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One ‘last dance’ for this Wisconsin teen who has scheduled her own death

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Photo source: WBAY

Jerika Bolen is going to prom. And, as you can expect from a 14-year-old with purple hair, she has thought a lot about her outfit.

“I’m not much of a girly girl. I’m more of a punk bada– girl,” Jerika explained on the phone Wednesday night from her home in Appleton, Wis. “I actually have a pretty girly dress, but I’m going to have punky jewelry. Just to keep my punk soul with it.”

This is Jerika’s very own prom. She’s calling it her “last dance.” And it is.

Jerika Bolen has an incurable disease, type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, that typically kills during adolescence, but not before inflicting great pain. She is feeling that pain now and is being kept alive by use of a ventilator 12 hours a day. Months after turning 14, Jerika decided it was time to remove the ventilator, time to die.

The alternative: She would lose the ability to control her hands and to speak, while experiencing more crushing pain and surgery along the way to an inevitable death.

So by the end of August, she will turn off her ventilator she uses to breathe – and spend her final days at home with her mother and two dogs.

Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA II) is a rare disease that causes debilitating pain and in her case the loss of all muscle control, save for parts of her face and hands. She’s had surgeries to place rods in her back, remove all but a shard of her hip bones and fuse parts of her spine together with screws. The pain is regularly at a 7 on a 10 scale, which is akin to constantly having a migraine. Sometimes it climbs to 8, 9 or 10, because the screws in her bones pinch her nerves. People with SMA II, an inherited, incurable condition, don’t usually live into adolescence, but the people in Jerika’s life say she’s a fighter.

“I just kept going,” Jerika said “I didn’t want to hurt my mom, I didn’t want to hurt my family. I wanted to keep fighting and keep fighting. I didn’t have a life. I was just laying on the couch, got up to do homework and then went back to bed because I was so sore.”

She doesn’t want to fight anymore. A few months ago, she endured her 38th surgery – yet another procedure to manage the crushing pain in her back and hips. She decided it would be her last.

“I sat myself down and I thought, ‘Jerika, am I here for me or am I here for my family? I can’t even do anything besides lie in bed because I’m so sore.'”

Jen Bolen, Jerika’s mother, knew this day was coming. As a nurse, she told the Appletown Post-Crescent on Wednesday, she understood how Jerika’s pain medications were harming her body, how she wouldn’t be able to speak or smile if she continued on. “After every big surgery, she loses a lot of strength,” Bolen said.

That didn’t make it any easier to bear the news. In early June, Jerika told her mother with the assistance of the teenager’s counselor that she wanted to go off life support. The single mother first said they could just up her pain medication.

Jerika was adamant. “No, Mom. I’m serious,” she had said. “I’m actually done.”

For all of Jerika’s handicaps, she is Bolen’s teenage daughter. She listens to My Chemical Romance and loves YouTube celebrities. She wears green lipstick and likes to go to the mall. Her Facebook is littered with funny pictures and makeup tutorials. Jerika has a girlfriend too; she’s gay.

“I don’t know how to stop fighting for her,” Bolen said to the Post-Crescent. “That’s all I’ve done since the day she was diagnosed when she was 8 months old.”

And she delights the people around her. Alyssa Dahlen, one of her nurses, told the Post-Crescent that Jerika maintains a quick wit and isn’t afraid be a little manipulative – like any teenage girl. She has perseverance beyond her years too, and is never melodramatic about her lot in life. “How do you not be bitter?” Dahlen said. “It’s amazing.”

“She’s a very unselfish little girl,” her grandmother, Sue Bolen, told the Post-Crescent, “and she’s tougher than anyone I’ve ever known.”

The decision to end Jerika’s life, though the family knew it was going to happen, still was not easy. After Jerika announced it, her mother felt numb, angry and deeply sad.

“The first week, I was crying all the time,” Jerika said. “I was constantly thinking, ‘Oh, I’m not ever going to have kids, I’m not going to ever have a family, blah, blah, blah.”

Then Jerika perked up. She said there’s a better afterlife for her — one without pain. One that’s like life before all the surgeries, all the pain that started around the time she turned 8. It might be like when she could go to school and play with friends. Except this time, maybe she could go on the monkey bars, too, instead of just watch.

“I have been realizing I’m going to get to walk and not have this pain anymore and not have to, like, live this really crappy life,” Jerika said. After that appointment with her mother and her counselor, “we cried and we cried and we cried. But after a couple days, I was running around so happy. I was like, ‘I’m going to be able to walk, I’m going to be with God, I’m going to be free.'”

But Jerika is scared her mother will take it too hard. What if she stops eating, stops taking care of herself? “She always says, like, I am what she like lives for sometimes,” Jerika said in the video accompanying the Post-Crescent article, seated next to her mother in their home.

Bolen told the Post-Crescent she still ponders what drugs could maintain a comfortable life for Jerika, to persuade her to keep living. But she’s also respected her daughter’s decision. Jerika is getting hospice care at home. The ventilator will be turned off at the end of August. The two now no longer have to fight for each other — they get to enjoy one last humid summer.

