Joe Perillo’s business was targeted by smash-and-grab perpetrators, who stole millions of dollars worth of merchandise from his Gold Coast Exotic Motor Cars store. During a meeting with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the mayor reportedly called Perillo an “idiot,” though he didn’t hear the insult.
Days later, Perillo’s business was cited by Chicago officials for various violations, including employees and a customer not wearing face masks, for “storing, receiving, possessing, selling nineteen bottles of liquor,” and for apparently “interfering with or obstructing the commissioner’s designee in the performance of duties,” CWB Chicago reported.
“t’s almost cliché. If a business owner angers Chicago City Hall, they can expect to be visited by one of the city’s enthusiastic ticket-writing ordinance enforcers. But that doesn’t really happen … Right?” the outlet opined.
Two men destroyed a display case in Perillo’s business and stole eight luxury watches worth more than $1 million. Perillo then went on local and national TV to demand the city address the wave of smash-and-grab crimes.
“It’s only a fool who keeps doing things the same way and expects different results. If the Mayor and Kim Foxx don’t do anything to get control of this, it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse,” Perillo told CBS2
In another interview, he said: “If they don’t do anything about this, they’re going to lose a lot of businesses. They lost Macy’s. They’re losing Neiman Marcus. They may lose this store.”
Lightfoot went to Perillo’s showroom to meet with the business owner but the conversation reportedly did not go well. One source told CWB Chicago that the mayor called Perillo an “idiot” as she left the showroom. The mayor’s office wouldn’t provide details on the conversation.
“The Mayor routinely meets with victims of crime and reached out to Mr. Perillo which resulted in a meeting. The Mayor offered to work with him to address safety and security matters at any of his dealership locations,” a spokesperson told CWB.
Perillo told Fox News that he did not hear the mayor call him an “idiot.”
“I’m not aware that she called me an idiot… at least she did not say that to me,” Perillo told the outlet. “In her heart, I believe she is trying her best. That said, we are both passionate individuals and have different views of how to deal with theft. I can report that there was nothing I said that in any way was foolish! I simply wanted to know what her future plans were going forward!”
Just a day or two after the meeting between Lightfoot and Perillo, a city inspector from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection cited Gold Coast for health violations. Lightfoot’s spokesperson told CWB Chicago that the citations were “unrelated to the mayor’s meeting with Mr. Perillo.” The spokesperson said the citations came from an anonymous complaint against the business received on December 15.
FILE – Passengers wearing face masks to help protect against the coronavirus take a rest at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, on July 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
U.S. airlines say China has blocked more than a dozen recent and future flights from entering the country, which has been tightening already-strict COVID-19 travel restrictions.
China ordered the cancellations after some passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on flights that arrived in China in late December, according to industry officials.
American Airlines said Tuesday that six of its flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to Shanghai in late January and early February have been canceled. United Airlines said it was forced to cancel six flights from San Francisco to Shanghai later this month. Delta Air Lines said it canceled one flight last week and another this Friday to Shanghai.
Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. passenger and cargo carriers, said it was discussing the matter with U.S. and Chinese government officials to find ways to minimize the impact on travelers.
The Biden administration had no immediate comment.
The blocking of flights is the latest development in a dispute between the two countries over international flights and rules designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
China has been ratcheting up travel restrictions after recent outbreaks of COVID-19 as it prepares to host the Winter Olympics in early February. China limits capacity on inbound flights — currently to 75% — and requires passengers to be tested before departure and after arriving in the country.
If passengers test positive, the airline that carried them can be forced to cancel two to four flights, depending on the number of positive cases.
Last month, Delta said new requirements for cleaning planes between flights caused a plane bound for Shanghai to return to Seattle. The airline said the new rules extended the time planes would need to sit on the ground in Shanghai, and weren’t workable. The Chinese consulate in San Francisco lodged a protest over Delta’s decision.
In 2020, the Trump administration backed down from a threat to block four Chinese airlines after China agreed to let United and Delta resume limited operations that were shuttered earlier in the pandemic.
Last August, the U.S. Transportation Department limited the number of passengers on four Chinese airlines’ flights to the U.S. after China imposed similar limits on United Airlines. The U.S. said China was putting an unreasonable burden on U.S. airlines for travelers who test positive after arriving in China.
Defunct biotech corporation Theranos, whose founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was convicted of fraud and conspiracy, used the United States government’s H-1B visa program to employ dozens of foreign workers “akin to indentured servitude,” reports reveal.
This week, a federal grand jury convicted Holmes on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud which include defrauding wealthy investors like the DeVos family out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Holmes, along with her partner and former boyfriend Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, had raked in billions in investments from 2003 to 2015 by claiming that Theranos’ nanotechnology could retrieve tiny blood samples from patients and test them for a myriad of illnesses and diseases.
Holmes’ alleged nanotechnology breakthrough that vowed to end the days of having to take large samples of blood from patients to run standard blood tests was hailed by the establishment media, former President Bill Clinton, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and wealthy investors who ranged from Henry Kissinger to Rupert Murdoch.
