April 1, 2017

Dutch police arrest two as part of international Credit Suisse tax evasion investigation. “Criminal investigations are also underway in Australia, Germany, the UK and France and the roles of bank employees are part of the inquiries.”   http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/credit-suisse-offices-in-europe-raided-in-evolving-tax-evasion-investigation-20170331-gvberl

Senate committee reportedly refuses to grant Michael Flynn immunity in Russian election hacking investigation. “The Senate Intelligence Committee turned down the request by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer for a grant of immunity in exchange for his testimony, two congressional sources told NBC News.”  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/senate-intelligence-committee-rejects-immunity-michael-flynn-n741061

Arkansas planning to execute 8 prisoners over 11 days using controversial drug cocktail. “…in several midazolam executions, death row inmates were seen writhing or gasping as they died.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/31/521967661/arkansas-readies-for-8-executions-despite-outcry-over-pace-method

Revocation of FCC privacy rule opens up customer browsing history to law enforcement says former Justice Department expert. “By adding a single short paragraph to an application for a court order through the Stored Communications Act (this wouldn’t even a require a search warrant), the FBI would be able to order your ISP to divulge every website you have contacted and every app you have used.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congresss-vote-to-eviscerate-internet-privacy-could-give-the-fbi-massive-power/2017/03/30/0feae55e-1550-11e7-9e4f-09aa75d3ec57_story.html?utm_term=.d958b7888a82

Journalists sue to get off President’s kill list. “(Bilal) Kareem, a U.S. citizen reporting from Syria in recent years, claims in the suit that he has “narrowly avoided being killed by five separate air strikes” over the past year.”   https://secure.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/03/journalists-sue-trump-kill-list-236738

Belarus authorities reportedly raid satellite TV station, confiscate equipment and arrest cameraman. “Today’s raid on the office of Belsat TV–one of the few alternatives to state-controlled media left in Belarus–is a blatant attempt to silence independent journalism in the midst of nationwide unrest.”   https://cpj.org/2017/03/belarus-police-raid-offices-of-tv-station-belsat-d.php

China imposes beard and veil ban on Uighurs. “The measures include prohibiting “abnormally” long beards, the wearing of veils in public places and refusing to watch state television…. Reuters news agency reports that the new laws also ban not allowing children to attend government schools, not abiding by family planning policies, deliberately damaging legal documents and marrying using only religious procedures.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39460538   I’m sure this will help bring about peace and understanding.

Gujarat state in India passes “life in prison” penalty for slaughtering cattle, 7 to 10 years in prison for possession of beef.   http://zeenews.india.com/gujarat/gujarat-life-term-for-cow-slaughtering-1991583.html

Scotland’s prime minister officially requests second independence referendum due to Brexit. “In these very changed circumstances, the people of Scotland must have the right to choose our own future – in short, to exercise our right of self determination.”   http://news.sky.com/story/nicola-sturgeon-writes-to-pm-requesting-a-second-scottish-independence-referendum-10818701

Turkish government allegedly monitoring its citizens all over the world. “Earlier this week, German public broadcasters NDR and WDR, together with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, reported that Turkey’s MIT intelligence service provided Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, with a file on suspected Gülen supporters in Germany that included detailed lists of names, mobile and landline numbers and secretly taken photos of the people in question.”   http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/turkey-spies-on-suspected-guelen-supporters-around-the-world-a-1141367.html

Former CIA interrogator and co-architect of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation” program, James Mitchell, does a homey, “softball” interview with BBC’s Hard Talk, in which he claims the program was necessary because of a wave of pending, catastrophic attacks, possibly including nuclear weapons. He claims many such attacks were successfully stopped due to the program, a view completely rejected by the Senate’s “torture report”, which interviewer Zeinab Badawi fails to point out to him. See old CNN story on the Senate’s report here:   http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/09/politics/cia-torture-report/   Among his other claims, waterboarding is not painful and it is not torture because the Justice Department said it wasn’t. Badawi fails to ask him if he’s ever heard of the Geneva Conventions or Nuremberg trials, or ask why the U.S. tried Japanese interrogators for war crimes for waterboarding American prisoners. Mitchell also claims that mall cops have more latitude during interrogations than CIA agents! I’ll be sure to report it here the next time I see a news story about a mall cop accused of waterboarding a shoplifter or holding him naked in a frigid room and dousing him with ice water. Interview here:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04xtpwr   News story here:   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39444081

New York mayor Bill de Blasio announces eventual closure of Rikers Island jail. “It is one of the world’s largest corrections and mental institutions and has been called the world’s largest penal colony.”   http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/31/nyc-close-notorious-rikers-jail-complex/99886116/

Mexico City campaign aims to reduce sexual harassment on public transportation by sensitizing men. “Nearly 6 million people take the Mexico City subway each day and women are molested on a regular basis.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-un-abuse-idUSKBN1720DJ

Trump administration releases reports on appointee wealth and financial interests. Spicer: “I think one of the really interesting things that people are going to see today — and I think it’s something that should be celebrated — is that the president has brought a lot of people into this administration, and this White House in particular, who have been very blessed and very successful.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/us/politics/ivanka-trump-and-jared-kushner-still-benefiting-from-business-empire-filings-show.html

Man who hit bus in Texas, killing 13, allegedly told witness he was texting while driving. “Texas is unusual in that it has no statewide ban on texting while driving.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-driver-texting-texas-church-bus-crash-20170331-story.html

Trump declares April “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month”. “President Donald Trump, who has been publicly accused of sexual assault by more than 15 women and was caught on tape boasting he could grab women “by the pussy” without their consent, has officially proclaimed April 2017 to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-sexual-assault-awareness-month_us_58debcdde4b0c777f78755d1

Five immigrants reportedly show up for appointment at government office, are arrested. “Employing a newly aggressive approach, federal immigration authorities arrested five people Wednesday at the Lawrence (Massachusetts) office of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, an office where immigrants can seek legal residency. ”   https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/03/31/five-arrested-lawrence-immigration-office/SUeBGCVTiNxKerc1C84nhM/story.html

Man fatally shot by New Jersey state troopers while fleeing questioning. The man “…appeared to be injecting heroin, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said Friday. As the troopers moved in to talk with him, he drove off…”   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-jersey-state-police-shot-man-rammed-truck-article-1.3015433

Rio de Janeiro police accused of executing wounded suspects. “The video, which has been shared widely on social media, shows the officers shooting two men who are lying on the ground at point blank range. The two men appear to be unarmed and wounded.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39462606

Man who tussled with Chicago area police officer had LSD in his system, was shot in the back, says coroner’s report. “The report shows (Michael) Musson had gunshot wounds on the upper right side of his back, the lower right side of his abdomen and the back of his lower right leg. He also had a graze wound on his left hip.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/news/ct-lns-round-lake-police-shooting-st-0330-20170330-story.html

Roy, Utah police release body cam video of police fatally shooting fleeing suspect. “The officers — whose identities have not been released — responded to a call from a convenience store clerk reporting that a man was loitering and “acting suspiciously,” said White.”   http://www.sltrib.com/news/5124489-155/roy-city-releases-body-camera-footage

Woman in critical condition after Idaho state police open fire on fleeing vehicle. “…Shaylee Williamson, 21, of Pocatello, was seriously wounded when state police opened fire on the car she was a passenger in after the driver, Rocco Chacon Jr., 24, of Pocatello, decided to drive away from the troopers trying to arrest him, authorities said.”   http://idahostatejournal.com/members/investigation-into-state-police-shooting-to-be-completed-next-week/article_b61d41b7-08e9-5ac0-96ea-9b7f2629310b.html

Man fatally shot by police officer while running away from Nashville traffic stop was hit twice in the back and once in the hip according to autopsy. “The autopsy report for Jocques Clemmons, the 31-year-old man shot and killed by a Metro police officer in February, confirms he was shot three times and grazed once by a bullet.”   http://wkrn.com/2017/03/30/autopsy-confirms-jocques-clemmons-shot-3-times-grazed-once/

“People’s Filibuster” rallies will oppose Gorsuch appointment to Supreme Court. “With Democratic Party resistance to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch still in flux, American voters are taking to the streets on Saturday to stage a “People’s Filibuster” against the conservative judge.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/31/voters-rise-across-us-peoples-filibuster-gorsuch

