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$140 million ‘Pelosi subway’ axed from Senate COVID bill

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$140 million 'Pelosi subway' axed from Senate COVID bill

Guess she’ll have to take the bus.

Funding for a rail project near House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California district that Republicans denounced as wasteful was removed Tuesday from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled the $140 million appropriation wasn’t allowed under the so-called Byrd rule that polices unrelated items in budget reconciliation bills.

Republicans singled out the rail project as an example of unrelated “pork” in the bill, which is being rammed through Congress without Republican support using special rules that allow a simple majority vote in the Senate.

On Tuesday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) ridiculed the project as Pelosi’s “tunnel of love” ahead of an anticipated vote on the package later this week.

Representatives for Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, had defended the project, saying that ridership for mass-transit plummeted during the pandemic, making it reasonable to increase government spending.

“The Senate Parliamentarian has now ruled that the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara does not meet the requirements of the Byrd rule because it is part of a pilot project. Therefore, it will be removed from the reconciliation package,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.

A separate $1.5 million allocation for the Seaway International Bridge between Massena, New York, and Canada also will be removed, he said.

The Senate parliamentarian previously blocked Democrats from including a federal minimum wage hike to $15 per hour in the bill.

Hammill defended the original inclusion of the rail funds.

“COVID-19 had an immediate and overwhelming effect on all of our transportation systems and the millions of transportation and construction jobs associated with them,” he said.

“As part of the $30 billion in public transit support, the House included $1.425 billion to help dozens of major transit rail capital projects, including the BART extension from San Jose to Santa Clara.”

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Brooklyn Center city manager fired

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Brooklyn Center city manager fired

Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey was fired on Monday evening, hours after he publicly disagreed with Mayor Mike Elliott’s assertion that the police officer who fatally shot a black man in the Minneapolis suburb should be immediately fired in response to the incident.

“Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward,” Elliott wrote on Twitter. “I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government.”

Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot during a traffic stop. Bodycam footage showed three officers gathered near a stopped car that police said was pulled over for an expired registration. Police attempted to arrest the man, later identified as Wright, for an outstanding warrant. A struggle ensued, followed by the fatal shooting.

Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer who shot and killed Wright had intended to fire a Taser, not their service weapon. Authorities have not released the name of the female officer involved in the shooting.

The Brooklyn Center City Council voted to fire Boganey, a longtime city employee, during an emergency meeting, the Star Tribune reported. At the same meeting, the council voted to give the mayor command authority over the city’s police department.

During a virtual workshop after the meeting, Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson said she voted to fire Boganey out of fear of potential reprisals from protestors if she did not, according to the newspaper.

“He was doing a great job. I respect him dearly,” Lawrence-Anderson said. “I didn’t want repercussions at a personal level.”

Both Elliott and Boganey addressed potential disciplinary action toward the officer during a press conference earlier in the day. At the time, Elliott called for the officer to be fired.

“Let me be very clear – my position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession,” Elliott said. “I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.”

Before leaving the podium, Elliott noted that Boganey, as city manager, had the authority to determine whether the officer would be fired. Boganey noted that he would not take immediate action to remove the officer.

“All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,” Boganey said. “This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say today.”

When pressed on whether he personally felt the officer should be fired, Boganey again called for due process.

“If I were to answer that question, I’d be contradicting what I said a moment ago — which is to say that all employees are entitled to due process and after that due process, discipline will be determined,” Boganey said. “If I were to say anything else, I would actually be contradicting the idea of due process.”

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

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China launches traffic signal for camels

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China launches traffic signal for camels

Lights, camels, action!

Chinese officials have launched what they say is the world’s first traffic light for camels.

The signal came into operation Sunday at the Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Spring in Dunhuang City, Chinese state media outlet ECNS said Monday.

The area, in the country’s north-central Gansu province, has become increasingly popular with tourists in recent years, according to CNN.

Camel-riding tours especially are a big attraction for visitors — who will now be safe from bumpy travel, thanks to the new traffic light.

The contraption has signals for both tourists and camels, which turn green for go and red for stop.

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Widow says that late hubby killed missing mom and her son in 2002

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Widow says that late hubby killed missing mom and her son in 2002

A woman confessed that her late husband killed a young mom and her 4-year-old son who vanished in Arkansas in 2002 — bringing the two decade-old cold case to a close, authorities said.

Barbara Krusen told the FBI earlier this month that her husband Clarence Krusen admitted to her that “done away with” 20-year-old Angela Mack Cox and little Thomas “Mikey” Rettew and burned their bodies in a furnace.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that this new information had helped them close the missing persons investigation into the mom and son, who were last heard from in December 2002.

Detectives first spoke to Barbara last year, and she admitted to meeting Cox in the fall of 2002, when the mom came to work on the Krusen’s farm in Alton, Missouri.

Cox wanted to move to California and had agreed to let the couple adopt her son, even signing the papers, the widow told police.

However, Barbara said the mom later had a change of heart, and told Clarence she wanted to come back to retrieve her boy.

“Barbara stated that it angered both her and Clarence,” a statement on the case states. “She told Angela she needed to come back and pick up Mikey. That she didn’t want to just be a babysitter.”

The couple sent Cox a bus ticket and picked her up in Springfield, Mo., before heading back to their farm, Barbara said.

The next morning, little Thomas and his mom were gone.

Investigators later asked Barbara, now based in Virginia, to give a polygraph test, which she did on April 2 — and failed, according to the sheriff’s office.

During an interview after the lie-detecting test, Barbara finally admitted that her late husband had told her he’d gotten rid of the victims by “killing them and destroying their bodies in a furnace that they had attached to their farmhouse.”

When the couple eventually left the farm, Clarence told Barbara that they had to remove the furnace because of what it had been used for, she told the authorities.

He was fatally shot in Laredo, Tx., in 2012, the sheriff’s office said.

What happened to Cox and her son would remain a mystery for eight more years.

Detectives have never been able to locate any trace of their remains, but said they believe Barbara’s account.

She will not face charges in connection with the case.

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