Ballston Spa Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Parker S. Sikand, age 24, of Ballston Spa, New York, pled guilty today to distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Andrew W. Vale, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As part of his guilty plea, Sikand admitted that while living in Troy, New York, in September and October 2012, he distributed, received and possessed videos depicting children, some as young as 2-3 years old, engaged in sexual acts. He admitted to distributing and receiving these videos through an Internet peer-to-peer file-sharing service, and to possessing them on a laptop computer and a separate computer hard drive.
Sikand faces at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino is scheduled to sentence Sikand on March 23, 2017.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.
FBI has ZERO tolerance on Child Pornography. Yet, many cases are reported and investigated in America. All those who still indulge in this vivacious task will be brought to justice and will be doomed in the life hereafter. As GOD sees what we can't see ..
President-Elect Donald J. Trump Releases Thanksgiving Address
(New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump today released a Thanksgiving message in which he asks everyone to set aside their differences and join together under the shared resolve to Make America Great Again for all people.
We are very blessed to call this nation our home. And that is what America is: it is our home. It’s where we raise our families, care for our loved ones, look out for our neighbors, and live out our dreams.
It is my prayer, that on this Thanksgiving, we begin to heal our divisions and move forward as one country, strengthened by a shared purpose and very, very common resolve.
In declaring this national holiday, President Lincoln called upon Americans to speak with “one voice and one heart.” That’s just what we have to do.
We have just finished a long and bruising political campaign. Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight. It doesn’t go quickly, unfortunately, but we have before us the chance now to make history together to bring real change to Washington, real safety to our cities, and real prosperity to our communities, including our inner cities. So important to me, and so important to our country. But to succeed, we must enlist the effort of our entire nation.
This historic political campaign is now over. Now begins a great national campaign to rebuild our country and to restore the full promise of America for all of our people.
I am asking you to join me in this effort. It is time to restore the bonds of trust between citizens. Because when America is unified, there is nothing beyond our reach, and I mean absolutely nothing.
Let us give thanks for all that we have, and let us boldly face the exciting new frontiers that lie ahead.
Today (14th Nov 2016) the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2015, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest compilation about bias-motivated incidents throughout the nation. This year’s collection marks the 25th anniversary of the FBI gathering and publishing data about bias-motivated crimes. The first publication in 1990 included limited data from only 11 states. The collection has grown each year into the wide-ranging report presented today. Submitted by 14,997 law enforcement agencies across the nation, the 2015 data provide information about the offenses, victims, offenders, and locations of hate crimes; however, the UCR Program does not estimate offenses for the jurisdictions of agencies that do not submit reports. Highlights of Hate Crime Statistics, 2015, follow.
Law enforcement agencies submitted incident reports involving 5,850 criminal incidents and 6,885 related offenses as being motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity in 2015.
Victims of Hate Crime Incidents
There were 5,818 single-bias incidents involving 7,121 victims. A percent distribution of victims by bias type showed that 59.2 percent of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ race/ethnicity/ancestry bias, 19.7 percent were targeted because of the offenders’ religious bias, and 17.7 percent were victimized because of the offenders’ sexual-orientation bias. Victims targeted because of the offenders’ bias against gender identity accounted for 1.7 percent of victims of single-bias incidents; disabilities, 1.2 percent; and gender, 0.4 percent. (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)
Thirty-two multiple-bias hate crime incidents involved 52 victims.
Offenses by Crime Category
Of the 4,482 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2015, intimidation accounted for 41.3 percent, simple assault accounted for 37.8 percent, and aggravated assault for 19.7 percent. Eighteen murders and 13 rapes (12 from agencies that collected data using the revised definition of rape) were reported as hate crimes.
Beginning with the 2013 data collection, the UCR Program’s revised definition of rape is “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” [This includes the offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object as converted from data submitted via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
The UCR Program’s legacy definition of rape is “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
There were 2,338 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property. The majority of these (72.6 percent) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 27.4 percent of crimes against property.
Sixty-five additional offenses were classified as crimes against society, which were collected via NIBRS. This crime category represents society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity such as gambling, prostitution, and drug violations. These are typically victimless crimes in which property is not the object.
In the UCR Program, the term known offender does not imply that the suspect’s identity is known; rather, the term indicates that some aspect of the suspect was identified, thus distinguishing the suspect from an unknown offender. Law enforcement agencies specify the number of offenders and, when possible, the race of the offender or offenders as a group. Beginning in 2013, law enforcement officers could also report whether suspects were juveniles or adults, as well as the suspect’s ethnicity when possible.
Of the 5,493 known offenders, 48.4 percent were white, and 24.3 percent were black or African-American. The race was unknown for 16.2 percent. Other races accounted for the remaining known offenders: 1.0 percent were Asian; 0.9 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.1 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 9.1 percent were of a group of multiple races.
Of the 3,421 known offenders for whom ethnicity was reported, 25.7 percent were not Hispanic or Latino, 6.1 percent were Hispanic or Latino, and 1.6 percent were in a group of multiple ethnicities. Ethnicity was unknown for 66.6 percent of these offenders.
Of the 3,331 known offenders for whom ages were known, 84.7 percent were 18 years of age or older.
Locations of Hate Crimes
Law enforcement agencies may specify the location or an offense within a hate crime incident as one of 46 location designations.
In 2015, most hate crime incidents (31.5 percent) occurred in or near residences/homes;
---- 17.4 occurred on highways/roads/alleys/streets/sidewalks;
---- 8.3 percent occurred at schools/colleges; 5.6 percent happened at parking/drop lots/garages; and
---- 4.4 percent took place in churches/synagogues/temples/mosques.
---- The location was reported as other/unknown for 11.0 percent of hate crime incidents. The remaining 21.8 percent of hate crime incidents took place at other or multiple locations.
The two people most frequently mentioned to head the Pentagon in Trump’s administration are both senators — and some of the chamber’s most hawkish Republicans.
They are Alabama’s Jeff Sessions — one of Trump’s closest allies and a top booster since the start of the businessman’s unconventional campaign — and Arkansas’s Tom Cotton, an Iraq and Afganistan Army veteran and at 39, the youngest member of the Senate.
Their colleagues are, at this point, used to their often controversial stances on national security:
*Cotton’s recent argument that water boarding does not fall under the torture.
*Sessions also recently voted against anti torture legislation, which puts both in line with Trump, who backs the use of waterboarding and supports "much worse" methods as interrogation techniques.
WHO TO CHOOSE:
But if Trump goes with Sessions, Washington Republicans could be in for a rude awakening: the Alabama Republican has long campaigned for smaller federal budgets, and doggedly favors keeping as a ceiling the overall budget caps that Congress almost surely must lift in order to approve the dramatic defense ramp-up that Trump promised during his campaign.
Defense hawks in Congress are certain that with Cotton, they could raise spending to the levels they have been clamoring for. With Sessions, they aren’t quite so sure.
“Tom Cotton is all in for more defense spending,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who said he would vote for either pick, told reporters Tuesday. “Jeff Sessions I think supports more defense spending but he’s been more of a deficit hawk.”
“I have no thoughts about any of the appointees of the president, that’s his prerogative,” commented Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.)
But the Pentagon’s new head may well come from McCain’s rank-and-file. If that happens, the move would not be unprecedented: former president Bill Clinton’s defense secretary William Cohen (R-Maine) served on that panel before joining the administration, and Obama Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) had served on Senate Foreign Relations.
Sessions OR Cotton?
Both Sessions and Cotton are Armed Services members. Sessions, who will turn 70 next month, has far more seniority than Cotton, who at 39 would be one of the youngest-ever Secretaries of Defense if selected.
Both have military experience, though Cotton’s is more recent and perhaps more relevant: he spent four years on active duty, the bulk of it in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, which included seeing combat during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, before joining the Army Reserve for another four years. Sessions was in the Army Reserve from 1973 to 1986.
But neither of the two has significant executive experience running an operation anywhere near as large as the Pentagon, where they would be in charge of over 25,000 employees on-site, not to mention the nearly 2 million additional members of the armed services and reserves, and a budget that constitutes about a sixth of all federal spending.
The next secretary of defense will have to manage that massive operation during a period of significant changes, as Trump and his advisers have promised a massive spike in military spending.
They propose a significant increase in the size of the Army, going from about 450,000 to 550,000, close Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani said over the weekend. They also want a hike in the number of naval warships to 350, from the approximately 275 currently in service. Trump pledges to invest more in cyber defenses, and GOP leaders are looking to him to modernize the nuclear arsenal and pursue a massive expansion of missile defense. Not to mention pay for keeping up the fight against the Islamic State and other radical groups abroad.
In either candidate, Trump would inherit one of the Senate GOP’s most unabashed iconoclasts: both have, with varying degrees of success, been more than willing to vote and embrace hawkish stances that Democrats and even some Republicans have criticized as extreme.
NO WOMEN IN INFANTRY: Both are opposed to women serving in infantry roles, and recent efforts to require women to register for the Selective Service.
NUCLEAR DEAL ???? COTTON's VIEW ...
Cotton made a name for himself soon after arriving in Washington by penning a letter to the Ayatollah of Iran disputing the Obama administration’s right to engage in negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal — a deal Trump has called “terrible” — and pulling almost all Senate Republicans on board.
Sessions, meanwhile, is renowned for being one of Congress’s most uncompromising voices on immigration enforcement, which fits in well with the president-elect’s plans to build a southern border wall.
SNAPSHOT ON DEFENSE BUDGET:
Both Cotton and Sessions believe that the United States should have kept moretroopsin Iraq, and agree with Trump that waterboarding should be an available tool to U.S. interrogators — Cotton recently went so far as to argue that waterboarding doesn't constitute torture - a stance considerably more hawkish than that held by most members of Congress.
But when it comes to the defense budget, there are key differences. Cotton’s position is fairly mainstream for the GOP: he wants a full repeal of the budget caps imposed under the Budget Control Act, and a shift of resources toward defense spending — the current defense budget represents what “is necessary, but it’s not sufficient.”
Cotton made a name for himself soon after arriving in Washington by writing a letter to the Ayatollah of Iran disputing the Obama administration’s right to engage in negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal — a deal Trump has called “terrible” — and pulling almost all Senate Republicans on board.
Both Cotton and Sessions believe that the United States should have kept moretroopsin Iraq, and agree with Trump Sessions, meanwhile, comes from the school of deficit hawks who believe that the budget, even capped as it is, may already be too large.
Sessions’s and Cotton’s office did not respond to requests to comment for this story, but fellow Alabama Republican and Sessions friend Mo Brooks agreed with the idea that any increased money for defense should be compensated for elsewhere in the budget.
“We should not spend more money on national defense if the source of that money is increased borrowing,” Brooks saidm expressing confidence that Sessions would agree. “We have to offset all reallocation of priorities based on spending cuts from other parts of the federal government that are a lesser priority.”
To Brooks, that means making draconian cuts to programs like welfare and foreign aid — proposals that are likely to draw a backlash from Senate Democrats able to block action. They would encounter opposition from even some Republicans, such as Graham, who has advocated a new "Marshall Plan" for the Middle East as an integral part of the fight against terrorism.
In the Senate, Sessions’s voting record sheds some light on his approach to defense dollars: He votes for the annual defense policy bills, but often votes against additional emergency spending measures that fund military operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
In 2014, Sessions was one of the only senators to vote against a bill to fix health care delays for veterans, expressing fears about the cost.
WHO WILL LEAD .... ???
At this point, defense leaders in Congress have no clear indication from the Trump transition team about whether or how they will try to lift the defense budget caps. Their pick for Pentagon chief could foreshadow the direction in which the Trump administration will lean.
“I hope we do lift it,” House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said on Monday, though he added: “I haven’t talked to him,” meaning Trump, about his plans.
Editor's Note by Kanwal Abidi:
Top Challenges of the new boss in the Pentagon?
--- Decision on Guantanamo bay closure or not? As Trump vowed to fill it up with "some bad dudes"
--- Handling of the Nuclear Deal with Iran
--- How to tackle North Korea, taking the viewpoint of the Congress along side
---Decision on the battle of the Mosul and Syrian Conflict War
--- How to put a way forward plan for ISIS? As Trump vowed to crush them.
Clinton lost states no Democratic presidential candidate had been defeated since George H.W. Bush carried 40 states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, in 1988.
Clinton leads the popular vote, but she won about 5 million fewer votes than President Obama did in 2012. At the same time, Trump won about as many raw votes as Mitt Romney did in 2012, and only a little more than Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did in 2008.
Most critically, the votes Clinton lost stood out in states essential to both parties’ paths to 270 electoral votes. In the ten most competitive swing states, Clinton underperformed Obama’s 2012 tally by nearly 1.2 million votes. Besides Pennsylvania and Michigan, she became the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1984 to lose Wisconsin.
Democrats turned out a record number of voters in the nation’s largest urban areas and did well in traditional swing counties such as Chester and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania, home to some of the all-important Philadelphia suburbs.
But Clinton lost other rural and small-town counties in Pennsylvania and other key states to Trump by a much larger margin than Obama lost those counties to Romney. Clinton scored better than Obama in just one of the 36 Pennsylvania counties with populations of less than 100,000.
Trump improved on Romney’s performance in counties like Luzerne, York and Lackawanna, where union jobs have declined precipitously in recent years. In 19 of the 24 Pennsylvania counties where Trump gained more than twice as many votes over Romney as Clinton lost to Obama, 94 percent of the population is white.
“The Reagan Democrat coalition moved his way pretty strongly in some of these places, or they just didn’t vote for her,” said Mark Stephenson, a Republican data analytics expert. “You can have ten counties that make up one percent of the vote that overwhelm a big county that makes up eight percent of the vote, and that seems to be what happened in a lot of these swing states.”
Florida was one of the few states where Clinton’s total outpaced Obama statewide. Clinton outperformed Obama and beat Trump by 853,000 votes in the five counties with populations over a million residents — Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and Orange. Obama had won those counties by a combined 695,000 votes.
But Trump outperformed Romney by a wider margin: In the 31 counties with populations between 100,000 and a million, Trump won by 801,000 combined votes — 300,000 more than Romney’s margin four years ago. Trump beat Clinton by 171,000 votes in Florida counties with fewer than 100,000 residents, improving on Romney.
Overall, Trump won Florida by about 220,000 votes.
Clinton’s strategy “was really, really hyper-focused on urban communities,” said Steve Schale, a Florida Democratic strategist. “There were more than enough votes that came out of the places where we needed to win.”
*No wonder the rural parts ignored by the Clinton campaign - also eroded the mandate of Secretary Clinton.
Clinton also suffered from a predictable decline in the African-American vote, a critical loss in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. If the Democrat had won those three states, she would be the president-elect.
In Michigan, Clinton won 517,000 votes in Wayne County, home of Detroit. Four years ago, Obama won 595,000 votes in Wayne County. Clinton also suffered serious drop-offs in Macomb County, a Detroit suburb, and in Genessee, home of Flint.
In total, Trump won Michigan by about 12,000 votes.
The results, strategists and observers said, illustrate a dramatic shift in political power toward rural areas, at least this year.
“Clinton’s performance in suburban counties like Chester demonstrate that she succeeded in part in executing her campaign strategy,” said Brock McCleary, a Republican pollster in Pennsylvania. “Populism doesn’t play in the suburbs, and that’s what left the political world shaking its head at Trump’s strategy. Right and wrong in American politics is often determined by whether a moderate Chester County mother would approve. Not this time.”
Clinton over-performed Obama’s Michigan vote total in just six counties, centered around the growing cities of Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor — where Obama held a last-minute get-out-the-vote rally before polls opened — and Battle Creek. Trump, on the other hand, over-performed Romney in 75 of the state’s 83 counties.
Virginia illustrates the drop-off between Obama’s performance and Clinton’s among black voters. In seven jurisdictions in which black voters make up a majority, Clinton received fewer votes than Obama did in all but one, Richmond city. In Philadelphia, which is 44 percent African American, Clinton’s margin over Trump was 11,000 votes lower than Obama’s margin over Romney.
Clinton’s focus on urban cores helped her win Nevada, a state dominated by two urban centers. Clinton took more votes than Obama in both Clark (Las Vegas) and Washoe (Reno) counties — and she under performed Obama in the other 15 counties in the Silver State. Clinton’s margin in Clark County alone, where she beat Trump by 81,000 votes, was three times the size of her statewide margin.
“We did not lose this in base Democratic counties,” Schale said.
At the same time, Trump performed better than Romney in all 17 Nevada counties.
BY: KANWAL ABIDI
063 News - Online Press Agency
W*DC*News- Founder and Executive Editor (Washington D.C. News)
Editor's Note: These elections will go down in the history as one of the most interesting elections, with a vast global attention. However, the president elect donald trump will face a tough time in the white house - proving what he all said in the debates and rallies. only time will determine his success.