March 5, 2015
border-bottom:1px solid red;
List/Grid

United States Subscribe to United States

[OFFICIAL] Ferguson police officer fired over emails, 2 others suspended – mayor

[OFFICIAL] Ferguson police officer fired over emails, 2 others suspended – mayor

Two Ferguson, Missouri, police officers were placed on administrative leave Tuesday after city officials were informed of the results of a damning Justice Department report, and a third officer has since been terminated, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said at a press conference.

The actions were taken after a review of city emails discovered “explicit racial bias” by the three police officers.

“Let me be clear. This type of behavior will not be tolerated and the Ferguson Police Department or in any department in the city of Ferguson,” Knowles said, adding that the officers were immediately placed on administrative leave after city officials were informed on Tuesday. One was later fired.

“These actions taken by these individuals are in no way representative of the employees of the city of Ferguson,” the mayor said. “Today’s report allows the city of Ferguson to identify the problems, not only in our police department, but in the entire St. Louis region.”

Knowles added: “The department is in the process of hiring three new officers. We hope to have an update on these positions and the racial makeup of these new hires sometime in the next week.”

The mayor added that Ferguson, as well as the state and country as a whole, must work to address issues of racial disparity in all aspects of society. “All Ferguson police officers have completed mandatory diversity training as of December 31, 2014,” he said.

The Ferguson Police Department has also launched an explorer program to both engage youth in the law enforcement profession and to potentially recruit them for police officer positions in the future.

The mayor also announced a weekly task force made up of residents, businesses, and law enforcement officers who will form a civilian oversight board to review complaints and to provide citizen input into the policies and procedures of the city’s police department.

“This ground-breaking initiative will be the first of this kind in this region,” he added.

The City of Ferguson has also retained the services of an independent consultant, as recommended by the Department of Justice, to conduct a patrol staffing and employment study.

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

[UPDATE] Obama signs DHS funding bill into law, ending political standoff

[UPDATE] Obama signs DHS funding bill into law, ending political standoff

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that funds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the remainder of the fiscal year, ending a weeks-long political standoff amid attempts by Republicans to use the bill to block Obama’s actions on immigration reform.

“I want to thank members of Congress for getting us a bill that’ll ensure that we can continue to fund the extraordinary work of our men and women at the Department of Homeland Security,” Obama said at the signing. “They keep us safe every single day. And we want to make sure that they’ve got the resources and support that they need to do the job.”

Only photojournalists witnessed the signing of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act 2015. The signing lasted less than 30 seconds.

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

[UPDATE] U.S. private sector added 212,000 jobs in February – ADP report

[UPDATE] U.S. private sector added 212,000 jobs in February – ADP report

The United States economy added an estimated 212,000 private sector jobs during the month of February, fewer than expected, according to a report released on Wednesday by payroll processor ADP.

The ADP survey, which is derived from actual payroll data and measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month, showed private-sector employment increased by 212,000 in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. But the estimated gain in January was revised up by 37,000 to 250,000..

“While February’s job gains came in slightly lower than recent months, the trend of solid growth above 200,000 jobs per month continued,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP.

Service-providing employment rose by 181,000 jobs in February, down from 206,000 in January, while professional/business services contributed 34,000 jobs, a drop-off from January’s 49,000. Expansion in trade/transportation/utilities grew by 31,000, a sharp decline from January’s 50,000. The 20,000 new jobs added in financial activities is an increase from last month’s 15,000 and marks the largest gain in that sector since March 2006.

The ADP report is a measure of employment derived from an anonymous subset of roughly 500,000 U.S. business clients. Economists say the U.S. economy needs to add at least 150,000 to 200,000 jobs every month to make a significant dent in the jobless rate and to keep up with the population growth in the country.

*LINK to full ADP report: http://adpemploymentreport.com/2015/February/NER/docs/ADP-NATIONAL-EMPLOYMENT-REPORT-February2015-Final-Press-Release.pdf

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

[STATEMENT] Alabama’s Supreme Court halts gay marriages

[STATEMENT] Alabama’s Supreme Court halts gay marriages

Alabama’s all-Republican Supreme Court ordered Tuesday that probate judges in the state must stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite multiple federal rulings in the state that struck down a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

Six justices agreed in the 134-page opinion, while Associate Justice James Allen Main concurred in part but concurred with the order, and Associate Justice Greg Shaw dissented. Chief Justice Roy S. Moore – an outspoken opponent of gay marriage – recused himself.

“Every day, more and more purported ‘marriage licenses’ are being issued to same-sex couples by some of the probate judges in this state,” the court said in its ruling. “Every day, the recipients of those licenses and others with whom they interact may be, and presumably are, relying upon the validity of those licenses in their personal and business affairs.”

Justice Shaw, the only justice who dissented, said it was “unfortunate” that the federal courts had refused to stay the order that struck down Alabama’s gay marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue later this year.

Same-sex marriage had become legal in the state in early February.

The section from the Alabama Supreme Court’s that delivers the ruling is copied below.

