Alaska moose poacher sentenced to jail. Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison. Vatican’s cardinal sexually abused choir boys [r/news, Episode #11]

#1

Confederate plaque removed from West Virginia courthouse

A plaque honoring Confederate soldiers has been removed from a West Virginia courthouse.

The Journal reports the Jefferson County Commission voted 3-2 last week to remove the plaque and it has been taken down.

Officials have been discussing the plaque’s future since a letter requesting its removal was sent to county officials last year.

Immediately following violent protests at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which had been organized in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Some residents with a family who fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War argued that the plaque should remain.

Commissioner Jane Tabb said she voted for the removal to be sensitive to the African-American community.

Officials said it’s unclear whether the plaque will be relocated.

#2

Alaska moose poacher fined $100,000, sentenced to jail

An Alaska man who poached three moose and left most of the meat to rot has been sentenced to nine months in jail and fined more than $100,000.

Hunting regulations near the Kenai Peninsula community require moose to have antlers measuring 50-inches (127-centimeters) wide to be harvested. None of the three moose had the required spread, said Aaron Peterson, an assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case.

Alaska officials take seriously the harvesting of moose and salvaging of meat, Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said.

Counts were fined $97,650 and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution. He forfeited his rifle and an all-terrain vehicle and was sentenced to 270 days in jail.

“If you do the right thing in the field, this kind of thing doesn’t happen. But if you poach and leave moose, these are the appropriate sanctions, in the state’s view,” Peterson said.

#3

Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, during a sentencing hearing in federal court in Manhattan in which Cohen claimed he acted out of “blind loyalty” to President Trump. The judge declared he will serve time for a “smorgasbord” of fraudulent crimes.

That sentencing stemmed from Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations related to payments to women alleging affairs with Mr. Trump. Cohen will serve his term concurrently with a two-month sentenced imposed for lying to Congress over a proposed Trump Tower Moscow project, a charge brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. The court is fining him $50,000 each for the separate cases.

Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement that Cohen “continues to tell the truth about Donald Trump’s misconduct” — and looks forward to sharing more publicly.

The president doesn’t appear inclined to give Cohen a pardon, although he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of doing so for his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort has pleaded guilty to fraud counts related to his business transactions, but Mr. Trump has praised him.

#4

Employees at Amazon’s New NYC Warehouse Launch Unionization Push

A committee of employees at Amazon’s recently opened Staten Island fulfillment center is going public with a unionization campaign, a fresh challenge to the e-commerce giant in a city where it plans to build a major new campus.

Now workers in another borough are saying the company treats them like robots and should be focused on improving conditions there rather than raking in tax breaks to build a new headquarters.

The union they’re working with sees the up to $3 billion in incentives offered to bring an Amazon office campus to Long Island City as leverage to prevent the company from retaliating against them for organizing.

Amazon spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said in an email that the company “follows all state employment laws,” including restricting employees’ hours to 60 at most per week. She said that during the extra-busy “peak” season, many employees welcome the opportunity to work extra hours at the overtime rate, which at the Staten Island facility is $26.25 to $34.50 an hour.

Amazon said incentives offered by the company “are part of our company culture, and we want to make sure Peak is a fun time of year for associates who are working hard to fulfill customer orders.”

#5

Vatican’s Third-Most Powerful Official Cardinal George Pell Convicted on All Charges He Sexually Abused Choir Boys in the 1990s

A unanimous jury returned its verdict for Cardinal George Pell on Tuesday (Australian time) after more than three days of deliberations, the sources said, in a trial conducted under a gag order by the judge that prevented any details of the trial being made public.

A court in Victoria heard in March that Pell, who has denied all of the allegations, would stay in the pool after swimming laps and play with children.

While details from nearly all trials in the U.S. can be made public, Australia’s judicial system is more favorable to defendants where the use of “suppression orders” has increased in recent years, according to The Australian. The gag orders are used for a range of reasons to prevent reporting that could prejudice a case and to restrict details heard in open court being made public.