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Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced today he is dropping out of the Republican Presidential race and is endorsing the candidacy of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Gov. Perry’s announcement comes two days before Saturday’s South Carolina primary, where polls show a close race between Mr. Gingrich and Mitt Romney.
“I have come to the conclusion that there is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign,” Gov. Perry told followers in South Carolina.
In endorsing his formal rival, he said, “I believe that Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country. We have had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have. Newt is not perfect, but who among us is?”
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said today that a new tally from the Iowa caucus resulted in a “virtual tie” between him and Rick Santorum.
His statement came after the Des Moines Register reported that Mr. Santorum wound up with a thirty-four-vote advantage over Romney, though the paper said results had “too many holes” in the certified totals to know the victor for certain.
Florida police officer Derek Middendorf is accused of beating a sixty-six-year-old man with dementia.
A dashboard camera shows Officer Middendorf kicking the stomach of Albert Flowers, then punching him after Mr. Flowers falls to the ground. The video shows another officer running over and tasing Mr. Flowers in the face.
Mr. Flowers’s nephew, Garrick Flowers, was heard screaming, “He’s 66 years old, he had triple bypass, I think he’s killing him!”
The beating left Mr. Flowers in the hospital for a month, yet the police department only issued a reprimand for an officer for turning off the dash camera and audio equipment. The officer who tased the man in the face received no punishment.
Mr. Flowers, on the other hand, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. After reviewing the record, prosecutors reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor of resisting an officer without violence. If Flowers did not use violence to resist arrest, how were the officers justified in beating him so severely?
The light punishment in the case sends a message to officers that turning off camera equipment will receive only administrative punishment at the most. We have seen officers previously take such action in cases involving alleged abuse (here and here and here).
The charges against Mr. Flowers should be dropped, and his family needs to file a lawsuit.
Such cases only reinforce the importance of the public being able to film police in public despite arrests and threats over such filming from some officers.
Via Jonathan Turley.
David T. Peters chose this unfortunate tee-shirt before being arrested for internet child porn. It reads “Internet was down so thought I’d come outside today.”
Mr. Peters was arrested as part of a sting by the Ohio Internet Crimes against Children Task Force after allegedly trying to lure children into sexual relations and/or distribute child pornography through the internet.
He is facing twenty counts of possessing sexually oriented material involving a minor and twenty counts of disseminating sexually oriented material involving a minor.
Thousands of people, mostly children, have died because the international community did not respond to warnings of an impending famine in East Africa.
Photo Courtesy of CNN
A food shortage was predicted in August 2010, but donors did not respond until a famine was declared in July 2011.
The British government estimates that between 50,000 and 100,000 people have died from the famine, mostly in Somalia.
On Friday, it will be six months since the United Nations declared famine in Somalia. Tens of thousands will have died of starvation by the time the famine ends. A quarter of a million Somalis are still at risk of starvation, and more than 13 million people need aid.
Via Impunity Watch.
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Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands.
A spokesperson for the Romney campaign says Mr. Romney follows all tax laws and he would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.
As the race for the Republican nomination heats up, Mr. Romney is finding it difficult to keep up secrecy around the details about his personal wealth, including his investment in funds located offshore and his ability to pay a lower tax rate.
On Tuesday, Mr. Romney disclosed that he has paid a far lower percentage in taxes than most Americans, around 15% of his annual earnings. It has been Romney’s Republican rivals who have driven the tax issue onto center stage. For weeks, Romney has cited a desire for privacy as his reason for not sharing his tax returns — a gesture of transparency that is now expected from presidential contenders.
“I can tell you we follow the tax laws,” he said recently. “And if there’s an opportunity to save taxes, we like anybody else in this country will follow that opportunity.”
Rick Perry is telling supporters that he will drop his bid Thursday for the Republican Presidential nomination.
The Texas governor will make the announcement before the CNN debate in South Carolina.