TIME States

The Armed Rebellion on a Nevada Cattle Ranch Could Be Just the Start

Protesters gathered at the Bureau of Land Management's base camp, where cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy was being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada, April 12, 2014.
Protesters gathered at the Bureau of Land Management's base camp, where cattle seized from rancher Cliven Bundy was being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada, April 12, 2014. Jim Urquhart—Reuters

The Feds may have set a troubling precedent by allowing a Nevada rancher and his band of armed followers to win a standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The rancher refused to pay more than $1 million in fines for letting his cows graze on government land

It could have been a catastrophe. For several days last week, hundreds of angry protesters faced off with federal workers on an arid ranch near Bunkerville, Nev. Militiamen squatted among the sagebrush and crouched on a highway overpass, cradling guns and issuing barely veiled threats at the government officials massed behind makeshift barricades. The specter of a violent standoff hung over the high desert.

The hair-trigger tension seemed at odds with the arcane origins of the dispute. Twenty years ago, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decided to clear privately owned cattle off this patch of public land to protect the endangered Mojave Desert tortoise. Dozens of ranchers left. Cliven Bundy stayed.

Rancher Cliven Bundy poses at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada, April 11, 2014.
Rancher Cliven Bundy poses at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada, April 11, 2014. Jim Urquhart—Reuters

Bundy, 68, has refused to recognize federal authority over the land, or to pay the feds for allowing his cattle to graze there. Those accumulated fees and fines now total more than $1 million, according to the government. Armed with fresh court orders, the government moved last week to impound a few hundred of the rancher’s cows.

Bundy balked, and the far right-wing media sounded a clarion call for his cause, casting the standoff as a flashpoint in a broader struggle against federal oppression. A cavalry of patriots arrived, bearing weapons and a seemingly bottomless grudge against the government.

On April 12, BLM retreated, abandoning the round-up amid “serious concerns” over the safety of federal employees. The cattle “gather is over,” BLM spokesman Craig Leff says. No shots were fired; no blood was spilled. Bundy declared victory in the Battle of Bunkerville. His supporters festooned a nearby bridge with a hand-lettered sign reading: “The West Has Now Been Won!”

For the government, it is not yet clear what was lost. The decision to de-escalate the situation was a wise one, according to officials familiar with the perils posed by such confrontation. “There was no need to have a Ruby Ridge,” says Patrick Shea, a Utah lawyer and former national director of BLM, invoking the bloody 1992 siege at a remote Idaho cabin, which became a rallying cry for the far right. Shea praises BLM’s new director, Neil Kornze, for defusing the conflict and skirting the specter of violence. There are plenty of ways for the government to recoup the money Bundy owes, Shea says, from placing liens on his property to collecting proceeds when the cattle go to slaughter. When you have been waiting a generation to resolve a dispute, what’s another few weeks?

But prudence may also set a dangerous precedent. Having backed down from one recalcitrant rancher, what does BLM do the next time another refuses to abide by the law? “After 20 years and multiple court orders to remove the trespass cattle, Mr. Bundy owes the American taxpayers in excess of $1 million,” Kornze said in a statement. “The bureau will continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially.” A BLM spokesman would not say what those remedies might be, and declined to make officials available to explain how the agency may treat similar situations in the future.

The government’s legal case against Bundy is strong. It has been winning courtroom battles against the rancher since 1998, and over the past two years has obtained court orders requiring Bundy to remove his cattle from public lands. This month’s roundup was a long-threatened last resort, and Bundy’s success in spurning it could spark copycat rebellions.

“I’m very concerned about that, as I’m sure others are,” says Bob Abbey, a former BLM director and state director for Nevada. Nearly all ranchers whose animals graze on public land are in compliance with federal statutes, Abbey says. But “there always is a chance that someone else may look at what happened with Mr. Bundy and decided to take a similar route.”

Especially since Bundy has become something of a folk hero for people who resent federal control of the old American frontier. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of land, including about 60% of the territory across a swath of 12 Western states. About 85% of the land in Nevada is managed by the feds.

Bundy, whose ancestors have inhabited the disputed land since the 19th century, rejects this arrangement. The rancher, whose family did not respond to multiple interview requests from TIME, says he does not recognize federal authority over Nevada’s public land. “I abide by all state laws,” he said in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times. “But I abide by almost zero federal laws.” He has warned that the impoundment of his cattle would spark a “range war,” and said in a court deposition that he would attempt to block a federal incursion, using “whatever it takes.”

Likeminded libertarians in the West have resurrected the spirit of the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a 1970s-era movement to transfer control of federal lands to the states. Demar Dahl, an Elko County, Nev., commissioner and longtime friend of Bundy, says the rancher is willing to pay the back fees he owes (though both dispute the amount) to the county or to the state, but not the federal government. “He says the federal government doesn’t have the authority to collect the fees,” Dahl says. “You can call him bullheaded. He’s a strong and moral person. He decides what needs to be done and how, and where he stands.”

To Bundy’s supporters, the legal proceedings are nothing but a land grab. And some of them believe government invoked the protection of the desert tortoise as a pretext. This line of thinking holds that Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader whose former aide, Kornze, now runs the BLM, wants to requisition the land so that his son and Chinese investors can build a lucrative solar farm. At the same time, the left sees in the resistance the ubiquitous hand of the Koch brothers, whose main political outfit, Americans for Prosperity, has rallied support for Bundy.

While the protesters have mostly dispersed, the standoff “isn’t over,” Reid declared Monday. And local officials know just how close they crept to a cataclysmic incident. “That was as close to a catastrophe as I think we’re ever going to see happen,” Dahl says.

The high drama seemed to stoke a sense of theatrics in the protesters. At a press conference on April 14, they invoked battles against the British and shouted quotes from the Scottish revolutionary William Wallace, memorialized in the Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart. The men who rode to Bundy’s defense got to play the hero in the movies of their minds; the threat is that the next climax doesn’t have a peaceful ending.

Bundy “would probably rather be a martyr than a profitable rancher,” says Shea, the former BLM director. “Eventually, you have to draw the line. We go through these sad episodes where fanaticism has to be brought under legal control. And inevitably, somebody is killed.”

TIME Crime

Officials Charge Suspect for Dropping Suspicious Bags Near Boston Marathon Finish Line

A policeman stands guard during a ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, on April 15, 2014.
A policeman stands guard during a ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in Boston, on April 15, 2014. Xinhua/SIPA USA

Boston authorities charged a man with disturbing the peace, possessing a hoax device and disorderly conduct after he left two unattended backpacks near the Marathon finish line on Tuesday, a year after twin blasts killed 3 people and injured 260 others

Updated 2:40 a.m. E.T. on Wednesday

Authorities have charged a male suspect with disturbing the peace, possessing a hoax device and disorderly conduct after he left two unattended backpacks near the Boston Marathon finish line Tuesday, the Boston Police Department announced:

Police evacuated the area Tuesday evening, and a bomb squad was called to investigate the scene. According to local news reports, one of the backpacks was allegedly left by a barefoot man shouting “Boston strong” before police removed him from the area.

Police spokesman David Estrada said there did not appear to be any evidence that the bags were explosive or dangerous but that police take reports of unattended bags very seriously, the Boston Globe reports. A nearby train station was also shut down.

The discovery of the bags occurred exactly one year after a bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and injured 264 others.

TIME National Security

NYPD Nixes Muslim Spy Unit

Authorities have ended a widely criticized surveillance initiative that collected details about Muslim communities after a re-evaluation by the city's new police commissioner. The deacde-long program never produced leads about possible terrorist activity

The New York Police Department has shuttered a program designed to spy on Muslim communities, the department announced on Tuesday.

