August 2, 2017

Trump edited and pushed Fox News story on Seth Rich murder, claims Fox News contributor’s lawsuit. “The lawsuit alleges that the motivation behind the Fox News article was to “establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-house-reviewed-fox-news-story-seth-rich/story?id=48966413

Boy Scouts dispute Trump claim that its leader phoned Trump to tell him his speech was “the greatest ever”. “…the organization told TIME they are unaware of any call from national leadership placed to the White House.”   http://time.com/4883422/donald-trump-boy-scouts-wall-street-journal-transcript/

Obama’s Director of National Intelligence reportedly loosened rules on unmasking U.S. persons during collection of communications to bring rules in line with actual practice. “Intelligence officials familiar with the process say there was no political motive behind the new standard and that the changes authorized by Clapper largely codified practices that had been adapting in the intelligence community over several years.”   http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/344666-changed-rules-made-it-easier-for-spies-to-unmask

Senate confirms appointment of Christopher Wray as new FBI director, despite evasive answers during confirmation process. “Will you commit to instructing the FBI that the agency should not surveil a house of worship unless there is probable cause of criminal activity?” To which Mr. Wray again responded, “I cannot speculate on a hypothetical question…”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/groups-oppose-wray/

Senate Health Committee chairman invites Democrats to participate in Obamacare hearings. ““Any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package would need to be small, bipartisan and balanced,” Alexander said.”   http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/344883-gop-chairman-opens-door-to-democrats-on-obamacare

Draft of new State Department mission statement drops commitment to justice and democracy. “It’s a worldview similar to that of Putin, who also thinks that great powers should focus exclusively on self protection and enrichment, rather than promoting democracy.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/01/tillersons-state-department-drops-stated-mission-promote-democracy

71% of Republicans trust Trump more than the news media, 45% say government should be allowed to censor “biased” news stories. “This poll seems to show one way how Donald Trump’s norm breaking is trickling down and shaping the opinions of rank-and-file Republican.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/01/poll-scary-number-republicans-support-court-ordered-press-censorship   Snowflakes!

Appeals court rules against Trump administration attempt to block methane emissions rules. “As part of Trump and Pruitt’s attempts to roll back climate regulations—which have caused multiple federal scientists to resign from the EPA and condemn the administration’s environmentally destructive policies—in June, Pruitt attempted to halt the rule while the agency considers a formal repeal.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/01/green-groups-celebrate-court-orders-epa-reinstate-obama-era-methane-rule

56 retired military leaders urge Trump to reverse transgender ban. “This proposed ban, if implemented, would cause significant disruptions, deprive the military of mission-critical talent and compromise the integrity of transgender troops who would be forced to live a lie, as well as non-transgender peers who would be forced to choose between reporting their comrades or disobeying policy.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/01/donald-trump-transgender-ban-us-military

Can the world find a cure for capitalism? “… people are realizing – either consciously or at some gut level – that there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has as its single goal turning natural and human resources into capital… regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/01/capitalism-excesses-dustbin-history

Election computer bought on eBay came with personal information of 654,517 Memphis area voters. “Josh Palmer, the security researcher who discovered the trove of voter records on the card, was able to access the file with a card reader and a laptop.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/voter-data-exposed-650000-voter-records-found-auctioned-voting-machine-2573153

“Private browsing” can be easily overcome by tech companies and advertisers say researchers. “The two said that 95 percent of the personal click data they obtained came from 10 popular browser extensions, which companies commonly and easily use to tie people’s surfing habits to their real-life identities.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/private-browsing-really-anonymous-incognito-mode-histories-exposed-researchers-fake-2573095

Trump allegedly told golfing partners the reason he spends so much time at his resorts. “That White House is a real dump.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/that-white-house-is-a-real-dump-trump-openly-trashes-official-residence-while-visiting-his-golf-course/

Kris Koback informs court he will seek to avoid giving a sworn deposition in election law case. “Kobach, who is also vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, filed a notice late Monday saying he is appealing to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals an order to submit to a deposition by the American Civil Liberties Union in a voting rights case.”   http://cjonline.com/news/state-government/local/2017-08-01/kris-kobach-tries-avoid-answering-questions-under-oath

U.S. official says Afghan government is getting too much money with too little accountability, fueling corruption. “Sopko and others previously said in reports they believe the sheer quantity of money being pumped into Afghanistan is driving the corruption in the nation, which is one of the most corrupt societies in human history at this point.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/07/31/us-watchdog-were-drowning-afghans-in-money/

TSA’s Behavior Detection Officers good at spotting illegal aliens and drug smugglers, but so far no terrorists. “TSA could not provide a single example of its elite corps thwarting a threat to civil aviation.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/civil-rights/344466-tsa-justifies-searches-with-op-eds-more-than-facts-is-my

British court blocks “crime of aggression” lawsuit against Tony Blair over invasion of Iraq. “No such crime exists in England and Wales and the court ruled there was “no prospect” of the case succeeding.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40775725

1,098 more people rounded up in Turkey. “In a statement, the ministry said 831 of those were detained for suspected ties to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating an attempted coup in July.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-arrests-idUSKBN1AG0RO

Venezuelan opposition leaders arrested in night raids. “The wife of Leopoldo posted a video on Twitter showing flak-jacketed agents bundling her husband into a vehicle marked “Sebin” — the name of Venezuela’s intelligence agency — and then speeding off.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/01/540790886/venezuela-agents-arrest-opposition-leaders-in-midnight-raids

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August 2, 2017

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