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Brazil drug gangs move to ban crack

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Crack is whack, and even the most powerful drug gangs in Rio aren’t disputing that fact.

Amid a painful and violent uptick in crack-cocaine usage and facing increasingly successful police strategies pushing them out of the favelas, the most powerful drug gang in Brazil’s capital of Rio de Janeiro has opened up a public relations front, telling members of the press that they will no longer sell crack because it destabilizes communities.

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Authorities in Rio aren’t buying it, however. They believe the new twist in strategy is part of a smokescreen to confuse continued efforts at pacification, a police strategy that’s successfully pushed heavily armed drug gangs out of many areas in Rio’s notoriously violent slums, where civilians all to often wind up as innocent victims of stray gunfire.

Pacification techniques factor heavily into the city’s plans to host the 2016 summer Olympics, especially since Brazilian officials do not want visiting athletes or tourists to see the city’s open-air drug markets or relatively common violent side. By pacifying areas near where the games will be held, authorities have succeeded in creating a relatively safe public space, gradually winning hearts and minds.

But now the drug gangs are trying to win them back, vowing to stop selling crack for the sake of the community. According to The Associated Press, it started with the leader of Comando Vermelho, Rio’s most powerful gang, watching his brother succumb to crack addiction. And once Vermelho stopped selling crack, others were persuaded to stop as well after seeing how it has destabilized their customer-base.

“Today we can say with certainty that we’re looking at the end of crack in Rio de Janeiro,” a lawyer for the gangs told AP reporter Juliana Barbassa.

This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast Monday, August 12, 2012.

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Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

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One of the 2 articles of impeachment against Trump points the way to disqualify him from running for president again

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If President Donald Trump were to be acquitted on articles on impeachment in a U.S. Senate trial and win reelection in 2020, he would be the first president in United States history to be impeached in the House yet win a second term. That’s one possible scenario, depending on what happens in a likely Senate trial and the 2020 presidential election. But journalist Lauren Frias, in an article for Business Insider, describes another scenario: Trump is removed from office by the Senate yet runs for president again anyway.

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Trump pretends he was in the military during White House reception

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President Donald Trump held a White House Hanukkah party a few weeks before the Jewish holiday and during the event, he seemed to be claiming he served in the military when he didn't.

"Like we used to say in the military, make a path,” Trump said.

https://twitter.com/jeffmason1/status/1204938676876263425

Trump not only never served in the military he actively dodged the draft, getting a pass due to alleged bone spurs in his feet. It's unknown if Trump actually has bone spurs, but such a condition doesn't disappear.

Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska Senator and SEAL officer in the U.S. Navy went after the president in March demanding to see proof of the bone spurs.

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America shocked Louie Gohmert outed suspected whistleblower during hearing

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) named the latest person that right-wing media believes is the White House whistleblower during Wednesday's impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee.

https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1204926692428570624

People were shocked by Gohmert's speech. People suggested the Texas Republican should be referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation and/or be censured and/or expelled from the House of Representatives.

Here's some of what people were saying:

Cut his mic, escort him the hearing, strip him of all committees....then make him sit a Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan's lunch table!

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