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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 187)

Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan Goes After Charters, High-Stakes Tests And School Segregation

Westlake Legal Group 5dacfc122100007a1b34a815 Elizabeth Warren’s Education Plan Goes After Charters, High-Stakes Tests And School Segregation

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a sweeping K-12 education plan Monday, unveiling proposals designed to chip away at school segregation, beat back high-stakes testing and crack down on charter schools.

The detailed plan also seeks to equalize school funding between low and high-income areas and decrease the influence of police in schools. It proposes a new education grant program funded at a whopping $100 billion over 10 years — the equivalent of $1 million for every school in the country — for schools to use on programs or resources of their choice. Her plan would be paid for by a wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million.

In recent months, Warren’s views of K-12 education have been a source of source of speculation and scrutiny. Soon after announcing a run for the presidency, she unveiled an expansive college and child care plan. But she disclosed fewer details on her plans for K-12, touching on an opposition to charter schools and pledging to appoint a public school teacher as the U.S. secretary of education.

However, her newly released plan is extensive, taking direct aim at some of the most entrenched sources of inequality in K-12 education.

On the issue of school segregation ― a polarizing issue that even liberal politicians often shy away from ― Warren pledges to encourage states to use a portion of their federal funds on school integration projects. Under a Warren administration, the departments of Education and Justice will crack down on wealthier, whiter communities that try to break away from their more diverse school districts and hoard resources ― a phenomenon called school district secession.

“Broad public affirmation of the Brown v. Board of Education decisions in the 1950s and recent debates about historical desegregation policies have obscured an uncomfortable truth ― our public schools are more segregated today than they were about thirty years ago,” states the plan, titled, “A Great Public School Education for Every Student.”

Notably, Warren also pledges to “eliminate high-stakes testing.” High-stakes testing came to prominence during the Bush administration, after the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which tied schools’ test scores to a series of carrots and sticks. The Obama administration continued to center high-stakes tests as federal officials encouraged states and districts to tie teacher evaluations to test scores.

Warren’s plan represents a stark departure from this line of thinking. She pledges to ban test scores as a significant determinant in personnel terminations, school closures and other “high-stakes decisions,” noting that “the push toward high-stakes standardized testing has hurt both students and teachers.”

The plan also sounds off on charter schools, one of the most controversial issues in education, by taking a hard line against them. Charter schools — public schools that are funded with taxpayer dollars but privately operated ―  were once a darling of both mainstream Democratic and Republican circles, but have faced increasing scrutiny from liberals in recent years. 

Warren pledges to fight to ban for-profit charter schools, which represent around 15% of the sector. But she also goes after nonprofit ones, promising to end a federal program that provides funding for new schools and opposing provisions that allow them to sometimes evade the same level of transparency and accountability as traditional public schools. The plan seeks to ban nonprofit charters that employ or outsource operations to for-profit service providers and calls for the IRS to investigate these schools’ nonprofit tax status.

“Efforts to expand the footprint of charter schools, often without even ensuring that charters are subject to the same transparency requirements and safeguards as traditional public schools, strain the resources of school districts and leave students behind,” the plan says. 

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who released his education plan in May, similarly took aim at charters in his plan, framing them as an issue of racial justice. His plan drew ire from some education reform groups that argued he was actually doing children of color a disservice.

“Senator Sanders is literally saying I’m going to stand in the schoolhouse door and prevent kids from going [to charter schools], like a segregationist,” Amy Wilkins, senior vice president of advocacy at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, told HuffPost at the time. He is trying to “prevent kids, many of whom are low-income, or of color, from having a choice.”

Sanders, like Warren, also focused on curbing school segregation. Their plans stand in contrast to another Democratic nominee frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has historically supported programs that curtailed desegregation bussing.

Warren has framed public education as a deeply personal issue. She spent a short amount of time as a special education teacher when she was in her 20s, but said she left the classroom after being discriminated against as a pregnant woman.

Other aspects of Warren’s plan include quadrupling funding for Title I ― the federal program that provides money to schools with high proportions of low-income children ― as well as raising pay for educators, fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and helping to expand school employees’ collective bargaining power. She frames the recent wave of teacher protests around the country as a feminist issue, and she has pledged to enact a law that would make sure public employees can collectively bargain in each state. 

So far, “A Great Public School Education for Every Student” has garnered praise from the leaders of both of the nation’s teachers unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. 

“Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan for our nation’s public schools would be a game changer for our public schools and the 90 percent of America’s students who attend them,” Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, said in a statement. “Like so many of the other candidates’ education plans we have praised, this one is bold and thorough and lays out tangible steps and resources that are critical for all students to thrive.”

“What distinguishes this plan is that it is obvious it’s drawn through the lens of someone who has spent time as a teacher in a classroom,” Weingarten added.

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Nation’s 3 largest drug distributors, opioid maker reach deal with governments in historic lawsuit

Four key defendants in a historic opioid lawsuit reached a landmark settlement Monday with state and local governments suing makers and distributors of the highly addictive painkillers.

The tentative settlement came hours before opening statements were set to be delivered in the Ohio case. The Wall Street Journal reported that terms of a deal involving McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. would be announced later in the day. The Associated Press, citing a lawyer involved in the case, confirmed that a deal had been struck. 

A fifth defendant, Walgreens Boots Alliance, had not yet reached a deal, making it unclear whether the trial would go on, the Journal reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster has encouraged a settlement, which would provide affected communities the funds to combat opioid addiction much sooner than the lengthy process of going through a trial and the likely appeals afterward.

Westlake Legal Group  Nation's 3 largest drug distributors, opioid maker reach deal with governments in historic lawsuit

Attempts at a settlement had broken down last week when an offer of $48 billion in cash, treatment drugs and services was rejected as lawyers for the 2,400 cities and counties involved clashed with states attorneys general over the distribution of the settlement.

“We’re disappointed that the cities and counties refused to go along with that deal,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said Friday. “This would have helped the entire nation, not just a few counties, not just a few cities.”

On Sunday, a committee guiding OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy had suggested drugmakers, distributors and pharmacy chains use Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings to settle lawsuits. However, Paul Hanly, a lead lawyer for local governments in the lawsuits, had called that mass settlement idea “most unlikely.”

The Ohio trial would be the first federal trial related to an opioid crisis that has claimed an estimated 400,000 American lives over two decades. Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio are suing drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, four distributors and the drug store chain Walgreens claiming their practices contributed to the devastating opioid epidemic.

Drugmakers have routinely denied wrongdoing, saying the drugs had survived intense Food and Drug Administration scrutiny and carry warning labels explaining the addictive risks of opioids.

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Bongino on House Democrats’ impeachment push: ‘This is like the Return of the Jedi of hoaxes’

Westlake Legal Group bongino2 Bongino on House Democrats' impeachment push: 'This is like the Return of the Jedi of hoaxes' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 056fd449-78a6-5557-bebe-111068d7f397

The House Democrats’ impeachment of President Trump for his phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is yet another “hoax,” Fox News contributor Dan Bongino said Monday.

“This is like the ‘Return of the Jedi’ of hoaxes,” the former Secret Service agent and author told “Fox & Friends.”

His comments come as a motion to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for his “parody” reading of the phone call transcript during a hearing is gaining steam with House Republicans.

Fox News has learned 135 lawmakers have now signed on as co-sponsors.

BOLTON INSTRUCTED FORMER RUSSIA ADVISER TO ALERT NSC LAWYER OVER UKRAINE, ADVISER TESTIFIES

The resolution to censure Schiff — who has become a favorite target of Republicans for his role in the Trump impeachment inquiry — was first introduced late last month by Rep. Andy Biggs, the Arizona Republican who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and has the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., among other ranking Republicans in the lower chamber of Congress.

CLICK HERE FOR THE NAMES OF THE CENSURE CO-SPONSORS

Democrats have the majority and control the floor in the House, but Republicans could still attempt to force a vote on the matter.

Bongino argued that Democrats failed to come up with impeachable offenses after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion and obstruction of justice.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“When those two hoaxes didn’t work out, they needed a third hoax,” Bongino said, pointing out the commander-in-chief’s phone call with Zelensky where he pushed for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

“[Their strategy] is just to flip the script and blame this Ukrainian mess on Donald Trump. This is the sequel to the sequel of hoaxes and, frankly, it is pretty embarrassing because we now have the [phone call] transcript,” Bongino said, claiming Democrats are trying to cover up “malfeasance” by the Clinton campaign and Ukraine in 2016.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group bongino2 Bongino on House Democrats' impeachment push: 'This is like the Return of the Jedi of hoaxes' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 056fd449-78a6-5557-bebe-111068d7f397   Westlake Legal Group bongino2 Bongino on House Democrats' impeachment push: 'This is like the Return of the Jedi of hoaxes' Joshua Nelson fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 056fd449-78a6-5557-bebe-111068d7f397

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Yes, you can impeach a president in an election year

Westlake Legal Group BxB4Yah9BLR8Ridq9_DZNAxfUf7qBMSYIPVwTScqRJ0 Yes, you can impeach a president in an election year r/politics

The cloud of bullshit surrounding this is astounding. Really, the GOP and Russian disinformation machines are working very well.

Here are the rules about impeachment: the House can impeach the President.

That’s it. The House can set additional rules for itself, but according to the Constitution, the House can impeach the President, and is basically able to do so in whatever manner it wants, whenever it wants.

It can hold investigations. It can subpoena witnesses. It can release statements to the press. It can invite the President to respond to the allegations against him, or it can ignore the President’s asinine whinings about witch hunts and unfairness.

The House can impeach the President. Full stop.

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Her son shot his way into an Indiana high school. Now she’s facing six felony charges

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Her son shot his way into an Indiana high school. Now she's facing six felony charges

The following has been edited for time. It may be offensive or disturbing to some audiences. Nate Chute, USA Today Network

RICHMOND, Ind. — Mary York didn’t pull the trigger once Dec. 13 at Dennis Intermediate School. Her 14-year-old son did.

Yet, York, 43, sat inside the Wayne County Superior Court 1 courtroom on Friday afternoon. During an 18-minute initial hearing, Judge Charles Todd Jr. read seven charges, including six felonies, York faces as a result of her son’s actions that day. She also heard the possible penalties, her constitutional rights and the case’s next steps.

York’s situation is relatively rare in the United States, because parents or guardians of juveniles who discharge firearms at schools do not often face charges. In most cases, however, the juveniles obtain their weapons from their home, as did York’s son, whom The Pal-Item does not identify because of his age.

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Prosecutor Mike Shipman filed the seven charges against York on Oct. 11, nearly 10 months after York’s son killed himself inside Dennis after shooting his way into the school through a glass exterior door. The charges, which include a Level 5 felony, five Level 6 felonies and a misdemeanor, are:

  • Dangerous control of a child for recklessly allowing her son to possess a handgun and rifle while aware there was a substantial risk of him committing a felony — murder or battery — and failing to make a reasonable effort to prevent the use of the firearms in the commission of a felony;
  • Neglect of a dependent by placing the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent for failing to remove firearms from their South West 16th Street residence after her son threatened to kill students at Dennis and discharged a firearm inside her home;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving the dependent of necessary support for failing to remove a .45-caliber handgun from the home after her son threatened to kill students at Dennis;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving the dependent of necessary support for failing to provide counseling for her son because of his mental-health issues;
  • Neglect of a dependent by depriving dependent of necessary support for failing to reasonably supervise her son;
  • Neglect of a dependent by placing the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent for failing to ensure her son was taking prescribed medications; and 
  • Criminal recklessness for recklessly or knowingly performing an act that created a substantial risk of bodily injury to Dennis students and staff because she allowed firearms in her residence after learning her son had threatened to kill students at Dennis and had discharged a handgun in her home.

According to the affidavit of probable cause used to charge York, her son was evaluated and treated during May 2018 for mental-health issues. At that time, he related thoughts of suicide and of going to Dennis to kill students he said had bullied him.

York told investigators she did not know about those thoughts although treatment records indicate she was informed, the affidavit said. York also allegedly pulled her son from inpatient treatment because of cost and allowed him to stop taking prescribed medication.

Although her son fired a handgun inside their then-homeduring October 2018, York allowed firearms inside a gun cabinet to remain in the home, the affidavit said. Her son made a video recording of himself breaking into the cabinet to obtain the firearms he took with him to Dennis.

Secret service: Mental illness and threatening messages often come before mass-casualty attacks, Secret Service finds

Mary York turns herself in, her trial is scheduled

On Monday, Todd ruled there is probable cause for the charges, and he ordered an arrest warrant against York. That afternoon, she turned herself in at the Wayne County Jail and posted $750 to satisfy a $7,500 bond.

