06-22-2018  3:14 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Oregon woman accused of mistreating 3 children

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Police arrested an Oregon woman accused of criminally mistreating three children in her care.Lt. Henry Reimann of the Hillsboro Police Department says Merlinda Avalos limited the kids to two peanut sandwiches a day, prevented them from using the bathroom at night and...

Man charged in 1986 killing of 12-year-old Tacoma girl

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Lakewood man suspected of killing a 12-year-old girl in Tacoma over three decades ago has been charged with murder and rape.The News Tribune reports Pierce County prosecutors charged 66-year-old Gary Hartman Friday in connection with Michella Welch's death in 1986. She...

Federal agency approves Idaho field burning rules

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal officials have approved Idaho's request to loosen field burning rules.Backers say the move offers more flexibility to keep smoke away from people but health advocates counter that it will lead to breathing problems for some residents.The U.S. Environmental...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Death threat made against Colombia midfielder

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):12:44 a.m.Colombian authorities are investigating a death threat made on social media against Colombia midfielder Carlos Sanchez, who was sent off early on in the team's 2-1 defeat to Japan at the World Cup.Police say the...

Trial set in long-delayed post-Katrina racial shooting case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A trial date has been set for a white man accused of shooting at three black men in what federal prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack following Hurricane Katrina.The case of Roland Bourgeois Jr. has dragged on for years. He was indicted five years after the...

Xhaka and Shaqiri score for Swiss, make Albanian symbol

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — Albania's national flag was at the center of Switzerland's 2-1 victory over Serbia on Friday at the World Cup.Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri celebrated their goals by making a nationalist symbol of their ethnic Albanian heritage.Both players put their open hands...

ENTERTAINMENT

Actress Betty Buckley wants to 'make America happy again'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There's busy. And then there's Betty Buckley busy.The veteran singer and actress began the month with four nights of concerts in New York celebrating the release of her new live album, "Hope."Buckley appeared earlier this week on the season finale of The CW's "Supergirl,"...

So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Police shooting of boy spurs more protests, appeals

Protesters demonstrated Friday for a third day over the fatal police shooting in Pennsylvania of an unarmed black...

Ex-New England Mafia boss 'Cadillac Frank' guilty in slaying

BOSTON (AP) — Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was convicted Friday of killing a nightclub owner to keep...

Inmate charged with capital murder in Kansas deputy deaths

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths...

UK split by Brexit divide 2 years after vote to leave EU

LONDON (AP) — It's been two years since the shoppers and traders of London's Romford market voted by a wide...

Italy vows to expel far more migrants, but it won't be easy

ROME (AP) — Barely a week in office, Italy's populist interior minister lost no time in bringing home his...

Rival Koreas agree to August reunions of war-split families

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold temporary reunions of families...

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- The U.S. Justice Department's inspector general found 14 employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responsible for management failures in the botched Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation, according to a report released Wednesday.

The inspector general's report referred the 14 for possible disciplinary action, but did not recommend criminal sanctions.

The report found that Attorney General Eric Holder was not informed of the controversial ATF operation until 2011, after the death of a Border Patrol agent ratcheted up the political ramifications of the program.

The botched investigation was designed to expose the illicit networks responsible for illegal gunrunning to Mexico. The ATF launched the Fast and Furious program in Arizona to track weapons purchases, but lost track of nearly 2,000 firearms, two of which turned up in the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Since then, a contentious political drama has unfolded in the wake of the program, including a contempt lawsuit against Holder.

Republicans have used the issue to attack Holder and the Obama Justice Department.

"Our review of Operation Fast and Furious and related matters revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment, and management failures that permeated ATF headquarters and the Phoenix Field Division, as well as the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona," the report concluded.

Moments after the report was released, the Justice Department announced the departure of two employees who were faulted in the report.

Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, resigned. The report said he failed to pass along key information about the flawed tactics being used in Fast and Furious.

Former acting ATF Director Ken Melson, who had already stepped down from that role but was still working for the department in another capacity, has retired.

The report by the department's office of the inspector general was highly anticipated by both the Obama administration and its critics, and could figure into November's presidential election.

Both sides released statements saying that the report's conclusions backed up their arguments.

Holder said that the conclusions were consistent with what he and other department officials have said all along. Namely, that the flawed strategies dated back to 2006, during the Bush administration, and that the department did not attempt to cover up information or mislead Congress.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a leading critic of the administration on this issue, called on President Obama to "step up and provide accountability" for the program.

"The Inspector General's report confirms findings by Congress' investigation of a near total disregard for public safety in Operation Fast and Furious," he said.

"Attorney General Holder has clearly known about these unacceptable failures yet has failed to take appropriate action for over a year and a half," Issa said.

Holder said the report found the opposite: that the leadership did not know or authorize the tactics.

Holder had said he was awaiting the report to determine what actions to take against individuals involved in the case. Up to now, Holder has promised Congress that such "gun walking" of weapons into Mexico would never again be allowed.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer acknowledged last November he had learned that guns were allowed to "walk" to Mexico, and apologized for not informing other senior Justice Department officials. A letter from the Justice Department to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, which had said no guns were allowed to walk, was later retracted by Justice officials.

A standoff over internal Justice documents erupted after the Obama administration said it was asserting executive privilege in the Fast and Furious case to shield documents that include internal deliberations traditionally protected from outside eyes.

That prompted the House to vote a civil contempt charge against Holder. The vote along party lines was followed by the House taking the contempt issue to court, where it is expected to linger until well after the presidential election.

It marked the first time in U.S. history that the head of the Justice Department has been held in contempt by Congress.

Democrats protested the vote vehemently as being purely political.

 

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