July 22, 2017

Police chief resigns after fatal shooting of unarmed woman reveals Minneapolis officers were not using their body cameras. “We have put too much time, money, and effort into (police body cameras) to have them fail us when we needed them most.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/07/21/minneapolis-police-chief-resigns-in-wake-of-shooting-death-of-an-unarmed-australian-woman-by-officer/

White House press secretary resigns. “Sean Spicer quit his job as White House press secretary Friday after President Trump decided to tap Anthony Scaramucci as the White House communications director, according to two White House officials.”   http://www.wfaa.com/news/nation-world/report-sean-spicer-resigns-as-press-secretary/458513176

Intelligence intercepts allegedly imply that Jeff Sessions discussed Trump administration policies with Russian ambassador. “A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-discussed-trump-campaign-related-matters-with-russian-ambassador-us-intelligence-intercepts-show/2017/07/21/3e704692-6e44-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html

Thousands of Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces, hundreds reportedly injured. “The Red Crescent said 390 Palestinians were hurt, including close to 100 who were hospitalized for live fire or rubber bullet injuries. Israeli police said five officers were wounded.”   http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/world/article/Violence-over-Jerusalem-holy-site-leads-to-6-11306950.php

Obamacare repeal bill in violation of Senate rules says Parliamentarian. “Republicans are trying to use the budget reconciliation process to pass their healthcare bill with only a simple majority.”   http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/343234-parliamentarian-deals-setback-to-gop-healthcare-bill

Oklahoma teacher panhandles to raise money for school supplies for her students. “As a result of budget cuts over the past few years, Danks told FOX 23 that she now spends between $2,000 to $3,000 of her own money to purchase supplies for her students.”   http://kfor.com/2017/07/20/anything-helps-oklahoma-teacher-turns-to-panhandling-to-raise-money-for-school-supplies/

Bill Clinton was reportedly paid $500,000 by Russian investment bank for Moscow speech. “The former president indeed had received a personal call from then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressing his appreciation for the speech.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/18/hillary-clinton-sided-with-russia-on-sanctions-as-bill-made-500g-on-moscow-speech.html

More than 50% of women murdered in the U.S. were killed by current or former lovers according to government study. “In 2015 in the United States, 3,519 women and girls died by homicide, the authors of the report noted.”   http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/most-murdered-u-s-women-killed-by-husbands-boyfriends-exes/article_7cb8a819-415b-5dfa-ae3f-871928ad88d1.html

U.S. Navy likely responsible for collision with cargo ship near Tokyo Bay. “There was also no indication the ship sounded a collision alarm, which would have alerted sleeping crew members to the looming collision, sources said.”   https://www.navytimes.com/articles/preliminary-findings-suggest-navy-at-fault-in-fitzgerald-collision-report-says

Journalists waste no time, already making fun of Trump’s new White House communications director. “When asked during Friday’s press conference what he thinks of President Trump’s claim that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, (Anthony) Scaramucci responded, “If the president said it, there’s probably some level of truth to it.””   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/21/your-guide-anthony-mooch-scaramucci-trumps-new-commander-communication

Activists targeting Democrats to drum up support for national health insurance plan. “Amid surging support for Medicare for All at the grassroots—which can be seen both in recent polls and at anti-Trumpcare protests, where demonstrators have brandished signs declaring “healthcare is a human right”—activists, physicians, and policy experts are imploring Democratic lawmakers to either get on board with the growing majority of their constituents, or go home.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/21/message-democrats-get-board-medicare-all-or-go-home

Trump administration set to launch deregulation offensive. “Worker advocates and environmental groups were quick to characterize the administration’s deregulatory agenda as a sop to America’s largest companies at the expense of those Trump has repeatedly promised to protect.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/21/red-alert-team-trump-unveils-anti-planet-anti-worker-corporate-wish-list

Prosecutors seeking to bar Reality Winner’s lawyers from citing Russia-gate press reports in court. “They are arguing that the defense would be barred from discussing any information that has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, or any other newspaper if the defense “knows or have reason to know” any of that information is also contained in classified discovery documents they will receive.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/21/justice-departments-demand-for-extreme-secrecy-in-reality-winner-trial-contested-by-defense/

Conservatives reportedly disappointed by “Dunkirk”. “It’s “Saving Private Ryan”, and some conservatives found it to be too grim, and too much like actual war to count as a celebration of it.”  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/21/dunkirk-movie-rightwing-writers-reaction-christopher-nolan

Major internet companies reportedly spent $13 million on lobbying Washington. “Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google spent more than $13 million combined earlier this year to lobby Trump and others in Washington D.C., federal records first spotted by Recode show.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/apple-google-facebook-amazon-spent-13-million-lobbying-trump-dc-2569155

Government officials have reportedly developed techniques for keeping Donald Trump’s attention during briefings. “McMaster, a U.S. Army lieutenant general, has learned he can keep the president’s attention by peppering his briefings with jokes and references to Trump’s name, colleagues say.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/white-house-officials-forced-to-crack-jokes-and-kiss-ass-to-keep-trumps-attention-during-briefings-report/

Alt-right reportedly being funded by wealthy donors. “The following year, using $380,000 from the Martel Society, Regnery established the think tank (the National Policy Institute) that would eventually bring a notorious white nationalist to prominence alongside the rise of Trump.”   http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/07/alt-right-william-regnery-richard-spencer/

CIA director reportedly accuses Wikileaks of trying to “take down America any way they can”. “Hostility to WikiLeaks has been a mainstay in the US government, as every administration faces the prospect of their covert misdeeds becoming a matter of public record, to their general embarrassment albeit rarely to the end of any meaningful reform.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/07/21/cia-chief-wikileaks-will-take-down-america-any-way-they-can/

Most of the TSA’s “behavioral detection” methods lack scientific proof of their effectiveness. “… the (Government Accountability Office) found in their analysis of the TSA’s 36 types of behavioral indicators to identify potential terrorists and other threats to airline passenger safety, only eight could be supported by scientific evidence.”   http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/343197-gao-report-hammers-tsas-unscientific-methods-to-spot-terrorists

German automobile companies suspected of colluding on emissions cheating. “Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen and the two VW subsidiaries, Porsche and Audi, have been meeting in secret to agree on the technology they will ­offer their customers, according to allegations published in Spiegel magazine.”   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/07/21/german-car-giants-may-have-colluded-emissions/

Mainstream media accused of avoiding stories on civilian death toll during Mosul campaign. “Neither Amnesty’s charges, nor the broader issue of civilian deaths in Mosul,  garnered any coverage in television news, with no mention on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN or MSNBC.”   http://fair.org/home/corporate-media-largely-silent-on-trumps-civilian-death-toll-in-iraq/

New York City teen, unable to afford bail, has been held in jail for a year awaiting trial. “(Pedro) Hernandez has turned down a plea deal that would see him released on five years’ probation.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/21/headlines/another_kalief_browder_bronx_teen_seeking_trial_languishes_at_rikers

July 22, 2017

July 21, 2017

Trump administration reportedly looking for ways to derail  special prosecutor’s Russia election meddling investigation. “They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyers-seek-to-undercut-muellers-russia-investigation/2017/07/20/232ebf2c-6d71-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html?utm_term=.c79240582ba5

155 arrested at Washington D.C. health care protests for demonstrating outside “free speech zones”. “…the arrests were made after requests to stop demonstrating were ignored. Under the District of Columbia’s laws, it is illegal to demonstrate in the buildings of the Capitol complex.”   http://wtnh.com/2017/07/19/around-155-arrested-in-capitol-protests/?preview_id=493575

Amnesty International calls court ruling to block cleared refugees under Trump travel ban “cruel and discriminatory”. “The decision from the Supreme Court, said Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns, “jeopardizes the safety of thousands of people across the world including vulnerable families fleeing war and violence.””   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/amnesty-slams-latest-supreme-court-ruling-cruel-and-discriminatory-muslim-ban

Nominee for FBI director post refuses to commit on improving agency’s “use of force” data from police departments. “The fact that Mr. Wray offered no guarantee that he would prioritize data collection, and failed to respond to the question on officer-involved shooting data, raises serious concerns.”   http://www.openthegovernment.org/node/5559

Senate bill would punish Americans who organize boycotts of Israel. “Violators of the law “would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison” according to the ACLU’s letter.”   http://amp.gothamist.com/amp/articles/create?article_id=596fc5fc25fc1e0001ff2d5e

Rural newspaper fires cartoonist for criticizing profits made by agriculture corporations. “…hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the county.”   http://www.orrazz.com/2016/05/long-time-iowa-farm-cartoonist-fired.html?m=1

Former chair of the Democratic National Committee calls Russians “The Communists” in tweet about demands by Putin government that U.S. return their diplomatic compounds.  “Even if she had somehow managed to go all the way from the fall of the Soviet Union until last year without learning that Russia is not a communist country, there is simply no way she still believes that after having made Russia her bread and butter since July of last year.”   https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/donna-brazile-just-called-russians-the-communists-and-it-wasnt-an-accident-b7455b48278

Obama more popular than ever, Clinton and Trump not so much. “More than a fifth of Clinton voters (20%) say they have an unfavorable view of her. By comparison, just 8 percent of likely Clinton voters felt that way in the final Bloomberg poll before the election, and just 6 percent of Trump’s voters now say they view him unfavorably.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/finally-a-poll-trump-will-like-clinton-even-more-unpopular/ar-BBEFen0?ocid=sf

Rights group urges voters to contact Congress over warrantless surveillance program. “We have a chance to rein in mass surveillance, by demanding Congress support serious reforms of Section 702, like requiring a warrant to access our communications or preventing such communications from being swept up and stored in a database in the first place. If these reforms aren’t made, then Congress must let it (expire).”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/take-action-tell-congress-reform-reject-section-702-fisa-amendments-act/

Minneapolis police chief says officer who shot unarmed woman in her pajamas completed his required training without any problems. “Chief Janee Harteau says a review of Officer Mohamed Noor’s training in the wake of Saturday’s fatal shooting revealed no problems.”   http://www.bnd.com/news/business/article162626848.html

Trump resorts reportedly file paperwork to import low-wage foreign workers. “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and his golf course in Jupiter, Florida, have filed documents to bring in additional foreign workers under the H-2B visa program, which allows foreigners to fill temporary non-agriculture jobs in the United States that supposedly cannot be filled by US workers.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/20/politics/mar-a-lago-foreign-visas/index.html

Egyptian government reportedly rounding up Uighur students at request of Chinese government. “Human Rights Watch urged Egypt on Wednesday not to send Uighur detainees back to China, saying they faced “persecution and torture” there.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/fear-panic-egypt-arrests-chinese-uighur-students-170707051922204.html

Exxon appeals U.S. government fine for signing oil deal with sanctioned Russian. “Publicly available guidance on the Treasury’s website at the time of Exxon’s dealings with Sechin said Americans should ensure they do not enter into contracts signed by sanctioned individuals, OFAC said.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-exxon-mobil-usa-ukraine-idUSKBN1A51UH

Dutch police ran “dark net” drug website, administrator of a similar site died in jail after his arrest in Thailand. “They began running the Hansa site on June 20, impersonating its administrators, collecting usernames and passwords, logging data on thousands of drug sales and informing local police in nations where shipments would be arriving.”   http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/20/justice-dept-announces-takedown-of-online-drug-mar/   Did Alexandre Cazes commit suicide or did he refuse to hand over his password?

Many workers at Indiana Carrier plant whose jobs were “saved” by Trump during election campaign are getting laid off. “The terminations are the first wave of about 630 planned before the end of the year as the company shifts work to Mexico.”   http://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2017/07/19/carrier-lay-off-338-indianapolis-trumps-6-month-anniversary/493925001/   Sad!

Man released after 11 years in prison was mistakenly convicted based on testimony of a criminal profiler. “Without (his testimony), there was no evidence from which the jury might infer the motive.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-profiler-wrongful-conviction-20170720-htmlstory.html

Trump 2020 campaign has allegedly paid out $600,000 to Trump-owned businesses. “Nearly $400,000 of that campaign money went to rent at Trump Tower, with $90,000 going to the The Trump Corporation for “legal consulting,” nearly $60,000 to the Trump International Golf Club, $15,000 to the Trump International Hotel in DC, and about $1,700 to Trump-brand bottled water, among various payments.”   https://www.wired.com/story/trump-2020-campaign-money

Grand jury issues indictments in death of prisoner in Oklahoma jail. “A federal lawsuit alleges (Anthony Huff) was in the restraint chair for more than 48 hours without the proper amount of food, water or breaks.”   http://newsok.com/article/5556878

Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 introduced in U.S. Senate. “Too many people in this country must spend weeks, months, or even years in jail waiting for trial only because they can’t afford bail.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/20/proposed-law-seeks-reform-system-jails-people-just-being-poor

Troops in Cameroon allegedly tortured and killed prisoners at U.S. base.  “Nearly 60 victims held at Salak described to Amnesty International how they were subjected to water torture, beaten with electric cables and boards, or tied and suspended with ropes, among other abuses.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/20/cameroonian-troops-tortured-and-killed-prisoners-at-base-used-for-u-s-drone-surveillance/

Obama administration accused of replacing prison time with corporate settlements for white collar criminals. “The result, says Eisinger, is a criminal justice system that no longer seriously deters corporate crime, but instead makes it just a mundane cost of doing business.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/did-us-government-stop-caring-about-white-collar-crime-2567419

Democratic party reportedly planning to “let it ride” on centrist candidates for 2018 elections. “The DCCC’s appeal to the center coincides with significant funding for the group from finance executives and other wealthy donors, many of whom bristle at the progressive wing of the party…”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/democratic-group-angers-progressives-bets-conservative-wing-wall-street-money-win

Federal prosecutors trying to force Glassdoor to identify some of its commenters in connection with contracting practices investigation. “The company has insisted that it has “no desire to interfere” with the investigation but does not want to forcibly unmask its users for fear that it could “have a chilling effect on both Glassdoor’s reviewers’ and readers’ willingness to use” the website.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/government-unmasking-us-court-will-rule-secret-if-government-can-unmask-glassdoor-2568668

Trump accused of babbling nonsense during New York Times interview. “So preexisting conditions are a tough deal, because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, “I want my insurance.” It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/it-doesnt-make-any-sense-cnn-hosts-flabbergasted-by-trumps-inability-to-speak-understandable-english/

Deutsche Bank reportedly finally agrees to release Trump financial records. “Deutsche Bank loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars when no one else would. Now banking regulators are questioning why the banking giant would take on that kind of risk and taking a closer look at the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank — which, like the president, has significant ties to the Russian oligarchy.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/deutsche-bank-agrees-to-hand-over-trump-records-to-investigators-and-they-may-contain-russia-probe-info/

 

July 21, 2017

July 20, 2017

Trump and Kobach still claiming Clinton’s popular vote win may have been the result of voter fraud. “This effort would need to have been hugely sophisticated — enough to create millions of illegal votes while Republicans were unable to create any — but also dumb enough to put them in the wrong states for the electoral college.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/19/the-white-house-still-thinks-illegal-votes-may-have-given-clinton-the-popular-vote-basic-logic-and-math-disagree/

CIA wants to destroy some of its files. “Along with leak-tied files, the record types include medical records, behavioral conduct files, security clearance information, personality files with counterintelligence interests, workers-compensation reports for employees posted overseas, and declassification and referral files.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cia-plans-to-destroy-some-of-its-old-leak-files

Video appears to show Baltimore police officer planting drugs. “Curran speculates that Pinheiro was waiting to turn his device on for his “discovery,” but miscounted and captured his alleged planting at the very beginning of his clip.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/accused-planting-drugs-body-cam-footage-article-1.3338858

Huge number of Americans are renting their homes. “A decade after the housing bust upended the lives of millions of Americans, more U.S. households (36.6%) are headed by renters than at any point since at least 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data.”   http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/19/more-u-s-households-are-renting-than-at-any-point-in-50-years/

Court rules that FBI “gag orders” do not violate 1st amendment free speech rights. “The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld federal rules prohibiting companies from promptly disclosing to customers that the FBI is demanding a user’s private data with a National Security Letter (NSL).”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/fbi-retains-right-to-issue-national-security-data-requests-in-secret/

