FBI, Bureau of Prisons ordered to probe LGBTQ discrimination

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Attorney General William Barr has ordered the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons to investigate allegations of discrimination against LGBTQ employees, he said in a letter released April 5.

The announcement came in response to concerns from DOJ Pride, a group that represents thousands of LGBTQ employees at the Justice Department and its component agencies.

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YouTuber Jeffree Star says $2.5 million worth of cosmetics stolen from his warehouse

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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YouTuber and makeup mogul Jeffree Star says that $2.5 million worth of cosmetics were stolen from one of his warehouses in Los Angeles during a heist on March 16.

Star shared the news in a YouTube video posted on April 2.

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Trump says DOJ, FBI to review the Jussie Smollett case

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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President Donald Trump tweeted on March 28 that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI will review the “outrageous” Jussie Smollett case after prosecutors dropped 16 counts of disorderly conduct against the “Empire” actor.

“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!” Trump tweeted.

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For Jussie Smollett, one story equals 16 felony counts

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | News that a grand jury had indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly lying to Chicago police about being attacked by two masked men may not have made much of a splash except for one thing: The lone felony count that Smollett had been arrested on last month had turned into 16.

The reasons Smollett is facing 16 counts rather than just one count of disorderly conduct — the felony in Illinois that people are charged with when accused of lying to police — are not fully explained in the indictment that a grand jury returned on March 7. But legal experts say indictments like that aren’t uncommon in Chicago, and there are some explanations as to how the grand jury could have arrived at the 16 counts, eight of them for Smollett’s comments to a police officer and eight others for what he told a detective.

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Vermont’s transgender candidate getting death threats

By : wire report
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) | Vermont’s transgender gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday she’s been getting a steady stream of death threats and other personal attacks since her candidacy began to draw attention from across the country and the world.

Christine Hallquist, who won Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last week, said most of the threats, which began before she won the nomination, have been coming from outside of Vermont, although during her primary campaign it was not unusual for people to yell insults at her during parades and other public appearances.

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Russia fomenting discord over guns, gays, race

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A 29-year-old Russian woman living in D.C. who was indicted last week for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to clandestinely act as a Russian agent is part of a longstanding effort by Moscow to foment discord in the U.S. by exploiting divisive issues such as guns, LGBT rights, and racial bias, according to a source close to the investigation into the woman’s activities.

After hearing evidence presented by federal prosecutors, a D.C. grand jury on July 17 indicted Maria Butina on charges of criminal conspiracy and illegally acting as a foreign agent within the U.S. A U.S. District Court judge the following day ordered her held without bond after prosecutors said she had moved out of her D.C. apartment and was at risk for leaving the country.

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A decade after Caylee Anthony went missing, former Orange County CSI Robin Maynard-Harris recalls the events

By : Jeremy Williams
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So much has been written about Casey Anthony, her daughter Caylee’s disappearance and the subsequent discovery of Caylee’s body.

The media circus surrounded Central Florida in the years between Casey Anthony being arrested for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter in Oct. 2008 and her shocking acquittal for murder in July 2011. Many involved in the investigation and the case have spoken out to news network talk show hosts, written books and gone on press tours explaining what happened. One person who kept silent was Orange County Sheriff’s crime scene investigator, Robin Maynard-Harris.

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Violence against transgender people rising in Georgia and US

By : Wire Report
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(Image from Candace Towns’ Facebook.)

ATLANTA (AP) – Candace Towns was found dead in Macon between two neglected houses on Halloween. Towns, 30, was last seen on surveillance video of a gas station near the Roadway Inn where she was living. She had been shot and abandoned. A human rights group says Towns was the fourth reported transgender person killed in Georgia this year, and 25th nationwide.

Violence against transgender people is at an all-time high, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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FBI statistics show hate crimes rise in Minnesota in 2016

By : Wire Report
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Hate crimes in Minnesota rose for the second straight year in 2016, with the bulk of crimes motivated by the victim’s race or ethnicity. Crimes were also committed against victims because of their religion or sexual orientation.

The FBI released its 2016 hate crime statistics report Nov. 13.

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Ex-FBI official accused of stealing from Hawaii LGBT group

By : Wire Report
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HONOLULU (AP) – The nonprofit Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation has accused a former high-ranking FBI official of stealing more than $33,000 while he was the organization’s treasurer.

The nonprofit told police that between November 2016 and August 2017, 56-year-old Robert Kauffman wrote improper checks and made several unauthorized withdrawals from the foundation’s bank account, Hawaii News Now reported.

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Trump trolls Rosie O’Donnell to justify Comey firing

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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President Trump trolled lesbian comedian Rosie O’Donnell late Thursday on Twitter to justify his firing of FBI Director James Comey, retweeting her remarks from nearly six months ago calling for his dismissal.

“We finally agree on something Rosie,” Trump wrote succinctly in the subtweet. O’Donnell’s tweet simply says, “Fire Comey” as part of a thread started by former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon.

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How Seattle police, local prosecutors address hate crimes

By : Wire Report
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SEATTLE (AP)- In a classroom spotted with colorful hijabs, Seattle police Detective Beth Wareing stands in front of whiteboard and asks the group of 25 refugees what the police were like in the countries they emigrated from.

“From what I’ve heard, police are not the people you call for help,” she says.

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