U.S. Embassy urges Americans in Haiti to leave the country “as soon as possible”

Haiti Tear Gas

Important Takeaways:

  • American citizens in Haiti should leave the country “as soon as possible” because of spiraling security and infrastructure “challenges,” the U.S. Embassy said in a travel advisory issued late Wednesday.
  • Over the weekend, a Haitian gang opened fire on protesters from a church who sought to confront one gang leader over the surging turmoil. At least seven people were killed.
  • If “you encounter a roadblock, turn around and get to a safe area,” a reference to an escalating gang turf war that has seen Haiti consumed by random killings, rapes, extortion and kidnappings.
  • Haiti’s gangs have been vying for territory and resources in the wake of the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. They now control large parts of the country.

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Biden now wants to fund the police. “Well, his kind of Police”

Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Important Takeaways:

  • As Rapes, Robberies, Homicides Surge in Democrat-Led Cities, Biden Says Now Is the Time to Fund the Police
  • President Biden is making a pivot. With crime spiking in many U.S. cities, the leader of the party that called to “Defund the Police” is now calling for more funding for police officers in his new “Safer America Plan”.
  • In Wilkes-Barre, PA on Tuesday, Biden pushed for a new crime prevention plan. “It’s based on a simple notion,” he said. “When it comes to public safety and in this nation, the answer is not ‘defund the police’, it’s fund the police.”
  • The $37 billion plan seeks to increase the number of police officers, crackdown on violent crime, and invest in services that address root causes of crime.
  • According to a report by WalletHub, since 2020, homicide rates have been going up across the country, jumping nearly 20 percent in 50 of the most populated U.S. cities.
  • Biden is now trying to turn the tables by calling out members of the GOP who refuse to condemn the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol as well as some calling to defund the FBI after the raid on Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago.

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California prosecutors to seek death penalty in ‘Golden State Killer’ murders

FILE PHOTO - Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who authorities said was identified by DNA evidence as the serial predator dubbed the Golden State Killer, appears at his arraignment in California Superior court in Sacramento, California, U.S., April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Four California district attorneys have jointly agreed to seek the death penalty if they win a conviction of an ex-policeman charged with 13 counts of murder attributed to a serial predator dubbed the “Golden State Killer,” prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The decision, disclosed during a court hearing for the suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, 73, put the prosecutors at odds with a statewide moratorium on capital punishment declared last month by Governor Gavin Newsom.

DeAngelo was arrested in April 2018, capping more than 40 years of investigation in a case that authorities said was finally solved by DNA evidence. The breakthrough came about two months after the case gained renewed national attention in the bestselling book: “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.”

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert called it “probably the most notorious” series of rapes and killings in California history, a crime spree spanning 11 years from 1975 to 1986 across multiple jurisdictions.

The defendant was an officer in two small-town California police departments during the 1970s.

Schubert and her counterparts from Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange counties “unanimously concluded to seek the death penalty in this case,” her office said in a statement after Wednesday’s hearing.

DeAngelo is charged with 13 counts each of murder and kidnapping. Twelve murder counts accompany “special circumstance allegations” – such as rape of the victim – that make him eligible for capital punishment, the prosecutors said. The 13th murder count, in Tulare County, does not.

In all, authorities have said DeAngelo is suspected of dozens of rapes and more than 120 burglaries in and around Sacramento, the eastern San Francisco Bay area and Southern California.

Four weeks ago, Newsom, a Democrat, said he was imposing an indefinite moratorium on executions for any of the 737 inmates now on death row, the most of any state.

Newsom said he took the action in part because he was deeply troubled by the possibility of putting an innocent person to death as the state moved to toward resumption of executions after developing a new protocol for lethal injections.

The governor, whose moratorium angered victims’ rights advocates, has since said he was considering a ban on future death sentences. California last carried out an execution in 2006.

Voters passed a 2016 ballot measure aimed at speeding up the process, but that initiative has failed to work, critics say, largely because it lacked additional funding needed to implement necessary reforms.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney)

New York City murders seen dropping below 300 in 2017

People walk along Sixth Avenue as a cold weather front hits the region in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 28, 2017.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City is on track to record fewer than 300 murders in 2017, marking a steep decline since the early 1990s when the annual death toll exceeded 2,000 people.