Gorsuch asked to identify his “dark money” supporters. “In a strongly-worded open letter, six Democratic senators demanded Thursday that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch disclose the identities of donors behind the right-wing dark money group spending millions to push for his confirmation.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/31/senate-dems-ask-gorsuchs-help-expose-secret-donors-backing-his-nomination

Student loan borrowers who took public service jobs sue after Department of Education reverses approvals. “The plaintiffs held jobs that they initially were told qualified them for debt forgiveness, only to later have that decision reversed — with no evident way to appeal, they say.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/business/student-loan-forgiveness-program-lawsuit.html

Leaked Trump NAFTA proposal reportedly disappointing. “Trump and members of his administration are proving that they will always prioritize CEOs over the working men and women who have suffered from NAFTA’s punishing trade policy.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/03/31/those-who-trusted-him-trade-trump-prepares-punch-face

Sessions changes his tune, now admits crime rates are actually low. “Murder rates are half of what they were in 1980. We have driven the violent crime rate down to almost half of what it was at its peak.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/31/jeff-sessions-st-louis-speech-crime-rates

ACLU offers tips for those facing “digital strip searches” at U.S. borders. ““The ideal thing to do is to leave your main phone and laptop at home and go across the border with a burner phone,” said Sinha, referring to a simple device that doesn’t have your email or social media apps on it.” Other experts say you can also delete your contacts and apps, and then reinstall them after traveling.  https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/31/us-border-phone-computer-searches-how-to-protect

Some Republicans admit that previous Obamacare repeal efforts were a sham. “We knew the president, if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, would almost certainly veto it. This time we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/03/31/repeal-votes-obamacare/

Canada turning away more American citizens at the border, possibly due to increased sharing of criminal records. “The rate at which Americans were denied entrance into Canada across the U.S.-Canadian border surged over 31 percent last year, with 30,233 U.S. citizens being turned away throughout 2016, Canada Border Services Agency figures stated. That’s up from 23,052 stops the year before – and just 7,509 in 2014.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/how-move-canada-rate-americans-turned-away-border-surges-2518745

Japanese whalers reportedly killed 333 whales for “scientific research” in last four months. “Japan has been accused of using the (scientific research) exemption as cover to continue its commercial activities and sell the whales.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-whale-hunt-300-killed-ecological-research-animal-welfare-protection-a7660486.html

CIA used “obfuscator/packer” to evade anti-virus programs and confuse investigators. “While the code can insert any language text or sequence of characters into the code, or English text, the point appears to be more about eliminating the original intent of coders than causing an incorrect attribution.”   http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/326691-wikileaks-newest-cia-source-code-leak-shows-how-cia-avoids-anti-virus

Federal appeals court blocks release of Gitmo force feeding videos. “The three-judge court in Washington said in its ruling that the public interest in what happens at the prison housing US terror suspects is trumped by “the government’s compelling interest in guarding national security.””   https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-court-blocks-release-guantanamo-force-feeding-videos-195000990.html

ICE accused of holding U.S. citizen for three weeks. ““He said, ‘Hey, I’m a citizen!’ And basically they said, ‘Tell it to the judge.’” But Aguilar didn’t get to see a judge.”   https://theslot.jezebel.com/ice-detains-us-citizen-for-almost-3-weeks-1793890197   818 U.S. citizens were reportedly held in ICE detention centers between 2007 and 2015. “A separate NPR review of court records showed that in dozens of similar cases, Americans asserted their citizenship only to be sucked into a system they should have never been a part of.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/22/504031635/you-say-you-re-an-american-but-what-if-you-had-to-prove-it-or-be-deported

FBI did not expose Trump’s Russia connections to protect organized crime investigation,  say journalists. “…for more than three decades the FBI has had Trump Tower in its sights. Many of its occupants have been targets of major investigations, others have been surveilled, and yet others have served as informants. One thing many of them have in common is deep ties to organized crime — including the Russian mafia.”   http://whowhatwhy.org/2017/03/27/fbi-cant-tell-trump-russia/


April 1, 2017

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