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  • Report: Capitol Police Leadership, Equipment Deficiencies Hampered Jan. 6 Response

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 09:42:00

    U.S. Capitol Police officers were hindered by leadership decisions and equipment deficiencies that left the force ill-prepared to respond to the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to a new watchdog report, which found that some advance intelligence offered a "more alarming" warning ahead of the day's events. The detailed, 104-page review was launched by Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton in the wake of the January siege and was completed in March. NPR reviewed the report on Tuesday ahead of its public discussion as part of a House Administration Committee hearing on Thursday. The panel's chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, called for the hearing after receiving a briefing from Bolton last month. Lofgren, D-Calif., said his findings "provide detailed and disturbing findings and important recommendations." Bolton's review outlines a wide range of concerns, including inefficiencies facing Capitol Police when it comes to a fragmented approach to tracking intelligence and a lack of related

  • Coast Guard, Good Samaritans Searching For Victims After Severe Weather Off Louisiana

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 08:15:00

    The United States Coast Guard and multiple Good Samaritan vessels are assisting in rescue efforts after a 265-foot commercial lift boat capsized just south Grand Isle, La., in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Jonathan Lally told NPR there are conflicting reports that additional vessels may also be in distress but that the initial call came in at 4:30 p.m. local time. That triggered an Urgent Marine Information, which launched the emergency rescue effort. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for all of southeastern Louisiana from noon on Tuesday through Thursday, due to the potential for heavy rainfall. "Do not enter or cross flowing water or water of unknown depth," the service said. The NWS also issued a wind advisory, cautioning residents to prepare for gusts up to 45 mph from Tuesday through 3 a.m. on Wednesday. "Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result," the agency

  • 1st Century Roman Statue, Looted A Decade Ago, Found In Belgium By Off-Duty Police

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 05:24:00

    Italian art police recovered a 1st century Roman statue that had been looted from an archaeological site nearly a decade ago after off-duty officers spotted it in an antique shop in Belgium, Italian authorities said this week. The Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (TPC) said in a statement that two of its officers, on assignment in Brussels, had been browsing a neighborhood of antique shops after work when they came upon a marble statue that struck them as suspicious. The headless, toga-draped figure appeared to be of Italian origin, and bore the signature damage of excavation tools. Upon their return to Italy, the officers cross-referenced their photographs with a database of stolen cultural assets, which confirmed their hunch: The statue had been stolen in November 2011 from the Villa Marini Dettina archaeological site, on the outskirts of Rome. The life-size "Togatus" statue is valued at roughly 100,000 euros, or $119,485 USD. Its recovery required an

  • 'I Never Imagined This': Daunte Wright's Family Calls For Accountability

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 04:23:00

    In their first public press conference, the family of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., expressed grief and anger, called for accountability, and questioned why police felt the need to use any force on their son. Katie Wright, Daunte's mother, recounted the phone call she had with her son when he called to ask for advice after police pulled him over. She said he told her he'd been pulled over due to air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror, a minor violation of law in Minnesota . Police officials have since said the reason for the stop was expired registration tags. "I never imagined this was what was going to happen," she said, breaking into tears. "That was the last time I've heard from my son. And I've had no explanation since then." Police shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday. Officials say that after the officers pulled him over, they discovered an outstanding warrant stemming from misdemeanor charges

  • Rusten Sheskey, Kenosha Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake, Will Not Face Discipline

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 03:26:00

    Kenosha, Wis., police said Tuesday that Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot Jacob Blake last summer, has been found to have acted within the law and department policy. In August, Sheskey fired seven shots at close range at the back of Blake, a Black man, as Blake walked away from the officer and toward a parked vehicle where two of his young children were sitting. Six of those shots struck Blake, who was left paralyzed. The shooting touched off major protests in the Wisconsin city. Chief Daniel Miskinis said the use-of-force incident had been investigated by an outside agency and reviewed by independent experts. The Kenosha County District Attorney's Office announced in January that no charges would be brought against Sheskey. "He acted within the law and was consistent with training," Miskinis said in a statement Tuesday. "This incident was also reviewed internally. Officer Sheskey was found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline." Sheskey is