As of Sunday, 284 people were murdered in the nation’s largest city, down from 329 in the same period in 2016, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) data released this week. All seven major crimes tracked by police, including rape, assault and robbery, showed declines.

Barring a spike in the final week of the year, the number of murders in the city will drop under the low of 333 in 2014.

Police officials emphasized that murders continued to decline even as the city’s population swelled to more 8.5 million.

“The homicide rate per capita is lower than anything we have ever seen,” J. Peter Donald, an NYPD spokesman, wrote on Twitter on Thursday. He compared the rate to levels last seen in the 1950s, when there were “1.5 million fewer people living in New York.”

The continued decline is in part vindication for Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who campaigned for the office in 2013 on his opposition to the NYPD’s widespread use of “stop and frisk” policy, which led to random searches for drugs and weapons.

That year, a federal judge ruled that the practise was unconstitutional because it disproportionately targeted black and Latino New Yorkers.

Under de Blasio, the tactic’s use has been sharply curtailed, and warnings by conservative critics that crime rates would creep back up have proved unfounded.

Fewer than 13,700 robberies have been reported so far in 2017, compared with 15,500 in 2016 and 100,280 in 1990. Serious assaults fell below 20,000, about half the number seen in 1990. Burglaries have dipped below 12,000, compared to 122,055 in 1990.

Police had recorded 1,416 rapes in the year through Sunday, one fewer than the same period last year but above the low in 2009 of 1,205.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

In Venezuela, lynchings kill one person every three days

A graffiti that reads "Get ready, thief, here we burn you. Regards, Kerdell" is seen at a residential block in Valencia, Venezuela, August 21, 2015. When a man they believed to be a thief sneaked into their parking lot in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, angry residents caught him, stripped him and beat him with fists, sticks and stones. They tied him up and doused him in gasoline, according to witnesses, in one of what rights groups and media reports say are an increasing number of mob beatings and lynchings in a country ravaged by crime. REUTERS/Alexandra Ulmer

By Andreina Aponte

CARACAS (Reuters) – Roughly one person is being lynched in crisis-ridden Venezuela every three days as frustrated residents take revenge on suspected criminals, a monitoring group said on Wednesday.

The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV), which monitors crime, said mob killings have become a generalized phenomenon across the country, with 126 deaths reported in 2016 versus 20 last year.

“Due to being repeated victims of crime for more than a decade, and the feeling of not being protected, many people have decided to take justice into their own hands,” the OVV said in its latest annual report.

In the past, it said, lynchings of suspected murderers and rapists were relatively uncommon, but this year angry crowds have increasingly attacked petty criminals too, with police often turning a blind eye.

Venezuelans have long suffered alarming levels of violent crime, in part because of the widespread availability of guns, inadequate policing and a bribe-riddled justice system.

A crushing economic crisis has compounded crime.

The OVV, a group of academics who compile data from police sources and the media, said Venezuela, with an estimated 28,479 homicides this year – or more than three killings per hour – was the world’s second most murderous nation after El Salvador

That would represent 91.8 murders per 100,000 inhabitants this year, up from 90 in 2015, it said. The OVV put the homicide rate at more 140 per 100,000 people in Caracas, making it one of the murder capitals of the world.

El Salvador had a rate of 116 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016, according to the Institute of Legal Medicine in El Salvador.

President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government rejects the OVV figures as inflated for political reasons. The last official murder rate it gave was 58 per 100,000 inhabitants for 2015.

Another researcher has also disagreed with the widely cited OVV data, criticizing its methodology and putting the 2015 figure at 70 murders per 100,000 people.

Whatever the right statistics, crime remains an all-pervasive worry for Venezuelans, especially in poor slums that are run by gangs and rife with guns. Numerous state security plans and disarmament drives have failed to curb the problem.

“Violence is killing the future of our country,” opposition leader Henrique Capriles said during a visit on Wednesday to rescue services in the Miranda state, which he governs.

“The government has spent 17 years without resolving the problem,” he added, referring to Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez’s rule since 1999.

(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)