March 18, 2018

Chinese leader re-elected unanimously. “The party’s People’s Daily hailed (Jinping) Xi’s unanimous re-election in an editorial on its WeChat account, using language once more associated with Mao Zedong to say he was a ‘leader loved and respected by the people’ and the ‘helmsman of the country’.”

Hacker Adrian Lamo dead at 37. “Lamo, who testified about (then Bradley) Manning’s release of documents to WikiLeaks, was confirmed dead on Friday by authorities in Sedgwick County (Kansas). The coroner’s office has not responded to inquiries about the cause of his death.”

Alabama sheriff reportedly made $750,000 in three years by saving money on feeding prisoners, gets to the keep the difference. “Alabama has a Depression-era law that allows sheriffs to “keep and retain” unspent money from jail food-provision accounts.”   No conflict of interest there!

Five Manhattan doctors charged with receiving huge kickbacks for prescribing opioid nasal spray to patients. “The sordid details were spelled out Friday in a federal indictment charging the quintet with collecting huge sham speaking fees as payback for over-prescribing a highly-addictive fentanyl spray.”

Black counter-protester beaten by white nationalists found non-guilty of assault. “(DeAndre) Harris maintained that he had been swinging at Crews’ flagpole, and ultimately, it was this argument Judge Robert Downer sided with, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove that Harris intended harm to Crews.”

Southwest Airlines allegedly boots family from plane after their frightened, small child acted up before takeoff. “…(the girl’s father) asked the (flight attendant) for a minute to calm her down she walked away and called people to remove him.”

National debt has reportedly increased by $1 trillion so far during Trump administration. “(The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget) calculated that with December’s tax cuts and January’s budget-busting spending deal, Mr. Trump has already signed legislation that will add at least $2.4 trillion to the debt in the next decade and, should Congress make those policies permanent, could add as much as $6 trillion.”

Prisoner at San Luis Obispo County Jail in California died after 46 hours in restraining chair. “A video released yesterday has contradicted county officials’ versions of events leading up to (Andrew Holland’s) death in January 2017.”

Turkish forces accused of bombing Syrian hospital. “The humanitarian catastrophe in Syria deepened after an airstrike on a hospital in Afrin left sixteen people dead including two pregnant women, as thousands fled the city.”

Researcher accused of passing Facebook data to political consultants. “All told, the Times says Kogan handed over more than 50 million profiles to Cambridge Analytica, including information from app users’ friends — who had never consented to forgoing their data. Around 30 million of those profiles contained enough information to build psychographic profiles, the newspaper says.”

No mention of climate change in disaster agency’s four-year forecast. “The new (FEMA) document doesn’t mention climate, global warming, sea-level rise, extreme weather, or any other terminology associated with scientific predictions of rising surface temperatures and their effects.”

Texas chemical plant explodes, Trump administration criticized for delaying risk management rules. “In June, Scott Pruitt, the man appointed by Trump to run the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delayed implementation of the Chemical Disaster Rule until February 2019.”

Bernie Sanders accuses media of not covering the country’s transition into an oligarchy. “We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns America, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many Americans living in poverty?”

Not My Dog. Family who shipped German Shepherd on airline gets Great Dane instead. “United said in a statement that the dogs were somehow put on the wrong flights during a connecting flight in Denver.”

Canadians and Britons accused of meddling in 2016 election and violating federal ban on foreign agents managing campaigns. “It was clear that as a company largely run and staffed by Britons and Canadians, apart from Bannon and Mercer at the top, Cambridge Analytica – which was to go on to work on Donald’s Trump presidential election campaign – had a looming problem.”

Whistle-blower claims Cambridge Analytica’s methods were based on military psychological warfare programs. “When (Christopher Wylie) turned up at SCL’s offices in Mayfair, he had no clue that he was walking into the middle of a nexus of defence and intelligence projects, private contractors and cutting-edge cyberweaponry.”

Congressman Paul Ryan reportedly sold bank shares after 2008 confidential meeting on possible banking crisis. “Public records show that on the same day as the meeting, Ryan sold stock in troubled banks including Wachovia and Citigroup and bought shares in Goldman Sachs…”

Assassinated Brazilian politician, Marielle Franco, was anti-police brutality activist. “Investigators reportedly determined that the bullet casings found at the crime scene had been purchased by the Federal Police in 2006.”   Massive crowd turns out to protest killing. “… tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Rio de Janeiro Thursday to protest the apparent assassination of 38-year-old city council member and human rights activist Marielle Franco.”

Australian man fined for using valid fare chip implanted in his hand instead of actual transit card. “The 34-year-old was convicted, fined $220 and ordered to pay costs of $1,000 for attempting to travel without a ticket.”   “…this is the next evolution… from paper tickets to Opal cards to something which… we don’t have to actually carry… at all.”  He paid his fare but got a huge fine anyway – good work Sydney!

Sacramento County, California deputies accused of accessing bank accounts of elderly woman with dementia, sending her to the Philippines. “… (Rosalie) Achiu’s house was listed for sale, several withdrawals were made from her bank accounts and one deputy opened a joint bank account with Achiu, the attorney said. The deputies also accompanied Achiu to her bank and had it drill out the locks of her safe deposit box.”

District attorney says $10,000 donation from police union during investigation did not influence her decision not to prosecute officers over slaying. “Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley accepted a $10,000 campaign donation from the Fremont police union just months before her office cleared Fremont police officers of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of (unarmed) pregnant teen, Elena Mondragon.”

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review rules that citizens have a right to request the court’s secret findings, but may not actually get them. ACLU spokesperson says, “We look forward to finally being able to make our case that the public has a right to see important court decisions concerning the legality of the government’s expansive surveillance activities.”

Veterans and peace activists travel to Vietnam to mark 50th anniversary of My Lai  (me-lie) massacre. “Some scholars estimate as many as 3.8 million Vietnamese died during the war. Up to 800,000 perished in Cambodia, another 1 million in Laos.”

An estimated 1 million students participate in walk out to protest gun violence. “In a historic day of action, more than a million students from over 3,000 schools walked out of classes to protest gun violence on Wednesday.”

Lawsuit alleges Escambia County, Florida deputies used excessive force when they tasered mentally ill man repeatedly during arrest, leading to his death. “(Cody) Healey then went into cardiac arrest and was taken to Baptist Hospital, where he was put on life support in the Intensive Care Unit.”

Lawsuit claims Mississippi man was shot three times during police chase, mauled by dog because officers mistakenly assumed he was trying to evade a police “checkpoint”. “Deputies started their pursuit because they believed (Robert) Salley was avoiding the roadblock.”

Yankton, South Dakota police officer accused of injuring several citizens during encounters over minor violations. “‘He threw me into the brick wall and tackled me to the ground.’… Collin Bertram was cited for underage drinking.”


March 18, 2018

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