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Westlake Legal Group > Andrew Keiper

Evidence in Mollie Tibbetts murder is insurmountable, law enforcement source says

The evidence against the man accused of murdering 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa is overwhelming — even if parts of his police confession are ruled inadmissible in court, a law enforcement source close to the case told Fox News on Tuesday.

Defense attorneys for Cristhian Bahena Rivera — who has been charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death — argued that his rights were violated during his initial interview with investigators. The state has since indicated that some of Rivera’s statements cannot be used at trial because his Miranda rights initially were not read to him in their entirety.

A judge is set to decide next month what evidence will be presented to jurors at the February trial of Rivera, 25, an illegal immigrant from Mexico accused of killing Tibbetts on July 18, 2018, after following the college student on her evening jog through the streets of her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa.

Whatever the outcome, the law enforcement source told Fox News there’s an abundance of other damning evidence incriminating Rivera in Tibbetts’ death. The statement echoed claims from the state in its most recent court filing. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation. The source did not elaborate on the evidence investigators had, but it has been reported that Tibbetts’ blood was found in the trunk of Rivera’s car.

MURDER SUSPECT WORKED LESS THAN THREE MILES FROM WHERE MOLLIE TIBBETTS WAS STAYING

According to court documents, Rivera, who speaks some English, was interviewed by police for a total of eight hours and 30 minutes on Aug. 20, 2018. At approximately 11:30 p.m., several hours into the interview, Rivera was given his first Miranda warning by the lead interviewer, Iowa City Police Officer Pamela Romero, whose native language is Spanish. That warning was “incomplete in that the officer giving it [Romero] inadvertently omitted informing the defendant [that] what he says can be used against him in court at a later time,” according to a document filed by the prosecution last week.

Westlake Legal Group Mollie-Tibbetts-FB Evidence in Mollie Tibbetts murder is insurmountable, law enforcement source says fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc Cristina Corbin article Andrew Keiper a85ef60a-455d-5236-a0a3-d86a0b35f70c

Mollie Tibbetts, seen in an undated photo provided by her family, was killed in 2018. (Rob Tibbetts)

When Rivera eventually led investigators to Tibbetts’ remains in a cornfield, Romero read the suspect his Miranda Rights in full inside a vehicle at approximately 5:50 a.m. on Aug. 21. After the second Mirana warning, “the defendant knowingly waived his Miranda rights and continued to speak with officers,” the document read.

“Following his second warning, the defendant made numerous statements that implicate him in Mollie Tibbetts’ murder,” it continued.

Tibbetts’ disappearance shook the small town of Brooklyn. For weeks, local and federal investigators, assisted by townspeople who volunteered to comb ditches and fields, scoured cornfields and ponds for any trace of her.

MOLLIE TIBBETTS DISAPPEARANCE A TOTAL SHOCK, RESIDENTS SAY

Tibbetts was dog-sitting for her longtime boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and his brother the night she disappeared. The Jack brothers were working about a hundred miles away at a construction site on the night of her disappearance.

From the onset of the investigation, detectives focused on forensic electronic evidence to find the University of Iowa student. Many were convinced her Snapchat or Instagram activities would help them find her – dead or alive. However, surveillance video and traditional police work eventually lead them to Rivera.

The suspect worked at a dairy farm less than three miles from where Tibbetts was staying on the night of her disappearance. In the aftermath of Rivera leading investigators to Tibbetts’ body, Yarrabee Farms was scrutinized for its employment practices.

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Dane Lang, one of the owners of the farm, said the company followed federal employment laws and Rivera passed the government’s E-Verify system – although the veracity of that system has been scrutinized in the past.

Rivera told investigators he was following Tibbetts on her run and, according to an affidavit, panicked when she threatened to call police and “blocked” his memory. Then, he said he pulled into the entrance of a cornfield and found Tibbetts, with the side of her head bloodied, in the trunk of his Chevy Malibu.

Fox News’ Matt Finn in Iowa City, Iowa, contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group tibbetts082118 Evidence in Mollie Tibbetts murder is insurmountable, law enforcement source says fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc Cristina Corbin article Andrew Keiper a85ef60a-455d-5236-a0a3-d86a0b35f70c   Westlake Legal Group tibbetts082118 Evidence in Mollie Tibbetts murder is insurmountable, law enforcement source says fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc Cristina Corbin article Andrew Keiper a85ef60a-455d-5236-a0a3-d86a0b35f70c

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Cory Booker unveils plan to lift more than half of children out of poverty

Sen. Cory Booker has unveiled a plan that Columbia University says will lift more than 7 million children out of poverty across the nation.

The plan, spurred by his own experience living in Newark, N.J., and informed by advocates from low-income communities, primarily focuses on reforming existing government programs to make them more efficient and robust safety nets.

