Connect with us

Politics

Welsh independence warning: Referendum could happen WITHOUT Westminster’s consent

Published

on

Politics

Senate negotiation on policing legislation will continue into July, lawmakers say

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The fragile negotiations on police reform will continue into July despite repeated pronouncements from Senate negotiators that they were operating with a June deadline, the latest announcement by lawmakers on Thursday as they continue to struggle to find an agreement.

The continuation of talks, according to a statement from the bipartisan group of negotiators, is a sign that lawmakers still think a deal is in reach, but it is also an ominous warning that the two sides might not be able to bridge the gap on critical issues on issues of policing, safety and racial discrimination that have divided the country.

Negotiators, led by Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., had been projecting optimism that a deal on a framework could be reached this week. But the clock ran out. The Senate left for a two-week recess for the Fourth of July, but the remaining challenges have proven too difficult to overcome within the “June or bust” timeline. The group will continue to work from afar.

“After months of working in good faith, we have reached an agreement on a framework addressing the major issues for bipartisan police reform,” the three said in a joint statement Thursday evening. “There is still more work to be done on the final bill, and nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.

“Over the next few weeks we look forward to continuing our work toward getting a finalized proposal across the finish line,” the statement said.

The main sticking points throughout the process has been over qualified immunity, a legal standard that protects police officers from being held personally liable for most of their actions while on duty, and Section 242, the criminal standard to prosecute police officers. The issues have been at the core of demands from activists and progressives who want police to be held accountable.

Despite Republicans saying that criminal standards should not be changed, Democrats proposed the lowering of criminal liability of police officers for four crimes: theft, sexual assault, obstruction of justice and excessive use of force. Republicans balked, opposing the increased criminality, creating a major obstacle to reaching a deal.

“Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to,” Bass said this week.

The potential legislation would also address choke and carotid holds, no-knock warrants, national standards for policing, misconduct record keeping and resources for police mental health.

The House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March.



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Don't need EU! Brexit finance deal DEAD as Frost blasts Brussels demands – UK to thrive

Published

on

LORD FROST hinted chances of a Brexit finances deal have evaporated as he addressed a think tank on Thursday night.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

The Biden administration says it will evacuate Afghans who worked with U.S. troops

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration plans to evacuate at least some of the Afghans who worked with the U.S. military and who face the threat of retribution from the Taliban before the U.S. withdrawal’s official completion date of Sept. 11, senior administration officials said Thursday.

The White House had previously declined to endorse the idea but President Joe Biden gave the green light to evacuation plans on Thursday, telling reporters, “Those who helped us are not going to be left behind.”

The decision follows an internal debate and urgent appeals in recent weeks from lawmakers from both parties, veterans of the war in Afghanistan, the Afghans who risked their lives to support U.S. soldiers, and from diplomats in America’s longest war.

Asked about the fate of Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other jobs, Biden said: “We’ve already begun the process” of helping the Afghan partners.

Asked which country they would be relocated to, the president said he didn’t know and mentioned he would be meeting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House on Friday.

An unspecified number of Afghans who worked as interpreters for the U.S. government and who applied for a visa will be moved to a third country, where their paperwork will be reviewed, senior administration officials said.

It remained unclear how many Afghans would be evacuated, which third country would accept them and when the operation would begin.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby indicated the relocation might involve civilian aircraft and not military planes. An evacuation of 6,600 Iraqi Kurds to Guam in 1996-97 also used chartered, civilian planes.

To help Afghans facing threats from the Taliban due to their work for U.S. forces, Congress created the special immigrant visa program. But the SIV program has been hampered by bureaucratic delays and advocates say Afghan partners are in grave danger from the Taliban while they wait for their applications to be processed.

“Although we have surged resources and sped up SIV processing times significantly, we recognize that some of these interpreters and translators have been in the process, in some cases for years, and are still waiting to receive their visas,” a senior administration official said.

“We have identified a group of SIV applicants who have served as interpreters and translators to be relocated to another location outside of Afghanistan before we complete our military drawdown by September, in order to complete the visa application process,” the official said.

The U.S. withdrawal is likely to be effectively complete next month, according to officials.

State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter said the evacuees would come from the 18,000 Afghans already in the Special Immigrant Visa pipeline. She declined to say which countries they would be evacuated to but said the relocation would be done in “full compliance with all applicable laws, as well as in full coordination with Congress.”

The administration is identifying Afghans who worked with the U.S. government to be relocated to a third country to allow the Afghans to “safely complete” the remainder of the visa application process, she said.

The senior administration official left open the possibility that evacuations might have to be expanded. “We are planning for all contingencies, so that we are prepared for all scenarios. Should it become necessary, we will consider additional relocation or evacuation options,” the official said.

Lawmakers, veterans groups and rights organizations welcomed the announcement.

Chris Purdy, project manager of the Veterans for American Ideals program at Human Rights First, said the Biden administration should fly the Afghans to the U.S. territory of Guam, where the governor already has said the Afghans would be welcome.

“This is America’s responsibility, we don’t need to outsource to another country,” he said.

Purdy added that the administration should “release their plan to ensure that we get as many people out as possible.”

Congressional aides from both parties said the White House had informed lawmakers of the decision to proceed with an evacuation and that some officials in the administration favored flying the Afghan partners to Guam.

Visa applicants in Guam would be accorded more rights than in a third country, and it would be more difficult to deport them back to Afghanistan from U.S. territory, rights advocates said.

Advocates have accused the Biden administration of moving far too slowly to protect the tens of thousands of Afghans whose lives are in mortal danger because of their association with the U.S. and Western organizations.

Veterans and refugee organizations said they have been inundated with pleas for help from former interpreters.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending