The fired FBI official McCabe Wins Retirement Benefits and Back Pay

 

The former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe won the lawsuit to receive his retirement benefits and backpay against the federal government on Thursday. It is a huge victory for the government employees fired by former president Trump with minimal notice.

According to NPR, former president Trump had fired many government officials during his term, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was one of them. Andrew McCabe was fired only hours before his retirement, and it was on his 50th birthday in 2018. Andrew McCabe filed a civil lawsuit and the Justice Department has agreed to restore full law enforcement benefits and provide attorney fees for him.

He has argued that his ouster was a result of a “years-long public vendetta” by former president Trump.”I think the message that you get loud and clear from the terms of the settlement is that this never should have happened,” McCabe said. “It feels like complete vindication because that’s what it is.”

Andrew McCabe worked 21 years in service at the Bureau. McCabe can return to work if he wants. He will get all his retirement benefits and back pay as well from this settlement. One of McCabe’s attorneys at the time said a senior Justice Department official told him the department was making things up as it went along.

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3% of Workforce Quit in August

According to Washington Post, job quitters continue to rise to record highs. In August, 4.3 million people quit jobs, which is about 2.9 to 3 percent of the workforce, as released by data from the Labor Department.

Some of the attributable reasons include less willingness to accommodate inconvenient hours and poor compensation, as well as quitting to find better opportunities. There were 10.4 million job openings by end of August.

Usually, labor market shifts indicate confident workers willing to risk security of the current job for new opportunity; however, Covid times have been more unpredictable than ever. Businesses have reported difficulty finding and retaining qualified employees, while others have succeeded at retention through increased pay and compensation.

Workers who lost their jobs earlier in the pandemic, might have to retrain and add skills for new careers, as those who might be displeased with low-paying jobs may find new more desirable jobs as long as they obtain the new skills necessary.

For example, almost 900,000 workers in restaurant, bars, and hotels quit, 721,000 from retail, 706,000 in professional business services, and 534,000 from health care and social assistance have left in August. In almost every sector, people are quitting, with those at the lowest wage service the most. As job openings outnumber unemployed workers, people are able to reevaluate and seek out what they might want to do instead.

While there is no specified reason for the continued number of quitting in various industries, experts are pointing to loss of confidence in the jobs coupled with stronger bargaining positions than the past.

In fact, the pandemic has brought significant disruption to the industry, with many folks feeling unappreciated by management and finding better pastures. People are now looking to find opportunities that serve them best, such as jobs that provide remote and flexible work, compensation and bonus packages, and even wider range of positions and opportunities for moving up.

In fact, Republican efforts of lessening the benefits of federal unemployment to increase employment has not been successful, as only about 194,000 jobs were added despite the number of openings.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Federal Judge Blocks 6-Week Abortion Ban in Texas

U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman granted the Biden administration’s request to temporarily halt the law which allows anyone to sue any medical provider or those involved in assisting anyone obtain an abortion if the fetus has a heartbeat detected, which can be early as 6 weeks. Most women are not even aware that they are pregnant at this stage of the pregnancy.

The judge called out Texas officials for creating such a law that “deprive citizens of significant and well-established constitutional right.”

As a result of this ruling, Texas’ largest abortion providers are planning to resume abortion services as soon as possible for patients up to 18 weeks into pregnancy.

Although dozens of states have passed similar laws since the inception by Texas, Federal judges have cited Roe v. Wade which guarantees the right to abortion before viability, which is usually 22-24 weeks.

Texas’ law was crafted to avoid judicial review, by allowing private individuals to take civil action against anyone helping another terminate a pregnancy after the 6-week mark.

Texas maintains that the Federal court had no jurisdiction as the actors engaged in suing abortion providers are private citizens rather than state actors; however, pro-choice groups and U.S. Attorney General are thrilled to hear of the news.

State of Texas is likely to appeal the decision.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Biden Wants ANY transfers over $600 to be Reported to the IRS

In a rulemaking proposal, the Department of Treasury supported by the Biden administration, is seeking to have any transfers over $600 be reported to the IRS. The purpose is meant to improve tax compliance. Now, the banks would be forced to report all transactional information as long as the transaction is more than $600; however, the bank would not be forced or required to identify the individuals even if the bank would still need to provide all of the transactional information.

The supporters of this rulemaking claim that the banks and financial services people use to transfer money already collect more than the information being requested by the Government; however, banks and those suspicious of the Government’s motives are adamantly opposed to the collection of this data.

This rulemaking comes as a result of a finding by the IRS that it was unable to account for $166 billion per year that are owed by businesses (not counting large corporations) and taxes actually paid.

It is interesting that the Government did not yet reveal how much discrepancy exists between the accounting of paid taxes for large corporations.

The treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for economic policy defended the small amount as making the tax system more equitable and efficient; however, those who are likely going to be targets of this transfer policy, specifically those who operate smaller businesses, will not see it this way.

This policy is projected to generate $460 billion over a decade, which would go to covering the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

If approved, the rulemaking will become policy effective December 2022.

While the U.S. government claims that it is attempting to make the system more equitable, many see it as likely affecting those earning lower incomes disproportionately, as the amount that would trigger reporting to the IRS is at a threshold of $600.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Covid Surge Slows Down, but Not Out of the Woods

From early parts of the year until September, US hospitalizations continued to see record highs, including a weekly average of 100,000 in early September, primarily focused in the South and are still at levels unseen since the winter, which is before the widespread availability of vaccines.

New infections plateaued in the first half of September at 150,000 daily cases and has since declined to 100,000 daily, as summer ends, and fall begins.

However, more people are expected to die from the latest surge (possibly at 700,000, which is about the population in Washington, D.C.). At the moment, 1 out of 500 are dying due to the virus.

There is usually a sharp incline seen in the delta variant spread; for example, Alaska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maine, Alabama, and Indiana all saw a high spike and a quick decline. Experts say that this is likely due to the delta variant quickly wreaking havoc in the unvaccinated population before hitting a wall when it can no longer infect anyone else within that group.

At this point, health officials have accepted that the eradication of Covid is unlikely, and have decided to approach it in similar matters as we do of flu or other respiratory viruses.

The summer since Covid-19 has shown public health officials of what might come thereafter; ICU availability being low due to high infection and critical cases, multiple deaths in a family, As the sad stories of the unvaccinated who inevitably die get around to their communities, more people are choosing to get vaccinated.

Delta variant also was more dangerous to both the younger and the middle age generations, and encouraged people to consider vaccination.

However, flu season is indeed upon us, and the coupling of covid-19 with the flu could pose even more of a threat on an already taxed healthcare system in the U.S. this fall and winter.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Shutdown Averted for How Long?

On Thursday evening just before the deadline, President Biden signed the deal the House and the Senate passed in earlier part of the day to avert the government shutdown which would have affected 100,000s of federal workers, which would have compounded on the economy already burdened by Covid-19 pandemic.

The president stated, “it meets critical and urgent needs of the nation,” but also added that there was much more to do.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer led the united Democrat and handful of Republican senators for 65-35 approval on temporary funding bill with a deadline of December 3, along with a bill to aid those devastated by extreme weather, and even to assist Afghan refugees resettling in the U.S.

The House passed the bill 254-175 just hours before the government ran out of money at the end of the day Thursday.

There is no provision to raise the debt ceiling, and this was excluded to obtain the necessary support by the Republicans.

Republicans were equally aware of the danger of a shutdown and its catastrophic effect on the economy, along with the defaulting of the national debt.

Unfortunately, the Government will have to revisit the problem before December 3, 2021 to pass a more comprehensive budget bill. We’re not quite out of the drama-prone behaviors of the Government quite yet.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

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Michigan Lottery Winner Found Dead

57 year old Gregory Jarvis was found dead on a private beach with a winning lottery ticket in his wallet. He had won $45,000 playing the state’s Club Keno game in a bar, but was found dead on the beach in Huron County.

Friends of Gregory Jarvis reported that he had not yet cashed in the lottery ticket because of the issue of losing social security card; he was in the process of obtaining a new social security card to verify his identity.