She’s enjoyed visits from grandparents, fireworks, movie theater outings, sleepovers and a visit to the Muscular Dystrophy Association camp that Jerika has always attended.

This Friday is perhaps the most anticipated event of the summer though. In a tulle turquoise dress, Jerika will be prom queen.

She got the idea for having a prom from MDA camp. Jerika said the camp’s dance was always a great time. “It was the first time I wasn’t a punk. I was a princess.” Everyone at the camp who is 17, the last year you can attend, is named prom king and queen. Jerika won’t turn 17 though – so she’s taking the chance to be prom queen at her own ball.

It’s going to be green and black, her favorite colors. They’ll play pop hits, but mostly it will be emo music like My Chemical Romance. They’ll celebrate Jerika with hors d’oeuvres, cake and dancing in The Grand Meridian, an event hall near the Appleton water tower. “I’m just hoping that everyone can be happy.”

Happiness is what Jerika aims for, above all.

“I know I can’t always be happy every day,” she said to the Post-Crescent. “I still wonder why God picked me to have this disease and I know I can never know the reason. Maybe because I’m strong, I guess.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Rachel Premack

Photo source: WBAY
Photo source: WBAY

WATCH LIVE VIDEO: Republican National Convention

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WATCH LIVE: Scroll down for video

The following transcript is via The Hill:

Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States. Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace.

We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.

Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.

It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media Myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week.

But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else. These are the facts decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.

Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.

In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore.

In the President’s hometown of Chicago more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.

Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.

The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.

They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources. One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years-old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.

I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this Administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders. What about our economy? Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper: Nearly Four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African-American youth are not employed. 2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.

Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. Our manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high – nearly $800 billion in a single year.

The budget is no better. President Obama has doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing. Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.

Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made.

Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant nothing. In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames.

America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge ofAmerica’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today.

Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our

Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control.

Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West.

After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness. But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy.

The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them. A change in leadership is required to change these outcomes. Tonight, I will share with you my plan of action for America. The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First.

Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America witt respect.

This will all change in 2017. The American People will come first once again.

My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism.There can be no prosperity without law and order.

On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America. A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests.

That is because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit. Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place.

They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does.

She is their puppet, and they pull the strings. That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change.

My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now.

Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.

I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice.

I AM YOUR VOICE.

I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national

good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.

When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.

And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before. When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was “extremely careless” and “negligent,” in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did.

They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible crimes. In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others have paid so dearly.

When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come. I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves.

Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade.

Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans. In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next Vice President of the United States: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana. He is a man of character and accomplishment. He is the right man for the job

The first task for our new Administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities. America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were brutally executed. In the days after Dallas, we have seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials.

Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.

On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three were killed, and four were badly injured.

An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.

I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country. I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate.

The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone. This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime.

It’s failed them at every level. When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally. Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit,

Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in over and over – at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.

To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things. We must have the best intelligence- gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria.

Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.

My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.

I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people. Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be. Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.

On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal Immigrants Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw. They are just three brave representatives of many thousands. Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border. These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain.

Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly? These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.

We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful immigration system.

By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down.

Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief. Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration, and mass lawlessness. Her plan will overwhelm your schools and hospitals, further reduce your jobs and wages, and make it harder for recent immigrants to escape from poverty.

I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.

It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.

I have made billions of dollars in business making deals – now I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ones. America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats. This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation.

Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk away if we don’t get the deal that we want. We are going to start building and making things again.

Next comes the reform of our tax laws, regulations and energy rules. While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.

America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we

I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.

We can accomplish these great things, and so much else – all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.

In this journey, I’m so lucky to have at my side my wife Melania and my wonderful children, Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron: you will always be my greatest source of pride and joy.

My Dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he’d say if he were here to see this tonight. It’s because of him that I learned, from my youngest age, to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people. He was a History is watching us now. It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong. My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”.

I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” I am your voice. So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.

To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again And We Will Make America Great Again.

THANK YOU

Seattle Police Seek Pokémon Go Bandit

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SEATTLE — SPD Robbery Detectives, working without the aid of Razz Berries or lures, are hunting for a man who robbed a Pokémon Go player at Greenlake last week.

A man and a woman were playing Pokémon Go near the Greenlake Boat House around 10:30 PM on July 11th when a man approached them and grabbed the woman’s cellphone.

The male victim grabbed the suspect, who then turned on him and struck him several times before fleeing. The victims and several bystanders chased after the suspect, including a woman who called 911 while pursuing the man on her bike, but he fled the scene in a gold Toyota Camry.

Officers weren’t able to locate the Toyota, but believe they’ve identified the suspect as 26-year-old Jarvis Willie.

If you know where police can find Willie, please call the SPD Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535 or call 911.

pokecrook

SPD / Jonah Spangenthal-Lee

Man discovers a body inside the house he just purchased

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Photo source: thechannelhiphop.com

He had just purchased the house on Anastasia Avenue, and gave the previous residents 30 days to move out.

But when the new homeowner stopped by Sunday to see whether the couple had left the Simi Valley, Calif., house, he made a grim discovery, according to police.

After no one answered the door, the unidentified homeowner went inside and found a body, partially covered, lying on a bed in a bedroom, Simi Valley Police Cmdr. Roy Jones said.

Salavatore Orefice, 84, died of a gunshot wound, police said. His longtime girlfriend, 75-year-old Mary Karacas, has been charged with murder.

Karacas was arraigned Tuesday, and the charges against her carry a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison, Ventura County Deputy District Attorney Tate McCallister said. Court records do not list attorney information for Karacas, whose next court appearance is set for Aug. 3.

After seeing the body Sunday afternoon, the new homeowner called police, then showed officers the bedroom, Jones said.

An “obviously deceased male” was inside, a police release said. Police immediately suspected foul play.

“Of course the officers thought it was unusual that a person with a self-inflicted gunshot would have been able to cover themselves,” Jones said.

As detectives and investigators interviewed neighbors and others, Karacas drove back to the house and spoke with officers there, Jones said.

In a later interview with detectives, she said that she had shot her boyfriend, Orefice, during an altercation, Jones said.

It’s unclear how long Orefice had been dead before his body was discovered. An autopsy is being conducted this week.

The house wasn’t known to law enforcement for calls for service, Jones said.

This is Simi Valley’s first homicide of 2016.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Elahe Izadi

Photo source: thechannelhiphop.com
Photo source: thechannelhiphop.com

Border Patrol Rescues 15 Trapped in Open-Pit Mine

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CBP

TUCSON, Ariz. – Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents rescued 15 individuals Tuesday trapped in an open-pit mine in Green Valley, Arizona.

Agents assigned to the Tucson Station were tracking a group of suspected undocumented migrants on Duval Mining Company property when the subjects entered the mine.

Agents risked their own safety and climbed down to the group to prevent them from endangering themselves further. After ensuring no one was injured, the agents realized that loose soil lining the mine’s edge would make it too dangerous for anyone to exit safely.

Tucson Sector’s BORSTAR agents then deployed to the area to conduct an emergency extraction using ropes.

Agents later identified the group to be adult males from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, illegally present in the United States.

CBP
CBP

Youngest delegate, 17, collects accolades and advice during GOP convention

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GoFundMe

CLEVELAND — As the youngest of all 2,472 delegates gathered in Cleveland this week, 17-year-old Jack Salm is playing the critical role of Republican millennial. In other words, he’s tech support.

Just ask Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a fellow Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“He already has shown his value as a young person – he fixed my phone,” Thomas said. “My phone was on the blink and I looked around. I had all these different people trying to help. And this kid, this guy, this man-patriot, got it all fixed.”

Salm shrugged off the adulation – “It was just locked on the lock screen,” he said – and has stayed modest amid the enormous attention he’s been getting as the convention’s official 2016 whippersnapper.

Salm gets to vote this year by just a whisker, not that any are visible on his baby face. He turns 18 on Nov. 5, a mere 72 hours before Election Day. He makes Kyle Kilgore, son of Virginia Del. Terry G. Kilgore look like a late bloomer for attending his first convention at the ripe old age of 22.

But Salm, who washed cars and launched a GoFundMe campaign to underwrite his convention trip, didn’t get his delegate slot because somebody thought it would be cute.

The rising high school senior happens to be chairman of the Northampton County Republican Party on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. He won that position in a contested election. At a statewide party convention, he persuaded Republicans to pick him for one of 13 at-large convention delegate slots. Nearly 100 contenders had been in the mix.

“He’s an outstanding young man,” said John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. “Just one of those great millennial-generation leaders that we’re proud to have in our delegation.”

Salm inherited his interest in politics from his father, John, an engineer who has served as Northampton GOP chairman and as a state central committeeman. He started tagging along to political functions when he was 9 or 10.

“I wasn’t really into politics, but he would take me along to all the meetings, the fundraisers,” Jack Salm said. “And as I started maturing, getting older and stuff, I started paying attention, and it’s something I found really interesting.”

For political geeks young and old, this year’s raucous convention has been a particular wonder to behold, especially from the vantage point of the Virginia delegation.

Salm had a front-row seat to unrest within Republican ranks – starting with breakfast on the first morning. Along with Thomas, he shared his table with former state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II, the leader of an ill-fated revolt over party rules.

Cuccinelli allies circulated a petition during the meal, asking for like-minded upstarts to sign. Salm declined but took in the ensuing drama, eyes wide.

“It’s an amazing experience,” he said. “Definitely not something you do every day.”

Politics is hardly Salm’s only interest.

At Broadwater Academy in Exmore, Virginia, he’s a captain of the football team, captain of the golf team and a straight-A student. He’d like to attend a Virginia college next year – he’s looking at several – to study business and Spanish.

Salm said his interest in business is partly why he is attracted to Trump, whom he has supported since last fall. He likes the real estate mogul for his outsider status. He thinks Trump will make good on many of his promises, from reforming Veterans Affairs to building a wall along the border with Mexico.

“I don’t agree with every single point with all of his plans, but we definitely need some security on the border and I think the wall would provide that,” Salm said.

What really sealed the deal for Salm was meeting Trump during an October campaign appearance in Norfolk, Virginia. Their meeting was brief, but Trump seemed engaged and interested to meet him. Trump’s parting words were warm and directed toward the teen’s father.

