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U.S. lawmakers call for hearings on military hazing

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WASHINGTON — Lawmakers Thursday called for congressional hearings into hazing in the US military while urging an end to “institutional” abuse that has led to suicides among soldiers.

Representative Judy Chu, whose Marine nephew, Lance Corporal Harry Lew, committed suicide in Afghanistan last year some 20 minutes after enduring severe hazing by fellow Marines, said “enough was enough” as she called for hearings on what the military is doing to stop the abuse.

“The highest military officers must make eliminating hazing a top priority,” she said at a press conference.

Top military leaders “must stop pretending there is no problem,” she said, adding, “None of this will change until the Secretary of Defense commits to eradicate the culture of hazing that is so ingrained within our troops.”

Chu said she and fellow lawmakers had reached out to Pentagon chief Leon Panetta to discuss the issue, but were yet to hear back from his office.

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A Marine investigation said Lew committed suicide last year after a hazing that included Marines pouring sand in his mouth, kicking him and punching him.

Chu, however, said the military was attempting to “sweep the issue under the rug” after a ruling Monday that found hazing was not considered an issue in Lew’s death, which occurred after he endured three hours of hazing when he was found asleep at his post.

The accused fellow Marine, Lance Corporal Jacob Jacoby was sentenced Monday to 30 days confinement as the judge in the case said she found no evidence the abuse Lew endured led to the suicide.

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The “hand slap sentencing” of Jacoby, said lawmaker Mike Honda on Thursday, showed that the system the Pentagon has in place to deal with hazing “does not work,” adding that Lew’s death was an “urgent call to action.”


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Trump’s China tariffs won’t even pay for the bailout to farmers hurt by his trade war

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The revenues raised by President Trump’s tariffs on China are not even enough to cover the cost of bailing out farmers hit hardest by his trade war.

“We’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China,” Trump told reporters Monday. He previously vowed that he would raise so much money from the tariffs that it would eliminate the entire national debt. But the New York Times reports that Customs and Border Protection data shows that the tariffs have raised about $20.8 billion in revenue. That is far less than the $28 billion in bailout funds that Trump vowed to give farmers after China imposed steep retaliatory tariffs targeting the agriculture industry. So far the administration has not offered any bailouts to other industries that have suffered sharp revenue losses in the ongoing trade war.

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Don Lemon flabbergasted by brazen lying by Republican Kris Kobach: ‘He lied to your face’

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CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo had a heart-to-heart conversation about racism in America during the handoff between their shows on Tuesday.

"What’s going on with you? I saw you in the makeup room. Your energy is off. You seem down. Is this getting to you, what happened today? With what the president tweeted and how people are reacting?" Lemon asked his colleague.

"Is it getting to me? It hits close to home, to be honest. My grandparents were afraid of people like Trump. Ironically, they grew up very close to one another," Cuomo answered, recounting his family's story of seeking acceptance in America. "It hits close to home."

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Black man and realtor handcuffed for ‘forced entry’ into property’s open house: lawyers

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On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported that Anthony Edwards has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and three police officers after he and his real estate agent, Jerry Isham, were handcuffed and detained at gunpoint last year while touring an open house.

The police were summoned by Thomas Branigan, a retired police officer living next door, who called 911 to report them as home invaders and said they had "forced entry" into the house. He later admitted he did not have a view of the door at the time.

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