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GOP official indicted for human smuggling and sale of children in bizarre international fraud scheme

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On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Maricopa County assessor Paul Petersen has been indicted on 11 counts, including human smuggling and sale of a child, as part of a far-reaching international adoption fraud scheme.

Petersen, according to prosecutors, transported some 40 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to Utah to give birth, and proceeded to sell the babies to U.S. families for $40,000. He also is accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid for the prenatal costs, by claiming the Marshallese women were residents of Arizona.

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A Republican, Peterson was first appointed to the position of Maricopa County assessor in 2013 after serving as the office’s liaison to the legislature, and won a regularly scheduled election unopposed in 2016.

His adoption law practice first came under scrutiny by the Honolulu Civil Beat in 2018. He was taken into custody by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations, and officials from the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

“While Mr. Petersen is entitled to a presumption of innocence, our investigation uncovered evidence that he has committed horrible crimes,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Petersen’s illegal adoption scheme exploited highly vulnerable groups in two countries — the birth mothers and families in the Marshall Islands and the adoptive parents here in Utah.”


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Trump supporters funded a private border wall that’s already at risk of falling down

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Tommy Fisher billed his new privately funded border wall as the future of deterrence, a quick-to-build steel fortress that spans 3 miles in one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors.

Unlike a generation of wall builders before him, he said he figured out how to build a structure directly on the banks of the Rio Grande, a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

Fisher has leveraged his self-described “Lamborghini” of walls to win more than $1.7 billion worth of federal contracts in Arizona.

But his showcase piece is showing signs of runoff erosion and, if it’s not fixed, could be in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. It never should have been built so close to the river, they say.

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2020 Election

How Lindsey Graham keeps lowering his standards for Trump

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As the coronavirus pandemic spread and death tolls increased across the United States over the last three months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeatedly raised the number of deaths he would find acceptable in defense of President Donald Trump's botched response.
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White woman pulls gun on Black woman after allegedly almost hitting her with her car

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On Wednesday, a viral video showed a white woman in Auburn Hills, Michigan, pulling a handgun on a Black woman in an altercation in a parking lot.

According to the woman taking the video, the white woman nearly hit the Black woman while backing up her van, and the argument escalated quickly.

"Get the license plate!" the Black woman can be heard shouting.

"Don't you f**king jump behind my car," replied the woman with the gun. "Get the f**k back! Get the f**k back! Back the f**k up!"

According to the poster, the woman who brandished the gun has been arrested.

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