The soaring number of children contracting COVID-19 is straining Georgia's pediatric health care system. More kids than ever before are suffering from coronavirus cases so severe that they need to be hospitalized, filling pediatric wards at a time when physicians are also contending with an unseasonable surge of other respiratory viruses. Many area children's hospitals are reporting that more than three-quarters of their ICU beds are occupied — in some places, it's closer to 90%. While ER doctors and pediatric specialists interviewed this week say they're able to keep up with cases for now, ma...
Donald Trump faces even more legal challenges than ever, but he's lost some of his high-profile lawyers since leaving the White House.
The relatively unknown attorney Alina Habba filed Trump's lawsuit against his niece Mary and the New York Times, rather than some of the more familiar names -- most notably the Gawker-killing celebrity lawyer Charles Harder -- the former president has relied on in recent years, reported The Daily Beast.
"I'm not allowed to discuss attorney-client matters," Harder told the website, "so I cannot respond except to ask who is saying this because they are probably making it up."
Two sources told The Daily Beast that Trump wanted to fire Harder earlier this year because he didn't have enough recent "wins," despite the fees he'd paid, and the twice-impeached one-term president also parted ways with longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who's been representing him in a dispute with former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos.
Jay Sekulow, the head of the conservative American Center for Law & Justice who worked alongside Trump through his presidency, has also stepped away from representing the former president.
"My responsibilities on the constitutional issues, as they pertain to former President Trump, have been concluded," Sekulow told The Daily Beast.
Marc Mukasey, who has been described as "the lawyer at the center of the Trump universe, raised eyebrows in the legal world when he recently withdrew himself from representing Trump in the New York criminal investigations.
"Withdrawing as defense counsel in an ongoing investigation isn't normal," said Tristan Snell, who successfully prosecuted the Trump University scandal.
'Very credible' allegations against Matt Gaetz were divulged to Dilbert cartoonist before they became public: report
Three days before news broke of a child sex-abuse investigation involving Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, Trump-loving Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams and an employee of the Israeli consulate began a text-message exchange concerning the FBI probe.
In a bizarre, largely overlooked aspect of the ongoing Gaetz investigation and scandal, Adams and Jake Novak, broadcast media director of the Consulate General of Israel in New York, had apparently become friends on social media, Politico reported Thursday.
"Scoop I can't report: Rep. Gaetz is the subject of a sex with minor…. I trust the source. Charges/accusations apparently 'very credible'," Novak wrote to Adams, adding "told ya" after news of the investigation broke, and decrying claims from Gaetz's father alleging that he and his son had become victims of an "extortion" plot.
Adams responded by repeatedly casting doubt on the allegations against Gaetz and said "the extortion counterclaim sounds credible. Has witnesses apparently."
Novak then suggested he was personally involved in an effort to get $25 million out of Gaetz's father, Don Gaetz, to help free Bob Levinson, an American hostage in Iran whom most intelligence officials believe is dead.
"The backstory is this is screwing up my efforts to free Bob Levinson," Novak wrote. "I've got a commando team leader friend of mine nervously waiting for wire transfers to clear."
Novak later told Adams that "the real documents do not extort. And we only asked for $25 million as an estimate at first. We came way down."
Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Stephen Alford on charges that he tried to defraud Gaetz's father. Alford, a Florida developer, allegedly told Don Gaetz that in return for financing the Levinson rescue effort, he would use his influence to ensure the congressman "receives a presidential pardon, thus alleviating all his legal issues."
"The allegation that a foreign official may be involved in a shakedown scheme of a U.S. congressman — a highly unusual development in its own right — could help provide a fuller picture of a scandal that has captivated the nation's capital but where many pieces are still unknown," Politico reported, adding that while the Israeli official's apparent involvement "doesn't speak to Gaetz' guilt or innocence," it is "concerning."
Ronald E. Neumann, a career former ambassador and president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, told the site: "It's certainly problematic, if it's true. Anytime you have criminal or potential criminal behavior, and somebody who's part of a foreign embassy or consulate, it's a problem."
A bipartisan effort spurred by the death of George Floyd to pass a police reform bill in Congress has collapsed, US lawmakers said Wednesday, in a setback for President Joe Biden.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act was approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in March but has been stalled in the Senate.
Democratic and Republican senators had been seeking to hammer out a compromise and bring the bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote but they said on Wednesday that they have given up.
The failure of the negotiations is a blow to Biden, who was elected last year with strong African-American support and has pledged to make police reform a priority of his administration.
Biden accused Republicans of rejecting even "modest reforms" while "refusing to take action on key issues that many in law enforcement were willing to address."
"I still hope to sign into law a comprehensive and meaningful police reform bill that honors the name and memory of George Floyd, because we need legislation to ensure lasting and meaningful change," he said in a statement.
Biden said the White House will consult with members of Congress, law enforcement, civil rights groups and victims' families to "define a path forward," including potential executive actions.
Democratic Senator Cory Booker had been engaged in months of negotiations with Republican Senator Tim Scott in a bid to reach agreement on the legislation.
"It remains out of reach right now," Booker said. "The time has come to explore all other options to achieve meaningful and common sense policing reform."
Scott said the two sides had reached agreement on numerous areas including banning chokeholds, limiting the transfer of military equipment to police and increased mental health resources.
"Democrats said no because they could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement," he said, adding that they have "squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform."
The House bill was named after George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American man who was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer in May 2020, sparking protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the United States.
Ben Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, expressed "extreme disappointment."
"In the last year and a half, we have witnessed hundreds of thousands of Americans urging lawmakers to bring desperately needed change to policing in this country so there can be greater accountability, transparency, and ultimately trust in policing," Crump said.
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP civil rights organization, said it was "disheartening that there is a lack of courage and bravery to bring about true reform."
"But one thing is clear, the battle for police reform is far from over," Johnson said. "It will remain a top priority for us because innocent lives are at stake."
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month