Black lawmakers cite racism as Missouri House crime bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Racial tensions in Mississippi echoed in Missouri on Thursday when black Democratic lawmakers accused the state’s Republican House leadership of racism for shutting down a lawmaker’s speech black and passed a law that the chosen black woman could strip power as a prosecutor in St. Louis.

The Missouri House discord came just days after a similar situation in Mississippi, where black lawmakers denounced the white-majority Republican-led legislature for voting to strip power from local leaders in the predominantly black city of Jackson.

As in Mississippi, the Missouri legislature has a predominantly white Republican majority. Most black lawmakers represent the state’s two largest urban areas, St. Louis and Kansas City.

Missouri Republicans have made tough-on-crime legislation a priority this session, often citing high crime rates in St. Louis as a stumbling block. The House of Representatives passed legislation by a vote of 109 to 35 that would allow Republican Gov. Mike Parson to appoint a special prosecutor to deal with violent crimes in high homicide rate areas like St. Louis. Among other things, the bill would also expand mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders.

State Rep. Kevin Windham, a black Democrat from St. Louis County, read a news article about the situation in Mississippi during the House debate, when some white Republican lawmakers objected that his speech hadn’t nothing to do with the Missouri legislature.

House Speaker Dean Plocher ruled Windham out of order and cut off his speech. Windham’s microphone was off. House Majority Leader Jon Patterson then tabled a motion to cut off debate on the bill, which the Republican majority had voted for – leaving other black Democrats speechless.

Black lawmakers were outraged.

“It’s racist not to let him do the talking,” Rep. Marlene Terry, a St. Louis County Democrat who chairs the Missouri Black Legislative Caucus, told reporters after the debate.

Terry said she calls on black leaders and community activists to come to the Capitol.

“From now on there is nothing more peaceful – more peace – there will be action,” said Terry. “We’ll let them know we’re here to be heard.”

Patterson defended his role in stopping the debate, saying “the conversation has evolved and possibly gotten worse.”

“I’m not talking about any of the experiences that our black lawmakers have had or that white lawmakers have had,” Patterson told The Associated Press. “I can guarantee it played no part in my decision that it was time to vote on the bill.”

In Mississippi, tensions were fueled by two separate votes on Tuesday. The Mississippi Senate voted to create a regional committee to eventually take control of Jackson’s troubled water system, which is now overseen by a federally appointed administrator. Then the House of Representatives voted to create a new court in part of Jackson with judges who would be appointed rather than elected.

Mississippi Democratic Senator John Horhn told a Legislative Black Caucus briefing that the actions “amount to a symbolic beheading of elected black leaders.”

The Missouri debate on Thursday was relatively brief. But the House had spent several hours debating and amending the bill the day before. The final vote was not based solely on racial considerations. Among those who voted for the bill were a black Republican lawmaker from suburban St. Louis and two black Democratic lawmakers from Kansas City. These included Democratic Rep. Mark Sharp, who backed a provision in the bill that would make it a crime to shoot a firearm with criminal negligence within city limits.

Plocher said passing the bill, which now goes to the Republican-led Senate, was an exciting move.

“We are beginning a process to improve the lives of people in Missouri by fighting crime,” Plocher said.

St. Louis District Attorney Kim Gardner’s office released a statement in which he called the legislation a “political stunt.”

Reverend Darryl Gray, a St. Louis pastor and leading racial justice activist, said he and other activists are “discussing ways to challenge this. We are seriously considering civil disobedience in Jefferson City.

Zaki Baruti, president of the St. Louis-based Universal African People’s Organization, described the effort to oust Gardner from power as “a step against democracy.”

Gardner is the first and only black district attorney to be elected in St. Louis, and she has pursued a progressive agenda. She stopped prosecuting low-level marijuana-related crimes, preferring to redirect non-violent first-time offenders to community programs rather than jail, and created a ‘do-not-list’ of dozens of police officers. who are not allowed to take business in it to take office. in part over concerns about possible racial bias among these officers.

“She represents the hopes and aspirations of the black community,” Baruti said. He added, “This is clearly an attack that is happening not just here in St. Louis, but across America, where black people hold key positions of power and carry out actions that some lawmakers believe are wrong. not be able to accept. , they perish powerfully attacked.


Associated Press writer Jim Salter contributed from St. Louis.

