August 3, 2017

A record six Senators voted against appointment of Christopher Wray as FBI director. “James Comey, who was confirmed in 2013, received the only other opposing vote in history — Sen. Rand Paul voted no after raising questions about how the agency was using surveillance drones on American soil.”

Federal appeals court refuses to suppress evidence gathered by FBI using faulty warrant to infect computers of suspects around the country with FBI malware. “The Tenth Circuit Appeals Court overturned the suppression of evidence granted by the lower court, ruling that the FBI’s NIT warrant was invalid but that the agent’s “good faith” reliance on the warrant prevented exclusion of the evidence.”

Female state trooper sues Nebraska over female-only pre-employment genital examinations. “Trooper Brienne Splittgerber claims that as part of her pre-employment testing in 2014, she and other female troopers had to submit to embarrassing genital examinations.”

Philadelphia woman sues city over alleged sexual assault in officer’s patrol car. “J.H. says O’Neill (drove) her to the back of a school, where he sexually assaulted her by, among other things, rubbing his gun against her pelvis and inner thigh, forcing her to touch the gun so “if she fought him, he would be able to shoot her and claim that she had grabbed his gun,” penetrating her with his fingers, forcibly giving her oral sex, and ejaculating on her “backside”.”

White House press secretary admits no phone calls from Boy Scout leader or Mexican president. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, confirmed at her daily briefing what the Boy Scouts and the Mexican government had already asserted publicly, which is that neither phone call that Mr. Trump referred to had occurred.”

Trump endorses Republican bill to cut legal immigration, favor highly skilled workers. “Many pro-business Republicans have long supported legal immigration, and the new legislation is likely to stoke the divides between this wing of the party and more populist Republicans.”

Air Canada plane was only 59 feet off the ground during San Francisco taxiway near miss. “Investigators could not hear what the Air Canada captain and co-pilot said to each other during the aborted landing because their conversation was recorded over when the plane made other flights, starting with a San Francisco-to-Montreal trip the next morning.”

Company that provided machines for Venezuelan election claims vote total was inflated. ““Based on the robustness of our system, we know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a national constituent assembly was manipulated,” Smartmatic said in a statement.”

Second video of Baltimore cops planting drugs on suspects allegedly discovered. “The new video involves different officers, the public defender’s office said. The officers were not named.”

Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 22,000 for the first time, Trump takes credit. “Trump’s recent stock market exhortations are… a sharp reversal from his views during the 2016 campaign, when he repeatedly dismissed the increase in stock prices as phony. “It’s all a big bubble,” he said on Fox News almost exactly a year ago.”

Journalism groups in U.S. create web site to track attacks on the press. “So far in 2017, the site has tracked 19 arrests of journalists; 12 equipment searches and seizures; 11 physical attacks; and four cases of journalists who were detained, questioned, or denied entry at borders.”

Passengers kept on two Air Transat aircraft in Ottawa, Canada for hours called 911 for assistance. “The flight landed at the Ottawa airport just after 5 p.m. ET, after more than eight hours of flying time. It then sat on the tarmac for six hours and passengers weren’t allowed to get off.”

Watchdog group accuses Treasury Secretary of perjury. “On three separate occasions, both in written testimony and in live hearings, Mnuchin has denied that OneWest engaged in robosigning of foreclosure documents, when copious evidence exists to the contrary.”

NFL team owners not signing Kaepernick because they are scared of losing white fans says writer. “The NFL’s fan loyalists don’t want him…. they are blue collar, and conservative middle class, white football junkies who year in and year out, pack stadiums, and plop down tens of millions for tickets, and assorted NFL paraphernalia.”

Trump says Russia sanctions bill “included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions”, signs it anyway. “Before Trump signed the bill, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that neither he nor Trump approved of the sanctions, arguing they would hinder the administration’s attempts to restore relations with Russia.”

Homeland Security allegedly took steps to block congressional oversight during initial rollout of Trump travel ban. “The FOIA request reveals what many, like Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and other congresspeople, already suspected when they were stonewalled at international airports when seeking information about people being detained there.”

U.S. fires test ICBM, lands near Marshall Islands, no calls for sanctions by other countries or by U.N. “Minuteman missiles have been regularly tested at the Vandenberg base, and today’s test was the fourth this year.”

China restricts use of Uighur language in schools. “Under Articles 10 and 37 of the Chinese constitution, ethnic minorities have a right to preserve their own languages and traditions and students are supposed to be able “where possible [to] use textbooks in their own languages and use these languages as a media of instruction”.”

Department of Homeland Security claims construction of Mexican border wall will be exempt from normal environmental restrictions. “Lawyers with the Center for Biological Diversity say the move to exempt the Department of Homeland Security from following environmental laws is unconstitutional.”

August 3, 2017

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