“Take care of your pops,” Salm recalled Trump saying.

Salm has gotten plenty of other advice in Cleveland, at a confab where everyone is his elder.

In between at least 20 local, national and even international interviews, Salm has gotten an earful from seasoned Republicans eager to guide the next generation. Party organizers have offered tips on organizing and building his GOP unit.

Cuccinelli gave him some TV interview tips, including: “Make sure you’re smiling.”

Tax-averse Cuccinelli also gave John Salm the scoop on where to gas up the family’s Nissan Altima that carried them to the Cleveland.

“Buy the gas in Virginia, then skip Pennsylvania and buy it in Ohio for the trip back,” he said.

Even dear old dad offered some counsel before a reporter snapped the young man’s photo: “Sit up straight.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Laura Vozzella

GoFundMe
GoFundMe

‘Stop taking pictures of me’: Teen’s ‘so-called friends’ convicted in Snapchat sexual assault

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Hours after the first day of school let out in September 2014, several teenagers lounged on an abandoned floral couch behind an elementary school in eastern Massachusetts and passed around a bottle of vodka.

A 16-year-old girl in the group later admitted that she had taken a prescription painkiller earlier in the day to get high and “was not sober” when she got there, according to the Patriot Ledger.

Things got hazy.

A woman with blue hair started to grope and kiss her, the 16-year-old later told authorities. Then, she said, she saw camera flashes. Then darkness.

“I remember saying, like ‘Stop taking pictures of me. Stop. I don’t understand what’s going on,’ ” the girl, now 18, said this month in Essex Superior Court in Salem, according to the Boston Globe.

Cellphone videos showing the girl partially nude, stumbling and slurring went live on the social media app Snapchat. Another teen watching from home later said that in one video, Kailyn Bonia, now 20, had the girl “almost in a headlock,” kissing her neck and that, in another, Bonia had her on her knees, trying to make her perform a sexual act on Rashad Deihim, now 21, according to the Boston Globe.

“I immediately ran to my mother,” Sydnee Enos, 18, said last week in court. “Something was definitely wrong with her.”

Deihim and Bonia were found guilty Tuesday of assault to rape, indecent assault and battery and kidnapping. Deihim was also found guilty of posing a child in the nude with lascivious intent. The two are scheduled to be sentenced in September.

On Sept. 3, 2014, Enos was watching TV at her home in Saugus, a town outside Boston, when a Snapchat video popped up on her phone, she said in court. Then two more. The videos appeared to show a girl she had known for years being assaulted.

Enos told police at the time that in one of the videos, it appeared Deihim had his pants unzipped and the other teenagers were pushing the girl’s head toward him as she shook her head “no,” according to the criminal complaint. In another video, Enos told police, it appeared that the girl tried to run but was so impaired that she did not make it and they dragged her back, according to court records.

“I was completely mind-blown,” Enos testified in court, according to the Saugus Advertiser.

Enos said she started taking screenshots of the videos and then contacted the teen, Timothy Cyckowski, who was posting them. She said she asked him where they were and alerted her father, who dialed 911, according to the Boston Globe.

“I called him to ask him what he was doing because what he was doing was completely wrong,” Enos said in court, according to the Globe.

Saugus police were called about 11 that night in September 2014 and searched the woods behind the elementary school until they found the girl – “extremely intoxicated” and lying half-nude under a tree, according to the court records.

She was covered in dirt, grass and leaves.

Officer Timothy Fawcett testified in court that the girl “was curled up, almost in a fetal position,” according to the Saugus Advertiser.

She was unable to walk, police said, so first-responders carried her from the woods on a backboard and transported her Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, according to the records. She was ultimately moved to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Authorities said the girl had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system along with oxycodone and a chemical found in marijuana.

Medical personnel twice administered Narcan, an opiate antidote used to treat overdoses. Doctors and nurses told police that the girl was “foaming at the mouth” and had abrasions all over her body, according to the court documents.

“I was in so much pain,” the teen testified this month, according to the Boston Globe. “My whole body was killing me.”

“She was literally within hours of dying from the amount of intoxication she was under and she was not capable of defending herself against her so-called friends,” Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said, according to the Advertiser.

Later, when investigators tried to speak with the teen, they said she told them she could not remember most of what had happened that night, according to the documents.

“No, please,” she told police at the time, according to the criminal complaint. “I just want it to go away. I really can’t remember.”

Prosecutors said that throughout the investigation, they had a hard time convincing the teen that she had been victimized by her friends. Earlier this year, she wrote a letter to the judge, arguing that the disturbing sexual encounter that night had been consensual and, once in the courtroom, she admitted that when it first happened, she just wanted it “to go away,” according to the Advertiser.

“I really thought they were my friends,” she said in court, according to the Boston Globe. She said she did not want them to go to jail, adding: “It was a weight on me.”

“I didn’t want to incriminate them,” she added.

“The whole world knew what had happened to her and she still wanted to believe that these people were her friends,” the assistant district attorney said, according to the Saugus Advertiser. “She would have said or done anything to just make it all go away, to make them her friends again.”

