Sessions invokes ‘Anglo-American heritage’ of sheriff’s office

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday brought up sheriffs’ “Anglo-American heritage” during remarks to law enforcement officials in Washington.

“I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process,” Sessions said in remarks at the National Sheriffs Association winter meeting, adding, “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”
“We must never erode this historic office,” Sessions continued.
Invoking “Anglo-American heritage” seems to have been an impromptu decision by the attorney general. A written version of the remarks says that Sessions was supposed to say: “The sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage.”
Posted by The NON-Conformist



Celebrating Black History Month: How Mary Church Terrell Took on Jim Crow in Washington—And Won

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Image: Time Magazine

She launched her case almost six years before Rosa Parks helped start the Montgomery bus boycott and a decade before sit-ins rocked lunch counters across the South

In a city known for iconic buildings, Thompson’s Restaurant was unremarkable. Located a few blocks from the White House, it sat on a commercial corridor: banks, storefronts, streetcar tracks. Inside, it was the kind of place where customers stood in line with their trays, grabbed a slice of cake, and sat down at a table. If they were white, that is.

Mary Church Terrell, an 86-year-old charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was not white. Born in 1863, the year of the Emancipation Proclamation, she was the daughter of former slaves. She was also an 1884 graduate of Oberlin College, a suffragist, and a veteran activist for civil rights. On January 27, 1950, she had lived in Washington, D.C. for sixty years.

At roughly 2:45 p.m., Terrell walked through Thompson’s double glass doors. With her were three hand-picked compatriots: Geneva Brown and the Rev. William H. Jernagin, who were African American activists, and David H. Scull, a white Quaker. Collectively, none of them made it to the dining area. The manager, Levin Ange, stepped in front of Jernagin and refused to serve him because he was “colored.”

Elsewhere in Washington, President Harry S. Truman was leading a worldwide crusade for democracy. The manager of Thompson’s, however, was invoking the decades-old logic of Jim Crow, with its architecture of racial inferiority. That outlook, Terrell knew, was a liability in foreign affairs, especially when Washington restaurants refused to serve dark-skinned diplomatic envoys, treating them as if they were American blacks. She had no intention of backing down.

“Do you mean to tell me that you are not going to serve me?”

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FBI investigating vials of smallpox uncovered in unsecured lab near Washington, DC

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Smallpox virus

Image: Camazine Scott | Photo Researchers | Getty Images

The FBI is investigating several vials of smallpox that were found in an unused laboratory storage room on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken the vials for testing.

Only July 1, employees found the box of vials when they were cleaning out the storage room in preparation to move the lab, which has been operated by the Food and Drug Administration since 1972, over to the FDA’s main campus in nearby Silver Spring.

The six freeze-dried vials were labeled as containing variola, which the CDC says is “the severe and most common form of smallpox.” Another 10 vials were also found, but the labels on them were unclear as to what they contained, Dr. Steven Monroe, who directs the CDC’s division of high consequence pathogens and pathology, told ABC News.

No one knows how long the smallpox has been in the storage area, which is kept at 5 degrees Celsius. But the boxes they were stored in may date back to the 1950s, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.

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Georgia Senate runoff: Nasty, brutish — and long

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Image: Politico

Republicans in Washington got the result they wanted in Georgia: Two candidates viewed as the strongest contenders to keep a Senate seat central to the fight for the majority.

But the runoff between Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue will be nasty, brutish – and long. As in the lengthiest in the state’s political history — a nine-week intra-party slugfest at a critical moment in the battle for control of the Senate.

  Georgia Senate runoff: Nasty, brutish — and long. From Politico

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Washington DC decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana

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District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has approved legislation that decriminalizes the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in the US capital.

Image: NBC News

The law takes marijuana possession down from a misdemeanor to a civil violation with a $25 fine. Misdemeanors for possession carried up to six months in jail with a $1,000 fine.

Seventeen states have some form of decriminalization.

As with all District laws, the measure must still find ultimate approval through the US House of Representatives, as Washington, DC does not have final authority over the laws of its own city.

Republican Speaker John Boehner said the House will “look” at the bill. The Republican-led House has found fit to block District-passed legislation in recent years – the House has barred DC from using its own local funds to provide abortion services.

Congress has 60 days to review the decriminalization law.

Non-voting DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said she doubts the House will take up issue.

“In a country where many states are permitting medical marijuana, or have decriminalized or legalized marijuana, I do not expect Members of Congress to interfere with DC’s local right to pass its own law on marijuana decriminalization,” Norton said in a statement. “If Members try to interfere, however, I will stoutly defend DC’s right to pass such legislation, just as 17 states have already done.”

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Heavy snow shuts federal offices in Washington

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Snow Washington

Image: Mark Wilson, Getty Images

A winter storm slammed the mid-Atlantic early Monday, dumping at least seven inches of snow on Washington, D.C., forcing the federal government to shut down and disrupting travelers at area airports.

National Weather Service meteorologist David Hamrick called it an “unusually late winter storm.” Winter storm warnings remained in effect for additional light snow across much of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey, though the heaviest snow had moved out to sea as of early morning.

Just three days shy of spring, more than a foot of snow was reported overnight in some parts of the region, including a high of 13.5 inches in Singers Glen, Va., according to the weather service.

Other big snow totals included 12 inches in Karo, Va., 11.8 inches in Sperryville, Va., and 10.5 inches in Silver Spring, Md.

More from USA Today

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DC Lobbyist Says He’s Working To Ban Gay Players From NFL

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Image:CBS New York

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