TIME Crime

Attorney General Holder Meets With Community Leaders in Ferguson

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US Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a Naturalization Ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, July 22, 2014. Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

Amid continuing street protests over the death of Michael Brown

Attorney General Eric Holder met with students, community leaders and police officials in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday, where daytime demonstrations have turned into nightly street violence since a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager 11 days ago.

Holder’s visit comes amid investigations into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The circumstances leading up to Brown’s death remain unclear, but Holder told community leaders that the nation’s “most experienced agents and prosecutors” are on the case.

The Attorney General also met Wednesday with students at a St. Louis Community College, including Molyric Welch, whose brother died of cardiac arrest at the age of 31 after allegedly being tasered by Ferguson police. “A lot has happened here,” Welch said. “[Holder] promised things were going to change.”

Holder, who was joined in Ferguson by Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran and other Justice Department officials, expressed gratitude to those working in the area to keep tensions cool amid the daily protests. During brief statements on Wednesday, Holder said he understands the mistrust for law enforcement the people of Ferguson have expressed while also sharing personal interactions he has had with officers throughout his life.

“We have seen a great deal of progress over the years. But we also see problems and these problems stem from mistrust and mutual suspicion,” Holder said. “I understand that mistrust. I am the Attorney General of the United States. But I am also a black man.”

Holder said while the dialogue that has started as a result of the uprising in Ferguson is important, there remains a need for “action to change things in this country.”

“Dialogue is important,” he added. “But it can’t simply be that we have a conversation that begins based on what happens on August 9, and ends sometime in December, and nothing happens. The same kid who got stopped on the New Jersey freeway is now the Attorney General of the United States. This country is capable of change. But change doesn’t happen by itself.”

Holder also met with Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is now heading up Ferguson police operations, and Justice Department staffers also plan to meet with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, members of the U.S. attorney’s office, and prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division to discuss the investigation. Holder’s arrival in Ferugson comes just days after a Monday statement in which he called for patience as officials work to gather all the facts of the case.

“The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me,” Holder said at the time. “No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation. This is a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond.”

In an open letter published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, Holder made a pledge to the people of Ferguson that the “investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent.”

TIME 2014 Election

Hawaii Democratic Senate Primary Finally Ends As Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Concedes

Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, left, and a group of supporters do some last minute campaigning near the polling place on Aug. 15, 2014, in Pahoa, Hawaii. Marco Garcia—AP

Hanabusa announced Tuesday she will not challenge the results of the Senate primary in court

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa will not challenge the results of the close primary election between her and Sen. Brian Schatz, a race that came to an end an entire week after the originally scheduled primary.

In a statement published by several media outlets in Hawaii, Hanabusa said ,”though I will not be challenging the results of this election, I remain very concerned about the public’s confidence and trust in our election process.”

“I ask former colleagues and friends in the Hawaii State Legislature to explore what is necessary to ensure the people that their vote truly counts,” the statement continues. “I heard from many who feel strongly that they were disenfranchised from the voting process this election and I stand ready to support any collaborative effort to have those voices heard,” Hanabusa says.

Late last Friday the Associated Press called the race for Schatz, who beat Hanabusa by 1,769 votes following a rare one-day vote in two precincts in the rural Puna district of the Big Island of Hawaii. The district was ravaged by Tropical Storm Iselle, which downed trees and caused widespread power outages that kept voters from making it to the polls on Aug. 9.

Before last week’s election, Hanabusa filed a legal request to delay the election by a week so residents of Puna could focus on recovering from the storm, but a Hawaii judge denied the request. In interviews following the election, Hanabusa hinted that she might challenge the election in court.

On Tuesday, Schatz issued a statement congratulating Rep. Hanabusa for “waging a tough and spirited battle.”

“This election has been extraordinary from beginning to end. It took heart, teamwork and a belief that together we are making a real difference for our state and our country,” Schatz’s statement reads. “Now it is time for us to unite as we move forward to the general election.”

The election has been one of the toughest Democratic primaries this election season, but Schatz is expected to win the general election come November. A Republican hasn’t won a Senate election in Hawaii since 1970. Schatz and many Democrats believe his progressive stance, particularly his support for expanding Social Security, have and will carry him to victory in the general election.

TIME 2014 Election

Kentucky Democrat Got Discounted Bus Rental from Dad, Report Says

A Politico report suggests Alison Lundergan Grimes' bus may be being rented at a rate below market value

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Senate candidate who hopes to unseat incumbent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, came under fire on Tuesday after a report in Politico suggested her father may be renting out a 45-foot campaign bus to the candidate at a discounted price.

If true, the rented bus could spell trouble for Grimes with the Federal Election Commission. If the contribution was found to be in violation of federal law that prohibits accepting goods and services at prices below market value, her campaign would have to pay a hefty fine.

Politico’s analysis found that Grimes’s campaign paid about $456 a day for a bus used between last August and June owned by a company belonging to Jerry Lundergan, Grimes’ well-connected dad. Politico found four bus companies that typically charge between $1,500 and $2,000 a day to rent similar buses, and reported Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign paid about $2,200 a day to rent a similar bus earlier this summer.

In a statement sent to TIME on Tuesday, Grimes’ campaign lawyer Marc Elias denied the campaign had received a sweetheart deal for the bus. “The campaign obtained quotes for the rental cost of a comparable vehicle from other providers in the Kentucky and regional market, and arrived at a reasonable reimbursement cost. We have reviewed the campaign’s methodology and agree that it complies with the applicable rules.”

The McConnell campaign jumped at the opportunity to criticize Grimes over Politico‘s allegations. “The revelation that Alison Lundergan Grimes has potentially accepted large, illegal gifts and services from her father, Jerry Lundergan’s corporate interests is shocking and should set off warning bells for all Kentuckians concerned about ethics in public office,” McConnell’s campaign manager Jesse Benton said.

A Real Clear Politics analysis considers the Kentucky senate race a toss-up, with McConnell currently leading Grimes by 3 points.

TIME Election 2014

Democrats Out Fundraise Republicans in July

The DCCC and DSCC boast high fundraising totals for July

Both the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees say they had their best July ever, out-raising Republicans by millions with only a couple weeks left before the election. Democrats have a rocky road ahead of them this election, with tough races in at least nine states that could swing either way this November.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $11.5 million in July, $3.5 million more than the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) $8 million. The DCCC has $56.7 million on hand, while the NRCC has a reported $48 million on hand as of Monday.

The main driver of the DCCC’s success has been those alarming DCCC fundraising emails, which brought in $7 million in online donations in July. Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have also been on a fundraising blitz, hosting and attending events around the country. President Obama set to attend his tenth DCCC event in Rhode Island later in August.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also boasts similar fundraising results, raising $7.7 million this July. The DSCC has a reported $32 million on hand for the ongoing battle to maintain control of the Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $5.5 million in July and has a reported $26.6 million on hand. With 46 seats likely to stay Republican next cycle and toss up elections in a handful of consistently red states, regardless of the end-of-summer fundraising boost, Democrats face a tough road ahead of November’s election.

TIME celebrity

Watch Amy Schumer’s Delightfully Weird and Disgusting ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge

Spoiler: the comedian did not dump ice a bucket of ice on herself

Just when the ALS ice-bucket challenge videos were getting monotonous, comedian Amy Schumer stepped in to spice things up. The Comedy Central star accepted the ALS ice-bucket challenge late Sunday, but instead of dumping a bucket of ice-cold water on herself in the name of charity, Schumer took an, uh, alternative approach.

Extra points for Schumer’s attire — can’t think of a more appropriate outfit to wear while dumping a can of chunky liquid on one’s head than granny panties.

The 33-year-old is just the latest celebrity to take on the challenge of dumping a bucket of liquid on their heads to raise awareness and funds for research on Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS. So far, the ice bucket challenge has raised more than $5 million.

 

 

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Likes to Stay in the ‘Presidential Suite’ When She Travels

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 30, 2014
Hillary Clinton is seen arriving at The Carlyle Hotel on July 30, 2014 in New York City. Alessio Botticelli—GC Images/Getty Images

Amid recent scrutiny of high speaking fees

Hillary Clinton isn’t President yet, but she like staying in the presidential suite of the luxury hotels she frequents, according to a new report.

The former Secretary of State’s team lays out her travel preferences in documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review Journal ahead of a scheduled October fundraiser for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Foundation. The documents also reveal that Clinton, who is mulling a potential 2016 presidential bid, has been guaranteed a $225,000 speaker’s fee for the event. Clinton has been under scrutiny in recent months for her lucrative speaking fees.

When she travels, the Review Journal reports, Clinton also requests that travel costs be included and that she have access to a round-trip chartered jet for her and much of her staff. She typically wants a Gulfstream 450 jet or something larger, a stay in the presidential suite of a hotel of her choice, and nearby accommodations and meals for her staff.

[Las Vegas Review Journal]

TIME celebrities

Watch Lady Gaga Take the Ice Bucket Challenge Without Saying a Word

She didn't even flinch

Lady Gaga accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and completed the task of dumping a bucket of freezing water on her head without saying a word. She didn’t even flinch.

