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Trump's Biggest Whoppers


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10 things you need to know today:
 
 
Megan Varner/Getty Images
 

1. Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd

A jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd, who died after Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for nine minutes. The jury found Chauvin guilty of all the counts he faced — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Each murder charge carries a recommended 12.5-year sentence for a person with no criminal history, according to Minnesota sentencing guidelines, while the manslaughter would be expected to result in a four-year term. An attorney for Floyd's family called the verdict "painfully earned justice" that marked "a turning point" for accountability of law enforcement." The case hinged on the cause of death. Prosecutors said Chauvin deprived Floyd of oxygen; the defense said he died of underlying health problems and drug abuse. [Star Tribune, NPR]

 

2. Biden, Harris, and Floyd family praise Chauvin verdict, call for reform

President Biden called George Floyd's family after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering Floyd. "At least, God, now there is some justice," Biden told them. Floyd's relatives and Biden said the verdict should serve as a catalyst for broad police reform to stop police brutality against African Americans. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the nation shortly after Chauvin's conviction was announced. "This can be a moment of significant change," Biden said, but real progress will require reform "to reduce the likelihood that a tragedy like this ever happens again." Harris called on the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, saying it would "hold law enforcement accountable and help build trust between law enforcement and our communities." [The Washington Post]

 

3. Columbus police swiftly release video showing shooting of Black teen

Columbus, Ohio, police released body-camera video of the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Black girl hours after the incident, an unprecedented attempt to provide transparency. The video appears to show the girl, identified as Ma'Khia Bryant, swinging a knife at a girl who is on the hood of a car before the officer fires about four times. The incident occurred about 20 minutes before the announcement that a jury had found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in a case that had sparked widespread protests. "It's a tragic day in the city of Columbus. It's a horrible, heartbreaking situation," Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said. "We felt transparency in sharing this footage, as incomplete as it is at this time," was critical. [The Columbus Dispatch]

 

4. J&J to resume Europe vaccine rollout

Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that it planned to resume distribution of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe. Regulators there found a link to rare blood clots, but said the vaccine's benefits outweighed the risks of side effects. Johnson & Johnson paused the shot's rollout in the European Union after U.S. agencies recommended a delay of the vaccine's use pending review of the blood clot concerns. The European Medicines Agency's latest recommendation is not binding, but it cleared the way for the block's 27 member states to decide whether to use the vaccine, according to their case load and access to other vaccines. Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine already has been administered to nearly eight million Americans. The pause with Johnson & Johnson's product hampered an already troubled EU vaccination effort, following the suspension of AstraZeneca's vaccine over similar clotting concerns. [The New York Times]

 

5. Biden administration voices support for D.C. statehood

The Biden administration said on Tuesday it supports H.R. 51, the bill that proposes making Washington, D.C., into a state. "For far too long, the more than 700,000 people of Washington, D.C., have been deprived of full representation in the U.S. Congress," said the administration in a statement. "This taxation without representation and denial of self-governance is an affront to the democratic values." The statement argued creating a 51st state called the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth would "make our Union stronger and more just." The White House previously indicated it believes D.C. residents deserve representation, but Tuesday was the first formal show of support for the proposal — it comes as the House begins to consider the bill with a hearing and later a vote. [CNN, The Washington Post]

 

6. Biden to unveil plan to cut U.S. emissions by half

President Biden plans this week to commit to slashing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by half or more before 2030, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing two people briefed on the matter. The policy is part of Biden's escalation of the federal government's efforts to fight climate change. Biden's pledge will nearly double America's target for emissions cuts compared to the 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 levels former President Barack Obama targeted under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which former President Donald Trump quit but Biden rejoined. Biden on Thursday will convene a virtual summit in a bid to restore U.S. leadership on environmental issues. Ahead of the meeting, the European Union tentatively agreed to make the 27-nation bloc climate-neutral by 2050. [The Washington Post, The Associated Press]

 

7. Georgia faith leaders call for Home Depot boycott over voting law

A coalition of Georgia religious leaders on Tuesday called for a boycott of Home Depot, which they said had not opposed the state's new law tightening voting restrictions as other companies have done. Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Home Depot, Georgia's largest public company, had been "silent and indifferent" to the interests of voters who will find it harder to cast ballots under the new law passed by a Republican-controlled state legislature and signed by a Republican governor. "We don't think we ought to let their indifference stand," said Jackson, who leads the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Republicans criticized the boycott, calling it an example of "cancel culture" bullying. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams called for a federal law to pre-empt Georgia's. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

