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School bus and truck collide on New Jersey highway

A school bus packed with kids on a field trip collided with a dump truck on a New Jersey highway Thursday morning, killing at least two people — including a child, according to sources and a report. The deadly smash-up happened just before 10:30 a.m. on Route 80 near Exit 25 in Stanhope, ripping the undercarriage clean from the bottom of the bus as it came to rest on its side in the roadway’s median, horrifying photos show. At least two people were killed, NBC – New York reported, citing sources. The net

Source: School bus and truck collide on New Jersey highway

Giuliani Puts the Corrupt Mueller Team on Notice: “We’re Ready to Rip Them Apart if that’s What They Want!”

Former Federal Prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was on Laura Ingraham’s ‘The Ingraham Angle’ on FOX News last night.

Rudy and all of America know there is no collusion between President Trump and Russia and so Rudy encouraged the corrupt Mueller team to wrap it up.

Rudy discussed the corrupt Mueller investigation that has now been going on for a year. At the beginning of the below segment of the interview Rudy stated that the guys on the Mueller team are taking so long because maybe “these guys, you know, figure they can’t get a good job”.

Rudy was outstanding and he never let up. At the end of the interview (at the 9:10 mark in the video below) Rudy addressed the crooked Mueller team straight on –

Ingraham: Timeline, what is your optimal timeline for this to wrap up?

Rudy: They should do it today. I mean as soon as possible. I think that they have the facts from which they can write their report.

If you can write a fair report fine, then write it.

If you’re gonna write an unfair report, write it and we will combat it. We’re ready to rip it apart.

And we’re ready to rip them apart if that’s what they want. We’d rather peacefully settle this and get it over with.Source: Giuliani Puts the Corrupt Mueller Team on Notice: “We’re Ready to Rip Them Apart if that’s What They Want!”

Spike Lee Slams Trump as ‘Motherf—er’ After ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Cannes Premiere

Spike Lee delivered a blistering attack against Donald Trump on Tuesday, refusing to mention the president by name while saying he’d shirked his moral duty to speak out in the aftermath of last year’s deadly riots in Charlottesville.

Appearing at a press conference alongside the stars of “BlacKkKlansman,” which world premiered in Cannes on Monday night, the director said the film was on the “right side of history” while denouncing the president for not taking a firm stance in the wake of violence that erupted following a white nationalist rally, leaving three people dead.

“That motherf—er was given a chance to say we are bout love, and not hate, and that motherf—er did not denounce the motherf—ing Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazi motherf—ers,” he said.

“It was a defining moment, and he could’ve said to the world…that we were better than that.”

“BlacKkKlansman” is based on the incredible true story of black police detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s.

Describing it as a “major comeback” for Lee, Variety called the film “as much a compelling black empowerment story as it is an electrifying commentary on the problems of African-American representation across more than a century of cinema.”


Women in Motion Highlights: Robin Wright, Salma Hayek, Diane Kruger and More
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Brings Chewbacca and Stormtroopers to Cannes
Though set in the ‘70s, Lee said it was “our job as filmmakers and storytellers…to connect this period piece to the present day.” He framed the film in the context of the bloody history of a country he said “was built upon the genocide of native people, and slavery,” calling it “the fabric of the United States of America.”

He added, “What’s happening did not just pop up out of thin air.”

Lee recalled watching the Charlottesville violence unfold on CNN while in Martha’s Vineyard, and recognizing “right away” that the footage “had to be my…coda for the film.”

The director got permission from the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a man drove a Dodge Charger into a crowd of protesters, to use footage of her death in the movie. “I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing,” he said.

Focus will be releasing “BlacKkKlansman” in the U.S. on the one-year anniversary of the riots, which Lee described as an “ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America.”

Calling the film a “wake-up call,” he repeatedly returned to the moral failings of President Trump, while adding that the rise in right-wing hate speech and violence had become a global scourge. “We look to our leaders to give us direction, to make moral decisions, and I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bulls–t is going all over the world,” he said.

“We have to wake up,” Lee added. “And we can’t be silent.”

“BlacKkKlansman” is peppered with digs at the current president – one KKK member talks about embracing an “America first” policy – while drawing parallels between the rise of Trump and the political aspirations of former Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace). After the premiere, the film received a six-minute standing ovation.

Lee walked the red carpet Monday evening wearing the iconic “love” and “hate” brass knuckles from “Do the Right Thing.” Speaking on Tuesday, he said that while he couldn’t predict the outcome of this year’s mid-term elections – “even though my friends call me Negrodamus” – he still remained hopeful about the future.

“I believe in hope, but I’m not blind or deaf,” he said. “I think that you could be hopeful but still be aware of what’s happening. Too many people walking around in a daze.”

Cate Blanchett leads 82-woman Cannes red carpet ‘#metoo’ protest

Cate Blanchett led female stars in an unprecedented red-carpet protest at the Cannes Film Festival last night to demand equal pay and an end to sexual harassment.

Salma Hayek and Kristen Stewart were also among 82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality and “a safe workplace” seven months after the fall of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of rape and sexual harassment.

The protest highlighted that only 82 films directed by women have been selected for the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or competition in its 71-year history, compared with 1,645 directed by men.

Blanchett, who is presiding the jury this year awarding the coveted Palme d’Or award, one of the film industry’s highest honours, said: “We demand that our workplaces are diverse and equitable so they can best reflect the world in which we live.”

Cate Blanchett – Credit: Dominique Charriau /Wireimage
Cate Blanchett made a speech demanding workplace equality Credit: Dominique Charriau /Wireimage
She said female stars were calling for “a world that allows all of us, in front and behind the camera, to thrive shoulder to shoulder with our male colleagues.”

Jane Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d’Or, for her 1993 film, “The Piano”.

The march up the red-carpeted steps came before an unprecedented move by the festival to sign “strong commitments” on parity and diversity on Monday.

Thierry Frémaux, the festival director, said he supported the march as a way for women “to affirm their presence”.

82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality – Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
82 actresses, female producers and directors who marched arm in arm to demand equality Credit: Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Just hours earlier, Marlène Schiappa, France’s minister for gender equality, revealed that several women attending the event had called a special helpline for women to report sexual harassment at the festival.

“A female responder who took one of the calls escorted an Anglo-Saxon woman to a police station to file a complaint on Friday night,” Ms Schiappa said. The term ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is used in French to mean someone from an English-speaking country. Neither the complainant nor the alleged attacker have been identified.

The line was set up for the first time this year following four alleged attacks at the festival in previous years by Weinstein.

US-Mexican actress Salma Hayek Pinault (C), and Algerian actress Sofia Boutella (2ndR) walk the red carpet in protest of the lack of female filmmakers – Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP
Salma Hayek was among the women at the red carpet protest Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP
The #MeToo movement has thrown the spotlight on harassment and 40,000 flyers were handed out at this year’s festival reminding guests that sexual harassment can be punished in France by three years in prison and a £40,000 fine.

Cannes has also come under scrutiny over the small number of female directors selected for its competition.

Mr Frémaux insisted that the festival chooses films solely for their quality, but he has promised to make selection committees gender-balanced.

After the march, the festival screened Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” which tells the story of Kurdish women fighters.

Husson, a French director, is one of only three women whose films are among the 21 selected for the competition this year. The others are Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum” and Alice Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro”, which are to premiere next week.c

Source: Cate Blanchett leads 82-woman Cannes red carpet ‘#metoo’ protest

Knife attack reported in Paris, slasher shot by police

One person was killed in a knife attack in Paris on Saturday and the assailant was shot dead by police, a police source said.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb confirmed there had been an attack in Paris and said there were victims, without giving any details. The attacker had been overpowered by police, he said.

The Paris prefecture had earlier said a person had carried out a knife attack in the second arrondissement – or district – of the French capital. Paris’ opera and landmark retail stores are located in that area.

The police source said some seven people had been injured. BFM TV said two were in a critical condition.

A judicial source said authorities were looking into whether the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office should be handling the case.

France has been on high alert as a series of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State have hit the country over the past three years in which dozens of people have been killed.

