July 20, 2017

Trump and Kobach still claiming Clinton’s popular vote win may have been the result of voter fraud. “This effort would need to have been hugely sophisticated — enough to create millions of illegal votes while Republicans were unable to create any — but also dumb enough to put them in the wrong states for the electoral college.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/19/the-white-house-still-thinks-illegal-votes-may-have-given-clinton-the-popular-vote-basic-logic-and-math-disagree/

CIA wants to destroy some of its files. “Along with leak-tied files, the record types include medical records, behavioral conduct files, security clearance information, personality files with counterintelligence interests, workers-compensation reports for employees posted overseas, and declassification and referral files.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/cia-plans-to-destroy-some-of-its-old-leak-files

Video appears to show Baltimore police officer planting drugs. “Curran speculates that Pinheiro was waiting to turn his device on for his “discovery,” but miscounted and captured his alleged planting at the very beginning of his clip.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/accused-planting-drugs-body-cam-footage-article-1.3338858

Huge number of Americans are renting their homes. “A decade after the housing bust upended the lives of millions of Americans, more U.S. households (36.6%) are headed by renters than at any point since at least 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data.”   http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/19/more-u-s-households-are-renting-than-at-any-point-in-50-years/

Court rules that FBI “gag orders” do not violate 1st amendment free speech rights. “The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld federal rules prohibiting companies from promptly disclosing to customers that the FBI is demanding a user’s private data with a National Security Letter (NSL).”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/07/fbi-retains-right-to-issue-national-security-data-requests-in-secret/

China suggests way U.S. can improve its trade deficit. “Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged the United States on Tuesday to loosen its “outdated” restrictions on high-tech exports to China so it can tap the vast Chinese market and reduce the bilateral trade imbalance.”   http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-07/20/content_30179882.htm

Trump reportedly to end support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria. “The death of the program, which began in 2013, is seen both as an acknowledgement that Assad is unlikely to be removed from power and an indication of Trump’s willingness to work with Russia in Syria.”   http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/trump-ends-cia-support-for-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria.html

Indian poultry farmers allegedly using dangerous levels of antibiotics. “Of tested birds destined for meat consumption, 87 percent had the super germs, a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-20/poultry-farms-in-india-resemble-superbug-reservoirs-study-finds

Civil asset forfeiture program reinstated by AG Sessions gives law enforcement agencies a way to avoid state and local restrictions. “(Under the “adoption” program), even minimal federal participation makes the investigation federal, which means the forfeiture policy will now be governed by federal law.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2017/07/18/jeff-sessions-supports-states-rights-except-when-he-doesnt/

Trump says his finances are off limits in Russia probe. “Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/unbelievable-trump-slams-sessions-recusal-warns-mueller-steer-clear-finances

Good government group accuses Trump of running “giant bait and switch” scheme. “”While Candidate Trump promised to fix a rigged economic and political system, President Trump swiftly turned control of government over to the very corporate elites he denounced during the campaign,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/after-six-months-detailed-look-giant-bait-and-switch-trump-presidency

Legislators warned about the dangers of militarized “killer robots”. “Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/fundamental-existential-threat-lawmakers-warned-risks-killer-robots

Al Gore comes out in favor of national health care plan. “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide good, affordable healthcare for all.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/joining-single-payer-chorus-al-gore-says-profit-system-had-its-chance

House speaker kills amendment to repeal post-9/11 military powers. “Just over two weeks after Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) succeeded in adding an amendment to the 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill that would have repealed the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) reportedly killed the amendment late Tuesday night with no debate or discussion.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/07/19/barbara-lee-slams-paul-ryan-killing-endless-war-repeal-dead-night

Israel’s prime minister accidentally tells EU leaders in room with hot mic that China doesn’t care about human rights of Palestinians, so Europe shouldn’t either. “We have a special relationship with China, and they don’t care.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/netanyahu-tells-european-leaders-concern-palestinian-rights-crazy/

More than 40,000 civilians estimated killed in battle for Mosul. “Residents of the besieged city were killed by Iraqi ground forces attempting to force out militants, as well as by air strikes and Isis fighters, according to Kurdish intelligence services.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mosul-massacre-battle-isis-iraq-city-civilian-casualties-killed-deaths-fighting-forces-islamic-state-a7848781.html

Governments using social media to influence public opinion. “Governments around the world are enlisting “cyber troops” who manipulate Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics, according to a new report from the University of Oxford.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-17/government-cyber-troops-manipulate-facebook-twitter-study-says

Pentagon is reportedly leasing space in Trump Tower. “The military agreed Tuesday to pay $180,000 for the last 20 days of April and the new rent ($130,000) every month thereafter, according to the contract, which was released by the General Services Administration (GSA).”   http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/07/19/trump-tower-house-pentagon-unit-130k-per-month.html


July 20, 2017

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