steve Scalise, were injured after gunfire interrupted a morning GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Authorities have identified the shooter as 66-year-old James Hodgkinson. The shooter has died from his injuries. Scalise is undergoing surgery after being shot in the hip.The Democrats practice has been canceled.
Maryland and the District of Columbia have filed suit against President Donald Trump alleging that his failure to divest from his private businesses has undermined public trust and violated constitutional bans against self-dealing. This lawsuit makes many of the same points as another filed earlier this year by a Washington watchdog organization. However, some legal experts have said that the new suit is stronger legally because the plaintiffs are governmental entities, which could have stronger standing to successfully sue the president. No state has ever before accused a president of violating the emoluments clauses of the Constitution. One clause bans the president from accepting gifts from foreign governments. The second prohibits the president from accepting economic benefits from the federal or state governments, other than his salary.
Portland mayor wants to cancel alt-right protests
1. Two men were stabbed to death after defending two young women who were a target of hate speech on the train during a commute. A 35-year-old Jeremy Christian was arrested for the deaths of 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche and 53-year-old Ricky Best. A third victim, 21-year-old Micah Cole-Fletcher was treated for serious injuries. Christian is a known white supremacist.
2. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is asking for a permit to be revoked for an alt-right protest called March Against Sharia. Another protest is scheduled for June 10th. Wheeler said the city “is in mourning, our community's anger is real, and the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate an already difficult situation.” He is also asking for the alt-right protestors to stay away from the city, in order to avoid a tense situation. Since the federal government controls permits for the Terry Shrunk Plaza, the city can’t revoke the permit on its own.
3. So, is the protest going to cause a disturbance or is just first amendment rights?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey
1. FBI Director James Comey was fired from his position by President Donald Trump. The FBI director position is independent, non-partisan and supposed to be politically isolated. Any investigations launched by the department and run by the director are unbiased and fair. This is the second time in American history that an FBI director was fired. Trump said he was fired because of how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server.
2. Comey was leading the investigation into Russia's involvement with the Trump presidential campaign and his White House staff. He reportedly asked for more resources in the investigation just days before he was fired from his position. Comey apparently learned the news from TV reports. Republicans are mostly supporting Trump's decision to fire Comey, but Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said the firing could lead to impeachment proceedings.
3. So, did Trump go too far in firing Comey?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Berkeley Republicans sue school over Ann Coulter cancelation
1. UC Berkeley Republicans were planning on hosting an event featuring Ann Coulter on April 27. The school said nope, the event needs to be rescheduled to May 2. Coulter and gang said Thursday was the day to do it. Now the group and Coulter are suing Berkley because of the school’s rescheduling efforts. The lawsuit claims Berkley is discriminating against conservative guest speakers by using time and location restrictions. The group states the restrictions are intended to stifle conservative viewpoints by scheduling events at times where students would be busy studying for exams.
2. On the other hand, Berkeley sites safety and security concerns after UCPD received threats against Coulter. Adminsatortors stated a need for a more secure location in order to avoid the violence that occurred before former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ event.
3. So, is it a legitimate safety issue or an attempt to stifle free speech?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
A dispute over whether the US government deported an undocumented immigrant with protected status reignited Wednesday after details about the case were released by the Department of Homeland Security. Lawyers for the man said their client was apprehended by Border Patrol and deported to Mexico on February 18. The Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday that that had never happened. Lawyers for the deported man are also arguing in a lawsuit that he was deported despite having protected legal status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This was a program enacted by executive order under President Obama. Trump has not dismantled it yet, but this action calls to question his support of the program.
Turkey referendum gives sweeping powers to president
1. Turkey's citizens voted in a national referendum to grant their president sweeping powers that could bring an end to democracy in the country. Voters cast ballots on an 18-article constitutional reform package that would change Turkey's parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency. Under the new constitution, the position of prime minister would disappear, to be replaced by several vice presidents. The Turkish president would become the head executive and the head of state. And, most notably, the president alone will be able to declare a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
2. The referendum passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. Turkey's current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party have argued that the new constitution streamlines decision-making and avoids unwieldy parliamentary coalitions. They have argued that the current parliamentary system has been holding Turkey back. Citizens who voted in favor of the changes say they believe Turkey's future would be safer and more prosperous with President Erdogan and his new powers.
3. So, is the referendum granting too much power to Turkey's president?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
The United States dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb, known as the "mother of all bombs," on ISIS positions in Afghanistan. The U.S. military has described it as a tactical move. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb was dropped Thursday night on a network of fortified underground tunnels that ISIS had been using to stage attacks on government forces. The strike killed 36 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials said. The bomb is GPS-guided and has the power to destroy an area equivalent to nine city blocks. The blast destroyed three underground tunnels as well as weapons and ammunition but no civilians were hurt, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.