The surveillance initiative, which began in 2003 and was once known as the Demographics Unit, sent detectives into neighborhoods with Muslim populations to eavesdrop on conversations and record detailed information about where and how Muslims spent their time. The decision to end the program signifies a re-evaluation of the department’s post-9/11 intelligence policies by the city’s new police commissioner, William Bratton, the New York Times reports.

The department’s activities attracted both criticism from the FBI and civil rights organizations as well as multiple federal lawsuits.

“The Demographics Unit created psychological warfare in our community,” Linda Sarsour, of the Arab American Association of New York, told the Times. “Those documents, they showed where we live. That’s the café where I eat. That’s where I pray. That’s where I buy my groceries. They were able to see their entire lives on those maps. And it completely messed with the psyche of the community.”

The NYPD has admitted that its tactics never generated a lead about possible terrorist activity.

[NYT]

TIME Military

The Devil Dogs Turn Pavlovian

Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond F. Chandler, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael D. Stevens, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody, testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Personnel at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on April 9, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Marionne T. Mangrum)
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Micheal Barrett testifying before the Senate. Sgt. Marionne T. Mangrum / Marine Corps

Reaction to top Marine's comments show how tough military compensation reform will be

The top enlisted Marine called for a little bit of sacrifice by his fellow devil dogs last week that has set off a firestorm that’s still raging. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., asked Sergeant Major Micheal Barrett what would be the impact of slowing the rate of growth in military compensation. He responded:

Marines don’t run around and ask and what’s on their mind is compensation, benefits or retirement and modernization. That’s not on their minds…Hey, you know what? Out of pocket, you know what, I truly believe it will raise discipline and it’ll raise it because you’ll have better spending habits, you won’t be so wasteful.

The independent Marine Corps Times newspaper lit the fuze with its headline on a story about the decorated combat vet’s comments:

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Barrett: Less pay raises discipline

That led him to issue a clarifying letter:

Recent reporting of my testimony may have left you with a mistaken impression that I don’t care about your quality of life and that I support lower pay for servicemembers. This is not true.

In fact, despite the headline, no one is talking about cutting troops’ pay. But like Pavlov’s dogs—trained to salivate at the ringing of a bell—some troops pounce at any suggestion of scaling back military compensation.

“If you consider the benefits military members exorbitant like the Sgt Maj does that’s your right, bought and paid for with the blood of the millions you think are overpaid,” said one commenter who said he earned $40,000, including combat pay, for the year he spent in Sarajevo during the Balkan wars. “It boggles my mind that anyone can justify that as well compensated considering I was working minimum 13 hr days at that time, living in a shared space with 17 other guys sharing a single bathroom and even in a fairly friendly (as war zones go) environment was shot at twice and almost stepped on a landmine,” he said. “Pardon me if I have a tough time considering that equal to managing a Kinko’s, working as an intern or selling cars.”

“Enlisted troops are rather well compensated for their education/experience level,” a second poster noted. “Not saying they deserve a pay cut by any means, but for someone in their early 20s to gross 45-55 thousand a year is nothing to sneeze at.”

“Enlisted troops are paid better than some civilian counterparts,” a third countered. “But the fact their life is on the line, there isn’t enough pay. If you didn’t serve, shut the heck up!”

A common theme among posts by readers of the Times story is that those who didn’t serve in uniform don’t have the bona fides to discuss military compensation. That, of course, is what has happened on Capitol Hill. With fewer veterans in Congress, lawmakers—perhaps feeling just a tad guilty—routinely have boosted annual military pay raises beyond what their commanders and Pentagon civilians have recommended.

Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he wants to take the $2.1 billion a year saved by modest trims in compensation and invest it in training and weapons. Those are the changes Barrett was discussing. Here’s what Hagel said:

We need some modest adjustments to the growth in pay and benefits…First, we will continue to recommend pay raises. They won’t be substantial as in the past years—as substantial—but they will continue. Second, we will continue subsidizing off-base housing. The 100% benefit of today will be reduced, but only to 95%, and it will be phased in over the next several years. Third, we are not shutting down any commissaries. We recommend gradually phasing out some subsidies, but only for domestic commissaries that are not in remote locations. Fourth, we recommend simplifying and modernizing our three TRICARE programs by merging them into one TRICARE system, with modest increases in co-pays and deductibles for retirees and family members, and encourage using the most affordable means of care. Active-duty personnel will still receive health care that is entirely free.