Former Wall Street Journal John Carreyrou cracked the case open in a series of reports at the time and his book titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. In his book, Carreyrou detailed how Holmes and Balwani used the H-1B visa program to keep their employees quiet and compliant even as the fraud scheme unraveled:
The biggest problem of all was the dysfunctional corporate culture in which it was being developed. Elizabeth and Sunny regarded anyone who raised a concern or an objection as a cynic and a naysayer. Employees who persisted in doing so were usually marginalized or fired, while sycophants were promoted. Sunny had elevated a group of ingratiating Indians to key positions. One of them was Sam Anekal, the manager in charge of integrating the various components of the miniLab who had clashed with Ian Gibbons. Another was Chinmay Pangarkar, a bioengineer with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. There was also Suraj Saksena, a clinical chemist who had a Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Texas A&M. On paper, all three had impressive educational credentials, but they shared two traits: they had very little industry experience, having joined the company not long after finishing their studies, and they had a habit of telling Elizabeth and Sunny what they wanted to hear, either out of fear or out of desire to advance, or both. [Emphasis added]
For the dozens of Indians Theranos employed, the fear of being fired was more than just the dread of losing a paycheck. Most were on H-1B visas and dependent on their continued employment at the company to remain in the country. With a despotic boss like Sunny holding their fates in his hands, it was akin to indentured servitude. Sunny, in fact, had the master-servant mentality common among an older generation of Indian businessmen. Employees were his minions. He expected them to be at his disposal at all hours of the day or night and on weekends. He checked the security logs every morning to see when they badged in and out. Every evening, around seven thirty, he made a fly-by of the engineering department to make sure people were still at their desks working. [Emphasis added]
For years, Breitbart News has chronicled the abuses against white-collar American professionals as a result of the H-1B visa program. There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News.
At Theranos, Holmes and Balwani imported dozens of H-1B foreign visa workers, likely entirely from India, to take jobs as software development engineers, embedded systems engineers, and scientists, among other roles.
After remaining on H-1B visas, the foreign imports at Theranos could get sponsored for an employment-based green card but such a move would only be taken if the employees showed their loyalty to Holmes and Balwani’s operation, Carreyrou’s accounts indicate.
American computer scientist Philip Greenspun blogged about Theranos’ use of H-1B foreign visa workers, noting that the first round of hires of mostly American and British engineers and scientists were quickly replaced with an Indian H-1B visa workforce. Greenspun writes:
Bad Blood, the authoritative book on the rise and fall of Theranos, describes American- and British-born engineers and scientists being fired for saying “the goal is too ambitious” or quitting when realizing this. Who replaced them? According to the book, almost all immigrants from India, either folks who’d recently completed a degree in the U.S. or coming over on H-1B visas, all managed by Ramesh Balwani, Elizabeth Holmes’s boyfriend.
“During the ‘grand fraud’ stage of Theranos, therefore, it was a primarily immigrant show except for the young impresaria,” Greenspun notes.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.
Mexicans living in the United States are on pace to send more than $50 billion in remittances to people still living in Mexico, according to data from the World Bank and Bank of Mexico. Border Report noted that this is a record amount of money sent back to Mexico, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic issues in the United States.
Remittances are money sent to countries overseas, often using money-wire services such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Remittances account for a significant quantity of some countries’ gross domestic product, including those in Central and South America. Immigration analyst Andrew Arthur noted that “remittances significantly subsidize the economies in those countries, and each would be hard pressed to replace the lost GDP if its nationals were to stop migrating, or even worse, return to those countries.”
In 2020, remittances accounted for 24.1 percent, 14.7 percent, and 23.5 percent of the GDP of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras respectively. Other countries dependent on remittances in the Americas also have a large number of nationals residing in the U.S. such as Haiti (23.2 percent), Jamaica (22.2 percent), and Nicaragua (14.7 percent).
The federal government does not tax remittances flowing out from the United States to foreign countries. This leaves billions of dollars of potential tax revenue on the table. An additional and significant harm of large-scale remittances is that it represents money that does not remain in local economies, creating businesses and jobs and generating recurring revenue flows to local governments.
This is a colossal error on the part of our government, and one that Congress could – and should – address.
Look no further than the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is the only state in the country that taxes wire-transfer fees, at a rate of 1 percent. In a 2018 post on the subject, Center for Immigration Studies analyst David North noted that the state’s collections from this tax increase each year by about 10 percent.
Imagine if Congress levied a tax on wire transfers, the majority of which are remittances flowing out of the United States. A mere 1 percent tax on remittances to Mexico this past year alone would yield $500 million dollars. According to the World Bank, $69.9 billion flowed out of the U.S. as remittance payments in 2020. Taxing that figure at 1 percent would yield almost $700 million in revenue for the U.S. Treasury, with the possibility that revenues continue increasing year after year.
During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump proposed using a remittance tax (or the threat of one) to encourage Mexico to pay for his promised Southwest border wall. Authors pointed out that taxing remittances and using it on wall construction could fund most if not all of the proposed construction. The Center for Immigration Studies estimated that preventing 160,000 to 200,000 illegal crossings over 10 years would offset projected costs to build the wall over a 10 year period.
Using remittances to build the wall never ended up happening, and President Trump resorted to using an emergency declaration to build sections of it. When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he ended that emergency order and halted construction of the wall.
