06-21-2018  8:24 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 ...

Fire forces evacuation of some residents in Jefferson County

CULVER, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Jefferson County have told residents in the Three Rivers community to leave immediately as winds whipped a fire burning in central Oregon.Sheriff Jim Adkins issued an evacuation order Thursday night for the private development near Lake Billy Chinook. The...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

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

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

By Deborah Feyerick and Kristina Sgueglia CNN




Reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, visibly annoyed, muttered under his breath "You're a f---ing liar" Thursday as a disgraced former FBI supervisor testified that there was "no question" the Irish gangster doubled as an informant for FBI Boston.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly requested that the judge in Bulger's federal trial advise Bulger to "keep his little remarks to himself," which Judge Denise Casper advised shortly after.

Both sets of attorneys have spent a remarkable amount of time during the trial of the notorious Bulger, charged with 19 murders and in court after living in hiding for 16 years, trying to prove whether Bulger was an informant during a 15-year period. Even Judge Casper is beginning to question the importance of the issue.

During post-court discussion over motions, as the defense was attempting to further it's argument that Bulger's informant records were forged by his FBI handler, Judge Casper questioned, "How does that address that your client is not guilty of crimes here?"

Bulger's attorney J.W. Carney danced around the question and responded, "Bulger was not providing information as an informant, he was providing money so that he'd get tipped off about wire taps and search warrants."

Bulger's attorneys have been quick to admit to acts of extortion and racketeering -- charges Bulger is also facing -- to defend their client's position that he was not another "rat" from South Boston.

"Why can't both be true?" Judge Casper inquired.

"The defendant's position is (that) only one is true." Carney said. "Why would James Bulger be paying all this money to all these people if the government's theory is he got all this protection because he was providing information. Why would he keep paying everybody?"

Former FBI supervisor John Morris, an addition to the government's long list of cooperating witnesses, testified Thursday that he took bribes from Bulger in the amount of $7,000, along with a silver-plated champagne bucket and two cases of imported wine.

Morris said he asked Bulger if he could "spring" for a plane ticket for his secretary girlfriend to visit him during FBI training in Georgia, and Bulger obliged. Morris admitted to his acts of corruption in 1997 in exchange for immunity.

A sheepish, red-faced Morris, though less than six feet away from Bulger, avoided eye contact with the defendant, who glared steadily at his old confidant throughout his testimony. This is the first time the two have seen each other since they cut ties in 1991 after Morris leaked Bulger's informant status to the Boston Globe.

Morris said he first met Bulger at a dinner he hosted his Lexington, Massachusetts, home in 1978 along with Bulger's FBI handler John Connolly, whom he characterized as his "best friend."

Morris said he met Bulger and later his associate Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi eight to 10 times in various places, including Morris' home, Morris' girlfriend's apartment, a hotel, Bulger's home and even in Flemmi's mother's house for dinner. Flemmi's mother cooked. The defense has previously argued that Bulger was not treated like an informant, and thus did not believe that he was.

Morris testified that Connolly preferred to meet Bulger in "pleasant surroundings, not the type of surroundings you would meet a normal informant," like in a hotel or car. "He wanted Mr. Bulger to be comfortable," Morris said.

Morris was supervisor to rogue FBI agent Connolly, who is currently serving a 40-year sentence on second-degree murder charges for leaking the identities of witnesses cooperating against Bulger's Winter Hill Gang. Flemmi, serving a life sentence, is set to testify against Bulger later in this trial after agreeing to cooperate with the government to evade the death penalty in 1997.

All that Bulger and Flemmi wanted from their handlers in exchange for information was "a head start," as Morris described -- to be tipped off if they were going to be indicted or charged so they could flee. The pair, according to Morris, knew they were "fair game" and acknowledged that they were engaging in criminal activity and at some point they might get charged. If that happened, they didn't want their identity as informants disclosed and would rather "take the risk" Morris said.

Morris admitted to tipping his informants off to wire taps, and keeping their names out of a 1975 horse race indictment. He testified that the Mafia, or La Cosa Nostra, was the main priority of the FBI in Boston and that Bulger and his partner Flemmi were instrumental in the take-down of those mobsters. The two provided the agents with a drawing of Mafia headquarters, and that was used to take down the New England Mafia in a 1983 sting.

After being tipped off to an indictment, Bulger went on the run for 16 years and landed himself on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list before being arrested in his Santa Monica. California, home with his girlfriend in 2011.

Morris said that he signed off on reports Bulger provided to the FBI that he knew were false lies to protect himself from being implicated as the person to who leaked sensitive information that may have tipped Bulger off to witnesses that were cooperating against him. Those potential witnesses were eventually murdered, Morris said, and Bulger has been charged in their killings.

While the defense had little time to cross-examine Morris, who will be back on the stand Friday, defense attorney Hank Brennan painted Morris to be a liar, an adulterer, and a fraud. He was able to fire off a question that is likely to resound with the jury.

"You were corrupt, weren't you Mr. Morris?" Brennan queried.

"Yes," Morris exhaled after a long pause and a deep breath.

 

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