Woman Convicted for Laughing at Jeff Sessions

A D.C. jury on Wednesday convicted an activist on criminal misdemeanor charges for laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing earlier this year. Desiree Fairooz, 61, was protesting the January 10 hearing with other members of the Code Pink activist group—two of whom were also arrested for causing a disruption. According to government documents, Fairooz had two loud bouts of laughter as Sessions spoke positively of his own history with race relations. “Defendant Fairooz… let out aloud [sic] burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter," the document read. A spokesperson for Code Pink, however, said the noise was more like a reflexive laugh “quieter than a cough." Fairooz’s guilty charges for disrupting Congress could result in a sentence of six months in jail.

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The Daily Beast CHEAT SHEET
PM
EDITION
3
May
 
1. PRIORITIES
Woman Convicted for Laughing at Sessions
A D.C. jury on Wednesday convicted an activist on criminal misdemeanor charges for laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing earlier this year. Desiree Fairooz, 61, was protesting the January 10 hearing with other members of the Code Pink activist group—two of whom were also arrested for causing a disruption. According to government documents, Fairooz had two loud bouts of laughter as Sessions spoke positively of his own history with race relations. “Defendant Fairooz… let out aloud [sic] burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter," the document read. A spokesperson for Code Pink, however, said the noise was more like a reflexive laugh “quieter than a cough." Fairooz’s guilty charges for disrupting Congress could result in a sentence of six months in jail.
READ IT AT NBC News  
 
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2. OH REALLY?
Trump: Israel Fix Easier Than You Think
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has spanned for decades with no clear outcome or time table, is easier to solve than people may think. “It’s something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years," Trump said during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sitting on either side of him. “But we need two willing parties. We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you both are willing, we’re going to make a deal."
 
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Behind the Hamas About-Face
BY Jesse Rosenfeld
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. WON’T BACK DOWN
Comey: I Had to Disclose New Hil Emails
FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to send a letter 11 days before the 2016 presidential election to congressional leaders revealing that the agency had discovered new emails relating to Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said it would have been “catastrophic" if he did not. The decision to do so has riled Democrats, particularly those in Clinton’s campaign, who have argued that Clinton lost the election in part due to Comey’s revelation. Clinton echoed that belief on Tuesday, saying she would have won the election if it were held before Comey sent the letter to Congress. He acknowledged, though, that he was faced with two terrible decisions, and that sending the letter was still “really bad." Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, responded almost immediately to Comey, criticizing him for not revealing the existence of an investigation into Russian meddling: “Real choice was not conceal or speak. Comey spoke about Clinton & concealed Trump invest. Real choice was to abide by DOJ policy or violate."
READ IT AT The New York Times  
 
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4. WAR OF WORDS
Grassley Doubts FBI’s ‘Objectivity’
Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley on Wednesday blasted the FBI over a perceived lack of objectivity in conducting its investigations. “A cloud of doubt hangs over the FBI’s objectivity," Grassley said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, referring specifically to the hiring of a top official who had connections to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a confidante of the Clintons. Grassley, the chairman of the committee, said there was an “obvious appearance of conflict" in the separate probes into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that Comey “was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds."
 
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5. TAKING ACTION
Facebook Hires 3,000 to Spot Live Crimes
Facebook will hire an additional 3,000 people to help monitor videos on the social-media platform for potential crimes, CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday. The new hires will “review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. Facebook has come under fire recently after a string of killings and violent attacks were broadcast on its Facebook Live platform. “If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner—whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down," Zuckerberg wrote.
READ IT AT Facebook  
 
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6. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Axelrod Blasts Hillary for Blaming Comey
Former top Obama adviser David Axelrod on Wednesday blasted Hillary Clinton for blaming her election loss on FBI Director James Comey, attributing her defeat chiefly to the fact that she did not visit key states in the Midwest during the general campaign. “Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention. Jim Comey didn’t say, ‘Don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign,'" Axelrod said on CNN’s New Day. “One of the things that hindered her in the campaign was a sense that she never fully was willing to take responsibility for her mistakes, particularly that server." In a rare public appearance on Tuesday, Clinton said she does blame herself for losing to Donald Trump, but added that Comey’s letters, as well as misogyny and the WikiLeaks releases, hurt her in the final days. “She said the words, ‘I’m responsible,’ but everything else suggested that she really doesn’t feel that way and I don’t think that helps her in the long run," Axelrod said, adding: “It takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump, let me tell you."
READ IT AT Free Beacon  
 
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7. DIRE
Puerto Rico Declares Quasi-Bankruptcy
Puerto Rico moved to declare a type of bankruptcy on Wednesday, in a move to avoid lawsuits from its creditors over the government’s billions in public debt. The governor, Ricardo Rossello, had tried to get parties to come together to restructure its $73 billion in bond debt and $50 billion in unfunded pensions, but many Puerto Ricans resisted austerity efforts. As a territory, Puerto Rico is unable to declare Chapter 9 bankruptcy that can be used by local governments, so it will enter federal bankruptcy court based on a law that allows territorial governments to do so.
READ IT AT The New York Times  
 
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8. K STREET
Ex-Trump Staffers Lobbyists, Despite Ban
President Trump said last year that he would ban people who worked on his 2016 transition team from lobbying for at least six months afterward, as part of his effort to “drain the swamp" in the Capitol. But in just half that time—three months after the 45th commander-in-chief moved into the White House—nine people who were employed on his team have registered as lobbyists. Many of them are registered to lobby the very same agencies—or on the same issues—they worked on during Trump’s transition period, Politico reports. “This is more evidence of the ethical vacuum in the Trump White House," said Robert Weissman,  president of the nonprofit government ethics watchdog Public Citizen. “These revolving-door-esque actions mock everything candidate Trump said about draining the swamp and ending corporate corruption and inside dealing in Washington, D.C."
READ IT AT Politico  
 
 
 
 
 
 
9. FIBBING
NK: American Held Tried to Overthrow Us
North Korea on Wednesday accused a U.S. citizen it arrested last month of attempting to overthrow its  government. Kim Sang Dok, an American professor who was teaching at the Pyongyang University for Science and Technology, was arrested at the capital city’s airport on April 22, and has since been accused of committing “criminal acts of hostility." A source told The Wall Street Journal that Kim’s wife has returned to the U.S. Kim is the third American being held by North Korea. The U.S. works with the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang for diplomatic issues involving North Korea because the U.S. and the DPRK have no formal relations.
READ IT AT The Wall Street Journal  
 
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10. ‘GET THEM’
Manhunt in Chicago After 2 Cops Are Shot
An intense manhunt is underway across Chicago after two police officers were shot Tuesday night, when the perpetrators allegedly pulled up to an unmarked law-enforcement vehicle and opened fire. The officers survived the shooting with non-life-threatening injuries—one was shot in the back, the other in the hip, local reports indicate. They were in serious condition but both were reported stable Tuesday night. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said authorities are speaking to three people of interest in the investigation. “It’s just another example of how dangerous this job is," he said. “And I think people take it for granted that when police officers come to work every day, they put their lives on the line every single day they get in their car." Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez, whose 15th Ward covers the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, said, “It is incomprehensible that this continues in our city, in our state, in our country." Johnson added, “Listen, if they will fire at police officers like that, they they have no thought process in terms of firing at other citizens of this great city. So, we are going to get them."
READ IT AT Chicago Tribune  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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