CHICAGO MAYOR WIPES OUT OVERDUE LIBRARY FEES TO FIGHT ‘GENERATIONAL POVERTY’

“We all benefit when everyone has a stake in our economy,” Booker said. “Building on the same American spirit that gave us Social Security, Medicare, nutrition assistance, and so much more, we must come together to ensure that every child has a fair shot to participate in and benefit from our collective promise.”

“We all benefit when everyone has a stake in our economy. Building on the same American spirit that gave us Social Security, Medicare, nutrition assistance, and so much more, we must come together to ensure that every child has a fair shot to participate in and benefit from our collective promise.”

— U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Booker’s policy, if enacted prior to 2018, would have purportedly helped lift about 16 percent of children, or nearly 12 million, out of poverty, according to statistics from the Census Bureau. In 2017, it would have impacted nearly 13 million children.

That means, according to the most recent year data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, Booker’s plan would lift more than half of the children currently living in poverty in the United States out of their current financial situation.

Westlake Legal Group booker-thumb-1 Cory Booker unveils plan to lift more than half of children out of poverty fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc b6f8a08e-57ef-53da-b359-5b35020b2834 article Andrew Keiper

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., speaks during the Climate Forum at Georgetown University, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Among the tentpoles of his policy are reforms to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), the Subsidize Assistance Nutrition Program, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and an effort to build “on the framework fo the Child Care for Working Families Act,” according to a release from the campaign.

The expansion of SNAP would increase the maximum benefits by 30 percent while adopting a low-cost food plan. It would also rescind Trump rules that stripped food benefits from people without consistent employment.

The TANF reform would restore the safety net’s “funding to its 1996 inflation-adjusted levels” and mandate that it remain there going forward.

“When it comes to child poverty, we cannot be silent,” said Booker in a press release. “In the richest country in the world, we have a moral responsibility to look after each other and make sure that every child living in America has the opportunity to grow and thrive.”

“When it comes to child poverty, we cannot be silent. In the richest country in the world, we have a moral responsibility to look after each other and make sure that every child living in America has the opportunity to grow and thrive.” 

— U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

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Booker’s proposal builds off his signature baby bonds policy, which would provide every newborn in the country with a $1,000 savings account.

“It would lay a powerful foundation in this country that would elevate incomes, elevate opportunity and elevate child success in this country,” Booker told Fox News at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Tuesday. “Child poverty is something that is a moral shame in our country, but also has economic consequences that are unacceptable in a nation that needs children to thrive.”

Westlake Legal Group booker-thumb-1 Cory Booker unveils plan to lift more than half of children out of poverty fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc b6f8a08e-57ef-53da-b359-5b35020b2834 article Andrew Keiper   Westlake Legal Group booker-thumb-1 Cory Booker unveils plan to lift more than half of children out of poverty fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc b6f8a08e-57ef-53da-b359-5b35020b2834 article Andrew Keiper

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Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach

Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039

The Democratic National Committee has been hit with a Federal Election Commission complaint that accuses a former DNC contractor of acting improperly to gather information on Paul Manafort and Donald Trump in the 2016 election, according to a copy of the complaint given to Fox News.

The complaint, filed by the pro-Trump Committee to Defend the President, hinges on the work of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election. The DNC, the complaint alleges, “tasked Chalupa with obtaining incriminating or derogatory information about Donald Trump … [and] Paul Manfort.”

In May, Fox News reported that the UkrainianEembassy confirmed that Chalupa had pushed for Ukrainian officials to publicly mention Manafort’s financial and political ties to the country. The disgraced former lobbyist is currently serving more than seven years in prison for financial fraud related to his work in Ukraine.

Chalupa, according to the complaint, sought to have the Ukrainian government provide her information about Manafort’s work in the country. She was encouraged by the DNC to meet with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to gain insight that would theoretically boost Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.

“The White House has been pushing this narrative to distract from Donald Trump’s gross abuse of power in pressuring a foreign country to interfere in our elections. No one is buying it.”

— Adrienne Watson – Democratic National Committee

“The embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington, D.C., and not in her DNC capacity,” said former Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly in a statement. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause.”

Ken Vogel, a New York Times reporter who wrote about the story for Politico in 2017, tweeted that Chalupa wasn’t representing the DNC during her meetings with Ukrainian officials. That point is overlooked in the complaint, which alleges that acquiring something of value in a political campaign from a foreign government is a violation of campaign finance.

“The White House has been pushing this narrative to distract from Donald Trump’s gross abuse of power in pressuring a foreign country to interfere in our elections,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the DNC. “No one is buying it.”

The complaint is signed by Dan Backer, a lawyer well-known in conservative circles for his legal work around campaign finance – often against Democrats. This year, he’s filed FEC complaints against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas. Previously, he’s founded political action committees against Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“It really comes down to the hypocrisy of the Democrats. It’s the same thing they’ve been doing year in and year out. … It’s that kind of hypocrisy that I think really frustrates Americans.”

