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Accused US mail bomber Cesar Sayoc could face life in prison with new charges

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 New York federal prosecutors on Friday brought new charges against Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of mailing bombs to prominent Democrats and other critics of U.S. President Donald Trump.

In an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors charged Sayoc with 30 criminal counts, including multiple counts of using a weapon of mass destruction and interstate transport of explosives.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison. He had previously faced five counts carrying a maximum prison sentence of 48 years.

Sayoc’s attorney, federal defender Sarah Baumgartel, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sayoc, a 56-year-old former stripper and pizza delivery driver who lived in a white van festooned with right-wing political images supporting Trump and attacking his critics, was arrested in Florida on Oct. 26 following an intense manhunt. He is being held without bail.

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Friday’s indictment accuses Sayoc of sending improvised explosive devices to five people in New York: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election; billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros; former Central Intelligence Agency directors John Brennan and James Clapper; and actor Robert De Niro.

Authorities had previously linked Sayoc to more than a dozen mail bombs around the country. Other targets included former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Democratic U.S. Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

None of the devices exploded before being intercepted, and no one has been injured.

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Public records showed Sayoc, a registered Republican, had been arrested numerous times over the years, including one case in which he was accused of threatening to bomb a power utility. His social media accounts are filled with anti-Democrat sentiments and racist diatribes.

In a letter to ABC News, Sayoc’s mother, Madeline Sayoc, wrote that she had unsuccessfully tried to get him treatment for what she said was long-standing mental illness.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Rosalba O’Brien


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Trump’s tax law threatened TurboTax’s profits — so the company started charging the disabled, the unemployed and students

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The 2017 tax overhaul vastly expanded the number of people who could file simplified tax returns, a boon to millions of Americans.

But the new law directly threatened the lucrative business of Intuit, the maker of TurboTax.

Although the company draws in customers with the promise of a “free” product, its fortunes depend on getting as many customers as possible to pay. It had been regularly charging $100 or more for returns that included itemized deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations. Under the new law, many wealthier taxpayers would no longer be filing that form, qualifying them to use the company’s free software.

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Trump’s packed Supreme Court backs ‘forced arbitration’ that bars workers from taking abusive bosses to court

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Corporations are rapidly rendering sexual harassment, race and gender discrimination, life-threatening workplaces and wage theft immune to employee legal action.

They achieve this by forcing the vast majority of non-union private-sector workers to sign away their rights to go to court or use class or collective arbitration. Instead many millions of workers are being forced to forgo these efficient legal ways to resolve issues and to file individual arbitration claims.

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy says that by 2024 more than 80% of non-union private-sector workers will find courthouse doors chained shut by forced arbitration clauses that ban lawsuits and collective actions. (EPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to press the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.)

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Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels — here’s why

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A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.

I've written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.

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