Some News that the COVID-19 Pandemic Upstaged

As COVID-19 dominates the headlines – and it should- what would have been the breaking or big news?

For example, PG&E pleading guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the Camp Fire case, this would have been a news-heavy week even without the coronavirus stories that dominated headlines.

Do you remember those days when we could gather in crowds and rally and hug each other- !

Judicial Commission recommends removal of Sullivan Judge McGuire

ALBANY, NY – In a 66-page determination, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that Sullivan County Court Judge Michael McGuire should be removed from office for a laundry list of misconduct and abuse of authority.

“The breadth of Judge McGuire’s misconduct is stunning,” Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said in a statement issued by the judicial disciplinary committee. “He wrongfully ordered people to jail and handcuffed Family Court litigants; often berated and yelled at court staff and litigants; presided in matters despite having a disqualifying conflict; impermissibly practiced law and used court staff to assist him; and otherwise misused court staff. He compounded it all with untruthful testimony during the Commission’s proceedings. Such egregious misconduct warrants removal from judicial office.” READ MORE HERE

The California utility faced felony charges in connection with a 2018 wildfire that killed more than 80 people.

Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s largest utility, said Monday that it had agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest wildfire.

California regulators determined last year that PG&E’s equipment caused the fire, which in 2018 engulfed the town of Paradise and led to the deaths of 85 people.

Facing tens of billions of dollars in wildfire claims, PG&E has been in bankruptcy reorganization since early last year. The company is racing to emerge from bankruptcy by June so that it can qualify for inclusion in a new state wildfire fund that could cover the costs of future fires.

The plea agreement, struck with the district attorney in the county where the Camp Fire occurred, followed the announcement on Friday that Gov. Gavin Newsom was willing to approve PG&E’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy. Under the plan, victims of the wildfires have agreed to a payment of $13.5 billion.

Meadows to resign from Congress on Monday to officially start work as Trump’s chief of staff

Rep. Mark Meadows will resign from Congress on Monday as he prepares to officially become White House chief of staff, an aide to the North Carolina congressman told CNN.
Meadows’ resignation is expected to be effective at 5 p.m. ET, the aide said.
Meadows, who has been at President Donald Trump’s side for the last several weeks as part of a transition period, will officially have his first day as White House chief of staff on Tuesday, the aide said.
Meadows will be Trump’s fourth chief of staff, replacing Mick Mulvaney, another former congressman, in the position.
After being one of the first Republican lawmakers to campaign with Trump ahead of the 2016 election, while others were initially keeping their distance, Meadows has become one of Trump’s closest advisers. READ MORE

Hundreds flee Islamist militants’ in Northern Mozambique

Hundreds of people are arriving in the Mozamican city of Pemba, mostly by boat, from areas attacked by Islamist militants last week, reports the independent TV station STV.

Residents’ houses were destroyed in attacks in Mocimboa da Praia and Quissinga town last week.

Local leaders are quoted as saying on STV that around 250 families have arrived in the area.

Islamist militants, locally known as al-Shaabab, though with no known links with the Somali group of the same name, operate in the area.

Van Gogh painting stolen in raid from museum closed due to coronavirus- The painting has been added to Interpol’s list of stolen artworks

A painting by Vincent Van Gogh has been stolen after burglars broke into a Dutch museum that is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Van Gogh’s “The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring,” painted in 1884, was taken from the Singer Laren Museum, which lies just outside Amsterdam, in the early hours of Monday morning, the director of the museum said. The painting was stolen on what would have been the Dutch master’s 167th birthday.

Staff at the museum said that they are “shocked and unbelievably annoyed” about the theft during a press conference that was live-streamed online.

Mexico president defends meeting mother of ‘El Chapo’

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday defended his weekend handshake with the mother of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, calling her a “respectable old lady” and seeking to cast his critics as the principal menace to the country.

In a 30-second video posted on Twitter on Sunday, Lopez Obrador could be seen approaching Maria Consuelo Loera’s car, parked on a dirt road on the outskirts of Badiraguato, a mountainous municipality in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.. HERE

Thousands rally around female reporter bullied by Trump in briefing

Thousands of people have used Twitter to praise White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor after Donald Trump scolded her for asking a question.

Ms Alcindor, a political correspondent for PBS, was interrupted by the president and told to ‘be nice’ during a heated exchange at Sunday’s daily coronavirus briefing from the White House.

Political pundits, journalists and others joined together to defend Ms Alcindor using the #WeLoveYamiche hashtag, with some of those criticising the president citing misogyny and racism against the reporter.

“She steps up to speak the truth. No fanfare, no grandstanding, no gloating. Just respect & grit.”, said Wall Street Journal columnist Teri Agins on Twitter.

The exchange began when Ms Alcindor asked the president about his previous comments on the number of medical supplies needed by states to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. HERE




Melanie Nathan
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