04:20 GMT +321 February 2019
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    The Critical Hour

    Ex-Chicago Cop Gets 6 3/4 Yrs for Murder; New BuzzFeed Report Lacks Evidence

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    Wilmer Leon
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by John Burris, lead attorney and founder of the Law Office of John L. Burris. He is primarily known for his work in the area of civil rights, with an emphasis on police misconduct and excessive force cases.

    Jailed Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi appeared in court in Washington, DC, today before a grand jury. Her children were also called in to testify and were not allowed to speak with her. No charges have been filed. We are desperately trying to get any detail on her detention from the FBI; but we have not been able to. Her son Hossein Hashemi told The Associated Press that his mother would have been willing to cooperate with the FBI and did not need to be jailed as a material witness. He says no one in his family can fathom why she would be considered a material witness for federal investigators. She hasn't been charged with a crime. She was born Melanie Franklin, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is most famous for anchoring news programs and presenting shows for Press TV. She was detained upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, according to her family and friends. She was then transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC. The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family. At the time of this program, the FBI has not replied to Sputnik News' request for a statement on charges and her status.

    Cook County Associate Judge Domenica Stephenson has found three Chicago police officers not guilty of covering up details in the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager. Former Detective David March, former Officer Joseph Walsh and Officer Thomas Gaffney had been accused of falsifying police reports to protect Officer Jason van Dyke, who was found guilty in October of second-degree murder in McDonald's death. They faced charges of conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice, but Associate Judge Stephenson said in her ruling the state had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers engaged in a conspiracy to prevent a criminal investigation, and acquitted the officers of all charges. What does this mean going forward?

    BuzzFeed News published a bombshell report Thursday night claiming President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony over discussions between the Trump Organization and Russian authorities on a Trump Tower Moscow project. We now find out that neither of the reporters, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold, has seen the evidence supporting their report. Leopold has a "dubious past" at best. He came under scrutiny for faulty reporting for Salon 2002 that led to an article getting removed. In 2006, he incorrectly reported that Karl Rove had been indicted. He has been in trouble for perhaps claiming to have sources he really didn't have. His stories didn't wash. Executive directors and editors have had to apologize after some of his big blockbuster stories.

    President Trump will meet with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, in late February, the White House announced on Friday, continuing a high-level diplomatic dialogue that has eased tensions but shown little progress in eliminating the North's nuclear arsenal. The announcement came after Mr. Trump met for 90 minutes in the Oval Office with Kim Yong-chol, the former North Korean intelligence chief who has acted as the chief nuclear negotiator for Mr. Kim. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the date and the location of the meeting would be announced later, suggesting that the two sides were still haggling over the site or other logistical details. Vietnam, Thailand and Hawaii have all been mentioned as potential sites.

    A bombing in Syria claimed by Daesh killed at least four Americans on Wednesday, the Pentagon said, hardening divisions in Washington over President Trump's plan to withdraw troops from the country. The president and vice president told us that Daesh has been defeated. The four Americans — two military service members, a civilian Defence Department employee and a Pentagon contractor — were among 19 believed killed in the blast, including allied fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces. They were there in a support capacity but still the focus of Daesh ire and attacks.

    Brexit: Prime Minister Theresa May's deal is voted down in historic House of Commons defeat. The vote was 432 to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain's exit from the EU on March 29. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn organized a vote of no confidence in the government, which took place on Wednesday. May won that vote 325 to 306. Rebel Tory MPs and the DUP — which 24 hours earlier rejected the PM's Brexit plan by a huge margin — voted to keep her in Downing Street. Corbyn argued that Mrs. May's "zombie" administration had lost the right to govern.

    GUEST:

    John Burris — Lead attorney and founder of the Law Office of John L. Burris. He is primarily known for his work in the area of civil rights, with an emphasis on police misconduct and excessive force cases.

    Colin Campbell — PhD student in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University's School of Communication. He has been a TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC, correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large, covering two presidencies, Congress and the State Department.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

     

     

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