May 31, 2017

Trump’s lawyer declines invitation to appear before congressional “Russiagate” panel. “I declined the invitation to participate, as the request was poorly phrased, overly broad and not capable of being answered,” Cohen told CNN Tuesday, adding that he considered it a “total fishing expedition.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/30/politics/michael-cohen-wont-cooperate-with-congress/

America’s longest and most expensive wars. “In addition to nearly 7,000 troops killed, the 16-year conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost an estimated US$6 trillion due to its prolonged length, rapidly increasing veterans health care and disability costs and interest on war borrowing.”   https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/05/26/iraq-and-afghanistan-6-trillion-bill-americas-longest-war-unpaid

Judge unhappy about deportation of Hawaiian businessman who has been in the U.S. for almost 30 years. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-appeals-court-deport-20170530-story.html

U.S. delivers arms to Kurdish leftists. “The (weapons) include AK-47s and small-calibre machine guns, according to AFP news agency.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40100917

China Labor Watch says its investigator has been detained by authorities. “An advocacy group says a man investigating working conditions at a Chinese company that produces Ivanka Trump-brand shoes has been arrested and two other men are missing.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/men-probing-ivanka-trump-supplier-in-china-arrested-missing/2017/05/30/d6aab7c0-4582-11e7-8de1-cec59a9bf4b1_story.html

Supreme Court strikes down “provocation” ruling of lower court in warrantless search for fugitive that lead to shooting of uninvolved homeless couple. “Under that rule, police can be sued for violating a victim’s constitutional rights against unreasonable searches if they provoked a confrontation that resulted in violence.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-court-police-shoot-20170530-story.html

Guardian reporter donates his broken glasses to journalism museum. “(Republican House candidate) Gianforte allegedly “body slammed” Jacobs at the candidate’s campaign headquarters in Bozeman after receiving a question about the GOP’s ObamaCare replacement plan.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/news/335687-reporter-to-give-glasses-to-museum-after-alleged-assault-report

Muslim group wins lawsuit against New Jersey town accused of blocking mosque. “The (group) filed for site approval in 2012, which initiated 39 public hearings that spanned more than three years (before having their application denied in 2015).”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/30/530766018/n-j-town-must-pay-islamic-group-3-25-million-to-settle-discrimination-lawsuit

Athens, Georgia bars accused of making up dress codes and private party reservations to exclude black customers. “The dress code is meant to keep out gang members regardless of race, (one bar owner) said.”   http://flagpole.com/news/in-the-loop/first-discrimination-complaint-filed-against-downtown-athens-bar

Man places peeing dog statue next to Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl”. “Gardega created a statue of a small dog, titled “Pissing Pug,” and his sloppily crafted pooch takes direct aim at “Fearless Girl” — or, at least, at her left leg.”   https://nypost.com/2017/05/29/pissed-off-artist-adds-statue-of-urinating-dog-next-to-fearless-girl/   Classy!

Goldman Sachs buys up Venezuelan state oil company bonds, upsetting the country’s mostly pro-capitalist opposition. “Goldman Sachs paid $865 million for $2.8 billion in bonds issued by PDVSA, the country’s state-owned oil company, working out to 31 cents on the dollar.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/30/goldmans-venezuelan-bond-deal-a-cynically-opportunist-bet-fmr-goldman-managing-director.html

United Airlines fined by government over maintenance lapse. “United flew the aircraft on 23 domestic and international passenger flights before the inspection was ultimately performed, according to the FAA.”   http://kfor.com/2017/05/30/united-allegedly-flew-an-unsafe-plane-23-times/

Parties in British Columbia, Canada vow to block oil pipeline. “The Greens and left-leaning New Democrats…. said they would use “every tool available” to stop the expansion of a pipeline designed to carry crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the west coast.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kindermorgan-canada-ipo-idUSKBN18Q1JT

Supreme Court puts limits on where lawsuits can be filed against corporations. “The Supreme Court ruling looks to limit the ability of plaintiffs to “shop” for courts in states that have friendlier employee laws.”   https://www.thestreet.com/story/14154470/1/supreme-court-tightens-rules-on-where-injury-lawsuits-can-be-filed.html

Are the world’s democracies being turned into “security states” by a gang of young delinquents? “… with every new attack, some of our essential freedoms are being chipped away in the name of security, and that trend will almost certainly continue.”   http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/after-manchester-the-u-k-weighs-security-and-freedoms

Aerospace tycoon says he is certain there is an alien presence on earth. “There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bigelow-aerospace-founder-says-commercial-world-will-lead-in-space/

Portland stabbing suspect reportedly yells in court, “Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom. You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/portland-train-stabbing-suspect-has-courtroom-outburst/

Bernie Sanders tells graduates he never thought the U.S. would become an oligarchy. “Described to him as “small developing countries” in which the “economic and political life of the nation were controlled by a handful of very wealthy people,” Sanders admitted it “never occurred to me as a kid in Brooklyn that the United States of America, our great nation, could move in that direction”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/30/come-together-and-fight-oligarchy-declares-sanders-stirring-commencement

Unknown attacker opens fire on Kentucky newspaper office, bomb threat hits printing company. “The spate of threats to news industries in Kentucky adds to a growing litany of attacks and physical assaults on journalists across the US.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/30/kentucky-newspapers-attack-anti-media

Death toll in Venezuelan protests reportedly hits 69. “Sixty-nine people have been killed in Venezuela since April 1 as result of numerous, violent protests held against the nation’s leader Nicolas Maduro, head of the Venezuelan non-governmental organization, Foro Penal (Penal Forum), Alfredo Romero, said Tuesday.”   https://sputniknews.com/latam/201705311054140222-venezuela-protests-death-toll-seventy/

 

May 31, 2017

May 30, 2017

Texas lawmakers get physical, trade threats after one allegedly brags about calling ICE on protesters opposed to bill against “sanctuary cities”. “GOP state Rep. Matt Rinaldi says he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the protesters, several of whom carried signs proclaiming “I am illegal and here to stay”.”    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/29/530623562/texas-lawmakers-trade-assault-allegations-after-one-calls-ice-on-protesters

German government unhappy with “short-sighted” Trump administration policies that have “weakened the west”. “Anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/30/germany-steps-up-attack-on-trump-for-weakening-the-west

Portland’s mayor asks National Park Service to cancel “free speech rally”, ACLU says that would be illegal. “The government cannot revoke or deny a permit based on the viewpoint of the demonstrators. Period.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/29/us/portland-scheduled-demonstrations/

Dashcam video shows Georgia police officer hit speeds of 107 mph during chase, fired 21 shots at fleeing teens, hitting all three of them and killing one. The officer was cleared of any charges but resigned according to video.   http://www.wltz.com/2017/05/22/exclusive-dramatic-dash-cam-video-reveals-officer-brown-fired-21-shots/

Many veteran suicides due to “moral injuries”. “The whole concept is that we all have a moral system that if we are forced to violate it, that has huge consequences.”   http://www.krtv.com/story/35466715/eric-newhouse-talks-about-suicide-awareness-and-prevention-in-great-falls

John F. Kennedy, if still alive, would have turned 100 on Memorial Day. “He ran for president as a cold warrior and ramped up U.S. military presence in Vietnam. But in the last year of his life, he called for an end to the Cold War.”   http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/john-f-kennedy-symbol-generation-left-mixed-legacy/

Populist leader Nasser Zafzafi arrested in Morocco. “Anthropologist Miriyam Aouragh has described the Al Hoceima uprising as the “unfinished business” of Moroccan “Arab Spring” activists, and some on social media have been calling the latest wave of widespread demonstrations the “new February 20,” referring to the movement of 2011.”   https://africatimes.com/2017/05/29/morocco-protests-spread-from-al-hoceima-to-rabat-other-cities/

Car theft suspect fatally shot by Vacaville, California police after chase. “Officers fired four shots through the windshield of the car, killing the suspect. Authorities won’t say exactly why officers fired at the vehicle.”   http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/05/29/police-shoot-and-kill-suspect-driving-stolen-car-in-vacaville/

Warren, Ohio man sues police for breaking his arm, denying him medical treatment. “White says that although he complained several times about his injury, neither Martin, nor police officer Jason McCollum, nor anyone at the Trumbull County Jail believed him or offered him medical treatment.”   http://www.wfmj.com/story/35540920/warren-man-files-250000-excessive-force-suit-against-police

Jaguar Land Rover has record sales year in China and U.S. “Jaguar Land Rover has delivered a record year of sales bolstered by demand for luxury cars in China and North America.”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/23/jaguar-land-rover-posts-record-year-in-sales

Bush accused of waging war for political gain. “Every country has a militaristic right-wing, and nothing helps that right-wing triumph over their domestic enemies more than a state of war.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/05/29/we-need-memorial-day-to-obscure-the-unbearable-truth-about-war/

 

May 30, 2017

May 29, 2017

Trump accuses press of making up leak stories. “It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/28/trump-returns-home-from-abroad-with-a-twitter-rant-about-fake-news-leaks-and-the-enemy/

Head of Homeland Security says he has no problem with political campaigns trying to set up secret communications with Russian officials. “Any channel of communication back or otherwise is a good thing,” Kelly told “Fox News Sunday.” “It doesn’t bother me.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/28/homelands-kelly-says-no-big-deal-if-kushner-tried-back-channel-network-with-russia-as-wh-fights-back.html

At least 92 dead in Marawi, Philippines fighting. “That figure includes 16 civilians, 61 militants, 11 soldiers, and four police officers.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/28/530473693/death-toll-rises-as-philippine-military-tries-to-regain-control-of-marawi

Cook County Sheriff says half of the people in jail don’t belong there, while gangs have the cash to bail out their members. “But you have some individual who’s in here who’s never been a danger to anybody, he can’t come up with a hundred dollars. He’s sitting…the guy with the gun, he’s out the door.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cook-county-jail-sheriff-tom-dart-on-60-minutes/

British Airways computer system apparently still unable function after “power outage”,  flight shutdown likely to enter third day. “On Saturday night, travellers spent the night sleeping on terminal floors at Heathrow on yoga mats provided by BA.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40081112   Welcome to the modern world. You have fully functioning aircraft, crews ready for duty and passengers lined up for flights, but nothing is moving because the computers are down.

4,149 people died of drug overdoses in Ohio last year, up 36% from 2015. “The increase is being attributed to heroin and the powerful synthetic opioids fentanyl and carfentanil.”   https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/05/28/ohio-had-more-than-overdose-deaths/sLmKO8FiWyQ6GJBsIiwlBJ/story.html

Cuban exile claims he saw his CIA handler meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald 11 weeks before the JFK assassination. “After JFK was killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Oswald was arrested, and his face was broadcast on TV. “I recognized him immediately,” Veciana writes.”   http://www.newsweek.com/cia-jfk-john-f-kennedy-fidel-castro-che-guevara-kennedy-assassination-bay-pigs-616670

Defense secretary announces tactical shift “to annihilation tactics” in fight against IS. “Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/28/james-mattis-defense-secretary-us-isis-annihilation

NGO claims civilian death toll in Iraq and Syria is eight times higher than public U.S. estimates. “(Airwars,) a non-profit group, estimates that at least 3,100 civilians have died in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since August 2014, the start of the war against IS.”   http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/27/05/2017/3,100-civilians-died-in-US-strikes-in-Iraq,-Syria-NGO

 

May 29, 2017

May 28, 2017

Two dead, one injured in attack on Portland train. “Witnesses said Christian stabbed three people who tried to calm him down after he was directing hate speech at two women on the train who are believed to be Muslim.”   http://www.kgw.com/news/crime/max-stabbing-suspect-is-a-self-proclaimed-white-nationalist/443585889

Philippine president Duterte reportedly “jokes” to troops that under martial law rape will be tolerated. “If you rape three people, I will admit that I did it.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/26/asia/philippines-duterte-speech/

British Airways denies that its computer problems are due to a cyber attack. “Despite initial reports from passengers that the disruptions had been caused by a cyber attack, BA has said that a “power supply issue” was most likely behind the global IT failure.”   https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3663439/british-airways-aims-to-resume-flights-after-major-it-failure-saw-systems-crash-across-the-world-and-caused-travel-chaos-in-airports/

Government releases information about April fire at Los Alamos plutonium weapons lab. “A fire broke mid-April at the lab’s PF-4 plutonium building where the plutonium cores of nuclear weapons are produced.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-us-nuclear-labs-future-up-in-the-air-after-recent-fire-2017-5

Police releasing few details in fatal San Rafael, New Mexico shooting involving multiple SWAT teams and unidentified dead suspect. “Christiansen didn’t say which agency the officer or officers were with who fired at the suspect or what prompted police to shoot.”   https://www.abqjournal.com/1009666/state-police-wanted-person-fatally-shot-by-officers.html

Energy Transfer Partners allegedly hired counter-terrorism company to help it deal with pipeline protesters. “Internal TigerSwan communications describe the (protest) movement as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/27/dapl-company-hired-war-terror-contractors-suppress-native-uprising

Geraldo Rivera tells “Fox and Friends” that Montana politician’s assault on reporter “was gigantically overblown”.  “The incident itself I think was gigantically overblown.”   https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2017/05/26/geraldo-rivera-calls-reaction-montana-republican-body-slamming-journalist-gigantically-overblown/216681   Wife of Republican congressman calls it “a little bit of Montana justice”.   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/27/greg-gianforte-ben-jacobs-media-donald-trump-journalism-montana

Police in Tennessee fatally shoot motorist attempting to flee traffic stop. “The driver was pronounced dead at the scene and has not yet been positively identified.”   http://www.startribune.com/officials-tennessee-man-dies-in-police-shooting-car-crash/424791773/

Florida police officer reportedly fired after injuring 13 year-old at youth shelter. “The teen suffered facial injuries and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.”   https://patch.com/florida/clearwater/clearwater-cop-fired-after-teen-injured-during-arrest

Woman sues St. Louis police over violent arrest after Black Lives Matter protest. “On December 1, 2016, Circuit Judge Nicole Colbert-Botchway acquitted Hendrix of resisting arrest, concluding that the “evidence presented in this case does not establish that Ms. Hendrix was ever given an opportunity to comply before she was tased repeatedly and then handcuffed”.”   http://www.stlamerican.com/news/local_news/ucity-school-board-member-files-suit-against-stl-police-for/article_6f7f8312-425f-11e7-b4b2-f3e33457cf1c.html

Thousands of Haitian garment workers go on strike. “Garment workers live in debt, hunger and on the brink of homelessness, despite working 12-16 hour days.”   https://itsgoingdown.org/striking-haitian-garment-workers-call-solidarity/

Turkey demands investigation into “mistreatment” of President Erdogan’s body guards by D.C. police when they were eventually stopped from beating up protesters. “On Monday, the Turkish government summoned the U.S. ambassador to Ankara to demand a full investigation into, and an apology for, the “aggressive and unprofessional actions” that American law enforcement officers committed—against Erdogan’s bodyguards.”   http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/turkey-demands-apology-beating-up-us-protesters

May 28, 2017

May 27, 2017

Trump White House official and son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly failed to report meetings with sanctioned Russian bank official and Russian ambassador on security clearance application. “Investigators are now trying to sort out a series of questions about Kushner’s role, among them why he failed to disclose meetings with Russians on an application for a security clearance…”   http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article152973294.html

Federal appeals court rules against Trump administration on Muslim travel ban. “In a 10-to-3 decision, the Richmond-based court said the president’s power to deny entry into the United States is not absolute and sided with challengers, finding that the travel ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination”.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/federal-appeals-court-largely-maintains-freeze-of-trumps-travel-ban/2017/05/25/395aa394-365b-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html

Legislators upset about violence against protesters – when it’s committed by foreigner agents. “We just wish our members of Congress held our own police to these same standards.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/protesters-turkish-ambassador/

House bill would restore some internet privacy protections and expand them to cover social media and other internet firms. “Blackburn’s bill would level the playing field by putting all internet firms under FTC jurisdiction but at a higher level of opt-in consumer protection.”   http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/lawmakers-seek-to-restore-internet-privacy-after-repealing-it

U.S. ambassador to Israel reportedly does face palm when Trump tells Israelis in Jerusalem that he just returned from a visit to the Middle East. “… Dermer instinctively reacted to the flub by putting his palm to his forehead.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/sounds-of-silence-trumps-body-language-speaks-volumes/2017/05/26/c65eec4c-4271-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb_story.html

Owner of real estate agency sentenced to life in prison for kidnappings, sexual assaults, deaths of seven. “Kohlhepp… confessed to killing four people at Superbike Motorsports in Spartanburg County after becoming enraged by an employee who mocked his experience as a biker.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40054629

Houston teacher accused of giving students “Most likely to become a terrorist”, “Most likely to be homeless in Guatemala” and “Most likely to blend in with white people” awards.   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/26/us/terrorist-award-junior-high-school-backlash-trnd/

Fox News crew witnessed Gianforte attack on journalist, refused to give the reporter their names. “He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/greg-gianforte-fox-news-team-witnesses-gop-house-candidate-body-slam-reporter.html

Congressional Budget Office report says Trumpcare will not protect people with pre-existing conditions from large premium increases. “…people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive nongroup health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/house-republicans-will-not-concede-they-broke-a-fundamental-health-care-promise/2017/05/26/941db9ca-4172-11e7-8c25-44d09ff5a4a8_story.html

Kushner allegedly approached Russian ambassador about setting up a secret “back channel”. “Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, spoke last December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States about establishing a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow to discuss strategy in Syria and other policy issues, according to three people with knowledge of the discussion.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/us/politics/kushner-talked-to-russian-envoy-about-creating-secret-channel-with-kremlin.html?_r=0

Facebook CEO tells Harvard grads that  “universal basic income” would give more people a chance to be creative. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/26/news/economy/mark-zuckerberg-universal-basic-income/

Average CEO got an 8.5% pay raise in 2016. “Over the past five years, median CEO pay in the survey has jumped by 19.6 percent… nearly double the 10.9 percent rise in the typical weekly paycheck for full-time employees across the country.”   http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article152884074.html

Iraqi special forces unit accused of torture and extrajudicial killings. “We don’t take prisoners.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/deepdive/brian-ross-investigates-the-torture-tapes-47429895

Kushner allegedly asked Russian ambassador if he could use their embassy for secure channel with Russia. “What information would the Trump team want to make sure is hidden from U.S. intelligence?”   https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/kushner-kislyak-flynn-trump/528402/

Judge finds DAPL protester not guilty of drone attack. “The defendant did not fly the drone at the plane. He did not fly the drone in a reckless manner over either the people or at the plane.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/26/dapl-photographer-cleared-charges-after-drone-footage-proves-his-case

Corbyn says “war on terror” not working. “Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/26/jeremy-corbyn-praised-denouncing-failed-global-war-terror

Man leading Trump program to privatize public infrastructure, Gary Cohn, is a former Goldman Sachs president. “Left unsaid in the White House promotional materials was any mention that the Trump aide who is overseeing the initiative comes from a Wall Street firm that says it is seeking to buy up the very same kind of assets the Trump administration plans to sell off.”   http://www.ibtimes.com /political-capital/trump-administration-conflicts-interest-how-gary-cohn-could-sell-us-infrastructure

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reprimands U.S. intelligence agencies for abusing their powers to monitor U.S. citizens. “U.S. intelligence agencies conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period, a practice that earned them a sharp rebuke from a secret court that called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article152947909.html

Group claims more than 100 civilians killed in U.S. coalition air strikes in al-Mayadin, Syria. “The Observatory said more than 40 children were among those killed in the strikes, which leveled al-Mayadin’s municipality building.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-air-raid-idUSKBN18M0GX

U.S. allies, more susceptible to public pressure, refuse to admit civilian airstrike casualties. “Though these dozen partner nations – which include Britain, France, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands – have launched more than 4,000 airstrikes between them, they have so far claimed a perfect record in avoiding civilian casualties.”   https://airwars.org/news/80-coalition-ally-deaths/

“Wounded Warrior Project” charity spent only 68 cents of every dollar donated on veterans programs says Grassley report. “It also found the charity… misled donors about more than $65 million placed in a long-term trust that had not yet been spent on veterans (and) spent “excessive amounts” of money on travel, as well as fundraising and staff events.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wounded-warrior-project-investigation-grassley-senate-report/

 

May 27, 2017

May 25, 2017

Human Rights Watch asks Congress not to pass “Back the Blue” law. “This bill does nothing meaningful to protect officers from danger. Instead, it protects police departments from liability, and removes incentives for those departments to monitor themselves and improve the quality of their policing.”   https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/05/23/letter-us-congress-reject-back-blue-act

New York Civil Liberties Union sues police over Millions March cell phone disruptions. “The lawsuit comes after members of the group reported a number of suspicious issues with their cellphones while attending protests.”   http://www.vocativ.com/432838/activists-sue-nypd-phone-disruptions/

Millions of Americans will lose their health insurance under Trumpcare says Congressional Budget Office report. “The score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the bill would cut the deficit by $119 billion but result in 23 million people uninsured by 2026.”   http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/335051-five-takeaways-from-the-cbo-healthcare-score

AG Session reportedly omitted meetings with Russian ambassador on security clearance form. “The staffer was instructed by the FBI not to list any contacts related to Senate business.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/24/sessions-russia-security-clearance-238796

Trump has “fantastic” meeting with Pope Francis. “…the White House and the Vatican highlighted terrorism, climate change and peace as agenda items covered.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/24/politics/trump-pope-francis-vatican-city/

Reporter allegedly knocked to the ground, has his glasses broken by Republican candidate in Montana. “I’m sick and tired of you guys!”     http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/montana-congressional-candidate-allegedly-assaults-newspaper-reporter-n764421

Trump Organization allegedly says tracking income from foreign sources is “not practical”. “To fully and completely identify all patronage at our Properties by customer type is impractical in the service industry and putting forth a policy that requires all guests to identify themselves would impede upon personal privacy and diminish the guest experience of our brand.”   https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/trumps-company-isnt-tracking-all-the-money-it-gets-from-foreign-governments/527997/

Republican governor of Vermont vetoes recreational marijuana law. “If Vermont’s bill had not been vetoed, it would have been the first state to legalize recreational marijuana via a legislative body, not a public referendum.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/24/529874920/vermonts-governor-vetoes-recreational-pot-bill

Guess who’s paying for the border wall? “After making the need for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a central campaign theme, President Trump has asked Congress for just $1.6 billion to start building 74 miles of barriers.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/05/24/529904884/president-trumps-big-wall-is-now-just-74-miles-long-in-his-budget-plan

San Antonio police officer caught on video punching 14 year old girl repeatedly, including in the face. “The video appears to show the girl move toward the officer before he hits her for the first time. He then strikes her again, causing her to fall into people standing nearby. He appears to hit her again before he and other officers arrest her.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/video-appears-show-texas-striking-girl-14-arrest-article-1.3192816

Congress asks German bank if Trump real estate loans linked to Russia. “Democrats on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee said on Wednesday they had sent a letter the previous day to Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer John Cryan seeking details of internal reviews to determine if Trump’s loans for his real estate business were backed by the Russian government.”   http://www.newsweek.com/trump-deutsche-bank-russia-ukraine-oligarchs-putin-mafia-money-laundering-615151

Tesla reportedly had an 8.8 worker injury rating at some facilities in 2015. “Animal slaughterhouses, sawmills, and psychiatric hospitals on average reported lower rates of safety incidents.”   http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-tesla-workplace-safety-20170524-story.html

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin asks Congress to raise limit on government debt. “I urge you to raise the debt limit before you leave for the summer.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/treasurys-mnuchin-says-economic-growth-his-priority-urges-congress-to-raise-debt-limit.html

Government employee accused of leaking secrets used by hedge fund. “The SEC legal complaint said the hedge fund paid political intelligence firms where Blaszczak worked at least $193,000 during a 19-month period.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/24/five-accused-dc-wall-street-insider-trading-scam/102108000/

Two drug counselors die of apparent drug overdose. “Toxicology tests for both counselors were positive for heroin and fentanyl.”   http://abc7chicago.com/news/da-drug-counselors-die-from-heroin-fentanyl-overdose/2031996/

LA police officer gets probation in beating case. “Prosecutors took the rare step of filing a criminal charge against Los Angeles Police Officer Richard Garcia, who had kicked, punched and elbowed the man as he was held down on a South L.A. street.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-officer-assault-sentencing-20170523-story.html

5 civilians reportedly killed in latest Yemen SEAL raid. “…Nasser al-Adhal, identified as being approximately 70-years-old and partially blind, was the first one shot by the U.S. soldiers when he mistook them for arriving guests and came out to greet them… The four other villagers were killed when they started to argue with the Navy SEALs after the shooting of Nasser al-Adhal.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/24/civilians-killed-us-largely-ignored-endless-global-war-continues

HUD Secretary Ben Carson says poverty is a state of mind. “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/24/amid-gop-assault-safety-net-trumps-hud-secretary-says-poverty-mostly-state-mind

Trump budget allegedly does not take into account loss of tax revenue due to tax cuts, counts benefits of economic recovery twice. “It is the rough equivalent of trying to raise $10,000 for a project expected to produce $100,000 in revenue, and telling investors the profit will total $100,000. It won’t, because you have to account for the cost.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/politics/budget-cuts-deficit.html

