June 22, 2017

IS and U.S./Iraqi forces blame each other for destruction of historic mosque in Mosul. “The minaret that leaned like Italy’s Tower of Pisa stood for more than 840 years.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iconic-al-nuri-mosque-mosul-destroyed/

Supreme Court Ziglar v. Abbasi decision sharply limits citizens’ ability to sue government for violating their rights. “… a grand total of four justices issued a significant ruling that more or less gutted a person’s ability, citizen or not, to sue federal officials who engage in egregious violations of constitutional rights.”   http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/how-the-supreme-court-gutted-a-historic-civil-rights-remedy.html

Bill passed by House would give nuclear power plant operators $16 million in tax breaks. “The bill, bipartisan legislation from Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and others, would increase the number of utilities that can qualify for the tax credit and remove construction deadlines for facilities that use it.”   http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/338653-house-passes-nuclear-energy-tax-bill

Russian election hacking more widespread than initially reported. “Hackers attacked voting systems in 39 states, accessed campaign finance databases in one state and tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois.”   https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/13/report-russia-hacked-election-systems-in-39-us-states/

Democrat in Georgia race did not live in that election district. “(Ossoff) acknowledged that he and his girlfriend (now fiancee) live near Emory University where she’s in medical school. That’s next door to the 6th District, but not in it.”   http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2017/jun/20/donald-trump/trump-right-ossoff-does-not-live-georgias-6th-cong/

Fired Milwaukee police officer found not guilty  in Sylville Smith shooting. “Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm told jurors Heaggan-Brown didn’t need to use deadly force against Smith, who had thrown away the gun he was carrying.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sylville-smith-case-verdict-dominique-heaggan-brown-not-guilty/

Student yanked from stage during speech criticizing ineffectiveness of student government. “…the title of Class President could more accurately be Class Party Planner, and Student Council’s main obligation is to paint signs every week. Despite some of the outstanding people in this school, a lack of real student government and the authoritative attitude that a few teachers, administrators, and board members have, prevents students from truly developing as leaders.”   http://college.usatoday.com/2017/06/21/read-the-speech-that-got-a-high-school-valedictorian-pulled-from-the-stage/

FBI claims angry Democrat had no apparent political motive in Scalise shooting, likely chose his victims at random, despite photos of baseball diamond where shooting took place. “The FBI does not believe that these photographs represented surveillance of intended targets.”   https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/06/21/fbi-says-gunman-who-shot-congressman-had-target-mind/S3Www3HaUB1op9o1gEpBoN/story.html

Wall Street Journal’s chief foreign affairs correspondent fired after hack reveals links to arms dealer with CIA ties. “Two other Denx partners — ex-CIA employees Gary Bernsten and Scott Modell — told the AP that Solomon was involved in discussing proposed deals with Azima at the same time he continued to cultivate the businessman as a source for his stories for the Journal.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/06/21/533881518/wall-street-journal-fires-jay-solomon-over-ethical-lapses

Alt-right gets safe space after article professor shared on social media about shooting of Republicans provokes threats. “Trinity College in Hartford was closed on Wednesday because of threats to campus that appear to have stemmed from an article posted on a professor’s personal social media pages, according to a statement put out by the college.”   http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/Trinity-College-Closed-Until-Further-Notice-After-Threats-429941143.html

Some Brits compare Conservative response to Grenfell fire with Bush’s hurricane Katrina fail. “The local council made no provisions for many of us. Last night I stayed in a hotel, but I have spent several nights sleeping on grassy areas.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/06/21/why-londons-tower-blaze-britains-hurricane-katrina-moment/103068926/

Four newly appointed French cabinet officials resign in connection with corruption probe. “French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a group of relative unknowns to ministerial roles on Wednesday as part of a Cabinet reshuffle after several ministers resigned for their involvement in alleged misuse of European parliamentary funds.”   http://www.dw.com/en/macron-taps-newcomers-for-cabinet-reshuffle/a-39342162

Writer says F-35 fighter “to big to fail”, “one of the greatest boondoggles in recent military purchasing history”. “Over the decades-long effort to meet a real military need for better aircraft, the F-35 program is the result of the merging or combination of several other separate and diverse projects into a set of requirements for an airplane that is trying to be everything to everybody.”   https://theconversation.com/what-went-wrong-with-the-f-35-lockheed-martins-joint-strike-fighter-60905

U.S. inspector general blames extra $26 million for inappropriate “woodland camouflage” pattern on Afghans, will cost U.S. taxpayers $68 to $72 million over the next 10 years. “The decision to use the non-government-owned forest camouflage pattern came after U.S. officials in 2007 found designs on the internet from a company called HyperStealth and showed them to Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pentagon-accused-wasting-28m-inappropriate-afghan-soldier-uniforms-n775081   So who were these Bush administration officials? And what was their relationship with HyperStealth?

1975 Watergate memo alleges Nixon aides plotted to use CIA’s Cuban operatives for violent attacks on Vietnam War protesters. “The plan to counter an anti-war protest with violence was part of a wider operation to discredit Ellsberg, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969.”   https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/watergate-memo-attack-protesters-ellsberg/

Senate Republicans drafting Trumpcare bill “have received approximately double the amount of campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries” as their colleagues. “According to Maplight, a watchdog that tracks campaign spending, those chosen by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to draft the Senate’s version of Trumpcare legislation have collected, on average, $214,000 from companies that will be directly affected by major changes to the nation’s healthcare system.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/industry-was-doubly-generous-these-13-gop-senators-now-drafting-trumpcare

Big banks allegedly heavily invested in “extreme fossil fuels”. “So finds the latest Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card—produced by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, and Oil Change International—which defines the “extreme” sources as tar sands, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, coal mining, coal power, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/biggest-banks-fueling-climate-disaster-billions-poured-extreme-fossil-fuels

ACLU sues D.C. police over abuses at Trump inauguration protests. “The suit claims D.C. police unlawfully arrested peaceful demonstrators and indiscriminately deployed tear gas and flash-bang grenades against journalists, legal observers, and crowds of protesters. …police held detainees for hours without food, water, or access to toilets; handcuffed detainees so tightly as to cause injury or loss of feeling; and subjected some detainees to manual rectal probing.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/21/aclu-sues-dc-police-attempts-chill-dissent-inauguration-day

Trump doesn’t think poor people should be in charge of things. “These are people that are great, brilliant business minds, and that’s what we need, that’s what we have to have so the world doesn’t take advantages of us. …And I love all people, rich or poor, but in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-says-doesn-apos-t-022120394.html

Indiana’s secretary of state says she learned about hacking of state election systems from media reports. “It is unclear why our intelligence agencies would withhold timely and specific threat information from election officials.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/21/connie-lawson-russia-election-hacking-dhs-states/

Democratic Party spent big in Georgia election, lost anyway. “Ossoff explicitly campaigned against single-payer healthcare and tax increases for the rich, and was rewarded by Democratic donors with $24 million in donations and another $8 million in outside spending.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/bernie-sanders-may-have-won-even-though-jon-ossoff-lost-2555176

New details about “harsh interrogation” program emerge during trial. “In his deposition, Dr. Mitchell revealed that he, along with others, urged the C.I.A. to destroy videotapes the agency had made of some interrogations.”   https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/20/us/cia-torture.html


June 22, 2017

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