Congressman’s daughter uses car with official plates to drive for Lyft

150430125919-cummings-bmore-slideshow-exlarge-169Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, appears in Baltimore in this undated file photo.

 

Washington (CNN)No, that’s not Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings driving for Lyft in his downtime.

But his daughter, Adia, who borrowed her father’s car, may have made her passengers feel like VIPs since the black Honda she uses was sporting official congressional license plates.
Lyft is a company that provides rides to subscribers who summon a car to pick them up using an app on their phone.
The Washington Post first reported that Cummings did lend his car to his daughter, who was a student at Howard University.
Someone posted a picture of the car with a Lyft sticker on a D.C. blog called “Popville” and asked which member of Congress worked for the company. The picture showed the vehicle with Maryland plates that read “US Congress” and the number “7,” which designates Cummings’ district in Baltimore, and the “Reliable Sources” gossip column at the Post solved the mystery.
Cummings explained the situation in a statement to CNN.
“In an effort to earn some extra money to pay her expenses at school, she signed up for a part-time position with one of the ride-sharing companies. They, in turn, gave her a sticker to apply to the windshield of the car,” Cummings said.
The congressman, who is the top ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee and another panel investigating the attacks in Benghazi, says after he spoke with his daughter, the congressional tags have been removed. He took responsibility for the situation, saying, “I apologize for not having removed the license plate before loaning the vehicle to her.”
Cummings’ office told CNN that the Honda is a personal car, not one leased or purchased through his campaign or official office account.
According to Lyft’s requirements posted on their website, drivers must be 21 years old, have a smartphone and “must be a covered party on your car’s in-state insurance and have in-state license plates.” The website advertises that individuals can make up to $35 per hour with the company by signing up as a driver.
Lyft riders in D.C. can still be picked up by Adia, since Cummings isn’t taking the car away.
“My daughter has now graduated from Howard and I could not be more proud of her,” Cummings said. “I have told her she can continue to use my car while she pursues full-time employment.”
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Brandon man had sexual relationship with 12-year-old niece, wanted to marry her, officials say

 – A Brandon man who, officials say, developed a romantic and sexual relationship with his niece was sentenced to 37 years in prison. He also traveled as far as Bangladesh to change her birthdate.

A federal jury in Tampa found 56-year-old Mirza Afzal Hussain guilty for aggravated identity theft, document fraud and enticing a minor – his 12-year-old niece.

In 2010, Hussain’s sister and her family, including two young daughters, legally immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh and stayed at his home. Federal officials said the family was “culturally and socially isolated, did not have employment, lacked transportation, and spoke very little English.”

During their stay at Hussain’s home, investigators said he developed an interest in his 12-year-old niece. He bought her tight-fitted clothing, jewelry, and cell phones. They said he sexually battered her and treated her as his own spouse in front of her family, and his wife, who later left him.

In early 2012, Hussain’s sister and family, including her daughters, moved out. After, investigators said Hussain sent his niece sexually explicit text messages and professed his love for her. He also said he wanted to marry her, discussed sex and solicited naked photos of her, according to court documents.

Investigators said he also convinced her to falsify reports to claim that her parents were abusing her.

By November 2012, Hussain traveled to Bangladesh and obtained a fake birth certificate to change his niece’s birthdate to make her appear to be three years older. When he returned to the U.S., he used the birth certificate to obtain a Legal Permanent Resident Card reflecting the new birthdate.

Investigators said he showed up to his niece’s home and tried to take her away from her parents. Hussain showed the new resident card as “proof” she was an adult.

“This criminal put his own agenda first, hurting his own family. He thought he could get away with his despicable behavior by lying and blaming others for his actions,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “Thanks to our HSI special agents and law enforcement partners, a jury of his peers found him guilty and he will now be unable to harm anymore. His family can feel safe knowing justice has been served.”

Officials said the case was brought on as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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Cicero woman, mom stabbed in break-in, police say

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CICERO, N.Y. — A Cicero woman and her daughter were stabbed Sunday morning after a man broke into their home, police said.

