August 4, 2017

NSA employees reportedly resigned after they discovered agency had removed safeguards built into their program. “By the end of October 2001, the original THINTHREAD development team had left NSA, motivated to leave upon learning that key THINTHREAD technologies—minus the Constitutional safeguards built into it—was being misused to conduct warrantless mass surveillance against the American people.”

Federal court rules that drug enforcement officers can view patients’ prescription drug history without a search warrant. “Physicians and patients have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the highly regulated prescription drug industry.”

Undercover law enforcement officers may be posing as Uber drivers. “The suspect was cuffed before being placed in the back of a car bearing the ride-sharing company’s insignia, according to a colleague of mine who witnessed the arrest and provided the photo.”

For second year in a row, less than 1/2 of the students admitted to Harvard identify themselves as “white”. “Harvard spokeswoman Melodie Jackson said in a statement that the college’s admissions process “considers each applicant as a whole person” and is “consistent with the legal standards established by the US Supreme Court”.”

Trump leaves Washington for 17 day vacation at one of his resorts. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that, as of March 2016, 27 percent of American workers have zero paid days off.”    Worn out from all the winning?

Google algorithm to fight fake news is also allegedly hiding opposition websites. “In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.”

Thai student on trial for sharing BBC article about the country’s king on Facebook. “The BBC article included mentions of the king’s personal life when he was crown prince, including details of three marriages that ended in divorce and other material Thai news media can publish only at their own risk.”

EPA official resigns, publishes open letter criticizing proposed roll-back of environmental protection standards. “The former official also said agency staffers are rejecting industry demands, because there’s no new scientific evidence or data to support the rollbacks, but she also warned about the Trump and Pruitt’s continued willingness to push for polluters’ proposals.”

Thousands of asylum seekers crossing border from U.S. to Canada, don’t believe their requests will be handled fairly in U.S. “About 70 percent of asylum seekers who have recently arrived in Quebec are Haitian, according to the province’s Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil.”

Israel’s PM Netanyahu attends groundbreaking ceremony for new West Bank settlement. “This new settlement will rehouse residents of Amona, an illegal settlement shut down by the Supreme Court.”

French host charges Muslim woman for damages after she goes swimming in a burkini. “The owner of a private residence near Marseille, France, asked a woman to pay 490 euros because he said the communal pool had to be disinfected after she swam in a burkini, according to an organisation established to combat Islamaphobia.”

Trump calls New Hampshire a “drug-infested den” during chat with Mexican president. “New Hampshire does have a serious problem with drugs, (state officials) said, but with opioid addiction of the kind that is affecting a number of states rather than over narcotics smuggled in from abroad.”

FBI’s biometric database, which includes data on millions of innocent Americans, to be exempt from Privacy Act rules. “This means the agency does not have to notify persons that the agency holds biometric information (on) them.”

Five traits that may make people Trump supporters. “Those with (authoritarian personality syndrome) often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid, hierarchical view of society.”

Secret Service leaves Trump Tower over terms of lease, sets up camp on sidewalk. “Two people familiar with the discussions said the sticking points included the price and other conditions of the lease.”

10 federal agencies reportedly involved in pre-publication review of book on Guantanamo interrogations. “A former chief investigator at the Guantanamo Bay detention center is accusing the Pentagon of blocking publication of his book on the use of brutal interrogation techniques and top U.S. officials’ advocacy of what he calls “torture”.”

Audio recording purporting to be voice of Seymour Hersh claims FBI found evidence Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks and wanted money for DNC emails.

Federal appeals court overturns lower court’s award of damages to man detained for more than three years by ICE, under the suspicion he was not a U.S. citizen. “This week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the payout, ruling a statute of limitations had expired while Watson was in ICE custody without access to a lawyer.”

August 4, 2017

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