A future policy taxing remittances need not limit itself to the construction of a border wall. Even with a wall in place, asylum abuse will continue to be the top driving factor contributing to the illegal alien population in the United States. Instead of proposing a remittance tax to chase a specific construction project, Congress should install a remittance tax to raise funds in order to address changes to our immigration system in a broad sense.
Funds from a remittance tax could go towards an “immigration enforcement fund.” The government could use such a fund to hire more immigration judges and enforcement agents, build facilities needed to detain illegal aliens, and fund needed sections of the wall where necessary. Because this fund would be the result of legislation – rather than executive action – it would be much harder to end through executive fiat. This is a common sense and low-impact proposal that would go a long way in helping secure our southern border.
December 20, 20211:37 PM ESTLast Updated 3 hours ago 2 – 3 minutes
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees watch from a window as activists hold the “Shutdown ICE” rally in Washington, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy
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NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The United States will make 20,000 additional visas available for seasonal, non-agricultural guest workers through March 31, including 6,500 visas for workers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti, in an effort to encourage legal migration, a U.S. official told Reuters.
The extra H-2B visas would be in addition to the annual allotment of 66,000 visas for the fiscal year, the official said, adding an announcement was set to be made Monday.
The expansion of the H-2B visa program, used to employ landscapers, housekeepers, hotel employees and construction and carnival workers, among others, comes as the U.S. labor market continues to face shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The White House has touted efforts to create legal pathways for migrants to come to the United States as record numbers of migrants have been arrested at the southern border under Biden.
Still, even if all 6,500 visas are used, it represents just a fraction of migrants trying to reach the United States. U.S. Border Patrol made more than 700,000 arrests of migrants from those four countries in fiscal 2021.
The additional 20,000 visas are a slight drop from the 22,000 made available for the second half of fiscal 2021.
The administration of U.S President Joe Biden set aside 6,000 H-2B visas for the three Central American countries during the second half of fiscal 2021, which ended Sept. 30, but fell short of filling all of those slots.
The addition of Haiti follows Biden’s decision to deport some Haitians after thousands arrived in southern Texas in September. The country has faced political instability and violence following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July as well as natural disasters.
Reporting by Ted Hesson in New York; Editing by Mica Rosenberg and Bernadette Baum
Talk about a “mask off” moment for Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). Today, an anonymous tipster passed along an exclusive photo to The Daily Wire of one of the most corrupt members of Congress not wearing a mask aboard a United flight heading from Dulles Airport to Los Angeles International — despite the FAA mask mandate in place requiring all passengers to wear one due to COVID-19 precautions.
To make matters worse for Aunty Maxine — as her fans call her — the senior Democratic representative bumped the tipster’s boyfriend from his seat next to her for reasons unexplained. Meanwhile, flight attendants hounded other passengers consistently for not wearing their masks, even in-between bites of food. Flight attendants only asked Waters to pull up her mask once the tipster pointed out the hypocrisy.
“Maxine had her mask off for at least an hour while she read her paper and took a nap,” the source told The Daily Wire. “Attendants brought her fresh coffee while she was napping and didn’t say a thing as three of them walked past and saw Maxine reading and then sleeping while she remained maskless.”
But, the source did not receive the same treatment from United Airlines.
“My nose had bled pretty early into the flight, so I later on pulled my mask down below my nose to get some cooler air,” she explained. “Within a few minutes, a flight attendant informed me I had to put my mask back on over my nose, the right way, immediately.”
The source says she pointed in the direction of Waters, indicating that she wasn’t wearing a mask as a form of protest.
The flight attendant looked at Waters and said to the woman, “Okay, but you need to put your mask on the right way.”
“I put the mask on ‘the right way’ after the flight attendant told Maxine to put her mask on,” The Daily Wire’s source added. “Maxine had been napping. She did put the mask on after the attendant interrupted her sleep and told her to do so. I think she was startled by the rude awakening.”
The source was able to snap a photo of Waters before she put her mask on:
The Daily Wire Exclusive Photo – Maxine Waters Maskless on United Flight
Readers should remember that Waters has been one of the longest and most vocal advocates of masking in public settings.
In April 2020, waters tweeted, “Take a chance. Remind an unmasked person to put on a mask & if they become angry, smile and say ‘6ft away’ & keep going.”
In May 2020, Waters took it a step further and said that not wearing a mask in public was a threat to public safety. She slammed then-President Donald Trump as being a bad role model for being seen in public without the face-covering.
“Trump is a dangerous example for children and those who tend to follow him. Not wearing a mask and not social distancing is dangerous,” she tweeted. “Do not follow his example. Protect yourself. Coronavirus kills! Maybe this ignoramus doesn’t care, but you should care about yourself!”
She doubled down on that message in June of 2020, tweeting, “Trump still refuses to wear a mask. Trump’s FAILED leadership & his unfortunate followers not wearing masks & not social distancing is responsible for the growing infections, death, & surge in #coronavirus cases.”
None of these statements were forgotten by The Daily Wire’s source, who slammed the congresswoman for her “rules-for-thee-but-not-for-me” attitude. The passenger also expressed her dissatisfaction with United’s customer service — or lack thereof.
