November 18, 2016

Awkward moment: President Obama denounces Russian cyber-espionage while standing next to Angela Merkel, whose phone was hacked by the NSA. “As I indicated, there has been very clear proof that (the Russians) have engaged in cyber attacks. This isn’t new. It’s not unique to Russia. There are a number of states where we’ve seen low-level cyber attacks and industrial espionage and, you know, other behavior that we think should be out of bounds.”

Standing Rock surveillance flights reported being made by aircraft with altered registration numbers, FOIA request to North Dakota on social media surveillance denied.

U.N. official calls on U.S. to stop construction of Dakota Access pipeline near reservations, says unjustified force has been used against protesters.

Encryption foe Feinstein to leave Senate Intelligence committee.

Trump transition team reportedly cutting State Department out of contacts with foreign leaders.

Pakistan, under pressure from Turkey, to deport Turkish teachers linked to Gulen movement.

British woman raped in UAE has reportedly been charged with having “extra-marital sex” by authorities in Dubai after reporting the crime. Her passport has reportedly been confiscated.

JP Morgan Chase reportedly fined $264 million for hiring children of Chinese government officials to smooth business deals.

Former drug executives arrested in connection with alleged Valeant/Philidor fraud and kickback scheme.

ATM fee-fixing case against card issuers and major banks allowed to proceed after Supreme Court rejects appeal.

Surgeon General says 1/7th of Americans likely to become substance abusers, every $1 spent on treatment saves $4 in health care and $7 in law enforcement costs but only 1 in 10 addicts currently gets treatment.

Florida Keys voters approve release of genetically modified “Frankenskeeters” to reduce Zika virus mosquito population without pesticides.

Although Trump promised to help homebuilders facing “frivolous” lawsuits, experts say the deck is actually stacked against consumers.

Clean government groups point out huge potential conflicts of interest that Trump business empire presents.

TTIP trade deal with Europe dead for now says German Chancellor Merkel.

Private prisons likely to make a comeback during Trump administration. “…taxpayers would be disturbed to learn that their dollars are subsidizing corporate profits from the mass incarceration of minority and low-income Americans.”

Sanders addresses Capitol Hill rally  for economic and social justice: “When you lose the White House to the least popular candidate in the history of America, when you lose the Senate, when you lose the House and when two-thirds of governors in this country are Republican, it is time for a new direction for the Democratic party!”

Indian government throws country into chaos by withdrawing 500 rupee ($7.35) and 1000 rupee ($14.69) banknotes to fight tax-dodging and corruption.   For perspective, the cost of a (beef free) combo meal at a McDonald’s in India is 200 rupees, or 150 rupees for a local lunch.

Flagstaff, Arizona police officer caught on video punching a woman in the face while she was arguing with him over an arrest warrant.

Apple iCloud users’ call data secretly being uploaded to Apple servers claims digital forensics CEO.

Harnett County, North Carolina residents reportedly sue sheriff’s department employees for not controlling rogue deputies who allegedly killed John Livingston during warrantless search, injured others.

Writer says that Obama’s faith in the power of democracy to promote liberal values may be overly optimistic, cites Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines, Venezuela and Iraq.

Edward Snowden on Facebook: “To have one company that has enough power to reshape the way we think, well, I don’t think I have to describe how dangerous that is.”

November 18, 2016

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