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Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 11:04 PM
— Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix was found guilty on Thursday by an eight-member Marine jury on a charge that he mistreated recruit Raheel Siddiqui, who committed suicide during Marine Corps Recruit Training in March 2016.
The former drill instructor was facing accusations that he punched, kicked and choked recruits and specifically targeted three Muslim recruits, including Siddiqui, whom he allegedly called “terrorists.” After deliberating, the jury determined Felix was guilty of slapping Siddiqui and forcing him to run laps in the barracks even though he had asked for medical attention for a sore, bleeding throat just prior to his death.
Felix was additionally found guilty of ordering another Muslim recruit to do exercises in the shower room after lights out and then climb into an industrial dryer, which was turned on briefly, as well as eight counts of violating training orders, making false official statements and being drunk and disorderly. He was, however, found not guilty of obstruction of justice related to an accusation that he told recruits to withhold information about Siddiqui’s death.
The verdict is a win for the prosecution, who argued that Felix was “drunk on power” during his time as a drill instructor. He is expected to be sentenced on Friday and could face years of confinement, loss of pay and rank, and expulsion from the Marine Corps when all of his charges are considered.
Siddiqui died less than two weeks after starting boot camp and just five days into training with Felix’s platoon after falling from an exterior stairwell. While the Marines have concluded that his death was a suicide, his family has disputed that claim and filed a $100million negligence lawsuit against the Corps. Investigators say the recruit had no history of mental illness and only wanted to leave the Marines because he was tired of being hit.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:44 PM
With Republicans unable to muster the votes to repeal a major financial regulation law put in the place after the 2008 Wall Street Collapse, the House on Tuesday is expected to give final approval to a less sweeping plan already backed by the Senate, which would ease a series of financial rules and regulations on smaller banking institutions enacted under the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
“The cycle of lending and job creation has been stifled by onerous regulation,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), who shepherded the bill through the Senate with bipartisan support, and then prevailed on House Republicans to simply accept the plan, instead of trying to make changes which might have doomed the bill’s chances.
“I’m happy to say we’re in the final stages of making these bills law,” said Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), as a House panel moved to set up Tuesday’s debate on the banking regulation changes.
+ Banks with less than $250 billion in assets would no longer be subjected to federal “stress tests” – the current threshold
is $50 billion.
+ Eases regulatory requirements on banks with less than $10 billion in assets (mainly known as ‘community banks’)
+ Loosens minimum standards on certain home mortgage loans, with a goal of allowing more small banks and credit unions to make such loans.
+ The plan steps up protections for veterans on predatory loans.
+ Active duty service members would get additional protections from foreclosures.
+ Consumers would be eligible in some cases for unlimited credit security freezes to deal with credit fraud alerts.
As in the debate earlier this year in the Senate, more liberal Democrats in the House have sternly argued against the bill, making the case that it takes away too many protections enacted in the original 2010 Dodd-Frank law.
“Defeating this legislation is important to preventing Wall Street from crashing our economy again,” said Rep. Pramila Jaypal (D-WA).
“We must not allow the GOP Congress to drag us back to the same lack of oversight that ignited the Great Recession,” wrote House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to their colleagues.
Consumer watchdog groups like Public Citizen have labeled the bill, the “Bank Lobbyist Act,” arguing it would increase chances for ‘another taxpayer bailout of reckless financial institutions.’
But while the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has objected, other Democrats heard the pleas of small community and regional banks, one reason the Senate voted 67-31 to approve the bill earlier this year.
“It is no coincidence that the bill’s Democratic sponsors come not from major financial hubs, but rural areas where small banks provide a disproportionate share of loans,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).
While the bill falls well short of the repeal of Dodd-Frank which had been sought by many Republicans, it is still a plus for the GOP, giving President Trump one more item to sign into law, one more bullet point to rattle off for supporters on achievements during his time in office.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 9:59 PM
LOS ANGELES — Jada Pinkett Smith typically comes across as confident and fearless, but she recently opened up about her experience with hair loss as a woman, one that left her covering her hair with turbans.
“A lot of people have been asking why I’ve been wearing turbans,” Pinkett Smith, 46, said on an episode of her Facebook Watch show “Red Table Talk.” “Well, I haven’t talked about it. It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it.”
In the Facebook Watch show, Pinkett Smith speaks with her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne, and they have candid conversation about their life experiences.
People reported that, in the latest episode, Pinkett Smith said that one day she saw handfuls of hair in her hand.
“It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh my God, am I going bald?’” she said.
“It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That’s why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it.”
Pinkett Smith has recently been photographed with an asymmetrical bob that covers most of her hair line and a scarf around her head with hair poking out on top, or covering her hair altogether with a scarf.
She admitted that the process of dealing with hair loss was a challenge, and although she’s seen multiple specialists, a cause for her hair loss has not been determined.
“My hair has been a big part of me,” Pinkett Smith said. “Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual, and having the choice to have hair or not. And then one day to be, like, ‘Oh my God, I might not have that choice anymore.’”
“I’ve gotten every kind of test there is to have,” she said. “They don’t know why.”
Pinkett Smith said she took a spiritual approach to come to terms with her hair loss.
“I really had to put it into a spiritual perspective, like the higher power takes so much from people. People are out here with cancer. People have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day,” she said.
“When my hair is wrapped, I feel like a queen,” she said.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:39 PM
CANTERBURY, N.H. — Police in New Hampshire are searching for a 21-year-old man after. they believe, his mother has been found dead.
Law enforcement officials had asked the public for help in locating a woman who had been missing since Thursday. Police said 51-year-old Frances Nash, of Chichester, New Hampshire was last heard from on May 17. Her car was also missing.
