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Honorary Alaska ‘mayor,’ Stubbs the cat, dies at 20

(CNN)In today’s political climate, catty politicians claw for every vote, but the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, was different. His ability to unite through cuddles and his fondness for naps made him remarkable, and this mayor — Stubbs the cat — also proved that opposable thumbs aren’t necessary for success in politics.

The honorary mayor of the small Alaska town, elected as a write-in in 1997 due to a paucity of viable human candidates, died at age 20, according to a Saturday news release from his owners.
“He was a trouper until the very last day of his life,” Stubbs’ owners said. “You are are a remarkable cat and we will dearly miss you.”

    A life in the spotlight

    Stubbs served Talkeetna for 20 years. His office, at Nagley’s Store, became a destination for locals and tourists alike who sought sage council from the cat.
    And although Stubbs lacked the legislative and rhetorical prowess of a typical politician, he always did well in the polls.
    “Over 75% of visitors ask ‘Where’s the mayor?’ or come in with this statement ‘I have an appointment with the mayor,'” the news release said. “I think we heard those two statements over 100 times a day during our first year.”
    Stubbs’ career wasn’t completely free of controversy, though.
    In 2013, Stubbs suffered a vicious attack from a neighborhood dog that left him sidelined in a hospital.
    But even a punctured lung, fractured sternum and deep lacerations couldn’t keep him from his duties. Stubbs recovered and assumed all his previous mayoral responsibilities.

    A steady health decline

    Although he loved the attention as a kitten and younger cat, Stubbs’ life in the public eye eventually began to wear on him.
    He began a retreat from public life in 2015 due to old age, and he cut back on visits to the store, according to the news release.
    By 2017, Stubbs just wasn’t having it anymore.
    “Stubbs did a couple TV shows and more than a handful of interviews, but was not fond of the camera and all the people; it had gotten to be too much for him,” his owners said.
    In the wake of his death, his owners hinted another of their kittens, Denali, may assume his role.
    “We couldn’t have asked for a better understudy than Denali — he really has followed in Stubbs’ pawprints in just about everything.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/23/us/mayor-cat-stubbs-dies-at-20/index.html

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    Tennessee county inmates get reduced jail time for getting a vasectomy

    (CNN)Yes, you read that right. Inmates in White County, Tennessee, can shave 30 days off their jail sentence if they undergo an elective birth control procedure.

    Both male and female inmates can volunteer for the new program. Women receive a Nexplanon implant in their arm, which provides up to three years of continuous birth control. Men undergo a vasectomy. The procedures are free and conducted by the Tennessee Department of Health.
    General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield signed a standing order on May 15 enforcing the program.
      “I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, not to be burdened with children,” Benningfield told CNN affiliate WTVF. “This gives them a chance to get on their feet and make something of themselves.”
      Since the program started, 32 women and 38 men have volunteered. The men are currently waiting to have the vasectomies performed.
      “I understand it won’t be entirely successful, but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win-win,” Benningfield said.

      Controversy over new program

      Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. District Attorney Bryant Dunaway and the ACLU are speaking against the ethics and legality of it.
      “Those decisions are personal in nature and I think that’s just something the court system should not encourage or mandate,” Dunaway told WTVF.
      Dunaway has instructed his staff not to make any arrangements involving the birth control program.
      “Offering a so-called ‘choice’ between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN executive director, in a statement.
      “Judges play an important role in our community — overseeing individuals’ childbearing capacity should not be part of that role.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/us/white-county-inmate-vasectomy-trnd/index.html

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      Who are the parole board members deciding O.J.’s fate?

      (CNN)At least four people will determine Thursday whether OJ Simpson will soon be released from prison.

