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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,599

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Former Sumter County sheriff pleads guilty to criminal ethics, drug charges

A former West Alabama sheriff who was removed from office in 2016 has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges.

Former Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark pleaded guilty Monday to eight criminal charges including ethics violations and drug charges. He was removed from office in July 2016 by the Alabama Supreme Court after he was impeached for corruption and willful neglect of duty.

District Attorney Greg Griggers announced the plea after an investigation into the operation of the county jail under Clark and his dealing with inmates. Clark had been indicted by a grand jury on the criminal charges in August 2016.

Circuit Court Judge Eddie Hardaway Jr. will sentence Clark on Jan. 9.

Read more: http://www.alreporter.com/2018/11/28/former-sumter-county-sheriff-pleads-guilty-to-criminal-ethics-drug-charges/

How Does a Territory Become a State?

Thirty-two U.S. territories have already become states. How did they do it? What is the process for a territory to become a state?

The U.S. Constitution has the simple answer:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The big part of this sentence is, “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union.” In other words, Congress can make a new State at any time, without any other requirements.

Changing State Borders

The rest of the sentence explains that Congress can’t make a new State within a State without permission from the State or States in question. So Congress couldn’t make Northern Colorado into an independent State without permission from Colorado’s legislature.

Read more: https://www.puertoricoreport.com/how-does-a-territory-become-a-state/#.W_-8cdtKjRY

Letter from House Leaders to DOJ Calls for Puerto Rico Statehood Vote

Congressional leaders have written a letter to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker asking for a federally-sponsored plebiscite in Puerto Rico. The letter – signed by House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman Emeritus Don Young, Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), and Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon (R-PR) – reminds the DOJ that funds for a status vote in Puerto Rico were appropriated in 2014 and asks for an up or down vote on statehood.

The congressional leaders sent a similar letter to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, Senate President Thomas Rivera-Schatz and House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Mendez.

Statehood was chosen by voters in 2012 and 2017, but neither vote was federally sponsored. The letter from Bishop et al asks that the Department of Justice hold a vote like those held in Hawaii and Alaska which led to their statehood.


PDF file of letter

Former Puerto Rico financial advisor pleads guilty to bank fraud

WASHINGTON, USA — A former registered financial advisor previously employed by UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico (UBS-PR) pleaded guilty on Friday for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain and misuse non-purpose credit lines for purchasing securities, resulting in over $1 million in improperly generated commissions.

José G. Ramirez-Arone Jr., 60, currently of Fulton, Maryland, previously of San Juan, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud before US District Judge Thomas Hogan of the District of Columbia. Sentencing has been scheduled for February 8, 2019, before Judge Hogan.

As part of his guilty plea, Ramirez-Arone admitted that, in his role as a financial advisor, he participated in a scheme in which various of his clients at UBS-PR fraudulently obtained non-purpose credit lines (i.e., credit lines for which purchasing securities was expressly prohibited by an internal UBS-PR policy) offered by UBS Bank USA (UBS-UT), a Utah-based subsidiary of UBS Financial Services, Inc. He admitted knowing that his clients then misused them by drawing funds from the credit lines for purchasing securities, directly violating the credit lines’ terms of use.

Ramirez-Arone further admitted that the scheme took advantage of the low interest rate of UBS-UT’s non-purpose credit lines, and the payout interest rate of closed-end funds (CEFs) offered by UBS-PR, which were mainly comprised of Puerto Rican bonds.

Read more: https://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/2018/11/16/former-puerto-rico-financial-advisor-pleads-guilty-to-bank-fraud/

Scotiabank to Exit Nine 'Smaller' Caribbean Countries in Major Shake-up

TORONTO — Bank of Nova Scotia said today that it has struck a deal to sell banking businesses in nine of the smaller countries in the Caribbean as the lender continues to narrow down the number of international markets in which it operates.

