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Air Force instructor sentenced to 20 years in prison for string of sexual assaults

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Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, an instructor in the United States Air Force, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Saturday. The sentencing hearing was the final phase of his court-martial for the rape of a female recruit and the sexual assault of several others, according to the Associated Press. Walker is one of 12 men named in a sweeping scandal involving instructors and their exploitation and assault of women at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

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On Friday, a military jury convicted Walker of all 28 counts he was charged with, including rape, aggravated sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault. Prosecutors say that from October 2010 to January of 2011, Walker and his fellow officers assaulted and harassed at least 31 female trainees, with Walker meting out the worst of the abuse.

Survivors of the assaults testified at Walker’s trial, saying that they had been physically forced or coerced by threats against their military careers into kissing, touching or intercourse with the 12 instructors. One testified that Walker lured her into an office and attacked her, forcing himself upon her against her protestations.

Another of the instructors, Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado, was placed on 90 days’ confinement when he pleaded guilty in the case in June, admitting that he had sexual relations with ten different trainees. The case of Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc, who has been charged with sexual misconduct, obstruction of justice and making false statements, has been referred to a general court-martial.

Lackland graduates about 35,000 airmen and women each year. They’re put through 8 weeks of basic training by 475 instructors, 90 percent of whom are male.

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I thought Democrats were making a giant mistake on impeachment — but these experts changed my mind

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On Tuesday, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives announced that they would move forward with two articles of impeachment — involving abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — against President Donald Trump.

At first, I shared the frustration of many liberals and progressives that these articles are too limited in scope, and leave a great many of Trump’s apparent misdeeds unmentioned. But further reflection and exchanges with legal experts have convinced me that appearance is misleading. In fact, Democrats have performed a deft feat. In a single stroke — OK, two strokes — they have elevated the process of holding Trump accountable above the realm of partisan politics, and have also given the Democratic nominee (whoever that is) an excellent case to use against Trump in next year’s presidential election. The challenge for Democrats going forward will be to keep that nonpartisan outlook in mind — while understanding that, ultimately and unfortunately, the only possible way to hold Trump accountable will be through partisan politics.

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Trump supporters cry bitter tears after Greta Thunberg named Time Person of the Year

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year -- and Trump supporters are deeply unhappy about it.

Thunberg, whose advocacy for real action on climate change has drawn rebukes from conservative political figures including President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, was described by Time in its profile as delivering "a simple truth in a fateful moment" in the debate over how to reduce greenhouse emissions and prevent catastrophic environmental damage.

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The ‘War on Christmas’ was started more than 500 years ago — by Christians

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If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Almost 15 years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.

Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints:

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