Water recovery plan announced

Facing international criticism for mass water shutoffs aimed at resolving millions of dollars' worth of unpaid bills, Detroit's mayor announced Thursday the bankrupt city will offer affordable, consistent payment plans and financial assistance to many delinquent customers.

Mayor Mike Duggan made the announcement Thursday at City Hall. His office and Detroit water officials spent days redesigning how collections will be handled.
Duggan said the "city needs to be more mindful making sure water is affordable and added the plan should make it much easier for people to pay or seek help if they cannot.
"If you're truly in need, we're going to get you to the right place Dream beauty pro," he said.
Detroit has shut off service to around 17,000 to 18,000 residential customers, approximately one of 10 of the roughly 170,000 total. About 60 percent to 70 percent have been restored and officials say restorations continue.
The shutoffs have been imposed against commercial and residential customers 60 days behind or owing more than $150. Several groups appealed to the United Nations for support, Dream beauty pro and three U.N. experts responded the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water.
Duggan promised to streamline the payment process for customers facing shutoffs, including expanding hours of operations and more staff to help, and improve notification to delinquents. The city also has created a nonprofit fund to accept donations for those in need. It already has a few hundred thousand dollars in it, said Duggan, who was given control of the water department by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr as criticism of the shutoffs escalated.
Shutoffs have been halted until Aug. 25. That date remains in place but the city plans a Water Fair on Aug. 23 to give customers one final opportunity to take care of bills and get support.
Detroit's water system serves about 700,000 city residents and 4 million people in southeastern Michigan, but the city-owned water system has about $6 billion in debt that's covered by bill payments. As of July 1, more than $89 million was owed on nearly 92,000 past-due residential and commercial accounts, which are still subject to shut off electrical desk.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is currently run by a board of commissioners, but the entity reported to previous mayors before Orr was appointed as emergency manager in August 2013, a job that tasked him with overseeing the city's finances and most operations.

The Naval Academy of statutory cases

A military judge found a former U.S. Naval Academy football player not guilty of a sexual assault charge Thursday at the conclusion of a three-day trial nu skin hk.

The judge, Col. Daniel Daugherty, acquitted Joshua Tate of Nashville, Tenn., of one count of aggravated sexual assault. Tate chose to be tried by a judge rather than a military jury. During the trial, prosecutors argued that the woman Tate was accused of assaulting, a Naval Academy classmate, was too drunk to consent to sexual activity nuskin hk. Tate's attorneys disagreed.

More than a dozen witnesses testified at Tate's trial. That included Tate's classmate who testified for more than five hours and said she didn't remember being sexually assaulted after a night of heavy drinking but heard from others she had had sex with multiple partners at the party. She said she confronted Tate, who confirmed they'd had sex.

Prosecutors initially accused not only Tate but also two other students, both of them former football players, Cellmax of sexually assaulting the woman during a 2012 party at an off-campus house in Annapolis, Md., where the school is located. Tate was the only student ultimately brought to court-martial, the military's equivalent of a trial.

The head of the Naval Academy decided not to go forward with courts martial for the other two students, Tra'ves Bush of Johnston, S.C., and Eric Graham of Eight Mile, Ala. The military held an Article 32 hearing, which resembles a preliminary hearing in civilian court, in August and September of 2013. Following that hearing, the academy's head freshwater pearl earrings, Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, decided in October not to pursue charges against Bush.

Charges against Graham were dropped in January. Prosecutors had recommended that move after a military judge said statements Graham made during an investigation would not be admissible during a military trial.

Denied beaten

As his court-martial got underway, an Army general accused of sexual assault pleaded guilty to three lesser charges Thursday, nu skin hoping his admission will strengthen his case by limiting some of the salacious evidence against him.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair is accused of forcing a female captain to twice perform oral sex and threatening to kill her family if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

Sinclair, 51, still faces five charges, including sexual assault, in his trial before a jury of five generals. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges. Opening statements were expected Friday.