The firefight suggests just how tough it is going to be to tame military spending. After all, the Marines have the largest share of first-termers among the four services, many of whom stay for only a single four-year hitch before moving on with their lives. If words from the senior enlisted leatherneck can set off such a storm among his troops, it’s likely to be even tougher to convince soldiers, sailors and airmen that they may be forced to relax their webbed belts a little more slowly than they had planned.

But this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The fealty the nation has shown its warriors since 9/11 has put it into this predicament. Granted, it is impossible to place a price on the blood U.S. troops have shed on behalf of the 99% of the citizenry who elected not to serve, nor on the mental wounds more than a decade of war has inflicted on many of them.

But it’s also true that U.S. troops—all volunteers—earn more than 90% of their civilian counterparts with similar education and experience.

“In my 33 years, I have never seen this level of quality of life ever—we have never had it so good,” Barrett told the Senate panel. “If we don’t get a hold of slowing the growth, we will become an entitlements-based, a health-care-provider-based corps, and not a warfighting organization.” Those are words you often hear in private, but rarely out in the open.

In some quarters, the military is increasingly sounding less like a service, and more like a guild.

TIME Race

Hate Crimes May Be Down, But Anti-Semitism Is Still Malignant

Jewish Community Shooting Suspect Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. Appears At Arraignment
Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., appears at his arraignment on capital murder and first-degree murder charges on April 15, 2014 in New Century, Kansas. Getty Images

Experts say Sunday’s shooting spree that left three dead is a reminder that anti-Jewish hate lives on in the U.S.

The killings of three people near Jewish Community Centers in Kansas City on April 13 were senseless, but investigators have gathered the alleged shooter’s intention was clear. The Southern Poverty Law Center said that suspect Frazier Glenn Miller, who went by the alias Frazier Glenn Cross when he was arrested, was a former grand dragon in the Ku Klux Klan and “raging anti-Semite” who spent the past several decades advocating for the extermination of Jews.

Miller spewed hate in over 12,000 posts on the anti-Semitic, white supremacist website the Vanguard News Network, using slurs to refer to Jews and blacks and calling the U.S. federal government the JOG, or the Jewish Occupied Government.

Thankfully, America is not teeming with Frazier Glenn Millers. Hate crime overall is declining in the U.S., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations. In 2012, law enforcement agencies reported 5,796 total hate crime incidents, accounting for 6,718 offenses, down from 6,222 incidents of hate crime and 7,354 offenses in 2011.

But despite that downturn, anti-Semitic sentiments still make up the bulk of religious-bias crimes in the U.S. Nearly 60% of the 1,166 anti-religious hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2012 were anti-Jewish. Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and editor of their journal the Intelligence Report, says Miller’s April 13 shooting spree is a reminder of a minor but notable undercurrent of anti-Semitism in American society.

“Overall the level of anti-Semitism in society in dropping, but there is a significant and scary underworld of people out there who really hate Jews; who see them as the evil behind all other evils,” Potok says. “It is not usually shown to most Americans, but it is steaming right along.”

The SPLC says the election of the nation’s first African American president in 2008 propelled the emergence of hate groups and pro-Patriot groups concerned about the loss of a white majority in America. The center estimates there are 939 neo-Nazi, white nationalist, and black separatist hate groups operating across the country. Though these groups are often associated with anti-black racism, Jack Levin, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University and an expert on hate crimes, says anti-Semitic sentiment is much more prevalent among white supremacists.

“Assault against black Americans, people of color, seems to be more physical and personal,” Levin says, “But if you listen to the ideology of white supremacy you’ll see that Jews are despised much more than blacks are.” Levin says white supremacists see Jewish Americans not only exerting control over the government and the media, but also being aligned with the devil. That sentiment was made clear upon review of some of the messageboard threads on Vanguard News Network, of which Cross was an active participant.

But while anti-Semitic sentiment remains virulent, the Anti-Defamation League, which keeps track of attacks on Jews, says anti-Semitic attacks are down. A 2013 report by the ADL showed there was a slight increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic crimes reported to its call centers in 2013. But, Levin says, acts of violence against Jews are rare. Far more violent attacks are carried out against people based on race and sexual orientation, according to the FBI. Hate crimes against Jews more often involve the desecration of property. According to the ADL report, there were 315 acts of vandalism reported to their call centers in 2013, compared to 31 acts of violence.

The reason? Levin says it’s as simple as hate-mongers having a hard time identifying people based on their religion when they’re not in church. Sadly, the evidence of that was all too clear after Sunday’s shooting. Not one of the three people killed—neither Teresa Lamanno nor Reat Underwood, nor William Corporon—was Jewish.

TIME Gun Control

Florida Bill Would Allow Concealed Weapons Without Permit During Emergencies

A bill that would allow Florida residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit during a state-declared emergency, like a hurricane, passed the state House of Representatives last week. A companion bill is currently in the state Senate

Florida state lawmakers want to let residents carry concealed weapons without a permit during evacuations because of hurricanes and floods, though some law enforcement officials say the idea would create more chaos in already turbulent situations.

A bill introduced by Republican Rep. Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen of Ft. Myers, Fla. would allow legal gun owners who lack concealed carry permits to carry their weapon on their person during evacuations triggered by government-declared states of emergency. Under current law, Florida residents can carry their weapons during an emergency evacuation only if they’re stored in a container or vehicle.

Fitzenhagen told TIME her bill is a common-sense proposal for a state that was hit by nearly half of all hurricanes that have made landfall in the U.S. since 1851 and where nearly 870,000 firearm background checks were performed in 2013 alone. Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement wasn’t able to provide the number of citizens who own a gun or guns but lack a concealed carry permit.

“This bill would allow residents to evacuate as quickly and safely as they can,” Fitzenhagen said. “It provides protection for someone who does not have a concealed weapons permit, but is told they need to evacuate.”

Fitzenhagen’s colleagues agree — her bill passed Florida’s House of Representatives 80-36 last Friday. Among the bill’s other supporters is the National Rifle Association, which has been lobbying for it and other gun bills making their way through the Florida legislature this session.

However, some law enforcement officials are raising questions about Fitzenhagen’s bill. Grady Judd, president of the Florida Sheriff’s Association and a Polk County Sheriff, for example, is concerned that if a person with a gun leaves a jurisdiction where an evacuation has been ordered and enters one where it has not, that person could be subject to arrest.

“Florida stretches from Key West to Pensacola,” Judd said. “What happens when they evacuate from the declared emergency counties? Are you illegally carrying a gun?”

Judd’s group is seeking clarification on that point. Meanwhile, others are concerned unclear language in one provision of Fitzenhagen’s bill could make it legal for citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit during riots. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualitieri told the Miami Herald last week the bill “would give me pause, as sheriff, in declaring a state of emergency.”

“If I know cops would have to deal with god knows what, I now have to worry about making a situation worse,” Gualitieri told the Herald.

Fitzenhagen, however, said Gualitieri’s fears are unfounded.

“We aren’t proposing carrying guns in a riot,” Fitzenhagen said. “Local governments may declare a state of emergency, but residents still must be in the act of evacuating in order for the law to take effect. We’re not simply saying that because there’s a state of emergency people are allowed to walk around with a weapon on them.”

Despite Fitzengaen’s reassurances, the state Senate stripped the unclear riot-related provision from its version of the bill, which has not yet passed. Even still, some Democrats have other concerns about Fitzenhagen’s proposal. Rep. Victor Torres, an Orlando Democrat, told Reuters after the House passed the bill that he’s worried it would allow Floridians to carry weapons into evacuation shelters.

