NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Sanitation workers thrrow out debris from a flood damaged home in Oakwood Beach in Staten Island on February 5, 2013 in New York City. In a program proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York state could spend up to $400 million to buy out home owners whose properties were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. The $50.5 billion disaster relief package, which was passed by Congress last month, would be used to fund the program. If the program is adopted, homeowners would be relocated and their land would be left as a natural barrier to help absorb future floods waters. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2013 Getty Images
It seems like a nice gesture when you’ve asked your garbageman for help with a particularly unpleasant task, but after 24 years on the job, a Queens sanitation worker has lost his job over a $20 tip. The city’s Conflict of Interest Board has ruled that Lenworth Dixon, a 56-year-old father of three, must retire and pay a $1,500 fine after accepting cash from a homeowner disposing of a large amount of wood, furniture, and other “bulk refuse.” A sincere “thank you” is probably okay, but just to be safe, we plan on staying inside and scowling at our valued city employees through awindow.
Though they’re independent contractors without a union, Uber drivers in Los Angeles are preparing to strike
Drivers are trying to recruit their colleagues to protest pay cuts by Uber last week that slashed per-mile pay from 80 cents to 60 cents in Los Angeles County and parts of Orange County. They are planning to strike Monday, refusing to drive for both Uber and Lyft in a move they hope will mark an early step in a broader push for higher wages.
It’s not the first attempt by drivers to stage a strike against Uber and Lyft — many of the same drivers organized a similar protest at LAX in 2017. The ride-hailing workers, this time led by a group called Rideshare Drivers United, say past strikes have lacked cohesive strategy and planning, ultimately leading to disparate demands and low attendance.
Part of the problem, they say, is that the drivers’ fight has long fixated on their classification as independent contractors — a battle that has so far proved fruitless. Though they would still prefer to be classified as employees, they hope they can unite a broader swath of the workforce by focusing first on pay.
A 10-million–euro donation won’t solve this crisis for Germany’s second-richest family
The German family whose holding company owns controlling stakes in companies such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and Einstein Bros. Bagels profited from the horrors of the Nazi regime, according to a bombshell report in a German newspaper.
The tabloid Bild, one of Germany’s most popular papers, reported that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr., whose family backs JAB Holdings, had significant links to the Third Reich.
The report found that Russian civilians and French prisoners of war were used as forced laborers in the family’s factories and private villas around World War II, when it was involved in chemicals-related manufacturing mostly for the food industry, according to Deutsche Welle.
Other disclosures in the report include revelations that the two men were anti-Semites and avowed supporters of Adolf Hitler, and Reimann Sr. donated to the paramilitary SS force as early as 1933, according to Deutsche Welle.
Mark Kelly’s fight for John McCain’s former Senate seat just got a little easier
Rep. Ruben Gallego will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2020’s special election, he told The Arizona Republic on Monday, clearing the path for retired astronaut Mark Kelly to take on incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally without a potentially bruising primary fight.
Gallego’s decision will disappoint progressive Democrats, who represent the left flank of the party and are especially hostile toward President Donald Trump.
“I don’t want to engage in a bitter primary all the way until the general election, and then turn around and try to run, whether it’s me or Kelly, against McSally in a year when the Democrats need to win the Senate seat and take the state,” Gallego told The Republic. “It’s just not in the best interest of the state or the Democratic Party to be engaging in that … If Republicans are excited to see a spirited and nasty primary, they’re going to have to look somewhere else because I’m not going to take part in that.”
After months on the backburner, the Steele dossier reenters the political forefront
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spent the weekend with Trump in Florida, said his committee will investigate the actions of the Justice Department in the Russia investigation, including the FBI’s use of a dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele.
Graham spoke Monday after Attorney General William Barr reported to Congress on Mueller’s findings. Barr said Mueller found no evidence that Trump or his associates conspired with Russia. Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice.
Six House Committee chairmen have requested that Barr release the full Mueller report to Congress by April 2
Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform this critical work. The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution.”
—Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, Richard Neal, and Eliot Engel
Duke University has agreed to pay the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle allegations that it knowingly falsified or fabricated data research in 30 grants to the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency between 2006 and 2018, the Department of Justice announced Monday.
The falsified grants caused the NIH and the EPA to pay millions of dollars in funding that they otherwise would not have. “Taxpayers expect and deserve that federal grant dollars will be used efficiently and honestly,” the Justice Department said. “Individuals and institutions that receive research funding from the federal government must be scrupulous in conducting research for the common good and rigorous in rooting out fraud.”
Parliament has taken over the Brexit negotiations, issuing yet another reprimand to Theresa May
Britain’s Parliament grabbed control Monday of the government’s efforts to leave the European Union, challenging the country’s political traditions and inflicting on Prime Minister Theresa May a rebuke not suffered by any recent predecessor.
Parliament passed an amendment giving itself the power to vote on alternatives to the government’s Brexit plan. Its attempt to take control of the process came as Mrs. May prepared for a last-ditch effort to persuade lawmakers to support her withdrawal plan, which has already been rejected twice by huge margins.
Parliament’s attempt to take control was led by Oliver Letwin, a veteran Conservative lawmaker, and is driven largely by fear of leaving without an agreement, a rupture that could leave ports jammed and cause huge economic dislocation. A “no deal” Brexit remains the default option if the deadlock in Britain continues, and the risks of it happening by accident are increasing.
Breaking: @KenDilanianNBC reports that the FBI is prepared to brief the Gang of 8 on the findings of Mueller’s counterintelligence investigation into Trump (i.e. whether the president is under the influence of a foreign power)
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) surged into third place in a poll of the Iowa caucus released Sunday.
Eleven percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers surveyed by Emerson Polling said they would pick Buttigieg to be their 2020 presidential nominee.
Overall, Buttigieg placed third behind Former Vice President Joe Biden, at 25 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), at 24 percent.
Buttigieg, who has formed an exploratory committee but has not officially declared, was polling at 0 percent in Emerson’s January survey of Iowa, which shows his recognition and support have grown significantly in the last few months.
His performance in Sunday’s Emerson poll was boosted by placing second in the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, with 22 percent. Sanders led that category with 44 percent.
The federal government continues to fail Puerto Rico
The federal government provided additional food-stamp aid to Puerto Rico after the hurricane, but Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization in March as it focused on other issues before leaving for a week-long recess. Federal lawmakers have also been stalled by the Trump administration, which has derided the extra aid as unnecessary.
Now, about 43 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents are grappling with a sudden cut to a benefit they rely on for groceries and other essentials.
Puerto Rico will again need the federal government’s help to stave off drastic cuts to Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor and disabled, as well as for the disbursement of billions in hurricane relief aid that has not yet been turned over to the island.
The island would not need Congress to step in to fund its food-stamp and Medicaid programs if it were a state. For states, the federal government has committed to funding those programs’ needs, whatever the cost and without needing to take a vote. But Puerto Rico instead funds its programs through a block grant from the federal government, which needs to be regularly renewed, and also gives food-stamp benefits about 40 percent smaller than those of states.
In British politics right now, there are no winners
More on Michael Avenatti’s arrest
Authorities charge Avenatti threatened to hold a news conference on the eve of the NCAA college basketball tournament to reveal damaging allegations against Nike unless it paid his client $1.5 million and agreed to hire Avenatti and another lawyer for $15 million to $25 million to conduct an “internal investigation” into the purported allegations. Authorities did not disclose the identities of Avenatti’s client or the other lawyer cited in the charging documents.
The charging document said that Avenatti proposed another alternative to hiring him to conduct an investigation — “a total payment of $22.5 million from Nike to resolve any claims (the client) might have and additionally to buy Avenatti’s silence.”
Shortly before the charges were unsealed Monday, Avenatti tweeted that he planned to hold a news conference Tuesday “to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”
New Jersey once seemed well on its way to legalizing weed. Not anymore.
A monthslong effort to legalize marijuana in New Jersey collapsed on Monday after Democrats were unable to muster enough support for the measure, rejecting a central campaign pledge from Gov. Philip D. Murphy and leaving the future of the legalization movement in doubt.
The failure in the legislature marks one of the biggest setbacks for Mr. Murphy, who despite having full Democratic control in the State Senate and the assembly, had faced constant party infighting and had struggled to bend the legislature to his progressive agenda.
But the legalization effort had fractured the Democratic Party with some African-American lawmakers arguing that marijuana would be a public health menace to their communities.