As she exited the courtroom Friday, York declined to speak with The Pal-Item about the charges. Likewise, Prosecutor Mike Shipman has also declined to answer Pal-Item questions about the active case and decision to charge York.

York learned Friday that her trial has initially been scheduled for Jan. 14.

How York’s charges compare to similar scenarios

It’s a situation most parents of school shooters never face despite the fact that from 2000 to 2017, 67 people were killed and 86 wounded at elementary and secondary schools and 70 were killed and 73 wounded at post-secondary institutions, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The Washington Post in 2018 revisited 145 school shootings this century. The source of the weapons used was identified in 105 of the cases. Of those 105 cases, the shooter 84 times took the weapon from home or from a relative or friend.

The Post found, however, that only four adults in that time were convicted and punished for the shooters’ access to firearms. None resulted from negligent-storage laws for weapons, and the most severe penalty was a 29-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

In that case, according to the Post, a Michigan man stored a .32-caliber semi-automatic handgun in a shoe box. A 6-year-old visitor found the handgun, took it to school and shot a classmate to death.

After Shipman filed charges against York, The Pal-Item analyzed media reports about 40 instances from 2013 through 2019 that involved juveniles younger than 18 taking firearms to school and firing them. Reports in 24 of those cases indicated how the juvenile acquired the weapon. In 16 of those instances, the juvenile took the firearm(s) from a family member, including 14 from parents, one from an uncle and one from a great-grandmother.

Prosecutors only twice filed charges against parents because of the firearms.

Dale and Tamara Owens have been charged with fourth-degree contributing to the delinquency of a minor after their then-16-year-old son, Joshua Owen, fired a gun Feb. 14 at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. They face up to 18 months in prison, if convicted.

The situation somewhat parallels details described in the affidavit charging Mary York.

‘I love you mom’: Latest Sandy Hook Promise PSA gives nightmarish look at school shootings

Authorities allege that Joshua Owen sent a text during March 2018 to a girlfriend indicating an inclination to carry out a school shooting. The girlfriend’s report precipitated a mental-health evaluation and investigation.

However, 11 months later, Owen took an unsecured handgun from the walk-in closet of his parents’ bedroom. At school, he attempted to shoot three students, but the gun did not initially fire. Owen then fired into the air. He is now charged with three counts of attempted murder, unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises and unlawful possession of a handgun by a person younger than 19.

His parents are charged because they did not secure the handgun despite knowledge of their son’s threat.

In another instance, Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr. was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of gun crimes related to the .40-caliber Beretta his son used to kill four classmates and himself Oct. 24, 2014, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington.

Jaylen Frybert, 15, took the handgun to school in a backpack and shot five people he had invited to sit with him at lunch, before fatally shooting himself. One of the victims survived.

‘People are on edge’: Mass violence threats – at least 30 in 18 states – have surged since El Paso, Dayton

Raymond Fryberg’s charges resulted because he was the subject of a domestic violence protection order that prevented him from owning firearms. He, in fact, owned multiple firearms, including the Beretta.

Two other incidents reviewed by The Pal-Item resulted in charges, but not related to supplying a firearm.

LaShandra Dortch was charged with two counts of assault, one count of hindering prosecution and one count of providing a false address after her 15-year-old son shot two people outside a basketball game Jan. 25 at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama.

Two 14-year-old students were charged because they did not speak up although they knew 14-year-old James Austin Hancock had brought a gun to Madison High School in Middletown, Ohio, on Feb. 29, 2016. Four students were injured when Hancock opened fire in the school cafeteria.

Hancock had stolen the .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun from his great-grandmother, who was not charged because she did not know the gun was missing, according to reports.

Also in Ohio, a 17-year-old stole a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun from an uncle, and used the gun to kill three people and wound three others at Chardon High School.

Juveniles who had access to parents’ firearms

In other instances, the juveniles had access to their parents’ firearms in their homes.

A Sparks, Nevada, 12-year-old took a handgun from behind cereal boxes in a cabinet above the refrigerator and killed two people and wounded two others at Sparks Middle School. No charges were filed against the parents.

In Marshall County, Kentucky, a 15-year-old boy retrieved his father’s handgun off a shelf and took it to Marshall County High School. Two people were killed and 18 injured when he began shooting inside the school’s lobby. A prosecutor considered charges against the father, but no charges were ever filed.

The firearms used at Dennis were taken from a locked gun cabinet. The Pal-Item analysis found other instances when gun safes did not stop juveniles intent on accessing the firearms.

Last May in Highland Ranch, Colorado, two teens opened a parent’s gun safe with an ax to retrieve two handguns used to kill one and injure eight at a STEM school.

When authorities went to the home of a 13-year-old boy who shot a student and a teacher at Noblesville, Indiana’s West Middle School, they found keys hanging out of the lock of the family’s basement gun safe.

Kids are ‘worried about getting shot’: Back-to-school season feels like return to danger

A Rockford, Washington, 15-year-old knew the combination to his family’s gun safe. He took a rifle and a handgun to a high school, killing one and wounding three when he opened fire. Just the week prior, the teen had shown suicidal tendencies and told a mental-health professional he had school destruction on his mind, but his parents, even though recommended, did not change the gun safe’s combination.

In Troutdale, Oregon, a 15-year-old accessed his brother’s gun safe and carried an AR-15 rifle, a handgun and nine magazines of ammunition to a high school. One student was killed before the gunman committed suicide in a restroom.

In the incidents analyzed by The Pal-Item, seven juveniles used their own firearms from home, including firearms that they legally owned. One girl who shot her friend then herself had talked a friend into providing her that family’s handgun that she said she needed for self-defense.

Minors that live in homes with loaded, unlocked firearms

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence reports that 4.6 million minors in the United States live in homes where at least one loaded, unlocked firearm is kept. Of children younger than 10 living in homes with firearms, 73 percent know the location of the firearms and 36 percent admitted they had handled the firearms. Of those who had handed the firearms, 25 percent of their parents did not know they had handled the firearms.

In addition to school shootings, accessible firearms are used in juvenile suicides and in unintentional shootings. Just Thursday morning, a 2-year-old in rural Morgan County, Indiana, south of Mooresville, accidentally shot himself to death with an unsecured handgun.

Negligent-storage laws and child-access-prevention laws attempt to curb juveniles’ access to firearms. According to the Giffords Law Center, 27 stateshave child-access-prevention laws and 14 stateshave enacted negligent-storage laws.

School shootings: Hidden in each school in this county is a gun in a safe. Experts find the idea ‘flawed.’

Shipman utilized Indiana’s child-access-prevention law for the most serious charge against York. The Level 5 felony accuses York of dangerous control of a child. A conviction on a Level 5 felony carries a three-year advisory sentence with a range of one to six years as established by the Indiana legislature.

Even when laws exist to combat juvenile access to firearms, they might not fit an incident’s circumstances. Inconsistencies exist among state laws, and possible penalties do not always satisfy advocates as an effective deterrent.

For example, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed eight students and two teachers and injured 13 others May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas. He accessed his parents’ firearms, but the parents could not be charged under Texas law because their son was already 17.

There’s also controversy about the access laws infringing up on gun-owner rights. While one side sees the laws as cutting risk of school shootings, suicides and accidental deaths, the other cites Second Amendment rights and sees the laws as an unwanted step toward confiscation of firearms.

Parents who are not charged criminally are not shielded from civil procedures. In multiple instances that The Pal-Item analyzed, parents are subjects of lawsuits from victims or victims’ families. The lawsuits generally charge that the parents were negligent with their children’s access to firearms and/or failed to adequately recognize the danger their children posed because of mental-health issues.

Like Mary York, those parents might sit in a courtroom. But, unlike York, they won’t listen to criminal charges against them, charges that if they lead to conviction, could result in jail time.

Follow Mike Emery on Twitter: @PI_Emery

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/20/mom-faces-felony-charges-after-son-brought-gun-school/4046413002/

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Camila Cabello Rips Shawn Mendes Breakup Rumors

Westlake Legal Group 5dad9260210000431d34a8e2 Camila Cabello Rips Shawn Mendes Breakup Rumors

Camila Cabello appeared to confirm that she’s still dating “Señorita” collaborator Shawn Mendes in a hilariously obscene Instagram story on Saturday.

The couple have been dogged by breakup rumors, apparently to the point that both felt the need to respond.