“The injustice of being overlooked because we were not ‘important’ like Maxine, of being dismissed when my boyfriend tried to address the seat he paid for so that we could sit together, and then being roughly spoken to for having my own mask down a fraction of an inch when someone else, a well-known politician, just six feet away from me, was ‘breaking’ the required face masks on airlines was flabbergasting.”
“Flight attendants stay on you,” the source said. “If you don’t put your mask on in between bites of food or sips of drink, they will ask you to, they state so at the start of their safety guidelines before the flight.”
“But none of them once bothered Maxine when she was maskless,” she remarked. “A politician who believes in masks, but only when others wear them for her. It’s a double standard, but people seem to be blind to it.”
As for her boyfriend not getting to sit in his original seat, the source said they were able to sit near each other, but that Waters was able to sit without anybody next to her at all.
“She was in the window seat and in the middle seat was a sign that said the seat was ‘out of service’ and ‘sorry for the inconvenience.’ There was a young man in the aisle seat of that row who mid-flight agreed to switch seats with my boyfriend so the both of us could at least be across from each other.”
Recently, President Joe Biden extended the federal mask mandates for public transportation — such as airlines — into March of 2022.
The Daily Wire reached out to Waters’ office for comment but has not received one.
The Daily Wire is fighting Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate in federal court. Join us in this fight by signing our petition to OSHA, telling them that you will not comply with this mandate.
Tax hikes, open borders, and defunding the police. That’s what Nancy Pelosi means for you. She is an out-of-touch career politician who will never give up power.
Don’t let Nancy’s reign last any longer.
We need to 1 MILLION signatures from patriots. It’s the only way we can prevent her from becoming Speaker AGAIN.
The launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea will mean a complete cessation of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine and will lead to security breakdown for Eastern and Central Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
“The very fact that Nord Stream 2 can hypothetically be put into operation is extremely destabilizing for our region,” Zelensky said in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, answering the question whether it is not enough to endanger the launch of the gas pipeline to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia is investing in various levers of pressure on European countries in order for this gas pipeline to operate, which means the end of gas transportation through the territory of Ukraine. If this happens, the security of Eastern and Central Europe will come crashing down at once,” the head of state said.
Marineland has been charged under the Criminal Code with using dolphins and whales to perform as entertainment without Ontario government authorization, according to Niagara police.
Marineland has been charged under the Criminal Code with using dolphins and whales to perform and entertain customers without Ontario government authorization, Niagara police say.
Police said they began an investigation into allegations captive cetaceans (marine mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises) were being used at the theme park in Niagara Falls in October.
Mario Lagrotteria, the police service’s Niagara Falls district commander, said there was video evidence throughout August. He also said it’s the first time Niagara police have laid this charge.
“The information [investigators] received substantiated the allegation that this did happen within the month of August,” he said.
Police previously confirmed their investigation was launched following a complaint received in October.
Marineland said in a statement to CBC News the park is following the law and “we look forward to the opportunity to defend ourselves in a court of law.”
Law changed regarding cetaceans
Miranda Desa, Canadian counsel for the U.S.-based non-profit Last Chance for Animals, said the group filed a complaint on Sept. 30 and a followup complaint in late October based on the use of dolphins and beluga whales for entertainment.
A member of Last Chance for Animals visited Marineland on Aug. 3 and Aug. 16, according to Desa. She said they recorded videos of dolphin and beluga whale shows, and sent them to police with their complaint.
Desa said the complaint focused on the use of belugas that were instructed to do tricks for food in front of park attendees.
The video, viewed by CBC News, appears to show dolphins doing flips and tricks for an audience with music playing in the background.
Under a section of the Criminal Code that was introduced in 2019, captive cetaceans cannot be used “for performance for entertainment purposes” unless the performance is authorized with a licence from the province.
After years of debate, the new law, part of Bill S-203, banned the captivity of cetaceans. It included a grandfather clause, however, for animals already in captivity.
Niagara police said the charge against Marineland was for the alleged use of captive cetacean for performance for entertainment purposes without authorization.
Marineland says show is educational
Marineland said in a statement the routine was an “educational presentation.”
“Our animal presentation contains marine mammals undertaking behaviours they exhibit in ocean environments. These behaviours are combined with an educational script delivered by Marineland staff, providing a foundation in understanding of these important marine species.
“Marineland continues to be committed to our mission of research, education and conservation and will continue to provide world-class care for the animals who call Marineland home,” the theme park said.
Lagrotteria said police found the evidence it gathered “met the threshold to lay the charge,” but couldn’t say much else as the case is before the courts.
He said any other concerns about the welfare of animals at the park should be directed to Provincial Animal Welfare Services.
Criminal charge precedent setting, expert says
Kendra Coulter, an associate professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., who’s an analyst of labour involving animals, expressed skepticism over the idea such performances are educational.
“Any marine animals who are being kept in tiny tanks are not behaving normally,” Coulter said in a phone interview.
“But the bigger question here is around the ethics of captivity and whether these large, complex, intellectually robust animals can in any way have healthy and positive lives in such tiny tanks and conditions … the consensus is increasingly no.”
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his last day in office, Aug. 10, 2021. REUTERS
New York’s ethics watchdog panel ordered disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo to return the $5.1 million in profits from his pandemic book deal to the state next month.
The extraordinary resolution was approved Tuesday by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics in a 12-1 vote — coming a month after the ethics agency voted to revoke its prior approval allowing Cuomo to earn outside income from his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” while he was still governor and New York was still battling the deadly viral bug.
JCOPE rescinded its approval after concluding that Cuomo violated pledges not to use state resources or government staffers to prepare the book.
The resolution, drafted by commissioner David McNamara, a Senate Republican appointee, said Cuomo now “lacked the legal authority to engage in outside activity and receive compensation in regard to the book” since JCOPE rescinded its approval. The disgraced ex-governor’s pandemic book “American Crisis.”AP
“Gov. Cuomo is not legally entitled to retain compensation … for any form of outside activity related to the book,” McNamara said.
The panel found Cuomo’s book proceeds should be turned over to state Attorney General Letitia James — whose office’s investigative report forced the three-term Democrat’s resignation after substantiating a slew of accusations of mistreatment and harassment leveled against the disgraced ex-governor by current and former staffers.
“It is ordered that by no later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, Gov. Cuomo pay over to the attorney general of the State of New York an amount equal to the compensation paid to him for his outside activities related to the book,” the resolution says.
James would determine to whom the profits would be distributed — the state, the book publisher, or others.
Cuomo’s book deal also is being investigated by James, the FBI, and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office. The state Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment report found that Cuomo used staffers extensively to help prepare the book — though he insisted the work was done voluntarily and legally.
Cuomo’s team was also accused of low-balling coronavirus-related nursing home deaths while he negotiated the book deal, leading to accusations he was trying to look better to make a quick buck off the tragedy. Cuomo’s book deal is being investigated by James, the FBI, and the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office. Above, copies of the hardcover on display in 2020.
Cuomo’s lawyer claimed JCOPE’s action was illegal and would challenge it in court.
“JCOPE’s actions today are unconstitutional, exceed its own authority and appear to be driven by political interests rather than the facts and the law,” said Cuomo attorney Jim McGuire.
“Should they seek to enforce this action, we’ll see them in court.”
The City of Chicago said last week that it will still go after convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett, a felon, for more than $100,000 in costs incurred by the city’s police department during their investigation into the hate crime that he staged on himself.
“The City filed a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett to recover costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department investigating what the City believed to be Smollett’s false police reports that he was a victim of a hate crime,” the city said in a statement. “While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit.”
The statement continued, “The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously.”
Smollett was found guilty on Thursday of five Class 4 felonies for telling police officers and detectives myriad lies from the staged hoax that he tried to blame on purported Trump supporters. A Class 4 felony carries a maximum prison sentence of 3 years per count.
Count 1 accused him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck. Count 2 referred to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.
Counts 3 and 4 stemmed from Smollett making the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, just before 6 a.m.
Count 5 accused Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 referred to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.
Speaking with reporters following the verdict, Nenye Uche, lead attorney for Smollett, said that the now-convicted felon was “100 percent confident” that he would be found innocent on appeal.
“We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal,” Uche said. “Unfortunately, that’s not the route we wanted but sometimes that’s the route you have to take to win, especially a case where we remain 100 percent confident in our client’s innocence.”
“He’s a human being; he’s disappointed — but I will tell you this: I am very proud of him. I’m very, very proud of him,” he added. “He’s holding up very strong; he’s committed to clearing his name and he’s 100 percent confident that he’s going to get cleared by the appellate court.”
YUMA, Ariz. — The illegal immigrants had been waiting by the gap in the border wall by Morelos Dam all day on Wednesday. No Border Patrol transportation, or even an agent in a pickup truck, had come by to take them away, so they decided to walk to the Border Patrol station about 9 miles into town.
The group of around 100 walked into Yuma’s city limits, passing by neighborhoods, with some making a quick pit stop at a local McDonald’s. Frank, a local contractor, pulled over on his way to dinner to talk with me in astonishment, saying he had never seen something like this in Yuma before.
“How did they get past Border Patrol?” he asked.
“Because there is no Border Patrol over there,” I replied.
Some of the illegal immigrants were given rides by local residents or taxis and dropped off at Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector Headquarters. Others completed their journey by walking the whole way. Once at the station, they walked up to a gate and banged on it to let the agents know they were outside. Agents would come out and let them in to be processed.
Group of illegal immigrants got tired of waiting for Border Patrol and left the area by the border wall to go to the BP station. The group is now within Yuma’s city limits. Never seen this happen before. pic.twitter.com/yq6pFPT1JC— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) December 9, 2021
This scene in Yuma on Wednesday was the result of Border Patrol being unable to patrol the border because most of the sector’s agents were processing more than 3,000 illegal immigrants who were already in custody, meaning they were unable to intake the hundreds of other illegal immigrants who crossed that morning, resulting in them waiting for hours to be picked up.
