• World
    Los Angeles Times Opinion

    Op-Ed: U.S. leaders knew we didn't have to drop atomic bombs on Japan to win the war. We did it anyway

    We've been taught that the U.S. had to drop atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. Historical evidence shows Japan would have surrendered anyway.

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  • Politics
    Refinery29

    This Is What Happens If The Trump Administration Is Guilty Of Violating The Hatch Act

    The Hatch Act is suddenly on everyone’s radar after news broke that the Trump administration plans to use the White House South Lawn for President Donald Trump’s nationally televised nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention later this month. Twitter lit up in response citing provisions in the Hatch Act that would be broken should Trump stage the high-profile campaign event on government property.But what is the Hatch Act, and why is the Trump administration being accused of violating it? Put simply, the Hatch Act says that if you work for a federal agency, you cannot use the platform of your office, which is funded by taxpayers, to advocate for your personal political beliefs. The Hatch Act became law in 1939 to protect federal workers from outside pressures to participate in a specific political activity or risk losing their job. The legislation came about after Democratic officials used federal workers in the Works Progress Administration to help them campaign in swing states. Its purpose is to separate public office from politics.The philosophy behind the Hatch Act is to prevent federal employees from engaging in political activity while on the job which may sound confusing since they, you know, work in politics; however, the lines are made pretty clear. Regulations state that federal employees are barred from “using his or her official title while participating in political activity” or “using his or her authority to coerce any person to participate in political activity.” Political activity in this instance is considered activities directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate, or partisan political group. In this particular instance, this would be referring to the success of Trump’s reelection campaign.But the question remains: What happens to the president and his administration if they engage in this kind of activity? There are some notable exceptions to the Hatch Act. Unless involving criminal activity, the president and vice president are technically exempt from these restrictions. The only instance in which the Hatch Act applies directly to the president – thanks to a 1993 amendment to the Act – is if they use their position to intimidate, threaten, or coerce a federal employee. However, this doesn’t make the talk on Twitter irrelevant. “He may not be violating the Hatch Act, but he is ordering other people to,” Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer, told the Washington Post. “At a certain point you are using White House resources, and that is a violation of the Hatch Act.”With criminal activity being the exception, Hatch Act violations don’t involve charges or possible jail time. The Office of Special Counsel, a special body set up just for the Hatch Act, investigates and determines whether a violation has occurred. It can be a career-ending error. The decision of whether to punish a person found violating the Act falls on the boss. If they decide not to do anything about it, the investigation ends there. A prime example is White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. She has violated the Hatch Act numerous times but avoids consequences despite the Office of Special Counsel advising that she be removed from her position.In the case of using the White House South Lawn, it could be considered a misuse of congressionally appropriated funds for political gain which would be criminally enforceable. While the Hatch Act violations would fall on Republican National Convention planners and Trump administration employees rather than Trump, misuse of funds could reach Trump. Former vice president Joe Biden has given mixed signals as to whether he would pursue Trump and his allies in investigations should he become president. The statute of limitations for misusing funds would not have run out in 2021, but Biden made it clear he wouldn’t involve himself in Justice Department decisions. “In terms of having the Justice Department go look at an individual or whatever, the Justice Department is not my lawyer,” Biden said in a May interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Trump's Latest Interview Was Full Of False ClaimsTrump's Hypocrisy On Schools Reopening This FallWhy Trump Is REALLY Trying To Ban TikTok

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  • U.S.
    The Guardian

    Husband of LA district attorney charged after pointing gun at Black Lives Matter protesters

    David Lacey, whose wife Jackie Lacey is running for re-election, has been charged with multiple firearm assaults The husband of the Los Angeles district attorney has been charged with multiple firearm assaults after he pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter activists and said, “I will shoot you.”David Lacey, whose wife Jackie Lacey is the elected prosecutor currently running for re-election, is facing three misdemeanor charges for pointing his firearm at three organizers who were protesting outside their house on 2 March, the day before the primary election. The charges come from the state attorney general’s office.The incident was captured on video and showed David Lacey opening his door and threatening the demonstrators, saying, “Get off of my porch. I will shoot you … I don’t care who you are … We’re calling the police right now.” He appeared to have his finger on the trigger.Close to the door was Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter Los Angeles leader, who said on the video: “He pulled a gun and pointed it at my chest.”Abdullah, who has been protesting against Jackie Lacey for years over her refusal to prosecute officers who kill civilians, told the Guardian on Tuesday that she was surprised to learn of the charges from the media, and said she had not had any contact with the attorney general or the district attorney.She also pointed out that the charges were misdemeanors and that prosecutors typically file more serious felony charges for firearm threats like the one clearly captured on footage against her.“Had it been anyone else who pointed a gun at someone’s chest, at three people in fact, and said the words, ‘I will shoot you’, we know they’d be getting more than misdemeanors,” said Abdullah, who is also a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State LA. “The system is there to protect themselves.”Samuel Tyre, an attorney for David Lacey, said in an email that his client was “disappointed that the attorney general’s office felt that the conduct at issue amounted to criminal behavior”, adding, “We disagree entirely with their assessment, but we have the utmost faith in the justice system, and we are confident that the correct result will be reached.”Tyre declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but added, “my client’s human instinct is forever and always to protect his wife and his family and to keep them safe from physical harm”.Lacey had promised last fall to meet with Black Lives Matter activists who have long called for her to address police violence, but the meeting never happened, organizers said at the time. Using a tactic that has become common in recent protests, a group of about 30 protesters showed up to Lacey’s Granada Hills home in the early morning. They brought chairs with them saying they were going to hold the community meeting that they had been promised. There were no threats of violence from the demonstrators.Abdullah said it seemed the charges were meant to “placate the community”, adding, “It’s trying to give us the illusion that there is justice.”She also said it had taken time for her to process what happened, though she has continued to be a vocal presence at the demonstrations against police violence in recent months. The incident affected her whole family, she said, noting that her children had to leave their classrooms when it happened: “It’s not only weighed on me.”Hours after the original incident, Jackie Lacey offered a tearful apology to reporters, saying she and her husband were frightened.The DA’s office declined to comment on Tuesday and Lacey’s campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry. Lacey is facing a tough re-election fight in November and has long faced criticism for her handling of killings by police, her aggressive pursuit of the death penalty and other tough-on-crime strategies.

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  • World
    NBC News

    Satellite imagery shows scale of destruction after explosion at Beirut port

    Satellite imagery from Planet Labs, Inc. and Maxar Technologies shows the damage sustained by yesterday’s explosions at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon.

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  • Entertainment
    Yahoo Movies

    'Kindergarten Cop' canceled: Schwarzenegger film criticized for 'romanticizing over-policing,' compared to 'Birth of a Nation'

    "Kindergarten Cop" gets the boot from a Portland drive-in screening series after social media complaints and accusations that it's akin to "Birth of a Nation" and "Gone With the Wind."

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  • Celebrity
    INSIDER

    The story behind the widely-shared photo of a bikini-clad doctor who helped a patient on the brink of death

    Dr. Candice Myhre shared a photo of herself saving someone's life while wearing a bikini to highlight "disgraceful" sexism in medicine.

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  • Politics
    Motley Fool

    Here is One Major Social Security Change Joe Biden Wants to Make

    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has big plans for Social Security. In his recently released economic plan, one of his proposals would change the way Social Security's periodic raises are calculated. Biden's economic plan describes a number of changes to Social Security, but one of the first that's listed is to provide a "benefit plus-up" by "adopting CPI-E for Social Security indexing."

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