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DUI bill that caused political furor over process is now dead

“I think a lot of legislators thought that the process was being circumvented, and I didn’t care to have it keep going,” Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, told MTN News on Tuesday. “I’m disappointed for the people of Montana because it is a serious problem in this state,” he said. “When one to two people die every week because of impaired drivers, that’s serious.” The proposal, crafted originally by Republican Attorney General Tim Fox, would have taken a number of steps to attempt to reduce drunken driving, including the use of blood draws from first-time drunken-driving suspects. “Without that hard evidence, it’s hard to get a conviction,” Regier said. In an interview Tuesday, Fox told MTN News that he, too, is disappointed that the bill didn’t pass — but said he plans to keep working on the issue. “Montana, unfortunately, is a state that leads the nation in the number of DUI deaths and DUI, in general, per capita.” Other elements of the bill included increasing fines for serial DUI offenders and making it harder for DUI offenders to get those offenses removed from their record. Regier’s Senate Bill 65, which contained the original proposals, passed the Senate but was killed last Friday by the House Judiciary Committee, with both Republicans and Democrats voting against it. However, late that same evening, Regier and others decided to take parts of the bill and place them in a lengthy amendment that would be offered to another bill Saturday morning, in the Senate Finance and Claims Committee. The committee voted Saturday morning to place the DUI language into House Bill 685, a one-page “companion bill” that had a broad title and had been sitting in committee with virtually no content. Story by Mike Dennison, MTN News

Fox News Host Says Democrats Only Care About Politics And Power As Sean Hannity...

Fox News host Sean Hannity declared journalism dead during a Saturday appearance on the network's weekend show Watters' World. Hannity appeared on the show as part of a segment with Watters' World host Jesse Watters where the two media personalities discussed the Mueller report, the ongoing criticism of Fox News by other media members and the state of the Democratic party. Hannity added that he is "sad for the country" and doesn't want what happened with President Donald Trump and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to happen again. "The lesson is simple, believe in due process," Hannity said, listing a domestic violence case against Michael Avenatti and allegations of rape against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as examples where he felt the news media rushed to judge and turned out to be incorrect. Hannity later said that Democrats aren't interested in the issues but power and politics, citing a lack of "I believers" regarding accusations of rape and sexual assault against Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a Democrat. They're all on the same side and they'll let it slide." Earlier in the segment, Hannity cautioned Watters about gaining a voice as critics will want to silence him. They want to destroy this channel." According to a Pew Research study, available jobs in the industry declined 23 percent between 2008 and 2017. For jobs in the newspaper sector, the decrease was 45 percent, with 71,000 workers employed in 2008 to compared to 39,000 in 2017.

Brexit consensus still possible after Commons deadlock, says Letwin

Eight votes on alternative Brexit options, put before the Commons after MPs seized control of the parliamentary process from the government, resulted in no majority for any of them, although the vote was close on one softer Brexit option. Oliver Letwin, the Tory former minister whose amendment created the process, said this was to be expected, and that if May’s deal is defeated for a third time if put to MPs on Friday, this could forge unity if the only other option was no deal on 12 April. Letwin said he had expected no majorities on Wednesday. He said: “MPs will be voting on the basis of seeing what happened last time. “If it doesn’t then I think people will finally see that that isn’t going to happen by 12 April and I think quite a lot of Tories who didn’t vote for any of the options because they were, perfectly honourably, taking the view that until they had a last chance to vote for the prime minister’s deal they didn’t want to commit themselves to anything else, may come round and say: OK, we’ll choose among these options.” The indicative votes capped a dramatic day in Westminster during which May promised her MPs she would step down from No 10 for the next stage of the Brexit process if her deal is passed. But soon afterwards the Democratic Unionist party announced it still could not back the plan, making success in the Commons much less likely. “It’s very difficult to translate how people vote the first time, when they don’t know how other people are voting, to how they will vote when they can see how other people are voting, under new circumstances. Although there was no majority for one particular option, I think it showed that there were areas of commonality.” She told Today: “What’s imperative now over the next few days is that parties across the house work with each other to find reasonable compromises to try and navigate a way out of this.” At the same time, Conservative Brexiters said they had not given up on their plan. A proposal to leave the EU without a deal on 12 April, put forward by the Tory MP John Baron, lost by 160 votes to 400. He told Today: “The legal position is that if we cannot agree a course of action other than article 50 then the natural default position is that we leave on no-deal, WTO terms.