      If the first four members of the Nevada parole board attending Simpson’s hearing in Carson City don’t all vote the same way, then two other commissioners will be called upon to try to reach a majority.
      If it’s an even split at 3-3, Simpson will have to wait for a new hearing in January, by which time a new commissioner will give the board seven members.
        Here’s what the state of Nevada has revealed on its website about each parole board member:

        Connie S. Bisbee

        • Position:
        • Chairwoman

        • Will attend hearing?
        • Yes, she will preside over the hearing. Was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

        • Years on Parole Board: 14 total, eight as chairwoman
        • Most recent former job:
        • Associate warden of programs for the Nevada Department of Corrections

        • Other jobs:
        • Judicial services director in northern Florida until 1999, US Air Force

        • Education: Criminal justice, Troy (Alabama) State University; master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development, Troy State

        Tony Corda

        • Position:
        • Commissioner

        • Will attend hearing?
        • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

        • Years on Parole Board: Eight years
        • Most recent former job:
        • Associate warden of programs at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, 2 years

        • Other jobs:
        • Correctional officer, classification analyst at Department of Corrections

        • Education: Criminal justice, University of Nevada at Reno

        Adam Endel

        • Position:
        • Commissioner

        • Will attend hearing?
        • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

        • Years on Parole Board: Eight years
        • Most recent former job:
        • Associate warden of programs at Ely State Prison, 8 years

        • Other jobs:
        • Correctional officer, caseworker III, and associate warden of programs, 18 years total

        • Education: Criminal justice administration, BS, Central Missouri State University

        Susan Jackson

        • Position:
        • Commissioner

        • Will attend hearing?
        • Yes, was also at Simpson’s 2013 parole hearing

        • Years on Parole Board: Nine years
        • Most recent former job:
        • Senior investigator with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, 15 years

        • Other jobs:
        • Agent with Nevada State Gaming Control Board; senior investigator with the Attorney General’s Office

        • Education: FBI Academy

        Ed Gray

        • Position:
        • Commissioner

        • Will attend hearing?
        • No, will watch from Las Vegas

        • Years on Parole Board: 10 years
        • Most recent former job:
        • Parole board case hearing representative, 14 years

        • Other jobs:
        • US Air Force and US Civil Service

        • Education: Post-secondary and adult education, BS, University of Nevada at Las Vegas; Human resource management, associate degree, Community College of the Air Force; Business management, associate degree, Community College of Southern Nevada

        Michael Keeler

        • Position:
        • Commissioner

        • Will attend hearing?
        • No, will watch in Las Vegas

        • Years on Parole Board:
        • 11 years

        • Most recent former job:
        • Southern Nevada Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Service

        • Other jobs:
        • Public services intern, case manager, teaching parent, clinical social work intern, clinical social worker, supervisor, psychiatric emergency services director, inpatient administrative coordinator, clinic director, and services coordination director, all with state of Nevada.US Army veteran.

        • Education: Social work, undergraduate and graduate degrees, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

        Vacant position

        Christopher DeRicco will become the seventh parole board member. He takes the place of Lucille Monterde, who served for three years.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/19/us/oj-simpson-parole-board/index.html

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        Texas judge orders prison to cool down

        (CNN)Texas is famously hot and its prisons are no exception, especially in the summer months. So much so that a federal judge has ordered one prison to cool off for the sake of inmates’ health.

