February 23, 2018

Armed “school resource officer” alleged to have not intervene in Parkland shooting, but six deputies are reportedly guarding his home. “Peterson, who was armed and in uniform at the time, reportedly did “nothing” and remained outside of the building for at least four minutes during the incident, according to (Sheriff Scott) Israel.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/parkland-shooting-officer-resigns-deputies-sent-to-protect-his-family-2018-2   Trump thinks he has a better idea – arming teachers, but teachers’ union says maybe not. “We want to teach. We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters…”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/22/politics/donald-trump-gun-reforms-school-shooting/index.html   How about more school counselors?   Code Pink suggests banning the military’s  JROTC program from schools since Nikolas Cruz was a member. “It’s time to stop the militarization of our children and end the JROTC program.”   http://www.codepink.org/jrotc

Federal citizenship agency changes its motto. “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is changing its mission statement to eliminate a passage that describes the U.S. as ‘a nation of immigrants’.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/22/588097749/america-no-longer-a-nation-of-immigrants-uscis-says

State Department to play down lack of access to contraception and discrimination in its global human rights report. “Unmet needs for contraception, deaths related to unsafe abortion, maternal mortality, and coercive family planning practices” in India were all included in last year’s report (but) are expected to be stripped from the upcoming document.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/22/rights-advocates-decry-unconscionable-state-dept-decision-cut-womens-rights-annual-0

EU fines auto shipping and spark plug companies for running cartels. “The three (auto parts) companies exchanged commercially sensitive information and in some instances agreed on the prices to be quoted to certain customers, the share of supplies to specific customers and the respect of historical supply rights.”   https://www.eureporter.co/frontpage/2018/02/22/antitrust-commission-fines-maritime-car-carriers-and-car-parts-suppliers-a-total-of-e546-million-in-three-separate-cartel-settlements/

Philadelphia DA ends cash bail for minor, non-violent offenses. “There is absolutely no reason why someone who will show up for court, is not a flight risk and is no threat to their neighbors and community, needs to sit in jail for days because they can’t post a small amount of bail.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/22/latest-progressive-reform-philadelphia-da-ends-cash-bail-many-non-violent-offenses

Constituent thrown out of “tax reform” meeting after asking his Congressman how much money he has received from Koch groups. “… I want to know how much the Koch brothers are getting in tax cuts and how much they’re contributing to your campaign.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/21/activist-ejected-meeting-lawmaker-after-asking-how-much-money-hes-getting-koch

Mayors to EPA – don’t trash the Clean Power Plan. “In a letter addressed to Scott Pruitt, the Trump-appointed EPA administrator, 236 mayors from 47 states wrote, “We strongly oppose the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which would put our citizens at risk and harm our efforts to address the urgent threat of climate change.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/02/21/citing-urgent-threat-climate-crisis-236-us-mayors-denounce-trumps-attack-clean-power

House Speaker Ryan removes non-partisan Republican appointee from Election Assistance Commission, the agency responsible for helping states run fair, secure elections. “The four-member commission, originally founded to help states apply the lessons of the bungled 2000 presidential election, has taken on an increasingly prominent role in promoting security — to the consternation of some Republicans who say it has outlived its purpose.”   https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/22/paul-ryan-election-agency-replacement-matthew-masterson-422725

Syria accused of targeting health care facilities after 22 hospitals hit in eastern Ghouta. “Medics inside Ghouta claimed only three medical facilities remained fully operational and all were overwhelmed with mass casualties that continued to arrive throughout Thursday – the fifth day of a blitz by Russian and Syrian jets across the opposition enclave.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/22/eastern-ghouta-medical-crisis-as-hospitals-systematically-targeted

Freedom of speech under attack in Spain says artist Santiago Sierra, whose photos of Spanish political prisoners were removed from an art exhibition. “…Sierra said the Spanish government was “using the old repressive formulas of Grandfather Franco … The logic that led me to create this piece is the same logic that’s stopped this exhibition.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/22/madrid-mayor-boycotts-arco-art-fair-opening-censorship-row-political-prisoners

Republican Senator says impeachment of judges who threw out rigged election districts in Pennsylvania is on the table. “It’s unfortunate that the only way the Republican Party can win elections is to dismantle democracy, relying on unconstitutional gerrymandering and calling for the impeachment of judges that have been elected by the voters of Pennsylvania.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/02/22/toomey-pennsylvania-gerrymandered-map/

Democratic candidate in New York race used to work for company that sold spyware to the government. “Documents, uncovered by the ACLU of California through a public records investigation of social media monitoring software, show that Dataminr monitored tweets mentioning Black Lives Matter on behalf of the JRIC (fusion center).”   https://theintercept.com/2018/02/22/patrick-ryan-congress-berico-dataminr/

Philippine senator says the 20,000 killed since President Duterte took office are victims of his campaign against drugs. “While the country continues to laugh at the lewd jokes of Duterte, more than 20,000 of our countrymen have been killed.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/dutertes-government-reported-20000-dead-drug-war-senator-calls-killings-executions-2656606

Amnesty International slams world leaders for “hate-filled rhetoric”. “From U.S. President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, to Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing campaign, the world has spent the past year coping with discriminatory policies, atrocities, and hate-filled rhetoric from leaders, Amnesty International says in its latest State of the World’s Human Rights report, launched today.”   http://time.com/5167995/amnesty-2018-state-of-worlds-human-rights-report/

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February 23, 2018

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