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REUTERS/Mike SegarA cadet who was sentenced to 21 years in prison for raping a sleeping classmate has reportedly returned to the school after three military judges overturned his conviction.Jacob Whisenhunt was in the class of 2019 when he allegedly attacked a female cadet in her sleeping bag during Cadet Field Training at Camp Buckner on July 7, 2016. The Nebraska native was convicted in May 2017 by a jury of six West Point staff and faculty. A spokesman for the U.S. Military Academy confirmed Whisenhunt’s return on Wednesday to the Associated Press. On Monday, a panel of three U.S. military judges ruled that the intercourse could not be considered rape beyond a reasonable doubt because there were so many squad mates in “close proximity” and the victim did not make any noise or audibly struggle hard enough, “which would have alerted multiple others” to the alleged rape. The judges’ ruling was first reported on Wednesday by the Military Times.“It is hard to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that [Whisenhunt] could complete the charged offenses without cooperation or detection,” the panel wrote. “There is no evidence that appellant threatened [the victim] or took any steps, such as covering her mouth, to prevent an outcry.”Cadet Run Out of West Point After Accusing Army’s Star Quarterback of RapeThe judges also wrote that their belief was supported by the fact that Whisenhunt didn’t try to hide his identity and then left his semen on the woman’s sleeping bag. “There is no evidence that he tried to remove this evidence,” the panel said. The judges said they did not believe Whisenhunt would have so brazenly attacked a female cadet without hiding his identity or removing the evidence.“To be convinced of appellant’s guilt, we would have to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual acts could plausibly occur (and would not be discovered) without active cooperation from both parties,” the judges wrote.During the trial, according to the Army Times, the woman said she froze when she awoke to find Whisenhunt penetrating her with his finger and then with his penis—and that she “remained frozen in the fetal position during the entire assault.”Whisenhunt, meanwhile, reportedly testified that the sex was the result of “escalating and consensual touchings.”At the time of Whisenhunt’s conviction, West Point spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker said the 21-year sentence “reflects the seriousness of the crimes of sexual assault and rape.”Retired Air Force Col. Don Christensen, who serves as the president of advocacy group Protect Our Defenders, which aims to give a voice to survivors of sexual assault, noted that the judges’ ruling sets a legal precedent within the Army and called the written opinion “victim-blaming.” Christensen said he believes the case will negatively affect the rate of survivors coming forward.“There are so few convictions in the first place in the military,” he added. “Last year there were 108 convictions for sexual assault or rape in the military out of over 6,000 reports. So it’s really disheartening to see a conviction overturned on the whim of judges who weren’t even there for the trial.”“These judges are out of touch and see themselves as the last bastion against political correctness, versus looking at the legal issues,” he continued. “It’s becoming more common for the service courts to overturn these cases on factual sufficiencies.” “Most civilian courts do not have this authority, and that’s for a reason,” Christensen added.Incidents of sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact at American military academies have increased by 47 percent since 2016, the Pentagon announced in January.Most of those allegations came from West Point, which saw an increase in sexual-assault reports for the fourth year in a row, according to the report. There were 50 cases reported in the 2017-2018 school year, compared with 26 complaints made during the 2015-2016 school year.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Authorities in Arkansas on Thursday confirmed that a body found outside the home of a former Republican state lawmaker was hers, and police are investigating her death as a homicide. The Arkansas State Police said the medical examiner confirmed that former state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith’s body was found outside her home Tuesday in Pocahontas, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock. Police did not give a cause of death, but said Wednesday that they’re investigating the case as a homicide.
Trump news: President says moon is 'part of' Mars as he's criticised for 'making a fool of himself' in D-Day speechJune 8, 2019 | dailybusinessnews
Donald Trump is flying home to Washington on Friday after a five-day state visit to Britain, Ireland and France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day but can expect to find himself immediately confronted with a number of major issues left stewing in his absence.After the enjoying the pageantry of his royal reception in London, the president will arrive home this afternoon to face escalating trade tensions with Mexico and China and further calls for his impeachment, with House speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly telling her fellow Democrats on Tuesday: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.”Mr Trump hit back at Ms Pelosi, calling her “a disaster” during an interview with Laura Ingraham of Fox News staged in front of the Normandy American Cemetery in plain view of 9,000 war graves, an insensitivity for which both the president and the network have been heavily criticised.The president also caused mass confusion on Twitter when he urged NASA not to plan any further trips to the moon, instead directing all of their efforts to Mars. “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago,” he wrote on Twitter. He added, “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”Mr Trump also declared Friday that now “there is a good chance” the US will strike a deal with Mexico to avert the tariffs he had scheduled for Monday to force the nation’s ally to stem the flow of Central American migrants into the United States.“If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately,” Mr Trump tweeted from aboard Air Force One as he flew home from Europe. “If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!The tweet marked a change in tone from earlier Friday, when his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders had told reporters in Ireland before Mr Trump took off: “Our position has not changed. The tariffs are going forward as of Monday.”US and Mexican officials were holding a third day of talks at the US State Department Friday trying to hash out a deal that would satisfy Mr Trump’s demand that Mexico dramatically increase its efforts to crack down on migrants. Ms Sanders had said earlier that the two sides had “made a lot of progress” but not enough.Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load
This week’s rally has recouped most of May’s losses, when President Donald Trump’s tariff threats escalated trade wars with China and Mexico. Stocks and bonds both rose Friday after a report showed hiring was weaker than expected in May. The report appeared to increase the odds the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates in the coming months. Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell had signaled the possibility earlier in the week.
“Do you know most people think that impeachment means you’re out of office?” she asked reporters. The U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to impeach and remove the president from office, but no president has ever been removed as a direct result of a Senate impeachment trial.
