September 30, 2017

Former Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price allegedly used military aircraft for overseas travel, reportedly costing taxpayers more than $500,000. “Price’s overseas trips on government planes included stops in Berlin, Geneva, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo, where he attended world health meetings and met with other high-level officials.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/28/tom-price-military-jets-europe-asia-hhs-243276   Price resigns. “Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday in the face of multiple investigations into his use of private charter and military jets to travel around the country at taxpayer expense.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/09/29/554475788/price-resigns-from-trump-cabinet-amidst-private-jet-investigations

About 20 senior Trump administration officials have withdrawn, resigned or been dismissed in eight months. “The following is a partial list of officials who have been fired or have left the administration since Trump took office on Jan. 20, as well as people who were nominated by Trump for a position, but did not take the job.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2017-09-29/factbox-price-resignation-is-latest-trump-administration-departure

FBI has about 1,000 domestic and 1,000 foreign terror investigations ongoing. “Government data on the number of white supremacist incidents compared to the number of Islamist attacks is scant, but some independent data suggests that the number could be as high as 2 to 1 — including both plots and attacks carried out.”   http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/352670-fbi-has-1000-open-domestic-terror-investigations-director

Elementary school student reprimanded by teacher for taking a knee during the pledge of allegiance. “(Pasco County School District Spokesperson Linda) Cobbe said the school’s policy is that students must have a written letter from a parent advising the school that the student does not plan to say the Pledge of Allegiance.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/year-admonished-taking-knee-pledge-allegiance-florida-school/story?id=50128970

Second excessive force lawsuit filed against St. Louis police, city asks for federal assistance with investigation. “The City of St. Louis has asked the federal government to help with an independent investigation into two lawsuits and several complaints stemming from police response to protests that followed the acquittal of Jason Stockley, Mayor Lyda Krewson and interim Police Chief Larry O’Toole said Wednesday.”   http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/2nd-suit-filed-over-st-louis-police-tactics-protests-city-asks-feds-help-investigate

Pennsylvania cop killer wanted to spark revolution, trooper’s widow sues man’s parents. “One of the defendant’s friends — Warren Ahner — testified Frein’s father “ridiculed his son while complaining that Americans have become ‘sheep’ in a country where the Constitution is no longer respected”.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/27/was-a-pennsylvania-cop-killer-driven-to-murder-by-his-fathers-anti-government-rants/

Did you “like” a Facebook page promoting an anti-Trump demonstration? The Department of Justice may be looking for you. “These (inauguration protest investigation) warrants ask for too much information not directly relevant to the federal probe, argues the ACLU. This includes information on the plaintiffs’ friends, associates, and the approximately 6000 individuals who just “liked” an anti-Donald Trump Facebook page.”   https://lawnewz.com/crazy/doj-seeking-info-on-6000-people-who-liked-anti-trump-facebook-page/

Salt Lake City police union complains about release of nurse arrest video. “The two officers weren’t even put on administrative leave until after Wubbels went public with the video footage.”   https://reason.com/blog/2017/09/27/police-union-complains-that-public-got-t

Interior Secretary Zinke and staff took a $12,375 charter flight on an oil industry owned jet. “Commercial airlines run daily flights between the two airports and charge as little as $300 (per person).”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2017/09/28/59533ed8-a4b8-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.b0476d92b500

District of Columbia and state of Maryland sue Trump over income from foreign, state and local governments. “The suit, filed by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and his District of Columbia counterpart, Karl Racine, contends the president’s continued ownership of his global business empire — including the Trump International Hotel in Washington — enables him to make money from foreign and domestic governments, breaching two Constitutional clauses intended to prevent that.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-29/trump-lawyers-ask-court-to-toss-suit-threatening-hold-on-empire

Teen drug suspect claims she was sexually assaulted by two NYPD detectives. “She’s a teenager and she was basically kidnapped into a police vehicle without any justification,” (her) attorney said. “She had her handcuffs on when they raped her.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nyc-teen-claims-nypd-cops-raped-arrest-drug-charge-article-1.3530054

Former Bank of America teller pleads guilty to stealing $185,000 from customer’s accounts. “The customer did not receive mailed statements, use email or have access to a computer and so remained oblivious.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/georgetown-bank-teller-stole-185000-from-homeless-customer-with-garbage-bag-of-cash/2017/09/28/bb89a59c-a48b-11e7-8cfe-d5b912fabc99_story.html

Tree trimming company hit with $95 million in penalties for employing undocumented workers. “Federal investigators assert the Willow Grove-based company used the same (name-switching) strategy to keep thousands of undocumented immigrants on its payrolls over four years — as many as 10 percent of its 30,000-person workforce, Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh A. Davison told U.S. District Judge John R. Padova in court Thursday.”   http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime/asplundh-tree-guilty-undocumented-immigrants-95-million-20170928.html

Top 10% hold 77% of America’s wealth. “3P’s examination of newly released Federal Reserve data also found that, “The bottom 38 percent of American families have an average net worth of $0.””   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/28/what-rigged-economy-looks-top-10-now-own-77-american-wealth

Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch addresses conference at Trump International Hotel. “Protestors gathered outside Trump International Hotel in Washington Thursday as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the keynote speech at an event hosted by a right-wing advocacy group—a move critics argued crosses fundamental ethical boundaries, given that the venue is currently the subject of numerous emoluments lawsuits that could soon reach the Trump-appointed judge’s desk.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/28/protests-and-outrage-gorsuch-headlines-event-trump-hotel

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office misled public on fatal traffic accident involving officer and pedestrian. “The JSO’s initial public statement on Land’s death said he was potentially suicidal, and confused Land with another person who crossed the street a few seconds before Land stepped off the curb.”   https://www.news4jax.com/news/evidence-video-shows-police-cruiser-hitting-pedestrian

Treasury Department accused of suppressing report saying 82% of corporate taxes fall on companies, not their employees. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has argued, against mountains of contrary evidence, that it is in fact workers who end up bearing the brunt of taxes on corporate profits, thus allowing him to paint a massive rate reduction—which Trump has proposed—as a boon for the working class.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/29/trump-accused-burying-research-showing-trickle-down-tax-cuts-just-snake-oil-scam

Some adjunct professors  living in their cars or doing sex work to pay their bills. “She is so dependent on her job to maintain her living situation that when her mother died this summer, she didn’t take time off in part because she has no bereavement leave. She turned up for work at 8 am the next day, taught in a blur and, despite the cane she has used since a hip replacement, fell over in the parking lot.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/28/adjunct-professors-homeless-sex-work-academia-poverty

7.5% of German anti-immigrant party’s members of parliament reportedly have “immigrant backgrounds”. “Some 22.5 percent of Germany’s 82 million population have an immigrant background, which means they did not have German citizenship at birth or were born to at least one parent who was not born German.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-election-immigration/germanys-far-right-afd-has-more-immigrant-mps-than-merkels-conservatives-idUSKCN1C42GZ

Untold history of the First World War. “A higher percentage of American men successfully resisted conscription during World War I than during the Vietnam War.”   http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/09/28/world-war-i-when-dissent-became-treason/

Puerto Rico death toll likely under-reported. “…the official number is 15 deaths caused by—directly caused by Maria. But since yesterday, since we published our article, our phones have been ringing with many testimonies of many people around the island… telling us that in hospitals, even in their own houses, and in the emergency centers… many people are dying… and they’re not being accounted for.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/29/as_death_toll_rises_in_puerto

 

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September 30, 2017

September 28, 2017

Trump announces framework for tax “reform” that would provide massive cuts for the wealthiest Americans. “Trump’s initial plan – backed by Republican leadership on Capitol Hill – would eliminate the individual Alternative Minimum Tax and estate taxes (paid only on estates of more than $5 million). It would also tax so-called “pass through” businesses at 25% (instead of at a business owner’s personal tax rate).”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/27/trumps-tax-plan-could-actually-benefit-wealthy-people-like-him/709648001/   Of course, “Honest Don” claims he would not benefit at all. “It’s not good for me, believe me.”

Russian-link accounts also suspected on Twitter. “In addition to Russia-linked Twitter accounts that posed as Americans, the platform was also used for large-scale automated messaging, using “bot” accounts to spread false stories and promote news articles about emails from Democratic operatives that had been obtained by Russian hackers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/technology/twitter-russia-election.html

Ohio coroner says no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier’s body. “In June, after Warmbier was released from North Korea and flown back to Cincinnati, he was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where doctors ran tests. Days later at a news conference, the doctors reported that they found no broken bones or other signs of trauma. But the brain damage was extensive and severe.”   http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/09/26/what-killed-otto-warmbier-coroners-report-only-deepens-mystery/704656001/   His teeth were reportedly undamaged, which is in conflict with his parents’ claims…

DC court of appeals rules that cops need warrants to locate suspects using “stingray” cell tower simulators. “A 2012 lawsuit revealed that the FBI had been using stingrays without obtaining warrants for years, but the public has largely been kept in the dark when it comes to knowing when and how they are used, and what data is being collected.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/dc-court-appeals-decides-police-stingrays-require-warrant/

Afghan civilians killed in U.S. counter-attack. “Suicide bombers and militants firing mortars attacked Kabul’s airport during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday, prompting a U.S. air strike that accidentally killed civilians, officials said.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-security-mattis/militants-attack-kabul-airport-during-mattis-visit-us-strike-kills-civilians-idUSKCN1C20RI

Southwest Airlines passenger with severe dog allergies reportedly dragged off plane, dogs get to stay in the cabin. “The incident, which was captured in jumpy cellphone video, occurred at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a passenger asked that two dogs be removed from the aircraft, according to a witness. Instead, the flight crew asked the woman to leave, and she refused.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-southwest-airlines-woman-removed-20170927-story.html   Video here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyUiPcggHnc

Jared Kushner is registered to vote in New York as a woman. “Kushner can’t even fill out the most basic paperwork without screwing it up, so it’s a mystery why anyone thinks he’s somehow going to bring peace to the Middle East.”   https://www.wired.com/story/jared-kushner-voter-registration-woman/

Russia claims it has destroyed the last of its chemical weapons, wonders why the U.S. has failed to do so. “(U.S.) authorities announced they had disposed of 90 percent of the stockpile—30,500 metric tons—in 2012, with two sites in Colorado and Kentucky remaining.”   http://www.newsweek.com/putin-claims-total-destruction-russias-chemical-weapons-taunting-us-672490

Spain shuts down pro-independence web sites. “The Spanish Civil Guard on Tuesday closed down over 140 websites supporting the independence referendum planned for this coming Sunday in the Catalan region of north-eastern Spain.”   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/27/c_136640555.htm   Police to occupy polling stations. “Catalonia’s prosecutor has ordered the regional police — known as the Mossos d’Esquadra — to take control of any voting booths by Saturday, a spokesman for the Madrid government’s Catalan delegation said.”   https://www.newdelhitimes.com/spanish-police-to-take-over-catalan-polling-stations-to-thwart-independence-vote/

10 arrested in college basketball corruption investigation, six colleges and shoe company reportedly implicated. “Joon H. Kim, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters that the investigation is ongoing. There might be additional arrests, and more schools might be involved.”   http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/20834050/the-story-how-fbi-brought-words-corruption

Justice Department reportedly hacks iPhone 6 but unable to open iPhone 4. “In a Sept. 19 search warrant affidavit, a Seattle-based FBI special agent said the FBI obtained a tool just five days before that could open Delay’s iPhone 6.”   http://www.seattlepi.com/local/crime/article/New-tool-lets-FBI-crack-iPhone-in-Grampa-s-12231053.php

Jeremy Corbyn wows Labour Party conference, party’s election prospects looking favorable. “Savour this moment… a Labour leader pledging economic and political revolution, live on national television, cheered to the echo and ahead in the polls. If love conquers all, the next election is a done deal.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/27/jeremy-corbyn-conference-speech-verdict-panel-guardian

Most Americans say Trump is not fit to be president, only white and Republican voters disagree. “Alongside an overall disapproval rating of 57 percent (with only 36 approving of his job performance), the survey revealed that… 56 percent believe Trump does not have what it takes to be a good president, while only 42 percent think he does.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/27/no-upside-trump-new-poll-shows-us-majority-think-president-unfit-serve

New Mexico teacher retirement fund refuses to disclose fees paid to investment firms implicated in corruption scandal. “The total amount New Mexico paid in fees to the nine investment companies, who in total gave more than $1.2 million to political groups backing (Governor Susana) Martinez, is almost certainly higher than $14 million, as that figure includes only management fees, which generally equal 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the total assets.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/how-much-does-wall-street-charge-manage-new-mexicos-retirement-money-2594725

92% of Kurdish voters in Iraq vote for independence. “Nationalistic fervour has been widespread in Erbil since Monday’s referendum, which large numbers of Kurds have hailed as a landmark moment in a centuries-old push for self-determination.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/27/over-92-of-iraqs-kurds-vote-for-independence

Shipping interests lobbying against lifting Jones Act restrictions on shipments to Puerto Rico. “We have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/news/economy/jones-act-puerto-rico/index.html

September 28, 2017

September 27, 2017

Sessions denounces college restrictions on free speech, but condemns athletes for exercising their right to free speech. “In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University’s law school in Washington, Sessions took aim at higher education institutions that he said are “transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos”.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/sessions-defends-free-speech-on-campus-not-nfl-player-protests   Protesters banned from Sessions’ speech. “… outside the lecture hall, protestors condemned Sessions as a “snowflake” for effectively carving out a “safe space” for himself by not allowing dissenters to attend the lecture.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/26/snowflake-sessions-ripped-carving-out-anti-dissent-safe-space-free-speech-lecture   Wouldn’t want anyone to laugh – you’d have to arrest them.