Trump nominee for EPA enforcement post was reportedly lobbyist for Superfund polluters. “She is the classic revolving door appointment.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/05/24/donald-trumps-pick-for-epa-enforcement-office-was-a-lobbyist-for-superfund-polluters/

DEA accused of lying to Congress about fatal shootings in Honduras. “…the report states that the DEA falsely characterized the deaths of four Hondurans as a shootout with drug traffickers despite proof on video that DEA-led forces fired on unarmed civilians.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/05/24/dea-lied-to-congress-about-deadly-raid-that-killed-four-hondurans-government-report-says/

New intelligence sharing rules for Israeli spy agencies after Trump leaked info to Russians. “Israeli defense chief Avigdor Liberman told Army Radio on Wednesday, “I can confirm that we did a spot repair…”   https://www.voanews.com/a/israel-us-intelligence-sharing/3868845.html

UK official complains about U.S. leaks in Manchester bombing. “… U.S. media organizations like ABC and Reuters revealed that “U.S. officials” informed them that a suicide bomber was suspected in the attack. His name followed within hours, which presented complications for police attempting to investigate the crime.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/irritated-uk-home-secretary-blasts-trump-officials-after-leaks-to-media-about-manchester-attack/

Airstrike west of Raqqa, Syria reportedly kills 16 civilians. “The Observatory said that some 225 civilians, among them 44 children, were killed by US-led strikes between April 23 and May 23.”   http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/usled-strike-kills-16-civilians-watchdog/news-story/876436ca9d0c1b160b6618ee81427f61

5 killed, 286 arrest during political unrest in Bahrain. “Five people were killed in Bahrain on Tuesday after police opened fire on a protest by supporters of a top cleric in a Shiite village, the interior ministry said, in the latest unrest to hit the Sunni-ruled Gulf state.”   https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/206206-Five-killed-during-Bahrain-police-raid-on-protest

Venezuelan government plans to rewrite country’s constitution. “A Supreme Court judge on Tuesday criticized the socialist administration’s bid to rewrite the constitution amid a deepening political crisis.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuelas-maduro-gives-details-plan-rewrite-charter-211757333.html

Protesters tell McDonald’s shareholders they want a $15 minimum wage. “Your children can afford to live great lives while my three girls behind me are struggling.”   http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/fight-for-15-protesters-take-message-right-to-mcdonalds-front-door-424099543.html

Media watchdog says major media outlets failed to mention that Saudi arms deal is connected to war in Yemen. “The famine and brutal two-year-long war in Yemen being waged by the Saudis that has killed over 10,000 civilians wasn’t mentioned once in reports of the $300 billion deal to Saudi Arabia by CNN (5/19/17, 5/20/17), Washington Post  (5/19/17), The Independent (5/19/17), New York Daily News (5/20/17), CNBC (5/20/17, 5/22/17), CBS News (5/20/17), Business Insider (5/20/17), Time (5/20/17), Fox News (5/20/17), Reuters (5/20/17), ABC News (5/20/17), Fortune Magazine (5/20/17) or Chicago Tribune (5/20/17).”   http://fair.org/home/arms-deal-stories-omit-war-crimes-arms-will-be-used-for/

 

May 25, 2017

May 24, 2017

Trump EPA transition team leader reportedly tells conservatives that Obama climate change measures being reversed too slowly. “This is an impending disaster for the Trump administration.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-ebell-exclusive-idUSKBN18I196

Trump airstrikes in Syria unconstitutional say legislators. “Airstrikes are an act of war. Atrocities in Syria cannot justify departure from Constitution, which vests in Congress power to commence war.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/donald-trump-committed-another-impeachable-offense-this-week/

San Francisco man charged with felony over Facebook comment. “Peralta, a 35-year-old activist and musician, didn’t think twice about the 23 January Facebook thread until two months later, when he learned that police had issued a warrant for his arrest – accusing him of threatening to kill law enforcement.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/18/facebook-comments-arrest-prosecution?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Man found not guilty by jury sent to prison by judge anyway for alleged (but apparently unspecified) probation violation in a separate case. “…despite the fact police never recovered the weapon, stolen money, or any other evidence connecting him to the robbery, (the judge) declined to release Mr Chatman, who remains in prison for violating the terms of his first probation order.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/black-man-prison-serve-five-years-ramad-chatman-georgia-prison-not-guilty-probation-broke-terms-jail-a7744326.html

Possible FBI director Joe Lieberman reportedly ok with waterboarding, mass surveillance and detention without trial. “Throughout his career, Lieberman has demonstrated disrespect for constitutional safeguards and a wide, almost authoritarian deference to the federal government’s law-enforcement and military powers.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/joe-lieberman-is-a-civil-libertarians-nightmare/

Trump budget reportedly cuts an estimated $274 billion from anti-poverty programs over ten years. “The domestic spending cuts would be redirected to a large increase in defense, border security, and immigration enforcement spending.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-releases-budget-proposal-with-massive-cuts-to-social-programs/

CIA told FBI about contacts between Trump campaign and Russia says former CIA director Brennan. “It should be clear to everyone that Russia brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-director-warned-russian-security-service-chief-about-interference-in-election/2017/05/23/ebff2a7e-3fbb-11e7-adba-394ee67a7582_story.html

Trump reportedly praised Philippine president Duterte for anti-drug campaign which has involved thousands of extrajudicial killings. “President Trump praised President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines in a phone call last month for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem”…”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/politics/trump-duterte-phone-transcript-philippine-drug-crackdown.html

Fox News retracts Seth Rich/Wikileaks story after threat of legal action. “They need to retract the story or issue an apology or the family will consider other options, including legal, to clear their son’s name and get Fox to do what’s right.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/17/media/seth-rich-family-apology-retraction-fox-news-wttg/index.html

Chinese student who praised free speech and democracy in University of Maryland commencement speech gets hammered by her government and some Chinese citizens for “bolstering negative Chinese stereotypes”.  “Are speeches made there not examined for evaluation of their potential impact before being given to the public?”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/05/23/a-chinese-student-praised-the-fresh-air-of-free-speech-at-a-u-s-college-then-came-the-backlash/   In fact, they probably are, but they are only required to be changed if they offend American sensibilities.

After Flynn refuses to turn over Russia documents to Congress, new subpoenas issued targeting business records. “…a business does not have a right to take the Fifth if it’s a corporation.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/michael-flynn-comply-subpoena-238725

Trump administration ordered to release names of former lobbyists in his administration who were granted waivers from “swamp draining” order. “Trump signed an executive order in January banning executive branch appointees from working on a “particular matter” they lobbied on within the two previous years.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-is-not-draining-the-swamp-hes-hiding-it_us_5924a04be4b0650cc01fd23f

Justice Department claims Fiat Chrysler used emission test cheating software. “The lawsuit states nearly 104,000 vehicles are “equipped with software functions that were not disclosed to regulators during the certification application process, and that the vehicles contain defeat devices”.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-accuses-fiat-chrysler-of-trying-to-mask-emissions-in-100000-vehicles/2017/05/23/10ad09d0-3fe0-11e7-adba-394ee67a7582_story.html

FCC net neutrality battle heats up with Comcast “cease and desist” order against Comcastroturf.com. “If companies like Comcast are funding this type of illegal activity (the posting of fake public comments on the FCC’s website), their customers and the general public deserve to know about it,” the website says. “If they’re not funding it, they should condemn these fake comments and tell the FCC to disregard them.”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/05/comcast-vendor-sent-cease-and-desist-to-operator-of-anti-comcast-website/

Federal appeals court allows mass surveillance lawsuit against NSA to proceed. “Wikimedia has plausibly alleged that its communications travel all of the roads that a communication can take, and that the NSA seizes all of the communications along at least one of those roads.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/23/wikimedia-scores-important-victory-fight-against-nsa-surveillance

23 anti-corruption protesters arrested at Pennsylvania capitol. “Pennsylvania is one of only 10 states that does not have any limitations on gifts to public officials.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/22/pro-democracy-activists-arrested-pennsylvania-capitol-demanding-reforms

Trump secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross finds absence of protesters in Saudi Arabia “fascinating”. “Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Center for Middle East Policy, told CNBC afterwards that Saudi Arabia is among the “most repressive” of free speech in the Middle East…”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/22/trump-official-praises-autocratic-rule-not-single-hint-protester-saudi-arabia

 

May 24, 2017