July 31, 2018

New internet-based law enforcement and emergency network will hide public safety communications from journalists and the public. “For decades, local newsrooms and citizen watchdogs have relied on police scanners to monitor first responders and track natural disasters, protests, and emergencies…. FirstNet did not comment on whether it was open to offering local newsrooms some access.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/07/29/firstnet-att-surveillance/

Wealthy Los Angeles area communities reportedly erecting barriers, physical, legal and human, to keep the commoners out. “San Marino, which may be the richest, and is reputedly the most Republican (85 percent), city in the country, now closes its parks on weekends to exclude Latino and Asian families from adjacent communities.”   https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3859-from-rentacop-to-robocop-absolute-security-in-los-angeles

Federal judge orders most detained migrant children to be transferred out of facility accused of drugging them. “A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of children at Shiloh (Treatment Center)  in April alleged that children being held in facilities like Shiloh are almost certain to be administered psychotropic drugs like Prozac regardless of their conditions and without their parents’ consent, it says.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judge-orders-most-migrant-children-removed-texas-facility-uses-psychotropic-n895966

Experts question legality of TSA’s ‘Quiet Skies’ passenger surveillance program. “We certainly need to have more information, but I think the concerns that they are profiling are pretty high.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tsa-s-quiet-skies-program-raises-legal-civil-liberty-questions-n895806

Koch-funded report finds that ‘Medicare for All’ would increase federal health care spending by $32.6 trillion, but also says that’s about $2 trillion less than if we keep the current for-profit system. “(Blahous also) produces a separate estimate showing that, without cuts to providers, single payer would increase national health spending by more than $3.2 trillion, as Americans would go to the doctor a lot more.”   https://slate.com/business/2018/07/single-payer-health-care-could-save-americans-usd2-trillion-conservative-think-tanker-accidentally-argues.html   But does he factor in the savings from providing preventative treatment and earlier diagnosis under a ‘Medicare for All’ system, versus uninsured patients showing up in emergency rooms with late stage medical problems under the current system, who are extremely expensive to treat?

Attorney General Sessions creates Religious Liberty Task Force to protect Christians in the U.S. from religious oppression. “We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives. We’ve seen United States senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma…. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips (the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple).”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/twitter-sessions-religious-liberty-task-force_us_5b5f92bae4b0b15aba9bfcff   We’ve also seen people banned from traveling to the U.S., which has blocked grandparents from visiting their grandchildren, and religious groups prevented from building houses of worship. Oh, wait, those were Muslims, never mind.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wants to save the wealthiest Americans an estimated $100 billion (over 10 years) by protecting them from ‘over-paying’ capital gains taxes due to inflation. “Under current law, people pay capital gains taxes on the difference between the amount for which they purchased an investment and the amount they sold it for.”   http://thehill.com/policy/finance/399582-trump-weighs-big-tax-cut-for-rich-report   No billionaire left behind!

Pennsylvania officer who shot man for refusing to get on the ground reportedly called for backup due to ‘a possible mental issue’ with the suspect. “At a community meeting Monday night in Center City Allentown, many people said because of the shooting, they would like to see police officers receive more de-escalation and mental health training.”   http://www.mcall.com/news/police/mc-nws-south-whitehall-fatal-police-shooting-final-20180730-story.html   Shooting victim identified, officer is not. “Joseph Santos, 44, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, was (fatally) wounded at 5:44 p.m. after he refused to get down on the ground when ordered several times to do so by the officer, according to a video of the incident.”   https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/07/coroner_ids_man_shot_near_dorney_park.html

TV ad sponsored by Koch group and Chamber of Commerce attacks Trump’s trade policies. “Farmers want trade not aid. Tell the administration and Congress – ‘open markets and end tariffs’.”   https://qz.com/1343840/a-new-koch-backed-ad-tells-farmers-to-resist-donald-trumps-trade-war-and-tariffs/

Treasury Department to sell more U.S. debt to investors. “The department’s (debt) forecast for the October-December quarter is $440 billion, bringing the second-half borrowing estimate to $769 billion, the highest since $1.1 trillion in July-December 2008.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-30/treasury-raises-borrowing-outlook-with-2h-hitting-769-billion

Authorities have seized 467 firearms under Florida’s new ‘red flag’ law. “A majority of risk-protection cases have involved people with histories of mental illness who threatened to hurt themselves, according to an analysis of Pinellas County records by ABC.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/399551-more-than-450-people-in-florida-ordered-to-surrender-guns

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro reportedly called the country’s military dictatorship “a very good” period of the country’s history. “Some Brazilians — particularly Bolsonaro supporters — have begun to call for the military again to take over government, after concluding that their elected politicians are too corrupt or inept to handle the country’s multilayered crises.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/07/30/631952886/dictatorship-was-a-very-good-period-says-brazil-s-aspiring-president

American cardinal, Australian archbishop resign over child sex abuse scandals. “… on Saturday, (Pope) Francis accepted the resignation from the College of Cardinals of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington and of Newark — the first time in memory that a cardinal stepped down over sexual abuse allegations against him…. In May, Archbishop Wilson, 67, became the highest-ranking Catholic cleric ever to be convicted of abuse cover-up in a criminal court, which found him guilty of failing to report to police the abuse of two altar servers by a priest in the 1970s.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/30/world/australia/vatican-philip-wilson-resignation.html

Bay area anti-war liberal Ron Dellums dead at 82. “Dellums, a former Democratic congressman and mayor of Oakland… died of cancer on Monday at his home in Washington, D.C.”   https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/30/report-former-oakland-mayor-congressman-ron-dellum-dies/

Italy’s Interior Minister reportedly paraphrases Mussolini on the dictator’s birthday. “(Matteo) Salvini tweeted ‘tanti nemici, tanto onore’, meaning ‘so many enemies, so much honor’, a variation on Mussolini’s famous ‘molti nemici, molto onore’, or ‘many enemies, much honor’.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/30/europe/salvini-mussolini-italy-intl/index.html

Palestinian poet gets five months in prison for posting poem with Facebook and YouTube videos. “(Dareen) Tatour was arrested in an Israeli police raid in October 2015 after publishing a poem titled “Resist, my people resist them” and spent the following months under house arrest, during which time she was barred from publishing her work and accessing the internet.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/dareen-tatour-sentenced-months-prison-poem-180731084215893.html

Mexico’s new leftist president proposes tree planting project to fight rural unemployment and reduce migration. “Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he wants to create 400,000 jobs by planting 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres) with timber and fruit trees.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-30/lopez-obrador-looks-to-tree-planting-to-create-mexico-jobs

Canadian man has his gender officially changed to save $91 a month on his car insurance. “It was pretty simple,” he said. “I just basically asked for it and told (my doctor’s office) that I identify as a woman, or I’d like to identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted.”   https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/change-gender-identification-insurance-alberta-1.4754416

Leaked Wikileaks Twitter chat messages published by a foe. “The cache was published by national security researcher Emma Best… Best, who has clashed with WikiLeaks in the past—said the information was needed to provide ‘context’ to news reports.”   https://www.newsweek.com/wikileaks-secret-chats-exposed-11000-twitter-messages-leak-online-1047509

Twitter bans Elon Musk impersonators, but not Nazis. “Twitter just locked my account when I changed my screen name to include the words “elon musk” and I had to prove I wasn’t a bot to get it back which means they have the algorithms and tech to remove Nazis automatically thank you enjoy your evening.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/twitters-lock-elon-musk-name-nazi-ban-possible_us_5b5f268ce4b0b15aba9b25c1

Homeless sign opens Silicon Valley’s doors for college grad with tech experience who ran out of money while looking for a job. “David Casarez, a college graduate in his 20s, was spotted holding a sign that read, ‘Homeless hungry 4 success take a resume’.”   https://ktla.com/2018/07/30/homeless-college-grad-hands-out-resumes-on-bay-area-street-corner-gets-over-200-job-offers/   How to find a job under 21st century capitalism! Maybe job seekers should try getting on their knees and begging?

How to make more than $500,000 a year. “A top SCANA accountant says the company’s most powerful executives pressured her to lie and she was given altered information to share with state regulators about how much it would cost to finish the utility’s faltering nuclear project, according to a transcript of her sworn testimony…. Walker was in SCANA’s inner circle and was repeatedly called to testify about its budget to South Carolina’s utility regulators and her work won her raises year after year as one of the project’s leaders.”   https://www.postandcourier.com/business/sc-nuclear-project-top-accountant-says-she-quit-because-i/article_66d8c638-940c-11e8-bb6e-5b2933e6631d.html

U.S. lifts ban on military aid to Egypt, Egypt sentences 75 protesters to death. “The dozens sentenced in Saturday’s ruling are among 739 defendants, including members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood and members of the press, the government is targeting over their participating in the (al-Rabaa) protest.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/30/egypt-responds-trumps-lifting-military-aid-ban-sentencing-75-anti-coup-protesters

9 MOVE members still serving time for 1978 shootout with police in which one officer was killed. No one was ever charged for the deaths of 5 of the group’s children and 6 adults. “Philadelphia police had dropped a bomb from a helicopter onto a Move house on Osage Avenue in the west of Philadelphia in an attempt to force the black radicals to evacuate the premises after long-running battles with the authorities. The bomb ignited a fire in the Move house that turned into an inferno.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/31/a-siege-a-bomb-48-dogs-and-the-black-commune-that-would-not-surrender

Black woman in Mountain View, California interrogated by police after giving dog food to homeless man for his dog. “Erica (Martin)  said she found herself suddenly defending herself to several officers who told her Safeway employees accused her of theft.”   https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/07/30/safeway-calls-911-black-woman-feeding-homeless/

 

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July 31, 2018

July 30, 2018

Judge appoints monitor to investigate conditions at detention facilities for migrant children. “The decision comes in response to complaints that the Trump administration is not adhering to the Flores settlement, which outlines standards of care for immigrant children detained by the U.S.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/399334-judge-appoints-independent-monitor-of-child-detention-centers-after

Florida governor Rick Scott runs for the U.S. Senate, gets showered with fossil fuel cash. “Scott’s midyear campaign report shows at least $880,000 in contributions from oil, gas and energy executives and employees to his campaign and from the industry to a pro-Scott super PAC.”   https://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article215642015.html

Missouri cop hits bicyclist waiting at stop sign, Highway Patrol says one reason he was hit was that he had stopped beyond the stop line. “Among the contributing factors in the crash: Fasanello had pulled up past the stop sign and the intersection itself was narrow, Collin Stosberg, of the Missouri Highway Patrol, told KMBC 9.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/07/28/video-shows-cop-driving-into-bicyclist-stopped-intersection/853817002/   Oh, and by the way, the cop was looking at his cell phone. Video here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoSOEtzWPlU

Trump denies his 2020 campaign flags are being made in China, but Chinese company says they’ve made ‘tens of thousands’. “Yao Yuanyuan, the manager of Jiahao Flag Co Ltd, told Reuters that she believes her company has been producing so many flags because the tariffs haven’t gone up yet….”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/28/politics/trump-campaign-flag-china-denial/index.html

‘Russian soldiers’ stand guard over Trump’s Hollywood star. “Two guys dressed as Russian soldiers in 90F heat to ‘protect’ Trump’s Hollywood Walk Of Fame star from vandalism. That’s next level trollism!”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6003671/Russian-soldiers-stand-guard-Trumps-Hollywood-Walk-Fame-star.html

U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) accused of making racist comments on his radio program. “In an April 2012 segment of his radio show, ‘The Jason Lewis Show’, the congressman suggested that black Americans who receive welfare are still living on a ‘plantation’…. ‘You’ve substituted one plantation for another.'”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-lewis-welfare-criticism_us_5b5b6b90e4b0de86f4970573   Yeah, because plantations were like summer camps. No, wait, those are the detention camps for the migrant children.

Former ICE official says detained children and deported parents may never be reunited. “There’s a very high likelihood that a lot of these parents are never going to see their kids again and their kids are going to stay in the U.S.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5996747/Many-immigrant-parents-never-kids-separated-border.html

Masked assailants stab three at pro-choice rally in Chile. ““The next morning, there was nothing on the newspaper covers, nothing on the television. I didn’t see the president condemning the attacks, nor did I see the minister of internal affairs.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/29/chile-abortion-rights-rally-attack-stabbing

Trump claims he’s polling higher than Abraham Lincoln, who was president before there were polls. “Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. There must be something wrong, please recheck that poll!”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/trump-calls-press-enemy-people-claiming-confronted-publisher-new-york-times-fake-news/

“Ex-USDA official accuses Trump of treating farmers like Stormy Daniels with ‘hush money’ payoff after ‘screwing’ them”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/ex-usda-official-accuses-trump-treating-farmers-like-stormy-daniels-hush-money-payoff-screwing/   I can’t top that headline, and it says it all!

Minneapolis police officers fatally shoot fleeing, intoxicated and armed black suspect. “In a chase that takes less than a minute, (Thurman) Blevins yells back, ‘I didn’t do nothing bro’, ‘Please don’t shoot’ and ‘Leave me alone’.”   https://kstp.com/news/minneapolis-release-police-body-camera-footage-of-thurman-blevins-shooting-/5009790/   Released body cam video here:   https://events.qwikcast.tv/public/QwikCast/QwikCastEventById?eventKey=034a3f0f-4fd8-4245-9932-64b4a8a4d4bc

TSA’s secret ‘Quiet Skies’ program reportedly tracks some airline passengers, targets them for surveillance by air marshals. “According to the TSA, the program uses overseas travel records and other information to identify passengers who will be subject to additional checks at airports and observed in flight by air marshals who report to the agency on their activities.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/air-marshals-have-conducted-secret-in-flight-monitoring-of-us-passengers-for-years/2018/07/29/b50ffe94-9370-11e8-810c-5fa705927d54_story.html

Vandals deface Indiana synagogue with swastikas. “A recent report from the Anti-Defamation League found that, in 2017, anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. including harassment, vandalism and assault, increased by 57 percent from the previous year.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/399386-indiana-synagogue-vandalized-with-anti-semitic-graffiti

South Whitehall, Pennsylvania police officer shoots apparently unarmed black man for not getting down on the ground. “In the Facebook video, the man is standing near the passenger side of the police SUV. (He walks) away from the vehicle, only to turn and walk back towards the officer.   https://abcnews.go.com/News/video-shows-man-fatally-shot-pennsylvania-police-officer/story?id=56898973   The man was some distance from the police car when it appears that the officer yelled something at him, and he then turns around and starts walking back towards the police car. You can then hear the officer yelling at him to get on the ground. The video (at least as posted by ABC) ends before any shots are fired. The headline says the video shows the shooting, so apparently it has been edited.

Five members of Congress ask Department of Justice to investigate fatal ‘Stand Your Ground’ shooting during parking lot dispute, dead man’s girlfriend points out racial double standard. “Markeis was clearly trying to protect his family from this threat. Had he pulled out a gun, would ‘Stand Your Ground’ have been extended to him, a man of color? No, he would have been charged with murdering a white man.”   https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-north-pinellas/clearwater/florida-senator-bill-nelson-calls-on-doj-to-investigate-stand-your-ground-parking-spot-shooting

Unnamed former White House official claims Trump schedules ad hoc meetings based on Fox and Friends news coverage. “He comes down for the day, and whatever he saw on ‘Fox and Friends,’ he schedules meetings based on that.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/399449-trump-schedules-meetings-based-on-fox-friends-coverage-report

Journalist emeritus Carl Bernstein says Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer was ‘convened for the purpose of collusion’. “Bernstein and two other reporters broke the CNN story last week that Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen said his boss (Donald Trump) ‘authorized’ the meeting.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernstein-says-trump-tower-meeting-was-convened-for-purpose-of-collusion_us_5b5e67b5e4b0de86f49843f8

Pennsylvania man reportedly found guilty of manslaughter after police officer accidentally shot his daughter during eviction. “…(Donald) Meyer pointed a loaded AR-15 rifle at the Constable Clark Steele who (was trying) to kick him out, according to Perry County authorities. That incited the officer to fire a single shot that went through Meyer’s arm and killed his daughter Ciara Meyer, 12, who was standing behind him.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6004665/Man-convicted-death-daughter-12-shot-constable.html

President Trump is causing many people a lot of anxiety say therapists. “Both from people feeling the president is being persecuted and people just beside themselves with worry about the direction of the country.”    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-anxiety-disorder-mental-health-political-divide-us-1.4762487

 

 

July 30, 2018

July 28, 2018

An estimated 8% of men killed in homicides in the U.S. are killed by police. “… after filtering out cases of suicide or accidental death, researchers concluded 6,295 men were killed by police use of force (between 2012 and 2016).”   https://mic.com/articles/190411/8-of-all-male-homicides-are-committed-by-police-study-says-and-black-men-are-at-most-risk

Federal judge rips FBI agent for getting a Stingray search warrant from a state judge – and then using it in a different jurisdiction. “Perhaps any one of the above-referenced errors, viewed in isolation, could be excused under the good-faith exception. But the whole string of errors embodied in these warrant applications militates against applying the good-faith exception.”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/07/judge-slams-fbi-for-improper-cellphone-search-stingray-use/

Stormy Daniels lawyer claims he has proof Trump paid off three additional women before the 2016 election. “Last time I checked they weren’t just handing out checks to anyone whether they had a relationship or not.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michael-avenatti-3-more-women-trump-hush-money_us_5b5ab877e4b0fd5c73cda9b6

Mississippi cop caught on dash cam using taser on handcuffed suspect. “… (Officer Starks) shocks the suspect on his left shoulder, causing his knees to buckle and before he falls to the ground.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/dashcam-footage-shows-mississippi-police-officer-firing-stun/story?id=56845367

Two New Orleans police officers fired after beating man outside bar and claiming they were attacked. “… witness accounts and surveillance video ‘clearly’ showed their version of events was false, police said.”   https://www.10tv.com/article/officers-allegedly-beat-man-and-called-him-fake-american

Nicaraguan human rights group claims 448 killed in political violence. “(Alvaro) Leiva said the most deaths, 189, took place in Managua.”   http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/07/26/rights-group-updates-death-toll-in-nicaragua-unrest-to-448.html

Thousands of Poles rally in defense of courts. “Protests also took place in more than 20 Polish cities and towns on Thursday evening against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party’s court reforms.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44979353

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accused of lying about not being involved in enemy combatant discussions within George W. Bush administration. “(Senator) Durbin said that there is a conflict between Kavanaugh’s testimony that he was not involved in rules governing detainees and his participation in a meeting about whether detainees should be given legal counsel.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kavanaughs-role-in-bush-era-detainee-debate-now-an-issue-in-his-supreme-court-nomination/2018/07/18/db8eb650-8a06-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html

Federal appeals court throws out ICE prosecution due to tainted evidence from botched Arpaio raid. “U.S. Circuit Judge Dorothy Nelson (wrote for the three-judge panel that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office) “omitted significant and material information and distorted facts in the [search warrant] affidavits. MCSO also materially falsified another affidavit to support another warrant for the arrest of Bret Frimmel and the co-owner of Frimmel Management, suggesting that MCSO repeatedly engages in egregious Fourth Amendment violations.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/illegal-raids-taint-ices-restaurant-owner-investigation/

Federal appeals court rules in favor of Trump supporters’ lawsuit against San Jose police. “The officers greatly increased that risk of violence when they shepherded and directed the (Trump rally) attendees towards the unruly mob waiting outside the Convention Center.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/ninth-circuit-hands-roughed-up-trump-supporters-a-win/   I guess the cops aren’t always right after all.

Federal appeals court rules in favor of couple shot by police in garden shed. “Angel Mendez and Jennifer Lynn Garcia (now Jennifer Mendez) were sleeping in a one-room shed behind a house when sheriff’s deputies – who were searching for someone else – entered without a warrant or announcing their presence.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/ninth-circuit-sides-with-homeless-shed-dwellers-against-sheriffs-deputies/

California’s Supreme Court rules that employers must pay employees for the time they work after clocking out. “Troester said he activated the store alarm, locked the front door and walked co-workers to their cars — tasks that required him to work for four to 10 additional minutes a day….. 12 hours and 50 minutes of work over a 17-month period.”    https://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2018/07/starbucks_others_must_pay_work.html   When I was a college student, I sometimes had to make a night deposit after closing out the cash register and locking up the sandwich shop, which meant walking up to the bank with a bag of money at around midnight, for no pay whatsoever. Luckily I was never robbed, but it was a risk my employer was able to avoid by having a low paid, hourly employee do it for him, off the clock.

Bayer allegedly paid doctors to promote Essure birth control device. “Bayer paid 11,850 doctors $2.5 million between August 2013 and December 2017, according to federal data.”   https://jezebel.com/doctors-received-2-5-million-to-promote-birth-control-1827921954

Jeff Bezos reportedly started Amazon with family money. “Mr Bezos’s gamble, funded with more than $100,000 in personal and family money, quickly paid off.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44894420

ER patients with sprained ankles were given prescriptions for opioids.  “The state-by-state review revealed wide variation in the use of opioids for the sprains, from 40 percent in Arkansas to 2.8 percent in North Dakota.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-quarter-of-adults-with-sprained-ankles-were-prescribed-opioids-in-the-er/2018/07/27/112cf916-9119-11e8-8322-b5482bf5e0f5_story.html

Trump administration granted permits to American hunters wanting to bring back lion trophies from Africa, names of applicants no longer public, reportedly include Republican donors. “Shedding light on the Trump administration’s secretive permit review process, reports from Friends of the Animals and The Huffington Post this week revealed that, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has given 33 American hunters a total of 38 permits to import lion trophies since 2016.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/27/trump-rolls-back-barriers-big-game-hunters-including-rich-gop-donors-granted-dozens

Benefits of higher GDP growth not trickling down to employees. “So if GDP is rising, but wages [are] falling, the money is going to the top.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/27/you-cant-eat-gdp-reminder-most-workers-are-struggling-trump-and-corporate-media-tout

139 Democrats vote with Republicans to approve obscenely huge $717 billion defense spending package. “It seems strange, at least to me, that Democrats – with one side of their mouth – say Trump is an authoritarian, lawless traitor, but then, with the other side, keep voting to increase his war powers, military budget and detention & spying authorities.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/26/139-house-democrats-join-gop-approve-717-billion-military-spending

Federal appeals court agrees that requiring women in Indiana to have an ultrasound before an abortion is unconstitutional. “It appears that [the measure’s] only effect is to place barriers between a woman who wishes to exercise her right to an abortion and her ability to do so.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/26/victory-women-appeals-court-upholds-ban-pences-indiana-law-requiring-ultrasounds

Death toll from Flint, Michigan water contamination may be as high as 119. “Officially, 90 people were sickened and 12 died from exposure to waterborne legionella bacteria during the 18 months that the city of Flint drew its water from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015. But FRONTLINE’s investigation has found 119 deaths from pneumonia during that time, some of which scientists say could actually have been caused by legionella.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/26/report-finds-flint-water-crisis-may-have-killed-119-nearly-10-times-official-death

Climate scientist says freaky summer weather the result of climate change. “The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle. We are seeing them play out in real time…”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/27/extreme-global-weather-climate-change-michael-mann

ICE detainee reportedly committed suicide after 21 days in solitary confinement at private prison. “The United Nations has previously said that such confinements could constitute torture and ICE itself has issued strict directives about isolating detainees, including specifically on segregating people with mental health conditions for extended periods.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/07/27/immigrant-detention-suicides-ice-corecivic/

Black guy in Wisconsin says he was stopped, frisked and had his backpack and wallet searched during manhunt for white robbery suspect. Cops: “Anybody in the area is going to get a second look especially with an armed robbery.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/police-stop-frisk-black-man-looking-robbery-suspect-whos-white/

Man who yelled at cops to do something about speeders claims he was then beaten. “After handcuffing him, Farquaharson told the Miami New-Times (that Officer) Arcia ‘punched him several times in the face, beating him so badly he required hospitalization’.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/florida-cops-beat-arrest-black-man-just-telling-jobs-lawsuit/

MSNBC accused of running 455 segments on Stormy Daniels, 0 on U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen in the last year. “The US is backing a Saudi-led bombing campaign with intelligence, refueling, political cover, military hardware and, as of March, ground troops.”   https://fair.org/home/action-alert-its-been-over-a-year-since-msnbc-has-mentioned-us-war-in-yemen/

 

July 28, 2018

July 26, 2018

New York Times attorney says prosecuting Julian Assange would be a threat to the press. “… he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/judges-hear-warning-on-prosecution-of-wikileaks/

Congressman wants to stop election meddling, by the U.S., in other countries’ elections. “We should treat other countries the way we want to be treated.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/rep-ro-khannas-fight-american-election-meddling/

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh argued that the votes of employees who are illegal immigrants should not count in union elections. “If (Kavanaugh’s reading of the law) prevailed, employers could hire undocumented workers knowing that if they organized and voted in favor of joining a union, the election results would be thrown out.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brett-kavanaugh-undocumented-workers-employees-under-the-law_us_5b51dd15e4b0fd5c73c488d7

Senators ask Mike Pompeo what Trump and Putin discussed in their two hour private meeting, Pompeo provides few details. “Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said at the top of the hearing that Congress had ‘little idea’ of what agreements were reached in Helsinki…”  http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/398916-pompeo-spars-with-senators-at-testy-hearing

Chicago releases police body cam footage of fatal shooting of fleeing drug suspect. “There is no explanation as to why this young man was shot multiple times (in the back) when at all times he appears on video unarmed.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/maurice-granton-jr-shooting-family-questions-chicago-police-account/

New batch of Las Vegas police video released in response to public records lawsuit. “More police body camera footage made public Wednesday shows officers… searching for what they thought were multiple shooters inside and outside a Las Vegas Strip hotel where a gunman opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/las-vegas-shooting-police-body-cam-footage-released-today-2018-07-25/

Federal judge strikes down Florida ban on early voting on college campuses. “Early voting may be a convenience, he wrote, but constitutional problems arise when conveniences are available for some groups of people but blocked for others.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/07/25/stark-pattern-of-discrimination-judge-makes-it-easier-for-college-students-to-vote/

Columbus, Ohio police allegedly planned stake out at Stormy Daniels performance days in advance. “Inside the (leaked police) emails are news clippings discussing Daniels’ planned appearance in Columbus, pictures of Daniels with President Donald Trump, videos of her dancing, and even a map to the club where she would be performing, all sent days before she would pull into town on her tour bus.”   https://thefayetteadvocate.com/2018/07/25/whistleblower-provides-emails-that-show-stormy-daniels-arrest-was-pre-planned/

Woman accused of fatally stabbing her fiance after argument over possible wedding guest. “When police arrived, they discovered (Brandon) Watkins unresponsive on the kitchen floor and a bloody steak knife on the table.”   http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/07/25/woman-kills-fiance-after-arguing-about-wedding-guest-cops-say.html   Why do I post these kinds of stories? Because I think the ‘women are angels, men are demons’ cliche is sexist and needs to be challenged.

Six more members of Japanese ‘doomsday cult’ hang, bringing the total number executed to 13. “Thirteen members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult were hanged this month for crimes committed in the 1990s, culminating in (a) sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 13 people and sickened thousands.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/07/26/cult-members-hanged-tokyo-subway-attack/839878002/

100,000 Venezuelan Bolivar note to become a 1 Bolivar note. “Venezuela will remove five zeroes from the bolivar currency rather than the three zeroes originally planned, President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday, in an effort to keep up with inflation projected to reach 1 million percent this year.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy/venezuela-to-remove-five-zeroes-from-ailing-currency-idUSKBN1KF36V   Don’t blame socialism, blame mismanagement and corruption.

Right-wing activists with links to group that led protests demanding the impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff have their Facebook pages taken down. “Facebook said in a statement that it deactivated 196 pages and 87 accounts in Brazil for their part in ‘a coordinated network that hid behind fake Facebook accounts and misled people about the nature and origin of its content, all for the purpose of sowing division and spreading misinformation’.”   https://in.reuters.com/article/facebook-brazil-election/exclusive-facebook-takes-down-right-wing-fake-news-network-ahead-of-brazil-election-sources-idINKBN1KF1ND

Mattel to lay off 2,200 employees after hedge funds drove Toys R Us into bankruptcy. “As part of the spending reductions, Mattel also announced that it’s selling factories in Mexico as part of a strategy to move the company away from doing its own manufacturing, so it can spend more on developing its intellectual property.”   http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mattel-layoffs-20180725-story.html

Country’s oldest, continuously operated candy factory abruptly closes. “Round Hill Investments was very excited to acquire Necco’s historic brands and to be part of their national resurgence. After careful engagement and consideration, however, the firm decided to sell the brands to another national confection manufacturer and today announced the closure of the operations in Revere, Massachusetts.”   https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2018/07/24/necco-shuts-down-abruptly-sold/0NOi9G7MLIWXy9aZnOM6qJ/story.html

Number of reported data breaches quadrupled after EU data protection law went into force. “In both March and April, the total number of breaches reported to the (Information Commissioner’s Office) was about 400, according to data released by the ICO last week. But the number of breach reports climbed to about 700 in May and hit about 1,750 in June, the ICO says.”   https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/under-gdpr-data-breach-reports-in-uk-have-quadrupled-a-11249

Bernie Sanders and Ted Lieu introduce bills that would ban cash bail. “People who are not at high risk but are poor remain incarcerated, while people who may be dangerous are set free if they have the funds.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/25/denouncing-americas-debtor-prison-system-sanders-introduces-bill-end-cash-bail

Trump mimics Orwell’s ‘1984’, tells veterans not to believe their lying eyes. “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/25/trump-resorts-pure-1984-totalitarian-gaslighting-telling-supporters-ignore-news

Swedish woman who blocked deportation of Afghan man by refusing to sit down on flight was not arrested. “(Elin) Ersson’s protest was a civil and not a criminal case, (a spokesperson for the police) said. Should the airline and passengers decide to prosecute, Ersson could face a substantial fine.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/25/swedish-student-plane-protest-stops-mans-deportation-afghanistan   Culture shock! She’d have been roughly dragged off the plane, possibly bloodied, and probably charged with multiple terrorism-related offenses in the U.S.

Jerusalem Post reportedly cuts off cartoonist after he portrays Likud party politicians as the pigs from Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. “All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/26/israeli-cartoonist-fired-over-animal-farm-netanyahu-caricature

About 250 massacred by IS in attack on Druze-majority area of Syria. “Four suicide bombers struck the city of Sweida, while other IS fighters attacked villages to its north and east with guns and explosives.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/leaves-syria-druze-reeling-heaviest-losses-war-101033381.html

 

July 26, 2018

July 25, 2018

Archeologists believe they have found the bones of Sir George Yeardley, the man who brought law and slavery to North America. “…American society begins here at Jamestown. This is the place where private property was established and the rule of law and representative government…, and tragically, the development of slavery…”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44944073

Los Angeles police officers accidentally shot Trader Joe’s manager during exchange of gunfire with suspect. “The officers fired eight rounds in returning Atkins’ gunshots, Moore said, adding that the fatal bullet first hit (Melyda Corado’s) arm, then entered her body…”   http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/lapd-chief-confirms-officer-s-bullet-killed-trader-joe-s-manager

Record high temperatures recorded in Texas. “The National Weather Service said Waco reached 114 degrees around 5 p.m., beating the city’s previous all-time record of 112 degrees set Aug. 11, 1969…. Camp Mabry in Austin reported a high of 110 degrees, breaking its July record of 109 degrees set July 26, 1954.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/texas-record-high-temperatures-temps-near-120-degrees-in-southwest-today-2018-07-24/

U.S. airlines comply with Chinese government’s demand that they strike ‘Taiwan’ from their websites. “China threatened the airlines with marks against ‘company social-credit scores’ if they did not comply, and this could have affected carriers’ access to what will soon be the largest air-travel market on the planet.”   https://www.thisisinsider.com/us-airlines-changed-taiwan-description-2018-7

Nerve agent that killed British woman was disguised as boxed perfume. “Rowley said he had found a sealed box in a cellophane wrapper containing a perfume bottle some days before he and Sturgess fell ill, and had kept it at his home in Amesbury, eight miles north of Salisbury, before handing it to his partner of two years as a gift.”   https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/24/novichok-victim-ill-within-15-minutes-says-partner-charlie-rowley

An average of four environmental activists killed weekly in 2017. “Paramilitaries, government troops, hired gangsters and smugglers killed 207 people trying to protect the environment from the spread of businesses like cattle ranches and sugarcane plantations in 2017, according to a new report by international NGO Global Witness.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/environmental-activists-killed-every-week_us_5b55ed2be4b0de86f48f2fb6

Mexican journalist found dead after altercation with local police. “(Ruben) Pat covered security matters and had been receiving threats for the past six months, according to one of his colleagues, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of facing reprisals.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence/journalist-gunned-down-in-mexican-resort-town-idUSKBN1KE2OL

Parents of Australian immigrant file lawsuit against Minneapolis over fatal shooting of their daughter. “(Justine Damond) was shot to death by a police officer on July 15, 2017, after she called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault occurring near her home in Minneapolis.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/justine-damonds-family-files-suit-seeking-50-million/story?id=56756972

Detained journalist in Myanmar says he was treated harshly by police. “A Reuters reporter on trial in Myanmar had his head covered with a black hood, was deprived of sleep and forced to kneel for hours at a secret police interrogation site after he was arrested with a colleague last year, he told a court on Tuesday.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-myanmar-journalists/black-hoods-kneeling-no-sleep-reuters-reporter-details-myanmar-custody-idUKKBN1KE1PE

74 dead in Greek wildfires. “Officials said at least six major fires, fueled by strong winds and forests in towns near Athens, are burning across Greece.”   https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/07/24/Greece-fires-At-least-74-dead-hundreds-rescued/6651532432408/

Outgoing Facebook security officer Alex Stamos calls for changes in the company’s culture. “We need to build a user experience that conveys honesty and respect, not one optimized to get people to click yes to giving us more access. We need to intentionally not collect data where possible, and to keep it only as long as we are using it to serve people.”   https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanmac/facebook-alex-stamos-memo-cambridge-analytica-pick-sides

Workplace cafeterias targeted by cities of San Francisco and Mountain View, California. “We want your employees to get out of the office, we want you to support our small businesses, we want you to interact and add to the cultural vibrancy of our city and we want you to make San Francisco that helps the city moving into the future.”   https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/bay-area-cities-attempt-to-ban-employee-meals/1321228984   Sure, employees love having to drive, park, order, wait for their food, gobble it down and race back to work during a 30 minute lunch break. Very popular with employees and good for the environment!

TV journalist admits that stories on global warming hurt their ratings. “Every single time we’ve covered (climate change) it’s been a palpable ratings killer. So the incentives are not great.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/24/wildfires-rage-and-heat-records-broken-worldwide-corporate-media-urged-cover-climate   Since capitalism rules the world and there is no financial incentive to upset people with stories about a looming ecological disaster, I guess we’re doomed.

‘Femen’ topless protest activist found dead in Paris. “Oksana Shachko, one of the founders of the Femen feminist protest movement, has been found dead in her Paris apartment, the group has said.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/femen-co-founder-oksana-shachko-found-dead-paris-flat

Right-wing website posts fake Ocasio-Cortez interview using doctored video to make her look stupid. “After Shane Goldmacher, a New York Times reporter, pointed out that the interview had racked up more than a million views on Facebook with no disclaimer, the network added one, calling it ‘Hilarious satire!’”   https://theintercept.com/2018/07/24/conservative-network-says-fake-interview-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-satire/

‘Sorry to Bother You’: a surreal fable about the moral cost of capitalism. “By embedding his message in the trojan horse of satirical comedy, Riley has made the indignity of wage labor a part of the public conversation…”    https://theintercept.com/2018/07/25/sorry-to-bother-you-review-boots-riley/

Federal appeals court sides with Hawaiian man denied a firearm permit. “In a 2-1 decision on Tuesday, (the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) found Hawaii infringed on the rights of plaintiff George Young when it twice denied him a permit the state requires to openly carry a gun in public.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guns-court/u-s-appeals-court-constitution-gives-right-to-carry-gun-in-public-idUSKBN1KE28C

Rachel Maddow accuses White House and Russia of tampering with transcript and recordings of Helsinki news conference. “‘What the White House has disappeared from the official record, both in print and in the video, (is) President Putin answering in the affirmative when asked if he wanted Trump to win the election.’ Russia doesn’t even show the reporter asked the question at all in their transcript.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/rachel-maddow-slams-white-house-deleting-evidence-reporters-suspicion-trump-putin-collusion/

Wealthy white teen who drove his L.A. gang members pals around town before a murder is acquitted. “Terrell’s $5 million bond was posted with $500,000 cash in October after he admitted he was the driver that day.”   https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/07/23/cameron-terrell-acquitted-palos-verdes-estates/   Has this EVER happened to a poor black kid? I mean EVER? “I had no idea they were going to kill someone, I was just driving them around. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

 

July 25, 2018

July 24, 2018

HR 922 would make starting a war without congressional approval an impeachable offense for presidents. “At present, the United States is engaged in nine unconstitutional presidential wars in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and against Al Qaeda and ISIS.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/constitutional-lawyer-bruce-fein-effort-stop-presidential-wars/

The complex legal situation surrounding the trials of those accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks. “The bombshell in (FBI agent) Perkins’s testimony was that she reviewed CIA black-site cables to prepare questions and strategies for her interrogation. While this black-site leakage into the process to obtain court-worthy evidence was not surprising to Ruiz or the other defense teams, putting it on record in open court undermined the pretense of separation between CIA torture and the FBI ‘clean teams’.”    https://www.thenation.com/article/government-secrecy-torture-stymied-9-11-terror-prosecution/

NFL’s rules to punish players who don’t stand for anthem suspended during talks with players’ union. “The NFLPA said the NFL policy, which the league imposed without consultation with the players union, is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement and infringes on player rights.”   http://www.sportspromedia.com/news/nfl-anthem-policy-nflpa-challenge

As many as 463 detained migrants have reportedly been deported or left the country without their children after being separated by immigration authorities. “The filing did not say why the 463 parents had left the country, but government officials previously acknowledged that some parents had been deported without their children.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration/us-says-463-migrant-parents-may-have-been-deported-without-kids-idUSKBN1KE029

President Trump holds White House event featuring products ‘Made in the USA’, however most Trump-branded products are made overseas. “The president and his daughter largely manufacture Trump-branded products in countries like China, Indonesia, Turkey and Canada.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-event-touted-made-america-goods-lot-his-merchandise-couldn-n893656

Former FBI director James Comey warns Democrats not to run leftist candidates because it could hurt the party’s chances of winning elections. “His advice swiftly drew criticism from Democrats who blame Comey for tipping the scales in Trump’s favor.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/07/23/comey-cautions-democrats-against-socialist-left-democrats-pounce/

Dept. of Interior accidentally released documents showing bias in their review of national monument sites. “The new documents show that as (Secretary) Zinke conducted his four-month review, Interior officials rejected material that would justify keeping protections in place and sought out evidence that could buttress the case for unraveling them.”   https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/07/23/retracted-documents-show/

Attorneys for Alex Jones argue that the First Amendment should protect him from defamation lawsuits filed by Sandy Hook families. “To stifle the press (by making them liable for merely interviewing people who have strange theories) will simply turn this human tragedy into a Constitutional one.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/infowars-host-alex-jones-moves-dismiss-sandy-hook-56759745   There are, in fact, many strange aspects to the Sandy Hook story. Many of the videos which explored these issues have now been taken down from sites like YouTube (no medical evacuation helicopters were summoned, EMTs were kept outside the school, most of the victims were immediately declared dead on the scene by an unidentified person, no photos of the crime scene or of the victims have been released, shifting accounts about details such as where bodies were found, what weapons were recovered from which locations and how many suspects were detained, blocked FOIA requests, police intimidation of investigators, etc.). But you can still watch an interview with investigator Wolfgang Halbig here:   https://martyleeds33.com/marty-leeds-interviews-wolfgang-halbig/   After Sandy Hook, the Connecticut legislature passed a law to block FOIA releases of crime scene photos.   https://wqad.com/2013/06/05/bill-to-withhold-newtown-photos-records-gets-strong-ok-in-connecticut-legislature/   Newtown withheld recordings of 911 calls.   http://articles.courant.com/2013-09-05/news/hc-foi-newtown-911-calls-0906-20130905_1_911-tapes-ross-adam-lanza   Search warrants and police records were also withheld.   https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Records-Withheld-in-Newtown-Shooting–195291341.html

65 dead, 22,647 hospitalized in Japan in one week due to heat wave. “The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday that a total of 80 people have died from the heat since the beginning of July, and over 35,000 have been hospitalised.”   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/24/unprecedented-japan-heatwave-kills-65-one-week-leaves-23000/

Four Pepperidge Farm Goldfish products recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. “Pepperidge Farm says it has been notified by one of its ingredient suppliers that whey powder in a seasoning that is applied to four varieties of crackers has been the subject of a recall by the whey powder manufacturer due to the potential presence of salmonella.”   https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Goldfish-Crackers-Recall-Pepperidge-Farm-488943461.html

New owner of New York Daily News lays off 1/2 its newsroom staff. “After Tronc purchased the financially troubled daily last summer for a mere $1, it began a restructuring that eliminated many New York-based positions and centralized some roles in Tronc’s Chicago headquarters.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-daily-news-layoffs_us_5b5105bee4b0fd5c73c3a233

TSA installing $300,000 CT scanners at some airports. “The TSA plans to have 15 scanners deployed to airports by the end of the year, and are authorized to buy up to 240 in 2019. They’ll need about 2,000 to cover every airport checkpoint in the country.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-3-d-scanners-could-ease-hassle-of-air-travelers/   Airport security – a never-ending source of income for security equipment vendors. Looks like the company making these scanners paid in the neighborhood of $30,000 to a lobbying firm in 2018.    https://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=getFilingDetails&filingID=E3AD1718-D939-4061-8826-F19560851ECD&filingTypeID=51   After a brief web search, it appears that the TSA has never confiscated a live bomb from a passenger at a U.S. airport, and that no airliners have been blown up after departing from a U.S. airport since they starting frisking everyone, so it seems like this is a very expensive solution looking for a problem.

Seven countries reportedly using state-sponsored trolling to attack their opponents: the United States, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Ecuador, the Philippines, Turkey, and Venezuela. “We define this phenomenon as the use by states of targeted online hate and harassment campaigns to intimidate and silence individuals critical of the state.”   http://www.iftf.org/fileadmin/user_upload/images/DigIntel/IFTF_State_sponsored_trolling_report.pdf   Excerpt from section on the U.S.: “Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University, was targeted with trolling after publishing a column in Foreign Policy on 30 January 2017. Brooks noted the possibility of military advisors disobeying orders from Trump during his tenure, remarks that were characterized by Breitbart as calling for a military coup. Other outlets, such as Alex Jones’s conspiracy-theory outfit Infowars and the white-supremacist website the Daily Stormer, also joined in the attack on Brooks, accusing her of treason and sedition. Trolls attacked Brooks with obscene death threats and harassment. Emails and phone calls calling for her to be fired were received at her university.”   A Bloomberg story on the report fails to mention that the United States is one of the seven countries profiled.   https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-government-sponsored-cyber-militia-cookbook/   Russia and China are not mentioned in the Institute for the Future report, which seems like a pretty glaring oversight.

 

July 24, 2018

July 23, 2018

Private prison companies holding illegal immigrants and asylum seekers reportedly made large donations to Republican National Committee and Trump super PAC. “Just a couple months after Trump took over, the two largest private prison companies — CoreCivic and GEO Group — saw their stock spike 30% and 20% respectively, owing in large part to the president’s hardline immigration policies…”   https://mic.com/articles/190011/how-private-prisons-are-benefiting-from-trumps-hardline-immigration-policies

Suspected marijuana farmer Gregory Longenecker died after being run over with a bulldozer during a helicopter directed police pursuit in Pennsylvania. “When all was said and done, the state police found 10 marijuana plants.”   https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/drug-law-reform/another-needless-death-absurd-war-marijuana

Study finds that many U.S. doctors don’t listen to their patients. “In primary care visits, 49 percent of patients were able to explain their agenda, while in specialty visits, only 20 percent of patients were allowed to explain their reason for visiting.”   https://www.newsweek.com/doctor-patient-visits-1035514

Maria Butina, accused of working for Russian government, did not keep a low profile according to fellow students at American University in Washington, D.C. “She vocally defended Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian interests, which prompted ‘very hot conversations’, one former classmate said. She sported a mobile phone case with Putin’s portrait on it and, for a while, her computer had Putin wallpaper set as her desktop background.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/19/politics/maria-butina-paul-erickson-russian-sex-lies-guns/index.html

Israeli troops evacuate ‘White Helmet’ rescue volunteers trapped in southwestern Syria, who will be resettled in Britain, Canada and Germany. “The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they were acting on a request from the US, the UK and other European nations.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44915099   Wow, not every Syrian gets this kind of assistance! Sounds like there is more to this story.

After admitting the U.S. intelligence community was right about Russian election interference, Trump tweets that the Russia investigation is actually just ‘a big hoax’, blames Obama. “So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018   https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/22/media/donald-trump-russia-investigation-tweet/index.html

Redacted Carter Page surveillance warrant, released in response to a FOIA lawsuit by media organizations, shows that the House Intelligence Committee’s  ‘Nunes memo’ was mostly accurate. “Now, …we have both the memo and the FISA application, if in a blacked-out state. We can compare the two. And doing so shows the Nunes memo was overwhelmingly accurate.”   https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/fisa-warrant-application-supports-nunes-memo

11 South African taxi drivers gunned down in apparent turf battle. “…gunmen with automatic weapons opened fire, killing 11 people and critically injuring four…. The drivers had been returning from a colleague’s funeral in KwaZulu Natal Province when the ambush took place.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/22/world/africa/south-africa-taxi-attack.html   The never-ending struggle for market share.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit could lead to rioting claims senior business manager. “Amazon.com Inc.’s U.K. head, Doug Gurr, said there could be “civil unrest” within two weeks if Britain leaves the European Union with no deal, the London-based Times reported.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-22/amazon-warns-no-deal-brexit-risks-civil-unrest-times-reports   CEOs and business owners smashing windows and torching cars? Should be interesting.

Japan’s heatwave breaks country’s all-time high temperature record. “Temperatures in Japan have reached 41.1C (106F), a new record for the country, amid a deadly heatwave that has claimed dozens of lives…. Records go back to varying dates for different cities, with data for Kumagaya starting in 1896.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-heatwave-weather-temperatures-latest-updates-deaths-a8459351.html   Doesn’t sound so hot, but at 60%+ humidity it’s pretty stifling.

16 varieties of Ritz crackers recalled over possible salmonella contamination. “It can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in the young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ritz-cracker-ritz-bits-mondelez-global-salmonella-recall-2018-07-22/   You have to wonder if the lowest bidder got the contract.

Working class Americans going into debt, dipping into savings to fuel economic recovery. “A Reuters analysis of U.S. household data shows that the bottom 60 percent of income-earners have accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as the their finances worsened…”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-consumers-insight/mortgage-groupon-and-card-debt-how-the-bottom-half-bolsters-u-s-economy-idUSKBN1KD0EM

Gwinnett County, Georgia sheriff’s department reportedly cut off from federal drug money program after spending $69,258 for a muscle car for the sheriff. “The 2018 Dodge Charger Hellcat has a 707 horsepower, supercharged six point two-liter engine, with a top speed of 200 miles per hour.”   http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/i-team/feds-gwinnett-sheriff-s-hellcat-violates-drug-money-rules

‘Centrist’, pro-business Democrats meet to plot a strategy to thwart progressives. “Thom Hartmann, a liberal talk radio host and Sanders friend, once called the (Third Way) group’s warning about Sanders ‘probably the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard’, before ticking through all the investment bankers on Third Way’s board.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/sanders-wing-party-terrifies-moderate-dems-here-s-how-they-n893381

Humans devouring nature much faster than it can be regenerated. “To maintain our current appetite for resources, we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that makes an annual assessment of how far humankind is falling into ecological debt.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/23/earths-resources-consumed-in-ever-greater-destructive-volumes   And it will not end well…

July 23, 2018