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Cleveland cops could be forced to submit to federal monitors after settlement with Justice Dept.

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Cleveland has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over what federal authorities said was a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The settlement could be announced as early as Tuesday, the newspaper said, citing people briefed on the matter.

The settlement would come days after a judge declared a white Cleveland police officer not guilty in the shooting deaths of an unarmed black man and a woman in 2012. The verdict on Saturday prompted protests that led to at least 71 arrests.

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The details of the settlement were not immediately clear, the Times said. In similar negotiations in recent years, the Justice Department has insisted that cities allow independent monitors to oversee changes inside police departments.

Settlements are typically backed by court orders and often call for improved training and revised use-of-force policies.

Spokesmen for the Justice Department, the Cleveland police and Mayor Frank Jackson had no immediate response to requests for comment.

The results of a Justice Department investigation released in December found Cleveland police systematically engaged in excessive use of force.

Just days before the report was released, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was carrying what turned out to be a replica gun that typically fires plastic pellets. The shooting is under investigation.

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The Justice Department has opened nearly two dozen investigations into police departments during the administration of President Barack Obama.

Federal authorities said this month they would investigate police in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of injuries he suffered while in police custody. Six officers have been indicted in Gray’s death.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Trump supporters funded a private border wall that’s already at risk of falling down

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Tommy Fisher billed his new privately funded border wall as the future of deterrence, a quick-to-build steel fortress that spans 3 miles in one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors.

Unlike a generation of wall builders before him, he said he figured out how to build a structure directly on the banks of the Rio Grande, a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

Fisher has leveraged his self-described “Lamborghini” of walls to win more than $1.7 billion worth of federal contracts in Arizona.

But his showcase piece is showing signs of runoff erosion and, if it’s not fixed, could be in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. It never should have been built so close to the river, they say.

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Study uncovers most effective non-medical face mask for protecting against coronavirus

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A study conducted by researchers at Florida Atlantic University has found that the best type of non-medical face mask to protect against coronavirus is a stitched mask made from two layers of quilting fabric.With mask-wearing mandatory or at least encouraged in many areas to slow the spread of the virus, many Americans have taken to making DIY masks or buying low-cost ones from the store. While none of these masks reach the level of effectiveness that medical-grade masks and respirators do, some of them are still better than others.In the study, researchers used a mannequin head, a manual pump... (more…)

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What if the feds sent you $1,200 every month?

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On a bitter cold spring night 14 months ago, back in a more magical time when all things seemed possible in the 2020 president race, I stood on the steps leading down to Washington’s great Reflecting Pool waiting to hear from the most unlikely and arguably intriguing Democrat of all, the businessman and political neophyte Andrew Yang.Before Yang spoke, a stream of supporters went up to a microphone and, with the Lincoln Memorial looming behind them, said they had a dream that a Yang presidency would also mean his cornerstone policy idea — a check for $1,000 from the federal government, deliver... (more…)

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