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The United States finds it impossible to file criminal charges against a foreign leader, Venezuela Pres. Venezuela News. Maduro Nicolas

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The United States finds it impossible to file criminal charges against a foreign leader, Venezuela Pres. Venezuela News. Maduro Nicolas

The United States Department of Justice has charged Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other top Venezuelan officials with unsealed cocaine distribution charges on Thursday.

Maduro is being implicated of a drug-trafficking operation that helped “devastate American communities,” said in his press release, of collaboration with the Colombian rebel organization, The Radical Armed Forces of Colombia.

“We are revealing today that we have been investigating narco-terrorist Nicolás Maduro Moros along with his top officers for the past 20 years,” the U.S. said. Procurator Geoffrey S. Berman stated during the release that he was using the Spanish acronym for the guerrilla group.

“Only because the Venezuelan authorities were compromised and political and military security offered by Maduro and others against the rapid narco-terrorist crimes listed in our charges was the scale and severity of the suspected drugs trafficking possible.” Narco-terrorism is detained for at least 50 years in jail, reported Fox News.

Attorney General William Barr said in an online news conference that the FARC terrorist organization “kept Venezuela to continue trading of cocaine from a government-funded by Maduro” according to NB City News.

U.S.’s allegation against the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, of having’ tried to overwhelm the United States with cocaine’ has been presented and a reward has been issued for details leading to the arrest or prosecution of Maduro https:/t.co/1KQsvOCZDH pic.twitter.com/zO6YkHwXQT— Reuters (@Reuters) 26 March 2020

The party transported up to 250 tons of cocaine into the USA, according to Barr. According to Barr.

The DOJ offers 15 million dollars to inform Maduro about his arrest and sentence when he travels outside Venezuela.

Crime & corruption continues at the forefront of the Venezuelan regime once headed by Nicolás Maduro Moro. For 20 years, Maduro and some of the leading associates reportedly had conspired against the FARC for the introduction and diversion of loads of drugs into the American pic.twitter.com/dg5qY2xC0j communities— the Department of Justice (@TheJusticeDept) on March 26, 2020, according to Fox News, the Chief Justice of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, Maikel Jose Moreno Perez, also paid money laundering and extortion. Fox also claimed that the head of the army in Venezuela was charged with the use of drugs.

The declaration today focused on eradicating the broad spectrum of corruption in the Venezuelan regime–a structure that is designed and regulated to empower many at the highest levels of government, “Barr said in the DOJ statement. The study was sent out by a firm with laws in DC, Signs To serve Venezuela’s Socialist Government.

“The US does not authorize such crooked Venezuelan authorities to use a financial network from the U.S.” Accusing a head of state is an exceedingly rare step, underlining tensions between the United States and Venezuela.

In 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaido was endorsed by the Trump administration as acting President in place of Maduro.

“The National House cited the Charter of Nicolás Maduro as the sole valid branch of government that was legitimately elected by the Venezuelan people, thereby vacating the office of the President,” Trump said at the time, according to the NBC News.

Maduro maintained a role in the capital of Caracas, but he and his government appear to be accused of human rights abuses and of encouraging militant organizations and cartels to take advantage, Fox News said. “Venezuelan people spoke courageously against Maduro and his rule of law and demanded democracy and the rule of law.”

Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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Vikings hire Demitrius Washington as vice president of football operations

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Vikings hire Demitrius Washington as vice president of football operations

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah came from an analytics background. And now the Vikings have added another analytics expert to the staff.

The Vikings on Monday announced the hiring of Demitrius Washington as vice president of football operations. He previously was manager of football research and development for the San Francisco 49ers.

Washington was with the 49ers the previous seven years, including have worked with Adofo-Mensah from 2015-20. At the time, Washington was an analyst for the team’s football research and development department while Adofo-Mensah was manager and then director of the department.

Adofo-Mensah left the 49ers in 2020 to be vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns. He was hired by the Vikings as general manager in January.

With the Vikings, Washington will help manage football operations while contributing to the executive team in decision-making.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Demitrius join the Vikings front office,” Adofo-Mensah said in a statement. “He is one of the most uniquely gifted people I have met in my time in the NFL. He is able to learn complex ideas, make them simple, and apply them in all facets of the organization. He has learned from some of the best minds in the game today and he will continue to flourish in his role with Vikings.”

Washington received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Arkansas in 2011 and a master’s degree of business administration from Missouri in 2014. He began his NFL career as an intern for the Browns from 2013-15.