At trial, prosecutors relied heavily on Enos’s video screenshots. They also obtained one video from Snapchat through a preservation order, but the judge ruled that it could not be used as evidence unless Snatchat experts testified – and they refused, according to the Boston Globe.

“We produced all available information that was responsive to the search warrant,” Snapchat spokesman Noah Edwardsen said in a statement Wednesday to The Washington Post.

Typically, photos and videos shot with Snapchat, an image-messaging application, are automatically erased from the app after they are viewed, and Edwardsen said they are also wiped from the company’s servers.

According to Snapchat’s policies: “Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete Snaps after they’ve been viewed by all recipients. Opened Snaps typically cannot be retrieved from Snapchat’s servers by anyone, for any reason. Also, Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete unopened Snaps after 30 days.”

The idea that Snapchat can retrieve users’ photos and videos from its servers for court proceedings has ignited some debate, though Essex County District Attorney spokesperson Carrie Kimball Monahan told the Advertiser, “It’s not like anyone can just get an old Snapchat video.” Prosecutors in Essex County had to file for a warrant to obtain it.

In a 2013 blog post, Snapchat admitted that “with the right forensic tools,” it is possible to sometimes retrieve deleted data:

“While an unopened snap is being stored on the device, it’s not impossible to circumvent the Snapchat app and access the files directly. This isn’t something we support or encourage and in most cases it would involve jailbreaking or ‘rooting’ the phone and voiding its warranty. If you’re trying to save a snap, it would be easier (and safer) to just take a screenshot or take a picture with another camera.

“Also, if you’ve ever tried to recover lost data after accidentally deleting a drive or maybe watched an episode of CSI, you might know that with the right forensic tools, it’s sometimes possible to retrieve data after it has been deleted. So … you know … keep that in mind before putting any state secrets in your selfies.”

The victim’s mother told the Boston Globe on Tuesday that Enos saved her daughter’s life.

“Sydnee is amazing,” she told the newspaper. “If it wasn’t for her, let me tell you something, I don’t think they would have found my kid.”

Prosecutors said in a statement Tuesday that after about 10 hours of deliberations this week, jurors in Essex Superior Court convicted Deihim and Bonia of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a 16-year-old girl.

The judge repealed Deihim’s bail and ordered him to return to jail. Bonia was already in custody, according to the prosecutors.

Deihim’s attorney, Stephen Neyman, did not respond to a request for comment.

James Caramanica, who represented Bonia, told The Post that he was “very disappointed” with the verdict but could not comment further because his client is awaiting sentencing.

Cyckowski, 19, who filmed the assault and posted it to Snapchat, pleaded guilty in March in juvenile court and will remain in custody with the state’s Department of Youth Services until he turns 20, according to the prosecutors.

Cyckowski was also sentenced to four years of probation.

“I want to thank the jury for their careful attention to the evidence in this case,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “I must also commend the victim for her courage in facing her assailants in court.

“I hope that, with this verdict, she is assured that what happened to her was not her fault.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Lindsey Bever

FULL TEXT: Donald Trump’s RNC Speech Transcript

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Donald Trump’s 2016 RNC speech has apparently surfaced online.

The following transcript is via The Hill:

Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States. Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace.

We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities.

Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.

It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media Myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week.

But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else. These are the facts decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.

Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.

In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore.

In the President’s hometown of Chicago more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.

Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.

The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.

They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources. One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years-old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.

I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this Administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders. What about our economy? Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper: Nearly Four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African-American youth are not employed. 2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.

Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. Our manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high – nearly $800 billion in a single year.

The budget is no better. President Obama has doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing. Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.

Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made.

Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant nothing. In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames.

America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge ofAmerica’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today.

Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our

Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control.

Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West.

After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness. But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy.

The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them. A change in leadership is required to change these outcomes. Tonight, I will share with you my plan of action for America. The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First.

Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America witt respect.

This will all change in 2017. The American People will come first once again.

My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism.There can be no prosperity without law and order.

On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America. A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests.

That is because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit. Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place.

They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does.

She is their puppet, and they pull the strings. That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change.

My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now.

Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.

I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice.

I AM YOUR VOICE.

I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national

good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.

When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.

And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before. When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was “extremely careless” and “negligent,” in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did.

They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible crimes. In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others have paid so dearly.

When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come. I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves.

Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade.

Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans. In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next Vice President of the United States: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana. He is a man of character and accomplishment. He is the right man for the job

The first task for our new Administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities. America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were brutally executed. In the days after Dallas, we have seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials.

Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.

On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three were killed, and four were badly injured.

An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans.

I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country. I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate.

The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone. This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime.

It’s failed them at every level. When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally. Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit,

Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in over and over – at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.

To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things. We must have the best intelligence- gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria.

Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.

My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.

I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people. Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be. Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.

On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal Immigrants Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw. They are just three brave representatives of many thousands. Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border. These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain.

Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly? These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.

We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful immigration system.

By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down.

Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief. Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration, and mass lawlessness. Her plan will overwhelm your schools and hospitals, further reduce your jobs and wages, and make it harder for recent immigrants to escape from poverty.

I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.

It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.

I have made billions of dollars in business making deals – now I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ones. America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats. This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation.

Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk away if we don’t get the deal that we want. We are going to start building and making things again.

Next comes the reform of our tax laws, regulations and energy rules. While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.

America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we

I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.

We can accomplish these great things, and so much else – all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.

In this journey, I’m so lucky to have at my side my wife Melania and my wonderful children, Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron: you will always be my greatest source of pride and joy.

My Dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he’d say if he were here to see this tonight. It’s because of him that I learned, from my youngest age, to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people. He was a History is watching us now. It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong. My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”.

I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” I am your voice. So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.

To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again And We Will Make America Great Again.

THANK YOU

Deported After 2006 Arrest, Child Rape Suspect in Back in Custody

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BOSTON — A Chelsea man who was deported following his arrest on child rape charges 10 years ago was apprehended after he re-entered the United States yesterday, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, Revere Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli, and US Marshal for the District of Massachusetts John Gibbons said.

Rony Vasquez was arrested on June 18, 2006, after Revere Police found him engaged in apparent sexual activity with an 11-year-old girl known to him. The Suffolk County Grand Jury indicted Vasquez three months later after the investigation revealed additional sexual contact with the child, but he was deported by immigration authorities in the interim and never appeared at his Suffolk Superior Court arraignment. A warrant for his arrest has been in place since then.

“With a decade now passed, this case has been handed down to a new generation of prosecutors,” District Attorney Conley said. “What has not changed, and what will not change, is our commitment to speak for any child abused, neglected, or violated by an adult. Thanks to the early work of Revere Police, the grand jury investigation by our Child Abuse Unit, and these most recent efforts by US Marshals and the State Department, we’ll be able to do just that when the defendant returns to Suffolk County.”

“We never lost hope that such a serious case would one day have its day in court,” Chief Cafarelli said. “I’m proud of my officers and detectives for their response and investigation 10 years ago, and I’m grateful for the continued efforts of the Suffolk DA’s office and US Marshals to hold this defendant accountable for his actions.”

During the course of their fugitive investigation, US Marshals obtained information that Vasquez intended to travel to the United States to visit a family member. They were in place when he deplaned from a flight from Guatemala to Houston, Texas, yesterday evening, and immediately took him into custody.

“I am extremely pleased our office was able to assist the Revere Police Department and Suffolk DA’s Office with the apprehension of Rony Vasquez, who had been a fugitive for approximately a decade,” said US Marshal Gibbons. “Through our working relationships with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners and our expertise with Domestic and International Fugitive Investigations we were able to collaboratively assist with the arrest of this individual in Houston, TX last evening. We remain committed and undeterred with apprehending fugitives who commit these serious crimes wherever they choose to flee and no matter the distance. Finally, I would like to commend the Revere Police Department, Suffolk County DA’s Office, U.S. State Department, Houston Police Department, USMS Houston Office, and the USMS Investigative Operations Division for their tenacious commitment to bringing this individual to justice.”

Vasquez is currently held without bail as a fugitive from his Suffolk County indictment. Massachusetts officials will travel to Texas in the coming days to transport Vasquez to Suffolk Superior Court for arraignment. Those proceedings have not yet been scheduled.

Take a ship ‘back to Africa’: Florida judge reassigned after comments about black people

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The allegations continue to intensify against Florida Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey.

The complaints say he made comments about African Americans, such as, ” ‘They could go get back on a ship and go back to Africa,’ ” according to court documents.

He called a female staffer a “b—” and another derogatory term after she complained about him doubling her workload.

In all, he is accused of violating more than 14 canons of the Florida code of judicial conduct.

As the Judicial Qualifications Commission questioned Hulsey and the people who worked with him, he confronted his judicial assistant, imploring her to “tell the truth,” according to court documents. But, he ordered, she should also mention to investigators that she didn’t think he would ever make derogatory remarks about women or African Americans.

Hulsey’s actions, including his alleged remarks about blacks and women, led judicial officials to reassign Hulsey to a probate court and could get him kicked off the bench.

Civil rights groups say it’s clear blacks accused of crimes wouldn’t be able to get a fair hearing in front of him.

He wasn’t reprimanded solely for the alleged derogatory comments, according to court records. He also abused the assistant that he later coached about talking to investigators, compelling her to pay his personal bills, write letters and make phone calls on his behalf. The notice says he also pushed his own work onto staff attorneys, even during a death penalty case.

The commission told the court that enough probable cause exists to prove Hulsey violated misconduct rules. As the investigation continues, the judge has been reassigned to probate court, overseeing wills.

It remains unclear who made allegations against Hulsey, which go back as far as 2011. He was elected in 2010 and makes $146,000 a year, according to the Florida Times-Union.

In the wake of the complaints, a group of pastors in Jacksonville, Fla., has demanded that Hulsey resign, according to WJXT.

“Anytime a judge makes statements that degrade any people, whether they are black, white or whoever they are, that judge should be removed from office,” Pastor Fred Newbill, of First Timothy Baptist Church, told the station.

Hulsey, a military veteran with three decades of legal experience who is up for reelection, denied the allegations in a statement to the Associated Press.

“These false allegations have been a poorly kept secret hanging over me like a cloud for months,” Hulsey said in the statement.

