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'It is serious and intense': white supremacist domestic terror threat looms large in US

It is serious and intense: white supremacist danger to USOn 6 October Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, released his department’s annual assessment of violent threats to the nation. Analysts didn’t have to dig deep into the assessment to discover its alarming content.

In a foreword, Wolf wrote that he was “particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. [They] seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.”

Two days later, the FBI swooped. It arrested 13 rightwing extremists who had allegedly been plotting to carry out a range of attacks in Michigan, including the kidnapping of the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Later revelations revealed that a group of anti-government paramilitaries that included some of kidnapping the governor of Virginia.


Michigan bans openly carrying guns at polling places on Election Day

Dana Nessel, Michigan AGMichigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday that people will not be allowed to openly carry guns "in a polling place, in any hallway used by voters to enter or exit, or within 100 feet of any entrance to a building in which a polling place is located" on Election Day.

"The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk's office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present," Benson wrote in her memo.

Individuals can leave their firearms in their cars within 100 feet of a building if they are legally allowed to do so. Benson also noted that concealed carry will not be allowed in any building that already prohibits the practice.



Why 4,998 died in U.S. jails without getting their day in court

Why 4,998 died in US jails without trials

America’s 3,000-plus jails are typically run by county sheriffs or local police. They often are under-equipped and understaffed, starved for funds by local officials who see them as budgetary burdens. A rising share have contracted their healthcare to private companies.

Yet there are no enforceable national standards to ensure jails meet constitutional requirements for inmate health and safety. Only 28 states have adopted their own standards to fill the gap. And much of the oversight that does exist is limited by a curtain of secrecy.

The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has collected inmate mortality data for two decades – but statistics for individual jails are withheld from the public, government officials and oversight agencies under a 1984 law limiting the release of BJS data. Agency officials say that discretion is critical because it encourages sheriffs and police to report their deaths data each year.


Investigation underway after explosion injures several people at a Virginia shopping center

Explosion at Virginia shopping centerAn investigation was underway into the cause of an explosion and large fire at a shopping center in Harrisonburg that injured at least five people Saturday morning.

Three people were taken to hospitals after the incident that was reported around 8:30 a.m., and two others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, the city said in an update Saturday evening.

The strip mall contained a vape shop, musical instrument store and recording studio, according to the Daily News-Record. It was a “total loss,” city spokesman Michael Parks said. Damage was also reported to other structures.


21 alleged white supremacists charged in federal drug, firearm trafficking cases in Utah

US DOJ charges 21 white supremacistsThe U.S. Department of Justice has charged 21 alleged white supremacist gang members and associates in Utah with distributing methamphetamine and firearms around the state.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Utah identified three separate white supremacist gangs as part of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force: Soldiers of Aryan Culture, Silent Aryan Warriors and Noble Elect Thugs.

“Many of the defendants have been involved in criminal conduct in Utah communities for many years,” the statement issued Friday by the attorney's office said. The investigation to identify “drugs and firearms trafficking activities” began in June 2019 and the alleged gangs were based around the Salt Lake City and Ogden areas.

Eleven defendants were arrested Wednesday and 10 were already in custody, the statement said.



US government to execute first woman since 1953

Lisa Montgomery to be executedThe federal government, continuing its string of executions this year, has set the dates for two more, includiLisa Montgomery is expected to receive lethal injection on December 8, the Justice Department says.

In 2004, she was convicted of strangling a Missouri woman who was eight-months pregnant, then cut out and kidnapped the the first woman in more than six decades.

The last woman executed by the US government was Bonnie Brown Heady on Dec. 18, 1953, according to US Bureau of Prisons records, for kidnapping and murder.
Also in 1953, Ethel Rosenberg was famously executed for espionage, along with her husband, Julius.



Kansas City hospitals overwhelmed, some forced to divert ambulances as COVID-19 cases jump

Missouri Governor Parson

Hospitals in and around Kansas City, Missouri, are overwhelmed amid a troubling spike in COVID-19 cases that has forced some facilitates to refuse non-emergency care and others to turn away ambulances due to over-occupancy.

Average daily COVID-19 hospitalizations were up about 10% this week across the Kansas City region as the Midwest grapples with record-breaking daily infection rates and intensive care unit bed shortages, according to the Mid-America Regional Council's dashboard.


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