April 23, 2018

700 children reportedly separated from their parents after crossing U.S. border. “The idea of punishing parents who are trying to save their children’s lives, and punishing children for being brought to safety by their parents by separating them, is fundamentally cruel and un-American.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-border-mexico-agency-texas-wall-trump-ice-migration-america-a8315781.html

Largo, Florida detectives reportedly entered funeral home, tried to use dead man’s finger to unlock his phone in front of his fiancee. “Linus Phillip, 30, was fatally shot six times in the back by a Largo police officer last month after authorities say he tried to drive away before an officer could search him.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5644677/Police-try-unlock-phone-dead-mans-finger-Florida.html

Cops take down black woman who asked for plastic silverware at restaurant, rip off her clothes. “In the course of the altercation, her clothes are pulled down to reveal her breasts as white patrons continue to eat in the background.”   http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2018/04/outrage_growing_over_black_wom.html

Armenian police arrest hundreds of protesters and detain opposition leaders. “The public prosecution service confirmed that three opposition leaders had been detained on suspicion of organising an illegal protest.”   https://www.euractiv.com/section/armenia/news/police-in-armenia-detain-opposition-leaders-protesters/

Nicaraguan government reverses course on pension ‘reforms’ after 26 die during protests. “The overhaul had sought to shore up Nicaragua’s troubled social security system with a combination of reduced benefits and increased taxes.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dozens-killed-nicaragua-after-unrest-over-social-security-reform-n868216

At least 57 killed in Kabul, Afghanistan by suicide bomber. “The attacker detonated his explosives as the Afghan authorities distributed national identity cards in the western part of Kabul, the capital, part of a push by the government to get more people to register to vote.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/world/asia/suicide-bomber-afghanistan-elections.html

Half-naked man accused of shooting four people at a Nashville Waffle House had been detained in July for entering a restricted area near the White House. “When I saw him get out of his pickup truck, all he had on was his jacket.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-waffle-house-shooting-nashville-20180422-story.html

Woman fined $500 by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for not declaring apple passed out on Delta flight. “Crystal Tadlock told Fox 31 Denver, toward the end of her flight from Paris, flight attendants passed out apples in plastic bags as a snack.”   http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/22/woman-fined-500-for-saving-free-delta-air-lines-snack.html

Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion fine for overcharging borrowers. “In Friday’s announcement, the CFPB and the OCC penalized Wells for improperly charging fees to borrowers who wanted to lock in an interest rate on a pending mortgage loan and for sticking auto loan customers with insurance policies they didn’t want or need.”   http://lmtribune.com/business/wells-fargo-fined-b-for-mortgage-auto-lending-abuses/article_38a1d5a1-9d0c-5fdf-8a74-05578e7feedc.html

LA Starbucks accused of letting white guy use the restroom after denying access to a black guy. “There should have been a sign right there that says ‘whites only’, because that’s how they treated it.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/starbucks-los-angeles-philadelphia-accused-of-racism/

Google collecting huge amounts of data on its users. “The internet giant keeps a detailed log of users’ web browsing and location history stretching back nearly a decade, even when people think their privacy is protected in ‘incognito’ mode.”   https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6114042/google-collects-enough-data-on-you-to-fill-an-8ft-stack-of-paper-every-two-weeks-then-it-flogs-the-info-to-the-highest-bidder/

Animated satellite images show impact of human activity on the environment. “The Earth is changing dramatically.”   https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/04/22/new-satellite-animations-of-earth-show-how-quickly-humans-are-changing-the-planet/

Scott Pruitt reportedly met with lobbyist Steven Hart at the EPA last summer, Hart also lobbied EPA in first quarter of 2018. “Pruitt’s connections to the prominent lobbyist have been under intense scrutiny since last month, when media reports first revealed that the EPA chief rented a luxury Capitol Hill condo from a corporation co-owned by Hart’s wife for just $50 a night.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/epa-chief-scott-pruitt-lobbyist-condo-lease

Michael Bloomberg says he’ll cover $4.5 million U.S. dues for Paris climate agreement. “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/michael-bloomberg-paris-climate-pact

DeKalb County, Georgia fires seven suspected ‘ringleaders’ of bus driver sickout. “Whether the school bus drivers can succeed in winning their demands and maintaining broad popular support remains to be seen, but the protest provides an important test case on whether these teacher movements will lead to a broader working-class uprising or stay limited to organizing among a narrower band of white-collar professionals.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/22/georgia-bus-drivers-joined-the-school-uprising-and-paid-a-price/

Yazidis in northern Syria say they being pressured by Turkish-backed forces to convert to Islam. “Islamist rebel fighters, who are allied to Turkey and have occupied Yazidi villages in the area, have destroyed the temples and places of worship the Kurdish-speaking non-Islamic sect according to local people.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-yazidis-isis-islam-conversion-afrin-persecution-kurdish-a8310696.html

Palantir software telling the authorities a lot more than they need to know about people. “One woman in the (LAPD’s) system, for example, who wasn’t suspected of committing any crime, was identified as having multiple boyfriends within the same network of associates…”   https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

Some Minneapolis residents worried after observing unannounced B2 bomber activity over their city. “Strange reports of up to 10 B-2 stealth bombers flying above Minneapolis started circulating on social media Thursday evening.”   https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/04/20/half-the-b-2-fleet-was-flying-above-minneapolis-and-heres-why/


April 23, 2018

April 22, 2018

59 year-old Broward County, Florida woman with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease dies after being jailed without her medication and yelled at by judge. Her crime: fighting with her daughter over a fan. “Porter told the Miami Herald that once (Sandra Faye) Twiggs was released from jail and taken back home, she was starving, dizzy and borderline breathless.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article209496684.html

Cop points rifle at anti-Nazi protesters, several arrested for wearing masks. “At one point, an officer pointed what seemed to be a modified AR-15 at the faces of counter-protesters, none of whom appeared to be armed.”    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/georgia-neo-nazi-rally-police-militarized-arrests_us_5adbf0f6e4b075b631e65f49

Witnesses saw customers and gunman exit Chinese restaurant after shooting of Florida deputies. “The men noticed something was wrong when they saw a horrified woman bolt out of the restaurant with her hand covering her mouth.”   http://www.wfla.com/news/florida/witnesses-recall-horrific-scene-after-gunman-kills-2-gilchrist-deputies/1131441251   So why hasn’t the media interviewed any of these customers or the staff of the restaurant? Was there some kind of altercation? Was the gunman a customer? Why did the sheriff say they were shot from outside?

Amnesty International awards Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award. “When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/21/refusing-ignore-or-accept-racial-discrimination-amnesty-international-honors-colin

Basque separatist ETA apologizes for terrorism, suggests democratic path to independence from Spain. “We know that, owing to the necessities of all kinds of armed struggle, our actions have hurt people who bore no responsibility whatsoever.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/20/eta-apologises-basque-separatists-deadly-violence


April 22, 2018

April 21, 2018

CIA says Gina Haspel not to blame for destroying torture videos, she was just following orders. “It was not her decision to destroy the tapes.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/cia-defends-nominee-haspel-s-role-in-torture-tapes-destruction   If your boss told you to destroy evidence because it looked like there might be an investigation, would you do it? Would you participate in a cover-up?

Eyewitnesses claim Florida deputies were shot from inside the restaurant, not through the window. “Then we see the shooter come out the door. And he’s walking with his gun.”   http://www.wfla.com/news/florida/eyewitness-describes-horror-inside-chinese-restaurant-after-2-deputies-shot-killed/1131591614   Strange that no media outlets have interviewed anyone inside the restaurant, or the owners or employees of the restaurant. Days later we have no eyewitness account of what actually happened inside the restaurant. Was Highnote a customer? Or did he just walk into a random business and randomly shoot two people for no reason? We also don’t know the suspect’s occupation or race. Some news organization might overlook these details, but all of them?

Chemical weapons inspectors still unable to reach site of alleged gas attack near Damascus. “Six days later, they are still demanding full and secure access to the site, a delay that has sharpened suspicions among local residents and Western governments that Syrian and Russian authorities are using each day that passes for a coverup.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chemical-weapons-coverup-suspected-in-syria-as-inspectors-remain-blocked/2018/04/20/1ca0f164-440a-11e8-b2dc-b0a403e4720a_story.html

Democrats sue Russia, Trump campaign, Wikileaks, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone and Jared Kushner for conspiracy to swing election. “Most of the accusations appeared to be based on news reports and publicly available legal documents and offered little new information about alleged collusion with Moscow.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia/democrats-sue-russia-trump-campaign-for-alleged-2016-election-conspiracy-idUSKBN1HR2BE

Public radio station shames black activist for appearing on Russian news channel. “…Changa’s association with Sputnik may put her credibility at risk, while furthering Russia’s effort to create chaos in the US.”   https://fair.org/home/public-radios-mccarthyite-smear-of-black-activists-shows-danger-of-russia-panic/comment-page-1/#comment-3159941   I hope Alexei Navalny wasn’t accused of risking his credibility and furthering American efforts to cause chaos in Russia after doing this interview with CNN.   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/27/europe/alexei-navalny-says-putin-regime-is-corrupt-intl/index.html

Five dead after clashes between police and protesters in Nicaragua. “Protests began Wednesday after a new law was signed increasing tax contributions and cutting pension income in the social security system.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/3-dead-nicaragua-clashes_us_5ada893ce4b009869bf97282   Republicans, take note!

Four dead, more than 150 wounded at fourth protest along Israel/Gaza border. “More than 1,600 have been wounded by live rounds in the past three weeks, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/4-palestinians-killed-israeli-fire-gaza-border-protest-n868036

Leak of documents about Rohingya massacre to journalists was a police sting claims officer. “The reporters have told relatives they were arrested almost immediately after being handed some rolled up papers at a restaurant in northern Yangon by two policemen they had not met before, having been invited to meet the officers for dinner.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/myanmar-policeman-describes-trap-to-arrest-reuters-reporter-idUSKBN1HR12Q

Black lawyer says he was asked to leave his hotel while sitting in the lobby. “Without provocation or warning, I was approached by a security guard who asked me to leave. He said I was loitering. The security guard did not make the same request of my white colleague, who was sitting right next to me.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-crump-hotel-racism_us_5ada31c2e4b04090e551f550

86% of people arrested for possession of marijuana in New York City are non-white, but white and non-white New Yorkers smoke dope at about the same rates. “…the top five neighborhoods for marijuana arrests in New York are all in East Harlem and the south Bronx, areas that are some of the city’s least wealthy, and that are home to many people of color.”   https://www.marketwatch.com/story/420-day-is-no-celebration-for-these-americans-theyre-most-likely-to-get-arrested-2018-04-20

State Department’s annual human rights report omits most reproductive rights this year, West Bank and Gaza no longer referred to as ‘occupied territories’. “In what is likely to be the most controversial change, the report strips a section labeled “reproductive rights” that outlined access to contraception and abortion, as well as maternal mortality rates, for every country.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/state-department-strikes-reproductive-rights-occupied-territories-from-annual-report/2018/04/20/46ef0874-44a6-11e8-ad8f-27a8c409298b_story.html

Lawyer for Diante Yarber’s family demands Barstow, California police release their video of fatal shooting. “Video evidence (recorded by a bystander) shows the black Ford Mustang Yarber was operating backing slowly away from police when they opened fire.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/family-unarmed-black-man-shot-walmart-demands-police/story?id=54603667   “He said Yarber was hit ‘an estimated two dozen times’.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/police-killing-of-unarmed-black-man-in-parking-lot-was-unjustified-lawyer-says_us_5ad746ede4b03c426daa2a3a

Independence, Missouri police refusing to name suspect shot by officers in January or reveal when he died afterwards, citing continuing investigation. “…open government and police accountability advocates bristled at the idea that police could shoot a person and go more than two months without saying who they are or when they died.”   http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article209184784.html

Bernie Sanders endorses Poor People’s Campaign. “A moral economy is one that says, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, all of our people should be able to live with dignity and security.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/20/recognizing-working-class-pain-doesnt-make-cnn-sanders-and-rev-barber-call-building

Interior Department begins process to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel drilling. “The Interior Department published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a public comment period and plans to draft an environmental impact statement for creating a leasing program for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/20/showing-total-disregard-indigenous-rights-and-public-wishes-trump-moves-open-alaska

Anti-corruption riots hit South African province. “Shops were looted, roads were blocked and vehicles set alight in North West province on Friday in unrest over alleged government corruption and poor public services.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/21/south-africa-riots-force-president-to-leave-commonwealth-summit

Lower house of Mexican parliament votes to strip politicians of legal immunity. “This bill will put an end to the impunity that prevails in Mexico’s political circles.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/20/mexico-congress-politician-legal-immunity-vote


April 21, 2018

April 20, 2018

Journalist and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King detained and questioned at airport about his activities. “This was a routine inspection typical of daily operations at our ports of entry across the nation.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article208547744.html   When did it become routine to detain and question American citizens about their political activities?

New York farmer claims ICE agents entered his property and arrested his employee without a warrant. “Collins attempted to take photos and video with his phone. When he did that, he said, one of the ICE officers grabbed his phone and threw it into the road.”   http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/upstate_ny_farmer_says_ice_officers_stormed_his_farm_without_a_warrant_cuffed_hi.html

FBI agent found guilty of leaking agency handbook. “(Terry) Albury, according to government documents and press reports, is accused of being the source to a massive investigative project by The Intercept in 2016 entitled “The FBI’s Secret Rules,” which looked at the FBI’s confidential handbook for conducting investigations and many of the controversial tactics the agency uses when investigating political groups and religious and ethnic minorities.”   https://www.cjr.org/watchdog/terry-albury.php

Background checks up 44% in Florida after push for more gun restrictions. “When you talk about banning whatever is vaguely defined as ‘assault weapon’, the fact that it isn’t well-defined makes it more threatening to gun owners because they don’t know what they need to go out and get.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article209351584.html

Comey accused of hypocrisy after stressing the importance of honesty, since his agents have posed as reporters, omitted information from transcripts and pressured suspects to sign false confessions. “The FBI was exposed for lying for more than three years regarding its deployment of sniper teams around the Bundys’ ranch prior to the Bundys summoning supporters to protect them.”   http://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/384083-james-comeys-book-tour-is-all-about-truth-but-his-fbi-tenure-not-so
Florida sheriff blames criticism of police for apparently random shooting of deputies by 59 year-old suspect who then committed suicide. “What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent it’s been demonized?”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/deputies-shot-restaurant-window-sheriff-blames-hate-54604199   State’s attorney: “People will want to know why, and we may never have an answer for them.”   One day after the shooting and they are already talking about never finding a motive? There is probably more to this story that we aren’t being told.
‘Fearless Girl’ statue to be placed outside NY Stock Exchange, facing the building. “‘Fearless Girl’ was designed to call attention to a State Street Global Advisors initiative to increase the number of women on corporate boards.”   http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/19/news/companies/fearless-girl-moving-nyse/index.html
Philadelphia police commissioner admits Starbucks arrests were a mistake. “I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law, and not that they didn’t do anything wrong.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/19/603917872/they-can-t-be-here-for-us-men-arrested-at-philadelphia-starbucks-speak-out
Pharmaceutical companies also making money selling drugs for patients addicted to prescription painkillers. “Amid a push by the Trump administration and many states to expand access to medications that help treat addiction by curbing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, the report also found that the number of people newly prescribed these medications, including buprenorphine and naltrexone, nearly doubled over the course of 2017, to 82,000 per month from 42,000.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/19/health/opioid-prescriptions-addiction.html
Foreign investors buying shares in Chinese surveillance camera company. “The company is well placed to outperform as China plans to add 400 million surveillance cameras through 2020, according to Morgan Stanley.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/foreigners-can-t-get-enough-of-this-chinese-surveillance-stock
Universities accused of glaring double standard on free speech after tweet calling Barbara Bush an ‘amazing racist’ is condemned as ‘beyond free speech’. “…in the face of conservative outrage over controversial leftwing views, colleges are quick to condemn and censor. But when racism, hate speech and pro-fascist views emerge, university presidents regularly declare their unwavering commitment to free speech rights – no matter the content.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/20/california-state-university-free-speech-blackface   So, was Barbara Bush racist?

“As President Bush battled criticism over the response to Hurricane Katrina, his mother declared it a success for evacuees who “were underprivileged anyway,” saying on Monday that many of the poor people she had seen while touring a Houston relocation site were faring better than before the storm hit. “What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas.”    https://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/us/nationalspecial/barbara-bush-calls-evacuees-better-off.html

Republican party allegedly plotting to take out moderate Republican congressman. “(Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina) has fought for a higher minimum wage, tougher regulations on Wall Street, and stronger limits on big money in politics. He has called for restrictions on government surveillance, sharply criticized the leadership of his party for being too cozy with K Street lobbyists and corporate interests, and waged a one-man battle to rein in United States-backed wars raging throughout the Middle East.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/18/walter-jones-north-carolina-primary-republican-gop-establishment/

Attorney for Noor Salman accuses prosecutors and FBI of knowingly concealing the truth. “The prosecutor’s role is to bring out the truth. The government here, instead of saying, “Hey, we’ll bring the truth out.” If the truth hurt them, they obscured it. If the truth would embarrass the FBI, they obscured it. If the truth would undermine their claims, they obscured it. And at every stage on it, they did not like the truth. And that to me was striking in this case.”    https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/04/20/attorney-in-pulse-nightclub-trial-slams-government-misconduct/

April 20, 2018

April 19, 2018

Tennessee legislature cuts funding for Memphis in retaliation for removal of Confederate statues. ““Today is a demonstration that bad actions have bad consequences, and my only regret about this is it’s not in the tune of millions of dollars,” state Rep. Andy Holt (R) said Tuesday on the floor, comparing the statue removals to ‘what ISIS’ does — an apparent reference to destruction of ancient sites like Palmyra in Syria by the Islamic State militant group.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/04/18/tennessee-lawmakers-punish-memphis-for-removing-statue-of-confederate-and-kkk-leader/

Three Kansas men found guilty in Garden City anti-Muslim bomb plot. “They wanted the explosions to occur during Muslim prayer times when more potential victims would be there, ‘packed in like sardines’.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-muslim-militia-terror-plot-kansas_us_5ad78882e4b029ebe0207801

Federal judge finds Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach in contempt of court in voter registration case, orders him to pay plaintiffs’ legal expenses. “The Court is troubled by Defendant’s failure to take responsibility for violating this Court’s orders, and for failing to ensure compliance over an issue that he explicitly represented to the Court had been accomplished.”   http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209268109.html

Stormy Daniels releases sketch of man who she claims threatened her to keep quiet about Trump affair. “Oh it’s a beautiful little girl, would be a shame if something happened to her mom. Forget about this story, leave Mr. Trump alone.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-stormy-daniels-sketch-20180417-story.html

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal settles lawsuit with National Enquirer over Trump affair story. “The parent company of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc. (AMI), reportedly paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story about the alleged affair in an August 2016 deal. But the story never ran.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/18/karen-mcdougal-ex-playboy-model-settles-national-enquirer-suit-that-had-silenced-her-on-alleged-trump-affair.html

Woman sucked out of Southwest Airlines flight was reportedly wearing her seat belt. “She apparently was wearing a seat belt, but was partially sucked out of the plane.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/southwest-airlines-flight-1380-jet-explosion-failure-ntsb-press-conference-2018-04-18-live-stream/

Prosecutors in Trump inauguration protest trial claiming union membership of protesters is suspicious. “In prosecutions against Inauguration Day protesters, the government contends some of the defendants’ union memberships qualify as evidence of a conspiracy to commit a crime.”   https://shadowproof.com/2018/04/16/prosecutors-invoke-union-membership-criminalize-inauguration-day-protesters/

After 59 years, Castro family lets go of the reins. “On Thursday, for the first time since the Cuban revolution nearly six decades ago, the island nation will hail a leader outside the Castro family.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/18/603618284/with-end-of-castro-era-in-sight-cuba-prepares-to-pass-power-to-new-generation

Paul Ryan blames senior citizens for huge projected budget deficit, not recent tax cuts or military spending increases. “That was going to happen. The baby boomers retiring was going to do that.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/house/383256-ryan-trillion-dollar-deficits-were-inevitable

Cincinnati 911 dispatcher who mishandled call from teen crushed inside van is reassigned. “She will return, but not in call-taker capacity.”   http://people.com/human-interest/kyle-plush-minivan-dead-dispatcher-family/

Houston 911 operator gets 10 days in jail for hanging up on 825 callers. “When questioned about the short calls, Ogg’s office said in a news release that Williams told investigators she often hung up because she did not want to talk to anyone at those times.”    https://www.click2houston.com/news/former-houston-911-operator-faces-probation-for-systematically-hanging-up-on-people

‘Terry stops’ (aka ‘stop and frisk’) by police, based on ‘reasonable suspicion’, are unconstitutional argues author. “(Justice William) Douglas wrote: “To give the police greater power than a magistrate is to take a long step down the totalitarian path.””   http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/44183-from-probable-cause-to-reasonable-suspicion-the-subversion-of-the-fourth-amendment

Trump tweet that mentioned California ‘breeding concept’ has people confused, Homeland Security secretary passes when asked to explain. “Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/18/politics/kirstjen-nielsen-trump-breeding-tweet/index.html

Video of Syracuse University fraternity initiation leaked. “I solemnly swear to always have hatred in my heart for n*ggers, sp*cs and most importantly the f*ckin’ k*kes…. You f*ckin’ k*kes, get in the f*ckin’ showers!”   http://dailyorange.com/2018/04/su-suspends-theta-tau-fraternity-video-extremely-racist-behavior-surfaces/   They do appear to be drunk, but still, its what they were thinking.

Starbucks apologizes for arrest of black customers, Philadelphia police department doesn’t. ““It is important for me to say that, in short, these officers did absolutely nothing wrong,” (Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard) Ross said.”   https://whyy.org/segments/as-fallout-over-starbucks-arrests-continues-philly-police-chief-stands-by-cops/   Arrests were clearly racist says writer. “One thing is clear: the Philadelphia police officers committed a very discriminatory and unconscionable act when they arrested those men. Commissioner Ross is making the situation even worse by defending those actions.”   https://nextshark.com/starbucks-trying-fix-problem-racism-now-polices-turn/

New Jersey LA Fitness gym reportedly fires three employees after two black men were thrown out after being badgered by the staff to repeatedly show their passes. “As the two men continued to work-out, police officers showed up and started to question them about their memberships.”   https://nypost.com/2018/04/18/la-fitness-fires-three-employees-over-viral-racial-profiling-incident/

Maine’s supreme court rules that ranked choice voting system approved by the state’s voters should be implemented for 2018 elections. “Fifty-two percent of Maine voters supported the system in a November 2016 ballot initiative, but lawmakers passed a bill last year delaying its implementation until December 2021 and argued that the state could not use a new voting system without direction from the legislature.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/18/momentum-better-elections-maine-supreme-court-approves-ranked-choice-voting-2018

Corker-Kaine 2018 AUMF bill (yes, Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate) would authorize continuation of the six wars the U.S. is currently involved in, give President Trump the authority to expand them, and would let him start new ones without the approval of Congress. “Instead of further endorsing perpetual war, we need to insist on an AUMF that is narrow, clearly defined, and respects Congress’s constitutional duty to debate and authorize military action.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/18/congresswoman-barbara-lee-warns-corker-kaine-aumf-would-expand-not-curb-trumps

Family of prisoner tortured to death in Afghanistan by the CIA wants to know what they did with his body. “The Geneva Conventions and other international treaties require that prisoners who die in custody in wartime be buried in marked graves, that the graves’ locations be recorded in a registry, and that their families be notified and allowed access to the gravesites when hostilities end.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/18/gul-rahman-cia-black-site-torture-family-demands-body

Wall Street’s mandatory dispute arbitration board has reportedly only awarded 17 women sexual harassment compensation in 30 years. “Three and a half times that number wound up being dismissed or denied — 60 cases in all.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/18/in-30-years-only-17-women-won-sexual-harassment-claims-before-wall-streets-oversight-body/

Subaru latest auto company to admit cheating on fuel consumption and emissions data. “The falsification of data on exhaust gases by Subaru is similar to the incident that dogged Volkswagen, but the German auto manufacturer produces a lot more vehicles than Subaru, and therefore that scandal was at a much larger scale.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/subaru-altered-fuel-economy-emissions-data-years-many-models-2673272

Auburn, Michigan students displaying Confederate flags at protests. “What began with six trucks bearing the flags on Tuesday, April 17, parked along Bryant Boulevard, adjacent to (Bay City Western High School) at 500 W. Midland Road, has grown to feature dozens of vehicles parked in the same spot on Wednesday.”   https://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2018/04/confederate_flag-wavers_met_wi.html

