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Protection hub will offer legal assistance and technical help as officials report ongoing threats and harassment on their jobs
A new program will help local elections officials with legal assistance and technical needs that come along with increased threats to their work and their lives, especially during the heated 2024 election cycle.
The Public Rights Project’s election protection hub plans to reach more than 200 elections officials, targeting states with close races but open to local elections officials anywhere in the US. Their work will include legal representation for local officials, filing amicus briefs on behalf of elections officials in critical court cases, helping them respond to misinformation, elevating them as trusted resources for voters and standing up for local interests in battles against state legislatures. They also plan to fight against efforts to hand count ballots and litigate any challenges made by others to tabulation, as well as push back against frivolous public records requests that have hit some elections offices.
The nonprofit’s move comes as local elections officials report ongoing threats and harassment, often stemming from mis- and disinformation spread by politicians. A stream of elections officials have left their jobs after enduring years of these attacks on their jobs. Some have seen the threats against them result in criminal charges for those who called, emailed or posted online claiming they’d injure or kill people running elections.
Alongside these threats, elections officials are also seeing efforts by lawmakers and other elected officials in their states to alter the way they administer the vote, sometimes without taking into account the needs of the people who actually run elections on the ground.
Police have long known the dangers of holding people in prone restraint. So why do so many keep dying?
As far back as the 1990s, medical experts and law enforcement officials have been aware of the dangers of prone restraint. A number of organizations and law enforcement agencies, including the US Department of Justice, the Chicago police department and the New Orleans police department, warned officers of these dangers and advised them on how to minimize risks.
Many training manuals have since been updated to address the risks of prone restraint and the importance of using the recovery position. Ohio state police officers are forbidden from using prone restraint. A Nevada law forbids the practice. In California, a law that became effective in 2022, AB 490, bans any maneuvers that put people at risk of being unable to breathe due to the position of their body, or positional asphyxia, a common cause of death in prone restraint cases.
But a new review of law enforcement data shows that, despite growing awareness of the dangers of prone restraint, in California the problem is pervasive. After the passage of AB 71, in 2015, California began tracking data about when people died after police use of force. Between 2016 and 2022, at least 22 people have died in the state after being restrained stomach-down by law enforcement officers, according to a new analysis of currently available state use-of-force data by the California Reporting Project, the California Newsroom and the Guardian. Our examination also included police reports, death investigations, district attorney reviews, body-worn camera footage, 911 calls and lawsuits.
The European Union’s administrative watchdog called Wednesday for a change to Europe’s search and rescue rules following an inquiry into last year’s sinking of a rusty fishing boat, the Adriana, carrying hundreds of migrants while traveling from Libya to Italy.
European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said current rules prevent the EU’s border and coast guard agency Frontex from fulfilling its obligations to protect the rights of migrants or act independently of national authorities when boats they use are in distress.
Up to 750 people were believed to be crammed aboard the Adriana when it sank off Greece last June. Just 104 people were rescued — mostly migrants from Syria, Pakistan and Egypt — and 82 bodies were found. Human rights groups accused Greek authorities of failing to properly investigate. Italian authorities were also involved in the incident.
“Why did reports of overcrowding, an apparent lack of life vests, children on board and possible fatalities fail to trigger timely rescue efforts that could have saved hundreds of lives?” O’Reilly asked.
The hour of Thomas Eugene Creech’s death has been set, and it is rapidly approaching.
On Wednesday morning Idaho prison officials will ask the 73-year-old if he would like a mild sedative to help calm him before his execution at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution south of Boise. Then, at 10 a.m. local time, they will bring him into the execution chamber and strap him to a padded medical table.
Defense attorneys and the warden will check for any last-minute court orders that would halt the execution of Creech, who is one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S.
Barring any legal stay, volunteers with medical training will insert a catheter into one of Creech’s veins. He’ll be given a chance to say his last words, and a spiritual advisor may pray with him. Then the state will inject a drug intended to kill the man who has been convicted of five murders in three states and is suspected in several more.
Officials in the South Asian nation, where Russians and Ukrainians have fled the war in Ukraine, said they were canceling long-term tourist visa extensions amid public fury over the event.
The party may be over for thousands of Russian tourists who moved to Sri Lanka amid the war in Ukraine.
Authorities in the South Asian island nation said this week they were canceling long-term tourist visa extensions — a move that coincides with outrage over what appeared to be a “whites only” event organized by a Russian-run nightclub in a popular resort town.
But the debt-stricken island’s president raised doubts over whether his government would go through with the cancellations, which would threaten a much-needed source of tourist income.
US climate chief hits out at ‘disinformation’ and ‘demagoguery’ being used as tactics by special interests to delay action
The populist backlash against net zero around the world is imperilling the fight against climate breakdown and must be countered urgently or we face planetary destruction “beyond comprehension”, the US climate chief, John Kerry, has warned.
He hit out at the rise of “disinformation” and “demagoguery” which he said were damaging the transition away from fossil fuels, and being used as tactics by special interests to delay action.
“People are not being told the truth about what the impacts are from making this transition [to net zero greenhouse gas emissions],” he said. “They’re being scared, purposely frightened by the demagoguery that is oblivious to the facts or distorting the facts. And in some cases outright lying is going on.”
Alexei Navalny will be buried at a cemetery in Moscow on Friday, a spokesperson has confirmed.
The service will be held at Borisovskoye Cemetery, after a farewell ceremony in the Maryino district.
Alexei Navalny suddenly died in an Arctic prison earlier this month.
For years, he was the most high-profile critic of Vladimir Putin. Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, as well as several world leaders, have blamed the Russian president for his death.
Few details have been released on the cause of his death, and Russian authorities initially refused to hand Navalny's body over to his mother Lyudmila. They finally relented eight days after his death.
Rep. Lauren Boebert's 18-year-old son, Tyler Boebert, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and is facing 22 charges, including several felony charges relating to a string of crimes in her Colorado district.
According to a Facebook post by the Rifle Police Department, the 18-year-old Boebert was arrested after a "recent string of vehicle trespass and property thefts" in Rifle, a town in Colorado's 3rd congressional district.
According to Garfield County Jail's records, the younger Boebert is facing four counts of criminal possession of a financial device, four counts of criminal possession of ID documents, and a count of conspiracy to commit a felony.
He's also charged with four misdemeanor counts of ID theft, three misdemeanor counts of first-degree criminal trespass, and three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In addition, he's also charged with three counts of the petty offense of theft of less than $300.
The U.S. Army is slashing the size of its force by about 24,000, or almost 5%, and restructuring to be better able to fight the next major war, as the service struggles with recruiting shortfalls that made it impossible to bring in enough soldiers to fill all the jobs.
The cuts will mainly be in already-empty posts — not actual soldiers — including in jobs related to counterinsurgency that swelled during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars but are not needed as much today. About 3,000 of the cuts would come from Army special operations forces.
At the same time, however, the plan will add about 7,500 troops in other critical missions, including air-defense and counter-drone units and five new task forces around the world with enhanced cyber, intelligence and long-range strike capabilities.
The fires in the state that aren't yet contained include a 250,000 acre blaze burning in Hutchinson County.
A nuclear weapons facility in the Texas Panhandle said it had evacuated some staff Tuesday amid wind-fueled wildfires that covered thousands of acres and prompted the governor to issue a disaster declaration.
The Pantex Plant, which handles nuclear weapons, said it was monitoring the situation but that there was no fire on the plant site. All weapons were safe and unaffected, the facility said.
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