Lara Logan’s flair for the hyperbole has gotten her dumped by her talent agency. UTA has dropped the former “60 Minutes” correspondent after she compared Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, to Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed medical experiments on Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. She was let go over her “highly offensive” and “unacceptable” comments, Mediaite reported Monday. Logan, who has a show on Fox Nation, “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” was appearing as a guest on “Fox News Primetime” on Nov. 29 when she made the comparison. “This is what people say ...
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By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nordia Tompkins was serving a seven-year sentence for a drug charge in June 2020 when the U.S. federal Bureau of Prisons released her to home confinement under the terms of a law passed by Congress to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The 37-year-old mother of two began settling back into her life north of New York City, pursuing studies for a new career in cosmetology. That changed a year later when she stopped at a store to fix her broken cell phone, an errand the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ruled violated the terms of her confinement, though Tompkins said she told officials of her plans.
She was ordered back to prison.
"I got my daughter out of foster care back into my care. I got a job and I re-enrolled in school," she wrote to the BOP. "I have worked so hard to settle back into society the right way."
Tompkins is one of three federal inmates asking courts to release them back to home confinement under the terms of the 2020 Cares Act that authorized their release. They contend the New York halfway house run by GEO Group sent them back to prison over minor infractions without any chance to contest the allegations.
The outcome of the three cases could open the door for future legal challenges by more than 300 other inmates whose home confinement was revoked over minor infractions, lawyers involved in the cases said.
A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment beyond the department's court filings in the case, while a GEO Group spokesperson referred questions to the BOP.
Prosecutors fighting to keep Tompkins locked up said she and similarly situated inmates have "no protected liberty interest" and that BOP's placement decisions are "expressly insulated from judicial review."
But attorneys for Tompkins and two other women who were sent back to prison after testing positive one time each for marijuana said the BOP's disciplinary approach is at odds with the Biden's administration's goal of lowering mass incarceration and reducing sentences for low-level offenders.
"These cases could help shed light on the black box of how the BOP goes about deciding who to re-imprison, and a favorable ruling could certainly lead to additional litigation around the country," said Marisol Orihuela, a Yale University law professor who along with Sarah Russell of Quinnipiac University represents Tompkins and the two other women.
'THAT'S NOT AMERICA'
More than 10,000 inmates were released to home confinement under terms of the law, according to the BOP.
As of May 3, 406 inmates released home under the law were returned to prison, 199 due to alcohol or drug violations and another 132 for various administrative violations, the BOP said.
Virginia Lallave and Eva Cardoza, also represented by Orihuela and Russell, both reside in New York, where marijuana is legal under state law.
Lallave, who is waiting for a court ruling, was permitted by a judge to stay home while her case is reviewed. Prosecutors said in court filings that she received advanced notice of the disciplinary charges against her.
Cardoza, who has a teenage daughter and helps care for her fiance's four children, has been back behind bars since June 2021.
Her fiance, Eric Alvarez, said she had not used marijuana, and that he believes the test was inaccurate, but that she was not given a chance to contest it.
"Her due process was violated. She wasn't even given an opportunity to go to a hearing or to contest what she was being accused of," Alvarez said in a phone interview. "That's not America."
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Berkrot)
In a biting editorial on Monday morning, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal called out politicians and conservative media personalities for promoting the conspiratorial "white replacement theory" that was at the heart of the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, New York on Saturday.
As Yahoo News reports, a manifesto reportedly written by the 18-year-old gunman who murdered ten and wounded three at a grocery store in Buffalo "includes dozens of pages antisemitic and racist memes, repeatedly citing the racist 'great replacement' conspiracy theory frequently pushed by white supremacists, which falsely claims white people are being 'replaced' in America as part of an elaborate Jewish conspiracy theory."
According to the WSJ editors, "We’ll learn more about the shooter’s motives and mindset, but it’s worth noting a report in the Buffalo News that an official in the school Mr. Gendron attended in Conklin, N.Y., said he had spoken of wanting to go on a shooting spree. He fits the profile of other young men who become mass shooters at an age when mental illness often strikes. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill isn’t easy, but it’s one form of gun control that would do some good."
Moving past the mental illness element, the editors said blame must also be placed upon those whose words are writings may have influenced the shooter.
Without naming any media personalities or lawmakers, the editors wrote, "There’s no doubt that a racist subculture exists in America and is spread on social media. Politicians and media figures have an obligation to condemn it and such conspiratorial notions as 'white replacement theory.'"
The editors' comments echo conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp, who slammed politicians who traffic in conspiracy theories about white Americans being "replaced."
"The next consequence is those people go out and vote for characters who believe in that, folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert or name your nationalist or anti-Semitic or conspiracy theorist, those people get elevated," she said Monday. "They feel empowered to run because this garbage that was once disqualifying has been so mainstreamed by political leaders and far right-wing media that they are not wearing hoods anymore. They are not hiding in the basement, they are out in the open talking about this, you know, openly as if it's no big deal."
US Vice President Kamala Harris was Monday leading a high-level delegation to meet the United Arab Emirates' new president, who takes over after his half-brother's death, following months of strained ties between Washington and the oil-rich Gulf state.
Harris, whose team includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and CIA chief William Burns, is heading the strongest delegation to visit UAE since President Joe Biden took office last year.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan or "MBZ", for years the de facto ruler, was chosen as president on Saturday, a day after the death of his long-ailing half-brother, former leader Sheikh Khalifa.
"The United States takes quite seriously the strength of our relationship and partnership with UAE," Harris said before her departure to the capital Abu Dhabi.
"We are going there to express our condolences, but also as an expression of our commitment to the strength of that relationship and continuing to strengthen that relationship."
World leaders have flocked to Abu Dhabi to pay their respects, demonstrating the rising prominence of the major oil exporter after the decline of some of the Middle East's traditional powers.
The high-level US visit appears intended to repair a relationship that has deteriorated since Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House in January 2021.
Ties have soured over issues including Abu Dhabi's refusal to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Washington's reopening of nuclear talks with Iran, long accused by Gulf states of creating regional chaos.
Yousef al-Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador to the US, admitted in March that relations were going through a "stress test".
Blinken, who arrived in Abu Dhabi early Monday morning ahead of the delegation, offered his "warm congratulations" to Sheikh Mohamed on becoming president.
"He will carry on the legacy of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. I look forward to continuing our two peoples' close cooperation," Blinken tweeted on Sunday.
John Kerry, the special presidential envoy for climate, and Brett McGurk, the National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, are also in the US team.
The UAE hosts US troops and has been a strategic partner to Washington for decades, but it has recently also grown closer to Russia economically and politically.
After a period of cozier ties under Trump, Biden shifted to a tougher stance on human rights and arms deals.
Relations were further strained when the UAE abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution demanding a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine.
Abu Dhabi has also shown no interest in increasing oil production after prices were sent sky-rocketing by the Russian invasion.
It has repeatedly urged Washington to "support re-designating" Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels as a "foreign terrorist organization" -- a label imposed by Trump but rescinded by the Biden administration.
The UAE is part of the Saudi-led military coalition that has been fighting for Yemen's internationally recognized government in a civil war against the Huthis since 2015.
In December, the UAE threatened to scrap its mega-purchase of US F-35 fighter jets, protesting stringent conditions set by Washington.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, inspects the open cockpit of an F-35 Lightning II multirole combat aircraft during the 2021 Dubai Airshow in the Gulf emirate on November 14, 2021 Giuseppe CACACE AFP/File
In January, three oil workers were killed in a Huthi drone and missile attack on Abu Dhabi. US forces based there fired Patriot interceptors to help thwart a further attack.
© 2022 AFP