Former President Donald Trump’s legacy continues to loom over the GOP, as both those backed by the pugnacious would-be kingmaker and those who have made their name by siding against him are boasting strong fundraising numbers as they head toward the 2022 election cycle.In the first signs of Trump’s influence over the 2022 midterm race, significant fundraising sums are being reported by strong Trump allies, Republicans who have fundraised with him, and candidates on both sides of races in which Trump has taken sides.With the former president plotting retribution against his political enemies, the numbers suggest his involvement may actually be boosting both the candidates he’s supporting and the ones he’s hoping to oust. The 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him and whose seats are considered either safe or competitive — including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. — all posted strong first-quarter sums, with many of them enjoying their best quarter of fundraising in years.Cheney, who Trump has targeted by name, is fending off pro-Trump forces who accuse her of betraying the former president through her impeachment vote. Still, she brought in $1.5 million, marking her single best fundraising quarter ever. She had $1.4 million on hand and $70,000 in debt at the end of the first quarter, which spans January to March.Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks during an event on the House steps of the Capitol to announce the Commitment to America, agenda, Sept. 15, 2020.Right behind Cheney, Kinzinger raised $1.1 million during the quarter and stockpiled $2.5 million in the bank. It was also the single best quarter for Kinzinger, who has rarely raised more than $300,000 in a quarter.Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., and Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio — two more representatives who voted for Trump’s impeachment — ended the quarter with more than $1 million on hand. The remaining six all closed out the fundraising period with more than $450,000 in the bank, as they brace for next year’s highly anticipated contests.Most are facing primary challengers, some of whom are performing well in the early phase of the money race — particularly those with strong support from the president himself.Former Trump White House aide Max Miller, who launched a primary challenge against Gonzalez, is sailing into his campaign with Trump’s blessing. Trump not only immediately endorsed Miller when he launched his campaign, but he also headlined a high-dollar fundraiser for Miller at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, with tickets costing $5,800 per person or $11,600 per couple.Trump’s support appears to be paying off, as Miller’s campaign reported raising more than $458,000 in just a little more than a month since joining the race — in addition to $50,000 of his own money that he’s put into the campaign. Several of Miller’s big-dollar donors were previously Trump donors, records show.President Donald Trump talks with Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential Operations Max Miller before his speech to the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 27, 2020.Miller was among numerous GOP candidates who have flocked to Mar-a-Lago to hold fundraisers with Trump and his family members over the last few months, as the former president’s flashy country club continues to thrive as a popular destination spot for Republicans.Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the former White House press secretary seeking to follow in her father’s footsteps as Arkansas’ next governor, has held at least two fundraisers at the club in the past two months, with the president himself making a “surprise appearance” at one fundraiser in March.On Monday, boosted by Trump’s staunch support, Sanders reported raking in nearly $5 million in the first three months of the year — breaking a state record for the most money raised in a single quarter, according to her campaign.In addition to whatever percentage of her record haul came from her fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago, her campaign reported donations from more than 34,000 donors, including $1.5 million in donations from Arkansas residents. The total was about four times the amount raised by her rival in the Republican primary, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who reported more than $1.2 million raised for the quarter, with over 80% coming from Arkansas donors, according to her campaign.Similarly, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the House, reported his strongest first quarter fundraising in his congressional career — despite being embroiled in a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations. The Florida congressman raised a whopping $1.8 million in the first three months of this year, a significant jump from the $192,000 he raised in the first quarter of 2019.Gaetz, who has said he won’t resign over the allegations, reported having more than $2 million in the bank for his 2022 campaign.Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., a MAGA candidate who became one the most controversial members of Congress after the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol, raised an even more eye-popping sum in the first quarter. She reported bringing in over $3.2 million from more than 100,000 donors, which is more than the amount she raised as a candidate during the entire 2020 election cycle.Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill, Feb. 5, 2021.House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, a member of the House leadership and historically one of the biggest fundraisers in the lower chamber of Congress, reported raising roughly the same amount in the first quarter of this year.Greene’s fundraising outpaced Democratic challenger Marcus Flowers, but money is flowing in Flowers’ direction too — a signal that Greene’s national profile may have some unintended consequences. Flowers raised roughly $505,000 from 20,000 donors in just a little over a month since launching his campaign.Another Trump loyalist who saw her fundraising appeal strengthen in the first quarter is GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert, who reported raising more than $846,000 and ended the month with roughly $824,000 in cash on hand.In another sign of Trump’s continued grip on the GOP’s base, at least some of the Republican senators who objected to certifying the 2020 election also don’t appear to have suffered a slowdown in fundraising — despite facing intense backlash from a collection of corporate donors who withdrew their financial support.Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, in particular, has significantly boosted his fundraising, raising more than $3 million in the first three months of this year, and ending the quarter with more than $3 million in the bank. According to his campaign, Hawley raised more than $1 million in January alone, a notable change after the first-term senator’s fundraising had gradually slowed down over the past couple years.And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who helped lead the effort to overturn the presidential election, reported raising more than $3.6 million to end the quarter with cash on hand of $5.6 million.
Visiting a restaurant or barThe COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many people. Many go to restaurants and bars to enjoy a meal without having to cook, to connect with friends and family, and to support businesses that are an important part of many communities.However, visiting bars and restaurants can increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
Why Visiting Restaurants and Bars May Increase Risk
In a recent study, scientists found that adults with positive COVID-19 test results were twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those with negative COVID-19 test results.1 There are many factors that may explain why going to restaurants and bars increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19:
Wear masks when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors
People from different households are gathering in the same space.
Eating and drinking requires the removal of a mask.
If eating indoors, ventilation flow in restaurants and bars can cause droplets to spread at distances greater than 6 feet.2 Poor ventilation can also increase risk as it may cause the virus to accumulate in the air.
Physical distancing of at least 6 feet is often difficult to maintain in restaurants and bars.
People need to talk louder in restaurants and bars to hear one another. This can contribute to the production of more virus aerosols.
Use of alcohol may alter judgment and make it more difficult for people to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
While the safest way to enjoy and support restaurants and bars is to take out food and eat it at home with people who live with you, there are ways that you can go to a restaurant and bar and still reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
Check the restaurant’s or bar’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go
Check if outdoor seating is available and if options allow groups to be at least 6 feet apart from one another. If a tent is set-up outdoors, make sure that at least one side is open or rolled up. An enclosed tent is like eating indoors.
Avoid busy times of day or night. It’s safest to visit when fewer people are at the restaurant or bar.
Check the restaurant or bar’s website and social media to see if you feel comfortable with their COVID-19 safety guidelines. Guidelines should require both staff and patrons to wear masks while not eating or drinking. Check if menus are available online or via app for safer ordering. Call if the posted information is unclear or if you have questions.
Find out if valet parking is required or if you can self-park. If valet is the only option, it’s best to leave your windows open and let your car air out for at least 15 minutes after the valet returns your car to you.
Take steps to protect yourself at the restaurant or bar
Eat outdoors, if possible. You are less likely to get or spread COVID-19 during outdoor activities. Look for seating options that are outside and have proper ventilation of outdoor air, such as tents that have open doors or rolled up sides.
Wear masks at all times, both indoors and outdoors, except when you are actively eating or drinking. Masks help protect both you and those around you.
Avoid crowds and sit at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with, both indoors and outdoors. If you are standing, stay at least 6 feet apart from those who do not live with you.
Limit alcohol consumption. Consuming alcohol may make you less likely to follow COVID-19 safety measures.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and when exiting the restaurant or bar. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Ask for individual condiment and salt and pepper packets, as the condiments on the table may not be cleaned between patrons.
Minimize the time you spend in the restaurant or bar. The longer you stay, the more you increase your risk
1 Fisher KA, Tenforde MW, Feldstein LR, et al. Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1258–1264. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6936a5external icon.
2 Kwon K-S, Park J-I, Park YJ, et al. Evidence of Long-Distance Droplet Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by Direct Air Flow in a Restaurant in Korea. J Korean Med Sci 2020;35(46):e415. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415external icon.
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Carroll sued Trump for defamation after he said she lied about an alleged rape.April 17, 2021, 2:59 AM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleA federal appeals court should deny the Justice Department’s attempt to substitute for former President Donald Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll, her attorneys said in a new court filing Friday night.Instead, Carroll urged the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm “Trump did not act within the scope of his employment as President of the United States when he repeatedly, willfully defamed a private citizen to punish and retaliate against her after she revealed that he had sexually assaulted her decades before he took office.”Carroll sued the former president for defamation after he accused her of playing politics and lying about an alleged 1990s rape in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.Last October, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the Justice Department’s bid to replace Trump as the defendant, ruling that his statements about Carroll were not made as part of his official duties and that the legal theory cited by the DOJ does not apply to the president.E. Jean Carroll arrives at court in New York, March 4, 2020.”Trump has tried and failed repeatedly to get my lawsuit booted,” Carroll said in a statement Friday. “Last fall, he had his Justice Department intervene and try to get it dismissed in federal court. He lost. Then, just a week before President Biden’s inauguration, Trump’s private lawyers and the DOJ joined forces to argue on appeal that when Trump called me a liar who was too ugly to rape, he was somehow being presidential. This is offensive to me.””I am confident that the Second Circuit will make it clear that no president, including Donald Trump, can get away scot free with maliciously defaming a woman he sexually assaulted,” she added.Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer and no relation to the district judge, said, “As the district court properly recognized, while the facts in this case are unique, the legal principles are not. In this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law.”On appeal, the Justice Department insisted the former president was commenting on a matter of public concern when he addressed Carroll’s accusation because it was “an issue potentially relevant to his ability to perform the duties of his office effectively.”Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 28, 2021.Carroll’s attorneys warned that granting the appeal would “give succor to the view that our most powerful political leaders stand entirely above the law.”Carroll published a book excerpt in 2019 in which she wrote that Trump raped her in the 1990s. Almost immediately after publication of the excerpt, Trump — who by then was president — told the press that Carroll had made up the rape story and he never met her. Carroll sued him in New York State court.At first, the former president defended the case as a private individual. He was represented by his personal lawyers, not by DOJ or other government lawyers. The state court rejected his claim he could not be sued because he was president. It was at that point that the U.S. government inserted itself into the case.
Eight people were shot dead and several others were injured in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis Thursday night, according to authorities.The suspect, 19-year-old Brandon Hole — who FedEx says was an employee at the facility from August to October 2020 — was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Craig McCartt, deputy chief of Criminal Investigations at Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said at a Friday news conference. He was armed with a rifle, McCartt said.Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.Crime scene investigators walk through the parking lot at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.When officers arrived at the FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport just after 11 p.m., they found a “chaotic and active crime scene,” McCartt said.”This suspect came to the facility … he got out of his car and pretty quickly started some random shooting outside the facility. There was no confrontation with anyone,” McCartt said. “That began in the parking lot and then he did go into the building.”Four victims were found outside and four were inside, police said. They ranged in age from 19 to 74.Those killed were identified Friday night by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department as Matthew R Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74.A body is taken from the scene where multiple people were shot at a FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.Five surviving victims suffered injuries consistent with gunshot wounds and two others had minor injuries, McCartt said.Hole last worked at FedEx in 2020, McCartt said.”We can confirm that the perpetrator was a former employee at the facility,” FedEx said. The company deferred further information to the police.Indianapolis police work the crime scene at a FedEx facility where a gunman had opened fire, in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.A group of crime scene investigators gather to speak in the parking lot of a FedEx SmartPost on April 16, 2021, in Indianapolis.Police said they do not have a motive.There is no indication that the shooting is connected to terrorism, two law enforcement officials told ABC News.People hug after learning that their loved one is safe, April 16, 2021 in Indianapolis.In March 2020, Hole’s mother “contacted law enforcement to report he might try to commit ‘suicide by cop,'” Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said in a statement. “The suspect was placed on an immediate detention mental health temporary hold by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.”A shotgun was taken from Hole’s home and “based on items observed in the suspect’s bedroom at that time, he was interviewed by the FBI in April 2020,” Keenan said.An undated photo of Brandon Hole.”No Racially Motivated Violent Extremism (RMVE) ideology was identified during the course of the assessment and no criminal violation was found,” Keenan said. “The shotgun was not returned to the suspect.”About 100 employees were in the vicinity of the FedEx facility at the time of the shooting, according to the company. Many employees were changing shifts or on their dinner break at the time, McCartt said.Investigators are on the scene following a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor called FedEx a major employer for the city.FedEx said in a statement Friday morning, “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis.”Police and crime scene investigators work at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.A FedEx employee speaks with a police officer about details relating to his place of work, a FedEx Ground facility, on April 16, 2021, in Indianapolis.”Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” FedEx said. “The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”FedEx told ABC News that no COVID-19 vaccine shipments were impacted by the shooting.Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement Friday, “This morning, Indianapolis residents are confronted with the horrific news of yet another mass shooting, an act of violence that senselessly claimed the lives of eight of our neighbors.”Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett speaks at a news conference following a shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, April 16, 2021.”As law enforcement works to learn more about this tragedy, our prayers are with the families of those whose lives were cut short,” Hogsett said.The mayor said at the Friday news conference, “We must guard against resignation or even despair. The assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it — we need the courage that compels courageous acts that push past weariness.”Family members wait for information about their loved ones who work at the FedEx facility on April 16, 2021, in Indianapolis.In a statement, President Joe Biden called the shooting “just the latest in a string of tragedies, following closely after gunmen firing bullets in broad day light at spas in and around Atlanta, Georgia, a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and so many other shootings.””It’s a mass shooting just a week after we met, in the Rose Garden, with families who lost children and dear friends as bullets pierced their bodies and souls in schools, a night club, in a car at a gas station, and a town meeting at a grocery store. And it came just the night before 14th anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech, in which a gunman murdered 32 people,” Biden said.”Last night and into the morning in Indianapolis, yet again families had to wait to hear word about the fate of their loved ones. What a cruel wait and fate that has become too normal and happens every day somewhere in our nation,” Biden said.He went on, “Last week, I called on the Justice Department to better protect Americans from gun violence. I also urged Congress to hear the call of the American people — including the vast majority of gun owners — to enact commonsense gun violence prevention legislation, like universal background checks and a ban of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines. Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.”Biden once again ordered White House flags to be lowered to half-staff, as he has done following other mass shootings.The American flag files at half-staff above the White House in Washington, D.C., April 16, 2021.Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday, “Yet again, we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence.”“There is no question that this violence must end,” she said.ABC News’ Luke Barr, Alexandra Faul, Ben Gittleson, Josh Hoyos and Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.
Lai, a 73-year-old billionaire, has been remanded in jail since December. April 17, 2021, 12:32 AM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleHong Kong’s rebel media tycoon Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison in Hong Kong District Court Friday after being found guilty of charges related to pro-democracy protests in 2019.Lai, a 73-year-old billionaire and founder of pro-democracy paper Apple Daily, has been remanded in jail since December.In addition, Hong Kong’s “father of democracy” Martin Lee, 83, was given suspended sentences for the Aug. 18 and Aug. 31 protests, which were sparked by a widely unpopular extradition bill, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. Anger over the proposed legislation grew into a broader call for democracy in the Chinese-ruled territory. The mass protests lasted for more than six months, plunging Asia’s financial hub into crisis.It represented the biggest form of resistance to the Chinese Communist Party in a generation.The two are among a handful of other prominent activists and lawmakers charged with organizing and taking part in what authorities called unauthorized assemblies. At least four of the other defendants were jailed up to 18 months.”The sentences handed down are incompatible with the non-violent nature of their actions,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We will continue to stand with Hong Kongers as they respond to Beijing’s assault on these freedoms and autonomy, and we will not stop calling for the release of those detained or imprisoned for exercising their fundamental freedoms.”It’s the first sentencing for Lai, who has been denied bail in a separate national security trial. On Friday, prosecutors also added two more charges to Lai’s national security case, related to his alleged assistance of fugitive Andy Li. Li was among 12 Hong Kong activists intercepted at sea by the Chinese coast guard during a failed escape bid last year. That case is adjourned until June 15, while another fraud case leveled against Lai will be heard in May.In this file photo taken on June 16, 2020, millionaire media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 72, speaks during an interview with AFP at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong.Lai was arrested on Aug. 10 under the controversial national security law, which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong at the end of June to clamp down on the pro-democracy movement after last year’s unrest.The national security law targets succession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, but critics say it breaches the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, which is meant to guarantee Hong Kong people a degree of autonomy and freedom not afforded to the mainland.There have been a wave of arrests and prosecutions of activists since the law came into effect, with many of the territory’s most well-known pro-democracy figures either behind bars or in self-imposed exile.Speaking with ABC News at his home while he was out on bail in September, Lai said that Apple Daily will push on, despite the odds.Last week, Lai sent a handwritten letter to his colleagues, published in Apple Daily, from prison: “It is our responsibility as journalists to seek justice. As long as we are not blinded by unjust temptations, as long as we do not let evil get its way through us, we are fulfilling our responsibility.”
The fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo was captured on newly released body camera footage, along with witness and surveillance video.Chicago Police Officer Eric Stillman has been identified in the original case incident report as the officer who fatally shot the teen on March 29 in the Little Village neighborhood. Toledo’s death sparked protests among the community which is demanding change from the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.Lightfoot called the footage “excruciating” and “difficult to watch” in a press conference.Here’s what’s known so far about the deadly shooting of Adam Toledo:Ruben Roman, 21, arrested the night Adam Toledo was shot by police in Chicago, in a police mugshot.Shots fired, triggering police responseJust before 3 a.m. on March 29, police say the department’s ShotSpotter technology, which can identify and alert officials of potential gunshots, detected a number of gunshots fired on the city’s West Side. At least two 911 calls were also made in connection with the gunfire. Little Village, where Toledo lived and was killed, is a predominantly Latino community.A still image from police body cam footage moments before Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation after a foot-chase in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021, in Chicago. He appears to be holding something in his right hand.Nearby surveillance video shows 21-year-old Ruben Roman shooting at a passing vehicle with Toledo by his side, according to prosecutors in a bond hearing for Roman. Roman and Toledo then are said to have ducked into an alley, where officers found them shortly after.Both ran, according to officials. In the footage, Stillman tackles Roman to the ground, then, while another officer arrests him, gets back up to chase Toledo.Gloves worn by Roman tested positive for gunshot residue, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy. He said seven shell casings recovered by officers matched the handgun Roman is previously seen using and that he says Toledo later appears to be carrying.Roman now faces felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, as well as child endangerment and violating probation, according to Murphy.A still image from police body cam footage moments before Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation after a foot-chase in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021, in Chicago. He appears to be holding something in his right hand.’Show me your f—ing hands!’The police department released a video sequence that shows close-up video and freeze frames of the chase, in which Toledo appears to have a gun.Stillman can be heard on video yelling, “Police! Stop. Stop right f—ing now.” Toledo then stops at a break in the fence.A still image from police body cam footage moments before Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation after a foot-chase in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021, in Chicago. He appears to be holding something in his right hand.Stillman yells, “Hands — show me your f—ing hands.” Toledo then drops what seems to be a gun behind a fence, according to officials. As the officer yells, “Drop it!” Toledo put both of his hands up. In less than one second according to the prosecutors’ account, Toledo allegedly tosses the gun behind the fence, and is shot by the officer.Initial reports claimed that Toledo had a gun in his hands when he was shot, but the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said those claims are false.Toledo then falls to his knees and lays on the ground, on the video.Pronounced dead at the sceneIn the footage, Stillman can be heard reporting that shots were fired by police and he called an ambulance to the scene. He made attempts to revive Toledo, telling him to “stay with him,” but the teen was unresponsive. At one point, Stillman says he didn’t feel a heartbeat and performs CPR on Toledo.In a statement to ABC News, Stillman’s attorney Tim Grace said “the officer was faced with a life-threatening and deadly force situation. All prior attempts to deescalate and gain compliance with all of the officers’ lawful orders had failed.”A still image from police body cam footage moments before Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation after a foot-chase in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021, in Chicago.Toledo did not have identification on him at the time of the shooting, according to officials. He was fingerprinted multiple times, but nothing came up. Missing persons reports were also checked.Roman gave a fake name when questioned about Toledo’s identity and denied knowing Toledo or firing any shots, according to prosecutors.On March 31, detectives contacted Toledo’s mother, Elizabeth, to tell her that her son matched the description of someone in the morgue. She identified her son that day. In a statement, the family expressed anger that officials waited two days before calling the family.Who was Adam Toledo?Adam Toledo was a seventh grader at Gary Elementary School, his family said in a statement.A still image from police body cam footage moments before Adam Toledo, 13, was shot and killed by police during a confrontation after a foot-chase in the early morning hours of March 29, 2021, in Chicago. He appears to be holding something in his right hand.”[He] enjoyed sports and was a good kid. He did not deserve to die the way he did,” the statement said. “The Toledo Family will seek justice for this reprehensible crime.”In another statement, the Toledo family addressed “hurtful and false” mischaracterizations of Adam “as a lonely child of the street who had no one to turn to. This is simply not true. Adam was a loved and supported 13-year-old boy. He lived with his mother, his 90-year-old grandfather, and two of his siblings. His father was in his life. They all loved him very much. The Toledo family is a close-knit family. They look after each other.”Weiss Ortiz P.C. is representing the Toledo family.
LOS ANGELES — A California woman admitted killing her three children, saying she hugged, kissed and apologized as she drowned her infant daughter and the girl’s 2- and 3-year-old siblings last weekend to save them from what she said would be a lifetime of sexual abuse.In a jailhouse interview, Liliana Carrillo told KGET-TV that she wanted to “protect” her kids — 3-year-old Joanna Denton Carrillo, her 2-year-old brother, Terry, and 6-month-old sister, Sierra — from their father amid a bitter custody battle.Carrillo has alleged that the father, her ex-boyfriend, is part of a sex trafficking ring that she claimed runs rampant in Porterville, a small city in central California where the family lived until the end of February.The kids’ father, Erik Denton, has denied Carrillo’s allegations and wrote in court papers seeking custody that she is delusional and it was unsafe for their children to be around her. Carrillo has not yet been charged in the children’s deaths in Los Angeles, and the investigation remains ongoing.“I drowned them,” she said in the Thursday interview inside a Kern County jail.“I did it as softly, I don’t know how to explain it, but I hugged them and I kissed them and I was apologizing the whole time,” she said. “I loved my kids.”Carrillo’s children were found dead Saturday by their maternal grandmother in her apartment in Los Angeles. Carrillo was arrested later that day in Tulare County, nearly 200 miles (322 kilometers) north.“I know that I’m going to be in jail for the rest of my life. It’s something I’ve come to terms with,” she said in the TV interview.Many of Carrillo’s behaviors and claims appear to be associated with altruistic filicide, or when a parent kills a child out of love to end real or imagined suffering.An altruistic motive is when a parent is “thinking that it’s in the best interest of the child, to protect the child from a future that would be worse than death” and it’s among the most common motives associated with a successful insanity defense, according to Dr. Renée Sorrentino, a Boston-based forensic psychiatrist.Sorrentino, who has not treated Carrillo, said mothers in these situations often have delusional beliefs that their kids will be sex-trafficked or sold into slavery and “killing the child is actually the lesser of the evil.”Carrillo told the television station she had tried to kill herself but her car had gotten stuck in a ditch and she had to steal someone else’s vehicle. She pleaded not guilty to carjacking-related charges during her arraignment Wednesday in Kern County.The children’s deaths were preceded by a hostile custody battle. Denton wrote in court papers that Carrillo had become increasingly delusional and she refused to tell him where the kids were. Carrillo, in turn, filed a restraining order against him and said Denton was an alcoholic who may have sexually abused their eldest child.Denton did not respond to a Facebook message seeking comment on Friday.“I am very concerned about my partner,” Denton wrote in the custody documents, “and want to get her the help she needs to recover from this mental break and to become stable. I want her interactions with the children to be safe and healthy.”Carrillo, who wore a brown jail jumpsuit, had her arms shackled to her waist. There was a cast or bandage on her left arm. She cried several times during the nearly half-hour interview. She said she did not have an attorney, although a public defender had been appointed to represent her. The public defender’s office did not return a request for comment Friday.Carrillo described herself in the interview as a “social justice warrior” who used to travel California advocating against human trafficking. She said she met the children’s father when she was his Uber driver.Carrillo told the TV station that she had promised her children when they were born that she would protect them and did not want them to be further abused.“I wish my kids were alive, yes,” she said. “Do I wish that I didn’t have to do that? Yes. But I prefer them not being tortured and abused on a regular basis for the rest of their lives.”Sorrentino said mothers who kill their children out of altruistic motives will often say days later that they would do it again because they felt it was their only option.Denton’s court filings tell of Carrillo’s post-partum depression following the birth of their middle child. In texts and social media posts, she said things like “I wish I never had kids” and threatened to kill herself.Last February, the couple’s oldest daughter fell and landed on her groin area and later said it hurt, according to court documents. Carrillo believed the pain was from Denton molesting her, which he denied, the documents said.He said a doctor found no evidence of abuse, but Carrillo contended that the examination wasn’t thorough enough, the court documents said.In her interview, Carrillo said she had dealt with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome her entire life and had sought out a therapist for post-partum depression. She contended that it was Denton who posed a threat to the children.Asked about her final message to her children, she replied: “I love you, and I’m sorry.”
The Trump ally was pardoned for lying to investigators in the Russia inquiry.April 16, 2021, 11:54 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Justice Department has sued former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone and his wife, Nydia, for $2 million dollars in unpaid taxes.The suit alleges that the Stones owe the money through Drake Ventures, an LLC set up by the Stones. The DOJ says they did not pay taxes through this LLC from 2007 to 2011 and in 2018.”They used Drake Ventures to receive payments that are payable to Roger Stone personally, pay their personal expenses, shield their assets, and avoid reporting taxable income to the IRS,” the suit says.Days before he was scheduled to report to a federal penitentiary in Georgia, former President Donald Trump commuted Stone’s 40-month prison sentence for obstructing justice, witness tampering and multiple counts of lying to Congress in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.Stone was then issued a full presidential pardon on Dec. 23, nullifying the conviction, just weeks before Trump left office.FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo, Roger Stone leaves federal court in Washington. The Justice Department has sued former President Donald Trump’s ally Stone, accusing him and his wife of failing to pay nearly $2 million in income tax.The Justice Department said that after Stone was charged criminally they used Drake Ventures to purchase their condo.The DOJ said that the Stones lived a “lavish lifestyle” despite having unpaid taxes.”Although they used funds held in Drake Ventures accounts to pay some of their taxes, the Stones’ use of Drake Ventures to hold their funds allowed them to shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.”Stone met with Trump at his club in West Palm Beach in late December to personally thank the president for commuting and pardoning him.”My wife and I both had the opportunity to thank the president personally for righting the injustice of my conviction in a Soviet-style show trial, which featured the epic bias of the judge who withheld exculpatory evidence from my defense, misconduct by the jury forewoman and substantial misconduct by the prosecutors,” Stone told ABC News at the time.Stone made headlines again in the days following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol after he was seen in a video first unearthed by ABC News flanked by a man with ties to the Oath Keepers militia group outside a Washington, D.C., hotel before the riot. That man, Roberto Minuta, was later arrested for his part in the insurrection.ABC News’ Ali Dukakis, Alex Mallin, Aaron Katersky and Olivia Rubin contributed to this report.
Russian authorities have moved to designate the organizations of opposition leader Alexey Navalny as “extremist groups” in a step that effectively would outlaw his political movement.The move is the most serious attack so far by authorities on Navalny’s movement as the Kremlin seeks to break the opposition fomented by its fiercest critic, who was sent to in a prison camp for 2 1/2 years in February.Russia’s decision comes as doctors supporting Navalny have warned the state of his health is becoming dangerous in prison, where he’s been on a hunger strike for more than two weeks and has accused authorities of denying him medical care.Russia’s general prosecutor’s office on Friday released a statement saying it had filed a request seeking to have Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund as well as his regional campaign branches declared “extremist” under legislation normally used for terrorist groups and violent religious sects.The prosecutor’s office said it was filing the request on the grounds that Navalny’s groups were “creating conditions for changing the foundations of the constitutional order,” including supposedly through foreign-backed revolution.People clash with police during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Jan. 31, 2021.Russia in recent years has enacted draconian legislation, nominally to help thwart terror groups, but the measures increasingly are being wielded against critics of President Vladimir Putin. If declared “extremist,” Navalny’s organizations would be banned — anyone deemed to be participating in or aiding them could face lengthy prison sentences.”Well there we are. They have decided to steamroll the FBK and the campaign headquarters,” Ivan Zhdanov, the Anti-Corruption Fund’s director, wrote on Twitter. “We won’t surrender.”The Anti-Corruption Fund, known by the initials FBK, publishes investigations revealing the allegedly ill-gotten wealth of Putin and other powerful Russians. The FBK, along with regional branch offices, helps organize peaceful protests against corruption and calls for an end to Putin’s rule. But the groups don’t advocate for violence or overthrowing the state by force.The Anti-Corruption Fund this week published a new video investigation unveiling what it said was a secret residence for Putin in northwest Russia, complete with an elaborate spa complex.Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, March 24, 2021.Leonid Volkov, a top lieutenant of Navalny, said the announcement on Friday meant the Kremlin had still not decided whether to go through with outlawing the group, telling people “don’t keep quiet.”Authorities have kept up intense pressure on Navalny’s movement since he returned to Russia in January, having recovered from his near fatal poisoning with a nerve agent last summer. His arrest caused thousands to protest, but Navalny’s allies were forced to call off street demonstrations in February in the face of an intense police crackdown.Concerns have been mounting over Navalny’s health in prison, where, in addition to the hunger strike, he said he’s been refused proper treatment for back pain so severe it limits his walking. And just last week, Navalny was moved to the prison’s medical ward suffering from a respiratory illness and a high temperature.On Friday, doctors supporting Navalny wrote an open letter to the head of Russia’s prison service pleading for negotiations with prison doctors to agree on a treatment plan, saying Navalny’s worsening condition could be life-threatening.”We express extreme concern about his state, which is approaching critical,” the doctors, some of who are activists, wrote. The doctors wrote in the letter that medical tests show Navalny is suffering renal impairment that could lead to serious problems his circulatory system “up to a heart attack.”Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands in a cage in the Babuskinsky District Court in Moscow, Feb. 20, 2021.Navalny’s wife and mother said they visited him this week and were alarmed by how weak he was.”Aleksey, as always, keeps his spirit. He talks just as cheerfully, but quietly. He coughs badly, breathes with difficulty,” his mother, Lyudmila, wrote in an Instagram post.Navalny said in a message on Friday that prison authorities were threatening to start force-feeding him if he didn’t feed himself. In a message posted to his Instagram account by his team, Navalny wrote he would refuse and that he was demanding to be examined by his own doctor.”My head is spinning heavily,” Navalny said, “but I’m still going for now because I feel your support. Thank you!”
Just a few days before every adult in the U.S. will become eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine on Monday, the White House stressed how important those shots are to beating back the pandemic — especially in recent weeks, as the more transmissible B-117 variant has rapidly become the most dominant and new cases hover near 70,000 per day.”All roads to defeating the pandemic go through the path of successfully and quickly vaccinating the country,” White House COVID adviser Andy Slavitt said at a White House briefing on Friday.The good news is the U.S. has an ample supply of vaccines, even with the recent pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. More than one-third of the total population has already gotten one shot, while 80% of the highest-risk demographic, adults 65 and older, has received one shot. The remaining states that haven’t opened eligibility to all adults will do so on April 19.”I am proud of the progress we’ve made,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at the briefing. “But we must continue to get many more people vaccinated.”That’s because vaccinations are still nowhere near where they need to be to hit “herd immunity,” and quickly-spreading, potentially deadlier variants such as the B-117, first discovered in the U.K., have taken hold in the U.S.The latest CDC data shows that it accounted for 44% of cases during the last week of March, but Walensky said on Friday that the number is “certainly higher” now than then.In Michigan, which currently has the most cases per population in the country, the number of B-117 cases has doubled since the last week of March. Nationwide, cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to tick up. Just four weeks ago, the seven-day average of cases was around 53,000. As of Friday, it was just below 70,000.Hospitalizations had also increased 5-8% since the week before, and deaths were over 700 people a day for the third day in a row, Walensky said.”The increasing trends in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are very concerning, and they threaten the progress we’ve already made,” she said.For its part, the White House announced it will be investing $1.7 billion to do more genomic sequencing and identify variant spread, which the U.S. was woefully unprepared to do a few months ago. The funding will come from the American Rescue Plan, the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package that Biden recently signed into law.”Our ability to spot variants as they emerge and spread is vital, particularly as we aim to get ahead of dangerous variants before they emerge, as they are in the Midwest right now,” Slavitt said.”Right now, these variants account for nearly half of all COVID-19 cases in the United States. And we need more capacity in our public health system to identify and track these mutations,” he said.A member of the U.S. Armed Forces administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a FEMA community vaccination center, March 2, 2021 in Philadelphia.The White House coronavirus response team also warned that loosening restrictions was contributing to the spread, and urged people to mask-up, wash their hands and get vaccinated.”Some of these increases are as a result of relaxed prevention efforts in states across the country, such as relaxed mask mandates or loosened restrictions on indoor restaurant seating,” Walensky said.U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, also at Friday’s briefing, said the U.S. was increasing funding to areas that had been hit disproportionately by COVID-19, including $4 billion in funding to the Indian Health System. Though the IHS has impressively distributed 1 million vaccines in Indian Country, recent data showed that American Indians and Alaska Natives suffered devastating loss when the pandemic was at its worst.According to a recent CDC report, they were 3.5 times more likely to get COVID than white people and more than four times as likely to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.Murthy said the steady increase in cases over the last month had him more concerned than the J&J pause, which was put into place on Tuesday after the CDC and FDA found that out of the nearly 7 million people who got the J&J shot, at least 6 patients suffered blood clots roughly 6-13 days afterward.The pause could last at least a few more weeks, according to an independent panel of CDC experts that on Wednesday decided to wait and see if more patients developed symptoms before recommending next steps on the vaccine.”As much attention as the J&J news has received though, what I’m most concerned about, the numbers which are most on my mind are the rising cases and hospitalizations among those who are not vaccinated,” Murthy said.He underscored the positive news, however, which is that the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world with three vaccine options and hundreds of millions of doses.”We’re really fortunate to have highly effective vaccines and a system that’s working day and night to keep us safe. It gives me faith that we will make it through this pandemic together,” Murthy said.