Related: Sex crimes trial of Army general highlights U.S. military justice

The case against Sinclair, believed to be the most senior member of the U.S. military ever to face trial on sexual assault charges, comes as the Pentagon grapples with revelations of rampant rape and sexual misconduct within the ranks. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Thursday on legislation that would strip senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute rapes and other serious offenses, a measure firmly opposed by the Pentagon.

The general pleaded guilty to having improper relationships with two other female Army officers and to committing adultery with the primary accuser, his mistress, which is a crime in the military. He also admitted to violating orders by possessing pornography and to conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman g-suite cardinal.

Sinclair's lawyer Richard Scheff said before the plea that his client was taking responsibility for his actions, but also strengthening his legal position. By admitting guilt on the three charges for which there is the strongest evidence, the married father of two hoped to narrow the focus of the trial to charges that rely heavily on the testimony and credibility of his former mistress.

In pleading guilty to possessing a hoard of porn on his laptop in Afghanistan, a violation of orders for soldiers in the socially conservative Muslim country, Sinclair's defense hopes to limit the ability of prosecutors to use those graphic images to shock the jury.

Prosecutors also have evidence Sinclair asked two female officers to send nude photos of themselves to him. By conceding his quilt, the defense lessens the relevance of the messages they exchanged. The primary accuser is the only one alleging assault.

"The government now has a big problem," Scheff said in an email before the plea. "It took pathetically weak assault charges and put a fancy wrapper around them. We just tore the wrapper off. The prosecution team no longer gets to distract us with salacious details about acts that aren't even criminal in the civilian world. All they're left with is a crime that never happened, a witness who committed perjury, g-suite cardinal manchester and a pile of text messages and journal entries that disprove their claim."

The defense will present evidence that the female captain lied under oath during a pretrial hearing in January about her handling of old iPhone containing messages between her and the general. Lawyers for Sinclair have painted the woman as a scorned lover who only reported the sexual assault allegations after the general refused to leave his wife.

The Associated Press generally does not identify those who say they were sexually assaulted.

The captain testified that on Dec. 9, shortly after what she described as a contentious meeting with prosecutors, she rediscovered an old iPhone stored in a box at her home that still contained saved text messages and voicemails from the general. After charging the phone, she testified she synced it with her computer to save photos before contacting her attorney.

However, a defense expert's examination suggested the captain powered up the device more than two weeks before the meeting with prosecutors. Three additional experts verified the finding.

During a pretrial hearing this week, a top Pentagon lawyer testified that the lead prosecutor assigned to the case for nearly two years, Lt. Col. William Helixon, had urged that the most serious charges against Sinclair be dropped after he became convinced the captain had lied to him about the cellphone. Helixon was overruled by his superiors and then removed from the case last month, after suffering what was described as a profound moral crisis that led to his being taken to a military hospital for a mental health evaluation.

The case now heads to trial with a new lead prosecutor, Lt. Col. Robert Stelle, who said in court this week he doesn't care what his predecessor thought about the weakness of the evidence.

It is highly unusual for an officer of flag rank to face criminal prosecution, with only a handful of cases in recent decades. Under military law, an officer can only be judged at trial by those of superior rank.

More extensive than expected

SUPERVALU HAS SAID today that the security breach of its system, which potentially affected tens of thousands of customers, is “more extensive” than first anticipated tantric massage hong kong.

The issue, which means financial details may have been compromised, only affects customers who availed of the “Getawaybreaks” scheme operated by Clare-based company Loyalty Build.

In a statement this evening, Supervalu said Loyalty Build has confirmed that there is a “high risk that an unauthorised third party accessed the details of payment cards used to pay for Getaway Breaks between January 2011 and February 2012″. The Data Protection Commission has been informed of the details of the breach cardinal manchester.

62,500 customers who made bookings during this period have been advised to contact their bank or financial institution as soon as possible and to immediately check the transactions on their payment cards for any suspicious activity.

Getaway Breaks customers have also been advised to treat any unsolicited communication they receive relating to this issue claiming to represent Supervalu Getaway Breaks or Loyalty Build with extreme caution.

Supervalu said it is continuing to work with Loyalty Build to “resolve this issue as quickly as possible”. The company has also engaged its own IT security consultants to investigate the Loyalty Build system.

The company stressed today that this does not impact Supervalu’s other websites or any other transactions made by payment card in store or online nu skin.

The mayor of New York, was named the big obstacle

Bill de Blasio faces the challenge of delivering on campaign promises such as providing universal pre-K education and expanding low-income housing.

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named his transition team and met with outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday, a day after he won America's biggest city back for Democrats with a 49-point victory over his Republican rival g-suite cardinal manchester.

Following a campaign in which he promised to address economic inequality and transform police practices, de Blasio promised to create a diverse administration to match New York's ethnic and gender demographics.

"Today is now the first day of an eight-week sprint to preparing our new administration," de Blasio told a news conference in Manhattan, following what he called a productive one-hour meeting with Bloomberg at City Hall.

He will take office January 1 after defeating Republican Joe Lhota by 73 percent to 24 percent. However, voter turnout was a record low 24 percent, and both de Blasio and political analysts acknowledged he faces substantial obstacles to enacting his sweeping policy objectives.

De Blasio appointed Jennifer Jones Austin and Carl Weisbrod, two long-time civil servants, to lead his transition team as he begins the process of selecting a new police commissioner and schools chancellor and an array of other appointments.

He faces the challenge of delivering on campaign promises such as providing universal pre-kindergarten education, revamping police "stop-and-frisk" tactics that a judge has ruled unconstitutional, and expanding low-income housing.

Criticized by conservatives as a tax-and-spend liberal who would be soft on crime, de Blasio said his most important task would be public safety while maintaining economic growth to fund his agenda.

"We have no illusions about the task that lies ahead g-suite in oldham," de Blasio said in his victory speech. "The challenges we face have been decades in the making, and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight."

Political analysts on Wednesday agreed voters would give de Blasio a grace period but will soon start asking if the city is more affordable and if a historic reduction in violent crime is threatened.


A Quinnipiac Poll released a week ago found just 42 percent of voters thought de Blasio would be able to keep his campaign promises, and 43 percent thought he would fail to.

"Income inequality? Jobs? It's a split between the doubters and the believers," said Quinnipiac director Maurice Carroll.

De Blasio campaigned on promises to address the "two New Yorks" - one for the rich and another for the poor - and proposed raising taxes on the city's highest earners to pay for the expansion pre-kindergarten education.

His obstacles are significant. Any tax increase would require the consent of state lawmakers, and 2014 is an election year. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who has declined to say where he stands on the issue, is up for re-election in 2014.

"In re-election years, you don't raise taxes," said Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist, adding that, taxes aside, the relationship between the New York City's mayor and the New York's governor has always been difficult.

Once taking office, de Blasio will have two months to prepare his first budget plan.

He also faces a demand for retroactive pay increases from public sector unions that the current administration estimates could cost the city $4 billion to $8 billion.

Then there is the issue of stop-and-frisk, a Bloomberg-era police tactic that de Blasio and fellow critics say had led to racial profiling of young black and Latino men.

The issue helped propel de Blasio to victory in the Democratic primary, though its defenders say the tactic is critical to the city's anti-crime efforts.

The mayor-elect has indicated he will abandon the city's appeal of a federal judge's ruling that the tactic is a form of "indirect racial profiling g-suite cardinal."

Legal experts have said they expect the new administration will seek to settle the class-action lawsuit by accepting broad reforms to the department's practices.

In the city's financial center of Wall Street on Wednesday morning, it was clear de Blasio still had to win over some New Yorkers.

"He's got a tough act to follow and I predict he'll have a rocky first year," said Matthew Kearney, 48, who heads an ad agency. "I like the fact that the previous mayor was independent and that he was a businessman. De Blasio is a politician."


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