Source: Knife attack reported in Paris, slasher shot by police

Ex-NY state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty of all charges

The ex-speaker of the New York state Assembly Sheldon Silver was found guilty on Friday of selling his office for $4 million in kickbacks — affirming a 2015 conviction on the same charges that had been overturned on appeal.

A jury of seven women and five men found Silver, 74, guilty of all seven counts against him, including two counts of honest services mail fraud and money laundering.

He faces as much as 130 years in prison when sentenced on July 13.

Silver showed no emotion as the jury read the verdict to the judge.

“Obviously I am disappointed,” the Lower East Side Democrat said outside of court, adding that he will appeal the verdict.

The verdict is a crushing blow to Silver, who was once one of the three most powerful men in New York along with the governor and Senate majority leader.

In 2015 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison, which his lawyers argued was a death sentence for the septuagenarian, who was fighting prostate cancer at the time.

Silver was saved from prison after a federal appeals court ruled that errors in the judge’s jury instructions warranted a new trial.

The jury overseeing the retrial reached their verdict after slightly more than one day of deliberation following a week-and-a-half-long trial that included 26 witnesses and dozens of exhibits.
One jury said “yes” between tears when asked if the jury convicted because the government had a strong case. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I feel very, very sorry.”

Silver was convicted of two schemes that earned him a whopping $4 million in kickbacks over a decade, plus $1 million in profits on the illegal gains.

The first scheme involved favors for a prominent cancer doctor who sent him lucrative referrals of cancer patients looking to sue asbestos companies. The second scheme involved two real estate companies that sent their tax business to a lawyer who then shared his fees with Silver.

Witnesses in the first scheme included the cancer doctor, Robert Taub, who testified that he sent Silver his valuable mesothelioma patients because he wanted the powerful politician to start supporting his research into the rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Silver gave Taub $500,000 in taxpayer money to support his research, as well as help finding jobs for Taub’s adult children.

Prosecutors argued that Silver knew what he was doing was wrong because when Taub called him in 2014 to tell him the feds were poking around, Silver responded: “Did you tell them anything.”

“‘Did you tell them anything?’ That’s what Silver cared about — making sure Dr. Taub, his golden goose, kept his mouth shut,” prosecutor Tatiana Martins said on closing arguments.

‘Incensed’ developers were too scared to call out Silver for shady real estate deals
‘Incensed’ developers were too scared to call out Silver for shady real estate deals
“Sheldon Silver had abused his office for profit and he knew it,” she said.

Witnesses in the real estate scheme included Silver’s childhood friend Jay Arthur Goldberg, who testified that he split fees he received from two real estate developers with the powerful politician because Silver sent them his way.

Goldberg, who grew up with Silver on the Lower East Side, said his childhood pal assured him their arrangement was aboveboard.

“I said, ‘Is this all right, Shelly?’” Goldberg told the jury.

“Of course,” he said Silver responded. “I’m a lawyer.”

The companies, the Witkoff Group and Glenwood Management, also lobbied Silver over their business interests, including legislation.

Steven Witkoff, founder of real estate firm the Witkoff Group, testified that he didn’t know of Silver’s “unseemly” arrangement with Goldberg until 2015 when Goldberg broke the news to him.

An executive of Glenwood testified that his firm also didn’t know Silver was getting a cut of fees they paid Goldberg until 2011, when a lobbyist pal of Silver’s broke the news.

That prompted Glenwood to demand Silver sign what prosecutors dubbed a “secret side letter” memorializing their arrangement.

“While he was negotiating the rent laws, Sheldon Silver was secretly on retainer to that developer,” prosecutor Martins told the jury.

“Even if there was no other evidence in the real estate scheme — this secret retainer alone tells you that Sheldon Silver is guilty.”

Source: Ex-NY state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty of all charges

Shocking killing of minister on secluded New York island called ‘evil personified’ | Fox News

Friends and former parishioners shaken by the death of a New York minister found tied up inside his home are demanding that those behind the shocking act step out of the shadows and turn themselves in to the police, who are on the hunt for potential suspects.

The Rev. Canon Paul Wancura, an 87-year-old from Shelter Island, was pronounced dead Monday after being found “seriously injured” in his home in an affluent neighborhood on March 19, the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island said. Wancura, who had been hospitalized over the last month, succumbed to his injuries and police are offering a $10,000 reward for information on the case.

