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Ex-Blackwater guard sentenced to 37 months for Afghan’s death

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WASHINGTON — A former Blackwater security guard was sentenced to three years and one month in prison Tuesday for involuntary manslaughter in a Kabul shooting in 2009, the US Justice Department announced.

Christopher Drotleff, 31, and Justin Cannon, 29, another former Blackwater employee, were convicted in March of involuntary manslaughter of Romal Mohammad Naiem, an unarmed Afghan civilian.

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Cannon will be sentenced on June 27.

Both men fired several multiple shots at a passing car after the lead vehicle in their convoy crashed in the middle of the night and overturned on its side.

Naiem, the passenger in the car, was fatally shot, and his driver injured. Another Afghan man walking his dog in the area was also fatally shot, although both men were acquitted of charges in his death and the shooting of the driver.

Both Drotleff and Cannon said they had legitimate concerns for their safety, and had pleaded not guilty.

“Christopher Drotleff recklessly fired his nine millimeter pistol at unarmed Afghan civilians, killing two people and shattering the lives of many more,” said US Attorney Neil MacBride in a statement.

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According to the statement, both Drotleff and Cannon left their military base on May 5, 2009 to transport local translators when the accident took place.

Blackwater was renamed Xe after it was caught up in several scandals in Iraq, in particular the deaths of between 14 and 17 civilians in Baghdad in September 2007.

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Trump impeachment trial: 4 stories from first day spell doom for Mitch McConnell

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If the score was kept for the first day of the impeachment trial, it would show hefty losses for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

As Former Special Counsel for the Department of Defense, Ryan Goodman, pointed out, four major headlines perfectly reflect the cracks in the strangle-hold McConnell has had on his party.

First, McConnell was forced to change the impeachment hearing rules. After a huge uprising by Americans demanding to be able to watch the impeachment trial during normal human hours, senators told McConnell he'd lost the votes to hold proceedings after midnight.

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‘Disease fanboy’: Internet slams NBC conservative for ‘rooting for pandemic’ to distract from Trump impeachment trial

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Hugh Hewitt is once again under fire, this time for almost appearing to be glad a deadly SARS-related virus has been diagnosed in a patient in Washington state – saying additional diagnoses will take the focus away from the Senate's historic impeachment trial. Hewitt is a conservative Washington Post columnist, radio host, MSNBC and NBC contributor, and law professor who went from being a "Never-Trumper" to all-in for President Donald Trump.

"People care much more for their health than theater," said Hewitt via Twitter, referring to Trump's impeachment trial. The SARS-related virus, known as the Wuhan coronavirus, is named for an area of China where it was first found. It "has infected more than 300 people and killed six in an outbreak that has struck China, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and now the US," CNN reports.

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Trump pushed for a sweetheart tax deal on his first hotel — it’s cost NYC $410,068,399 and counting

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In 1975, New York City was run-down and on the verge of bankruptcy. Twenty-nine-year-old Donald Trump saw an opportunity. He wanted to acquire and redevelop the dilapidated Commodore Hotel in midtown Manhattan next to Grand Central Terminal.

Trump had bragged to the executive controlling the sale that he could use his political connections to get tax breaks for the deal.

The executive was skeptical. But the next day, the executive was invited into Trump’s limousine, which ushered him to City Hall. There, he met with Donald’s father Fred and Mayor Abe Beame, to whom the Trumps had given lavishly.

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