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Homeland Security deploying federal officials to protect monuments on July 4



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The Trump administration is reportedly to deploy specially trained federal officials to protect American monuments over the weekend of July 4.

The Department of Homeland Security will send the units to Seattle, Portland and Washington D.C., after civil unrest over the George Floyd police murder has dragged on for more than a month, according to a memo obtained by Fox News.

“The upcoming July 4 holiday weekend has the potential to increase disruptive activity at specific locations across the country that could threaten our staff and the federal facilities and property they protect,” according to the memo, written by the Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. “DHS will lean forward in preparing to protect federal facilities and properties.”

DHS is drawing on its Rapid Deployment Teams (RDT) from the American Communities Protection Task Force (PACT), which includes police officers trained to handle crowd and riot control.

It is not immediately clear how many officers will be dispatched to each city and with what equipment they will be provided to protect the statues against vandalism.

Additional equipment will be ready to be deployed elsewhere if officers are needed elsewhere, Fox News reported.

The effort is the latest in a multi-faceted approach that President Trump has taken to aggressively crack down on American protesters who have defaced or overthrown statues with ties to slavery or racism across the country.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order promising the harshest possible federal penalties for those caught in harmful statues.

The order also allows the federal government to withhold funds from local law enforcement agencies if they “have been unable to protect public monuments.”

Trump himself shared images of protesters suspected of trying to tear down a monument to President Andrew Jackson near the White House earlier last week.

Protesters had targeted the seventh slave-owning president, whose Indian Removal Act forced the violent, sometimes deadly, displacement of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homes on millions of acres in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina. and Florida.

Trump had continued to defend the statue, calling it “magnificent.”

To further attack protesters, Attorney General Bill Barr announced on Friday that he was forming a new government task force focused on “anti-government extremists.”


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Italy denies entry to private jet with Americans on vacation



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An air cargo of wealthy Americans was denied entry to Italy after trying to sneak into the country for a vacation on a private plane.

Travelers from the US are banned from entering the European Union for at least another two weeks after an increase in coronavirus cases in some reopened states, European officials announced last week.

There were 10 people on board, five of whom were Americans, when the plane that had flown in from Colorado was stopped by customs officials at Elmas airport in Cagliari, Italy, according to reports. While the Americans were told they must be “repatriated” immediately, the other passengers, from Italy, New Zealand and England, were offered to stay after a mandatory two-week quarantine. All the passengers left “out of solidarity,” according to the Wanted in Rome site.

“The Sardinian region has no responsibility for what happened,” Sardinian Governor Christian Solinas told the news site. “Immediately, with the collaboration of the airport management company, we got to work, initiating urgent talks with the government, the Ministry and the Prefect, to find a solution that would allow American passengers to remain in Sardinia, even undergoing quarantine. . … The singular restrictive interpretation of the regulations by the government, contrary to our ability to guarantee health security, in this case has once again inflicted serious damage to the credibility of international tourism on our island and to our sense of hospitality. “

Passengers arrive at the Cagliari-Elmas airport in Cagliari, Italy.
Passengers arrive at the Cagliari-Elmas airport in Cagliari, Italy.EPA

This is not the first time that wealthy people have tried to ignore the rules. In April, a private jet laden with international jet sets was sent home after ignoring quarantine rules and secretly flying to southern France for a vacation.


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Senator Menendez blocks compensation to families of al-Qaeda-bombed American victims



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The daughter of a diplomat who lost her father and younger brother in the 1998 US Embassy terror attack in Kenya is furious with New Jersey Senator Bob Menéndez for preventing her and others from receiving millions. in victim compensation money.

Edith Bartley called Menendez’s actions a “parody” in the aftermath of the murder of her Queens-born father, Julian Bartley, the first African-American Consul General in Nairobi and the highest-ranking US diplomat killed in the attack.

He also claimed his brother, Jay, 20, who was doing a summer internship at the embassy.

Menendez has so far blocked a $ 300 million deal in which Sudan, which acted as the scene of the explosion and another bomb in Tanzania, would pay the families of the 12 Americans who killed $ 10 million each, while foreigners who they worked at the embassy they would get only $ 800,000.

“It would be a parody for any member to block the passage of this deal on compensation levels,” Bartley wrote in a June 4 letter to the powerful Democrat.

Menendez, the highest-ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Post that he was concerned that the deal “simply does not do justice to the many victims who worked at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in some cases for decades, and that they are now US citizens. “

He added: “We must be sure that the United States reaches the best possible agreement for every American family affected by these horrible terrorist attacks.”

Spectators stand at the foot of damaged buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, after a large explosion tore apart a building in the Kenyan capital in 1998, heavily destroying the United States Embassy.
Spectators stand at the foot of damaged buildings in Nairobi, Kenya, after a large explosion tore apart a building in the Kenyan capital in 1998, heavily destroying the United States Embassy.AP

A total of 224 people died in the coordinated bombings on August 7, 1998 in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and more than 4,000 people were injured.

The U.S. Sudan Accord has bipartisan support in Congress, and the Senate is reviewing it and is expected to vote on the issue in the coming days.

For Bartley, the fight is deeply personal.

“My whole world stopped and was never the same from that moment on,” said Bartley, who was a law student at the University of Missouri at the time. “I felt so helpless when I heard what happened … because I couldn’t protect my little brother. I had to do something.”

He decided to use his law studies to help his family and others obtain justice.

Bartley now acts as a spokesperson for the families of the Americans killed in Nairobi and has worked on legislation that would add impact statements to federal lawsuits against terrorists and their sponsors.

If the deal is approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sudan, which toppled its military dictator last year, will be removed from the US list of terrorist sponsors and will no longer be subject to sanctions.


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Yoko Ono’s health is on the decline, confined to Dakota’s apartment



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Three years ago, when the National Association of Music Editors presented Yoko Ono with her Centennial Song Award, Sean Lennon pushed his mother onto the stage at 42 Cipriani Street in a wheelchair, surprising some who didn’t they realized that the formidable avant-garde artist was incapacitated

But with her signature shades, black leather jacket, and white Panama hat, John Lennon’s widow did not seem to miss a beat when she began a brief acceptance speech addressing the elephant in the room.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said, clutching the award in one hand and a microphone in the other as Sean whispered to her what was happening. “I learned a lot from this disease. I am thankful that I went through that.”

While it is unclear what “illness” he was referring to, Ono, now 87, is still ill, requires 24-hour care and rarely leaves his large apartment in Dakota, a source close to his staff told The Post. In photos taken at rare public appearances, including a women’s march at Columbus Circle last year and at a commemoration of John in Liverpool in May 2018, Ono is confined to a wheelchair or walks with great difficulty using a cane, to often supported by a caregiver or Sean for support.

It has also been selling some real estate assets in recent years.

“It has definitely slowed down, like anyone at that age,” said Elliot Mintz, a close family friend who has known Ono for almost 50 years, and has acted as a spokesperson for the family, representing John Lennon’s heritage since the murder of the former Beatle in December 1980. “But she is as sharp as she was before.”

John Lennon and his artist wife Yoko Ono in 1969.
John Lennon and his artist wife Yoko Ono in 1969.fake pictures

Mintz told The Post that he last saw Ono at his 87th birthday party in February. He was one of over 30 guests, including Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner, singer Cyndi Lauper, and Ono’s daughter Kyoko, 56, from her previous marriage to John with film producer Anthony Cox. .

Two years after their divorce in 1971, Cox fled with Kyoko and raised her in Christian fundamentalist communes. Ono fought for years for Kyoko, who began communicating with her mother after John’s murder. According to Mintz, Ono is now very close to Kyoko and Sean, her 44-year-old son with Lennon.

“Sean is his best friend,” said Mintz. “They dine two or three times a week, and he occasionally brings out his mother as a guest star in his band.”

Sean hosts Ono’s birthday party every year, meticulously obsessing over decorations and flower arrangements, Mintz said. In February, he took over Bar Wayo at the South Street Seaport for the party, where guests celebrated with champagne. In previous years, Sean and Ono have taken the stage to perform.

But this year, the celebration was more discreet. “She put out the candles with Sean and was one of the last to leave,” Mintz told the Post. “She was in a good mood. I helped her into her wheelchair and gently helped her into her car. “

Mintz declined to comment on Ono’s personal medical history. “She is a particularly special being,” he said. “In these 87 years, she has lived 400.”

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 to a Tokyo banking family whose fortune suffered during World War II. The family faced starvation and were often forced to trade household items for food while seeking refuge from Allied bombing.

