April 30, 2018

CIA and FBI get another extension from Trump administration on JFK assassination documents. “On Thursday Trump gave the agencies until Oct. 26, 2021, to fully lift the veil of secrecy – almost 58 years after the events in Dallas.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article209906954.html

Millions of teachers not covered by Social Security. “Fifteen states do not offer all of their teachers Social Security coverage, and that means about 40 percent of the workforce is not covered.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/04/20/602846417/why-more-than-a-million-teachers-cant-use-social-security

Woman in Georgia nursing home dies after being ‘eaten alive’ by mites. “I would seriously consider calling this a homicide by neglect.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5666551/Former-model-93-left-eaten-alive-scabies-home.html

Police militarization: Maine cops in camouflage yank handcuffed suspect’s head up by his hair for arrest photo. “At the time of his arrest the team needed to confirm his identity with Unified Command.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/04/28/suspect-in-shooting-death-of-maine-officer-arrested-after-days-long-manhunt/

Britain’s Home Secretary resigns after memo mentioning deportation targets emerges. “Those affected belong to the ‘Windrush generation’, named for the ship Empire Windrush, which in 1948 brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to Britain, which was seeking nurses, railway workers and others to help it rebuild after the devastation of World War II.”   http://time.com/5259236/british-uk-amber-rudd-resignation-may-immigration-windrush/   Thanks for all your help!

New Justice Department handbook for prosecutors omits lines about the importance of a free press and public trials. “The updated media contacts policy includes language about balancing ‘the right of the public to have access to information about the Department of Justice’ with other factors in deciding whether to release information.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/the-justice-department-deleted-language-about-press-freedom

Days of protests in Spain after judge charges gang rape suspects with lesser crime of sexual abuse. “Under Spanish law, the lesser charge of sexual abuse differs from rape in that it does not involve violence or intimidation.”   http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-29/27the-pack27-gang-rape-verdicts-spur-third-day-of-pamplona-pr/9708232   They were still sentenced to 9 years in prison though.

Amnesty International calls for arms embargo on Israel. “Despite international condemnation, the Israeli army has not retracted its illegal orders to shoot unarmed demonstrators.”   https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Amnesty-International-renews-call-for-arms-embargo-against-Israel-552986

Westworld characters hint at the park’s true purpose. “In essence, William has sketched out a vision of Westworld as a flesh-and-blood internet, where private information isn’t quite as private as one might think…”   https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/westworld-recap-season-2-episode-2-explained-1101684

67% of respondents tell pollsters that the U.S. is run on behalf of ‘a few big interests’. “Just 21 percent say the government is run for the benefit of all.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/27/recognizing-powerful-interests-running-joint-more-75-americans-back-campaign-finance

Tree gifted to U.S. by French president Macron and featured in ceremony at White House has been removed. “The tree came from Belleau Wood, north-east of Paris, where 1,811 Americans died in a ferocious battle in June 1918.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/29/white-house-tree-trump-macron-vanished

John Bolton touts ‘Libya model’ for North Korea de-nuclearization, apparently oblivious to what he is actually suggesting. “Eight years after Gaddafi (abolished his nuclear weapons program), he was overthrown by rebels with the backing of NATO.”    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/john-bolton-undermines-north-korea-denuclearization-calling-libya-model-led-gaddafis-death/

As supply of farm labor dwindles due to deportations, Trump pitches ‘guest worker’ program to his supporters. “The employment picture is so good, so strong, that we have to let people in.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/watch-trump-declares-unemployment-problem-solved-announces-plan-let-low-skill-guest-workers/

Montgomery, Alabama newspaper apologizes for past coverage of lynchings. “The Advertiser was careless in how it covered mob violence and the terror foisted upon African-Americans from Reconstruction through the 1950s. We dehumanized human beings. Too often we characterized lynching victims as guilty before proven so and often assumed they committed the crime.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/alabama-newspaper-apologizes-past-coverage-lynchings-must-never-wrong/

 

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April 30, 2018

April 28, 2018

ICE sometimes jails and even deports U.S. citizens, one man held for more than 3 years before being released. “Since 2012, ICE has released from its custody more than 1,480 people after investigating their citizenship claims, according to agency figures.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-citizens-ice-20180427-htmlstory.html

Investigators hunting ‘Golden State Killer’ may have misused commercial genealogy website. “Users uploading genetic data into the GEDMatch website currently have to click on a button saying that the DNA is theirs ‘or the DNA of a person for whom you are a legal guardian or have obtained authorization’.”   https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611038/investigators-searched-a-million-peoples-dna-to-find-golden-state-serial-killer/

Handcuffed, black suspect choked unconscious by white Henry County, Georgia police officer. “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/desmond-marrow-arrest-video_us_5ae3833ce4b02baed1ba3cc5

Lawsuit claims American Airlines’ decision not to divert a flight, combined with the plane’s non-functioning emergency equipment, led to the death of a 25 year-old passenger. “The lawsuit alleges that the doctor on the flight told the crew they needed to immediately divert the plane to the nearest airport so that Oswell could receive proper medical care. But… the pilots chose not to follow the doctor’s request, according to the lawsuit.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/american-airlines-sued-passenger-suffered-midflight-emergency-dies/story?id=54759312

Paul Ryan accused of firing House chaplain over tax reform prayer. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paul-ryan-house-chaplain-tax-bill_us_5ae22593e4b02baed1b83cf6

Spy for corporate intelligence firm claims he became a double agent. “For several years, K2 Intelligence, an investigative firm based in New York, paid him to represent himself as a crusading documentary filmmaker and to spy on activists campaigning to ban the use of asbestos, the dangerous construction material.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/business/corporate-spy-double-agent.html

Europe bans almost all outdoor use of bee-killing pesticides widely used elsewhere. “Member states have voted in favor of an almost complete ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides across the EU.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43910536

Federal appeals court upholds Texas law requiring government issued ID to vote. “The (Texas) Legislature… loosened the restrictions last year by passing a new law, known as Senate Bill 5, that allowed voters who lacked one of the seven approved forms of ID to cast a ballot if they signed an affidavit stating why they could not obtain an approved ID. Those voters must show an alternative form of identification…”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/us/texas-voter-id.html   I’m sure there are many voters who COULD obtain a government issued ID, but what if they just don’t want to?

Photos show Mike Pompeo shaking hands with Kim Jong-un. “The photographs were taken during the visit of Pompeo, then the CIA director, to Pyongyang over Easter.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/26/mike-pompeo-trump-secretary-of-state-senate

Bill Cosby found guilty of sexual assault. “Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former basketball player who was 30 years old at the time of the alleged incident.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/bill-cosby-guilty-trial-sexual-assault

Three more killed, hundreds more wounded by Israeli troops during another round of Gaza border protests. “The Gaza health ministry said 200 people were wounded by gunfire, including a Palestinian journalist who was hit in the foot by a bullet.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/27/three-dead-and-hundreds-injured-as-israeli-troops-open-fire-on-gaza-border

Arizona and Colorado teachers strikes enter second day. “Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Friday announced a deal with state legislative leaders to raise teachers’ pay 20 percent by 2020, as educators stayed away from classrooms a second straight day in a spreading revolt over salaries and school funding.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/arizona-governor-announces-deal-raise-teacher-pay-second-day-walkout/

Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign about “adoptions” now admits she has ties to the Russian government. “Since 2013, I have been actively communicating with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/us/natalya-veselnitskaya-trump-tower-russian-prosecutor-general.html

Defense industry claims it needs 5% annual growth to operate efficiently. “The American defense-industrial base needs Pentagon budgets to grow at least 5 percent per year to remain healthy and stable, the industry’s leading trade group said in a report released Wednesday.”   https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2018/04/25/defense-industry-needs-5-percent-annual-budget-growth-to-stay-healthy-says-new-aia-report/   Yeah, and I need a Ferrari. You guys are why we can’t have nice things like national health insurance and affordable college tuition.

U.N. human rights official calls violence against Gaza protesters ‘excessive’.  “The loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators – not once, not twice, but repeatedly.”   https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/UN-human-rights-chief-decries-Israels-use-of-excessive-force-in-Gaza-552888

Court orders National Weather Service to rehire Chinese-American hydrologist, with back pay. “…(Sherry) Chen is among a string of scientists and researchers of Asian descent who have been wrongly accused of espionage, including Chinese-American professor Xiaoxing Xi, Eli Lilly scientists Guoqing Cao and Shuyu Li, and NASA contract worker Bo Jiang.”   https://sg.news.yahoo.com/chinese-american-scientist-wrongly-accused-220515364.html

 

 

April 28, 2018

April 26, 2018

Mike Pompeo accused of failing to disclose business deals with companies controlled by Chinese government. “Documents seen by HuffPost Wednesday show that Sentry International, a Kansas company where Pompeo served as president, imported products from two subsidiaries of the state-owned oil company China National Petroleum Corporation.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mike-pompeo-chinese-ties-disclosure_us_5ae10e97e4b04aa23f1f0103

Federal civil rights prosecutors want to charge police officer who used choke hold on Eric Garner. “Eric Garner died in 2014 after (Officer) Pantaleo choked him to death during an encounter where Garner was believed to be selling untaxed cigarettes.”   https://lawandcrime.com/civil-rights/civil-rights-prosecutors-want-to-indict-eric-garners-killer-the-trump-admin-wont-let-them/

Trump supporter’s attorney claims his client was persecuted for his religious beliefs when he was thrown out of a New York City bar for wearing a Trump hat, judge doesn’t buy it. “How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?”   https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/25/bars-can-legally-kick-out-trump-supporters-judge-r/

Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower claims one of Steve Bannon’s goals was suppressing progressive voter turnout. “If by (disengagement) you mean discouraging particular types of voters who are more prone to voting for Democratic or liberal candidates, if that’s what you mean by that term, then yes.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/25/cambridge-analytica-whistleblower-steve-bannon-used-data/552067002/

Malaysian authorities release photo of one of the alleged assassins of Palestinian professor. “On Saturday, as he walked outside his apartment building in suburban Kuala Lumpur, (Fadi al-Batsh) was gunned down in a hail of at least 14 bullets by two men on a motorcycle.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/world/asia/hamas-mossad-malaysia.html

More Turkish journalists sentenced to prison. “Fourteen of the defendants, who work for Cumhuriyet, one of Turkey’s oldest newspapers, were given sentences of up to 7 1/2 years.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-turkish-court-journalists-prison-20180425-story.html

Former California police officer accused of long string of rapes and murders. “Based on DNA evidence, law enforcement officials said Wednesday they believe (Joseph) DeAngelo is the notorious East Area Rapist in Sacramento County and the Golden State Killer in Southern California, a mysterious, deft and unusually cruel serial assailant who allegedly raped as many as four dozen women and murdered a dozen people.”   http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article209792989.html

Department of Housing and Urban Development proposes tripling rents of its poorest clients. “The cap on rent for the poorest families would rise to about $150 a month — three times higher than the existing $50 ceiling.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/25/hud-secretary-ben-carson-to-propose-raising-rent-for-low-income-americans-receiving-federal-housing-subsidies/

Police commissioner (a former Hillary Clinton fundraiser) resigns after video shows her trying to intervene in a traffic stop involving her daughter. “I’m just telling you who I am.”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/you-may-shut-the-f-up-dashcam-vindicates-cops-confronting-corruption/

Judge releases video of 2014 police shooting in which a Wendy’s robber and ‘Cops’ TV series sound man were killed in a hail of police gunfire. “It later turned out that the weapon Washington had was an Airsoft pellet gun.”   http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/480889421.html   The video can be seen here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=141&v=UTgF7r7ApH8

Ford announces plan to sell only one model of car, the Mustang, in the United States, all of its other vehicles will be crossovers, SUVs or trucks. “With the exception of extreme performance or fuel efficiency, there really is no downside to owning a utility vehicle, and there are many advantages in terms of functionality, flexibility and safety.”   https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/ford/2018/04/25/ford-cutting-car-lineup-earnings/34244867/   I’m looking into my crystal ball and seeing a replay of the 1970s – everyone is buying gas guzzlers and then suddenly the price of gas skyrockets. Since no small cars are being made in the U.S., huge numbers of foreign cars are imported, and U.S. auto workers start losing their jobs.

Fewer parents getting married. “About one-quarter of parents living with a child in America in 2018 are unmarried, up from 7% five decades ago, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released Wednesday.”   https://www.marketwatch.com/story/single-motherhood-in-america-declines-as-unmarried-cohabiting-parents-soar-2018-04-26

New Castle, Pennsylvania police officer on leave after after video of him bashing suspect’s head into the floor goes viral. “A photo of the scene, after the arrest, shows the blood splattered floor where the man’s head had split open during the attack.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5656345/Appalling-video-shows-police-officer-violently-smashing-suspects-face-ground-arrest.html

U.S. drops to 45th in the world in ‘freedom of the press’ ranking. “When foreign leaders see the U.S. president denounce the media on a regular basis, it gives them free rein to do the same.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/25/under-media-bashing-trump-us-falls-even-further-global-press-freedom-index

EPA unveils new rule that bans use of studies with confidential data for policy-making. “The new policy mandates that the EPA only rely on studies with data that is publicly available, which significantly limits what scientific research the agency can use because so many reports include personal health and proprietary information that must remain confidential.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/25/pruitt-unveils-another-brazen-attack-science-polluter-friendly-rule-change

Man from Qatar claims he was tortured by the FBI after being accused of belonging to al-Qaida after 9/11 attacks. “He alleges that on 11 March 2004 he was “dry-boarded” – socks stuffed down his throat and tape wrapped round his head as he sat shackled to the floor. “I was choking, I was dying,” he said.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/25/september-11-terrorist-held-for-over-a-decade-calls-for-fbi-to-be-held-accountable

America’s hidden history of racial terror. “The end of Reconstruction ushered in a widespread campaign of racial terror and oppression against newly freed black Americans, of which lynching was a cornerstone.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/26/lynchings-memorial-us-south-montgomery-alabama

Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, has beheaded 48 people so far in 2018. “(Human Rights Watch) said Saudi Arabia had carried out nearly 600 executions since the beginning of 2014, more than a third of them in drug cases.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/saudi-arabia-criticised-over-executions-for-drug-offences

An estimated 2.5 million Latin Americans have been murdered since 2000. “One-quarter of all global homicides are concentrated in four countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela…”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/26/latin-america-murder-crisis-violence-homicide-report

“Incel” movement started out as a one-woman effort to create a support group for lonely people. “The aim was to create an inclusive community, embracing those whose sex lives had been marginalised for reasons ranging from rigid gender norms to mental illness or social awkwardness.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/25/woman-who-invented-incel-movement-interview-toronto-attack

Democratic Party leader recorded urging progressive candidate to drop out of Colorado primary race. “The decision, (Levi) Tillemann was told, had been made long ago. It wasn’t personal, (Steny) Hoyer insisted, and there was nothing uniquely unfair being done to Tillemann, he explained: This is how the party does it everywhere.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/steny-hoyer-audio-levi-tillemann/

Senate Intelligence Committee requests records of Green Party’s internal foreign policy discussions, Jill Stein campaign says that has nothing to do with Russian interference in the election. “The (Stein campaign’s response) letter says that if the investigators are interested in the campaign’s foreign policy plans, the Stein campaign is providing material related to those and there is also additional material available publicly on the internet.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/russia-jill-stein-senate-intelligence/

Sacramento County’s district attorney has reportedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars from law enforcement groups over the course of her political career. “The Intercept identified at least 15 different law enforcement-related contributions, totaling more than $150,000, including loans, in support of (Anne Marie) Schubert’s 2014 bid to become district attorney.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/25/stephon-clark-police-shooting-district-attorney/

Trump’s revelations during Fox & Friends phone interview raise eyebrows. “In the most stunning part of the interview, Trump said that most of Cohen’s work isn’t as an attorney, but as a private businessman. Trump also said he had “nothing” to do with Cohen’s private business interests and claimed that Cohen only performs a “tiny little fraction” of the legal work done on his behalf.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/trump-just-gave-batsht-crazy-fox-news-interview-6-bonkers-moments/

Amnesty International says families of IS members face discrimination in Iraq. “In Iraq, women accused of having ties to ISIS are facing widespread human rights violations inside Iraqi refugee camps, including being denied food and healthcare, facing sexual exploitation and being refused identification cards that would allow them to travel, work and enroll their children in school.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/4/25/headlines/amnesty_iraqi_women_with_perceived_ties_to_isis_face_collective_punishment

 

April 26, 2018

April 25, 2018

California ballot proposal for independence from the U.S. (also known as Calexit) is approved by state election officials. “Those in favor of secession have to meet an October deadline to collect 365,880 signatures from registered voters in order to put the measure on the ballot.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/384662-california-secession-movement-gets-cleared-to-begin-collecting

Man suspected in Toronto van attack may have targeted women, social media post links him to group of ‘rejected’ males. “The Facebook posting by Mr. Minassian praised ‘incels’, or involuntary celibates, a term used in a (now banned, 40,000 member) Reddit group where men vented frustrations that tipped into misogyny.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/world/canada/toronto-van-rampage.html

Waffle House shooting suspect showed clear signs of mental instability long before attack. “Instead of using resources to help, monitor, and treat them before a tragedy occurs, our society will only act once it happens and use our dollars to throw them in prison or pursue the death penalty.”   http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/04/24/waffle-house-travis-reinking/

Thousands of Armenian-Americans march in Los Angeles to commemorate 1915 massacres in Turkey. “Draped in red, blue and orange, the sea of demonstrators was led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to demand that Turkey recognize the 1915 atrocities that led to the systematic killing of 1.2 million Armenians.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-armenian-genocide-20180424-story.html

Wayback Machine disputes MSNBC host Joy Reid’s claim that archived version of her blog was hacked. “The newly surfaced posts, from 2005–2007, make reference to Anderson Cooper — who came out in 2012 — as ‘the gayest thing on TV’, state that ‘most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing’, and recount that the author was unable to attend Brokeback Mountain, a love story about two cowboys, because she ‘didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex’.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/internet-archive-reid

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director reportedly told bankers that ‘pay to play’ is how things get done in Washington, cites his time as a member of Congress. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/us/mulvaney-consumer-financial-protection-bureau.html

Even after $1 billion government fine, Wells Fargo shareholders approve pay raises for bank’s executives. “Shareholders voted Tuesday 92.4 percent in favor of the bank’s executive compensation plan, based on preliminary results released at Wells Fargo’s annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-24/wells-fargo-shareholders-approve-bigger-paychecks-for-executives

36% of New York’s employees want to start their own businesses according to survey. “Thirty-six percent of New York workers plan to quit their day jobs and pursue self-employment in the next five years, according to a survey conducted by FreshBooks, an accounting software for small businesses.”   https://www.wkbw.com/news/survey-36-of-ny-workers-plan-to-quit-day-job-become-self-employed   Sounds like there are a lot of unhappy employees out there. Starting a business is a very risky act of desperation.

Racine County, Wisconsin residents may lose their homes to make way for Foxconn factory. “It was extremely personal for these residents; having your carefully maintained residence, or in at least one case, recently built dream home, designated as blighted.”   http://beltmag.com/blighted-by-foxconn/

Minnesota appeals court allows pipeline defendants to use ‘necessity’ defense. “In a victory for activists who shut down a tar sands pipeline as part of a multi-state protest in 2016, a Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the “valve turners” can present a defense that their action was necessary because of the threat that fossil fuel production poses to the planet.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/24/state-appeals-court-rules-valve-turners-can-proceed-necessity-defense-pipeline

Conservative news commentators call Bernie Sanders (yet unannounced) plan to offer living wage jobs to unemployed Americans a ‘vote-buying operation’ and ‘communism’. “Expressing disbelief that a politician would deign to embrace a widely popular idea that could bring massive numbers of voters to the polls and drastically reduce inequality, President Donald Trump’s favorite show Fox & Friends ran a segment on Tuesday sliming Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) plan to guarantee every American a decent-paying job as a mere ‘vote-buying operation’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/24/fox-friends-has-total-meltdown-over-sanders-plan-guarantee-every-american-decent   “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to announce a federal jobs proposal that would guarantee every adult American a job with at least a $15 per hour wage and health benefits. We’ve seen this play before after the Bolshevik revolution 101 years ago.”   http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/384720-webb-bernie-sanders-announces-his-new-communism-jobs-health-care-plan   They hate the idea, just like they hated Social Security and Medicare. A large pool of unemployed workers keeps employees’ jobs at risk and wages down.

Federal judge says DACA program should continue until the government can explain exactly why believe it is illegal. “DACA’s rescission was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/apr/24/daca-judge-orders-trump-restart-dreamers

Canadian police officer arrested Toronto van murder suspect without shooting him, even though the man took a shooting pose with his cell phone. “Get down,” the officer, identified by sources as Ken Lam, shouts repeatedly. “Kill me,” the man responds. “I have a gun in my pocket.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/24/toronto-cananda-van-suspect-arrest

In one of the richest cities in the world, 1/3 of Hong Kong’s elderly live in poverty, some recycle cardboard to survive. “(Wong) starts her day at 7 am and often works until 9 pm, seven days a week. For her efforts, she receives about HK$41 (£3.60) per day.”   https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/apr/24/hong-kong-cardboard-grannies-elderly-box-collectors-recycling-poverty

New York City police union reportedly flooded parole board with 367,000 online letters opposing parole of 70 year-old Black Panther by sending 62 separate letters for each person who clicked to send a message via their website. “Considering that the union itself has nearly 50,000 active and retired members, the fact that fewer than 6,000 individuals clicked on the automated complaint system speaks against, rather than for, mass public anger at Bell’s parole.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/25/herman-bell-nypd-release-parole-new-york-police/

James Comey accused of repeating agency’s past mistakes while director of the FBI. “Despite this professed appreciation for (Dr. Martin Luther) King and his aim to right the wrongs of the bureau’s past (as he claims in his book), Comey presided over many of the same racialized tactics and assumptions in his tenure as FBI director: broadly targeting the Muslim-American community, coercing informants, trafficking in racial profiling, surveilling Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock activists, and largely standing aside amid police violence and misconduct.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/24/james-comey-mlk-martin-luther-king-surveillance-muslims/

JFK autopsy contained glaring omissions, and reported damage to the president’s head conflicted with the observations of Parkland Hospital’s doctors. “(Dr.) Clark, who had the closest look (and let’s remember that the skull and brain were his specialty) described ‘a large, gaping wound in the right posterior part, with cerebral and cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed’…. But the (military) autopsists reported only a small hole (6 x 15 millimeters) back there.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/04/25/jfk-assassination-the-tell-tale-brain/

Waffle House massacre suspect was initially eligible to be bonded out of jail. “Davidson County Judge Michael Mondelli did not give a reason for overturning the bond order issued by a night magistrate following the arrest of Travis Reinking, but his decision followed a public outcry over the possibility that the suspect could potentially be freed from jail.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/judge-revokes-bond-nashville-shooting-suspect-public-outcry/

Greek fascists got tips from cops according to tapped phone calls. “…Tasos Pantazis, head of Golden Dawn’s Perama branch, boasted of a counterterrorism police officer providing him with the identity of an informant.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/tapped-phone-calls-reveal-golden-dawns-police-ties-180419212215599.html

Greek fascists attack asylum-seekers. “… a mob of far-right militants attacked a crowd of asylum seekers Sunday night who had gathered for a peaceful demonstration on the island of Lesbos, throwing stones, bottles and flares, and sending at least a dozen migrants to the hospital.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/4/24/headlines/greece_neo_nazis_attack_peaceful_demonstration_of_asylum_seekers

April 25, 2018

April 24, 2018

U.S. allegedly has a “first strike” policy for using nuclear weapons – so does Russia. “In the case of Russia, a first strike would attempt to annihilate Russia’s major cities and its power to make war.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/the-secret-daniel-ellsberg-really-worries-about/

American Airlines passenger reportedly tased 10 times during Miami plane removal. “Officer Desroches attempted a total of 10 deployments of his (Electronic Control Weapon) for a duration of 50 seconds.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article209604409.html   Video here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQzkubXI_-E

Jury deadlocked in trial of border patrol officer who fatally shot 16 year-old Mexican boy who was throwing rocks at him across the border. “(Agent Lonnie) Swartz fired 16 shots late on Oct. 10, 2012, through a 20-foot (6-meter) fence that sits on an embankment above Mexico’s Calle Internacional, a Nogales street lined with homes and small businesses.”   https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/crime/article/Mistrial-declared-for-border-agent-charged-with-12858626.php   How would Americans feel if a Mexican officer shot a Texas kid for throwing rocks at him, and a Mexican jury refused to convict him, of anything?

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student questioned by officers after posting photos of his trip to gun range with his father. “At that point, I asked whether I could record the interview. They said no. I asked if I had done anything wrong. Again, they answered no.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5649481/Parkland-shooting-survivor-questioned-school-security-visiting-gun-range.html

Likely Democratic presidential candidates pledging not to take donations from corporate Political Action Committees (PACs), but no mention of taken money directly from corporations, or of taking PAC money from wealthy donors. “Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) followed the lead of Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday when she announced that she would reject donations from corporate PACs, just a few weeks after a town hall attendee pointedly questioned her about her stance on such contributions.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/pressure-works-kamala-harris-becomes-fifth-likely-democratic-2020-contender-swear

Trump orders Border Patrol not to admit asylum seekers at Mexican border. “There have already been cases of people being illegally turned away by border officials when trying to request asylum at the U.S. border.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/illegally-turning-back-refugees-trump-orders-dhs-bar-migrants-fleeing-violence-entry

Saudi coalition bombs wedding in Yemen, kills and estimated 20 people, including the bride. “More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in the war in Yemen since 2015, and another two million people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/us-backed-coalition-bombs-wedding-party-yemen-killing-dozens

Citizen activist who detected lead contamination in Flint, Michigan water supply and proved it was affecting the entire city wins environmental award. “(LeeAnne Walters) found lead levels as high as 13,200 ppb—more than twice the level the EPA classifies as hazardous waste.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/23/citizen-scientist-who-helped-expose-flint-water-crisis-honored-goldman-prize

Golf club calls police to report black members who are playing too slowly. “A golf club in Pennsylvania has apologized for calling police on a group of black women after the co-owner and his father said they were playing too slowly and refused requests to leave the course.”   https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/24/pennsylvania-golf-club-apologizes-for-calling-police-on-black-women-members

Chinese rape victim accuses her university of orchestrating a cover-up. “(Yue Xin) accused administrators of suggesting she might not be able to graduate and asking what her mother and grandmother would think of her behaviour.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/24/student-says-peking-university-trying-to-silence-her-over-claim-petition

Armenian prime minister steps down after eleven days of protests. “The demonstrations were sparked by Sargsyan’s decision to take on the post of prime minister after serving for more than a decade as the country’s president, provoking anger among opposition parties and other protest groups.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/23/serzh-sargsyan-resigns-as-armenias-prime-minister-after-protests

Finland ends trial of ‘basic income’ scheme. “Since January 2017, a random sample of 2,000 unemployed people aged 25 to 58 have been paid a monthly €560 ($684) , with no requirement to seek or accept employment. Any recipients who took a job continued to receive the same amount.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/23/finland-to-end-basic-income-trial-after-two-years

Border Patrol accused of inflating number of assaults against its agents. “In response to questions from The Intercept, Coleman explained in an email that ‘an incident in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on February 14, 2017, involved seven U.S. Border Patrol Agents assaulted by six subjects utilizing three different types of projectiles (rocks, bottles, and tree branches), totaling 126 assaults’.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/23/border-patrol-agents-assaulted-cbp-fbi/

Puerto Rico blackout caused by subcontractor working to restore island’s power. “Attempting to repair a downed wire on Wednesday, a bulldozer got too close to a live, high-voltage line, triggering a chain reaction that left most of the island’s 3.4 million residents without power.”    https://theintercept.com/2018/04/23/puerto-rico-power-outage-prepa-privatization/

Sean Hannity allegedly received assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for some of his real estate deals. “The Georgia (apartment complex) purchases were funded with mortgages for $17.9m that Hannity obtained with help from HUD, which insured the loans under a program created as part of the National Housing Act. The loans, first guaranteed under the Obama administration, were recently increased by $5m with renewed support from Carson’s department.”  https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/apr/22/michael-cohen-sean-hannity-property-real-estate-ben-carson-hud

Broward County, Florida prosecutors clear detention center guard who broken 14 year-old’s nose. “Fourteen-year-old Andrew Ostrovsky was sent to the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center after being charged with joyriding in his father’s Dodge van in January 2017. Records show he was five feet, six inches tall and weighed 120 pounds.”   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article209579679.html

White Tarrant County, Texas official sentenced to probation in election fraud case, same county where a black woman was sentenced to five years in prison for voting before her rights had been restored. “The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Justice of the Peace Russ Casey resigned from his job after admitting to submitting fake signatures that helped secure his place on last month’s primary ballot.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/white-judge-gets-probation-election-fraud-texas-county-jailed-black-woman-voting/

109 retired military officers sign letter opposing Gina Haspel’s appointment as CIA director. “[W]e do not accept efforts to excuse her actions relating to torture and other unlawful abuse of detainees by offering that she was ‘just following orders’, or that shock from the 9/11 terrorist attacks should excuse illegal and unethical conduct.”   https://www.axios.com/gina-haspel-military-leaders-oppose-cia-nomination-f9989380-6f73-4485-a267-e02e8f31c6da.html

Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton allegedly ran think tank that promoted anti-Muslim fake news stories. “The sensationalized headline of one story said the German government was ‘confiscating homes to use for migrants’.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/john-bolton-chaired-anti-muslim-think-tank-n868171

Attorney for DNC lawsuit defendant Roger Stone asks DNC to preserve its server so that claims of Russian hacking can be investigated. “[We] intend to test the basic underlying claims that ‘Russians’ hacked, stole, and disseminated DNC data, rather than the various other plausible scenarios, including internal theft.”   https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/23/dnc-told-preserve-servers-suit-trump-russia/

Jailed Egyptian journalist to receive press award. “Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, better known as Shawkan, will be awarded the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize, the United Nations cultural branch announced on Monday.”   http://www.dw.com/en/jailed-egyptian-photographer-mahmoud-abu-zeid-to-receive-un-press-freedom-prize/a-43492792

Comcast mimics Sinclair Broadcast Group by having its stations run “Comcast Cares” stories. “…MSNBC host Al Sharpton comparing Comcast to Nelson Mandela: ‘This is, I think, the way we can bring the world to where Mandela wanted us, where corporations don’t become expansive and influential just for personal wealth, but for a purpose, so that we have the ability to do good.””   https://fair.org/home/msnbcs-creepy-comcast-commercial-is-sinclair-lite/

 

April 24, 2018

April 23, 2018

700 children reportedly separated from their parents after crossing U.S. border. “The idea of punishing parents who are trying to save their children’s lives, and punishing children for being brought to safety by their parents by separating them, is fundamentally cruel and un-American.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-border-mexico-agency-texas-wall-trump-ice-migration-america-a8315781.html

Largo, Florida detectives reportedly entered funeral home, tried to use dead man’s finger to unlock his phone in front of his fiancee. “Linus Phillip, 30, was fatally shot six times in the back by a Largo police officer last month after authorities say he tried to drive away before an officer could search him.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5644677/Police-try-unlock-phone-dead-mans-finger-Florida.html

Cops take down black woman who asked for plastic silverware at restaurant, rip off her clothes. “In the course of the altercation, her clothes are pulled down to reveal her breasts as white patrons continue to eat in the background.”   http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2018/04/outrage_growing_over_black_wom.html

Armenian police arrest hundreds of protesters and detain opposition leaders. “The public prosecution service confirmed that three opposition leaders had been detained on suspicion of organising an illegal protest.”   https://www.euractiv.com/section/armenia/news/police-in-armenia-detain-opposition-leaders-protesters/

Nicaraguan government reverses course on pension ‘reforms’ after 26 die during protests. “The overhaul had sought to shore up Nicaragua’s troubled social security system with a combination of reduced benefits and increased taxes.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dozens-killed-nicaragua-after-unrest-over-social-security-reform-n868216

At least 57 killed in Kabul, Afghanistan by suicide bomber. “The attacker detonated his explosives as the Afghan authorities distributed national identity cards in the western part of Kabul, the capital, part of a push by the government to get more people to register to vote.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/22/world/asia/suicide-bomber-afghanistan-elections.html

Half-naked man accused of shooting four people at a Nashville Waffle House had been detained in July for entering a restricted area near the White House. “When I saw him get out of his pickup truck, all he had on was his jacket.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-waffle-house-shooting-nashville-20180422-story.html

Woman fined $500 by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for not declaring apple passed out on Delta flight. “Crystal Tadlock told Fox 31 Denver, toward the end of her flight from Paris, flight attendants passed out apples in plastic bags as a snack.”   http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/22/woman-fined-500-for-saving-free-delta-air-lines-snack.html

Wells Fargo hit with $1 billion fine for overcharging borrowers. “In Friday’s announcement, the CFPB and the OCC penalized Wells for improperly charging fees to borrowers who wanted to lock in an interest rate on a pending mortgage loan and for sticking auto loan customers with insurance policies they didn’t want or need.”   http://lmtribune.com/business/wells-fargo-fined-b-for-mortgage-auto-lending-abuses/article_38a1d5a1-9d0c-5fdf-8a74-05578e7feedc.html

LA Starbucks accused of letting white guy use the restroom after denying access to a black guy. “There should have been a sign right there that says ‘whites only’, because that’s how they treated it.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/starbucks-los-angeles-philadelphia-accused-of-racism/

Google collecting huge amounts of data on its users. “The internet giant keeps a detailed log of users’ web browsing and location history stretching back nearly a decade, even when people think their privacy is protected in ‘incognito’ mode.”   https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6114042/google-collects-enough-data-on-you-to-fill-an-8ft-stack-of-paper-every-two-weeks-then-it-flogs-the-info-to-the-highest-bidder/

Animated satellite images show impact of human activity on the environment. “The Earth is changing dramatically.”   https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/04/22/new-satellite-animations-of-earth-show-how-quickly-humans-are-changing-the-planet/

Scott Pruitt reportedly met with lobbyist Steven Hart at the EPA last summer, Hart also lobbied EPA in first quarter of 2018. “Pruitt’s connections to the prominent lobbyist have been under intense scrutiny since last month, when media reports first revealed that the EPA chief rented a luxury Capitol Hill condo from a corporation co-owned by Hart’s wife for just $50 a night.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/epa-chief-scott-pruitt-lobbyist-condo-lease

Michael Bloomberg says he’ll cover $4.5 million U.S. dues for Paris climate agreement. “America made a commitment and as an American, if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/michael-bloomberg-paris-climate-pact

DeKalb County, Georgia fires seven suspected ‘ringleaders’ of bus driver sickout. “Whether the school bus drivers can succeed in winning their demands and maintaining broad popular support remains to be seen, but the protest provides an important test case on whether these teacher movements will lead to a broader working-class uprising or stay limited to organizing among a narrower band of white-collar professionals.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/04/22/georgia-bus-drivers-joined-the-school-uprising-and-paid-a-price/

Yazidis in northern Syria say they being pressured by Turkish-backed forces to convert to Islam. “Islamist rebel fighters, who are allied to Turkey and have occupied Yazidi villages in the area, have destroyed the temples and places of worship the Kurdish-speaking non-Islamic sect according to local people.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syria-yazidis-isis-islam-conversion-afrin-persecution-kurdish-a8310696.html

Palantir software telling the authorities a lot more than they need to know about people. “One woman in the (LAPD’s) system, for example, who wasn’t suspected of committing any crime, was identified as having multiple boyfriends within the same network of associates…”   https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/

Some Minneapolis residents worried after observing unannounced B2 bomber activity over their city. “Strange reports of up to 10 B-2 stealth bombers flying above Minneapolis started circulating on social media Thursday evening.”   https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/04/20/half-the-b-2-fleet-was-flying-above-minneapolis-and-heres-why/

 

April 23, 2018

April 22, 2018

59 year-old Broward County, Florida woman with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease dies after being jailed without her medication and yelled at by judge. Her crime: fighting with her daughter over a fan. “Porter told the Miami Herald that once (Sandra Faye) Twiggs was released from jail and taken back home, she was starving, dizzy and borderline breathless.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article209496684.html

Cop points rifle at anti-Nazi protesters, several arrested for wearing masks. “At one point, an officer pointed what seemed to be a modified AR-15 at the faces of counter-protesters, none of whom appeared to be armed.”    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/georgia-neo-nazi-rally-police-militarized-arrests_us_5adbf0f6e4b075b631e65f49

Witnesses saw customers and gunman exit Chinese restaurant after shooting of Florida deputies. “The men noticed something was wrong when they saw a horrified woman bolt out of the restaurant with her hand covering her mouth.”   http://www.wfla.com/news/florida/witnesses-recall-horrific-scene-after-gunman-kills-2-gilchrist-deputies/1131441251   So why hasn’t the media interviewed any of these customers or the staff of the restaurant? Was there some kind of altercation? Was the gunman a customer? Why did the sheriff say they were shot from outside?

Amnesty International awards Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award. “When high profile people choose to take a stand for human rights, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/04/21/refusing-ignore-or-accept-racial-discrimination-amnesty-international-honors-colin

Basque separatist ETA apologizes for terrorism, suggests democratic path to independence from Spain. “We know that, owing to the necessities of all kinds of armed struggle, our actions have hurt people who bore no responsibility whatsoever.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/20/eta-apologises-basque-separatists-deadly-violence

 

April 22, 2018