A Biden administration official has been charged with felony theft and is facing prison time.
Sam Brinton was accused of stealing a mother’s Vera Bradley suitcase from an airport in Minnesota.
Brinton works at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
A Biden administration official has been charged with felony theft and is on leave from their post after being accused of stealing a mother’s Vera Bradley suitcase from an airport in Minnesota, according to court documents and the federal government.
Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, was accused of taking the luggage from baggage claim at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on September 16, according to a complaint filed last month.
The 26-inch navy blue hard-sided roller bag and its contents were estimated to be worth $2,325, according to the court documents obtained by Insider.
FILE – A woman looks at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting, March 25, 2019, in London. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
A pair of climate protesters hurled tomato soup on a Vincent Van Gogh painting at London’s National Gallery Friday — the latest in a series of attempts to vandalize famous artwork to speak against oil.
Video shows the pair dropping an outer layer of clothing, revealing their Just Stop Oil T-shirts and taking out the cans of soup. The painting is enclosed in glass and aside from minor damage to the frame, the artwork is “unharmed,” the National Gallery said in a statement.
Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London, Friday Oct. 14, 2022. (Just Stop Oil via AP)
“Human creativity and brilliance is on show in this gallery, yet our heritage is being destroyed by our Government’s failure to act on the climate and cost of living crisis,” Just Stop Oil said in a statement not long after the footage went viral.
“What use is art when we face the collapse of civil society?” the group continued. “The art establishment, artists and the art-loving public need to step up into Civil Resistance if they want to live in a world where humans are around to appreciate art.”
Sunflowers were the subject of two series of paintings by van Gogh, and pieces of art from the floral set sell for tens of millions of dollars.
Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of two protesters who have thrown tinned soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s famous 1888 work Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London, Friday Oct. 14, 2022. (Just Stop Oil via AP)
This is not Just Stop Oil’s first public assault on Van Gogh — the revered painter is a common target of climate activists’ attention.
In June, a pair of activists with Just Stop Oil glued their hands to the frame of a Van Gogh painting at a London gallery to protest the government’s climate policies.
Louis McKechnie, 21, and Emily Brocklebank, 24, glued themselves to Van Gogh’s 1889 painting, “Peach Trees in Blossom, which hangs at the Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House in London.
“A piece of art receives this protection and state concern. Whilst people’s in Ethiopia, Somalia, India, Pakistan, the USA, Australia (to name a few) who are suffering from climate change NOW get ignored and left,” the group wrote. “What’s more important? This painting? Or a future”?!
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at email@example.com
A left-wing environmental activist group proposed deflating the tires of sports utility vehicles as a radical act of protest against climate change.
Adbusters, an activist group that describes itself as a “collective of artists, designers, writers, musicians, poets, punks, philosophers and wild hearts has been smashing ads, fighting corruption and speaking truth to power,” and has been tied to the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, called for activists to deflate SUV tires in a Twitter thread on Wednesday.
“Time to do something about SUVs,” the group wrote. “They’re the 2nd-largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions since 2010, more than aviation. This is a gentle escalation of methods to drive the urgency of this climate crisis home and engender a systemic aversion to SUVs.”
“So here’s what we do: Wedge gravel in the tire valves, leaflet the SUV to let them know the tires are flat and why it was done, and walk away,” the organization wrote. “It’s that simple. If we organize, we can hit enough SUVs in particular neighborhoods to spark reporting and spread the metameme. We do this neighbourhood-at-a-time to make the biggest splash. Organize a crew (off of any traceable apps) and make leaflets that lay out the case for climate action. The mission is not to win individual converts at this point, but to engender a systemic aversion to SUVs. Climate change is the biggest crisis we’ve faced as a species, and we are failing the test at every step. It is time for us to carefully escalate our methods in a non-violent manner and convey the seriousness of this crisis in tangible ways.”
“A flat tire is non-violent,” Adbusters continued. “There is no property damage. But it is a huge pain in the a**. We’ve seen this method succeed in Sweden, and have initial success in the UK with [Tyre Extinguishers] (articles warning off SUV purchases at risk of being targeted). Time to go global. Targeting SUVs is good way to hit the automotive industry where it hurts. SUV sales are playing a massive role in the expansion of the auto industry, both as a percentage of global market share and in total numbers. And that increase is setting the climate back massively.”
The group recommended targeting wealthy areas, to begin with, saying that its goal “isn’t to disrupt workers,” and to avoid targeting vehicles that have disabled stickers or handicap hangers.
Adbusters also posted a sample leaflet for activists to place on the windshields of vehicles they target.
“Your tires are flat,” the leaflet reads. “It isn’t personal. SUVs are disproportionately fueling the climate crisis. They’re the 2nd-largest contributor to increasing CO2 emissions since 2010. And they’re totally unnecessary. The climate crisis is spiraling out of control, making drastic action necessary. So we deflated your tires. Walk, bike, take public transit if you have to. But it’s time to end our reliance on these gas-guzzling behemoths.”
Critics on Twitter blasted the group, noting that the idea is ineffective, criminal, and possibly dangerous.
“[I’m] sure ruining someone’s day is a great way to make them agree with you,” one user wrote.
“Most people don’t carry a tire pump. They’re going to call a tow truck to either tow them because they don’t know the tire is still good or to reinflate the tire. The tow truck is way less efficient, burning fuel and unnecessary. They’re now p***** off and way less sympathetic,” wrote another.
“Malicious vandalism comes with occupational hazards,” a user tweeted.
“Three days in and Twitter is like yeah, encouraging property damage is totes fine,” another critic wrote.
“@TwitterSafety, pretty sure this is illegal,” said another.
Monica Cannon-Grant, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) leader in Boston, and her husband, Clark Grant, were hit with an 18-page federal indictment for fraud and conspiracy on Tuesday.
Federal authorities allege that Cannon-Grant and Grant have defrauded a large sum of donor dollars out of over $1 million in grants and donations given to their nonprofit, Violence in Boston, which aims to help violence survivors in the city.
Cannon-Grant, a prominent BLM organizer, was arrested outside of her Beantown home Tuesday and declined to comment at the courthouse after being released on personal recognizance, meaning she’ll remain free without bail but with a written promise to appear in court.
Monica Cannon-Grant, front left, leads demonstrators as they march from Nubian Square to Boston Police headquarters, April 21, 2021, in Boston, as they celebrate the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and demand for an end to police brutality. Federal prosecutors said in a statement Tuesday, March 15, 2022 that Cannon-Grant, and her husband Clark Grant, of Taunton, Mass., have been charged in an 18-count indictment with wire fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements to a mortgage lending business. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via AP)
The BLM activist has claimed innocence online and, under the terms of her release from Judge Judith Dein, is allowed to continue to work at her nonprofit twice a week but cannot handle the finances. She will be arraigned next week.
Prosecutors did not say how much money was allegedly taken by the couple.
Cannon-Grant’s attorney, Robert Goldstein, said “we are extremely disappointed the government rushed to judgment here” in a statement outside the courthouse.
“VIB (Violence in Boston) and Monica have been fully cooperating, and their production of records remains ongoing,” Goldstein said. “Drawing conclusions from an incomplete factual record does not represent the fair and fully informed process a citizen deserves from its government, especially someone like Monica who has worked tirelessly on behalf of her community.”
Michael Harris protests in front of the Glenn County Courthouse (Matt Leach/Fox Digital)
“We remain fully confident Monica will be vindicated when a complete factual record emerges,” he continued.
Grant was arrested last October by federal agents who raided the couple’s home and was previously charged with lying on a mortgage statement and collecting pandemic unemployment benefits illegally.
The lengthy indictmentalleges Cannon-Grant and her husband engaged in three different fraud schemes: lying on a mortgage application, defrauding donors and illicitly collecting approximately $1 million in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
The couple is accused of using a $6,000 grant meant for a trip for at-risk young men for personal expenditures.
A woman holds a Black Lives Matter flag during an event in remembrance of George Floyd and to call for justice for those who lost loved ones to police violence outside the Minnesota State Capitol on May 24, 2021, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images)
According to a trip proposal, the venture was “to give these young men exposure to communities outside of the violence-riddled neighborhoods that they navigate daily.”
