Juan Orlando Hernandez was extradited last month on charges that he received millions of dollars from 2004 to 2022 to support a drug trade that delivered hundreds of thousands of kilograms of drugs to the U.S.
The attorney for former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said he wants to call notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the stand as one defense witness in his high profile drug trafficking case in New York federal court.
“We’re going to subpoena El Chapo,” said defense attorney Raymond Colon. “If the judge orders it, the government will have to produce him. We’ll hear what he has to say.”
El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence in a U.S prison for a massive conspiracy that utilized killings and corruption to support drug trafficking for over two decades.
Colon said Hernandez denied taking millions in payoffs from El Chapo and other murderous drug kingpins in exchange for helping them transport large amounts of drugs through Honduras to the U.S. He said he expected El Chapo would verify that claim, if he were able to get him to testify.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty in federal court in Manhattan. Wearing a blue jailhouse uniform, Hernandez said in Spanish, ”Not guilty your honor” during Tuesday’s hearing before Judge P. Kevin Castel.
Hernandez was extradited to New York on April 21 on the drug trafficking-related charges. Drug Enforcement Administration agents said while publicly promising to help the U.S. fight drug trafficking, privately he was working closely with the cartels.
After Tuesday’s hearing, defense attorney Colon said he would try to subpoena other long-shot witnesses – like former Presidents Trump and Obama as well as former top U.S. security officials like John Kelly and Mike Pompeo.
The Obama administration recently published long-awaited regulations for programs that prepare new K-12 teachers.
The U.S. Education Department had attempted to do this several years ago, but that effort was notable for several controversies, one of them a suggestion that teacher-preparation programs be evaluated in part by the standardized test scores of the students being taught by program graduates. Now we have the final regulations — and critics of the original draft remain unsatisfied.
For one thing, the new regulations, as this story by my colleague Emma Brown explains, require states to issue annual ratings for teacher-prep programs, an effort, supporters say, to separate the successful programs from the failures. They still also require each state to evaluate teacher-training programs based on student learning, but this time leaving it to the states to decide how to measure academic growth and how much it should weigh in an overall rating. That means that the department will permit states to use test scores for evaluation — a method that is not used to evaluate any other professional preparation program.
There are other problems with the new regulations, as well, as explained in this post by Lauren Anderson and Ken Zeichner. Anderson is a professor and chair of the Education Department at Connecticut College. Zeichner is a professor of teacher education at the University of Washington at Seattle who has done extensive research on teaching and teacher education.
Full Read – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/10/24/the-big-problems-with-obama-administrations-new-teacher-education-regulations/
WASHINGTON — Facing hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits, the giant biotechnology companyMonsanto last year received a legislative gift from the House of Representatives, a one-paragraph addition to a sweeping chemical safety bill that could help shield it from legal liability for a toxic chemical only it made.
“Call me a dreamer, but I wish for a Congress that would help cities with their homeless crises instead of protecting multinational corporations that poison our environment,” said Pete Holmes, the city attorney for Seattle, one of six cities suing Monsanto to help cover the costs of reducing PCB discharge from their sewers.
Democrats and Republicans—along with the chemical industry and even some environmentalists—agree that the pending legislation would be a major improvement over existing law.But from legal liability shields to state-based regulatory authority, the House and Senate versions have major differences to resolve. The remaining disputes revolve around the basics of pre-emption: Who gets to sue? Andwho gets to regulate the chemical industry?
A Monsanto spokeswoman said the company had received no special treatment from the House or the Senate.
“Monsanto does not consider either version of the bill, with respect to the effect on preemption, to be a ‘gift,’ ” the spokeswoman, Charla Lord, said.
Already, attorneys general and top environmental regulators from 15 states have written to leaders in Congress demanding changes.
“Our future work depends on striking the right balance to strengthen the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s abilities and funding, without limiting state powers in creating and enforcing needed protections,” said aletter, obtained by The New York Times, sent by the top environmental regulators in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia.
Some of the most vociferous objections relate to the so-called Monsanto Clause. The provision does not mention the company by name, but between the early 1930s and 1977, Monsanto manufactured almost all of the 1.25 billion pounds of PCBs sold in the United States.
PCB litigation has surged in the last year as cities and school systems struggle to comply with directives from federal and state regulators to reduce PCB levels in sewer discharge and in caulk once used to construct schools. Separately, a group of individuals who received diagnoses of a form of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma sued Monsanto last year, claiming the company should pay damages.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a June reportaccompanying its version of the legislation, asserted that neither existing toxic chemical law nor any revisions pending in Congress should be seen as a way to “pre-empt, displace or supplant” the right to sue for damages in lawsuits like the ones filed against Monsanto.
The House also voted to preserve the right to sue if individuals or local governments believe they have been harmed by a chemical, regardless of future federal regulations of the substance. But a critical paragraph added to the House bill in late May made sure past regulatory requirements by the E.P.A. would continue to disqualify legal claims, and it specifically referred to the section of the 1976 toxic chemical law governing PCBs, giving Monsanto clearer authority in the future to ask judges to dismiss lawsuits filed against it.
Congressional aides involved in the drafting said the language was inserted at the request of Republican staff members at the House Energy and Commerce Committee. One Republican committee aide disputed any suggestion that this was a gift to Monsanto, but he said he was not allowed to discuss the issue on the record.
And Ms. Lord, the Monsanto spokeswoman, said the company did not ask for the change.
POSTED AT 2:01 PM ON NOVEMBER 29, 2015 BY JAZZ SHAW
A significant majority of the country recently spoke up in a NY Times/CBS poll saying that they had essentially given up hope that the President was going to figure out what to do about the JV Team. These perceptions were likely buttressed a bit when the White House informed us that ISIS was largely “contained” just hours before they lit up Paris like a pinball machine. So maybe we need a new approach? Anonymous apparently declared war on the terrorists recently, though aside from ruining their credit rating I’m not sure exactly what they’re going to accomplish. But lo and behold, a new force is stepping up to the plate and may be positioned to do something a little more… forceful. It arrives in the person of Giovanni Gambino (yes, from those Gambinos) and if nothing else he seems to have the messaging right. (Apologies for NSFW language in graphic and several quotes to come.)
“These people are like walking machines. ISIS brainwashes them through the Internet,” Giovanni Gambino told Mic of the terrorist threat. “You need to beat the fuck out of them to the point where they stop coming back to life.”
Gambino, a prolific author of mob history and a scion of the family that saw the rise of the likes of John Gotti and Paul Castellano, said the nature of the mob made it fundamentally better equipped than traditional law enforcement to handle a threat like ISIS.
“Back in the day, probably the safest place ever was an old Sicilian neighborhood like Bensonhurst or Knickerbocker Ave.,” said Gambino of two Brooklyn neighborhoods. “We got our kids going to those schools. We got families in those neighborhoods.”