March 2, 2017

Sessions calls Justice Department investigations into policing in Ferguson and Chicago “pretty anecdotal”. “Summing up multi-year investigations as “anecdotal” goes far beyond willful ignorance into dangerously-smug territory.”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170228/08470436810/new-doj-boss-says-he-hasnt-read-doj-investigations-into-abusive-policing-calls-them-anecdotal.shtml

Sessions told Congress he had no contacts with Russian officials during election campaign, but Justice Department officials say that’s not true. “One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.” Sessions also reportedly spoke with Kislyak at a Heritage Foundation event in July, during the Republican National Convention.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html

Mexican cement multinational reportedly says it would be happy to bid on Trump’s wall. “”We will gladly do it,” Cemex President Rogelio Zambrano told the newspaper, when asked if the company would provide a cement estimate for the controversial project, potentially worth billions of dollars.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/mexico-s-cemex-willing-provide-cement-border-wall-n727666?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

Member of Pope’s child sex abuse panel reportedly quits in frustration. “…there are people in the Vatican who do not want to change or understand the need to change. … They are not cooperating.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/01/517950616/survivor-quits-popes-panel-on-sex-abuse-citing-shameful-resistance

“Dreamer” reportedly arrested after press conference. “The news conference was hosted by local immigration attorneys, churches and the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance to bring attention to families impacted by deportation.”   http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2017/03/01/immigrant-detained-after-press-conference/98589720/

Baltimore police officers reportedly indicted for robbing citizens. “The (seven) officers are accused of stopping people — some of whom were not even suspected of any crimes — and seizing their money and pocketing it.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/01/us/baltimore-police-officers-racketeering-charges/

Jewish synagogue finds bullet hole in classroom window. “The bullet hole was discovered late Monday at Adath B’Nai Israel Temple in Evansville (Indiana)”.   http://www.jta.org/2017/03/01/news-opinion/united-states/gunshot-fired-through-classroom-window-of-indiana-synagogue

Fourth mosque fire in seven weeks. “Authorities have ruled that three of the four fires were caused by arson. An official at the Travis County Fire Marshal told BuzzFeed News that the investigation into the cause of the fire at the Islamic Center of Lake Travis remains open.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertsamaha/four-mosques-burn-as-2017-begins

16 Democratic Senators vote to confirm Ryan Zinke as head the Department of the Interior. “If Democrats want to know why their base is frustrated, this shameful vote is a good illustration of how out of touch some senators are.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/01/shameful-vote-17-senators-draw-progressive-outrage-enabling-trump   Is that Tim Kaine, Hillary’s VP pick, on the list?

Norwegian investment fund divests from companies involved in Dakota Access pipeline project. “Storebrand, a sustainable investment manager with $68bn in assets, sold off $34.8m worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced Wednesday.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/01/dakota-access-pipeline-storebrand-norway-divest-standing-rock

Lawsuit alleges Memphis police threatened fast-food workers group. “The MPD is engaging in an intentional and illegal campaign to intimidate workers in an effort to prevent them from exercising their constitutional right to speak out … ”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/01/mcdonalds-fight-for-15-memphis-police-lawsuit

Canadian doctor originally from Afghanistan detained for five hours, denied entry to U.S. “He said he was asked about his “tribe” and the name of his “tribe chief” and whether he had seen “a lot of gunmen” growing up in Afghanistan. When Ahmad asked border officials to make a call to his clinic to cancel his patients he was told he could not touch the phone.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/doctor-detained-for-5-hours-by-us-border-patrol-was-grilled-about-his-tribe-chief/

Canadian college receives bomb threat targeting Muslim students. “Montreal police are hunting for the source of an anti-Muslim bomb threat that led Concordia University to evacuate three buildings Wednesday, sending thousands of students, faculty and other staff onto downtown streets.”   http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-police-investigate-bomb-threats-at-concordia-university

Former San Antonio police officers on trial for allegedly tricking women into having sex with them. “According to the three women who testified (and others involved in the scheme), the two then-officers had convinced them they were part of an undercover SAPD team — and were hiring women outside the force to act as officers’ girlfriends to help them “blend in” during sting operations.”   http://www.sacurrent.com/the-daily/archives/2017/03/01/women-were-told-sapd-officers-would-wipe-criminal-records-help-with-child-custody-cases-in-exchange-for-sex

European intelligence agencies reportedly informed U.S. of contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials and Putin associates in Europe. “As WikiLeaks was pushing out emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee through online publication, American intelligence began picking up conversations in which Russian officials were discussing contacts with Trump associates, and European allies were starting to pass along information about people close to Mr. Trump meeting with Russians in the Netherlands, Britain and other countries.”   https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/us/politics/obama-trump-russia-election-hacking.html

Education secretary DeVos claims black colleges a good example of “school choice”. “(Historically black colleges and universities) were established because black students were prohibited from attending public colleges and universities throughout much of the United States’s history.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/3/1/headlines/betsy_devos_ridiculed_for_calling_historically_black_colleges_pioneers_of_school_choice

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March 2, 2017

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