WASHINGTON — Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene walked back some of her most controversial statements, saying she believes that 9/11 happened and that school shootings are real. Although she stopped short of any apologies, she said she hoped she would get a chance to show colleagues and the public who she is. “These were words of the past,” Greene said during Thursday’s floor speech. “These things do not represent me. They do not represent my district. And they do not represent my values.” Democrats, along with 11 Republicans, still moved forward with disciplining the Rome lawmaker for t...
Puerto Rican former Olympic boxer Felix Verdejo pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the killing of his pregnant lover and their unborn child, in a case that has fanned outrage over violence against women in the US territory.
Verdejo entered his plea in a virtual hearing from prison to the charges that include the murder and kidnapping of Keishla Rodriguez, who was pregnant at the time.
Her death sparked protests in Puerto Rico, which declared a state of emergency in January over its deep-rooted problem of violence against women.
A federal complaint obtained by AFP stated that Verdejo, who is married and was also in a relationship with Rodriguez, allegedly kidnapped the victim in April after she told him she was pregnant.
Verdejo asked another person, whom the affidavit refers to as a "witness," for help in terminating Rodriguez's pregnancy.
Verdejo -- who in his career won 27 fights, 17 by knockout -- "punched the victim in the face, and she was injected with a syringe filled with a substance," stated the affidavit by the FBI agent who led the investigation.
According to the affidavit, Verdejo and a witness tied Rodriguez's hands and feet with wire, and tied her to a block.
Then they drove to a lagoon in San Juan, where she was "tossed off the side of the bridge and into the water," the affidavit said.
Verdejo, who is being held without bail, then shot Rodriguez when she was already in the water.
The defendant and his alleged accomplice, Luis Antonio Cadiz, have been charged with carjacking, kidnapping resulting in death and killing of an unborn child.
In another teleconference hearing on Tuesday, Cadiz pleaded not guilty to the charges he shares with Verdejo. He is also being held without bond.
The US territory has seen sustained levels of violence that on average result in one woman's death per week, a 2019 report from non-profit advocacy groups Proyecto Matria and Kilometro Cero said, echoing a problem in other Caribbean and Latin American countries.
On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Lead," correspondent Jamie Gangel broke down the efforts of the Republican Party to claim they are a "big tent" party — even as they prepare to take a vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as conference chair for criticism of former President Donald Trump.
As Gangel noted, Republicans only seem to have this sort of hostility for independent thinkers like Cheney who are challenging the personality cult within the party — and not for far-right extremists like Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) who are mired in scandal and controversy.
"What are top House Republicans saying about the vote?" asked anchor Jake Tapper.
"I thought it was interesting," said Gangel. "We've heard sort of the same banter we heard from Kevin McCarthy, we're still a big tent. Then Scalise, the number two, he said this afternoon, it's not about right or wrong, it's about the focus of our conference. But the reality is that it's only about one thing. It's about Donald Trump's tent. It's only a big tent, I guess, if you're Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz, but not Liz Cheney."
"This is about one thing and one thing only: Donald Trump wants her gone," added Gangel.
Jamie Gangel on upcoming vote to oust Liz Cheney www.youtube.com
Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) isn't welcome in today's Republican Party, according to many in his state. The Arizona leader left office after drawing the ire of former President Donald Trump and was ultimately censured by the state GOP for it.
"It is elementary to have to say this, but we did not become a great nation by believing or espousing nonsense, or by embracing lunacy. And if my party continues down this path, we will not be fit to govern," wrote Flake in a column for the Washington Post Tuesday.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is expected to be removed from the House GOP leadership on Wednesday during the caucus meeting. She'll likely be replaced by less conservative Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) because she supports Trump and Cheney does not.
The Trump problem didn't just happen, Flake argued. It has been coming for years, arguably since the birther conspiracy. That became one of the main reasons that Flake said he couldn't stand with Trump, even if they agreed on policies.
"This allergy to self-evident truth didn't happen all at once, of course," he wrote. "This frog has been boiling for some time now. The Trump period in American life has been a celebration of the unwise and the untrue. From the ugly tolerance of the pernicious falsehood about President Barack Obama's place of birth to the bizarre and fanatical fable about the size of inauguration crowds, to the introduction of the term 'alternative facts' into the American lexicon, the party's steady embrace of dishonesty as a central premise has brought us to this low and dangerous place."
He noted that he expected speaking out would be something that his fellow members would embrace or at the very least accept.
"I remain astonished that so few did. Congresswoman Cheney, I know how alone you must be feeling. But just know that history keeps the score, not Kevin McCarthy or Elise Stefanik," he wrote.
He closed by telling Cheney to hold her head high. Even if she loses, history will prove she fought for democracy when America needed it most.
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