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

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