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Gigi Hadid's father apologizes for racist, homophobic messages to Democratic lawmaker

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Mohamed Hadid, father of supermodels Gigi and Bella Hadid, apologized for several incendiary comments made to New York Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres on Saturday.

The New York Post reported that the millionaire real estate developer sent Torres multiple direct messages from his verified Instagram account that accused the congressman of being a “slave to whites” over his ongoing support for Israel after the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.

“You worse than the rats of New York sewage system. They have bigger brains than you. You might get a job as bouncer at gay bar,” Hadid wrote.

“Make sure you dress as KKK to hide that ugly gray colored face of yours,” he added. “I know about Bronx.”

The New York Post reported Mohamed Hadid, father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid, sent direct messages to Rep. Torres that attacked him. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victorias Secret)

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MODEL GIGI HADID APOLOGIZES, SAYS SHE ‘DID NOT FACT CHECK’ POST ON ISRAEL’S TREATMENT OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

Another message read, “You are just unusual Black and colorful mouth for Israeli and AIPAC and looking for payday of over 500K.”

Torres, who became one of the first openly gay African American members of Congress in 2021, later commented on the story in an X post on Sunday, criticizing Hadid for slinging “racist rhetoric.”

“For the thought crime of supporting Israel in the wake of October 7th, I have been the target of racist rhetoric from Mohamed Hadid. If you have the audacity to be a person of color AND Pro-Israel, you become fair game for racist hate and harassment,” Torres wrote.

After the story was published, Hadid later released an apology for his words but stood by attacking Torres as a “shill” for defending Israel.

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“I need to apologize. Not for the anger I feel but for the words I used to express that anger. I intended to express how Mr. Torres is a shill being used by Israel. A state that not only mistreats Black and brown people but pinkwashes their atrocities using their projected gay rights as a shield for their human rights violations,” Hadid wrote.

Democrat New York Rep. Ritchie Torres

Rep. Ritchie Torres. D-N.Y., has defended Israel’s right to defend itself following the Oct. 7 attacks. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“My feeling after 76 years of being a refugee from the country where I and my ancestors were born and watching a genocide unfold are at an all time high,” Hadid continued. “I am watching United State politicians work as AIPAC messengers of genocide.”

“I used the wrong words to express this anger but the anger is warranted. To send Black and brown and other marginalized communities to do the dirty work of two countries who have never respected them is wrong. I apologize to my community for directing the conversation to this, and even for a minute away from Palestine. All eyes on Palestine. Free Palestine,” he concluded.

DEM VOWS HE WILL ‘NOT BE INTIMIDATED’ AFTER ANTI-ISRAEL ACTIVISTS DEFACE OFFICE WITH BLOODY BABY JESUS DOLL

In a comment to the New York Post, Torres attacked Hadid’s latest comments as insincere and “fraudulent.” 

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“The so-called apology is as fraudulent as the man himself. Mr. Hadid has been unmasked as a rabid racist to the core, and his pitiful attempt at a ‘mea culpa’ is fooling no one,” Torres said.

Rep. Ritchie Torres

Rep. Torres attacked Hadid as a “rabid racist” and blasted his later apology. (Getty Images)

Torres’ office referred to this comment when responding to Fox News Digital.

A few days after the deadly Oct. 7 attack against Israel, Hadid referred to Israeli Prime Minister as “the new Hitler of modern times.”

“This was never about Hamas. This to create the new graveyard to 2.5 million Palestinians .. the new Hitler of modern times,” he wrote under an ABC News post reporting that “Israel cuts off Gaza in ‘total siege.’”

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers question secrecy around how abuse or neglect of older adults is investigated – Metro Philadelphia

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Pennsylvania lawmakers question secrecy around how abuse or neglect of older adults is investigated – Metro Philadelphia


Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro speaks with members of the media during a news conference in Yardley, Pa., Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

By MARC LEVY Associated Press

Pennsylvania lawmakers want Gov. Josh Shapiro’s Department of Aging to disclose more about the shortcomings it finds when it evaluates whether county-level agencies are properly investigating complaints about the abuse or neglect of older adults.

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The effort comes as Republican state lawmakers have pressed Shapiro’s administration to do more to investigate the deaths of older adults who are the subject of an abuse or neglect complaint after Pennsylvania recorded a steep increase in such deaths.

Rep. Louis Schmitt, R-Blair, introduced legislation Wednesday requiring the department to publish the compliance status of each of the 52 county-level agencies that it’s supposed to inspect annually, and to publish a report on the findings.

“The public needs to know. The public deserves to know. The public has a right to know,” Schmitt said in an interview. “You cannot hide if you’re going to conduct public business, especially public business that affects the health and safety and welfare of seniors in Pennsylvania.”

