April 4, 2017

Trump supporter Erik Prince allegedly met secretly with Putin ally on behalf of Trump administration. “The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/blackwater-founder-held-secret-seychelles-meeting-to-establish-trump-putin-back-channel/2017/04/03/95908a08-1648-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html

Lawsuit alleges Sumter, South Carolina police shot unarmed motorist 17 times in the back after struggle with officers. “One of the officers moved away from the decedent (while he was still laying on the ground and not moving) and at least three (3) Sumter Police officers made the conscious decision to utilize inappropriate and improper use of deadly force by firing their service weapons indiscriminately at least twenty-four (24) times directly at and into the decedent.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/south-carolina-man-killed-police-was-shot-17-times-back-n739501

U.N.human rights investigators find U.S. anti-protester laws troubling. “Nineteen U.S. states have introduced bills that would curb freedom of expression and the right to protest since Donald Trump’s election as president, an ” alarming  and undemocratic” trend, U.N. human rights investigators said on Thursday.”   http://www.newsweek.com/un-sees-alarming-us-trend-against-free-speech-protest-577216

Protesters in Paraguay riot after secret Senate meeting to allow country’s president another term in office. “Protesters stormed and set fire to Paraguay’s Congress on Friday after the Senate secretly voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election.”   http://www.myrepublica.com/news/17482/?categoryId=35

More mass arrests of protesters in Russia during second round of protests. “Police in Moscow detained about three dozen people at unauthorized rallies in the Russian capital on Sunday, a week after anti-government protests broke out across the country.”   http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/02/dozens-reported-arrested-in-moscow-protest-attempts.html

Thousands turn out in Paris to protest police shooting of Chinese Parisian. “About 6,000 people took part in angry protests in Paris on Sunday (Apr 2) against the death of a Chinese man shot and killed when police responded to a call at his apartment last month, police said.”   http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/thousands-march-in-paris-over-chinese-man-s-killing/3646802.html

Trump administration issues stern warning over abuse of H-1B visa program as it begins accepting hundreds of thousands of applications from companies seeking to hire foreign workers. “Computer programmers and other tech workers complain that companies use H-1B workers from Asia to undercut Americans — going so far as to lay off U.S. workers and forcing them to train their foreign replacements who are hired for far less pay.”   http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/3/trump-administration-warns-firms-hire-americans-ov/

Back from the dead – Trump administration reportedly negotiating for second whack at Obamacare repeal, plan would reportedly cut costs for the healthy by raising premiums for those who need care. “The change would allow insurers to once again charge sick people higher premiums than the healthy…. This would also mean that insurers could stop covering services that tend to attract patients who use more medical care, like maternity coverage and mental health services.”   http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/3/15167800/freedom-caucus-white-house-health-care

Washington man fatally shoots intruder caught taking a shower at one of his businesses. “Fanning left the building to retrieve a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber handgun, then returned and shot the intruder three times through the shower curtain, according to court documents.”   http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/crime/article142472759.html

Kansas legislature narrowly fails to override Governor Brownback’s veto of Medicaid expansion, which would have provided health insurance coverage to low income Kansans. “The state House voted 81-44 to override Brownback’s veto of the measure…. But supporters needed three more votes, or 84 in the 125-member chamber, for the two-thirds majority necessary to overturn the governor’s action.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/kansas-lawmakers-fail-to-override-veto-of-medicaid-expansion/2017/04/03/cc58ad5c-188e-11e7-8598-9a99da559f9e_story.html

Trump repeals internet privacy rules. “Supporters of the rules argue that without the regulations, broadband providers will be able to sell information about where you’ve been online, what you’re buying, the apps you’re using and where you’re located to marketers and other third parties, like insurance companies.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/trump-signs-bill-repealing-us-internet-privacy-rules/

Fired whistle-blower to receive huge settlement, gets his job back. “A federal regulator on Monday ordered Wells Fargo to pay $5.4 million to a former manager who said he was fired in 2010 after reporting to his supervisors and to a bank ethics hotline what he suspected was fraudulent behavior.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/business/04-wells-fargo-whistleblower-fired-osha.html

“Climbdown in Caracas”: Venezuelan Supreme Court restores legislative powers to country’s congress. “Venezuela’s president and Supreme Court backed down Saturday from an unprecedented move to strip congress of its legislative powers that had sparked widespread charges that the South American country was no longer a democracy.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/02/venezuela-president-supreme-court-walk-back-move-to-strip-congress-of-power.html

Bomber in St. Petersburg subway attack allegedly had links to jihadists. “The (Interfax) news agency said he died in a suicide blast and was identified through his remains.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39486640

In response to report that Trump can now withdraw money at anytime from trust set up to prevent conflicts of interest, White House spokesman reportedly comments, “…the entire point” of setting up such a trust “is so somebody can withdraw money.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/03/spicer-wont-give-straight-answer-reported-changes-trump-trust

Coalition of media organizations is posting financial disclosures of Trump appointees online. “So far, we’ve received less than half of the roughly 180 financial disclosures White House officials said they have processed. But the moment we get them, you will, too.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/01/white-house-wouldnt-post-trump-staffers-financial-disclosures-so-we-did

NYPD undercover officers reportedly infiltrated inner circle of Black Lives Matter activists. ““The documents uniformly show no crime occurring, but NYPD had undercovers inside the protests for months on end as if they were al-Qaida,” said David Thompson, an attorney of Stecklow & Thompson, who helped sue for the records.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/04/nypd-police-black-lives-matter-surveillance-undercover

Russian spy ring reportedly tried to recruit former Trump campaign advisor. “According to the court documents, (Victor) Podobnyy tried to recruit Carter Page, an energy consultant working in New York at the time, as an intelligence source.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/03/trump-russia-carter-page-energy-industry-files-spy

Chemical weapons attack in Syria kills 58. “Pin-point pupils and a lack of the odor associated with more commonly used chlorine gas was among the evidence cited for the nerve gas (sarin), which is banned as a weapon of mass destruction under international law.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrian-civil-war-chemical-weapons-attack-idlib-hospital-bombed-khan-sheikhoun-gas-sarin-chlorine-a7665816.html

Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, reportedly accessed “unmaked” NSA intercepts involving Trump and people close to him. “If an American is accidentally intercepted or two foreigners are caught talking about an American, that name is supposed to be redacted in intelligence reports and replaced by a description like “U.S. citizen 1”.”   http://circa.com/politics/accountability/white-house-logs-indicate-susan-rice-consumed-unmasked-intel-on-trump-associates

Brooklyn prosecutor reportedly admits to faking judges’ signatures on wiretap orders, allegedly monitored cell phones of love interest and rival. “For nearly 16 months, Lenich cut judges’ signatures from real documents and put them on fabricated wiretap orders that would let (her) monitor the pair’s cellphones.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ex-nyc-prosecutor-cries-admitting-forging-wiretap-order-article-1.3017960

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly have reportedly paid out $13 million to settle harassment allegations. “The payments by Fox on behalf of Ailes and O’Reilly are the focus of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. attorney general’s office in New York.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-bill-oreilly-sexual-harassment-20170401-story.html


April 4, 2017

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