On Monday, officials announced that the body of an adult woman was found in Canterbury and they believe it is the body of Frances Nash. Her vehicle was also located earlier Monday morning in Canterbury.
Police are now asking for helping in finding her 21-year-old son, Phillip Nash. An arrest warrant has been issued for him in connection with the theft of her car.
Phillip Nash is described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Police said Nash may be driving a stolen maroon 2000 Ford F-350 truck with New Hampshire plates that say GRANITE.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:07 PM
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:07 PM
PUNA, Big Island, Hawaii — An “explosive eruption” at Mount Kilauea's summit on Hawaii's Big Island early Monday prompted officials to warn residents to protect themselves from ash fallout as the volcano eruption continues into its third week.
More than 40 structures have been destroyed in the eruption that started May 3. It has since inundated almost 325 acres around Kilauea with lava and lead to concerns about laze, a toxic mixture of lava and haze that forms when hot lava hits ocean waters.
Update 11:15 p.m. EDT May 21: Lava is flowing toward a geothermal power plant on Hawaii’s Big Island as Mount Kilauea continues its violent eruptions.
Reuters is reporting that workers are scrambling to shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) plant to prevent the “uncontrollable release of toxic gases.”
The plant provides about 25 percent of the Big Island’s power, but has been closed since the volcanic eruptions started on May 3.
Update 12:35 p.m. EDT May 21: Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said early Monday that a small explosion happened just before 1 a.m. local time at the Halemaumau crater at Kilauea's summit.
The explosion shot ash about 7,000 feet into the air.
"Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time," USGS officials said.
The Hawaiian County Civil Defense Agency warned residents to be aware of ashfall after the "explosive eruption."
Update 12:38 p.m. May 20: Lava from the Kilauea volcano has crossed Highway 137 and entered the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaii County Civil Defense said Sunday. A second lava flow is about 437 yards from the highway, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported.
Big Island residents may now have to contend with laze -- a mixture of lava and haze -- that forms when hot lava hits the ocean, CNN reported.
After making contact with the water, the laze sends hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air.
Laze can lead to lung, eye and skin irritation, CNN reported.
"This hot, corrosive gas mixture caused two deaths immediately adjacent to the coastal entry point in 2000, when seawater washed across recent and active lava flows," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote on its website.
Officials have told people to avoid areas where lava meets the ocean, CNN reported.
Powerful eruptions accompanied by thunderous booms punctuated the air Friday around Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
The volcano spewed lava bombs the size of cows as molten rock flowed from several of the 22 fissures that have opened around the volcano.
Hawaii officials have warned some Big Island residents that fast-moving lava is approaching an area near homes that were previously destroyed by eruptions from Kilauea volcano. https://t.co/CsQ7Tk0uWx— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) May 19, 2018
Update 2 a.m. EDT May 19: Fast-moving lava isolated about 40 homes in a rural subdivision, forcing at least four people to be evacuated by county and National Guard helicopters, the Star-Advertiser of Honolulu reported.
According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense, police, firefighters and National Guard troops were stopping people from entering the area.
Update 11:30 p.m. EDT May 18: Hawaiian authorities have sent the National Guard, police and fire units into the East Rift Zone in Puna, according to the Hawaii Civil Defense Agency.
“There are approximately 40 homes in the area that are isolated. Officials are gaining access by helicopter to the area to assess how many people are there and if they need assistance. All persons in that area are asked to stay where they are and wait for further instructions,” the agency said on its website.
The Hawaii Volcano Observatory has confirmed another fissure opened on Friday, bringing the total number of fissures to 22.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as Kilauea continues its violent eruptions.
Update 8:30 a.m. EDT May 18: More lava is spewing
from the Kilauea volcano as the 21st fissure opened Thursday, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, state officials have been handing out masks to protect people who live near Kilauea, ABC News reported. About 18,000 masks have been distributed, CNN reported. The safety measure protects residents from breathing in pieces of rock, glass and crystals that fall as the volcano continues to erupt, ABC News reported.
Update 10:45 p.m. EDT May 17: Lava is erupting from points along the fissure system on Kilauea volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but the agency is calling it a “low-level eruption” at this point.
Kīlauea daily status report: 4 am explosive eruption at summit with traces of ash in local community. Low-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along NE end of active fissure system. https://t.co/K6mzCqRT0E— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) May 17, 2018
Although lava is still spattering from Fissure 17, the flow has not advanced significantly over the past day, the USGS said.
There are currently 18 fissures that have opened due to seismic activity on Kilauea’ over the past two weeks.
Volcanic gas emission are still elevated throughout the area and residents are urged to remain on alert.
“This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area,” the USGS reported late Thursday.
Rain on the Big Island Thursday helped the situation with the ashfall, but volcano experts are warning the situation on Kilauea is still very dynamic.
Original report: Several schools were closed as ash continued to fall Thursday due to elevated sulfur dioxide levels. Officials warned people in the area to take shelter and protect themselves from the falling ash.
"The resulting ash plume will cover the surrounding area," officials with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said in a 5 a.m. alert. In a subsequent update, USGS officials said the ash plume was moving to the northeast.
The plume could be seen in an image taken from a webcam at the USGS’ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
"Driving conditions may be dangerous so if you are driving pull off the road and wait until visibility improves," the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency warned.
Michelle Coombs, of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, told Hawaii News Now that the situation remained “very, very active and very dynamic,” on Thursday.
“The potential for larger explosions is still there,” she said.
Officials with the USGS warned Tuesday that an eruption of Kilauea's volcano appeared "imminent."
The eruption on Kilauea began May 3. It has since forced thousands of people from their homes, destroyed nearly 40 structures -- including dozens of homes -- and created more than two dozen fissures in the ground surrounding the volcano.