Because people have waited for hours for Border Patrol to pick them up, they’re making tents out of blankets. Cocopah police are watching them. Lots of small children are here. pic.twitter.com/evRnfp7qRp— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) December 8, 2021
Border Patrol had transport vans near the U.S.-Mexico border, but a source explained to me they were told not to pick people up unless told to by their supervisors. I saw one transport van sitting in between two popular crossing points along a levee road but did not go to pick anyone up. The same source said Border Patrol told local law enforcement they would be relying on them to do actual patrolling along the border since they didn’t have the manpower to do it.
The large influx of people crossing into Yuma has presented a challenge to local farmers, whose fields sit right behind the levee and the now-incomplete border wall system.
Alex Muller, the chief operations officer for Pasquinelli Produce, told me there are E. coli concerns because illegal immigrants walk through their fields of leafy greens and relieve themselves in the fields or along the roads.
“They’re taking baths in the irrigation canals. If we had auditors drive here, we’d lose a lot of money,” Muller said. “I’m blown away [by the groups]. There’s little kids, pregnant ladies, I don’t know what the plan was.”
A group of Haitians had been waiting by one of Pasquinelli Produce’s fields all day for Border Patrol to pick them up only to leave to look for the police.
“It’s very easy for our government to fix [the crisis]. You know where they’re crossing, it’s very easy to shut it down. It’s become very political right now. It seems like the powers that be want it to be political, I don’t know, but it would be very easy for them to solve this,” Muller added.
New York City lawmakers approved a bill that will let more than 800,000 residents who aren’t U.S. citizens vote in municipal elections, becoming the largest city in the U.S. to grant access to the polls to noncitizens.
The Democratic-led City Council on Thursday voted 33-14 for the measure, which if enacted would take effect for council races in 2023. It has prompted legal questions as well as concerns from Republicans.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wouldn’t veto the legislation but didn’t commit to signing it before he leaves office at the end of this month. A bill becomes law if the mayor doesn’t sign or veto it within 30 days of passage.
New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a Democrat from upper Manhattan who immigrated to the city from the Dominican Republic, said his personal history informed the legislation. He wondered why, as a teacher working with a green card, he would pay taxes but not be granted a say in municipal-spending decisions.
“I believe that my contributions were equal before and after I became a U.S. citizen,” he said.
The measure would let lawful permanent residents or those authorized to work in the U.S. to vote in city elections if they have lived in the five boroughs for 30 days or more and meet the other requirements for voting. It wouldn’t grant voting rights to immigrants who entered the country illegally.
About 10% of the city’s 8.4 million inhabitants have status as lawful permanent residents, mostly with green cards, according to an April report by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. There were an estimated 476,000 undocumented immigrants in the city in 2019, the report said. The top countries of origin for foreign-born New Yorkers are the Dominican Republic, China and Jamaica, the report said.
The New York Immigration Coalition has pushed for the enactment of such a law for more than 10 years and hoped its passage in New York would spark more action around the country, said Anu Joshi, the advocacy group’s vice president of policy.
A smattering of other municipalities currently allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, Ms. Joshi said. They include Takoma Park, a Maryland city that borders Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, which allows residents to cast ballots in school-board elections regardless of their citizenship status.
Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat whose advisers say is considering a run for governor, said he wouldn’t veto the legislation if it reached his desk but that he had concerns about its legality.
“In the end, I want to make sure that citizenship, which people work so hard to achieve, is valued and is given its full weight,” the mayor said in late November during an interview on NY1.
The New York state Constitution says that all citizens over age 18 shall be eligible to vote, but, Mr. Rodriguez said, it doesn’t say anything that would prohibit noncitizens from gaining access to the ballot box in local elections.
City Councilman Joseph Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, said he would vote against the measure. He said that he believed the state constitution would need to be amended for the measure to be enacted and that it would be challenged in court. He said noncitizens in New York weren’t disenfranchised because they were eligible to vote in other countries, noting that candidates for office in places like the Dominican Republic come to New York to campaign for votes.
“I think there’s a number of people looking at lawsuits,” Mr. Borelli said.
After a contentious week of witness testimony, counsel arguments and deliberation, the jury found Smollett guilty on the first five counts and he was acquitted on a sixth count, of lying to a detective in mid-February, weeks after Smollett said he was attacked.
Smollett was stoic as the jury read the verdict. The actor sat upright and stared straight ahead without showing any real emotion.
Judge Linn said he will order a pre-sentencing investigation and attorneys will meet via conference call to determine a date for pre-sentencing motions
The judge also said the jury will not be speaking to the media today, if they ever choose to. He is also having deputies escort them to their cars.
The 39-year-old “Empire” alum was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct related to false statements to Chicago police officers in regard to a 2019 hate crime against himself. In 2019, he claimed that two men attacked him due to his skin color and sexual orientation.
A verdict has been reached in ‘Empire’ alum Jussie Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax trial. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
Among the surprising claims made in Smollett’s testimony was the revelation that the actor received a text from CNN’s Don Lemon, supposedly relaying information that the Chicago Police Department didn’t believe Smollett’s account of what happened.
The actor claimed to have been attacked in Chicago by two men in 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Additionally, he pushed back against testimonies from Bola Osundairo, one of the alleged attackers, claiming that he’d purchased drugs from the man and “made out” with him at a gay bathhouse.
