This week a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report of an investigation into six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses which says that there is credible evidence that more than 300 “predator priests” sexually abused more than 1000 children over decades. The report further alleges that the church orchestrated a sophisticated cover-up of the sex crimes. The New York Times has an overview of the report here, and the full report, thorough and unflinching, is available here. The statute of limitations has expired for the majority of the crimes detailed in the report. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading
As USA Today reports, Sunday is the one-year anniversary of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that began with torch-bearing marchers parading through the campus of the University of Virginia chanting racist slogans and ended with a participant killing a counter-demonstrator. In the aftermath, Charlottesville law enforcement agencies were criticized for their limited efforts at ensuring public safety. An anniversary rally reportedly is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville has preemptively declared a state of emergency. Keep reading for more news.
Trial began this week in Virginia for Paul Manafort, the onetime chairman of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign who has been charged with a variety of crimes unrelated to the campaign. Manafort’s current trial involves charges of bank fraud, money laundering, lobbying disclosure violations, and obstruction of justice, with the alleged offenses largely stemming from lucrative political consulting work Manafort performed in Ukraine. Prosecutors say that Manafort hid his overseas income to avoid taxes, and then committed bank fraud to obtain loans when the income stream dried up. Manafort is scheduled to face trial on other charges in September. Keep reading for more news.
On Monday, state and federal law enforcement agencies raided three “full-fledged” casinos operating in Robeson County, according to the Fayetteville Observer. The Observer says that the casinos were located in warehouses in various locations within the county, and that they were being run by members of the Tuscarora Indian Nation Sovereignty Territory. As the News & Observer explains in another piece about the raids, the “Tuscarora are a federally recognized tribe in New York with ancestral roots in North and South Carolina,” though none of the groups identifying as Tuscarora in North Carolina have received federal recognition. Keep reading for more news.
Late last week, Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election. This week, as a result of an FBI investigation separate from the special counsel, the Justice Department indicted Russian national Maria Butina for illegally acting as an agent of the Russian government in an effort to influence American politics. Butina allegedly posed as a graduate student at American University while working covertly to develop contacts within political groups in an effort to advance policies favorable to Russia. Keep reading for more news.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court. Kavanaugh has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit since 2006 and once was a clerk for Justice Kennedy. As the New York Times reports, before serving on the D.C. Circuit Kavanaugh worked for independent counsel Kenneth Starr and later worked for President George W. Bush. Going back further, Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, also a former Kennedy clerk, went to high school together. Keep reading for more news.
Late last week a man involved in a long running dispute with Annapolis newspaper the Capital Gazette stormed the paper’s newsroom with a shotgun, killing five people and wounding several others. The Gazette itself has extensive coverage of the incident. Reports suggest that the suspect, Jarrod W. Ramos, had been upset with the Gazette for some time because of an article the paper ran in 2011 regarding his guilty plea to a criminal harassment offense. Ramos tried unsuccessfully to sue the paper for defamation and otherwise harassed Gazette staff over several years. He has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. Yesterday, newsrooms across the country held a moment of silence for the victims at 2:33 pm, marking the precise time of the attack a week earlier. Keep reading for more news.
On Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he would retire from the United States Supreme Court at the end of July. Kennedy’s retirement has been long-rumored and was made official with a short letter of resignation which he hand-delivered to President Donald Trump on the afternoon of the final day of the Court’s 2017-18 term. Kennedy has been widely characterized as the Court’s swing justice because of his liberal view on some issues and conservative view on others. The New York Times compiled a list of some of the Court’s major decisions where Kennedy’s vote was seen as decisive. Keep reading for more news.
WRAL reports that there were two attacks in as many days on staff members at Central Prison this week. The report says that the attacks have been attributed to the same group of inmates. In one incident, several inmates refused orders from staff and then punched officers who responded to the situation. In the other, two inmates assaulted a Brent Soucier, a Unit Manager with 19 years of experience at the prison, with a homemade weapon. Soucier was taken to the hospital for treatment of a serious injury and is said to be in stable condition. Keep reading for more news.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice that wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who remained in critical condition for months before returning to Congress. This year’s game was held last night at National’s Park, with Scalise starting at second base. As noted in this report from Washington news outlet NBC 4, there have been many high-profile mass shootings in the year that has passed since the attack and national opinion on gun legislation remains divided. Keep reading for more news. Continue reading →