“You are talking about introducing concealed firearms into an environment that is already teeming with tension,” Torres said after the House bill was passed. “I hope that tragedy will not be a byproduct of our decision here today.”

TIME Crime

The KKK Tries to Make a Comeback

Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., also known as F. Glenn Miller, appears at his arraignment on capital murder and first-degree murder charges at the Fred Allenbrand Criminal Justice Complex Adult Detention Center in New Century, Kans., on April 15, 2014.
Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr., also known as F. Glenn Miller, appears at his arraignment on capital murder and first-degree murder charges at the Fred Allenbrand Criminal Justice Complex Adult Detention Center in New Century, Kans., on April 15, 2014. David Eulitt—The Kansas City Star/Reuters

As Frazier Glenn Cross, a former Klan leader, is charged with murder for shootings at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City, the frayed white-supremacy group is trying to attract new members

The Ku Klux Klan was once a major force in America, with a membership of nearly 4 million that regularly included mayors, chiefs of police and other grandees of segregated regions, especially in the South and the Midwest. It’s been decades since the Klan held that sort of mainstream sway, but Sunday’s deadly rampage at two Jewish community facilities in Overland Park, Kans., serves as a reminder that the nation’s best-known white-supremacy organization has not completely disappeared.

Frazier Glenn Cross, who was charged with murder on Tuesday for the shooting death of three people in the Kansas City suburb, is a prominent white supremacist whose long résumé in the movement included founding the Carolina Knights of the KKK. Those sorts of regional groups are the basis of the current Klan, which exists only as a decentralized collection of dozens of regional organizations devoted to white nationalism. The total membership is between 5,000 and 8,000, a fraction of its peak, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups.

“The Klan has become marginalized, even among more mainstream racist groups,” says Paul Ortiz, a professor of history at the University of Florida. “The organization itself is a hodgepodge. It’s no longer a mass movement. There’s no nationally recognized leader, and even the language is much more splintered.”

Even Klan leaders recognize the changed landscape. “I like to think I’m in charge,” says Thomas Robb, the national director for the Knights of the KKK, which was founded by the politician David Duke. “You know how that goes, though.”

As the Klan has become more diffuse, many of the splinter chapters are working hard to bolster their ranks. On April 18, the KKKK, an Arkansas-based branch, plans to launch an online radio station featuring a 24/7 stream of Klan news, updates of classic radio segments and children’s programs. The Maryland-based Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan recently held a rally on the battlefield at Gettysburg to capitalize on the attention generated by 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s famous address.

In North Carolina, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan — the group that was reconstituted from the now defunct Carolina Knights of the KKK founded by Cross — has spent the past few months distributing flyers with messages like “The KKK Wants You!” in parts of Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

The aim of all these efforts is to enlist new devotees to the cause of what they call “white genocide,” a catchall term for the belief that white Christians are being cast to the margins of American society.

Robert Jones, the imperial klaliff of the Loyal White Knights, says the organization has tripled in size since President Obama’s election, though he would not divulge membership totals. That growth is consistent with the uptick in hate groups around the nation, which the SPLC estimates has risen from 602 in 2000 to 939 in 2013. Heidi Beirich, who leads SPLC’s Intelligence Project, says the higher numbers can be traced directly to the 2000 U.S. Census showing that the country would become a majority minority nation by 2043. “They started freaking out,” she says of white-supremacy organizations.

Jones says he kept in touch with Cross and described him as a “good Christian man who spoke out for what he believes in.” He says they last spoke a couple of months ago. “I think he’s just fed up with the way the world’s going. I can see why he is the way he is to an extent. A lot of white people are getting fed up with what people are doing.”

Other Klan leaders were quick to distance their groups from Cross. “He had no credibility in the white-nationalist movement,” says Robb. “There are people who use the name Klan, put on a Klan robe, put some crazy thing on YouTube and say they’re going to exterminate all non-whites. That becomes a statement from the Klan. It’s not. It’s some loser that lives in a little world of Hatesville.”

