National Briefs for June 1
Limo company manager sentenced to at least 5 years for NY crash that killed 20
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — A former limousine company manager was sentenced Wednesday to at least five years in prison for his role in a crash that killed 20 people in rural New York. Nauman Hussain, 33, was convicted of manslaughter earlier this month after prosecutors argued that he intentionally failed to properly maintain an SUV-style stretch limo, which then failed to brake on a downhill stretch of road in Schoharie, a village west of Albany.
Former lawmaker gets 27 months in prison for stealing over $1M in coronavirus aid
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut state representative was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Wednesday for stealing more than $1.2 million from the city of West Haven — most of it in federal coronavirus-related aid — and using a good chunk of it to fuel his gambling addiction. “I stole that money. That is on me,” Michael DiMassa said as he apologized during sentencing before Judge Omar Williams in federal court in Hartford. “It’s hard to find the word to express how I feel. I feel ashamed, embarrassed, mortified.” The 32-year-old West Haven Democrat pleaded guilty in November to three counts of wire fraud conspiracy, admitting he, his wife and others billed the city for services never rendered.
Oklahoma high court strikes down 2 abortion bans;
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, but the procedure remains illegal in the state in nearly all cases except life-threatening situations. In a 6-3 ruling, the high court said the two bans are unconstitutional because they require a “medical emergency” before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said this language conflicts with a previous ruling it issued in March that determined the Oklahoma Constitution provides an “inherent right of a pregnant woman to terminate a pregnancy when necessary to preserve her life.”
Police arrest 3 behind bail fund supporting protests against police training complex
ATLANTA (AP) — Police on Wednesday arrested three key Atlanta organizers who have been aiding protesters against the city’s proposed police and fire training center, striking at the structure that supports the fight against what opponents derisively call “Cop City.” The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced its agents and Atlanta police had arrested three officers of the group that runs the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which has bailed out protesters and helped them find lawyers. Charged with money laundering and charity fraud are Marlon Scott Kautz, 39, of Atlanta; Savannah D. Patterson, 30, of Savannah; and Adele MacLean, 42, of Atlanta.
Biden approves a new $300M military aid package for Ukraine
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has approved a new package of military aid for Ukraine that totals up to $300 million and includes additional munitions for drones and an array of other weapons. It comes as Russia has continued to pummel Ukraine’s capital and unmanned aircraft have targeted Moscow. U.S. officials have said there is no suggestion that U.S.-made drones or munitions were used in the Moscow strikes, which the Kremlin blamed on Ukraine but Kyiv has not acknowledged. The Biden administration has said it has made clear to Ukraine that U.S.-made weapons should not be used for attacks inside Russian territory.