Dozens of men and boys were found hiding in a refrigerated truck along a highway in northern Greece, according to officials.
The discovery in Greece came less than two weeks after 39 migrants, all of them Vietnamese, were found dead in a refrigerated truck container in southeastern England.
All of the migrants except for two – an Iranian and a Syrian – were from Afghanistan, while six were minors, according to police.
Eight were treated in a hospital for breathing problems, while the others weren’t found to be suffering from health issues.
The 41 migrants were discovered in the truck on a highway near the northern Greek city of Xanthi after police stopped the vehicle for a regular check. The truck stopped in Greece is believed to have crossed into the country from neighboring Turkey.
Greece is currently facing the biggest resurgence in refugee arrivals since 2015, according to Reuters.
Hundreds of people cross Greece’s land and sea border with Turkey each week, the vast majority hoping to make their way to other, more prosperous European countries.
Police arrested the 40-year-old Georgian driver of the truck, which had Bulgarian plates.
Officials told the Associated Press the refrigeration on the truck hadn’t been switched on.
British police have charged 25-year-old Maurice Robinson, from Northern Ireland, with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.
They say he drove the cab of the truck to Purfleet, England, where it picked up the container, which had arrived by ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
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MSNBC’s O’Donnell retracts unverified Trump-Russia story, makes on-air apology
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday night retracted a story that directly tied President Trump’s finances to Russia and made an on-air apology for running the unverified report. “Last night on this show, I discussed information that wasn’t ready for reporting,” O’Donnell said. “I repeated statements a single … See More source told me about the president’s finances and loan documents with Deutsche Bank. Saying ‘if true’ — as I discussed the information — was simply not good enough. I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source. Had it gone through that process, I would not have been permitted to report it. I should not have said it on-air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so.”
High-profile Democrats fail to qualify for primary debates in September
Several struggling Democratic presidential candidates have failed to qualify for the next round of primary debates scheduled in September. Those missing the cut include U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and self-help guru Marianne Williamson. To appear on stage in Houston next month, they had to hit 2 percent in at least four approved public opinion polls while securing 130,000 unique donors.
Hours ahead of a midnight Wednesday deadline to qualify, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announced she was dropping out of the race. In an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Gabbard complained that the Democratic National Committee lacks “transparency” in the debate qualification process.
Omar hit with FEC complaint, accused of paying alleged lover’s travel expenses with campaign funds
The conservative, Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday, alleging that the lawmaker used campaign funds to illegally reimburse her purported paramour for personal travel expenses. The complaint also charges that Omar failed to itemize travel reimbursements as required by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 — and that the travel expenses increased during the same month that Omar’s alleged affair with married Washington, D.C., political consultant Tim Mynett, 38, heated up. Omar has denied that she had an affair with Mynett, and her attorneys have dismissed the FEC complaint as a baseless “political ploy.”
Dorian takes aim at Florida
Hurricane Dorian moved out over open waters early Thursday after doing limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and forecasters warn it could hit Florida over the weekend. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane as it stayed well to the east of the southeastern and central Bahamas over the next two days. The forecast called for the storm to pass near or over the northern Bahamas on Saturday and close in on Florida by Sunday afternoon.
DHS bars Dem staffers from visiting border facilities after ‘rude’ and ‘disruptive’ behavior
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has barred Democratic staffers from the House Oversight Committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a planned trip this week after committee staff allegedly were “disruptive” and refused to follow instructions during their last trip. Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., had sent his staff to visit border facilities for “oversight inspections” last week and planned to send staff again to view Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP centers.
DHS has revoked access to CBP facilities for the upcoming visit, citing staff behavior that “interfered” with law enforcement operations — including refusing to leave one site after their scheduled window, skipping some tours and being “rude” to officers. A DHS official said that ICE visits will still be allowed the rest of this week, but with a two-hour time limit.
Uber driver bitten in Georgia attack that left car damaged, woman arrested
A Georgia woman was arrested after police say she was caught on camera attacking an Uber driver — by biting him and trying to damage his car.