— Dan Backer – Committee to Defend the President

Backer is listed as the treasurer for the Committee to Defend the President PAC, the organization behind the complaint, on the Federal Election Commission website. Backer said the Chalupa complaint has been on his radar for some time, and this seemed a good time to file – given the recent impeachment inquiry against Trump undertaken by House Democrats.

“It really comes down to the hypocrisy of the Democrats,” Backer said. “It’s the same thing they’ve been doing year in and year out. … It’s that kind of hypocrisy that I think really frustrates Americans.”

The complaint, like his others, will likely be stuck in limbo for the foreseeable future as the FEC doesn’t currently have enough commissioners to legally meet – rendering it toothless. After the resignation of former Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen in August, the agency is left with just three commissioners, one short of a quorum and three short of a full roster.

“It’s abundantly clear that they only care about breaking the rules when they can point their fingers at somebody else that they think is doing it,” said Backer.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039   Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039

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Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach

Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039

The Democratic National Committee has been hit with a Federal Election Commission complaint that accuses a former DNC contractor of acting improperly to gather information on Paul Manafort and Donald Trump in the 2016 election, according to a copy of the complaint given to Fox News.

The complaint, filed by the pro-Trump Committee to Defend the President, hinges on the work of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor hired by the DNC during the 2016 election. The DNC, the complaint alleges, “tasked Chalupa with obtaining incriminating or derogatory information about Donald Trump … [and] Paul Manfort.”

In May, Fox News reported that the UkrainianEembassy confirmed that Chalupa had pushed for Ukrainian officials to publicly mention Manafort’s financial and political ties to the country. The disgraced former lobbyist is currently serving more than seven years in prison for financial fraud related to his work in Ukraine.

Chalupa, according to the complaint, sought to have the Ukrainian government provide her information about Manafort’s work in the country. She was encouraged by the DNC to meet with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to gain insight that would theoretically boost Hillary Clinton’s bid for president.

“The White House has been pushing this narrative to distract from Donald Trump’s gross abuse of power in pressuring a foreign country to interfere in our elections. No one is buying it.”

— Adrienne Watson – Democratic National Committee

“The embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington, D.C., and not in her DNC capacity,” said former Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly in a statement. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause.”

Ken Vogel, a New York Times reporter who wrote about the story for Politico in 2017, tweeted that Chalupa wasn’t representing the DNC during her meetings with Ukrainian officials. That point is overlooked in the complaint, which alleges that acquiring something of value in a political campaign from a foreign government is a violation of campaign finance.

“The White House has been pushing this narrative to distract from Donald Trump’s gross abuse of power in pressuring a foreign country to interfere in our elections,” said Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the DNC. “No one is buying it.”

The complaint is signed by Dan Backer, a lawyer well-known in conservative circles for his legal work around campaign finance – often against Democrats. This year, he’s filed FEC complaints against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas. Previously, he’s founded political action committees against Ocasio-Cortez and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“It really comes down to the hypocrisy of the Democrats. It’s the same thing they’ve been doing year in and year out. … It’s that kind of hypocrisy that I think really frustrates Americans.”

— Dan Backer – Committee to Defend the President

Backer is listed as the treasurer for the Committee to Defend the President PAC, the organization behind the complaint, on the Federal Election Commission website. Backer said the Chalupa complaint has been on his radar for some time, and this seemed a good time to file – given the recent impeachment inquiry against Trump undertaken by House Democrats.

“It really comes down to the hypocrisy of the Democrats,” Backer said. “It’s the same thing they’ve been doing year in and year out. … It’s that kind of hypocrisy that I think really frustrates Americans.”

The complaint, like his others, will likely be stuck in limbo for the foreseeable future as the FEC doesn’t currently have enough commissioners to legally meet – rendering it toothless. After the resignation of former Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen in August, the agency is left with just three commissioners, one short of a quorum and three short of a full roster.

“It’s abundantly clear that they only care about breaking the rules when they can point their fingers at somebody else that they think is doing it,” said Backer.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039   Westlake Legal Group Manafort Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper aa043896-2549-5da2-9f87-79493f5d7039

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Buttigieg focus on mental health resonating in New Hampshire

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is focusing fresh attention on a sweeping mental health plan as the candidate looks to connect with primary voters in New Hampshire, one of the epicenters of the opioid crisis over the past few years.

Over three days, Buttigieg held at least a half dozen events in New Hampshire that attracted at least 3,200 prospective voters, according to a campaign official. Often, the audiences at his town halls and house parties appeared receptive to his speeches on mental health.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: ‘SYSTEMIC RACISM IS A WHITE PROBLEM’

His 14-point plan boils down to a few main ideas: Integrating primary care with mental health checkups, removing stigma associated with talking about mental health, enforcing mental health parity among insurers and empower local organizations to implement solutions that work in their communities. In many ways, Buttigieg’s plan ties mental health and drug addiction together in a way that recognizes how intertwined they are.

“Pete’s vision for the future of mental health and addiction care is rooted in embracing prevention and ensuring that every person … has the resources and support they need to begin to heal,” the policy outline on his website reads. In other words, his goal is to make sure people in New Hampshire and across the country can count on the government to lift them, whether they’re dealing with seasonal depression or heroin withdrawals.

New Hampshire was Buttigieg’s chosen launching pad for his mental health platform, and for good reason – the Granite State has an opioid overdose death rate of more than twice the national average, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2013, the state had only 30 deaths involving fentanyl; that number rose to 374 in 2017.

“I was really impressed by it; it was comprehensive in the way it thought about really important things about mental health.”

— Peter Evers – President, New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Organization

“I was really impressed by it; it was comprehensive in the way it thought about really important things about mental health,” said Peter Evers, the president of the New Hampshire Community Behavioral Health Organization. “It was written by someone who really had a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the nation with behavioral health.”

Evers said he endorses Buttigieg’s mental health plan, though not exclusively, saying that it’s the most comprehensive one on the subject he’s seen so far.

His approach to mental health, especially concerning the destigmatization around talking about it, is a generational approach, Evers said. More now than ever, younger people and millennials, a group that Buttigieg belongs to, are investing in their mental health and preventative care.

Another approach Buttigieg takes that seems simple but has had large ripple effects is the simplification of the National Suicide Awareness Hotline to a three-digit number. In New Hampshire, the number is 211, and Evers said it’s been immensely effective.

Westlake Legal Group pete-buttigieg Buttigieg focus on mental health resonating in New Hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 55b3d2de-863a-5fba-a71d-3f73bd132cc8

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks speaks during a FOX News Channel Town Hall, Sunday, May 19, 2019, in Claremont, N.H. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

“That’s all you have to remember if you’re in the depths of despair in the state,” said Evers. “It’s more than doubled the number of people who are reaching out in our area.”

Within his campaign, staffers say Buttigieg’s campaign has also focused on their own mental health. After particularly challenging days on the trail, such as in days following the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio massacres, campaign manager Mike Schmuhl reached out to the staff to offer resources and ensure they felt supported.

Buttigieg’s campaign staffers said they’re not pinning their hopes in New Hampshire’s primary to the mental health policy, but certainly understand the urgency for mental health reform there and across the country.

“From Nashua to the Upper Valley, Peterborough to Ossipee, Pete listened to voters, took their questions and showed that he understands the urgency needed to tackle this crisis,” said Kevin Donohoe, the campaign’s New Hampshire communications director. “New Hampshire voters are getting behind Pete Buttigieg because he has the courage to break with the past to offer fresh and new solutions to the challenges facing our country.”

Buttigieg is polling at just around 7 percent in New Hampshire, according to the RealClearPolitics average for the state.

But Buttigieg’s campaign said that Labor Day marked a turning point for the mayor, who has plateaued in national polls in recent months. They unveiled plans to bolster field operations in New Hampshire and Iowa. In New Hampshire, the campaign plans to open 12 new field offices and hire more than a dozen paid staff. The new offices would place a Mayor Pete operation in every county in the state, and the new hires would bring the number of paid staff to 56, according to WMUR.

Recently, the mayor received a couple of notable endorsements from high profile politicos in the Granite State. Twelve-term state Rep. Susan Almy endorsed Buttigieg, a decision she said she made at a recent town hall in Cornish, New Hampshire.

“During Pete’s town hall in Cornish, I saw a leader who brought out the best in the over 500 people present, dealt well every issue thrown at him, and won our hearts and minds,” Almy said.

Westlake Legal Group IND-Pete-Buttigieg Buttigieg focus on mental health resonating in New Hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 55b3d2de-863a-5fba-a71d-3f73bd132cc8

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaign event, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in Muscatine, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Earlier, in July, Buttigieg received the endorsement of another New Hampshire politician, state Rep. Matthew Wilhelm. The first-term lawmaker represents Manchester, one of the largest cities in the state, and was swayed early on by Buttigieg’s plan to expand paid national service opportunities.

“That’s what happened. We had folks riding those shuttle buses from the high school, who probably hadn’t been on a yellow bus since they were a kid,” said Eleanor Cochrane, who hosted a house party for the mayor in Hancock, New Hampshire. “We had a tremendous cross-section [of voters], and the most enthusiastic feeling at that house party meet up.”

Cochrane, a retired registered nurse who also chairs the Hancock Town Democratic Committee, said mental health is increasingly a priority among voters, and that it’s time lawmakers stepped up.

“All of the issues of mental health care have to be destigmatized, because the numbers are huge, and the resources, at least in this state, are pitiful,” she said. “I’m glad people are talking about it. I’m glad candidates are talking about it, and I’m glad candidates have what seem like reasonable, manageable plans to adjust it.”

As for the reception among the roughly 300 attendees of her house party, she said: “What we heard was very positive. There were a lot of people who said, “Man, I am so glad I got to hear him.’”