        The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has 15 days to come up with a plan to house some 500 “heat-sensitive” inmates at Wallace Pack Unit in living quarters exceeding no more than 88 degrees. The ruling, issued Wednesday by US District Judge Keith Ellison, also calls for easy access to respite areas for the remaining 1,000 inmates at the unit, which is located about 75 miles northwest of Houston.
        The preliminary injunction stems from a lawsuit filed in 2014 seeking cooler temperatures for inmates, citing a spate of deaths in the previous three years.
          In 2016, the heat index at the unit surpassed 100 degrees on 13 days and hovered around the 90s degrees for 55 days, the ruling notes. No heat-related deaths have been reported at the unit, but at least 23 men have died because of heat in TDCJ facilities since 1998, Ellison wrote. Intermediary measures are necessary to avoid cruel and unusual punishment, he said.
          “… the Court does not order defendants to reduce temperatures to a level that may be comfortable, but simply to a level that reduces the significant risk of harm to an acceptable one,” Ellison wrote.
          Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to appeal the ruling, saying the state has taken significant measures to mitigate the effects of the sweltering conditions.
          Inmates are allowed to wear shorts and t-shirts in housing areas during summer months, the ruling notes. They can seek relief in air-conditioned areas, including an infirmary, administration offices, visitation areas, the education department and the barbershop.
          But, after a nine-day hearing in June 2017, Ellison concluded the measures are insufficient to combat the risk of serious injury or death in summer months.
          In his ruling, the judge quotes Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous line about Siberian prisons: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”
          “Prisoners are human beings with spouses and children who worry about them and miss them,” Ellison continues. “Some of them will likely someday be shown to have been innocent of the crimes of which they are accused. But, even those admittedly guilty of the most heinous crimes must not be denied their constitutional rights. We diminish the Constitution for all of us to the extent we deny it to anyone.”
          According to the ruling, TDCJ argued at the hearing that its mitigation measures have successfully reduced the number of heat-related illnesses in the Pack Unit. Those measures include access to respite areas, ice water, industrial and personal fans, cool-down showers and wellness checks, the ruling said.
          But inmates testified at the hearing that the respite areas can handle only a fraction of men in the unit, according to the ruling. Even then, the men are often forced to stand and move quickly from one respite area to another.
          One of those inmates is 71-year-old Richard King. He suffers from high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. During the summer, he testified that he sweats profusely, making it difficult to write letters because the moisture drips all over his paper, the ruling states. When he lies down, sweat pools in his eyes.
          He finds that it is often cooler to lie on the concrete floors than in his bunk, because his personal fan blows hot air and does not have a cooling effect.
          While he has never been denied access to respite areas, he testified that he has been discouraged by the constant movement and standing, which can be difficult given his age and disabilities. Sometimes, corrections officers limit his time in the barbershop to 15 to 20 minutes, he testified, according to the ruling.
          Paxton said it could cost TDCJ up to $20 million to retrofit the Unit with a permanent air conditioning system. The ruling does not require prison officials to install air conditions throughout the prison. It suggests that staff could adjust housing for “heat-sensitive inmates” such as the elderly and disabled to place them in cooled dormitories.
          “The judge’s ruling downplays the substantial precautions TDCJ already has in place to protect inmates from the summer heat,” Attorney General Paxton said.
          “Texas taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars to pay for expensive prison air conditioning systems, which are unnecessary and not constitutionally mandated. We’ll appeal the decision and are confident that TDCJ is already doing what is constitutionally required to adequately safeguard offenders from heat-related illnesses.”

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/19/us/texas-prison-heat-lawsuit/index.html

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          Michigan to institute harsher penalty for female genital mutilation

          (CNN)A series of new laws passed in Michigan strengthen penalties for female genital mutilation practices in the state. Performing FGM or transporting another person in the state for the purpose of undergoing FGM will be punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 10 years more than the federal penalty for the crime.

          The new legislation comes only a few months after the state became the backdrop for the first federal case involving FGM in the United States. Six people were charged for either committing or assisting in performing female genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls, who were brought into Michigan from Minnesota. FGM is illegal in the United States for girls under 18 and is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to national law.