David A. Lieb, Associated Press


#Black #lawmakers #cite #racism #Missouri #House #crime #bill

Here’s how much you need to earn to buy a house in major cities across Canada in 2023

With house prices and the cost of living both high in Canada, a new report on housing affordability has pinpointed exactly how much income Canadians will need to be able to afford a home by 2023.

Zoocasa has shared which Canadian cities are the cheapest for individual shoppers and how much you need to earn to be able to afford the purchase, and the numbers are pretty grim.

A new report from the real estate platform has identified the cheapest and most expensive cities in Canada for those looking to buy a single-income home.

Zoocasa then compared the income required to buy a home to the median income of residents between the ages of 25 and 64, and in many markets the gap between house prices and income is dramatic.

What salary do you need to buy a house in Canada?

Not surprisingly, Vancouver is the market with the highest income required to buy an average home, which was priced at $1,114,300 in December 2022.

Residents here would need to earn at least $173,250 a year to afford a home, assuming the buyer would pay a 20% down payment and get a 30-year mortgage with an interest rate of 5.14% .

However, as the Zoocasa report notes, the median income of Vancouver residents, at $56,400, is well below the required level.

Similarly, in Toronto, where residents would need to earn $168,150 to afford a $1,081,400 home, the median income is considerably lower at $62,000.

The prices of single-family homes, townhouses and condos are also prohibitive.

Other markets like Victoria, Hamilton-Burlington, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifx behave quite similarly, where the income required to buy an average home ranges from $77,400 to $135,675, but the median income does not is only between $48,000 and $51. 6000 range.

The cheapest accommodation in Canada

On the other hand, the median income in some markets is more than enough to cover the cost of owning a home.

In Saint John, New Brunswick, where the median home price is $261,300, residents would need to earn at least $40,613 to afford to buy one.

In town, however, the median income is $48,000, which is more than enough to pay for a single-family home and a condo.

Similarly, residents of Regina earn a median income of $58,000, which is a lot considering the income required to buy a $311,500 home is $48,450.

According to Zoocasa, the five most affordable cities in Canada for potential buyers are:

  1. Regina, Saskatchewan
  2. Saint John, New Brunswick
  3. Edmonton, AB
  4. St. John’s, Newfoundland
  5. Winnipeg, Manitoba

When it comes to buying a home, your money goes a lot further in these cities.


#Heres #earn #buy #house #major #cities #Canada

Former Twitter executives tell House committee deleting story from Hunter Biden’s laptop was a ‘mistake’

Former Twitter executives told a House committee on Wednesday that the social media company erred in addressing a controversial New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

The social media platform’s action just weeks before the 2020 election sparked a flurry of backlash from Republicans, who accused Twitter executives of deleting the story to protect the President Joe Biden and his family about what they think after malicious material on a laptop hard drive belonged to the president’s son.

At a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing, Republicans asked the three leaders about the company’s decision to block users from sharing young Biden’s story and suggested that the giant social media, on government orders, took action when it deleted the story.

“America has witnessed a coordinated campaign by social media companies, mainstream media, and the intelligence community to suppress and delegitimize the existence of Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents,” he said. said James Comer, R-Ky., Chairman of the Oversight Committee, in his opening remarks.

Former Twitter employees called the platform’s decision on the story a “mistake”, but denied acting in concert with government officials.

“It was clear to me that, in my judgment at the time, Twitter should not have taken any action to block New York Post reporting,” said Yoel Roth, former chief security and integrity officer. He said the company made the decision because the story of the Biden laptop is reminiscent of the 2016 Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee.

Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer, echoed Roth saying that Twitter admitted “its initial action was wrong” and changed its policy within 24 hours.

Vijaya Gadde, former legal director of Twitter, speaks during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on Twitter’s handling of a 2020 New York Post article about Hunter Biden and his laptop on 8 February 2023 in Washington, DC, excl.

Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

“The New York Post chose not to remove its original tweets, so after two weeks Twitter made an exception to retroactively apply the new policy to Post tweets,” Gadde said. “In hindsight, Twitter should have reactivated the Post account immediately.”

During the hearing, Roth also said that Twitter’s relationship with government employees would benefit from greater transparency.

“Transparency is at the heart of this work, and that’s where I think Twitter — and all social media — can and should improve,” Roth said. “Trust is built on understanding, and right now the vast majority of people don’t understand how or why content moderation decisions are made.”

Republicans have accused former Twitter executives of being “afraid” Joe Biden won’t win the 2020 election and working with the FBI.

