Mar 31, 2017

NYC Mayor vows to close Rikers Island

Julie Jacobson / AP

New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio said he intends to close the troubled Rikers Island jail complex, probably within the next 10 years.

Advocates want to close the jail due to violence, poor supervision, subpar medical care, and corruption in the jail. After a civil litigation settlement in 2015, monitors were hired to oversee the city's progress in adding surveillance cameras and stricter rules on the use of force.

Instead de Blasio wants to open smaller jails throughout the city, which advocates say will better be able to provide services to inmates. This proposal, however, may receive pushback from the neighborhoods that would be affected. The mayor said the change would require cutting the jail's occupancy in half. There are currently 10,000 jailed.

Flashback: de Blasio used to call proposals to close Rikers "noble" but too expensive. The change of heart comes because the number of people serving time at Rikers has dropped from its high of 15,000.

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The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.