A rare owl has people peering through the northern part of Central Park, hoping to catch a glimpse; CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.
A rare owl has people peering through the northern part of Central Park, hoping to catch a glimpse; CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.
Hundreds of handcuffed Salvadoran gang members were displayed before assembled reporters on Saturday, a vivid show of President Nayib Bukele's policy of confronting them and the violent crime they are accused of committing. In April, Bukele provoked the ire of rights groups when he published on social media jarring pictures of hundreds of semi-naked jailed gang members, pressed tightly together in rows, despite the raging pandemic. Security Minister Rogelio Rivas called the majority of the newly-detained "terrorists" in remarks after they were assembled in an open-air plaza by heavily-armed soldiers, nearly all the detainees wearing masks and with their faces, many tattooed, looking down.
Men plead innocence following arrest in 2017 as State Department demands release
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) -Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya said on Friday that he had been "unjustly" detained at the Central American nation's Toncontin international airport for carrying $18,000 in cash, which he said was not his. Zelaya, who led Honduras from 2006 to 2009 and was an ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, was deposed by the military in a June 2009 coup as he was preparing to hold a referendum on presidential re-election, which his opponents said was a ploy to stay in power.
The Supreme Court is for now staying out of a dispute involving the state of Louisiana and a Baton Rouge-area pastor charged with violating state coronavirus restrictions by repeatedly holding large church services. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday evening turned away a request from Life Tabernacle Church pastor Tony Spell to get involved in the dispute. Alito denied the request himself, without asking Louisiana officials to respond and without referring the matter to the full court as often happens when a case is particularly significant or contentious.
President Trump said Thursday he will "certainly" leave the White House if the Electoral College, as expected, casts its votes for President-elect Joe Biden on Dec. 14, formalizing his victory.Taking questions from reporters for the first time since the election after addressing U.S. troops stationed around the world on Thanksgiving, Trump was asked if he would depart on his own accord. "Certainly I will, and you know that," he said. The Washington Post notes it was the first explicit commitment Trump has made about vacating the White House, although his advisers have maintained he would do so for some time.That said, Trump remains determined to expose the widespread voter fraud he claims occurred in swing states, despite there being no evidence there was any. "It's going to be a very hard thing to concede, because we know that there was massive fraud," he said.Trump also said he's decided whether he will attend Biden's inauguration, but he wanted to keep the suspense going and refused to reveal the answer. "I don't want to say that yet," he said. Read more at The New York Times and The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com 5 witheringly funny cartoons about Trump's sort-of concession MBS reportedly backed out of Saudi-Israel agreement because he wants to wait for Biden Vanderbilt's Fuller becomes 1st woman to play in Power 5 football game after 2nd half kickoff
Joe Biden's decision to appoint a number of officials with ties to WestExec, a high-powered consulting operation with a secret roster of clients, has come under scrutiny, with critics accusing the president-elect of returning to the "swamp" of Washington establishment politics. Two of Mr Biden senior Cabinet nominees hail from the consulting firm, while several more WestExec employees are helping the president-elect's transition team prepare for office in January. The company was co-founded in 2017 by Tony Blinken, Mr Biden's longtime adviser and his nominee to be secretary of state, and Michele Flournoy, a former defence official and a top contender to lead the Pentagon in the Biden administration. Another former WestExec employee, Avril Haines, has been selected as Mr Biden's director of national intelligence. Mr Biden's transition team is also heavily populated with WestExec staffers, with five of the company's employees currently on leave from the firm to advise the Biden camp and help fill positions in the Pentagon, Treasury and other government departments.
With a new presidential administration imminent, the current U.S. Department of Justice is scrambling to push through several policy changes before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in in January. According to CNN, one such change involves expanding methods of execution of federal death row convicts. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has teamed up with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to attempt to expand the ways that federal death row inmates can be put to death.
Since the latest session of parliament began in mid-September the KMT has protested against the pork decision by blocking Su from delivering regular reports and taking questions by occupying the podium where he speaks. As Su began speaking, KMT lawmakers threw buckets of pig guts his way, and some exchanged blows, with a short but vicious encounter between a group of KMT legislators and Chen Po-wei from the small Taiwan Statebuilding Party. President Tsai Ing-wen announced in August that the government would, from January 1 next year, allow imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, an additive that enhances leanness but is banned in the European Union and China, as well as U.S. beef more than 30 months old. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) condemned the protests, saying in a statement the throwing of the pig guts was a waste of food that "stank up" the parliament floor and was "disgusting," calling for a return to rational debate.
