May 31, 2018

Federal court considering two journalists’ lawsuit to be removed from U.S. ‘kill list’. “In their complaint filed in March 2017, Zaidan and Kareem alleged they were included on the kill list as a result of algorithms used by the United States to identify terrorists.”   Mr. Kareem, a US citizen who has survived five targeted air strikes, received a tip from a foreign intelligence official that the US was trying to kill him.

Supreme Court rules 8-1 that police need a warrant to search your property, even if just peeking under a tarp in your driveway, Justice Alito dissents. “The tarp-covered motorcycle parked in the driveway could have been uncovered and ridden away in a matter of seconds. And Officer Rhodes’s brief walk up the driveway impaired no real privacy interests.”   So by the same logic, a quick trawl through our cell phone data would be ok too? Or a quick detention and questioning at a police roadblock? Or a quick stop-and-frisk while walking down the street? How about a quick, secret search of our homes (sneak and peek) or a quick analysis of our social network?

More than 40 civil rights groups call on Department of Homeland Security to release more information on surveillance of black activists. “Rather than focusing on the real threat of white nationalists and Neo-Nazis, the government has demonized and criminalized black activists protesting injustice — this is part of a long history of protecting white terrorists while attacking black communities they target.”

European experts gather to work out a sustainable food production and distribution system. “Driving the need for the new framework, organizers say, are current failed policies that ignore soil degradation, take aim at obesity while ignoring its root causes, encourage… carbon-intensive practices and fail to fully support smaller farms.”

After students at the University of California at Davis voted in favor of boycotting products from Israel in 2015, Roseanne Barr reportedly tweeted, “I hope all the jews leave UC Davis & then it gets nuked!”    But that didn’t stop her from getting hired…

ACLU launches movement to stop the separation of parents and children detained by immigration authorities. “Fighting back against the Trump administration’s ‘vile’ new policy of separating young migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, the ACLU is launching ‘Families Belong Together’ rallies at immigration enforcement offices nationwide on Friday in an urgent effort to ‘end this practice for good’.”

Dead ICE detainee was reportedly suffering from dehydration and pneumonia. “(Roxsana) Hernandez had been taken to Cibola County Correctional Facility, which contracts with ICE, on May 16, then airlifted to the intensive care unit at a hospital in Albuquerque where she remained until she died on May 25 of cardiac arrest.”

Journalists express concerns over Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against Wikileaks. “What the language in this suit is calling ‘conspiracy’ is the same thing journalists do all the time—report on leaked or stolen documents.”

39 arrested at California ‘factory farm’ protest. “…dozens of… activists were arrested by local law enforcement after, according to the group, they attempted to enter the farm and access one of the industrial chicken sheds to document conditions and demand the transfer of sick or mistreated birds to the city animal shelter.”

TransCanada pipeline company reportedly showering Nebraska politicians with cash. “The (Associated Press) found that a TransCanada political action committee has given more than $65,000 to campaigning officials within the past year, including $25,000 to GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts’ re-election effort, $15,000 to the Nebraska Republican Party, and $25,500 to state legislators.”

Ukrainian authorities reportedly faked assassination of Russian journalist. “Arkady Babchenko, the Russian journalist whose murder was dramatically announced by Ukraine on Tuesday, emerged very much alive on Wednesday and said he had faked his own death in order to thwart a plot by Moscow to kill him.”

Thousands in the UK reportedly trapped in ‘forced’ marriages. “Treated as slaves and subjected to threats and violence, victims endure the added burden of their own families (pressuring) them to stay in these marriages to avoid bringing them shame.”   Not to mention in the situation in countries where this is legal.

TSA accused of blacklisting troublesome passengers. “On Thursday, lawmakers demanded more details about the watch list, which had not been previously disclosed, and suggested that the agency notify people who have been added to it.”

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley implies there is no need for an investigation into shootings of Gaza protesters by Israeli troops. “The people of Gaza do not need protection from an external source. The people of Gaza need protection from Hamas.”

Researchers say push to shrink safety net is based on racial resentment. “The findings suggest that political efforts to cut welfare programs are driven less by conservative principles than by racial anxiety, the authors conclude. That also hurts white Americans, who make up the largest share of Medicaid and food-stamp recipients.”

Wildwood, New Jersey police release snippets of body cam footage from beach altercation with woman accused of drinking on the beach, but there is no video of her kicking the officer in the groin and he doesn’t mention it when describing the incident to other officers. “She tried walking away from me,” he says. “I tried grabbing her, she tried kicking at us, so I slammed her to the ground . . . I hit her a couple of times and put her in cuffs.”

Woman charged with attempted murder after shooting her husband in the back of the head. “According to deputies, she told them her husband had asked her to do a Google search for a template for a project they were working on. But apparently the way he asked her to do the search upset her.”

Left-leaning former mayor of Mexico City, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has a 2 to 1 lead over his rivals in run-up to presidential election. “I don’t have a rooster in this fight because AMLO has his own issues,” said Alvaro Enrique, 56, a driver. “But he’s the only one who might actually do something for the people.”

Japanese whalers killed more then 300 whales for ‘scientific research’ last summer. “A newly released report shows that, in total, 333 minkes were captured and killed by Japanese fishermen during the 12-week expedition in the Southern Ocean.”

Some Starbucks employees don’t want to be woke, and Philly Magazine just happened to interview two of them. And just those two. “At one point,” said Jamie, “a girl at my table actually had to get up and leave because video after video they showed black people being assaulted by police or black people being verbally assaulted and white people being racially biased toward people of color. It offended her.”   Apparently some journalists are having trouble accepting racial realities as well.

Protesters rally outside Amazon shareholders meeting. “Amazon’s profits come at the expense of our communities, and that’s because of a lack of accountability up at the top.”


May 31, 2018

May 30, 2018

Trump reassures his supporters that Mexico will eventually pay for border wall. “They’re going to pay for the wall, and they’re going to enjoy it.”

Researchers estimate more than 4,600 Puerto Ricans died in aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “The official death toll in Puerto Rico (64) has been the subject of substantial controversy since Hurricane Maria hit this island, a US territory, (last) September 20(th).”

Canadian government to buy Trans Mountain oil pipeline. “Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is “a vital project in the national interest” and that its purchase will ensure the expansion is built, despite protests from environmentalists and other groups.”

Mayor of Wildwood, New Jersey defends cop who punched woman who questioned police priorities, after passing an alcohol breath test on the beach. “The police did their job.”   Wildwood, New Jersey is not the only beach on the Atlantic coast. Why not go somewhere safe?

Medical supervisor at Cleveland area jail  put on leave after he complains to county council about working condition and attitude of jail director. “Last week, Gary Brack went before a (Cuyahoga) county council committee and said there is a shortage of nurses and there is not enough security for medical staff.”

“Bulletproof Warrior” police training materials leaked. “On page 21, the (course) manual says that (police) “adversaries” are younger, in better shape, (have) been in more gunfights and violent encounters… practice more and don’t hesitate.”

Televangelist claims God told him to buy a multi-million dollar private jet, says it will allow him to reach more people and travel safely. “This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons?”

Tennessee Congresswoman claims pornography is a ‘root cause’ of school shootings. “Pornography, it’s available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store.”

Liberal preacher steps down after calling Palo Alto’s social justice efforts ‘a f&%$ing joke’. “In my experience of trying to work with this community for almost 3 years, I believe Palo Alto is a ghetto of wealth, power, and elitist liberalism by proxy, meaning that many community members claim to want to fight for social justice issues, but that desire doesn’t translate into action.”

PR firm reportedly interested in buying Gawker, reforming its image as ‘a click baity, salacious gossip site’. “In what can only be described as the best of intentions, Didit and its co-founder Kevin Lee plans to enact ‘a new editorial policy to only post content it considers to be positive’…”   I’d like to invest in this promising project, but I’ve got all my money tied up in border wall bonds, which are going to be redeemed, with interest, when Mexico pays up.

Canadian hacker who helped expose 500 million Yahoo accounts gets 5 years. “Baratov had previously admitted that his role was to ‘hack webmail accounts of individuals of interest to the FSB’, the Russian internal security service.”   The FSB outsources its hacking to Canadians? Seriously? Color me skeptical.

Tesla vehicle in autopilot mode hits parked police car in California. “Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser during the crash Tuesday in Laguna Beach.”

YouTube takes down more than 30 ‘violent’ music videos. “YouTube has removed dozens of music videos as part of a crackdown on ‘UK drill’, (a type of music) which British police claim is linked to a surge in stabbings in London…”

Facebook restrictions on ‘political ads’ includes boosted news stories on some political topics. “‘The principal architect behind the 9/11 attacks has something he wants to tell senators about President Trump’s CIA pick’, said the text of one ad, which linked to a The New York Times article. Facebook told CNN the ad ‘would be deemed political content as it references President Trump’.”

Ohio hospital accused of denying care to premature newborns. “Despite making it to that critical point in gestation set out by the hospital, Riverside Methodist staff still told Amanda as she labored the boys were coming too early and that its neonatal intensive care unit would not attempt to aid the boys.”   Let me guess, this woman did not have health insurance or her insurance did not cover premature births. The story does not mention the insurance angle at all.

