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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.

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.

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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.

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

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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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Trump is ‘a soulless man with a broken mind’: George Conway calls out his wife’s boss in scathing op-ed

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George Conway, the prominent Republican attorney married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, blasted his wife's boss in a new Washington Post op-ed published online on Friday evening.

"Until three brief months ago, President Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody," Conway wrote. "Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one."

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Fox News triggers outrage with graphic comparing how much stocks have risen after racist tragedies

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On Friday, Fox News displayed a graph that appeared to compare the amount the stock market has risen in the week after various racial tragedies, including the assassination of Martin Luther King, the beating of Rodney King, the Ferguson incident, and the death of George Floyd.

2. Here’s the video of the graphic as it aired on Fox News this evening. pic.twitter.com/Iww2DnzkkI

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 5, 2020

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Bill Barr denies giving the order to gas protesters for Trump photo-op

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America's top law enforcement office on Friday denied giving the highly-controversial order to gas protesters prior to a photo-op with President Donald Trump holding a Bible.

"Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision," The Associated Press reports.

"Barr’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday were his most detailed explanation yet of what unfolded outside the White House earlier this week. They come after the White House and others said repeatedly that the attorney general ordered officers to clear the park," the AP reported. "Shortly after officers aggressively pushed back demonstrators, President Donald Trump — accompanied by Barr, Pentagon leaders and other top advisers — walked through Lafayette Park to pose for a photo at a nearby church that had been damaged during the protests."

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