Jim Watson/AFP/GettyAs House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) contends with a growing push among his fellow Democrats to move toward impeachment proceedings against President Trump, he finds himself receiving incoming on another front. A leading progressive group is demanding that the congressman get moving on unearthing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s past positions on abortion. In April, Demand Justice, a progressive organization focused on the nation’s judiciary, sent a letter to Nadler along with a host of other groups, asking him to request documents from the National Archives that could reveal prior stances Kavanaugh had taken on the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling while he was serving in the George W. Bush administration. Now, in order to bring further pressure on Nadler, Demand Justice is planning to launch digital ads in Manhattan directed at the congressman, which will focus on seeking those Kavanaugh documents. According to Demand Justice executive director Brian Fallon, they haven’t gone live yet and details are still in the works, but the ads could be pegged to the anniversary of Kavanaugh’s nomination on July 9. Kavanaugh Just Showed How He’d Roll Back Abortion — Without Overturning Roe v. WadeThe ad campaign is coming in the wake of a number of states around the country passing draconian abortion laws restricting abortion access and setting up potential legal challenges to Roe—challenges designed to make their way to the Supreme Court. That timeframe has put additional pressure on progressive groups to try and illuminate Kavanaugh’s full record on the matter, in hopes of potentially applying some political pressure before a case makes it to his chamber. Democrats had attempted to do this during Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle itself. In August of 2018, the National Archives denied a request from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for non-public records from Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary in the Bush administration, citing a legal opinion from the Justice Department that these sorts of requests could only emanate from committee chairmen. A lawyer for former President Bush released 42,000 pages of documents related to Kavanaugh’s tenure in that White House just before the hearings on Kavanaugh’s nomination were set to begin. During his hearings, Kavanaugh did not disclose his personal view but said: “I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade. It has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years.” But what was in the public record suggested that his position on Roe being settled law wasn’t firmly held. The New York Times reported in early September that he had written in a 2003 email: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land.” A recent poll conducted on behalf of the liberal group Take Back The Courts suggests that Democrats would be on solid ground in aggressively pursuing the Kavanaugh documents. According to the poll, which was shared with The Daily Beast, 58 percent of respondents said “yes” when asked if the National Archives should release the remainder of its documents pertaining to Kavanaugh, while 27 percent said “no” and 15 percent said “not sure.” The survey was conducted from May 31-June 3 with YouGov’s online panel and included 1,057 U.S. voters weighted to be representative of the population of voters by age, race/ethnicity, sex, education, U.S. Census region, and 2016 vote choice. Additionally, when respondents were asked if Kavanaugh should be impeached if those documents revealed that he had perjured himself during his confirmation process. The survey showed that 58 percent said “yes,” 23 percent said “no,” and 19 percent said “not sure.”“Trump isn’t the only predator that Speaker Pelosi is refusing to impeach,” Sean McElwee, director of research and polling with the group, told The Daily Beast. “It’s time for Democrats to perform their basic oversight duties and review documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House. The nation deserves to know whether Justice Kavanaugh perjured himself during his confirmation hearings.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Joe Biden put clear water between himself and other Democrat presidential candidates on the issue of abortion as he pulled into a surprise poll lead over Donald Trump in the traditionally conservative state of Texas. He enraged pro-choice activists, and many senior Democrat colleagues, by confirming he was against the idea of the US government using taxpayers' money to fund abortion. Mr Biden's campaign confirmed he backs the Hyde amendment, a 40-year-old law banning federal funding for abortion other than in cases of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. The official position of the Democrat party, and every other Democrat presidential candidate, is that Hyde should be repealed. They argue the ban prevents the poorest women gaining access to abortions. Mr Biden has set out a clear strategy of trying to occupy the centre ground in 2020, distancing himself from all of the other two dozen Democrat presidential candidates. White House officials say the poll numbers will change once Mr Trump starts campaigning in earnest Credit: AP The former vice president led Mr Trump 48-44 in a a Quinnipiac University poll of voters in Texas, where victory in 2020 would virtually guarantee him the White House. Other polls gave Mr Biden 12-point leads over Mr Trump in the key "rust belt" state of Michigan, and the swing state of North Carolina. He also had a four-point lead in the usually Republican border state of Arizona. Mr Biden's stance was lambasted by fellow Democrat candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, in the biggest collective attack on him since he entered the race in April. Pro-choice activists called his position "unacceptable" and accused him of being an "out of touch white man." Karen Finney, an adviser to Hillary Clinton in 2016, said: "It's a very fine line he's trying to walk. There are just places where he is out of step with the party." A Trump campaign official said Mr Biden's stance was the same as that of the US president. Mr Biden, who is Catholic, has previously expressed his personal opposition to abortion, while supporting Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalised it. Mr Biden is the Democrat front-runner Credit: Bloomberg His position is one that could help Mr Biden to win Texas, usually the biggest Republican-voting state. Mr Trump won it by nine points in 2016, but that was the smallest margin of victory for a Republican since 1996. The Quinnipiac poll showed Mr Biden leading 55 per cent to Mr Trump's 33 per cent among Texas voters classifying themselves as "independent". Quinnipiac pollster Peter Brown said: "The numbers are good for Biden." Manny Garcia, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said the state would become the "focal point" of the 2020 campaign. He said: "This is our moment. We all know that once Texas goes blue the Republican path to the White House will be blocked." However, White House officials remained confident the poll numbers would change once Mr Trump begins campaigning in earnest. And, despite the early surge for Mr Biden, most Americans still believe Mr Trump will be re-elected. In a CNN poll 54 per cent said they expected the US president to win again in 2020, with only 41 per cent thinking he would not.