“You were given supreme power over Twitter, but when you were confronted with the New York Post story, you rushed to come up with a reason why the American people shouldn’t see it, rather than allowing people to see it. people to read the information and judge it for yourself”. Comer said. “Within hours, you have decided the truth about a story that spans years and dozens of complex international transactions. You did this because you feared Joe Biden would win the 2020 election.”

R-Ohio Jim Jordan accused Twitter executives of having “weekly meetings” with the FBI and accused the executives of colluding with the agency to remove the New York Post article.

“I think you wanted him out,” Jordan said. “They send you all kinds of emails… I think you wanted to put it out. I think the FBI tricked you.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who was briefly suspended from Twitter in 2021 for tweeting the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, also accused former Twitter employees of “collaborating with the FBI”.

“I am angry at the millions of Americans who have been silenced because of your decisions, because of your actions, because of your collusion with the federal government,” Boebert said.

“We don’t know where the FBI ends and where Twitter begins,” Boebert said.

But Roth denied the allegations, telling the committee that the FBI had not told Twitter that the laptop’s hard drive was fake or hacked.

Former Twitter assistant attorney James Baker, who was fired by new Twitter CEO Elon Musk in December, also said he was not in contact with the FBI about the decision. company to delete the article.

At one point during the hearing, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., questioned former Twitter employee Anika Collier Navaroli about a Trump White House request for Twitter to remove a tweet from celebrity Chrissy Teigen, who was president during the Donald era. Trump offended.

“The White House contacted Twitter almost immediately afterwards to request that the tweet be removed. Is that correct?” asked Connolly Navaroli.

“I remember hearing that we got a request from the White House to make sure we evaluate this tweet and they wanted it taken down because it was a derogatory statement to the president” , replied Navaroli.

Hunter Biden walks toward a vehicle after disembarking from Air Force One with his father, President Joe Biden, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, Feb. 4, 2023.

Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Twitter did not remove the tweet, she said.

During the hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said Republicans were focused on a “two-year-old story” about a private company being allowed to make decisions about what content to allow on its platform. -form.

“The key point here is that it was Twitter’s decision,” Raskin said in his opening statement. “Twitter is a private media company. In America, private media companies can decide what gets published. »

“Rather than drop this meaningless lawsuit, my colleagues attempted to foment a fake scandal over this two-day shortcoming in their ability to deliver Hunter Biden propaganda on a private media platform,” Raskin said of the hearing. “Silly doesn’t even begin to capture this obsession.”

Democrats instead focused on how the social media platform may have helped fuel violence in the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“What makes this hearing tragic is that if our colleagues really wanted to look at a serious issue affecting American democracy and social media, my friends, that’s pretty obvious to us,” Raskin said.

Navaroli also argued that lawmakers should focus on “Twitter’s inability to act before Jan. 6.”

“Twitter executives gave in and broke their own rules to protect some of the most dangerous speech on the platform,” Navaroli said in the months leading up to the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.


#Twitter #executives #House #committee #deleting #story #Hunter #Bidens #laptop #mistake

Stranger found in Oliver’s house sleeping with a gun

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A 25-year-old woman is due in court on February 15 to speak on a series of gun-related charges.

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RCMP say the unnamed woman passed out in a chair at a house on 18th Street in Oliver in the early hours of January 8.

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When police showed up at 3:20 a.m., the woman was reportedly asleep in a chair and her hand appeared to be holding a gun protected by a large purse.

The officer at the scene grabbed a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle and handcuffed the woman, who still hadn’t woken up.

The woman was unknown to people living in the house and later claimed she believed it was her ex-husband’s house and entered through an unlocked front door.

Police say residents of the home were never threatened by the woman and only discovered her sleeping after her dogs alerted her to the situation.

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The firearm in his possession was found to be inoperative.

The suspect was released later that day on a promise to appear in Penticton Provincial Court on February 15.

The following fees are recommended:

• Breaking into the residence,

• Unauthorized possession of prohibited weapons,

• possession of weapons for dangerous purposes,

• Use of a firearm during the commission of a criminal offence,

• Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

“This is a very disturbing incident for all involved which fortunately ended safely for the family, the police present and the accused,” said spokesman Sergeant Don Oliver RCMP’s Wrigglesworth, in a statement.

“The amount of fentanyl allegedly found on her was consistent with drug trafficking. Where there are drugs there is a greater likelihood of violence and often firearms are involved.

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#Stranger #Olivers #house #sleeping #gun