Despite wartime hardships, Ono inherited his family’s business acumen. In addition to becoming a cutting-edge artist who once opened her show at MoMA yelling into a microphone, she is also a hard-nosed businesswoman, a prodigious real estate investor who, after her marriage to John in 1969, began to accumulate a mini property empire that spanned New York City, the Hudson Valley, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Ireland and England. He has also compiled a considerable art collection that includes works by his old friend Andy Warhol.

Today, Ono has reported assets of $ 700 million. He still owns multi-million dollar properties in Manhattan, as well as hundreds of acres in northern Delaware County, public records show. She lives in the same nine-bedroom apartment on the seventh floor of The Dakota, which she once shared with John. It also maintains an adjacent unit in the West 72nd Street building for visitors, and two small one-bedroom spaces without kitchens that it uses for staff, a source told The Post. And she has a first-floor office that was once used by John as a recording studio.

“He got up early every morning, went down to the study, and ran the family business, which allowed John to be a stay at home mom,” Mintz said, adding that John had no real business sense, and that he often needed his help to discover as much as possible. mundane financial matters, such as how much to tip a waiter when paying for a meal in a restaurant.

But Ono has been losing assets. In 2017, he sold a building at 110 W. 79th St. that he had owned since 1988. He purchased the property, which houses two residential units, for just under $ 500,000 and downloaded it for $ 6,450,000, according to public records. In 2013, he sold a 5,700-square-foot penthouse at 49-51 Downing St. in West Village, which Sean occupied for years, for $ 8.3 million.

Although Ono still owns more than 600 acres near Franklin, New York City, the locals say it’s been years since they saw her in the area where she used to vacation with Sean and groups of friends. John and Ono purchased the property and 100 Holstein cows to establish a breeding operation before Mark David Chapman shot him dead in front of Dakota on December 8, 1980.

“We haven’t seen it in a long time,” said Roland Greefkes, an iron craftsman who made a wrought iron gate for the Ono property. “I never met anyone like her. She is really something special. “

The directors of charities that she has always supported echo that sentiment. Although the charity that started with John, the Spirit Foundations, had contributions of just under $ 25,000 from it in 2018, Ono makes most of his charitable donations directly. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, she donated $ 250,000 to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, to support frontline healthcare workers.

“In these 87 years, she has lived 400.”

– Elliot Mintz about her friend Yoko Ono, who saw her family lose her fortune, they took a daughter from her and witnessed the murder of her husband, John Lennon.

“Montefiore was specifically chosen because Yoko wanted to help a hospital in a COVID-affected community that lacked the ability to reach out to wealthy donors and board members like Cornell, NYU, Mount Sinai and others in Manhattan,” he said. Mintz

He has also recently supported musicians he has worked with in the past who have fallen through hard times. He helped Stanley Bronstein, who played on his Plastic Ono Band, when he needed emergency medical attention, Mintz said.

But hunger is still his favorite cause. “I remember being hungry and I know it is very difficult to be hungry,” said Ono in a 2013 interview. “One day I did not bring a lunch box. The other children asked, don’t you want to eat? I just said, no, I am not hungry.” .

Ono recently donated $ 50,000 to the West Side Hunger Campaign, which during the pandemic has provided thousands of meals to needy and unemployed residents in their Upper West Side neighborhood. And he has a 30-year relationship with WhyHunger, a New York-based nonprofit organization that fights food deprivation worldwide.

Yoko Ono Changes New York City’s Property Portfolio

“She has been a true philanthropic partner,” Noreen Springstead, the group’s executive director, told The Post. “She is the most energetic, lively person and is very practical. She has been incredibly invested for over three decades. “

A few years ago, Ono allowed WhyHunger to license the lyrics and drawings of John’s song “Imagine” for a global campaign against hunger, helping the charity to raise almost

$ 7 million for his projects in New York and around the world, Springstead said.

And it was for “Imagine,” the 1971 utopian anthem, that Ono collected the Centennial Song Award for her late husband in 2017. While sitting in her wheelchair on stage, the hosts of the National Association of Music Editors the surprised with a second prize. , after playing an old audio clip of John saying that Ono should be credited as a co-writer on “Imagine”.

“That should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because so much of it, the lyrics and the concept, came from Yoko,” the former Beatle said in a voiceover. “But those days he was a little more selfish, a little more macho, and I omitted to mention his contribution.”

Ono smiled when Sean whispered the news to his mother.

“This is the best time of my life,” he told the audience.


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