March 8, 2017

Wikileaks posts leaked info on CIA hacking tools. “The files mention pieces of malware with names like “Assassin” and “Medusa” that seem drawn from a spy film, describing tools that the CIA uses to steal data from iPhones, seize control of… computers or even make Internet-connected… television sets secretly function as microphones.”

Trump living in the past says journalist, no one physically bugs phones anymore. “They can listen in to a target’s mobile, even if it is switched off…. the security services can pick up the target’s conversations by switching to the mobiles of others in the vicinity.”

Obamacare overhaul bill attacked from all sides. “It was panned on the right as a retreat from full repeal, pilloried on the left as a tax giveaway to the rich, and criticized from the center as potentially stripping insurance from millions of people.”

Rhino poachers strike at Paris area zoo. “Police told Reuters that Vince was shot three times in the head. One of the animal’s horns was removed…”

Trump blames Obama for release of Guantanamo detainees who rejoined jihadi groups, but 92% of them were reportedly released by Bush administration. Of the 693 prisoners released from the prison, “122 confirmed of re-engaging in terrorist activity (113 Bush, 9 Obama).”

NRA group reportedly met with sanctioned Russian defense official in Moscow. Former NRA president says, “Rogozin is chairman of the Russian Shooting Federation and his Board hosted a tour of Federation HQ for us while we were there.”

Former Trump national security advisor reportedly got permission from campaign officials for his speaking engagement in Russia. “For months, Trump officials tried to distance the campaign from Page after his speech at the New Economic School in Moscow, which drew intense political scrutiny because he called aspects of U.S. foreign policy “hypocritical” and sharply criticized America’s sanctions against Russia.”

Yet another wave of bomb threats against Jewish organizations. “Bomb threats were called in Tuesday at the offices of a prominent Jewish civil rights organization, while several other Jewish Community Centers and schools across the country were similarly targeted, police said.”

Climate change skeptics reportedly being appointed to top EPA positions. “…Mr. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who built a career out of suing the agency he now leads, has moved to stock the top offices of the agency with like-minded conservatives — many of them skeptics of climate change and all of them intent on rolling back environmental regulations that they see as overly intrusive and harmful to business.”

Federal judge denies tribes’ requests to halt Dakota Access pipeline construction. “Explaining he believed the tribes were unlikely to prevail in their lawsuit at this point, Boasberg denied their request to halt construction on the pipeline, or stop oil from flowing through it once it is complete.”

Electronic animal tags used for conservation programs reportedly also being used to hunt endangered animals. “The paper, published in Conservation Biology, exposes the different ways that these tracking systems have been compromised by hunters and poachers in their attempt to find tagged animals.”

National soccer team passes rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem. “The message the organization has broadcast to the world is clear: that a glossy, blemish-free image of American patriotism and unity is so important they would undermine their players’ First Amendment rights to preserve it.”

Demonstrations planned for International Women’s Day on March 8th. “Rallies and protests will take place from coast-to-coast, with especially large demonstrations planned in Washington, D.C.”

Native rights activists to march in Washington, D.C. on March 10th. “This movement has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment, and future generations.”

U.N. report says pesticides putting humans and environment at risk, are not solving the problem of hunger. “Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution…. Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility.”

White House statement and Exxon Mobil press release reportedly share blocks of identical text. “As if the close ties between the White House and Exxon weren’t clear enough, one part of the White House statement contains language that is nearly identical to language in Exxon’s press release.”

Rhode Island state representative accuses colleagues of legislating under the influence. “You cannot operate a motor vehicle when you’ve had two beers but you can make laws that affect people’s lives forever when you’re half in the bag?”

Senate votes to reverse requirement that companies keep records of workplace injuries and deaths for five years instead of six months. “The losers would be the workers because there would no longer be any way for OSHA to force employers to keep accurate records that could identify hazardous conditions.”

Congress votes to free federal contractors on jobs worth over $500,000 from requirement to disclose workplace safety, wage and civil rights violations from the previous three years. “It doesn’t make sense to keep rewarding companies like this with lucrative contracts when they repeatedly and … willfully disregard basic safety protections.”

Trump reportedly met Russian ambassador at Center for the National Interest event in 2016. “Mr. Simes introduced Mr. Kislyak to Mr. Trump in a receiving line last April at a foreign policy speech hosted by his center at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.”

Land of the free? Waverly, Iowa city councilman reportedly asks the public to call man’s boss to complain about the employee’s upside-down flag. “If you think this is wrong (how could you not), I would encourage you to call Wartburg College President and tell him to have his employee… fix his American Flag…”

Republican Congressman urges public to choose health insurance over cell phones. “You know what, Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice.”

CIA employees reportedly given diplomatic cover, used U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany as hacking base. “WikiLeaks reported that the group developed trojans and other malicious software in the American Consulate General Office, the largest US consulate in the world.”

Thai politician jailed for allegedly insulting previous king in 2010. “The Supreme Court said it had upheld the ruling of a lower court that Yosvaris Chuklom, also a comedian, was guilty of the crime of lese majeste, which can carry a penalty of up to 15 years for each offence.”

Guatemalan protesters call for president to step down. “…Jimmy Morales won with his slogan, ‘Neither Corrupt, nor a Thief’. He lied to us, so he has to go.”


March 8, 2017

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