Axios Poll: Americans Support Mass Deportations
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Citizen Frank



Half of Americans — including 42% of Democrats — say they’d support mass deportations of illegal immigrants, according to a new Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

And 30% of Democrats — as well as 46% of Republicans — now say they’d end birthright citizenship, something guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Americans are open to former President Trump’s harshest immigration plans, spurred on by a record surge of illegal border crossings and a relentless messaging war waged by Republicans.

President Biden is keenly aware the crisis threatens his re-election. He’s sought to flip the script by accusing Trump of sabotaging Congress’ most conservative bipartisan immigration bill in decades.

But when it comes to blame, Biden so far has failed to shift the narrative: 32% of respondents say his administration is “most responsible” for the crisis, outranking any other political or structural factor.

Amid a record number of border crossings, nearly two-thirds of Americans said illegal immigration is a real crisis, not a politically driven media narrative.

“I was surprised at the public support for large-scale deportations,” said Mark Penn, chairman of The Harris Poll and a former pollster for President Clinton.

“I think they’re just sending a message to politicians: ‘Get this under control,’ ” he said, calling it a warning to Biden that “efforts to shift responsibility for the issue to Trump are not going to work.”

Trump has vowed to carry out the “largest domestic deportation operation in American history,” eyeing sweeping raids and detention camps in a plan that would target millions of illegal immigrants.

When asked to identify their greatest concern around illegal immigration, Americans most frequently cited:

Increased crime rates, drugs, and violence (21%).

The additional costs to taxpayers (18%).

Risk of terrorism and national security (17%).

Read 17 Comments
  • Avatar Lorna says:

    Our borders need to be closed and protected by nations guards.

  • Avatar Dale Michael Williams says:

    Taking a look at DOJ and other record keeping organizations in this nation – one truth cannot be denied. Without black presence and the presence of illegal immigrants, our crime rate would DROP 80% without question. Law enforcement does NOT want them to leave. The more harm they do, the more job security and pretense of serving a real purpose in life, is what law enforcement wants you to believe. In the wild wild est, there was less crime and the percentage of those committing crimes and getting away with it, were LESS than 2% total nationwide. Why? Simply because they were dealt with immediately and not allowed bullshit appeal after appeal after appeal. And as for those who took a life, they were given until the weekend (public hangings) to think abot their actions. They were not foolishly allowed countless years of bullshit wait wait and wait, before they suffered the same as they inflicted upon the innocent. We need the wild west again, and this time, do NOT take away the protection it provided all of those who deserve it. The human filth who govern the citizens of this nation, are proof positive of just how pathetically low the IQ of people has become. Just senselesss idiotic manipulated low IQ shitheads who are too blind to see what is in front of them.. Absolute utter fools! If you doubt that, LOOK at what they put in the White House!!!!

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    ‘Coordinated’ Left-Wing Campaign Behind Alito Recusal Calls

    Citizen Frank



    Calls from Democratic lawmakers and left-wing groups for Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from key cases over ethics violations are a “coordinated effort” to delegitimize the Supreme Court, according to experts who say the attacks on conservative justices are becoming more consistent with each passing year.

    The “An Appeal to Heaven” flag, one of the foremost flags used by Patriot forces including, George Washington, during the Revolutionary War, was flown at Alito’s vacation house last year, according to a New York Times report published this week, drawing outrage from Democrats who claim it was also a key symbol during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. It marked the second time in two weeks that the justice’s flag poles became a topic of controversy, and the report prompted calls from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) for Alito to recuse himself from cases involving former President Donald Trump and the 2020 election, all because a handful of protesters carried the Revolutionary War-era flag on Jan. 6, 2021.

    Congressional Democrats and activist groups are turning up the pressure on Alito in the wake of the flag controversy. Despite pushback from legal experts and voices on the Right, Democrats and left-wing groups have sought throughout Biden’s presidency to raise questions about key Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court and have done so by relying on the strategy of attacking their ethics.

    “The Left has been constantly attacking the court since at least March 2020 when Sen. [Chuck] Schumer [D-NY] stood in front of the court during an oral argument on an abortion case and directly threatened Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on their vote,” Mark Paoletta, ex-general counsel for Trump’s Office of Management and Budget and a close friend of Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, said.

    Paoletta specifically recalled that the last three years have shown a pattern of leaks or reports that elevate Supreme Court scrutiny “in the springtime, as the court nears the end of the term and big decisions will be handed down.”

    In May 2022, there was the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Decision that signaled the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade, a leak that has remained unsolved despite its damaging impact on the institution. Last year, ProPublica launched a dedicated series in the spring questioning Thomas’s ethics, specifically over gifts of vacations that billionaire Harlan Crow gave to Thomas, just before the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action.

    “And now there’s the Trump cases in 2024,” Paoletta said, adding that the reporting about flags flown months ago in front of Alito’s home arrived near the end of the current term “like clockwork.”

    Paoletta said the left-wing groups amplifying the attacks on conservative justices’ ethics have an agenda.

    “Short term, it’s to intimidate the conservative justices and try to force a baseless recusal or to have them trim their sails on an opinion and longer term to undermine the court’s legitimacy and pack the court,” Paoletta said, likening Democrats’ calls to reduce the number of justices deciding a case to an inverse court-packing effort.

    Democratic Sens. Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who oversee the federal courts in their respective roles as chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a judicial oversight subcommittee, requested a meeting with Chief Justice John Roberts as soon as possible to discuss what they called an “ethics crisis” at the Supreme Court. In a letter dated Thursday, the senators renewed calls for the high court to impose binding ethics rules and specifically urge Alito to recuse from 2020 and Jan. 6 related cases.

    The decision to recuse is left up to specific justices and is not reviewable by other colleagues. The law requires recusal if a family member is involved in a case as a litigant, witness, or lawyer or has an interest that will greatly affect the decision.

    Legal experts told the Washington Examiner there is nothing in the Code of Conduct for United States Judges nor the recently-adopted ethics code for the Supreme court that would result in a need for Alito to recuse himself from the case. That code was adopted to ensure justices maintain proper disclosures of gifts they receive from outside parties, but it has no binding enforcement mechanism.

    “The upside-down flag does not require Alito to recuse from every 2020 election case or future election case or whatever else,” Jonathan Adler, a professor at Case Western Reserve University who specializes in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law, said.

    There have also been arguably more blatant signs of personal bias from past Supreme Court justices who did not ultimately recuse from cases. For example, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an outspoken anti-Trump critic in 2016, calling him a “faker” and criticizing him for not releasing his tax returns. She did not recuse herself from a 2020 case involving Trump titled Trump v. Mazars, which concerned a congressional subpoena for his tax returns.

    But Adler offered a pointed response to both the conduct of Alito and Ginsburg, saying that both should have worked toward limiting any appearance of partisanship even if their conduct did not meet the standard for recusal. He also conceded “it’s pretty clear” the recent concerns about Alito are part of a “continued sustained campaign to attack the integrity of conservative justices.”

    Cases that Democrats such as Durbin and Whitehouse think Alito should recuse from are pivotal in the high court’s current term, and the justices have not yet handed down their decisions in them. One of the cases is Trump v. United States, which asks the justices whether Trump has any immunity from prosecution in the context of the 2020 election subversion case brought by special counsel Jack Smith. The other case involves a question of whether hundreds of Jan. 6 riot defendants were wrongfully charged under a long-standing obstruction statute when the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory was briefly interrupted due to the riot.

    After the initial report that an upside-down flag, a symbol associated with 2020 election skeptics, had flown briefly outside Alito’s home in 2021, the second report about the An Appeal to Heaven flag opened a deluge of scrutiny on the conservative justice. A reporter from the nonprofit outlet ProPublica posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, an image he obtained from a source who spotted the same An Appeal to Heaven symbol flown outside the home of Federalist Society Chairman Leonard Leo, who played an influential role in helping Trump name three justices during his term and is close to members of the high court.

    “No surprise that creepy-billionaire-funded Court packer Leonard Leo flies the same MAGA battle flag as his minion Alito,” Whitehouse said.

    An attorney for Leonard Leo scoffed at the notion that there is even a remote connection between the flag that Alito and Leo flew outside of their and the riot on Jan. 6.

    “Given the venerable and respected status of the ‘An Appeal to Heaven’ flag, as the key symbol during the American Revolution that was often used by George Washington, to suggest that its use today carries some insidious connotations is to manifest profound respect for America’s heritage,” Leo’s attorney David Rivkin told the Washington Examiner.

    Leo responded to the ProPublica reporter posting the flag outside of his home, saying, “As someone who lives on the water, I like naval flags, and as a history buff, I occasionally fly those and about a half dozen other early American flags.” A source familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner there was no coordination between Alito and Leo over the flags they raised outside their homes.

    Major donors to ProPublica, including the Sandler Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Ford Foundation, have funded watchdogs that have called on Thomas to resign or be investigated, the Daily Caller reported.

