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Former Michigan House leader and wife charged with misusing political funds

Lee Chatfield chargedProsecutors charged the former leader of the Michigan House and his wife with financial crimes Tuesday, alleging they milked political accounts for personal travel, housing and other benefits while the Republican lawmaker was raising millions of dollars from his powerful post.

Lee Chatfield misused various political funds, including his Peninsula Fund, which was not required to report the names of donors and served as an “unregulated slush fund,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.


Maine lawmakers pass sweeping gun legislation following the Lewiston mass shooting

Maine passes gun control lawsThe Maine Legislature approved sweeping gun safety legislation including background checks on private gun sales, waiting periods for gun purchases and criminalizing gun sales to prohibited people before adjourning Thursday morning, nearly six months after the deadliest shooting in state history.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and the Democratic-led Legislature pressed for a number of gun and mental health proposals after the shooting that claimed 18 lives and injured another 13 people, despite the state's strong hunting tradition and gun ownership.

"Maine has taken significant steps forward in preventing gun violence and protecting Maine lives," said Nacole Palmer, executive director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition, who praised lawmakers for listening to their constituents.


Columbia University president takes heat at congressional antisemitism hearing

Anti-semitism hearingA U.S. congressional committee on Wednesday accused Columbia University's president of failing to protect Jewish students on campus, echoing accusations leveled against three other elite university leaders at a hearing last year that sent shockwaves through higher education.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik responded to the accusations by some members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce by strongly denouncing antisemitic behavior by students and professors at the New York City-based Ivy League university, and by pledging there would be consequences.

A new report on the Maui wildfires cites communications breakdowns

Maui fires reportAs wildfires ripped across Maui last August, the head of the emergency management agency dragged his heels about returning to the island amid the unfolding crisis, while a broad communications breakdown left authorities in the dark and residents without emergency alerts, according to a report released Wednesday.

Communications problems were also encountered by the Hawaiian Electric Company, with officials unable to confirm that power lines were de-energized until well after flames had caused widespread damage, the report from the Hawaii Attorney General said.


US supreme court backs police officer in workplace sex discrimination lawsuit

SCOTUS supports female police officer

The US supreme court on Wednesday gave a boost to a St Louis police officer who sued after claiming she was transferred to an undesirable new job because of her sex, in a case testing the scope of federal workplace protections.

The 9-0 ruling by the justices threw out a decision by a lower court to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the officer, Jatonya Muldrow, and directed it to reconsider the matter.

At issue in the case is whether federal law banning workplace bias requires employees to prove that discrimination caused them tangible harm such as a pay cut, demotion or loss of job.


Boeing whistleblower says 787 fleet should be grounded

BoeingBoeing engineer Sam Salehpour said in a Tuesday interview that he thinks all 787 jets should be grounded to allow for proper safety checks of the plane, which has come under fire in recent months following a slew of incidents.

The new interview — which will air in full Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” — comes one day before Salehpour’s scheduled testimony before Congress about the safety concerns at Boeing that he laid out in a complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this year.

“The entire fleet worldwide, as far as I’m concerned right now, needs attention,” Salehpour said in a preview of the interview NBC News released Tuesday, when asked about the 787 plane model specifically.

“And the attention is, you need to check your gaps and make sure that you don’t have potential for premature failure,” he added.


California pilot and his dog survive plane crash after swimming to shore

Pilot and dog survive plane crash

A pilot and his dog survived a plane crash off the California coast, swimming to shore where they were met by authorities responding to the incident.

A 911 call came in on Sunday afternoon at 5.22pm about a plane crashing into the ocean off the coast across from the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles, in Ranchos Palos Verdes, the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department said on Tuesday.

The Piper PA-32, a single engine plane, crashed around 5.15pm local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The pilot had reported engine issues.

The department dispatched an air rescue team to respond to the crash, the LASD said. The plane’s occupant and his dog were able to swim to shore where they were treated for minor injuries, a county fire supervisor told the Los Angeles Daily News.


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