Instead, the pair spared no expense on a vacation, according to federal authorities, eating a meal at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., buying merchandise at Walmart and taking visits to a nail salon among other expenditures.
Prosecutors also allege that Cannon-Grant told both the state attorney general’s office and the IRS that she took no salary from her nonprofit while paying herself $2,788 a week beginning in October 2020.
Cannon-Grant, 41, is the founder of Violence in Boston and was previously named “Bostonian of the Year” by Boston Globe Magazine.
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.
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.
So now we know. The guy in the truck actually stopped to help another person being robbed and beaten by Antifa and BLM. He later tried to get in his truck to leave and you know the restpic.twitter.com/SToeKmFtTk
BLM leader says to achieve racial peace, whites must give Blacks everything they own.
This story was originally highlighted a few years back, but it bears repeating , considering what we are seeing play out on cities streets over the past couple of months. It provides a little historical context to what we are witnessing.
Louisville-based Black Lives Matter leader Chanelle Helm, who admits she is not friends with any white people, outlined what she expects white people to do to make race relations in America.
Like all of the ideas coming out of the BLM movement, this too will go into file 13 right next to my work desk.
Now fast forward and pay close attention to the mass looting on the Magnificent Mile of high end stores, which the rioters now say was rightfully theirs and not the businesses’ to begin with or reparations, if you will. You own your own home? Give it to a Black family.
If you own rental property, allow a Black family in and don’t charge them rent. Name a Black person in your will.
I can attest to the fact that I have never owned a single slave in my whole life and no one can claim I did or that I owe reparations for slavery.
Dem0crats don’t owe BLM a thing. After all, they have allowed 93% of Blacks to live on their plantation rent free since the 1960’s.
Helm has produced a list of 10 demands that all involve white people giving Blacks whatever they own. Helm, like most of the BLM leadership is a Marxist.
Marxism is a failed concept every time it is tried. But still,people cling to it’s tenets, claiming that Marxism has never truly been tried. In Marxism you only have two classes of people, the poor and the elite that rule them.
Here are the 10 demands:
1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.
2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.
3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.
4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.
6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.
7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.
8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.
9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.
10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.
Alyssa Blanchard was so traumatized after being carjacked at gunpoint last week outside her Calumet Heights home that she’s now scared to go outside.
Chicago police say a group of children, ages 10 to 17, carjacked Blanchard and at least 15 other people since late June — wreaking havoc on Blanchard’s generally peaceful South Side neighborhood.
Police said shots were fired by the suspects in two of the carjackings, but no one was hit.
“I’m scared to use my garage. I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood,” said Blanchard, an elementary school teacher at Chicago Public Schools.
What’s especially painful for Blanchard was seeing her stolen BMW used the next day to carjack a woman in the parking lot of Trinity Hospital, a few blocks from her home, she said.
“I don’t want to have to tell my kid about how some young woman was killed or shot with kids using my vehicle. It was traumatizing,” Blanchard, 44, said.
Blanchard was carjacked July 14 while returning home in the early evening. As she pulled into her alley garage on South Kingston Avenue, she noticed a vehicle and three or four children come toward her.
Two children armed with handguns pointed them to her head and ordered her out of her BMW, she said. One child looked as young as 11, she said.
“It was so instantaneous … I was just scared for my life. I thought, ‘this is it,’” she said.
They took her purse, which had about $300 inside, and jumped inside her BMW and rode off, she said.
Blanchard said the children used her BMW the next day to carjack a woman in the parking lot of Trinity Hospital. In that carjacking, a 21-year-old was seated in her Lexus when four or five teens exited a BMW, with two of them confronting her with guns, police said.
Two teens forced her to the ground outside the car, but she grabbed onto a door handle and held on until the teens drove off, police said. The woman was treated for a foot injury.
Blanchard said police recovered her BMW, which had been crashed a couple days after the carjacking.
Blanchard said she was dismayed to see such young children involved in this type of crime.
“I teach this age group and I can’t believe they would do this,” she said.