Initially, the police considered bad intent. However, Jarvis was well liked in the community.

Instead, the police chief in Caseville, Michigan said that the discovery of the lottery ticket prompted investigators to look carefully into the circumstances surrounding the death; based on the autopsy, Mr. Jarvis had injuries consistent with hitting his head on the boat and drowning.

Mr. Jarvis had planned on visiting his father and sister in North Carolina.

The lottery ticket is now in Mr. Jarvis’ father’s possession.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Fireball across North Carolinian Sky

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On September 24, NASA Meteor Watch reported that residents in North Carolina reported seeing at least 5 fireballs, with over 80 eyewitnesses reporting the view. The event occurred at 7:40 PM EST. Upon analysis, NASA confirmed the fireballs as meteor skimming across the coast of North Carolina and had become visible due to its proximity: 48 miles above the ocean off Camp Lejeune. The fireballs were noted to be moving at 32,000 miles per hour and disintegrated just 28 miles above Moorehead City. The fireballs did not make it past the Earth’s atmosphere.

The American Meteor Society posted a video on Youtube showing the fireball meteor in the sky.

Meteoroids usually enter Earth’s atmosphere at 25,000 to 160,000 mph, but most do not maintain that speed due to the Earth’s thick atmosphere. As was the case here, the meteors had burned out before it could even reach the ground.

Fireball is not just any old term either; it is considered to be “exceptionally bright” meteors that appear brighter than planet Venus, bright enough to be observed by “ground-based observers” such as the 80 or so witnesses in North Carolina.

AMS explained that every day, Earth sees several thousand fireball meteors, but most of them tend to take place over oceans and unpopulated regions.

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Taliban Justifies No-Shave Order in Southern Afghanistan as being faithful to Islam

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On Monday, the Taliban issued an order to forbid shaving or trimming of beards in the southern provinces of Helmand, and threatened to punish barbers that violated this directive. The order was issued by the vice and virtue department and directed it to areas in Lashkar Gah, provincial capital of Helmand, justifying it as being in line with Sharia law, which is the law as defined in the Islamic holy scriptures called the Quran.

Punishment was promised but not specified; those breaking the order would be punished with no right to complain.

Since overtaking Afghanistan upon U.S. and NATO’s departure, the Taliban has set an interim government, with many hardline leaders from the previous reign in late 1990’s; of course, there are no women leaders.

Since the Taliban ousting in 2001, men have been shaving or cleanly trimming beards in Afghanistan.

The current outlook of Taliban rule doesn’t seem to be looking too well; just last weekend, the Taliban hung a body from a crane in the main square of Herat, which is a third-largest city in Afghanistan. A bystander who witnessed the event recounted the event, stating that four bodies were brought to the square, and three were taken to other parts of the city for public display.

The barbers are speaking up and asking Taliban to reconsider this order, to “give freedom to people to live the way they want, if they want to trim their beard or hair.” Barbers in the area are already seeing reduction in income.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Federal Arrest Warrant issued for Brian Laundrie on Fraud Charges

Brian Laundrie is most recently known in association with his connection with the disappearance of Gabby Petito, a 22-year old, who went missing during the couple’s cross-country trip and was later found dead. However, Federal grand jury in Wyoming has indicted Laundrie on Wednesday after the jury found that Laundrie used “unauthorized devices” included debit card and PIN numbers for two bank accounts to fraudulently obtain more than $1,000.

Federal authorities are still searching for Laundrie who returned to his parents’ home on September 1, and since has vanished after Petito was reported missing.

Laundrie, however, has not yet been charged with any crime directly tied to Petito’s disappearance or death.

Petito’s disappearance has gripped the nation, as internet sleuths and true crime fans have come together to find evidence; that being said, law enforcement has also equally explained concern regarding those seeking fame or to disrupt the general police investigation.

Laundrie’s whereabouts are still unknown, and at this time, the parents are not cooperating with the authorities in search for their son.

Coree ILBO copyright (c) 2013-2021, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.