Two black men arrested for loitering at Starbucks reach settlement with coffee chain and city

The two black men arrested for loitering at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month have reached settlements with the coffee chain and the city, The Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced that it struck a deal with Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson for an undisclosed payout, “as well as continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity,” the company said in a news release.

The men were also offered full tuition to complete their bachelor’s degrees through the company’s partnership with Arizona State University’s online program, according to the AP.

Also, in separate deals, the city agreed to pay each of the men a symbolic $1 each, along with the promise to set up a $200,000 young entrepreneurship program.

What happened?

Police arrested Nelson and Robinson on April 12 at a Philadelphia Starbucks after the manager called police on them for sitting in the shop without ordering anything from the menu. The men were reportedly waiting for a colleague to join them before they placed an order.

The men were released from jail early the next morning and charges were never filed.

A video that showed police escorting the men out of the store in the high-end Ritten House neighborhood sparked outrage across the country against the coffee chain.

The incident prompted an apology from Starbucks’ CEO, and it scheduled racial-bias training for its 175,000 employees at 8,000 stores. The company will close all stores during the training on the afternoon of May 29.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson traveled to Philadelphia and offered a personal apology to the men.

What else did Starbucks say?

“I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile,” Johnson said in the release. “I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences. And Starbucks will continue to take actions that stem from this incident to repair and reaffirm our values and vision for the kind of company we want to be.”

The company said it would disclose more details about the settlement later in a “mutually agreed” statement with the men.

What did the Philadelphia mayor say?

Nelson and Robinson chose not to sue the city of Philadelphia but instead asked its leaders to partner with them “to make something positive come of this,” according to The Washington Post.

“This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our city, pain that would’ve resurfaced over and over again in protracted litigation, which presents significant legal risks and high financial and emotional costs for everyone involved,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

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Heritage Foundation Defends Facebook’s ‘Right’ to Censor, Will Oppose Regulation

Mark Zuckerberg Capitol Hill
The Heritage Foundation will defend Facebook’s legal right as a “private company” to censor content and will oppose attempts to regulate the tech giant, according to the think tank’s senior research fellow for technology, Klon Kitchen.

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Caravan illegals enrage other migrants by cutting in line

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Use of Force Against Immigrants at UK Facility Doubled in 2017 – Watchdog

The Home Office has been under scrutiny over the UK government’s immigration policy, specifically, its treatment of the Windrush generation and its setting of deportation targets for the removal of illegal immigrants. In light of the controversy, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned on April 29, paving the way for Sajid Javid to replace her.

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Giuliani puts the kibosh on Stormy ‘payoff’ claim, and throws Laura Ingraham for a loop

Rudy Giuliani dropped what many are calling a bombshell during an interview on Fox News Channel’s Hannity, saying that President Donald Trump paid back his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.

And while Giuliani was adamant that the pay off didn’t involve campaign money, the revelation sent the left into a frenzy because Trump stated on April 6 that he was not aware of the payment — even Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, a former defense attorney, said “that’s a problem,” but is there a simple explanation that’s being missed?

In a panel discussion Wednesday night on FNC’s The Ingraham Angle, contributor Byron York suggested that Giuliani “may not have thought this whole thing through,” prompting an interesting reply from Ingraham.

“If you go on ‘Hannity,’ you better think it through,” she said. “I love Rudy, but they better have an explanation for that, that’s a problem.”

Giuliani told Hannity that the $130,000 payment was “perfectly legal.”

“That money was not campaign money, sorry,” he claimed. “I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation.”

When Hannity asked if this was because the money was “funneled” through Cohen’s law firm, the former mayor said, “Funneled it through the law firm, and the President repaid him.”

But Giuliani would also say Trump “didn’t know the specifics” of the payment.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a participant on Ingraham’s panel, had a ready explanation that proved to be much closer to the truth, based on a later clarification by Giuliani.

“I don’t think somebody with President Trump’s income level writes all of his checks, you know what I mean?” he told Ingraham. “It would not surprise me if he authorized a payment and it gets lost in the shuffle. I know that sounds crazy perhaps on a certain level but here’s a guy with a massive income and he’s dealing with a lot of things.”

In a later interview with the Washington Post, Giuliani insisted the disclosure was no gaffe, saying he discussed it with Trump beforehand.

With the anti-Trump forces whipped into a lather over the possibility that Trump has been caught in a lie, Giuliani added more context to his comment with Fox News’ John Roberts — which is being described as “damage control” by the media.

