National News

Group Seeks Clemency for 110 Black Soldiers Convicted in 1917 Houston Riot

By siawi3 A group of attorneys and advocates have pledged to seek clemency for 110 Black soldiers who were convicted in a mutiny and riots at a military camp in Houston in 1917. The South Texas College of Law Houston and the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have signed an agreement to continue fighting for clemency for the soldiers of the all-Black Third Battalion of the US Army’s 24th Infantry Regiment, the Houston Chronicle reported. They plan to ask the secretary of the army to posthumously grant honorable discharges and urge the army board for

Barrier-breaking Black prosecutor faces deadly racist threats

By Christina Carrega, The first Black woman to lead the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts was sworn in Monday as she faces an uptick in threats against her following a contentious confirmation process. The violent and often racist threats against Rachael Rollins have been reported to authorities, and she is seeking protection from the US Marshals Service, sources familiar with the matter told CNN. The threats escalated shortly after the Senate narrowly voted to confirm her to the post in December, according to one source. Vice President Kamala Harris had cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm Rollins after Republicans questioned what

Ahmaud Arbery’s killers sentenced to life in prison for 25-year-old Black man’s murder

By Dakin Andone, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Alta Spells and Devon M. Sayers, Three White men who chased and murdered 25-year-old Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery in south Georgia were sentenced to life in prison Friday, with two having no chance of parole. Travis McMichael, 35, his father, Gregory McMichael, 66, and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted in November on a raft of charges, including felony murder, for Arbery’s death. Judge Timothy Walmsley sentenced the McMIchaels to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Bryan was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The 52-year-old will be

An Arctic blast sets the Northeast and Upper Midwest in a deep freeze as a tornado strikes Alabama

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By Haley Brink, Gene Norman and Holly Yan, As frigid, arctic air engulfs the Upper Midwest and Northeast, some Gulf Coast states are at risk for more tornadoes. About 10 million people are under wind chill advisories in parts of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where wind chills are expected to plummet to -25 to -40 degrees Monday. Parts of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts are also under wind chill advisories through Tuesday, with wind chills expected to plunge to about 35 degrees below zero. Such “dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as

16 top colleges sued for alleged violation of federal antitrust laws by colluding on their financial-aid practices

By Raja Razek, Sixteen top US universities, including Duke, Vanderbilt and Northwestern, are being sued by five former students claiming those schools may be involved in antitrust violations in the way those institutions worked together in determining financial aid awards for students, according to the lawsuit filed in a US District Court in Illinois. The complaint, which was filed Sunday, alleges that these private national universities have “participated in a price-fixing cartel that is designed to reduce or eliminate financial aid as a locus of competition, and that in fact has artificially inflated the net price of attendance for students

Chicago students are set to return to school after the teachers union and city landed a deal on Covid-19 measures

By Chris Boyette, Raja Razek, Amir Vera and Holly Yan, Chicago teachers are set to return to work Tuesday and students to get back to in-person instruction Wednesday following a breakthrough in union negotiations with the city over Covid-19 mitigation measures. The standoff, which will have kept 340,000 students in the third-largest US school system out of classrooms for a week, has become perhaps the nation’s most contentious as the Omicron variant has caused a spike in coronavirus cases, again raising questions about pros and cons of in-person versus virtual school. The Chicago agreement, which includes enhanced Covid-19 testing in schools, will extend through the rest

Omicron devastates services, schools, travel as workers are sick or in quarantine

By Theresa Waldrop and Julia Jones, As the Omicron variant sweeps the nation, it’s disrupting everything from garbage collection and emergency services, schools and travel as employees are out sick or in quarantine. In New York, trash is going uncollected and three subway lines are closed because so many workers are out sick. Schools and hospitals are reporting staff shortages, too, and airlines continue to cancel flights. More than 700,000 new Covid-19 cases a day are reported on average across the nation as the Omicron variant spreads like wildfire, and it’s not going to get better soon, health experts and economists said.

New Orleans City Council votes unanimously to rename Robert E. Lee Blvd for legendary musician Allen Toussaint

By Chris Boyette and Keith Allen, The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously Thursday to change the name of Robert E. Lee Boulevard to Allen Toussaint Boulevard, councilmember Jared C. Brossett confirmed to CNN Saturday. Toussaint, a New Orleans music legend, died in 2015 of a heart attack while he was touring in Madrid. Brossett introduced the ordinance last month to rename the boulevard after Toussaint instead of the Confederate general, saying in a news release “it’s well beyond time to make this change.” “The City of New Orleans should prioritize celebrating our culture bearers, our diversity, and everything that makes our City special, not those who

Manhattan district attorney announces he won’t prosecute certain crimes

By Sonia Moghe, Just days after taking office, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg released a memo detailing new charging, bail, plea and sentencing policies that he said he believes will make the city safer and the criminal justice system more fair, yet the plan faces criticism from police union leaders. Among the crimes Bragg said his office would not prosecute: marijuana misdemeanors, including selling more than three ounces; not paying public transportation fare; trespassing except a fourth degree stalking charge, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration in certain cases, and prostitution. Misdemeanor offenses that are legally required to be given a “desk appearance ticket”

CDC director turns to media consultant as Covid-19 messaging frustrations mount

By Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak, Dr. Rochelle Walensky assumed her new role as the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last January with a vow to restore trust in the agency. But last fall, several months into the job and after a series of messaging missteps, Walensky sought out media training. For months, Walensky has met privately with prominent Democratic media consultant Mandy Grunwald to improve her communication skills and continues to do so, according to a person familiar with the previously unreported sessions. On Friday, Walensky will hold the CDC’s first independent media briefing since

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