The Harvey Weinstein Hollywood sex scandal dominated the news cycle this week, as over 20 women publicly accused the media mogul of sexual harassment and assault—a massive revelation. However, as a result of the swarm of media coverage, several significant stories fell under the radar.
Here are 5 critical stories being ignored while America watches Hollywood burn:
Police made significant changes to the timeline of the Las Vegas shooting this week, which drastically changed the official narrative. First, the story was that suspect Stephen Paddock encountered Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos in the hallway, and shot him in the leg after he unloaded a volley of bullets into a crowd of 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
In the revised timeline, which is actually backed up by audio that was released this week, Paddock shot Campos at least 6 minutes before he opened fire on the crowd from his window on the 32nd floor, and he fired a total of about 200 rounds into the hallway. A nearby maintenance worker witnessed the scene and reported it, which should have given law enforcement a clear location of exactly where their target was before the massacre officially began.
There have also been reports claiming that after police announced the significant change in the timeline involving Jesus Campos, he has since canceled several media interviews, and his family is under a gag order.
— Craig Fiegener (@CraigNews3LV) October 11, 2017
In the days after 9/11, the United States government preyed on the fear felt by many Americans to justify the passage of the USA Patriot Act—a law that gave the government unprecedented spying powers and became a vital component of the “War on Terror.”
Now, one of the most crucial provisions that the government has used to justify spying on innocent Americans is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017. In response, the USA Liberty Act has become the latest trendy name for a law that would reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows “the collection of electronic communications by non-U.S. persons for use in our nation’s defense,” according to the House Judiciary Committee.
However, what the USA Liberty Act does not advertise is the fact that it does not actually address the legitimate problems that exist with Section 702. While the purpose of FISA was reportedly only to allow surveillance on the communications of foreign targets who were suspected terrorists, it has been used to spy on the communications of innocent Americans—despite the practice being ruled illegal—and any reauthorization of the law will only allow the practice to continue under the guise of “defeating terrorism.”
A new law is now in effect in North Tonawanda, New York, that sets a troubling precedent for cities across the country. While it is no secret that bullying is an issue among children and teenagers, lawmakers have decided that parents should be held accountable for their child’s actions—even to the extent that they face jail time if their child is caught bullying.
As a professor of law and psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, noted, “Very little research has been done to determine the effectiveness of laws that hold parents criminally liable. It’s often just a way for politicians to look hard on juvenile delinquency.”
The new law states:
“Members of the North Tonawanda Common Council hope the new law will put a stop to bullying by holding parents accountable for their children’s actions. Parents could be fined $250 and sentenced to 15 days in jail if twice in a 90-day period their child under 18 violates the city’s curfew or any other city law, including bullying.”
The only person injured in the first ISIS-claimed terrorist attack on U.S. soil in 2015 is now suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a lawsuit claiming agents “solicited, encouraged, directed and aided members of ISIS in planning and carrying out the May 3 attack.”
Bruce Joiner, a security guard who was shot and wounded when two men opened fire outside of a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, is seeking $8 million in damages.
As the Washington Examiner noted, if Joiner does not reach a settlement with the Bureau, “the case could shake loose hundreds of documents from both local and federal officials about what happened that day, and could answer the question of why an FBI agent was in a car directly behind the attackers and did nothing as the events unfolded.”
Not only was an FBI agent in the car directly behind the suspects, the FBI had been in contact with one of the suspects for years, and they were well aware that he was considered vulnerable to radicalization.
More than 70 foster children are currently missing in the state of Kansas, highlighting a troubling disconnect between the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), which oversees foster care in the state, and the private foster care contractors that the state utilizes to oversee the direct placement of children within foster homes.
One of the main foster care contractors, KVC Kansas, admitted that it has roughly 38 missing children, and Saint Francis Community Services admitted that 36 children are missing from its database. To put that into context, Kansas has around 7,100 foster children, which means that around 1 percent of them have gone missing.
Chairman of the state’s Child Welfare System Task Force, Rep. Steve Alford, said he is not surprised by the number of missing children because of the separation between DCF and the contractors. “Once the children … (go from the court) into the possession of the secretary, she hands them off to the contractors and it’s their responsibility, you know, it’s kind of like out of sight, out of mind in a lot of aspects,” Alford said.