Robb has led an effort to soften the Klan’s image, changing the name of the organization’s top position from “imperial wizard” to “national director” and requiring members to wear business suits instead of the trademark white robes at Klan functions and public rallies. The Montana-based United Klans of America recently tried a similar tack when it met with the NAACP, likely the first between the two organizations.

The Klan’s messaging may have changed, but experts say the substance remains the same.

“For the most part, they still have nasty websites. They still preach hate about immigrants. They still preach hate about black folks. It’s basically a bunch of squabbling, infighting factions who don’t like each other,” says the SPLC’s Beirich. “Some groups do try to position themselves to say they’re just fighting for white rights, that they’re not racist. But that’s absurd. It’s just racism dressed up in a new language.”

TIME cities

San Francisco Cracks Down on Airbnb ‘Abuses’

Legislation proposed in San Francisco Tuesday could make short-term rentals of an apartment or house in the city more complicated, onerous and expensive, for everyone involved, but proponents say it's intended to take down landlords who abuse the system

Airbnb has been riding high on the unregulated sharing economy, but the Wild West-era is coming to an end in San Francisco. On Tuesday, one of the city’s leading lawmakers was due to announce legislation that would legalize certain short-term rentals, while also making the process much more onerous—for everyone involved.

As the law stands, almost any short-term rental of an apartment in the city is technically illegal and grounds for eviction, a reality that some locals who have lost their apartments know very well. The proposed legislation from Board Supervisor David Chiu would carve out an exception in an existing blanket prohibition, protecting people like the grandma who rents out her one-bedroom to tourists twice a year when she visits the kids in Cleveland.

“There are a variety of laws that are being violated at this time,” Chiu tells TIME. “From the big picture standpoint, our goal is to craft regulations that address this new kind of housing arrangement, not to shut down all activities, but to end abuses that come from it.” The sharing economy has its upsides, he says, especially for “struggling families” who are renting out their apartments to help make ends meet.

The abuses he’s primarily worried about are landlords who are taking apartments off the market or evicting tenants to rent them out full-time using sites like Airbnb and VRBO, as well as renters who are securing “second, third and fourth” apartments to do the same thing. In a city in the midst of an affordability crisis, with a shortage of housing that is sending rents through the roof, Chiu says that making sure “short-term rentals aren’t cannibalizing our housing stock” is paramount.

That’s why the legislation lays down ground rules: Locals can only rent out their primary residences, or the property they live in at least three-quarters of the year (275 days). Anyone who lives in a building with two or more units and wants to list their place on Craigslist or Airbnb will have to apply to be in the city’s registry of approved hosts; to remain in that database, the person will have to keep records showing that their property has insurance coverage of at least $150,000 and that they’ve been collecting taxes from their guests, which go into city coffers just like hotel taxes do. And they’ll have to reapply, paying a $50 application fee, every two years.

Despite the burden of new regulations, Airbnb said it welcomed the move to codify home-sharing in the city’s laws, while acknowledging some “problematic” provisions, such as the city registry it feared would make hosts’ personal data public. “This proposal, while not perfect, brings us closer to transparent, fair, progressive home-sharing rules,” said David Hantman, head of public policy for Airbnb. The company pledged to work with San Francisco legislators in the creation of “fair rules” to govern its use in the city.

It seems like the company is eager to show legislators it wants to play ball. In the weeks before the bill was unveiled, Airbnb announced that it would be asking residents in San Francisco to tack on a 14% tax, which guests would pay and the company will remit to the city. Chiu has been in talks with Airbnb for months and says that getting the company to agree to pay full hotel taxes “hadn’t been the easiest conversation.” The reason cities have hotel taxes is to help support city services that visitors use while they’re in town, and Chiu says that guests staying in someone’s apartment are just as likely to use those services as someone staying in a Holiday Inn.

If the legislation passes, life will also be getting more complicated for the businesses or platforms that facilitate these short-term rentals. These sites will have to notify anyone using the service of the city’s new rules before an apartment can be listed. If a business like Airbnb fails to make the rules clear to anyone using their service in San Francisco County, it can be fined up to $1,000 per day.