He told Floridapolitics.com that the allegations are politically motivated.

“That will allow the challenger in my reelection campaign to continue using these baseless allegations in his attacks against me,” he told the politics website. “I’m counting on my reputation for impartiality, integrity and honesty to help voters and my longtime supporters see through these dirty political tactics.”

But a group of black, Jacksonville area attorneys has also come to Hulsey’s defense.

“I’ve never seen anything consistent with that type of statement,” Jacksonville lawyer A. Wellington Barlowe told WJXT, a Jacksonville television station. “As a matter of fact, it’s been the very opposite. [Hulsey] has a reputation in the courthouse among just about everybody I can think of – white lawyers, black lawyers, men and women – he has a reputation for being fair to every litigant that comes before him.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Men Who Brought Guns To Pokémon World Championships Sent To Prison

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BOSTON, July 21, 2016—Two Iowa men admitted to gun and ammunition charges today, receiving jail time and probation for bringing a shotgun and assault rifle to the Pokemon World Championship in Boston last year, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

Kevin Norton of Ames, Iowa, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a 12-guage Remington shotgun and James Stumbo of Boone, Iowa, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a DPMS AR-15 rifle. Both pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of about 300 rounds of ammunition.

At the request of Assistant District Attorney Brian Brodigan of the DA’s Gang Unit, both men were sentenced to two years in a house of correction followed by two years of probation during which they must stay away from the Hynes Convention Center, undergo mental health evaluations, and possess no weapons.

Noting that the weapons were unloaded when recovered and that the ammunition for both was secured, prosecutors agreed to dismiss an additional charge of unlawful possession of a high capacity feeding device.

Had the case proceeded to trial, prosecutors would have introduced evidence and testimony showing that Norton and Stumbo drove from Iowa to Boston in August 2015 in order to attend the Pokemon World Championship at the Hynes Convention Center. Prior to their arrival at the event on Aug. 20, however, Boston Police were notified of statements and images they had allegedly posted online that could have been construed as threats of gun violence.

“Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come,” Stumbo posted with a photo of the AR-15 and shotgun displayed on its trunk. That statement and others were made amid an online chat in which others – but not the defendants – referred to “Columbine pt 2,” “another Boston massacre,” and the “Boston bombing.”

As a result of the posts, officers stopped both men upon their arrival at the convention center and issued no trespass orders. Norton allegedly made statements to the officers that the men had a shotgun and rifle in Norton’s 2002 Chevrolet Prizm, prosecutors said. Boston Police froze the vehicle and towed it to headquarters.

The men were interviewed and released. When police executed a search warrant and recovered the weapons, they returned and took both men into custody. They have remained held since their Aug. 21 arrests. Norton and Stumbo were represented by attorneys Robert LeRoy and Steven Goldwyn, respectively.

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UPDATE: Ailes resigns as CEO of Fox News; Rupert Murdoch will be acting CEO

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Roger Ailes, the founder and chief executive of Fox News, has resigned from his position under fire, but will remain with the company until 2018 as a consultant, Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced Thursday.

Ailes will be replaced temporarily by Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of 21st Century Fox, the company said.

Ailes’s job has been in question for the past week or so, amid a budding sexual harrassment scandal. The powerful executive was accused of harrassment in a lawsuit filed two weeks ago by former network host Gretchen Carlson, who said Ailes pressured her for a sexual relationship in exchange for keeping her position as a host of a Fox News program.

Since then, other women have come forward with allegations against Ailes, 76, some stretching as far back at the mid-1960s. Ailes has repeatedly denied the allegations.

21st Century Fox did not disclose terms of Ailes’s severance agreement.

In a statement, Murdoch said: “Roger Ailes has made a remarkable contribution to our company and our country. Roger shared my vision of a great and independent television organization and executed it brilliantly over 20 great years. Fox News has given voice to those who were ignored by the traditional networks and has been one of the great commercial success stories of modern media.”

Murdoch’s statement made no mention of the recent allegations against Ailes.

While Murdoch, 85, reportedly sided with Ailes, Murdoch’s sons – Lachlan and James – were long at odds with him, and saw the sexual harrassment allegations as a pretext to remove him. Lachlan, 44, is 21st Century’s executive chairman and James is its chief executive.

In a joint statement, Lachlan and James Murdoch, said: “We join our father in recognizing Roger’s remarkable contributions to our company. Our talented Fox News and Fox Business colleagues, up and down the organization and on both sides of the camera, have built something that continues to redefine the cable news experience for millions of viewers. We are enormously proud of their accomplishments. For them, as well as for our colleagues across our entire organization, we continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect.”

Ailes was named founding CEO of Fox News in 1996 and, with a company reorganization in 2005, took on the role of chairman.

He is credited with driving the top ratings of the network, which re-created television news by catering to, and developing, a vast conservative audience. Fox has become the highest rated cable network, and reportedly has profits of well over $1 billion.

Prior to his time at Fox News, Ailes was a media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and for Rudy Giuliani in his first campaign for New York mayor.

Ailes’ fall was highly public, played out in the news media that Ailes – and Fox – had sought to be an alternative. Given that Ailes was a few months from the end of his current contract, the Murdochs could have let him slide into retirement, rather than make an issues of the allegations that Carlson raised.

