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Opponents of NYC’s $1.4B East River Park project demand new review
New York City’s bold plan to bury East River Park is based on a phantom study that doesn’t exist, opponents of the $1.4 billion project charge. East River Park Action said it came up empty when it asked the city for a copy of a value engineering study touted as the basis for the flood...
Pacers' Caris LeVert out indefinitely after small mass found on kidney during physical
Caris LeVert, just acquired in a blockbuster trade, is out indefinitely and will undergo more tests after an MRI found a small mass on his kidney.        
Florida middle school teacher fired after blaming Antifa for Capitol riots in class
A Florida teacher found herself out of a job after a rant to a classroom full of students in which she blamed Antifa for the Capitol riots. The unidentified substitute was filmed by a Bok Academy student who later posted the meltdown on the Instagram account @knowyourracists. According to the Lake Wales’ school principal Dr. Damien...
Man with loaded gun, fake inauguration pass arrested at DC checkpoint
A Virginia man packing a handgun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition was arrested when he tried to get through a Washington, D.C. checkpoint with phony inauguration credentials. Wesley Allen Beeler, 31, of Front Royal, Va., was stopped in his white Ford F-150 at the checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol around 6:30 p.m. Friday,...
The Trump administration’s execution of Dustin Higgs, explained
The federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana where Dustin Higgs was executed. | Michael Conroy/AP Higgs was the 13th federal prisoner executed since July 2020. In the early hours of Saturday morning, the Trump administration executed Dustin Higgs for taking part in a triple murder in Maryland in 1996, a crime of which he claimed to be innocent, including with his final words. Higgs’ execution marked the the 13th, and final, federal execution carried out by the Trump administration over the course of six months, a run which has broken starkly with modern precedent both in terms of speed and intensity: The administration has carried out more federal executions since last summer than presidents have in the last 67 years combined. The Trump administration has argued that the executions were conducted as a matter of law, noting that all of those executed were found guilty at trial. “If you ask juries to impose and juries impose it, then it should be carried out,” former Trump administration attorney general Bill Barr, told the Associated Press days before his resignation in December. But many criminal justice advocates — and some members of the Supreme Court — have argued that the schedule has been rushed in a way that neglected appropriate deliberation of the legality of the killings, and that they unfairly targeted people of color, as well as, people suffering from severe trauma. And many legal analysts note that Higgs’ execution was greenlit by the Supreme Court through a maneuver that they describe as an unprecedented and a transparent bid to facilitate Trump’s agenda. Higgs was found guilty in 2000 of first-degree premeditated murder, three counts of first-degree felony murder, and three counts of kidnapping resulting in death. The Justice Department said that in 1996 Higgs traveled with two male friends and three women to a Maryland wildlife refuge, and ordered one of his friends to shoot the three women, one of whom had allegedly rebuffed an advance by him. Higgs has said he is innocent of the crime, and that he gave no order for a killing. His friend who fired the shots who is serving a life sentence, Willis Haynes, has disputed the prosecutions’ argument that Higgs coerced him into the act in a signed affidavit, saying, “The prosecution’s theory of our case was bullshit. Dustin didn’t threaten me. I was not scared of him. Dustin didn’t make me do anything that night or ever.” Higgs reportedly claimed innocence again in his final words. “I’d like to say I am an innocent man. ... I am not responsible for the deaths,” he said, while mentioning the names of the victims. “I did not order the murders.” Higgs was diagnosed with Covid-19 before the execution, and his attorney had attempted to delay the execution on the basis that it was cruel, because of concerns that the virus that the effects of the virus on his lungs might intensify the lethal injection of pentobarbitol. Also at issue was whether Higgs could be executed in Indiana, where he was being held, after being sentenced in Maryland using a death penalty law that no longer exists. The execution went forward anyway. Higgs was given a lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, and pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Supreme Court appears to have acted extraordinarily to back Trump A number of legal analysts have described the Supreme Court’s handling of Higgs’ execution as “unprecedented” and “beyond extraordinary.” Slate’s legal writer Mark Joseph Stern explained that with Higgs, the high court ended up circumventing the traditional appeals process in order to swiftly provide legal backing to Trump’s order to proceed with the execution despite questions about Higgs’ sentencing before he left office: Federal law requires a federal death sentence to be implemented “in the manner prescribed” by the state in which it was imposed. But Higgs was sentenced by a federal court in Maryland, which abolished capital punishment in 2013, so there is no “manner prescribed” for Higgs’ execution. An appeals court upheld the district court’s stay, setting oral arguments for Jan. 27. On Jan. 11, Trump’s Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to clear away these roadblocks. In a stunning move, the court agreed: It issued a summary decision on the merits of the case, short-circuiting the traditional appeals process. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 vote, in which the liberal wing of the court voted against the decision to clear the way for the execution, was accompanied by a blistering dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “This is not justice,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, arguing that the high court was not fulfilling its duty to deliberative process in green-lighting the act — and that it had similarly failed to do so with respect to the 12 executions prior to Higgs’. “After waiting almost two decades to resume federal executions, the government should have proceeded with some measure of restraint to ensure it did so lawfully. When it did not, this court should have. It has not.” Justice Stephen Breyer, argued that the Court had been negligent in considering the constitutionality of the executions, and that it had particularly failed in its duty to unusual issues, such as how the pandemic might affect the legality of executions. In his dissent, he asked, “How just is a legal system that would execute an individual without consideration of a novel or significant legal question that he has raised?” Overall, Jaime Santos, a partner at Goodwin Procter’s appellate litigation practice, described the ruling as “a political decision, not a doctrinal one and not one that is in any way consistent with the norms and precedents governing Supreme Court practice.” It is decisions such as these that have led observers like Vox’s Ian Millhiser to describe a conservative majority court as an “anti-democratic threat.”And Santos’ comments underscore concerns that the Supreme Court has become an overly partisan institution which values political goals over traditional process. Trump’s capital punishment agenda Higgs’ death marks the end of a remarkably focused program of conducting federal executions that critics of capital punishment have deemed “a killing spree.” Strikingly, the federal executions were conducted amid a pandemic that drastically shrunk the number of executions carried out on the state level, and in the wake of a racial justice movement critical of an overly punitive criminal justice system. Experts say Trump’s emphasis on capital punishment in his final half year in office marked a sharp departure from federal government norms, a trend which stands out all the more because support for the death penalty is at the lowest its been in decades. “No one has conducted this number of federal civilian executions in this short period of time in American history,” Robert Dunham, executive director of Death Penalty Information Center, told Vox in December. The uptick in federal executions also stood out in a year where capital punishment was used less than it had been in decades at the state level, largely due to pandemic-related slowdowns and shutdowns of the criminal justice system. “The fact that we’re having a record-high number of federal executions, at the same time that we’re near a record low in state executions, in the middle of a pandemic, shows how much the Trump administration is either out of touch or that it cannot resist gratuitous acts of cruelty,” Dunham told Vox in December. The Trump administration has routinely defended its use of capital punishment. For instance, Barr described the Trump administration’s commitment to the death penalty as carrying out the punishment against “the worst criminals.” But as the ACLU points out, many of those executed don’t tick off the conventional boxes for “worst criminals”: Our federal government killed two Black men for crimes they committed 20 years ago as teenagers; it killed a woman who was a victim of unthinkable sexual violence and torture; it killed two Black men who didn’t kill anyone; and a man with an intellectual disability so severe that it’s impossible to ignore in his final words. The Supreme Court paved the way for many of these executions to go forward despite lower court findings that the executions were unconstitutional or barred by federal law. Beyond seeking to revive and expedite the use of capital punishment, the Trump administration also expanded the way that it can be carried out. Last year the Justice Department created and finalized a rule that allows the government to use more ways to kill prisoners, including electrocution and firing squad. But while the revival of federal capital punishment has been a signature feature of Trump’s political and policy agenda, it is not clear to what extent it will be part of his legacy. President-elect Joe Biden has said he will work to abolish the federal death penalty, and Senate Democrats recently put out legislation that would abolish it.
Maryland, Jordan McNair's family reach $3.5 million settlement
The University of Maryland and the family of Jordan McNair agreed to a $3.5 million settlement, his parents Marty McNair and Tonya Wilson announced Friday.
US Postal Service removing mailboxes for security reasons ahead of inauguration
The US Postal Service has temporarily removed some mailboxes in several major cities across the county, a security measure ahead of next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Sotomayor slams "unprecedented rush" in federal executions
"The Federal Government will have executed more than three times as many people in the last six months than it had in the previous six decades," Sotomayor dissented. "...This is not justice."
Joe Biden names science advisers, places Obama aides in State Department
President-elect Joe Biden introduced four of his top science advisers Saturday and his transition office announced nominees — many of them familiar faces from the Obama Administration — to deputy positions in the State Department. “In a way … this is the most exciting announcement that I’ve gotten to make of the entire Cabinet,” Biden...
Dana White: Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC return hinges on lightweight division
The door is open for Khabib Nurmagomedov to return to the UFC.
'Horrified' Loews Hotels Cancel GOP Sen. Josh Hawley Fundraiser After Capitol Siege
"We have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels," the New York City-based luxury hotel company tweeted.
AP Top Stories Jan. 16 5P
Here are the top stories for Saturday, Jan. 16: Biden: Advisers to lead with 'science and truth'; Vaccination drive kicks off in various Indian cities; Thousands protest in Vienna over lockdown rules; Snow dusts Paris landmarks as cold spell. (Jan. 16)       
Justice Sotomayor blasts ‘spree’ of deaths amid 13th federal execution
The federal government on Saturday executed its 13th death-row inmate in the last year, and the second in a week — capping the Trump administration’s record number of executions amid heated objections. Dustin Higgs, 48, was put to death in Indiana by lethal injection. He was convicted of the 1996 kidnapping and murder of three...
UFC on ABC 1 results: Max Holloway pieces up tough Calvin Kattar for masterful win
Max Holloway put on an epic performance in earning a one-sided unanimous decision over an undeniably tough Calvin Kattar.        Related StoriesUFC on ABC 1 results: Max Holloway pieces up tough Calvin Kattar for masterful win - EnclosureTwitter reacts to Max Holloway's masterclass win over Calvin Kattar at UFC on ABC 1UFC on ABC 1 results: Carlos Condit outgrapples Matt Brown en route to unanimous win 
SF Giants owner under scrutiny for donations to Rep. Boebert's campaign after Capitol riot
Charles B. Johnson, the billionaire owner of the San Francisco Giants and the former CEO of Franklin Resources, came under scrutiny for donating thousands to the election campaign of Lauren Boebert who campaigned and won a seat in the House of Representatives in November, representing Colorado.
Trump Targeted the Mentally Ill With His Lame Duck Execution Spree
The Trump Administration's 2020-21 execution spree came to an end on Friday with the execution of the Dustin Higgs.
New York’s COVID-19 rate dips slightly amid vaccine rush
New York's statewide COVID-19 positivity rate dropped slightly Saturday, as a Brooklyn vaccination site was closed a second straight day amid lack of supply.
Communications director for Rep. Boebert resigns following Capitol siege
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert's communications director has resigned in the wake of the Capitol insurrection earlier this month, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Man arrested for shooting at people inside his stolen car
A Wisconsin man was arrested after tracking down his stolen car and then shooting at the people in it, according to police. The unnamed 30-year-old man found his previously stolen car this week at a check cashing depot. He confronted the people in his car, but fled to another car after the driver of his...
Rapper Bow Wow defends himself against criticism for packed club performance amid coronavirus pandemic
Rapper Bow Wow woke up Saturday to dozens of angry comments from fans for performing at a packed nightclub in Houston amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Judge dismisses 39 cases against 28 Black Lives Matter protesters in Detroit
Some believe the cases are tied to a civil rights complaint filed against the city.
Twitter reacts to Max Holloway's masterclass win over Calvin Kattar at UFC on ABC 1
See the top Twitter reactions to Max Holloway's win over Calvin Kattar in the UFC on ABC 1 main event.       Related StoriesTwitter reacts to Carlos Condit's win over Matt Brown to close contract at UFC on ABC 1Fight Game on the 'Gram: Calvin Kattar's best posts before UFC on ABC 1Fight Game on the 'Gram: Max Holloway's best posts before UFC on ABC 1 
'Resign': Progressives and Hawley's Missouri Constituents Want Him to Quit Immediately
A new Data for Progress poll found that 51 percent of Missourians want Hawley to "resign immediately."
Westchester teen wins battle to start conservative club at school
One Westchester teen is painting the town — or, at least, his school — red, now that his conservative student club has finally been approved after a two-year battle. Luke Wong, a 17-year-old junior, has been fighting since his freshman year to launch a chapter of the national Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club at Harrison...
Alan Canfora, Who Carried Wounds From Kent State, Dies at 71
He devoted his life to pursuing the truth about the tragic events of May 4, 1970, and to keeping them in the public eye.
Total coronavirus cases in L.A. County top 1 million; more contagious strain found there
Los Angeles County surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases since recording its first infection nearly a year before.
Trial date set in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan governor
Six men are charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor.
Iranian missiles land just 100 miles from Navy ships: report
Long-range missiles belonging to Iran splashed down Saturday just 100 miles from the Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group, Fox News reported.  At least two Iranian ballistic missiles exploded on impact when they hit the ocean about 100 miles from the nuclear aircraft carrier and other Navy vessels, sending debris in all directions, according to US...
GPS Web Extra: What "big lies" lead to
Tim Snyder, one of the world's foremost experts on authoritarianism tells Fareed what the U.S. can learn from Germany's history with fascism.
Trump’s Twitter and Facebook ban is working. One stat shows it.
What Trump’s Twitter page looked like before it was permanently suspended. | Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images Trump’s deplatforming has already slowed the spread of election misinformation. In the wake of the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol that President Donald Trump heavily promoted on social media, platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and others finally moved to ban the president. The result? A sudden drop in the online spread of election misinformation. According to research by Zignal Labs, which the Washington Post reported on Saturday, online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent in the weeklong period following Twitter’s decision to ban Trump on January 8. Which means that, to the extent that the move and the related scrubbing of right-wing conspiracy accounts were aimed at curbing disinformation, the ban appears to be working. Not only has the spread of misinformation slowed, the research indicates online discussion around the topics that motivated the Capitol riot has also diminished. “Zignal found that the use of hashtags affiliated with the Capitol riot also dipped considerably,” writes the Post, summarizing Zignal’s research. “Mentions of the hashtag #FightforTrump, which was widely deployed across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media services in the week before the rally, dropped 95 percent. #HoldTheLine and the term ‘March for Trump’ also fell more than 95 percent.” The leading argument against banning Trump was that despite the conspiracy theories, smears, and misinformation he spent years spreading on Twitter and other platforms, as president of the United States, it was important for social media companies to allow him to freely communicate with the public. But that line of thinking became more tenuous in the weeks following Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden, as the president’s posts increasingly fixated on spreading lies about the election being stolen from him and on fomenting unrest, including promoting the January 6 “Stop the Steal” protest that preceded the violent takeover of the Capitol. The breaking point finally came in the days following the violence. Instead of unequivocally denouncing the rioters, Trump defended them, writing in a tweet he posted as law enforcement was still trying to clear the Capitol on January 6 that “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.” (Hours earlier, Trump had posted a tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence even as rioters, some of them chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” came perilously close to encountering the vice president while he was being hastily evacuated from the Senate chamber.) Then, on January 8, Trump posted a tweet announcing he wouldn’t be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account hours later, writing in a blog post that his inauguration tweet was being interpreted online by his supporters as “encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.” (Facebook has so far only suspended Trump’s account through the end of his presidential term.) In the eight days since, Trump has resorted to releasing tweet-like statements through the White House press office. He’s characterized the moves by Facebook, Twitter, and others as an attack on free speech, but at no point has he retracted, or apologized for spreading, misinformation about the election — nor has he acknowledged the reality that Biden’s victory over him was legitimate. Trump has reportedly considered opening an account on Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives and many on the far-right for its lax approach to moderating content, where extremism flourishes. But Amazon dropped Parler from its web-hosting service following revelations that Trump supporters had used it as a forum to organize the Capitol riot, and it’s unclear whether it’ll ever get back online. Meanwhile, reports swirl that Trump is spending his last days in the White House isolated and embittered. It turns out that watching cable news isn’t as fun when you can’t provide live commentary about it to your tens of millions of Twitter followers. Nor, apparently, does misinformation thrive when the biggest purveyors of it are deplatformed.
Philadelphia Zoo celebrates birth of endangered François' Leaf Monkey
The zoo said the female baby, named Qúy Báu, or "precious" in Vietnamese, was born to parents Mei Mei and Chester on December 13.       
Man Arrested Near Capitol With Loaded Handgun And 500 Rounds Of Ammunition
Wesley Allen Beeler presented unauthorized inauguration credentials Friday night, police said. Beeler admitted to having the handgun in his pickup truck, according to police.