Kansas City fire department employee (KCK or KCMO?) who was fired after allegedly spitting on a black child and calling the child’s grandfather a nigger, reportedly gets his job back pending his trial. “(Terrence) Skeen’s lawyer, Tom Bath, said his client’s side of the story ‘will all come out at the trial’, but he’s pleading not guilty and is back on the job, after being ‘suspended incorrectly’.”   https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/melinda-henneberger/article209114334.html

7 year-old dragged off Memphis area school bus by his legs by a teacher, mom claims he was injured. “Another parent of a child at the school contacted me Friday evening, and she said she had video of the teacher dragging my (son off) the school bus.”   https://www.fox13memphis.com/top-stories/scs-employee-drags-7-year-old-off-school-bus-by-his-feet/733248376

Two CIA sources suggests Gina Haspel was not just in charge of one black site, but actually ran the agency’s interrogation program. “To the best of my understanding, she ran the interrogation program.”   https://www.thedailybeast.com/top-cia-lawyer-in-2014-haspel-ran-the-interrogation-program

Nerve agent used on Skripals may have been from old batch allegedly sold to organized crime figures after fall of Soviet Union. “Exposure to even a large dose of such a normally lethal poison more than 25 years after it was first produced could account for the apparent lack of normal symptoms associated with exposure to that kind of nerve agent experienced by the Skripals, as well as for their relatively speedy recovery.”   https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2018/04/18/an-alternative-explanation-to-the-skripal-mystery/

Israeli extremists vandalize Palestinian village. “Vandals cut down more than two dozen olive trees and spray-paint walls in a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank with the phrase “Death to Arabs” on Wednesday in an apparent hate attack.”   https://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinian-village-vandalized-trees-cut-down-in-apparent-hate-attack/


April 19, 2018

April 18, 2018

Law enforcement organizations backing tougher laws on protesters. “According to research conducted for In These Times in partnership with Ear to the Ground, law enforcement in at least eight states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and Wyoming—lobbied on behalf of anti-protest bills in 2017 and 2018. The bills ran the gamut from punishing face coverings at protests to increasing penalties for “economic disruption” and highway blockage to criminalizing civil protests that interfere with ‘critical infrastructure’ like oil pipelines.”   http://inthesetimes.com/features/police_anti-protest_laws_trump.html

Libertarian group is mapping Customs & Border Patrol roadblocks. “CBP agents operating these (internal) checkpoints routinely violate the constitutional rights of citizens and (others) who are forced to pass through them to get to work, go to the store, or make it to a vacation destination in the American Southwest.”   https://www.cato.org/blog/introducing-checkpoint-america

California anti-terror ‘fusion center’ tracked fake news ‘Antifa revolution’ rumors. “Email discussions about the November 4 protest were exchanged as late as October 24, 2017, roughly two weeks after Newsweek, Snopes and other outlets ran stories debunking the conspiracy.”   http://www.newsweek.com/antifa-civil-war-fake-news-story-treated-threat-department-homeland-security-885251

Supreme Court rules that law used to deport immigrants with criminal records is too vague. “Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the part of the Immigration and Nationality Act in question was so “fuzzy” over what constitutes the kind of aggravated felony that requires an immigrant’s deportation that it violated the constitutional protection of due process.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/divided-supreme-court-says-part-of-immigration-law-used-for-deportation-too-vague/2018/04/17/37a57c22-4258-11e8-ad8f-27a8c409298b_story.html

Sandy Hook parents sue Alex Jones over conspiracy theory stories. “… Jones has aired several segments accusing the parents of the children who were killed [in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School] of lying and calling them “crisis actors” involved in an elaborate plot.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhiprakash/parents-of-children-who-were-killed-in-sandy-hook-are-suing   If they win, will it mean that UFO, JFK, RFK, MLK and 9/11 conspiracy theories are actionable too? Could defendants subpoena the government for evidence?  What about stories that the government is monitoring telephone and email communications, assembling facial recognition databases using ID photos, or tracking drivers using license plate cameras?

CIA director Mike Pompeo reportedly met secretly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “The CIA declined to comment. The White House declined to comment as well…”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-trump-japan-abe-20180416-story.html   So North Korea knew about this, but the American public didn’t.

Some Trump supporters unhappy with military strikes on Syria. “This is not why Donald Trump got elected.”   http://thehill.com/policy/defense/383615-trump-draws-criticism-from-his-base-over-syria

Woman sucked out of Southwest Airlines plane after window broken by part flying off engine. “There was blood on the windows… her arms were actually out of the airplane and her head was out of the airplane.”   https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Airplane-Makes-Emergency-Landing-at-Philadelphia-International-Airport-480008613.html

Driver in Hart family crash reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.102%. “No one was wearing their seat belts, according to California Highway Patrol.”   http://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/washington/what-we-know-about-hart-family-crash/283-533219576

Yet another House Republican to step down. “43 House Republicans have announced this cycle they are retiring, running for another office or resigning outright, including (Charlie) Dent and House Speaker Paul Ryan.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/17/politics/charlie-dent-resigning-congress-house/index.html   What the heck is going on? Inquiring minds want to know!

