MIAMI — The U.S. Border Patrol said it responded to more than six migrant landings in the Florida Keys Thursday. The Keys and South Florida are experiencing an influx in migrants from both Cuba and Haiti, but that many migrant arrivals in one day is unusual. The landings happened in various parts of the island chain, said Adam Hoffner, division chief for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Miami operations. All of the migrants are Cuban, he said. Not counting the latest groups of migrants, more than 60 people from Cuba have arrived in the Keys since last Saturday, according to the Border Patr...
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A Moscow court on Monday ordered journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who denounced Russia's intervention in Ukraine, to pay a new fine for discrediting the Russian army.
In March, Ovsyannikova shot to prominence for interrupting a live TV broadcast to denounce Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. Her lawyer did not rule out on Monday the possibility she could face a criminal probe in the future.
Last week, another court ordered the 44-year-old journalist to pay 50,000 rubles (around $800) for discrediting the Russian army.
On Monday, Ovsyannikova, a former editor at state-controlled Channel One, said Moscow's Cheryomushkinsky district court ordered her to pay 40,000 rubles.
Ovsyannikova's lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov told AFP she was fined for a post on Facebook. Two convictions within the space of six months can lead to a criminal case.
In court, Ovsyannikova said she "trolled" the judge but he did not seem to understand her irony.
"America and Europe are to blame for the fact that there is no longer freedom of speech, just courts and fair elections in Russia. And people are put in jail for calling for peace," she said in court, according to her statement on messaging app Telegram.
Ovsyannikova, a mother of two, was briefly detained in July.
Her short detention came several days after she demonstrated alone near the Kremlin, holding up a sign criticising the military intervention in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin.
After sending troops to Ukraine, Moscow adopted laws imposing sentences of up to 15 years in prison for spreading information about the military deemed false by the authorities.
Russian authorities have not announced the opening of any criminal investigation against Ovsyannikova.
In early July, she announced that she was returning to Russia to settle a dispute over the custody of her two children.
The journalist, who worked for state TV for 19 years, told AFP in a recent interview she had to sell her car to bring in some extra money. Ovsyannikova, who does not currently have a permanent job, works as a freelancer for foreign media.
© 2022 AFP
GOP struggling to recruit quality candidates because they don't want to 'toady' up to Trump: columnist
According to longtime political observer Jonathan Bernstein, as long as Donald Trump casts his imposing shadow over the Republican Party, the GOP leadership will struggle because many potential electable candidates want nothing to do with him.
That problem he reports is particularly acute when it comes to high-profile positions such as governorships and membership in the U.S. Senate.
Using the struggling post-primary candidacies of Herschel Walker in Georgia and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania as a springboard, Bernstein said extremist candidates who pledge their fealty to the former president have a leg up in the primaries but are likely to go down to defeat in the general election -- and that is compounding the GOP's problems.
As he sees it, mainstream conservatives want nothing to do with supporting Trump's stolen election claims and that means they will become targets to be attacked in Trump's eyes.
"Potentially strong candidates are choosing not to run in part because of what they would need to do to win and because of what they would have to do once elected. Some promising candidates might enter politics to support the kinds of conservative policies that Republicans once espoused," he wrote before suggesting, "Yet not many of those people are willing to instead devote their time to pretending that massive fraud cost Republicans the 2020 presidential election."
Adding that the lure of power that comes with political office is normally all that it takes to enter the political arena, Bernstein pointed out that the prospect of having to deal with the former president is a big red flag.
"There are plenty of politicians who run for office because they crave power. That’s actually healthy for the system; many politicians who achieved important things for the nation had that as their core motivation." he wrote. "But for them a fundamental problem with Donald Trump’s influence in the GOP is the prospect of having to toady to the former president’s whims just to be able to remain in good standing with the party faithful."
"Put it all together, and the current Republican Party has no use for a lot of the traditional reasons people enter politics, so a lot of potentially strong candidates have no use for the party," he noted before adding that "Republicans have delivered a structural advantage to Democrats," which is why their plan to take over the Senate in November seems in trouble.
You can read more here.
'Walking over bodies': Fox News contributor ties 'smell of weed' to homelessness in rant about New York
On Fox Business Thursday, contributor Joe Concha complained about the homeless problem in New York City, connecting it to the "smell of weed" in Central Park. He also berated mayor Eric Adams for lack of progress on crime rates and surging homeless populations.
During a Fox Business segment, guest host Dagan McDowell suggested crime was "soaring" because liberal district attorneys were letting suspects go free with little or no bail requirements.
"We're allowing these people out on the streets and we wonder why there's an exodus going out of New York and out of San Francisco and Los Angeles," he opined. "It is primarily due to crime. It's due to the drug use that we see in the open air."
"I took a walk up to Central Park Yesterday, had some time to kill, I could not escape the smell of weed everywhere!" the pundit exclaimed. "And it's just -- New York is not what it used to be. I know that personally."
"You go through Penn Station when you take a train into this city and you're walking over bodies that you don't know are alive or dead," Concha added. "The homeless are everywhere."
Concha rebuked New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
"Start to do something about it, sir!" he ranted. "Because you're going to lose all that tax revenue as people move more and more to places like Florida, to Kentucky, to Idaho!"
McDowell pushed back on Concha's claims.
"It's not the smell of marijuana that is the problem, it is the fact there was a gunfight in my neighborhood before I was coming to work last week," she said.
In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
To combat the issue, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the Partnership for New York City recently announced the launch of the Homeless Assistance Fund. The funding will provide services and mental health resources from both nonprofit and the private sector to unhoused New Yorkers.
This Fund aims to strengthen the city’s existing homeless outreach initiatives, including Mayor Adams’ Subway Safety Plan, that has connected approximately 2,000 individuals to shelter access since beginning in February.
“When New Yorkers come together to do the right thing, we can make real progress," Mayor Adams said in a statement following the announcement of the new funding. "The Homeless Assistance Fund is a public-private partnership that will continue our work to tackle street homelessness by bringing together more than 60 of New York City’s businesses to offer support, resources, and a path to stability for people experiencing homelessness.”
With respect to the Fox News pundits’ criticism over the “smell of weed,” as of March 2021, it has been legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis for personal use in New York. Adults may smoke or vape cannabis wherever smoking tobacco is allowed under the smoke-free air laws. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s oldest advocacy for unhoused individuals and families, “Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing" — not drug use.
With David Edwards.