“Rudy Giuliani told me that while reimbursed Cohen for the $130k SD payment, POTUS didn’t know what the money was used for. Giuliani says Cohen merely told the President he had “expenses” for which POTUS reimbursed him,” Roberts tweeted.

The payment is being described in the media as a “loan” because Trump reimbursed Cohen and anti-Trump forces insist it is related to his campaign, which will ensure wall-to-wall coverage.

But there’s so much vagueness in Giuliani’s revelation. In the end, it’s more likely to serve as another rabbit hole the president’s detractors will go chasing down in their quest to destroy him.

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Justices Decline to Hear Conservative Law Prof’s Political Bias Case

A former part-time legal writing instructor who claimed that the University of Iowa College of Law refused to hire her because of her conservative political views … and political culture within most American law schools is overwhelmingly liberal, even …

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Student loan forbearance enables colleges to dodge accountability – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise

The complexity of the federal student loan program has long been a nuisance to borrowers. But a new report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal watchdog, shows that the program’s complexity has also enabled colleges receiving taxpayer money to avoid a key accountability rule. While many observers have focused on the institutions’ chicanery, GAO’s findings also highlight the need to rein in forbearance, a few-questions-asked tool borrowers can use to delay paying their loans.

student loan forbearance college accountability

@linashib via Twenty20

For colleges that receive student aid funds from taxpayers, the Department of Education calculates the percentage of alumni who default on their student loans within three years of entering repayment. (Default is defined as failure to make a loan payment for 360 days.) If this percentage, known as the “cohort default rate,” rises above a certain threshold, the college may lose access to federal student aid.

Naturally, colleges have an incentive to ensure that, if their students are going to default, they do so after the three-year window has closed. For students who are unable or unwilling to make their student loan payments, loan servicers have the option to place their loans in forbearance for up to – you guessed it – three years. Many students who go into forbearance simply delay a forthcoming default until after the cohort default rate window has closed and their colleges can no longer be held accountable.

The federal government gives loan servicers power to grant a forbearance request for any reason. To that end, many colleges hire “default management consultants” to steer borrowers towards this option. According to GAO, these consultants contacted borrowers and urged them to request forbearance. Some consultants engaged in unethical behavior, such as falsely telling borrowers that defaulting on a student loan would mean losing eligibility for food stamps.

Borrowers are now more likely than not to place their loans into forbearance at least once. For student borrowers who entered repayment in 2013, 68% used forbearance during the three-year cohort default rate window. A fifth used forbearance for more than a year and a half. Such widespread use of forbearance is enough to artificially reduce default rates by several percentage points, and keep afloat many colleges that should have failed the cohort default rate test.

Source: GAO

GAO calculated the number of colleges which would have failed the test had cohort default rates excluded borrowers who used forbearance for more than eighteen months. Two hundred sixty-five colleges would have failed that modified test and risked losing access to aid. (Just ten actually failed.) Contrary to perceptions, this is not just a question of for-profit colleges: more than half of the should-have-failed colleges are public or private nonprofit schools.

Observers have drawn attention to the sleaze of the default-management business and problems with the cohort default rate as an accountability metric. But the forbearance fiasco highlights a more uncomfortable reality: how easy it is for student borrowers to avoid paying their loans.

To receive forbearance on their loans, all borrowers need is the approval of their loan servicer. It is not necessary to prove a legitimate hardship to delay making loan payments. Over two and a half million borrowers are currently in forbearance, with most of those forbearances granted at the servicer’s discretion.

In addition to helping colleges avoid sanctions, forbearance also increases total loan payments for borrowers. Interest continues to accrue on loans in forbearance, meaning a borrower who uses forbearance will pay more on his loans over his lifetime. GAO calculates that a borrower who uses forbearance for three years on a $30,000 loan will pay an additional $6,742 in interest.

Rather than ceasing payments on their loans entirely, it’s better for borrowers facing financial difficulty to reduce their monthly payments by choosing a different repayment plan. A borrower can choose a longer term with lower monthly payments, or simply link payments to her income. Tools like forbearance, wherein the borrower stops making payments entirely, should be allowed only in rare circumstances such as severe economic hardship or medical issues.

Ultimately, the issues highlighted by GAO are problems of policymakers’ own making. As forbearance is a perfectly legal option for borrowers, it’s unsurprising that colleges have figured out how to manipulate it to their own advantage. Policymakers who want to stop colleges from gaming the system should make the system less gameable.

Read more from American Enterprise Institute…