September 22, 2017

Black Lives Matter lawyer accuses NYPD of lying about surveillance of protesters. “The NYPD is a professional lying organization. Perjury to them is one of the basic tools of policing, along with the badge and the gun.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nypd-led-campaign-lies-black-lives-matter-lawyers-article-1.3509805

Philadelphia law enforcement accused of concealing information about seized funds. “In reports submitted annually to the Pennsylvania attorney general, the (District Attorney’s Office) previously claimed to have spent between $2 and $7 million in forfeiture funds each year – at least $5 million more than shown in the budget documents delivered to City&State PA and Philly Weekly.”   http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news/uncovering-philly-law-enforcement-s-secret-bank-accounts/article_e451c942-9d73-11e7-af76-3f98de79b735.html

Facebook to provide congressional investigators with more than 3,000 political ads suspected to have be placed by Russia-linked entities. “Americans both need to know what happened in the election of 2016, and have confidence going forward that if they see an ad it isn’t sponsored by a foreign government.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/ct-facebook-russian-ads-20170921-story.html

St. Louis anti-brutality protests continue, traffic blocked. “Protest leader Rev. Darryl Gray said the group will continue to disrupt the economy and the peace until its leaders see changes in the St. Louis Police Department.”   http://fox2now.com/2017/09/21/traffic-blocked-near-forest-park-and-i-64-unannounced-protest/

Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price accused of spending $300,000 on private jet flights. “Sample round-trip fares for those flights were as low as $202, when booked in advance on Orbitz.com. Price’s charter, according to HHS’ contract with Classic Air Charter, cost $17,760.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/21/tom-price-private-charter-plane-flights-242989

Protests in Catalonia after arrests of local officials. “Thousands of protesters stood firm outside a Spanish court in Barcelona after night fell Thursday, continuing to shout demands for the release of a dozen regional officials arrested in connection with a planned vote on Catalan independence.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/protests-continue-spanish-court-secession-arrests-article-1.3510729

Philippine opposition groups protest “emerging dictatorship” of President Duterte. “Signs saying “Stop The Killings” and “No To Martial Rule” reflected fears that Duterte would one day deliver on his threat to declare nationwide military rule like that imposed by late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-protest/thousands-rally-in-philippines-to-warn-of-duterte-dictatorship-idUSKCN1BW0YA

Members of audience attack hecklers at Turkish president’s speech in New York. “Videos showed the protesters — one of them wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a picture of Abdullah Ocalan, a jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K. — being punched and slapped by several attendees as security personnel removed them from the room.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/us/erdogan-new-york.html

U.S. corporations reportedly sitting on $2.3 trillion cash pile. “Corporate America has never been in better shape to put its cash hoard to use on everything from investment to acquisitions, share buybacks and dividends.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-21/corporate-america-has-amassed-a-record-amount-of-cash   Or they could pay their front-line workers a living wage. Just a crazy idea.

Community groups worried hurricane relief funds will go to corporations. “Prompted in part by the appointment of former Shell CEO Marvin Odum to lead Texas recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a coalition of over 130 organizations released a joint statement directed at elected officials in Texas and Louisiana on Thursday demanding that hurricane relief funds be delivered to communities in need, not to big polluters—”the same corporate actors that caused or contributed to many of these problems in the first place”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/21/groups-harvey-recovery-must-serve-vulnerable-victims-not-corporate-polluters

Writer claims coding classes in schools are intended to provide cheaper labor for tech firms. “Contrary to public perception, the economy doesn’t actually need that many more programmers. As a result, teaching millions of kids to code won’t make them all middle-class.”   https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/21/coding-education-teaching-silicon-valley-wages

Taser maker Axon reportedly launching crowd-sourcing service to provide tips to police. “… the product will allow citizens to submit photos or video evidence of “a crime, suspicious activity, or event” to… the company’s cloud-based storage platform, to help agencies “in solving a crime or gathering a fuller point of view from the public”.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/21/taser-wants-to-build-an-army-of-smartphone-informants/

New Mexico legislator calls for investigation into possible connection between campaign donations to state’s governor and investment contracts for state funds. “Rep. Bill McCamley, a Democrat who chairs the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee, asked Democratic Attorney General Hector Balderas to look into whether political donations from investment firms to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and groups supporting her election campaigns violated state laws and SEC regulations.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/new-mexico-pay-play-concerns-lead-representative-call-investigation-2592498

Steve Bannon reportedly meets with top Communist Party official in China. “The clandestine meeting was with Wang Qishan, “the second most powerful Chinese Communist Party official,” according to the Financial Times.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/why-is-a-fired-white-house-staffer-writing-trumps-speeches-and-meeting-with-chinese-leaders/

