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Black Michigan lawmakers demand that Rick Snyder fire Detroit school system appointee

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The Michigan legislative black caucus voted on Friday to ask Governor Rick Snyder to fire Darnell Earley, the controversial Detroit Public Schools’ emergency manager who had formerly presided over the city of Flint and its lead-contaminated water system.

“Conditions have only worsened under Earley’s tenure, as the city of Flint worsened with his involvement,” said Representative Sheldon Neeley, a Flint Democrat and the caucus’ first vice chair. “He is the problem, not the solution.”

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Detroit Public Schools is under state oversight and pressure from declining enrollment. Heavy pension and debt obligations have left the district in danger of running out of cash in April.

Earley was appointed as emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools in January 2015. The union for Detroit public school teachers sued the district on Thursday demanding Earley’s immediate removal and a return of local control with a plan to repair the district’s crumbling buildings.

Under Earley’s leadership as emergency manager of Flint, the city separated from the Detroit water department and switched its water supply to the Flint River in April 2014. Earley has said he is not to blame for the problem since the decision was made before his tenure.

The city switched its water supply back to Detroit last October, after tests found high levels of lead in blood samples from Flint children. Lead is a neurotoxin that can damage the brain and cause other health problems.

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The Detroit Public Schools union has said teachers are frustrated over crumbling walls, rats, mold in classrooms and student overcrowding, combined with a teacher shortage and low pay.

Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said in a statement that Earley has worked to make the system more financially secure. “Mr. Earley remains focused on preparing DPS for long-term financial sustainability and a return to some form of local control,” she added.

Earley said in a statement this week that plans to address building disrepair are part of a financial investment proposal before the legislature. He did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday.

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A spokesman for Snyder, who has been criticized nationally for the Flint water crisis, also was not immediately available for comment.

Snyder on Friday signed a bill providing $28 million to address the Flint water crisis, including bottled water, lead testing, treatment and nurses in local schools.

Both Flint and Detroit are mostly black. Earley is also black.

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(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case

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Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."

She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.

"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."

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CNN

WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial

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President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."

"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."

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Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography

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According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.

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