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Brett Wilkins

Editor-at-Large based in San Francisco, CA, United States. Joined on Jun 15, 2012
Expertise in Politics, Travel, Food, dining & restaurants, Nightlife, clubbing

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FEC confirms Trump hired actors to attend campaign launch

Washington - The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has dismissed a case alleging Donald Trump's presidential campaign broke the law by hiring actors to cheer the announcement of his presidential candidacy, while admitting Trump's team paid for their services.

Trump raises mortgage costs for many first-time homebuyers

Washington - Donald Trump promised to fight for working-class Americans, but one of his first acts as president was to make mortgages more expensive for many first-time homebuyers for the benefit of mortgage insurers.

Obama commutes sentence of political prisoner Oscar López Rivera

Washington - Amid a final flurry of reprieves before leaving office, President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, one of the world's longest-jailed political prisoners.

Obama commutes most of Chelsea Manning's sentence

Washington - In one of the final moves of his presidency, Barack Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer serving 35 years behind bars for giving classified documents to WikiLeaks.

LePage: John Lewis should 'thank white Republicans' for freedom

Augusta - Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican known for making racist and other inflammatory statements, ripped Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) for criticizing President-elect Donald Trump, saying the civil rights icon should thank white Republicans for ending slavery.

Op-Ed: Arizona again attacks Martin Luther King's legacy with new bill

Phoenix - Just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in a state that refused to recognize the holiday until 1992, comes yet another attack on the civil rights icon's teachings and legacy as Arizona Republicans push a bill that would ban social justice education.

Accidentally running over protesters OK under new N. Dakota bill

Bismarck - A North Dakota state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally kill or injure a pedestrian, a measure its leading sponsor admits is a response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock.

Op-Ed: James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, war criminal

On March 31, 2004, four guards from the private security company Blackwater USA made the fatal mistake of entering a part of Fallujah, Iraq controlled by fighters resisting the US-led occupation.

Op-Ed: Barack Obama's criminal legacy on war, torture and Guantánamo

President Barack Obama leaves behind a criminal legacy on war, torture and Guantánamo Bay. This isn't hyperbole, it's legal fact, as what follows will amply demonstrate.

Unprecedented: Cory Booker testifies against Sessions nomination

Washington - Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) became the first sitting US senator in history to testify against a fellow senator's cabinet confirmation when he delivered an impassioned plea to lawmakers to reject Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) attorney general nomination.

Tampa Food Not Bombs activists arrested for feeding the hungry

Tampa - Seven volunteers for Tampa Food Not Bombs, part of a loose-knit network sharing vegan and vegetarian meals with hungry people around the world, were arrested on Saturday for serving food in a park without a permit.

Dylann Roof sentenced to death for Charleston church massacre

Charleston - After about three hours of deliberation, the South Carolina jury that found unrepentant white supremacist Dylann Roof guilty of murdering nine black worshippers at a Charleston church sentenced the 22-year-old to death.

Trump lies about mocking disabled reporter after Streep call-out

Beverly Hills - After an emotional Golden Globe Awards speech in which Meryl Streep took Donald Trump to task for mocking a disabled reporter, the U.S. President-elect fired back, calling the renowned actress "overrated" and a "flunky" and denying he ever mocked the man.

PA couple allegedly raped, murdered daughter to fulfill fantasy

Newtown - A Pennsylvania couple have been charged in connection with the rape, murder and dismemberment of the woman's adopted teenage daughter, as crime investigators say was committed to fulfill the couple's shared "rape-murder fantasy."

California funds convicted killer's gender reassignment surgery

San Francisco - A convicted murderer serving a life sentence in a California prison became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

New Senate Indian Affairs chair supports Dakota Access Pipeline

Washington - The incoming Republican-controlled Senate has named John Hoeven, a staunch proponent of the highly controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, as the new chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Trump caught lying about intel report on alleged Russian hacking

Donald Trump has been caught apparently lying about the U.S. intelligence assessment of alleged interference in the 2016 presidential race, falsely claiming intelligence officials found Moscow's cyber-hacking had "no effect" on the election outcome.

'Faith healing' parents charged after son's pancreatitis death

Plymouth - A Minnesota couple who chose prayer over medicine have been charged with child neglect after their adopted seven-year-old son died of pancreatitis, although the boy's autopsy was unable to determine whether his parents' actions contributed to his death.

Hate crime charge for Facebook Live torture of disabled man

Chicago - Four Chicago-area young adults, all African American, have been charged with a hate crime, aggravated kidnapping and other offenses after allegedly posting a Facebook Live video in which they tortured a mentally disabled man while shouting racial slurs.

Op-Ed: The surreal spectacle of Republicans embracing Julian Assange

Not too long ago, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was Public Enemy Number One to many prominent conservative figures including Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, both of whom openly called for his execution for what they considered his treasonous ways.
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