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Cuomo’s office’s conduct, according to another ex-aide, is “inappropriate.”



Cuomo's office's conduct, according to another ex-aide, is "inappropriate."


Another former employee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo is speaking out against unethical behavior in the workplace.

Cuomo dubbed Ana Liss, 35, “sweetheart” when she served as a policy aide to the governor between 2013 and 2015, kissed her hand once, and asked personal questions, including whether she had a boyfriend, according to a story published Saturday by The Wall Street Journal. He welcomed her with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks, she said.

Cuomo’s actions began to concern Liss, who told the Journal that she initially thought it was harmless. It seemed patronizing to her.

She said, “It’s not acceptable in any situation.” “I wish he would listen to me.”

Cuomo’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press, but told the Journal that some of the actions Liss was describing was typical of politicians at public events.

Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo, said, “Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years, watching him kiss men and women and pose for photographs.” “Hundreds of people attend the public open-house mansion reception, and he poses for hundreds of photographs. That’s how politicians operate.”

Liss mentioned that she never lodged a formal complaint about the governor’s behavior.

Cuomo’s workplace behavior has come under fire in recent days after many women publicly stated that they were sexually abused, or at the very least made to feel degraded and uncomfortable by the Democrat.

Former adviser Lindsey Boylan, 36, claims he made offensive remarks about her appearance, kissed her on the lips at the end of a meeting, and proposed a game of strip poker when they were on a plane with other aides. Charlotte Bennett, a former aide, said Cuomo asked if she had ever had sex with older men and made other remarks that she mistook for gauging her involvement in an affair.

Cuomo placed his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her after they met at a wedding, according to another woman who does not work for the state.

Cuomo denied ever touching someone inappropriately in a news conference on Wednesday, but he apologised for acting in a manner that he now realizes offended women he worked with. He said he tried to be playful by making jokes and asking personal questions, and he often greeted people with hugs and kisses, just like his father, Mario Cuomo, did when he was governor.

“I recognize that people’s sensitivities have changed. Cuomo said, “Behavior has changed.” “I understand, and I want to learn from it.”

The state’s attorney general intends to employ an independent law firm to look into the claims of sexual assault. Some senators have called for Cuomo’s resignation in the wake of accusations that his administration lied to the public about coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

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Men’s hockey: No. 2 MSU Mankato breaks away from St. Thomas in third period



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Once again, there was no mistaking who the better team was on Thursday night at St. Thomas Ice Arena as No. 2-ranked Minnesota State Mankato beat St. Thomas 5-1. But through two periods, those on hand were reminded that the best team doesn’t always win.

The Tommies led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play and trailed only 2-1 heading into the third period before Minnesota State pulled away late.

The teams played a home-and-home series in November, with the Mavericks winning 9-0 and 5-0. Despite winning just two of their first 24 games, the Tommies were determined to show that the team has made legitimate progress in the past two months.

“We’re so much better than we were the last time we played them,” said Tommies senior left winger Joey Sofo, who scored St. Thomas’ goal. “I’d say since Christmas our team is heading in the right direction. I thought we played good for probably 55 minutes.”

Minnesota State improved to 22-5 overall and 16-3 in the CCHA while the Tommies fell to 2-23 and 2-17 in the CCHA.

The teams play again Saturday night in Mankato, an outdoor game at the Mavericks’ football stadium as part of Hockey Day Minnesota.

“The first time we played them they really took it to us,” St. Thomas coach Rico Blasi said. “We made them earn it this time. We were a lot more determined. It shows the growth of our program. We’re gaining some experience as we continue to grow the program.

“We’re not doing things we did earlier in the season when we’d just blow up. We’re staying focused. We had a couple of lapses in the second and third period, but overall I thought we played some of our best hockey of the season.”

The Tommies scored on their first shot on goal of the game. While that is not unusual, the time of it was: it came with just over two minutes to play in the first period. Minnesota State finished the period with a 12-1 advantage in shots, but the Tommies had a 1-0 lead.

Sofo picked up his first goal of the season on a power play when he beat Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay on a slap shot from the blue line.

The Mavericks tied the game early in the second period when defenseman Jack McNeely, a senior from Lakeville, beat Tommies goaltender Jacob Berger on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

Minnesota State scored again three minutes later on a power-play goal by defenseman Akito Hirose.

The Tommies had a pair of power plays early in the third period but were unable to get the game-tying goal despite some decent pressure on McKay. The Mavericks took over from there.

Another drubbing at the hands of the Mavericks would have taken a little of the fun out of getting to play outdoors when the teams meet again Saturday. But it will be special regardless.

“It’s just a dream come true,” Sofo said. “It’s something you see on TV growing up as a kid. I’ve been to two Winter Classics, and now to get to do it in the ‘State of Hockey’ is one of the coolest things.”

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Women’s basketball: Iowa hands Minnesota worst loss of the program’s NCAA era



NCAA volleyball: Badgers sweep Gophers in regional final

Minnesota had a plan to stop No. 25 Iowa on Thursday. Talked about it, worked on it in practice. It wasn’t as if the plan didn’t work — it just plain didn’t happen.

Caitlin Clark had 35 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, and Watertown’s Monika Czinano added 23 and six rebounds as Iowa handed Minnesota its worst loss of the program’s NCAA era, 105-49, at Williams Arena.

“Sometimes you just have those special nights, and tonight was one of them,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.

Not for the Gophers, who didn’t do anything well. Sara Scalia scored a team-high 15 points, but Minnesota’s leading rebounder was Rose Micheaux with four, and Gadiva Hubbard had a team-high three assists.

“Clearly not a good night for us,” Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen said.

Minnesota wanted to keep a body on Clark, harass Czinano in the block and get back in transition. “Obviously things that we talked about for a few days, talked about for a few days, and we weren’t able to get it done,” Whalen said.

Clark finished with her fifth triple-double, and while the Gophers kept Czinano in check early, she made five of her last six shots and 9 of 10 free throws. As for getting back on defense, well, Iowa scored 23 fastbreak points and 14 points off 11 Minnesota turnovers.

“They’re a really good transition team. That’s what they do,” Whalen said.

It didn’t help that Iowa rarely had to take the ball out of the basket to get going; Minnesota shot 33.3 percent from the field (21 for 63). The Hawkeyes shot 59 percent (40 for 68).

The Gophers fell to 9-10 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten.

Their worst Big Ten loss remains a 93-37 setback to Indiana in 1974-75, before the NCAA began sponsoring women’s basketball, and their worst loss overall was 114-53 at Texas on Dec. 4, 1978. But in the NCAA era, Thursday’s loss margin surpassed the previous program record of 55 set Nov. 29, 1986, in a 101-46 loss to fourth-ranked Auburn, then matched in a 99-44 loss to No. 7 Maryland on March 1, 2020.

It was Iowa’s largest margin of victory in a Big Ten game in program history and third largest overall. The Hawkeyes (11-4, 5-1) have won four straight.

“I’m still trying to take it in,” Bluder said. “I really didn’t find anything that was poor out there.”

Clark, a sophomore guard who was a second-team All-American as a freshman, registered her fifth career double-double and surpassed her scoring average of 25.7 points a game, which leads the nation. She was 14 of 21 from the floor and 4 for 6 from 3-point range but finished well shy of her career-high of 44 points set Jan. 2 against Evansville.

Her 13 rebounds were a game-high.

“When I get the rebound and push in transition, that’s when we’re at our best,” Clark said. “Because it’s hard to pick me up, and it’s really hard to find my other teammates on the floor — and that’s really when we’re at our best.”

Gabbie Marshall’s layup off a steal by teammate Kylie Feuerbach gave the Hawkeyes a 97-48 lead with 7 minutes, 4 seconds left in the game, and it only got worse from there. Minnesota was 1 for 15 from the field in the fourth quarter.

Asked if she thought her team gave up, Whalen said, “I’m not going to say that. Obviously, the fourth was tough. I thought we had guys trying to make some plays, and it just didn’t go our way. … Guys were still trying to do the right thing.”

Starting point guard Jasmine Powell was scoreless for the first time in her college career.

Asked how the Gophers can regroup in time for Sunday’s 1 p.m. tip at Michigan State, Scalia said, “We’ve just got to bring (the team) together more.”

“I mean, you can kind of tell we’re not playing connected, and sometimes not really for each other,” the junior from Stillwater said. “The biggest thing is just getting everyone on the same page and at least giving 100 percent effort.”

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4 die in frigid conditions on Canada-MN border; Florida man charged with human smuggling



4 die in frigid conditions on Canada-MN border; Florida man charged with human smuggling

EMERSON, MANITOBA — Four people, including an infant, were found dead just north of the Canada-Minnesota border, authorities announced Thursday, and a Florida man has been charged with human smuggling in relation to the incident.

According to a news release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the bodies of an adult man, woman and infant were discovered at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The body of another male, believed to be a teenager, was discovered shortly thereafter. All of the victims were located some 40 feet from the U.S.-Canada border on the Canadian side just east of Emerson, Manitoba.

Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commander of the RCMP in Manitoba, told reporters Thursday the incident is “an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy,” the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

According to a Thursday news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Steve Shand, 47, of Florida was arrested after Border Patrol agents stopped a white passenger van about 1 mile south of the border, between the Lancaster, Minn., and Pembina, N.D., ports of entry. Agents asked for the identification of the two passengers in the van and found they were undocumented Indian nationals.

As the agents were transporting Shand and the passengers to the Pembina Border Patrol Station, they encountered five additional Indian nationals approximately a quarter mile south of the Canadian border, walking in the direction of where Shand was arrested. They said they had walked across the border expecting to be picked up. Members of the group estimated they had been walking around for over 11 hours.

One person in that group said he was carrying a backpack for a family of four Indian nationals that had earlier walked with his group but had become separated during the night. The backpack contained children’s clothes, a diaper, toys and some medication.

Officers of the RCMP were alerted to a possible situation after Border Patrol agents encountered the group of people who had crossed into the U.S. from Canada near Emerson. Agents informed the RCMP that one of the individuals was carrying items that were meant for an infant, but no infant was with that group.

The RCMP began a search of the area approximately 6 miles east of Emerson shortly after 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, after being alerted by their American counterparts.

According to the release, the four individuals appear to have died of exposure. RCMP officers are working to identify the individuals, and autopsies have been scheduled to confirm the cause of death.

Temperatures around northwest Minnesota and near Emerson were frigid late Tuesday into early Wednesday, with highs below zero on Wednesday. Temperatures were as low as minus-13 without wind chill.

The bodies were tentatively identified as the family of four that was separated from the other group. Two of the surviving Indian nationals suffered serious injuries and were transported to hospitals, including one in St. Paul.

In an updated release Thursday night, the RCMP said a thorough grid search was done of the area and no other victims were found.

The RCMP is investigating the incident in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Shand is suspected of being a part of a larger human smuggling operation, according to a court document filed with the U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

The investigation into this, and the deaths of the four people in Canada, is ongoing. According to court documents, one of the Indian nationals reportedly said that he paid a “significant amount of money to enter Canada from India under a fraudulently obtained student visa.” The Indian national did not intend to study in Canada, but to enter the U.S. illegally, the court document said.

According to the court document, Shand had apparently rented a van from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Monday. It appears he made a stop at a Walmart in Fargo, N.D., on Tuesday; a receipt was found in the vehicle with the drinks and snacks that were found inside.

When he was arrested on Wednesday he was driving in a rural area away from other services, homes or ports of entry into Canada, according to the court document. He was also driving through blowing snow and snowdrifts. The court document says weather was “severe at the time with high winds, blowing snow and temperatures well below zero.” The area is also known by the Border Patrol as “a high incident area for human smuggling,” the document said.

Recently, there have been three separate incidents of human smuggling that occurred at the same location where Shand was arrested, the court document said.

Authorities had observed boot prints in the snow made by three people who had walked across the border at the location on Jan. 12. The boot prints apparently matched the same brand of boots being worn by the seven foreign nationals who were taken into custody when Shand was arrested.

Two other human smuggling incidents also apparently occurred in December 2021.

Court documents say a woman who was detained stopped breathing several times while in custody and may need to have part of her hand amputated due to frostbite.

Authorities also found a receipt from the La Quinta hotel in Grand Forks, N.D., dated Jan. 11, indicating this may not have been Shand’s first time in the area.

In a Thursday evening news release from the Border Patrol, Grand Forks Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony S. Good said he was saddened by the deaths.

“I am saddened there was loss of life and the fact a small child died makes it even more difficult. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones,” Good said in a statement, adding he was “incredibly proud” of the agents and RCMP partners who searched in the cold for the missing persons.

He added that “anyone thinking of crossing the border illegally in these treacherous conditions should not do it.”

“Smugglers only care about the money they are going to make and have zero regard for lives lost,” he said in the statement.

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