“I call it evil personified,” one of Wancura’s friends and parishioners, Kevin Lockerbie, told CBS 2. “And if this person has any conscience at all, he ought to turn himself in.”

The death has stunned residents of Shelter Island, a popular summer destination for New Yorkers on the eastern end of Long Island that is quiet and sparsely populated in colder months. Homes on the island, accessible only by ferry, routinely sell for millions of dollars, with one waterfront estate being listed Tuesday for $25 million. Among those who have owned homes there are the comedian Louis C.K,. and reported celebrity sightings over the years have included Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, John F. Kennedy Jr., Bill and Hillary Clinton and Kelly Ripa.

“Shelter Island is an extremely safe area, that’s one of the reasons that this is so shocking,” acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron told reporters in March, the day after Wancura was found. “But again, we don’t believe this is a random attack and we don’t believe it is affecting the safety of the other residents of Shelter Island.”

The diocese said Wancura was a longtime priest and former archdeacon of Suffolk County. The Rev. Charles McCarron of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Shelter Island found Wancura with his hands bound and lying between a bed and a wall, according to the Shelter Island Reporter, after he had failed to show up for Sunday services at a church in Central Islip.

shelter island wancura
Wancura’s home on Shelter Island, a popular summer destination — only accessible by ferry — on the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island. (Google Maps)
Wancura was then airlifted to a local hospital and had one of his hands amputated, but eventually died from infections, McCarron said.

Wancura apparently lived alone in the home — which sits near the end of a one-lane road on one of the island’s many peninsulas — after his wife died nearly two decades ago.

“Nothing like this happens in winter. This is the off-season. There’s not a lot of people around,” Zach Renault, a year-round resident, told Newsday. “It’s a small town and everybody knows each other.”

McCarron also told the newspaper that Wancura was in “bad shape” when he found him and was suffering from dehydration.

It’s not clear how long Wancura had been tied up. Suffolk County police, who are offering a $10,000 reward for information on the case, told Fox News on Wednesday that they have “no further details at this time” regarding a potential motive or the crime scene.

The case was initially being looked at by police as a home invasion and burglary, but has since evolved, after Wancura’s death, to become a homicide investigation.

Shelter Island Police Chief Jim Read did tell the Shelter Island Reporter though that officers are looking into whether the crime is connected to another burglary in the neighborhood that was reported on March 4 after homeowners returned from being away to find their property broken into.

In a bid to quell unease in the community in March, Town Supervisor Gary J. Gerth said the crime involving Wancura “isn’t indicative of a crime wave in town.”

According to Newsday, he also delivered a warning that the estimated 2,400 residents there in the off-season are ready to protect each other.

“We have hunters, fishermen. People have ways to defend themselves,” Gerth was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said in 2016 there were 28 crimes throughout the year reported to police on Shelter Island: one case of aggravated assault and 27 property crimes. The last huge crime there was in 1998, it added, when a carpenter was convicted of murder after blasting his neighbor and best friend in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Lockerbie told Newsday that Wancura worked as an Army counterintelligence officer during the Korean War and studied theology when he returned home to the U.S. He was said to have met his wife at a Shelter Island church and moved into her family’s home there.

Wancura was described by McCarron as a stylish dresser and a former president of the Silver Beach Association, in the neighborhood where he resided. McCarron told the Shelter Island Reporter that the minister appreciated simple things in life, such as walks with a cigar or his wife’s Irish soda bread.

Wancura’s funeral arrangements were still being sorted out Wednesday; he is expected to be buried alongside his wife at the Caroline Church of Brookhaven.

“People are anxious over what happened,” McCarron told the Shelter Island Reporter. “A service here will let us come together.”

Source: Shocking killing of minister on secluded New York island called ‘evil personified’ | Fox News

Kanye West responds to outrage over slavery comments | Page Six

Kanye West is scrambling to do damage control following his controversial interview with TMZ — in which he claimed slavery was a “choice” for black people.

“We are programmed to always talk and fight race issues,” West tweeted on Tuesday night.