The verdict on the U.S.–Mexico border wall President Trump promised to construct is decidedly mixed as the year comes to a close.The “big, beautiful wall,” as Trump referred to it, reached 400 miles in length by the end of October, when the Department of Homeland Security held a ceremony hailing the achievement. But almost all construction was designed to replace existing barriers: Just nine miles of new fencing have been put up at previously empty sections of the border.This is not nothing, given that much of the existing border fencing was in need of an upgrade. Some stretches of the barrier were dilapidated, while new barriers will consist of steel bollards up to 30 feet high, with improved access roads, cameras, lighting, and other features that make breaching the barrier more difficult. However, the president’s effort to vastly expand the length of the barrier failed, and was replaced by a more modest renovation.The story of the border wall renovation reads rather like Trump’s efforts in the 1990s to develop a real-estate tract on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. What Trump proposed as “Television City,” a gleaming development by the Hudson River that would include residential buildings as well as a massive skyscraper, foundered on bureaucratic inertia, fierce opposition by residents, and Trump’s own financial problems. Trump sold the real estate parcel to investors from Hong Kong, and the resulting development, Riverside South, is an unremarkable residential complex.Similarly, the fantastical visions of a wall running along the entire southern border that Trump sold on the 2016 campaign trail have not come to fruition. The Trump administration faced a continuous stream of lawsuits aiming to halt or slow construction. Democratic lawmakers opposed any funding for construction at all. Property owners on the border also fought the administration for attempting to seize their land through declarations of eminent domain.Trump’s attempts to fund the project have ended in a gambit to circumvent Congress. During budget negotiations in fall 2018, Democrats in Congress pushed to cap funding for border operations at $1.6 billion. However, Trump refused to approve the budget if it didn’t include $5 billion in border wall funds, and the spat led to the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. By February 2019, the president caved and signed the budget bill without additional funding — instead, Trump resorted to declaring a national emergency at the southern border in order to divert Pentagon funds for wall construction.The Trump administration was able to turn back “caravans” of illegal immigrants arriving at the southern border that year. However, the national emergency declaration drew opposition from Republican senators including Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), concerned about a possible overreach of executive power. (Sasse ultimately voted against formally condemning Trump’s emergency declaration, arguing that the declaration did not exceed the bounds of what he considers to be an overly broad national emergency statute.)The Supreme Court in November 2020 agreed to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of the emergency declaration; it is possible that the Court will rule that the diversion of Pentagon funds to finance border-wall construction was unconstitutional.By the end of April 2020, the Trump administration had siphoned at least $10 billion in Pentagon funds for wall construction. According to planning documents obtained by the Washington Post in 2019, the administration estimated that construction of 500 miles of new barrier would average out to roughly $36 million per mile.After the budgetary maneuvers, court challenges, and other obstacles, the current barriers are scheduled to reach 450 miles by the end of the year if construction continues apace. The result is like the Riverside South development: nowhere near Trump’s grand ambitions, but nice enough.The project may sit idle during the Biden administration. Joe Biden has already promised to overhaul Trump’s immigration policies, including halting construction of the barrier once he takes office.“There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration,” Biden said at a meeting with black and Latino reporters in August.But it’s not yet clear if the incoming president will cease ongoing construction entirely. Federal contractors are at work on new sections of barrier, so the new administration would need to follow current regulatory law if it decided to terminate contracts.“Generally, the [contract] clauses treat the government more favorably, much more favorably, than if it was in the commercial world,” John Horan, a Georgetown University law professor specializing in government contracts, told Arizona Central in mid-November. “There is an established regulatory process to stop these contracts, if the president should so decide, in an efficient and orderly manner that will also fairly compensate the contractors for the work that has been performed.”Meanwhile, even before the election, progressive groups began urging Biden not only to stop construction but to tear down sections of barrier that have already been built.“The construction of this unlawful border wall has desecrated tribal lands, leveled wildlife preservations, and destroyed border communities,” ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin told the Daily Beast in October. “Every unlawful mile of wall should be taken down, and the government must work with border communities to undo the damage that wall construction has already inflicted.”Just how much of the border wall is “unlawful” could be the subject of future legal battles. For example, should the Supreme Court rule that the Trump administration’s diversion of Pentagon funds toward barrier construction was unconstitutional, that could indicate that some sections of barrier were built illegally and thus give more leverage to Democrats' calling for their destruction.Of course, tearing down walls, like building them, is expensive. And rolling back Trump’s immigration policies may take time, as three people involved in developing Biden’s immigration policy have told NBC. Biden will take office amid an ongoing pandemic, and presumably vaccine-distribution efforts will be a priority.If history is any indication, government action on a border wall will remain somewhat detached from reality. Congress passed the Secure Fence Act in 2006, mandating the construction of double-layered fencing across 670 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, but the “second layer” never materialized. Just as President Trump’s promised wall, running from the Gulf of Mexico to California, turned out to be mostly an expensive renovation of existing barriers.Now, in a Biden administration, progressives will call to tear down the refurbished barriers. But their dream of toppling Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” was made impossible by Trump’s failure to build it in the first place.