  • Park Police Officer Who Provided Backup Testifies In Derek Chauvin Trial

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:36:00

    The defense called on Officer Peter Chang of the Minneapolis Park Police to testify in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is on trial on murder and manslaughter charges in the death of George Floyd. Chang was stationed at a nearby park last May 25 when he heard a dispatch on his radio asking for assistance. He was one of the closer officers to Cup Foods, so he went to the scene. It's common for park police to assist Minneapolis city police, Chang said, and explained that officers in both forces attend the same police academy. Chang described the scene when he arrived: "Floyd was in handcuffs, sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall." Chang said that a crowd had gathered and that the onlookers were "becoming more loud and aggressive." Chang said he didn't know whether the car Floyd was driving had been searched yet, and he was concerned about that. He said the onlookers were "very aggressive, aggressive toward the officers." Video from Chang's bodycam was then shown. Defense

  • Expert Testifies Chauvin's Actions Were Justified And In Line With Policies

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:12:00

    Updated April 13, 2021 at 7:09 PM ET A use-of-force witness gave a new point of view to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial on charges of murder and manslaughter. The defense witness said Tuesday that Chauvin and three other officers' actions were justified during the arrest that ended in George Floyd's death and that they used an appropriate amount of force. "I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement," Barry Brodd, a former police officer, testified. Brodd described the position in which Floyd was restrained — facedown on the ground — as being safest for officers and suspect. And he added that holding a person in that position does not make it more dangerous. "If the officer is justified in using the prone control, the maintaining of the prone control is not a use of force. It's a control technique," he testified. "It doesn't hurt."

  • The Biden Administration Has Delayed Accepting More Refugees Despite Campaign Promise

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:09:00

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Among the many Trump-era policies that President Biden has promised to reverse is immigration policy, including welcoming more refugees to the country. But so far, it is not happening. Trump-administration policies are still in effect. Just 2,050 refugees have resettled in the U.S. halfway through the fiscal year. That is according to the State Department. And that puts Biden on track so far to accept the fewest number of refugees of any modern president. Well, to talk about what's going on, we have called Jenny Yang. She is vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian group that partners with local churches. Jenny Yang, thanks for joining us. JENNY YANG: Thanks so much for having me. KELLY: So what is going on? President Biden says he wants to allow more refugees, but he has not signed the paperwork that would officially allow that to happen. Is that the situation in a nutshell? YANG:

  • Why 2019 Was The Worst Year On Record For Syphilis

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:09:00

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: New CDC data shows sexually transmitted infections reached an all-time high in 2019. The biggest spike was in syphilis cases, up 74% over five years. California leads the country in infections. Men who have sex with men make up half the cases. April Dembosky at KQED in San Francisco explains how this happened. APRIL DEMBOSKY, BYLINE: The Castro Country Club in San Francisco is not a resort. It's where gay men come to get help with drug addiction, especially methamphetamine. Director Billy Lemon says syphilis comes with the territory. BILLY LEMON: In the 12-step community, if meth was your thing, I mean, everybody's had syphilis. I'm not even sure how many times I had it. DEMBOSKY: He tries to remember. Was it four, five times? LEMON: In my life, probably four times. DEMBOSKY: A recent rise in meth use has become a key driver of syphilis, especially in the West. While Billy Lemon is now sober, in his heyday, he'd stay awake

  • Officer Billy Evans Mourned at the Capitol

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 02:09:00

    AILSA CHANG, HOST: Officer William Evans, also known as Billy, helped protect the Capitol for 18 years. Today, the people he watched over honored his service. MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Evans was killed earlier this month in an attack on the Capitol just months after the January 6 insurrection by pro-Trump extremists that killed Officer Brian Sicknick. A CHANG: The fallen officer's coffin was saluted by his fellow officers as it entered the Capitol building. Inside, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi praised his sacrifice. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) NANCY PELOSI: Just months after the January 6 assault on our democracy, the men and women of the Capitol Police were again called to duty. On April 2, Officer Evans answered that call and giving his life to protect the Capitol and our country, he became a martyr for our democracy. A CHANG: President Biden also honored Evans. Shortly before he spoke, Evans' daughter dropped a soft toy replica of the Capitol. The president quietly moved

