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4 Men Sentenced For Bribing Homeless People With Cigarettes, Cash To Forge Signatures On Voter Docs



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Four men bribed homeless people on Los Angeles’ Skid Row with cigarettes and money in exchange for forge signatures on ballot petitions and voter registration documents, and, now, they’ve been sentenced to years in prison and/or probation, KTLA5 reports.

Richard Howard, 64, and Louis Thomas Wise, 37, pleaded no contest to two felony charges Friday, according to the report. Additionally, Christopher Joseph Williams, 41, and Nickey Demelvin Huntley, 45, both pleaded no contest Friday to one felony charge.

Howard faces three years in prison and three years of probation, according to KTLA5. Also reported, Howard faces 16 months in prison and three years of probation. Williams and Huntley were sentenced to three years probation.

The group is alleged to have given $1 and cigarettes to the homeless and amassed hundreds of fake signatures to sway election outcomes in both 2016 and 2018 in doing so, according to the report.

“They paid individuals to sign the names,” LAPD Officer Deon Joseph told the Los Angeles Times in 2018. “That’s an assault on our democracy.”

With the November election approaching in less than 100 days, President Trump has been outspoken about the threats posed by voter fraud to a free and fair election process. His concerns are mainly centered around the mail-in process that some state and local leaders have made the primary voting mechanism for their residents to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Mail-In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster,” Trump wrote on Twitter early Thursday. “Even testing areas are way off. The Dems talk of foreign influence in voting, but they know that Mail-In Voting is an easy way for foreign countries to enter the race. Even beyond that, there’s no accurate count!”

Minutes later, Trump tweeted again about his concerns and suggested the election be delayed until a fair process could be ensured. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’



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Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”

“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.

The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.

“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.

Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”

Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.

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