‘Bored to death’: Brexit has exasperated this MEP | Raw Politics

Aa Aa Tired of hearing about Brexit? Well, this German MEP echoed what some of us may be feeling. Jens Geiger told Euronews' political editor Darren McCaffrey that he is "bored to death" of Brexit. When asked about whether Theresa May should resign as prime minister in a bid to push her deal through parliament, Geiger replied saying he "couldn't care less". "The British people have to make up their mind and I'm really tired thinking about what should help and what not," the MEP said. This comes after British MPs voted to take control of Brexit, wresting control of the Brexit process from Theresa May. The UK were set to leave the EU on March 29, however the British government secured a short extension amid political division over the 'backstop' agreement, which aims to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland in an event of a no-deal. Meanwhile, those who have been calling for a 'People's Vote' have been drumming up support through a parliament petition. The 'revoke Article 50' petition aims to call a halt on Brexit and will be debated in parliament next week. European Council President Donald Tusk appealed to the European Parliament to consider a long extension to Brexit if "the UK wishes to rethink its strategy," referring to the petition.

Gavin Newsom and the New Politics of the Death Penalty

This week, Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, signed an executive order issuing a reprieve to all seven hundred and thirty-seven prisoners on the state’s death row, effectively nullifying California’s policy of capital punishment for the near future. Response to Newsom’s moratorium was mixed even among the families of victims. “I will not oversee execution of any person,” his order said. He was challenging death-penalty justifications in the “emotional” place where they live. A truly bold move would challenge not only the death penalty but its de facto fallback, life imprisonment. Today, it costs an average of eighty-one thousand dollars a year to keep a prisoner incarcerated in California. The cost of life imprisonment is relatively less than the cost of death row, according to a Florida investigation, from 2000, but it’s not peanuts, and long punishment may not help the public in proportion. Many countries of the European Union favor shorter sentences combined with intensive resocialization and rehabilitation programs; a study of the Dutch and German systems, in 2013, suggested that they were more effective in reducing crime than the United States’ mass-incarceration model. If we were serious about threats to society, we would support the most effective punishments, not the most severe. As it is, Newsom’s reprieve is a gesture of limited reform and a gesture of intractable executive power, too.

‘I Take Him at His Word.’ Trump Defends Kim Over Otto Warmbier’s Mistreatment and...

President Donald Trump defended North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un when confronted Thursday about American college student Otto Warmbier, who died days after he was repatriated from the pariah state with brain damage. “He tells me he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word,” Trump said of how he could continue calling the young dictator “my friend.” Trump said he has talked to Kim about Warmbier, and that Kim “feels very badly.” “I don’t believe that he would have allowed that to happen. It just wasn’t to his advantage,” Trump added. “Those prisons are rough, rough places and bad things happen.” The Brief Newsletter Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know right now. View Sample Sign Up Now Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, was touring North Korea when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a propaganda sign. He was sentenced to fifteen years hard labor. North Korean officials have said Warmbier suffered a brain injury after contracting botulism, a form of poisoning, but U.S. doctors found no evidence of the condition. After Warmbier’s death, Trump vowed to press North Korea on its abysmal human rights record. But as Trump has sought to seal the denuclearization of North Korea in talks with Kim, the issue has been relegated to the back burner. Human rights was not on the agenda at either of the summits, although in Singapore Trump briefly said the meeting wouldn’t have happened without Warmbier.

UK’s arms export supervisor attacks NGOs over Yemen deaths

Graham Jones, a Labour MP and chair of the Commons committees on arms export controls (CAEC), also said that blame for the war in Yemen lay primarily with Iran, and not the west or Saudi Arabia. Jones is the most senior parliamentarian overseeing Britain’s arms control regime, including the lawfulness of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Yemen’s UN-backed government, supported by Saudi and UAE forces, has been trying to dislodge a Houthi militia in the country. Jones told the defence select committee that NGOs were “dishonest” in their reporting. They insist they have also called out Houthi war crimes, but point out the UK is supplying weapons to the Saudis and not the Houthis. Jones told the Guardian that the NGOs misunderstood the region’s problems. It is a cuddly safe European response (or in some cases just a continuation of the cold war).” He said many civilian deaths were because Houthi forces placed human shields in the way of the west’s allies. More recently CAEC has focused on a sweeping review of the UK arms control regime, although it did also write to the Saudi embassy in London calling for an investigation into an airstrike on a market last August. One international arms control NGO, Control Arms, wrote to Jones in August urging CAEC to return to inquiring into specific licences. “The UK’s recent licensing practice has given more cause for concern than at any time since current legislation was adopted in 2002,” Control Arms explained.

Dems under pressure to return megadonor Ed Buck’s money after second death at apartment

Democratic political figures are facing pressure to return or redirect campaign contributions from Democratic megadonor Ed Buck after a second dead man was recently found dead in his apartment, but some – including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – are staying silent. But more than 10 current and former elected officials serving in Congress or other offices have yet to comment on the case or say if they will return the money. Gavin Newsom, California Rep. Ami Bera, California Rep. Tony Cardenas, California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Nevada Rep. Susie Lee, California Rep. Jerry McNerney, California State Sen. Anthony Portantino and California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. California Rep. Pete Aguilar's campaign manager, Matt Liebman, told Fox News the contributions from Buck have been "donated to a charitable cause." “I am deeply disturbed by the latest revelations of a second death by overdose at the home of Ed Buck,” California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu said Wednesday, announcing plans to donate more than $18,000 in contributions to charities. Last year, a number of other Democratic politicians returned donations, including Buck’s own congressman, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who received $2,700 in 2016, and said he donated the full amount to an LGBT nonprofit. A campaign spokesperson for Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema told Fox News last year that she donated $18,800 she’d received from Buck to the UMOM New Day Center. In addition, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Fox News that he returned a $1,400 donation from Buck last year. West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman previously told Fox News that he had “no intention” of returning a $500 donation he received from Buck. Critics are questioning whether Buck's race — both men found dead were black — or if his wealth or political ties to the Democratic Party influenced an initial investigation of the 64-year-old who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to a slew of liberal causes and candidates over the years.

‘I’m in despair’: a mother and village mourn Guatemalan boy’s death in US

Timeline shows final hours of second Guatemalan child to die in US custody Read more Early in December, Felipe Gómez Alonzo and his father, Agustín Gómez Peréz, left the family’s modest home in the mountains of Guatemala with dreams of starting a new life in the US. US authorities are investigating the deaths of Felipe and seven-year-old Jakelin Caal, but the circumstances which drove both families to risk sending their children on the long journey north are clear: the absolute poverty besetting swathes of rural Guatemala. “Felipe was happy to leave with his father,” said Alonzo in Chuj, an indigenous Mayan language. She said that both parents had agreed to let Felipe join his father, an agricultural worker, on his trip north. Gómez Pérez hoped to find work to pay off his debts and send money to the family. “We talked as soon as they reached the border,” she said, adding that Gómez Pérez called again the next day when the pair were already in border patrol custody. But for many in rural Guatemala migration is seen as the only hope for a better life. “People leave our village, find work in the US and send money to help their relatives,” said Pérez, who estimated about 200 people from the tiny village live in the United States. Before leaving Yalambojoch, Felipe shared a bedroom with both his parents and three siblings. Now, despite her son’s death, Alonzo still hopes he can remain in the US.

Observed: Death, empowerment and politics

Artist and creative director George McCalman captures the style and personality of attendees at Bay Area events with his illustrations. This edition focuses on three diverse evenings: Dia de Los Muertos, where the citizens of the Mission (and beyond) gather to extoll the dead; the popular podcast “Call Your Girlfriend,” which kicked off its national tour and brought out its female-empowerment feeling en masse; and finally, artists contemplating the power of art to effect political change. Death, empowerment and politics — they’re certainly on everyone’s minds. Dia de los Muertos, Garfield Park, Mission District, Nov. 2 “We love the dead. Sometimes I’ll do a chip, a spreadable cheese, and sometimes, an avocado. I’m a snack aficionado.” — Alicia Garza, co-founder, Black Lives Matter “Ann and Amina always validate my rage against injustice and passion for snacks.” — Christine Savage-Mindel, co-owner, Neighbor Bakehouse “Any opportunity to be in a roomful of feminists — yes, please.” — Myleen Hollero, photographer “Make no mistake: Metallic is a neutral.” — Ann Friedman, writer “Stay ready ... you won’t have to get ready.” — Aminatou Sow, writer “I can’t believe you all came out. On a Sunday night! I wouldn’t!” — Aminatou Sow, writer “Vote: An Exhibition About Taking Action,” The Playground at 43rd Street, Oct. 19 “Between my own artistic inclinations, professional considerations and raising children, I’ve been grappling with the parameters of inspiration, emulation, copying, plagiarism.” — Luke Bartel, furniture maker “Favorite part of the eve: seeing the sunlight through the red, white and blue balloons that were tossing in the wind and hoping that our democracy survives this moment in time.” — Jean Pettigrew, “tiger mom” and artist “We moved here 15 years ago to (live) with our friends who value creativity. This community is built on ingenuity and freedom of expression that values human connections and experiences. I’ve never been able to call a place home as much as this.” — Dave Muller, Outerlands Follow George McCalman on Instagram and Twitter at @mccalman.co.