    In response to a question about allegations of coordinated campaigning against the high court, a spokesperson from ProPublica told the Washington Examiner, “Our reporter posted a newsworthy and accurate photo. We stand by our previous reporting about Leonard Leo’s connections to Justice Alito.”

    Other nonprofit organizations, such as Accountable.US, an ex-project of the Arabella Advisors-managed New Venture Fund, this week raised awareness about Alito’s flag waving and amplified calls for him to recuse from cases raised by Durbin and Whitehouse. Arabella Advisors is widely considered the largest left-wing dark money consultancy empire.

    “Chief Justice Roberts must take urgent action to preserve some semblance of integrity at our high court,” Accountable.US president Caroline Ciccone wrote in a statement on the same day that Durbin and Whitehouse penned their letter to Roberts.

    Accountable.US gained more than $2 million in 2022 from New Venture Fund for “civil rights, social action, and advocacy,” according to financial disclosures previously reported on by the Washington Examiner. Between 2019 and 2021, Accountable.US received a staggering $8 million from the New Venture Fund, which used to sponsor the watchdog fiscally.

    On Nov. 1, Accountable.US and other left-wing activist hubs called for “Clarence Thomas’s immediate resignation in the face of a growing Supreme Court corruption crisis,” according to a letter, which cited reporting from ProPublica on the conservative justice not reporting travel with Crow.
    Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate have broadly dismissed the issue surrounding Alito.

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) told the Washington Examiner that Durbin’s concerns amount to “silly, flag-based conspiracy theories.” The flag waving does not “constitute grounds for Justice Alito’s recusal, and the senator has been unable to cite a single principle of law to make his case. This is part of a coordinated effort by Democrats to bully the Supreme Court into ruling the way they want,” Lee added.

    Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said Durbin and Whitehouse’s new letter was “more harassment.”

    “After President Trump’s appointment of three Justices, the Left is furious that it no longer controls the Court, as they had for decades,” Paoletta said, adding, “This is about power, not ethics.”

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    Jack Smith Requests Gag Order on Trump

    Citizen Frank



    Special counsel Jack Smith requested a gag order Friday against former President Donald Trump regarding his case involving the alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to a court filing.

    Smith filed the request Friday evening, asking presiding Judge Aileen Cannon to modify Trump’s “conditions of release,” seeking that it makes clear “he may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.”

    “The law enforcement agents participating in this case conducted the search in an appropriate and professional manner, subject to the Department of Justice’s standard use-of-force policy. Trump’s repeated mischaracterization of these facts in widely distributed messages as an attempt to kill him, his family, and Secret Service agents has endangered law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and prosecution of this case and threatened the integrity of these proceedings,” the filing stated.

    “A restriction prohibiting future similar statements does not restrict legitimate speech. Trump’s conditions of release should therefore be modified to prohibit similar communications going forward.”

    Smith’s request comes shortly after court documents were released regarding the language used within the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) authorization of their raid at Mar-A-Lago in August 2022, according to Fox News. As part of the special counsel’s investigation, the FBI’s “Operations Order” showed the FBI “believed its objective for the Mar-a-Lago raid was to seize ‘classified information, NDI, and US Government records,’” court documents stated.

    The “Deadly Force” language used in the operation’s “Policy Statement” noting how “Law Enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary” garnered criticism from some observers. The FBI stated, however, they were following “standard” protocols for the raid at Trump’s private home, according to a statement given to Fox News.

    “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter,” the FBI told the outlet.

    “The standard deadly force policy statement included in the operations order for the search of the former president’s residence was also included in the operations order for the search of the sitting president’s residence in Delaware, as is standard practice for all FBI operations orders.”

    Following the release of the information, Trump vocalized his criticism of the “deadly force” term use, claiming on Truth Social that President Joe Biden is a “serious threat to democracy.” Additionally, through a fundraising email distributed Wednesday, the former president claimed Biden was “locked & loaded and ready to take me out,” according to The Hill.

    “WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump’s Truth Social post read. “NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. HE IS MENTALLY UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE — 25TH AMENDMENT!”

    Smith’s filing cites several statements made by Trump in relation to the language of the raid’s court filing. Smith claimed “intentionally false and inflammatory” statements were used to “distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.”

    “Those statements create a grossly misleading impression about the intentions and conduct of federal law enforcement agents—falsely suggesting that they were complicit in a plot to assassinate him—and expose those agents, some of whom will be witnesses at trial, to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment,” the filing states.

    The FBI filing used language mirroring that included in a January 2023 search warrant for classified documents in Biden’s Delaware residence, according to Fox News. Documents show authorities had “planned to bring ‘Standard Issue Weapons,’ ‘Ammo,’ ‘Handcuffs,’ and ‘medium and large sized bolt cutters,’ but they were instructed to wear ‘unmarked polo or collared shirts’ and to keep ‘law enforcement equipment concealed,’” according to the outlet.

    Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung called out Smith in a statement Friday evening, noting the “repeated attempts to silence” the former president as he had already been placed under a gag order in his New York case regarding alleged falsified business records.

    “Crooked Joe Biden and his hacks and thugs are obsessed with trying to deprive President Trump and all American voters of their First Amendment rights. Repeated attempts to silence President Trump during the presidential campaign are blatant attempts to interfere in the election. They are last ditch efforts of desperate Democrat radicals running a losing campaign for a failed president,” Cheung stated.

    Smith charged Trump with 37 felony counts last year, claiming there was willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements, Fox News reported.

    The former president has pleaded not guilty.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    6’2″ Trans Inmate Charged with Rape After Transfer to Women’s Prison

    Citizen Frank



    A trans-identified male inmate appears to have been transferred back to a men’s prison after being charged with rape while in custody at a women’s prison. Tremaine “Tremayne” Deon Carroll, a male who identifies as a woman, was housed at the Central California Women’s Facility when the sexual assault took place but has since been moved to Kern Valley State Prison.

    Carroll’s criminal history dates back to 1988, when he began participating in organized crime at just 15 years old. In 1990, Carroll would be convicted for his participation in an armed robbery where he and several other men broke into an apartment occupied by two women. The women were kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and held under demand of ransom.

    Despite being only 17 years old, the brutality of the crime resulted in Carroll being charged as an adult with three counts of kidnapping for ransom, two counts of robbery, and three counts of oral copulation by force. However, a hung jury along with a number of other technical issues during the trial process resulted in the need for a retrial. Carroll ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping in an effort to avoid a retrial on all of the charges.

    In 1998, Carroll committed his third violent felony, but while in prison awaiting trial he was found in possession of a metal wire shank he had crafted with the intention of stabbing someone.

    Because of his extensive criminal history, Carroll was ultimately sentenced to 25-to-life under California’s Three Strikes Law. The law dramatically increases punishment for persons convicted of a felony who have previously been convicted of one or more “serious” or “violent” felonies.

    While in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Carroll filed dozens of legal complaints alleging mistreatment, discrimination, and even sexual abuse at the hands of CDCR officials and prison staff, along with demanding his conviction under the Three Strikes Law be overturned. But Carroll was a problem inmate, and between 2001 and 2015, he received over a dozen Rules Violation Reports, one of which was related to filing false reports against a Peace Officer.

    In a 2019 legal complaint, Carroll revealed he had been moved around within CDCR facilities over 200 times since 2009, something he claimed was “retaliation” for his allegations of employee misconduct. But many of those moves appear to have been to or from medical centers, where Carroll had been receiving treatment for mental health episodes.

    In an earlier legal complaint, Carroll referred to himself as “mentally disturbed” and stated he was on high doses of anti-psychotic medication.

    In another filing, an unnamed witness called upon by Carroll to provide a statement in support of his claim alleges that Carroll suffers from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, PTSD, and Rubinstein–Taybi Syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by physical and developmental issues.

    In the vast majority of his complaints, Carroll refers to himself by “he/him” pronouns, and does not mention his gender identity or sexuality.

    But in a case filed in March of 2021, Carroll suddenly invoked SB-132, also known as the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act. The law had been implemented just three months prior, and formally established the ability of inmates to be housed on the basis of their gender identity in California.

    By August of that year, Carroll had been moved to the Central California Women’s Facility, and began fully utilizing his transgender identity to bolster the long-held claims of victimhood he had always forwarded.

    In March of 2022, Carroll penned an article for the San Francisco Bay View, a newspaper serving the African-American community in the Bay Area. In the article, Carroll referred to himself as a “trans woman” and portrayed himself as the victim of systemic discrimination by the criminal justice system. He also claimed he was in prison for “non-violent” offenses, in contradiction of his criminal history.

    The next year, Carroll was profiled by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, who featured him as being “an incarcerated transgender woman instrumental in several prison lawsuits.”

    Madera County court records obtained by Reduxx show that the District Attorney filed multiple charges against Carroll, including two counts of rape, and one count of dissuading a witness from testifying.

    The incident is said to have occurred in January of 2024, and would have occurred while Carroll was incarcerated at the women’s prison. While the complaint by the District Attorney refers to the victim as “Jane Doe,” it is unconfirmed if she was a female inmate or a female member of the prison’s staff.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s inmate locator now shows that Carroll is housed at Kern Valley State Prison, a male-only facility almost two hours away from CCWF.

    Ironically, Carroll is one of the trans-identified males intervening in a lawsuit that seeks to prevent males from being housed in women’s prisons in California. The lawsuit, launched against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, includes four female inmates who all stated they had been victimized by trans-identified male transfers.

    In 2022, the ACLU intervened in the case, suggesting that the state of California could not adequately fight the lawsuit and represent the interests of trans-identified males.

    In his sworn testimony collected by the ACLU for the case, Carroll declared: “I know what it feels like to live in fear and to carry the weight of the past abuse by men. But I am not a threat [to women]. I strongly believe that everyone here at CCWF would benefit from more structured interaction — opportunities to sit and talk with each other and realize that we’re all in the same boat.”

    Speaking to Reduxx on Carroll’s charges, Amie Ichikawa – a former inmate and advocate for incarcerated women in California – said she had personal interactions with Carroll that left her fearful for the safety of the women at CCWF.

    “Tremaine Carroll fit the description of everything I feared for women in prison when I learned about Senator Scott Wiener’s SB-132,” Ichikawa said. “I was face to face with Tremaine when I went inside CCWF last year. We shared enough correspondence for me to know that even having almost 10 years of freedom from prison and 5 years free from narcissistic abuse was not enough to qualify me as a woman beyond his reach.”

    Ichikawa is the co-founder of WomanIIWoman Inc., a Christian charity that focuses on supporting both incarcerated women and former female inmates. The organization has campaigned extensively against SB-132 and the transfer of male inmates to the state’s female correctional institutions.

    Ichikawa adds that assaults on female inmates extend far beyond the immediate victims, and impact the general female population due to the close bonds incarcerated women often form.

    “The domestic violence that ensued did not only impact the women walking around bloodied and bruised. It impacts the entire population, because when you hurt one woman in prison it hurts all of us. We move collectively and work like a unit,” she says.

    “One woman breaking down and moving backwards affects the ability of the power they had to move forward. Now they’re stuck and there’s not going to be forward motion in their growth or rehabilitation until this stops.”

    Go deeper ( 5 min. read ) ➝


    Nicki Minaj Arrested in Amsterdam Over Drugs

    Citizen Frank



    Nicki Minaj filmed herself seemingly getting arrested for allegedly ‘carrying drugs’ while traveling from Amsterdam to Manchester for her next Pink Friday 2 Tour show.

    Despite vehemently denying that she was carrying any drugs, the 41-year-old rapper was told that she needed to go to the police station in footage captured during an Instagram Live.

    In the recording, a man explained to her that she ‘would get a lawyer at the office’ and they would go ‘as fast as possible.’

    During the Instagram Live, the Anaconda hitmaker said she was told ‘to get into this [police] van and go into the precinct with no lawyer present.’

    She further alleged that someone working for airport security requested she made a ‘statement with no lawyer present’ after finding ‘pre-rolls’ in ‘bags that they were not authorized to take.’

    It is currently unclear if she was booked at a police station.

    Before the alleged arrest, Minaj shared a series of posts on X (previously known as Twitter), about her bags getting pulled for a thorough search at the airport.

    ‘They’ve been trying everything they possibly can to TRY to stop this tour,’ she wrote in one tweet, before theorizing that they were trying to ‘plant things’ in her luggage.

    Additionally, she shared footage on her Instagram of a man telling her that police needed to take a closer look at her luggage.

    In the clip, an airline crew member told her that a ‘police officer told’ him that they had ‘to offload all the luggage and to search everything.’

    ‘I’m so sorry to say that,’ he continued.

    She, then, asked: ‘But wasn’t that what you planned on doing from the get-go? Why didn’t you guys search it before it went on the plane?’

    He explained: ‘They did just a random quick check, but now they want to open it.’

    After she asked why, he said: ‘First of all, because you filmed him… [and] … he doesn’t believe you that you don’t have more with you than you say.’

    ‘No, he asked me “Do I have any more in those purses” and I said, “No,” and I asked him where are my bags,” the rapper said. ‘They took my bags and put them on the plane before I could know what bags are on the plane.’

    The airline crew member simply said he was ‘so sorry for that.’

    ‘Okay, of course,’ she said before the video ended.

    In Minaj’s caption, she wrote ‘they took my bags before I could see them’ then ‘put it on the plane.’

    ‘This is what it looks like when ppl are paid big money to try to sabotage a tour after all else failed. Everything they’ve done is illegal,’ she wrote.

    Minaj’s most recent tweet, at the time of publication, claimed that she was told that she had ‘5 mins away to make a statement about my security to the police precinct.’

    Earlier, she had noted on X that ‘they said they found weed & that another group of ppl have to come here to weigh the pre-rolls.’

    ‘Keep in mind they took my bags without consent. My security has already advised them those pre-rolls belong to him. Oh yea & the pilot wants me to take my ig post down,’ she wrote.

    In another X post, she pointed out that marijuana is legal in Amsterdam.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    NYC Shop Owner with Concealed Carry Permit Faces 7 Years Behind Bars for Shooting ‘Frequent Flier Thief’

    Citizen Frank



    A New York City liquor store owner could face seven years behind bars after a video shows he shot a would-be thief who had been kicked off the premises along with an accomplice. But the head of a large bodega organization is calling on prosecutors to drop the charges.

    Francisco Valerio, 53, who owns Franja Wine and Liquors in Ridgewood, Queens, caught the two shoplifters stealing liquor bottles from the store at around 7:40 p.m. Monday and booted them out with the help of another clerk, the Queens District Attorney’s Office says. Video from inside the store shared with Fox News Digital shows one of the suspects dressed in red trying to stuff a liquor bottle into his jacket.

    The situation outside then turned violent when 20-year-old suspect Kevin Pullatasi charged at the liquor store door. He pushed the door against the store worker, who responds by waving his hand at him as a shouting match ensues, video shows. The store worker is the owner’s brother.

    Pullatasi then walked away before dropping his bag and charging at the door again. Pullatasi can be seen on video trying to kick and punch the store worker.

    That’s when store owner Valerio appears in the video and can be seen trying to pistol-whip Pullatasi, who then drops to the ground having been shot. Pullatasi then dragged himself against a car before Valerio went over to check on him.

    Valerio has been charged with assault in the second and third degrees, reckless endangerment in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. The DA’s office says that Valerio has a concealed carry permit and that the gun was concealed in his rear waistband.

    Pullatasi, who was treated in hospital for a gunshot wound, was charged with petit larceny, as was Edwin Poaquiza. They both have addresses in Brooklyn and prosecutors say they stole two bottles of liquor.

    “All three of the defendants in this incident will have to answer charges against them,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.

    “After the store was targeted by these shoplifters, the stolen merchandise was recovered and the two men were escorted out of the store. At that point, the store owner was physically attacked by one of the men. Unfortunately, as alleged, that led to a reckless shooting by the store owner on a public street in broad daylight.”


    The decision to prosecute Valerio was slammed by Fernando Mateo, the founder and spokesperson for United Bodegas of America, who said that the perpetrators’ crew had targeted the store at least four times before.

    “Frequent flier thieves must be stopped, we have the right to defend ourselves, our businesses and our communities,” Mateo told Fox News Digital via a statement. “District attorneys must stop prosecuting victims and charging criminals when they commit crimes.”

    Mateo said that business owners are constantly dealing with looting, shoplifting, assaults and robberies, among other crimes. He also slammed New York’s often perceived soft-on crime policies, including bail reform which he demanded be changed.

    “Francisco Valerio is a licensed gun owner, has been married for 30 years, has two children and is a Columbia graduate. He is a liquor store owner and a member of the 83rd precinct community, he will lose everything he has worked for if prosecuted,” Mateo said.

    “DA Malinda Katz is holding his future in her hands, she must drop the charges.”

    Neighbors living near the store said they supported Valerio’s actions.

    “He had a permit to carry it and they were assaulting him, and it was an accident. He shouldn’t be in trouble,” one neighbor told Fox 5.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    Glue Pizza and Eat Rocks: Google AI Search Errors Go Viral

    Citizen Frank



    Google’s new artificial intelligence (AI) search feature is facing criticism for providing erratic, inaccurate answers.

    Its experimental “AI Overviews” tool has told some users searching for how to make cheese stick to pizza better that they could use “non-toxic glue”.

    The search engine’s AI-generated responses have also said geologists recommend humans eat one rock per day.

    A Google spokesperson told the BBC they were “isolated examples”.

    Some of the answers appeared to be based on Reddit comments or articles written by satirical site, The Onion.

    They have been widely mocked on social media.

    But Google insisted the feature was generally working well.

    “The examples we’ve seen are generally very uncommon queries, and aren’t representative of most people’s experiences,” it said in a statement.