Osundairo testified that he is not gay and their relationship was not sexual in nature. He also previously stated that he did not sell drugs to Smollett but merely acquired them for him.
The charge is a class 4 felony that carries a prison sentence of up to three years, but experts have said if convicted, Smollett would likely be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.
Fox News’ Matt Finn and Ruth Ravve as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report
Jussie Smollett lawyer says they ‘100 percent’ plan to appeal guilty verdicts, ‘confident’ on reversal
Jussie Smollett’s defense attorney said they will be appealing the actor’s guilty verdicts Thursday following the conclusion of the trial.
A jury found Smollett guilty of five of the six charges of disorderly conduct against him following a nearly two-week trial.
After the verdict was read, Nenye Uche told reporters Smollett was disappointed and that he is “100% innocent.” He said Smollett’s team is confident “he’s going to be cleared of all, all accusations on all charges.”
“The verdict is inconsistent,” he said during a press conference following the verdicts. “You can’t say Jussie is lying and say Jussie is not lying for the same exact incident.”
Actor Jussie Smollett, center, returns to the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chicago. Smollett was convicted Thursday on five of six charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh))
The defense attorney remained confident in the appellate system and the Illinois Supreme Court.
“We are confident in our appellate system,” Uche said. “We are confident in our Illinois Supreme Court, and we’re confident that at the end of the day, what’s out there in the news media and in the gossip forums are not going to stand a chance in court.”
Smollett’s return came after the jury notified Cook County Judge James Linn that they have reached a verdict in Smollett’s trial. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
The “Empire” actor was convicted Thursday on charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly three years ago and then lied to Chicago police about it.
In the courtroom as the verdict was read, Smollett stood and faced the jury, showing no visible reaction.
The jury found the 39-year-old guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct — for each separate time he was charged with lying to police in the days immediately after the alleged attack. He was acquitted on a sixth count, of lying to a detective in mid-February, weeks after Smollett said he was attacked.
Richard H. Ebright, an award-winning scientist and Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University, responded to statements made by Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday by repeatedly calling Fauci a “serial liar.”
Ebright responded to each of the following comments made on social media by stating, “Serial liars–like Fauci–will be serial liars.”
#1: “Fauci is such a tool. The question posed to him in congress was whether he funded gain of function research. He either did or he didn’t. He said he didn’t. New evidence suggests he did. This isn’t a scientific question.”
#2: “Fauci: ‘I’m going to be saving lives and they’re going to be lying’ – POLITICO Anyone who’s been this wrong and misled people this much should not hide behind ‘science’ especially when he has so blatantly ignored or misunderstood the ‘science’ throughout.”
#3: “Fauci then implied that Senator Ted Cruz should be prosecuted for Jan. 6. ‘And I’m going to be saving lives, and they’re going to be lying,’ he added. He also proclaimed: ‘I represent science! … And if you damage science, you’re doing something very detrimental to society…’”
Ebright criticized Fauci earlier this year after The Intercept obtained hundreds of pages of previously undisclosed information from the NIH that allegedly showed that EcoHealth Alliance used federal grant money to fund dangerous bat coronavirus research in the Chinese labs.
Ebright said [emphasis added]:
The materials show that the 2014 and 2019 NIH grants to EcoHealth with subcontracts to WIV funded gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies in effect in 2014-2017 and potential pandemic pathogen enhancement as defined in federal policies in effect in 2017-present.
The materials confirm the grants supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses that combined a spike gene from one coronavirus with genetic information from another coronavirus, and confirmed the resulting viruses could infect human cells.
The materials reveal that the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses also could infect mice engineered to display human receptors on cells (“humanized mice”).
The materials further reveal for the first time that one of the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses–one not been previously disclosed publicly–was more pathogenic to humanized mice than the starting virus from which it was constructed and thus not only was reasonably anticipated to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity, but, indeed, was *demonstrated* to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity.
The materials further reveal that the the grants also supported the construction–in Wuhan–of novel chimeric MERS-related coronaviruses that combined spike genes from one MERS-related coronavirus with genetic information from another MERS-related coronavirus.
The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful.
Ebright later criticized remarks made by former Biden COVID-19 senior adviser Andy Slavitt, saying that Slavitt was an “empty head” and a “dolt.”
Empty suits will be empty suits. Empty heads will be empty heads. The mystery is why governments rely on empty suits and empty heads.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to an attack from Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the president, on Sunday by doubling down on his call for the Department of Justice to investigate Fauci for alleged false statements that he made while testifying to Congress.
“Anybody who spins lies and threatens and all that theater that goes on with some of the investigations and the congressional committees and the Rand Pauls and all that other nonsense, that’s noise, Margaret, that’s noise,” Fauci said during an interview with CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.
Later, when asked about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) saying that Fauci should be prosecuted by the Department of Justice, Fauci responded: “Yeah. I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, senator?”
Fauci claimed that Republicans were trying to scapegoat him to protect former President Donald Trump and that Republicans who are attacking him are “lying.”
Cruz responded to Fauci’s remarks in a series of tweets late on Sunday afternoon, calling Fauci “an unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans.”
“He lives in a liberal world where his smug ‘I REPRESENT science’ attitude is praised,” Cruz said.