In the video posted to her Instagram feed on Monday, Gaga nearly out Gaga’s herself, sitting cross-legged in a black leotard with matching black lipstick, slowly raising a silver bucket over her head. Her hashtags: #SharePainShowCompassion.

As a part of the challenge, which has raised over $5 million for research into ALS, (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), those nominated can either agree to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves within 24-hours or donate a $100 to research.

Your move, Adele, Michael Rapino, Vincent Herbert, and Arthur Fogel or, as Gaga said #RichPeople.

TIME apps

Teenage Kid Ignoring Your Calls? There’s an App for That

iphone teenager
Getty Images

The "Ignore No More" application locks teens Android phones until they call mom or dad back

A New York mom got so sick of her teen kids ignoring her calls she created an app so they couldn’t.

Sharon Standifir, the creator of the “Ignore No More” smartphone application, told CBS New York that after repeatedly having her calls to her teens go unanswered, she researched how to develop an application that would shut their phones down until they called her back.

And so, that’s what she created after working with developers for months. The $1.99 app, which is currently only available for download on Android phones, allows parents lock their kids’ phones from a separate device, forcing them to call a list of select numbers (including 911) in order to gain access to the device.

“No calls to friends, no text, no games, notta’ until they call you back. When they do, you can unlock their phone if you choose to do so,” reads the application’s website. “How’s that for parental control?”

 

TIME Crime

Ohio Morgue Worker Admits to Having Sex with 100 Corpses

Mortician covering dead body in morgue
fstop123/Getty Images

"I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down"

An Ohio county where a man admitted to having sex with corpses while employed at the morgue can be held liable for his actions, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Kenneth Douglas, who worked night shifts at the Hamilton County morgue from 1976 until 1992, said in a deposition he had sex with up to 100 dead bodies, often while drunk or high on drugs, WCPO Cincinnati reports. “I would just get on top of them and pull my pants down,” Douglas said.

Families of the victims sued the county in 2012, after Douglas was charged and convicted in three cases of gross abuse of a corpse. Douglas’ DNA was discovered in 2008 on the body of Karen Range, who was 19 when she died in 1992. Douglas reportedly had sex with Range, and other victims, while the bodies were awaiting autopsy.

The county maintains it can’t be held accountable for the actions of its employees. But on Friday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a jury could find the county’s former coroner and morgue “recklessly and wantonly” neglected to supervise Douglas, WCPO reports. This is the fourth lawsuit Hamilton County has faced for allegedly improperly handling corpses.

A key piece of evidence was Douglas’ wife’s testimony that when she called to report her husband coming home from work smelling like sex and alcohol, she was told “whatever happens on county property, in county time, is county business.”

[WCPO Cincinnati]

TIME Election 2014

Sen. Brian Schatz Secures Primary Win in Hawaii

US Sen. Brian Schatz celebrates after defeating fellow Democrat Colleen Hanabusa to retain his senate seat on Aug. 15, 2014 in Hilo, Hawaii.
US Sen. Brian Schatz celebrates after defeating fellow Democrat Colleen Hanabusa to retain his senate seat on Aug. 15, 2014 in Hilo, Hawaii. Marco Garcia—AP

The incumbent won the Democratic primary by a little over 1,700 votes

Sen. Brian Schatz won the Hawaii Senate primary on Friday, following a rare one-day vote in a rural district.

The Associated Press declared a winner at 2:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, which was about 8:30 p.m. local time; polls closed at 7p.m. The Hawaii office of elections reported a close race, with Schatz beating Hanabusa by only 1,769 votes. Schatz outspent Hanabusa by $1.5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and secured the support of both President Obama and the Democrats’ progressive faction, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“This was obviously an extremely hard-fought race. But we’re gratified that the voters heard our message and recognized that I’ve been working hard for the people of Hawaii,” Schatz told the Associated Press on Friday.

Schatz’s win brings one of the nation’s most tense Senate primary races to a close nearly one week after the official primary election was held. Voters in the district of Puna on Hawaii’s Big Island who were prevented from casting ballots due to damage from a tropical storm were the deciding factor in the Senate race and both candidates focused their attention on the residents throughout the week.

In an interview with a local news station following the election, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she thought the influence of mainland groups had a huge impact on this election.

“When you have a lot of mainland interest coming in and they can pour in a lot of money—I think that did make a difference in this election,” Hanabusa told KHON2 News. But, she added, “the people still voted they way they wanted to vote.”

Hanabusa did not say whether she would challenge the results, which she said has been requested due to the election’s low turnout. Residents of Puna are still reeling from Tropical Storm Iselle—according to Hawaii Electric Light, some 3,800 customers are still without power.

The win also essentially secures the incumbent’s seat in Senate—a Republican hasn’t been elected to the Senate from Hawaii since 1970.

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