Breaking: This Huge Development In The Trayvon Martin Shooting May Just Close The Case

Images Credit: Orlando Sentinel

After a lengthy investigation extending almost to the third anniversary of the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Justice Department is bringing its civil rights probe to an end.

ABC News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder and his legal team at Justice will not file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the man who killed the teen during a confrontation in 2012.

“Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.”

You’ll recall that the state of Florida prosecuted the neighborhood watch volunteer, trying to convict him for murder and manslaughter. After a highly emotional trial that drew international attention, a jury acquitted Zimmerman in the summer of 2013.

In protests surrounding the racially charged trial, Al Sharpton played a major role in supposedly speaking for the Martin family. In a separate post, Western Journalism this morning reported on a new investigative video from conservative activist James O’Keefe, dealing with the anti-Sharpton sentiment expressed by some people involved in the controversial Martin case.

As ABC notes of the just-announced decision at Justice:

“Privately and publicly, Justice Department officials have been telegraphing all along that they were unlikely to file charges against Zimmerman.

And in November 2013, Holder said the case against Zimmerman “in substantial part was resolved” with his acquittal months earlier.”

In April 2013, as the Orlando Sentinel reported, Trayvon Martin’s parents settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the homeowners’ association of the subdivision where Zimmerman was on patrol when he shot the 17-year-old. The amount of that settlement was said to have been more than $1 million.

With its findings in the Trayvon Martin case now a matter of public record, the Justice Department is continuing its investigation into possible civil rights violations in connection with the Michael Brown police-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Watch: Aviation Experts Now Claim This Was Deliberately Done To MH370 Before It Vanished

Image Credit: YouTube/Air Crash Investigation

It will soon be one year since the unexplained disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The jetliner with 239 people on board vanished on March 8, 2014 during its scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

But now, a team of aviation disaster experts claims that the aircraft was probably not heading toward China when it disappeared. In a documentary set to air on the National Geographic Channel, these experts say they believe that someone in the cockpit of the Boeing 777 may have deliberately flown MH370 off course.

Evidence, they say, strongly suggests the plane was flying towards Antarctica when it went missing.

The Daily Mail carries details of the new TV documentary featuring one of the world’s leading experts in determining the cause of aviation disasters, Malcolm Brenner.

“‘This accident has caught the attention of the world in a way I have not seen in a forty-year career in aviation,’ Mr. Brenner says.”

In close to a full year of intense searching, not a single confirmed piece of the aircraft has been found; nor have search crews come up with any solid evidence that the aircraft is lying on or scattered across the bottom of the sea where they’ve been looking.

By clicking on the video above, you can watch a portion of the National Geographic Channel’s documentary that’s scheduled to premiere next month.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama To Veto Keystone XL, Potentially Other Bills

Facebook/Barack Obama

President Obama is slated to veto the Keystone XL bill passed by Congress Tuesday, among the first of several key potential vetoes in his final years in office.

 

02242015_Veto Tweet_TwitterEven though the House passed the final version of Keystone earlier this month, only today is the lower chamber sending the bill to the White House for consideration. The president has 10 days to act on the legislation (except for Sunday), or else it becomes law. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Monday the bill will be vetoed.

“I would anticipate, as we’ve been saying for years, that the president will veto that legislation, and he will, so I would not anticipate a lot of drama or fanfare around it,” he said.

Earnest added that Obama will veto the bill because it would conflict with the U.S. State Department’s current review of the TransCanada pipeline, which he says could still be approved later. In a statement on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encouraged the president to change his mind:

It’s hard to even imagine what a serious justification for a veto might be…I know powerful special interests and political extremists are pressuring the president to veto American jobs. I hope President Obama will join us in standing for the middle class instead.

This would only be the third veto during Obama’s presidency, noted The Detroit News. But the president has signaled he would ban a 20 week abortion ban if it came to his desk as well as any changes to his immigration policy.

“If rather than try to solve the broken immigration system they compound the problem, I’ll veto it,” he said at a retreat for Democratic House members in Philadelphia last month, Politico reported.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said earlier this month that there would be a veto override vote for Keystone XL. “If he vetoes it as we anticipate – I worked at the White House so I know that once a president says something it doesn’t change – yeah, we’ll have a vote.”

h/t: The Washington Post

Share this if you think Obama should sign Keystone XL into law

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Gallup Reports Sharp Drop In Democrats’ Favorability Toward Israel

ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com  ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

The percentage of Democrats who favor Israel above the Palestinians dropped ten points this year to 48 percent, according to a Gallup poll.

The number of Democrats who looked at Israel favorably dropped from 74 percent to 60 percent.

In contrast, the percentage of Republicans who favor Israel above the Palestinians rose to 83 percent, which has risen from the low 50s in the late 1990s.

Americans overall sympathize with Israel more than the Palestinians (62 percent), while 70 percent of Americans look at Israel favorably.

Why are Democrats becoming less favorable toward Israel? CNS News writes that it is because of tension between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama over the Iran nuclear negotiations:

In recent months relations between the White House and Netanyahu government have become increasingly strained, as the Israeli leader continues to argue that a proposed nuclear agreement with Iran will be “dangerous.”

Netanyahu stated:

“It is astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks with it are proceeding,” he said. “Not only are they continuing, there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks.”

In a Gallup poll last month, the number of American Jews who identify as Democrats has dropped since Obama’s election in 2008. In fact, 71 percent of American Jews identified as Democrats in 2008; and by 2014, that number had dropped to 61 percent.

What do you think of the Democrats’ less favorable attitude toward Israel? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Alaska Becomes Third State To Legalize Marijuana

Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives (Creative Commons)

After a ballot measure was passed in November, Alaska officially legalized the recreational use of marijuana Tuesday, becoming the third state in the country to do so. It is still illegal in The Last Frontier to smoke marijuana in public, The Associated Press reported.

02242015_Alaska Weed Tweet_Twitter

Alaskans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in November, 53 to 47 percent, The Week reported. NPR pointed out state residents are now allow to harvest up to six plants on private property.

“You can still give people marijuana, but you can’t buy it – or even barter for it,” said Alexandra Gutierrez of Alaska Public Media. “So, it’s a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won’t stop people from acquiring it though.”

There are no stores yet, but black market sales are still illegal…The state is now crafting regulations for marijuana retailers, and the stores will be licensed and operational by next year.

Gov. Bill Walker, an Independent, proposed legislation Monday that will create a marijuana control board, which would not start operation until 2016. A similar board that regulates alcohol sales exists in the state.

Police officers in Anchorage, the state’s largest city, have queued up tickets for $100 fines for anyone caught smoking in public.

The 49th state joins Washington state and Colorado in legalizing the practice. Oregon will be legalizing marijuana in July. Voters in the District of Columbia legalized marijuana, which has since been blocked by Congress, NPR noted.

h/t: The Blaze

Share this if you are passionate about marijuana use, one way or the other. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom