March 14, 2017

Bill in Congress would allegedly create additional hurdles for class-action lawsuits. “When black people tried to challenge (segregation) laws, Southern courts prevented them from bringing class actions, saying that, because the laws did not mention race, collective action was impermissible. That meant each black student seeking to integrate an all-white school had to bring an individual case. If he won, relief applied only to him and no other student.”

Few Guantanamo prisoners were actually members of al-Qaeda, says study. “Only 8% of the detainees were characterized as al Qaeda fighters,” according to the study, while 40 percent had “no definitive connection with al Qaeda” and 18 percent had “no definitive affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban.”

Congressional Budget office estimates 14 million Americans would lose health insurance coverage under Trumpcare in 2018, rising to 24 million by 2026. “The coverage losses projected by the CBO could make the bill’s path to passage incredibly steep.”   Bernie Sanders warns “thousands of Americans will die”.

Trump administration reportedly allowed CIA to make its own drone strikes. “The CIA, which operates under covert authorities, wasn’t required to disclose the number of suspected terrorists or civilian bystanders it killed in drone strikes. The Pentagon, however, must publicly report most airstrikes.”

Activists carve “No more tigers, no more woods” into Trump golf course in California. “In response to the president’s recent decision to gut our existing (environmental) protection policies, direct action was conceived and executed on the green of his California golf course…”

Customs and Borders Protection agents claiming to have the right to seize phones of citizens and demand their passwords. “Within seconds (of refusing to hand over his phone), he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.”

Trump advisor points out that surveillance of Trump campaign by Obama administration might not have been limited to wiretaps. “There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, through their — certainly through their television sets, any number of different ways, and microwaves that turn into cameras, etc., so we know that that is just a fact of modern life.”

Poland to seek extradition of Minnesota carpenter who was allegedly an SS commander in occupied Poland. “According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, one report “uncovered evidence that Karkoc ordered his men in 1944 to attack a Polish village in which dozens of civilians were killed, contradicting statements from his family that he was never at the scene.””

Secretary of State Tillerson allegedly used email alias to discuss climate related matters while CEO of Exxon Mobil. “The attorney general’s office said in a letter on Monday that it found Tillerson had used an alias email address under the pseudonym “Wayne Tracker” from at least 2008 through 2015.”

Another department store chain in trouble. “Gordmans Stores, the century-old discount department store chain, filed for bankruptcy with plans to liquidate its inventory and assets.”

Blind woman and her service dog reportedly booted from American Airlines flight. “The Martins were rebooked on a United Airlines flight out of Dulles International Airport and had to pay $80 in cab fare to get there. They ended up arriving in California eight hours later than intended.”

Female Texas legislator introduces “Man’s Right to Know Act” requiring men to read government approved publications before receiving vasectomies or Viagra prescriptions. “Emissions outside of a woman’s vagina, or created outside of a health or medical facility, will be charged a $100 civil penalty for each emission, and will be considered an act against an unborn child.”

City governments are outpacing national governments on climate change. “Cities worldwide are setting climate goals that are far more ambitious than the targets agreed upon by national governments, leading to clashes between urban leaders and national ones, Reuters reported Monday.”

Pentagon proposal would expand number of “temporary battlefields”. “It is… uncertain how such designation would square with the War Powers Resolution, a much-eroded 1973 law that permits presidents to launch military hostilities for 60 days before needing congressional approval.”   All this despite the clear direction of the Constitution that the power to make war rests with Congress, not the president.  “The Congress shall have power… to declare war…” U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11

Senator claims NSA is using FISA as a “backdoor” to spy on Americans. “They are targeting foreigners. But they are doing it purposefully to get to Americans.”

Unsecured computer drive results in leak of Air Force personnel data. “The drive stored personal data of more than 4,000 officers, which included information, such as names, addresses, ranks and Social Security numbers…. One of the files listed security clearance levels of hundreds of other officials, some of which had “top secret” clearance, and access to compartmented information and codeword-level clearance.”

Facebook tells developers not to use social media data for surveillance. “Facebook announced Monday that it will add a clarification to its developer policy that will prohibit developers from using Facebook and Instagram data in surveillance tools.”

U.S. reportedly war gaming attack on North Korean leadership. “South Korean news outlets report that the SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a “decapitation attack,” or a strike to remove North Korea’s leadership.”

Congressman seeking co-sponsor for bill that would block deportations of U.S. veterans. “Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (R-TX) told Rio Grande Guardian that “around 1,400” veterans who were not U.S. citizens — but fought for the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan — had been deported in recent years.”

Israeli police investigate activist for “possession of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) materials”. “Police detained prominent left-wing activist Jeff Halper last Wednesday at the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement, for suspected incitement, saying they acted on a complaint he had “materials related to BDS” in his possession.”


March 14, 2017

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