July 5, 2017

Law enforcement agency reportedly intercepted more than 3 million phone calls with one search warrant for drug investigation. “The order was signed to help authorities track 26 individuals suspected of involvement with illegal drug and narcotic-related activities in Pennsylvania.”   http://www.zdnet.com/article/one-federal-wiretap-order-recorded-millions-phone-calls/

Republicans upset about warrantless surveillance – of themselves. “Did you note the emotion in (Senator Lindsey Graham’s) voice as he thought of the possibility that his privacy was being invaded by his government?”   https://www.districtsentinel.com/fisa-hearing-gop-senators-outraged-spying-not-thee/

Number of House members who are co-sponsors of HR676, a bill proposing a national health insurance program, rises to 113, but no Senator, including Bernie Sanders, has introduced a companion bill in the Senate yet.   http://www.pressconnects.com/story/opinion/columnists/2017/07/02/medicare-matter-life-death/103329382/

Rallies held around the country calling for impeachment of President Trump. “Every day, Democrats, Republicans, the entire world is shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur president.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/protesters-rally-dozens-cities-call-trump-s-impeachment-n779131

California senate bill 21 would require disclosure of purchase and intended use of police surveillance gear. “Law enforcement will be required to explain to the public why they want surveillance equipment, how they plan to use it, and how they will protect the privacy and civil liberties of residents.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/nothing-radical-sb21/

Federal appeals court rules that Trump administration cannot abolish Obama era EPA orders without public hearings and normal administrative procedures. “In a 2-to-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the EPA had the right to reconsider a 2016 rule limiting methane and smog-forming pollutants emitted by oil and gas wells but could not delay the effective date while it sought to rewrite the regulation.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-court-blocks-trump-epa-on-air-pollution/2017/07/03/464a7344-601e-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html

New Jersey governor Christie enjoyed beach closed to the public due to budget impasse, as many other states struggle. “A photograph of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sunbathing Sunday on a state beach he closed amid a budget standoff drew national attention to the state’s financial woes, but it was a mere snapshot of the budget battles being waged across the country.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/03/christie-pic-furor-is-just-beginning-states-enter-summer-budget-pain.html

Series of at least 30 demonstrations kicks off in Hamburg, Germany ahead of G20 summit. “As anti-globalization activists took to the streets in Hamburg ahead of this week’s G20 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday leaders will have to focus on sustainable and inclusive economic growth rather than their own prosperity.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-g-idUSKBN19N0FA

Journalist gets death threats after revealing that Trump tweet of president bodyslamming CNN was the work of a man who also posted a tweet of Jewish CNN reporters, each identified with a Star of David. “Here’s another meme from the guy Trump tweeted, this one showing CNN personalities with Jewish stars.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jared-sexton-trump-cnn-tweet_us_595a6656e4b0da2c7324d3d6

Number of states refusing to had over requested voter registration data to White House panel rises to 44. “The information the commission is seeking includes registrants’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/03/politics/kris-kobach-letter-voter-fraud-commission-information/index.html

Supreme Court’s recent rulings have reportedly favored citizens over the government. “For several years, the court has pushed back against what it sees as egregious over-criminalization — ranging from a jilted wife’s attempted assault prosecution under a chemical weapons treaty to a Florida fisherman’s conviction for tossing undersized grouper under a law targeting white-collar destruction of evidence.   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/04/little-guys-won-big-supreme-court-year/442851001/   But, as the story also points out, “The court ruled against illegal immigrants who challenged their detention and harsh treatment in New York in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (and) a homeless couple shot and injured by Los Angeles police during a warrant-less search…”

Senators likely to feel the heat from constituents over July 4th recess. “On the one hand, they have been promising for years to repeal and replace Obamacare, and their base expects it. On the other hand, the plan they’re offering is very unpopular with the general public. And I’m sure they’re going to hear a lot from both of those camps when they go home for the July Fourth recess.”   http://nhpr.org/post/senate-gop-leaders-postpone-health-care-vote-until-after-july-4th

