FROM Evelyn Fortier
Measures to Protect Women Could Expand FBI's DNA Database Most states collect DNA samples only from people convicted of crimes, and that's been true of the federal government as well. While the original targets were undocumented workers suspected of crimes, a year ago President Bush signed an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act that would vastly increase federal power. The Justice Department will soon issue rules for collecting DNA from "any person arrested under federal authority and from any non-US person who is detained." Civil-liberties watchdogs claim that the broad language could result in hikers stopped by park rangers or airline passengers subjected to screening to surrender their genetic codes. Why is the new law part of VAWA? How did it pass without debate, by voice vote, virtually unnoticed? Is it a good move for law enforcement or an overextension of federal powers?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.