  • $100,000 Athens Donation Addresses Vaccine Equity

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 01:59:26

    An Athens nonprofit recently contributed $100,000 to the Northeast Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health, with the goal of increasing equity in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Sarah McKinney is President and CEO of the Athens Area Community Foundation (AACF). She says providers must consider a multitude of obstacles, including grappling with a variety of site locations, getting the vaccine to those who can’t get to sites, overcoming hesitancy, underserved communities, and partner agencies. According to McKinney, "One of the biggest issues we're looking at is transportation access barriers, registration challenges, (and) vaccine hesitancy. When you begin to look at equity in terms of actual outreach, how do people know there are clinics in their area? What if there are low rates of internet availability in certain communities?" To date, the COVID-19 Community Response Fund has donated $418,000 to 55 organizations and school systems. The funding is not

  • Hostile Architecture, Clayton Street on Commission Agenda

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 01:46:10

    The Athens Clarke County Mayor and Commission will meet today at 5:30 for their monthly work session. Commissioners are expected to hear from several county staffers at this evening’s meeting. At the top of the list is a dense and detailed look at the current budget for employee and retiree benefits, as well as projections for the next year. This comes as the county’s budgeting process marches on. According to the presentation, claims are up and county staffers say the level of claims this early in the year is a point of concern. So-called “hostile architecture” will also be on the agenda. Hostile, or defensive architecture uses design elements to restrict access to certain types of people, such as the homeless or skateboarders. Commissioners will hear a discussion focused primarily on bench design and seating options in public places, including designing seating options for older people. Commissioners are also expected to hear an update on SPLOST-funded improvements to Clayton Street.

  • Biden To Make Historic Census Director Pick With Latinx Statistician Rob Santos

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 01:19:00

    In a historic move, President Biden is naming Robert Santos, one of the country's leading statisticians and the American Statistical Association's president, as his intended nominee to head the U.S. Census Bureau. If confirmed by the Senate, Santos, who is Latinx, would be the first permanent director of color for the federal government's largest statistical agency, which is in charge of major surveys and the once-a-decade head count used for distributing political representation and funding around the United States. The White House announced Santos as Biden's intended nominee in a statement released on Tuesday . Depending on the timing of a confirmation, Santos could finish the term left open by former Director Steven Dillingham that is ending this year. Dillingham was the Trump-appointed director who quit in January after whistleblowers filed complaints about Dillingham's role in trying to rush out an incomplete data report on noncitizens. Santos could be reappointed after the end of

  • Brooklyn Center Police Chief And Officer Who Shot Daunte Wright Resign

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:57:00

    Updated April 13, 2021 at 2:57 PM ET Kim Potter, the Brooklyn Center, Minn., police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, has resigned. Potter had served 26 years on the force before the fatal encounter Sunday where officials said she mistakenly fired her handgun instead of her Taser. Police Chief Tim Gannon, who on Monday released the body camera footage and characterized the shooting as an "accidental discharge," has also stepped down. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced the resignations at a news conference Tuesday. "We're hoping that we're turning over a new leaf now," Elliott said. Potter, who had previously served as president of the local police union and whose duties included training other officers, had initially been placed on administrative leave, but pressure had grown from community members to fire her. Critics had raised questions of how someone responsible for police training could have mistaken a Taser for a handgun. Elliott said that he had not asked for

  • Aaron Lee Tasjan's New Album Touches On Health, Being Alone, And Money

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:53:00

    Even though Aaron Lee Tasjan 's song "Up All Night" sounds like a lot of fun – if you listen close, the lyrics touch on many of the things you may have been worried about over this past year. Things like health, being alone, and money. And while some of his songs on his new album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! sound like they were inspired by the pandemic, Tasjan's had these things on his mind since before the lockdown. One night, while on stage playing a show, Tasjan says, "My stomach was hurting so badly that I could barely stand up and by the end of the show, I could hardly breathe; I ended up having to go to the emergency room." Luckily, Tasjan's stomach is OK... and the album is a really good time, even though it's shot through with anxiety. In this session, Tasjan joins for a conversation and performance of some of the songs from the record. Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN .

  • Passenger In George Floyd's Car Testifies In Derek Chauvin Trial

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:48:00

    Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's attorney called on Shawanda Hill to testify on Tuesday morning. Chauvin is on trial on murder and manslaughter charges in George Floyd's death. Hill told the court she was at the Cup Foods store last May 25 when she ran into Floyd, whom she knew. She described his behavior as "happy, normal, talking, alert." She said Floyd offered to give her a ride to her house, and she went with him to the car he was driving. They sat in the car, chatting and talking about what they were about to do, she told the court. Then she said she got a phone call from her daughter, and while she was on the phone, Floyd fell asleep. Store employees then approached the car about a suspected counterfeit $20 bill that Floyd had used earlier. Hill said that she, the store clerks and a friend of Floyd's tried to wake him up. Floyd would wake up momentarily and say something or make a gesture, then nod off again, Hill testified. Hill told the clerks that she would

  • Catching Up With Laurie Anderson, An Artist Always Ahead Of Her Time

    wuga.org Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:00:00

    Last October, in the midst of the pandemic, Laurie Anderson appeared at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum to recreate one of her earliest works. Wearing ice skates attached to frozen blocks of ice, she played her violin along with a tape recording stashed cleverly inside her instrument. When the ice melted, her performance ended. Bow over bridge, blades over ice: "Duets on Ice" is a meditation on balance and time. Anderson has been playing the violin since age five. She performed with the Chicago Youth Orchestra, and might have pursued a career as a concert violinist. But in 1966 her curiosity brought her to New York City, where she enrolled in Barnard to study art, while keeping a separate studio downtown. Anderson explains that she was careful not to mix her academic work with the art she was trying to make: "I just wanted to try to find my own way," she says. Anderson went on to study sculpture at Columbia and worked a series of jobs in the art world, including teaching art to

  • Biden's National Security Team Lists Leading Threats, With China At The Top

    wuga.org Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:54:00

    The U.S. intelligence community said Tuesday that it views four countries as posing the main national security challenges in the coming year: China, followed by Russia, Iran and North Korea. "China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas — especially economically, militarily, and technologically — and is pushing to change global norms," said the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The report cites China's growing military assertiveness in several regional disputes, including Taiwan, the India-China border and the South China Sea. "China seeks to use coordinated, whole-of-government tools to demonstrate its growing strength and compel regional neighbors to acquiesce to Beijing's preferences, including its claims over disputed territory," the report says. U.S.-China friction President Biden has described China as the main challenge to U.S. global leadership in the 21st century, saying Beijing seeks to

  • 'The Final Revival Of Opal & Nev' Is A Faux Music History That Rocks

    wuga.org Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:44:00

  • Henry Louis Gates Jr. On 'The Black Church' And His Own Bargain With Jesus

    wuga.org Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:44:00

    TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. My guest, Henry Louis Gates, has written a new book called "The Black Church." That's a companion to the PBS series he hosts of the same name. The book explores the history of African American religions from the days of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the Black Lives Matter movement. He says Black churches were the first institutions built by Black people and run independent of white society in the U.S. with the earliest Black Christian congregations roughly contemporaneous with the Declaration of Independence. He describes how churches became the foundation of Black religious, political, economic and social life. He also tells his story about the bargain he made with Jesus that led him to the church at age 12. But life eventually led him to become more of an observer than participant in religion. Henry Louis Gates has hosted many PBS series and written companion books exploring the history of African Americans, including the

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