Instead, in an echo of the phone-hacking scandal that beset the Murdoch’s media and entertainment empire in 2012, the publicity surrounding the allegations apparently built pressure on the family to act.

The law firm Paul, Weiss was in the middle of conducting an internal review of complaints of sexual harrassment by Ailes and an alleged culture of sexism within the company when the younger Murdochs began to press for Ailes’ removal last week. There was mention of the investigation’s findings – or even its existence – in 21st Century Fox’s announcement of Ailes’ departure.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Paul Farhi

Peter Thiel to declare “I’m proud to be gay” tonight at the RNC

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When PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel takes the stage at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night, he will make history: For the first time, a speaker at a Republican national convention will announce that he is proud to be gay, according to a person familiar with his remarks.

Thiel, who supports gay marriage, plans to say that although he does not agree with all the policies in the official GOP platform, he believes fighting over cultural issues such as “bathroom bills” is a distraction from more important matters.

Thiel intends to make the case that the most paramount challenges facing the country center on the economy and foreign entanglements. He strongly opposes an expansionist military policy and plans to say that he agrees with Trump that the United States should avoid unnecessary wars.

The billionaire libertarian will be the first openly gay speaker at a GOP convention since 2000, when then-Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona addressed the gathering in Philadelphia, where George W. Bush was nominated for the first time. Kolbe steered clear of talking about his sexuality, however, giving brief remarks about trade. Even so, some of the delegates from Bush’s home state of Texas stood up and bowed their heads in prayer while he spoke.

Four years earlier, Stephen Fong, president of the San Francisco chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, gave a one-minute speech at the 1996 Republican convention, but he did not mention he was gay.

Thiel drew a storm of attention earlier this year when he acknowledged that he secretly financed a lawsuit against Gawker Media by wrestler Hulk Hogan. And his decision to run to be a delegate for Trump in California sent ripples through Silicon Valley, where he is a prominent investor and a board member of Facebook.

A Facebook spokesman said Thiel is attending the convention in his personal capacity, adding, “He is not attending on behalf of Facebook or to represent our views.”

When he got the invitation last week to be an official speaker at the convention, Thiel decided it would be a good opportunity to explain why he is backing the real estate mogul, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

Thiel’s support for Trump has not translated into contributions to his campaign or an allied super PAC. As of now, he has no plans to make such donations, according to the person familiar with his thinking.

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Matea Gold

Elderly Marine Corps Veteran Held Hostage In Hotel For 4 Years, Police Say

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The elderly Marine Corps veteran was held hostage in a cramped motel room about 50 miles north of New York City, according to authorities.

Video of the room, shot by the Hudson Valley News Network, depicts the squalid conditions where the 81-year-old was kept.

On Tuesday, police arrested a man they said held the veteran hostage at the Highlands motel in order to steal his benefit checks, The Associated Press reported.

The veteran, who police said has advanced dementia, told authorities he thought he had been in the room for four days, according to WABC-TV. He had been there for more than four years, police said.

“We believe that he is the recipient of a tremendous amount of money every month,” Town of Highlands Police Chief Jack Quinn told reporters.

Perry Coniglio, 43, is being held in the Orange County Jail, AP reported. Charges against him include unlawful imprisonment, grand larceny and endangering an incompetent person, according to HVNN.

“Through eyewitness accounts and videos, you can clearly see this individual was taking advantage of a mentally incompetent person, and he exercised control over that person with brute force and intimidation,” Police Detective Joseph Cornetta told HVNN.

Quinn referred questions to the detective, who did not immediately return The Post’s inquiry.

But Cornetta told HVNN that the victim rarely bathed and was fed one bowl of cereal a day.

“Through the goodness of guests or residents at the motel, they would bring him food when they could, but they tell us the food was far and few in between,” HVNN reported.

The veteran had been receiving Social Security benefits, pension checks and food stamps, Quinn told the AP.

Coniglio sold the veteran’s vehicle, and by acting as the elderly man’s guardian, withdrew his money from the bank, Cornetta, the detective, told HVNN.

The detective said “concerned citizens” came forward with video showing the elderly man being forced back into his room with a long stick.

Coniglio’s motel room was next to the victim’s, police said.

Since the arrest, the veteran has been taken to the hospital for evaluation, police said.

One neighbor described to local media how she would see the veteran being held and walking around naked outside.

“He didn’t deserve to be treated like that, especially being a veteran,” Natasha Blanc told HVNN. “He deserved food and water and shelter-not abuse. I hope the old guy gets the kind of care that he deserves.”

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Elahe Izadi

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Hydraulic Leak Prompts Evacuation at Palm Beach Airport; 17 Decontaminated

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FLORIDA — At least 17 people were being decontaminated after evacuating an American Air flight at the Palm Beach International Airport on Thursday.

According to CBS12, American Airlines flight 1822 was heading to Philadelphia when the aircraft started leaking hydraulic fuel.

Passengers exited the plane via emergency slides.

138 people were on board.

The victims were complaining of irritated eyes and allergic reactions – minor injuries.

No further details were available.

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