China suggests way U.S. can improve its trade deficit. “Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged the United States on Tuesday to loosen its “outdated” restrictions on high-tech exports to China so it can tap the vast Chinese market and reduce the bilateral trade imbalance.”   http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-07/20/content_30179882.htm

Trump reportedly to end support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria. “The death of the program, which began in 2013, is seen both as an acknowledgement that Assad is unlikely to be removed from power and an indication of Trump’s willingness to work with Russia in Syria.”   http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/trump-ends-cia-support-for-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria.html

Indian poultry farmers allegedly using dangerous levels of antibiotics. “Of tested birds destined for meat consumption, 87 percent had the super germs, a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-20/poultry-farms-in-india-resemble-superbug-reservoirs-study-finds

Civil asset forfeiture program reinstated by AG Sessions gives law enforcement agencies a way to avoid state and local restrictions. “(Under the “adoption” program), even minimal federal participation makes the investigation federal, which means the forfeiture policy will now be governed by federal law.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/07/18/jeff-sessions-supports-states-rights-except-when-he-doesnt/

Trump says his finances are off limits in Russia probe. “Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/unbelievable-trump-slams-sessions-recusal-warns-mueller-steer-clear-finances

Good government group accuses Trump of running “giant bait and switch” scheme. “”While Candidate Trump promised to fix a rigged economic and political system, President Trump swiftly turned control of government over to the very corporate elites he denounced during the campaign,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/after-six-months-detailed-look-giant-bait-and-switch-trump-presidency

Legislators warned about the dangers of militarized “killer robots”. “Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/fundamental-existential-threat-lawmakers-warned-risks-killer-robots

Al Gore comes out in favor of national health care plan. “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide good, affordable healthcare for all.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/joining-single-payer-chorus-al-gore-says-profit-system-had-its-chance

House speaker kills amendment to repeal post-9/11 military powers. “Just over two weeks after Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) succeeded in adding an amendment to the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill that would have repealed the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reportedly killed the amendment late Tuesday night with no debate or discussion.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/barbara-lee-slams-paul-ryan-killing-endless-war-repeal-dead-night

Israel’s prime minister accidentally tells EU leaders in room with hot mic that China doesn’t care about human rights of Palestinians, so Europe shouldn’t either. “We have a special relationship with China, and they don’t care.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/netanyahu-tells-european-leaders-concern-palestinian-rights-crazy/

More than 40,000 civilians estimated killed in battle for Mosul. “Residents of the besieged city were killed by Iraqi ground forces attempting to force out militants, as well as by air strikes and Isis fighters, according to Kurdish intelligence services.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mosul-massacre-battle-isis-iraq-city-civilian-casualties-killed-deaths-fighting-forces-islamic-state-a7848781.html

Governments using social media to influence public opinion. “Governments around the world are enlisting “cyber troops” who manipulate Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics, according to a new report from the University of Oxford.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-17/government-cyber-troops-manipulate-facebook-twitter-study-says

Pentagon is reportedly leasing space in Trump Tower. “The military agreed Tuesday to pay $180,000 for the last 20 days of April and the new rent ($130,000) every month thereafter, according to the contract, which was released by the General Services Administration (GSA).”   http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/07/19/trump-tower-house-pentagon-unit-130k-per-month.html

 

July 20, 2017

July 19, 2017

State Department to close Office of Global Criminal Justice. “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to shut down the U.S.’s office dedicated to advising his department on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, according to a new report by Foreign Policy.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/18/downplaying-atrocities-trump-plan-close-war-crimes-office-sparks-concern   Could this have anything to do with executions of IS fighters in Mosul?