The legislation also protects tenants from being evicted right away for listing their apartment on a site like Airbnb. Currently, the law gives a landlord the authority to evict someone if the renter is violating the city’s prohibition against short-term rentals, no questions asked. The new law says that tenants who meet all the criteria and registered with the city would be protected from such evictions. Tenants who hadn’t registered would also get a chance to remedy their behavior (i.e. stop renting out their apartment) on the first offense, assuming their lease is silent on the issue.

But that’s not an easy assumption to make. Chiu’s legislation does not override a lease, so if a resident has signed papers agreeing not to rent out their apartment to anyone else, the new law would likely not protect them from eviction. As landlords get hip to the reality of the sharing economy, it’s possible that many leases will prohibit short-term rentals of any kind.

If the legislation gets approval by the Planning Department and Board of Supervisors, the database could be live before the end of the year. In the meantime, listing an apartment on Airbnb will still be simple, while also technically illegal in most cases. So using the service remains a gamble that could end up with the renter on the street or with the Planning Department levying fines of $250 per day. The department’s enforcement team isn’t trying to track down everyone who uses the site, but they do respond to complaints, often from neighbors who are tired of seeing strangers in their halls.

“We’re trying to craft a solution that recognizes the complexity of the situation,” Chiu says. “The idea of the sharing economy where we’re utilizing underutilized assets, like a spare couch or a spare room … that is activity that I think we should consider. But when you have San Francisco residents who are being permanently displaced to allow for the year-round rental of our housing stock to visitors, that’s a real challenge.”

TIME Transportation

US Airways Investigates How It Accidentally Tweeted a Pornographic Picture to a Customer

AMR-US Airways Washington Focus Opens Airport To New Carriers
A US Airways Group Inc. Embraer SA ERJ-170-100SU plane Bloomberg/Getty Images

The airline answered a complaining customer Monday by tweeting a lewd image

US Airways said Tuesday that it is investigating how the airline, which boasts 475,000 Twitter followers, managed to accidentally tweet out a pornographic image to a unsatisfied customer.

A Twitter user with the alias @ElleRafter was complaining about a flight delay Monday when she received an official response from US Airways that read, ““We welcome feedback, Elle. If your travel is complete, you can detail it here for review and follow-up,” accompanied with a perplexing pornographic image of a women with a plane in between her legs. The tweet was quickly erased and an apology has been retweeted more than 13,000 times in less than a day, but not before the mishap went viral.

A spokesperson for the airline Davien Anderson said that the image had originally be sent to the airline by a different Twitter user. US Airways then went on to capture the tweet and flag it as inappropriate. What’s unclear is how that captured image was then added on to a completely separate tweet. “We deeply regret the mistake and we are currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future,” he said.

Yahoo reports that the very same image was sent to American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, earlier Monday.

TIME justice

Holder Seeks $15 Million to Train Cops for Mass Shootings

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a press conference on April 1, 2014 in New York.
Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a press conference on April 1, 2014 in New York. Andrew Burton—Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Holder has asked Congress to approve $15 million in special funds specifically to train law enforcement personnel for mass shooting situations in the wake of recent shootings at Fort Hood and the Jewish community center near Kansas City

Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress Tuesday to approve $15 million of special funds to help train law enforcement for mass shooting situations.

Holder’s request comes in the wake of recent shootings at Fort Hood in Texas and a Jewish Community Center in Kansas amid a growing sense that mass shootings are on the rise in the United States. Three people were killed in each shooting. Holder said active shooter incidents have tripled in frequency since 2009.

“Today, I am urging Congress to approve President Obama’s request for $15 million for active shooter training and other officer safety initiatives, “ Holder said in a recorded statement. “This critical funding would help the Justice Department ensure that America’s police officers have the tools and guidance they need to effectively respond to active shooter incidents whenever and wherever they arise.”

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