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NY pols to pass Trump-inspired bill to prosecute presidents

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NY pols to pass Trump-inspired bill to prosecute presidents

With former President Trump’s impeachment trial beginning this week, New York lawmakers intend to pass the “No Citizen is Above the Law” legislation aimed at making it harder for Trump or any future president to avoid state prosecution if accused of criminal wrongdoing.

The bill introduced by Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) will “toll” the statute of limitations in order to bring a case — meaning freezing or stopping the clock on the limitations period for the years a president is in office. It’s four years in Trump’s case.

A sitting president is immune from arrest or prosecution while in office, according to a pair of Justice Department memos — one from 1973 and another from 2000 — which interpret the US Constitution. But the US Supreme Court has never made a determination on the issue.

Gianaris and Perry say a president shouldn’t use the time they serve in office to avoid prosecution by having the statute of limitations expire.

“Any President who breaks the law should be held accountable without regard to the time they spend in office. As our nation prepares for an unprecedented second impeachment trial, we must close the loophole that allows Presidents to escape culpability by exploiting statutes of limitations due to Presidential immunity,” Gianaris said.

Both state Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. are investigating Trump’s business dealings.

The bill will pass the state Senate this week and is on the calendar to be voted on in the Assembly at any time. The lawmakers first introduced the measure last September, when the legislature wasn’t in session.

Trump legal adviser Alan Dershowitz said the proposed state law is probably legal, as long as legislators don’t extend the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, typically five years.

But Republican lawmakers accused Gianaris and Perry of political grandstanding.

“This is just a pointless political headline-grab that’s out of their jurisdiction and ignores more pressing concerns happening right in front of their faces,” said Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Syracuse).

“It’s unfortunate they’ve spent far less energy reining-in executive powers or issuing a subpoena to the sitting governor,” added Barclay, referring to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus, including the nursing home death reporting scandal.

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Idaho protesters burn masks at state capital

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Idaho protesters burn masks at state capital

Protesters in Idaho staged a mask burning event at the state capital on Saturday, as frustration over coronavirus-related disruptions to daily life continue to fester.

At least three lawmakers from the state legislature and the Lt. Gov Janice McGeachin were there to cheer them on, according to local media reports from the scene.

Video posted to Twitter suggests that most of the actual burning of masks took place inside small, self-contained fires lit in garbage bins. At least one person was filmed burning a picture of Joe Biden.

Many protesters, often with children in tow, displayed signs reading “I will not self-suffocate,”

“We’re standing here today to rein back government. To reestablish our Republican form of government, a government that has balance between the branches,” said Daar Moon, a protest organizer, in a Twitter video. “It’s a widespread grassroots movement, an uprising in that regard, it’s come off very well today here in Boise.”

Last week Idaho legislators introduced a bill to make mask mandates illegal. Though there is no current statewide requirement, mask mandates are in force in seven of 11 Idaho counties, according to the Associated Press.

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Biden cheers passage of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill in White House speech

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Biden cheers passage of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill in White House speech

President Biden celebrated the party-line passage of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill Saturday, saying the measure is another step for the country’s return to normalcy.

The bill will “get the country in a place to get back to normal” Biden said in a 9-minute address in the White House State Dining Room.

The rescue plan includes $75 billion for pandemic-related medical costs, such as vaccine production.

“I believe we’ll have enough by the middle of May to vaccinate — it’s going to take longer to get it in their arms, but that’s how much vaccine we’ll have,” Biden said.

He appealed to the House of Representatives — which the Democrats control by a slim 10-vote margin — to pass the Senate-revised bill in the next few days.

“By passing this plan we’ll have proved that this democracy, this government, can still work,” he said.

The House is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.

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You can now be a ‘millionaire’ in Venezuela for 50 cents

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You can now be a ‘millionaire’ in Venezuela for 50 cents

All it takes to be a millionaire in Venezuela is a few American pennies: the beleaguered South American country’s economy is so bad, they’re introducing a million bolivar note worth roughly 53 cents.

According to a statement from the country’s central bank, Venezuela will also be printing 200,000 and 500,000 bills along with the 1,000,000 bills.

The move comes as hyperinflation has made smaller bills superfluous and worthless – and most citizens are “turning to the U.S. dollar for everyday transactions,” Bloomberg notes, adding “About 66 percent of transactions across the country are (now) estimated to be made in foreign currency.”

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has claimed he is going to make the country the world’s first fully digital economy, in an attempt to fight the inflation which ballooned to more than 3000 percent last year.

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