          Stronger punishment

            FGM is a painful surgical procedure to remove part of the clitoris or clitoral hood to suppress female sexuality. The World Health Organization considers the practice a human rights violation for both girls and women.
            No religious texts require FGM. Yet some cultures and sects believe the practice makes for better wives by making girls more acceptable in their communities. The practice aims to reduce a woman’s libido to ensure premarital virginity and marital fidelity.
            In addition to increasing prison sentences for those involved in FGM, the series of 12 bills passed by the Michigan legislature would revoke the license of any health professional who assists in or commits the procedure.
            The laws state that saying the operation is “required as a matter of custom or ritual” will not be an acceptable defense for committing the crime. Parental consent is also not a legal defense, according to the new laws.
            Governor Rick Snyder signed all 12 bills into law on Tuesday.
            “Those who commit these horrendous crimes should be held accountable for their actions, and these bills stiffen the penalties for offenders while providing additional support to victims,” Snyder told CNN in a statement. “This legislation is an important step toward eliminating this despicable practice in Michigan while empowering victims to find healing and justice.”

            The original case

            Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, his wife, Farida Attar, 50, and Detroit emergency room physician Jumana Nagarwala, 44, were arrested and indicted in the initial case back in April. The Attars and Nagarwala face one count of conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation, two counts of female genital mutilation and one count of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Nagarwala and Fakhruddin Attar also face one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
            “Dr. Attar is not aware of any crimes that occurred at his clinic,” Attar’s defense attorney, Mary Chartier, said. “He has confidence that he will be vindicated through the justice system because he has done nothing to violate the law.”
            Since the initial indictment, three more people have been indicted in the same case, bringing the total number of people charged for an initial incident that dates back to February up to six. The case is ongoing.
            According to the complaint, the FBI had received information that FGM procedures were being performed at a clinic where Dr. Attar was the director. Court documents do not indicate the source of the information.
            The Attars and Nagarwala are members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect of Islam, said Victoria Burton-Harris, an attorney for Tahera Shafiq, one of the three people charged since April.
            “There was no mutilation of any genitals, of any kind,” Burton-Harris said. “There was no federal crime committed of any type. This is, quite honestly, ignorance of religion that has caused fear and an outright attack on this particular sect of Muslims.”

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/12/us/female-genital-mutilation-laws-michigan/index.html

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            Mom of murdered toddler sentenced to probation

            (CNN)The mother of murdered 2-year-old Bella Bond will not serve any additional jail time, despite helping dispose of her daughter’s body and continuing to take government benefits after her death.

            Rachelle Bond, 41, pleaded guilty in February to charges including being an accessory after the fact to her daughter’s murder.
            Her former boyfriend Michael McCarthy was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison last month for the murder of the toddler. He will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
              “The sentencing today just completes the circle of injustice,” McCarthy’s attorney Jonathan Shapiro told CNN in a telephone interview Wednesday.
              “She got away with murder by making a deal with the prosecution to testify against Mr. McCarthy in return for her freedom. The jury needed someone to pay for this terrible crime. If it couldn’t be Rachelle, then it had to be Michael.”
              Bond was in jail awaiting her own trial when she agreed to testify against McCarthy.
              She was also sentenced to two years’ probation for theft of over $250 by false pretense and for accepting government benefits meant for Bella after her death. Her probation will include a full psychiatric evaluation and rehabilitation for substance abuse.

              Prosecutor: Agreements not entered into lightly

              “We don’t enter into these agreements lightly or capriciously or frivolously,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said during a news conference Wednesday.
              “We could not prosecute Michael McCarthy, and we would not have been able to hold him accountable without the truthful testimony of Rachelle Bond.”
              Bond served nearly two years in jail and will enter a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse upon her release from South Bay Corrections Center in Boston on Friday, her attorney Janice Bassil said in court.
              “She is scared about her future,” Bassil said. “She has a future without her child, and regardless of what people think of her involvement or not, she grieves the loss of that child every single day.”
              Bond’s sentencing caps a saga that began in June 2015 when a jogger found an unidentified girl’s partially decomposed body in a trash bag along Deer Island near Boston. Authorities launched an extensive effort to identify the girl, known as “Baby Doe,” and commissioned an artist to draw a composite image of her that was widely shared.

