June 24, 2017

Obama administration hid details of Russian election hacking. “Only in the administration’s final weeks in office did it tell the public, in a declassified report, what officials had learned from Brennan in August — that Putin was working to elect Trump.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/

Venezuelan soldier kills protester with rubber bullet, raising protest death toll to at least 76. “Speaking outside the clinic, opposition lawmaker Jose Manuel Olivares said Vallenilla had been killed by the national guard firing rubber bullets at point blank range and criticized the shooting as repression.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN19D2XF?il=0

Turmoil at Berkeley city meeting after elected officials refuse to withdraw city’s officers from Urban Shield police training event. “Some said that Urban Shield requires all training scenarios to have a “nexus to terrorism,” arguing that the focus on terrorism orients police against Muslims and people of color, and provides military-style training that is out of touch with the needs of the community.”   http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/06/21/outcry-arrests-berkeley-city-council-votes-stick-urban-shield/

Arab monarchies demand that Al Jazeera broadcasting be shut down. “Al Jazeera, one of the Arab world’s most widely watched satellite news channels, denounced the demand for its closing as an attack on journalism.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/world/middleeast/qatar-saudi-arabia-al-jazeera.html

Mistrial declared in shooting of unarmed motorist, Samuel Dubose, by University of Cincinnati police officer. “(Officer) Tensing reached into the car with his left arm, yelled “Stop!” twice and with his right hand fired his gun once, into Mr. DuBose’s head.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/us/raymond-tensing-samuel-dubose-cincinnati.html

Trump accused of repeatedly spreading “alternative facts” at Iowa political rally. “Trump said he is pushing repeal of the federal estate tax so “farms can be passed on” to farmers’ children and grandchildren. Actually, the tax falls on fewer than one-half of 1% of farm estates.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/23/fact-check-trump-makes-misleading-claims-iowa-rally/103131784/

Trumpcare bill bans subsidized insurers from covering abortions while also making maternity coverage optional. “Both the House and Senate bills allow states to waive Obamacare’s requirements that insurers cover items like maternity care, which was frequently left out of private plans before Obamacare went into effect.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/abortion-debate-roils-final-health-care-push-n776141   These guys do realize that women have the vote now, don’t they?

Kansas secretary of state Kobach fined for misrepresenting documents to court. “In a 24-page ruling made public Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara wrote that Kobach did not accurately represent the contents of the documents when he argued against producing them.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-kris-kobach-fined-for-misleading-court-1498264754-htmlstory.html

California legislators won’t have a chance to vote on a single-payer state health insurance scheme any time soon. “(Assembly Speaker Anthony) Rendon announced late Friday afternoon that the bill, Senate Bill 562 by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would not advance to a policy hearing in his house, making it all but certain the measure will not be acted upon this year.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-single-payer-shelved-20170623-story.html

Rainbow Gathering to be held in early July at Malheur National Forest. “The gathering site will be located at the Flagtail Meadow off of Forest Service Road 24 near the towns of John Day and Seneca, Oregon.”   http://www.ktvz.com/news/police-rainbow-family-plans-nearby-national-gathering/543919027   These are primarily hippies, not LGBT folks.

Indiana Carrier plant jobs “saved” by Trump appear to be either going to Mexico or robots. “More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/22/trumps-carrier-jobs-deal-is-just-not-living-up-to-the-hype.html

Google says it will stop scanning the content of your emails. “…instead of scanning a user’s email, the ads will now be targeted with other personal information Google already pulls from sources such as search and YouTube.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-23/google-will-stop-reading-your-emails-for-gmail-ads   And the NSA?

Doctor in Oklahoma charged with second-degree murder after five patients overdose. “A probable cause affidavit alleges that Nichols prescribed more than 1,800 opioid pills to the patients who died, even though they didn’t have a medical need for them.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/oklahoma-doctor-charged-in-opioid-deaths-of-5-patients/2017/06/23/70107456-5841-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html

Taliban leader say U.S. occupation is the main obstacle to peace. “The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/23/us-occupation-afghanistan-main-obstacle-peace-taliban

Transparency groups sue Trump administration over deleted records. “From early on in this Administration, White House staff have used and, on information and belief, continue to use certain email messaging applications that destroy the contents of messages as soon as they are read, without regard to whether the messages are presidential records.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/23/new-lawsuit-accuses-trump-destroying-essential-historical-records

U.S. ranks 17th in promotion of the general welfare of its citizens. “The U.S. was put in the “second tier” of the report’s overall ranking, Green explained to Bloomberg, for its failure “to address basic human needs, equip citizens to improve their quality of life, protect the environment, and provide opportunity for everyone to make personal choices and reach their full potential”.   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/welcome-second-tier-us-failing-big-league-social-progress

Video shows Minnesota police officer’s brutal attack on motorist during traffic stop. “A Minnesota arrest in which a driver was dragged from his vehicle and repeatedly punched and kneed by a police officer was a “disturbing and completely unnecessary” example of an excessive use of force, the state ACLU has said.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/minnesota-police-brutal-arrest-aclu

Teen fatally shot by L.A. deputies after neighbor complained about loud music. “Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies said they accidentally shot and killed a teenager while firing bullets at a dog during a response to a noise complaint, marking the latest killing by US police to spark national outrage.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/armando-garcia-muro-police-shooting-stray-bullet-dog-la

Clinton fundraisers accused of lobbying on behalf of telecoms, private prisons and insurance companies. “Richard Sullivan served as a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year….  Sullivan is also (a) registered lobbyist for the public relations and lobby firm Capitol Counsel, where he works on behalf of private prison giant Geo Group…”   https://theintercept.com/2017/06/23/democratic-lobbyists-donald-trump-mottur-podesta-comcast-prudential/

Human Rights group claims at least 472 civilians (137 of which were children) have been killed in U.S. strikes in Syria in the last month. “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Friday the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014.”   http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/led-strikes-syria-kill-472-civilians-month-170623191702940.html

CIA fired contractors who hacked vending machines. “Multiple CIA contractors have been sacked after stealing more than $3,000 worth of snacks from vending machines…”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cia-contractors-fired-stealing-vending-machine-snacks-crisps-chocolate-soda-us-intelligence-a7804276.html   So let me see if I understand how this works. You can torture prisoners (war crime), collect data while torturing prisoners to determine which methods of torture are the most effective (war crime), abduct people from foreign countries (violation of international law), repeatedly attempt to assassinate foreign leaders (major violation of international law), destroy evidence (violation of U.S. law), hack the computers of Senate staffers (violation of U.S. law), tap the phones of leaders of allied governments (not a good way to build relationships)  and overthrow foreign governments (major violation of international law) and you’re ok. But if you steal snacks from the CIA vending machines you get walked out of the building?

Military contractors will help decide how to streamline procurement process. “The presence of employees of military contractors with a significant financial interest in the outcome of defense acquisition policy raises concern that they could shape policy to benefit their employers’ bottom lines.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/major-defense-contractors-panel-will-direct-billion-dollar-defense-decisions

South Carolina Boeing plant laying off workers after Trump visit. “During his visit to the company, Donald Trump said, “We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing. We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”   http://www.ibtimes.com/biggest-layoffs-us-boeing-cuts-jobs-months-after-trump-vowed-more-employment-south-2556521

 

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June 24, 2017

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