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

 

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April 20, 2017

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