Cruz then laid out four “facts” related to his call for the DOJ to investigate Fauci:
On May 11, Fauci testified before a Senate Committee that “the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
On October 20, NIH wrote they funded an experiment at the Wuhan lab testing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” That is gain of function research.
Fauci’s statement and the NIH’s October 20 letter cannot both be true. The statements are directly contradictory.
18 USC 1001 makes it [a] felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to lie to Congress.
“No amount of ad hominem insults parroting Democrat talking points will get Fauci out of this contradiction,” Cruz concluded. “Fauci either needs to address the substance—in detail, with specific factual corroboration—or DOJ should consider prosecuting him for making false statements to Congress.”
Fauci faced additional backlash on Sunday from various officials and commentators:
Jeryl Bier, journalist: “This is not helpful in any way. This is almost word for word something a cult leader would say. This persuades no one not already in his corner.”
Richard Grenell, former Acting Director of National Intelligence: “Fauci is all about politics.”
House Judiciary GOP Twitter account: “Trust the science. Fire Fauci.”
Geoffrey Miller, psychology professor: “Fauci’s narcissism, over-confidence, authoritarianism, & hubris are an embarrassment to real working scientists, who tend to value teamwork & humility.”
Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that the recent epidemic of “flash mob” thievery going on in California will inevitably spread around the country.
“This is something now that I really unfortunately think is going to spread,” Ramsey told CNN on Thursday, via Newsweek. “Right now it’s in California, but it will spread, there’s no question about it.”
Ramsey’s comments come after another theft took place Wednesday. Four individuals, believed to be between the ages of 14 and 18, stole $20,000 worth of merchandise from an Apple store in the Santa Rosa Plaza, about 50 miles from San Francisco, The Daily Wire reported. “In a brazen daytime burglary in front of customers and staff, the suspects grabbed over $20,000 worth of merchandise from the store and fled the area in an unknown vehicle,” Santa Rosa police said in a statement.
A mob of five also sacked a Nordstrom luxury outlet in Canoga Park, a town in the Los Angeles area, Wednesday evening. The looters, one of them wearing an orange wig, attacked a security guard with “some kind of chemical” and stole at least seven luxury handbags, The Daily Wire reported.
The San Francisco Bay Area has been the epicenter of the looting sprees in recent days. The Daily Wire reported that a mob of about 80 people attacked another Nordstrom outlet in Walnut Creek, about 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, pepper spraying an employee and physically assaulting two others. Three people were arrested in connection with the robberies, according to local news outlets.
The Walnut Creek robbery was one of three major incidents that took place last weekend. The Daily Wire reported that a mob of people, some of whom were armed with hammers, looted a jewelry store in the city of Hayward, about 35 miles from San Francisco, on Sunday evening. Another mob looted a Louis Vuitton outlet in San Francisco on Friday night, breaking windows and “emptied out” the store. Newsweek reported that a Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent outlet were also robbed last Friday.
Several factors are to blame for the looting spree. Local officials have blamed the spike on California’s Proposition 47, which lessened penalties for shoplifting and raised the threshold for felony shoplifting from $400 to $950. Law enforcement officials told the Daily Mail that the mobs are recruited for up to $1,000 to steal the goods and sell them over the internet.
Ramsey told CNN that he saw the same thing during his tenure as Philadelphia Police commissioner. Groups of up to 20 individuals, mostly young adults, would rush into stores like Macy’s and take what they could before fleeing.
“It was really, really difficult to get a handle on it,” said Ramsey.
“What we found was, one, it was being organized through social media. So one of the things we started doing is paying close attention to social media.”
Ramsey said that just as Philadelphia Police struggled to contain the outbreak of looting in their city, so too would the stores, and California police, struggle to stop further attacks.
“I don’t know what’s driving all this, but it is of concern and it will continue,” Ramsey said. “It is not going to stop anytime soon.”
“This is not shoplifting, this is something far worse than shoplifting,” Ramsey added. “So, there’s a lot that has to be done if we want to get a handle on it.”
Democrats are already looking at a political minefield in the 2022 midterm elections.
Now the Left is facing another massive scandal.
And George Soros just created a huge problem for Democrats after this secret plan backfired.
Americans were horrified to see the video of a driver mowing down a crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Police took 39-year-old Darrell Brooks into custody on five counts of murder after alleging that Brooks intentionally drove his SUV into the crowd.
Brooks was out on the streets free to commit crimes because of the George Soros-backed Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.
Chisholm and other Soros-backed DA’s across the country support “no cash bail” reforms that allow criminals to walk right out of prison before they go to trial.
District Attorney Chisholm actually bragged that he knew this soft on crime approach would lead to death and destruction.
Chisholm’s office turned Brooks loose on the streets just days before the Waukesha massacre on a bail of $1,000 after police arrested Brooks on charges of running a woman over with his car at a gas station.
In 2022, Wisconsin will be home to one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races in the country.
Democrats need to flip this Republican-held seat if they hope to retain their majority.
But now, thanks to Soros-backed District Attorney John Chisholm, Democrats are now on the defensive about law and order.
The Soros prosecutor in Milwaukee *bragged* about setting violent criminals free to "go out and kill somebody."
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard