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Tag: Harvard

ICE Rescinds Controversial Policy to Suspend Student Visas over Online Classes

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A controversial ICE policy that would have stripped international students of their visas if their college exclusively offered online classes amid the coronavirus pandemic has been rescinded.

The reversal was announced Tuesday by a U.S. District judge who was hearing a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT, The Boston Herald reports.

“I have been informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution,” U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said during a Tuesday hearing.

“The government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy directive,” she said.

The means international students may stay in the U.S. to take classes online.

On Monday, 18 states filed suit against the Trump administration in an attempt to rescind the new policy, alleging several violations of federal law and calling the new rule “cruel, abrupt and unlawful.”

Many universities have yet to decide whether they’re offering in-person courses this fall as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise nationwide. The Trump administration has been pressuring colleges to offer in-person classes, despite concerns about the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 135,000 people in the U.S.

Anti-Defamation League Hires Ex-FBI Official to Work With Law Enforcement Partners

Greg Ehrie (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Greg Ehrie, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, has been hired by the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish organization, as vice president of  Law enforcement and Analysis.

In this role, Ehrie will lead efforts to “further partnerships and engagement” with federal, state and local law enforcement across the country and supervise new program development to battle hate,  the ADL said in a press release.

During his tenure with the FBI, Ehrie rose to special agent in charge of the Newark Field Office.  He previously served in a number of posts including  supervisor of the New York Office’s Domestic Terrorism squad and section chief of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Section.

Additionally, he was deployed for two years to the Joint Task Force, U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was named the first permanent supervisor for FBI Detainee Operations. The job included being a senior representative to the Intelligence Community and leading a team that conducted detainee interviews, threat assessments and analysis.

He graduated in 1990 from Manhattan College in New York  where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also earned executive certificates from the Kellogg School of Management,  Northwestern University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 

The ADL promotes itself as a leading anti-hate organization.

ATF’s Scott Sweetow Moving Up to Deputy Assistant Director

Scott Sweetow

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scott Sweetow, who heads up ATF’s St. Paul, Minn., office is moving up the chain.

He”ll be taking over the job as Deputy Assistant Director for ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information (OSII).

His new responsibilities will include ATF’s partner engagement liaison with the intelligence community, overseeing ATF’s foreign operations and training, counterterrorism division, Joint Support and Operations Center, criminal intelligence division and the U.S. Bomb Data Center.

Sweetow has headed up the St. Paul Division, which includes which includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Sweetow, who began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahsheh.

Specifically, in 1999, Sweetow became a supervisory special agent in the Phoenix Field Division, serving in operations and as violent crime enforcement group supervisor.

In 2003, he went to ATF headquarters where he served in the Policy Development and Evaluation branch, eventually becoming its chief. In July of that year, he became the first ATF agent to “deploy operationally to Iraq”, assisting the Defense Intelligence Agency as part of the Iraq Survey Group.

In 2004, Sweetow was promoted to a deputy division chief and later chief in the Arson, Explosives and International Training Division in ATF’s Training and Professional Development directorate. He remained there until December 2006.

While division chief, Sweetow was instrumental in establishing ATF’s $50 million National Center for Explosives Training and Research at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

In January 2007, Sweetow became an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Atlanta Field Division and later went on to become the SAC in Atlanta.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Soviet Area Studies and a masters in Strategic Intelligence. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in National and International Security program and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.

In 2009, Scott he published an article in “Homeland Security Today” entitled “After Mumbai: Facing the Flames” which dealt with the use of fire as an asymmetric warfare tool by terrorists.

 

Parker: More Info on the Downside of Smoking Marijuana Including Impact on Brain Structure of Young Adults

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office. 

Ross Parker

 
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

A recent study by researchers from Northwestern University and Harvard University Medical School has concluded that even moderate use of marijuana by young adults affects the structure of their brains.

The study, published in the April 16, 2014 Journal of Neuroscience, found that the size and shape of the region of the brain involved in emotion and motivation were abnormal in these casual users compared to non-users. Further, the more an individual uses marijuana, the more pronounced these structural changes are.

The study is significant because most of the recent studies showing the effects of marijuana on the brain were performed with heavy rather than casual users. The study joins the increased amount of recent scientific and medical evidence that marijuana use, especially for young brains, has unhealthy side effects. As reported the last few months in this column, these reports have shown:

  • The tripling of calls to Poison Centers in states that have legalized marijuana in some form about young children who have ingested marijuana (University of Maryland, Center for Substance Abuse Research)
  •  Dramatic increase in the need for medical intervention for children in states that have decriminalized marijuana use (American College of Emergency Physicians)
  • The marijuana addiction rate for youth is 17%, three times that of adults (American Society of Addiction Medicine)
  • In medical marijuana states, one-third of the 12th graders report that one of their sources of supply is from adults with a medical marijuana prescription (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
  • Increased use of marijuana by American teens and a sharp decline in their perception that marijuana use can be risky (Same source)
  • Use of marijuana during pregnancy affects the baby’s brain (Live Science)
  • Increased statistics of marijuana-related emergency room visits (DAWN)
  • Chronic use of marijuana may result in increased anxiety by down regulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Neuron)

After years of very limited research on the medical effects of marijuana, this barrage of recent studies seems to be receiving little attention among state legislatures which are following the trend toward legalization which has changed the national culture in such a short period of time. Twenty years ago marijuana was illegal in all states in all forms. Today two states have legalized recreational use as well as numerous random municipalities, and 21 have authorized its “medical” use. Numerous states are considering similar bills, and the federal policy on enforcement has been altered dramatically by the present administration.

Pro-marijuana advocates are quick to point out their views on the harm of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. If there is to be a full and fair discussion on the future on this issue, the mounting scientific and medical evidence deserve full consideration.

 

How FBI Agents Tracked Down Harvard Student Accused of Making Bomb Threats

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI had a crisis on its hands.

Several bomb threats were sent via email to Harvard University, causing the school to close buildings during final exams.

The student accused of sending in the threat, sophomore Eldo Kim, took steps to hide his identity using two anonymity tools – the routing service Tor and the temporary mail service Guerrilla Mail, the Verge reports.

But the tools were no match for the FBI, which used the information to track down Kim, who was using Harvard’s wireless network.

Kim told authorities he was trying to get out of a final exam.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

FBI: Harvard University Student Sent Bomb Threat to Delay Taking Final Exam

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Harvard University student who wasn’t prepared for his final exam decided to buy himself some time.

On Monday, Eldo Kim, 20, emailed threats that claimed there were “bombs placed around campus” about a half hour before his test, NBC News reports, citing the FBI. Sure enough, the alarms rang at 9 a.m. to evacuate students.

“He knew that his plan had worked,” the affidavit read.

But the next day, the FBI tracked down Kim, who told authorities he was trying to avoid an exam, NBC News wrote.

The Cambridge man is scheduled for a hearing today in U.S. District Court. He faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted of communicating the bomb threat, NBC wrote.

 

Ex-Prosecutor Turned Author Tries to Shield Her Parents from the Steamy Sex Scenes

Featured_leotta_7113
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Allison Leotta, a Detroit native living in the D.C. area, likes to send her parents in Michigan a draft of her new novels — minus the chapters with the steamy sex scenes.

“I take out those chapters,” says Leotta, a Michigan State University graduate.

But her mother, Diane Harnisch, of West Bloomfield, Mich., says at least with the last transcript, her daughter may have forgotten to excise those chapters. Not that it really matters. She says she reads the published books as well.

“I want to know exactly what she’s writing,” says Harnisch. “Of course as a mom, it makes me a little uncomfortable  at times. and wondering how in heavens name does she know that stuff.”

Her parents and grandmother are perhaps her  biggest fans, but certainly not the only ones.

Leotta, 40,  who is married and the mother of two young boys, is on fire in the literary world.

Described in the Providence Journal as a female John Grisham, the former D.C. sex crimes prosecutor will release her third novel “Speak of the Devil”, Tuesday.

It’s part of the ongoing series centering around a fictional sex crime prosecutor named Anna Curtis. On day of the debut, she’ll appear for a book signing at 7 p.m. at Books-A- Million on Southfield Road in Beverly Hills.

The third book isn’t her last.

Leotta recently signed a contract with Touchstone/Simon & Schuster to write two more novels as part of the series, she tells Deadline Detroit.

In her latest book, the main character, prosecutor Anna Curtis gets engaged. That’s the good news.

On the downside, one of her cases takes a vicious turn.  A criminal named Diablo — the Devil — leads an attack on a brothel. It results in an investigation into the dangerous  MS-13 gang, which has roots in El Salvador.  Curtis tries to keep her personal and professional life separate.  But the dangers of the job come to her doorstep.

Leotta says this book is a little darker than previous works, “but it’s a lot more suspenseful. People who have read it have been surprised by all the twist and turns.”

A  sex crimes prosecutor, she left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. in 2011 to write full time.

While working as a prosecutor she wrote her first novel “Law of Attraction.” As policy, the Justice Department had to review the transcript for any security breaches. Leotta wasn’t worried about that. What concerned her was having colleagues having read the sex scenes.

Leotta, who grew up in Franklin and Farmington Hills, and attended Harvard Law School, always can depend on two people to help generate interest in her book signings in Metro Detroit:  Her father, Alan Harnisch of Troy, who is  a former federal prosecutor, and her mother.

“They’re my biggest fans,” she says. “They never fail to pack the bookstore with friends whenever I’m there.”

Her mother says: “I couldn’t be more proud of her or in awe of her ability.”

Interestingly, Leotta says her grandmother has read the books as well — steamy scenes and all.

“With my grandma, she read the published  books, and she said she was shocked, and said ‘ how did you learn all that stuff?”

Besides writing books, Leotta has a blog, The Prime Time Crime Review, which evaluates crime shows for true-to-life  accuracy.

 

ATF-Postal Had Investigated Ala. Biology Prof in 1993 Mail Bombing to Harvard Med Prof

Prof. Amy Bishop/university photo
Prof. Amy Bishop/university photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s hard to think of a biology teacher as a dangerous person. Boring? Long winded? Possibly. But dangerous?

Well, not only did biology professor Amy Bishop allegedly kill three colleagues and wound three more in a shooting rampage at the University of Alabama in Huntsville on Friday, but now the Boston Globe reports she was a subject of an ATF-Postal probe in an attempted bombing of a Harvard Medical School prof in 1993.

The paper reports that Bishop and her husband “were questioned after a package containing two pipe bombs was sent to the Newton home of Dr. Paul Rosenberg, a Harvard Medical School professor and physician at Children’s Hospital Boston. At the time, Bishop was working as a postdoctoral fellow in the hospital’s human biochemistry lab.”

The paper reported that Bishop’s husband, James E. Anderson, “acknowledged that he and his wife were questioned by authorities about the 1993 mail bomb case, but said neither of them was a suspect. Rather, they were “subjects’’ of the attempted bombing investigation, he said.”

The husband told the New York Times that he had a letter from the ATF saying that they had been cleared in the matter.

To read more click here.