Guantanamo detainee to be compensated by Canada. “Toronto-born Omar Khadr—who was captured by the U.S. military in 2002 when he was just a teenager and held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba—will receive an apology and reportedly $10.5 million ($8 million USD) from the Canadian government for failing to protect him from abuse while he was detained for more than a decade.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/04/justice-omar-khadr-child-detainee-receive-apology-least-10-million-canada

Environmental activists, scientists say Pruitt’s call for a debate on climate change is just a delaying tactic. “Contrary to Pruitt’s belief that there is widespread dissent about climate change, NASA finds that “multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/03/climate-threats-mount-experts-say-no-time-left-deceitful-debate

Florida man reportedly kept dead wife’s body in freezer for eight years in order to continue receiving her Social Security checks. “Prosecutors say Margaret Dunn died at home in 2002 and Allan Dunn hid her body in the freezer. He then collected her Social Security benefits until he died in 2010.”   http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/us/article/Man-hid-wife-s-body-in-freezer-to-collect-Social-11265444.php

EU’s top court says France can investigate Uber as a criminal enterprise. “France has the right to bring criminal charges against Uber for running an illegal taxi service, the European Union’s (EU’s) top court said on Tuesday.”   http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/04/uber-france-illegal-taxi-charge-top-eu-court-says.html

Facebook wants to reveal details of secret government search warrants. “Facebook is challenging a gag order from a U.S. court that is preventing the company from talking about three government search warrants that it said pose a threat to freedom of speech, according to court documents.”   https://venturebeat.com/2017/07/04/facebook-fights-u-s-gag-order-over-government-search-warrants/

Senators visit Afghanistan, are concerned about the future. “Each of us may describe that concern in our own way but none of us would say that we’re on course to a success here in Afghanistan.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/04/us-still-has-no-path-to-peace-in-afghanistan-bipartisan-senators-say

One progressive’s list of things he loves about the U.S. “…one of America’s most beautiful attributes is that we have freedom and resources that our fellow malcontents in many other countries could only dream of. Pretending that we don’t have this wiggle room is — particularly for white activists — to show ourselves to be distastefully spoiled.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/04/how-to-love-this-freaky-country/

Former Dept. of Justice official expresses concerns over Trump administration’s commitment to prosecution of business crimes, uses James Comey’s firing as an example. “If a company had come in to tell us that we have had an internal investigation, which involved the CEO, and the CEO first tried to tell the investigator to let it go, and then when the investigator didn’t, he fired the investigator — that would not be a very good narrative for the company’s compliance program in front of the Justice Department.”    http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/former-justice-department-watchdog-says-public-should-watch-cuts-budget-prosecute

BBC sends Facebook samples of child porn found on its websites, Facebook reports BBC for transmitting child porn. “To talk about the matter, Facebook’s director of policy Simon Milner agreed to be interviewed last week by the BBC, under one condition, that the media outlet provide examples of the material that it had reported that had not been removed by moderators.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/bbc-tells-facebook-child-porn-its-platform-social-network-reports-media-out-uk-police-2503732

Israel accused of destroying solar power aid given to Palestinian village by the Netherlands. “The panels are claimed to be worth about €40,000, but the government forces also destroyed all the electronics that made the microgrid operable.”   https://cleantechnica.com/2017/07/03/israel-seizes-solar-panels-provided-palestinian-village-netherlands/

Mexican families accuse police of executing suspects. “Relatives of 17 suspected gang members killed late last week by police in northwest Mexico fear a skewed death toll (17-0, with no arrests) points to what has become a grimly regular complaint in recent years – summary executions by security forces.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-idUSKBN19P0A2

Venezuelan opposition plans to hold vote on changing country’s constitution instead of participating in Constitutional Assembly. “Polls show that barely 20 percent of Venezuelans favor rewriting the late Hugo Chavez’s 1999 Constitution — about the same level of support for Maduro.”   http://www.arabnews.com/node/1124301/world

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July 5, 2017

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