<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usThu, 24 May 2018 15:17:20 -0400Thu, 24 May 2018 15:17:20 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Can Philly DA's Radical Approach Protect the City?]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2018 20:24:14 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_17311504875913.jpg

Constance Wilson is angry. She’s angry that her grandson is no longer with her. She’s angry that his accused killers still haven’t been convicted. And she’s angry at Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner for the role that she believes he played in delaying justice for her family.

“I don’t trust him,” she said. “He put the same people back on the street.”

Her grandson, Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III, visited a North Philadelphia GameStop on March 5, 2015, to buy a video game for his son. Two gunmen entered the store and announced a holdup. Wilson tried to thwart the robbery and died after a shootout with the suspects.

More than three years after Wilson’s death, Constance Wilson is still waiting for the men accused of killing him to go to trial. Both Carlton Hipps and Ramone Williams are charged with murder, conspiracy, robbery and a long list of related charges.

Last month, the accused men's defense team asked a Philadelphia judge for additional time to prepare their case. Prosecutors did not oppose the request and a new pretrial hearing was set for June with a two-week jury trial expected to start in November.

The delay outraged Wilson’s family.

"They need to take [Krasner] by the seat of his pants and take him out of the city," Constance Wilson said.

"What good is he doing?"

That question triggers dramatically different answers depending on who you ask. And it’s a question that Krasner answered himself during an interview with NBC10 as he reflected on his first 100 days in office.

During his campaign for district attorney, Krasner promised to change the system by reducing mass incarceration, to fight corruption by bringing transparency to his office and to battle injustice by ending cash bail for low-level offenders.

But several families of victims question whether Krasner's crusade interferes with his duties as the city's chief prosecutor, the top official in charge of punishing crime.

Krasner argues that his continued commitment to social reform is, in fact, the most effective way to fight crime.

"We have to be willing to be smart, not just political, when it comes to crime,” he said.
Being smart, according to the district attorney, includes investing money into education and drug and mental health treatment rather than placing people in jail for non-violent offenses.  
“The 16-year-old who is still in school is not the one who is most likely to go pick up a gun and go kill somebody,” he said.

Upholding the law while working toward social reform has been a central theme throughout Krasner's career. The walls of his office, on the 18th floor of The Widener Building in Center City, mostly remain undecorated except for large black and white photographs of Martin Luther King Jr.

When asked if the artwork was recently displayed for the commemoration of King's death, Krasner's spokesman, Ben Waxman, answered simply: "They're always there."

Born in 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, to a World War II veteran father and a Christian minister mother, Krasner attended public school in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of the Arts from the University of Chicago and then attended Stanford Law School, where he focused on indigenous rights, homelessness and poverty. After graduating in 1987, he returned to Philadelphia and became a public defender.

In 1993, Krasner opened his own law practice in Center City that specialized in criminal defense and civil rights. He sued the Philadelphia Police Department more than 75 times on corruption and physical abuse charges. His reputation as a social justice activist was one reason for Krasner's 75 percent margin of victory in last year’s closely watched district attorney race.

Krasner vowed to bring sweeping reforms and transparency to an office plagued by the scandal surrounding former District Attorney Seth Williams, who was convicted on corruption charges and sentenced to prison time.

He wasted no time reshaping the 600-person-strong office. More than 30 staff members were either fired or resigned within three days of Krasner's tenure.

He also implemented new policies, including ending cash bail for low-level offenders, requiring prosecutors to reveal the cost of incarceration before sentencing and dropping criminal charges on 50 marijuana possession cases. Those policies, he said, were part of a larger goal to end mass incarceration.

In March, a leaked memo showed Krasner instructing prosecutors to stop charging for "any amount" of marijuana possession and some cases of prostitution.

Krasner's policies drew national headlines and praise from left-leaning progressives — as well as criticism from hard-liners who labeled him an enabler of criminals.

But speaking to NBC10, Krasner emphatically rejected the notion that he was soft on crime.

“Come on now — the criticism you’re repeating is coming from people whose administration had a higher rate of violent crime last year than we have right now,” he said.

Despite his reputation as an impassioned reformer, Krasner is calm and composed in person, already comfortable in the media spotlight having drawn the attention of prominent leaders throughout the country.

At the mention of Gerard Grandzol, however, he choked back tears.

The 38-year-old community activist was shot and killed in front of his 2-year-old daughter in September. Krasner described Grandzol’s "horrifying" murder as an "absolutely crushing tragedy."

The accused shooter was 16 years old at the time of Grandzol’s death. In March, the suspect’s defense attorney requested that he be tried in juvenile court.

Grandzol’s widow and family supporters pleaded for Krasner to prevent that from happening. 

“I understand how she feels,” Krasner said. “But, no decision has been made in that case.”

Two days after his interview with NBC10, Krasner filed a motion calling for the teen murder suspect to be tried as an adult. He will not face the death penalty, however.

"The United States Supreme Court has said that the death penalty is not an option for juveniles," Krasner said. "Neither is a life sentence."

During his campaign, Krasner pledged he would never seek capital punishment, calling the death penalty "expensive, ineffective and racially biased." It's this kind of rhetoric that angers Sgt. Wilson’s family.   

Yet despite his personal opposition to the death penalty, Krasner reassured the Wilsons that the case would remain a capital one. It is currently under review by a committee that will determine the most appropriate sentence to seek. That committee will send Krasner their recommendation and he will make a decision, though it won’t be a political one, Krasner said.

"I have a duty here that I will complete," he said. "But there’s nothing inconsistent about pursuing your duty and having a personal opinion that the death penalty is a bad thing."

Krasner is part of a current wave of elected officials nationwide who are rethinking the ways their offices pursue justice. At the beginning of 2017, New Jersey essentially ended cash bail, a move that Krasner implemented here in February. He argued that requiring people to post bail for minor crimes — like driving under the influence and retail theft — unfairly targets those who can’t afford to pay to keep themselves out of jail.

John Hollway, the executive director of Penn Law's Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, said Krasner is embracing a “21st-century role of prosecutors as crime reducers.”

In the 1980s and 1990s, the prevailing trend for law enforcement was based on the so-called "broken windows theory" developed by two criminologists. The theory is that stemming the rise of minor crimes, from subway turnstile jumping to burglary, could lead to suppression of more violent crime.

The approach evolved following decades of police departments, including Philadelphia’s under police commissioner and Mayor Frank Rizzo, aggressively hunting criminals and pursuing tough prison sentences.  

Now, however, the theory has been criticized, and lawmakers such as Krasner are taking a more holistic approach by focusing on the big picture before sending offenders to jail.

Some people, the thinking goes, could be better served through social services than prison time.

"If you’re going to send somebody away for two years, it should be worth it," Krasner said. "If you’re going to send them away for 50 years ... it should be worth it."

This can seem counterintuitive to victims of crime who want to see harsher forms of justice.

“It’s a very natural, emotional reaction to want to punish people for committing crimes,” Hollway said. “Sometimes an eye for an eye seems just. The question is whether incarcerating somebody will reduce crime.”

Krasner doesn’t necessarily believe so, which is why he is now requiring prosecutors to reveal the cost of sending an offender to prison during sentencing. The policy, Krasner argued, actually supports victims because it reveals "the social cost" of a crime and helps focus resources on violent offenses.

It's too soon to tell whether his reforms will change Philadelphia's criminal justice system.

From July 2015 to December 2017, Philadelphia’s jail population decreased 25 percent, according to the city’s Office of Criminal Justice. Officials attribute that success to policies rolled out after Philadelphia received a $3.5 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation in 2016. The money went towards decreasing reliance on cash bail, implementing police diversion programs and providing early bail review for pretrial defendants, among other initiatives.  

Since Krasner took office, the jail population fell 9 percent. It is currently hovering around 5,500, according to the city's Office of Criminal Justice.

"This could be attributable to a number of factors, including new policies and initiatives across the city’s criminal justice system," Julie Wertheimer, from the Office of Criminal Justice, said.

Like the prison population, Philadelphia’s homicide rate is down from this time last year. Philadelphia Police Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, the department's spokesman, credits many things “working in tandem,” such as building a better relationship between communities and law enforcement. That relationship extends to the district attorney’s office. Kinebrew told NBC10 he speaks with Krasner’s staff at least once a week. 

Yet one of Krasner’s harshest critics is Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby, who labeled the district attorney as "anti-police."

After Krasner spoke to cadets about the use of unnecessary force, McNesby accused him of endangering the lives of officers through his “ridiculous and dangerous presentation.” The statement was refuted by Krasner’s spokesman in a series of tweets.

McNesby did not respond to multiple interview requests for this story.

During his interview with NBC10, Krasner denied being at odds with law enforcement, saying he has an "excellent relationship" with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross. He also cited his efforts to keep more officers on the street.

Kinebrew confirmed that Ross and Krasner have met, and that the two offices continue to work closely together.

Yet the anti-police accusations leveled against Krasner have been bolstered by the recent criticisms from Sgt. Wilson’s family. Not only did they accuse him of slowing down the murder case, they also questioned his previous relationship with Michael Coard, a defense attorney for one of the suspects and a member of Krasner’s transition team.

The district attorney’s spokesperson said that Coard and Krasner have not spoken about the case since he took office.

“Let’s understand, [the case is] three years old,” Krasner said. “The prior administration had all those other years and they did not succeed at getting it to trial despite all the chest-beating.”

Krasner added that his office will be careful to not go to trial unprepared, which could lead to a case being overturned. He also insisted that he met with Wilson’s family members personally to speak with them.

Ultimately, Krasner believes the impact of his social reform will lead to justice for Wilson, Grandzol and other victims of violent crime.

“We have to do things that actually work," the district attorney said, "not just talk tough.”

Krasner’s activist approach to crime reduction is ambitious. It’s long-term effectiveness remains to be seen, however, and will not only define his legacy, but also Philadelphia’s future.

“What he’s trying to do is really exciting and really difficult,” John Hollway from the Quattrone Center said. “He’s trying to improve and modify the culture. Not just the district attorney’s office but the entire criminal justice system. To the law enforcement side, he has to show that he can protect.”

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke
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<![CDATA[Trump Claims Ex-Intel Chief Admitted FBI Spied on His Campaign. That's False.]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 13:32:48 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/AP_37800338517.jpg

President Donald Trump repeated a claim Thursday that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted the FBI had spied on his presidential campaign.

But that mischaracterizes what Clapper said on "The View" this week, NBC News reported.

Responding to a direct question from one of the hosts, Joy Behar — "Was the FBI spying on Trump's campaign?" — Clapper said, "No, they were not." He went on to explain that the purpose of the FBI's reported use of an informant, which is different from a "spy," was to determine what the Russians were doing.

Trump has used Clapper's comments as part of an effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe. Trump has branded the FBI's use of an informant "spygate."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump: Military 'Ready if Necessary' to Respond to N. Korea]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 12:44:03 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trump_Speaks_After_Cancelling_N_Korea_Summit-152717902992200002.jpg

Moments after the White House sent a letter to North Korea canceling a planned U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, President Donald Trump said the United States military was ready to respond to "foolish or reckless acts" from North Korea, claiming that South Korea and Japan will pay for the cost.

<![CDATA[Trump Calls Off North Korea Summit]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 12:16:28 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Singapore_Summit_Meeting_Cancelled.jpg

Thursday morning, President Donald Trump canceled the planned nuclear summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Tremendous anger and open hostility were cited as reasons for the cancellation.

<![CDATA[Trump Cancels US-N. Korea Summit in Letter to Kim Jong Un]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 10:51:35 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trump_Cancels_US_NK_Summit-152717291056000002.jpg

Citing "tremendous anger and open hostility," President Donald Trump cancelled a planned Singapore summit between the United States and North Korea. Trump also referred to the United States' nuclear arsenal in the letter, made public on the same day North Korea destroyed a nuclear testing facility in view of foreign journalists.

<![CDATA[Read President Donald Trump's Letter to Kim Jong Un]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 10:05:51 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_18138260756484.jpg

Here is the letter that President Donald Trump wrote to the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, canceling the nuclear summit in Singapore

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bridgegate: Christie Under Fire]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 13:06:14 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/christie+gwb+scandal+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harley-Davidson Plant Closure Stuns Workers After Tax Cuts]]> Thu, 24 May 2018 06:44:33 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/harleyGettyImages-119372798.jpg

Employees at Harley-Davidson's Kansas City, Missouri, plant were shocked in January when the company announced that the plant would close next year, NBC News reported. 

Operations are being moved to the motorcycle manufacturer's facility in York, Pennsylvania. The company is also building a new plant in Thailand. A Harley-Davidson spokesman said the Bangkok plant is "separate and unrelated" to the decision to close the Kansas City plant. 

Harley-Davidson, like other corporations, is benefiting this year from the tax cut law passed in 2017, which slashed the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Soon after announcing the Kansas City plant's closure, the company announced a dividend increase, as well as a stock buyback plan to reward shareholders, repurchasing 15 million of its shares — valued at nearly $700 million. The company says that the dividend increase and stock buyback is not related to the tax savings. 

When he visited a Harley-Davidson plant in Wisconsin in September, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, "Tax reform can put American manufacturers and American companies like Harley-Davidson on a much better footing to compete in the global economy and keep jobs in America."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[DeVos Incorrectly Says Schools Can Call ICE: Advocates]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 19:39:22 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/devos2.jpg

Civil rights groups and educators lambasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after she said schools can decide whether to report undocumented students and their families to immigration authorities.

DeVos made the comments on Tuesday during testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in response to a question on whether principals and teachers should report undocumented students or families to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NBC News reported.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), who asked the question, immediately slammed DeVos' comments, saying that it's not up to local schools to define immigration policy. “Let me just remind madam chair that immigration law is federal law. It's not local law," said Espaillat.

After the hearing, educators and advocates also sharply disputed DeVos’ comments and noted a 1982 Supreme Court decision that states cannot deny students free public education based on their immigration status.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pompeo, Democratic Congressman Involved in Fiery Exchange Over Past Clinton Comments]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 14:31:15 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pompeo3.jpg

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got into a heated exchange with Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., about Pompeo’s treatment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when Pompeo was a congressman.

<![CDATA[Trump on Campaign Spying Claim: ‘I Want Total Transparency’]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 13:12:31 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_TRUMP_ON_SPYING_052318-152709515953700002.jpg

President Donald Trump said he wants “total transparency” from the Department of Justice on whether the FBI spied on his campaign for political reasons.

<![CDATA[Trump Weaponizes 'Deep State' on His Investigators: Analysis]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 13:51:27 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/961723072-Trump-White-House.jpg

President Donald Trump, who has long complained the Russia investigation is a  "witch hunt," is now weaponizing the agencies he's cast as enemies to argue he is the victim of misconduct at the highest level of law enforcement, NBC News reported.

Trump put pressure on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to ask the Justice Department inspector general to expand its look at the investigation into the Trump campaign. They also agreed to sharing classified information with congressional Republicans and other national security officials.

Experts on the Constitution say the president's latest moves may be legal, but they are outside the normal behavior of a president after the Watergate scandal. And they said the attacks on federal institutions and players could amount to obstruction of justice.

"The problem is that things that are normally respected are disrespected in this administration, such as the distance the president should have from the Justice Department," said Richard Ben-Veniste, an an assistant special prosecutor in charge of the Watergate Task Force.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[GOP to Review FBI Informant Documents Without Dems ]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 11:19:46 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2018-05-23+at+10.36.20+AM.png

The White House has arranged a briefing between intelligence officials and two top Republicans to look at classified documents about a confidential FBI informant who made contact with the Trump campaign. No Democrats were invited, and the White House is defending the decision to exclude them.


<![CDATA[Pa. AG Wants to Stop PPA's 50-Cent Ride-Hailing Surcharge]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 11:24:04 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-696625076.jpg

Pennsylvania's auditor general wants to stop a planned ride-hailing surcharge in Philadelphia before it starts.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to impose a 50-cent fee on each hailed trip that starts within city limits. The money, $10 million or more annually, would go to the school district and monitoring of ride-hailing vehicles, the PPA said.

On Tuesday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale formally asked the PPA to scrap the surcharge plan.

"Before the PPA imposes new fees on the citizens of Philadelphia, it should provide a full and thorough accounting for where it stands on implementing the 117 recommendations for improvement made in my audits last December," DePasquale said in a news release Tuesday.

That audit found more than $77.9 million in revenue the Philadelphia school district possibly missed out on from 2012 and 2017.

"While the PPA claims the fee will generate additional funds for the city and the School District of Philadelphia, the PPA needs to completely clean up its operations and rebuild some trust with residents before adding fees," he said.

The fees could also unfairly target Uber and Lyft riders, especially minorities, DePasquale said.

"I support the Philadelphia NAACP, Urban League of Philadelphia and the African-American Chamber of Commerce in raising concerns that the PPA’s proposed 50-cent-per-ride fee could have a huge impact on people in communities of color where ridesharing services have increased access to transportation."

PPA executive director Scott Petri disagreed with "the substance" of Pasquale's statement.

"I welcome the chance to review this issue with him as I have with many other businesses, community groups and elected officials," Petri told NBC10. "The 50-cent surcharge proposed for TNC service in Philadelphia will replace the fee now charged by Uber and Lyft."

The PPA plans to continue to push lawmakers to adopt the surcharge.

"It will properly fund the regulation of the additional 20,000 vehicles now in service in Philadelphia and provide well over $10 million to the schools each year," Petri said. "The surcharge is consistent with emerging practices in other major cities and is the most equitable and auditable process available."

Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cohen Business Partner to Cooperate With Government: Source]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 19:50:43 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/cohen-cab.jpg

A business partner of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen known as the Taxi King has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal, a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings told NBC News.

Evgeny Freidman, 47, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a low-level felony in New York state court for stealing nearly $5 million in state taxes and has agreed to cooperate in state or federal investigations. The deal, in which he will pay the state $5 million but avoid jail time, was originally reported by The New York Times.

For years, Freidman, a Russian immigrant, has managed Cohen's taxi medallions, which give owners the right to operate New York City yellow cabs. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, referred an ongoing investigation of Michael Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York.

Freidman's plea deal means he could potentially testify in any criminal case related to Cohen. Cohen has long served as a personal attorney to President Donald Trump.

The New York attorney general's office, U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and an attorney for Freidman declined to comment.

Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Concerns Over US, North Korea Summit]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 08:37:14 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/trump_kim_split2.jpg

North Korea says it will soon start dismantling its nuclear test site. The White House has expressed some doubt that a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will happen next month.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Avenatti's Law Firm Hit With $10 Million Judgment]]> Wed, 23 May 2018 05:41:55 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Available-in-italian.jpg

A federal judge reportedly on Tuesday directed the firm associated with attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents porn actress Stormy Daniels, to pay a $10 million judgment to a former legal colleague who claimed he was owed millions, according to NBC News.

Avenatti was ordered to pay the sum by Judge Catherine Bauer, a federal bankruptcy judge in Santa Ana, California, after his firm Eagan Avenatti failed to pay $4.85 million to Jason Frank, who used to work for the firm, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The settlement was decided in January of this year and stated the firm would have to pay the amount in two installments, according to court records. However, Avenatti had failed to pay in the initial $2 million to Frank after promising to do so last week, according to the Times.

Under the settlement agreement, if a payment was missed, the firm would accept a court's judgment requiring it to pay Frank $10 million.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[WH Under Fire for Coin With 'Supreme Leader' Kim Jong Un]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 13:17:17 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/trump-un-coin.jpg

The White House is under criticism for issuing a coin commemorating the planned meeting between President Donald Trump and the North Korea leader, Kim Jong Un, just as the meeting seems in doubt with even Trump suggesting it might be delayed.

North Korea has threatened to walk away from the June 12 meeting in Singapore over fears that it will be forced to give up its nuclear arsenal without receiving significant concessions in return.

Last week it canceled high-level talks with South Korea amid military exercises involving the United States, a surprise move that came just hours before the talks were to take place. North Korea claimed the joint exercises were a rehearsal for an invasion.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that the summit might not take place on schedule.

“You never really know,” he said. “It may not work out for June 12.”

Trump was meeting with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming summit. A national security adviser to Moon had earlier downplayed suggestions that Trump had become nervous about meeting with Kim and said the summit was “99.9 percent done deal,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. 

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate minority leader, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, chided the White House over including Kim’s face on the coin.

“I urge the White House to take Kim off the coin,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “Challenge coins are a time honored tradition and certainly appropriate in this situation, but Kim Jong Un’s face has no place on this coin. He is a brutal dictator and something like the Peace House would be much more appropriate.”

The coins, dated 2018, show profiles of Trump and "Supreme Leader" Kim facing each other, with the two leaders' names, their countries and the words, “Peace Talks.”

The Peace House, which is within the demilitarized zone on the border between the two Koreas, is where Trump originally suggested he meet Kim.

The White House’s principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, responded that since 2003, members of the White House Communications Agency have ordered a limited number of commercially designed and manufactured souvenir travel coins for purchase.

“These coins are designed, manufactured and made by an American coin manufacturer,” Shah said in his statement. “These souvenir coins are only ordered after a trip has been publicly announced. The White House did not have any input into the design and manufacture of the coin.”

The White House Communications Agency is a military unit that provides communications support for the president and his staff.

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<![CDATA[People Fight to Save Main Line Landmark]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 11:22:38 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Preserving_a_Local_Landmark.jpg

Montgomery County residents packed the Lower Merion School Board meeting Monday with shirts that said "Save Stoneleigh." The school district wants to convert the free public garden into a new school or athletic fields.

<![CDATA[High School Students Hold Voter Registration Drives]]> Tue, 22 May 2018 07:38:41 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/High_School_Students_Hold_Voter_Registration_Drives.jpg

Students at Conestoga High School are holding voter registration drives, urging their peers to register and get out and vote. The students know that in order to make a difference and have a say they need to vote.