May 19, 2017
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The Bureau of Prisons has begun the process of acquiring at least one new private prison specifically for housing undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed News reports. "Given Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions' strong focus on a priority for the investigation and prosecution of immigration offenses, we do expect an increase in additional immigration offenders over the weeks and months ahead," said the acting director of the bureau, Dr. Thomas Kane.

The Bureau of Prisons is seeking bids for a prison with up to "9,540 beds." "The population will be low-security adult male inmates that are primarily criminal aliens with ordinarily 90 months or less remaining to serve on their sentences," the notice says.

"We're extremely concerned," the American Civil Liberties Union's deputy director of legislative affairs in Washington, Jesselyn McCurdy, told BuzzFeed News. "We have seen how people have been mistreated, abused, and in many cases, not been given proper medical care and died as a result of being in private prisons."

Arrests of undocumented immigrants have increased 37.6 percent under President Trump. Jeva Lange

May 2, 2017

A woman is on trial this week for laughing during Jeff Sessions' congressional confirmation hearing in January when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) attested the attorney general nominee had a record of "treating all Americans equally under the law." Desiree Fairooz, 61, is accused of "disorderly and disruptive conduct" that was intended to "impede, disrupt, and disturb the orderly conduct" of the hearing, The Huffington Post reports.

Fairooz is an activist associated with the group Code Pink, but she said she had not planned to disrupt the hearing. Writer Elizabeth Croydon dismissed Fairooz's charges on Twitter, claiming "if my hero Desiree Fairooz wanted to make a scene, she would have made a scene. Desiree just had an involuntary reaction to a bogus lie that was told bold-faced in front of the American people. Jefferson Sessions has a record of not treating every American equally."

A rookie officer who had never worked at a congressional hearing or arrested someone before was responsible for arresting Fairooz. On Tuesday, an attorney asked the officer, Katherine Coronado, if Fairooz's laughter was "loud enough to draw your attention" or if it made people turn around. Coronado agreed it had, and said Fairooz had been laughing "very loudly."

In a video of her arrest, Fairooz can be seen expressing surprise at the reaction of the officers. "Why am I being taken out of here?" she wanted to know as she was escorted her out. "I was going to be quiet, and now you're going to have me arrested? For what?" Jeva Lange

November 11, 2016

The second night of protests against President-elect Donald Trump were generally smaller in cities around the country, but in Portland, Oregon, police blamed a small group of "anarchists" for the "riot" that grew out of a largely peaceful protest of some 4,000 demonstrators downtown. Some protesters smashed store windows, damaged a car lot, threw firecrackers, hurled objects at police, and ignited a dumpster fire. Early Friday morning, Portland police said they had arrested 26 people and "deployed less lethal munitions such as OC spray and vapor (pepper spray), rubber ball distraction devices, rubber baton rounds."

As the protest started getting destructive, the Portland Police tweeted out this ominous, poorly worded message:

Before the mayhem, Trump suggested on Twitter that the "professional protesters" had been "incited by the media" and being "very unfair," but the protesters in some cities were at least as angry at the media. The Portland protesters had largely dispersed by early morning. You can watch raw footage from The Associated Press below. Peter Weber

November 2, 2016
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The woman known as "Jane Doe," who claims she was raped at a party by Donald Trump when she was 13, canceled an appearance at a news conference Wednesday because she received death threats, her attorney said.

Speaking in front of reporters near Los Angeles, Lisa Bloom said the unidentified woman was set to tell her story for the first time in public, but she "has received numerous threats today, as have all the Trump accusers that I have represented. She is living in fear. She has decided that she is too afraid to show her face. She has been here all day, ready to do it, but unfortunately she's in terrible fear."

Jane Doe filed a suit in June alleging that in 1994, Trump raped her at a party in New York City thrown by Jeffrey Epstein, a financier convicted in 2008 of soliciting an underage girl for sex. Doe's original lawsuit was thrown out of a California court in May because it failed to state a specific civil rights violation, BuzzFeed News reports, and it was discovered that the house listed for sending court correspondence was in foreclosure under a different name. Trump's campaign is denying the allegations, with Trump telling Radar Online they are "disgusting at the highest level." Catherine Garcia

October 31, 2016

An Oklahoma fugitive on the run for eight days was killed Sunday night following a shootout with police officers.

