USPS SOUGHT TIME OFF FOR CLINTON CAMPAIGN
The Postal Service engaged in widespread violations of federal law by pressuring managers to approve letter carriers taking time off last fall to campaign for Hillary Clinton and other unionbacked Democrats, investigators said Wednesday.
High-level postal officials had for years granted employees requests for unpaid leave, leading last year to an “institutional bias” in favor of Clinton and other Democrats endorsed by the National Association of Letter Carriers, one of the largest postal unions. The Postal Service’s Office of Special Counsel and inspector general found that the agency violated the Hatch Act, which restricts federal employees from working for or against a political candidate or party during election season.
Trump picks Raytheon lobbyist as Army secretary.
WASHINGTON» President Donald Trump is nominating Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper to be the next secretary of the Army. Esper has been the top lobbyist for major defense contractor Raytheon since 2010. He also has experience working in the House and Senate, at the Pentagon and at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
On voter data, Trump questions motives of states.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged members of his new voter fraud commission to approach their task with “a very open mind,” despite having spent months making unfounded claims, without evidence, that millions of fraudulent ballots had been cast against him. Trump also questioned the motives of states that have refused to comply with the commission’s request for extensive personal voter information, suggesting they had something to hide.
Saudis release woman in miniskirt video.
Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that a woman who was detained after wearing a miniskirt in a video that went viral has been released without charge. The decision not to press charges was a rare win for supporters of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, who criticized the public outcry against her.
Minnesota teen ID’d as Gacy victim.
After running away from his Minnesota home in 1976, 16-year-old Jimmy Haakenson called his mother, told her he was in Chicago, then disappeared forever. More than 40 years later, a detective from Illinois arrived at the family’s home to tell Haakenson’s relatives that at some point after hanging up the phone, the teenager crossed paths with serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Haakenson’s body, it turns out, was among dozens found in a crawl space of Gacy’s Chicago-area home in 1978. But the remains were only recently identified thanks to DNA technology that wasn’t available then, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department announced Wednesday.
Legal pot sales begin in Uruguay.
URUGUAY» Marijuana aficionados lined up at pharmacies across Uruguay on Wednesday to be among the first in the South American nation to legally buy pot as a law regulating its sale took full effect.
Authorities say nearly 5,000 people have registered as consumers, allowing them to buy up to 40 grams per month using fingerprint recognition.
The price is set at the equivalent of $1.30 per gram, with 90 cents of that going to the two businesses chosen to cultivate marijuana. The rest is split between the pharmacies and the government.
Remains of 10th flashflood victim may have been found.
Remains found Wednesday in a water- and debrisfilled canyon in central Arizona are believed to be those of a missing 27-yearold man who’s the 10th and final victim of last weekend’s flash flood, authorities said. Gila County officials said identification of the body will be subject to DNA analysis by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. But they believe the body is that of Hector Miguel Garnica and have notified his relatives.
Officer has yet to talk to investigators.
Four days after a Minneapolis police officer fatally shot a woman who had called 911 to report a possible rape, the officer has yet to talk with investigators, and his attorney has given no indication he ever will. Some legal experts say the move is wise and well within the officer’s rights. But without Officer Mohamed Noor’s version of events, there’s virtually no explanation for what happened Saturday when he fired a shot from the passenger seat of a squad car, past his partner in the driver’s seat and killed Justine Damond, 40, who was standing outside the vehicle.
Trump Jr., Manafort called before Senate committees.
Members of the Trump campaign’s inner circle, including his eldest son and son-in-law, are being called before Senate committees next week to talk about the 2016 election. Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to appear July 26 before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Also, a lawyer for Trump’s son-in-law and adviser said Jared Kushner will speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday.