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DC Mayor: ‘Remove, Relocate, Contextualize’ Monuments and Memorials

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Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for the removal, relocation, or contextualization of a number of entities across the city, including the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Columbus Fountain, and a Benjamin Franklin statue.

The Mayor led a group, dubbed the DCFACES Working Group, to review different memorials and schools in the district for renaming and removal. The group was tasked to create a report of their findings in July and this information was released today.

“Since July 15, we have worked with eight working group members and more than twenty staff members to engage residents, examine policy and conduct research in making the recommendations contained herein,” states the report.

“Our decision-making prism focused on key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act,” the report adds.

The report goes into lengthy detail about the process and conclusions. Schools and libraries should be renamed, monuments and memorials should be moved or removed, and bridges and highways will get a long look at their names.

Nine public buildings including the Potomac Job Corps Center and the Thomas Jefferson Hall are listed for recommended renaming.

Twelve playgrounds and fields, 7 government buildings, and 8 memorials are listed for renaming or contextualization.

One Twitter user noted the strange order and pointed out the very city is named after George Washington—will Mayor Bowser propose renaming D.C. too?

The full recommendations and report by the Mayor’s administration can be read here.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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