    “The vast majority of AI overviews provide high quality information, with links to dig deeper on the web.”

    It said it had taken action where “policy violations” were identified and was using them to refine its systems.

    It is not the first time the company has run into problems with its AI-powered products.

    In February, it was forced to pause its chatbot Gemini which was criticised for its “woke” responses.

    Gemini’s forerunner, Bard, also got off to a disastrous start.

    Google began trialling AI overviews in search results for a small number of logged-in UK users in April, but launched the feature to all US users at its annual developer showcase in mid-May.

    It works by using AI to provide a summary of search results, so users do not have to scroll through a long list of websites to find the information they are seeking.

    It is billed as a product that “can take the legwork out of searching” though users are warned it is experimental.

    However, it is likely to be widely used – and trusted – because Google search remains the go-to search engine for many.

    According to web traffic tracker, Statcounter, Google’s search engine accounts for more than 90% of the global market.

    It is still fundamental to the way in which Google makes its money, and a service the firm needs to both protect and future-proof.

    Many industry experts agree that more focused AI-driven search is the way forward – despite the power-hungry tech’s environmental price tag.

    Why wade through pages of search engine results and adverts to find information if a chatbot can give you a single, definitive answer?

    But this only works if you can trust it.

    So-called hallucinations by generative AI tools are not just a problem for Google, but as the world’s largest search engine it gets more scrutiny.

    In one baffling example, a reporter Googling whether they could use gasoline to cook spaghetti faster was told “no… but you can use gasoline to make a spicy spaghetti dish” and given a recipe.

    We don’t know how many searches it got right (because they’re less funny to share on social media), but AI search clearly needs to be able to handle anything thrown at it, including the more leftfield.

    Rival firms are facing a similar backlash over their attempts to cram more AI tools into their consumer-facing products.

    The UK’s data watchdog is looking into Microsoft after it announced a feature coming to its new range of AI-focused PCs that would take continuous screenshots of their online activity.

    And ChatGPT-maker OpenAI was called out by Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson for using a voice likened to her own, saying she turned down its request to voice the popular chatbot.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    America’s Secretive $745M Nuke Bomber Takes Flight in First Test

    Citizen Frank



    New images show America’s highly secret, $745-million stealth nuclear bomber taking to the air for what is apparently its first, publicly acknowledged, flight test.

    The B-21 Raider was unveiled in December 2022, but the US government has so far been discreet about showing off this cutting-edge, radar-evading aircraft.

    The sleek bomber was shown flying for the first time as it undergoes flight testing, in pictures released Wednesday, one crucial step before a minimum first order of 100 of these stealth craft can be approved for manufacture.

    The B-21 has been described as a ‘dual-capable bomber’ — able to launch both conventional and nuclear ordinance.

    This month, during testimony at the Senate Armed Services committee, Andrew Hunter, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, asserted that the B-21’s flight testing is currently on schedule.

    ‘We are in the flight test program, the flight test program is proceeding well,’ he said.

    ‘It is doing what flight test programs are designed to do, which is helping us learn about the unique characteristics of this platform, but in a very, very effective way.’

    Assistant Secretary Hunter later explained that this is the first aircraft that is more digital than not, which contributes to the program meeting requirements.

    The B-21 is a long-range, highly survivable, penetrating strike stealth bomber that will incrementally replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers and will play a major role supporting national security objectives and assisting US allies and partners across the globe.

    The B-21 weapon system is manufactured under the Air Force’s contract with Northrop Grumman.

    ‘It is designed with an open systems architecture, enabling rapid insertion of mature technologies, and allowing the aircraft to remain effective as threats evolve over time,’ according to the US Air Force.

    ‘The aircraft is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s with a production goal of a minimum of 100 aircraft,’ the military branch continued in their statement.

    The B-21 Raider is a nuclear-capable craft and the first of its kind to be introduced since the end of the Cold War.

    While press releases described the recent test flights as the B-21’s first, it was previously spotted conducting a test flight in California late last year, as confirmed by Air Force officials.

    Aviation photographer Matt Hartman caught the new warplane in action at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale facility in November 2023, recording video of this less public test flight from a road near Air Force Plant 42 Palmdale, California.

    His footage shows the uniquely shaped B-21 Raider roaring through the sky, flanked by another plane, before it takes a sharp turn.

    There are six test aircrafts being produced by aerospace company Northrop Grumman and each one is projected to cost $750 million.

    It is touted to be virtually ‘invisible’ to all enemy stealth radars and will equipped with the latest features in military tech.

    The B-21 Raider weighs around 30,000 pounds, has a wing span of 172 feet and can reach maximum speeds of 621 miles per hour.

    Air Force Global Strike Commander Thomas A. Bussier called the craft the ‘future backbone of the bomber fleet,’ at a November unveiling event.

    Long term, the US Air Force hopes to have at least 220 of them to replace old B-1 and B-2 bombers.

    The service has estimated that the program will likely cost at least $203billion over 30 years to develop, purchase and maintain the B-21 fleet.

    The B-21 is part of the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, which also includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China’s rapid military modernization.

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    US Man Forced to Confess to Killing Father, Wins $1 Million Lawsuit — His Father Was Alive

    Citizen Frank



    A California man reported his father missing and spent the next 17 hours being grilled by police until he confessed to murder.

    Now the man, Thomas Perez Jr., has received nearly $900,000 from the city of Fontana, California, after his father was found alive and well, The Orange County Register reported.

    Thomas’ ordeal began on August 7, 2018, when his father, Perez Sr., took the family dog for a walk to the mailbox and didn’t return, even though the dog returned within minutes. Thomas waited a few hours for his father to return, and then called the police to report him missing.

    Instead of searching for Perez Sr., investigators spent the next 17 hours grilling Thomas into confessing that he killed his father, with investigators claiming his father had been found dead and was in the morgue.

    The investigators, according to court records obtained by the Register, told Thomas they had evidence that he had killed his father and told him to just admit it. For hours, Thomas said he didn’t kill his father, but detectives allegedly explained that the human mind could block out traumatic memories.

    Detectives even told Thomas that they would kill his dog, Margosha, as a stray, even bringing her in so Thomas could say goodbye. Margosha was not euthanized.

    “OK? Your dog’s now gone, forget about it,” an investigator said, according to the Register.

    Photographs from the interrogation show Thomas lying on the floor in the fetal position with his dog in his arms.

    “How can you sit there, how can you sit there and say you don’t know what happened, and your dog is sitting there looking at you, knowing that you killed your dad?” a detective said to Thomas. “Look at your dog. She knows, because she was walking through all the blood.”

    After holding his dog, Perez confessed to murdering his father, claiming he stabbed Perez Sr. with a pair of scissors after the older man hit Thomas on the head with a beer bottle.

    After confessing, a distraught Thomas tried to hang himself with the drawstring from his shorts when police left him alone in the interrogation room, the Register reported. He was then put in handcuffs and sent to a mental hospital for 72-hour observation.

    Before they sent Thomas to the mental hospital, however, Perez Sr. turned up alive and well. He had simply gone to the Los Angeles International Airport to wait for a flight to Northern California so he could see his daughter. Police didn’t immediately tell Thomas about this.

    Thomas sued the city of Fontana and recently settled his lawsuit for nearly $900,000.

    “Mentally torturing a false confession out of Tom Perez, concealing from him that his father was alive and well, and confining him in the psych ward because they made him suicidal, in my 40 years of suing the police I have never seen that level of deliberate cruelty by the police,” Thomas’ attorney, Jerry Steering, told the Register.

    One of the officers involved in the case has since retired, but three others are still employed by the police department.

    Police said in court documents they thought Thomas was lying because he seemed “unconcerned” when he called 911 to report his father missing. Police also found Perez Sr.’s cellphone and wallet in the home, which was a mess. Thomas said the mess was the result of renovations, but police believed it showed a struggle had occurred inside the home.

    A police dog also allegedly detected the scent of a corpse in Perez Sr.’s bedroom. As The Daily Wire has reported, sniffing dogs are hardly a reliable source.

    Police found blood in the home as well, but Steering argued those came from Perez Sr. pricking his finger for diabetes tests.

    Steering also argued in Thomas’ lawsuit that police spent hours refusing to provide Thomas with medications he took for high blood pressure, asthma, depression, and anxiety.

    “He was sleep deprived, mentally ill and significantly undergoing symptoms of withdrawal from his psychiatric medications,” U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee wrote in a summary of the case.

    In her summary judgment order published on June 15, 2023, Gee ruled that “a reasonable juror could conclude that the Detectives inflicted unconstitutional psychological torture on Perez,” according to Steering’s website.

    “There is no legitimate government interest that would justify treating Perez in this manner while he was in medical distress, since the FPD already had two warrants to search his person and property, and he was already essentially in custody and unable to flee or tamper with any evidence,” Gee wrote.


    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    Putin Wants Ukraine Ceasefire on Current Frontlines: Reuters

    Citizen Frank



    Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to halt the war in Ukraine with a negotiated ceasefire that recognises the current battlefield lines, four Russian sources told Reuters, saying he is prepared to fight on if Kyiv and the West do not respond.

    Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin’s entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s decision to rule out talks.

    “Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” said another of the four, a senior Russian source who has worked with Putin and has knowledge of top level conversations in the Kremlin.

    He, like the others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity given the matter’s sensitivity.

    For this account, Reuters spoke to a total of five people who work with or have worked with Putin at a senior level in the political and business worlds. The fifth source did not comment on freezing the war at the current frontlines.

    Asked about the Reuters report at a news conference in Belarus on Friday, Putin said peace talks should restart.

    “Let them resume,” he said, adding that negotiations should be based on “the realities on the ground” and on a plan agreed during a previous attempt to reach a deal in the first weeks of the war. “Not on the basis of what one side wants,” he said.

    Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on X that the Russian leader was trying to derail a Ukrainian-initiated peace summit in Switzerland next month by using his entourage to send out “phony signals” about his alleged readiness to halt the war.

    “Putin currently has no desire to end his aggression against Ukraine. Only the principled and united voice of the global majority can force him to choose peace over war,” said Kuleba.

    Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, said Putin wanted Western democracies to accept defeat.

    Not “Eternal War”

    The appointment last week of economist Andrei Belousov as Russia’s defence minister was seen by some Western military and political analysts as placing the Russian economy on a permanent war footing in order to win a protracted conflict.

    It followed sustained battlefield pressure and territorial advances by Russia in recent weeks.

    However, the sources said that Putin, re-elected in March for a new six-year term, would rather use Russia’s current momentum to put the war behind him. They did not directly comment on the new defence minister.

    Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in response to a request for comment, said the country did not want “eternal war.”

    Based on their knowledge of conversations in the upper ranks of the Kremlin, two of the sources said Putin was of the view that gains in the war so far were enough to sell a victory to the Russian people.

    Europe’s biggest ground conflict since World War Two has cost tens of thousands of lives on both sides and led to sweeping Western sanctions on Russia’s economy.

    Three sources said Putin understood any dramatic new advances would require another nationwide mobilisation, which he didn’t want, with one source, who knows the Russian president, saying his popularity dipped after the first mobilisation in September 2022.

    The national call up spooked part of the population in Russia, triggering hundreds of thousands of draft age men to leave the country. Polls showed Putin’s popularity falling by several points.

    Peskov said Russia had no need for mobilisation and was instead recruiting volunteer contractors to the armed forces.

    The prospect of a ceasefire, or even peace talks, currently seems remote.

    Zelenskiy has repeatedly said peace on Putin’s terms is a non-starter. He has vowed to retake lost territory, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. He signed a decree in 2022 that formally declared any talks with Putin “impossible.”

    One of the sources predicted no agreement could happen while Zelenskiy was in power, unless Russia bypassed him and struck a deal with Washington. However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking in Kyiv last week, told reporters he did not believe Putin was interested in serious negotiations.

    Swiss Talks

    The Swiss peace summit in June is aimed at unifying international opinion on how to end the war. The talks were convened at the initiative of Zelenskiy who has said Putin should not attend. Switzerland has not invited Russia.

    Moscow has said the talks are not credible without it being there. Ukraine and Switzerland want Russian allies including China to attend.

    Speaking in China on May 17, Putin said Ukraine may use the Swiss talks to get a broader group of countries to back Zelenskiy’s demand for a total Russian withdrawal, which Putin said would be an imposed condition rather than a serious peace negotiation.

    The Swiss foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    In response to questions for this story, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said any initiative for peace must respect Ukraine’s “territorial integrity, within its internationally recognised borders” and described Russia as the sole obstacle to peace in Ukraine.

    “The Kremlin has yet to demonstrate any meaningful interest in ending its war, quite the opposite,” the spokesperson said.

    Kyiv says Putin, whose team repeatedly denied he was planning a war before invading Ukraine in 2022, cannot be trusted to honour any deal.

    Both Russia and Ukraine have also said they fear the other side would use any ceasefire to re-arm.

    Kyiv and its Western backers are banking on a $61 billion U.S. aid package and additional European military aid to reverse what Zelenskiy described to Reuters this week as “one of the most difficult moments” of the full scale war.

    As well as shortages of ammunition after U.S. delays in approving the package, Ukraine has admitted it is struggling to recruit enough troops and last month lowered the age for men who can be drafted to 25 from 27.


    Putin’s insistence on locking in any battlefield gains in a deal is non-negotiable, all of the sources suggested.

    Putin would, however, be ready to settle for what land he has now and freeze the conflict at the current front lines, four of the sources said.

    “Putin will say that we won, that NATO attacked us and we kept our sovereignty, that we have a land corridor to Crimea, which is true,” one of them said, giving their own analysis.
    Freezing the conflict along current lines would leave Russia in possession of substantial chunks of four Ukrainian regions he formally incorporated into Russia in September 2022, but without full control of any of them.

    Such an arrangement would fall short of the goals Moscow set for itself at the time, when it said the four of Ukraine’s regions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson – now belonged to it in their entirety.

    Peskov said that there could be no question of handing back the four regions which were now permanently part of Russia according to its own constitution.

    Another factor playing into the Kremlin chief’s view that the war should end is that the longer it drags on, the more battle-hardened veterans return to Russia, dissatisfied with post-war job and income prospects, potentially creating tensions in society, said one of the sources, who has worked with Putin.

    ‘Russia Will Push Further’

    In February, three Russian sources told Reuters the United States rejected a previous Putin suggestion of a ceasefire to freeze the war.

    In the absence of a ceasefire, Putin wants to take as much territory as possible to ratchet up pressure on Ukraine while seeking to exploit unexpected opportunities to acquire more, three of the sources said.

    Russian forces control around 18% of Ukraine and this month thrust into the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

    Putin is counting on Russia’s large population compared to Ukraine to sustain superior manpower even without a mobilisation, bolstered by unusually generous pay packets for those who sign up.

    “Russia will push further,” the source who has worked with Putin said.

    Putin will slowly conquer territories until Zelenskiy comes up with an offer to stop, the person said, saying the Russian leader had expressed the view to aides that the West would not provide enough weapons, sapping Ukraine’s morale.

    U.S. and European leaders have said they will stand by Ukraine until its security sovereignty is guaranteed. NATO countries and allies say they are trying to accelerate deliveries of weapons.

    “Russia could end the war at any time by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine, instead of continuing to launch brutal attacks against Ukraine’s cities, ports, and people every day,” the State Department said in response to a question about weapons supplies.

    All five sources said Putin had told advisers he had no designs on NATO territory, reflecting his public comments on the matter. Two of the sources cited Russian concerns about the growing danger of escalation with the West, including nuclear escalation, over the Ukraine standoff.

    The State Department said the United States had not adjusted its nuclear posture, nor seen any sign that Russia was preparing to use a nuclear weapon.
    “We continue to monitor the strategic environment and remain ready,” the spokesperson said.

    Go deeper ( 6 min. read ) ➝


    WATCH: Confused Biden Calls Kamala Harris ‘President’ During Press Conference

    Citizen Frank



    President Biden lambasted the White House press corps Thursday — complaining that reporters “never keep the deal” when a journalist asked a second question at a joint press conference with Kenyan President William Ruto.

    The 81-year-old Biden repeatedly evinced confusion and irritation at the 32-minute event and mistakenly referred to his vice president as “President Kamala Harris” — making the error for at least the eighth time — before trying to bar the reporter’s second query.

    “Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions, if I may,” began the McClatchy newspaper chain’s chief Washington correspondent Michael Wilner, one of two US journalists selected to ask questions — along with two Kenyan reporters — of both Biden and Ruto at the so-called “2:2” press conference.

    “No, one!” Biden replied — in what his chuckling audience initially assumed was a joke.

    Wilner asked first about US-supported peacekeeping efforts in Haiti, to which Kenya is contributing troops — a widely anticipated topic — before attempting to ask his second question about a pending arrest warrant application against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, filed Monday by International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Karim Khan.

    “And on Israel,” Wilner began before Biden cut him off.

    “One question. I’ll answer your question,” the president said, before reading a scripted reply on Haiti.

    The White House press office generally has some idea of what a journalist will ask at such events — either due to their recent history of questions at briefings and gaggles or because press officers ask, sometimes slyly, about topics a reporter under consideration is interested in that day.

    When Wilner — who frequently covers Haiti-related news due to interest among readers of the Miami Herald, one of McClatchy’s biggest titles — was given time to ask his question of Ruto, he politely defied Biden’s restriction and went ahead and asked his second question of the US president.

    “I do very briefly have a question,” Wilner calmly proceeded, “on whether the United States has any evidence at all that would substantiate the ICC prosecutor’s specific allegations against Israeli leaders that they are using starvation as a tactic of war in Gaza — or exculpatory evidence, for that matter.”