Michael Vance, 38, of Chandler was found in Hammon after a resident saw a vehicle thought to be stolen by Vance and investigators discovered a makeshift campsite nearby. After Vance was tracked down, the chase was on, and eventually there was a shootout. One Dewey County sheriff was shot in the arm, and has been hospitalized.

On Oct. 23, officers were called to the scene of a disturbance in Wellston, where they encountered Vance, CNN reports. During a shootout, Vance allegedly shot and wounded two officers, and in an exchange of fire, he was hit at least once. He stole a patrol car and fled, and later is believed to have carjacked a woman, shooting and injuring her. A similar car was then spotted at a home in Luther, and inside authorities found the bodies of Vance's aunt and uncle, Robert and Valerie Kay Wilkson. Vance, who in July was arrested on accusations of child sex abuse, talked about the murders on social media, CNN reports. Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016
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A jury on Thursday found brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the leaders of an armed group who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for nearly six weeks earlier this year, and five others not guilty of conspiracy to impede federal workers from their jobs.

Additionally, several of the defendants were charged with possessing a firearm at a federal facility, and they were also acquitted on that count. The standoff began on Jan 2., with the participants claiming it was to protest two local ranchers being sentenced to five years in prison for two counts of arson on federal land. The Bundy brothers still face charges in Nevada, where in 2014 they engaged in another standoff, this time with federal agents who attempted to take their father's cattle after they grazed on public land for years without a permit. Catherine Garcia

October 26, 2016
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Sharbat Gula grabbed the world's attention in 1985, when a haunting portrait of the young Afghan girl appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine. Today, she's facing a fine and up to 14 years in jail after officials in Pakistan say she was arrested for carrying false identity papers.

Gula allegedly applied for an identity card in April 2014, using the name Sharbat Bibi, the BBC reports. The UN says there are 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and it's believed there are 1 million more who are not registered. Pakistani officials claim that thousands of Afghan refugees are in the country using false names in order to stay out of the computerized system, and they have discovered 60,675 fraudulent ID cards on non-nationals. Gula was arrested in Peshawar, near the border with Afghanistan.

Photographer Steve McCurry snapped the famous photo of Gula and her piercing green eyes in 1984, when she was 12 years old and living in a refugee camp in northwest Pakistan, during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The National Geographic cover became iconic, and McCurry went on a 17-year search to find Gula, finally tracking her down in 2002 in a remote Afghan village, where she lived with her husband and three daughters. On his Instagram page, McCurry posted that he heard about Gula's arrest, and is "committed to doing anything and everything possible to provide legal and financial support for her and her family. I object to this action by the authorities in the strongest possible terms. She has suffered throughout her entire life, and her arrest is an egregious violation of her human rights." Catherine Garcia

October 18, 2016

The family of a Florida man sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for shooting at George Zimmerman thinks the punishment is unfair, and Zimmerman is receiving preferential treatment due to his notoriety.

Matthew Apperson, a 37-year-old paralegal, was convicted in September of attempted second-degree murder, armed aggravated assault, and shooting into a vehicle. In May 2015, Apperson told police that Zimmerman — the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted of murder after he fatally shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in 2012 — pointed a gun at him first, an allegation Zimmerman denies. The men were in their cars when the shooting took place, and Zimmerman sustained injuries when a bullet shattered his passenger-side window and glass and metal fragments hit him, The Orlando Sentinel reports. This was actually the second altercation between the two, with the first involving the men yelling at each other from their vehicles.

The judge ruled Apperson must serve the state-mandated minimum of 20 years, but before his sentencing, Apperson's wife, Lisa, told the court he was innocent and Seminole County law enforcement has "given George Zimmerman a golden ticket to go out and do whatever he wants to do." This sentiment was echoed by Apperson's mother, Janet White, who called Zimmerman the real "bad man" and said her son was only acting in self-defense. "We will hold our collective breaths to see what outrageous acts [Zimmerman] performs next," she added. Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement, including when a girlfriend accused him of threatening her with a gun. In court, Zimmerman said Apperson has a "blatant disregard for my life, any life." Catherine Garcia

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