S1 E20: Civil Forfeiture, Hong Kong Protests & Brazil: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

S1 E20: Civil Forfeiture, Hong Kong Protests & Brazil: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Hong Kong Protests

  • Hong Kong protesters are demonstrating against the Chinese government's decision to pre-select candidates for the 2017 elections.
  • The protests have been peaceful and polite, with protesters using creative methods like umbrellas and the app Fire Chat to communicate.

2022 Winter Olympics

  • Norway, Ukraine, Poland, and Sweden have withdrawn their bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, leaving only Beijing and a resort in Kazakhstan as potential hosts.
  • Last Week Tonight announces its bid to host the Olympics in their studio, highlighting their ability to meet the IOC's demands and offering unique mascots.

Columbus Day Controversy

  • Columbus Day is criticized for celebrating Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Bahamas and the negative impact on Native Americans.
  • Many US states and cities no longer recognize Columbus Day, and alternative Italian-American heroes are suggested for celebration instead.

Civil Forfeiture

  • Civil forfeiture is a procedure by which the state and federal government can seize people's property without convicting them of a crime.
  • Police departments are allowed to keep most or all of the money they seize, creating an incentive to target people with cash.
  • Civil forfeiture laws have some positive consequences but are also subject to abuse.
  • In many cases, people have had their money seized without being charged with a crime and have difficulty getting it back.
  • Police departments have used forfeiture money to buy non-essential items like toys and margarita machines.
  • Auditors in Texas found that law enforcement agencies were misusing seized assets, including purchasing a Zamboni and margarita machines.
  • Civil forfeiture laws have led to the seizure of thousands of houses, vehicles, and millions of dollars in cash in Philadelphia.
  • The Sorrells family's house was seized after their son was arrested on drug charges, even though the amount of drugs involved was relatively small.
  • Recourse for individuals whose property has been seized is difficult, as they often face prosecutors in court without a judge present.
  • Many people choose to walk away from their property rather than fight the legal battle.

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