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Archive for July 12th, 2013

Weekend Series on Crime: Violent Gang Activity in Miami

Janet Napolitano Says Adios: Stepping Down as Head of Homeland Security


Janet Napolitano meets with President Obama/file photo, homeland security

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano, who had been a steady hand in the Obama administration for more than four years, announced Friday she was stepping down as head of the Department of Homeland Security to take a job as president of the University of California system.

“For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security,” she said in a statement.

“The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.

“We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity.

“After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders.”

Judge Denies Postponement of ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Murder, Racketeering Trial

 

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge in the murder and racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger rejected a bid by the accused mobster’s attorneys to postpone the case, the Boston Globe reports.

Defense attorneys have complained that Bulger, who is 83, is getting weak from the long court days. They also say they need more time to prepare for the inundation of evidence by the prosecutor.

The case is moving faster than many anticipated and likely will end much sooner than the expected end date in September.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer said Bulger “had 16 years to relax” as a fugitive.

“The victims in this case have waited long enough for justice,” Hafer said.

Opinion: Unpaid Scholarships at Justice Department ‘Misguided And Unethical’

By Sarah Mahmood
PolicyMic.com

If you naively thought that the unpaid internship grind would end after college, when all your uncompensated hard work would land you a fancy job upon graduation, you thought wrong.

Forget college, it apparently doesn’t even end after graduate school. What’s even more disheartening is that not only is this practice sanctioned by the government, in this case it is the government: the Department of Justice (DoJ) has currently employed 96 unpaid assistant attorneys, and its jobs website features advertisements for 12 more such positions.

For a Department charged with looking after the public interest, this is a misguided and unethical policy.

To read more click here.

Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Access Personal User Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft Corp has helped U.S. intelligence service intercept users’ communication, Reuters reports.

The software company also permitted the NSA to circumvent email encryption to gain access to users.

The information comes from documents released to the Guardian by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Among the communication collected was conversations on Skype, an online chat service.

Microsoft denied the reports.

“To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product,” the company said in a statement on its website. 

Ex-FBI Director Freeh Facing Libel, Defamation Suit Over Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal

 

Louis Freeh

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI director Louis Freeh is being sued for libel and defamation over his detailed report about the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, the Associated Press reports.

The university’s former president, Graham Spanier, initiated the suit because of how he was characterized in the report.

The filing came just a day before the one-year anniversary of Freeh’s report, which outlined in great detail the failures that led up to longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being sentenced to prison on molestation charges.

Spanier insisted he knew nothing about the sexual assault, so he could not have “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse case,” as stated in the report, his lawyers claim.

Human Rights Groups to Meet With Snowden at Moscow Airport Where He Will Break His Silence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward J. Snowden plans to break his silence after spending nearly three weeks in legal limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, The New York Times reports.

Airport officials said Snowden plans to meet with international human rights groups Friday.

The rights workers will be escorted through security and into the transit zone to meet with Snowden, The Times reported.

Snowden reportedly sent an email to several rights organizations asking them to come to the airport.

Snowden revealed widespread phone and email surveillance by the U.S. government.

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