iStock/somboon kaeoboonsongBy: BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — Democratic and Republican leaders denounced gun rights supporters for hanging an effigy of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear from tree outside the state capitol building during a Memorial Day weekend demonstration.The symbolic lynching occurred on Sunday at a rally by gun rights groups that was initially organized to celebrate Second Amendment freedoms to bear arms. But as the rally in Frankfort went on, it turned into a protest against Beshear’s coronavirus-prompted stay-at-home orders.As country singer Lee Greenwood’s hit song “God Bless the U.S.A.” played in the background, a demonstrator wearing camouflage pants and what appeared to be holstered handgun strung a rope over a tree limb and with the help of another man hoisted the effigy bearing a picture of Beshear and a handwritten sign tacked to it reading, “Sec Semper Tyrannis,” a Latin phrase meaning “Thus always to tyrants.”Video of the episode, taken by a reporter from the Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville, showed at least one child standing next to a baby carriage as she watched the adults hang the Beshear effigy.The event was organized online by a group calling itself “Take Back Kentucky,” which in a Facebook announcement billed it as “a rally to celebrate freedom, and to fight back against the unconstitutional shutdown over the Coronavirus.”“We will have guest speakers to talk about the virus, and how this shutdown will not only wreak havoc with the economy over the next several years, but also threaten our fundamental freedoms and the character of America for generations,” reads the group’s Facebook announcement.“Take Back Kentucky” organizers had no immediate comment on the incident.The Courier-Journal reported that the effigy hanging took place outside the state capitol building after about 100 demonstrators marched to the Governor’s Mansion yelling for Beshear to come out.“Come out, Andy!” protesters chanted.It was not clear if Beshear was home at the time. The governor, a Democrat, has yet to issue a response to the protest.As images and video of the effigy being strung up went viral, political leaders from both sides of the aisle condemned the act.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, issued statement calling the incident “unacceptable” and saying “there is no place for hate in Kentucky.”Kentucky Secretary of State Michael G. Adams, a Republican, took to Twitter to denounce the incident.“This is disgusting and I condemn it wholeheartedly,” Adams wrote.Adams noted that John Wilkes Booth shouted the phrase “Sec Semper Tyrannis” when he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. He said those words “have no place in the Party of Lincoln.”The Kentucky House Democrats issued a joint statement deploring the protesters and calling their actions “beyond reprehensible.”“Doing this in front of our Capitol, just a short walk from where the Governor, First Lady, and their two young children live, is an act that reeks of hate and intimidation and does nothing but undermine our leading work to battle this deadly disease and restore our economy safely,” the Kentucky House Democrats’ statement reads. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Press Release, Seniors Scranton, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Department of Banking and Securities Secretary Robin L. Wiessmann and Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne to discuss measures the Wolf Administration has taken to help protect senior citizens from financial scams and fraud. Thursday, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.“One of the most important jobs of government is protecting older Pennsylvanians from becoming the victim of financial crime,” Governor Wolf said. “Unfortunately, seniors become the target of scams and predatory financial abuse entirely too often. In our country, one in five citizens over the age of 65 will be victimized by a financial crime. That’s why my administration decided to pull together and collaborate across all our agencies to work to protect older Pennsylvanians from this kind of abuse.”“Elder financial abuse is one of the most significant financial crimes of the 21st century, and it is estimated to cost older Americans $36 billion each year,” said Secretary Wiessmann. “In order to help protect our seniors from financial fraud and abuse, we are developing and providing education programs for front-line professionals who have close contact with older Pennsylvanians. Through these programs, accountants, doctors, lawyers, and investment professionals are learning to identify signs of elder financial abuse, as well as how to report it and prevent this crime.”During a panel discussion at the South Side Senior Center in Scranton, Governor Wolf pointed specifically to “PA $AFE,” an information exchange and clearinghouse created as part of the governor’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative, which involves over 20 Pennsylvania state government agencies engaged in financial education and consumer protection activities.“As an example of how PA $AFE operates, leaders from 14 agencies with consumer hotlines are trained to work to ensure their staff members know the appropriate places to refer calls that are not typically handled by their agencies,” Governor Wolf explained. “They are also making certain that the financial information they share with consumers is up-to-date and consistent across agencies.”In November 2015, Governor Wolf announced the Consumer Financial Protection Initiative “in order to educate the public about financial protection and best practices in a concise, efficient way.” Among the goals he laid out for this initiative are:To establish a state government interagency financial education exchange for consumers.To help professionals who work with senior citizens identify signs of elder financial abuse and prevent this crime.“There are many types of financial fraud scams that target seniors,” said Secretary Osborne. “The Wolf Administration recognizes that financial fraud education is critical. Protection means involvement, and in order to prevent older Pennsylvanians from becoming victims of financial fraud, we must educate those around us on what these scams are, how they work, and where to call for help.”Senior citizens, the caregivers, or family members with questions about financial transactions can call the Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS. The department also maintains an online library of resources to help consumers learn to protect themselves. Governor Wolf Hosts Seniors Financial Protection Panel Discussion in Scranton June 14, 2017 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Bearers Diego Scofano (L) holds the Olympic Torch of Rio 2016 Olympic Games during a torch relay with Giuseppe Pellegrino atop the Sugarloaf in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016. PHOTO AFPRio de Janeiro, Brazil | AFP |Thousands of Brazilians angry at political upheaval, corruption and the cost of the Rio Olympics blocked traffic in protests hours before the gala opening ceremony.Most people came to vent anger at center-right interim president Michel Temer who took power in May on the suspension of the elected leftist president, Dilma Rousseff, for an impeachment trial that her supporters claim amounts to a coup.The demonstrators, however, also targeted the Olympics, saying the billions of dollars spent on staging South America’s first Games fueled corruption and only helped the elite.Waving signs that read “No to the Olympics!” and “Temer out!”, about 3,000 people blocked a major avenue outside the luxury Copacabana Palace Hotel where many Olympic team members are staying.Guests with Olympic accreditation around their necks looked down from the hotel terrace at the protest, while the crowd jeered at vehicles taking Olympic VIPs and athletes through the upscale neighborhood.When a limousine surrounded by police outriders came through, the crowd surged forward, chanting “no to the coup” and “putschists, fascists, we won’t let them pass!”The protest was the latest unwelcome distraction for Brazilian authorities and Olympic organizers ahead of the opening ceremony at the 78,600 capacity Maracana stadium.Authorities are also dealing with rampant crime, including a lengthening list of muggings against Olympic delegates and journalists, despite the deployment of 85,000 soldiers and police to protect the Games.Police at the Copacabana protest, which was to be followed by more demonstrations near the Maracana stadium, were restrained.Even when the protesters blocked the busy Avenida Atlantica, causing a major traffic snarl-up, the dozens of officers held back. The tactic was in marked contrast to the tear gas and rubber bullets used several times in the last few days to clear protesters from the Olympic torch relay. Just a facade Protesters, many of them from Rousseff’s leftist Workers’ Party, said Brazil’s deep economic and social problems are being swept under the carpet for the Olympics. “They’re holding the Olympics when people are having a very hard time,” said Ricardo Parents 59, a psychologist.“The Olympics is a facade, it’s for show. It doesn’t represent the reality of Brazil. They want to show everything nice and perfect.”Over and over again the crowd chanted “Temer out” and called for Rousseff’s return.She is charged with breaking budgetary laws and looks almost certain to be thrown out of office by the Senate in the next few weeks at the end of an impeachment process that she says has been manipulated by Brazil’s right, calling Temer the chief “conspirator.”“I am demonstrating for democracy in Brazil. The world is watching so we are here to denounce the coup,” said one demonstrator, Iraci Franca, 57, a nurse.She also said that the Games were a distraction at a time of national economic crisis.“It’s very hard right now in Rio state for education and health because of the lack of funds and non-payment of salaries,” she said.Rio de Janeiro won the right in 2009 to host the Olympic Games at a time when Brazil was economically and politically on the rise. The collapse in stability and wealth since then has been brutal.Temer is to open the Games at the Maracana stadium, while Rousseff and her predecessor and political mentor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have refused to attend the ceremony.With opponents promising to boo Temer at the stadium, organizers plan to play loud music immediately after his remarks and mask the heckling, according to Brazilian media.“We want to take advantage when the world’s attention is on Brazil to denounce what’s happening, how we are on the path to dictatorship,” said one demonstrator, Ubiratan Delgado, a 59-year-old engineer.“We’re not against the Olympics, it’s the criminal Olympics we oppose.”Share on: WhatsApp
Anti-stay-at-home protests have recently erupted in certain states across the US as shutdown orders have been extended in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The shutdown orders also impact the number of Americans losing their jobs.California, New Jersey, and Nebraska are states that are currently organizing anti-stay-at-home protests, but Facebook plans on removing some posts promoting the protests.Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said these protests do not follow the states’ social distancing guidelines.Stone said Facebook would take down posts created through the Facebook Events feature that promote events in California, New Jersey and Nebraska. Other Facebook posts, including Facebook groups about the protests, might not be removed.Facebook will allow the protests to be organized on Facebook as long as the government in the specific state does not prohibit events during this time.
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