Tuesday morning news: August 20, 2019

NYPD fires officer for death of Eric Garner » New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Monday that the city is firing the officer involved in the 2014 death of an unarmed African-American man. 

O’NEILL: The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own. Therefore, I agree with the deputy commissioner of trials legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer. 

Pantaleo, who is white, subdued Eric Garner by wrapping his arm around his neck after Garner resisted arrest on charges of illegally selling tobacco. Garner lost consciousness and later died. 

Garner’s family accused Pantaleo of using a chokehold. The officer’s attorney disputed that description. Chokeholds are banned by NYPD policy, but they’re not illegal. 

On Monday, Eric Garner’s daughter, Emerald Snipes Garner said that must change. 

GARNER: Commissioner O’Neill, while we appreciate you making your decision, we are definitely still calling for the Eric Garner law, which will ban the chokehold — which will ban officers being protected by a shield and not held accountable for their actions. 

The city’s largest police union criticized Pantaleo’s firing, saying it would undermine morale and cause officers to hesitate to use force for fear they could be fired.

But O’Neill said the move was necessary, adding, “None of us can take back our decisions … especially when they lead to the death of another human being.”

Planned Parenthood announces withdrawal from family planning program » Planned Parenthood officially announced on Monday that it is pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by newly enforced rules. 

The Title X rule finalized earlier this year is designed to ensure taxpayer dollars can’t be used to promote abortions. It bars groups that receive Title X funds from referring women to abortion facilities. 

Officials with Planned Parenthood confirmed last month that the group had stopped using federal family planning funds while legal challenges to the rule played out in court. 

Monday’s announcement came just days after an Arizona jury awarded $3 million dollars to a former Planned Parenthood director turned whistleblower. Mayra Rodriguez said the group fired her for reporting misdeeds—including falsification of records, not reporting statutory rape and numerous actions that endangered the safety of patients.  

Ohio man pleads not guilty in Jewish center video threat » A 20-year-old Ohio man pleaded not guilty Monday to threatening a Jewish community center in a video that authorities say showed him shooting a semi-automatic rifle. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has that story. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: A judge near Youngstown set bond at $250,000 for James Reardon. The judge also ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and stay away from Jewish churches and organizations if he is released from jail.

Police arrested Reardon Saturday—one day after a Jewish organization contacted authorities.

Officers searched his home and found ammunition, semi-automatic weapons, a gas mask, and anti-Semitic material.

Police say a video posted on Reardon’s Instagram account last month included the sounds of sirens and screaming with the caption, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.” He has reportedly used “ira_seamus” as his online pseudonym.

The Instagram post tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, which alerted it to his plans.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Violence mars Afghan independence day » At least 66 people were wounded in a series of explosions in eastern Afghanistan Monday—as the country marked Independence Day. 

A government spokesman said 10 explosions occurred around Jalalabad. There were no reports of casualties. No group immediately claimed responsibility. 

The blasts occurred just one day after an ISIS terrorist carried out a deadly attack at a wedding celebration in Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani on Monday vowed to “eliminate” all safe havens for ISIS in Afghanistan. 

U.S. extends Huawei reprieve » Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that companies in the United States will have another 90 days to do business with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

ROSS: Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei, so we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. 

The U.S. government blacklisted the company in May, deeming it a national security risk. But it granted a limited reprieve to support existing equipment and ease the burden on rural internet and wireless companies. That reprieve would have expired yesterday. 

But Ross also announced that the U.S. is blacklisting 46 more Huawei affiliates. 

ROSS: When something is added to the entity list, it means American companies cannot sell to it except if they get a specific license. 

Those 46 join 69 affiliates already affected by sanctions. 

U.S. secretly talks to Venezuela socialist boss » U.S. officials have reportedly made secret contact with Venezuela’s socialist party leader. That as close allies of disputed President Nicolás Maduro’s inner circle seek guarantees they won’t face prosecution if they give into growing demands to remove him. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Diosdado Cabello is widely considered the most powerful man in Venezuela after Maduro. The Associated Press reports he met last month in Caracas with someone in close contact with the U.S. government and that a second meeting is in the works. The AP said that’s according to a “senior Trump administration official.”

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity. It’s not clear whether the talks have Maduro’s approval.

Cabello has seen his influence in the government and security forces expand as Maduro’s grip on power weakens. But U.S. officials have accused him of massive corruption, involvement in drug trafficking, and even death threats against a U.S. senator.

Other Venezuelan insiders are secretly talking as well, according to AP. And the U.S. wants to hear what it would take for them to abandon Maduro and support a transition plan.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew) New York Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill speaks during a news conference at NYPD headquarters, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Tuesday morning news: August 20, 2019

  1. Sayaka says:

    ” The officer’s attorney disputed that description. Chokeholds are banned by NYPD policy, but they’re not illegal.”

    Other than semantics, tell us what the definition and difference of “banned” and “illegal” are.

    This is nothing more than another abuse of the American justice system. Any wonder why you have a gangster mentality in police departments? Thugs like Pantaleo get away with murder, (literally), and unscrupulous attorneys, (who are suppose to uphold the law), engineer excuses for these thugs to circumvent the law. What is the point of having any law at all?

    Just firing Pantaleo isn’t going to correct the situation, although the New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill thinks it will deflect any more criticism of the NYPD. You still have a several thousand more mentally retarded thugs within the NYPD that would do the same.

    The officer should have been imprisoned for murder, and his attorney should be “banned” from ever practicing law again. That would set the stage for an entire cleanup of the NYPD, including the commissioner, James O’Neill.

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