Tag: Human rights and civil liberties

Trump Signs The Johnson Amendment Religious-Liberty Executive Order

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that loosens the restrictions on political activity for religious groups. “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced anymore, and we will never ever stand for religious discrimination,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. “No American should be forced…

Michael Slager To Plead Guilty To Feds On Walter Scott Killing

Michael Slager, the former South Carolina policeman who shot and killed a fleeing black motorist, will plead guilty in a federal civil-rights case, sources told The Post and Courier on Tuesday. The newspaper notes it is unclear to what charges Slager will plead regarding his fatal shooting of Walter Scott last year in North Charleston.…

New Orleans Removes Confederate Statues

New Orleans started taking down the first of four prominent Confederate monuments in the city early Monday morning, at about 1:30 a.m. The city is the most recent Southern stronghold to remove symbols interpreted by many to memorialize white supremacy and racism. The first monument to be removed overnight was one that “commemorates whites who…

Doctor: Alex Jones Diagnosed With Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Alex Jones was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder in a psychiatric evaluation, the divorce case manager confirmed during his custody trial in Austin on Wednesday. Austin psychologist Alissa Sherry said that a different doctor compiled the report, part of what she said was the most time-consuming divorce case she has ever worked. People diagnosed with…

FBI Obtained FISA Warrant To Monitor Ex-Trump Adviser Carter Page

Last summer, the FBI applied for and was granted a secret court order allowing agents to monitor the communications of Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to candidate Donald Trump, “after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power,…

Trump: I Think Susan Rice Committed Crime, Declines To Provide Proof

President Trump said in a Wednesday interview with The New York Times that he believes former national security adviser Susan Rice committed a crime in allegedly seeking to unmask the identities of Trump associates mentioned in intercepted communications. “I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” the president told the Times, though he declined…

‘Chemical Attack’ Kills Dozens in Idlib Syria

Dozens of people are dead in a northern Syria province after a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town. Activists and monitoring groups reported early Tuesday that strikes carried out by the Syrian government or Russian jets dumped a substance on Idlib that caused at least 58 people to choke to death, with responders on…

NC Lawmakers Agree To Repeal Transgender Bathroom Ban

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina announced late Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to repeal a state law prohibiting transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities. The deal, reached with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, an outspoken opponent of the controversial law, came as the state was on the verge of…

Obama Reportedly ‘Livid’ With Trump Over Wiretapping Tweets

Former President Barack Obama was “livid over [President Trump’s] accusation that he bugged the Republican campaign offices, believing that Mr. Trump was questioning both the integrity of the office of the president and Mr. Obama himself,” people close to Obama told The Wall Street Journal. Things have been souring between Trump and his predecessor for…

Bomb Threats On Jewish Schools, Community Centers Reported In 12 States

At least 20 Jewish community centers and day schools across the U.S. reported receiving bomb threats Monday, the latest in a recent uptick of anti-Semitic acts. The threats extended across 12 states, including Maryland, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Alabama, and Rhode Island, NBC News reported. The latest…

Jewish Cemetery Vandalized In Philadelphia

A Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia was vandalized less than a week after a similar incident in Missouri. More than 100 headstones were damaged at the Mount Carmel cemetery, police said Sunday. The destruction was reported by a man who arrived at the cemetery and found his relatives’ tombstones damaged. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney released a…

Trump Block Free Press From WH: CNN, Buzzfeed, NYT, Politico & LA Times

Several major news outlets found themselves blocked from attending a Friday White House press briefing with Sean Spicer, the Press Secretary, the latest sign of worsening relations between the Trump administration and the media attempting to cover it. The New York Times, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Politico were among the…

Trump Rolls Back Protections For Transgender Students

The Trump administration on Wednesday rescinded Obama-era anti-discrimination protections for transgender students. President Trump overruled Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ concerns about the move. The Obama administration had ordered schools to let transgender students use public school restrooms corresponding to their gender identity, and Democrats immediately criticized Trump for rolling back the policy. “No student should…

Senate Votes To Confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions As U.S. Attorney General

Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed as the next attorney general in President Trump’s administration on Wednesday night, earning a simply majority by around 7:20 p.m. with the vote total at 52 yes to 47 no. The night before Senator Elizabeth Warren made headlines for attempting to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King criticizing…

Trump: I Will ‘Destroy’ Johnson Amendment [VIDEO]

After asking prayer for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Apprentice ratings this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast Trump declared that religious freedom is “under threat,” He vowed to repeal an IRS rule that says pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status. “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment…

Trump Threatens Funds Cut After UC Berkeley Protest

The University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday canceled a scheduled speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos after violent protests erupted. “The violence was instigated by a group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise nonviolent protest,” UC Berkeley said in a statement. Fires were lit and firebombs were set…

Trump to Senate GOP: Go Nuclear on SCOTUS Vote

On Wednesday President Trump said that he would be fine with the Senate changing rules to pass his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, with just 50 votes as opposed to the necessary 60 required now. “Yes, if we end up with the same gridlock we’ve had in Washington for longer than eight years, in all…

Trump Selects Judge Neil Gorsuch For SCOTUS

President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday night, saying in a speech at the White House: “This may be the most transparent judicial process in history.” Gorsuch, 49, sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in 25…

Senate Dems Will Filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to the fill the current vacancy. With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that…

Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports Take Legal Action Over Trump’s Order

Right after President Trump signed an executive order that bans U.S. entry from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia for 90 days while suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, the rule already faces partial challenge in court. Immigration lawyers acting on behalf of two Iraqi men, one a former U.S.…

Trump Ready To Lift Ban On C.I.A. ‘Black Site’ Prisons

President Trump is preparing a sweeping executive order that would clear the way for the C.I.A. to reopen overseas “black site” prisons, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before former President Barack Obama shut them down. President Trump’s three-page draft order, titled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants” and obtained by The…

Trump Heads To Inauguration With Historical Low Poll Numbers

Three new polls show President-elect Donald Trump being viewed favorably by about 40 percent of Americans, a huge shortfall from the approval numbers for Trump’s four predecessors. In Gallup and Washington Post/ABC News polls, Trump is viewed favorably by 40 percent and unfavorably by 55 percent (Gallup) and 54 percent (WaPo), while a CNN/ORC poll…

18 Congressional Democrats Plan Inauguration Boycott

At least 18 House Democrats will not attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremonies this Friday, with some planning to leave for their home districts and others intending to march with protesters in Washington. Among those boycotting is Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights leader whom Trump criticized as “all talk” in the weekend before…

Trump Promises ‘Insurance For Everybody’

President-elect Donald Trump says his plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act is nearly complete. In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump did not reveal the specifics of his replacement package, but promised “lower numbers, much lower deductibles,” and said “we’re going to have insurance for everybody.” He also said he plans to crack…

Charleston Church Shooter Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death

Dylann Roof, who was convicted in December on all charges related to the 2015 killing of nine black worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, was sentenced to death Tuesday. Roof represented himself during the sentencing phase of the trial and told the jury, “I felt like I had to…

Protesters At Sessions Hearing: No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA

Before the confirmation hearing for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. attorney general, protesters shouted and interrupted the proceedings. “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” many demonstrators in the room yelled Tuesday morning before they were escorted out. Others held signs that said “End Racism—Stop Sessions.” The proceedings continued despite…

Senate Opens Confirmation Hearings Of Trump Nominee Sessions

The Senate is scheduled to launch three days of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks on Tuesday. First up in the morning is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s nominee for attorney general. WATCH LIVE CONFIRMATION HEARING OF TRUMP NOMINEE SESSIONS Sessions is expected to tout his conservative legal credentials; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)…

NAACP President Arrested After Sit-In To Protest Trump

Several protesters, including NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, were arrested Tuesday after an hours-long sit-in by about two dozen civil rights activists at the Mobile, Alabama, office of Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for attorney general. The protesters criticized Sessions’ record on voting rights and race relations, and Brooks said he was…

Federal Government Blocks Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Route

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it would not approve permits to build the Dakota Access oil pipeline under Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The decision halted construction, a major victory for members of the tribe and other activists who have been protesting…

Obama Lifts US Embargo On Lethal Arms Sales To Vietnam [VIDEO]

President Barack Obama has announced the US is fully lifting its embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam, its one-time enemy. Speaking during a visit to communist Vietnam and talks with its leaders, Mr Obama said the move removed a “lingering vestige of the Cold War”. The US is trying to bolster its relationship…