Indeed, a solutions-based approach may resonate with Granite Staters as their February, 2020 primary approach.

“Solutions are what New Hampshire voters of all political parties want,” said Holly Schulman, the New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director. “They’re sick and tired of Republicans’ insults, obstruction, and backwards priorities.”

BUTTIGIEG RELEASES PLAN TO BATTLE DOMESTIC TERRORISM IN WAKE OF SHOOTING MASSACRES

Mental health is poised to be a defining issue in the state’s primary, though it will probably be one of many that voters consider when they head to the ballot box.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the defining issue, but I think it’ll be one of the issues that’s going to collectively be the final push for people,” said Carlos Cardona, the Laconia Democratic Party chairman.

Westlake Legal Group IND-Pete-Buttigieg Buttigieg focus on mental health resonating in New Hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 55b3d2de-863a-5fba-a71d-3f73bd132cc8   Westlake Legal Group IND-Pete-Buttigieg Buttigieg focus on mental health resonating in New Hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 55b3d2de-863a-5fba-a71d-3f73bd132cc8

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Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6069845499001_6069841201001-vs Election panel complaint focuses on Castro release of Trump donor IDs fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 50ea23a1-b977-5da9-8a00-971de53c79f0

First he drew the ire of Twitter and Republican lawmakers when he released the names and employers of Trump donors in Texas; now Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, has been hit with an official Federal Election Committee (FEC) complaint over the controversial action.

MAN WRONGLY OUTED AS TRUMP DONOR BY CASTRO, FORCED TO GO OVER ‘SITUATIONAL AWARENESS’ WTH WIFE, KIDS 

On Friday, conservative lawyer Dan Backer filed an FEC complaint alleging that Castro’s actions violated the Federal Election Committee Act by encouraging harassment of the donors.

“By exposing Trump donors — and one of his own as well — to bullying and intimidation, Castro broke the law, and it’s high time we hold him accountable for his despicable, cowardly actions,” Backer said.

Also included in the alleged violation is a precedent set by a 1989 court case that grants regular citizens “practical obscurity,” even though their donations are a matter of public record.

It’s alleged that by exposing their employers, though not their addresses or contact information, Castro put the donors at risk for harassment and violence by the “radical left.”

Castro, the brother of 2020 Democratic nominee for president Julián Castro, has been a member of Congress since 2013. After he posted the names and employers of 44 Trump donors, which coincidentally included one of his own, he drew widespread condemnation from Republicans.

“No one was targeted or harassed in my post. You know that. All that info is routinely published,” Castro said on Twitter in response to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s criticism. Castro then pivoted to condemn the president’s rhetoric, which was mirrored in the manifesto of a white nationalist mass shooter in El Paso. He killed 22 in a rampage at a Walmart last week.

Castro released the donors’ information in the wake of two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. He reasoned on Twitter that “Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics ‘invading’ America.”

His congressional office did not reply to requests for comment by the time this article was published.

Backer, who runs the conservative free speech nonprofit the Coolidge-Reagan Foundation, said political donations have been upheld consistently by courts as one of the most protected forms of speech.

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“He did this to shame thee people and cause them some form of harm for participating in the political system,” Backer said.

In recent months, he filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for alleged campaign finance violations committed by her and her former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. The case has yet to be resolved.

In an interview with Fox News, Backer made no bones about the publicity and outcome he hopes will come from the complaint. He said his foundation will be using the Castro complaint to education and raise awareness on free speech issues, and he hopes the FEC “throws the book” at the Texas congressman.

“It is an incredibly dangerous precedent, I am shocked by this,” Backer said. “… There is a reason this is frowned upon, because it violates our social norms and good sense.”

In addition to the action by Backer, seven House Republicans led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., sent a letter Friday to the House Ethics Committee asking the panel to look into Castro’s conduct.

The Republicans wrote to Chairman Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Ranking Member Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, saying that Castro “sought to encourage harassment against those citizens simply on the basis of their political beliefs.”

“Whether he intended to provoke physical violence or merely verbal harassment, his intent was to chill the free speech and free association rights of Americans,” the letter said. “This behavior cannot be tolerated by a member of this institution.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre

On Saturday, after news broke that a gunman opened fire on shoppers in El Paso, Texas, a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates denounced white nationalism and the epidemic of gun violence in America.

One by one, the candidates spoke to a gaggle of reporters covering the AFSCME Public Service Forum in Las Vegas about the shooting; issuing statements, plans and condolences for 20 killed and 26 injured.

A visibly upset Beto O’Rourke was one of the first to deliver a statement shortly after news broke that there was an active shooter at a Walmart in El Paso. He said he’d be canceling multiple days of campaign events in Nevada and California to return to his hometown to be with his family and former constituents.

EL PASO SHOOTING LEAVES 20 DEAD, 26 INJURED; INVESTIGATORS PROBING POTENTIAL ‘NEXUS TO HATE CRIME’

“We know that there’s a lot of injury, a lot of suffering in El Paso right now,” O’Rourke said. “I’m incredibly sad and it’s hard to think about this.”