Remnant of Syrian Democratic Forces (the rebranded YPG) keeping remaining IS fighters pinned down. “U.S. officials admit the Afrin campaign cost valuable SDF forces in the fight against ISIS, with as many as 1,700 troops being sent off by the SDF to fight the Turks.”   http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/04/17/u-s-syrian-opposition-force-target-remaining-isis-stronghold.html

New Zealand’s prime minister to become an unwed mother. “She’ll have help with childcare from the baby’s father, Clarke Gayford, her partner of four years.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/new-zealand-s-prime-minister-unmarried-pregnant-going-maternity-leave-n866441

71 year-old activist nun targeted for deportation from the Philippines. “Philippines’ Intelligence services (NICA) said they had a photos of her raising a clenched fist with the banner “Stop Killing Farmers” as well as wearing a Philippines agricultural union T-shirt.”   http://www.newsweek.com/what-catholic-missionary-sister-fox-accused-philippines-official-calls-nun-888372

IRS tax payment website crashes. “The agency said individuals and businesses that were originally due to file Tuesday will now have until Wednesday night.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/17/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-says-online-tax-filers-will-get-extension-after-irs-payment-website-outage.html

160 year-old Bon-Ton department store chain to close all its stores. “The liquidation of the company’s more than 200 stores is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks.”   https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/retail/2018/04/17/end-bon-ton-only-two-bids-parent-boston-store-younkers-come-liquidators/523376002/

San Francisco declares war on electric rental scooters. “We cannot overstate the public safety hazard that operating motorized scooters pose on City sidewalks.”   https://slate.com/business/2018/04/san-francisco-cracks-down-on-electric-scooters.html

T-Mobile settles ‘faked connection’ FCC case for $40 million. “… the calling party believes the phone is ringing at the called party’s premises when it is not.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/17/603247797/t-mobile-fined-40m-over-false-ring-tones-that-masked-failed-calls

Tech companies pledge not to develop or deploy cyberweapons. “In addition to Microsoft and Facebook, ARM, Cisco, LinkedIn and Oracle signed Tuesday’s tech accord. But missing are several big names including Apple, Google, and Intel.”   https://www.pcmag.com/news/360479/tech-giants-wont-help-the-feds-hack-you-your-business

New Jersey becomes 11th state to implement ‘automatic voter registration’. “The new law requires the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission to automatically register any eligible voter who applies for a permit, license, or ID card unless they opt out.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/17/effort-strengthen-democracy-new-jersey-enacts-automatic-voter-registration

Russia tries to ban Telegram messenger app with limited success. “Russia last year also passed legislation forcing (Virtual Private Networks) to block sites blocked by the government. Many have not complied, and the law has not been widely enforced.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/russia-blocks-millions-of-ip-addresses-in-battle-against-telegram-app

5th day of mass protests in Armenia. “The ex-president had formally stated he would “not aspire” for the prime minister position. But on Monday the country’s parliament unanimously chose Mr. Sargsyan for the post.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43794910

Private immigrant detention facility accused of making detainees work for miniscule wages to earn money for basic necessities, like toilet paper. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement rules specify that work is to be voluntary and compensated at the rate of $1 per day. The regulations also state that detainees must be provided with hygiene supplies like toothpaste and soap.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/immigrant-detainees-forced-work-1-day-lawsuit-2672747

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev still blocked from talking to the media. “The Attorney General has determined that Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) are warranted to safeguard national security and the safety of individuals and the community.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/04/17/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-still-gagged-as-death-penalty-appeal-grinds-on/

Security firms reportedly collecting Facebook photos for facial recognition databases. “… over the last five years a secretive surveillance company founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer has been quietly building a massive facial recognition database consisting of faces acquired from the giant social network, YouTube and countless other websites.”   https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2018/04/16/huge-facebook-facial-recognition-database-built-by-ex-israeli-spies/#1fc30f4e7f18

Many law enforcement agencies, including local cops, now have hacking tools to crack iPhones. “Police forces and federal agencies around the country have bought relatively cheap tools to unlock up-to-date iPhones and bypass their encryption, according to a Motherboard investigation based on several caches of internal agency documents, online records, and conversations with law enforcement officials.”   https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vbxxxd/unlock-iphone-ios11-graykey-grayshift-police


April 18, 2018

April 17, 2018

Greek protesters try to pull down Harry Truman statue, are stopped by riot police, several injured. “First unveiled near the American Embassy in 1963, the statue has been repeatedly targeted in protests and was twice bombed by far-left militant groups in the mid-1980s. It has been pulled down twice and vandalized on several occasions.”   http://kutv.com/news/local/greek-protesters-target-truman-statue

Russian journalist falls five stories to his death. “Maksim Borodin, 32, was a reporter for the Yekaterinburg’s Novy Den website, gaining national attention for his reports on the Russian private military company Wagner, and local repute for his investigations into prisons and corrupt officials in his native Sverdlovsk region.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/16/russian-investigative-journalist-maksim-borodin-dies-after-falling-from-balcony

Cambridge, Massachusetts police officers accused of using excessive force during tackle arrest of calm, naked man talking with officers. “Police say the man resisted arrest once on the ground and the officer struck the man to gain compliance.”   http://time.com/5242248/black-harvard-student-selorm-ohene-video/

Sean Hannity exposed as secret client of Trump attorney Michael Cohen. “Pause for a moment to reflect upon what one Sean Hannity might do with news that an MSNBC personality had hidden a relationship with a Clinton attorney under criminal investigation.”   http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/16/media/sean-hannity-conflicts-of-interest/index.html

Federal judge certifies class in Facebook facial recognition lawsuit. “The lawsuit alleges that Facebook gathered biometric information without users’ explicit consent.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43792125

Sacramento police waited about six minutes before providing medical assistance to Stephon Clark. “Video released Monday confirms officers waited about five minutes from the time Clark was shot before they approached his body. They then spent about one minute handcuffing and searching him before beginning to administer CPR.”   http://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article209077754.html

Trump-owned businesses have allegedly made more than $15 million thanks to political and public spending. “President Donald Trump’s U.S. businesses have raked in $15.1 million in revenue from political groups and federal agencies during his run for office and presidency, with about 90 percent coming from his own campaign, according to a new report from Public Citizen.”   http://www.wisconsingazette.com/news/public-citizen-trump-s-u-s-businesses-rake-in-more/article_0eb2d5d0-4226-11e8-b025-af7bf4808cea.html

Starbucks arrests would not have been news without social media claims writer. “This story, it is safe to say, would not have been a story without Twitter and YouTube. ‘Two men ejected from Starbucks’ is not the sort of hook that would have once captured the imagination of a city editor.”   https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/the-philadelphia-starbucks-story-was-news-because-of-youtube-and-twitter.html   Two points: First, they were not ‘ejected’, they were arrested, handcuffed and held for 8 hours. Second, what kind of new editors would consider a story about two black guys getting arrested for simply waiting for someone in a coffee shop not interesting enough to cover? Editors who were initially told not to run the story, until it was too big to ignore? Seems like a huge coincidence that none of the mainstream media (in the U.S.) would touch this until it was viral on social media.

After Syria missile strikes, Congress has apparently lost any control over presidential use of military force. “…most US military action since 2001 has been covered by a sweeping Authorization of Use of Military Force that covers actions against terror organizations linked to the 9/11 attacks. But the US attacked Syria’s actual government, not a terror group, on Friday, which legal experts say stretches the framework of the law.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-syria-strike-illegal-congress-cant-authorize-war-2018-4

Large asteroid just misses earth, public apparently not informed. “Astronomers spotted an asteroid as big as a Walmart store or a city block just hours before it buzzed our planet Saturday.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/asteroid-2018-ge3-is-freakiest-near-miss-earth-in-15-years/

Four baboons being used for medical research stage break-out. “Three of the baboons were recaptured within 20-30 minutes of escaping. The fourth baboon returned to the enclosure on his own.”   https://www.ksat.com/news/baboons-used-a-barrel-to-escape-their-enclosure-at-the-texas-biomedical-research-institute

Republican tax cuts still unpopular. “Who knew that giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy, rich CEOs, and big corporations at the expense of working families wouldn’t resonate with voters?”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/16/gop-spends-big-money-trying-make-corporate-tax-cut-popular-new-poll-shows-most

Justin Trudeau say Kinder Morgan pipeline ‘will be built’. “If Trudeau believes he can ram this pipeline through, he is misreading both the constitution and the electorate, while underestimating the opposition on the ground.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/16/underestimating-opposition-trudeau-doubles-down-kinder-morgan-pipeline-push

Conflicting accounts of fatal police shooting of ‘suspicious’ black driver in Walmart parking lot in Barstow, California, one passenger wounded. “The San Bernardino county sheriff’s department said officers were responding to a ‘call of a suspicious vehicle’ and attempting a ‘traffic stop’ when Yarber, the driver, ‘suddenly reversed the vehicle’ and hit a patrol car and then allegedly accelerated…. Diante (Yarber’s) aunt, …said she has since retrieved the car and that it did not appear it had rammed into police vehicles.”      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/17/diante-yarber-police-fatal-shooting-barstow-california

Japan releases names of members of biological warfare unit. “Japan has disclosed the names of thousands of members of Unit 731, a notorious branch of the imperial Japanese army that conducted lethal experiments on Chinese civilians in the 1930s and 40s as it sought to develop chemical and biological weapons.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/japan-unit-731-imperial-army-second-world-war

Eleventh ETHA journalist detained in Turkey. “ETHA’s website, which has been blocked in Turkey for roughly two years by the country’s communications authority (BTK), features domestic and international news stories that focus on… ‘oppressed’ groups.”   http://www.dw.com/en/turkey-targets-left-wing-news-agency-in-press-crackdown/a-43412287

Republican official resigns over Playboy model scandal. “The deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, Elliott Broidy, has resigned over revelations he paid $1.6 million to a former Playboy model to keep quiet about their affair, which resulted in her having an abortion.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/4/16/headlines/michael_cohen_faces_new_scrutiny_about_trip_to_prague_broidys_affair_payoff


April 17, 2018