Affected countries are: Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The move comes as Scotiabank, which has said larger markets in Latin America are still very much part of its plans, reported that profit from its international banking unit grew at a greater rate than that of its Canadian business over the past year.

“Exiting these non-core operations is consistent with a strategy that began five years ago to sharpen our focus, increase scale in core geographies and businesses, improve earnings quality and reduce risk to the bank,” said Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter during a conference call this morning, adding that the bank has now either exited or announced its intentions to exit more than 20 countries or businesses over that same period.

Read more: http://vifreepress.com/2018/11/scotiabank-to-exit-nine-small-caribbean-countries-in-major-shake-up/

Puerto Rico Approves Laws For Insurance Policy Holders Post-Hurricane Maria

SAN JUAN — The governor of Puerto Rico overhauled the U.S. commonwealth’s insurance laws on Tuesday to help protect policy holders as thousands of claims remain unresolved more than a year after Hurricane Maria.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello signed six laws into effect as he stressed that his administration was not pleased with how insurance companies handled complaints filed after the Category 4 storm hit.

One law now requires insurance companies to start making partial payments under certain conditions shortly after a state of emergency is declared. Another creates special courtrooms with expert judges to solve appraisal disagreements via mediation, a first for Puerto Rico. All decisions reached during mediation will be binding but can be appealed in court. A third law sharpens the types of actions officials can take against insurance companies if they do not resolve cases promptly or act improperly.

“This is a historic moment,” Javier Rivera, who oversees the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico, said in a phone interview. “It transforms how insurance companies will respond in a catastrophic event.”

Read more: http://vifreepress.com/2018/11/puerto-rico-approves-laws-for-insurance-policy-holders-post-hurricane-maria/

Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction

The current political climate makes this video more relevant than ever.

Texas detention camp for teen migrants keeps growing

TORNILLO — The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of West Texas. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers — and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent.

By Tuesday, 2,324 largely Central American boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were sleeping inside the highly guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October.

Rising from the cotton fields and dusty roads not far from the fence marking the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the camp has rows of beige tents and golf carts that ferry staffers carrying walkie-talkies. Teens with identical haircuts and government-issued shirts and pants can be seen walking single file from tent to tent, flanked by staff at the front and back.

More people are detained in Tornillo’s tent city than in all but one of the nation’s 204 federal prisons, yet construction continues.

Read more: https://www.statesman.com/news/20181127/texas-detention-camp-for-teen-migrants-keeps-growing

Novus co-founder reaches plea deal with prosecutors in $60 million health-care fraud scheme

The former vice president of marketing and co-founder of a shuttered hospice company has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors for his role in a $60 million health-care fraud scheme.

Samuel D. Anderson has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, according to court documents. Anderson was one of the co-founders for Novus Health Services, and Optim Health Services, which essentially operated as one company with the same employees and an office in Frisco.

He is the seventh defendant in the criminal case to reach a plea deal. Nine others are tentatively set to go to trial in federal district court sometime next year.

They are accused of defrauding the government of more than $60 million by submitting false claims for hospice services to Medicare and Medicaid, recruiting people who were ineligible for hospice care and falsifying and destroying documents. In some cases, investigators allege, patients got high doses of medication to hasten their deaths.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2018/11/27/novus-co-founder-reaches-plea-deal-prosecutors-60-million-health-care-fraud-scheme

Abortion clinics appeal finding they violated waiting law

LITTLE ROCK—Three Arkansas abortion clinics are appealing a state board's ruling that they violated a law barring them from charging a patient seeking an abortion for related services during the waiting period before the procedure.

Attorneys for Little Rock Family Planning Services and two clinics operated by Planned Parenthood filed notice Monday that they plan to appeal the state Health Board's October finding that the clinics violated a 2015 law that prohibits physicians, facilities, employees or volunteers from charging women for abortion-related services during the 48-hour "reflection period" before the procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, which represents the clinics, argues that the state law is unconstitutional and that the board failed to state its reasoning for upholding the citations.

(no more at link)
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