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Author: ProPublica

Current laws prevent domestic terrorists from being designated and prosecuted like foreign extremists

In the days leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI received intelligence that extremists were planning violence as lawmakers gathered in Washington to certify the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden. FBI officials managed to dissuade people in several places from their suspected plans, a senior FBI official said — but there was not enough evidence to issue arrest warrants. “Prior to this event, the FBI obtained information about individuals who were planning on potentially traveling to the protests, individuals who were planning to engage in violence,” said the senior FBI official. “The FBI was...

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U.S. Capitol police were caught off-guard even though domestic terrorists had made violent intentions clear

The invasion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result. “We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th,” leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23. They called their January 6 demonstration the Wild Protest, a name taken from a tweet by Trump that encouraged his supporters to take...

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Windfall for rich investors: Medical staffing firms cut doctor pay and now want bailout money

Medical staffing companies, some of which are owned by some of the country’s richest investors and have been cutting pay for doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, are seeking government bailout money. Private equity firms have increasingly bought up doctors’ practices that contract with hospitals to staff emergency rooms and other departments. These staffing companies say the coronavirus pandemic is, counterintuitively, bad for business because most everyone who isn’t critically ill with COVID-19 is avoiding the ER. The companies have responded with pay cuts, reduced hours and furloughs for doctors. Emergency room visits across the country...

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Corporate Payoffs: No accountability for the coronavirus bailout repeats the mistakes of 2008

In 2008, the first of the once-in-a-lifetime economic calamities of most of our lifetimes engulfed the country and the world. Now, just over a decade later, we get to experience the second. How well the country responded to the 2008 global financial crisis is still subject to debate. After the crisis peaked in September 2008 and the government intervened with various bailout programs, the financial system and corporate America stabilized. Corporate profits were rising again by the second half of 2009. Almost everything else is in dispute. Did the efforts to save the economy do enough to help average...

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IRS admits targeting the poor because they are easier and cheaper to audit

The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that is true but professes it cannot change anything unless it is given more money. The disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families was reported in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed. Last month, Rettig replied with a report, but it said the IRS has no plan and...

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Students posing with guns at shot-up Emmett Till Memorial face Civil Rights investigation

Three University of Mississippi students have been suspended from their fraternity house and face possible investigation by the Department of Justice after posing with guns in front of a bullet-riddled sign honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till. One of the students posted a photo to his private Instagram account in March showing the trio in front of a roadside plaque commemorating the site where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River. The 14-year-old black youth was tortured and murdered in August 1955. An all-white, all-male jury acquitted two white men accused of the slaying. The photo, which...

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