Maine: N.H. man Shawn Hunt hit by shotgun pellets while rabbit hunting in Maine

Shawn Hunt, 36, of Lebanon, New Hampshire, was on a guided hunt Tuesday in Pleasant Ridge Plantation when he was injured, authorities said.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — Game wardens say a New Hampshire man was struck in the head with shotgun pellets while rabbit hunting in Maine.

Authorities say 36-year-old Shawn Hunt, of Lebanon, New Hampshire, was on a guided hunt Tuesday morning in Pleasant Ridge Plantation when he was injured.

Lt. Kevin Adam with the Maine Warden Service says Hunt had instructed a teen to shoot a hare. He was hit with several pellets from the teen’s gun.

Hunt was taken to a hospital in Skowhegan for treatment. Adam says the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Game wardens are still investigating.

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Putin warns US with new missiles aimed at Western capitals

Moscow will retaliate in kind if US deploys new missiles in Europe, Russian president says as he addresses the nation.

Putin warns US with new missiles aimed at Western capitals
Putin said the US abandoned a key arms control pact to free its hands to build new missiles and shift the blame on Russia [Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters]

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned the United States against deploying new missiles in Europe, threatening to retaliate in kind by targeting Western capitals with his own new weaponry.

Delivering a state of the nation address, Putin said the US abandoned a key arms control pact – the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty – to free its hands to build new missiles and tried to shift the blame for the move on Russia.

Many analysts say abandoning the treaty effectively signalled the start of a new arms race.

The longtime Russian leader warned Washington against deploying any new missiles in Europe following the collapse of the key Cold War-era treaty, saying Moscow would consider it a “serious threat”.

“I’m saying this clearly and openly, Russia will be forced to deploy weapons that can be used… against the decision-making centres that are behind the missile systems which threaten us,” Putin said.

“The capability of such weapons, including the time to reach those centres, will be equivalent to the threats against Russia.”

He did not say what specific new weapons Moscow could deploy, but he reported quick progress on an array of new systems presented a year ago.

The INF deal was signed in 1987 by then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and resolved a crisis over Soviet nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles targeting Western capitals.

New arms

Putin said the first batch of Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles will be deployed this year.

He added the tests of the new Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile and the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone have been progressing successfully.

The first submarine equipped to carry the Poseidon will be commissioned later this year, Putin reported.

He also announced the coming deployment of the new Zircon hypersonic missile for the Russian navy, saying it’s capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and will have a range of 1,000km.

He said the Zircon programme will not be too costly as the missile has been designed to equip Russia’s existing surface ships and submarines.

While issuing a tough warning to the US, Putin also said Russia still wants friendly relations with Washington and remains open to arms control talks.

“We don’t want confrontation, particularly with such a global power as the US,” he said.

The US has accused Russia of breaching the INF treaty by deploying a cruise missile that violates its limits – accusations Moscow rejected.

The INF treaty banned the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500km to 5,500km.

The intermediate-range weapons were seen as particularly destabilising as they take less time to reach their targets compared with the intercontinental ballistic missiles.

That would leave practically no time for decision-makers, raising the likelihood of a global nuclear conflict over a false launch warning.

‘Unacceptable’ threats

The US State Department said Washington was not developing “exotic new nuclear weapons delivery systems” and repeated its claim that Russia violates the INF treaty while the United States does not.

“President Putin’s remarks are a continuation of Russia’s propaganda effort to avoid responsibility for Russia’s actions in violation of the INF Treaty,” added a State Department spokeswoman on condition of anonymity.

NATO on Wednesday condemned Putin’s “unacceptable” threats.

“Russian statements threatening to target Allies are unacceptable. We call on Russia to focus on returning to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty,” NATO deputy spokesman, Piers Cazalet, said in a statement.

“NATO is a defensive alliance, which stands ready to defend all members against any threat. We do not want a new arms race, and allies have repeatedly called on Russia to verifiably destroy its intermediate-range missiles.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said several times in recent weeks that the alliance would not deploy any new land-based nuclear weapons in response to the Russian missiles.

Internal audience

Putin’s tough talk on missiles seemed aimed at stirring up patriotic support for the 66-year-old leader, who won re-election last year with more than 76 percent of the vote but has been recently struggling with dropping poll numbers.

A survey by Russia’s independent Levada Centre released in January found his approval rating at 64 percent – a figure many Western leaders could only dream of, but Putin’s lowest in five years.

WATCH

Is a new hypersonic arms race underway?

Most of Wednesday’s speech focused on promises to address poor living standards, a key source of frustration for many Russians nearly 20 years after Putin came to power.

“We cannot wait, the situation must change for the better now,” Putin told assembled legislators from Russia’s lower house State Duma and upper house Federation Council.

“Within this year, [Russians] should feel changes,” he said.

Putin lamented about 19 million Russians were living below the poverty line, saying: “This is too much … The state should help.”

He focused, in particular, on help for Russian families, pointing to a demographic crisis that has seen birth rates fall drastically since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Last year, the government’s statistics agency said the country’s birth rate had fallen by 11 percent in 2017 to the lowest level in a decade.

“The incomes of Russian families should of course rise,” he said, promising new child benefits and lower taxes for larger families.

Javier Solana on possible arms race in Europe: 'I'm very worried'

TALK TO AL JAZEERA

Javier Solana on possible arms race in Europe: ‘I’m very worried’

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

20-year old Mother Alyssa Murch charged with child’s meth overdose from breastfeeding

Alyssa Murch, 20, made her first court appearance Wednesday. She is facing charges after her 7-month-old child’s meth overdose from tainted breast milk.

BANGOR, Maine — “First case, Alyssa Murch,” announced Judge Bruce Jordan inside a Penobscot County courtroom in Bangor Wednesday morning.

Murch, 20, is facing charges after her 7-month-old child’s methamphetamine overdose from tainted breast milk.

Alyssa Murch in court photo
NCM

She was visibly tearful in the courtroom as the judge detailed her rights.

RELATED: Mother charged after baby overdoses on meth via breastfeeding

Murch is facing a felony charge of aggravated unlawful furnishing of scheduled drugs, a felony charge of domestic violence assault on a child less than 6-years-old, and endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FhLo69EXgcjw%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DhLo69EXgcjw&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FhLo69EXgcjw%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=0350728de3d54ab7950f978fc80d4a70&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

According to Bangor police, officers were called to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 of last year after Murch’s baby was admitted to the hospital and was found to be suffering from a meth overdose.

By the time officials arrived, the baby had regained consciousness and was being treated.

That child is now in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and Murch is only allowed supervised visitation.

The judge did not require Murch to make a plea but as a condition of her bail she was ordered to stay away from drugs and cannot have unsupervised contact with her child.

Murch’s next scheduled court appearance is April 9.

NYT: Trump Asked DOJ to Put Loyalist In Charge of “Hush Money to Whores” Probe

EFEB 20, 2019

H3 trump whitaker

A new report by The New York Times details a number of possible obstruction of justice efforts by President Trump as he tried to suppress or contain multiple investigations about him. The Times says Trump asked former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to place a loyalist in charge of an investigation into hush money payments made to women who allegedly had affairs with Trump by his former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Trump reportedly asked for New York federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman to head the investigation, but Berman had already recused himself from the case. Whitaker testified to Congress earlier this month that Trump never pressured him to intervene in an investigation. Did he perjure himself? The report also details Trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which he publicly attacked over 1,100 times.

Trump demands high-speed rail funds back from California in retribution for National Emergency Lawsuit

Trump gestures after speaking on border security at the Rose Garden
Mr Trump has frequently been at-odds with the more liberal state (which still denies felons their right to vote. How liberal is that?)

President Donald Trump has continued to escalate tensions with California by calling on the state to return billions in federal funds for a high-speed rail.

His administration plans on cancelling $929m (£711m) in grants for what Mr Trump has called a “failed” project.