              A break in the case

              The case broke open in September 2015, after Rachelle Bond admitted to a friend that her daughter Bella was dead, and that the girl had not been taken away from the Department of Children and Families, as she had told others, including the child’s father. The friend recognized Baby Doe as Bella Bond and notified police. The tip led to the arrest of McCarthy and Bond.
              Prosecutors relied heavily on Bond’s testimony during McCarthy’s trial. They claimed that McCarthy had called Bella a “demon,” killed her and dumped a trash bag with the child’s body into the water near Deer Island.
              During closing statements, prosecutors said the devastating world of heroin addiction had subsumed the lives of McCarthy, Rachelle Bond and those around them. Bond’s attorney claimed it’s a world that her client will try to leave behind.
              “Once she completes an in-patient program, she will be in further step-down programs and eventually reach a point where I hope she will lead an independent life free of drugs and substance abuse,” Bassil said.
              In addition to attending rehab for substance abuse, Bond is also barred from residing with anyone who uses illegal substances, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney David Deakin said in court.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/12/us/bella-bond-mom-sentencing/index.html

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              Former USA Gymnastics doctor pleads guilty to child pornography charges

              (CNN)Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics physician accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women and girls, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal child pornography charges.

              “Victims and the public can be assured that a day of reckoning is indeed in Dr. Nassar’s future,” Acting US Attorney Andrew Birge said in a statement. “No one, no matter his station in life, is above the law. Those who exploit children will be found out and they will be held accountable.”
              Nassar’s attorneys, Matthew Newburg and Shannon Smith, declined to comment on the guilty plea, but issued a brief statement about the state charges he also faces.
                “Dr. Nassar’s position on the state cases has not changed and we intend to proceed to trial. The plea today was negotiated only to resolve the federal charges,” their joint statement reads.
                In total, Nassar faces 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 11 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct at the state level, according to Megan Hawthorne, deputy press secretary for state Attorney General Bill Schuette.
                Nassar has pleaded not guilty to all of the state charges, Hawthorne said. Several of the first degree charges pertain to victims under 13, and all of the state-level charges involve former family friends, gymnasts, and/or patients of Nassar, she said.
                Nassar, the father of three school-aged children,was the team physician for the Michigan State University gymnastics and women’s crew teams, as well as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He worked at MSU from 1997 to 2016, and served as the USA Gymnastics physician through four Olympic Games.
                Prosecutors alleged that between September and December 2004, Nassar knowingly downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the Internet and that between 2003 and 2016, he knowingly kept thousands of child pornography images and videos on his hard drive. Some of the images Nassar allegedly possessed included those of a minor under 12 years old, court documents state.
                Furthermore, court documents allege that in September 2016, when he was aware that he was under investigation, Nassar paid $49 to have his laptop completely wiped of the pornographic images and videos and threw away several hard drives containing child pornography.
                Nassar faces a combined maximum of 60 years of imprisonment. Nassar must also register as a sex offender and pay restitution to all of the victims of his sexual exploitation, the amounts of which will be determined at a later sentencing date, according to the terms of the plea deal.
                In return, the US Attorney has agreed to dismiss Nassar’s original indictment and not prosecute Nassar for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, relating to alleged conduct with two minors in Nassar’s swimming pool in the summer of 2015 and for “illicit sexual conduct” with two other minor children during interstate and international travel, according to the plea agreement obtained by CNN.
                Jeanette Antolin, a member of the US National Gymnastics Team from 1995-2000 who alleges that Nassar molested her when she was competing in Canada, Switzerland, and China, denounced the plea agreement.
                “I sacrificed my childhood to compete for the United States throughout the world,” Antolin said. “The doctor they assigned to treat me betrayed my trust. Now the federal government is giving him a free pass for his alleged assaults on me and many other child athletes. That’s not justice.”
                These federal charges are separate from the sexual assault charges that Nassar faces at the state level.
                The state charges, filed in two Michigan counties, stem from allegations that Nassar sexually abused young female athletes under the guise of providing medical care in his home and other settings, including the Michigan State University sports medicine clinic and Twistars Gymnastics Club.
                In February, MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon stated that the university is “fully cooperating with every aspect of the ongoing criminal investigations and have urged all members of the MSU community to do so as well.”
                The following month, Twistars Gymnastics Club issued a statement saying they “had zero knowledge of any of the allegations against Dr. Nassar, who was never an employee of Twistars. Our hearts go out to the women who have spoken up and, like everyone else, we are sickened to the core by their stories.”
                In April, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) revoked Nassar’s medical license for a minimum of three years, said Jason Moon, communications director for LARA. Nassar must also pay a $100,000 fine if he chooses to file an application to reinstate his license. Reinstatement would require approval from the Michigan Board of Medicine, Moon said.

                Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/11/us/usa-gymnastics-doctor-pleads-guilty/index.html

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                Baton Rouge cop killer left note, fired at least 43 rounds

                (CNN)The Louisiana law officers who killed Gavin Long after he shot dead three of their colleagues in a targeted attack on police in Baton Rouge last summer were justified “and certainly saved other lives,” a prosecutor said Friday.

                East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III released the results of an 11-month investigation into the July 17 attack, in which Long killed three cops and injured three others in a nation already roiled by several police-involved shootings that month.
                Long, a 29-year-old black Missouri resident and discharged Marine, arrived in Baton Rouge five days earlier and was determined to kill police officers, “black or white … as long as they had a badge,” Moore said in a news conference.
                  Moore’s investigation report, as well as newly released surveillance videos and police dispatch recordings, presents the fullest picture yet of how the shootings unfolded that Sunday morning outside several businesses in Louisiana’s capital.
                  Here’s some of what was revealed:

                  Suicide note: Targeting ‘bad cops … good cops’

                  In a three-page note found in his rented vehicle, Long wrote that he needed to bring destruction “upon bad cops as well as good cops” because of what he saw as the justice system’s failure to prosecute bad police officers who commit crimes against “my people,” Moore said.
                  The note didn’t mention specific events. But other evidence released Friday, as well as known information about his travels and YouTube videos, indicates Long monitored events dominating national news that month:
                  — The July 5 shooting death by police of black Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling.
                  — The July 7 killings of five police officers in Dallas by a black man who said he was upset by the shootings of Sterling and Philando Castile, a black motorist killed by police that month in Minnesota.
                  Long left a trail of writings and videos describing his thoughts and worldview under the name Cosmo Setepenra.
                  On July 10, he posted a YouTube video in which said he was in Dallas, days after the killings there. He talked of recent protests and officer-involved shootings, and of a notion that victims of bullying need to resort to brute force.
                  Police say he drove to Baton Rouge on July 12, then spent nights in several hotels. In his note, Long called his actions a “necessary evil” that he hoped would spur good cops to demand that bad ones be held accountable.
                  The note appears similar to a message that he reportedly emailed to an Ohio rapper — someone he didn’t know but had communicated with online — shortly before the shooting.
                  A search of Long’s laptop, also found in his car, showed it was used to search for information about the two police officers who shot Sterling, the report says.

                  He fired 43 rounds over nearly 14 minutes

                  Long killed three officers that morning: Baton Rouge police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald, and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola.
                  He also shot and injured officers Chad Montgomery and Bruce Simmons, and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Nick Tullier. Tullier, shot in the head and abdomen, was in a coma for four months before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Houston.
                  Long fired 43 rounds. Here’s how the nearly 14-minute attack began, according to Moore and surveillance videos:
                  — Long parked his rental car outside a beauty supply store, walked out with a semiautomatic rifle, checked an unoccupied police car outside a nearby B-Quick convenience store, returned to his car and drove away.
                  — Someone went into the B-Quick and told Gerald, who was at the checkout line, that a man was outside with a rifle.
                  — Gerald and Garafola, who also was at the B-Quick, went outside to look for the gunman and radio for backup. Jackson, at a car wash next door, went to the B-Quick in response.
                  — The three officers walked around the beauty store. Long drove back to the area, parked and walked toward the same store.
                  — Long, wearing black clothes and a mask, walks past several civilians, at one point waving to one group.
                  — Long caught up from behind, shooting and killing Jackson and Gerald. Montgomery and a partner arrived in a car; Long shot and injured Montgomery.
                  — “Shots fired! Officers down,” Garafola radioed before trying to reach Gerald. Garafola died in an exchange of gunfire with Long, who then shot Gerald’s body twice more.

