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Oregon militants may have contaminated Native site with ‘trench of feces’: feds

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The FBI said it has found a trench of human feces and a road excavated on or next to a sensitive cultural site with artifacts at the Oregon wildlife refuge where armed men staged a standoff with authorities, according to court records filed on Tuesday.

The filing came after the FBI on Friday said it was working with the Burns Paiute Tribe to identify damage to the tribe’s artifacts and sacred burial grounds at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the six-week occupation.

Evidence teams began processing the crime scenes at the refuge on Saturday, two days after the final occupiers surrendered, and the process will last about three weeks, according to the document submitted in Oregon federal court on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Billy Williams of Oregon wrote in the filing that investigators found “significant amounts of human feces” in a trench at an outdoor camping area that was either on or next to a “sensitive cultural site.”

“Occupiers appear to have excavated two large trenches and an improvised road on or adjacent to grounds containing sensitive artifacts,” he wrote.

Williams also said in the filing – which was a response to occupiers’ requests to have their attorneys allowed onto the site – that firearms and explosives were found, and it was feared vehicles and buildings could be booby trapped.

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He said he would be willing to allow Bundy’s legal team onto the site once authorities are finished processing it and before it is reopened to the public.

The takeover, which began on Jan. 2, was sparked by the return to prison of two Oregon ranchers convicted of setting fires that spread to federal property near the refuge.

It was led by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who were arrested in January along with other protesters on their way to speak at a community meeting in John Day, Oregon.

A spokesman for the group, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, was shot dead during the stop.

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The final four occupiers surrendered on Thursday with David Fry, 27, repeatedly threatening suicide in a dramatic final phone call with mediators before he gave up. All 12 people arrested in connection with the standoff will face charges of conspiracy to impede federal officers, according to the FBI.

The cost of the standoff will likely run into the millions of dollars, with local and state agencies looking to the federal government – and the arrested occupiers – to shoulder the bulk of the bills.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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