- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is not endorsing the CIA’s conclusion that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win, arguing that there’s no way to know Russia’s intent.
- Former Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) was sentenced to ten years in prison after he was found guilty of fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
- The officers who work for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are extremely highly compensated to work for their union, not the people of New York and New Jersey. Worse still, as a unit they do a poor job.
Today, Port Authority management missteps and union victories continue to shape staffing assignments for PAPD officers—most dubiously, for the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) “cadres.” Thanks to a decades-old contractual obligation between the Authority and the union that requires police officers to perform firefighting and rescue duty at airports—an arrangement in effect at no other U.S. airports—cops who fight fires and do rescue work at Authority airports have been trained for double duty. As a result, they’re paid a lot extra—up to $144,000 per year. But in 2012, the FAA fined the Port Authority for misreporting training and for failing to assign police who were trained as firefighters to the airports. The federal agency also barred those assigned ARFF duty at airports from doing patrol duty and other police work. Some Authority officials hoped to assign fire and rescue personnel who were paid much less than expensive cops. But the union got wind of this, and in a 2013 settlement got the Authority to agree to assign cops to these posts, though they could no longer go on patrol.
- A Dutch court found Geert Wilders guilty of hate speech last week, but didn’t impose a jail term or fine because (according to the court) a conviction was punishment enough ahead of a parliamentary election in March. If you believe polls, Wilders’ conviction actually increased the popularity of his party (the Freedom Party) to the point that he could be the next prime minister.
- A U.K. group, National Action, is set to be banned later this week. The group describes itself as a “National Socialist youth organization,” which for many people translates as, “neo-Nazi.”
- Romania’s Social Democrats party (PSD) has a parliamentary majority again, a year after they were booted from office over corruption allegations. From the linked article: “The result is a triumph for PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who has remained in his post despite being found guilty of electoral fraud earlier this year and receiving a two-year suspended sentence.”
- Turkish police rounded up another 235 people accused of supporting the PKK. This follows a twin bombing outside an Istanbul soccer stadium that killed 44 people.