                  Police fired 106 times; Long had 45 wounds

                  Long eventually shot Tullier and Simmons, who arrived where Long had parked his car outside a fitness studio. SWAT officers arrived and shot Long in the leg. Collapsed on the ground, Long reached for his dropped rifle, but five SWAT officers fired, killing him, Moore said.
                  Throughout the battle, officers fired 106 times. Eighty-nine of those shots came from SWAT officers.
                  Moore said long had a total of 45 entry and exit wounds.

                  Long had alcohol, methamphetamine in system

                  A toxicology report found Long had a blood-alcohol content of .021%. It also detected methamphetamine in his system, Moore said.
                  A separate semiautomatic rifle and a 9mm pistol were found in the rental car, Moore’s report said.

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/30/us/baton-rouge-gavin-long-police-killings/index.html

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                  National Guard Fast Facts

                  (CNN)Here’s a look at the National Guard, a reserve military force and the oldest component of the US armed forces.

                  The National Guard was formed in 1636 as the militia of the colonists in North America, and is guaranteed by the US Constitution.
                  The Marquis de Lafayette, on a visit to the United States in 1824, popularized the term “national guard” as a description for the various states’ militias. The title was formalized by federal legislation in 1903.
                    Other reserve groups have no affiliation with the National Guard. (Ex. Army Reserve)
                    Each US state, territory and Washington DC has its own National Guard.
                    The National Guard takes an oath to perform state or federal missions and can be deployed for either. A governor can call up troops to assist in national disasters or civil disturbances, and the president can order troops for federal missions both domestically and in foreign nations.
                    In times of peace, the National Guard trains or “drills” one weekend a month and two weeks during the year.
                    Ohio Governor James Rhodes called up approximately 100 Ohio National Guardsmen in May 1970 to disperse an angry crowd of students at Kent State University. Guardsmen shot and killed four students, and injured nine others.
                    Some of the National Guard’s international federal mobilizations include the Berlin crisis of 1961 and peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
                    Recent Wartime International Mobilizations:
                    National Guardsmen have fought in every US war since 1637.
                    World War II (300,000 mobilized)
                    Korean War (183,000 mobilized)
                    Vietnam War (23,000 mobilized)
                    Persian Gulf War (75,000 mobilized)
                    Timeline of Domestic and Other Federal Mobilizations:
                    April 1906 –
                    In the wake of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, about 30,000 National Guard troops are federalized and deployed.
                    May-June 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson requests Texas, New Mexico and Arizona send troops to protect the Mexico border after Pancho Villa raids Columbus, New Mexico. Within six weeks, 112,000 Guardsmen are patrolling the border, but Villa evades capture.
                    1957-1958 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower places the Arkansas Guard under federal control and sends 1,000 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to assist in maintaining order in Little Rock after rioting breaks out following the desegregation of Central High School.
                    September-October 1962 – President John F. Kennedy calls up 10,927 Mississippi guardsmen, after University of Mississippi fails to follow a court order to enroll James Meredith.
                    June-July 1963 – President Kennedy federalizes the Alabama National Guard after Governor George Wallace blocks the doorway of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa to prevent integration.
                    September 1963 – Precipitated by the integration of Tuskegee High School in Alabama, President Kennedy federalizes the Alabama Guard and holds them on standby for four days.
                    March 1965 – During the Selma to Montgomery March, state and local law enforcement beat marchers near Selma, Alabama. President Lyndon B. Johnson federalizes the Alabama National Guard to protect marchers as they start again two weeks later.
                    April 1968 – Rioting in Chicago, DC and Baltimore after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. precipitates the federalization of nearly 15,000 National Guardsmen.
                    March-April 1970 – During the New York City Postal Strike, President Richard Nixon authorizes the federalization of 28,100 Guardsmen to deliver and sort mail, and keep strikers from interfering with delivery.
                    September 1989 – In the wake of Hurricane Hugo, President George H. W. Bush federalizes nearly 1,000 Guardsmen following violence and looting in the Virgin Islands.
                    May 1992 – Following the acquittal of officers involved in the beating of Rodney King, President Bush federalizes California Guardsmen to combat rioting in Los Angeles.
                    August-September 2005 – More than 50,000 Army and Air Guardsmen provide security and help following Hurricane Katrina, which is the largest domestic mobilization of National Guardsmen in history.
                    October 16, 2014 – President Barack Obama authorizes the National Guard to be called up to assist in containing Ebola in West Africa.

