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Detroit drug dealer known as ‘White Boy Rick’ loses re-sentencing bid

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A Detroit man sentenced to life in prison as a teenager on a drug offense decades ago is not entitled to a new sentencing hearing, the Michigan appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

Richard Wershe, 46, known as “White Boy Rick,” was convicted of possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams (23 ounces) of cocaine and sentenced to life in prison without parole on the offense committed when he was 17 years old, according to court documents.

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In September, Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway granted Wershe a new hearing, finding that his original sentence was extraordinarily harsh for a nonviolent juvenile offender, according to court documents.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled, however, that Hathaway did not have the authority to overturn a sentence that was determined to be constitutional.

An attempt to resentence Wershe “may infringe upon the governor’s commutation powers and intrude upon the parole board’s jurisdiction,” the judge’s ruled.

Wershe’s attorney Peter Van Hoek told the Detroit Free Press he was disappointed with the ruling and planned to take the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Unless overturned, Wershe’s original sentence stands.

Wershe was convicted in 1988 at a time when the United States had enacted mandatory minimum sentences to fight rising crime and drug violence and has spent more than 27 years in prison.

According to a book about the case, Wershe drove around Detroit dealing drugs out of a Jeep with the words “The Snowman” on the back and claimed he had worked as an FBI informant since he was 14 years old.

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(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by David Bailey and Eric Beech)


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Warning Turkey, Trump authorizes sanctions and slaps steel tariffs

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US President Donald Trump on Monday authorized sanctions on Turkey's leaders, reimposed steel tariffs and ended talks on a trade deal, seeking to punish the historic ally for its deadly offensive into Syria.

Trump announced the measures as he came under intense pressure at home for appearing to at first give the green light to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking to crush US-backed Kurdish fighters in war-ravaged Syria.

"I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path," Trump, who until recently spoken of his friendship with Erdogan, said in a statement.

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Facebook chief hosts conservative guests amid bias debate

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Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Monday confirmed reports that he had hosted a series of dinners with right-wing figures, as the social media platform stands accused of stifling conservative voices.

Zuckerberg held small, off-the-record dinners with journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker to talk about free speech, partnerships and other issues, the Politico news website said.

"There's some press today discussing dinners I've had with conservative politicians, media and thinkers," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

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Swiss glaciers shrink 10 percent in five years: study

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Switzerland's glaciers have lost a tenth of their volume in the past five years alone -- a melting rate unmatched during observations stretching back more than a century, a study showed Tuesday.

Measurements on 20 Swiss glaciers have shown that melt rates this year have reached "record levels", according to the annual study on the state of the glaciers, published by the Cryospheric Commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

The study, released amid growing global alarm over climate change, found that intense heatwaves over the summer in Switzerland had dashed hopes that an exceptionally snow-filled winter would limit the glacier melt this year.

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