April 30, 2017

100 days of chaos and controversy: Trump claims his administration “has been just about the most successful in our country’s history”, untainted by special interests. “For too long, politicians cared more about special interests than they did about a very successful future for all Americans.”   http://www.11alive.com/news/politics/transcript-president-trump-talks-about-his-first-100-days/435151828

Schumer: Trump has abandoned working families. “…Trump has swapped populism for plutocracy, spending the first 100 days governing from the far right on behalf of the powerful corporations and special interests he once stumped against.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/04/28/100-days-trump-abandons-working-families-charles-schumer-column/100990506/    Something that Democrats would NEVER do!

Hundreds of thousands march for action on climate change. “At the marquee event, the Peoples Climate March in Washington, D.C., approximately 150,000 to 200,000 people made their way down Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to encircle the White House.”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/29/thousands-brave-weather-to-protest-trump-climate-policies.html

Turkey blocks Wikipedia, apparently considering the website a threat to its national security. “It cited a law that allows it to block access to individual web pages or entire websites for the protection of public order, national security or the well-being of the public.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-internet-wikipedia-idUSKBN17V06Q

Brazilian unions declare general strike over government’s austerity policies. “(President) Temer’s efforts to pass pension and labour reforms have deeply angered many Brazilians.”   http://www.smh.com.au/world/brazil-gripped-by-first-general-strike-in-two-decades-20170428-gvv96j.html

Woman shot during police anti-terror raid in London. “According to eyewitnesses, the front door of the house in Harlesden Road was wide open at the time of the arrest – and the hallway could be seen covered in blood after the shooting.”   http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dont-touch-body-woman-shot-10314226

Some ASEAN members plead for de-escalation of North Korea standoff. “We have to caution everybody, including those who’d give the advice to the two players, because you have nuclear warheads to just show restraint.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-29/japan-philippines-urge-u-s-north-korea-to-avoid-brink-of-war   Pope Francis agrees. “I call on them, and I will call on them, as I have on leaders of different places, to work to resolve their problems through diplomatic avenues.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/world/middleeast/pope-francis-egypt.html?_r=0

Delta pilot allegedly hit passenger while breaking up fight. “As the women tussle on the ground, the pilot steps in and appears to grab one woman’s arm and then delivers a blow.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/us/delta-pilot-atlanta-airport-woman.html

Trump tax plan might result in people declaring themselves corporations. “After Kansas eliminated its state tax on pass-through income, the number of people taking advantage of the exemption soared, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue for state coffers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/upshot/under-the-trump-tax-plan-we-might-all-want-to-become-corporations.html

Trump has reportedly played golf 19 times during his first 100 days, versus 1 for Obama, 0 for W. and 7 for Bill Clinton.   http://www.businessinsider.com/why-american-presidents-play-so-much-golf-2017-4

Trump and Pence both call mainstream media “fake news” in speeches. “Trump has frequently assailed news outlets that cover his administration critically as “fake news”.   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/331250-pence-rips-into-media-at-100-days-rally

BBC tech program investigates U.S. company’s home email server claiming to be “world’s most secure” email solution. “Mr Moore said the Nomx was an “overpriced and outdated mail server” and used one of the “most insecure PHP applications” he had ever encountered.”   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-38934822   According to the BBC World News’ “Click” TV program, the CEO of Nomx is reportedly a former F-35 fighter tech project manager. After watching the program, I had to wonder if the government is hiring incompetent employees or if Nomx is an undercover law enforcement project targeting people who are worried about email security. The default password was “password” and the user is reportedly not prompted or required to change it, for example. The memory is not encrypted, so if someone were to have a “sneak and peek” warrant to perform a secret search of your home and they opened the device and removed the card, they would reportedly have all of your unencrypted emails.

NSA reportedly drops program that allowed government to examine your email if it included the word “Putin” (or, from her previous phone tapping experience, apparently even “Merkel”). “Now, the NSA statement says, it “will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target…. Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/28/partial-fix-nsa-scraps-part-warrantless-surveillance

Former CEO of anti-choice law firm appointed to Department of Health and Human Services. “It is unacceptable that someone with a history of promoting myths and false information about women’s health is appointed to a government position whose main responsibility is to provide the public with accurate and factual information.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/28/women-be-warned-trump-just-nominated-radical-anti-choice-activist-key-hhs-post

Fourth Arkansas death penalty prisoner apparently in distress during lethal injection execution. “According to Associated Press state editor Kelly Kissel, Williams convulsed and shook 15 to 20 times over a period of 10 to 20 seconds. Afterwards, he continued to gasp and made an audible groaning sound until about 10:59 a.m., the witnesses said.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/28/demand-probe-arkansas-killing-spree-concludes-shaking-and-convulsions

Trump calls legislative process “a bad thing for the country”. “President Donald Trump took aim at the D.C. gridlock during an interview on Fox News Channel’s “The First 100 Days” on Friday evening, blasting the existing system in Congress as “archaic”.”   http://ijr.com/2017/04/859573-trump-blames-archaic-system-in-congress-for-lack-of-legislative-progress/

25 years after Rodney King beating, use of excessive force by police is still an unresolved issue. “When I began doing police misconduct cases in 1981, people would say, ‘An officer would never do that’…. Video has made it clear that it does happen.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/rodney-king-la-riots-25-years-later-video-changed-everything-nothing-2532089

South Korea refuses to pay $1 billion for U.S. anti-missile missile deployment. “Seoul retorted that under the Status of Forces Agreement that governs the US military presence in the country, South Korea would provide the THAAD site and infrastructure while the US would pay to deploy and operate it.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/seoul-rejects-trump-demand-pays-missile-system-170428051855034.html

Trump unable to fill venue for “100 days” speech. “President Trump claimed his 100-day rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday night broke attendance records, though journalists pointed out rows of empty seats at the expo center where the event was held.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/331255-trump-says-rally-crowd-broke-records-despite-empty-seats   Obviously the “fake news” mainstream media has photoshopped these pictures, just like they did at Trump’s inauguration!

Fox News tweets extremely misleading economic figures blaming/giving credit to presidents for the legacies of their predecessors. “The (official) unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent in October 2009 and began to fall shortly after, hitting 4.8 percent when Obama left office in January 2017.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/social-media-shtstorm-descends-on-fox-news-over-deeply-ludicrously-egregiously-dishonest-tweets/

Writer warns that Trump administration has been testing the limits during their first 100 days. “For now he remains an autocratic leader stuck with a democratic society and “what’s left of a democratic government,” she said, but “a serious crisis such as a terrorist attack or an economic crash” could provide Trump with the impetus he needs “to strip citizens of their rights”. ”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/authoritarianism-expert-on-surviving-trumps-next-100-days-forget-your-hopes-get-ready-to-fight/   It worked for Bush!

Woman reportedly hospitalized by machete-wielding conservative in Kentucky coffee shop. “He asked somebody what their political affiliation was, they said ‘Republican,’ and the guy said, ‘You are safe’”.   http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article147344794.html

More than 5,700 U.S. troops to be deployed to Europe and Afghanistan. “About 1,700 soldiers from two different units will deploy to Afghanistan…”   https://www.armytimes.com/articles/army-announces-new-deployments-for-5-700-soldiers

Pentagon is reportedly investigating former Trump national security advisor Mike Flynn’s income from foreign sources. Flynn allegedly “accepted tens of thousands of dollars of fees from Russian sources, including RT, the Kremlin-funded television network.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/28/headlines/pentagon_investigating_michael_flynn_over_foreign_payments

 

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April 30, 2017

April 28, 2017

College that restricted activist passing out Constitutions to tiny free speech zone gets sued. “The Pierce College’s free speech zone takes up 616-square feet of the school’s 426-acre campus. This means that the free speech zone is just .003% of (the college’s) campus.”   http://jeffersonmuzzles.org/

Off duty security company employee allegedly pepper sprays man for taking free cookies. “Knutsen told police he didn’t see the free cookies sign and sprayed the man accidentally.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/police-man-pepper-sprayed-autistic-man-eating-free-cookies/2017/04/27/342cfd82-2ba6-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html

Delaware police reportedly used explosives in attempt to dislodge suspect from home. “SkyForce10 video shows the home’s windows, garage door and front door were blown out and debris are all over the lawn in the aftermath of the standoff.”   http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Wawa-Parking-Lot-Ballard-Trooper-Killed-Barricde-Middletown-420583513.html

Israeli missiles reportedly hit Damascus, Syria airport. “Just before the apparent Israeli missile strike, at least three cargo jets from Iran probably landed at the Damascus airport, said Ian Petchenik, a spokesman for the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/observers-large-explosion-rocks-syrian-capital/2017/04/27/bca1789c-2b0a-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html

Students who used vouchers for private school tuition tended to have lower test scores says study. “D.C. students who used vouchers had significantly lower math scores a year after joining the program, on average, than students who applied for a voucher through a citywide lottery but did not receive one. For voucher students in kindergarten through fifth grade, reading scores were also significantly lower.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/federal-study-of-dc-voucher-program-finds-negative-impact-on-student-achievement/2017/04/27/e545ef28-2536-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html

Man kicked off Delta flight, questioned by FBI, after using restroom while taxiing. “The plane taxied to the runway and the passengers were told it was third in line to take off. This is a time when you’re supposed to remain seated. But the wait extended to about 30 minutes…”   http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/columnists/jim-stingl/2017/04/26/stingl-need-pee-gets-man-kicked-off-delta-flight-milwaukee/100885528/

Family of Tempe teen fatally shot while fleeing unarmed robbery upset at lack of action against police officer. “Court documents say (the officer) ran nearly parallel to Hollins before commanding him to “Stop, or I’m gonna shoot you”.”   http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/tempe-breaking/2017/04/27/family-teen-shot-dead-tempe-police-decries-lack-prosecution-dalvin-hollins/100989994/

Lawyers who witnessed mistaken Philadelphia police shooting of unarmed delivery man were reportedly told to go away by officers. “It’s astounding that in a case which the city has acknowledged culpability, paying $4.4 million and changing the training protocol for the entire police force, that there are absolutely no recriminations for either police officer.”   http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/Officers-cleared-of-shooting-philippe-holland.html

Trump administration officials refuse to guarantee that middle-class taxpayers will not see a tax increase to cover huge cuts for corporations and the wealthy. “I can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and on the president’s desk.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/27/red-flags-trump-team-dodges-tax-plans-impact-middle-class

31% of Americans aged 18-34 are reportedly living with their parents. “This data correlates with a drop in marriage and birthrates.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/27/millennials-living-parents-sustainable

Released journalist Barrett Brown, who was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with leak of hacked Stratfor intelligence contractor files, rearrested before PBS interview. “Several weeks ago, Brown was told by his check-in officer that he needed to fill out permission forms before giving interviews.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/27/formerly-imprisoned-journalist-barrett-brown-taken-back-into-custody-before-pbs-interview/

NRA members will reportedly have to disarm if they want to hear Trump speak. “According to CNN’s Kevin Liptak, members will not be able to pack heat when the president speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Atlanta on Friday.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/secret-service-bans-nra-members-from-bringing-guns-to-president-trumps-nra-convention-speech/   I thought it was Obama who was coming for our guns?

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists arrested for protest last November. “Hong Kong police arrested nine pro-democracy activists on Thursday over a protest outside China’s representative office in November, a move some said was a bid to stifle opposition before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit in July.”  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-politics-arrests-idUSKBN17T0HA

Mexican senate passes law to address kidnappings and “disappearances”. “The government’s human rights agency says 32,236 people have gone missing across the country over the past two decades.”   http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mexico-senate-oks-disappearance-law-calls-search-system-47070950

Former federal prosecutor refusing to comment on Trump associate’s alleged ties to Russian organized crime. “Kaminsky’s office ignored repeated requests for comment on whether he believes the remaining material in Sater’s court files should now be unsealed — considering the paramount national interest in uncovering any connections between the Trump campaign and Russian mobsters, oligarchs, and political leaders, including Putin.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/04/27/government-must-tell-trump-associate-russian-mob-ties/

April 28, 2017

April 27, 2017

Trump tax plan would be a windfall for the wealthiest. “The president would eliminate the estate tax and alternative minimum tax, a parallel system that primarily hits wealthier people by effectively limiting the deductions and other benefits available to them — both moves that would richly benefit Mr. Trump.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/us/politics/trump-tax-cut-plan.html

Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn says Conservatives are “strong against the weak and weak against the strong” in UK parliament debate. “…when it comes to the Prime Minister and the Conservatives, they only look after the richest, not the rest.”  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/the-tories-strong-against-weak-10298445

U.S. test fires ballistic missile, no reports of threats of sanctions by other countries. “The U.S. Air Force test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which traveled over 4,000 miles before splashing down in the South Pacific after launching early Wednesday from a base in California.”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/04/26/air-force-launches-unarmed-missile-for-test-in-california.html

U.S. comes in 43rd in press freedom ranking. “(Reporters Without Borders) singled out campaigns by President Donald Trump in the U.S. and the Brexit campaign in the U.K. to explain the drop by those two countries in its rankings. Both campaigns “were marked by high-profile media bashing, a highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation, and fake news.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-04-26/global-press-freedoms-weakening-group-warns

Trump administration will allow military to determine troops levels in Iraq and Syria. “Bringing the authority really back here where it’s historically been enables military commanders to be more agile, to more quickly and efficiently support partners, to have more rapid decision-making, and to keep units together.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-pentagon-authority-set-troop-levels-syria-iraq/story?id=47044082

Supreme Court justices grill government lawyers in case involving revocation of U.S. citizenship, point out that not admitting to driving over the speed limit could put naturalized citizens at risk. “One question on the naturalization form, for example, asks citizenship applicants to disclose any and all crimes, offenses or attempts to break the law for which they haven’t been arrested — ever.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-roberts-speeding_us_5900e426e4b0026db1dd9bda

FCC proposes ending “net neutrality”rules, allowing internet service providers to sell faster internet connections at higher prices. “The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday proposed overturning the landmark 2015 Obama-era net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from giving or selling access to certain internet services over others.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/26/fcc-chairman-to-propose-reversing-net-neutrality-rules.html

Woman allegedly sexually assaulted by Uber driver. “Prosecutors say the woman had been attending a company gathering in Newport Beach and her colleagues requested an Uber ride to take her home.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-rape-idUSKBN17T041

Seven Hartford, CT police officers found guilty of using excessive force, some face “remedial training”. “A West Hartford police camera appears to show Hartford officers kicking or stomping one of the two suspects, who was in handcuffs, police said. The suspects, Ricardo Perez, 34, of Hartford, and Emilio Diaz, 38, of Hartford, had to be hospitalized.”   http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Hartford-Police-Officers-Disciplined-Following-Excessive-Force-Investigation-420455394.html

Colorado Springs settles excessive force lawsuit over passenger dragged from car. “According to an internal investigation of the incident, Nelson was suspicious that the brothers, who are black, were involved “in some drug activity or some kind of criminal activity”.”   http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/cspd-pays-212000-to-settle-excessive-force-case-stills-denies-wrongdoing/Content?oid=5296561

Trump decides not to withdraw U.S. from NAFTA trade deal. “President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-contemplating-plans-to-let-us-withdraw-from-nafta/2017/04/26/f1e326f2-2ab7-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html

Trump orders review of “National Monument” nature areas. “Americans have already deemed these places as too beautiful, too fragile, and too unique for extraction. It would be unconscionable if we let Trump hand them over to his polluter cronies and campaign contributors.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/26/unconscionable-trump-looks-gut-protections-national-monuments

Sanders reintroduces bill to raise minimum wage to $15/hour. “In 2015, Sanders introduced similar legislation with just five co-sponsors. On Wednesday, he boasted 21, in addition to lead co-sponsor Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/26/22-dems-supporting-sanders-15-minimum-wage-bill-and-24-who-arent

Trump will not release his tax returns, says Treasury secretary during tax plan launch. “The president has released plenty of information, and I think has given more financial disclosure than anybody else. I think the American population has plenty of information on his taxes.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/trump-no-tax-returns-steven-mnuchin-237642

Trump tax plan is a return of Reagan’s “voodoo economics”. “Reagan’s tax cuts and higher defence spending were certainly accompanied by higher growth but they did not pay for themselves. Far from it. The US ran high budget deficits and the national debt spiralled.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/26/voodoo-reaganomics-wont-cut-it-for-trump-on-the-hill   While in Kansas, there was little growth and budget deficits spiraled. “On the horizon both for the Legislature and Brownback is a state budget shortfall of more than $1 billion through June 2019.”   http://cjonline.com/news/local/2017-04-06/kansas-house-senate-send-brownback-deficit-elimination-budget-bill

Wrong people executed in Oklahoma say investigators, “systemic flaws” in its death penalty system. “It is undeniable that innocent people have been sentenced to death in Oklahoma.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/26/innocent-people-have-been-sentenced-to-death-in-oklahoma-commission-concludes/

Would-be revolutionary Eric Frein sentenced to death. “He was found guilty last week of murder and terrorism. On Wednesday the jury deliberated for five hours before returning a death sentence.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39728188

Florida legislators apologize for abuse at reform school. “…a forensic investigation carried out by the University of South Florida… identified 55 graves sites at the Jackson County facility, although there were only official records for 24 burials.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article146974259.html

Ivanka Trump reportedly starting foundation to benefit female entrepreneurs. “…First Daughter Ivanka Trump is starting her very own foundation that she will operate while working inside the White House — and she’s reportedly already securing money from foreign governments.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/ivanka-is-starting-her-own-foundation-and-is-accepting-checks-from-foreign-governments-report/

9,000 Turkish police officers suspended over alleged Gulen ties. “The latest purge comes just over a week after President Erdogan narrowly won a controversial referendum on increasing his powers.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39723371

ACLU supports Ann Coulter’s right to speak. “The heckler’s veto of Coulter’s Berkeley speech is a loss for the 1st Amendment,” ACLU National tweeted on Wednesday. “We must protect speech on campus, even when hateful.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/we-must-protect-free-speech-even-when-hateful-aclu-backs-ann-coulters-cancelled-berkeley-speech/

Kurds and Turks exchange artillery fire over Syrian border. “Turkey reported four of their army outposts along the border came under attack from artillery and mortar fire, though they denied any casualties were inflicted. They responded by carrying out heavy artillery strikes against the Kurdish town of Darbasiya.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/04/26/turkish-army-syrian-kurds-trade-artillery-fire-across-border/

Iraqi officials reportedly seize $500 million Qatari ransom at airport. “It is now clear that the money was ransom for 24 Qataris, several of them leading members of the Qatari royal al-Thani family, and two Saudis who had been hunting with falcons with official permission in supposedly safe southern Iraq when they were kidnapped 16 months ago by a Shia militia task force.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/qatari-royals-kidnapped-iraq-ransom-half-billion-shia-militia-syria-saudi-hunters-baghdad-a7703946.html

Anonymous reports of massive North Korean nuclear weapons build-up impossible to verify but still receiving wide coverage. “Once again, the essential antecedents of war are being established based on anonymous “experts” and “officials,” and hardly anyone notices, much less pushes back.”   http://fair.org/home/nyts-impossible-to-verify-north-korea-nuke-claim-spreads-unchecked-by-media/

Maoist rebels in India kill 23 security personnel in ambush. “”When you allow multinational companies and private corporations to carry out mining projects in the name of development in areas populated by indigenous communities this uprising is bound to happen,” (says) E. N. Rammohan, a former police officer, who has chronicled the Maoist rebellion.”   http://www.dw.com/en/india-struggles-to-fend-off-maoist-menace/a-38598839

Indigenous protesters dispersed by police in Brazil. “… more than 3,000 indigenous people demonstrated in front of Congress Tuesday, protesting ongoing theft of their land and resources, which they say has worsened under President Michel Temer.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/26/headlines/brazil_3_000_indigenous_people_protest_land_theft_outside_congress

April 27, 2017

April 26, 2017

Police who dragged passenger off United flight claimed he was combative in police report. “In the incident reports, two of the officers blame Dao for his injuries, saying the passenger’s flailing motions made the officers lose their grip on him, causing him to fall face first into the armrest of a nearby seat.”   http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-united-dao-20170424-story.html

Supreme Court refuses to hear case on releasing Senate “torture report”. “The ACLU had been suing under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to force the federal government to release the contents of a 6,000-page report from the Senate. The full report detailed not just the terrible treatment—waterboarding and other forms of torture—of people suspected (sometimes incorrectly) of terrorism overseas; it also argued that the violent interrogations failed to get useful information and that the CIA lied about the program to higher-ups in government to conceal what they were doing.”   https://reason.com/blog/2017/04/24/you-wont-read-a-full-accounting-of-ameri

FBI reportedly told parents their son’s civil rights were not violated, even though they knew Mesquite, Texas police had tasered him on his testicles, stood on his head, and put the 110 pound, 5′ 4″ boy in a restraint chair until he went into a coma. “Over the next two years, the Dyers would wage an emotionally draining war to pry loose information that might shed light on what had happened to their son that summer evening. And when, thanks only to their persistence and creativity, they finally managed to obtain it, they would discover Graham’s final hours were very different from what the police said had happened.”   http://www.mystatesman.com/news/texas-police-withheld-records-their-son-death-now-they-know-why/MHJC1hWAbPhcN6gOtqOkyM/

Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor accuses most of her colleagues of siding with police against the public. “We have not hesitated to summarily reverse courts for wrongly denying officers the protection of qualified immunity in cases involving the use of force,” Sotomayor said. “But we rarely intervene where courts wrongly afford officers the benefit of qualified immunity in these same cases.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/sotomayor-sees-disturbing-trend-of-unequal-treatment-regarding-police-alleged-victims/2017/04/24/dfe8c368-2912-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html

NSA allegedly used blimp to collect communications inside U.S. “The agency launched the three-engine airship at an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland. And from there, the blimp was able to vacuum up “international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York area,” the document says.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/24/nsa-blimp-spied-in-the-united-states/

Chinese workers making Ivanka Trump brand clothing reportedly making about $62 a week. “Workers at a Chinese factory that produces clothing for Ivanka Trump’s line earn about $60 a week for nearly 60 hours of work, according to a new report.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/news/330583-workers-at-chinese-factory-making-clothing-for-ivanka-trumps-brand-earn-62-a   Ivanka Trump apparel reportedly also being sold under other labels. “Business of Fashion reported that as Ivanka takes on an increasingly important role in President Donald Trump’s administration, her clothing was being sold under the label “Adrienne Vittadini Studio” at discount retailer Stein Mart.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/ivanka-trump-clothing-being-sold-under-different-label-after-uproar-report-2530609

Angry shareholders disrupt Wells Fargo’s annual meeting, are removed by security. “Marks, speaking out of turn at Wells Fargo’s annual meeting in Florida on Tuesday, urged members of the board to “have the guts” to explain “whether you were complicit or incompetent” in their knowledge of the scandal where 5,300 employee were fired for creating some two million fake accounts.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/25/investing/wells-fargo-shareholder-meeting/index.html

Milwaukee jailers allegedly deprived prisoner of water for seven days before he died. “When a mentally ill inmate, like Mr. Thomas, is locked in solitary confinement without access to water, his life is totally in his jailers’ hands.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/us/milwaukee-inmate-died-after-being-deprived-of-water-for-7-days.html?_r=0

Turkey bombs Kurds in Syria and Iraq. “Turkish warplanes struck targets in northern Syria and the area of Sinjar in northern Iraq.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/25/politics/turkey-bombs-kurds-iraq-us-concerned/

White House press secretary reportedly calls demands for former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s telephone logs “outlandish”. “After reviewing documents from the Pentagon, the (House Oversight) committee’s chairman and ranking member suggested Flynn might have broken the law by not disclosing payments from Russia and Turkey.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/330486-spicer-oversight-committees-request-for-flynn-info-pretty-outlandish

Missed the March for Science? You can march in the People’s Climate March on April 29th instead. “The march on April 29 comes as the Trump administration considers withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, despite record after record showing each new year hotter than the last.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/25/whyimarch-naomi-klein-sacred-duty-participating-climatemarch

Trump accused of failing to take action against government contractors who offshore jobs. “Even though he’s signed over 60 executive orders during his first 100 days, he has yet to use the power of the pen to stop corporations that receive taxpayer dollars from shipping American jobs overseas.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/25/betraying-hire-american-pledge-trump-rewards-companies-offshoring-us-jobs

Trump tax cuts a ruse say some economists. “With reports that President Donald Trump wants to slash the corporate tax rate by 60 percent and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claiming widespread cuts for the nation’s wealthy and powerful will magically pay for themselves, progressive economists and tax experts are issuing early warnings that this is simply the latest attempt by Republicans to pull the wool over the eyes of average American taxpayers.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/25/truly-dumb-why-24-trillion-corporate-tax-cut-will-not-magically-pay-itself

Like climate change, lack of economic opportunity is not your imagination. “While nearly all—over 90 percent—of children born in 1940 were able to earn more than their parents, that figure drops to 50 percent for children born in the 1980s.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/24/american-dream-freefall-its-bad

Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere reportedly hits 410 ppm for the first time in human history. “Since the planet reached the dangerous new normal of 400 ppm last year, scientists have warned that that the accelerated rate at which concentrations of CO2 are rising means that humanity is marching further and further past the symbolic red line towards climate chaos.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/24/planet-breaches-410-ppm-back-back-protests-demand-trump-wake

Obama to receive $400,000 for Wall Street speech. “The fee is nearly double that received by Hillary Clinton, who had hoped to replace him as president, for speeches at Goldman Sachs and indicates the scale of the potential earnings of the former US president.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/26/barack-obama-speech-wall-street-us-cantor-fitzgerald

Woman who shot anti-Yiannopoulos protester in Seattle reportedly charged with first-degree assault. “Joshua Dukes, 34, was critically injured in the 20 January shooting and had several surgeries before he was released from a hospital.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/25/milo-yiannopoulos-event-shooting-couple-charged-seattle

A tale of two suspects. “The parallel cases moving through the San Francisco Bay Area’s courts have shone a harsh light on (the bail) system that critics say is fundamentally flawed and unconstitutional, where wealth can buy freedom even for those accused of the most serious offenses while others facing minor charges are jailed indefinitely simply for being poor.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/25/california-bail-system-tiffany-li-joseph-warren

NSA reportedly collected intelligence for “National Special Security Events” in the U.S. per a secret Clinton era order. “The documents do specify… that six employees from the agency’s Signals Intelligence Directorate were deployed to New York City and Boston for the (2004 Democratic and Republican conventions), and that their role was to provide “SIGINT [signals intelligence] support to the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other national agencies”.   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/24/nsa-kept-watch-over-democratic-and-republican-conventions-snowden-documents-reveal/

Koch Industries reportedly lobbied on behalf of now director of the EPA, Scott Pruitt. “Koch Industries, a fossil fuel conglomerate that owns a variety of business interests that have clashed with environmental regulators, directly lobbied to help confirm Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/25/koch-industries-and-other-corporations-lobbied-for-donald-trumps-cabinet-picks-filings-show/

Business groups and health insurance corporations reportedly pouring millions into California political system to stop “single payer” health care proposal. “In addition to the cash that has flowed to the individual legislators from corporate groups opposing the legislation, California’s Democratic and Republican parties received more than $2.2 million from the same groups in the last four election cycles.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/california-health-care-bill-big-corporate-money-opposes-single-payer-proposal

26 Venezuelans reportedly killed so far in April political turmoil. “In more than three weeks of chaos since Venezuela’s opposition launched street protests, 15 people have died in violence around demonstrations and 11 others in night-time lootings, the state prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN17R1VR

About 1,000 more police officers arrested in Turkey due to allegedly links to Gulen movement. “Turkish authorities on Wednesday detained 1,009 people with suspected ties to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, in one of the largest recent operations against the network Ankara blames for last year’s failed coup attempt.”   http://www.dw.com/en/turkey-arrests-a-thousand-police-accused-of-links-to-us-based-cleric-gulen/a-38593242

Washington Post calls Steve Bannon a conservative, but Marine Le Pen is “far right”. “Rather than “conservative,” Le Pen is the leader of the “far-right” National Front. Her agenda is “aggressively nationalist.” Her promises are “radical.” Her inner circle includes “far-right rabble rousers”.”   http://fair.org/home/wapo-can-identify-far-right-in-france-but-in-white-house-its-conservative/

Arkansas “lethal injection” executions do not apparently go smoothly, executioners reportedly took 45 minutes to locate a vein in one prisoner’s neck. “Williams’s execution was started with the injection of midazolam, according to media witnesses, at 10.16pm. After that he was seen to take many heavy breaths. An initial check for consciousness was made at 10.21pm, but three minutes later the prisoner was seen to move back in the gurney.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/24/arkansas-double-executions-supreme-court-jack-jones-marcel-williams

April 26, 2017

April 24, 2017

Poll: Trump least popular modern president but would still beat Clinton if election were held again today. “A new Washington Post poll that declares President Trump as “the least popular president in modern times,” waits until the second to last paragraph to reveal another tidbit: He’d still beat Hillary Rodham Clinton if the election were held today and in the popular vote, not just Electoral College.”   http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/wash-post-poll-hides-trump-still-beats-clinton-43-40/article/2621016

Prisoner with cancer petitioned for early release, prison officials reportedly blocked his petition from reaching a judge. “Some bureaucrat in the BOP or the U.S. Department of Justice felt that Rice had not served enough time behind bars, and refused to pass his petition along to the judge ― regardless of the fact that his case met their own criteria that should have forced them to do so.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-de-facto-death-sentence-for-an-iowa-father_us_58f8e532e4b086ce58980e82

Hundreds of thousands around the world march for science. “Saturday’s marches in over 600 cities around the world—including a massive march in Washington, D.C.—mark an unprecedented mobilization of researchers and experts who are fighting back against President Donald Trump’s war on (climate) science.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/22/march-science-sweeps-cities-around-world

Washington Post story on Social Security disability benefits accused of cherry-picking data. “Out of more than 3,100 counties in the U.S., only McDowell County, West Virginia ― one of the most impoverished counties in the country ― comes close to one-third participation, with 32.2 percent of residents receiving either SSDI or SSI benefits.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/disability-rights-washington-post-benefits_us_58fabc0ae4b06b9cb9172add

Uber accused of tracking former customers after they thought they had deleted the app. “Kalanick had been directing his engineers to camouflage a feature in the ride-hailing app that allowed Uber to secretly identify and tag iPhone users, even after the app had been deleted from users’ phones…”   https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-tim-cook-threatened-to-pull-uber-from-app-store-privacy-iphone-kalanick/

Trump administration reportedly willing to keep subsidizing Obamacare for low income Americans if Democrats will fund border wall. “Mulvaney told Bloomberg Live on Friday that White House officials have told Democrats they’re willing to fund $1 in Obamacare subsidies for every $1 that’s provided for the border wall as both parties look to avert a government shutdown next Friday.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/21/chuck-schumer-obamacare-subsidies-border-wall-237469    I thought Mexico was going to pay for this.

Israel reportedly strikes pro-government militia base in Syria. “Three fighters from the pro-government National Defence Forces (NDF) were killed and at least two more were wounded in the attack, an NDF official told AFP news agency.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/deadly-israeli-strikes-hit-syria-quneitra-province-170423055729975.html

More than 100,000 Windows computers may be infected by NSA backdoor access program. “…people should know that there’s growing consensus that from 30,000 to 107,000 Windows machines may be infected by DoublePulsar.”   https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/04/10000-windows-computers-may-be-infected-by-advanced-nsa-backdoor/

90 more civilians reportedly killed during battle for Mosul. “An Iraqi Rapid Response officer said the victims had been caught in the fight between the militants and Iraqi forces trying to capture Al-Thawra district in the city’s western side.”   http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/90-civilians-killed-in-mosul-fight-iraqi-officer/803158

White House budget official hints that president may not sign government funding bill without border wall money in it. “We don’t know yet,” said the White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, on Fox News Sunday. “We are asking for our priorities.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/23/donald-trump-mexico-border-wall-threatens-government-shutdown

Man sues Zion, Illinois police over shooting, video shows officer shooting him through the driver’s window as he speeds away. “Devon Davidson, 25, became the third man to be shot by Zion police in fewer than two years’ time when Officer Paul Sage shot him through the window of his car around 11 p.m. on July 26, 2016.”   http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/man-whom-zion-police-shot-sues-saying-he-posed-no-threat/

Ohio lawsuit alleges police used excessive force during arrest when officers rammed plaintiff’s motorcycle during chase, beat him during arrest. “…Woolf then was struck with a Taser and drive stunned repeatedly before McCord followed up with a kidney punch. The complaint alleges that the other officers, including five who were not identified in the suit, participated in excessive force, including “sadistically stomping on (his) scrotum”.”   http://www.the-review.com/local%20news/2017/04/19/alliance-mccord-sued-again-for-excessive-force

Man arrested at gunpoint for “loitering” outside his family’s business wins $20,000 settlement from city of Camden, New Jersey. “When he went inside the store, his suit claims, Miles pointed her gun at him and later slammed him against an ice machine and struck him.”   http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2017/04/camden_reportedly_pays_20k_to_settle_police_excess.html

Jury awards Virginia man $150,000 in excessive force arrest case. “The dash cam footage from Danville Police shows multiple law enforcement officers trying to arrest Wyatt.”   http://wset.com/news/local/jury-finds-law-enforcement-officer-guilty-of-using-excessive-force

April 24, 2017

April 22, 2017

American Airlines flight attendant accused of striking a female passenger holding a baby with a stroller he was confiscating. “An American Airlines attendant has been suspended after smacking a mother with a baby stroller on board a domestic flight Friday afternoon, according to passengers.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/american-airlines-worker-accused-hitting-mom-stroller-article-1.3088209

FBI agents allegedly using intercepted NSA Section 702 data like a search engine for warrantless surveillance. “If we require our agents to write a full justification every time — think about if you wrote a full justification every time you used Google.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/21/in-secret-court-hearing-lawyer-objected-to-fbi-sifting-through-nsa-data-like-it-was-google/

Federal appeals court rules that if police throw you on the ground, knee you in the back, handcuff you and injure your face by rubbing it into the pavement because you would not answer their questions, the Fifth Amendment does not protect you. “Are you ready to talk to me now?”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/19/can-the-police-retaliate-against-a-citizen-for-refusing-to-answer-police-questions/

Trump orders review of H-1B visa program. “Some industry observers think the new rules will have little impact on tech companies playing by the rules but could have a much more damaging effect on IT outsourcing giants like Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys who Trump (supporters) say have violated the principles of the H-1B visa program by allowing employers to bring in lower-skilled workers at well below market rates to replace American workers.”   http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/18/today-could-bring-big-changes-to-the-h-1b-program/   It’s not just Trump supporters who are upset when U.S. students, who have invested huge sums in higher education, are passed over by companies hiring low wage foreign workers.

Florida state senator resigns after allegedly using derogatory term to refer to black legislators.  “…Artiles told Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale that Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart had risen to his powerful GOP leadership role because “six niggers” in the Republican caucus had elected him.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article145327079.html

Bernie Sanders continues his quixotic quest to push the Democratic Party to the left. “I think it needs to make clear that it is prepared to take on Wall Street and the billionaire class and the fossil fuel industry in a very unambivalent way.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/04/22/525089501/sanders-unity-tour-with-dnc-chair-exposes-rifts-but-also-suggests-common-goals

Death penalty is more about politics than justice says writer. “It was (Bill) Clinton who jump-started the death penalty in (Arkansas) with an execution in 1990, the first in more than two decades. Clinton would then ride his blue-dog-Democrat, law-and-order reputation to the White House.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/04/21/the-debacle-in-arkansas-reaffirms-that-the-death-penalty-is-arbitrary-unchecked-and-unfair/

Underemployment, student loan debt and low wages result in yet another retail chain biting the dust. “Women’s apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc. said it’s closing its remaining 168 stores, the latest in a string of retailers shutting physical outlets.”   http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bebe-store-closings-20170421-story.html

Power outages hit New York and San Francisco during Friday’s morning rush hour, both cities blame local mechanical problems. “Commuters in San Francisco and New York both showed up to work late Friday morning for the same reason: power failures.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-21/power-outages-just-crippled-commutes-in-both-n-y-san-francisco   It could happen!

British isles go coal-free. “Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, a development that officials and climate change activists celebrated as a watershed moment.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/world/europe/britain-burning-coal-electricity.html

Wikileaks publishes CIA document on the agency’s “Weeping Angel” hack that turned TVs into listening devices. “It was designed to “pretend” to turn itself off by deactivating the screen and front LED lights, while using the television’s built-in microphone to record conversations, CNET’s report alleged.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/wikileaks-cia-hacking-tools-samsung-weeping-angel-2017-4

Diet soda linked to increased risk of stroke and dementia. “A study published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found a daily diet soda puts a person at three times the risk of dementia and stroke compared to someone who drinks less than one a week.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/21/diet-soda-can-increase-risk-dementia-and-stroke-study-finds/100736786/

Protecting indigenous communities also protects the environment. “If you want to take care of the forest, you need to invest in us—indigenous peoples—because no one takes better care of the forest than we do.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/21/marking-earth-day-indigenous-people-worldwide-fight-corporate-forces

Trump administration reportedly planning to charge Julian Assange. “During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html