The daughter called the Onondaga County 911 Center at 4:44 a.m. to say she and her mother had been stabbed after her ex-boyfriend broke in through a back window of their home on Lackawanna Lane in Cicero, police confirmed.

When officers arrived, they found the daughter and mother inside with stab wounds. The ex-boyfriend, however, was not there.

The ex-boyfriend, who police identified as Michael Powers, has not been taken into custody or charged as of 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Cicero police, however, say they’ve been in contact with Powers.

“It would be to his benefit to turn himself in so we can resolve this,” Cicero Police Chief Joseph Snell said Sunday afternoon, more than 12 hours after the double stabbing was reported. “We don’t have any reason to believe he won’t turn himself in, but we’ll know in four to five hours.”

Ambulances took the mother and daughter to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment.

After the break-in early Sunday, the exes “got into an argument,” Snell said. “He had a knife” and allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend in the face and head, the chief said.

Her mother intervened and was stabbed several times, Snell said.

Snell said he believes the daughter was treated and released, but the mother remains in the hospital Sunday evening. Police expect both the mother and daughter to recover from their injuries, he said.

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and North Syracuse Village Police Department assisted the Cicero Police Department at the scene.

Police said they also found the 3-year-old son of the young woman stabbed in the face was present at the time of the stabbings. He has been turned over to relatives, Snell said.

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Texas bill would allow death penalty for women who get abortion

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The Republican lawmaker behind a controversial bill — which could make it legal to charge women and providers with murder for an abortion — defended the proposal by saying completely removing access to the procedure would “force” women to be “more personally responsible” with sex.

State Representative Tony Tinderholt, of Arlington, said in an interview with the Observer that, if passed, the bill would reduce the number of pregnancies “when they know that there’s repercussions.”

“Right now, it’s real easy. Right now, they don’t make it important to be personally responsible because they know that they have a backup of ‘oh, I can just go get an abortion.’ Now, we both know that consenting adults don’t always think smartly sometimes. But consenting adults need to also consider the repercussions of the sexual relationship that they’re gonna have, which is a child,” Tinderholt said.

House Bill 948 would ban and criminalize abortions at any stage, direct state officials to ignore “any conflicting federal” laws, and would no longer exempt pregnancies as a result of rape, incest or fetal abnormalities. The bill would remove the exception for abortion in the state’s penal code for criminal homicide, meaning that women and providers could face charges as serious as murder for the procedure.

State Representative Donna Howard, D-Austin, said the procedure is a decision “that should not be made by someone who has no clue what’s going on.”

“That is so ignorant to think… that women are somehow irresponsibly deciding that they’re going to go ahead and get pregnant because it’s so easy to get an abortion,” said Howard. “… And for the Legislature to insert themselves in these decisions… it’s just baffling to me that he could have that lack of compassion and understanding for fellow Texans.”

When asked why the bill makes no exception for rape or incest, Tinderholt said he’s “a firm believer that God creates children in his own image, regardless of how that child is brought into the world, it’s created in his image, and how can someone want to destroy that?”

“I don’t think that there should be any exceptions to murder, no matter what. So, if this child was out of the womb and it was a child that was born out of rape or incest, no one would be OK with killing a child. I look at it like that child is a child in the womb, just like it’s out,” he said.

Since filing the bill last week, Tinderholt said he and his family have received death threats and that officers from the Department of Public Safety had been posted outside his home for at least four days. DPS spokesperson Tom Vinger declined to comment, saying the agency doesn’t discuss personal security matters.

While the likelihood of the bill’s passage remains to be seen, it sends a clear message that the Texas GOP will continue to invade women’s constitutional right to privacy beyond what is allowed under federal law.

The Republican Party of Texas declared “abolishing abortion by enacting legislation to stop the murder of unborn children” as a priority for the legislative session, but Sanford Levinson, a University of Texas Law professor, said last week “there is simply no doubt whatsoever that it is unconstitutional under current law.”

In June, Texas’ HB 2, one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, was partially struck down when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that additional hurdles, such as requiring abortion facilities to meet hospital-like standards and doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, placed an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion. The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project published reports confirming that women seeking abortion services in Texas after HB 2 were forced to travel farther at higher out-of-pocket costs, and that a decline in abortions between 2012 and 2014 is associated with greater travel distances to clinics after the majority of abortion facilities in Texas were shuttered.

Howard has proposed measures this session regarding contraception including House Bill 941, a pilot program that would distribute contraceptives in participating public school districts with parental consent for students under 18. She and state Senator Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, also plan to file a resolution on Tuesday declaring that “abortion is healthcare and should be treated as such.”

Blake Rocap, legislative counsel for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said Tinderholt’s proposal would “take us back to a time in Texas when women lost their lives because they were trying to procure illegal abortions.”

“These sort of bills come from a worldview that completely discounts people’s agency and autonomy to make a decision in a responsible way,” he said.

Though pro-choice advocates say that the bill would effectively ban abortion, Tinderholt denies that it does so.

“I’m not saying, I’ve never said, and the bill doesn’t say that abortion will be abolished and illegal,” he said. “We call it that bill, but the bottom line is this: we’re just changing criminal penal code and statutes.”

The bill is titled the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act.

 

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Parrot clams up after it was detained for warning owners of law enforcement presence in drug raid

drug parrot_1556304571862.jpg_7175918_ver1.0_1280_720An unnamed parrot that was trained by drug dealers to alert them of police presense, wont speak after being detained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

A parrot has been taken into custody in northern Brazil following a police raid targeting crack dealers.

According to reports in the Brazilian press, the bird had been taught to alert criminals to police operations in Vila Irmã Dulce, a low-income community in the sun-scorched capital of Piauí state, by shouting: “Mum, the police!”

The parrot, who has not been named, was seized on Monday afternoon when officers swooped on a drug den run by a local couple.

“He must have been trained for this,” one officer involved in the operation said of the two-winged wrongdoer. “As soon as the police got close he started shouting.”

A Brazilian journalist who came face to face with the imprisoned parrot on Tuesday described it as a “super obedient” creature – albeit one that had kept its beak firmly shut after being “arrested”.

“So far it hasn’t made a sound … completely silent,” the reporter said.

Alexandre Clark, a local vet, confirmed the parrot had not cooperated: “Lots of police officers have come by and he’s said nothing.”

The Brazilian broadcaster Globo said the “papagaio do tráfico” (drug trafficking parrot) had been handed over to a local zoo where it would spend three months learning to fly before being released.

The bird joins a growing list of animals implicated in Brazil’s drug trade, although most have been reptiles.

In 2008, police seized two small alligators during a raid on a favela in western Rio de Janeiro, claiming local gangsters had fed their enemies to the animals. However, the father of one of the accused gangsters rejected those accusations, alleging his son’s gang had once tried to do so – but the alligator had refused to eat the corpse.

 

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Zimbabwe: Pastor kisses woman to ‘remove a demon’ from her

A Pastor in Zimbabwe kisses a young woman in church in order to ‘remove a demon from her body’. The rest of the church are silent as the Pastor kisses the woman, before pulling away to perform a dance. He then leans in and kisses her again.

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Police: Mom punched son for being poor lookout for shoplifting grandma at Walmart

Rebecca Gonzales

 

PHOENIX (AP) – A 27-year-old woman is accused of punching her 7-year-old son in the face, leaving his mouth bleeding, after telling him he was a poor lookout for his shoplifting grandmother.

Court records say Rebecca Gonzales was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault Friday night at a Walmart store after police saw her spank, slap and punch her son in the parking lot and that the boy said it was because “he didn’t look out for his grandma good enough.”

According to the records, Gonzales had picked up her son at the store “where his grand was using him as a lookout in a shoplift.”

The records didn’t provide any additional information about the grandmother or don’t identify a defense attorney for Gonzales who could comment on the allegations against her.

 

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