Roger Stone tells congressional investigators he did not collude with Russia, did not have advanced knowledge of Podesta email leak, but refuses to reveal his “go-between” with Wikileaks activist Julian Assange. “The committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said Stone could be subpoenaed to return to answer questions related to that interaction.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/09/26/553781157/longtime-trump-ally-meets-with-lawmakers-calls-russia-inquiries-entirely-politic

In response to “yes” vote on Kurdish independence, Iraqi prime minister says Iraq will cut off flights, restrict access at borders, Turkey threatens to cut off food exports. “… this includes all the border gates and the suspension of all external flights from and to the (Kurdish) region, including the flights to and from the airports of Irbil and Suleimaniyah.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/09/26/iraq-announces-punitive-measures-against-kurdistan

Otto Warmbier tortured say parents. “They destroyed him.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/world/asia/warmbier-north-korea-torture.html   Anyone who tortures prisoners, or who orders or condones the torture of prisoners, must be held accountable. Which is why the world is still waiting for the CIA and George Bush to face justice.

International ozone treaty paying big dividends 30 years after its adoption. “The combined impacts of UV levels that could literally burn skin in five minutes and (25%) hotter, stormier weather is something no one would want to live in or wish for their grandchildren, said Rolando Garcia, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.”   http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/montreal-protocol-ozone-treaty-30-climate-change-hcfs-hfcs/   CFC industry challenged the science, said more research was necessary…

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive – starting next year. “Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to forbid women from driving.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41408195

Prolific author of fake news, Paul Horner, found dead at 38. “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/paul-horner-fake-news-writer-found-dead/

Election officials and judges should have allowed 2016 presidential election recounts. “… the Michigan recount was shut down after just three days; a federal judge rejected a request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania; and while Wisconsin did conduct a recount, in many counties, officials neglected to hand-count paper ballots and did not examine vulnerable software in electronic voting machines.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/26/opinions/recount-missed-opportunity-opinion-eisen/index.html

Trump sides with Spanish government on Catalan independence. “Well, I think that Spain is a great country, and it should remain united. We’re dealing with a great, great country, and it should remain united.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/26/trump-spain-remain-united-catalonia-243164

Third Republican push to repeal Obamacare is likely dead. “The latest Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act died on Tuesday as it became obvious they did not have the votes to pass a bill that would leave millions without health insurance.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/26/senate-republicans-vote-doomed-healthcare-bill   181 protesters arrested on Capitol Hill. “On Monday, disability rights activists and healthcare advocates disrupted the one and only congressional hearing on the healthcare bill, chanting “No Cuts to Medicaid”.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/26/headlines/capitol_hill_181_arrested_protesting_gop_healthcare_bill_which_appears_to_be_dead

White Pennsylvania fire department chief posts on social media that the Pittsburgh Steeler’s black coach is now “on the list” for keeping his team off the field during the national anthem. “Tomlin just added himself to the list of no-good niggers.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/26/nfl-national-anthem-pittsburgh-steelers-mike-tomlin-pennsylvania-fire-chief-donald-trump/

Director of Michigan State Police posts Facebook meme calling kneeling athletes “arrogant, ungrateful anti-American degenerates”. “When such a high-ranking member of law enforcement feels compelled to share such broad, inaccurate, and shameful comments, their judgment can no longer be trusted to help protect Michigan’s diverse communities.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/michigan-state-police-director-busted-for-facebook-post-calling-kneeling-nfl-players-anti-american-degenerates/

Massachusetts parks commissioner reportedly calls kneeling NFL players “turds” and “monkeys”. “Turds, your dumbass isn’t paid to think about politics. Dance monkey dance.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/dance-monkey-massachusetts-official-slammed-for-racial-attack-against-protesting-patriots-players/

Despite impression given by PBS “Vietnam” documentary, JFK actually DID order the gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam prior to his assassination. “In National Security Action Memorandum 263, dated October 11, 1963, Kennedy articulated his decision to withdraw all US military forces from Vietnam by the end of 1965 — with the withdrawal to be completed after the 1964 election. This was the formal policy of the United States government on the day he died.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/09/26/jfk-ordered-full-withdrawal-vietnam-solid-evidence/   But of course that had NOTHING to do with his assassination, and anyone who suggests otherwise is a “conspiracy theorist”, which is very, very bad.

Former Vietnam anti-war activist is unhappy with PBS series’ revision of history. “If you wonder how Americans could learn our history without realizing that the “founding fathers” were slave owners, that through much of the 19th century the US was genociding Native Americans, or how Southerners to this day could believe that the South was fighting a “noble”cause in the Civil War and (that) its generals (are) deserving (of) honor, (you) need only watch how, as the memory of the Vietnam war fades and those of us who got  fired from (our) jobs, lost (our) careers, (or were) beaten and jailed for opposing it… begin to die off, the meaning and reality of that war get polished into another propaganda victory for the “America is always good” and “our mistakes always well-intentioned and innocent” picture that Ken Burns and Lynn Novick deliver in their PBS series on the Vietnam war.”   http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/#lerner_editorial

Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico reportedly defaulted on Puerto Rican government bonds, costing local taxpayers approximately $32.7 million. “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..”   https://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/346335/trump-golf-course-puerto-rico-default-33-million-tax-debt/

