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Archive for March 21st, 2018

FBI’s Failure to Diversify Its Ranks Is a ‘Huge Occupational Risk’

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s failure to diversify its ranks is a “huge operational risk” that diminishes the bureau’s ability to protect and serve the public, a senior official told the Pacific Standard

Despite the growing rate of diversity in private and public sector workplaces, the FBI’s agents remain predominately white men.

About 1o months before Trump fired him, James Comey called the lack of diversity “a crisis.”

“Slowly but steadily over the last decade or more, the percentage of special agents in the FBI who are white has been growing,” Comey said in a speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black school in Daytona Beach, Florida. “I’ve got nothing against white people—especially tall, awkward, male white people—but that is a crisis for reasons that you get, and that I’ve worked very hard to make sure the entire FBI understands.”

When it comes to diversity, the FBI has a bitter past. 

Nearly three decades ago, a group of black agents filed suit against the FBI, claiming systemic discrimination that affected performance reviews, promotions and overall workplace culture. Only about 5% of the bureau’s agents were black at the time.

A federal judge sided with the black agents, saying there was “statistical evidence” of racial bias at the FBI, resulting in a settlement in 1993.

“Still, all these years later, the most recent statistics posted publicly by the FBI indicate the bureau remains far less diverse than the population it is drawn from,” the Pacific Standard wrote. “Black agents in 2014 made up a lower percentage of special agents than they did when the discrimination lawsuit was filed, dropping from around 5.3 percent in 1995 to 4.4 percent, according to the FBI website. About 13 percent of the United States population is black. And while nearly 18 percent of the U.S. population is Latino, Latinos made up just 6.5 percent of special agents.”

USA Today: ‘Shamefully Silent’ Republicans Must Protect Mueller with Veto-Proof Bill

President Trump, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s “threatening” rhetoric and “brooding instincts” to fire special counsel Robert Mueller should be reason enough for law-and-order Republicans to join Democrats in passing legislation to prevent the president from pulling the plug on the investigation, USA Today argued in an editorial Wednesday. 

“Most Republicans have been shamefully silent about this prospect, made more plausible in recent days by Trump castigating Mueller by name for the first time,” the politically moderate editorial board wrote.

The USA Today argues that it’s not enough that some Republicans are suggesting they would impeach Trump if he fires Mueller. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for example, said it “would be the beginning of the end of his presidency.”

“But can we be sure about that?” the newspaper wrote. “Would a GOP-led Congress that can barely agree on short-term government funding coalesce around the monumental and inevitably partisan task of impeachment?”

The USA Today wrote that Trump would give “contrived” reasons for orchestrating Mueller’s firing and “concocted logic might be enough for die-hard Trump supporters in the House to sway squeamish colleagues into blocking impeachment.”

“Given the stakes, it’s not enough for GOP lawmakers to speak up in support of Mueller, a highly respected Republican, former FBI director and decorated Marine,” the editorial reads. “They also have a duty to safeguard his inquiry. Two bipartisan measures, pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, would protect him. Both provide judicial review of any termination’s legitimacy. One would challenge the firing before it’s carried out, the other afterward.”

The editorial adds: Pass one of them now, by a veto-proof margin, before it’s too late. 

Suspected Serial Bomber Blows Self Up Following Police Chase

Interim Police Chief Brian Manley speaks to the media just hours after the suspected serial bomber was killed.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The suspected serial bomber who has terrorized Austin, Texas, in a deadly string of explosions this month blew himself up in his car after a brief police pursuit early Wednesday morning, local and federal law enforcement officials told reporters at 6 a.m.

An Austin police officer suffered minor injuries in the explosion.

Acting on numerous tips, authorities tracked down the 24-year-old white man in a car in the rear of a hotel along Interstate 35 in the Austin suburb of Round Rock.

While police waited for ballistic vehicles to arrive, the suspect drove off, prompting a brief chase that ended when the suspect stopped in a ditch on the side of the road. As the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated a bomb, injuring one officer and prompting another to fire his weapon.

The suspect, who was gravely injured, was struck with a bullet and died said Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley. 

Authorities warned residents that more bombs may be planted in the city or en route to homes from mail facilities.

Police also said it’s not yet clear whether the suspect had an accomplice.

The suspect is accused of planting four bombs in packages in Austin, killing two people and injuring four others.

Manley said the suspect also is responsible for a package bomb that exploded at a FedEx near San Antonio, and officials said it was intended to be delivered to Austin.

Earlier this week, police suggested the serial bombings were racially motivated and targeted people of color. But police have backed off that theory.

“We do not understand what motivated him to do what he did,” Manley said.