 

8. Democrats block censure of Maxine Waters over Chauvin trial comments

The House on Tuesday rejected a proposed resolution to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) over comments she made about the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd. The party-line vote was prompted by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) call to censure Waters for saying that demonstrators should "stay on the street" and "get more confrontational" if Chauvin was acquitted, so "they know we mean business." Republican lawmakers accused her of inciting violence; Democrats argued it would be unfair to single out Waters after Republican lawmakers like Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) weren't censured for remarks at a pro-Trump rally ahead of the riot at the Capitol in January. The vote came on the day Chauvin was convicted. [The Washington Post]

 

9. Chile lawmakers advance euthanasia legislation

Chile's Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday passed a bill seeking to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide for adults confirmed to suffer from incurable, unbearable illness. The proposed legislation now goes to the South American nation's Senate. The center-left opposition has championed the bill, first submitted in 2014. It would require a person seeking euthanasia to be diagnosed by two doctors confirming an incurable ailment. Cecilia Heyder, who has metastatic breast cancer and lupus, hopes to be the first person to legally end her own life if the legislation is adopted. "It is not life that I am leading," she said. Pro-government lawmaker Leónidas Romero said the bill's promoters "are suffering from the James Bond syndrome: license to kill." [The Associated Press]

 

10. Chad president reportedly dies fighting rebels

Chad's President Idriss Déby has died from wounds he suffered on the battlefield in the country's north, the military announced Tuesday. Déby, who had been in power for three decades, was declared the winner of last week's presidential election just hours before the news broke. The exact cause of Déby's death has not been verified by news sources, but he had traveled north to visit troops on the frontline of a battle with rebel forces based in Libya. The military said Déby, an army officer by training, was killed while leading troops in combat. His son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, is now expected to head a military council that will govern for an 18-month transitional period, after which new elections will be held. [BBC News, The Associated Press]

 
 
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The European Union reached a tentative climate deal that should make the 27-nation bloc climate-neutral by 2050, with member states and parliament agreeing on the targets on the eve of a virtual summit President Biden will host.
 
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NEW: The White House is weighing requests from Kyiv to send additional weaponry to Ukraine as it faces the biggest military buildup of Russian forces on its border since 2014.
 
Ukrainian officials now fear Russia’s buildup of forces, which has been unusually public and drawn out, is more than just saber-rattling to send a message to the West—and they have asked the U.S. repeatedly for more weapons to fend off an increasingly plausible Russian incursion.
 
Among their requests: Patriot missiles, which are deployed in Poland but Ukrainian officials want on their soil, according to a person briefed on the requests and recent comments made by senior Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak.
 
A broad assessment of the military situation compiled by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and obtained by POLITICO assessed that there is a “high probability of a Georgia-like provocation against Ukrainian Joint Forces in the East” aimed at seizing more territory.
 
 
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On 4/19/2021 at 12:12 PM, jakeem said:

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Just another reminder that the Supreme Court has no code of ethics. She'll write about how judges shouldn't bring personal feelings into how they rule, but I think it's safe to assume she won't be writing about how they shouldn't use their positions for personal profit.
 
And she's far from the first Justice to turn her high office into a profit center. Others currently sitting with her on the high court have done the same. What's ethics got do with justice? A lot. What's ethics got to do with a Justice? Absolutely nothing it seems.
 
Here are a few of the more recent books from a court with no ethics code:

 — Sonia Sotomayor: My Beloved World 2013
 — Stephen Breyer: Making Our Democracy Work: a Judge’s View 2010
 — Clarence Thomas: My Grandfather’s Son: a Memoir 2007
 — Neil Gorsuch: A Republic, If You Can Keep It 2019
 

The Supreme Court Book of the Month Club

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NEW: The Senate voted 51-49 to confirm Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the Justice Department's third-highest ranking official.
 
Most Republicans strongly opposed her nomination, which faced procedural hurdles after the Senate Judiciary Committee split 11-11 along party lines on whether to approve her.
 
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The Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine had multiple procedural failures, including unsanitary conditions near sensitive manufacturing areas, the FDA stated in a report today.
 
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Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters today he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks, and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
 
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Prince Harry has flown home to California—missing the queen’s first birthday as a widow—amid growing evidence that his visit to the U.K. did not significantly improve “strained” relations with his father and brother despite some positive signs.
 
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