Artist Kristina Libby honors COVID-19 victims with flower hearts around NYC
In April, not long after the pandemic forced New Yorkers into virtual lockdown, artist Kristina Libby began laying floral hearts around the city — a touching tribute to those who've lost loved ones to COVID-19.
Missouri woman who allegedly posed with Pelosi's nameplate charged in connection with Capitol riot
A Missouri woman who appeared to pose with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's nameplate has been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Kansas nurses refuse to give COVID-19 vaccines
Coffee County in Kansas has roughly 8,500 residents, but they won’t be getting their COVID-19 shots from the county health department’s four nurses. Department chief Lindsay Payer and her staffers have opted out of giving the injections because they have doubts about the safety of the Moderna vaccine, which the county is offering, local TV...
Man Arrested in D.C. With Unauthorized Inauguration Credentials, a Loaded Gun, and Lots of Ammo
Police found a Glock loaded with a high-capacity magazine and 17 rounds of ammunition as well as 509 rounds for the pistol, including hollow-point bullets.
How TV personality Bevy Smith went from broke to bodacious
TV and radio personality Bevy Smith, formerly of "Page Six TV," reveals how she turned her life around, in her new memoir, "Bevelations."
‘Where are they going to go?’ D.C. activists help move people off the street before potential unrest
If protests again turn ugly during the inauguration, those without shelter could be caught between battling police and extremists or make easy targets.
1 dead, 1 wounded during shooting inside NYC building: Cops
A woman was killed and a man injured in a broad daylight shooting in Harlem Saturday afternoon, police said. The shooting happened at around 12:40 p.m. inside a first-floor hallway of a building at West 150th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd., police said. The unidentified woman, who was in her 20s or 30s, was shot...
Twitter says ‘bug’ prevented users from searching Lincoln Project Aamid sexual misconduct allegations
Twitter said it was a “bug” that prevented users from searching the Lincoln Project, after one of the founders admitted to sending “inappropriate” messages to multiple men. 
Kevin Knox may be part of potential Knicks lineup shakeup
Tom Thibodeau reiterated Saturday that “everything is on the table,” for the Knicks to potentially shake up their lineup while stuck in a five-game losing streak. Rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley has put his name in the hat with the recent jolt he has delivered off the bench, but so has another Kentucky product with...
NYC DOE cancels 105 pre-K programs, leaving parents in the lurch
The Department of Education has canceled 105 community pre-kindergarten schools that applied to continue programs this fall, The Post has learned. That’s 11 percent of the 997 current sites serving families citywide. The Brooklyn Archdiocese, which will be forced to close pre-K programs at three Catholic schools in Queens and two in Brooklyn, sent a...
NFL Playoffs: Best photos from the divisional around
Eight teams are playing for a berth in the NFL's conference championship games.        
Sexually frustrated: NYC ‘sex house’ residents moan about orgy-killing COVID
After 10 months of social distancing, the residents of Brooklyn’s communal “sex houses” are frustrated, to say the least. “I’d give my left testicle to go to an orgy,” said Kenneth Play, co-founder of Hacienda Villa. Play is one of more than 30 residents, ranging from ages 20-45, who live in the three Bushwick houses...
UFC on ABC 1 results: Carlos Condit outgrapples Matt Brown en route to unanimous win
Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown finally went down at UFC on ABC 1, with "The Natural Born Killer" earning a win.        Related StoriesUFC on ABC 1 results: Carlos Condit outgrapples Matt Brown en route to unanimous win - EnclosureTwitter reacts to Carlos Condit's win over Matt Brown to close contract at UFC on ABC 1Video: Punahele Soriano rocks Dusko Todorovic, gets UFC on ABC era started with a bang 
Biden plans dozens of executive orders for early days of presidency
Biden will rescind the travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries and rejoin the Paris climate accords in the first days of his presidency.
‘Star Wars’ spinoff has sleepy English village ready for galactic dogfight
Townsfolk aren't happy with Disney for building a colossal set for the entertainment giant's Star Wars TV series "Kenobi" starring Ewan McGregor as the legendary Jedi Master, the Sun reported.
Jill Biden to make appearance during inaugural TV programming aimed at kids
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced a lineup of television programming in the days leading up to the inauguration.