The Washington state senate passed a bipartisan bill Wednesday to abolish the death penalty. Senate Bill 6052 passed the state senate 26 to 22 and will now go to the state house for a vote. If signed into law, the bill would repeal the death penalty for aggravated first-degree murder and replace it with life without parole, the News Tribune reported. Republican State Sen. Maureen Walsh sponsored the bill and said she didn't do so out of sympathy. "That's not why I'm doing this," said Walsh, whose district in Walla Walla is where the state's death row is located. "I'm doing this maybe because I feel like it's somewhat our responsibility as legislators to vet these issues here in this forum in this venue." A major concern over maintaining a death penalty is the cost. A recent Seattle University study found that death penalty cases cost an average of about $1 million more than life imprisonment cases. Moral concerns were also a part of the debate. read more
if there's been one consistent thing about Donald Trump since he emerged as a presidential candidate in June 2015, it's this: When women accuse men of sexual assault or domestic abuse, Trump sides with the men. The most recent example of this trend has played out over the last 72 hours -- as Trump has repeatedly noted that Rob Porter, his former staff secretary, denies the charges of physical and emotional abuse levied against him by both of his ex-wives as well as a former girlfriend. "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," the President tweeted Saturday morning "Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?" read more
Democrats won an exurban St. Louis seat in the Missouri state House of Representatives on Tuesday, racking up another victory in a district carried easily by President Trump in the 2016 election. Voters in Jefferson County appeared to choose Mike Revis, a 27-year old Democrat, to fill a seat left vacant when the incumbent quit to run for county executive. With all ten precincts within the district reporting, Revis led Republican David Linton by 108 votes, or about three percentage points. If Revis's lead holds, it would mark a significant swing from 2016, when President Trump won the district by a 61 percent to 33 percent margin. Four years before that, Mitt Romney beat President Obama in the district, south and west of St. Louis, by a 55- to 43-percent margin.
Shares across Asia have taken a heavy beating after New York's Dow Jones index suffered its biggest drop in six-and-a-half years. A wild day for US markets on Monday caused panic to spread. At one point, Japan's Nikkei 225 share benchmark plunged by 7.1%, but recovered some of the losses to close 4.7% down. Wall Street's record-breaking loss also saw Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fall by 5.12%, with South Korea's Kospi losing 1.4%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 3.35% - or 116.85 points - while the Shenzhen Composite Index, tracking China's second exchange, plunged 4.44%, or 80.21 points. The slump means the Dow Jones has wiped out of all of its gains so far in 2018, following months of surges fuelled by optimism about the US economy, corporate earnings and the global outlook.
given a week that saw immense sturm und drang over Devin Nunes' memo -- a document that seems purposefully designed to obfuscate and muddy the waters around Mueller's investigation -- it seems worth asking the opposite question: What are the known knowns of the Mueller investigation, and where might it be heading? The first thing we know is that we know it is large. We speak about the "Mueller probe" as a single entity, but it's important to understand that there are no fewer than five (known) separate investigations under the broad umbrella of the special counsel's office -- some threads of these investigations may overlap or intersect, some may be completely free-standing, and some potential targets may be part of multiple threads. But it's important to understand the different "buckets" of Mueller's probe. read more