National News


The U.S. Coast Guard Offloads More Than 12,500 Pounds of Cocaine and Marijuana

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton offloads more than 12,500 pounds of cocaine and 50 pounds of marijuana in Port Everglades, Aug. 1, 2018.

The drugs were seized during the interdiction of five suspected smuggling vessels and the recovery of two floating bale fields found off the coast of Mexico, Central and South America by Coast Guard cutters Hamilton (WMSL-753), Alert (WMEC-630), and Venturous (WMRC-625). Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray and Seamen Erik Villa-Rodriguez.


WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), as well as other budget forecasters and economists, recognize the importance of macroeconomic scoring and the effects of economic growth on the federal budget. In a June 28, 2018 report, CBO found that each 0.1 percentage point increase in productivity growth reduces the federal deficit by more than $200 billion over the ten-year budget window. Improving economic growth is key to improving the federal budget outlook. Consequently, including macroeconomic scoring in cost estimates increases transparency of the full budgetary and economic impacts of legislation."Recognizing the value of macroeconomic estimates to policymakers, Republicans required cost estimates of major legislation to include macroeconomic effects (formerly clause 8 of rule XIII). This rule required CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) to incorporate to the extent practicable the macroeconomic effects of “major legislation” into its official cost estimates for purposes of enforcing the budget resolution and other House rules,"  wrote House Budget Committee Ranking Member Steve Womack .  Read the entire article.  

ACLU Sues DOJ To Obtain Records on the Agency’s Use of Amazon’s Facial Recognition Technology


WASHINGTON, D.C. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Justice demanding any records on the agency’s use of facial recognition technology.

The request seeks records from the DOJ as a whole, as well as component agencies the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.

The request is extensive. The organization is asking for 20 distinct sets of records ranging from any policy direction on the use facial recognition to “records relating to inquiries to companies, solicitations from companies, or meetings with companies about the purchase, piloting, or testing of face recognition, gait recognition, or voice recognition technology” and beyond.  Read entire article.

Mayor Emanuel blasts prosecutors' decision to drop charges against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett: 'This is not on the level'


Chicago, Illinois (Chicago Tribune)----In a stunning reversal, Cook County prosecutors on Tuesday dropped all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.

Calling it “a whitewash of justice,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel tore into the decision, emphasizing repeatedly that a grand jury had chosen to bring 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett. 

“From top to bottom, this is not on the level,” Emanuel told reporters at an afternoon news conference. 

Why the state’s attorney’s office made the sudden about-face wasn’t immediately clear. The office issued only a one-sentence statement.

But in an interview Tuesday afternoon, First Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Magats, who took charge of the case after State’s Attorney Kim Foxx stepped aside because of a conflict of interest, said the office reached a deal with the defense in recent weeks to drop the charges if Smollett performed community service and forfeited his $100,000 bond.