Iraqi officers admit to executing IS prisoners. “Speaking to The Associated Press, four Iraqi officers from three different branches of the military and security forces openly admitted that their troops killed unarmed and captured ISIS suspects, and they defended the practice.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iraq-revenge-killings-iraqi-troops-admit-isis-extrajudicial-executions/

59% of Americans prefer diplomacy to war in Korea. “…U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has said North Korea is “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/18/75-percent-americans-fear-major-war-under-trump-most-favor-diplomacy

Trump spent almost an hour talking to Putin at G20 dinner, with no U.S. translator or State Department staff. “Asked if there was any depth to the conversation, (Senator) Coons said there was no way to know.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/18/politics/trump-putin-g20/index.html

NASA official tells Congress no evidence of previous civilizations on Mars. “I would say that is extremely unlikely.”   http://www.mediaite.com/online/gop-congressman-asks-nasa-if-there-was-a-civilization-on-mars-thousands-of-years-ago/

Australian government demands answers in police shooting death of woman in Minneapolis. “The Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, called the fatal shooting of Damond on the weekend “shocking” and “inexplicable” and said his diplomats were seeking answers from US authorities.”   https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jul/19/malcolm-turnbull-demands-answers-from-us-authorities-over-justine-damonds-death   Interesting how Australia stands up for its citizens. When a U.S. man went into a coma and died after being arrested by Japanese police in 2015, there was no mainstream news media coverage in English AT ALL, and the man’s name was not even released to the public! I’ve been waiting more than two years for a State Department response to my FOIA request.

Decline in U.S. home ownership due in part to student loan debt says Federal Reserve report. “Looking at nine student cohorts, they concluded that the increase in public tuition and resulting student debt can account for anywhere between 11 and 35 percent of the decline in home ownership for 28- to 30-year-olds in the years between 2007 and 2015.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/18/its-not-the-avocado-toast-federal-reserve-finds-student-debt-reducing-millennial-home-ownership/

Thai court finds prominent people among those guilty in Rohingya  hostage camp case. “…the 103 arrested suspects of 153 for whom warrants were issued included bureaucrats, local administrators, businessmen and police officers.”   http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crimecourtscalamity/2017/07/19/court-reads-verdict-traffickers-behind-rohingya-death-camp/

Harley-Davidson laying off production workers, planning to open factory in Thailand. “Retail sales by its dealers in the US fell 9.3% in Q2, compared to a year ago, to 49,668 motorcycles.”   https://seekingalpha.com/article/4088594-harley-davidson-spirals-announces-u-s-layoffs-builds-factory-thailand

Riverside, California deputies take down woman selling flowers without a permit. “The video shows the deputy approaching the woman and trying to take her flowers away.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/watch-california-cop-grabs-woman-selling-flowers-by-the-hair-and-slams-her-into-the-pavement/

Eighth person at meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer was reportedly businessman who set up corporations and opened bank accounts in the U.S. for Russians. “Prior to joining the Crocus Group, Kaveladze was part of a nine-month congressional inquiry into foreigners hiding their identities behind shell companies and laundering money.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/who-is-ike-kaveladze-the-person-at-trump-jr-meeting/

 

July 19, 2017

July 18, 2017

Woman shot by Minneapolis police officer was unarmed. “She called to report a possible assault in the alley behind her house in one of the city’s safest neighborhoods and was unarmed when officer Mohamed Noor shot her.”   http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-police-officer-who-shot-killed-woman-identified/434975623/

Senate Trumpcare bill appears to be dead on arrival, again. “Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran said Monday night they will join two other senators to oppose the Obamacare repeal bill, dooming the GOP initiative in the Senate.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/17/obamacare-senators-turn-on-mcconnell-240646

Attorney General Sessions wants to increase seizures of citizens’ property. “…in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/17/jeff-sessions-wants-police-to-take-more-cash-from-american-citizens/   Didn’t the British government used to do this before the Revolutionary War?

Former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert released from prison after serving 13 months. “…during his sentencing hearing in April 2016, he admitted to the judge that he sexually abused children in the 1970s while he was a wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.”   http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/dennis-hastert-out-of-minnesota-prison-bop-records-show/

Trump administration OKs visas for 15,000 “low-wage, seasonal workers” from other countries. “The increase represents a 45 percent bump from the number of H-2B visas normally issued for the second half of the fiscal year, said senior Homeland Security officials in a call with reporters.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/17/trump-officials-order-15000-new-visas-for-low-wage-workers/   Some people claim these are “jobs Americans won’t do”, but a more accurate description would be that these are “jobs Americans won’t do on a temporary basis for minimum wage”.

Turkish government extends post-coup attempt “state of emergency” for fourth time, has lasted almost a year so far. “According to the Turkish constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum period of six months.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/turkey-extends-emergency-rule-months-170717155222046.html

Turkish court jails human rights officials ahead of their trial. “A court in Istanbul ordered six human rights activists — including Amnesty International’s Turkey director — formally arrested Tuesday pending a trial over accusations that they aided an armed terror group, adding to concerns over rights and freedoms in the country.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/turkey-6-human-rights-activists-jailed-pending-trial/2017/07/18/7704066a-6b6f-11e7-abbc-a53480672286_story.html

Senate majority leader suggests repealing Obamacare and replacing it with an imaginary health care plan that will be cooked up in the future. “McConnell said that “in the coming days,” the Senate would vote on “a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/mcconnell-calls-obamacare-repeal-vote-replacement-plan-fails/story?id=48690900

“Collateral damage” goes from an average of 80 civilian bombing victims a month under Obama to 360 a month under Trump. “According to an Airwars investigation conducted for The Daily Beast, at least 2,300 civilians were killed by coalition strikes from 2015 until the end of Obama’s term earlier this year. But as of July 13, roughly six months into Trump’s presidency, over 2,200 civilians have likely died from coalition strikes.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/17/it-took-obama-more-two-years-kill-many-civilians-it-took-trump-less-six-months

U.S. ranks 23rd in income equality, even before Trumponomics. “The USA is the wealthiest country in the history of the world, but its level of inequality is also the highest among major industrial countries…”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/17/us-inequality-crisis-worst-industrialized-world-trump-will-make-it-worse

New policy group is a fusion of Democratic and neo-con hawks. “…there is now little to no daylight between leading Democratic Party foreign policy gurus and the Bush-era neocons who had wallowed in disgrace following the debacle of Iraq and the broader abuses of the war on terror. ”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/17/with-new-d-c-policy-group-dems-continue-to-rehabilitate-and-unify-with-bush-era-neocons/

Saudi pro-democracy protesters reportedly facing execution. “In Saudi Arabia, 14 men accused of taking part in protests are reportedly facing imminent execution.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/17/headlines/saudi_arabia_14_young_men_facing_execution_for_participating_in_protests

 

 

July 18, 2017

July 17, 2017

Trump administration showcases products made in the U.S. “Asked at Sunday’s briefing whether “Made in America” week would include a commitment from the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump’s company to make more of their products in the United States, Ferre told reporters, “We’ll get back to you on that.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/07/16/white-house-unveils-made-in-america-week-though-many-trump-products-are-made-overseas/

Liu Xiaobo’s ashes scattered at sea. “Speaking at a press briefing in the city of Shenyang, where Liu died, on Saturday afternoon a government spokesman claimed the activist’s relatives had – of their own volition – taken his ashes out to sea after he was cremated early that morning.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/15/liu-xiaobo-cremated-in-shenyang-amid-growing-fears-for-safety-of-his-wife

Minneapolis woman fatally shot by police after summoning them. “…neither responding officer had turned on their body cameras before the shooting. The squad car camera did not capture the incident either.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/07/17/bride-to-be-called-911-for-help-and-was-fatally-shot-by-a-minneapolis-police-officer/

Bernie Sanders calls latest Trumpcare bill “the most anti-working class legislation” in modern history. “President Trump, don’t tell the people of this country that you support the working class when you are defending legislation which will throw 22 million Americans off of the healthcare they currently have.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/16/bernie-sanders-denounces-trumpcare-most-anti-working-class-legislation-ever

Allentown, Pennsylvania pays out $160,000 to settle excessive force claim of man who suffered broken jaw and lost teeth during arrest. “Medina-Pena’s suit also claimed (Officer) Iannetta was the subject of 14 investigations about abuse, in-custody injuries and use of force in the decade before the lawsuit was filed. None resulted in discipline, according to the suit.”   http://www.mcall.com/news/police/mc-nws-allentown-police-excessive-force-settlement-20170712-story.html

Worried neighbors complain after Vallejo, California police officer takes several shots at fleeing suspect. “A gun was never recovered, but the officer who opened fire thought Hurtado was armed, according to Tribble.”   http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Police-Shooting-Foot-Pursuit-Vallejo-Questions-Concerns-Public-434750853.html