Trump campaign and inauguration funds reportedly received almost $2 million in donations from Americans with links to Russian oligarch. “All three men — Blavatnik, Kukes, and Intrater — have been publicly identified as associated with Viktor Vekselberg, considered one of the richest men in Russia… reported to hold frequent meetings with President Vladimir Putin as part of a business group known as the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.”   https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/investigators-follow-flow-money-trump-wealthy-donors-russian/story?id=50100024

Indigenous group seizes 50 oil wells in Peru. “… members of indigenous Achuar communities say they have seized control of at least 50 oil wells operated by the Canadian company Frontera Energy Corp. in the Amazon.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/26/headlines/peru_indigenous_achuar_seize_control_of_50_oil_wells_to_protest_drilling_in_amazon

September 27, 2017

September 26, 2017

Puerto Ricans struggling after hurricanes. “Hurricanes Maria and Irma killed 16 people on the island and many of its 3.5 million US citizens are still without adquate supplies of water, food or fuel.”   http://www.dw.com/en/puerto-rico-governor-calls-for-urgent-us-aid-after-unprecedented-hurricane-maria/a-40681312

Target employees win future minimum pay hike to $15/hour. “In what is being described as a huge victory for the tens of thousands of workers across the country who have for years organized, rallied, and gone on strike for higher wages, Target on Monday announced that it plans to raise the company-wide minimum hourly wage to $11 by next month and $15 by 2020.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/25/our-momentum-unstoppable-workers-celebrate-target-announces-15-minimum-wage

Judges rule that Illinois law requiring parties to run candidates for all offices is unconstitutional. “We have little difficulty concluding that the full-slate requirement severely burdens the First Amendment rights of minor parties, their members, and voters.”   https://www.mintpressnews.com/illinois-judge-rules-state-requirement-for-third-parties-unconstitutional/232460/

Former Memphis police officer arrested across from White House with car full of weapons. “Police saw three gun cases and a further search uncovered more than two dozen items, including a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson, an M4 Platform Bushmaster assault-style weapon, an AK-47 Platform Norinco, a Glock 30, a Tec-9 with a silencer, brass knuckles and several rounds of ammunition.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/09/25/former-memphis-police-officer-arrested-outside-white-house-weapons-charges/701464001/

Russian Facebook ads intended to exacerbate divisions claims congressman. “The top Democrat on House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that the Russian ads weren’t only “to help Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but more fundamentally, to divide Americans, to pit one American against another on some very divisive issues”.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/some-russian-facebook-ads-were-meant-to-aggravate-racial-religious-divides-report/

Anthony Weiner sentenced 21 months in prison for sexting with 15 year old. “Even as a first-time offender who also took responsibility and pleaded guilty, Weiner’s resulting guidelines range would have been 11 years and three months to 14 years.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/anthony-weiner-sentenced-21-months-prison-it-could-have-been-n804646

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems says researcher. “In his book, Walker highlights the connection between sleep deprivation and various major health problems that include cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and poor mental health.”   http://www.techtimes.com/articles/213784/20170925/sleep-deprivation-linked-to-major-health-problems-you-need-to-sleep-7-hours-every-night-or-else.htm

Japan’s prime minister exploits North Korea missile crisis, announces snap elections, dissolves parliament on eve of corruption hearings. “Abe has struggled with low approval ratings in recent months, but has seen an uptick following the recent heightened tensions with North Korea and the growing risk of nuclear proliferation in the region.”   https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/09/japan-snap-election/

White British medical student goes free after stabbing boyfriend with knife. “An Oxford medical student “too bright” to be given a prison sentence has been allowed to walk free from court – despite the judge acknowledging that she broke her bail conditions.”   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/25/oxford-student-judge-suggested-bright-prison-spared-jail-stabbing/

Chinese social media firms fined by government for lax censorship, WhatsApp apparently blocked. “Chinese authorities said on Monday that they have handed down maximum fines to the operators of three major social-media platforms in the country for failing to deal with pornography, violence and other banned content on their sites.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/25/china-fines-tech-giants-over-censorship-blocks-whatsapp.html

British anti-torture activist charged with terrorism offense for not handing over his passwords at airport. “Rabbani said he could not provide access to his devices because they contained confidential information, provided to him by one of Cage’s clients, about alleged acts of U.S. torture.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/25/muhammad-rabbani-guilty-of-terror-offense-for-not-giving-passwords-to-uk-police/

Syrian civilians killed by U.S. forces targeting IS militants in Mansourah and Tabqa. “Investigators from Human Rights Watch visited the sites of both attacks this July and collected the names of at least 84 civilians who had died in the bombings, including 30 children.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/25/syria-us-airstrike-civilian-death-hrw-tabqa/

Chicago cops who “took a knee” will be reprimanded says CPD spokesperson. “We are aware of the photo, and we will address it in the same way we have handled previous incidents in which officers have made political statements while in uniform, with a reprimand and a reminder of department policies.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/chicago-cops-to-be-punished-for-taking-a-knee-in-protest-against-police-brutality/   Because in the United States, opposing police brutality is “political”. Are police officers who take a “political” stance against gang violence and drunken driving while on duty also reprimanded?

Woman football fan “in tears” over player protests. “It’s just shameful and it hurts me to see people taking a knee when we are supposed to be joyful about living in this country…. I tried to watch it and I just couldn’t because I just kept crying.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/i-just-cant-take-the-pain-c-span-caller-bawls-on-air-because-nfl-players-kneeling-hurts-too-much/   I wonder if she cries when police officers shoot black kids?

PBS series on Vietnam avoids asking or answering the big questions. “… Burns and Novick pay surprisingly little attention to why exactly the United States insisted on butting in and why it subsequently proved so difficult to get out.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/the-vietnam-war-past-all-reason/

Spanish police raid town halls in effort to stop Catalonia independence referendum. “The Guardia Civil entered a total of 31 (city) council buildings in the north east region of Spain in a bid to seize documents and literature about the upcoming referendum vote that is due to take place on October 1.”   https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/858601/Catalonia-independence-referendum-Guardia-Civil-Carles-Puigdemont-Mariano-Rajoy

New York Times and Newsweek name Trump advisors (in addition to Jared Kushner) who used private email accounts. “The Times said that former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and current advisers Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller all sent or received work-related emails from personal accounts…. Newsweek on Monday stated that Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser since March, also used a private email address.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-advisers-private-email-kushner-trump-priebus-bannon-cohn-miller-2017-9

Human Rights Watch accuses Myanmar military of crimes against humanity. “The massacres of villagers and mass arson driving people from their homes are all crimes against humanity.”    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya/rights-group-accuses-myanmar-of-crimes-against-humanity-idUSKCN1C10MR?il=0

 

September 26, 2017

September 25, 2017

Far right, anti-immigrant party becomes third largest party in German parliament. “Having failed to enter the Bundestag in the last election, (Alternative for Germany) is now likely to have nearly 100 seats in parliament.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/09/24/553345614/germanys-political-earthquake-making-sense-of-the-right-shift-in-elections   U.S. Islamaphobes reportedly posting fake news stories in German, which are then being shared on social media in Germany. “The website’s Germany-related coverage includes story after story about migrants raping German women, claims that migrants are bringing “highly infectious diseases” to Germany, and Muslims are transforming entire German neighborhoods into “no-go zones” where local police have lost control.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/22/german-election-afd-gatestone-institute/

Trump administration issues stricter travel ban as previous ban expires. “President Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/us/politics/new-order-bars-almost-all-travel-from-seven-countries.html

In response to President Trump’s attacks on their right to peacefully protest, more than 130 NFL players sit, kneel or stay off the field during national anthem. “The form of protest started last season with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who did it to to protest the treatment of black people by police.”   https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/09/24/75948/trump-urges-fans-to-boycott-nfl-if-players-don-t-s/   First Major League baseball player kneels during anthem. “Oakland Athletics’ catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first Major League Baseball (MLB) player to kneel during the national anthem Saturday night, prior to a game against the Texas Rangers.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/who-bruce-maxwell-first-mlb-player-kneels-during-national-anthem-2593373

Jared Kushner, other Trump administration officials, accused of using private email accounts to discuss government business. “Other White House officials have also sometimes used personal accounts to correspond with Kushner and with each other, according to emails seen by POLITICO and people familiar with Kushner’s correspondence.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/24/jared-kushner-private-email-white-house-243071   “Lock them up!”

Steve Bannon targets Republican party in speech to conservatives. “They’re not conservatives, they’re liberals, and that is what we’ve got to fight every day.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/white-house-strategist-bannon-st-louis-rally-50055434   Was your secret meeting in China with a top Chinese government official about tariffs on Chinese products, Steve?

EPA providing few details about post-hurricane toxic waste site cleanup efforts. “The agency has not provided details about which Superfund sites the material came from, why the contaminants at issue have not been identified and whether there’s a threat to human health.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-texas-toxic-sites-20170924-story.html

Protesters arrested in St. Louis share their stories. “Newbold said he was restrained with zip ties that were so tight that he lost all feeling in his hands and his fingers began to turn purple. He said his hands still burn, and there are still areas that have not regained feeling.”   http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/undercover-cop-air-force-officer-med-student-among-those-police/article_e2dcc3de-f228-5311-a35f-e60e1bd9ebee.html

Ted Cruz says he can’t support Trumpcare bill in its current form. ““Right now they don’t have my vote and I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s either.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/24/republican-susan-collins-graham-cassidy-bill-obamacare-healthcare

Calls to Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, from nursing home where 11 died after hurricane have been deleted. “There were a total of four voicemails left during the 36 hours before the first patient died, and they would have been a critical piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation into the patient deaths.”   https://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/09/22/nursing-home-deaths-deleted-voicemails/   Don’t worry, the NSA has them.

More than 2,600 civilians reportedly killed in U.S. strikes in Syria. “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total at 2,617 civilians killed in US-led strikes just in Syria. This included 615 children and 443 women.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/09/24/monitors-us-airstrikes-have-killed-2617-civilians-in-syria/

About 3/4 of the world’s dictatorships receive military assistance from the United States. “Does the US government actually oppose dictatorships and champion democracy around the world, as we are repeatedly told? The truth is not easy to find, but federal sources do provide an answer: No.”   http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42020-us-provides-military-assistance-to-73-percent-of-world-s-dictatorships

Myanmar government blames Rohingyas for bombing their own mosque and school. “The army chief accused the militants of trying to drive out around 700 hundred villagers who have remained in Mi Chaung Zay — an argument analysts have said makes little sense for a group whose power depends on the networks it has built across Rohingya communities.”   https://www.thenational.ae/world/asia/fires-rage-in-rakhine-as-myanmar-army-blames-rohingya-for-mosque-blast-1.660908

Ag-gag laws spreading to other industries. “So you now have these gag bills that can be used, not just in the agricultural industry, but if someone exposes abuse in a nursing home, in a retirement home or anywhere else, it gives their employer the right to sue them.”   http://fair.org/home/legislators-criminalize-practices-that-led-to-wrongdoings-being-exposed/

 

September 25, 2017

September 24, 2017

2/3 of Americans oppose first strike on North Korea. “Fewer than a quarter — 23 percent — of Americans say the United States should strike North Korea first, while 67 percent say there should be U.S. military action only if North Korea attacks the United States or its allies.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-far-more-trust-generals-than-trump-on-n-korea-while-two-thirds-oppose-preemptive-strike/2017/09/23/5cc4377c-9fbb-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html

Berkeley “free speech” event reportedly cancelled. “The event seemed to be in trouble in recent days as organizers failed to meet Berkeley’s deadlines for renting indoor venues on campus, while at the same time some scheduled speakers either canceled plans to attend or said they never agreed to appear.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-berkeley-counterprotesters-20170922-story.html

Trump’s battle with athletes over anthem, police brutality, continues to widen. “North Carolina, the reigning NCAA men’s basketball champion, said Saturday it will not visit the White House this season…. (citing) scheduling conflicts.”   http://ijpr.org/post/athletes-blast-trump-after-president-targets-kaepernick-curry

Dead Huntington Beach police shooting victim identified. “(Dillan) Tabares, who previously served in the Navy as an information systems technician, had fallen on hard times in 2012 according to a Facebook post where he discussed how he lost his security clearance in the Navy due to testing positive for marijuana that he self-medicated for depression.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4913938/California-police-officer-shot-man-wounded-fellow-officer.html

SEC hacked, data may have been used for insider trading. “The breach involved Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar filing system, which houses market-moving information with millions of filings ranging from quarterly earnings to statements on acquisitions.”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/21/sec-hackers-database-congress

Latest Trumpcare bill unlikely to pass after Arizona senator John McCain joins Republican holdouts. “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/23/trump-attacks-mccain-republicans-healthcare

Long Island, New York suspect dies during arrest. “It took four cops to subdue and handcuff him. Perez then stopped breathing, said police.”   https://nypost.com/2017/09/23/naked-man-dies-after-cops-taser-him-twice/

Substitute teacher in Vermont fired after allegedly teaching third graders to do Nazi salute. “The children were standing with their arm out in front of them, and the teacher was modeling the position… She then raised her arm slightly and said, ‘and now we say, Heil Hitler’.”   http://www.miltonindependent.com/gems-sub-fired-nazi-gesture-remark/

Undercover cop, Air Force lieutenant, filmmaker swept up with protesters during last weekend’s St. Louis police shooting protests, all three were allegedly abused during arrests. “(The documentary producer) said he was sprayed with a chemical and eventually knocked unconscious for 10 to 30 seconds and when he came to, an officer pepper sprayed him again.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/undercover-airman-busted-st-louis-protests-deny-role-article-1.3517464   22 more arrested this weekend during shopping mall protest.

ACLU sues St. Louis over police use of excessive force during arrests of protesters, trapping protesters so they were unable to disperse and interfering with recording of police activity. “The City of St. Louis has a custom or policy of retaliating against protestors expressing disapproval of the actions of law enforcement officers, and has done so on occasions before these particular protests, including in 2014 near the intersection of Arsenal Street and Grand Avenue and in 2015 near the intersection of Walton Avenue and Page Boulevard.”   https://www.aclu-mo.org/files/2415/0609/7954/ahmad_dreith_complaint.pdf

Buffalo, New York mother files lawsuit over death of her son during police arrest, claims he was beaten and then shot in the back when he attempted to flee, despite being unarmed. “The autopsy report for (Jose) Hernandez-Rossy has never been made public.”   http://www.wkbw.com/news/fatal-police-shooting-leads-to-lawsuit-from-buffalo-mans-family

Bomb that killed 16 civilians in Yemen allegedly made in U.S. “Amnesty International’s arms expert analyzed remnants of the weapon and found clear markings that matched U.S.-made components used in laser-guided, air-dropped bombs.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/22/amnesty_international_reveals_the_bomb_that

 

September 24, 2017

September 23, 2017

Trump administration allows schools to raise the burden of proof needed to discipline students for sexual assaults. “The move had been long sought by advocates for accused students, most of whom are men, who had complained that campus judicial processes had become heavily biased in favor of female accusers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/devos-colleges-sex-assault.html   So women are making false accusations about being sexually assaulted? And they are doing this because…?

Howard University students protest speech by former FBI director James Comey. “Protesters accused him of working against black communities during his time as FBI director.”   http://www.npr.org/2017/09/22/552950517/youre-not-our-homey-howard-university-protesters-tell-ex-fbi-director-james-come

Trump suggests that NFL team owners fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!”   http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20788354/president-donald-trump-speaks-nfl-player-protests   Or you could fire cops who use excessive force, if police brutality bothers you more than the First Amendment.

Refugee deported to Iran gets 80 lashes. “Norway puts the burden of proof on individuals, some fleeing the world’s most repressive regimes, whose crimes are often well-documented elsewhere.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/09/22/norway-under-fire-for-deporting-woman-who-was-whipped-in-iran

FBI accidentally reveals how often it allowed its informants to commit serious violations of the law, by accidentally reporting only one category of crimes in its total. “… now we know that in 2016, at least 381 times, the FBI authorized its informants to engage in some really serious criminal activity.”   https://gizmodo.com/fbi-severely-underreported-how-many-times-it-authorized-1818517490

Police union accused of orchestrating harassment campaign against critic of St. Louis police tactics. “The St. Louis County Police Association posted (a story about pizza chain owner Chris Sommers’ remarks) on Facebook, along with phone numbers for Pi Pizzeria’s various locations, and urged supporters to call the restaurant if their “freedom of speech needs a little exercise”.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chris-sommers-pi-pizzeria-st-louis-police_us_59c2a4cde4b087fdf509c322

Steve Bannon to speak at Berkeley free speech event. “University of California President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the so-called Free Speech Week planned at Berkeley this month that will feature former White House strategist Steve Bannon will be an expensive test for the school that has become the center of debate over free speech on college campuses.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/20/berkeley-free-speech-week-cost-242939   If Steve is back from that meeting with a top Communist Party official in China in time!

Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. allegedly submitted large volume of “unmasking” requests to NSA. “Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/20/samantha-power-sought-to-unmask-americans-on-almost-daily-basis-sources-say.html

International Trade Commission rules that cheap Chinese solar panels hurt U.S. manufacturers. “SolarWorld laid off much of its workforce and Suniva was forced into bankruptcy, even as U.S. solar panel installations grew dramatically in recent years.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/22/552961170/ruling-finds-solar-panels-from-china-hurt-u-s-maker

Uber loses license to operate in London. “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-britain/uber-stripped-of-london-license-idUSKCN1BX151

Centrist “concern trolls” really don’t want you to have national health insurance. “Articles in the Washington Post, Vox and Think Progress all asked how Sanders’ single-payer bill would be “paid for,” yet not a single one of those outlets asked the same question the day after the Senate signed a $700-billion military spending bill, an increase of roughly 13% from 2017.”   https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/09/22/there-are-3-types-single-payer-concern-trolls-and-they-all-want-undermine-universal

Huntington Beach, California police officer caught on video shooting apparently unarmed man seven times after a struggle, police spokesperson declines to say what led to the confrontation. “Why do cops have pepper spray, batons and (tasers) if they are not going to use them?”   http://www.newsweek.com/california-cop-shoots-man-shocking-video-huntington-beach-669813   Video can be seen here:   https://twitter.com/Cali_Funk1/status/911268573170999296

Miss Turkey stripped of her title for controversial social media post she allegedly made about attempted coup. “I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs’ day. I’m marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs’ blood.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/miss-turkey-dethroned-over-unacceptable-tweet-coup-142428905.html

India reportedly using pepper spray and stun grenades to repel Rohingya refugees. “We don’t want to cause any serious injury or arrest them, but we won’t tolerate Rohingya on Indian soil.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-india/india-using-chilli-sprays-stun-grenades-to-dissuade-rohingya-influx-idUSKCN1BX1BG

 

September 23, 2017