These federal funds account for a quarter of the California rail project.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom called it “political retribution” for the California-led lawsuit against Mr Trump’s national emergency declaration.

The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it is looking into cancelling the $929m grant as well as recovering a $2.5bn grant already being spent by the state.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Mr Trump again lambasted the state over the project, saying: “Send the Federal Government back the Billions of Dollars WASTED!”

All but one of the states involved are governed by Democrats.

Presentational grey line

Trump v California

Analysis box by Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

The battle between Donald Trump and California Governor Gavin Newsom, carried out in speeches, tweets and legal filings, now includes a hefty price tag. The US government has spent billions helping construct a high-speed rail line in California. Now, after cost overruns and cutbacks in the scope of the ambitious project, the president wants the federal money back.

That may be difficult to pull off – and will surely face an extended court battle – but that’s not the point. Mr Newsom is fighting the president over emergency funding for the border wall, so the Trump administration is going after the state’s rail funding.

Tit for tat.

This latest drama puts the conflict between the conservative White House and the most prosperous and populous state in the nation, one fully controlled by Democrats, in stark relief.

California’s leaders have offered their state as a “counter-proposal” to Trump’s America – a demonstration that progressive policies and regulations can go hand-in-hand with economic growth and well-being. It’s the antithesis of the Trumpist view that restrained regulation and limited government involvement open the path to success.

It’s a battle over ideology and principles – a civil war conducted in courts and the court of public opinion.

Presentational grey line

Following the news of the lawsuit, Mr Trump had slammed Democrats, “the radical left”, the 9th Circuit courts, and taunted California over the rail project.

“This is clear political retribution by President Trump, and we won’t sit idly by. This is California’s money, and we are going to fight for it.”

What’s the current rail situation?

California’s initial plans, approved in 2008, involved a high-speed rail linking San Francisco and Los Angeles with an estimated cost of $77bn.

Then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger inspects bullet trains in Japan in 2010 as inspiration for California's own train updatesImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThen-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger inspects bullet trains in Japan in 2010 as inspiration for California’s own train updates

Since then, overrunning costs and delays have plagued the project and in his state address last week, Gov Newsom said they would be scaling the project down and focusing on connecting regions in the Central Valley for now.

At the time, Mr Trump attacked the project, saying the state owed the government $3.5bn for the “green disaster”. On Tuesday, his administration took steps towards collecting those funds.

Gov Newsom hit back by saying Mr Trump’s claims were “fake news”.

Presentational white space
In this handout image provided by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Construction of the Fresno River Viaduct seen between Raymond Road and Watson StreetConstruction has begun on parts of the rail system

Can Trump take back the funds?

California and the federal government signed an agreement in 2010 over this funding.

Per the agreement, the federal government is allowed to take the money back if the state does not make “adequate progress” or “fails to complete the project or one of its tasks” or if the state cannot meet the funding-match requisite, CNBC reported.

California has not yet met the $2.5bn funding match, and so it has not been able to use the $929m.

Federal Railroad Administration chief Ronald Batory said in a letter on Tuesday to the state’s rail authority that California has “materially failed to comply with the terms of the agreement”.

The letter cited the governor’s altered plans for the system along with California’s inability to match the federal funds as grounds for terminating the award.

California’s rail authority has not yet responded to the letter.

Art Bauer, a California Senate Transportation Committee staffer, told the Los Angeles Times he could not recall any precedent for such an action, but that “the governor unwittingly gave the federal government a reason to back away from the project”.

Donald Trump rushing to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear technology! Yay!

Experts worry tech transfer will allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons, contributing to Middle East arms race.

Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed have developed a close relationship since both came to power [Kevin Dietsch/EPA]
Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed have developed a close relationship since both came to power [Kevin Dietsch/EPA]

The Trump administration is bypassing the United States Congress to advance the sale of US nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns it would violate US law guarding against technology transfers, according to a new report by a congressional committee.

Security analysts worry the technology would allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons in the future, potentially contributing to an arms race in the Middle East.

US lawmakers are concerned about the stability of Saudi leadership under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman because of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.

