June 30, 2018

NSA deleting ‘hundreds of millions’ of electronic records of Americans it says may have been collected in error. “Under the Freedom Act, the agency took in 151 million call-detail records in 2016 and 534 million such records in 2017, according to government reports.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/us/politics/nsa-call-records-purged.html

Director of President Trump’s National Economic Council claims U.S. budget deficit is ‘coming down rapidly’, but Congressional Budget Office says otherwise. “The CBO said on June 7 that the federal deficit was $530 billion so far in the 2018 fiscal year — $97 billion more than it was at this point last year.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/29/larry-kudlow-says-deficit-coming-down-rapidly-against-cbo-evidence.html

State Department official suggests changes to U.N. declaration on racism, says ‘nationalism’ is not bad, ‘xenophobia’ (fear of foreigners) is too vague and could mean anything, and that governments are not obligated to do anything about hate speech. “To refer to the ‘rise’ of racism resumes [sic] (1) there was some more innocent time when racism didn’t exist in the world; or (2) racism is increasing over some unspecified previous time,” Veprek writes. “Is there evidence for either of these assertions?”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/29/politics/veprek-state-dept-un-racism/index.html

White woman allegedly tells black teen he doesn’t belong at their community pool, threatens to call the police, hits him. “No child including mine or anybody else’s ever, ever, deserves that type of abuse or treatment or to be struck not once, not twice, but three times by someone that is upset because of the color of someone’s skin, and they feel as though they don’t belong at their swimming pool.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/29/us/pool-patrol-paula-south-carolina-trnd/index.html

Police reportedly ID’ed newspaper shooting suspect using facial recognition technology. “Anne Arundel County police chief Timothy Altomare told reporters Friday that police sent an image of Jarrod Ramos to the Maryland Combined Analysis Center, which compared his photo to others in the Maryland Image Repository System (or MIRS), which is stocked with millions of images of known offenders as well as driver’s license photos.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/06/29/capital-gazette-gunman-identified-using-facial-recognition-technology/744344002/

Jury awards $17 million to man held in prison for 21 years after detectives used false testimony to convict him. “Jacques Rivera filed the lawsuit against former CPD detective Reynaldo Guevara, two other detectives and the City of Chicago, alleging that the officers manipulated a key witness who was only 12 years old.”   http://abc7chicago.com/society/jury-rules-against-former-cpd-detective-guevara-awards-$17m-to-victim/3676850/

Lancaster, Pennsylvania police officer tasers man after he sits down as ordered but doesn’t extend his legs the right way. “Williams sat down on the curb, but when he did not stretch his legs as instructed, the officer shocked him in the back — prompting the town’s mayor to launch an investigation into the cop’s use of force.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-news-lancaster-police-taser-sitting-man-20180629-story.html

700 protests against the Trump administration’s ‘zero humanity’ immigrant detention policies planned around the country on Saturday. “Dozens of social justice groups were mobilizing their ranks to participate in the Families Belong Together protests this week, including Planned Parenthood, Win Without War, and National Nurses United.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/29/700-events-planned-saturday-nationwide-rallies-will-demand-end-trumps-zero-humanity

Food safety testing finds antibiotic resistant ‘super bugs’ on U.S. meat. “Specifically, the federal testing detected antibiotic resistant bacteria on: 79 percent of ground turkey; 71 percent of pork chops; 62 percent of ground beef; and 36 percent of chicken breasts, legs, things, or wings.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/29/aaack-new-analysis-shows-superbugs-lurking-three-fourths-us-supermarket-meat

Bernie Sanders invites CEOs to discuss income inequality. “In four separate letters delivered on Thursday, Sanders invited Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Steve Easterbrook of McDonald’s, Doug McMillon of Walmart, and Bob Iger of Disney to ‘sit on a panel with their own employees and explain why it’s acceptable that they receive huge compensation packages while their very own workers are struggling to put food on the table’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/28/town-hall-invite-sanders-dares-top-ceos-have-guts-face-their-struggling-workers

North Korea accused of secretly ramping up nuclear weapons production by U.S. intelligence agencies. “There is absolutely unequivocal evidence that they are trying to deceive the U.S.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/north-korea-has-increased-nuclear-production-secret-sites-say-u-n887926

Five people removed from SkyWest flight after dispute between woman and flight attendant over putting her phone in ‘airplane mode’. “What followed was a mutiny by other passengers. ‘She was complying!’ said one male passenger.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/passenger-tossed-flight-dispute-flight-172307762.html

Nine arrested outside Portland, Oregon ICE office. “Officers moved in at sunrise and were able to unblock the entrance to the facility that had been closed for more than a week, said Rob Sperling, spokesman for Federal Protective Service, which is responsible for protecting federal buildings.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/federal-officers-move-reopen-immigration-office-oregon-174832885.html

Facebook quiz app allegedly exposed users’ personal data, for years. “Since NameTests displayed their user’s personal data in javascript file, virtually any website could access it when they would request it.”   https://medium.com/@intideceukelaire/this-popular-facebook-app-publicly-exposed-your-data-for-years-12483418eff8

Shopping for a new cell phone while black: Fresno, California police force man to crawl out of T-Mobile store at gunpoint, on his stomach. ““What are you guys doing in there?” one officer asks. “Just trying to get a new phone,” Vincent replies.”   https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article214080189.html

Comedian who pranked Donald Trump with phone call on Air Force One reportedly gets late night visit from the Secret Service. “Alright, I didn’t answer & they have left, but my neighbors said they showed their badges. — John Melendez (@stutteringjohnm) June 30, 2018”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/comedian-pranked-trump-phone-call-claims-late-night-visit-secret-service-now-hes-run/

Black suspect charged with hate crime for calling cops ‘Nazis’ during his arrest. “(Robbie) Sanderson is not the only Pennsylvania resident to face ethnic intimidation charges for what appears to be simply making comments to the police that could be considered racist. The Appeal identified at least three other such cases in the state in 2016.”   https://theappeal.org/a-black-man-called-the-cops-nazis-and-was-charged-with-a-hate-crime/

Boy throwing stones reportedly fatally shot in the head by Israeli troops on border of Gaza. “The 13-year-old was fatally shot in the head and a 24-year-old man died of gunshot wounds to his leg and abdomen, the Gaza Health Ministry said. More than 130 wounded were evacuated to hospitals for treatment with at least three in serious condition, the ministry said.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/palestinians-13-old-killed-along-border-israel-165051465.html

Some journalists still blaming decades of job market collapse on robots. “… the reason millions of manufacturing workers lost their jobs in this period was decisions on trade policy by leaders of both political parties, not anything the robots did. That changes the story of the collapse of political parties (the theme of (Thomas) Friedman’s piece) a bit.”   https://fair.org/slider/soaring-cost-of-clues-leaves-thomas-friedman-apparently-unable-to-buy-one/

Young, detained migrants are reportedly appearing in court alone. “One immigration lawyer in California described a 3-year-old child separated from their family climbing a table during a deportation proceeding, saying, ‘It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids’.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/6/29/headlines/young_children_ordered_to_appear_alone_in_deportation_proceedings

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June 30, 2018

June 29, 2018

575 arrested at Washington, D.C. sit-in protest against separating immigrant families. “Amid unrelenting daily images of distraught immigrant children separated from parents and herded into fenced enclosures, women sat on the floor of the Senate Hart Office building’s 90-foot-high atrium.”   http://time.com/5325904/trump-immigration-policy-protest-senate/

Former ICE spokesperson, who says he was told to lie to the media about the number of migrants who escaped San Francisco bay area raids, gets a visit from Homeland Security agents during his CBS interview. “I could not fathom staying at an organization that was OK with lying to the American public. I hate that. In 17 years in the military, at the Department of Defense as a civilian, at NASA, and now at Homeland Security, I have never been asked to lie. I have never been asked to perpetuate a lie, which is the same as lying.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/former-ice-spokesman-james-schwab-opens-up-about-resignation-trump-administration/

Mayor of Pittsburgh suburb urges police to use fire hoses on anti-police brutality protesters demonstrating against shooting of Antwon Rose, posts picture from 1963 showing firemen blasting black anti-segregation demonstrators. “The mayor of Arnold, Westmoreland County issued an apology early Wednesday after screenshots of posts to her personal Facebook page that call for ‘rioters to be destroyed by a water canon (sic)’ circulated on social media…. ‘I’m posting this so the authorities everywhere sees (sic) this … bring the hoses.'”   http://www.wtae.com/article/arnold-mayors-facebook-posts-encourage-spraying-protesters-with-water-canons/21941216

Democratic governor of California Jerry Brown signs bill banning cities from imposing soda taxes. “Four cities in California have moved in recent years to raise taxes on soda and other sugary beverages in an effort to combat diabetes, heart disease and other weight-related health issues.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/394752-california-governor-signs-ban-on-soda-tax    Speechless….

State Department report warns other governments not to separate families. “Even at their best, residential institutions are unable to meet a child’s need for emotional support that is typically received from family members or consistent caretakers with whom the child can develop an attachment.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/us/politics/state-human-trafficking-report-migrants.html

72% of those polled say social media companies engage in political censorship. “Americans simply don’t trust those companies to be impartial when it comes to partisan politics, the study found.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-28/most-americans-think-social-media-giants-censor-their-views   There actually is censorship going on, but not the kind that most people think of. Those who can afford to run ads have their views widely shared (with very few restrictions) while those who can’t are blocked from reaching large numbers of people.

New California data privacy law aims to hold companies accountable for use of people’s data. “Although most privacy advocates support the law, some expressed lingering concerns because it includes a few loopholes. Technology companies can, for example, “share” people’s data even if a consumer bars them from selling it. And the law allows companies to charge higher prices to consumers who opt out of having their data sold.”   http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/28/technology/california-consumer-privacy-act/index.html

Poll finds that 32% of Americans want to increase the amount of legal immigration, 24% want it to decrease and 38% want it to remain at the current level. “Overall, 35 percent of respondents believe that most immigrants are in the country illegally, which Pew noted was incorrect…. According to Pew estimates, 75 percent of immigrants in the United States have legal status as of 2015, the most recent year of available data.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/americans-warming-up-to-immigration-poll-shows/

Reunification of separated immigrant families going very, very slowly. “On Tuesday, the secretary of Health and Human Services said there were 2,047 migrant children in its care as a result of being separated from their parents at the border so the parents could be prosecuted on criminal charges. Six days prior, the government had said there were 2,053 such children.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/six-children-families-separated-reunifications/index.html

Iraq threatens to execute more than an estimated 3,100 suspected IS members. “Iraq’s prime minister has ordered the immediate execution of all death row terror convicts after ISIS killed eight hostages…. AP estimated that 3,130 people have been sentenced to death for links to ISIS and other militant links since 2013.”   http://www.newsweek.com/iraq-orders-hundreds-isis-prisoners-executed-after-hostages-killed-1000896

Trump’s claim that North Korea has already returned the remains of 200 U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War does not stand up to examination. “We have not yet physically received them,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, but said that he is “optimistic” it would take place “in the not-too-distant future.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-korean-war-vets_us_5b352c42e4b007aa2f7e5080

New Japanese law limits overtime to 100 hours per month. “The bill, the most important legislation in the current session under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is a major turning point in the history of Japan’s labor practices.”   https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-s-parliament-passes-work-reform-bill-to-limit-overtime   Does that include unpaid overtime, or does it only apply to paid overtime?

 

June 29, 2018

June 28, 2018

Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement, Donald Trump will nominate his successor. “The nomination battle will likely ignite a firestorm on Capitol Hill as it comes just a year after Republicans changed the rules of the Senate in order to push through the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first nominee.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/anthony-kennedy-retires/index.html   Justice Kennedy wrote the court’s opinion on the Citizens United case. “Kennedy argued that independent expenditures, by definition, could not have a corrupting effect on elected officials,” says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “By definition, because the political spender did not obtain a signed agreement for a favor in exchange for the political spending. There are perhaps five people in Washington, D.C. who think this reflects how political spending works. That would be Justice Kennedy and the four justices who joined him.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/06/28/farewell-to-anthony-kennedy-author-of-some-of-the-most-ludicrous-words-in-supreme-court-history/

Chairman of House Natural Resources Committee wants to investigate foreign ties of U.S. environmental groups. “We are interested in environmental litigation by U.S. based 501(c) organizations against the Department of Defense and its negative impact on our national security.”   https://thinkprogress.org/house-republican-targets-second-environmental-group-for-its-work-overseas-15a37e505261/

Green candidate Laura Wells will oppose Congresswoman Barbara Lee in California general election in November. “Laura Wells’s name will appear alongside Lee’s on the November ballot because she won 77 percent of the official write-in vote and therefore placed second in the top-two primary.”   http://sfbayview.com/2018/06/running-green-in-d13-tax-the-rich-and-stop-the-wars/

Progressive Democrats win governor’s race primaries in Maryland and Colorado. “Progressive candidates also won two gubernatorial primaries, with 2016 Bernie Sanders ally and former NAACP head Ben Jealous winning in Maryland and Rep. Jared Polis in Colorado.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/takeaways-tuesday-primaries-crowley/index.html

Supreme Court rules that public employee unions must represent non-members for free. “Twenty-two states – including populous ones such as California, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – have allowed unions to assess the fees on nonunion members, who benefit from collective-bargaining agreements anyway.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2018/06/27/supreme-court-labor-unions-ruling/739414002/

East Pittsburgh police officer charged with homicide after shooting fleeing, unarmed teen in the back. “You do not shoot somebody in the back if they are not a threat to you.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/police-officer-charged-fatal-shooting-unarmed-east-pittsburgh/story?id=56196640

Kingsland, Georgia police officer charged with manslaughter in shooting death of fleeing motorist, autopsy and body camera video not released. “According to Phillips, that evidence must have shown Green was either shot in the back, or far enough way he couldn’t have been a threat to Presley during the traffic stop that turned deadly.”   https://www.news4jax.com/news/georgia/camden-county/kingsland/records-show-previous-interaction-between-kingsland-officer-man-fatally-shot_

Republican immigration bill fails to pass in House of Representatives by embarrassingly large margin (301-121). “The Republican compromise voted on Wednesday would have provided a shot at citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/27/gop-compromise-immigration-bill-defeated-on-house-floor.html

Tennessee Republican proposes crowdfunding border wall. “Today, U.S. Congressman (sic) Diane Black (R-TN-06) introduced the Border Wall Trust Fund Act, which would create an account at the U.S. Treasury dedicated to holding public donations for the completion of the wall along the United States’ southern border.”   https://black.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-black-introduces-border-wall-trust-fund-act   Are the Mexican government’s donations to the Border Wall going into this trust fund too? Or is that a separate account?

ICE agents accused of snatching detainee’s partner, breaking lawyer’s foot. “The 3 a.m. encounter ended up with the family in tears, Martinez with a fractured foot after she says she was shoved (out the door) by an ICE agent, and Luis detained and placed in removal proceedings…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/06/26/immigration-lawyer-says-ice-agent-pushed-her-to-the-ground-as-she-went-help-reunite-a-family/

Federal judge orders Border Patrol to stop separating families and to reunited those already separated. “Any children younger than 5 must be reunited within 14 days of Tuesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego ruled.”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/06/27/federal-judge-orders-end-family-separations-at-us-border.html

U.S. Supreme Court overturns ruling that allowed internment of Japanese Americans. “In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from several Muslim majority nations, but in doing so they also took the chance to note that the 1944 decision allowing Japanese internment was ‘gravely wrong’…. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor accused the court of overlooking the clear parallels between the two cases.”   http://time.com/5324434/supreme-court-travel-ban-karen-korematsu/

Jury in Quintonio LeGrier lawsuit awards family $1 million, but judge reverses their award since they also indicated that the shooting was justified. “(Officer) Rialmo shot and killed Quintonio LeGreier, 19, and his neighbor, Bettie Jones, while responding to a disturbance call in 2015…. Rialmo alleges that LeGrier swung a bat at him.”   http://abc7chicago.com/judge-rejects-jurys-decision-in-legrier-wrongful-death-lawsuit;-family-estate-awarded-no-damages/3664462/

Alexandria, Virginia man dies after being restrained by six police officers. “Once (Christopher) Paul was restrained, paramedics were allowed to enter the home, Roessler said. As medics were assessing him, Paul experienced a medical emergency. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”   https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/6-Va-Officers-on-Leave-After-Unarmed-Man-Dies-While-Being-Arrested-486699431.html

Nominee to head Internal Revenue Service reportedly failed to disclosed that he owned property in a Trump development. “(Charles) Rettig, a tax lawyer from Beverly Hills, reported on a committee questionnaire about assets and income that he had 50 percent ownership in two rental units in Hawaii. But he didn’t include that they were located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower Waikiki Beach Walk…”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-28/trump-s-irs-nominee-has-stake-in-units-at-trump-branded-resort

FBI claimed former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received a $10 million loan from Russian oligarch. “In an affidavit attached to the July 2017 (search warrant) application, an FBI agent said he had reviewed tax returns for a company controlled by Manafort and his wife that showed a $10 million loan from a Russian lender identified as Oleg Deripaska.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/russian-oligarch-loaned-10-million-manafort-business-documents-show-n887196

Three hospitals in rebel held area of Syria hit by airstrikes. “A medical charity and a monitoring group said the facilities in the towns of Saida, Jizah and Musayfira, east of the city of Deraa, were hit overnight.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44628879   Wow, what a coincidence!

Trump administration reportedly deporting some migrants without their children. “Reuters tracked at least six Central American migrants last week after they were deported while their children remained in U.S. shelters or, as in the case of Garcia’s daughter, in the custody of sponsors.”  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-separated/deported-after-trump-order-central-americans-grieve-for-lost-children-idUSKBN1JO01U?il=0

Marketing company accused of leaving data on hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens and businesses exposed on the internet. “Aside from the sheer breadth of the Exactis leak, it may be even more remarkable for its depth: Each record contains entries that go far beyond contact information and public records to include more than 400 variables on a vast range of specific characteristics: whether the person smokes, their religion, whether they have dogs or cats, and interests as varied as scuba diving and plus-size apparel.”   https://www.wired.com/story/exactis-database-leak-340-million-records/

Facebook accused of manipulating users into handing over their data. “When choosing the privacy-enhancing option, such as disabling face recognition, users are presented with a tailored set of consequences: “we won’t be able to use this technology if a stranger uses your photo to impersonate you,” for instance, to scare the user into enabling it.”   https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/27/study-calls-out-dark-patterns-in-facebook-and-google-that-push-users-towards-less-privacy/

Trump Federal Trade Commission appointee reportedly represented at least 54 companies before joining the agency. “The only [thing] Andrew Smith should be running is the competition for the greatest revolving-door figure in the Trump era,” said Jeff Hauser, who runs the Revolving Door Project. “The competition has been fierce for the last 18 months, but out of nowhere comes the Federal Trade Commission.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/06/27/andrew-smith-ftc/

Federal judge rips ICE over vague ‘gang affiliation’ charges against immigrant teenager. “Judge Sweet says, ‘This is not even probable cause.’ He’s like, ‘What you’re asserting against this young man is not evidence.’ I hope that that will empower other people to say, you know, just because the government says something, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/06/27/federal-judge-frees-salvadoran-teen-ice-detention/

Trump stands up for Putin, accuses FBI of corruption. “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election! Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018

White BART rider in San Francisco summons cops over man eating a burrito on the train. “Yes, can we get a policeman on board here,” he says into the intercom. “We’ve got someone dining in the first car.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/watch-white-man-freaks-burrito-eating-train-passenger-calls-cops-https/

Black students settle racial harassment lawsuit against their high school. “Yerington Police Chief Darren Wagner told the Reno Gazette Journal in an October 2017 interview that he was not investigating the threats posted on social media because they were protected as free speech and that the family’s police statements were shredded accidentally.”   https://wtop.com/education/2018/06/rural-black-nevada-students-win-discrimination-settlement/

Billionaire couple accused of dumping sick dogs on animal rescue shelter, refusing to pay for their treatment. “Crazy dog adoption lady trying to squeeze the Shoen’s for $$$,” Sylvia Shoen wrote back. “This b*tch will never see a copper penny!”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/06/trump-loving-billionaire-dumps-sick-puppies-dog-rescue-pretends-broke-avoid-fees/

Miami-Dade police officers reportedly used excessive force on littering suspect then lied on their police reports but were not disciplined. “MDPD detectives punched the suspect on video and later lied on their arrest affidavits, prosecutors discovered last August. But State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office never charged the officers…. Despite the clear violations detailed in the memo, MDPD spokesperson Det. Alvaro Zabaleta confirmed that the two officers involved are still active and that the department’s internal affairs investigation ‘revealed no criminal or wrongdoing; therefore, there is no disciplinary action forthcoming’.”   http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-dade-cops-beat-man-and-lied-but-faced-no-discipline-10471151

Amnesty International accuses senior Myanmar military officers of involvement in Rohingya atrocities. “Our report also shows that the crimes against humanity implicate each level of the Myanmar military, from soldiers on the ground who committed the atrocities; to field commanders who ordered or directly oversaw the crimes; to ultimately the senior-most levels of the military, including Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.”   https://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-military-top-brass-involved-in-rohingya-atrocities-amnesty-international/a-44416739

German citizen charged with terrorism in Turkey after making movie about slaughter of Yazidis by Islamic State. “The PKK swept in from their mountain bases to save Yazidis in Sinjar as IS overran the area in 2014.”   https://www.dw.com/en/kurdish-german-singer-hozan-cane-arrested-in-turkey-on-terrorism-charges/a-44420346

 

June 28, 2018

June 27, 2018

Leaked ICE undercover operations manual reveals that informants can break laws, forge credentials and impersonate professionals who their targets would tend to trust. “Then there’s the list of personas undercover informants can adopt, which include priests/clergy, lawyers, doctors, therapists, and ‘news media’. Naturally, some of these roles involve the harvesting of privileged communications…”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180623/17171740098/leaked-ice-manual-shows-govt-allowing-informants-to-engage-illegal-behavior-impersonate-lawyers-journalists-doctors.shtml

Supreme Court upholds Trump’s ban on visitors from Muslim countries. “The Supreme Court’s approval of President Trump’s travel ban barring entry to some 150 million people from five overwhelmingly Muslim countries is likely to be judged by history as one of the court’s greatest failures — in a league with Dred Scott v. Sandford, which helped bring on the Civil War (by ruling that slaves are property without any legal rights), and Korematsu v. United States, which upheld the wartime detention of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans and noncitizens of Japanese descent.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/move-over-dred-scott/2018/06/26/6f8f425c-796d-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html

Supreme Court rules that California cannot force ‘pregnancy crisis centers’ to disclose to clients that they are not medical facilities and do not employee health care providers. “…unlicensed clinics offer pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds, and, to an unskeptical eye, they can look very much like a licensed medical facility. The personnel wear surgical scrubs or white coats and ask clients to fill out medical history questionnaires.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/06/26/606427673/supreme-court-sides-with-california-anti-abortion-pregnancy-centers    Does this mean I can set up a ‘cancer treatment center’ without a medical license, impersonate a doctor and treat people with vitamins, avocado pits and magic crystals? Or maybe a ‘legal crisis center’ that looks like an attorney’s office, where I charge people for advice that I look up on the internet, without actually having any legal training? The Supreme Courts seems to be saying that state regulators would be violating my First Amendment rights if they insisted that I disclose to my clients that I am providing services without any training.

Congressional Budget Office warns of ballooning federal deficit. “The budget office’s annual look at the government’s long-term financial outlook paints a grim picture, projecting soaring deficits in the coming years, with debt ultimately peaking at more than 152% of the nation’s gross domestic product.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-tax-cuts-debt-20180626-story.html

Reality Winner pleads guilty to leaking classified government report on Russian attempts to hack U.S. election infrastructure, something Trump dismissed at one point as being ‘ridiculous’. “The report described two cyberattacks by Russia’s military intelligence unit, the G.R.U. — one in August against a company that sells voter-registration-related software and another, a few days before the election, against 122 local election officials.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/us/reality-winner-nsa-leak-guilty-plea.html

IRS releases new postcard-size tax form, but it looks just like the old tax form with some information left off, which you will now need to complete on separate schedules. “Don’t confuse creating a postcard with simplifying a tax filing, it’s not the same thing at all.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/postcard-size-the-irs-new-1040-tax-return-form-is-smaller-but-no-less-complicated/   In Japan, most employees who have only one employer have their tax bill calculated for them by their company, and more or less income tax is withheld on the last check of the year to make their tax bill come out to zero, meaning they don’t have to file tax returns at all!   https://blog.gaijinpot.com/japan-year-end-tax-adjustments/

Montana man claims he was raped by his ex-girlfriend, who was hiding in his home before threatening him with a machete. “The ex-boyfriend told authorities he engaged in the sexual activity because he feared for his own safety, KPAX reported.”   https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article213849404.html

‘Baby jail’ employee reportedly told detained migrant children that if they talked to the press there could be unforeseen consequences. “If for whatever reason you talk to a reporter, you know what’s going to happen to your case? It’s going to be on the news — and then one doesn’t know what is going to happen.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/detained-migrant-children-warned-not-to-talk-to-reporters-2018-6

Myanmar troops who participated in ethnic cleansing operation against the country’s Muslims implicated by survivors and by their own social media posts. “The (Rohingya) are quiet now,” Sai Sitt Thway Aung, the 99th (light infantry division) soldier, posted on his Facebook page on Sept. 5. “(Rohingya) villages have burned.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-battalions-specialre/the-shock-troops-who-expelled-the-rohingya-from-myanmar-idUSKBN1JM1X7?il=0

Spanish doctor accused of stealing child from political prisoners. “Campaigners say officials took babies from “unsuitable” mothers – often communists or leftists – and gave them to families connected to the regime. They say it continued after Franco’s death into the 1980s.”   https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/06/26/doctor-goes-on-trial-over-spains-stolen-babies-scandal/23468291/

Algeria accused of dumping African migrants in the desert without food or water. “There were people who couldn’t take it. They sat down and we left them. They were suffering too much.”   https://apnews.com/9ca5592217aa4acd836b9ee091ebfc20

Democratic socialist beats moderate, 10-term, Wall Street-friendly incumbent in New York City primary election. “(Alexandria) Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders organizer, has never held elected office. Ocasio-Cortez ran a low-budget campaign and was outspent by an 18-1 margin.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/primary-elections-2018-06-26-sc-ny-maryland-oklahoma-mississippi-utah-colorado-live-updates/

Separated immigrant families will not be reunited while parents are in custody says Health and Human Services secretary. “The administration will reunite children with their parents quickly only if the parents drop their claims for asylum in the U.S. and agree to be deported.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-administration-will-not-reunite-any-1530046814-htmlstory.html

In San Francisco, families earning less than $117,000 are considered ‘low-income’. “A report out this week from the Department of Housing and Urban Development finds the median price for a single-family home in the Bay Area is now $935,000.”   http://www.ktva.com/story/38516216/families-earning-117k-now-qualify-as-low-income-in-bay-area

Omaha, Nebraska non-profit CEO was reportedly paid an annual salary of $933,444. “Nebraska’s attorney general says the board responsible for overseeing Goodwill Omaha allowed the charity to stray from its core mission of providing jobs for the needy and disabled while top executives received excessive payments.”   http://nebraska.tv/news/local/report-lax-oversight-led-to-mismanagement-at-goodwill-omaha-06-26-2018

Blind man claims he was assaulted by police officer in Phoenix, Arizona convenience store restroom, but that he went to jail. “Marco kept screaming, ‘I’m blind. I can’t see. I’m blind. I’m blind,'” Gastelum said. “You can clearly see that he’s blind. I don’t know how you can miss that.”   https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/arizona/blind-man-claims-he-was-slammed-to-the-ground-falsely-arrested-by-phoenix-officer/75-567141949

Supreme Court tosses 1944 Japanese internment ruling. “This question of whether Korematsu is or is not good law has been kicking around for several decades now,” he said. “It looks as though the Supreme Court decided finally to try to put the question to rest.”    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/1944-Korematsu-opinion-on-Japanese-American-13028660.php

Maoists in India clash with militarized police. “The Maoist rebels (also known as Naxalites), inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting the Indian government for more than four decades, demanding land and jobs for tenant farmers, the poor and indigenous communities.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/maoist-rebels-detonate-bomb-kill-6-indian-police-210735934.html

Washington Post article says Mexico’s likely next president ‘is a lot like Trump’, but most people would probably disagree. “As mayor of Mexico City, López Obrador subsidized subway fares and gave stipends to senior citizens and single mothers. As president, Trump and his allies in Congress doled out ‘close to $5 trillion in tax cuts almost exclusively for the wealthy’, including a corporate tax cut of $1.5 trillion…”   https://fair.org/home/for-wapo-subsidizing-bus-fare-is-a-lot-like-giving-the-rich-5-trillion/

More than 2,500 arrests during six weeks of the ‘Poor People’s Campaign’, but the movement received  little mainstream news coverage. “Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday where the Poor People’s Campaign capped off 40 days of action with a rally and march to further energize its call for a ‘moral revival’ and intention to ‘move forward together, not one step back’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/23/take-away-our-poverty-not-our-children-poor-peoples-campaign-caps-40-days-action

Scott Pruitt FOIA emails reveal more ties to lobbyists. “…a month after becoming EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt told top executives with the American Petroleum Institute that he was looking to fill regional director positions within the agency. The emails are the latest evidence Pruitt sought to recruit members of the fossil fuel industry to work at the EPA.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/6/26/headlines/newly_released_scott_pruitt_emails_show_more_ties_to_lobbyist_fossil_fuel_industry

 

 

June 27, 2018

June 26, 2018

Trump claims illegal immigrants have killed 63,000 Americans in less than 17 years, which would mean 3% of the population commited about 25% of all murders. “Illegal immigrants made up about 6.4 percent of the Texas population in 2015 but only accounted for 5.4 percent of all homicide convictions. Legal immigrants made up 10.4 percent of the Texas population but accounted for only 1.6 percent of homicide convictions. Native-born Americans made up 83 percent of the Texas population but accounted for 93 percent of all homicide convictions.”   https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/have-undocumented-killed-63000-us-9-11/

Former Trump campaign official tells black Fox & Friends guest he is ‘out of his cotton-picking mind’. “David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of FOX News and we do not in any way condone them.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/media/393841-ex-trump-adviser-tells-black-fox-news-guest-hes-out-of-his-cotton-picking-mind

California ballot initiatives with wealthy backers much more likely to make it onto the ballot. “Meanwhile, proposed initiatives that might protect civil liberties, increase public safety or simply be popular with Californians can fail to gain traction without the millions of dollars needed to gather the hundreds of thousands of voter signatures required to qualify for the ballot.”   https://www.salon.com/2018/06/24/california-split-cal-3-campaign-epitomizes-golden-states-pay-to-play-initiative-process/

Turkish president Recep Erdogan claims easy victory in election despite polls showing a closer race. “The survey of 3,000 respondents in 26 of Turkey’s 81 provinces showed Erdogan receiving 48.3 percent of votes in the first round, with the main opposition party candidate, Muharrem Ince, seen at 31.4 percent.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-election-poll/poll-shows-turkeys-erdogan-falling-short-of-election-majority-in-first-round-idUSKCN1J124P   Election watchdog claims key ballot  security precaution undermined by Turkish election officials. “With four days to go until snap elections on June 24, Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has decided to remove a requirement that ballots be stamped by polling station officials in order to be considered valid and counted, according to a report by the Cumhuriyet daily.”   https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-election-watchdog-removes-key-ballot-security-measure-ahead-of-critical-polls/

Migrant children taken from their parents at the border have been moved around the country. “The children who were forcibly separated from their parents at the border by the United States government are all over the country now, in Michigan and Maryland, in foster homes in California and shelters in Virginia, in cold, institutional settings with adults who are not permitted to touch them or with foster parents who do not speak Spanish but who hug them when they cry.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/separated-immigrant-children-are-all-over-the-us-now-far-from-parents-who-dont-know-where-they-are/2018/06/24/c9bc5ba6-7568-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html

EU law could end up killing off memes. “It would mean that any website or platform that allows users to post images, footage, sound or code would have to use content recognition technologies — branded “censorship machines” by critics — to filter out just about anything that infringes on a copyright, and either prevent the platform from uploading or push it to seek licenses.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/end-memes-campaigners-dismayed-european-internet-ruling-n885726

China to increase potential bank lending by $107 billion. “The country’s central bank said late Sunday that it is set to release as much as 700 billion yuan ($107 billion) into the financial system by reducing the amount of deposits that most commercial banks are required to hold.”   http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/25/news/economy/china-rrr-cut-economy/index.html

Unarmed, black, Silver Spring, Maryland man fatally shot by police officer, was apparently not a suspect, just a ‘suspicious person’ walking in the neighborhood. “”The officer encountered an African American man in that area and attempted to speak with him, but the man became combative and a physical altercation occurred,” a police statement after the shooting said.”   https://patch.com/maryland/silverspring/man-shot-police-silver-spring-was-gentle-soul-report

Harley-Davidson to move more production abroad to avoid foreign tariffs. “Increasing international production to alleviate the EU tariff burden is not the company’s preference, but represents the only sustainable option.”   http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/25/news/companies/harley-davidson-motorcycles-tariffs-trump/index.html

California woman mistakes Mexican-American U.S. citizens for an illegal alien, calls Mexicans ‘rapists’, ‘animals’ and ‘drug dealers’. “Guzman, 27, works in construction on weekends to supplement his full-time job in IT as a systems administrator. He and his mother were clearing a yard in Running Springs, 80 miles east of Los Angeles, when the woman approached.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/25/citing-trump-woman-in-video-calls-latino-man-rapist-animal-drug-dealer

AT&T facilities reportedly key components of NSA’s FAIRVIEW internet surveillance program. “Central to the internet spying are eight “peering link router complex” sites, which are pinpointed on the top-secret NSA map. The locations of the sites mirror maps of AT&T’s networks, obtained by The Intercept from public records.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/25/most-important-surveillance-story-you-will-see-years-report-reveals-how-att

Supreme Court lets gerrymandered election districts in North Carolina and Texas stand. “After years of litigation and undeniable proof of intentional discrimination, minority voters in Texas—despite constituting a majority of the population within the state—will continue to be underrepresented in the political process.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/25/severe-blow-voting-rights-supreme-court-preserves-gop-gerrymanders-texas-and-north

Trump administration allegedly telling immigrants that if they waive their legal rights and agree to be voluntarily deported they can get their children back. “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a fact sheet over the weekend stating that detained parents who sign a so-called “voluntary departure order”—paperwork that simply expedites deportation—can be reunited with their children.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/25/sickening-so-called-voluntary-deportation-trumps-dhs-using-children-bait-expel

80,000 voter registrations may appear incorrectly in Maryland primary voter rolls. “Voters who paid to renew a driver’s license or made other purchases did have their updated information sent to the Board of Elections. But information was not relayed to the Board of Elections for voters who logged on only to change their voter information, according to the (Motor Vehicle Administration).”   http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-voting-snafu-update-20180625-story.html

Someone creates satirical http://www.trumphotels.org website with pictures of immigrant detention facilities, notes they also offer child accommodations. “Visitors to trumphotels.org are greeted with a landing page featuring photos of immigrants detained behind chain-link fences and children wrapped in emergency blankets.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-hotels-website-domain-purchased-turned-into-parody-presidents-immigration-policy-2018-6

Federal judge rules that oil companies cannot be held legally liable for the effects of global warming, which they knew about but failed to disclose. “(San Francisco and Oakland) are trying to get five oil and gas giants, including Bay Area-based Chevron, to help cover the costs of dealing with sea-level rise, like picking up the tab for seawalls. However, (Judge) Alsup, noting that Congress and the White House, not the judiciary, are responsible for addressing the fallout from fossil fuels, granted the industry’s request to dismiss the suits.”   https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/Judge-throws-out-SF-and-Oakland-climate-change-13025637.php   Does this mean the federal government gets to clean up the problem of lung cancer that resulted from tobacco companies covering up medical research?

Two Lockport, New York warehouse employees crushed to death in industrial accident. “The preliminary investigation determined 11 slabs of (DuPont) Corian, a material used to make countertops and benchtops, collapsed onto the workers as it was being unloaded from a trailer. Each slab weighed about 800 pounds.”   https://buffalonews.com/2018/06/25/victims-in-lockport-industrial-accident-identified/

Salesforce employees ask CEO to drop Customs and Border Patrol contract. “In March, Salesforce publicly announced its work with CBP, which is part of the US Department of Homeland Security and is one of the agencies tasked with enforcing President Trump’s Mexico border policies, as an opportunity to ‘modernize its recruiting process, from hire to retire, and manage border activities and digital engagement with citizens’.”   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/salesforce-employees-upset-over-company-002741000.html

Restaurant in Ohio accused of making black customers show their receipts before leaving. “Chante Spencer, who was present during the incident, believes they were racially profiled and falsely accused of being guests who would skip out and not pay.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/06/25/ohio-bahama-breeze-racial-profiling-sorority/733023002/

Interpol allegedly scraping the internet for recordings for voice identification database. “People choose to upload material online for various reasons, but I doubt it’s to let police and arms companies then enroll them into secret databases made available to police around the world.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/06/25/interpol-voice-identification-database/

Supreme Court refuses to block lawsuit against Sonoma county deputy who shot 13 year-old Andy Lopez, who was holding a plastic gun. “The 5-foot-3 boy was seen carrying a plastic gun that Deputy Erick Gelhaus, an Iraq war vet, thought might be an AK-47…. As Andy turned toward him, Gelhaus fired eight shots and killed him.”   http://www.marinij.com/article/NO/20180625/NEWS/180629878

 

 

 

June 26, 2018

June 24, 2018

Minneapolis police accused of shooting fleeing black suspect. “Police confronted (Thurman) Blevins and told him not to move, said witness James Lark. Officers then used a Taser on Blevins, who tried to run away, witnesses said. That’s when shots rang out. ‘I heard 9, 10, 11, 12 shots,’ Lark said.”   http://www.startribune.com/police-flock-to-north-minneapolis-neighborhood-after-report-of-shots-fired/486366821/

Guantanamo Bay prison camp started out as a camp for asylum seekers. “In the early 1990s… tens of thousands of Haitians and Cubans set sail for America, seeking asylum. They were interdicted and detained at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”   https://www.thedailybeast.com/history-lesson-gitmo-started-as-a-detention-camp-for-immigrants

Video made by distant bystander shows Antwon Rose fleeing Pittsburgh police as they open fire. “In the short clip taken from a second floor window, Rose, 17, can be seen running from the car during a traffic stop. Three shots then appear to come from the officer’s gun.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5879041/Woman-filmed-police-officer-shoot-Antwon-Rose-said-officer-harsh.html   On third night of protests over the shooting, driver plows through demonstrators but no reported injuries. “Police are looking for a black sedan that drove through the crowd late Friday, said Chris Togneri, the city spokesman.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/23/us/pittsburgh-antwon-rose-protests/index.html   Either there were no cops at the demonstration (which is hard to imagine) or he just made a clean getaway.

White San Francisco woman accused of calling police to report an 8 year-old black girl selling bottled water without a permit. “Jordan was selling the water bottles outside the family’s apartment building, which is across the street from AT&T Stadium, where the Giants were playing that day, Austin said.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/06/23/permitpatty-video-woman-appear-call-cops-girl-selling-water-bottles/728682002/

Border Patrol reportedly set up immigration checkpoints on two interstate highway in New England. “Travelers have the right to remain silent… (but) Travelers who refuse to cooperate may be referred to a secondary examination area to allow agents to conduct additional questioning to determine the traveler’s citizenship or residency.”  https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/23/us/maine-new-hampshire-border-patrol-checkpoints/index.html   In other words, if anyone dares to exercise their 4th and 5th amendment rights they will be probably be detained for questioning and possibly searched, without any probable cause or even suspicion that a crime has been committed.

Thousand march in protest after five Spanish men found guilty of gang ‘sexual abuse’ of an 18 year-old girl are released on bail while awaiting their appeal. “Under the (Spanish) criminal code, rape must involve violence or intimidation. The judges ruled that there was not sufficient evidence of violence or intimidation, and they noted what they said was the passivity of the victim during the assault.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/world/europe/spain-pamplona-sexualassault.html

Rail company says about 230,000 gallons of Canadian tar sands oil spilled into Iowa river after train wreck. “BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said 14 of 32 oil tanker cars that derailed Friday just south of Doon in Lyon County leaked oil into surrounding floodwaters from the swollen Little Rock River.”   https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/06/23/crews-scramble-to-clean-up-oil-spill-after-nw-iowa-train-derailment

Walgreen’s pharmacist reportedly refuses to fill prescription for miscarriage-inducing medication for woman whose fetus has no heartbeat, says it violates his personal beliefs. “Arteaga said she told the pharmacist her baby was not viable and that she did not have a choice, but ‘he still said no’.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhisubbaraman/a-walgreens-pharmacist-denied-a-womans-prescription-for

 

 

June 24, 2018

June 23, 2018

Supreme Court rules that law enforcement needs a warrant to track cell phone users except in emergencies. “As with GPS information, the time-stamped (cell phone location) data provides an intimate window into a person’s life, revealing not only his particular movements, but through them his ‘familial, political, professional, religious and sexual associations.’”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/us/politics/supreme-court-warrants-cell-phone-privacy.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=5e2eeb4f-ca56-47a7-9997-b3d5045ec1a6

U.S. had carried out an estimated 550 drone strikes in Libya since 2011. “Probably very few people outside the U.S. government are even aware the U.S. is fighting in Libya, let alone conducting hundreds of lethal drone strikes there.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/06/20/libya-us-drone-strikes/

Berkeley city council subcommittee reverses course on banning the city’s police from attending Urban Shield event, some members say restricting police training in any way ‘could be in violation of the city charter or municipal code’. “During Monday’s meeting, Councilwoman Susan Wengraf said she had come to believe the June 4 subcommittee vote — which she had opposed — might actually violate the city charter and municipal code.”   https://www.berkeleyside.com/2018/06/20/tension-as-mayor-withdraws-vote-to-ban-berkeley-police-from-2018-urban-shield

Trump tries to deflect outrage over his ‘baby jails’ by pointing out that some American families have been ‘permanently separated’ from family members by immigrants committing crimes, but these deaths are exceptional according to researchers. “While any death is tragic, a February 2018 study by the Cato Institute using 2015 crime statistics from Texas found immigrants in the country illegally were 25 percent less likely to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/06/22/622540331/fact-check-trump-illegal-immigration-and-crime

Democratic Party candidate arrested in Maine while trying to deliver supplies to detained migrant children. “Zak (Ringelstein) is being arrested right now after trying to deliver toys, books, water, and blankets to children imprisoned in @realDonaldTrump’s internment camp. #mepolitics #resist — Zak Ringelstein (@RingelsteinME) June 22, 2018”   http://thehill.com/latino/393647-maine-senate-candidate-arrested-outside-immigration-detention-center

Environmental group wins Freedom on Information Act lawsuit after EPA refuses to hand over Scott Pruitt’s official emails. “In total, the documents provided for the 10-month time period amount to 25 pages containing the two emails and nine text messages.”   https://thinkprogress.org/epa-pruitt-emails-10-months-bb7ac78bc1ce/

Lawsuit claims asylum seekers held for weeks without lawyers. “After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, 123 men have been detained for weeks, spending up to 23 hours per day in cells and denied access to attorneys at a federal detention center in Sheridan, Ore., a lawsuit filed Friday by the American Civil Liberties Union alleges.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/06/22/migrants-denied-access-to-lawyers-held-in-cells-23-hours-a-day-aclu-lawsuit-alleges/

13 year old who recorded meeting with Manteno Middle School officials about missed detention sessions faces felony charges. “Two months later, in April, (Paul) Boron was charged with one count of eavesdropping – a class 4 felony in Illinois.”   https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-13-year-old-charged-with-eavesdropping-felony-for-recording-meeting-with-principal/

Beach jogging woman imprisoned for more than two weeks after accidentally crossing into Washington state from Canada. “It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border. It’s like a trap…”   http://www.newsweek.com/jogger-crosses-us-canada-border-held-two-weeks-992319

U.S. State Department official allegedly threatened to pull country from U.N. Human Rights Council over its report on U.S. poverty. “The 20-page Alston report found that the United States has among the most chronic rates of poverty among all nations in the developed world and that President Trump’s policies are likely to exacerbate them.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/22/i-think-i-was-being-sent-a-message-u-s-warned-u-n-report-on-poverty-in-america-could-have-consequences/

British university sends students email with inspirational quote – from Nazi general Erwin Rommel. “Unfortunately, the staff member did not recognize the name attributed to the generated quote.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/06/22/nazi-general-quote-exeter-university-email/725753002/

After Trudeau slams Trump over family separations, it turns out that Canada does it too. “In one report by McGill University, which talked to 20 families who were detained in immigration centers in Toronto and Laval about their experiences, it was found that half of the time children were separated from their parents at some point in the process of seeking asylum.”   http://www.newsweek.com/canada-detains-migrants-separates-children-justin-trudeau-donald-trump-989698

18 Mexican candidates for mayor have been assassinated ahead of elections. “Almost all of the 18 candidates killed across the country so far have been running for local posts in the July 1 elections, which will also decide the presidency, governorships and Congress.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/18-mayoral-candidates-killed-ahead-mexico-s-july-elections-2-n885706

Philippine government labels indigenous rights activists as terrorists. “…the list also named more than 30 indigenous activists and leaders, including Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a Philippine national and UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who branded the allegation of terrorism links ‘baseless, malicious and irresponsible’.”   https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jun/21/philippines-sitting-on-a-timebomb-as-inquiry-urged-into-political-killings

City of McKinney, Texas settles with family of then 14 year-old teenage girl tackled by police officer at pool party. “(Former) McKinney police Cpl. Eric Casebolt is shown in a screen shot from video of an altercation in which he pulled his gun on a group of teenagers at a pool party.”   http://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article212150864.html

Amazon employees ask Jeff Bezos to stop marketing artificial intelligence-based facial recognition system to law enforcement agencies. “Dear Jeff, We are troubled by the recent report from the ACLU exposing our company’s practice of selling AWS Rekognition, a powerful facial recognition technology, to police departments and government agencies. We don’t have to wait to find out how these technologies will be used. We already know that in the midst of historic militarization of police, renewed targeting of Black activists, and the growth of a federal deportation force currently engaged in human rights abuses — this will be another powerful tool for the surveillance state…”   http://www.businessinsider.com/over-100-amazon-employees-sign-letter-jeff-bezos-stop-selling-facial-recognition-software-police-2018-6

Black Maine resident claims he had his groceries seized, was banned from the supermarket and was visited by police after he questioned Shaw’s policy of asking for his ID and his wife’s ID when they bought a bottle of Japanese sake. “I said that’s OK, I didn’t know about the policy, I want to know its real… I’m a young black man in America. I want to make sure I’m treated the same as everyone else.”   http://www.sunjournal.com/shaws-executives-apologize-to-african-american-man-after-incident-at-saco-store/   This news story and multiple others fail to address the question of whether or not this is a real policy. If a 43 year-old goes to the grocery store with his 17 year-old daughter and 13 year-old son and tries to buy a bottle of wine, will he be denied his purchase because the two teens are underage? It seems pretty unlikely, and rather easy to evade. “You two wait for me in the car, I’m going to get in line and check out now.”

Toys ‘R Us closing all of its stores on June 29th. “The store closings mean that around 31,000 employees will ultimately be laid off.”   https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/06/22/toys-r-us-last-day-of-liquidation-sales-closing/   “The toy chain collapsed mainly (because of) its inability to service a huge debt load piled on it by its private equity buyers, KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Bain Capital LP, amid tepid sales and a broader shift toward online shopping.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-target-toys-investors/toys-are-not-us-investors-to-target-idUSKCN1G61KY

Orlando International to be the first airport to require digital facial scans of all international passengers, including U.S. citizens. “… some privacy advocates say there are no formal rules in place for handling data gleaned from the scans, nor formal guidelines on what should happen if a passenger is wrongly prevented from boarding.”   https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international/Orlando-International-Airport-Will-Scan-Faces-of-US-Citizens–486210171.html   In the past U.S. citizens were allowed to opt-out, but they were not informed that they were allowed to opt-out (as I can personally testify). They really, really wanted to obtain facial scans of U.S. citizens, to the point of misleading them about it being voluntary. Now it will be mandatory – everyone gets a mug shot. Creepy.

U.S. methane emissions estimated to be 63% higher than reported by EPA according to study. “It appears that abnormal operating conditions must be largely responsible, because the observation frequency was too high to be attributed to routine operations like condensate flashing or liquid unloadings alone.”   https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/study-us-oil-and-gas-methane-emissions-have-been-dramatically-underestimated/

Facebook accused of tagging non-political ads as restricted political ads. “The Wild Cow, a vegetarian restaurant in Nashville, felt the effects of the new policy as well when Facebook took down an ad for a fundraising show the restaurant was hosting for a local dog-rescue group.”   http://www.startribune.com/a-day-care-and-a-dog-rescue-benefit-on-facebook-they-were-political-ads/486325621/

Performance artist sells $28 bottles of “Hot Dog Water” (bottle of water with a cooked hot dog floating inside)  at festival, people buy it. “People who read the fine print on the bottle labels learned that hot dog water isn’t really a health elixir. It was just Bevans trying to make a point about consumerism, marketing and how vulnerable people can be to a good pitch, especially when it comes to products said to be backed by science.”   http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-world/article213668189.html

Art gallery owner arrested after installation of giant heroin spoon outside pharmaceutical company’s headquarters. “A colossal spoon, stained to symbolize burnt heroin, was installed Friday morning outside of Purdue Pharma’s Tresser Boulevard headquarters by protesters hoping to draw attention to the pharmaceutical company’s alleged role in the opioid epidemic.”   https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Protesters-place-giant-heroin-spoon-outside-13017303.php

 Ralph Nader asks why former First Ladies are willing to stand up for immigrant children but not for children hurt by U.S. military action. “Would be nice if Laura Bush and Michelle Obama had expressed similar heartfelt concern for the tens of thousands of children killed or seriously maimed by the wars of their husbands in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. -R — Ralph Nader (@RalphNader) June 22, 2018”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/22/ralph-nader-asks-former-first-ladies-why-no-heartfelt-concern-tens-thousands

Oil train derails into flooded Iowa river. “The derailment occurred around 4:30 am local time near the Sioux-Lyon County border, and one or more train cars spilled oil into the floodwaters of the Rock River.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/22/we-dont-know-how-bad-it-31-car-oil-train-derails-iowa-floodwaters

Protesters play recording of crying children outside home of Homeland Security director. “Wielding signs calling for Nielsen’s resignation, the demonstrators led chants of ‘o justice, no sleep!’ just steps away from the front door of the DHS secretary’s home.”    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/22/no-justice-no-sleep-protesters-blare-audio-crying-detained-children-outside-dhs

More arrests as Poor People’s Movement rallies in Washington D.C. “As members of the movement chanted ‘Stop the war! Feed the poor!’ outside the Capitol, inside the building, members of the U.S. House were narrowly passing a Farm Bill which demonstrates that, as Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) put it, ‘Republicans are waging war on anti-poverty and anti-hunger programs’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/21/stop-war-feed-poor-march-poor-peoples-campaign-ends-arrests-dc

Detained immigrant children allegedly given powerful anti-psychotic drugs to control their behavior. “After being taken to the (Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas), children who had arrived in the U.S. without parents or guardians were given drugs including Clonazepam, Divalproex, Benztropine, and Duloxetine—used to treat seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and depression.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/21/shut-place-down-children-drugged-and-given-forced-injections-texas-detention

Instead of sexually harassing their female colleagues, Doctors Without Border employees allegedly patronized African prostitutes, but that also resulted in a ‘toxic culture’.  “There was this older colleague, who actually moved a woman into the (charity) compound. It was pretty obvious that she was a prostitute but he’d call her his girlfriend.”   http://www.france24.com/en/20180621-msf-workers-africa-used-prostitutes-traded-medicine-sex-foctors-without-borders   OMG! Luckily the Anti-Sex League is on it. You have three choices guys – celibacy, homosexuality or masturbation (without pornography). Stop creating a toxic environment for women by trying to have sex with them.

Some of the drawbacks of a world of autonomous vehicles. “Now manufacturers, governments and city authorities will know where we’re going, what we’re doing and when. If anyone doesn’t like what we’re doing, they will be able to stop us, withdraw technical and accident cover, stop us using particular roads or streets, or just shut us down.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/driverless-cars-offer-new-forms-control-no-wonder-governments-are-keen-2693700

Conservationists discover a picture of the pelt of a protected jaguar that once frequented the Huachuca Mountains in Arizona. “Seven male jaguars have been seen in the Southwest since 1996, all but one in Arizona.”   https://tucson.com/news/local/jaguar-that-roamed-huachuca-mountains-shown-dead-in-photo-officials/article_4275faab-041d-5462-ba18-3e44992c08a6.html

Nevada politicians allegedly lobbied to win ‘Opportunity Zone’ designation for Republican Party donor. “Treasury officials had initially deemed that Storey County’s income levels were too high to qualify, based on the metrics they had used to judge every other nomination for the special tax status. But after weeks of prodding from Nevada officials, Treasury relented…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/after-nevada-gop-push-treasury-quietly-changed-policy-benefiting-one-county/2018/06/22/d142acfc-74c5-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html

Washington Post accused of failing to call a bigot a bigot. “In an exemplar of elite media mealymouthing, the Post defines (and laments) (Corey) Stewart’s embrace of white supremacist ideas, and the people who act on them, not as him being a white supremacist, but as ‘court[ing] white supremacists’, his racist comments not as him being a racist, but his ‘seeing…pandering to racism [as] a valuable tactic’.”   https://fair.org/home/wapo-cant-believe-white-supremacist-senate-candidate-really-means-it/

 

June 23, 2018