May 13, 2016

Obamacare health insurance subsidies for low and moderate income Americans must be appropriated by Congress says federal judge. “While the law provides for tax credits, (the judge) said, it does not authorize an appropriation for slashing deductibles and copayments.”

Two state troopers suspended (not arrested) after televised beating of car chase suspect. “The events of Wednesday evening are disturbing,” said (New Hampshire State Police Director Col. Robert L.) Quinn. “However, we will not know the complete facts and circumstances surrounding this event until the investigation by an independent agency is concluded.”

Officers who fatally shot man in wheelchair will not be charged. “(Senior Corporal Joseph) Dellose, who was also involved in a fatal shooting in January 2010, told an investigator that McDole did not respond to his repeated commands to show his hands, and that he caught a glimpse of the handle of a gun.”

Brazil’s suspended president calls her removal a coup. “My government was the target of nonstop sabotage,” Rousseff said. “The objective was to stop me from governing and therefore allow an environment inviting the coup.”

Russia feeling threatened by new NATO missile defense system in Europe. ““We have to announce this openly, without any additional diplomatic formulations,” (Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria) Zakharova said of the Russian assertion the site violates the intermediate-range missile ban.”

So many Verizon workers on strike that national unemployment figures are skewed say some economists. “New York state provides unemployment insurance benefits for striking workers when an employer hires permanent replacement workers,” said Jesse Hurwitz, an economist at Barclays in New York. “Verizon reportedly increased the ranks of replacement workers in the past two weeks, which we believe made striking workers eligible.”

Large oil spill reported in Gulf of Mexico. “Almost 90,000 gallons of crude oil gushed from a Shell oil facility into the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast on Thursday, leaving a 13- by 2-mile sheen of oil on the waves, federal authorities said.”

Poultry workers allegedly denied bathroom breaks. “Beyond the low wages and high injury rates, the nation’s roughly 250,000 poultry workers are routinely denied bathroom breaks, leading some to wear diapers and others to not drink liquids.”

Air pollution killing millions of city dwellers. “”Ambient air pollution, made of high concentrations of small and fine particulate matter, is the greatest environmental risk to health, causing more than 3 million premature deaths worldwide ever year,” (the World Health Organization) said.”

Study finds large drop in abortions in developed countries due to access to contraception, higher abortion rates in countries that restrict or ban abortion. “Where abortion is prohibited altogether, or allowed only to save a woman’s life, the rate was 37 abortions per 1,000 women, compared with 34 per 1,000 where it is legal.”

TSA supervisor allegedly received $90,000 in bonuses, divided into 9 payments of $10,000, to evade bonus limit. “Homeland Security Inspector John Roth, who appeared with Neffenger before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the payments to (Kelly) Hoggan were “clearly an attempt” to get around the $10,000 bonus limit.”

Tax haven countries say there is a huge double standard in financial transparency demands. “This is going to be a complete disaster if you insist that most places in the world have to conform to a particular standard, and you leave principally the United States and a couple of other rogue nations completely out of it.”

U.S. human rights activist Michael Ratner dies. “Michael Ratner—the renowned civil rights lawyer who sued Donald Rumsfeld over the United States’ use of torture, defended whistleblower Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and oversaw a lawsuit that successfully eradicated the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” practice—died from complications of cancer in Manhattan on Wednesday.”

Germany briefly pays customers to use power due to overproduction by renewable energy plants. “Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world and a leader in renewable energy, produced so much energy this weekend from its solar, wind, hydro, and biomass plants that power prices went into negative territory for several hours.”

Atheist billboard design critical of “ark park” reportedly rejected by billboard companies. “The proposed billboard design shows a Noah’s Ark with people drowning around it and the words “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 years of myths.”

New Alabama law bans abortion clinics near schools, will reportedly put the two clinics that performed 72% of abortions in Alabama out of business. “James Owens of Naral Pro-Choice America points out that there are no other laws on the books in Alabama, or any other state, regulating what kind of medical procedures can be done within a certain proximity of a school.”

9/11 Commission member reportedly says Saudi government assisted hijackers. “A former Republican member of the 9/11 commission, breaking dramatically with the commission’s leaders, said Wednesday he believes there was clear evidence that Saudi government employees were part of a support network for the 9/11 hijackers and that the Obama administration should move quickly to declassify a long-secret congressional report on Saudi ties to the 2001 terrorist attack.”

North Dakota rancher shoots rare wolverine. “The wolverine, the largest member of the weasel family, was the last seen in the state in the mid-1800s, when farmers, trappers and ranchers killed or drove out every single one in North Dakota.”

Manchester, England police apologize for drill in which mock terrorist yelled, “Allahu akbar!” ““On reflection, we acknowledge that it was unacceptable to use this religious phrase immediately before the mock suicide bombing, which so vocally linked this exercise with Islam,” said Garry Shewan, a senior officer at Greater Manchester Police.” It may be difficult for Americans (and Britons) to understand why this is inappropriate, but imagine there was a terror drill in Iran and the mock terrorist yelled, “Praise the Lord!” or “Jesus Loves You!”

FBI director reportedly blames higher crime rate on police brutality videos. “Changes in the way police may be acting and in the way communities may be acting in terms of how much information they share with police could well be at the heart of this or could well be an important factor in this.”

Some of the Democratic Party’s “super delegates” who help pick party nominees are actually lobbyists. “Although they make up only a small proportion of the superdelegates, the presence of lobbyists in such a potentially decisive role adds fuel to the critique that the Democratic Party is influenced by monied special interests.”

Protests across France after government bypasses legislature to deregulate labor market. “Opinion polls show three in four French people oppose Hollande’s drive to make France’s rigid labor market more flexible.

Police surveillance vehicle in Philadelphia, allegedly equipped to record license plate data, was reportedly disguised as a Google Maps truck. “We have been informed that this unmarked vehicle belongs to the police department; however, the placing of any particular decal on the vehicle was not approved through any chain of command. With that being said, once this was brought to our attention, it was ordered that the decals be removed immediately.”


May 13, 2016

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