Multiple unnamed “whistleblowers” have come forward to warn about White House attempts to speed the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology to build new nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, according to the staff report by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

“The whistleblowers who came forward have warned of conflicts of interest among top White House advisers that could implicate federal criminal statutes,” Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democrat chairman of the committee, said in a February 19 letter to the White House.

The committee is investigating efforts by US nuclear power companies to win Trump administration approval to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

IP3 consortium

A key target of the Oversight Committee’s inquiry is an effort by IP3 International, a consortium of nuclear power producers that began lobbying during the Trump transition in late 2016 and early 2017 to win presidential approval to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

Most recently, Trump met on February 12 with the IP3 International representatives and the CEOs of major US nuclear energy producers to discuss developing nuclear power plants in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, a meeting that was initiated by IP3’s founder, retired Army General Jack Keane, according to the committee report which cited Bloomberg News.

The IP3 proposal has been repeatedly promoted to White House officials by Thomas Barrack, according to the report. Barrack is a personal friend of the president who raised $107m for Trump’s Inaugural Committee. US prosecutors in New York are investigatingthe inaugural committee activities.

‘Chaos, dysfunction, backbiting’

The committee released documents describing the IP3 proposal. Cummings’ letter further demands documents and emails from the White House related to its discussions of potential nuclear power development in the Middle East.

Whistleblowers “warned about a working environment inside the White House marked by chaos, dysfunction and backbiting. And they have warned about political appointees ignoring directives from top ethics advisors at the White House who repeatedly and unsuccessfully ordered senior Trump administration officials to halt their efforts”, Cummings said in the letter.

Meanwhile, a US Senate proposal offered by Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat – with support from Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican – seeks to block Saudi Arabia from developing bomb material by prohibiting it from enriching uranium or re-using plutonium from any future power plants.

Trump and the nuclear codes

UPFRONT

Trump and the nuclear codes

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Maine’s Shameful Secret: Child Trafficking

Go to the profile of Lori Handrahan

Lori Handrahan, Medium.com

Maine is rated among the worst in the country for child sex trafficking.

The Bangor Daily News says Maine is an East Coast source to procure children. Those who know Maine’shistory are not surprised.

Only a few years ago, when students at Baxter School for the Deaf refused sexual abuse by their director, Dr. Robert Kelly, he tied them naked to a tree and left them, all night, in the Maine woods; to break them.

Dr. Robert Kelly was not prosecuted. The State of Maine protected Kelly and not Maine’s children. The Attorney General (AG) refused to prosecute any of the Baxter School rapists. Instead, Maine used tax-payer funds to pay Kelly’s pension through-out his retirement in Florida until he finally died, as reported by Rick Wormwood, in 2004.

“For years, the most notorious prostitution ring New England has ever seen ruthlessly exploited runaways like Jackie Pena. It took an FBI agent on his last case to bring the whole thing down.”

Maine treated Robert Kelly the same way Maine is handling retired Biddeford Police Officer Stephen Dodd; a cop who anally raped children now living free in Florida on Maine tax-payer funds.

One survivor of Dodd’s abuse, Rick Alexander, spoke about his rape “behind my aunt’s house, handcuffed, getting sodomized by Stephen Dodd.” In spite of receiving full retirement and enjoying total impunity, Dodd complained “the Chief had not given him a retirement plaque and identification card.”

No prosecution, no oversight, no justice and full retirement. That is all too often how Maine deals with elite child rapists. When children are tied naked to pine trees as a “grooming” exercise for rape, when a young boy is handcuffed, his face pushed into the grass, while being raped by a police officer and no one is prosecuted, the devil is walking the halls of Maine’s Attorney General’s office.

Lawyers in the AG’s office use a “statute of limitations” excuse to justify their protection of child rapists and not children. There is wide recognition there can be no statute of limitations for crimes of child abuse. Indeed, Maine legislatures, in 1991, ended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. Then a federal judge, for the District of Maine, in an unbelievable judgment, ruled that “the Legislature clearly did not intend for this expanded statute of limitations to revive claims that were already ‘barred by the previous statute of limitations in force’ prior to the amendments.

Judges in Maine often appear eager to protect child rapists and not children. Baxter School, Cole Farmsthe Zumba prostitution scandal, my daughter Mila’s case in Judge Jeff Moskowitz’s court, and police who have been allowed to rape children for decades; Maine’s judges and lawyers have systematically protected child rapists and not children.

6 January 1988 UPI Archives

Child rapists like the late John Kenoyer, former FBI Bureau Chief in Augusta, who raped a ten year old girl for over a year, former Assistant Attorney General James Cameron, recently arrested for trading in child rape and torture, aka child porn and Maine’s State Police Chief Andrew Demers, guilty of raping his own four year old granddaughter — they are all considered “important people” and “productive members of the community.” Maine judges, police, and prosecutors protect them. District Attorney Stephanie Anderson said of Demers, “Colonel Demers was my hero.”

I stumbled upon the cover-up of child rape and torture at the Baxter School when I delved into the Freedom of Information Act files about child rape by Maine’s Catholic priests. For three years Jeannine Guttman, formerly Executive Editor of the Portland Press Herald, fought to get the State to release these records. When Maine did release, it was only records of deceased or Alzheimer’s priests.

Bangor Daily News 10 January 2001

If the Catholic Church documents weren’t painful enough, learning about the abuse at Pineland SchoolÉlan Schoolin the Native American communitiesCole Farms, and allegations of child protection operating a child rape ring with professors were equally horrific.

Under Governor Paul LePage, Maine established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to create a public record of what child protective services did, and continues to do, to Native American children but there has been no justice, no prosecutions, no accountability. Senior child protection staffer, Cynthia Wellman’s allegations of a child trafficking ring have never even been investigated, let alone prosecuted.

Why not?

Robert Tristram Coffin was one of America’s great poets. Coffin spoke about sons and daughters of Maine, rock-bound coasts, and pine-trees. A place where one can still see the Milky Way at night; where old-fashion values are held sacred and folks are judged, not by their financial wealth, but the weight of their human souls.

That is the Maine I knew until my daughter was trafficked for sex abuse by Judge Moskowitz. I started researching Maine’s dark history of child sex abuse to understand how this could have been allowed to happen to my daughter. So-called “good Mainers,” who cultivate public images as “pillars of the community,” have been allowed to plunder, rape, and torture generations of children. Those, like Rod Hotham and James Levier, who raised their voices in pain and outrage have been silenced.

This was not the Maine Coffin loved. It is not the Maine I cherish.

Decades of shameful silence and impunity for child rape continues in Maine. Adult survivors like Matt Lauzon are now coming forward but children like Ayla ReynoldsLogan Marr, and my daughter Mila Malenko have been silenced. My daughter’s case, and that of many other children, is being treated exactly as the child rape by Biddeford police, at Baxter, within the Catholic Church, at Cole Farms, at Pineland, at Élan School, and within Native American communities and by child protection staff; cover-up, deny, protect the abuser not the children.

Governor (Former AG) Janet Mills

This is not “historical” abuse. This is on-going abuse. Happening right now, every day, to children in Maine, while Maine’s AG, at the time, Janet Mills protected the child rapists and not the children.

Maine has been recognized by the Bangor Daily News as a source for the entire East Coast to procure children because there is a powerful state-system in place that allows this to happen.

There are known, and protected, supply-lines of children to abuse. Foster care, child protective services, day cares, family courts, disabled children, police officers who look the other way, Native American children; wherever vulnerable children are, that is where access to rape these children is maintained by the pedosadists in power in Maine.

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We must end the silence in Maine. No more cover-ups. No more children abused while Maine protects the abusers. The FBI must conduct an in-depth investigation into the corruption of public officials in Maine around the issues of child trafficking, the trade in child rape and torture aka child porn, and child sex abuse.

The silence and impunity surrounding Maine’s child rape must end now.

Dr. Lori Handrahan’s forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk details America’s child sex abuse epidemic. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2