Family of unarmed Lakewood, Washington man killed by police sniper in 2013 awarded $15 million. “(Leonard) Thomas’ father, Fred Thomas, who the jury also found was wrongly arrested that May 23, 2013, as he tried to help his son, had said all along that his son’s death would be added to the roster of unarmed black Americans wrongly killed by police.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-washington-shooting-20170715-story.html

 

July 17, 2017

July 16, 2017

Few details released on Air Canada near miss at SFO. “Apparently only a last-minute warning from an alert pilot on the ground prevented an Air Canada plane mistakenly landing on a taxiway where four fully fueled planes were awaiting permission for take-off.”   http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/07/15/editorial-canadians-saying-more-about-sfo-near-disaster-than-faa/

Several nasty, hidden surprises in Senate Trumpcare bill, such as Trump’s HHS secretary having unilateral control of federal “slush funds”. “…there are no rules or standards guiding (Health and Human Services Secretary Tom) Price’s hand…. The money (to help states cope with drastic Medicaid cuts) doesn’t have to go to services for low-income people or to replace lost Medicaid funding.”   http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-bcra-20170714-story.html

Pastors sue Coke over deaths of parishioners. “Coates said… that it has “become really clear to me that we’re losing more people to the sweets than to the streets”.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2-pastors-file-suit-against-coca-cola-over-soda-health-risks/2017/07/14/78af46ee-68b0-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df_story.html

Women on Capitol Hill fight for their right to bare arms. “Female reporters (wearing sleeveless tops) have said they had been prevented from entering the lobby area, where the press meets to ask questions of US politicians. ”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40618356

Good government group sues Trump administration over voting data requests. “Filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Common Cause, the suit argues that “the unlawful collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of the sensitive and personal voting data of millions of Americans” by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Social Security Administration violates the Privacy Act and Administrative Procedure Act.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/15/new-lawsuit-aims-stop-trumps-sham-commission-dead-its-tracks

House passes $696 billion military budget. “While war profiteers rejoice, voters wonder why the government cannot provide for education, job creation, healthcare, and needs in their community.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/14/house-passes-defense-bill-sure-make-war-profiteers-rejoice

Russian lobbyist who met with Trump Jr. has background in “opposition research”. “In his own investigations over the years, Mr. Akhmetshin has acquired a reputation for obtaining email records, information from spyware and other data that appeared to be drawn from Russian hackers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/world/europe/rinat-akhmetshin-donald-trump-jr-natalia-veselnitskaya.html

Defense bill contains hidden gift for military contractors – more freedom to gouge taxpayers. “Buried in the NDAA, which is scheduled to pass the House Friday, is an increase in the (number) of products which can be sold to the military without providing cost information — data about the price of manufacturing and labor.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/14/congress-trying-to-sneak-through-major-giveaway-to-defense-contractors/

Trump wins again, with lowest approval rating for any U.S. president in the last 70 years. “President Donald Trump’s approval rating has fallen to a mere 36 percent in a span of six months after he assumed the office in January, according to the latest poll conducted jointly by ABC News and the Washington Post.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/trumps-approval-ratings-drop-36-percent-lowest-any-president-70-years-2566343

Ann Coulter, unhappy with how a major American company in a free-market, capitalist economy mistreats its customers, complains bitterly on Twitter after Delta makes her change seats. “But at least @Delta was nice @ it, summarily snatching my ticket from my hand & ordering me to move w/o explanation, compensation or apology.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/ann-coulter-blasts-delta-removing-her-airplane-seat-twitter-reacts-2566272   Clearly this is the result of excessive government regulation of the airline industry!

U.N. urges Venezuelan government to stop its use of excessive force against the public. “About 100 people have died and more than 1,500 have been injured in the anti-government unrest, which started in April.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-un-idUSKBN19Z0WQ

Florida corrections officer fired after beating caught on video. “Wagner is seen throwing a handcuffed inmate to the ground, breaking the man’s nose and two front teeth.”   http://wfla.com/2017/07/14/manatee-county-detention-deputy-terminated-for-using-excessive-force-on-inmate/

 

July 16, 2017