    Wilner asked Biden whether “you would commit to releasing that information before any potential issuance of ICC arrest warrants?”

    “Look, we made my position known on ICC. You guys never keep the deal — but that’s OK,” Biden said in a displeased tone.

    “You know, we’ve made our position clear on the ICC,” he added.

    “We don’t think — we don’t recognize the jurisdiction, ICC, the way it’s been exercised. And it’s that simple. We don’t think there’s an equivalence between what Israel did and what Hamas did.”

    Biden’s performance at the press conference drew immediate attention for other reasons, including his apparent confusion at multiple points, such as when he made reference in his opening remarks to “our nation’s first black vice president, President Kamala Harris.”

    In response to the first Kenyan reporter’s question, regarding the US decision not to send its own troops to Haiti, Biden appeared to claim that American troops were serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa.

    “We’re kind of occupied around the world, but we’re also engaged in Congo, in the neighborhood, and you know, we’ll continue to help mitigate human suffering there,” Biden said — though no such deployment is publicly known.

    Moments later, Biden lost his train of thought.

    “What was my question?” Biden asked the second American reporter, the Grio’s April Ryan, who had queried him about efforts to crush a powerful Haitian gang.

    Before the fourth reporter at the “2:2” presser was selected, America’s oldest-ever president asked Ruto, “That it?”

    Biden’s latest stumbles came as an overwhelming majority of voters say he’s too old to serve another four-year term ahead of his Nov. 5 rematch against former President Donald Trump, 77. Biden would be 86 if he completes a full second term in January 2029.

    A New York Times/Siena College poll released in March found 73% of registered voters believe Biden is “too old to be an effective president” — while just 42% said the same of Trump.

    Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


    Republican Rep’s Daughter and Son-in-Law Killed in Haiti Gang Attack

    Citizen Frank



    Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker’s daughter and son-in-law were among three people shot and killed in a gang attack while serving as missionaries in Haiti, the politician said Friday.

    “My heart is broken in a thousand pieces. I’ve never felt this kind of pain,” the Republican lawmaker wrote on Facebook.

    Baker’s 21-year-old daughter, Natalie, and her husband, Davy Lloyd, 23, died alongside their mission group’s director when they were “attacked by gangs” on Thursday evening, Baker said.

    “They went to Heaven together. Please pray for my family we desperately need strength. And please pray for the Lloyd family as well. I have no other words for now,” the grieving father added.

    Natalie and Davy served in Port au Prince with Missions in Haiti Inc., which was founded by Davy’s parents, David and Alicia Lloyd, in 2000.

    They were leaving a youth church meeting when they “were ambushed by a gang of three trucks full of guys,” the mission said on Facebook.

    Davy Lloyd was tied and beaten up before the gang allegedly looted the site and fled, only for another group to show up after them, the statement read.

    “This gang went into full attack mode,” the missionary’s statement said.

    The couple and the mission’s Haitian director, Jude Montis, 20, took shelter in a house while the gang shot out all the windows, the post added.

    All three were shot and killed around 9 p.m. Thursday, a follow-up statement said.

    The news of Natalie and Davy Lloyd’s deaths was quickly reshared by former President Donald Trump, who lamented the young couple’s death in a fiery Truth Social post.

    “God bless Davy and Natalie. Such a tragedy. Haiti is totally out of control. Find the killers NOW!!!” the presumptive Republican presidential candidate wrote.

    Natalie and Davy were also mourned by conservative Christian singer Sean Feucht, who told his fans that the pair “were martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ.”

    Natalie and Davy were married in June 2022, and moved to Haiti three months later, according to Natalie’s Instagram account.

    They documented their work in the country on their joint Instagram, @adventuresinhaiti_, as well as on Natalie’s personal page.

    The last post on the joint account was a carousel of images to mark Haitian Flag Day on Saturday, May 18.

    “Celebrated Haitian Flag Day with pizza today!” the caption read.

    On April 30, Natalie also shared a series of pictures showing groups of smiling kids eating, doing crafts, and listening to Davy preach in a chapel.

    In March, the US State Department issued a travel advisory urging Americans not to travel to Haiti due to ongoing political unrest and an uptick in serious gang violence.

    In the weeks before Natalie and Davy were killed, Missions in Haiti Inc. documented the island nation’s recent struggles in a series of Facebook posts.

    “Things have been calmer over the past 2 weeks,” the last update on May 19 read. “Gang activity still happening with looting and destruction, but much less than before.”

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Trump Sends Cease and Desist Demand to Block Release of ‘The Apprentice’

    Citizen Frank



    Lawyers for former President Donald Trump have reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to the filmmakers of The Apprentice in an effort to block the movie’s release, warning the producers not to pursue a domestic distribution deal.

    The existence of the letter was first confirmed by two unnamed sources to Variety, while excerpts were obtained by Deadline.

    “The Movie presents itself as a factual biography of Mr. Trump, yet nothing could be further from the truth,” the May 22 letter to director Ali Abbasi and screenwriter Gabriel Sherman reportedly states.

    The letter continues:

    “It is a concoction of lies that repeatedly defames President Trump and constitutes direct foreign interference in America’s elections. If you do not immediately cease and desist all distribution and marketing of this libelous farce, we will be forced to pursue all appropriate legal remedies.”

    “You have until May 27, 2024, to respond with your agreement to immediately comply with this demand. President Trump reserves all rights.”

    The Apprentice, which had its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this week, was independently financed and produced outside the Hollywood studio system — mostly through overseas companies as well as some domestic investors.

    Since its Cannes debut, the movie has ignited a firestorm of debate over its portrayal of a young Trump (played by actor Sebastian Stan) and his rise to power beginning in the 70s.

    In one scene, Trump is seen raping his first wife, Ivana — an alleged incident that Ivana Trump herself has denied ever happening. Other scenes depict Trump undergoing plastic surgery and liposuction.

    The Apprentice has yet to secure a domestic distribution deal. Any potential buyer — whether it be a major streamer or a speciality theatrical label — would have to weigh the possible costs of a protracted legal fight with Trump.

    Iranian-born director Ali Abbasi has stated he hopes his movie will open in the U.S. before the November presidential election — specifically, during the upcoming presidential debates.

    The movie’s producers responded to the cease and desist letter in a statement sent to Variety. “The film is a fair and balanced portrait of the former president,” they said. “We want everyone to see it and then decide.”

    As Breitbart News reported, the Trump campaign threatened to sue the makers of The Apprentice following its Cannes premiere.

    “We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” the Trump campaign’s chief spokesperson Steven Cheung said, “This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked.”

    Cheung also called the movie “malicious defamation.”

    The Apprentice co-stars Succession star Jeremy Strong as Roy Cohn, Borat 2 actress Maria Bakalova as Ivana Trump, and Martin Donovan as patriarch Fred Trump.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Judge Denies Alec Baldwin Request to Drop Rust Manslaughter Case

    Citizen Frank



    Alec Baldwin is set to stand trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 killing of “Rust” cinematographer Halyna Hutchins after a New Mexico judge denied the actor’s bid to dismiss the case Friday.

    Baldwin, who has pleaded not guilty, is set to go to trial in July.

    “We look forward to our day in court,” Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro, attorneys for Alec Baldwin, said in a statement Friday.

    Judge Mary Marlowe’s decision comes after she heard oral arguments from Baldwin lawyers and prosecutors in a Santa Fe court on May 17.

    During that hearing, special prosecutor Kari T. Morrissey said, referring to Baldwin, that “the actor has responsibility for the firearms once it is in their hands.”

    But Baldwin’s attorneys argued that the case should be tossed because Morrissey failed to present critical evidence during a grand jury proceeding in January that resulted in Baldwin’s indictment on the manslaughter charge.

    The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum prison sentence of 18 months upon conviction.

    Hutchins was killed Oct. 21, 2021, as Baldwin rehearsed a scene on the “Rust” set.

    Baldwin has said that Hutchins told him to aim the gun at her while he practiced a cross-draw maneuver. As he made that move, he has said, the gun discharged a live round of ammunition, fatally striking Hutchins and injuring the film’s director, Joel Souza.

    Baldwin has maintained in interviews that he did not pull the trigger and that the gun malfunctioned.

    Prosecutors in January 2023 initially charged Baldwin and the film’s armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter.

    Two months after that, a special prosecutor assigned to the case, Andrea Reeb, resigned.

    A month later, special prosecutors who replaced Reeb cited “new facts in the case” when they announced that they would temporarily dismiss the manslaughter charge against Baldwin.

    Baldwin afterward flew from New York to Montana, where he filmed the remaining scenes of the film as part of a settlement of a wrongful death claim from Hutchins’ family.

    In January, the grand jury indicted Baldwin on the same manslaughter charge. He pleaded not guilty.

    Gutierrez-Reed was convicted in March of involuntary manslaughter, but jurors found her not guilty of tampering with evidence.

    She is serving an 18-month sentence at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility.

    Baldwin and Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, in 2022 agreed to settle on undisclosed terms the lawsuit her family filed against the actor and announced that Matthew Hutchins would serve as an executive producer on the film.

    In a statement he issued at the time, Matthew Hutchins said, “I have no interest in engaging in recriminations or attribution of blame (to the producers or Mr. Baldwin). All of us believe Halyna’s death was a terrible accident.”

    “I am grateful that the producers and the entertainment community have come together to pay tribute to Halyna’s final work,” Hutchins said.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Hate Crime Charges Dropped for Christian Vet Who Beheaded Satan Statue at Iowa Capitol

    Citizen Frank



    A Mississippi man accused of destroying a statue of a pagan idol at Iowa’s state Capitol pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge in return for prosecutors dropping a felony hate crime count.

    Michael Cassidy, a former congressional and legislative candidate, was set for trial June 3, but his attorney filed a guilty plea on his behalf to an aggravated misdemeanor count of third-degree criminal mischief, the Des Moines Register reported.

    Cassidy admitted in writing that he “partially dismantled a display in the Iowa State Capitol Building, without a right/license to do so,” and that the damage was greater than $750.

    The statue of the horned deity Baphomet was brought to the Capitol by the Satanic Temple of Iowa under state rules allowing religious displays in the building during the holidays.

    The move drew strong criticism from state and national leaders, including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Florida Gov. and then-presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, both Republicans.

    On Dec. 14, the figure depicting the horned deity Baphomet was “destroyed beyond repair,” according to the group.

    “I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged,” Cassidy told the conservative website The Sentinel in December. “My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”

    Cassidy raised more than $134,000 for his defense via the Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo, where supporters said he acted with “bravery and conviction. He was not willing to see God reviled, especially in a building where lawmakers are supposed to honor Jesus Christ as King and look to his law for wisdom as they legislate with justice and righteousness.”

    Founded in 2013, the Salem, Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple says it doesn’t believe in Satan but describes itself as a “non-theistic religious organization” that advocates for secularism. It is separate from the Church of Satan, which was founded in the 1960s.

    The plea agreement calls for Cassidy to receive a deferred judgment with two years probation, an $855 civil penalty, and to pay restitution in an amount to be determined.

    He would also be required to participate in a victim-offender dialogue with representatives of the Satanic Temple if requested. The sentencing recommendation is not binding on the court, however.

    Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


    Rapper Sean Kingston and His Mother Arrested on Fraud and Theft Charges

    Citizen Frank



    Rapper and singer Sean Kingston and his mother committed more than a million dollars in fraud in recent months, stealing money, jewelry, a Cadillac Escalade and furniture, documents released Friday allege.

    Kingston, 34, and his 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner, have been charged with conducting an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, identity theft and related crimes, according to arrest warrants released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

    The two were arrested Thursday after a SWAT team raided Kingston’s rented mansion in suburban Fort Lauderdale. Turner was arrested in the raid, while Kingston was arrested at Fort Irwin, an Army training base in California’s Mojave Desert where he was performing.

    Kingston, who had a No. 1 hit with “Beautiful Girls” in 2007 and performed with Justin Bieber on the song “Eenie Meenie,” is being held at a California jail awaiting his return to Florida.

    Robert Rosenblatt, the attorney for the Jamaican-American performer and his mother, said on Friday that Kingston would return voluntarily if allowed, “which would save the state the expense of extradition and the costs of travel for the detectives and Sean.”

    His mother was being held Friday at the Broward County jail on $160,000 bond.

    “We look forward to addressing these (charges) in court and are confident of a successful resolution for Shawn and his mother,” Rosenblatt said.

    Specific details of Kingston’s and Turner’s alleged crimes are not included in the warrants, but the documents say that from October to March they stole almost $500,000 in jewelry, more than $200,000 from Bank of America, $160,000 from the Escalade dealer, more than $100,000 from First Republic Bank, $86,000 from the maker of customized beds and other smaller amounts.

    Kingston, whose legal name is Kisean Anderson, was already on two years’ probation for trafficking stolen property. Further information on that conviction could not be found.

    According to federal court records, his mother pleaded guilty in 2006 to bank fraud for stealing over $160,000 and served nearly 1.5 years in prison.

    The two have also been sued.

    In 2015, a seller of customized watches successfully sued Kingston and his mother in a New York City federal court for $356,000 after they failed to pay.

    In 2018, a New York jeweler successfully sued the two for $301,000 after they scammed the store out of nine items.

    More recently, a Florida entertainment systems company sued Kingston in February, saying he failed to pay $120,000 of a $150,000 bill for a 232-inch (5.8 meter) television it installed in his home. The TV is approximately 17 feet by 9.5 feet (5 meters by 3 meters) and covers a wall.

    He allegedly told the owners that if they gave him a low down payment and credit, he and Bieber would make commercials for them. That never happened, and Kingston never paid, the lawsuit says.

    The company’s attorney says Bieber had no involvement — Kingston was falsely using his name.

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    Italian Teen Carlo Acutis to Become First Millennial Catholic Saint — 2 Miracles Attributed to Him

    Citizen Frank



    An Italian teenager who was informally known as “God’s Influencer” for using his computer skills to spread the Catholic faith is set to become the first saint of the millennial generation, the Vatican announced Thursday.

    Carlo Acutis died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15. Born in London, he grew up in Milan where he managed the website for his parish and later a Vatican-based academy.

    He also used his computer skills to create an online database of Eucharistic miracles around the world.

    The teenager was beatified — the first step toward sainthood — in 2020 after one miracle was attributed to him. In that miracle, Acutis is credited with healing a Brazilian child of a congenital disease affecting his pancreas.

    On Thursday, Pope Francis attributed a second miracle to Acutis during a meeting with the head of the Vatican’s saint-making department, Cardinal Marcello Semararo.

    The second miracle involved the healing of a university student in Florence who had a brain bleed after suffering head trauma, CBS News partner BBC News reported.

    The attribution of a second miracle means Acutis can be elevated to sainthood, but the Vatican did not say when this would happen.

    Acutis died in Monza, Italy. His body was moved to Assisi a year after his death and is on full display alongside other relics linked to him.

    He was also named a patron of last year’s World Youth Day in Lisbon because of his “important role in evangelization through the internet,” organizers of the event said at the time, Reuters reported.

    The pope also advanced sainthood causes for six men and a woman.

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    Blackstone’s CEO Steve Schwarzman Backs Trump

    Citizen Frank



    Stephen A. Schwarzman — chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, the private equity and real estate giant — said he will support Donald Trump as a “vote for change,” Axios reported.

    Schwarzman said Friday that he plans to donate to Trump and various Republican Senate candidates.

    The endorsement gives Trump access to a potent network of Republican donors Schwarzman has cultivated. Trump also could get a new look from some business leaders who have been reluctant to back him.

    Schwarzman, a billionaire and lifelong moderate Republican, was one of Trump’s most visible business supporters when he was in the White House.

    But ahead of this year’s GOP primaries, Schwarzman called for “a new generation of leaders.” Schwarzman wound up not backing a primary candidate.

    Axios is told Schwarzman’s concern about rising antisemitism sped his decision to re-embrace Trump, along with concerns about President Biden’s policies.

    “The dramatic rise of antisemitism has led me to focus on the consequences of upcoming elections with greater urgency,” he says in a statement to Axios.

    “I share the concern of most Americans that our economic, immigration and foreign policies are taking the country in the wrong direction. For these reasons, I am planning to vote for change and support Donald Trump for President. In addition, I will be supporting Republican Senate candidates and other Republicans up and down the ticket.”

    In November 2020, Schwarzman called on Trump to move on from his defeat as supporters scrambled to try to overturn the election.

    After Republicans’ disastrous midterm performance, Axios reported that Schwarzman was searching for a next-generation candidate in 2024.

    “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Schwarzman said in November 2022. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”

    As some business leaders begin returning to Trump’s camp, Blackstone remains highly bipartisan.

    Jon Gray — Blackstone’s president and COO, and heir apparent to Schwarzman — backs Biden and is a big Democratic donor.

    Tom Nides, formerly Biden’s ambassador to Israel, joined Blackstone in January as vice chairman for strategy and client relations.

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    Final Four: Trump Drops 4 Names When Asked About VP Pick

    Citizen Frank



    In a campaign stop in the Bronx, New York, former President Donald Trump named some of his possible vice presidential picks, a sign the list may be shortening.

    In an interview with News 12 New York, Trump singled out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as top options on a list that has continued to grow.

    “We have so many,” Trump said when asked about picks for vice president. “You could take people like Ben Carson, people like Marco Rubio, or J.D. Vance. I mean, there’s so many. Elise is doing a fantastic job, but I could go on for quite a long time. We have many people who would do a really fantastic job.”

    When asked about the timeline, Trump said he would make a decision “sometime during the convention,” which is when presidential nominees typically announce their vice president. Trump has floated all of these names as picks for various reasons.

