Justice Dept.: Armed Agents Are Allowed to Oversee Ballot-Counting Venues

first_imgWASHINGTON — The Justice Department told federal prosecutors in an email early on Wednesday that the law allowed them to send armed federal officers to ballot-counting locations around the country to investigate potential voter fraud, according to three people who described the message.The email created the specter of the federal government intimidating local election officials or otherwise intervening in vote tallying amid calls by President Trump to end the tabulating in states where he was trailing in the presidential race, former officials said.- Advertisement – Mr. Donoghue, the No. 2 official in the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, sent his email about half an hour before Mr. Trump made reckless claims including falsely declaring himself the winner of the election and began calling for election officials to stop counting ballots.“We want all voting to stop,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. He said, without offering details, that his campaign would “be going to the U.S. Supreme Court” over the election count. The Trump campaign said later in the day that it was filing lawsuits in multiple states, including Michigan, to halt or protest vote counts.One state election official vowed to resist any interference or intimidation efforts by federal officials.- Advertisement – “Elections are a state matter, and we have authority as state officials over anyone trying to enter locations where ballots are being counted,” said Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts. “Anything else is a radical reinterpretation of the law. States can handle elections, and we will ensure the people decide the outcome.”The election has been both unusual and charged. A historic number of mail-in ballots, prompted by the pandemic, have slowed the work of local election officials who tally them. And Mr. Trump has for months stoked fears about the integrity of the vote and amplified unfounded conspiracy theories that slow-counting states could not be trusted, intensifying his baseless accusations as the count stretched on past Election Day and his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., gained an edge in key states. A Justice Department spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.- Advertisement – A law prohibits the stationing of armed federal officers at polls on Election Day. But a top official told prosecutors that the department interpreted the statute to mean that they could send armed federal officers to polling stations and locations where ballots were being counted anytime after that.The statute “does not prevent armed federal law enforcement persons from responding to, investigate, or prevent federal crimes at closed polling places or at other locations where votes are being counted,” the official, Richard P. Donoghue, told prosecutors in an email that he sent around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Attorney General William P. Barr also spent the months leading up to Election Day echoing the president’s dark warnings, claiming without evidence that the wave of mail-in ballots would lead to an unprecedented amount of voter fraud.He cited one example of 1,700 falsified ballots that The Washington Post found to be false. A department spokeswoman blamed an inaccurate memo from an aide.The new legal interpretation about armed officials at vote-counting locations appeared to be another example of the attorney general mirroring Mr. Trump’s public posture, former Justice Department officials said.“This seems like a messaging tactic for the attorney general,” said Vanita Gupta, the acting head of the department’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama. “Lawfully, the Justice Department can’t interfere in the vote count, enter polling places or take ballots, even in the course of an investigation.”In instances where the department can secure access to ballots for any investigation, Ms. Gupta said that federal law allowed law enforcement officials to “copy and inspect, but that ballots stay in the hands of local election officials.”Justice Department officials said this week that they expected lawyers for the Trump and Biden campaigns to take on court challenges related to the election, and that the Trump administration would have little, if any, role.Election experts said that any effort by the Justice Department to blatantly interfere in the election would immediately prompt legal challenges. Still, armed officials arriving at ballot-counting locations even for investigatory purposes could intimidate or otherwise disrupt the process, they warned.“The very strong, longstanding norm is that the federal government does not seek to do anything to interfere with a state’s ability to count votes and certify elections,” said Kristy Parker, an official in the department’s Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Coloccini committed to Magpies

first_imgSkipper Fabricio Coloccini has moved to end speculation over his future by insisting he will remain a Newcastle player next season. The 32-year-old central defender looked to be heading away from Tyneside when he asked to leave because of personal problems in January last year. However, the Argentina international was held to the four-year contract extension he had signed in March 2012 by the Magpies and, despite suggestions that he would look to end his stay in England this summer, he has signalled his intention to stay. Coloccini told the Shields Gazette: “For sure. I’m going to be here.” The news represents a boost for beleaguered managed Alan Pardew, who is already facing a significant rebuilding job after a difficult season. He told Press Association Sport: “He is a Newcastle player and he will be next year.” Coloccini played in Saturday’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Cardiff as Newcastle ended a run of six successive defeats, with unhappy fans making their feelings abundantly clear. He turned in one of his better performances in recent weeks to remind supporters of the form which made him a favourite, prompting such concern when he expressed a desire to be allowed to return to South America. Argentinian club San Lorenzo waged a very public campaign to lure Coloccini home, but could not come up with the kind of finance they needed to persuade the Magpies to do business and it was left to Pardew to delicately re-integrate the player and help him through the issues behind his request. Coloccini said: “I had personal problems. Sometimes it’s tough. You have to decide between the problems and the work. “Sometimes it’s too difficult. Now it’s finished and next season, I will be here. I’m looking forward to improving. “We want the best for Newcastle United. This season, we finished top 10, and maybe we will bring some players [in the summer]. “We will try to do well and finish in the top eight or something like that. We will always try to improve.” Crystal Palace’s remarkable fightback against Liverpool on Monday night was not enough to maintain their faint hopes of forcing their way ahead of Newcastle in the league table as the final round of fixtures approaches and that means Pardew’s men will finish in the top 10, the point at which staff bonuses will be paid. They are currently in ninth place, but could yet be overtaken by Stoke on the final day, when they head for Anfield. Press Associationlast_img read more

England need to support Jofra Archer, says Ben Stokes

first_imgLONDON: England all-rounder Ben Stokes says star pacer Jofra Archer needs full support of his teammates following his bio-secure protocol breach which led to his dropping from the ongoing second Test against the West Indies in Manchester.Archer will undergo twoCOVID-19 tests during a five-day isolation period after his unsanctioned trip to Brighton between the first and second Tests.Stokes, who scored 176 to guide England to 469 for 9 declared in their first innings at Old Trafford on Friday, said it is the team’s duty to not let Archer feel isolated during this tough phase. “We really need to be there to support Jofra right now. Obviously he’s a big talking point and he is by himself because of everything else going on at the moment,” Stokes was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “It’s making sure that it doesn’t feel like he’s by himself. The worst thing we could do right now as a team is just leave him and see him in five or six days’ time. It’s all good being there for people when things are going well and smoothly but what really comes through is how you operate with someone when they need you the most,” said Stokes who led England in the first Test, which they lost by four wickets, in the absence of Joe Root. England head coach Chris Silverwood agreed with Stokes, saying “Archer is a massive part of the group”. “At times like this people are very, very tough and you can feel like you are all by yourself, but I don’t think anybody is going to allow that to happen,” he said. “Jofra’s a massive part of this group, as everybody is. If it was anybody else bar Jofra it would be exactly the same.” Agencies Also Watch: Himanta Biswa Sarma Visits Jorhat Medical Collegelast_img read more

Volleyball ready for in-state rival

first_imgSophomore Elle Ohlander and the Badgers hope to get a big win over the Phoenix.[/media-credit]In its final tune–up before Big Ten play begins next week, the Wisconsin volleyball team will hit the road to take on the UW-Green Bay Phoenix tonight at the Kress Events Center.The Badgers (4-4) are coming off a second- place finish in the Notre Dame invitational, where they first lost to Notre Dame before sweeping New Mexico State in the tournament finale.Senior Brittney Dolgner and 6-foot-6 sophomore Elle Ohlander were both named to the all-tournament team. The two tallied 39 combined kills against Notre Dame and New Mexico State. They both credit their teammates for giving them the opportunity to make an impact on the court.“I think it hasn’t really been what I improved on, it’s been what all of us have done together as a team,” Dolgner said. “The team is taking away attention from the outside hitters and we’ve just had a lot more openings — it’s been really great.”“[Coach Pete Waite] and I were talking, and he was just telling me to go out and hit every ball as hard as you can,” Ohlander added. “We’ve also been having really good passes and sets, so that makes things much easier for us too.”The Badgers will have to contend with two strong Phoenix outside hitters, seniors Nikki Hintze and Holly Visser. The two lead Green Bay in kills, averaging 3.42 and 2.94 per set. However, while the two may pose a threat to the Badgers, UW head coach Pete Waite said the team hasn’t been focusing too much on defending the duo. Instead, the Badgers are concentrating on improving their own play, not defending others’.“We’re watching [Green Bay] on tape and looking for tendencies, but really we’re working on our side of the net and creating a really strong tempo, a really steady focus, and really consistent play,” Waite said.Sitting at 4-4, Waite and the Badgers are a bit disappointed with their record going into the Big Ten season. However, while in years past the team had performed better in the early goings, its schedule hasn’t been as difficult as it is this year, according to Waite.“We scheduled pretty strong this year, and we’re trying to get ready for Big Ten play,” Waite said. “We’ve accomplished what we wanted to as far as improvement, but now it’s about sustaining a high level of play going into and throughout the Big Ten season.”For the Badgers, improving their record against the Phoenix may not be so difficult. Wisconsin has never lost to Green Bay, beating them seven times in as many meetings. However, the two teams haven’t met since 2000 and the Phoenix return three starters, including Hintze and Visser.“It’s an in-state rivalry, it’s great for volleyball around the whole state,” Waite said. “They’re excited for us to be coming into town, and we’re not going to overlook anybody. They can play really good ball.”For many players on the team, facing the Phoenix has personal implications as well. In pPlaying an in-state rival, several of the athletes have former teammates who they will be competing against for the first time.Ohlander, for example, will be facing a high school teammate, setter Whitney Schott, who she has never matched up against in college. Regardless, the sophomore is excited for the opportunity to play against an old friend.“I think it’s going to be fun., I haven’t seen her in a long time, and it’s going to be weird to see her on the other side of the net,” Ohlander said. “We’re going to go in there and play our best volleyball and bring it to them.”In their last match before returning home to begin conference play, the Badgers will hope to end their preseason on a high note. While the Sept. 23 match against Iowa might be seen as a more important and exciting contest, Waite and his squad are looking to keep their focus on Green Bay before shifting their attention to Iowa.“Even when we mentioned it today, they were excited about their first home match and Big Ten match,” Waite said. “They always love playing at home, the crowd is great here. But first of all, we’re taking care of Green Bay, and then we’ll start looking at Iowa and getting ready for that and the rest of the Big Ten.”—Extra notes:Dolgner was named to her second all-tournament team this season after averaging 3.57 kills and 2.00 digs per set at the Notre Dame Invitational. She had a team-high 13 kills against the Fighting Irish and tallied 12 kills in the Badgers’ win over New Mexico State.The Badgers are 7-0 all time against UW-Green Bay, with six of the seven wins coming at the Field House.Sophomore setter Janelle Gabrielsen, in her first year as the Badgers’ only passer on the court, is averaging a team-high 9.29 assists per game. While she was also a hitter last season, Wisconsin switched its offensive scheme to a 6-1, with Gabrielsen adjusting her role accordingly. She earned all-tournament honors for her passing in the Badgers’ first tournament this season, the InnTower Invitational at the Field HouseWisconsin begins its Big Ten season next Wednesday, Sept. 23 against Iowa at the Field House. Last year, the Badgers split the season series with the Hawkeyes, losing the first match 3-0 and returning the favor at the Field House, winning 3-0.last_img read more

Delight as Tobin’s Service Station win Gold award in Hygiene and Food safety

first_imgBUSINESS: One of Donegal’s busiest and most popular service stations has scooped another national award. Tobin’s Spar Service Station, have developed a stellar reputation both locally and nationally for being one of the most successful express stores in the country.They have won multiple awards over the years for their fantastic customer service, brilliant food and outstanding excellence in the industry. They won yet another national awards at a glitzy ceremony on Friday evening.Tobin’s took gold for Hygiene & Food Safety in Forecourts Level 3, and incredibly it was the sixth year in-a-row they took that award.Owner Eddie Tobin told Donegal Daily, “We are delighted to have won the National Q mark winners forecourt for Hygiene & Food Safety for an unprecedented six years in a row!!!!“It’s a fantastic achievement, and it’s a testament to all the hardworking team we have at Tobin’s – which ensures we uphold the highest standards in Hygiene and Food Safety.” Delight as Tobin’s Service Station win Gold award in Hygiene and Food safety was last modified: October 3rd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more