Tasheena Campbell, 26, was taken into custody Aug. 20 — days after the incident in which she allegedly attacked driver Yasser Hadi in midtown Atlanta on Aug. 18.
A video uploaded to Twitter of the attacks begins with a woman — identified by WAGA as Campbell — sitting on the hood of a car, breaking off a windshield wiper. Bystanders and Hadi encourage her to stop, before the woman throws a punch at Hadi.
The woman hops off the car and enters the vehicle through the driver-side door while Hadi tries to stop her. “Get out my car!” he shouts, as he pulls the woman out to the ground. The woman tries punching the Uber driver — before biting him, prompting him to scream.
Tasheena Campbell, 26, was charged with battery and criminal trespass following the incident. It’s unclear what sparked the altercation. Hadi said Campbell appeared out of nowhere and randomly attacked him.
“She’s acting weird, she’s acting wild, and she’s on the car hitting it, telling me I need to die, to kill me,” Hadi told WAGA of the encounter. “The pain, I said, “God, just let her take my flesh, I don’t care. I want her to go away from me.”
The Uber driver said the situation is “horrible.”
“She’s hit me in my job, my health and my financial pocket money, it’s hard,” said Hadi, noting he doesn’t have insurance. “I’m in a bad situation. I wish people see this and help.” Campbell was arrested and charged with battery and criminal trespass, according to online records from the Fulton County Jail. She was still in custody as of Thursday.
Kentucky mother Andrea Knabel, a volunteer who searches for missing people, reported missing
A Kentucky mother of two who searches for missing people has now seemingly disappeared herself.
Andrea Knabel, 37, was last seen leaving a relative’s home in the Audubon Park neighborhood of Louisville around 1 a.m. on Aug. 13, according to Missing in America, the organization for which she volunteers.
Around 1:30 a.m., she used her cellphone to call her friend and ask for a ride, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Several security cameras are located in the neighborhood, but many weren’t active when she was in the area.
A friend of Knabel’s told WAVE the single mother “was upset and she needed a ride” — and was too trusting of other people.
“Obviously she was trying to get ahold of people, maybe she got in the car with the wrong person,” said Maricia Kidd, who has known Knabel for 30 years. She noted Knabel’s car was recently totaled in a hit-and-run accident and said she’d been laid off at work.
“Here she is helping to locate people and she comes up missing herself,” said Tracy Leonard, a private investigator and friend of Knabel. “She’s just a super great girl. She helped me locate a missing teen about a year and a half ago.”
The group’s founder, Nancy Schaefer Smith, said that Knabel, a “dedicated member” of Missing in America, is the first volunteer ever to disappear like this.
“She is loved by so many people,” Smith told the Courier-Journal. “It’s all hands on deck. She’s my girl…We’re going to find her.”
Knabel is described as a white female with light brown hair. She weighs between 190 to 200 pounds and is around 5 feet 7 inches tall. She was last seen wearing a “light color tank top and white shorts.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Leonard at 502-618-9337 or Smith at 502-500-3026, or the Louisville Metro Police at 502-574-5673.
Pennsylvania man’s ‘gunlike hand gesture’ toward neighbor was a crime, court rules
A Pennsylvania court ruled Tuesday that making a “gunlike hand gesture” is a crime after a man-made the hand motion during an argument with his neighbor — an act which reportedly made several nearby residents nervous and prompted a call to police.
Stephen Kirchner, 64, made the gesture toward his neighbor in Manor Township in June 2018, according to surveillance video. Kirchner, walking alongside a female neighbor, “stopped, made eye contact with [the male neighbor] and then made a hand gesture at him imitating the firing and recoiling of a gun,” according to court documents.
The action made one neighbor feel “extremely threatened” and he called 911. Another neighbor said she saw Kirchner “put his finger up like he was going to shoot [the neighbor]”, “insecure,” prompting her to call 911.
Kirchner and the female neighbor Kirchner had been walking with previously had issues and confrontations, sparking the neighbor to install six security cameras on his property. At the time of the incident in 2018, the female neighbor had a “no contact” order against the neighbor who felt threatened, court documents indicate.