“We need to update our conversation,” he said, noting how he “knew” the TMZ interview “would be awesome.”

“The reason why I brought up the 400 years point is because we can’t be mentally imprisoned for another 400 years. We need free thought now. Even the statement was an example of free thought…It was just an idea.”

The rapper went on to claim that he was “once again” being “attacked for presenting new ideas.”

“In school we need to learn how magic [sic] Johnson built his business not always about the past. Matter fact I’ve never even heard of a high school class that presents future ideas,” West said. “When the media masses and scholars talk about what started today. Here’s a title … the overground hell road.”

During his TMZ interview, West had been talking about his recent support of President Trump when the topic of slavery and freedom came up.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice,” West said. “Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you all? Like, we’re mentally in prison. Like, slavery goes too direct to the idea of blacks. So prison is something that unites us as one race, blacks and whites being one race. We’re the human race.”

Kanye West reveals he became addicted to opioids after liposuction
Kanye West reveals he became addicted to opioids after liposuction
The comments caused an uproar on social media, with countless people — of all races — blasting West for his views.

“Kanye got people believing slavery was a choice,” wrote one Twitter user. “Our ancestors were insulted, sold, raped, beaten, etc. all because they chose to be. I don’t usually let celebrity banter get under my skin but he did it.”

Another person said, “He has clearly lost his mind.”

But West didn’t care, and continued to defend his stance Tuesday night.

“To make myself clear. Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will,” he said. “My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved…They cut out our tongues so we couldn’t communicate to each other. I will not allow my tongue to be cut.”

Referencing a famous quote that’s long been attributed to Harriet Tubman, but is actually a fake, West later added: “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

Rapper urges Crips gang members to ‘f–k Kanye up’ | Page Six

An LA rapper with ties to Snoop Dogg has issued a “Crip alert” for Kanye West — urging local gang members to attack him — for his recent support of President Trump.

The order came over Sunday morning in an Instagram video, according to CBS Los Angeles.

It was filmed by Daz Dillinger, former member of Tha Dogg Pound duo.

“Yo national alert, all the Crips out there, y’all f–k Kanye up,” he said in the since-deleted clip, referring to the infamous street gang.

“Better not ever see you in concert,” the rapper added. “Better not ever see you around the LBC. Better not ever see you around California.”

Mentioning the city where West lives, Dillinger said: “Stay in Calabasas, ya hear me? ‘Cuz we got a Crip alert for Kanye…All the Crips out there — you see him, bang on his ass, f–k his ass up. ”

Dillinger posted other messages aimed at West on Sunday and Monday, but it was his threat involving the Crips that drew the most attention.

Kanye West throws more love at Trump
Kanye West throws more love at Trump
“Really? Threatening Kanye because he supports Trump?” wrote one upset IG user. “You are a disgrace & a repulsive loser. Hope he sues your pathetic ass.”

Another person said, “This isn’t the message we should be sending. We don’t wish harm on Kanye…instead if we disagree we should stop promoting/supporting him…delete this clown post.”

In response to the backlash, Dillinger — whose real name is Delmar Drew Arnaud — posted a caption Monday on IG saying: “FREEDOM OF SPEECH FUC KANYE THIS CRIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP THE REVOLUTION IS ON NOW.”

He had numerous people praise him on his stance toward West, and others ridiculing him.

“What the f–k is going on,” wrote rapper 50 Cent on IG. “Daz Told the crips to f–k Kanye up…Crips Vs Kardashian’s…get the strap.”

Dillinger, 44, has been performing with his cousin, Snoop, since the early 90s — which is when he joined the Dogg Pound. The two collaborated on several songs and are still releasing music today.

Initial reports Sunday and Monday indicated that the beef between Dillinger and West was all over a viral audio clip that Snoop posted on his IG page, purportedly featuring a diss from Yeezy about the legendary lyricist. The post turned out to be a fake.

Source: Rapper urges Crips gang members to ‘f–k Kanye up’ | Page Six

Man stabs wife with screwdriver inside Manhattan barbershop

Chilling video shows a man repeatedly stabbing his wife with a screwdriver while she sat in a Manhattan barbershop, cops said Monday.

