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

 

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May 24, 2017

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