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Detroit public schools shut down as teachers hold ‘sickout’ protest over pay

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Detroit Public Schools closed nearly all of its 97 schools on Monday as hundreds of teachers called in sick to protest the cash-strapped city’s revelation that it will soon run out of money to pay employees.

The shutdown due to “teacher sickouts” was announced on the website for Michigan’s largest public school system with 45,786 students, which has been under state control since 2009.

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Detroit Federation of Teachers Interim President Ivy Bailey said in a statement on Sunday that the district was “effectively locking our members out of the classrooms” by failing to guarantee that teachers will be paid once the fiscal year wraps up on June 30.

“There’s a basic agreement in America: When you put in a day’s work, you’ll receive a day’s pay,” Bailey said in a statement.

The Michigan legislature approved $48.7 million in supplemental funding but that will allow the district to meet payroll only through the end of June, said Steven Rhodes, a former federal bankruptcy judge who is the schools’ emergency manager.

He urged state lawmakers to approve a $715 million rescue plan that would create a new Detroit Education Commission, with broad authority to control new school openings for the next five years.

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Without that extra money, teachers on an annual 26-paycheck cycle will go unpaid and there will be no funds available for Summer School or year-round special education services, Rhodes said.

“Working without pay is the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Bailey said.

“Teachers have mortgage payments, utility bills, grocery bills. Being paid for their work isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Bailey said.

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(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York)


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Giuliani’s public invitation to Ukraine to interfere in US elections opened the door for other countries to run to Trump

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President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani turned heads with his bizarre, unhinged rant on national television that effectively urged Ukraine to continue trying to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden — and for news outlets to take whatever they find seriously.

As Casey Michel wrote in The Daily Beast, even if this effort ultimately fails to turn up useful opposition research against Biden, this is a profoundly dangerous development for American democracy.

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Trump whistleblower needs to go directly to FBI because Bill Barr can’t be trusted: Ex-FBI director

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi blew up Donald Trump's claim that he is the victim of a "Ukraine Witchhunt."

He then added that the whistleblower who went to the inspector general with a serious charge against the president should take what he has and go to the FBI within a week if nothing happens.

"We've got to get to the bottom of this, and we can't rely on leaks and certain reporters getting certain tidbits of information," the ex-FBI man explained. "This needs to be explored and it's likely this could end up in a criminal investigation."

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Furious Biden goes scorched earth on ‘serial abuser’ Trump over smears in epic rant

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On Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden furiously laid into President Donald Trump amid reports he tried to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into digging up dirt on him and his son.

"Here's what I know, I know Trump deserves to be investigated," said Biden. "He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question, why is he on the phone with a foreign leader trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that's what happened? That appears to have happened. You should be looking at Trump. Trump's doing this because he knows I'll beat him like a drum and he's using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me."

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