Every candidate who spoke following the shooting addressed it, while several explicitly spoke out against white nationalism and few linked the shooting to the president.

Among those with the most candor was South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who named white nationalist violence as one of the greatest threats to the nation’s security. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said authorities were looking into the shooter’s motivations and said there may be a “nexus to a hate crime.”

“America is under attack by lethal, violent white nationalist terrorism,” Buttigieg said. “… This is a national security emergency. It is killing Americans just as it is killing people around the world.”

“America is under attack by lethal, violent white nationalist terrorism. … This is a national security emergency. It is killing Americans just as it is killing people around the world.” 

— Pete Buttigieg

Westlake Legal Group AP19185755160116 Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks July 4, 2019, in Carroll, Iowa. (Associated Press)

He said that until the nation is ready to confront the rash of racially motivated violence it has suffered — and implement reforms to gun laws — it will remain vulnerable to domestic terrorist attacks. The tragedy in El Paso was 250th mass shooting in America in 2019.

Buttigieg, when asked about why he was qualified to comment on white nationalism, cited his military record. According to documents obtained by ABC 57 in South Bend, the mayor was placed in the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (AFTC). The documents said the AFTC often “identifies and disrupts Taliban, Al-Qaida and other insurgent financial support networks in Afghanistan.”

“Counterterrorism was my specialty in the military, and I know a little bit about what’s involved,” Buttigieg said. “I specialized in dealing with terrorism abroad, but I learned a lot that, sadly, will be applicable here at home.”

“I specialized in dealing with terrorism abroad, but I learned a lot that, sadly, will be applicable here at home.” 

— Pete Buttigieg

The mayor, who is polling around 6 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics’ average, also took a jab at Donald Trump, stopping just short of placing the onus of the massacre on his shoulders.

“The President of the United States is condoning white nationalism,” Buttigieg said. “White nationalism is one of the evils that is motivating and inspiring at least some people to go kill Americans. The president has a responsibility to nip this in the bud.”

He said the government needs to develop a national strategy to prioritize resources to deradicalizing and defending from white nationalist violence.

Trump took to Twitter to give statements on the shooting. In one tweet, he pledged the full support of the federal government to Gov. Greg Abbott. In another, he said “it was an act of cowardice” and he condemned the “hateful act.”

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee similarly decried the act of violence and went further in accusing the president of being complicit by way of his divisive rhetoric and race relations.

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“The first order of business to reduce white nationalism is to eliminate white nationalism in our White House,” Inslee said. “The sentiments of fear and division, and outright racism, that this president has emboldened out to be sickening to anyone.”

He went on to remark that fear and division are “Donald Trump’s stock-in-trade” and that the country deserved someone who work to heal its historically wounded relationship with race.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067771854001_6067770477001-vs Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067771854001_6067770477001-vs Democrats denounce white nationalism after El Paso massacre fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew Keiper 702598e1-0768-50cb-9ec1-d693dcb3f963

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16-year-old’s killer back in jail after parole violation

Richard LaBarbera, who murdered 16-year-old Paula Bohovesky in 1980, is back in jail for violating the conditions of his parole, authorities confirmed to Fox News.

LaBarbera’s controversial early release from prison in early July sparked pushback from the community and the Bohovesky family. The 66-year-old LaBarbera served had 38 years in prison after being sentenced to 25 years to life.

In a statement, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said: “Parolee Richard LaBarbera has violated the conditions of his parole, in an important respect, however has not committed a new crime. He is currently incarcerated at the Erie County Jail. A hearing before an administrative law judge will be scheduled to address his violations.”

It was not known at the time of publication what specific violation led to his rearrest.

Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

Robert McCain, left, and Richard LaBarbera.

LaBarbera and a cohort, Robert McCain, sexually assaulted and killed Bohovesky. The pair were sitting at a bar when the saw the teen walking home. They attacked her just blocks from her family’s home.

It was then that McCain hit Bohovesky in the head with concrete and began allegedly sexually assaulting her. When LaBarbera began to take advantage of the girl after McCain, she stirred. He then stabbed her repeatedly – killing her.

“I want to express my gratitude to the parole officers in Erie County for keeping a close watch on Richard LaBarbera and doing what the New York State Parole Board failed to do; keeping this child killer in jail,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. “This monster does not deserve to walk free on our streets while our community still suffers from the loss and pain he caused.
“He committed murder, a crime of permanency, and should be permanently in jail.”
Westlake Legal Group PaulaBohovesky 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

Paula Bohovesky, 16, in an undated photo. (Bohovesky family photo)

The decision by the parole board resulted in lawsuits and condemnation. The Bohovesky family and a nonprofit organization filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court asking that LaBarbera be given another hearing with all board members present.

They also asked him to be kept five counties from Pearl River, N.Y., where he murdered Bohovesky, to protect her mother.

‘SO HIDEOUS’ THAT 16-YEAR-OLD NEW YORK GIRL’S KILLER IS BEING RELEASED, PATAKI SAYS IN PLEA TO CUOMO

In the end, LaBarbera was granted his freedom – and was required to be three counties from Rockland County and Pearl River.

“I’m not surprised,” Lois Bohovesky, the 87-year-old mother of Paula, told The Journal News. “I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly.”

The release of LaBarbera even drew the ire of former New York Gov. George Pataki, who came out against his parole.

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“I have been very careful about not commenting on state government policies since I left office,” Pataki told Fox News when his parole was being considered. “But this release of this rapist and murderer is so hideous to me, I really feel an obligation to speak out so that first, hopefully, it won’t happen, but if it sadly does, that it won’t happen again.”

Although the state board chose to grant LaBarbera his freedom, however brief it was before his arrest, it opted not to do the same for his accomplice, McCain. Members cited public outcry as playing a role in the decision.

Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291   Westlake Legal Group Robert-McCain-Richard-LaBarbera 16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox-news/auto/news fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 17fab148-e128-59df-a77d-fdb6b96ec291

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Apollo 11: Playtex’s feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon

It took a feminine touch to make sure Neil Armstrong and his moonwalking cohorts could make their giant leap for mankind and get to the Moon.

Specifically, it took the touch of a few seamstresses from Playtex who honed their detailed set of skills by manufacturing girdles for the women of America. The suits had to be flexible, resilient and able to withstand temperatures as high as 240 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as minus 280 degrees in shadow and at night.

NASA decided in a competition of manufacturers that the suit designed and sewn by the Playtex team provided the astronauts with the flexibility and strength necessary to explore the moon’s new frontier.

APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUT MICHAEL COLLINS RECALLS DRINKING COFFEE DURING ‘LONELY’ MOON LANDING ORBIT

And the expert craftswomen who helped manufacture the state of the art suit? Just weeks before they were sewing baby pants and girdles.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3f4b692333824a04bc621cc319728faa Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5

In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong/NASA via AP)

“They didn’t tell me a thing, they just brought me up here,” said Anna Lee Minner in an interview with CBS News. “… I went home on many a night and cried because I knew I couldn’t do it. I was scared. This was a person’s life this depended on.”

Minner was one of four who helped put together the suits. The others were Joanne Thompson, Lillie Elliott and Ruth Anna Ratledge.

APOLLO 11’S EPIC MISSION TO THE MOON IN PICTURES

The 21-layer suit had to be completely constructed by hand. Each seam and stitch was carefully measured to ensure the utmost accuracy in the hopes that their detailed efforts would help NASA avoid another disaster like the Apollo 1 capsule inferno that killed three astronauts.

“Oh my, I wonder if this is gonna be alright. I hope that stitch didn’t pop.”

— Lillie Elliott

Despite the immense pressure and mountainous stakes, the women were lifted up by the frequent presence of the astronauts themselves.

“We would have astronauts come in and thank us, and that was a real boost,” Thompson told CBS News. “It made a connection there that you didn’t forget.”

APOLLO 11 INSIDERS REMEMBER HISTORY’S MOST FAMOUS SPACE MISSION: ‘WE HAD A JOB TO DO AND WE DID IT’

Finally, on July 20, 1969, the efforts of the women would be tested in the low-gravity environment of the moon.

“Once they started down the ladder, and he put his foot on the moon, that was a pinnacle of watching something that you’ve helped to do,” Elliott told CBS.

As exhilarating as it was seeing their products touch down on a new frontier, the anxiety didn’t abate immediately for the women.

APOLLO 11’S MICHAEL COLLINS REFLECTS ON HISTORIC MOON LANDING: ‘WE WERE JUST REGULAR ASTRONAUTS’

“Oh my, ‘I wonder if that’s gonna hold? Oh my, I wonder if this is gonna be alright. I hope that stitch didn’t pop,’” Elliot said of her worries when watching the lunar landing.

The partnership between NASA and the former undergarment maker remains intact. The same division in Playtex that made the original suits has been spun off into an independent company, ILC Dover, that still manufactures NASA spacesuits to this day.

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Be sure to catch the America’s News HQ Apollo 11 50th anniversary special on Fox News on Saturday, July 20 at 12 PM EDT.

Westlake Legal Group 90b6c9b8-BYEe3dYMa8xSkPzZoufaxK Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5   Westlake Legal Group 90b6c9b8-BYEe3dYMa8xSkPzZoufaxK Apollo 11: Playtex's feminine touch helped NASA land on the Moon fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc article Andrew Keiper 3bd851bb-ff96-5c7a-9402-e542962899f5

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Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report

The United States is again ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. According to a recently released report by the State Department, the top three nations of origin for victims of human trafficking in 2018 were the United States, Mexico and the Philippines.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Trafficking in Persons report, which is created annually by the State Department to document human trafficking in the year prior, and highlighted the growing focus that government agencies and nonprofit organizations have dedicated to stopping human trafficking. The Department of Justice provided more than $31 million for 45 victim service providers that offered services to trafficking survivors across the country. It was a demonstrable increase; the DOJ only provided $16 million to 18 organizations in 2017, according to the report.

At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand.

Over the last two months, Fox News has investigated human trafficking. We followed the enforcement efforts of FBI agents and police officers, documented the ways advocacy groups protect and serve survivors, and heard heart-wrenching stories of abuse, rape and recovery from numerous victims.

“The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

— Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking

If there’s one takeaway from our reporting, it’s that the industry is fueled by an unceasing demand. It’s here that officers focus their enforcement actions. And it’s where advocates focus their education efforts to end the illicit trade.

“We have a major issue here in the United States” Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), said in an interview with Fox News. “The United States is the No. 1 consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”

In 2018, the DOJ began 230 federal human trafficking prosecutions, a drop from 282 in 2017. Federal convictions rose from 499 in 2017 to 426 in 2018. More than 70 percent of the cases resulted in jail sentences of more than five years, according to the State Department report.

“These are American kids, American born, 50% to 60% of them coming out of the foster care industry.”

— Geoff Rogers

“We’re also driving the demand with our own people, with our own kids,” Rogers said. “So there are tremendous numbers of kids, a multitude of kids that are being sold as sex slaves today in America. These are American kids, American-born, 50 percent to 60 perform of them coming out of the foster care industry.”

This assertion is confirmed by the State Department’s report, which found that children in foster care, homeless youth, undocumented immigrant children and those with substance abuse problems especially at risk to fall into the human trafficking trap.

Rogers says that because the demand is so great in the U.S., traffickers are filling that demand with an increased supply of forced sex workers.

“So the demand here in the United States is a global one,” he said. “We do have men traveling the globe to go to places like Thailand and other places in East Asia to purchase sex with kids. But, in fact, the demand is so great that the supply has needed to be filled here in the United States.”

“Because of the demand, then these traffickers are filling that demand with supply. And the demand is so great here in the United States that they’re filling the supply with our very own kids,” Rogers continued.

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, over 300,000 of America’s young population is considered at risk for sexual exploitation. It’s also estimated that 199,000 incidents occur within the U.S. each year.

Corporal Alan Wilkett, of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, operates their local Human Trafficking Task Force. He believes the best way to combat the trade is to quell the demand.

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Pasco County Sheriff’s Corporal Alan Wilkett uses his laptop from his service vehicle.

“Historically, we’ve allowed the sex buyer to hide behind a mask of anonymity and actually call them a ‘John,’” He said in an interview with Fox News. “We don’t even call them by their name, because we let them stay behind that mask. And the only way we’re going to attack the supply side is by going after the demand. And that means the sex buyer needs to be held culpable for the damage and trauma that he or she is causing.”

“Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here.”

— Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life

While Wilkett and other law enforcement officers focus on arrests and sting operations, leaders in the nonprofit realm take a more holistic approach to healing survivors. Brook Bello, the founder of anti-trafficking organization More Too Life in Florida, focuses on helping develop skills to lead a successful post-trafficking life.

“We work with victims that are 3 years old and up,” Bello said. “The average victim that we work with, that’s over 18, started being raped at three. Trafficking in America, if you are trafficked in the United States, 85 percent of victims that are trafficked here are from here.”

The State Department’s report similarly echoes the domestic nature of sex trafficking in the United States. Despite the growing focus and concern surrounding human trafficking, gaps exist that leave victims and survivors without the care and resources they need to build a life beyond the abuse.

Westlake Legal Group Bello-2-PKG2 Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 204281ce-76eb-5675-a828-591c0a8270bf

Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life in Florida, speaks with another woman.

“Advocates reported a significant lack of services available for men, boys, and LGBTI individuals and noted continued concern that some federal funding opportunities no longer highlight the need for services for LGBTI individuals,” the State Department said in its Trafficking in Persons report. “NGOs and survivor advocates continued to report insufficient access to emergency shelter, transitional housing, and long-term housing options for trafficking victims.”

Progress has been made on this front, but too often too many kids can’t fight their way out of the clutches of their traffickers. In cities across the nation, and along the highways that connect them, police and advocates continue their fight to eradicate human trafficking and heal those who survived.

This is the last article of a six part Fox News investigation into human trafficking in America. You can see the previous five television segments and articles here, One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

If you are being trafficked or suspect that someone you know is being trafficked contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or CYBERTIPLINE.ORG.

Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo- Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 204281ce-76eb-5675-a828-591c0a8270bf   Westlake Legal Group Mike-Pompeo- Human trafficking in America among worst in world: report Perry Chiaramonte fox-news/news-events/fox-news-investigates fox news fnc/us fnc article Andrew Keiper 204281ce-76eb-5675-a828-591c0a8270bf

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