Trumpcare 3.0 would sacrifice consumers with pre-existing conditions to lower rates for the healthy. “CNN reported Wednesday that some members of the Trump administration are hoping for a win on healthcare before the president reaches his 100-day milestone.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/20/trumpcare-30-gops-zombie-healthcare-plan-keeps-getting-worse

Journalists offer tips on how to protect your privacy at protests. “You might not be aware that just by showing up, you can open yourself up to certain privacy risks — police often spy on protesters, and the smartphones they carry, and no matter how peaceful the demonstration, there’s always a chance that you could get detained or arrested, and your devices could get searched.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/21/cybersecurity-for-the-people-how-to-protect-your-privacy-at-a-protest/

Republican Party accused of selling access in return for campaign donations. “Documents obtained by The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy show that the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee are both telling donors that in exchange for campaign contributions, they will receive invitations to special events to meet with congressional staff including chiefs of staff, leadership staffers, and committee staffers.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/20/staff-for-sale/

Hundreds of convicted terrorists reportedly roaming the streets of the United States. “The release of people convicted on terrorism-related charges with little if any monitoring by law enforcement might suggest U.S. government officials believe they can be fully rehabilitated following minor prison terms. A more likely explanation is that many of these so-called terrorists weren’t particularly dangerous in the first place.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/20/more-than-400-people-convicted-of-terrorism-in-the-u-s-have-been-released-since-911/

Egyptian military accused of executing detainees. “The Egyptian army has been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings in Sinai province, with a leaked video purportedly showing soldiers executing detainees and then staging events to make the deaths appear to be casualties of a gun battle.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/04/army-accused-extrajudicial-killings-leaked-video-170421105355148.html

20 reportedly killed in Caracas political turmoil. “Two days of huge protests on the streets of Caracas against the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro spilled into a violent Thursday night in several parts of the city, with residents in El Valle witnessing repetitive gunfire, street barricades set aflame and more than two dozen businesses looted.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-opposition-plans-silent-procession-040157854.html

Mental health professionals claim Trump is paranoid and delusional. “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dangerous-mental-illness-yale-psychiatrist-conference-us-president-unfit-james-gartner-a7694316.html

Journalists investigating Trump inauguration donors say the numbers don’t add up. “…a deep dive into Trump’s Federal Election Committee filing, spearheaded by the Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie, presents evidence that a large number of donors used “phony records” or are “front groups”.   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/phony-numbers-and-front-groups-trumps-inaugural-donor-list-contains-massive-evidence-of-fraud/

North Carolina woman who cast a vote for Donald Trump while impersonating her dead mother will not face voter fraud charges. “A letter from the district attorney’s office in Catawba County, included in the audit report, said prosecutors will not charge the woman because she believed the vote “was not a fraudulent act,” she did not have a prior criminal record, and the mother was alive during part of the absentee voting period”.”   http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article145971264.html

Articles on George W. Bush’s recent political rehabilitation tour are suspiciously spun in his favor says media watchdog. “Only one article makes vague reference to the Iraqis killed and injured (Washington Post’s Philip Kennicott opaquely mentions ”the trauma here and in Iraq”), but none note the specific number of deaths—with serious estimates ranging from 500,000 to 1 million—that resulted from Bush’s war of aggression.”   http://fair.org/home/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-fawning-praise-of-bushs-veteran-art-ignores-iraqi-victims/

New York Times accused of right-wing columnist bias. “Ideas like single-payer healthcare and free college are dismissed as pie-in-the-sky fantasies, while climate denial, anti-Arab bigotry and anti-woman vitriol are, according to Times editors (Huffington Post, 4/14/17), bringing a “new perspective to bear” that “further widens” the “vibrant diversity of opinions” the paper presents.”   http://fair.org/home/at-nyt-climate-denial-and-racism-dont-make-you-fringe-but-single-payer-does/

Pipeline construction workers reportedly spill 2 million gallons of chemicals in Ohio. “The pipeline is being constructed by Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that built the Dakota Access pipeline, which faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux and members of hundreds of other indigenous tribes and their allies.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/21/headlines/ohio_pipeline_crews_spill_2_million_gallons_of_drill_fluid

Dow Chemical allegedly asking Trump administration to ignore scientific studies on pesticides. “Peer-reviewed scientific studies have linked even small amounts of the chemicals to low birth weight and brain damage in children.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/21/headlines/dow_lobbies_white_house_to_reject_scientific_findings_on_pesticides

Turkey reportedly arresting referendum protest organizers. “Turkish authorities arrested dozens of opposition members Wednesday morning at dawn in a government crackdown against those questioning the legitimacy of Sunday’s referendum.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/20/headlines/turkey_arrests_dozens_of_opposition_members_over_referendum_protests

Dissident Chinese communist Li Rui turns 100. “China still lacks democracy. This is its biggest problem.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcV-bWku9Zs   “Mao’s way of thinking and governing was terrifying. He put no value on human life. The deaths of others meant nothing to him.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/02/china.jonathanwatts

April 22, 2017

April 20, 2017

Police raid home of organizer of Trump inauguration protests, reportedly based on undercover police infiltration of the group. “Facilitating public meetings is a First Amendment-protected activity.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-police-infiltrated-inauguration-protest-group-court-papers-show/2017/04/17/f3739f44-236c-11e7-b503-9d616bd5a305_story.html

Political extremists clash at Berkeley “Patriot’s Day” rally. “About 250 police officers were deployed to the scene by mid-afternoon after officials sought assistance from the neighboring Oakland Police Department.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-trump-rally-20170415-story.html

CIA director declares war on Wikileaks. “We can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us… It ends now.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/19/assange-strikes-back-at-cia-and-talks-trump-russia-and-hillary-clinton/

Leaks of surveillance of politicians reportedly delaying re-authorization of intelligence spying powers. “(Section 702) allows the government acting inside the United States to collect communications between foreign targets overseas and Americans without getting a FISA warrant [or any other kind of warrant], which is what was required previously when an American was on one end of the conversation.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/04/17/524393106/intelligence-leaks-complicate-efforts-to-renew-key-surveillance-program

Police reportedly teaching children to inform on their parents. “I thought the police would come get the drugs and tell them that drugs are wrong. They never said they would arrest them.…”   https://reason.com/archives/2017/04/16/recognize-resist-report

Turkish voters narrowly approve increased powers for their president in disputed referendum, Trump congratulates Turkish leader Erdogan on his victory. “The White House was… silent about the long-term implications of the referendum, which some experts have likened to a deathblow to democracy in Turkey.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/us/politics/trump-erdogan-turkey-referendum.html?_r=0

Fox News ends its relationship with Bill O’Reilly after sexual harassment allegations. “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bill-oreilly-is-officially-out-at-fox-news/2017/04/19/74ebdc94-2476-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html

Details on donations to Trump inauguration released. “Many of the companies that donated (the $106.7 million for Trump’s inauguration)… have significant matters pending before the U.S. government or have been invited to White House events.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-inaugural-idUSKBN17M00Q

Carrier group that government claimed was headed for Korea was actually headed for Australia. “The USS Carl Vinson was actually headed south from Singapore to participate in a four-day military exercise with the Australian Navy that only ended Tuesday.”   http://abcnews.go.com/International/timeline-administrations-statements-shows-confusion-location-us-aircraft/story?id=46888209

Massive Air Force bomb used to kill 36 IS militants in Afghanistan. “Crunched down – and in the most cold-blooded terms – that means the US military has expended some 5% of its stockpile of MOABs to kill three dozen Isis members at a cost of almost $450,000 per individual.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/14/moab-attack-isis-baffling-choice-cold-blooded-terms-cost-afghanistan

Eric Frein found guilty of shootings of state troopers, reportedly wanted to spark a revolution. “…only passing through the crucible of another revolution can get us back the liberties we once had”.   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/20/survivalist-who-killed-state-trooper-to-spark-revolution-is-guilty-of

Mother of four American citizen children deported to Mexico. “Maribel Trujillo, a mother of four American children from Fairfield, Ohio, who has never committed any crime in the 15 years she has lived in the US, has been deported to Mexico in the latest sign that the Trump administration is indiscriminately targeting undocumented immigrants.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/19/trump-immigration-policy-maribel-trujillo

Legal action blocks 3 of Arkansas’ planned 8 executions, but drug distributor is also claiming state bought one component of lethal injection series from them under “false pretenses”. “In McKesson’s case, the firm accused the Arkansas Department of Corrections of knowingly deceiving the distributor to obtain 100 vials of vecuronium bromide the firm distributes for Pfizer…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/04/19/arkansas-courts-stay-execution-block-state-from-using-lethal-injection-drug/

First Dreamer/DACA immigrant deported. “Montes had left his wallet in a friend’s car, so he couldn’t produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn’t retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico…”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/18/first-protected-dreamer-deported-under-trump/100583274/

DNC’s Perez passes up chance to go populist. “…what we have to do as Democrats is to articulate very clearly that Donald Trump’s vision for America is a vision for the top one percent of the one percent. It’s a vision that’s divisive.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/19/under-perez-dnc-still-resisting-call-name-enemy

IRS to turn over unpaid tax bills to debt collectors. “All too often, consumers are being mistreated by debt collectors and now taxpayers are at risk of that in the collection of tax debt.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/18/paving-way-abuse-and-scams-irs-hires-private-debt-collectors

Despite refusal to release visitor logs, Trump administration officials have met with at least 190 corporate executives. “As best anyone can decipher what’s going on at the White House, the CEOs are in charge now—and they are predictably advocating their narrow, short-term profitability interests, not what’s in America’s interest.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/17/trump-white-house-taking-marching-orders-hundreds-ceos-report

French presidential race tightens as “the Bernie Sanders of France” surges in the polls. “But there is a major difference between Sanders and Mélenchon. The American chose to run within an existing political party, while the Frenchman seeks to compete against them.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/18/frances-bernie-sanders-started-his-own-party-and-is-surging-in-the-polls/

Trump administration policies reportedly favor the financial interests of one of his top advisors. “The moves that help Blackstone have occurred while Schwarzman has been able to simultaneously sculpt federal policy and circumvent conflict-of-interest laws.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/how-billionaire-trump-adviser-evades-ethics-law-while-shaping-policies-make-money

Royalty payments for Governor Cuomo’s memoir seem suspiciously generous. “… he received a total of $783,000 from HarperCollins in book sales over the past three years,  a number that would translate to royalty payments of nearly $244.69 per copy.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/how-did-ny-gov-andrew-cuomo-make-783000-royalties-book-sold-only-3200-copies

Health and Human Service deputy secretary Eric Hargan would reportedly have to recuse himself on a host of issues due to conflicts of interest. “…he would have to recuse himself on “any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to [his] former employer or former clients,” which include generic drug makers, health system software and management businesses, regional hospital systems, a health care marketplace, private surgeons and emergency services and a bank “with a division dedicated exclusively to hospitals”.   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-conflicts-nominee-deputy-health-human-services-secretary-has-extensive-ties

University allegedly charging students $45,000 a year in tuition, but some professors quality for poverty programs. “If it were not for Social Security, I would not be able to both eat and pay my rent.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/04/18/fordham-university-tuition-45000-professors-medicaid/

Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been a government informant. “According to McPhee, “seasoned investigators” from the Boston area told her that Tsarnaev wasn’t questioned because he was “too valuable as an asset” to the FBI to be investigated for the murder of three drug dealers.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/04/17/evidence-spook-interaction-boston-marathon-bomber/

High profile may have doomed Steve Bannon. “He was damned the moment he was cast as a puppeteer. That means there’s a puppet in the equation, and no politician is going to accept that designation…”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/dead-strategist-walking-bannon-was-doomed-the-moment-time-magazine-put-him-on-its-cover-nyt/

“Mother of All Bombs” did not apparently wipe out IS fighters. “U.S. troops are still battling suspected Islamic State fighters near the site where a massive bomb was dropped in eastern Afghanistan last week, a U.S. military official said on Wednesday.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-usa-bomb-idUSKBN17L27R

Military may be overstating effectiveness of anti-missile system. “The experts warn that there has been very limited testing of the missile defense system, and even in those tests, which are in ideal situations and not real world conflicts, the system has only succeeded three times out of nine.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/04/19/experts-costly-us-missile-defense-system-probably-doesnt-work/

Allies new about Nazi death camps early in the war. “…few scholars have picked up on the fact that as early as December 1942, various Allied governments were releasing statements explicitly condemning the Nazis for exterminating the European Jews.”   http://www.dw.com/en/un-holocaust-files-reveal-allies-knowledge/a-38498671

Bodies in the Tigris hint that Iraqi security forces or victims of IS may be executing suspected supporters. ““Most of it is score-settling.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-bodies-idUSKBN17L1X9

 

April 20, 2017