Asset Forfeiture in Texas: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment) – Published on Mar 30, 2017


In Texas, a public fight has broken out over a strategy used to fight drug crime: Civil asset forfeiture, which lets police officers seize property from suspected criminals. Opposition to the tactic is uniting two groups who don’t usually get along: lawbreakers, and conservative politicians. VICE News Tonight correspondent Roberto Ferdman goes to Austin, Texas to see how this law is impacting people’s lives who aren’t actually convicted crimes.

 

Diplomats instructed to ‘avoid eye contact’ with Tillerson: report – BY BROOKE SEIPEL – 03/30/17 11:22 PM EDT


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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has remained relatively removed from President Trump’s administration and his own department, a new report by The Washington Post says, adding that many diplomats have yet to meet him and some have been told to avoid eye contact.

The Post report reads:

“Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.”

Tillerson has kept a low profile since the inauguration. He has made very few remarks to the press and opted not to travel with a press pool.

Earlier this month, Tillerson stood by his decision not to allow reporters to travel with him on his trip to Asia, calling himself “not a big media press access person.”

Erin McPike of the right-leaning Independent Journal Review — the only reporter selected by State to travel with Tillerson — pressed the diplomat about his decision in an interview.

McPike noted China restricts press access and asked whether he’s concerned about the the message he’s sending.

Tillerson claimed the decision not to allow more reporters had to do with a desire to save money, saying the plane “flies faster, allows me to be more efficient” with fewer people on it.

Tillerson also skipped the customary visits to overseas State employees and their families during his travels, the Post reported.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/326655-diplomats-instructed-to-avoid-eye-contact-with-tillerson-report

POTUS on the warpath against Freedom Caucus – BY JORDAN FABIAN AND JONATHAN EASLEY – 03/30/17 07:06 PM EDT


POTUS on Thursday launched an extraordinary attack against conservative Republicans who thwarted the party’s healthcare plan, escalating an intra-party feud that could threaten the rest of his legislative agenda.

In a string of tweets, Trump threatened to back primary challenges against members of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus if they continue to oppose party leaders. He also named and shamed the group’s chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), and two other prominent group members for what he said is their efforts to derail ObamaCare repeal and tax reform.

“If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform,” the president tweeted.

“Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador? #RepealANDReplace #Obamacare.”

House conservatives fought back, furious at the president for picking the fight at a time when congressional Republicans are trying to move past last week’s bitter legislative defeat.

“Most people don’t take well to being bullied,” Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a Freedom Caucus member, told reporters. “It’s constructive in fifth grade. It may allow a child to get his way, but that’s not how our government works.”

Freedom Caucus members argued Thursday that they did Trump a favor by sinking the American Health Care Act, which was reviled by grassroots conservatives and failed to attract support from even some moderate members of the GOP conference.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who was named by Trump, shot back over Twitter.

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Who Is Narendra Modi? By Kanchan Chandra March 30, 2017


JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House, June 2016.

On March 19, a short man in saffron robes and a monk’s shaven head was sworn in as chief minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. UP is India’s largest state, with a population larger than that of Russia. It had just held elections for its legislative assembly, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had taken 312 of 403 seats, securing the biggest majority any party had won in the state in four decades. Yogi Adityanath, as the saffron-robed monk is known, was Modi’s hand-picked nominee to lead Uttar Pradesh’s new government. He is the head priest of a monastic order in northeastern India and an aggressive advocate for Hindu nationalism.

The appointment of a religious leader as the chief of a state government is unprecedented in Indian politics. The BJP has often included members of the Hindu clergy in its mobilization campaigns, but it has generally kept religious figures away from executive positions. (An exception is the Hindu nun Uma Bharti, who is now a cabinet minister in Modi’s government and served as chief minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh from 2003 to 2004; unlike Adityanath, Bharti does not head a religious organization.)

Indian newspapers exploded with astonishment when the BJP announced Adityanath’s appointment—not only because of his background but also because of the timing of his selection. The elections in Uttar Pradesh were the first state contest since November, when the Modi government demonetized high-value Indian banknotes in an attempt to curb illicit transactions, and the BJP’s victory seemed to reflect a popular endorsement of Modi’s reforms. Modi himself suggested as much: the election, he said in a speech in Delhi, marked the dawn of a new India, in which citizens would vote to advance development rather than identity-based issues.

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Mike Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity – WSJ


Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the FBI and congressional committees investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Source: Mike Flynn Offers to Testify in Exchange for Immunity – WSJ