The department told lawmakers earlier this year that it had deemed seven of the agencies to be noncompliant. The year before that, 13 were noncompliant when lawmakers asked.

In a statement, the Department of Aging said it looked forward to working with Schmitt. The department said it expects to introduce a new performance evaluation process beginning in June and will post results on its website.

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The department has recently declined requests by The Associated Press for two sets of documents: one in which the department outlines to county-level agencies the shortcomings it found and another in which the county-level agency must explain how it will fix those shortcomings. The department, under Shapiro’s predecessor, former Gov. Tom Wolf, had provided such documents unredacted to the AP.

Those refusals come after a January evaluation of Philadelphia’s agency found that its protective services bureau had improperly handled 16 — or one-third — of 50 closed cases that were picked at random for the review.

The details of complaints, investigations and the identity of the person whose situation is in question are kept secret.

The Philadelphia Corporation For Aging declined to comment. A letter the department sent to the agency didn’t describe the problems or how the agency planned to fix them.

Asked about the fate of the 16 adults, the department said none of their cases “required a referral to law enforcement or a report to the coroner’s office.”

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The department also said it is taking steps to help the Philadelphia agency, including by encouraging the agency to seek out a broader pool of applicants for caseworkers and supervisory staff and expanding training.

The department has contracts with 52 county-level “area agencies for aging” — nicknamed triple As — across Pennsylvania to field and investigate abuse and neglect complaints and, ultimately, ensure the older adult is safe and connected to the appropriate social services. Some are county-run and some are privately run.

Sheri McQuown, a protective services specialist who left the Department of Aging last year after almost seven years, said there is no reason the department cannot publish the findings from its evaluations and the local agencies’ corrective action plans.

“The public should know what they’re paying for, what they’re getting for their money, and older adults should know which triple As are effective and which are not,” McQuown said.

How the Philadelphia agency handles complaints has stoked repeated concerns. At one point, the state stepped in to handle investigations.

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McQuown questioned whether the Department of Aging has the spine to hold the county-level agencies accountable. High numbers of deficiencies has long been the norm for Philadelphia and some other agencies, she said.

The county-level agencies do not always comply with state requirements that limit caseworkers’ caseloads, set deadlines to resolve cases and set timelines within which caseworkers must promptly see potential victims.

The agencies also decide which complaints to investigate, and state data has long shown disparities between the agencies in how often they deemed a complaint to be worthy of action.



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Rhode Island

RI’s first head of the Cannabis Office has been tapped. Here’s what we know about her.

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RI’s first head of the Cannabis Office has been tapped. Here’s what we know about her.


Michelle A. Reddish has been tapped to be the first administrator of the Rhode Island Cannabis Office.

“Michelle’s significant expertise in regulatory compliance, development, and technological advancement position her to hit the ground running on day one,” said Governor Dan McKee in a news release. “I’m confident Michelle will effectively continue Rhode Island’s commitment to promoting the safe usage and responsible regulation of cannabis in our state.”

Kim Ahern, Chair of the Cannabis Control Commission, said of Reddish: “Her regulatory and industry experience will help ensure our Commission continues its thoughtful and thorough progress as we carefully expand the adult-use market in Rhode Island.

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More: How are recreational pot sales in RI a year after legalization? What the numbers show.

What does the administrator do?

The administrator coordinates the oversight and administration of cannabis use in Rhode Island, per state statute.

The position reports to the Cannabis Control Commission, which controls regulation, licensing, and enforcement requirements for cannabis establishments in Rhode Island, as well as policy for both adult use and medical cannabis.

Who is Michelle Reddish?

According to the news release, Reddish is the Chief Operating Officer at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, which oversees Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry.

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She previously was the Chief Regulatory Officer at that same agency. In both positions, she focused on streamlining internal services, records retention and compliance.

Of the appointment, Reddish said: “I’m thrilled to move to beautiful Rhode Island with my children and step into the role of inaugural administrator. “I am eager to build strong partnerships across the state in support of safe and equitable access to cannabis. I sincerely thank Governor McKee and the Cannabis Control Commission for their trust and recommendation.”

What comes next?

Like many similar positions, Reddish’s appointment must go through the Senate for confirmation.

The news release said McKee has already submitted her name to the Senate for consideration.



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Vermont

Rodgers to run for Vermont lieutenant governor

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Rodgers to run for Vermont lieutenant governor


MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) – Former Vermont senator John Rodgers says he plans to run for lieutenant governor.

Rodgers represented the Essex-Orleans district from 2013 until he stepped away from the Statehouse in 2021.

He served for years as a Democrat but now says he plans to run on the Republican ticket.

Rodgers was part of a coalition of protesters who took over the Statehouse last month arguing that urban communities are trampling over the interest of rural Vermonters.

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So far, Rodgers would face a primary challenge from Rutland’s Gregory Thayer.



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