“Well when THE FUCK were you gonna tell me @shawnmendes,” she wrote above a photo of a headline that questioned the status of their relationship.

Mendes followed up hours later with a picture of the “Havana” performer kissing his cheek.

Seems like a coordinated effort to clap back at the scuttlebutt mill, no?

The pair does have a way of communicating with their fans. In September, they shared a video of them sloppily French kissing each other in a humorous reply to those who said they kissed like fish.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Gathers Speed, Amid Accusations of Betrayal

Westlake Legal Group 21syria-facebookJumbo U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Gathers Speed, Amid Accusations of Betrayal United States Defense and Military Forces Turkey Trump, Donald J Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iraq

QAMISHLI, Syria — A long convoy of United States troops crossed into Iraq from Syria early Monday, accelerating a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria that set the stage for the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled land.

More than 100 American military vehicles left Syrian Kurdish territory in the early hours of the morning, according to a cameraman for the Reuters news agency who was at the border crossing.

President Trump’s withdrawal of most American troops from Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to attack Kurdish forces, has prompted Republicans and Democrats alike to accuse him of abandoning a United States ally. A coalition of Syrian Kurdish fighters, Americans and other foreign troops had fought the Islamic State there since 2014.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper confirmed on Monday that the United States was considering keeping a small force in northeastern Syria, alongside the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, to prevent oil fields there from falling into the hands of the Islamic State. The Times reported that Mr. Trump was leaning in favor of leaving perhaps 200 troops there.

The withdrawal, which began Oct. 6, has drastically reduced American clout in Syria, ceding more control and influence to the Syrian government, Russia and Iran. It has also raised fears of a revival of ISIS, the extremist group that once controlled an area in Iraq and Syria that was the size of Britain.

Around 1,000 American troops are being withdrawn. Though Mr. Trump has characterized the move as bringing troops home, Mr. Esper said on Sunday that most forces would be redeployed to western Iraq, where they would continue operations against the Islamic State.

In an earlier phase of the withdrawal, coalition forces bombed their own base and arms cache in northern Syria to prevent enemies from using it.

Small groups of residents in northeastern Syria protested the American withdrawal, footage broadcast by Syrian television networks showed. One group stoned an American armored vehicle as it passed through Qamishli, a major city in Kurdish-held territory, while another tried to block the convoy’s progress by standing in its path and holding placards of protest.

“The Americans are running away like rats,” one man could be heard shouting.

Some Syrian Kurds see the withdrawal as a form of betrayal, since it has enabled Turkish-led forces to invade the area and potentially force Kurds from their ancestral homes.

“There will be ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people from Syria, and the American administration will be responsible for it,” Mazlum Kobani, whose Kurdish-led force fought the Islamic State in Syria, said on Sunday in an interview with The Times.

Turkish officials say their campaign is targeting only Mr. Kobani’s militia, rather than Syrian Kurds at large. Over 200 Syrian civilians have died since the invasion began, while at least 20 have died in Kurdish counterattacks in southern Turkey. More than 170,000 people have been displaced, according to estimates by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Until this month, northeastern Syria had largely been under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia that had used the chaos of the eight-year civil war to establish an autonomous region that operated independently of both the central government in Damascus and Syrian Arab rebel fighters.

The American-led campaign against the Islamic State, a militant group also known as ISIS, allowed the Kurdish force to expand its territory and take over the governance of land seized from the extremists.

But the creation of an American-backed and Kurdish-held canton along the Turkish-Syrian border became a source of great anxiety for the Turkish government, which considers the Kurdish militia a threat to national security. The militia is an offshoot of a guerrilla movement that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

The American withdrawal has allowed Turkish troops and its Syrian Arab proxies to seize control of more than 900 square miles of territory once held by Kurds, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

After a stuttering start to an American-mediated cease-fire, Turkish and Kurdish fighters are largely now adhering to a five-day truce that is to last until Tuesday evening. Sporadic skirmishes continue, but Kurdish fighters have been able to withdraw from a strategic town on the Syrian border.

Mr. Erdogan has said that all Kurdish fighters must retreat from a central pocket of former Kurdish-held territory by Tuesday night, and he has threatened to expand the Turkish invasion if any Kurdish fighters remain.