Kirchner was issued a citation for disorderly conduct following the incident. He said in district court he made the “gunlike” gesture after his neighbor gave him “the finger with both hands.”
The 64-year-old was found guilty, but appealed, arguing the hand gesture didn’t “create a hazardous or physically offensive condition.” Kirchner said he didn’t mean to cause public alarm, and there wasn’t really any harm done to the neighbor or others.
On Tuesday, however, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania found the gesture “served no legitimate purpose, and recklessly risked provoking a dangerous altercation.”
Kirchner was ordered to pay a $100 fine and court costs.
The impact of Harris’ move was almost instant: Biden lost some of his lead in the polls while Harris’ numbers climbed.”In response to Senator Biden about the Affordable Care Act, it’s important you understand our ‘Medicare for all’ plan has actually by the architect of the Obama Affordable Care Act been described as one of the most effective ways to bring health care to all,” Harris said at one point during the debate.“Go easy on me, kid,” Biden said, in an apparent reference to the clash between the candidates in Miami last month.Kamala Harris seemed to prove in Miami in June that she was ready to take the offensive against 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.“Senator Biden, your plan will keep and allow insurance companies to remain in status quo, doing business as usual,” Harris said later.“Kid?” came the one-word response from Ian Sams, Harris’ national press secretary.“Fact check: @JoeBiden is not a ‘Senator,’” Bates wrote on Twitter.KAMALA HARRIS ‘GOT IT WRONG’ IN ‘SAD’ ATTACK ON BIDEN, FORMER US SENATOR SAYSFox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPPrior to the debate, Biden had greeted Harris on the debate stage in Detroit.In June, Harris aggressively went after Biden on the debate stage in Miami, criticizing him for comments he had made about his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The references to Biden’s days representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate appeared to irk Andrew Bates, the “rapid response” director for Biden’s campaign.So after Biden referred to the 54-year-old U.S. senator as “kid” on Wednesday, it probably didn’t seem like an accident to some when Harris referred to the 76-year-old former vice president as “Senator” at least twice during Wednesday’s debate in Detroit.
The Franklin Square and Munson Fire District has passed a resolution asking for a new investigation into the events of 9/11.
Commissioners for the volunteer fire department have called for a new investigation into the September 11 attacks due to the “overwhelming evidence” that “pre-planted explosives . . . caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings.”
The resolution, drafted and introduced by Commissioner Christopher Gioia, was unanimously approved by the five commissioners.
Thefreethoughtproject.comreports: “We’re a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force,” said Commissioner Christopher Gioia, adding, “We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won’t be the last.”
According to the report:
The impact of 9/11 on the community extends well beyond the victims and their grieving families. On September 12, 2001, the Franklin Square Fire Department was called in to assist with the massive rescue and recovery effort that was just getting underway. Countless members of the department, including Gioia and Commissioner Philip Malloy (then rank-and-file firefighters), spent weeks on the pile searching in vain for civilians and fellow responders who might still be alive. Today, Malloy is one of thousands suffering chronic health effects.
The department also lost one of its own in Thomas J. Hetzel, affectionately referred to as “Tommy” by the commissioners. Hetzel was a full-time member of the New York Fire Department in addition to serving as a volunteer firefighter in Franklin Square. A touching memorial to Hetzel was on display during the meeting, and Hetzel’s widow, parents, and sister were all in attendance.
“The Hetzel and Evans families were very appreciative of the proceedings,” Gioia commented the day after the meeting. “They know it’s an uphill struggle. But at least they have hope, which is something they haven’t had in a long time.”
The importance of this resolution — especially coming from a legislative body of fire fighters — cannot be understated. The impact of first responders calling for a new investigation over the use of explosives is massive. The naysayers who call those who question the official narrative “kooks” will have a hard time going after fire commissioners.
This move is yet another blow to the highly questionable and hole-filled official narrative. As TFTP reported earlier this year, in another major move from the great folks over at the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and 9/11 victim family members Robert McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, a joint federal lawsuit has been filed to assess any evidence the FBI may have known about that contributed to the destruction of the towers on 9/11 which they may have kept from Congress.
The complaint cites the failure of the FBI and its 9/11 Review Commission to assess key 9/11-related evidence that the FBI can be shown to have had, or been aware of, regarding:
- the use of pre-placed explosives to destroy World Trade Center Buildings, 1, 2, and 7;
- the arrest and investigation of the “High Fivers” observed photographing and celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11;
- terrorist financing related the reported Saudi support for the 9/11 hijackers;
- recovered plane parts, including serial numbers from all three crash locations;
- video from cameras mounted inside and outside the Pentagon; and
- cell phone communications from passengers aboard airplanes.
According to the press release on Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, this is evidence relevant to the 9/11 Review Commission’s and the FBI’s compliance with the mandate from Congress, which should have been assessed by the FBI and the 9/11 Review Commission and reported to Congress. The complaint also cites the destruction by the FBI of evidence related to the “High Fivers.” Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth has joined in bringing the counts that involve the evidence of the World Trade Center’s explosive demolition and evidence related to the “High Fivers,” while the other plaintiffs are party to all counts.
Also, as TFTP previously reported, a monumental step forward in the relentless pursuit of 9/11 truth took place last December when a United States Attorney agreed to comply with federal law requiring submission to a Special Grand Jury of evidence that explosives were used to bring down the World Trade Centers. Then, in March, the group behind the submission, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, announced the filing of a “petition supplement” naming persons who may have information related to the use of said explosives.
According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the 33-page document contains 15 different categories of persons who may have information material to the investigation, including contractors and security companies that had access to the WTC Towers before 9/11, persons and entities who benefited financially from the WTC demolitions, and persons arrested after being observed celebrating the WTC attacks.
A names-redacted version of the petition supplement, which was filed with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York on February 14, 2019, has been made available to the public. The un-redacted version filed with the U.S. Attorney today will remain undisclosed in the interest of maintaining the secrecy, security, and integrity of the grand jury proceeding.
As TFTP reported in December, for the first time since 9/11 the federal government is taking steps to hear evidence that explosives may have been used to destroy the world trade centers.
The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry successfully submitted a petition to the federal government demanding that the U.S. Attorney present to a Special Grand Jury extensive evidence of yet-to-be-prosecuted federal crimes relating to the destruction of three World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 (WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7).
After waiting months for the reply, the U.S. Attorney responded in a letter, noting that they will comply with the law.
“We have received and reviewed The Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Inc.’s submissions of April 10 and July 30, 2018. We will comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3332 as they relate to your submissions,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated.
According to the petition, dozens of exhibits were presented as evidence that explosives were used to destroy all three world trade centers.
The Lawyers’ Committee’s April 10th 52-page original Petition was accompanied by 57 exhibits and presented extensive evidence that explosives were used to destroy three WTC Towers on 9/11.That evidence included independent scientific laboratory analysis of WTC dust samples showing the presence of high-tech explosives and/or incendiaries; numerous first-hand reports by First Responders of seeing and hearing explosions at the World Trade Center on 9/11; expert analysis of seismic evidence that explosions occurred at the WTC towers on 9/11 both prior to the airplane impacts and prior to the building collapses; and expert analysis and testimony by architects, engineers, and scientists concluding that the rapid onset symmetrical near-free-fall acceleration collapse of these three WTC high rise buildings on 9/11 exhibited the key characteristics of controlled demolition. The July 30th Amended Petition included the same evidence but also addressed several additional federal crimes beyond the federal bombing crime addressed in the original Petition.
The Lawyers’ Committee concluded in the petitions that explosive and incendiary devices that had been preplaced at the WTC were detonated causing the complete collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 on 9/11, and the resulting tragic loss of life, and that “the evidence permits no other conclusion — as a matter of science, as a matter of logic, and as a matter of law.”
“This Petition Supplement is intended to assist the Special Grand Jury by providing a roadmap for a meaningful investigation into the yet-to-be-prosecuted 9/11 WTC crimesthat the Lawyers’ Committee has reported and documented in our Petitions,” Attorney David Meiswinkle, President of the Lawyers’ Committee’s Board of Directors, said.
Finally, after nearly two decades of ridicule, dismissal, and outright intolerance of information contrary to the “official story” of what happened on 9/11, the public may finally learn the truth of what happened and who was behind it.
He also defended the private option in the Harris proposal, saying, “it puts in place strict requirements for any private insurance company who wants to offer a Medicare plan, including on cost, quality access and services.”Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, noting that Harris was one of the first senators in 2017 to co-sponsor Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” bill, charged on Monday that the Harris plan would result in “a Bernie Sanders-lite Medicare for All and a refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan.”And, former Vice President Joe Biden’s team called the Harris plan a “have-it-every-which-way approach” that “both backtracks on her long-promised – but then-hedged – support of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation.”The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont slammed the Harris proposal, saying, “call it anything you want, but you can’t call this plan Medicare for All.”Biden’s lead over his rivals deteriorated following what was seen as a less-than-stellar debate performance.DETROIT, MI – Hours after White House candidate Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to push the country towards a government-backed “Medicare-for-all” health care system over the next decade, the California Democrat faced incoming fire from two of her top rivals for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.Her campaign spotlighted that the Harris plan would allow private insurers to offer Medicare plans. The system – implemented over ten years – would build on the popular Medicare Advantage system while allowing Americans to choose between the government-run public plan and government-backed certified private Medicare plans to reach universal coverage.Sanders is slated to appear in Tuesday night’s debate, standing center-stage with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and eight other rivals.Late last week, Biden again singled out Sanders for being honest about the ramifications of implementing the single-payer health care plan, but he once again questioned Harris’ truthfulness.HARRIS UNVEILS HER ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ PLAN ON EVE OF DEBATESA few hours later, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir teed off on the Harris proposal, accusing the first-term senator and former California attorney general of “folding” to the health insurance industry.Harris campaign spokesman Ian Sams returned fire, arguing the criticism from the Sanders campaign was “so factually inaccurate I don’t even know where to begin.”Harris and Biden are to be standing side-by-side center-stage on Wednesday night, during the second of the two debates.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHarris – in announcing her plan Monday morning – emphasized that unlike Sanders’ single-payer proposal, hers would not completely eliminate the private insurance currently used by hundreds of millions of Americans. However, two new national polls from Fox News and Quinnipiac University indicated the former vice president retained a large lead over his 2020 primary rivals.“This plan is centered around privatizing Medicare, enriching insurance executives and introducing more corporate greed and profiteering into the Medicare system. Further, we can’t wait 10 years to fix a dysfunctional health care system,” Shakir charged.“One idea put forward by Senator Sanders, for example, is increasing taxes for families making as little as ,000 a year,” her campaign spotlighted as they released their candidate’s plan. “She believes that hits the middle class too hard, so she would not raise taxes on families making under 0,000 to help pay for this plan,” her campaign highlighted.“I find that people will say they’re for ‘Medicare-for-all’ but they’re not going to tax the middle class because we don’t need to do that. Come on. My point is, this is a fantasy world here,” Biden emphasized.The former vice president, the front-runner among 2020 Democrats and the only top-tier contender who has not supported a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” system, repeatedly has taken jabs this month at Harris over a lack of straightforwardness on how she’d pay for her plan.Harris has seen her poll numbers rise since the first round of debates, when she went on the attack against Biden, as she criticized recent comments by the former vice president spotlighting his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The Harris rollout and the pushback from the Sanders and Biden campaigns came on the eve of the second round of primary debates featuring the Democrats.THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLLThe Harris campaign also highlighted that unlike Sanders’ plan, hers would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for her “Medicare-for-all” system.The Harris plan appeared to stake a middle ground between Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” proposal and the public option to enhance ObamaCare that Biden has proposed.Health care has been a top issue with Democratic primary voters while “Medicare-for-all” has been very popular with the progressive base of the party. Public opinion polling has indicated that a majority of Americans would support such a plan if it allowed them to choose between a government-run public plan and certified private options.THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 29, 2019
One of those heroes and an advocate for the legislation was Luis Alvarez, a retired New York Police Department detective who testified before Congress last month to tell of his battle with cancer and nearly 70 rounds of chemotherapy.
