April 23, 2016

Russian parliament reportedly appoints former interior police major general as human rights ombudsman. “The new ombudsman, Tatyana N. Moskalkova, worked her way through the ranks of the Soviet and Russian police for more than two decades, rising to become a major general of the Interior Ministry.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/world/europe/russias-new-human-rights-ombudsman-is-former-police-general.html?_r=0

Former felons given right to vote in Virginia. “In addition to granting voting rights, the executive order will also allow released felons to run for office, serve on a jury, and serve as notaries public, the governor’s office said in a release.” http://www.npr.org/2016/04/22/475297932/virginias-governor-just-gave-206-000-ex-felons-the-right-to-vote

Cuba lifts ban on expat travel, allowing cruises between the country and  U.S. “The Cuban government said the restrictions on Cuban-born travelers arriving on the island by ship dates back to seaborne attacks by Cuban exiles shortly after the Cuban revolution.” http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cuba-cruises-20160422-story.html

Rights group accuses Nigerian army of massacre. “As news of the incident emerged, Nigerian authorities said they were pushed into action after individuals linked to IMN, some of whom were carrying weapons, tried to kill the chief of army staff as his convoy drove through town…” https://news.vice.com/article/nigerian-army-accused-of-murdering-hundreds-of-shiite-muslims-burning-some-alive

Federal judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against “enhanced interrogation” psychologists. “The ACLU is seeking damages for their clients from the two psychologists, who they allege in their complaint “designed, implemented, and personally administered an experimental torture program for the [CIA].”” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cia-torture-lawsuit_us_571a8fdbe4b0d0042da94ac0

Cars with “fly-by-wire” gear shifts recalled due to accidents. “Gear-selection is conveyed to drivers by indicator lights, not gear-selector position, which may lead drivers to falsely assume vehicles are in park, (Fiat Chrysler) said.http://www.reuters.com/article/us-fiatchrysler-recall-idUSKCN0XJ2I0

Senator seeks compensation for Navajo affected by massive toxic mine leak. “The EPA was working on a plan to clean up persistent toxic leakage from (Gold King) and surrounding mines when the blowout sent 3 million gallons flooding into the Animas River.” http://www.wfaa.com/news/nation-now/mccain-calls-for-criminal-probe-in-gold-king-mine-spill/150131302

Reagan-era corporate tax rates would bring in enough extra revenue to fund preschool and college at public institutions says journalist. “The average annual difference, if applying Reagan-era tax rates to Obama-era profits, comes out to $166.7 billion.”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/college-could-be-free-in-america-if-corporations-paid-reagan-era-taxes_us_57163d60e4b0018f9cbb11c1

Suicides among indigenous and white American males rising sharply. “Suicide continues to be a mostly white male phenomenon in the U.S.; white men made up 83 percent of the 33,113 male suicide deaths in 2014.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/suicide-rates-rising-us_us_5714f800e4b0060ccda3b5d8

Teamsters union reportedly organizing Uber drivers. “The labor union said Friday it has received “overwhelming outreach” from Uber drivers seeking benefits, dispute resolution and a stronger voice on the job.” http://www.cnet.com/news/uber-drivers-seek-to-team-up-with-teamsters/

UC Davis activists accused of making administrators and other students feel “unsafe”. “(Administrators) can always undermine the activists of the moment by finding the students experiencing “trauma” from all the conflict, the staff members who feel “unsafe” around protesters, the community member who, in the new paradigm, somehow (feels) “silenced.”” http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/04/a-protest-against-the-protesters-at-uc-davis/479256/

Independent group issues report on missing Mexican students. “The EAAF report supported last year’s findings by the Inter-Disciplinary Group of Independent Experts, or GIEI, a group commissioned by the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that also found no evidence to back the government’s version of what happened to the trainee teachers.” http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/04/21/argentine-experts-publish-report-on-key-aspect-mexico-missing-43-probe/

NSA very reluctant to estimate how many innocent Americans are “accidentally” being monitored. “Sen. Ron Wyden has asked for a number since 2011; the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board recommended in July 2014 that the government provide several. In October, more than 30 privacy groups asked for an estimate and explained how easy it would be to come up with one.” https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/stymied-by-nsa-members-of-congress-ask-really-basic-question-again/

Pentagon accused of massively underestimating civilian deaths when it claims 41 killed in anti-IS campaign. “This is, of course, a massive undercount, with rights groups reporting nearly 500 civilians killed in US strikes just through August of last year, and more happening all the time.” http://news.antiwar.com/2016/04/22/pentagon-claims-only-20-civilians-killed-in-iraq-syria-strikes-since-september/

FISA court not protecting Americans’ rights says journalist. “…the (FISA) judge readily agreed with (public advocate Amy Jeffress’) description of how the FBI can warrantlessly search Americans’ communications (swept up during NSA data collection), and then he rejected the idea that such searches violate the fourth amendment.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/21/fisa-court-privacy-data-collection-surveillence

Guard found not guilty of beating prisoner despite video and testimony by his boss that the beating was not justified. “Officer Thomas was acquitted despite testimony from Michael Capra, the Sing Sing superintendent, who told the jury that the guard’s violent response was “absolutely not” justifiable.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/23/nyregion/jury-acquits-sing-sing-guard-seen-on-video-beating-inmate.html?_r=0

Patients in developing countries reportedly often lack access to pain relief. “Today, Rajagopal estimates that less than 2 percent of Indians have access to opioids like morphine, and that less than 1 percent are able to receive comprehensive palliative care.” https://news.vice.com/article/as-the-us-is-awash-in-painkillers-the-developing-world-is-in-dire-need-of-them


April 23, 2016

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