June 4, 2017

Vladimir Putin says blaming Russia for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election is like blaming everything on the Jews. “It reminds me of anti-Semitism, when everything is Jews’ fault.”   https://www.rt.com/news/390681-putin-quotes-spief-press-kelly/   He also downplayed Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. “Don’t worry, be happy!”

White House lawyer accused of telling federal agencies not to comply with Democratic legislators’ requests for oversight information. “The declaration amounts to a new level of partisanship in Washington…”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/02/federal-agencies-oversight-requests-democrats-white-house-239034

Federal judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against New York City for using sound cannon on protesters. “Judge Sweet explained that that “as a projector of powerfully amplified sound[, the LRAD] is no different than other tools in law enforcement’s arsenal that have the potential to be used either safely or harmfully.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/maybe-isnt-constitutional-deafen-protesters/

Myanmar military says accounts of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya minority were “false and fabricated”, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. “The attacks against the Rohingya population in the area… seem to have been widespread as well as systematic, indicating the very likely commission of crimes against humanity,” according to the OHCHR, a United Nations human rights organization.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40011437

Citigroup to pay $97 million settlement in Mexican money laundering probe, but no criminal charges against its executives. “Citigroup was granted a non-prosecution agreement as part of its settlement.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/business/dealbook/citigroup-settlement-banamex-usa-inquiry.html?_r=0

Man who attacked Manila casino was reportedly a gambling addict. “The lone suspect behind a deadly attack on a casino and shopping complex in the Philippine capital that left dozens dead was a heavily indebted Filipino who was hooked on gambling, police said Sunday.”   http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-manila-casino-attack-20170603-story.html

Unknown number of people killed after security personnel open fire on protesters in Kabul, Afghanistan. “The protesters had been marching toward the presidential palace, demanding the ouster of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/02/531234154/protesters-killed-during-demonstration-over-massive-bomb-attack-in-kabul   At least 19 more people killed at a funeral for one of the slain protesters. “A series of blasts in Kabul, Afghanistan have killed at least 19 people at a funeral for one of the victims of clashes between police and protesters a day before.”   http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/93321609/deadly-blasts-hit-funeral-mourners-after-protests-in-afghan-capital

Conservative Party’s lead falls to 1% in latest British poll. “Survation said the Conservatives were on 40 percent and Labour on 39 percent, indicating May’s lead has collapsed by 11 percentage points over two weeks and that her majority was now in doubt.”   http://in.reuters.com/article/britain-election-idINKBN18U0GB

Germany upset after Trump reportedly called them “evil, very evil” at meeting with EU officials. “Germany’s Der Spiegel said anonymous attendees quoted Mr Trump as saying: “The Germans are evil, very evil. Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US. We’ll stop that.”   https://uk.news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-tells-eu-officials-germans-evil-124355297.html   Oh well, at least we still have Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Israel as allies.

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg says country will observe Paris climate deal anyway. “The United States, through strong action from local leaders, businesses and investors, remains committed to fulfilling the Paris agreement.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/news/336143-bloomberg-pledges-15-million-to-un-to-repay-us-climate-debt

Tax-savvy rich are avoiding taxable transactions in hopes of better deal after Trump tax cuts. “Wealthy Americans and business owners are putting off paying taxes in the hopes that Republicans will deliver big cuts, leaving the government increasingly short on cash and accelerating its crash into the debt ceiling.”   http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/04/treasury-cash-tight-americans-delay-taxes/

U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley reveals that Trump believes climate change is real after all. “The president believes the climate is changing,” Haley said. “And he does know that pollutants are a part of that equation.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/06/03/president-donald-trump-un-ambassador-nikki-haley-global-warming/102460834/

Federal agencies reportedly returning their copies of Senate’s report on CIA torture program to Congress to take advantage of secrecy loop-hole. “Laws requiring government records to eventually be made public don’t apply to congressional documents.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/02/it-appears-trump-admin-wants-bury-senate-torture-report-forever

Exxon Mobil accused of keeping two sets of climate risk books. “Internal documents produced by Exxon reveal that from at least 2010 through approximately June 2014, Exxon told its investors it used one set of (greenhouse gas) proxy-cost figures, when in fact the company’s internal policies set forth a second set of lower proxy costs (and therefore a less risk-sensitive version) for use in its internal business planning.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/02/exxon-and-tillerson-accused-defrauding-investors-over-climate-risks

Private security contractor Erik Prince reportedly advocating colonization of Afghanistan, with a U.S. version of Britain’s East India Company to direct the Afghan economy. “The country, he wrote, should be run by “an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.””   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/02/literal-colonialism-blackwater-founder-calls-american-viceroy-rule-afghanistan

Photo essay: White nationalists gather in Kentucky.   https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2017/jun/04/neo-nazi-gathering-kentucky-kkk-traditionalist-worker-party

Authorities accused of disinformation campaign related to injured Standing Rock protester. “U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Intelligence Specialist Terry Van Horn sent an email to members of various federal agencies noting the FBI’s claim that “a source from the camp reported people were making IED’s from small Coleman type propane canisters.” Van Horn added that Wilansky “was witnessed throwing an IED while on the bridge, it detonated early and caused the below injuries (see graphic photos).”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/03/standing-rock-documents-expose-inner-workings-of-surveillance-industrial-complex/

Pro-corporate lobbying group ALEC has reportedly had 200 of its proposed laws passed since 2010. “The same companies that write the laws give money to those candidate’s campaigns, spend their own money on Internet, radio, TV ads and also spend money hiring people to (write up it) and be experts on TV or on the news to promote their policies. So, it’s a very well-funded, very smart 50 state agenda to change the (rules) of the economy.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/06/02/50-state-corporate-agenda-change-rules-economy/

Some Trump inauguration protesters facing up to 80 years in prison. “With new felony charges including urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property, many of the defendants are facing up to 80 years in prison. Many other defendants, among them journalists, are facing more than 70 years.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/05/anti-trump-protesters-facing-decades-bars-170522063956218.html

UK government report on funding of Islamic extremists may not be made public. “The inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups operating in the UK was commissioned by the former prime minister and is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis.”   https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/31/sensitive-uk-terror-funding-inquiry-findings-may-never-be-published-saudi-arabia

Former NSA employee disputes former NSA director’s claims that government did not engage in mass, warrantless surveillance in Salt Lake City during 2002 Olympic games. “As a result of personal knowledge I gained as a long-time contractor and then senior executive (1989-2008) of the NSA, I know the statements made by (former NSA director Michael) Hayden in that declaration are false or, if not literally false, substantially misleading.”   http://www.sltrib.com/home/5351395-155/former-nsa-official-feds-conducted-blanket#undefined.uxfs

Chilean judge finds 106 of Pinochet’s former secret police agents guilty in connection with disappearances of leftists. “Judge Hernan Cristoso convicted 106 ex-agents who worked for Pinochet’s DINA intelligence service for the kidnapping and killing of 16 people during “Operation Colombo” in the early years of the 1973-1990 dictatorship.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-rights-idUSKBN18T2B1

Democratic candidate drops out of U.S. House race in Iowa, cites death threats. “While some may say enduring threats are just a part of running for office, my personal safety has increasingly become a concern.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/fearing-for-her-life-iowa-democrat-abandons-race-to-unseat-gop-rep-steve-king/

Climate change only brought up in two mainstream media interviews with Trump during the election campaign, did not come up at all during presidential debates. “FAIR could not find a single question about climate change in any interview or press conference with Trump since he took office on January 20, 2017.”   http://fair.org/home/in-a-dozen-interviews-media-never-bothered-asking-president-trump-about-climate-change/


June 4, 2017

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