Trump plugs his own perceived achievements in Memorial Day tweet. “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”   Tacky!

Russia warns U.S. that permanent military base in Poland would destabilize Europe. “When we see the gradual expansion of NATO military structures towards our borders…, this of course in no way creates security and stability on the continent.”   Americans just do not get it. How about a permanent Russian base in Mexico or Cuba?

European Union to issue economic sanction on Venezuela, demands new election. “…the EU calls for the holding of fresh presidential elections in accordance with internationally recognized democratic standards and the Venezuelan constitutional order.”

China approves 13th Ivanka Trump trademark. “(The Trump family’s) global trademarks have drawn the attention of ethics lawyers because they are granted by foreign governments and can confer enormous value.”

Some Japanese train stations reportedly using unpleasant, high frequency tone to discourage young people from congregating. “The particular frequency used—17 kilohertz — can generally only be heard by those under the age of 25.”



May 30, 2018

May 28, 2018

Immigration authorities have reportedly ‘lost’ more than 1,475 children after separating them from their families. “The Houston Chronicle wrote about a 28-year-old Guatemalan who tried to cross the border illegally with his 18-month-old son. When he was deported three months later no one could tell him where his son was beyond saying he was ‘somewhere in Texas’.”

Irish voters repeal abortion ban. “More than 66 percent of Irish voters chose to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which has effectively banned abortion in the nation since its passage in 1983.”

Woman saw something and said something, but no action was taken to stop Lake Hefner shooter. “Belcher said she contacted the Oklahoma City Police non-emergency number on May 6, to report her concerns about (Alexander Tilghman), the videos, his state of mind and that he might have weapons. When she didn’t hear back, Belcher said she called the Oklahoma City FBI field office.”

Son of Robert Kennedy says he believes his father was assassinated by a second gunman. “You can’t fire 13 shots out of an eight-shot gun.”

New Jersey police officer caught on video punching woman in the head, putting his hand around her throat. “When the police officers initially approached, Weinman said, she agreed to take a Breathalyzer test and it came back negative…. she asked the officers if they didn’t have something better to do ‘than to stop people for underage drinking on the beach’, saying that ‘there’s so much more serious stuff going on’.”   Sounds like her real crime was speaking truth to power.

Another New York City cab driver commits suicide. “Mr. Chow bought a (taxi) medallion in 2011, just as Uber was beginning to operate in New York City. By last year, Mr. Chow was realizing that his $700,000 investment was not paying off.”

Restaurant workers required to work ‘off the clock’ may be barred from participating in class action lawsuit by recent Supreme Court ruling. “…Chipotle has been arguing that 2,814 workers (participating in the class action lawsuit) do not have a valid claim because they signed class- and collective-action waivers when they accepted their jobs.”

Flint, Michigan says 14,000 more water service lines may need to be replaced. “Experts have said lead and galvanized lines became damaged by corrosive Flint River water used by the city from April 2014 until October 2015. Those lines essentially absorbed — and have the potential to release — lead particles.”

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists commemorate Tiananmen massacre, call for an end to one party state in China. “Pro-Beijing figures have said recently that calling for an end to one-party dictatorship is ‘illegal’ and that anyone who does so could run the risk of being disqualified from running for election.”

Ellicott City, Maryland hit by second ‘1,000 year’ flood within two years. “Residents said Sunday’s flood seemed even worse than the storm in July 2016 — which was called an extremely rare “one-in-1,000 year event,” and cost the city tens of millions of dollars in damages.”

1930’s book based on interviews with the last surviving slave brought to the U.S. is finally published. “The book is the story of Cudjo Lewis; a man born Oluale Kossola in the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi. Kossola was the last survivor of the last known slave ship to sail from the African continent to America with a human cargo.”

You can hide embarrassing or controversial web searches on your computer by browsing in ‘private’ mode, but your ISP, search engine provider and web tracking companies still know what you’ve been up to. “Your ISP tracks all the websites you visit, and everything you download or watch. Tracking you straight to your home….. (Web tracker sites) may notice you prefer gay porn, for instance, and tailor your ads based off of this. They’ll get your IP address, your user agent (this is your browser, your location, basic PC details, etc) and some other useful information like how much time you spend on certain videos and what categories you like to go through.”

10 common misconceptions of Trump supporters. “1. Trump is a devoted Christian.”

Frontier of the free market: New video game called ‘Active Shooter’ allows you to play the role of a school shooter. “…Steam does have some standards, banning hate speech, pornography that’s not properly disclosed and (content that is) ‘patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers’. It was unclear why shooting defenseless school children (at) their desks did not fall under the ‘patently offensive’ description.”

Funding for Trump’s military parade included in House version of defense authorization bill. “House lawmakers overwhelmingly voted for a $717 billion defense bill Thursday, which includes funding for the military parade President Donald Trump asked for.”


May 28, 2018

May 26, 2018

Milwaukee police union blames understaffing for excessive force incidents, like the one involving Sterling Brown. “…because officers are frequently mandated to work alone they are at greater risk to be compelled to use higher levels of force.”   How can an understaffed police department afford to dispatch five squad cars to deal with a single parking violation? And have multiple officers remain at the scene to surround and badger one parking violator? An officer in an understaffed police department would probably have left a citation on Brown’s windshield and zipped off to his next call (or his next handicapped parking spot stakeout). Maybe the problem is overstaffing?

Border patrol agent shoots female migrant in the head after allegedly being attacked with ‘blunt objects’. “Authorities did not specify what objects were allegedly thrown at the agent.”    Like maybe water bottles? UPDATE: Customs and Border Protection changes their story on fatal shooting of 20 year-old female migrant in Texas, medical examiner identifies victim, witness claims her home is now being monitored by Border Patrol agents. “After initially reporting the agent was attacked by migrants armed with ‘blunt objects’, the federal agency on Friday said only that the group ‘rushed’ the officer after ignoring orders to get on the ground.”   Something tells me there is more to this story that we haven’t heard yet.

At least one more media organization notices that New Jersey school bus fell apart after being hit from behind, but driver still charged with homicide. “The passenger compartment of the bus separated from its chassis and overturned in the median of the highway.”

No charges for San Francisco police officers in ‘firing squad’ shooting of Mario Woods. “As Woods got within about 10 feet of August, he and four other officers — Winston Seto, Antonio Santos, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips — opened fire, striking Woods 20 times…. Less than two minutes elapsed between initial contact and the shooting, according to the district attorney’s report.”

Charles Eisenstein and Jeremy Lent question neo-liberal claim that we’ve never had it so good. From Eisenstein’s article: “Nicholas Kristof celebrates a decline in the number of people living on less than two dollars a day…. every time an indigenous hunter-gatherer or traditional villager is forced off the land and goes to work on a plantation or sweatshop, his or her cash income increases from zero to several dollars a day. The numbers look good. GDP goes up.”   From Lent’s article: “When Pinker does get serious on the topic, he promotes Ecomodernism as the solution (to environmental degradation): a neoliberal, technocratic belief that a combination of market-based solutions and technological fixes will magically resolve all ecological problems. This approach fails, however, to take into account the structural drivers of overshoot: a growth-based global economy reliant on ever-increasing monetization of natural resources and human activity…. As freshwater resources decline, for example, (transnational corporations’) incentive is to buy up what remains and sell it in plastic throwaway bottles or process it into sugary drinks, propelling billions in developing countries toward obesity through sophisticated marketing.”

Government to issue 15,000 more H-2B visas to foreign workers, in addition to the 66,000 already issued. “The huge increase in demand for foreign workers has been fueled by a low national unemployment rate and a dearth of Americans willing to work as seasonal housekeepers and cooks.”   You can either pay higher wages to attract American employees, or import cheap foreign labor and boost your profits. The Trump administration apparently favors the latter.

Man killed inside Portland, Oregon homeless shelter in April was shot numerous times by police. “Portland police officers and a Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy fired 14 bullets, three shotgun blasts and nine less-lethal rounds at a man inside a Portland homeless shelter last month, according to investigative materials released by the Portland Police Bureau Friday.”

Investigators release video of last July’s fatal shooting by Utah’s Highway Patrol of a fleeing suspect corralled by officers. “(Lead investigator and police chief Paul) Child said the car started to move again at one point, and that’s what prompted (trooper) Neff to fire.”

Bishop Michael Curry and crowd of 2,000 hold ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ candlelight vigil at the White House, event receives little press coverage. “We believe two things are at stake: the soul of the nation, and the integrity of faith. We reject ‘America First’ as a theological heresy for followers of Christ…. we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal.”

Another conservative leader hit by corruption scandal, this time in Spain. “Twenty-nine people related to (Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party), including a former treasurer and other senior members, were convicted on Thursday of offenses including falsifying accounts, influence-peddling and tax crimes.”

Man buys 70 lbs. octopus at fish market and, considering them to be highly intelligent, sets it free in the ocean. “DeGarimore told the San Luis Obispo Tribune he met a friendly octopus while diving in Fiji.”

Israeli Supreme Court rules unanimously that it’s legal for the country’s military to shoot unarmed protesters. “It is worth noting that the Israeli Supreme Court refused to watch video clips documenting Israeli shootings of demonstrators and, rather than actually examining the case, fully accepted the claims presented to it by the state.”

DNC chairman reverses himself on the party not intervening in primary elections. “Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez, who said just two months ago that the national party shouldn’t be ‘anointing candidates’ in primary races, was widely rebuked by progressives for his decision this week to endorse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose reelection bid is being challenged by longtime activist and actress Cynthia Nixon.”

Tax fairness groups call on Congress to end tax breaks for companies that shift investments abroad. “As a remedy for the perverse loopholes created by the GOP tax law, the groups are calling on Congress to support the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) in February that would eliminate tax breaks for offshore investments and equalize the tax rates companies pay on profits at home and overseas.”   What about a higher tax on offshore investments?

131 House Democrats vote to approve $717 billion in Pentagon spending and continuation of the circumvention of Congress’s war powers. “”Instead of a blueprint for peace and security, this NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) continues the practice of endless war with no input or oversight from our congressional leaders,” lamented Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), one of 59 Democrats who voted against the bill.”

Senior EPA officials allegedly reached out to climate change denial group for help pushing Trump’s fossil fuel agenda. ““If you send a list, we will make sure an invitation is sent,” (John) Konkus wrote to the then Heartland president, Joseph Bast, in May 2017, seeking suggestions on scientists and economists the EPA could invite to an annual EPA public hearing on the agency’s science standards.”

Tree-sitter breaks record with 57 day standoff with pipeline project. “I was and remain tremendously grateful to have been able to make an impact in the struggle against the Mountain Valley pipeline.”

Edward Snowden says he thought NSA leaks would empower Obama to end mass surveillance programs. “He campaigned on a platform of ending the kind of mass surveillance that he actually ended up extending and expanding and entrenching. He was given, sort of with a gift-wrap and a bow (with my revelations), a mandate to deliver on all of those promises that previously might not have been possible to work through Congress.”

Chinese researchers predict Earth will be 4 degrees warmer that pre-industrial temperatures by 2084. “The temperature increase would cause severe threats to ecosystems, human systems, and associated societies and economies.”

Trump defends First Amendment right of Chicago police officers to protest against the city’s government, after denying the same right to protest to football players. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing…. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

Senator John McCain admits that invasion and occupation of Iraq was a mistake. “In his new memoir McCain, who is battling brain cancer, writes that the Iraq War ‘can’t be judged as anything other than a mistake, a very serious one, and I have to accept my share of the blame for it’.”

Cuban exile accused of terrorism dies after decades of being sheltered by the United States. “(Luis) Posada Carriles is best known as the suspected mastermind of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airline jet…. Posada Carriles later publicly admitted ties to a series of hotel bombings in Cuba in 1997.”

May 26, 2018

May 24, 2018

Woman spared 12 years in prison by hospital video showing Aurora, Colorado police assaulting her instead of her assaulting them, but she was jailed for 8 days and lost her job. “If there had not been a video, Williams would have been forced to go to trial on a criminal charge where it would have been her story versus that of three police officers…”

Medical examiner rules death of black Center for Disease Control epidemiologist was ‘suicide by drowning’. “Timothy Cunningham, 35, was last seen on February 12. His body was discovered in the Chattahoochee River in the northwestern part of the city on April 3.”   You’ve got to be kidding. How does that work, he chained himself to a heavy object and threw it in the river? This sounds like a historic coverup FAIL.

Milwaukee police release video of tasering and arrest of black NBA player Sterling Brown, after he parked across the lines in a Walgreens parking lot in the middle of the night, which apparently involved five police cars. “What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased and then unlawfully booked.”

FBI admits it massively inflated the number of encrypted cell phones tied to criminal acts. “The FBI’s assertion that 7,775 phones could not be opened by their investigators last year has always struck a discordant note with critics and privacy advocates, who noted that just a year earlier, the FBI had claimed the figure was 880.”

Ukrainian government accused of paying Trump lawyer $400,000 for White House meeting. “After the fee was paid to Cohen, he had a substantial meeting with Trump, followed by a photo op. One week later, Poroshenko’s government canceled a Ukrainian investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is accused of receiving millions of dollars in illicit payments from pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.”

NFL announces new policy requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem. “The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality.”   Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels questions new national anthem policy. “Forced patriotism is the opposite of freedom.”   That’s right, North Korean have to cheer for the Great Leader and salute the flag – or else!

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina drug cops accused of routinely conducting ‘no knock’ raids after man gunned down by police files lawsuit. “Based on this testimony, which supports an inference of numerous alleged violations of the knock and announce requirement, the (Drug Enforcement Unit) had a widespread and persistent policy of executing search warrants without knocking and announcing and waiting a reasonable time before entering a private residence.”

Man sues Springfield, Massachusetts police alleging roadside flashlight beating after he refused to exit his car. “The suit names Officers Christopher Collins and David Suchcicki, who are accused of striking Bernal, and 20 unidentified officers accused of either participating in the alleged beating or standing by without intervening.”

Police thought Las Vegas was under a ‘Mumbai-style’ attack due to reports of multiple perpetrators, according to newly released documents. “The officer said it wasn’t known at that time if the ‘attack was expanding or not due to multiple reports coming in of explosive devices and secondary shooters’.”

Children detained by U.S. immigration authorities reported beatings and abuse. “Based on 30,000 pages of documents obtained through a records request, the report includes gruesome, detailed accusations of physical and mental abuse at the hands of officers.”

Eleven protesters killed in India by police during two days of demonstrations against copper smelting plant. “Police said efforts to disperse the crowd of several thousand with a baton charge and teargas volleys failed before authorities used live ammunition.”

Hong Kong’s government decides not to force employers to pay low wage employees for overtime. “Hong Kong has ended two decades of efforts to find a consensus on standardising working hours by deciding not to force bosses to pay overtime wages to low-income workers, settling for guidelines instead.”   It sounds like many low-income Hong Kong residents are salaried workers who receive the same monthly salary no matter how many hours they are required to work.

Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York may backfire. “Of course, it’s possible Clinton’s name has become so toxic her opposition will actually help (Cynthia) Nixon, in which case, progressives should thank her.”

Jury awards woman raped by security guard $1 billion. “Verdicts in the tens of millions of dollars, or even hundreds of millions, are not uncommon, Jeff Dion, director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association said in an email. But he had never heard of a $1bn verdict in a case with a single victim.”

Customs and Border Patrol seized money for health clinic in Africa, wants nurse to waive her legal rights to get it back. “Anthonia’s case really demonstrates how abusive civil forfeiture is,” said one of her lawyers, Anya Bidwell, “because she’s an outstanding individual, she’s a US citizen, she wants to do good in the world and if she’s not safe from civil forfeiture then nobody is safe from civil forfeiture.”

Spanish rapper sentenced to 3 years in prison for lyrics that mention political violence (which the government calls ‘glorifying terrorism’), but he may have fled the country. “I’m not going to make it easy for them, it’s legitimate and an obligation to disobey this fascist state.”

Bahrain allegedly cracked down on its opposition after Trump administration signaled its disinterest in the country’s internal affairs. “Less than 48 hours (after Trump’s meeting with Bahrain’s king), on May 23, 2017, Bahraini security forces raided the village of Diraz and opened fire at a sit-in…. Five people were killed, including a respected environmental activist, more than 100 were wounded, and 286 were arrested.”

CIA torture program may have been aimed at providing justification for the invasion of Iraq, not about collecting real intelligence. “After a portion of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture was released in 2014 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — against fierce opposition from the CI A — it became known that Ibn Shaykh al-Libi, captured in Afghanistan in 2001, testified (under torture) to just such a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda…. CIA agents questioned the validity of his statements from the start, however.”

Taylor, Michigan cops apparently beat man they mistook for a fugitive, but then claimed he was pulled over for stopping abruptly at a stop sign and turning into his driveway without signaling. “(Cody Meredith) said he never resisted officers and didn’t deserve to end up in the hospital.”

Veteran pleads guilty to Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting, is sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 120 years, tells judge he doesn’t know why he did it. “I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. There were a lot of things going on in my mind, messages.”   Insane or programmed to kill?

Man claims Laurel, Mississippi police officers beat him after he tried to evade (an unconstitutional) police checkpoint. “Police told Barnett to get down on the ground and when he did, they began kicking him…. The police then transported him to the South Central Regional Medical Center, where he was beaten more, (James) Barnett claimed.”

CIA reportedly infiltrated Barry Goldwater campaign, some say at Lyndon Johnson’s request. “(E. Howard) Hunt’s assets included a secretary on Goldwater’s campaign staff who provided advance copies of speeches and press releases.”

Judge in trial of Trump inauguration protesters rules that prosecutors withheld video evidence of protest planning meeting. “At pretrial hearing Wednesday afternoon, (Judge) Morin agreed that the prosecution had violated the ‘Brady rule’, which governs the state’s pretrial obligations to disclose exculpatory evidence, but declined to rule on the defense’s motions to dismiss the indictment or suppress the evidence. Morin will rule on those sanctions next week.”

Tony Blair claims he was unaware of rendition and imprisonment of tortured Libyan opposition activist and his wife. “I didn’t know myself about this case until after I left office, so I’m content to go along with (the May government’s) apology.”