The dramatic security footage first shows the man rearing back to plunge the tool into his spouse, police said.

A good Samaritan then tries to wrestle the weapon from the man, but the madman tosses the guy away and then makes a beeline for his wife a second time as he raises the screwdriver again, authorities said.

The good Samaritan finally chases the man off as the wife collapses in the barbershop’s doorway.

Cops said the 66-year-old man pounced on his 38-year-old wife inside a shop on Broadway near West 141st Street at 8:37 a.m. Thursday.

The wife suffered several stab wounds but survived. It was unclear what sparked the violence, officials said.

The unidentified man was arrested and charged with attempted murder hours after the attack, according to police.

Source: Man stabs wife with screwdriver inside Manhattan barbershop

San Diego County Board of Supervisors votes to support sanctuary state lawsuit against California – KGTV-TV San Diego

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to support the Trump administration’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary laws.

The board voted 3-1 Tuesday afternoon to support the lawsuit.

The board directed that the County’s attorney to file an amicus brief supporting the federal lawsuit.

The deadline to file a brief passed, so Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar said the earliest the county can file a brief is if the ruling is appealed to a higher court.

Supervisor Greg Cox was the only one opposed to supporting the lawsuit. Supervisor Ron Roberts wasn’t present for the vote.

Among the laws targeted by the legal action is SB 54, which limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob led public opposition to the laws and said she agrees with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that they are unconstitutional and undermine public safety.

“This is a politically super-charged issue as you might imagine,” Gaspar told Fox News. “We’re talking about hundreds of emails pouring in from all sides. But let us not forget, let’s take the emotion out of this. We’re talking about following the constitutional laws of our land.”

Two supervisors indicated they’re opposed to joining the suit: Greg Cox, who said sheriff’s deputies “should not be forced to carry out immigration duties,” and Ron Roberts. But Roberts will not be at Tuesday’s meeting due to a “long-planned trip.”

“Had I attended, I would have urged my colleagues to stay out of this issue,” Roberts said.

Local governments in recent weeks have taken varying approaches to weighing in on the sanctuary state case, from resolutions to voting to file lawsuits themselves.

The city council in San Juan Capistrano, for instance, recently passed a resolution against SB 54. Resolutions are largely symbolic statements of a government’s stance.

Aliso Viejo, Escondido and Mission Viejo are among the cities whose leaders have voted to file amicus briefs in support of the Trump administration’s position. Such briefs are often submitted by those who have an interest in a court case but are not parties in the lawsuit.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted last month to join the lawsuit, while the Huntington Beach City Council voted recently to file its own suit.

The Los Alamitos City Council voted to “exempt” the city from the sanctuary laws.

“We want to do something more than a resolution, or at least I personally do, because that’s seemingly meaningless,” Gaspar said. “We’ll be working in closed session with our legal team to really explore any and all options that we have as a county to provide meaningful input into this lawsuit.”

The San Diego Organizing Project released the following statement after the decision:

“Today’s harmful decision during a closed session shows that our Board of Supervisors is out of touch with the citizens of San Diego County. SB 54 is a crucial bill to protect all San Diego residents, both immigrants and citizens of all cultural backgrounds, from unwarranted interrogations, detainments and deportations. Our faith community will work tirelessly to elect true representatives who understand that we are better and stronger together.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter also released a statement after the board voted:

“Today’s action was the very definition of leadership. In standing up against the irresponsible actions by the State of California, our County Supervisors who supported this action clearly demonstrated that their priorities are protecting those of us in San Diego County and not about politics. The fact of the matter is, when state and local law enforcement agencies outright refuse to share information to federal officials regarding criminal activity, our communities are unsafe and the rule of law is undermined. It’s not complicated. I have always been, and will continue to be, an advocate for state’s rights, but that’s not the issue. The U.S. Constitution clearly places border policy and our immigration laws within the purview of the federal government. State or local governments cannot just choose to ignore federal statutes because of a political agenda, especially when doing so places its citizens at risk by leaving criminals eligible for deportation in our communities. Our San Diego County Supervisors who took action today deserve our thanks and we need to hold every elected official accountable who does not demonstrate the same the type of leadership.”

Source: San Diego County Board of Supervisors votes to support sanctuary state lawsuit against California – KGTV-TV San Diego

Inside New York’s silent sex trafficking epidemic

Through interviews with top law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, advocates and victims from around the five boroughs, The Post has pieced together a picture of New York’s sex-slavery underbelly — and the struggle to end it.

“People are shocked to hear that it actually exists in New York City,” says Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

“This is not a case where you have super-high-priced fancy sex businesses — this is really disgusting, forced, cruel, cold. Taking kids who are in need of help, preying upon that need, developing a relationship and then turning against them and turning them into kids who are making money for them on the street — those are the cases that we get.”

Thanks to Hollywood films such as “Taken,” people who hear the term “sex trafficking” often think of a sorority girl kidnapped and chained to a radiator by men with foreign accents.

But the average victim is a vulnerable girl from a troubled home who has already been sexually abused and is first sold for sex as young as 12.

The girls often aren’t detained at gunpoint — not at first, anyway — but are instead manipulated into “the life” by smooth-talking pimps promising a better life.

Some are even dazzled by glamorized portrayals of prostitutes in songs, movies and books — like a 14-year-old girl who told Queens prosecutors she had been inspired to turn tricks by the 2005 Snoop Dogg film “Boss’n Up.”

Sex traffickers are using social media to target children
Sex traffickers are using social media to target children
“Her aspiration was for [her pimp] to fall in love with her if she made enough money,” says Queens Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, chief of the Human Trafficking Unit.

Many local victims come from in or around the city, but others are bused into the Big Apple from upstate or nearby states such as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

There also are the women and girls brought here from overseas and forced to work in an estimated 700 illicit “massage” parlors across the city.

Of course, there are adults who choose to become escorts. But police say they’re the minority.

“I can confidently say the majority — the overwhelming majority — of people engaging in sex for money are doing it against their will,” says Klein, who has run the vice unit for the last two years.

‘There’s no cookie-cutter pimp,” Klein says.

Some are gang members or drug dealers hunting new revenue streams. Others are just teenagers themselves and from a family of traffickers. They’re men and women, white, black, Asian and Hispanic.

But all traffickers have made the same sick calculation.

“You can sell a gun once, right? You could sell a kilo of coke once . . . But once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Klein says. “But a woman or a person, that’s 15 times a day every day . . . for as many years as you possibly get out of that person. That’s a never-ending cycle.”

Modal Trigger
Interior of a homeless shelter were the sex trafficking enterprise operated in Harlem.
The pimps often sweet-talk the girls into joining them, but once their victims realize the glamorous life they were promised is anything but, that’s when things turn violent.

“One guy kept [a girl] in a dog cage because she wasn’t cooperating,” Klein says.

A 17-year-old girl trafficked by convicted Queens pimp Ricardi “Dirty” Dumervil escaped only to be kidnapped again, burned with cigarettes and bashed with a gun before being dragged to Atlantic City to keep working, according to Melton.

This is not a case where you have super-high-priced fancy sex businesses — this is really disgusting, forced, cruel, cold. Taking kids who are in need of help, preying upon that need, developing a relationship and then turning against them.
– Cyrus Vance Jr.
And the 14-year-old who watched the Snoop Dogg film? She was found locked in a closet surrounded by pots of urine.

These thugs aren’t just operating out of decrepit buildings in the worst parts of town, and their victims aren’t necessarily kept locked up.

“It happens right under our noses . . . This is something that could be happening right in our neighborhoods,” says Juanito Vargas, vice president of the victim-assistance nonprofit Safe Horizon.

“You go to the deli in your neighborhood and are served your morning coffee by someone, and you don’t know if that person is being trafficked,” he says.

There was the Prospect Heights apartment where those two 16-year-olds were allegedly forced to turn tricks in fear for their lives by a trio of 20-somethings.

There was a Bronx homeless shelter just blocks from Yankee Stadium where convicted sex trafficker Maria Soly Almonte repeatedly prostituted out three of her sisters and a 13-year-old girl.

When she wasn’t turning tricks, the 13-year-old attended eighth grade at PS 29 — where the school nurse figured out what was going on when the girl came in weekly requesting STD and pregnancy tests.

At a Howard Johnson hotel in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a couple allegedly forced two 14-year-old runaways to have sex with man after man and give up all their earnings.

And at a Manhattan youth shelter, kids escaping broken homes were lured into a life of prostitution with offers of booze, cash and a warm bed — lured by ads posted openly on Craigslist.

“Are you a female that wants to stop living in Covenant House?” it read, alongside photos of tequila and hundred-dollar bills.

When the 14-year-old Snoop Dogg fan was rescued from the closet, she first told police and prosecutors that she wanted to be in there, Melton says.

It’s a prime example of why it’s so hard for police to catch and convict traffickers: The women and girls often don’t see themselves as victims.

Making matters worse, antiquated state laws don’t recognize underage prostitutes as victims of trafficking, either, unless there is clear force or coercion, so their cooperation is often crucial.

SEE ALSO shuts down after reports of FBI raid shuts down after reports of FBI raid
With limited resources for survivors, it’s a tough sell.

“We’ve had girls say, ‘At least I have a place to sleep — yeah, he beats me, but at least . . . I’m not sleeping in the gutter,’ ” says David Weiss, a senior assistant district attorney in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, immigrants working in massage parlors often also fear deportation and are typically trafficked by members of their own communities.

“They are so hard to crack,” says Assistant District Attorney Laura Edidin, head of the Brooklyn prosecutor’s Human Trafficking Unit. “Both because the way in which money is moved out of massage parlors is sophisticated and because women who are being exploited in those massage parlors are very unlikely to come forward.”

And most NYPD cops simply aren’t trained to deal with the survivors, critics say.

“I had to stand in a hospital with a rape victim and nearly got myself arrested with these huge cops towering over her, demanding answers,” says Rachel Lloyd, founder of the anti-trafficking organization GEMS and a survivor of trafficking herself.

Just recently, glaring staffing and training issues with the NYPD’s Special Victims Division — whose cops sometimes have first contact with trafficking victims — were exposed in a scathing report by the city’s Department of Investigation.

Still, police and prosecutors say they’ve made huge strides in recent years against sex trafficking.

District attorneys now have dedicated units for tackling trafficking, more citizens are calling the NYPD tip line, and law enforcement is actively working with nonprofits to find and help the victims.

Last year, the NYPD announced that it had added 25 detectives to the vice unit and formed a joint task force with the FBI.

The department has also shifted its focus to busting pimps and johns rather than prostitutes.

“It is an overwhelming problem; it can feel that way,” says Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Carolina Holderness, chief of the borough’s Human Trafficking Response Unit. “We’re just trying to hit it with everything we have.”

Lloyd adds, “When you take a long view, there’s been significant progress.”

Still, she says, “when you take the immediate view, good grief, there are so many gaps and so many ways we are failing our kids.”Source: Inside New York’s silent sex trafficking epidemic

Pope Francis: ‘There Is No Hell’

In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.

The interview between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica. The relevant section on Hell was translated by the highly respected web log, Rorate Caeli.

The interview is headlined, “The Pope: It is an honor to be called revolutionary.” (Il Papa: “È un onore essere chiamato rivoluzionario.”)

Scalfari says to the Pope, “Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?”

Pope Francis says, “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

Painting of Jesus rejecting the Devil’s
temptations in the desert.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.” (1035)

The Catechism further states, “The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: ‘Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.’

“Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where ‘men will weep and gnash their teeth.'”

Source: Pope Francis: ‘There Is No Hell’

Helicopter carrying Jared and Ivanka experiences engine failure | New York Post

A helicopter carrying first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, had to be rerouted after one of its engines failed, law enforcement officials told CNN. The senior White House aides were flying from Washington, DC, to New York on Thursday afternoon in a two-engine helicopter when one engine failed, sources told the network. The chopper had to return to Ronald Reagan National Airport, where the couple hopped on a commercial flight instead. It is unclear how far into the less than two-hour

Source: Helicopter carrying Jared and Ivanka experiences engine failure | New York Post