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Hawaii lets on-duty cops have sex with prostitutes, and police want to keep it that way

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Police officers in Hawaii are lobbying lawmakers not to repeal a statute that allows them to have sex with prostitutes during the course of legitimate investigations.

Authorities claim that they need the legal protection afforded them by penal code statute §712-1200.5, which states that the legal definition of prostitution — “[a] person commits the offense of prostitution if the person engages in, or agrees or offers to engage in, sexual conduct with another person for a fee” — does “not apply to any member of a police department, a sheriff, or a law enforcement officer acting in the course and scope of duties.”

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Honolulu Police Major Jerry Inouye recently told the House Judiciary Committee that “[t]he procedures and conduct of the undercover officers are regulated by department rules, which by nature have to be confidential, because if prostitution suspects, pimps and other people are privy to that information, they’re going to know exactly how far the undercover officer can and cannot go.”

He declined, however, to indicate how often the exemption is used.

A spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department, Michelle Yu, wrote in an email to The Associated Press that “[a]ll allegations of misconduct are investigated and the appropriate disciplinary action taken.” It is unclear what the “appropriate disciplinary action” would be, or whether any officers have been disciplined for on-duty behavior because of Hawaii’s strict disclosure laws when it comes to police misconduct.

Derek Marsh, the former co-chair of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, called the statute “antiquated at best,” adding that “[i]t doesn’t help your case, and at worst you further traumatize someone. And do you think he or she is going to trust a cop again?”

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Lauren Hersh, a former prosecutor who now runs the global trafficking program at Equality Now, told the Associated Press that “I can understand you’re in a drug den, and you have a gun to your head and someone says ‘snort this,'” but that the Hawaiian statute is “so dissimilar from that circumstance on so many levels” that the comparison — oft-cited by Hawaiian law enforcement officials — isn’t even apt.

[Image via bon temps jolie on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed]

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Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.

In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.

"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.

"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.

Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".

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Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis

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President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.

"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.

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2020 Election

Rep AOC helped Bernie Sanders turn out ‘the largest crowd drawn by any candidate’: report

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) turn out a huge crowd at a campaign rally in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, officially endorsed the Vermont senator at the event.

"Bernie Sanders has a crowd of 25,872 this afternoon at his Queens rally, according to the security company handling the event, Contemporary Services Corp. That would make this event, his first since his heart attack 18 days ago, the largest crowd drawn by any candidate," Buzzfeed News correspondent Ruby Cramer reported.

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