Rudy Giuliani reportedly represented pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin. “Giuliani helped Purdue win a deal that limited future prosecution of the company, avoided prison time for its executives and permitted Purdue to continue doing business with the federal government, allowing Purdue to continue raking in billion-dollar profits.”

May 24, 2018

May 23, 2018

Federal Reserve says 40% of Americans have less than $400 in cash. “That’s an improvement from half of adults being unable to cover (an emergency) expense in 2013.”

Congress eases Dodd-Frank restrictions on ‘small’ banks. “Under the original Dodd-Frank regulatory rules, banks with as little as $50 billion in assets had to follow these tougher financial rules.”   As little as $50 billion? “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.”

U.S. banking industry had a record $56 billion in income in first three months of 2018. “…even without the tax (cuts), net income would have been $49 billion, which also would have been a record.”

ACLU and other privacy rights groups call out Amazon for selling facial recognition systems to law enforcement agencies. “People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government.”

Federal appeals court rules that Florida can ban publications in prisons. “…the Florida Department of Corrections has spent the past 15 years impounding issues of Prison Legal News to keep inmates from being tempted to act on ads for prohibited services they might see in the publication.”

McDonald’s employees from nine cities file sexual harassment complaints. “Employees of at least 10 McDonald’s locations have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the last several days, alleging sexual advances, lewd comments by supervisors and instances of inappropriate on-the-job behavior, the activist group Fight for $15 said in a statement Tuesday.”

Baltimore County, Maryland police reportedly locked down an entire 7 square mile neighborhood for 12 hours after burglary suspects ran over a police officer, killing her. “She got one shot off.”   When did the police get the power to declare martial law?

Three journalists blocked from attending EPA summit on water contamination. “EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the barred organizations they were not invited and there was no space for them, but gave no indication of why they specifically were barred.”

Lawsuits accuse University of Southern California gynecologist of inappropriately touching women during medical examinations. “USC nurses, chaperones and other staff members were regularly present in the examination rooms, observed the inappropriate sexual molestation, and took no steps to stop it as it occurred.”

Trump administration proposes rolling back hunting restrictions in Alaska. “The plan would allow wildlife managers in Alaska to decide on permitting hunting methods such as baiting bears with sweets, trapping wolves and their pups inside their dens as well as using motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.”   What about shooting animals from helicopters, as Sarah Palin advocated?

Judge evicts son from family’s home. “A New York judge today ordered a 30-year-old man to vacate his parents’ home after they took him to court when he refused to leave.”

New Jersey school bus knocked off its chassis when hit in traffic accident. “Gallery: School bus ripped apart in horrific collision with truck on Route 80.”   Are motor vehicles supposed to do this after a collision? I think not, but most news reports are focusing on the bus driver.

Huntsville, Alabama police officers will not face disciplinary action, despite bystander video showing them punching a subdued suspect. “The offender continued to actively resist, and as the social media video shows, an officer did strike the offender in large muscle areas, as trained, in an attempt to get the offender to release the officer’s hand.”   Police video of the incident has not been released.

Tax cut timeline: Harley Davidson gets huge tax cut thanks to Republican tax reform law. Company then announces 2019 closure of Kansas City factory. A few days later it announces dividend increase for its stockholders and a $696 million stock buyback. “Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson is opening up a plant in Thailand, where it plans to start production later this year.”

96% of the earth’s mammals are either humans or their livestock. “When I do a puzzle with my daughters, there is usually an elephant next to a giraffe next to a rhino. But if I was trying to give them a more realistic sense of the world, it would be a cow next to a cow next to a cow and then a chicken.”

Author argues that American society is better described as a powerful elite of 0.1%, a meritocracy-turned-aristocracy of 9.9% and the bottom 90%. “(The 9.9%) are the staff that runs the machine that funnels resources from the 90 percent to the 0.1 percent. We’ve been happy to take our cut of the spoils.”

Trump administration allegedly planning to cut $7 billion from health insurance program for uninsured children. “The GOP tax cuts for the rich aren’t going to pay themselves. That cash has to come from somewhere.”

Milwaukee to release video of black Bucks player being tased by police during parking dispute. “(Sterling) Brown, then 22 and now 23, was arrested on 26 January after police used a taser while Brown was being questioned by officers over a parking violation in a Walgreens pharmacy parking lot.”   So how often to white motorists get tased over parking violations?

Addiction to money is destroying the planet. “(Cash) addicts will hijack human spirituality, exploit hatred, brainwash the masses, derail democratic politics and tinker with fascism in their desire to have more.”

