Six Years, Nine Months for Murder

Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who shot 16-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, received a sentence of six years and nine months for the murder.

Despite outcry from the community and its leaders, Special Prosecutor Joe McMahon — who had recommended a minimum sentence of 18 years — insisted that justice had been served, calling the sentence “significant.”

The paltry sentence was given in light of testimony from multiple black men who experienced their own violent encounters with Van Dyke, indicating a long-standing record of abuse and racial bias.

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Senate May Break with Admin on Yemen War

The Senate voted on first steps to open debate surrounding the United States’ tactical support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The vote followed a closed-door briefing in which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis attempted to sway key swing votes, but failed.

The Senate voted 63-37 to advance the bipartisan measure, but White House advisors have recommended that the president veto the resolution should it pass.

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Border Patrol Shooter Found Not Guilty

Lonnie Swartz, the Border Patrol officer who shot and killed 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez through the border fence, was found not guilty last week.

Swartz claims that Rodríguez was throwing rocks through the fence and that this action justified his taking aim at the 16-year-old and shooting him dead.

The second jury to try Swartz has hung on whether to bring a charge of voluntary manslaughter, leaving open the possibility that prosecutors would try him for a third time.

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President Chooses Money Over Justice

Trump issued a written statement yesterday explaining that, despite all the evidence, he has chosen to side with the Saudi regime over Jamal Khashoggi’s killing.

Subtitled, “America First,” the statement was reportedly awash in exclamation points.

The president’s insistence on continuing to support the Saudi regime comes after the CIA confirmed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was almost certainly the decision-maker behind Khashoggi’s assassination.

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CIA Confirms Crown Prince’s Role in Khashoggi Murder

The CIA has joined Turkey in accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The assertion that the Crown Prince — known as MBS — was indeed responsible for the death of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi is in direct contradiction with the Saudi government’s claims.

More than a dozen Saudi officials have been arrested in connection with the murder, a handful are facing the death penalty, and the monarchy has named a senior intelligence official as the leader of the hit-team.

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MBS Called Khashoggi a Terrorist

The Washington Post is reporting that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told White House officials that Jamal Khashoggi was a terrorist.

According to the report, bin Salman, better known as MBS, was on a call with White House advisor Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor John Bolton when he made the accusation.

The crown prince falsely claimed that Khashoggi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that the Saudi government has classified as a terrorist organization.

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Pittsburgh Protests the President

Against the advice of many, the president traveled to Pittsburgh Tuesday to pay his respects to the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting this weekend.

Despite being met by thousands of Pittsburgh protesters, the president has said that he and the first lady were “treated very nicely.”

Prominent Jewish community leaders in the area had issued a warning to Trump, informing him that he was not welcome in the city until he explicitly denounces white nationalism.

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Saudis Refuse Extradition

The Saudi government is refusing requests made by Turkey to extradite the individuals suspected of assassinating Jamal Khashoggi.

Because the murder was committed in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has requested that the suspects be extradited to Turkey for trial.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has said instead that the 18 suspects will be tried in Saudi Arabia following an investigation conducted by the Saudi government.

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Tree of Life Victims Named

The eleven individuals killed in Sunday’s act of domestic terror and antisemitism have been identified by the local press.

The worshipers’ ages ranged from 54 to 97 and include two brothers and a married couple.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the shooter, Robert Bowers, was released from the hospital today at 9:45 a.m. EST. He was then escorted to the federal courthouse to face charges.

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U.N. Urges International Investigation into Khashoggi’s Murder

The United Nations has called for the launch of an international investigation into the disappearance and apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The call for an investigation comes after the Saudi government finally admitted that Khashoggi was in fact killed in a premeditated act of violence after initially claiming that he was killed in a fist fight.

All this is occurring even as the Turkish government has made it clear that they have not yet released the full extent of materials related to Khashoggi’s disappearance and murder, insinuating that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could force the Saudi’s hand if they refuse to cooperate.

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