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Corporate Support for Social Issues Is All the Rage, Except When the Topic Is Abortion Rights

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Corporate Support for Social Issues Is All the Rage, Except When the Topic Is Abortion Rights

The past several years have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of positive, inclusive marketing efforts centered on the female body and womanhood in general. The overarching idea is that the body is a source of pride to the autonomouswoman who possesses it. The national chain where I get waxed encourages its freshly depilated clientele to strut confidently into the world. The online boutique where I buy bras bills its extensive size range as part of a bold inclusivity crusade to outfit “every body.”The national chain where I get waxed encourages freshly depilated clientele to strut confidently into the world. The online boutique where I buy bras bills its extensive size range as part of a bold inclusivity crusade to outfit “every body.” “Power in motherhood” proclaims a popular spin studio, while the website of the industry’s biggest shapewear brand cheekily announces its corporate “HERstory” in bright red letters. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month have become occasions for businesses, from beauty concerns to less-obviously-female-focused banking, to uncontroversially and unspecifically bill themselves as on the side of women’s empowerment, bodily and otherwise.

For all these vague statements of sisterhood, every single one of these, and most other, brands have remained deafeningly silent on the most fundamental issue facing women now: the rollback of reproductive rights crystallized by the leaked Supreme Court brief signaling the imminent reversal of landmark 1973 decision Roe v Wade.

In this supposed age of “woke capitalism” and milquetoast you-go-girl empowerment, why have so few companies spoken out on abortion rights that have been encoded into law for half a century? And, given corporations are, despite their rosy rebranding as “communities” or even “families,” amoral, profit-seeking entities, should we even expect that they take a principled stance on abortion rights, and be outraged at its absence?

First, it’s worth noting how halting the recognition of women as consumers, much less full citizens, has been. For much of American history, advertising that targeted women sold products considered almost exclusively feminine: think care of body, home, and family. Once more women worked outside the home, and then gained access to credit, they were marketed edgier items in a way that recognized, and even celebrated, this newfound independence: a lady could smoke cigarettes marketed with the slogan “you’ve come a long way, baby” after going for a jog in her “Liberator” sneakers. But these congratulatory advertisements rarely did much to disrupt the assumption that an ideal woman invested her money and energy in being slender, fashionable, and self-disciplined.  

But as ideas about women evolved, so have ideas about effective advertising. The social revolutions of the 1960s often explicitly critiqued capitalism, but American business deftly morphed to market a version of hipness and counterculturalism compatible with both this irreverent sensibility and market imperatives. This “conquest of cool,” as historian Thomas Frank styles it, explains why instead  of categorically avoiding controversy, major corporations increasingly calculate that taking stances on hot-button issues can be worth the reputational risk—and even insulate them from it. In a moment when “silence is violence” is a catchphrase, speaking out on racism, gun control, and LGBTQ rights has become more common: when Nike signed Colin Kaepernick despite (or because) his taking a knee during the national anthem, some conservatives burned their apparel, but others sported swooshes ever more proudly. After the murder of George Floyd, corporations from Peloton to McDonalds clamored to showcase their solidarity in the fight against systemic racism. Each school shooting garners similar statements, often explicitly indicting those who stay silent or, worse, offer only “thoughts and prayers.” We are two weeks out from Pride Month, and if recent years are any indication, financial institutions and grocery stores alike will be dutifully wrapping themselves in rainbow flags.

And yet the line seems drawn at abortion rights. I spoke with an executive at a major media company that often takes progressive public stances; she enthusiastically came aboard precisely for this outspokenness, and is proud of her employer’s record, and of her own role in it. But when months ago, she floated a proposal to craft messaging strategy around the likely overturn of Roe, her superiors told her to slow down. In stark contrast to the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, or more recently, the Don’t Say Gay bill, when her team was immediately authorized to spring into action to partner with activists and nonprofits, she was told “further research was needed” in the case of reproductive rights. Conversations about an action plan have restarted since the Roe news, but she was frustrated at how “we absolutely do the right things on these other issues, but when what is considered a ‘traditional women’s issue’ is at stake, there’s just that much more pause.” 

 This silence on abortion can feel like a gut-punch, but those who have been paying attention are disappointed but unsurprised at the narrow definition of which “women’s issues” are perceived by brands as worth courting controversy. A decade of “girlboss” inspo—and the expansive critique that followed—has made crystal clear the hollowness of corporate feminism, in both outward messaging and internal practice. The examples touch almost every issue affecting women. Nike touted its commitment to women athletes of all sizes, but it turned out was enabling the eating disorder of one of its athletes. So too did it celebrate active motherhood—while cutting the pay of pregnant runners who took time off from competition. Rent the Runway touted its commitment to fair labor practices and female leadership—and was accused of exploiting its workforce comprised mostly of immigrant women. When a Levi’s executive who began tweeting about the impact of school closures on children and mothers, her employer pushed back so strenuously she ultimately resigned. (Levi’s has taken a stand on the Roe decision, but the resistance to one of its top women executives addressing an issue affecting millions of women and children speaks to the limitations of this advocacy.) And across the board, women remain underpaid relative to men and underrepresented in C-suite positions. To the exec I spoke with, changing that representation is at least part of the solution to the situation that enabled this silence on abortion rights. “I know, in part, that we acted so bravely on LGBTQ issues because for my boss [a gay man], it was personal.” What if we had more women in positions of power to make their  “personal” issues a priority?

I should say that some companies are taking stronger action to ensure abortion access for their own employees, and to a lesser extent, to fight for reproductive rights more broadly. But these moves aren’t nearly energetic enough, especially given the standard that now exists around companies speaking out on fraught political issues. During the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, a common criticism was that brands were “only posting a black square” on social media but doing little else to combat structural racism. Peloton emerged as a positive exception, committing to company-wide policy changes including changing hiring practices, raising wages, and donating to the NAACP, in addition to featuring Black instructors more prominently on the platform. On reproductive rights, however, Peloton’s official account—and unofficially, many of the instructors—have been silent. It would feel like progress to be able to call out companies for not fully living up to their professed commitment to women’s reproductive rights, but we are not even there yet.

Indeed, one of the of the nation’s largest public relations firms advised its clients to “stay silent” on abortion rights, for it was a “no-win” issue. I’m no PR expert, just one frustrated feminist-scholar-consumer, but I can only surmise about this logic: is the idea that abortion rights appears to a coveted, cool, young consumer as an issue of their mother’s generation—and is thus unlikely to fire them up—yet is still sufficiently controversial to alienate others, so not worth taking on? Well, it should be said that the maintenance—not even expansion!—of abortion rights has the support of a majority of Americans, and even more so—67 percent—of voters under 45. Anecdotally, the crowds of high school and college students at #BansOffOurBodies protests in the last several days suggest that young people are impassioned by this issue and would support companies who articulate commitments to women’s reproductive rights as loudly as they do to other issues perceived as less inflammatory—or worth taking heat for. 

Policy that protects abortion rights is worth fighting for, and yes, we should absolutely pressure corporations to step up the solidarity. Brand messaging on race, sexuality, age, ability, and so forth is of course often cynical and self-serving, but even in an amoral capitalistic system, representation matters and can move the needle in meaningful ways. Companies have a choice not to parrot the most cautious, focus-group-tested version of their consumers’ mindset, and instead to move the culture forward—if they are brave enough to try. “It’s our job to educate,” the media executive told me with measured optimism, confiding she is glad to see “people are starting to shake in their boots” about how the Roe decision might set a precedent to roll back Brown v. Board of Education or Obergefell v. Hodges, since the specter of that slippery slope might be the only thing, for now, that spurs companies cowardly about questioning patriarchy to utter more than the usual statements of shallow sorority.

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Walz, top lawmakers, reach bipartisan deal to wrap session

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Walz, top lawmakers, reach bipartisan deal to wrap session

By STEVE KARNOWSKI

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders announced Monday that they struck a bipartisan deal on a broad framework for parceling out a massive budget surplus with a week remaining in the session.

The deal would devote $4 billion to tax relief, and another $4 billion to spending on education, public safety and health care. It would also leave $4 billion in the bank to guard against downturns amid the current economic uncertainty.

The plan signed by Walz, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman includes $1 billion for education, $1 billion for health care and human services, $450 million for public safety and the judiciary, and $1.5 billion in other spending.

It also calls for $1.5 billion for a public works construction package known as a bonding bill that would use $1.4 billion in borrowing and $150 million in cash.

The leaders were expected to provide further details later Monday, but they said the full plan would be finalized in the days to come. The Legislature, which struggled all session to reach bipartisan agreements on how to use the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus, must adjourn by next Monday.

“With an unprecedented surplus, we have the ability to make significant investments in the things that will improve Minnesotans’ lives, like health care, public safety, and education, while also providing tax cuts and putting money in Minnesotans’ pockets,” Walz said in a joint statement.

Miller indicated that Republicans got at least part of what they had been seeking — permanent tax cuts.

“Getting money back to the people has been a top priority for Republicans this session and I’m very happy we were able to accomplish this with permanent ongoing tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans, families, and seniors,” Miller said in the announcement.

Hortman indicated that Democrats also got some of the new spending they were seeking. She said in the statement that the deal includes “strong investments in families’ economic security, education, health care, and public safety.”

Before Monday, the biggest bipartisan compromise of the session was a deal that rolled back an unemployment insurance tax increases, which was a top GOP priority, and $500 million in bonuses that Democrats sought for 667,000 frontline workers who were at extra risk during the pandemic.

“This is a positive step forward, but there is a lot more work ahead of us in this final week of the legislative session,” Hortman said.

Next Monday’s end of the session will mark the start of campaign season, with both parties heading into a critical midterm election.

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