Red Cross says health care workers and hospitals are still being targeted in conflicts. “Over 1,200 violent incidents against hospitals and medical personnel have taken place in 16 countries in the two years since the U.N. adopted a resolution demanding that combatants protect staff and facilities treating the wounded and sick, the Red Cross said Tuesday.”

Another 1,000 bodies reportedly found beneath the rubble of Mosul. “The bodies were said to be of Islamic State (IS) militants, their family members or the civilians prevented by IS militants from leaving homes during the fierce battles and heavy bombardment of the city….”

Emergency Committee for Rojava seeks to mobilize support for leftist Kurds in northern Syria after Turkish invasion. “Please join us as signatories and supporters in our call for the US and its allies to end their tacit acquiescence in Turkey’s military adventure and restore peace and safety to the people of Rojava.”


May 23, 2018

May 22, 2018

Thai authorities file charges against opposition party after it holds news conference. “The party was charged with violating a ban on political activity, sedition and breaking Thailand’s computer crimes act by publicizing the event online, said Burin Thongpraphai, chief of the junta’s legal team.”

Supreme Court rules 5-4 that companies can bar workers from uniting in class action lawsuits, liberal justices dissent. “When workers charge their employers with unlawful conduct — in this case, violations of laws governing wages earned and hours worked — there is strength in numbers.”

Las Vegas casino workers to vote on strike as contract expiration approaches. “A majority of ‘yes’ votes Tuesday would not immediately affect the casinos but would give the union’s negotiators a huge bargaining chip by allowing them to call for a strike at any time starting June 1.”

Prominent British Labour Party member resigns over allegations of anti-Semitism. “Speaking in April 2016, Mr Livingstone, who was defending MP Naz Shah over claims she had made anti-Semitic social media posts, said: ‘When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.'”   Livingston argues that his historically accurate comments were not anti-Semitic, but that he is resigning to avoid further controversy. Jeremy Corbyn reportedly called Livingston’s resignation ‘sad’, and was immediately accused of anti-Semitism.

Syrian government regains control of Damascus and its suburbs seven years after popular uprising. “Syrian state TV broadcast footage of tanks rolling through a shattered neighborhood once held by rebels, as government troops waved the national flag.”

Baltimore police locked down city schools after an officer was killed by a vehicle. “At around 9:45 p.m., all students had been released.”

Google reportedly drops ‘Don’t be evil’ as its guiding principle. “Google removed “don’t be evil” from its Code of Conduct just in time to work on military grade image recognition ML software for a Pentagon tactical drone program.”   Because we all know that Google is on the ropes and has to chuck its principles in order to survive.

Poll finds that voters want Democrats to run on a progressive platform. “A CBS News/YouGov poll (pdf) asked Democrats, Independents, and those who lean toward voting for Democrats to choose between two options for what Democratic candidates’ “first priority” should be. A full 72 percent said they want to see party candidates prioritize a progressive political agenda. The remaining 28 percent opted for merely opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda.”

Iraq reportedly sentencing foreign Islamic State wives to death after 10 minute trials. “Foreigners in particular, often carrying babies, are processed with an uncompromising efficiency rarely seen in other parts of Iraq’s judicial system.”

Tibetan language activist sentence to five years in prison for ‘inciting separatism’. “(Tashi Wangchuk) travelled from a Tibetan area of Qinghai province to Beijing where he attempted to file a lawsuit against local officials for contravening China’s constitution, which maintains that all ethnicities in China ‘have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages’.”

UK class action lawsuit accuses Google of bypassing Apple’s Safari browser’s privacy settings to collected data on iPhone users for targeted ads. “At the opening of an expected two-day hearing in London on Monday, lawyers for Lloyd’s campaign group Google You Owe Us told the court information collected by Google included race, physical and mental heath, political leanings, sexuality, social class, financial, shopping habits and location data.”

More Saudi feminists arrested ahead of repeal of driving ban. “The arrests, with more feared by human rights campaigners, come amid a high-profile campaign in Saudi media outlets and on social media denouncing the women as ‘traitors’.”

Foreign policy and national security positions of Republican Party and Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer are not very different. “There are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used.”

Little progress being made in Afghan war, despite approximately $700 billion in U.S. spending. “The Trump administration’s revamped Afghanistan strategy has made little progress against the Taliban insurgency, leaving the country a ‘dangerous and volatile’ place nearly 17 years after the U.S. invaded, a government watchdog report said Monday.”

Israeli social media consultant reportedly pitched multi-million dollar ‘social media manipulation’ proposal to Trump campaign. “The New York Times reports the Israeli specialist, Joel Zamel, had already written a multi-million-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation campaign aimed at helping Trump win, ahead of the August 3 meeting, which was organized by Erik Prince, the head of the now defunct mercenary firm Blackwater.”


May 22, 2018