The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 11:45 am
Written by Luke Broadwater and Catie EdmondsonA divided House voted on Tuesday to launch a wide-ranging investigation into federal law enforcement and national security agencies, as Republicans promised to use their new power in Congress to scrutinise what they said was a concerted effort by the government to silence and punish conservatives at all levels, from protesters at school board meetings to former President Donald Trump.On a party-line vote of 221-211 with all Democrats opposed, the House approved the formation of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponisation of the Federal Government, which is to be chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the incoming chair of the Judiciary Committee and a staunch ally of Trump.Jordan, who was deeply involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has for months been investigating what he says is a bias in federal law enforcement against conservatives. Now that Republicans have the majority, he plans to use his gavel and his subpoena power to escalate and expand that inquiry, including searching for evidence that federal workers have become politicised and demanding documents about ongoing criminal investigations.In a floor speech, Jordan said his goal was not to target Democrats or law enforcement officers who have scrutinised Trump’s behavior. He said his interest was merely in “protecting the First Amendment” at a time when he said the right was being unfairly targeted.“We don’t want to go after anyone,” he said. “We just want it to stop.”Still, the panel has such broad reach that it appeared positioned to become a main instrument for Republicans to go after the Biden administration, potentially prompting showdowns over access to highly classified information and the details of criminal inquiries.The subcommittee will have open-ended jurisdiction to scrutinise any issue related to civil liberties or to examine how any agency of the federal government has collected, analysed and used information about Americans. It also has authority to obtain some of the most sensitive secrets in the government, including information about covert actions that is usually the exclusive territory of the congressional intelligence committees.While Republicans have traditionally styled themselves as the party of law and order, in recent years they have contended that law enforcement has treated Trump unfairly, citing the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida for classified White House documents he did not return for more than a year after leaving office, as required by law. They have added other complaints to their ledger to investigate, including allegations that the federal government encouraged Twitter to discriminate against Republicans and the treatment of conservative or right-wing protesters at school board meetings and abortion clinics.They say they have modeled the new subcommittee after the well-respected Church Committee, referring to a 1970s investigation by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, that uncovered decades of intelligence and civil liberties abuses, including the surveilling of civil rights groups.But Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said the panel was more akin to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, which demonised Americans suspected of being sympathetic to communism.“I call it the McCarthy committee, and I’m not talking about Kevin; I’m talking about Joe,” McGovern said, adding: “This committee is nothing more than a deranged ploy by the MAGA extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party and now want to use taxpayer money to push their far-right conspiracy nonsense.”Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., echoed that sentiment, arguing the goal of the panel was to “enable the House Republicans to interfere with the free operation of businesses they do not like, to inhibit the fight against domestic terrorism and to settle political scores on behalf of Donald Trump.”The Justice Department has traditionally resisted making information about open criminal investigations available to Congress, suggesting that legal and political fights over subpoenas and executive privilege are most likely looming.It remains to be seen who else will serve on the panel. Speaker Kevin McCarthy made numerous concessions to a far-right faction of his party to win the speakership, and the full extent of his promises is not known. Both Jordan and McCarthy have spoken for months about their desire for such an investigation and pledged to voters during the 2022 campaign to carry one out.“It is undeniable that in recent years, the executive branch of the federal government has abused its authority and violated the civil liberties of American citizens often for political purposes,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in endorsing the legislation on the floor.Late last year, Jordan, then the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, oversaw a 1,000-page staff report — which was mostly a collection of letters mailed by his committee — that claimed that the FBI had “spied on President Trump’s campaign and ridiculed conservative Americans” and that the “rot within the F.B.I. festers in and proceeds from Washington.”The resolution appears to enable Jordan to issue subpoenas to the Justice Department for information about the special counsel inquiry into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents, along with other politically charged matters like an open tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter Biden.While Jordan’s inquiry will be housed within the Judiciary Committee, its 13 members — eight of whom would be Republicans — will not be limited to lawmakers on that panel. That could result in lawmakers trying to scrutinise a Justice Department investigation while the department examines some of those same lawmakers’ conduct concerning the events of Jan. 6, 2021.As the House debated the select committee’s creation on Tuesday, Democrats repeatedly emphasised that both McCarthy and Jordan had refused to comply with subpoenas from the committee investigating Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, an inquiry that they both sought to block. Jordan strategised with Trump about an effort to disrupt the certification of the results of the 2020 election on the floor of the House.“The primary purpose of this special subcommittee is to interfere with the special counsel’s ongoing investigation into a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election,” said Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., who was a top aide to Democrats who led the first impeachment of Trump in 2019. “This is a shocking abuse of power. But it’s not just the usual efforts by members on the other side of the aisle to once again do Donald Trump’s dirty work; this time they’re trying to protect themselves.”Republicans have made little secret of the fact that they plan to shower the Biden administration with investigations, some of them overtly political in nature. But they won bipartisan support on Tuesday for the formation of a separate select committee focused on the strategic competition between the United States and the Chinese government.On a vote of 365-65, the House formed a special committee to investigate the Chinese government’s “economic, technological and security progress, and its competition with the United States.”The panel is set to be led by Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a Marine veteran known as a sober-minded national security hawk. Its mission is to examine a slew of topics, including the economic dependence of the United States on Chinese supply chains, the nation’s security assistance to Taiwan, and lobbying efforts by the Chinese government to influence local and state government, as well as academic institutions.Gallagher said the two countries are “in the early stages of a new Cold War.”“We see this aggression here at home, where the party has stolen American intellectual property, technology and industrial capacity, undermining our economy and good paying American jobs,” he said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.Most Democrats supported the panel, but some had reservations.Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said that while there were “legitimate concerns” about the actions of the Chinese government, she opposed the bill because “of the known risks of xenophobic rhetoric intensifying anti-Asian hate here in the United States.”Republicans on Monday also approved a third wide-ranging investigation to look into the coronavirus pandemic, including the origins of the virus, so-called gain-of-function research, the production of vaccines and the conduct of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s former chief medical adviser, whom Republicans have pledged to call before them for questioning.