                    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/09/us/national-guard-fast-facts/index.html

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                    Transgender firefighter marches as NYC Pride Parade grand marshal

                    (CNN)When Brooke Guinan joined the New York City Fire Department in 2008 she publicly presented herself as a man. She had no idea that on Sunday she’d be one of the NYC Pride Parade’s grand marshals while identifying as a transgender woman.

                    Guinan began identifying as a transgender woman in 2011, three years into her firefighting career at FDNY. She first came out as a gay man at a young age, but began to question her gender identity in college.
                    Before joining the department, Guinan was unsure what her professional life would look like.
                      Despite being a third generation firefighter Guinan did not think there was a place for LGBTQ people in the male-dominated fire department.
                      But Guinan’s love of public service ultimately drove her to continue her family legacy in the fire department. There was no LGBTQ training in the beginning.
                      During her first few years in the department, she served in both firefighting and administrative capacities.
                      For the past two years, Guinan has stepped out of the firehouse and has served the FDNY as its LGBTQ outreach coordinator.
                      In this role she has directed and produced training tools and services to better equip the FDNY to understand and work with the LGBTQ community.
                      “The firehouse can be fun, but I am so enamored with my community and I am very pleased and grateful to do a different kind of lifesaving work in the fire department,” Guinan said.
                      The FDNY has promoted LGBTQ experiences through their social media pages and has also produced its own video in support of the “It Gets Better” campaign, highlighting the stories of LGBTQ public safety employees.
                      James Fallarino, spokesperson for NYC Pride, said Guinan appears to be the first openly transgender member of the FDNY. She is the first transgender public safety employee to serve as an individual grand marshal. In 2002, two organizations — the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) and FireFLAG — served as grand marshals after 9/11.
                      Guinan participated in the Pride parade for years before being invited to be a grand marshal.
                      “It is an amazing honor to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride parade,” she said. “I have always found inspiration in other people’s voices and it is an honor to be given an opportunity for my voice to be heard.”
                      She was one of four grand marshals. The others are Krishna Stone, the director of community relations at Gay Men’s Health Crisis; Geng Le, a leader of the LGBTQ equality movement in the People’s Republic of China; and the American Civil Liberties Union.
                      “Our 2017 Grand Marshals are a snapshot of the numerous organizations, individuals, and philanthropists that will leads us through this unprecedented time in our nation,” noted NYC Pride March Director Julian Sanjivan in a press release.
                      The NYC Pride March is the largest pride parade in the United States and is meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community and bring awareness to issues the community faces. The parade originated 48 years ago in the wake of the Stonewall riots, a series of protests by the LGBTQ community against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

                      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/25/us/firefighter-transgender-woman-pride/index.html