Rolling Stone, the iconic 50-year-old magazine of music and counterculture, is putting itself up for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook, its founder said. Jann Wenner -- who started Rolling Stone in 1967 as a hippie student in Berkeley, California and now runs it with his son Gus -- told The New York Times that the…
A Brazilian senate committee will on Wednesday ask that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "intentional" crimes over his management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left 600,000 of his compatriots dead.
Following six months of eventful hearings, with emotional witness statements and chilling revelations about the use of ineffective medication on "human guinea pigs," the committee of inquiry will deliver its eagerly awaited report.
Renan Calheiros, the centrist senator who is the lead author of the 1,200-page report, has already revealed that he has retained at least nine charges against the far-right president, including "quackery" and "crimes against humanity."
But he announced a last-minute withdrawal of "homicide" and "genocide" charges, after some infighting within the panel.
While the accusations are serious, the process may be just symbolic since Bolsonaro enjoys enough congressional support to avoid the opening of impeachment proceedings.
Likewise, Attorney General Augusto Aras, an ally appointed by Bolsonaro, could shield him from any indictment.
The report could also ask that several ministers be charged, as well as three of Bolsonaro's sons, including Flavio -- who sits on the committee.
"This report will seem like a sentence, but the government is calm. You can criticize the president's attitude, but not incriminate him," Fernando Bezerra, head of the government's parliamentary bloc in the senate, told the Uol website.
- 'We deserve an apology' -
The inquiry does not have the power to bring charges, but its revelations could have a serious political impact: the report will be sent to the public prosecutor, the federal court of accounts, and could even be sent to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where other complaints against Bolsonaro have already been lodged.Coffins being buried in an area where new graves have been dug at the Parque Taruma cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas State MICHAEL DANTAS AFP/File
It is yet another headache for the president, whose popularity has plummeted to an all-time low and who trails leftist former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in polls ahead of next year's general election.
The report was originally due to be presented on Tuesday but had to be put back 24 hours, eliciting criticism from Brazilian media, which have already started leaking details.
Following testimony from several ministers, top government officials, and business and hospital managers, it was the turn of the families of Covid victims to present their statements to the committee on Monday.
"We deserve an apology from the highest authority in the state. It's not a question of politics, we're talking about lives," Marcio Antonio Silva, a taxi driver who lost his 25-year-old son to Covid, told the panel, holding back tears.
"What we've seen is the antithesis of what we expected from the president of the republic," said Antonio Carlos Costa, president of the Rio de Paz NGO. "We've never seen him shed tears of compassion, nor express his condolences for the Brazilian people in mourning."
- 'They must be punished' -
On Monday, the committee also heard the harrowing testimony of a nurse in Manaus who saw dozens of patients dying and had to take care of her sister's four children after she also succumbed to the virus.
The committee investigated the government over the crippling lack of oxygen in the northern city of Manaus during the worst moments of the pandemic, and also the delays in buying vaccines, Bolsonaro's anti-lockdown speeches, and his original belittling of what he called a "little flu."
Senators subsequently discovered irregularities in the acquisition of vaccines, something that generated strong suspicions of corruption.
Another branch of the investigation focused on the relationship between Brasilia and private health insurers accused of promoting "early treatment" with medications such as hydroxychloroquine, which has been scientifically proven to be ineffective.Brazilian Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, is also accused in the senate report of crimes linked to the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic EVARISTO SA AFP
One of those insurers, Prevent Senior, is accused of having carried out such treatment on patients without their prior knowledge, and to have put pressure on doctors to prescribe it for "human guinea pigs."
"The committee report clearly aims to result in the sanctioning of those responsible, and there are a lot. We cannot allow ourselves to not punish them," Omar Aziz, the committee's president, said on Tuesday.
© 2021 AFP
"An Army reservist charged in the Justice Department's sweeping investigation of the U.S. Capitol riot was quietly demoted and discharged earlier this year, becoming the first known service member to be forced out of the military after officials learned of an alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection," the newspaper reported, citing personnel records reviewed and the former soldier's lawyer.
Attorney Jonathan Crisp complained about the discharge.
"Crisp called the punitive discharge, which severely limits benefits and resources otherwise available to military veterans, 'improper' because, he said, it was delivered while Hale-Cusanelli was incarcerated and because any comments made in the former soldier's defense could violate his 5th Amendment rights in the federal case," the newspaper reported. "Typically, commanders wait until criminal cases are finished before making discharge decisions, Crisp said."
Army officials cited privacy laws when declining to comment.
"At the time of his arrest, Hale-Cusanelli, who remains in federal custody, according to the Justice Department, was employed as a civilian security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey and held a secret security clearance, prosecutors said in a March court filing," the newspaper reported. "Navy investigators interviewed 44 of his colleagues, including Navy personnel and fellow security contractors, about his behavior at work. All but 10 described Hale-Cusanelli as 'having extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities and women,' prosecutors said."
Multiple colleagues mentioned Hale-Cusanelli's "Hitler mustache" to investigators.
"Among them was a supervisor, who said Hale-Cusanelli was admonished because of it," the newspaper reported. "One sailor told investigators that he heard Hale-Cusanelli say that if he were a Nazi, 'he would kill all the Jews and eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he wouldn't need to season them because the salt from their tears would make it flavorful enough,' according to the court filing."
Read the full report.
Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys' request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.
Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a "19 Kids and Counting" reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.
"In Mr. Duggar's case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure," U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys' requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. "And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement's safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment."
In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.
Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar's attorneys' requests, including dismissal of all charges.
His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native's hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully" appointed.
Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.
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