The teacher had been showing girls porn videos for the last two years. (Representational)New Delhi: A teacher in Maharashtra's Kolhapur was allegedly caught showing porn videos to girl students of classes 9 and 10. As punishment, he has been transferred to another school.The incident took place at Vidyalankar Shelwadi School in Kolhapur. The teacher, VP Bangdi, has been transferred to a school in Satara, reports ABP Majha.Students complained that Bangdi had been showing porn videos to girls for the last two years. Some also alleged that he would keep his hand on their shoulder and in their pockets during classes, reports Zee News.When the students complained to the principal, Bangdi, an English teacher, was transferred to a school in another district.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comParents and students are demanding that the school authorities take stricter action against Bangdi.The education minister Deepak Kesarkar has taken note of the incident and has said that appropriate action will be taken against the accused.Featured Video Of The DaySudha Murty To NDTV: "First Person I Told About My Padma Bhushan Was..."
No arrest has been made so far in this connection, the police said. (Representational)Thane: Police have registered a case against a 40-year-old school teacher for allegedly hitting a five-year-old boy with a stick and slapping him in Maharashtra's Thane district, an official said on Tuesday.The child suffered injuries in the incident which took place on Monday at a private school in Kalyan area, the official from Mahatma Fule Chowk police station said.A probe was on to ascertain what provoked the accused to thrash the child, he said.After the boy informed about the incident to his parents, they complained to the police following which a case was registered against the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, the official said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comNo arrest has been made so far in this connection, the police said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DaySealed With A Kiss: To Shah Rukh Khan From Deepika And To John From, Ahem, SRK
PUNE: Involvement of parents in teaching their wards, providing uniforms and study material on time and to every student and mock tests were among suggestions from experts and educators in the draft policy to improve academic excellence in government schools prepared jointly by Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan project and the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training. The draft has been submitted to the state government for approval and once it gets a nod the policy will be implemented from next year onwards.Project director of SSA Kailas Pagare and other education department officials conducted a meeting recently to take suggestions and discuss ways to improve the quality of education in schools. Pagare said, "We took the opinions of ideal teachers, education experts, SCERT officials, and researchers among others."The campaign 'Nipun Maharashtra' is being implemented in the state for the past few months in order to improve the quality of school education."Against the same background, the quality of school education in the state should be enhanced more rapidly in the next academic year," added Pagare.Zilla parishad teacher Somnath Valke said, "We need to understand how to become self-sufficient in an effort to improve the quality in classrooms. One of my suggestions was that it was necessary to add classes from V to VIII to zilla parishad schools. This will help in increasing participation in scholarships and other examinations."Ashwini Sonawane, block development officer of Bhor taluka, said that the experiment of 'Mothers' Club' they had conducted in government schools has been effective. Parental involvement and environment are very important for the development of schools. "Innovation and experimentation lead to an increase in the quality of students," Sonawane added.
PUNE: The Yerawada police have arrested two men and detained six boys aged between 15 and 16 on the charge of rioting, following a clash between two groups of minors at Laxminagar in Yerawada around 11pm on Friday, which left three people injured and an autorickshaw damaged.The two groups of minor boys are affiliated with two local gangs of criminals, the police said, after receiving two cross-complaints of riots and assault against the members of both the groups.The police identified the injured as Abdulla Amirulla Khan (19), Sharad Pramod Ingle (27) and 17-year-old boy of Laxminagar in Yerawada. "Ingle, and his accomplice, Vivek Prakash Gawali (20), were later arrested in one of the cases," the police said. The videos of the clash between the two groups went viral on social media sites. Confirming the development, deputy commissioner of police (Zone IV) Shrikant Borate told TOI, "A majority of the detained boys are school dropouts. We had invoked provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the senior members of the two gangs in 2021. They are lodged in the Yerawada jail."According to the police, Khan and his group members had picked up arguments with the other group led by Ingle during a football match about six months ago. "The minor boys and Ingle carried a grudge against Khan and his friends since then. On Friday night, the boys assaulted Khan with choppers and wooden sticks after finding him alone. The boys also vandalized the autorickshaws parked on the road, besides throwing emplty beer bottles on the road," the police said.The police summoned the parents of minor boys, followed by a counselling session.
The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance