Brickbats: March 2024
Former federal corrections officer Andy Steven Johnson pleaded guilty to theft and wire fraud. While working at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Johnson took an inmate’s cellphone, opened Cash App, and sent himself $300. Johnson also applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of nearly $16,000 for a business that didn’t exist.
Karen Celebertti resigned as director of the Miss Nicaragua beauty pageant facing charges of treason and organized crime. Following Miss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios’ victory in the Miss Universe pageant, photos of Palacios attending a 2018 anti-government rally went viral and she became a symbol of the opposition to President Daniel Ortega. When Celebertti and her daughter arrived back at the Managua airport in November, they were placed on a plane to Mexico, and police searched her home and detained her husband and son.
The government of Utrecht, Netherlands, banned ads for meat on bus stops and other government-owned spaces. The city has previously banned ads for fossil fuels, cars, and flying. City officials say the bans could have a positive impact on residents’ health and the climate.
Former Hialeah, Florida, police officer Rafael Otano was sentenced to five and a half years in prison after being convicted of kidnapping a homeless man. Prosecutors said that after a shopkeeper at a strip mall called police to complain about the man, Otano and another officer drove him to a wooded area outside of town, beat him, and left him there.
Russia has enacted new laws to punish those who criticize its war in Ukraine, and Russians have been eager to denounce those they feel violate those laws. Sometimes those who report others truly agree with the war effort, but sometimes it’s done to settle a personal grudge. “Whenever something real comes up, there’s nobody to investigate,” one former police officer told the BBC. “Everyone’s gone to check on some grandma who saw a curtain that looked like the Ukrainian flag.”
Coi Morris, a mail handler at the U.S. Postal Service processing center in New O
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