Senate Russia election tampering investigation targets Green and possibly Libertarian presidential candidates. “Trainor said he believes the committee is primarily interested in Stein’s appearances on RT, ‘vilifying anyone who’s ever appeared on or talked with anyone on the RT network’.” https://www.buzzfeed.com/emmaloop/the-senates-russia-investigation-is-now-looking-into-jill Already barred from presidential debates, do the two major parties want them out of the news too?
Trump says he wants to devote more resources to building up America, while also boosting military spending. “Our leaders engaged in nation-building abroad, while they failed to build up and replenish our nation at home. They undercut and shortchanged our men and women in uniform with inadequate resources, unstable funding, and unclear missions.” https://nypost.com/2017/12/18/trump-slams-predecessors-for-weakening-military-economy/ FACT CHECK! The U.S. spends more on its military than the next eight countries COMBINED. https://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0053_defense-comparison If Trump were sincere, he’d be spending more of that money on infrastructure, education, health care, affordable housing, etc. instead of on projecting U.S. power abroad.
Trump’s national security plan unlikely to be realized. “The president tasks his team with developing an approach; they pursue a serious and rigorous process that takes into account a broad range of expertise from across the U.S. government; and then Trump interjects, undercutting the entire plan either because of politics, his obsession with tearing down what President Barack Obama built or what he most recently saw on Fox & Friends.” https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/trumps-national-security-plan-is-pure-fantasy/
Trump drinks cup of water with two hands during national security speech, sparking laughter and concern. “To be clear, Trump doesn’t drink alcohol, so drunkenness was not the explanation for his odd water-drinking method.” https://www.bustle.com/p/these-trump-drinking-water-memes-will-have-you-wondering-does-he-need-a-sippy-cup-7630457
Disclosure on the sly? Former director of secret Pentagon UFO office goes public. “These aircraft — we’ll call them aircraft — are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the US inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of,” (Luis) Elizondo said of objects they researched.” https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/18/politics/luis-elizondo-ufo-pentagon/index.html Disclosure of a highly classified, black budget government program’s secrets to the news media? No problem!
Conservative Supreme Court justices spar over whether your cell phone data belongs to you or to the phone company. “The government insists that this warrantless search (of Timothy Carpenter’s cell phone data) did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights because, in the words of the Supreme Court’s 1979 ruling in Smith v. Maryland, “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.” In other words, Carpenter has no Fourth Amendment right to privacy in his cellphone records because he voluntarily used his cellphone, thus voluntarily disclosing his location to the various cellphone towers that handled his calls.” https://reason.com/blog/2017/12/15/justices-alito-and-gorsuch-clash-over-ce Sure, and you have no right to privacy when you mail a letter either, because you are voluntarily handing your letter over to the Post Office! (Actually, they do keep records of every “to” and “from” address of every letter mailed in the U.S.) “The system tracks names, addresses, return addresses and postmark locations, an expert told the New York Times, explaining that it effectively maps out an individual’s network of contacts for the federal government.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356571/US-Postal-Service-tracking-mail-sent-country–just-like-NSAs-PRISM-spying.html Seeing a psychiatrist? If you voluntary turn over personal information during your session, can the doctor’s notes can be turned over without a warrant, because you voluntarily supplied the information to a business?
Minneapolis police trying to prevent suspect from injuring himself shoot him instead. “The man ‘began injuring himself with an edged weapon,’ Arradondo said. After trying to subdue the man, ‘officers discharged their weapons’.” http://www.startribune.com/breaking-shooting-inside-minneapolis-city-hall-injures-one/465054493/
Verdict in J20 trial will determine if protesters can be convicted for participating in the same demonstration as other protesters. “The prosecution’s novel theory of group liability — in which anyone in proximity to criminal behavior during a protest can be held liable for those crimes — is a grave threat to the First Amendment, the right to assemble, and the right to protest, according to civil rights advocates.” https://theintercept.com/2017/12/17/j20-inauguration-protest-trump-riot-first-amendment/
Bernie Sanders says reversal of corporate tax cut likely if Republican lose control of House and Senate after 2018 elections. “‘Absolutely, yes. In my view, absolutely,’ Sanders told host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation” when asked if corporate rates would have to go back up.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/17/claw-back-gop-tax-giveaway-corporations-if-dems-win-back-congress-sanders-says
Top 5% and foreign investors main beneficiaries of Republican tax bill. “The corporate tax cut will mainly benefit those who own shares in American corporations. While some middle-income people own shares, most are owned by high-income Americans and foreign investors.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/17/analysis-shows-more-half-total-trump-gop-tax-plan-benefits-go-richest-5
U.N. votes 14 -1 for U.S. to rescind recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “A UN security council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been backed by every council member except the US, which used its veto.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/18/us-outnumbered-14-to-1-as-it-vetoes-un-vote-on-status-of-jerusalem
Palestinian activist has been arrested by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. “He said that despite arresting him for a social media post about Palestinian politics, during his days of interrogation, Palestinian security forces were more interested in his anti-occupation activism.” https://theintercept.com/2017/12/18/palestinian-authority-cyber-crimes-law-dissent-issa-amro/
Pasadena, California cops bloody face of black suspect arrested for missing front license plate and tinted windows and break his leg after he asks for a police commander. “The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has decided not to press any charges against Ballew.” http://www.ibtimes.com/body-cam-video-police-braking-mans-leg-causes-stir-2629883
93 year-old Eustis, Florida woman evicted by police for being unable to pay her rent. “She spent (two) nights in jail on trespassing charges when she refused to leave her apartment after being evicted.” http://www.ibtimes.com/police-body-cam-video-shows-93-year-old-florida-woman-rejecting-eviction-2628711
Video appears to show LA police officers planting drugs in suspect’s wallet. “During the arrest, officers claimed they discovered cocaine in Shield’s shirt pocket.” http://www.ibtimes.com/bodycam-footage-shows-lapd-officer-allegedly-planting-drugs-suspect-2613606
Honduras in turmoil after incumbent president declares victory. “Hernandez, 49, stood for re-election against Nasralla, the candidate of the leftist Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, despite a constitutional ban on presidents having more than one term.” https://www.yahoo.com/news/honduran-president-declared-winner-disputed-poll-005529347.html
South Korean jets intercept Chinese aircraft over disputed islands. “The (South Korean defense zone) over the island overlaps with China and Japan’s air defence zones.” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/south-korea-china-fighter-jets-conflict-airspace-territory-north-southeast-asia-a8116036.html
Israeli official threatens to punish German protesters who burned country’s flag. “The message of this article goes out to all those in Germany, who think they can burn a Star of David in public without punishment. WE know WHO you are, WHERE you are, and HOW to bring YOU to justice. Live in fear!” https://972mag.com/israeli-official-threatens-german-activists-we-know-who-you-are/131672/
Judge suggests that journalists who cover riots are not protected from prosecution unless then can prove they are not promoting disorder through their reporting. “(Alexei Wood) played a role that furthered the purposes both of the conspiracy and of the riot itself, which was to advertise it, to broadcast it, to live-stream it such that other could be recruited to join in.” https://fair.org/home/judge-tells-jury-informing-public-may-be-criminal-conspiracy/ “Five Colonists Killed by British Soldiers”
U.N. official says Myanmar’s leaders may face genocide charges over Rohingya massacres. “Given the scale of the military operation, clearly, these would have to be decisions taken at a high-enough level. And then there’s the crime of omission, that if you—it came to your knowledge that this was being committed and you did nothing to stop it, then you could be culpable, as well, for that.” https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/18/headlines/un_human_rights_chief_aung_san_suu_kyi_could_face_genocide_charges