Kristen Jordan Shamus Detroit Free Press Published 11:46 AM EST Jan 7, 2019 Novi businessman Paul Whelan waits for mercy in a Moscow prison, trapped in a web of espionage. For six days after his Dec. 28th arrest, he was held alone in a cell in Moscow's Lefortovo detention facility without access to toilet paper or soap. Though he speaks a bit of Russian, he couldn't string together enough Russian words to ask the prison guards for his glasses, his twin brother, David Whelan, told the Free Press. It wasn't until Jan. 2, when he was granted a visit from U.S. State Department employees, that Paul Whelan could ask for those basic necessities and also for intervention from the U.S. government to negotiate his release. Whelan, 48, was arrested at Moscow's swanky Metropol hotel after allegedly receiving a USB drive loaded with the names of employees of a Russian agency, according to Russia's Rosbalt news service. The news service is … [Read more...] about Paul Whelan in Lefortovo prison: No toilet paper for days
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opinion Nancy Kaffer Detroit Free Press Published 7:01 AM EST Jan 6, 2019 For Michigan women, the 2018 midterm elections were an unparalleled triumph. Women ran for office in record numbers. Organized, campaigned and voted in record numbers. And won, in record numbers. Michiganders elected women to the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state, and sent six women to the U.S. Congress. Michiganders elected a whopping 53 women to the state Legislature, enough to propel Michigan from the middle ranks of female representation to 12th in the nation, per the Center for American Women and Politics. These are remarkable victories, and after years of stagnation, it's real growth. And it's depressing. More: Election was slam dunk for women in MichiganKaffer: How they lost: What went wrong for Michigan GOP candidates in the 2018 midterm election Women are 51 percent of the state's population. Even after a … [Read more...] about 53 women in Michigan’s Legislature is alarming. Here’s why.
Jonathan Oosting Detroit News Lansing Bureau Published 1:13 p.m. UTC Jun 21, 2018 Grand Rapids — Democratic hopefuls Abdul El-Sayed and Shri Thanedar stayed to the political left of Gretchen Whitmer on policy but shied away from direct attacks against the establishment favorite Wednesday night in the party’s first televised gubernatorial debate. Whitmer, the former state Senate minority leader from East Lansing, was the only Democrat in the debate who did not advocate for a single-payer health care system. It is a potentially expensive program championed by the progressive left and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won Michigan’s 2016 presidential primary. “I’m the only one on this stage that’s actually delivered on providing health care in this state,” Whitmer said, referencing her work to negotiate a bipartisan 2013 law that expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. “We agree on a lot of … [Read more...] about Democrats split on health care in Michigan gubernatorial debate
Tresa Baldas and Niraj Warikoo and Kristen Jordan Shamus Detroit Free Press Published 1:47 p.m. UTC Jun 19, 2018 A humanitarian crisis has landed on the doorsteps of a west Michigan foster care agency, where volunteers are scrambling to meet the needs of dozens of immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. Among the transplants are kids who ask for their mothers in Spanish — and babies and toddlers who can only cry about what's happening. The children need comfort, attention, and practically, diapers. "These children are scared and the people who are caring for them need help," Ali Van Overbeke, 24, of Grand Rapids wrote in a Facebook post after learning about the children in a Free Press article earlier this month. Her plea for help on social media produced results. On Monday, Van Overbeke delivered a carload of donated goods — Spanish children's books, toys, diapers — to a refugee center … [Read more...] about Babies torn from immigrant parents land in Michigan: ‘They need diapers’
Jonathan Oosting Detroit News Lansing Bureau Published 2:45 p.m. UTC May 28, 2018 Lansing — Some Michigan House Republicans are warming up to the idea of approving and later amending a marijuana legalization initiative, according to a source familiar with caucus discussions. Despite the improvement, GOP advocates for pot legalization are unlikely to secure the 55 votes required for House passage by a June 5 deadline, the source said. Internal divisions mean Republican supporters would need Democratic votes. But minority party leaders have made clear they would rather see the proposal advance to the November ballot, where it could drive liberal voter turnout. House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, also personally opposes any form of legalization. The dynamics make legislative approval “a big stretch, a big lift,” Sen. Mike Shirkey, a Clarklake Republican, acknowledged Thursday on WKAR-TV’s "Off the Record." "I think we’re pretty … [Read more...] about GOP bid to pass, then amend Michigan pot plan gains support