    Sen. Marco Rubio

    There are constitutional problems with Trump picking Rubio as his running mate. The 12th Amendment states the president and vice president on the same ticket cannot be from the same state, or else that state cannot vote for them should they win the state.

    In Florida, that could prove worrisome as the 2024 election between Trump and President Joe Biden is expected to be close.

    When asked about being Trump’s vice president, Rubio said he has discussed it and is aware of reports about the constitutionality of two Floridians on the same ticket.

    “Donald Trump’s going to win no matter who he picks. He’s going to get elected,” Rubio said. “I think the criteria he said publicly is the right one, which is someone who’s ready to be president.”

    Dr. Ben Carson

    Picking Carson would help Trump continue to improve his standing with black voters, something polls suggest he has already been successful at.

    In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Carson said he believed black voters would flock to Trump, a voting bloc the former president has been courting.

    “I think Trump is making major inroads with all demographic groups in our country, including black voters,” Carson said. “They recognize that they were better off with his administration than they are now.”

    He expressed full confidence that Trump would win the election, too. A surgeon-turned-politician, Carson ran for president in 2016.

    Sen. J.D. Vance

    Vance has been proving his loyalty to Trump with a recent visit to the courthouse of Trump’s New York criminal hush money trial. The freshman senator has taken up the role of attack dog, lobbing verbal bombs at Judge Juan Merchan and the entire trial process that Trump’s gag order has prevented him from keeping up himself.

    “Four weeks into New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal trial against Trump, it’s clear this charade is more about partisan politics than law enforcement,” Vance said in a statement after the visit.

    The Hillbilly Elegy author was once critical of the former president and said he did not vote for him in the 2016 election.

    “I’m a Never Trump guy,” Vance said in an interview with Charlie Rose in 2016. “I never liked him.”

    Since then, Vance, along with the rest of the Republican Party, has softened his opposition to the former president.

    Rep. Elise Stefanik

    Stefanik has risen through the ranks of the House, and she gained widespread attention for grilling university leaders during a blockbuster hearing addressing antisemitism on college campuses.

    She is a self-described “ultra MAGA” and “proud of it,” and some believe the ticket with Trump and Stefanik would be “right” for their ties to New York.

    “The former president is certainly associated with New York, and especially New York City,” New York-based Democratic strategist Jack O’Donnell said. “His career, his fame, his show, all of these things are kind of associated with New York. So it seems only right that he would pick a New Yorker like Elise Stefanik to be on the ticket now that he’s no longer a resident of the state.”

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    Media Matters Lays Off Dozen Staffers After Defamation Suit by Elon Musk, Federal Probes

    Citizen Frank



    Media Matters followed suit with several liberal outlets by laying off at least a dozen staffers following a federal probe and lawsuit by “X” chief executive officer Elon Musk.

    Staffers, some of whom have been with Media Matters for years, took to social media announcing their sudden departure from the outlet.

    The layoffs followed federal probes filed by Republican Attorneys General Ken Paxton of Texas and Andrew Bailey of Missouri into the outlet for possible fraudulent activity by allegedly manipulating data on “X,” formerly known as Twitter.

    Musk filed a defamation lawsuit against Media Matters in federal court in November, as the site has accused the outlet of “knowingly” manufacturing images showing advertisements from major corporations alongside posts made by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

    “Bad News: I’ve been laid off from @mmfa, along with a dozen colleagues. There’s a reason far-right billionaires attack Media Matters with armies of lawyers: They know how effective our work is, and it terrifies them (him),” staffer Kat Abughazaleh said, referring to Musk.

    “After nearly four years of working at media matters, I got laid off,” another staffer named Beatrice said. “So if anyone is looking for researchers with video experience, drop a line.”

    “Got laid off, lmk who wants research done,” researcher Brendan Karet said. “On the plus side, no more listening to the dumbest dogshit on earth everyday.”

    “Journalism milestone achieved (got laid off),” now-former Media Matters writer Bobby Lewis wrote.

    I got laid off from Media Matters @mmfa today, proud of the 5 years of intense work I put into fighting right-wing hatred. I’m an incredible manager with superb research skills. Please hire me!” Alex Peterson, associate research director, said.

    “Layoffs at Media Matters today. Lots of smart people available for jobs now,” Jared Holt, a senior researcher at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, said.

    Abu praised her now-former colleagues in a thread, urging media employers to hire them.

    “Bea is an incredibly skilled media analyst. She’s also one of the funniest coworkers I’ve ever had. Hire her,” she wrote.

    “Brendan is one of the most effective researchers in the world of some of the shittiest people on the planet. He is able to dig into his research with a very rare work ethic and resilience that any place would be lucky to have,” she said.

    Media Matters’ staffing purge is the latest in the liberal media bloodbath that has become prominent in recent years. NowThis laid off half of its editorial team in February as part of a “broader initiative to realign our resources and structure to ensure a long-term sustainable business in the evolving media landscape.” The Intercept laid off 15 staffers including its Editor-in-Chief Roger Hodge, on the same day.

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    Morgan Spurlock, ‘Super Size Me’ Filmmaker, Dies at 53

    Citizen Frank



    Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker best known for “Super Size Me,” has died. He was 53.

    He died Thursday night from complications of cancer, The Post can confirm.

    “It was a sad day, as we said goodbye to my brother Morgan,” his brother Craig Spurlock told Variety. “Morgan gave so much through his art, ideas and generosity. Today the world has lost a true creative genius and a special man. I am so proud to have worked together with him.”

    Born in 1970 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Spurlock graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1993.

    He got his start in the entertainment industry as a playwright, winning awards for his 1999 play “The Phoenix” at the New York Fringe Festival.

    Before rising to fame, he also created and hosted the gonzo web series “Bet You Will,” which paid contestants to do outrageous tasks for money, such as eating a full jar of mayonnaise. The show aired on both MTV and the now-defunct Spike.

    His breakout project was his 2004 documentary “Super Size Me,” which chronicled the changes to his health when he spent 30 days consuming only McDonald’s food.

    “It’s a great way to take the edge off a very preachy subject,” he told the Guardian in 2004.

    Spurlock was nominated for an Oscar that year, for Best Documentary Feature, and he won the award for best director at the Sundance Film Festival.

    Following that experience, Spurlock told Civil Eats in 2010, “There are great films that are out there that deal with food, [and] I think if there’s a way I can help champion some of those other filmmakers, I’d rather do that than go into making another food movie.”

    “For me, movies have to be something that if you don’t [make them], then you are going to go crazy. If you don’t tell this story, if you don’t put it on a page, if you don’t put it on film, then it is literally going to affect your brain from this moment forward,” he went on. “There may be something that comes along that kind of strikes me in that way, and if it does, I’ll have to tell it.”

    His follow-up film was 2008’s “Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?” in which Spurlock searched for the terrorist and visited countries impacted by his actions.

    Spurlock’s other notable works include 2010’s “Freakonomics” film, based on the book of the same name.

    On TV, he had the CNN series “Morgan Spurlock: Inside Man,” which aired from 2013 to 2016, and the FX series “30 Days,” which aired from 2005 to 2008 and followed people immersing themselves in unfamiliar lifestyles for a month. During that show, Spurlock himself tried to survive on minimum wage for 30 days.

    He followed up with a 2017 sequel, “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!,” which covered the way that fast food has attempted to rebrand itself as healthier.

    In 2017, amid the MeToo movement, Spurlock posted an essay on social media that read, “As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder ‘who will be next?’ I wonder, ‘when will they come for me?’” He then detailed cheating on his past partners and instances of sexual misconduct.

    Speaking to Uproxx in 2019, he said about his motivations, “I think that we live in a time where if you look at everything that’s happened around that movement, the mission for anybody is these guys come forward. And I think it was really important for me to basically say, ‘I’m a person who’s made mistakes in my past. I’m somebody who has made it a point to tell the truth in my work. And I recognize that I can do better.’ And I think that we live in a world right now where we encourage people to lie consistently and aggressively, simply for self-preservation. And I think that that is a very wrong message to be sending.”

    Spurlock told Deadline in 2019, “Part of the reason I wrote that essay in the first place, was to be on the right side of it. I’m hopeful that in time, with the work that I do and the changes that I continue to go through, that I can be there on the right side.”

    He also said he went to rehab for alcoholism.

    His career imploded after that. “I’m grateful for what we were able to do, and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned. Does it hurt sometimes? Of course, it does, but all I can do is continue to be as good a supporter of other people, of women, of men, of young filmmakers, of the people that I was really trying to champion for a long time,” he told the outlet.

    “I love what I do. I’m hopeful that I can go from this and start doing what I love to do, that’s the most important thing for me. All I’ve ever wanted to do was be a storyteller. I hope I get to do it again.”

    Spurlock was married to Alexandra Jamieson from 2006 to 2011, with whom he has son Laken, and he married Sara Bernstein in 2016, with whom he had son Kallen.

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