Mr. Erdogan wants to use the land to create a sphere of Turkish influence in northern Syria in which Syrian refugees who currently live in Turkey can be resettled.

Ben Hubbard reported from Qamishli, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Hwaida Saad contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon.

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A Frolicking Police Officer

Westlake Legal Group YouCanDanceIfYouWantTo A Frolicking Police Officer

A police officer is on duty until 6 p.m. At 4:30, she clocks out and goes to collect a $300 debt. She is in civies, but has a badge and pistol on her belt. An argument ensues and the person who owes her money sprays mace in the officer’s face. The officer draws her firearm and shoots – missing the person who sprayed her, but grazing the guy in the next room.

Understandably perturbed, the victim sues in federal court under §1983. In order to do so, the plaintiff claims the defendant was operating as a police officer because her shift had not ended and she had her badge and service revolver on. Everyone seems to agree that although she clocked out she was still on her shift (not sure how that works – how else do you get off the clock? Quit?).  However, that’s still not enough to win the day because the 6th Circuit determines she was “frolicking”:

The purely private altercation between Morris and Adams does not possess the necessary indicia of authority to find that Adams was acting under color of law.2

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 2  Adams’ conduct was the definition of the ancient concept of “frolic.” The general principle of the concept of “frolic” remains intact today, and vicarious liability arises only with respect to conduct that in part at least is in furtherance of the employer’s business. Restatement (Second) Agency, § 235. “If the agent is off on a frolic of its own, in a situation where the principal has neither given the agent authority to act for it nor done anything to suggest to others that the agent has such authority, and in the absence of ratification, courts do not ordinarily treat the act of the agent as the act of the principal.” Abbott Labs. v. McLaren Gen.Hosp., 919 F.2d 49, 52 (6th Cir. 1990); Carroll v. Hillendale Golf Club, Inc.,144 A. 693 (Md. Ct. App. 1929) (“Where there is not merely deviation, but a total departure from the course of the master’s business, so that the servant may be said to be on a frolic of his own, the master is no longer answerable for the servants conduct.”).

Hat tip to The Volokh Conspiracy.

Westlake Legal Group YouCanDanceIfYouWantTo A Frolicking Police Officer

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Yes, you can impeach a president in an election year

Westlake Legal Group BxB4Yah9BLR8Ridq9_DZNAxfUf7qBMSYIPVwTScqRJ0 Yes, you can impeach a president in an election year r/politics

The cloud of bullshit surrounding this is astounding. Really, the GOP and Russian disinformation machines are working very well.

Here are the rules about impeachment: the House can impeach the President.

That’s it. The House can set additional rules for itself, but according to the Constitution, the House can impeach the President, and is basically able to do so in whatever manner it wants, whenever it wants.

It can hold investigations. It can subpoena witnesses. It can release statements to the press. It can invite the President to respond to the allegations against him, or it can ignore the President’s asinine whinings about witch hunts and unfairness.

The House can impeach the President. Full stop.

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Authorities search for missing West Point cadet

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Authorities search for missing West Point cadet

The cadet was last seen on the military academy’s grounds at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Ryan Santistevan, Wochit

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – A search is underway for a West Point cadet who has been missing since Friday, the U.S. Military Academy said Sunday.

The cadet and his M4 rifle were reported missing when he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition over the weekend.

In a news release, the U.S. Military Academy said he is not believed to be a threat to the public, “but may be a danger to himself” and they don’t believe he has any magazines or ammunition.

The unnamed cadet is a member of the class of 2021. He was last seen on campus on Friday near 5:30 p.m. The chain of command reported him missing when he failed to report for the initial road march of the competition.

He is “being reported as unaccounted for despite extensive search efforts by military, federal, state, and local agencies,” the release said. 

West Point increased military police patrols at sporting events and across the academy to assist in locating the cadet. 

Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent, U. S. Military Academy, said he was thankful to local and state law enforcement and emergency service agencies for their support. 

“We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point,” Williams said. “Safely locating the Cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”

Rollover crash: West Point identifies cadet killed

The extensive search has expanded from Keller Army Community Hospital to academic and athletic facilities, local emergency rooms and the Hudson River shoreline with negative results, the release said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call West Point military police at 845-938-3333. 

Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Ryan Santistevan on Twitter: @NewsByRyan_

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