Police published a community alert Sunday evening warning of 14 other carjackings tied to the children. According to the alert, the children are committing the carjackings at a greater frequency, with six carjackings reported just last Saturday:
–June 23 in the 7200 block of South Champlain Avenue; –July 9 in the 8000 block of South Indiana Avenue; –July 15 in the 8700 block of South Stony Island Avenue; –July 15 in the 7500 block of South Wabash Avenue; –July 16 in the 9100 block of South Essex Avenue; –July 16 in the 7300 block of South Chappel Avenue; –July 17 in the 8800 block of South Luella Avenue; –July 17 in the 8900 block of South Euclid Avenue; –July 17 in the 9100 block of South Jeffrey Avenue; –July 18 in the 9100 block of South Euclid Avenue; –July 18 in the 8600 block of South Constance Avenue; –July 18 in the 9300 block of South Paxton Avenue; –July 18 in the 9300 block of South Essex Avenue; –July 18 in the 1600 Block of East 92nd Place; and –July 18 in the 8100 Block of South Indiana Avenue.
No arrest has been made, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call CPD’s vehicle highjacking task force at 312-745-4489.
The horrendous vandalism of New York City’s historical St. Patrick’s Cathedral will see no justice. Thank goodness, the perpetrator was caught and arrested. A 26-year-old man from Queens, Yadir Avila Rosas was taken into custody during the early hours of Saturday morning, the NYPD told The New York Post.
Police charged Rosas “with criminal mischief in the third degree and making graffiti, alleging that he was the ‘getaway driver’ for two women who tagged the famous house of worship with spray-painted slogans on May 30” reported The Post.
Unfortunately, the District Attorney decided an arraignment on Saturday was unnecessary. Despite the DA’s lack of action, cops are still looking for the two female suspects who used Rosas as their getaway. Photos have been released and the NYPD is asking the public for help. If anyone has knowledge about the two women, they are asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
The famous Cathedral was sprayed with the words “F*** F***” in red letters on one exterior wall and “BLM” for Black Lives Matter along with “NYPDK” for “No Justice No Peace.” The victim’s name, George Floyd, was also spray-painted in black letters on part of its stairs.
If the District Attorney declines to prosecute Rosas, will the same be done after the female suspects are found? Is the hard work of the police and helpful public simply going to be flushed down the toilet by the District Attorney? It’s just another example of the uphill battle police departments in liberal cities face; leaders who thwart them, not support them.
justice.gov Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud 7-8 minutes The Department of Justice announced today that it has taken its first action in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The enforcement action filed today in Austin against operators of a fraudulent website follows Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction for the department to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic. As detailed in the civil complaint and accompanying court papers filed on Saturday, March 21, 2020, the operators of the website “coronavirusmedicalkit.com” are engaging in a wire fraud scheme seeking to profit from the confusion and widespread fear surrounding COVID-19. Information published on the website claimed to offer consumers access to World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine kits in exchange for a shipping charge of $4.95, which consumers would pay by entering their credit card information on the website. In fact, there are currently no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines and the WHO is not distributing any such vaccine. In response to the department’s request, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued a temporary restraining order requiring that the registrar of the fraudulent website immediately take action to block public access to it. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will use every resource at the government’s disposal to act quickly to shut down these most despicable of scammers, whether they are defrauding consumers, committing identity theft, or delivering malware.” “Attorney General Barr has directed the department to prioritize fraud schemes arising out of the coronavirus emergency,” said U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas. “We therefore moved very quickly to shut down this scam. We hope in the future that responsible web domain registrars will quickly and effectively shut down websites designed to facilitate these scams. My office will continue to be aggressive in targeting these sorts of despicable frauds for the duration of this emergency.” “At a time when we face such unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 crisis, Americans are understandably desperate to find solutions to keep their families safe and healthy,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “Fraudsters who seek to profit from their fear and uncertainty, by selling bogus vaccines or cures, not only steal limited resources from our communities, they pose an even greater danger by spreading misinformation and creating confusion. During this difficult time, protecting our communities from these reprehensible fraud schemes will remain one of the FBI’s highest priorities.” The United States filed today’s announced action to shutter the website immediately while an investigation of the website and its operators continues. In so doing, the government is employing a federal statute that permits federal courts to issue injunctions to prevent harm to potential victims of fraudulent schemes. The Department of Justice recommends that Americans to take the following precautionary measures to protect themselves from known and emerging scams related to COVID-19: Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19. Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.” Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the general public this way. Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment. Remember, if a vaccine becomes available, you won’t hear about it for the first time through an email, online ad, or unsolicited sales pitch. Check online reviews of any company offering COVID-19 products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items. Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving any donation. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources on donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Don’t send money through any of these channels. Be cautious of “investment opportunities” tied to COVID-19, especially those based on claims that a small company’s products or services can help stop the virus. If you decide to invest, carefully research the investment beforehand. For information on how to avoid investment fraud, visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, consumers may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO websites. In addition, the public is urged to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by e-mailing the NCDF at firstname.lastname@example.org. The enforcement action taken today is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas A. Parnham, Jr. and Michael C. Galdo of the Western District of Texas, and Senior Litigation Counsel Ross S. Goldstein of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch. The FBI’s San Antonio Field Office is conducting the investigation. The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government must prove to receive a permanent injunction against the defendant. For information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop COVID-19 fraud, visit http://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx.
LANCASTER COUNTY — The Manheim Township Police Department is reminding Central Pennsylvania residents to beware: with the approaching holidays, Porch Pirate Season is upon us once again.
As holiday shoppers begin having online purchases shipped to their homes, this time of year is traditionally when police departments see an increase in activity from “porch pirates” — nefarious suspects who troll neighborhoods looking for unattended packages left on front porches. They then steal the items, leaving the victims with no gifts.
Manheim Township Police have created the following tips for residents to protect themselves from porch pirates:
Have packages delivered to where you are, not to where you aren’t. Consider having packages delivered to your place of employment instead of your home.
Use tracking numbers and delivery notifications. Most major shipping companies offer this service for free, and may also send you a text or email when your package arrives.
Ask family members, trusted neighbors, and/or friends to accept deliveries on your behalf or ask them to pick up your packages for you.
Request packages to be placed in a less conspicuous spot, such as a side door, or behind a planter or garbage can.
Many shipping companies now allow you to request a delivery time or time-frame. Schedule packages for when someone is home.
Install a smart security camera or doorbell camera, like Ring® or Nest®, at your front door. Our police agency has solved numerous residential property crimes using these systems and collaborating with our citizens.
Request signature on delivery of packages, if possible. Some companies and shippers offer locker services for packages to be held at the distribution center for pick up by the customer. Similarly, you can have an item shipped directly to an area store where you can safely pick it up.
Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and people in your neighborhood. Be sure to report suspicious activity to your local police department as it is occurring. Calling after the fact makes it much harder to thwart potential criminal activity.
Additionally, residents should be aware of a secondary scam where thieves will order items and have them shipped to unaware third parties and use their front door as a drop location. If you received a package you did not order, please call the shipping company and your local police department to file a report.
Image Credit – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
PETITION TARGET: Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement Jim Landon
Florida wildlife officials discovered a fatally wounded bottlenose dolphin along the coast of Upper Captiva Island in Lee County, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“There was a wound penetrating from above and in front of the right eye, extending almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head. The wound ended inside the head at the top of the skull and had evidence of hemorrhaging, indicating wounds consistent with being impaled prior to death,” the NOAA stated.
The necropsy revealed the dolphin was likely “begging” for food when gruesomely stabbed by a “spear-like object.”
“People can help prevent future harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them. Not only is it illegal, dolphins fed by people learn to associate people, boats, and fishing gear with food, which puts dolphins and people in harmful situations,” the NOAA informed.
“Harassing, harming and killing wild dolphins is also illegal,” the Miami Herald warned.
Sign this petition to urge NOAA Director Jim Landon to use all available resources to investigate this horrific crime against protected wildlife, so the perpetrator can be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Posts by Alex Larson →
Photo by jonathan leonardo on Unsplash
Carnival Corporation will now have to pay $20 million after a court filing submitted on Monday said Carnival released food waste and plastic into the ocean, failed to accurately record waste disposals, created false training records, and secretly examined ships to fix environmental-compliance issues before third-party inspections without reporting its findings to the inspectors.
The violations took place on Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival.
The settlement reached this week will require Carnival to pay $20 million within seven days, receive additional inspections, invest in more resources to ensure compliance with its probation, reduce the number of single-use plastic items on its ships, and establish teams to improve waste management. If the requirements are not met, they will have to pay penalties of $1 million to $10 million per day.
U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz approved the terms of the deal during a hearing Monday in Miami. She had appeared to grow increasingly frustrated as the company has continued to defy environmental regulations over the past couple decades.
“You not only work for employees and shareholders. You are a steward of the environment,” she told Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, who attended the hearing with other senior executives. “The environment needs to be a core value, and I hope and pray it becomes your daily anthem.”
In 2013, a whistleblowing engineer exposed the illegal dumping of contaminated waste and oil from the company’s Caribbean Princess ship. He told authorities that engineers were using a special device called the “magic pipe” to bypass the ship’s water treatment system and dump oil waste straight into the ocean. The company also tried to cover up this practice from investigators, according to the Justice Department.
Kirby Silverberg started this petition to RCMP – Grande Prairie (Sexsmith – Alberta)
Over the weekend a video surfaced online of two boys beating a coyote to death. Laughing while they slam the still alive animal against their snowmobile. The videos is so disturbing to watch. The boys taunt the animal as they clearly take pleasure in ending its life. The RCMP is undecided as to whether or not charges will be laid. This shouldn’t be a question of if. This inhuman, sociopathic behaviour needs to be punished. Sign of you agree.
Charge the individuals responsible.
Something needs to be done. These acts of violence against a defenceless animal cannot be tolerated.
An image found on a confiscated mobile phone documents a suspected poacher standing over a dead tiger in a forest in Thailand. Photo from Freeland Foundation.
Following a three-month investigation, Thai officials are warning that organized crime gangs that are dispatched across borders are targeting the endangered wild tigers in Thailand and Malaysia.
According to Freeland Foundation, a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery, Thai authorities have arrested one of many gangs.
The investigation was initiated after the successful arrest of two Vietnamese males by Thai Police in October 2018 following a tip-off from a Thai driver-for-hire.
The observant driver, who was taking the men from the western town of Tak to Pitsanalok, thought the baggage was suspicious, so he called the police who subsequently stopped the vehicle, inspected the bag, and discovered a fresh tiger skeleton inside.
The police arrested the owners of the bag, took the suspects and tiger remains to the Nakorn Sawan Police station, and inspected the suspects’ belongings, including their phones.
Police then contacted Freeland for analytical assistance.
Freeland’s forensics experts were dispatched to the scene and provided on-the-job training. Using Cellebrite digital forensics technology, police found evidence that the poaching coordinators, originating from Vietnam, had crossed Laos into Thailand to sponsor targeted hunting inside the forests of Thailand and Malaysia, and possibly Myanmar. The poachers documented their trips on their phones, including tiger kills.
Freeland believes the poachers were working on assignment from a Vietnamese criminal syndicate.
“We do not think this was the poacher’s or poaching coordinators’ first time in Thailand, or working together, and we have reason to believe they were planning to strike again,” Petcharat Sangchai, Director of Freeland-Thailand said in a statement.
Following the discovery of the gang and poached tiger, Thai rangers were put on high alert.
“This gang has been removed as a threat, but we should be aware that whoever employed them may dispatch more hunters to kill our country’s tigers,” said Sanchai. “Police, rangers, and the public must remain vigilant.”
Tragically, there are only an estimated 2,500 tigers remaining in the wild.
Freeland Foundation is requesting that people with any information on the “poachers’ ID, whereabouts, or about other poaching coordinators” to contact them; noting on their Facebook page that “solid tips” like the one that resulted in the arrest of two poaching coordinators who are in jail now, may be rewarded.”
Freeland Thailand is located at 92/1 Soi Phahonyothin 5, Phahonyothin Road, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400 THAILAND. The phone number is +(66) 2-278 2033 and fax number is +(66) 2-278 2037. Tips may also be sent to email@example.com
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