Ian Donnis / RIPR

Political Roundtable: Vincent on Paiva Weed, Body Cams & Raimondo's Good Government Push

Jim Vincent, president of the Providence NAACP, joins Roundtable this week to discuss the transition in state Senate leadership, the impact that body cams might make on police-community relations, and Governor Raimondo's push for some good government measures.

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Reed Calls For Special Prosecutor To Probe Trump-Russia Ties

Sen. Jack Reed is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate ties between Russian interests and President Donald Trump’s campaign. Reed said in a statement that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California is too partisan to lead a credible probe into links between Russian interests and the president and his campaign advisers.

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The federal government is bringing charges against a Portsmouth man who allegedly claimed that there was Anthrax in a letter he mailed to a Lincoln couple. A threat was included in the letter with a white powdery substance, according to federal prosecutors in Rhode Island.

William Sylvia is charged with one count of mailing a threatening communication. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The teachers' union votes this evening on the latest contract proposal from the Providence School Department. Union leaders, who have voiced concerns about the offer, have not yet decided whether to recommend ratification.

Members of the Providence Teachers Union executive board scheduled a 5p.m. meeting to decide what recommendation to make. A meeting of the entire membership was scheduled for 7pm.

Public health officials in Rhode Island were trying to allay concerns about bio-terrorism in the light of new Anthrax discoveries in Washington D.C. and New York City, as a local congressman called for clear protocols for first responders in cases of suspected bio-terrorism.

Providence – A high profile New York law firm is renewing its request to represent the mother of slain providence police officer, Sergeant Cornel Young, Jr. in her multi million dollar wrongful death lawsuit.

Leisa Young retained Johnnie Cochran in the lawsuit, which claims that inadequate training and supervision by Providence police contributed to her son?s death. Judge Robert Lovegreen denied a request from Cochran and three associates to practice in Rhode Island, saying he could not see why the case warranted more than two out-of state attorneys.

The Rhode Island Department of Health today was following up about a dozen reports of suspicious powders that came in over the weekend. None of the tests involve people who fear Anthrax contamination. A department administrator says the first lab results were expected this afternoon, but its not clear if word of negative tests would be released to the public.

    Providence – A local professor is heading to Italy this week to take in part in meetings about forming a new government in Afghanistan. Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady teaches Middle East politics at Providence College, but is also leader of the Afghan Social Democratic Party in exile.

    Ahady has been an advisor to the former King of Afghanistan. He plans to ask the king not to make too many concessions to the Northern Alliance in planning a new government.

    Providence – Providence will not, for now, drop an illegal weapons charge against an Amtrak passenger who says he carries a knife as a religious symbol. Sher Singh, who practices the Sikh religion, was taken off a train and arrested the day after the terrorist attacks.

    Singh?s lawyer, Mark Laroche claims police searched and arrested his client, because Sing wears a turban and has dark skin. The state?s concealed weapon law, says Laroche, violates Sikhs? right to practice their religion.

    Providence – The Coast Guard has lifted the restrictions it had imposed on the Port of Providence.

    The lifting coincides with the departure of a French cargo ship which the Coast Guard escorted out of Narragansett Bay at about 10 a.m. today.

    Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Joel Roberts said additional restrictions could be imposed again depending on circumstances.

    ?It will be different from ship to ship, port to port, vessel to vessel," he said.

    The Coast Guard established a security zone around the port and part of the Providence River on Monday afternoon.

    The Port of Providence is closed for security reasons.

    The closure coincides with the arrival of a French-registered cargo ship.

    "The reason the Port of Providence was closed was that we had our first cargo vessel call in the port since the invasion of Afghanistan and it was also the vessel's first United States port of call," said Coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Joel Roberts.

    He said the port and a portion of the Providence River are closed indefinitely.

    Following the attacks on terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Rhode Island is in a state of "heightened alert."

    Governor Almond has ordered an increased law-enforcement and National Guard presence at high-risk locations -- but Green State Airport was the only one he would name.

    Rhode island National Guard Major Michael McNamara says all guard facilities have been warned to increase their vigilance with security measures but there have been no reports of anything out of the ordinary.

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