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Pentagon Preparing Options To Build Barriers If Trump Declares National Emergency

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The Pentagon is formulating options to build barriers on the Southern US border in the possibility that President Donald Trump declares a national emergency there, according to USA Today.

“The Department of Defense is reviewing available authorities and funding mechanisms to identify options to enable border barrier construction,” said Navy Capt. Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesman. “As there has not been such a declaration made, it would be inappropriate to comment further on those efforts.”

The verification of the preparations comes after Trump on Thursday gave his most definitive guidance yet that he was considering a declaration of a national emergency as a method of freeing up funds for a border wall if talks with Democrats fail to yield a deal on his signature issue, in the midst of the partial government shutdown.

“If this doesn’t work out, probably I will do it – I would almost say definitely,” Trump said. “We have plenty of funds if there’s a national emergency.”

Trump’s declaration of an emergency at the southern border would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to design barriers and let contracts to build them.

Money would come from the Pentagon’s budget for construction projects approved by Congress but not yet spent. 

Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said in an interview that he opposed diverting money from the Pentagon’s, or any other department’s budget, to pay for the border barriers. Diverting the money from the military would prevent it from, for example, building barracks to house troops.

In a follow-up statement to the Texas Tribune, Thornberry elaborated on his view.

“It is disappointing that the best interests of the country do not seem to be everyone’s top priority,” he said. “We should fund the rest of the government and improve border security, leaving the political posturing behind.”


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White Former Police Officer Acquitted In Death of Black Unarmed Teenager

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In this March 12, 2019 file photo, former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, charged with homicide in the shooting death of Antwon Rose II, walks to the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa. A witness in the shooting of Rose by Rosfeld said Wednesday March 20, 2019 at his trial in Pittsburgh, that he saw the officer standing on the sidewalk, panicking, saying, "I don't know why I shot him. I don't know why I fired." (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A jury has acquitted a white former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh.


Former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was charged with homicide for killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose II last June. Rose was riding in an unlicensed taxi that was involved in a drive-by shooting. Rosfeld pulled the car over and shot Rose in the back, arm and side of the face as the teen ran away.

Rosfeld testified that he thought Rose or another passenger in the car had a gun pointed at him.

The jury saw video of the fatal confrontation. The verdict came Friday after fewer than four hours of deliberations.

The shooting triggered protests in the Pittsburgh area last year.

The family of a black teenager who was shot in the back and killed by a white police officer outside Pittsburgh remained stoic after the man was acquitted.

Antwon Rose II’s sister had tears streaming down her face after the jury cleared former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld of a homicide charge late Friday. Her mother urged her not to cry.

The jury deliberated fewer than four hours before reaching its verdict. There were tears and gasps from black people gathered in an overflow courtroom, and several broke out in song: “Antwon Rose was a freedom fighter, and he taught us how to fight.”

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Mississippi Governor Signs One of America’s Strictest Abortion Laws In The Nation, Welcomes Lawsuits

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Mississippi’s governor has signed one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill Thursday outlawing most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy.

The Center for Reproductive Rights calls the bill “blatantly unconstitutional” and says it will sue Mississippi to block the bill from taking effect July 1.

Mississippi is one of several states where Republican leaders are considering abortion-restriction bills this year. Abortion opponents are emboldened by new conservatives on the Supreme Court and are seeking cases to challenge the court’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Bryant tweeted that he will fight for “innocent babies, even under the threat of legal action.”

Developing story, more to come…

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Oil/Gas Drilling Blocked On Federal Land In Wyoming Over Climate Change

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal land in Wyoming, ruling that the Interior Department “did not sufficiently consider climate change” in its assessments of whether to lease federal land for individual projects, the Washington Post reports.


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge has blocked oil and gas drilling on almost 500 square miles (1,295 sq. kilometers) in Wyoming and says the government must consider the cumulative climate change impact of leasing public lands across the U.S. for oil and gas exploration.

The order marks the latest in a string of rulings over the past decade faulting the U.S. for its inadequate consideration of greenhouse gas emissions when issuing leases for oil, gas and coal.

But U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras appeared to go a step further than previous rulings. Contreras said late Tuesday the U.S. Bureau of Land Management must consider nationwide emissions from past, present and future oil and gas leases.

The ruling was in a lawsuit challenging leases issued in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado in 2015 and 2016.

Developing story, more to come…

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