April 5, 2017

Russians claims Syria nerve agent deaths were caused when rebel stockpile was hit by airstrike, which they did not carry out. White House press secretary blames Obama. “White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Tuesday that the attack is a “consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution”.”   http://www.wcvb.com/article/russia-says-deadly-syrian-airstrike-targeted-chemical-weapons-factory/9233663

Former UK conservative leader threatens war over Gibraltar, Spanish warship cruises through the island’s territorial waters. “The dramatic stand-off happened 48 hours after former Conservative leader Michael Howard implied that Prime Minister Theresa May would use military force if Spain attempted to reclaim the British territory.”   https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3259092/gibraltar-stand-off-spanish-warship-british-boat-admiral-lord-west/

New Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff to close Joe Arpaio’s prison camp. “Authorities hope shuttering Tent City will serve as a step toward rebranding their county and state.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/05/new-sheriff-in-town-to-close-joe-arpaios-outdoor-tent-city-jail-of-pink-underwear-fame/

Rights groups worried Justice Department will abandon police reforms. AG Sessions: “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.”   http://www.phillyvoice.com/civil-rights-groups-alarmed-over-retreat-on-police/

Man fatally shot in shower may have been drunk, entered wrong house by accident. “… Rosa and friends apparently hit some bars in the Belfair area and then visited a friend’s home two doors down from the property Fanning owns…. around 5 a.m. Rosa left the house to get some air, and “according to those guys he never came back”… http://www.king5.com/news/local/wrong-place-wrong-time-new-details-about-shooting-that-killed-teachers-aide/428578252   The business owner had reportedly posted a “trespassers will be shot” sign.

Payless Shoe Source files for bankruptcy, will close 400 stores. “It’s the 10th retailer to file this year, continuing the industry on its pace for the highest number of such filings since 2009, according to a recent study by AlixPartners.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/04/payless-shoesource-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy.html   “If the working class burns, retail burns with us!”

Ralph Lauren to close dozens of Polo stores. “Ralph Lauren announced on Tuesday it would close its flagship Polo store in New York in less than two weeks.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/ralph-lauren-flagship-polo-store-is-closing-2017-4

Investigation shows car insurance costs more if you live in a predominantly minority urban neighborhood. “A new report suggests that people living in urban minority neighborhoods could be paying as much as 30 percent more for car insurance, but an industry group says the report’s findings are flawed.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-car-insurance-rate-disparity-20170405-story.html

No longer realistic for college students to pay their own way through college, most can only cover 1/3 the cost now. “Firstly, the value of the minimum wage, a good indicator of the pay of a part-time college student job, has declined in constant dollars (which include inflation) over the past several years. At the same time, the price of college has jumped.”   http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yet-another-reminder-that-its-nearly-impossible-to-work-your-way-through-school-2017-04-04

“Palms and crocodiles” in the arctic possible if current level of fossil fuel use continues. “Research published in Nature Communications finds that if fossil fuel use continues unabated, the atmosphere could revert “to values of CO2 not seen since the early Eocene (50 million years ago)”…”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/04/carbon-levels-could-hit-pre-human-palms-arctic-state-mid-century   Sounds like it’s a good time to buy some future beachfront property near Sacramento or Atlanta.

180 theaters world-wide show “1984” on April 4th. “There’s a central line from (George Orwell’s) book about the freedom to say that two plus two equals four, even when the government is telling you that two plus two equals five.”   http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/04/04/trumps-dystopia-movie-theaters-nationwide-screening-1984

British and American conservatives are motivated by a desire for more freedom – for the business class. “…(Trump) intends to remove funds from the tiny U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates lethal industrial incidents. Discovering what happened and why would impede freedom.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/ripping-up-protections-brexit-trump-freedom

Chinese taboo on politicians playing golf may limit bonding activities during Xi’s U.S. visit. “The government has shuttered a sixth of the country’s golf courses since 2011, amid an ongoing crackdown on graft that has seen thousands of officials sacked. Membership fees at courses are often several times the annual salary of even high-level cadres.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/05/donald-trump-china-golf-xi-jinping

Many senior Trump staffers allegedly linked to Koch funded organizations. “Newly disclosed ethics forms reveal that a significant number of senior Trump staffers were previously employed by the sprawling network of hard-right and libertarian advocacy groups financed and controlled by Charles and David Koch, the conservative duo hyper-focused on entrenching Republican power, eliminating taxes, and slashing environmental and labor regulations.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/04/koch-trump-wh/

Trump’s Food and Drug Administration nominee has reportedly received almost $45,000 from firms which profit from the opioid drug industry since the beginning of 2016. “Gottlieb (has) argued that the DEA should not treat corporate pharmaceutical firms like street drug dealers.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/04/scott-gottlieb-opioid/   That’s right, laws are only for the little people.

Justice Department blocks release of business emails of Trump’s anti-trust nominee. “(The International Business Times) request specifically asked the government to release any email correspondence between antitrust regulators and Delrahim’s lobbying firm email address.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-justice-department-emails-blocked-shield-antitrust-department-nominees

Poll: 75% of Americans unwilling to let law enforcement monitor their internet activity. “According to the March 11-20 survey, 32 percent said intelligence agencies such as the FBI and National Security Agency are conducting “as much surveillance as is necessary” and 7 percent said they wanted more surveillance. Another 37 percent of adults said agencies are “conducting too much surveillance on American citizens.” The remaining 24 percent said they did not know.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/most-americans-unwilling-to-give-up-privacy-to-thwart-attacks-reutersipsos-poll/   Interesting order of listing those results, Reuters!

Facebook loses appeal over government search warrants to uncover disability fraud. “Judge Rowan Wilson dissented, saying the decision deprived Facebook of “any meaningful recourse” against the “en masse” data seizure, including from high school students who had the misfortune of knowing people suspected of disability fraud.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/04/new-yorks-top-court-rejects-facebook-search-warrant-challenge/

Trump allegedly made video call to shady Russian oligarch’s birthday bash . “Trump has denied having any “dealings” with Russia, but he has dealt with oligarchs, the uber-rich industrialists who emerged – with the Kremlin’s blessing – after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article142584709.html

New F-35 fighter still has issues. “There remain “hundreds” of critical performance deficiencies and maintenance problems, the report says.”   https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/03/gilmore_farewells_trump_government_slamming_the_f35_again/

Legislation to require warrants for border searches of electronic devices introduced in House and Senate. “The bill makes it illegal to access the contents of a device belonging to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident without probable cause and a warrant, and specifies that border agents can’t hold people for more than four hours to try to get them to unlock their phone or give up their data.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/04/04/lawmakers-move-to-stop-warrantless-cell-phone-searches-at-the-u-s-border/   I think that should probably read “probable cause OR a warrant”.

 

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April 5, 2017

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