May 20, 2017

Philippine president says Chinese leader threatened war over South China Sea oil.   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines-china-idUSKCN18F1DJ

Sweden drops Assange rape investigation. “The announcement means the outspoken WikiLeaks leader no longer faces sex crime allegations in Sweden, although British police say he is still wanted for jumping bail in Britain in 2012.”   http://www.stltoday.com/news/swedish-prosecutor-drops-rape-probe-of-wikileaks-assange/article_6021550a-ed03-569f-a10c-65c8f54a8949.html

Trump allegedly told Russian diplomats that firing of “crazy” FBI director relieved pressure of election investigation. “I’m not under investigation.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/us/politics/trump-russia-comey.html

Fighters escort airliner after altercation with passenger. “A pair of Hawaii Air National Guard fighter jets were sent to escort an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Friday after a disturbance was reported on the flight.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fighter-jets-scrambled-escort-passenger-flight-l-honolulu-n762401   …because if it had been a hijacking and the plane had been heading towards a major city, they might have had to shoot it down? Or because when the guy saw the escorts he would give up and sit down?

“Doomsday” seed vault flooded by melting permafrost. “The vault was built in a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, 800 miles away from the North Pole.”   https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/19/melted-permafrost-floods-doomsday-seed-vault/

Federal appeals court rules that drone hobbyists don’t have to register their toys with the government. “Kavanaugh wrote that the FAA’s rule violates Section 336 of the (FAA Modernization and Reform Act), which states that the FAA “may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.”   https://patch.com/district-columbia/washingtondc/drone-owners-dont-have-register-aircrafts-faa-court-rules

Real Salem “witch hunt” resulted in 20 executions. “When it was all over, 141 suspects, both men and women, were tried as witches. Nineteen were executed by hanging. One was pressed to death by heavy stones. Several more perished in harsh prisons.”   http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/salem-witch-hunt-trump-tweet/   Ah, the good old days, when America was a fundamentalist Christian nation!

Legal experts say arms sales to Saudi Arabia likely illegal due to huge civilian casualties in Yemen. “Continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia ― and specifically of arms used in airstrikes ― should not be presumed to be permissible…”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/saudi-arabia-arms-deal-trump_us_591f3322e4b094cdba53e3de

Department of Education plans to go back to previous student loan servicing monopoly. “ACS Education Services was once the sole company charged with managing the government’s education loan portfolio, a role that critics of the company said led to widespread failures in customer service and loan consolidations.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/05/19/betsy-devos-hits-hard-reset-on-student-loan-servicing-contracts/

Researchers suspect Fiat Chrysler installed emissions test cheating software on some of its diesel vehicles. “Academic researchers on both sides of the Atlantic said separately this week that they had found that Fiat Chrysler’s diesel vehicles had suspiciously high pollution levels and that there was evidence the company had used a so-called defeat device, software intended to allow a vehicle to pass official emissions tests but to pollute more when driven on the highway.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/business/energy-environment/fiat-chrysler-diesel-emissions.html

Air conditioning becoming more common in Seattle, Washington apartments. “As Seattle summers keep getting hotter and hotter, a once-unthinkable perk for renters here has become more commonplace: air conditioning.”   http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/big-spike-in-apartments-with-a-c-as-seattle-gets-warmer-landlords-launch-arms-race/

U.S. has embarrassingly high rate of deaths due to medically preventable causes say researchers. “The U.S. was tied with Estonia and Montenegro, far below other wealthy nations such as Norway, Canada, and Australia, in the study’s ranking of 195 countries.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/19/global-study-shows-americans-dying-preventable-causes-shocking-rates

U.S. wages not rising despite low official unemployment rates. “Standard economic theory tells us that wage growth and unemployment are intimately linked. Wage growth slows when the unemployment rate rises and increases when the unemployment rate falls.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/slow-wage-growth-from-demographics-and-employers-2017-5

Special Operations Command reportedly submits urgent request for 350 tube launched kamikaze drones. “The company bills the device as a “miniature flying lethal missile (that) can be operated manually or autonomously”.”   http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/05/Special-Ops-Gets-350-More-Kamikaze-Suicide-Drones-to-Fight-ISIS/137987/

Jared Kushner is reportedly “person of interest” in Russia investigation. “White House officials have previously acknowledged contacts between Russian officials and Mr Kushner, as well as with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/jared-kushner-russia-investigation-trump-song-in-law-probe-person-interest-a7745916.html

Busload of Mexican federal police officers robbed in Morelos. “A statement late Thursday says the officers did not resist in order to avoid injuries or loss of life.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/gunmen-rob-busload-federal-police-officers-mexico-181246823.html

20,000 refugees after gun battles in Central African Republic. “At least 20 people have been killed and several dozen wounded since the unrest in Bria began on Tuesday, said U.N. mission spokesman Herve Verhoosel.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/20-000-flee-latest-fighting-central-african-republic-180446514.html

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi worried about Justice Department control of Trump special counsel. “I’m concerned that Director Mueller will still be subject to the supervision of the Trump-appointed leadership at the Justice Department.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/5/19/headlines/house_minority_leader_questions_special_counsels_independence

Reporter claims he was grabbed by FCC bodyguards after asking FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly a question. “… two FCC security guards reportedly pinned Donnelly against the wall until O’Rielly had passed.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/5/19/headlines/reporter_manhandled_by_fcc_security_guards_for_asking_question

 

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May 20, 2017

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