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Mississippi judge resigns after barring mother from seeing her baby for 14 months over unpaid court fees

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A Mississippi judge who barred a mother from seeing her newborn baby for 14 months because she hadn’t paid court-imposed fees has stepped down.

The Clarion-Ledger reports that Pearl Youth Court Judge John Shirley has resigned under pressure from local activists who decried his decision to impose a no-contact order on a resident of Jackson, Miss., who is identified in court documents only as “Mother A.”

The judge first issued the order after the woman and a friend, who were driving through the city of Pearl looking for work, were pulled over by a police officer who discovered both women had outstanding warrants for routine misdemeanor offenses. The police officer who made the arrest told the Mississippi Department of Human Services that the child who was in the car with the two women was “abandoned,” despite the fact that it was the officer’s own arrest that forced the child to be separated from the mother.

Judge Shirley awarded custody to the baby’s grandmother, while also blocking the mother from coming into contact with the child until she paid off court-imposed fees.

The Clarion-Ledger’s report does not say how much money the mother owed in court fees, however local legal justice advocates say that unpaid fees do not justify separating a mother from a four-month-old child for 14 months.

“As a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi, I am no stranger to injustice, but for a judge to prohibit an impoverished mother from having any contact with her baby until monetary payments are made is shocking and repugnant,” said Cliff Johnson, the director of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law. “Such orders are tantamount to judicial kidnapping.”

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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