ICE agents detain Hispanic-American couple outside Oregon courthouse in case of mistaken identity. “The Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said that the incident was a “clear case of racial profiling” and said that “ICE can’t just go around stopping anyone who looks Latino and asking them to show their papers”.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/shocking-video-shows-ice-agents-harassing-us-citizens-in-clear-case-of-racial-profiling/

Did Israel pressure U.S. to invade Iraq? “On 16 August 2002, 11 days before Dick Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hardline speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported that “Israel is urging US officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein”. By this point, according to (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon, strategic co-ordination between Israel and the US had reached “unprecedented dimensions”, and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq’s WMD programmes.”   http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/02/iraq-war-israel-bush-saddam

Pittsburgh police officers caught on video beating suspect, smashing his head on the sidewalk, outside concert. “A video posted to Facebook yesterday shows a Pittsburgh police officer landing about a dozen punches to a man already on the ground Tuesday night outside of the Penguins arena.”   https://deadspin.com/video-shows-pittsburgh-police-punching-man-outside-peng-1818601835

What ever happened to the $107 million raised for Trump’s inauguration festivities? “As for the leftover money going to charity, Trump’s committee originally said it’d release the details of its charitable donations in April, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the committee said in April that it was still “identifying charities toward which it would direct leftover money.” That was nearly five months ago.”   http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/questions-surround-trumps-25-million-inaugural-concert

 

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September 22, 2017

September 21, 2017

Federal appeals court rules that limiting police gun violence does not violate the rights of police officers. “The panel held that (Seattle) has a significant interest in regulating the use of guns by police officers, and the policy does not restrict the officers’ Second Amendment rights.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington/articles/2017-09-19/appeals-court-upholds-seattle-police-policy-on-using-force

Legal efforts on behalf of Dakota pipeline protesters face a hostile environment. “According to Freeman and her colleagues, the first two buildings in which they tried to rent turned them down after hearing that they were in town to defend water protectors.”   http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a12181154/still-fighting-at-standing-rock/

Bill to restrict sex trade on the internet is more complicated than it appears to be. “Companies want to do the right thing to reduce sex trafficking, but this bill puts them in legal jeopardy for even researching if their platforms are used that way.”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170919/11061838242/senator-blumenthal-happy-that-sesta-will-kill-small-internet-companies.shtml

Earthquake relief efforts bridging social class barriers in Mexico. “While residents of Roma enjoy leafy green parks, European-style cafes and well-kept streets, many of the city’s less-fortunate citizens live in dusty slums on the edge of the metropolis, commuting to informal jobs in the wealthier neighborhoods.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/in-mexico-city-rich-and-poor-had-little-in-common-until-the-earthquake-hit/2017/09/20/6f5a15b8-9e0e-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089_story.html

Trump administration reportedly considering backing out of Iran nuclear agreement. “A senior U.S. official said Trump is leaning toward not certifying that Iran is complying with the pact and letting Congress effectively decide whether to kill the agreement.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-un/u-s-weighs-whether-to-stay-in-iran-nuclear-deal-idUSKCN1BV1OC?il=0

Battle over Catalan independence referendum moves into the streets. “Thousands of activists crowded onto the streets of downtown Barcelona on Wednesday to defend their elected officials after Spanish police cracked down on plans for an illegal referendum on independence on Oct. 1.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-20/angry-catalan-protesters-flood-barcelona-streets-after-crackdown

Oklahoma City police officer fatally shoots deaf man holding a metal pipe. “A neighbor, Jolie Guebara, later told The Associated Press that Sanchez often carried the pipe to fend off stray dogs when he went for walks at night.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/deaf-man-shot-dead-oklahoma-city-police-neighbors-scream-horror-n803031

Latest Obamacare repeal bill may or may not make health insurance unaffordable for people with pre-existing health problems. “The language in the Cassidy-Graham bill would specifically allow states to waive an ObamaCare rule that prevents people with pre-existing conditions from being charged higher premiums due to their illness.”   http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351628-gop-takes-fire-on-pre-existing-conditions

Melania Trump addresses U.N. on need to stop bullying, says adults must set a good example. “We must teach each child the values of empathy . . . kindness, mindfulness, integrity and leadership which can only be taught by example.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/melania-trump-condemns-bullying–and-raises-some-eyebrows–in-her-first-un-speech/2017/09/20/9973d77a-9e1e-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html   ““Irony is dead,” tweeted Joy-Ann Reid, a liberal MSNBC host.”

5 year-old charter school student suspended for alleged bomb threat. “The boy’s mother, Michelle Riley, said her son refused to remove his backpack, telling a teacher there was a bomb in it that would explode if he took it off.”   http://www.sfgate.com/news/education/article/California-school-suspends-boy-for-terroristic-12215570.php   Apparently the school did not bother to call the police during the incident, to have the boy’s backpack blown up as a suspected explosive device.

Closed Facebook page reportedly organized pro-Trump rallies. “”Being Patriotic” had 200,000 followers and the strongest activist bent of any of the suspected Russian Facebook election pages that have so far emerged.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/russians-appear-to-use-facebook-to-push-pro-trump-flash-mobs-in-florida

Black Cornell student reportedly beaten by mob of white students. “When the student, a junior in Kappa Sigma, confronted the men (in his front yard) around 1 a.m., he said, four or five of them repeatedly punched him in the face.”   http://cornellsun.com/2017/09/20/police-identify-white-cornell-student-arrested-following-assault-of-black-cornell-student/

Republican state legislator loses her day job after posting “All Lives Splatter” meme showing SUV running over protesters. “Not only is she inciting violence, she is targeting a certain race of people.”   https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/19/s-d-gop-whip-shares-meme-endorsing-vehicular-assault-protesters/682564001/

Human rights groups claim high civilian casualties in campaign against IS, Mattis says the goal is extermination of insurgents. “We changed our tactics to take the time to encircle the places they had strength (and) fight battles of annihilation so foreign fighters can’t get out.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/verabergengruen/mattis-said-us-would-use-annihilation-tactics-to-retake

Progressive News Service hit by apparent cyberattack while working on U.S. Syria offensive story, editor loses control of his computer.

U.S. Cyber Command has reportedly developed capability to take over computers of its targets. “Never have so many top officials spoken openly about cyber attacks, which historically have been guarded with the utmost secrecy because of the sensitive and often perishable techniques that are used to penetrate computers, monitor them, and sometimes control them remotely.”   http://www.thedailybeast.com/us-ratchets-up-cyber-attacks-on-isis

Amazon allegedly suggested necessary bomb-making components to customers. “Ingredients which are innocent on their own are suggested for purchase together as “Frequently bought together” products, as it does with all other goods.”   https://www.channel4.com/news/potentially-deadly-bomb-ingredients-on-amazon

Walmart will offer additional hours to its current employees in run up to holidays instead of hiring large numbers of seasonal workers. “That policy earned pushback… with full-time employees frustrated at the lack of opportunity for more hours and pay.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/20/walmart-will-rely-on-permanent-workers,-not-seasonal-employees,-for-holidays.html

Researcher says excess carbon may plunge earth into mass extinction event. “The best-case scenario projects that humans will add 300 gigatons of carbon to the oceans by 2100, while more than 500 gigatons will be added under the worst-case scenario, far exceeding the critical threshold.”   https://phys.org/news/2017-09-mathematics-sixth-mass-extinction.html

Hepatitis A outbreak, caused by poor access to toilets and sanitation facilities, spreading among U.S. west’s homeless populations. “This particular strain of Hepatitis has killed 16 people and infected more than 500 people in California. The virus has now spread to Arizona and Utah.”   http://fox13now.com/2017/09/20/hepatitis-a-outbreak-strikes-salt-lake-countys-homeless-population/

Rohingya activists claim Facebook is blocking information about Myanmar military atrocities. “This is what happens when your content teams/algorithms are primary trained to detect and suspend Muslims.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/20/exposing-problematic-role-news-arbiter-facebook-under-fire-over-myanmar

Canadian comedian launches parody website for political centrists, aka neo-liberals. “Our handsome, walking-saxophone-solo of a Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) made half of his cabinet members female but is also okay with mass surveillance, selling arms to Saudi Arabia, and building climate-torching pipelines.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/20/centrismbiz-scathing-new-parody-site-rips-mask-zombie-neoliberalism   There’s even a “Take Inaction” button for people who are ok with the status quo!   https://www.centrism.biz/our-friends

EPA director reportedly has 18 person security detail. “Thanks to a hiring freeze, budget cuts, and the exorbitant travel needs of Trump’s cabinet, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agents are being forced to ditch climate crime investigations in order to serve as personal bodyguards for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, resulting in what one critic called an “evaporation of criminal enforcement”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/20/instead-protecting-earth-epa-agents-now-forced-serve-pruitt-bodyguards

Huge differences in bail required for similar crimes in different counties. “In (California’s) Tuolumne County, accused prostitutes usually are booked and released without bail. But San Bernardino County takes a harsher approach, with $50,000 bail recommended for misdemeanor prostitution charges.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/20/bail-disparities-across-the-us-reflect-inequality-it-is-the-poor-people-who-suffer

L.A. county probation officer charged for sexual contact with juvenile offenders. “In a federal lawsuit filed against the probation department, Darling’s client also accused several other officers of ignoring her complaints and failing to intervene to stop Calderon’s abuse.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-probation-officer-sexual-assault-20170920-story.html

Russia claims to have killed an estimated 850 Al-Nusra affiliated insurgents in major battle near Hama, Syria. “The Russian General Staff said the militants tried to capture a unit of the Russian military police, which have a mandate to monitor the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone.”   https://www.rt.com/news/403980-syria-jihadists-idlib-russia/

51 countries sign nuclear weapons ban treaty at U.N. “The new treaty on the prohibition on nuclear weapons provides a real alternative for security: a world without any nuclear weapons, where everyone is safer, where no one needs to possess these weapons.”   https://japantoday.com/category/world/51-countries-line-up-to-sign-un-treaty-outlawing-nuclear-weapons   Nuclear-armed countries and their allies are reportedly opposed to the treaty.

56 members of U.S. military killed or seriously injured in accidents since June. “In just over the last week alone, 20 service members were injured and two were killed in separate training incidents at Camp Pendleton, California, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Hood, Texas.”   http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-military/2017/09/18/mattis-asks-for-answers-in-spike-of-non-combat-troop-deaths/

 

September 21, 2017

September 20, 2017

Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea” during U.N. speech. “North Korea wants assurances the United States isn’t planning to obliterate it. Instead, Trump has just given them more reason to fear that is the plan.”   http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Trump-threat-to-totally-destroy-North-Korea-is-12212846.php

Republican Governors Association disguises PR web site as news media. “As of early Monday afternoon, The Free Telegraph’s Twitter account and Facebook page still had no obvious identifiers tying the site to RGA.”   http://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/GOP-governors-get-into-the-news-business-12209666.php

Local residents say “not so fast” to incentives for Kansas Tyson plant. “On Monday, county commissioners voted 2-1 to rescind a previous intent to issue $500 million in industrial revenue bonds for the project that would provide for 80 percent tax abatements for 10 years…. Tonganoxie, meanwhile, was looking at extending sewer services to the plant to the tune of $1.3 million.”   http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/sep/19/tyson-puts-chicken-plant-hold-citing-commissions-w/

Some of the CIA’s files on Lee Harvey Oswald, which are scheduled for release this October, are missing. “Standard procedure, as prescribed in agency directives, required agency personnel to immediately open a personality file (in government lingo, a “201” file) on a military defector like Oswald. Yet the CIA’s 201 file on Oswald was not opened until a year later, in December 1960.”   http://www.salon.com/2017/09/10/missing-from-the-new-jfk-files-batch-of-cia-records-on-lee-harvey-oswald_partner/

Spanish police raid government offices in Catalonia in search of election materials. “Spain’s Guardia Civil police have gone into key Catalan regional government ministries in Bar”celona as part of a search for documents linked to a banned independence vote.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41331152

U.N. labor office report says 40 million living in slavery, 71% of them are female. “We believe that the global estimate of 40.3 million is the most reliable data to date, although we believe it to be a conservative estimate as there were millions of people we couldn’t reach.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/19/new-research-reveals-there-are-more-40-million-slaves-worldwide

Bay area street vendors tightly regulated while Uber and Airbnb thrive. “A document explaining San Francisco’s process for obtaining a mobile food facility permit looks like a parody of government bureaucracy, and requires as much as $1,500 in application and licensing fees.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/19/tech-industry-street-vendors-disruption-california

Republican Party’s latest Obamacare repeal attempt would ban states from operating their own health insurance plans. “I don’t think states should have the authority to take money from the American taxpayer and set up a single-payer system.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/19/so-much-for-states-rights-gop-senator-wants-to-ban-state-single-payer-in-new-health-care-bill/

Online consumer tracking firms worried about Apple browser’s limits on “cookies”. “With the launch of the latest version of Safari in iOS 11 and for macOS High Sierra, Apple is introducing a new feature called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) that will place new limits on how websites and advertisers can track user behavior across the internet.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/safari-ad-blocking-new-feature-apples-browser-has-advertisers-worried-2591558

Many Hurricane Harvey victims still waiting for Red Cross emergency funds. “The Red Cross plans to restart the application process on Thursday, September 21. Registration will remain open through October 10.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/american-red-cross-fails-pay-aid-promised-hurricane-harvey-victims-2591775   You can try standing along the road with a cardboard sign until your application is processed.

St. Louis police accused of making mass arrests, using excessive force on protesters and journalists. “Mike Faulk, a reporter for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, told colleagues he was “pepper-sprayed in (the) face while an officer’s foot held my head to ground”.”   https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/st-louis-police-ripped-alarming-unconstitutional-treatment-demonstrators

Alt-right leader tells infiltrator of plans to set up concentration camps if they come into power, put pictures of Hitler on the currency. “It’s gonna end with concentration camps and expulsions and war at the cost of a few hundred million people.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/its-gonna-end-with-concentration-camps-alt-right-executive-boasts-of-a-future-europe-with-hitler-their-money/

Turkish government suspected in abductions of Gulen supporters. “Witnesses to the abductions of Özben and Koçak both describe the men being forced into a black or dark-colored Volkswagen transporter van, the same model of vehicle seen at the scene of Asan’s abduction.”   http://www.politico.eu/article/turkey-erdogan-suspicious-abductions-raise-fears-of-state-role/

Palestinians worried about censorship, arrests of journalists and activists. “In July, PA President Mahmoud Abbas clamped down on social media and news websites — the main outlets for debate and dissent in the West Bank — with a vaguely worded decree that critics say allows his government to jail anyone on charges of harming “national unity” or the “social fabric”.”   https://www.timesofisrael.com/majority-of-palestinians-fear-loss-of-liberty-in-pa-poll-shows/

Canadian official warns of privacy violations if its citizens enter the U.S. “Canada’s privacy czar says Canadians should be “very concerned” about their cellphones, computers and other electronic devices being searched by U.S. border agents.”   http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/us-border-cellphone-password-search-1.4296331

Vox and NPR accused of conflicts of interest in their coverage of single-payer health care story. “The Medicare-for-All proposal (AKA “single-payer”), which would provide all US citizens with no-premium, no-deductible health insurance, faces numerous political challenges, including Republican rhetoric about socialism and government interference; centrist Democrat rhetoric about impracticality and untimeliness; and corporate lobbying from the massive, extremely profitable private healthcare industry.”   http://fair.org/home/vox-hedges-headline-in-fit-of-single-payer-skepticism/   Well, single-payer COULD be partially funded through employer/employee payroll deductions, like regular Medicare, which would presumably be less than health insurance premiums.

U.N. secretary general stresses importance of climate agreements. “… since 2008… some 20 million people a year have been forcibly displaced by floods, storms, fires and extreme temperature….  climate change is not a distant problem for future generations.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/19/headlines/un_leader_gives_climate_warning_as_us_continues_exit_from_paris_agreement

September 20, 2017

September 19, 2017

Whose streets? St. Louis riot police say the streets belong to them. “Further inflaming tensions, a St. Louis photographer reported he and others heard police chant “Whose streets? Our streets!” after making some arrests.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/18/st-louis-officers-chant-whose-streets-our-streets-while-arresting-protesters-against-police-killing/   Protests enter fourth night, arrests hit 120, police chief says his officers “own the night”. “As protests over the acquittal of the former St Louis police officer Jason Stockley moved into their fourth night, some observers said the response from law enforcement had grown heavy-handed, and that local and state authorities had learned little from their actions during the Ferguson protests.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/18/militaristic-and-intimidating-st-louis-police-criticized-as-protests-stretch-on

Judge rules that Trump inauguration protesters don’t have to be charged with individual crimes. “Because the government is using aiding and abetting and conspiracy liability, “each defendant charged in the indictment may be liable for the acts of others alleged in the indictment,” writes the judge.”   http://dcist.com/2017/09/judge_denies_motions_to_dismiss_rio.php

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was reportedly under FBI surveillance from 2014 until early this year. “(The investigation) centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party, the sources told CNN.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/18/politics/paul-manafort-government-wiretapped-fisa-russians/index.html

Republicans gearing up for third attempt to repeal Obamacare. “The latest proposal would give states control over billions in federal health-care spending, repeal the law’s key mandates and enact deep cuts to Medicaid, the federally funded insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/new-health-care-push-reflects-high-stakes-for-gop-if-they-cant-replace-obamacare/2017/09/18/5976822c-9c92-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html

Toys R Us files for bankruptcy. “More than a dozen major retailers have filed for creditor protection this year, including Payless Inc., Gymboree Corp. and Perfumania Holdings Inc., all of which are using the Chapter 11 process to close under-performing stores and expand online operations.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-19/toys-r-us-files-for-bankruptcy-crushed-by-online-competition   Working class people too poor now to buy toys for their kids, even if they are made in China? It wasn’t supposed to happen this way…

Russian missile defense official’s decision likely prevented nuclear armageddon in 1983. “The system was telling him that the level of reliability of that alert was “highest”. There could be no doubt. America had launched a missile.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24280831

Body of man missing for 8 months turns up in his truck, in airport parking lot. “Police in Kansas City found his body Tuesday after a foul odor coming from his white 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck was reported at Kansas City International Airport.”   http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/09/18/dead-man-found-in-missouri-airport-parking-lot-eight-months-after-went-missing.html   Just letting the charges add up instead of trying to contact him?

$700 billion defense bill clears the Senate. “Senators voted 89-8 on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes roughly $640 billion in base defense spending and $60 billion in war funds.”   http://thehill.com/policy/defense/351265-senate-passes-700b-defense-bill   $80 billion increase from previous fiscal year would have easily paid for Bernie Sanders “free college” proposal. “Critics from both parties howled that the pie-in-the-sky idea would bankrupt the country. Where, after all, would the money come from?”   https://theintercept.com/2017/09/18/the-senates-military-spending-increase-alone-is-enough-to-make-public-college-free/

Trump wants a military parade, like the kind they have in France. And in Red Square. “Trump watched enthusiastically from a reviewing stand on July 14 as the French military showcased its tanks and fighter jets, including many U.S.-made planes, along the famed Champs-Elysees.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trump-wants-to-showcase-us-military-strength-with-dc-parade/2017/09/18/9f49981e-9cb7-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089_story.html   That should certainly send a message!

58 countries call for ban on torture and death penalty gear. “Products that can be used for torture and (the) death penalty are available to buy in the open market,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade chief, told an audience of dignitaries and journalists. “They can be ordered through (the) internet.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4897744/Ban-torture-tools-spiked-batons-stun-belts-nations-say.html   Guess which countries are not supporting this? That’s right, the countries that torture and/or execute people, which includes the U.S.

Barack Obama following in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps, making $400,000 a speech appearances at Wall Street events. “Less than a year has passed since he departed from the White House, and former President Barack Obama has already joined the “well trod and well paid” Wall Street speaking circuit, a decision many argued will negatively impact the Democratic Party’s credibility as it attempts to fashion a message around taking on corporate monopolies, tackling income inequality, and loosening the insurance industry’s control over the American healthcare system.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/18/after-failing-prosecute-bankers-obama-cashes-wall-street-speeches

Airline treats employees poorly, employees find new jobs, airline has to cancel flights. “An (Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association) analysis of the data indicates that more than 700 pilots left Ryanair in its latest financial year, creating a significant new pilot and training challenge for the airline.”   https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/over-700-pilots-left-ryanair-in-last-financial-year-ialpa-claims-1.3225145

Wisconsin approves $3 billion in incentives for Apple supplier. “The deal — on track to be the largest subsidy to a foreign company in U.S. history — offers Foxconn environmental exemptions and tax breaks tied to capital investment, employment and construction materials, in exchange for building a $10 billion LCD manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin.”   http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/election-matters/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-signs-billion-foxconn-package-into-law/article_3f11858b-e228-58dd-bcec-e74bb743e9df.html

CFPB reaches settlement with student loan giant. “On Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said National Collegiate and its debt collector, Transworld Systems Inc. (TSI), filed lawsuits that relied on false or misleading legal documents.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/09/18/student-loan-companies-reach-21-6-million-settlement-over-dubious-debt-collection-lawsuits/

Deep State reveals its true agenda while trying to sell global domination to Trump. “To be successful, Mattis and Tillerson decided they should use talking points and commentary with which they believed Trump would be most familiar: the role that the military, intelligence officers and diplomats play in making the world safe for American businesses, like The Trump Organization, to operate and expand abroad.”   https://apnews.com/4cef63caf6b34cb796bc4c196d47c143/How-Trump’s-advisers-schooled-him-on-globalism

 

September 19, 2017

September 18, 2017

Third night of protests in St. Louis, police arrests include photojournalists. “Sunday’s gathering was the largest of the three nights with more 1,000 protesters.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-missouri-crime/riot-police-break-up-st-louis-protest-over-officers-acquittal-idUSKCN1BQ161   Total of 80 reportedly arrested. “The late night clashes left one bicycle cop injured and O’Toole said his officers arrested at least 80 people, including a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter caught in the chaos.”    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cops-arrest-80-night-st-louis-unrest-article-1.3503416

D.C. “juggalo” protest against gang designation attracts more people than Trump rally. “I’m tired of the FBI going around harassing people, pulling them over, people getting fired.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/juggalos-donald-trump-rally_us_59bd9754e4b02da0e1427777

Police charge man for chasing his daughter while wearing a clown mask. “He is charged with child endangerment and inducing panic.”   http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/09/ohio_man_wears_clown_mask_chas.html

Pro-life Pennsylvania legislator brags that he will hit protesters if they try to block his vehicle. “If anyone EVER tries to stop my car on a highway with negative intentions, I will not stop under any conditions.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/state-representative-threatens-he-would-run-over-protesters-2590658

University president invites black students to his house for dinner, tables decorated with vases of unpicked cotton. “We were very offended, and also the meals that were provided resembled many “black meals” they had mac n cheese, collard greens, corn bread etc. The night before Latinos also had dinner at his house and they had tacos.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/lipscomb-university-president-apologizes-cotton-stalk-after-dinner-black-students-2590774   SMH. Can anyone really be this clueless? Please tell me this is fake news…

Less than 7% of sampled mainstream media stories on hurricanes Harvey and Irma mentioned climate change. “Out of 2,000 media items, there were only 136 mentions of climate change, many denialist in content.”   http://fair.org/home/murdoch-owned-medias-radical-climate-denial-in-the-face-of-disaster/

 

 

 

September 18, 2017

September 17, 2017

News coverage of St. Louis police shooting of Lamar Smith and resulting protests is spotty, inconsistent. BBC World News television has story on stowaway koala, no mention of St. Louis protests. CNN lists Fox Sports reporter’s on air “boobs” comment under “Top Stories”, no mention of St. Louis protests. Top stories on Google News reporting that officer used his “service revolver” to shoot Smith, do not mention officer’s shortened AK-47 rifle. “It was not until 15 seconds after Stockley arrived (at) the driver’s side door that he took his service revolver out of its holster and fired several shots.” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/judge-acquitted-st-louis-first-degree-murder-article-1.3500493

This local Fox News story is the only one I’ve seen to include this detail: “Stockley’s testimony about seeing Smith with a gun in his right hand pointed at him while in the parking lot of the fast food restaurant is refuted by the physical evidence. Smith’s Buick had a gear shift that had to be operated with the right hand. A button on the back of the gear shift had to be held to shift gears. In order to drive the car forward out of the parking lot after reversing, Smith would have had to have held the gear shift with his right hand and steering wheel with his left hand. As Smith quickly accelerated, there would not have been time for him to then grab a firearm and point it at Stockley.” http://fox2now.com/2017/09/15/former-st-louis-officer-jason-stockley-found-not-guilty-in-murder-case/   Stockley fired multiple shots at Smith as he fled the parking lot where the chase began, apparently (from the video) with his rifle.

UK news outlet reports AK-47 used to shoot Smith. “This is the horrifying moment a St Louis police officer shoots a black man five times with the officer’s own personal AK-47 rifle after a high-speed car chase.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3800421/St-Louis-cop-Jason-Stockley-filmed-shooting-black-man-personal-AK-47-five-times.html Video shows before and after, but the actual shooting footage has apparently been removed.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch video on YouTube also claims officer used his pistol to fire “four shots” at the end of the chase and put his “unused rifle” back in his patrol car. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukKP6iSEX60 Video doesn’t clearly show final shooting, but shows him with the rifle at the beginning of the chase, which the video claims is a pistol. It does show Stockley put the rifle back in his car after the fatal shooting at the end of the chase. Bystander video shows Stockley enter Smith’s car after Smith’s body is removed. He sits in the drivers seat for about 15 seconds (video pans away and does not show the exact moment he exits the car).

Many stories are reporting that Officer Stockley handled Smith’s weapon to unload it: “In the report, Stockley said he entered Smith’s car “to locate the weapon and render it safe,” and removed the ammunition from the silver revolver.” http://edition.cnn.com/2017/09/16/us/jason-stockley-st-louis-officer-shooting-protests/index.html   If this is how Stockley’s DNA ended up on the weapon, it seems like a shockingly sloppy way to handle evidence.

Also unreported by most news organizations is the scale of the protests and police use of gas to disperse them. “Roughly 1,000 protestors gathered around the house of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and broke two windows and threw paint on the house before police intervened, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Nine officers were hurt and 32 people were arrested during the skirmishes, according to the St. Louis Police Department.”   http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/09/16/st_louis_protestors_surround_mayor_s_house_clash_with_police_following_stockley.html

With so many conflicting stories (remember this shooting happened in 2011) it’s hard to write off the confusion over the details to journalistic incompetence. Could we be seeing a suppression and disinformation campaign?

Officer Stockley’s shortened AK “pistol” was feeding from a drum magazine, another video angle leaked.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4891956/I-did-wrong-Cop-killed-black-St-Louis-man.html

St. Louis police officer responding to protesters seen with rifle.   https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4482231/st-louis-protest-police-missouri-jason-stockley/

September 17, 2017

September 16, 2017

Judge clears former St. Louis police officer in 2011 shooting death of Anthony Smith after car chase. “The .38 calibre revolver recovered from (Smith’s) Buick had (Officer) Stockley’s DNA on it, but not Mr. Smith’s.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41274065   Officer Stockley was recording during his pursuit of Smith saying, “Gonna kill this motherf&%$er…”

An estimated 600 protesters march in St. Louis in protest of Stockley verdict. “We haven’t made any progress since Ferguson, that’s clear. Cops can still kill us with impunity.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-missouri-crime/protesters-pour-into-st-louis-streets-after-murder-acquittal-for-ex-cop-idUSKCN1BQ161

As night falls in St. Louis, arrests climb to 23, protests turn violent. “Protests in St. Louis turned violent Friday night after remaining largely peaceful throughout the day.”   http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/jason-stockley/protesters-block-streets-following-stockley-decision/475250463

Department of Justice rebuffs FOIA request for records of who visited Mar-a-Lago to see the president. “After waiting months for a response to our request for comprehensive visitor logs from the president’s multiple visits to Mar-a-Lago and having the government ask for a last minute extension, today we received 22 names from the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Mar-a-Lago and nothing else.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/us/politics/trump-declines-to-release-list-of-his-visitors-at-mar-a-lago.html

Minnesota Supreme court rules that law forbidding “disruption” of public meetings is unconstitutional. “An individual could violate the statute by, for example, wearing an offensive T-shirt, using harsh words in addressing another person, or even raising one’s voice in a speech.”   http://www.twincities.com/2017/09/13/law-against-disturbing-public-meetings-is-unconstitutional-mn-supreme-court-rules/

Google software reportedly suggests racist key words to advertisers. “Type “White people ruin,” as a potential advertising keyword into Google’s ad platform, and Google will suggest you run ads next to searches including “black people ruin neighborhoods”. Type “Why do Jews ruin everything,” and Google will suggest you run ads next to searches including “the evil jew” and “jewish control of banks”.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexkantrowitz/google-allowed-advertisers-to-target-jewish-parasite-black

Investment fund manager sentenced to 12 years for defrauding investors. “Prosecutors say Callahan was raising more than $118 million from investors and “siphoned off” about $96 million.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2017-09-15/fund-manager-sentenced-to-12-years-in-hamptons-ponzi-scheme

Researchers claim 1 in 20 chance climate change will wipe out humans by 2117. “… an increase of more than 5°C will (result in) ‘unknown’ consequences which could lead to the end of life as we know it.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4888574/1-20-chance-climate-change-wipe-humanity.html

L.A. sheriff’s deputy accused of sexually assaulting two prisoners. “The women were in the same cell, according to the sheriff, who said Scotti was able “to put himself in a place where he was alone” with the two.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lasd-deputy-arrest-20170914-story.html

Florida nursing home claims it contacted Florida governor’s office 36 hours before first patient’s death. “One nursing home official estimated that executives at the nursing home placed as many as 50 calls to (Florida Power and Light) during the three days they were without power for their air conditioning system.”   http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/09/15/rick-scott-others-refute-rehab-center-claims-irma-deaths/

ICE arresting undocumented migrants when they appear at courthouses. “Hechinger, (a) public defender, believes that the court system should be sanctuaries where people can fulfill their court obligations without fear of deportation, noting that it deters witnesses, victims and family members from seeking justice or legal rights.”   http://www.newsweek.com/new-york-immigration-courthouse-arrests-continue-sanctuary-city-665797

Columbus, Ohio police officer put on leave after video reportedly shows him asking other cops why they tasered a suspect instead of strangling him to death. “What did we tase him for? Why didn’t we just choke the ******** life out of him?”   http://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/columbus-officer-relieved-of-duty-for-comments-caught-on-body-cam-identified

Spanish police raid printing companies, search for ballot boxes in bid to stop referendum. “Armed police in Spain have raided several print works and newspaper offices in Catalonia in recent days in a hunt for voting papers, ballot boxes and leaflets to be used in an Oct. 1 independence referendum which Madrid vehemently opposes.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-boxes/police-in-catalonia-hunt-for-hidden-ballot-boxes-in-bid-to-foil-referendum-idUSKCN1BQ2MZ

 

September 16, 2017