STARTS

IV. Order

The named respondents are ordered to discontinue the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Further, and pursuant to relator Judge Enslen’s request that this Court, “by any and all lawful means available to it,” ensure compliance with Alabama law with respect to the issuance of marriage licenses, each of the probate judges in this State other than the named respondents and Judge Davis are joined as respondents in the place of the “Judge Does” identified in the petition. Within five business days following the issuance of this order, each such probate judge may file an answer responding to the relator’s petition for the writ of mandamus and showing cause, if any, why said probate judge should not be bound hereby. Subject to further order of this Court upon receipt and consideration of any such answer, each such probate judge is temporarily enjoined from issuing any marriage license contrary to Alabama law as explained in this opinion.

As to Judge Davis’s request to be dismissed on the ground that he is subject to a potentially conflicting federal court order, he is directed to advise this Court, by letter brief, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2015, as to whether he is bound by any existing federal court order regarding the issuance of any marriage license other than the four marriage licenses he was ordered to issue in Strawser.

PETITION GRANTED; WRIT ISSUED.

Stuart, Bolin, Parker, Murdock, Wise, and Bryan, JJ.,concur.

Main, J., concurs in part and concurs in the result. Shaw, J., dissents.

ENDS

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

[OFFICIAL] Police investigating whether damage at NSA is from gunfire – spokeswoman

[OFFICIAL] Police investigating whether damage at NSA is from gunfire – spokeswoman

Lelani Woods, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Park Police, says an investigation is underway into damage reported at the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and no determination has been made yet whether it was caused by gun…

[STATEMENT] Man found hiding in JetBlue cockpit at NYC airport

[STATEMENT] Man found hiding in JetBlue cockpit at NYC airport

A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with trespassing early Tuesday morning after he was found hiding inside the cockpit of a JetBlue Airways plane that had landed at New York’s JFK Airport following a flight from the Dominican Republic, the airline said in a statement.

Crew members discovered the man hiding inside the aircraft shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET.

NBC New York reported that the man, who reportedly lives in Atlantic City, told the crew that he was hiding because he feared a group of people was looking to “jump him.” He was arrested for trespassing and taken to Jamaica Hospital for observation.

A statement issued by JetBlue Airways is copied below.

STARTS

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. today (March 3, 2015) upon arrival at JFK, a customer failed to deplane from JetBlue flight #810 and entered the cockpit. Upon observation, Crew members immediately removed the customer from the aircraft and he was turned over to the Port Authority Police Department. Additional inquiries should be directed to The Port Authority Police Department.

ENDS

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

[UPDATE] U.S. House passes DHS funding bill, sending it to White House

[UPDATE] U.S. House passes DHS funding bill, sending it to White House

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through September 30, ending a weeks-long political standoff amid attempts by Republicans to use the bill to block President Barack Obama’s act…

[REPORT] Jury selected in Boston Marathon bombing trial – WCVB-TV

[REPORT] Jury selected in Boston Marathon bombing trial – WCVB-TV

A jury of 12 and six alternates has been selected in the federal trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, local news channel WCVB-TV reports.

The panel, made up of eight men and ten women, was selected on Tuesday.

Three spectators…

[REPORT] Snowden ready to return to U.S. if given ‘fair and impartial trial’ – TASS

[REPORT] Snowden ready to return to U.S. if given ‘fair and impartial trial’ – TASS

Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden is prepared to return to the United States but only if he will be given a fair legal trial, his lawyer Anatoly Kurcherena told journalists on Tuesday, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Kurcherena made the comments while presenting Snowden’s new book, “Time of the Octopus.”

“Edward Snowden is ready to return to the U.S., but on the condition that he will be given guarantees on receiving a fair and impartial trial,” Kurcherena was quoted as saying. “We, together with a group of lawyers from other countries, are working on the issue of his return to the US.”

The U.S. charged Snowden with three felony counts, including violations of the U.S. Espionage Act, after he disclosed classified documents to reporters about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs. He publicly revealed his identity while in Hong Kong, but he later fled and became stuck inside the transit zone at a Moscow airport for weeks before Russia granted him temporary asylum. Snowden received a 3-year residence permit in August 2014.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder previously said that Snowden would not receive the death penalty.

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)

U.S. Senate committee advances Loretta Lynch’s nomination as attorney general

U.S. Senate committee advances Loretta Lynch’s nomination as attorney general

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee moved on Thursday to endorse Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General in a 12-8 vote. The vote allows the nomination to proceed to a full Senate vote.

Speaking at a confirmation hearing last month, Lynch stated that she was more than capable of protecting American interests in the war on terror, citing her experience in cyber terrorism after the September 11 terrorist attacks. She also said that she is dedicated to protecting victims of sex trafficking and abuse, stating that she would work diligently to protect those who are most vulnerable.

“Should I be confirmed as Attorney General, my highest priorities will continue to be to ensure the safety of our citizens, to protect the most vulnerable among us from crime and abuse, and to strengthen the vital relationships between America’s brave law enforcement officers and the communities they are entrusted to serve,” she said at the hearing in January.

(Copyright 2015 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: sales@bnonews.com.)