“This fund is not a ticket to paradise, it’s to help take care of our families when we cant,” “You all said never forget, well I’m here to make sure that you don’t.”
Alvarez died two weeks later.
The bill will extend funds to pay for medical expenses of police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who are experiencing illnesses related to their rescue efforts following the attack.
“This critical legislation would fully fund the September 11th compensation fund to make sure all those exposed and impacted by the related illnesses are thoroughly compensated, and for those conditions diagnosed in the future,” stated Senator Cory Garner (R-Colo.).
“For your entire lives you have gone far beyond your duty to us and today we strive to fulfill our sacred duty to you. We love you, we honor you and we thank you. God bless you all.” — President Trump
President Trump Signs H.R. 1327 https://t.co/r1YBKEX3hY
President Trump signed a bill to extend health funding for the heroes who responded to the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks. He signed the 9/11 victims compensation bill, also known as H.R. 1327, during a ceremony Monday. The move marked an end to weeks of congressional debates.
President Donald Trump holds up H.R. 1327, an act ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money, after signing it in the Rose Garden of the White House as member of the audience applaud and celebrate, Monday, July 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Tens of thousands of responders reportedly stepped in that day to help search for survivors and manage the clean-up of the area. However, that effort exposed them to toxic debris in the air, including asbestos, lead and pulverized concrete.
This measure is the first time the funds will be guaranteed to first responders. Previously, lawmakers had to vote to renew the fund every few years. The plan will now allow families to file claims through the year 2090 and accept financial assistance through 2092.
The Supreme Court is gearing up to decide next term whether states can ban students from using student-aid programs to attend religious institutions – an education dispute that could have major ramifications for the school choice movement.
The justices announced at the end of last month’s session that they will take up the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue — which concerns whether states can ban student-aid programs that allow families to choose religious schools for their children. In December 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a tax-credit scholarship program in the state, saying the program violated the state constitution’s “No-Aid clause” barring government money for religious schools because it had allowed students to use the money for that purpose.
“Every parent should have the right to choose where they send their kids to school,” Kendra Espinoza, one of the plaintiffs challenging the Montana decision, told Fox News.
Others see the case as an assault on the separation of church and state.
“The decision by the court to review the Montana case signals that the majority may be gunning for the strong provisions in most state constitutions that bar public school funds from going to religion or religious schools,” the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, said in a June 28 statement.
Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom.
The tax-credit scholarship program, passed in May 2015, gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, which helped students pay for their choice of private schools.
It’s similar to many programs across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.
FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott says the Supreme Court should leave decisions on these programs to state courts.
“I think this case involves interference with state rights,” he told Fox News. “States can adopt constitutional protections without federal interference.”
Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program.
“I’ve been working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” she said. “There was a question of whether I could afford it.”
But the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “No-Aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment. It made a rule preventing Espinoza or other religious school families from receiving the scholarships.
Espinoza and the libertarian Institute for Justice sued the department over that rule in December 2015, but the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire program last year. Espinoza’s lawyers say the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.
“The federal Constitution prohibits that kind of animus toward religion and the fact that animus is codified in the Montana Constitution in the Blaine Amendment only makes things that much worse,” Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas said.
Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”
Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.
But Elliott said Blaine Amendments don’t mention a specific religion and have operated without bias.
“No funding of religious education was something states decided early on because they didn’t want to have a religiously segregated school system,” he said. “Public schools are open regardless of religious background. That’s not always the case with private schools.”
If the justices reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S.
“This case has the potential to remove Blaine Amendments as a barrier to school choice throughout the country,” Bindas said.
Is Joe Biden a Racist?
Harris puts Biden’s race record on trial in Round 2 of Dem primary debate
Democratic presidential primary front-runner Joe Biden ran into a formidable challenge at Thursday night’s debate from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who tapped into her prosecutor toolbox to put his race record on trial following the controversy over his comments on segregationist senators. In perhaps the most heated momentof the night, Harris told Biden she doesn’t believe he is a “racist” but … See More considers his recent comments about being able to work with segregationist senators early in his career “hurtful.”
Biden has said he disagreed with the senators on segregation, but was still able to work with them in the Senate. But that explanation did not deter Harris during Thursday’s debate. “You worked with them to oppose busing,” Harris said, referring to efforts to limit orders for school desegregation by busing. In an emotional moment, she told her own story of being bussed as a little girl in California. Biden fired back that Harris’ comments were a “mischaracterization of my position across the board.”
Biden, though, mostly kept his focus on the candidate he really wants to face — President Trump. He repeatedly invoked the name and record of his popular running-mate Barack Obama and brushed back swipes at his age from long-shot candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell,who repeatedly called on him to “pass the torch.” It’s unclear whether the clash with Harris might damage Biden — considering most prior controversies have not dinged his poll numbers — or simply give Harris some needed momentum.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders avoided any direct clash with Biden. He spent much of the night defending his big-government agenda against questions from moderators and criticism from more centrist leaning – and lower-polling – candidates. Several rivalstook issue with some of Sanders’ socialistic policies, like “Medicare-for-all” and free college tuition. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg broke with Sanders in saying while he supports free college for children of low and middle income, “I just don’t believe it makes sense to ask working-class families to subsidize even the children of billionaires.”
Still, the debate also made clear how Democrats have moved to the left on issues relating to immigration. All 10 Democrats raised their hands when asked if their government health care plan would cover illegal immigrants. Pollster Frank Luntz summed it upthis way on “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday: “This is not your parents’ Democratic Party.” Click here for former Clinton strategist Mark Penn’s list of winners and losers from Thursday night’s Democratic debate.
Trump likes what he saw in the Democratic debate from afar
At one time, some pundits were predicting that Democrats could defeat President Trump and the Republican Party on health care. However, thanks to the Democratic Party’s stance on health care for illegal immigrants, Trump and Republicans are feeling very confident. While attending the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, the president said Democratic White House contenders’ willingness to extend government health care to illegal immigrants in America will get him reelected. Trump tweeted: “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!?” He then added: “That’s the end of that race!”
Friends of missing Utah student spot activity on Instagram account
The search for missing Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has taken a peculiar twist. Friends of Lueck told Fox News that they noticed activity on her Instagram account on Wednesday and turned the information over to authorities. Lueck’s personal Instagram account liked a page called “fatherless,” around noon, and her friends quickly took screengrabs to document the activity and turn over to police. The @fatherless handle had more than 47,000 followers as of early Friday but was following only 15 accounts — not including that of Lueck.
The 23-year-old woman was last seen meeting an unknown individual around 3 a.m. June 17 at a park in Salt Lake City after being dropped off by a Lyft driver. She hailed the ride after flying in from Los Angeles – where she had attended her grandmother’sfuneral. While the Lyft driver has been cleared, police searched the Salt Lake City home of the man they said is a “person of interest”for about 19 hours the past two days. Police said they are also looking for a mattress and box spring removed from the home last week.
Iraqi general: Accused Navy SEAL did not stab ISIS prisoner
The Iraqi general at the scene of an alleged murder of an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 testified in a deposition video played in court Thursday that Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher never stabbed the teenage detainee. In a recording made earlier this month, Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri testified he never saw Gallagher stab the detainee in the neck. Gallagher served alongside Abbas’ unit in an advise-and-assistcapacity in Mosul. Abbas told the defense lawyer if had he witnessed improper conduct from SEALs, he would have taken action. Last week, a Navy SEAL, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, testified that Abbas’ unit tortured, raped and murdered prisoners. Scott said he killed the ISIS prisoner by putting his thumb over the detainee’s breathing tube in order to save him from falling into the hands of Abbas’ unit.
