March 19, 2018

Vladimir Putin re-elected, Communist Party candidate accuses government of election fraud. “The Communist party’s candidate Pavel Grudinin came a very distant second with around 12 percent. Afterwards, he called it the “filthiest” election in recent times.”   http://www.euronews.com/2018/03/19/russia-s-communist-party-candidate-pavel-grudinin-who-came-a-distant-second-calls-it   You know it’s got to be bad if a Leninist party complains about unfair elections!

Turkish coalition forces take Syrian, Kurdish-majority city of Afrin. “The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says nearly 200,000 people have fled the Afrin region in recent days, and cites witnesses who say intense clashes between Turkish-backed forces and YPG Syrian Kurdish fighters are ongoing.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/18/594690169/turkish-forces-seize-syrian-city-of-afrin   British volunteer killed during attack. “Friends of Ms. (Anna) Campbell in Syria told the BBC she was killed by Turkish airstrikes, describing her as a feminist with ‘sincerity and courage’ who wanted to fight for women’s liberation in the Middle East.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43453292   Turkish coalition forces accused of looting the city. “AFP news agency journalists in Afrin also saw rebels break into shops, restaurants and houses, and leave with food, electronic equipment, blankets and other goods. They were then transported out of the city.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43457214

High school staff wanted Nikolas Cruz to undergo involuntary mental health evaluation, but their recommendation was not acted on. “Ex-Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson and two school counselors recommended in September 2016 that the 19-year-old Cruz should forcibly undergo a mental health evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act, documents obtained by the Associated Press show.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/school-officials-recommended-nikolas-cruz-committed-article-1.3882425

Unclear if Trump’s proposed death penalty for opioid trafficking will apply to doctors and pharmaceutical companies. “The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when appropriate under current law.”   https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/18/opioid-death-penalty-heroin-trump-423902

Democratic city councilman apologizes for floating theory that Jews control the weather. “I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” (Washington, D.C.) Councilman Trayon White Sr. (D) said in a statement to The Washington Post.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/379056-dc-councilman-apologizes-for-promoting-conspiracy-theory-that

Actor claims that United Airlines flight crew cracked jokes about dogs in the overhead storage bins during his flight. “In the wake of the dog’s death, Division Chief Carvana Cloud confirmed in a statement provided to PEOPLE that the Animal Cruelty Division of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas was partnering with the Animal Cruelty Taskforce to launch an investigation into the dog’s death.”   http://people.com/pets/graham-mctavish-says-united-airlines-employees-jokes-about-dog-in-overhead-bin/

After fourth Austin bomb blast, authorities have not released the races of the two male victims in their 20s. “(Police Chief Brian) Manley originally suggested they could have been hate crimes since all the victims were black or Hispanic, but now says that investigators aren’t ruling out any possible motive.”   http://time.com/5205002/austin-texas-explosion-injured/

Los Angeles County DA criticized for not charging officer in fatal shooting of unarmed homeless man, Brendon Glenn. “Her decision illustrates how even at a time of intense nationwide scrutiny of police officers and calls to hold them more accountable for using deadly force, it remains extremely rare to prosecute officers for on-duty shootings.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-lacey-police-shooting-20180318-story.html

 Los Angeles neighborhoods banning RV parking street by street to keep away the homeless. “Facing complaints about trash, clogged roads and other hazards, the city has banned them from remaining overnight on street after street, but has often ended up merely moving the problem.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rv-homeless-20180317-story.html
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Bernie Sanders says war is not the answer. “People in…the United States, and all over the world are sick and tired of spending billions and billions of dollars on nuclear weapons, war planes, missiles, bombs, and tanks.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/18/callforpeace-address-sanders-denounces-endless-war-and-rise-oligarchy   Then why did you endorse Hillary Clinton instead of running with Jill Stein?
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Water protectors stand up to Kinder Morgan and the Canadian government, vow to stop tar sand pipeline. “I’m standing up for Indigenous rights, for clean water, and for a safe, liveable climate and look forward to doing so alongside the ever growing movement against this dangerous pipeline.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/03/17/we-must-protect-water-indigenous-leaders-stage-sit-protest-kinder-morgan-pipeline
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Intelligence agency wants to use your social media photos to find their enemies. “The Finder program seeks to fill in the gaps in photo and video geolocation by developing technologies that build on analysts’ own geolocation skills, taking in images from diverse, publicly available sources to identify elements of terrain or the visible skyline.”   https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/03/us-spy-lab-hopes-to-geotag-every-outdoor-photo-on-social-media/
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River water in Mosul reportedly contaminated by ‘thousands’ of decaying corpses. “We all drink from this water and it is full of bodies. There are a few here, but if you go up the river, there are a thousand there, even more than that, including children, women and elderly.”   http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/170320182   “Data provided by some media outlets and international organizations put the death toll among civilians at 45,000.”
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139 protesters calling for release of arrested opposition leaders arrested in Maldives. “Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has extended the state of emergency for 30 days through March 22 after declaring it on Feb. 5 following an order by the Supreme Court for nine opposition leaders to be released.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/maldives-police-arrest-139-opposition-protesters-under-emergency-201123784.html
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Catalan leader accuses European countries of ignoring imprisonment of her colleagues. “Clara Ponsati, an ex-minister in the Catalan government, claimed her former colleagues were being used as ‘hostages’ by Madrid to ‘blackmail’ the movement ‘into surrender’.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/clara-ponsati-exiled-catalan-minister-eu-spain-separatist-hostages-a8256466.html
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March 19, 2018

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