November 22, 2017

Trial of Trump inauguration protesters opens, observer says prosecution’s case appears to be weak. “I just thought looking at the totality of the evidence, you have video of what looks to me like a march and then you have an admission by the prosecution that there was no property damage committed by these particular individuals.”

Lawyer sues over warrantless SWAT arrest and forced testimony without legal representation. “Do U.S. military commissions have the power to arrest Americans without showing them a warrant, fly them hundreds of miles away from their homes, lock them up without access to legal counsel, and force them to testify?”

Homeland Security has used cell tower simulators more than 1,800 times. “In 2015, DHS implemented a new policy that required all of its law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using a cell-tower simulator…. after Congress expressed concern that DHS was using non-disclosure agreements to impede oversight over how it uses the devices.”

Google has reportedly been collecting Android phone user’s location data, even when owners disable location tracking. “Even devices that had been reset to factory default settings and apps, with location services disabled, were observed by Quartz sending nearby cell-tower addresses to Google.”

Puerto Rican funeral homes report far more deaths after Hurricane Maria than official death toll. “CNN surveyed 112 funeral homes across the US territory (about half) and funeral home directors identified 499 deaths they claimed were related to Hurricane Maria. That’s nine times the official death toll, which is 55.”

Eighth child reportedly killed by IKEA dresser. “The death of a California toddler, who was found trapped underneath an Ikea Malm dresser in May, has raised questions about whether Ikea has effectively spread the word about the recall, which was first announced in June 2016.”

Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic sentenced to life for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. “(The International Criminal Tribunal) found that Mladic “significantly contributed” to the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995, where more than 7,000 Bosniak men and boys were murdered, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.”   Still waiting for someone to charge George Bush for invading and occupying Iraq…

President of Zimbabwe steps down after 37 years in power. “This nation of 16 million people now faces a deeply uncertain period, with a fragmented opposition, no clear path to elections and a controversial heir to power, but the nation was at least momentarily united by the removal of its despotic leader.”   Demand free and fair elections now!

Hackers stole data on Uber’s customers and drivers, Uber employees reportedly paid them off and covered up the hack. “Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers.”

Secretary of State Tillerson removes Iraq, Afghanistan and Burma from list of countries using children as soldiers. “All (three) were included on an original list compiled by senior officials within the State Department and embassies around the world and passed along to Tillerson with the recommendation they be included.”

One killed, four injured after car chase. “A 3-year-old was killed Tuesday afternoon after a teenage driver lost control of his vehicle on South Main Street while fleeing Waterbury police, police said. The 18-year-old also struck three other pedestrians and another car, police said.”   No mention of what this teenager was wanted for that justified a high speed chase.

Sexual harassment scandal spreads to news media. “Glenn Thrush of The New York Times, Charlie Rose of CBS, author Mark Halperin, NBC’s Matthew Zimmerman, NPR’s Michael Oreskes, Vox’s Lockhart Steele, the New Republic’s Hamilton Fish and the Atlantic’s Leon Wieseltier have all been suspended or fired in the last month over varying degrees of alleged harassment or assault.”

Google executive says company will bury Russia-based news media in search results. “I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking.”

Sugar industry accused of manipulating health research. “Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the new report, said that even though the newly discovered documents are 50 years old, they are important because they point to a decades-long strategy to downplay the potential health effects of sugar consumption.”

FCC chairman proposes deregulating internet industry. “Relying more heavily on Internet providers’ own promises on net neutrality is a departure from the current rules, which lay out clear, federal bans against selectively blocking or slowing websites, as well as speeding up websites that agree to pay the providers a fee.”

Republican Party offers donors the chance to win a stay for two at… the Trump International Hotel. “Get an all-expenses paid trip and stay in Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. for a weekend of Christmas magic.”

FDA cracks down on imported prescription medication. “For years, bipartisan efforts in Congress to lower drug costs and allow Americans to import drugs from Canada and overseas have been thwarted by lobbying by drug companies and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a top drug industry trade organization.”

Trump says if you deny sexually harassing someone, it didn’t happen. “[Moore] denies it. Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at what is really going on, and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. You’re talking about … he said 40 years ago this did not happen.”

What about sexual harassment in prisons? “According to a 2012 Justice Department report, an estimated 200,000-plus people are sexually abused in U.S. detention centers every year, with nearly half of all reported instances citing prison guards or staff as the alleged abuser…”

iPhone X production workers reportedly included teenage interns obtaining “work experience”. “Apple and its supplier Foxconn allegedly employed teenaged Chinese students to assemble the iPhone X for up to 11 hours a day, according to a report Tuesday by the Financial Times.”

Journalists successfully bought Facebook rental ads that were hidden from black, Spanish-speaking and Muslim users. “ProPublica produced a similar investigation last year, in which they showed housing ads could be bought that target a white-only audience. In February, Facebook introduced new measures that they said would prohibit discriminatory ads.”

Gadsden, Alabama police were reportedly instructed to keep Roy Moore away from the high school cheerleaders. “Faye Gary, who for 37 years was an officer at the Gadsden Police Department, explained to Mitchell that Moore’s reputation for pursuing underage girls was widely known throughout the community.”

New York City police union tweets that campus it mistakenly believed had banned cops from using its restrooms maybe deserves something like a mass shooting. “Active shooters, acts of terrorism on campuses and now remove the police. Maybe it’s time people get what they ask for.”

New nuclear arms race putting the world at peril, diverting resources. “Perry told Reuters that both the United States and Russia have upgraded their arsenals in ways that make the use of nuclear weapons likelier.”


November 22, 2017

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