France highly motivated in Women’s World Cup showdown with Team USA
The United States has its ranking and its trophies, and that’s all the motivation France needs. The Americans face the French on Friday night at the Women’s World Cup, a match that’s been described as a final in the quarterfinals. It really has it all: The defending champions against the upstart hosts. The City of Lights. A sellout crowd. “They’ve got a great trophy cabinet and we still have everything to prove,” French captain Amandine Henry said. The only downside? The country is in the midst of a heat wave and temperatures are expected to soar into the 90s, although a 9 p.m. local time start should bring some cooling. France is seeking to become the first nation to simultaneously hold the men’s and women’s World Cup trophies. (The men won last year in Russia.) The United States already has three FIFA Women’s World Cup trophies, most of any nation.
Acting Homeland Security chief denies leaking info on ICE raids: ‘It’s just not true.’
Trump tells Putin not to ‘meddle in the election,’ his tone was criticized.
What is 2020 candidate Marianne Williamson’s net worth?
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Supreme Court blocks citizenship question on 2020 census for now.
Apple’s iPhone designer Jony Iveto exit company.
These US cities have the most seniors age 65 and over working.
Trump Said Dems do not get “do-overs” in the Russia investigation. Sadly They Are Full Steam.. Are You Tired Of The Left Wasting Our money?
Watergate figure in the spotlight as Dems begin hearings on Mueller report
John Dean, the former White House counsel to Richard Nixon and a key figure in the Watergate scandal, is expected to be frontand center on Capitol Hill on Monday, as House Democrats are set to begin a series of hearings this coming week seeking to keep the spotlight on … See More Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Although the week could end with Attorney General William Barr and formerWhite House counsel Donald McGahn in contempt of Congress, no formal impeachment inquiry is on the table, and the way forward remains unclear. Prominent Democrats have continued to support the investigative “path” — in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — that some of them publicly hope will lead to impeachment. Trump slammed the hearings on Sunday, calling Dean, who is also a CNN contributor, a “sleazebag attorney” and that Dems do not get “do-overs” in the Russia investigation.
Mexico still in Trump tariff crosshairs
Even as he again hailed his administration’s last-minute deal on Friday with Mexico as a “successful agreement” to address illegal immigration at the southern border, President Trump on Sunday bluntly suggested he might again seek to impose punishing tariffs on Mexico if its cooperation falls short in the future. The president and other key administration officials also sharply disputed a New York Times report claiming the deal “largely” had been negotiated months ago, and hinted that not all major details of the new arrangement have yet been made public.
California to give illegal immigrants full health benefits
In a stance to distance itself from President Trump’s administration, California is set to become the first state in the country to pay for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to have full health benefits. Under an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats in the state legislature as part of a broader $213 billion budget, low-income adultsbetween the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal. The plan would take effect in January 2020, the Sacramento Bee reported.
‘Big Papi’ shot in the Dominican Republic
Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was ambushed by a man who got off a motorcycle and shot him in the back at nearly point-blank range in a nightclub in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday. A local reporter who said he’d spoken with the doctor who treated Ortiz told ESPN that a bullet had hit Ortiz’s lower back and came out his stomach. Police said Ortiz was transferred to a hospital where he underwent surgery. He’s reportedly now in stable condition. A witness at the scene said a suspect who was at the scene is in custody. Other circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear.
ICYMI: A fourth U.S. tourist death at Dominican Republic resort
A fourth U.S. tourist died after he fell critically and suddenly ill at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic this past April, about a month before three others died in their rooms, Fox News has learned. Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, became ill almost immediately after he had a scotch from the room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino resort in Punta Cana, his niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News on Sunday. He was in the Dominican Republic to attend his stepson’s wedding.
GOP opponent says AOC ‘literally ran’ away when challenged to debate.
Joe Biden’s bracelet tweet to honor Obama on ‘Best Friends’ Day goes viral.
Justin Bieber challenges Tom Cruise to a fight.
MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
CBS-Viacom talks near critical stage with board meeting this Friday.
United Technologies, Raytheon to combine in all-stock ‘merger of equals.’
California sees surge in ammo sales ahead of new gun regulations.
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