September 30, 2018

FOIA request reveals family separation policy memo that officials denied existed. “The memo, first reported on by the Washington Post on April 26, but never previously published, provides evidence that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen signed off on a policy of family separation despite her repeated claims denying that there was such a policy.”   https://www.openthegovernment.org/node/5713

Human trafficking bill would likely expand government’s warrantless surveillance powers. “The process would increase the number of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by banks (already over a million each year), and the bill does not include any process for individuals (who may have been wrongly accused) to defend themselves or appeal…. The bill also gives the Treasury Department authority to create new regulations on information sharing that could expand warrantless surveillance under Section 314 of the Patriot Act (something Treasury has tried to do repeatedly).”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/dangerous-new-bill-would-expand-the-patriot-act/

Department of Justice employee says her contract was not renewed after she protested against separations of migrant families. “Allison Hrabar, a now-former paralegal at the DOJ, said on Tuesday that she was fired the previous day ‘in retaliation for confronting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at dinner’.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/408284-woman-fired-for-interrupting-neilsen-starts-gofundme-to-cover-medical   On the bright side, she reached her fundraising goal to cover her personal expenses.   https://www.gofundme.com/activist-fired-for-protesting-trump

Seymour Hersh – a lifetime of going after the stories that other reporters avoided. “Contrary to the Obama administration’s claims that the (bin Laden assassination) operation had been carried out without Pakistan’s knowledge, Hersh maintained that bin Laden had been living in Abbottabad under Pakistani control and that the United States had undertaken the raid jointly with Pakistani military intelligence.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/seymour-hersh-reporter/

Customs and Border Patrol planning to scan all airline passengers’ faces before they board their international flights. “The report ends up concluding that (flight delays) and other logistical issues ‘pose significant risks to CBP scaling up the biometric program to process 100 percent of all departing passengers by 2021’.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/26/airport-facial-recognition-flight-delay/

Hundreds of protesters turn out for Kavanaugh hearing. “As the dramatic hearing with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, got underway, hundreds of protesters clashed on Capitol Hill – shutting down roads.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/09/27/kavanaugh-ford-hearing-marked-with-hundreds-protesters-around-capitol-hill.html

Federal court hears case involving warrantless phone seizure. “While questioning only lasted 30 minutes, police took both of Burton’s phones when he arrived and told him they would be keeping them…. Police did not obtain a warrant to search the phones until two days later.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/fourth-circuit-ask-to-determine-validity-of-warrantless-phone-search/

Facebook is reportedly deactivating fake accounts used by law enforcement agencies to monitor protest groups. “In a letter to Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings dated Sept. 19, Facebook’s legal staff demands that the agency ‘cease all activities on Facebook that involve the use of fake accounts or impersonation of others’.”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180925/18545740715/facebook-tells-cops-real-name-policy-applies-to-law-enforcement-too.shtml

Third accuser claims Kavanaugh and his friends drugged girls and then gang raped them. “During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me,” she said, adding that she was “drugged with Quaaludes or something similar . . . ”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/who-is-julie-swetnick-the-third-kavanaugh-accuser/2018/09/26/91e16ed8-c1bc-11e8-97a5-ab1e46bb3bc7_story.html

Trump administration report predicts 4 degree C (7 F) rise in global temperatures by 2100, claims little can be done to stop it. “(Preventing this outcome) would require substantial increases in technology innovation and adoption compared to today’s levels and would require the economy and the vehicle fleet to move away from the use of fossil fuels, which is not currently technologically feasible or economically feasible.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/science/ct-trump-administration-global-warming-20180928-story.html   Bye-bye Mar-a-Lago!

House passes bill to make Trump tax cuts permanent. “The sweeping rewrite of the tax code that Republicans hustled through Congress late last year, signed into law by Trump as his signature legislative achievement, is expected to add about $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. The bill approved Friday would add another $545 billion through 2028…”   http://time.com/5410708/house-approves-gop-bill-tax-cuts-permanent/

Most expensive warplane in history crashes near South Carolina airbase. “The announced per-unit price tag for the Marine Corps F-35B was $115.5 million.”   https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/28/politics/marine-corps-f-35b-fighter-crash/index.html

Fewer than 100 immigrants a year are charged with benefits fraud. “Qualified aliens, like lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or green card holders, are banned from means-tested programs for five years from their date of legal entry.”   https://www.salon.com/2018/09/29/do-immigrants-falsely-claim-public-benefits-whatever-trump-thinks-the-answer-is-pretty-much-no/

Federal court hears student artist’s appeal over removal of his painting of a police shooting from a Capitol exhibition. “Stephen Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, removed… the untitled painting after police associations and Republican lawmakers protested the work as anti-police.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/art-censorship-at-capitol-fought-at-dc-circuit/

Federal court hears Ferguson ‘debtors prison’ class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs jailed for not paying fines and traffic tickets. “Fant and her co-plaintiffs say they languished in deplorable conditions inside the jails, forced to wear the same clothes for days and weeks.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/debtors-prison-case-makes-waves-at-8th-circuit/

Senate Democrats introduce bill prohibiting U.S. first strike on Iran without Congressional approval. “The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/27/avoid-repeating-catastrophic-mistake-iraq-invasion-senate-bill-would-forbid-attack

Yet another politician adopts Jill Stein’s ‘Green New Deal’ plan, without giving her any credit. “Closing out the Labour Party’s annual conference on Wednesday, Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to end ‘greed-is-good’ capitalism and ‘kick-start a green jobs revolution’ as part of his ‘radical plan to rebuild and transform’ the United Kingdom.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/26/fight-climate-threat-and-greed-good-capitalism-corbyn-offers-radical-plan-rebuild

Trump administration rolls back safety regulation on oil and chemical trains. “The rule required trains carrying oil and other flammable materials—sometimes called ‘bomb trains’—to install electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes that decrease the likelihood of derailment by 2021.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/25/shameless-trump-repeals-rule-meant-prevent-oil-carrying-bomb-trains-derailing-and

Amazon accused of conducting union prevention training at Whole Foods. “The training videos provide managers with tips and information on how to navigate around labor laws to prevent unionization efforts and how to express criticism toward union efforts without committing an unfair labor practice.”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/sep/27/amazon-whole-foods-training-video-union-busting-efforts-staff

ICE accused of violating court order by detaining Haitian man who grew up in Brooklyn. “… while (Danny Michel’s) two-decade struggle with U.S. immigration enforcement points to a system that has long been mired in intransigence veering on the absurd, his first night back after deportation, and ICE’s insistence on detaining him even after a judge had ruled that they couldn’t do so, speaks of an agency that is growing increasingly rogue — emboldened by the political moment to exert authority even where it has none, and to defy the rule of law even when it claims to be enforcing it.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/29/ice-deportation-immigration-system/

Former Chicago police commander Jon Burge dies at 70. “Andrew Wilson told (The Chicago Reader) he was subject to, in Conroy’s words ‘burns and electric shock, the shock delivered by two different devices to his genitals, his ears, his nose, and his fingers’ while being interrogated by officers under Burge’s command. Accusations from other victims reported by Conroy ranged (from) similar shocks to beatings to officers putting plastic bags over suspects’ heads; there were stories of burns from cigarettes and radiators that individuals in police custody were chained to.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/25/jon-burge-chicago-police-torture/

Espionage Act being misused against whistle-blowers. “The Espionage Act was originally aimed at protecting the country from spies who would leak information to foreign governments, not to the American people or the press.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/09/27/the-espionage-act-has-become-an-abusive-censorship-tool/

Brett Kavanaugh accused of lying about his merit-based admission to Yale. “Kavanaugh was a legacy at Yale, where his grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh went.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/busted-brett-kavanaugh-lied-busting-tail-get-yale-no-connections-legacy/

U.S. military’s estimate of civilian casualties in war on IS is about 6 times lower than that of NGO. “The coalition fighting Islamic State militants said in a statement that during the month of August it had determined that an additional 53 civilians had been killed unintentionally, bringing the total to at least 1,114 civilian deaths since August 2014…. The monitoring group Airwars says at least 6,575 civilians have been killed by coalition strikes.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-civilian/u-s-led-fight-on-islamic-state-killed-more-than-1100-civilians-pentagon-idUSKCN1M7200

Seven killed, more than 500 wounded during latest Gaza border protest. “Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians, including two boys, who were among thousands of people who thronged to the fortified Gaza Strip border on Friday as part of weekly protests launched half a year ago, Gaza health officials said.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-israel-palestinians-protests/palestinians-say-seven-killed-as-israeli-troops-fire-on-gaza-protest-idUKKCN1M828X

Egypt accused of targeting activists. “The systematic targeting of human rights defenders is yet another indication that the Egyptian Government is operating a zero-tolerance approach to dissent, which is often suppressed under the pretext of countering terrorism.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-egypt-rights/u-n-experts-says-egypt-systematically-targets-rights-activists-idUKKCN1M82E1

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September 30, 2018

September 24, 2018

North Carolina woman arrested for providing first aid to injured pets after hurricane. “The charges included 12 counts of practicing medicine without a veterinary license.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/09/22/florence-good-samaritan-arrested-after-helping-pets-during-storm/1397025002/

Man sentenced to 20 years after cigarette heist. “Authorities say Spellman took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a stock room in the store manager’s office last December.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/stolen-smokes-florida-man-20-years-cigarette-theft-58020570

Female law students say their professor is lying about not grooming them for Brett Kavanaugh clerkships. “I personally heard her state that it’s not an accident that all his clerks look like models.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/yale-students-to-prof-who-denies-coaching-kavanaugh-clerks-youre-lying_us_5ba685dde4b069d5f9d369e6

Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh. “In a (New Yorker) report by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer, a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s named Deborah Ramirez alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/23/sinister-gop-tried-push-through-kavanaugh-vote-senators-reportedly-knew-second

3D printer gun guy who battled the government and won is jailed after $500 hook up with under-aged woman who he met on an adult website. “… Mr. Wilson met the girl through a “sugar daddy” dating website, and they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop before they drove to the hotel.”   http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-20/3d-printed-gun-maker-cody-wilson-accused-of-sex-with-child/10286368

Twenty Pinochet-era undercover police agents jailed for participation in political assassination program. “The crimes were committed under Operation Condor — a secret campaign to wipe out the opposition.”   https://www.dw.com/en/chile-20-secret-police-jailed-for-pinochet-era-crimes/a-45599050   Could Henry Kissinger be next? “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.”   https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB514/

September 24, 2018

September 23, 2018

Every Democratic Senator except Bernie Sanders votes to approve $674 billion military spending bill. “Six Republicans and independent Senator Bernie Sanders opposed it.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/20/headlines/senate_passes_674_billion_military_spending_bill

Cities offering to pass on Amazon infrastructure costs to utility ratepayers. “In late August, for example, Bloomberg broke the story that Dominion Energy, Virginia’s largest utility company, got approval to pass onto its customers the $172 million cost of a power line that will run to Amazon’s new building.”   https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/amazons-electricity-sweetheart-deal/

Coal ash spills into North Carolina river after Trump administration relaxes restrictions. “The Environmental Protection Agency in July relaxed Obama administration requirements that forced companies to keep a closer watch on coal ash disposal sites and their potential groundwater contamination — and signaled further revisions sought by industry are coming.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-21/toxic-spills-highlight-trump-s-deregulation-of-coal-plant-waste

Third man dies in series of beatings of men sleeping outside. “Santa Monica police are working with the Los Angeles Police Department to see if there’s a connection between the apparent beating death of a man found on the beach, and three brutal attacks on homeless men last weekend in downtown L.A.”   http://www.laist.com/2018/09/21/homeless_deaths_santa_monica_downtown_la.php

FEMA chief to reimburse government for private use of official vehicle. “Nielsen said in a statement that she had completed a review of a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report probing Long’s government vehicle use, which found that he had used government-owned cars for home-to-work transportation ‘without proper authorization’.”   https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/21/politics/brock-long-fema-reimburse-travel/index.html

Chicago prosecutors throw out cases of 18 suspects after allegations of fabricated charges. “Their accounts in large part mirror many of the previous allegations stemming from (Chicago police Sgt. Ronald) Watts’ decade-long run of corruption at Ida B. Wells, forcing residents and drug dealers alike to pay a “protection” tax or face bogus criminal charges for refusing to do so.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-corrupt-ex-chicago-cop-charges-dropped-20180921-story.html

Man arrested for Facebook threats against government officials. “A federal warrant was issued June 19 for the 27-year-old McAdoo man in connection to Facebook posts threatening to shoot Trump and a district attorney in Pennsylvania. Officials say he also threatened a police chief.”   https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/09/hunt_for_mansfield_man_who_thr.html

Federal judge rules North Carolina law restricting agriculture workers’ unions is unconstitutional. “Under the law, The Farm Labor Organizing Committee would have to travel across the state to collect each [dues] payment because its members and employers are not permitted to transfer money directly from their paychecks.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-blocks-nc-law-limiting-union-activity-by-farm-workers/

Federal judge rules that Dallas County bail schedule violates rights of poor prisoners. “(Judge) Godbey said the county judges routinely impose secured bond amounts recommended by automatic schedules that result in pretrial detention of the indigent in violation of their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/dallas-county-ordered-to-reform-bail-system/

Michael Moore’s movie ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ doesn’t just go after Donald Trump. “In a series of scenes that will likely disturb many viewers, he dives deep into the ways that establishment Democrats have sold out the party’s ideals and their voters.”   https://www.salon.com/2018/09/22/lessons-from-michael-moores-fahrenheit-119-establishment-democrats-have-sold-out-their-voters/

ACLU sues New Mexico police departments for violating the state’s civil asset forfeiture law. “The Albuquerque Police Department, among others, refused to fully comply with the new state law claiming that it didn’t apply to their DWI vehicle seizure program.”   https://www.aclu.org/blog/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police-practices/federal-judge-declares-policing-profit

Facebook accused of being slow to remove threats against Myanmar human rights worker. “‘He is a Muslim. Muslims are dogs and need to be shot…. Don’t leave him alive. Remove his whole race. Time is ticking.’ The (U.N.) Mission reported this post to Facebook on four occasions; in each instance the response received was that the post was examined but ‘doesn’t go against one of [Facebook’s] specific Community Standards’.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/22/facebook-brushed-off-the-un-five-separate-times-over-calls-for-murder-of-human-rights-worker/

Google allegedly told employees to delete controversial memo. “The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have ‘unilateral access’ to the data.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/google-suppresses-memo-revealing-plans-to-closely-track-search-users-in-china/

State Department policy on Yemen reportedly influenced by possible future weapons sales. “The legislative affairs staff, according to the Wall Street Journal, argued that restricting U.S. support would endanger billions of dollars in future weapons sales, including a massive sale of precision-guided munitions between Raytheon, a U.S. weapons manufacturer, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/21/mike-pompeo-yemen-war-raytheon/

Writer reveals themes of fascist political movements and their current use in U.S. politics. “(Jason) Stanley talks to Schechtman about what he believes are the ten pillars of fascist politics: the mythic past, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, unreality, hierarchy, victimhood, law and order, sexual anxiety, and appeals to the heartland. He explains how fascists have consistently used these elements to sow division and gain power.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/09/21/is-america-now-a-fascist-country/

U.S. reportedly concealing number of Afghan government forces being killed by Taliban. “The figure of 400 Afghan soldiers and police officers killed last week leaked out of a meeting last weekend between Gen. Austin Scott Miller, the new American military commander, and Western diplomats in Kabul, according to two of those present, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was meant to be off the record.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/world/asia/afghanistan-security-casualties-taliban.html

 

September 23, 2018

September 21, 2018

Public defenders protest after migrant is arrested during meeting with his lawyer. “Legal Aid client Genaro Rojas Hernandez was meeting with his lawyer in Brooklyn when ICE agents grabbed him.”   http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2018/09/unionized-judges-and-public-defenders-demand-due-process-immigrants

Released documents reveal government’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order to investigate journalists. “While civil liberties advocates have long suspected secret FISA court orders may be used (and abused) to conduct surveillance on journalists, the government—to our knowledge—has never acknowledged they have ever even contemplated doing so before the release of these documents today.”   https://freedom.press/news/revealed-justice-depts-secret-rules-targeting-journalists-fisa-court-orders/

Judge who sentenced woman to prison for voting reportedly broke election laws herself when she solicited employees for political donations. “… Grant Hayden, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, said it’s unfair for (Judge) Wilson to hold voters like Mason accountable for not knowing election rules and then claiming not to know rules herself.”   https://theappeal.org/texas-da-who-sent-woman-to-prison-for-five-years-for-voting-made-her-own-election-mistake/

Former Border Patrol agent speaks out against use of excessive force and cruelty. “… if you use an intermediate weapon like [pepper] spray, Taser, or a baton, policy says you have to write a memo. But if you use a flashlight, you don’t have to write a memo, so it was always common knowledge: Use your flashlight.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/20/border-patrol-agent-immigrant-abuse/

ICE accused of arresting family members as they attempt to reclaim detained children. “CNN reported Thursday that between July and early September, at least 41 people have been detained after attempting to retrieve their young family members from government-run detention facilities, which are now at 92 percent capacity with more than 13,000 children in custody.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/20/evil-worst-fears-realized-ice-arrests-dozens-family-or-guardians-attempting-retrieve

Woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault goes into hiding after death threats. “As you are aware, she has been receiving death threats, which have been reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and she and her family have been forced out of their home.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-christine-blasey.html

Activists groups unite against criminalization of protests. “Following the passage of a new state law, trespassing at a pipeline construction site has been deemed a felony in Louisiana rather than a misdemeanor.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/20/advocacy-groups-vow-protect-protest-government-and-corporations-challenge-first

Facebook allegedly allowing job ads to be sent to men or young people only. “Submitted on behalf of three female workers, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and the hundreds of thousands of female workers CWA represents, the ACLU’s charges ‘allege that Facebook delivers job ads selectively based on age and sex categories that employers expressly choose, and that Facebook earns revenue from placing job ads that exclude women and older workers from receiving the ads’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/18/facebook-job-ads-let-employers-exclude-women-are-clear-civil-rights-violation-says

Peace activist arrested for disrupting State Department official’s speech on war with Iran. “You are making a case for war with Iran. How did the war with Iraq turn out?”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/20/how-did-war-iraq-turn-out-codepinks-medea-benjamin-interrupts-trump-officials

NFL player Eric Reid is also apparently being blacklisted for anthem protests. “Everybody who plays at Reid’s level has a job and a well-paying contract except for Reid.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/20/colin-kaepernick-eric-reid-nfl/

Federal judge dismisses Georgia lawsuit demanding paper ballots. “Several computer experts with decades of experience between them testified that Georgia’s current voting system is susceptible to outside hackers serving foreign interests.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/09/18/breaking-news-federal-judge-rules-no-on-paper-ballots-in-georgia/   Or to inside hackers serving domestic interests.

Nine environmentalist activists injured, one journalist dies in Germany during ancient forest arrests. “For the past six years activists have occupied the forest in an attempt to stop the planned expansion of a nearby open-pit coal mine.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/20/headlines/germany_journalist_dies_while_covering_hambach_forest_occupation

Police raid wrong apartment, are shot by frightened resident who thought it was a home invasion. “Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said Thursday afternoon at a news conference that a man who fired a shotgun at a nine-person team of officers from the Special Operations Division after they gained entry into his apartment was acting in self-defense of himself and his daughter.”   http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/police-prince-george-s-co-officers-executed-warrant-at-apartment-where-suspect-didn-t-reside

Ireland lifts ban on abortion. “The proposal is to allow elective abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and limited access to the 23rd week.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/09/20/649959209/ireland-plans-to-offer-abortions-for-free-as-ban-is-officially-repealed

Children of detained Uighurs reportedly being placed in orphanages by Chinese authorities. “An AP review of procurement notices in Xinjiang has found that since the start of last year, the government has budgeted more than $30 million (200 million Chinese yuan) to build or expand at least 45 orphanages, known variously as children’s ‘welfare centers’ and ‘protection centers’, with enough beds to house about 5,000 children.”   http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/09/20/china-distances-children-from-families-to-subdue-muslim-west.html

Oakland releases bodycam video from fatal 2015 police shooting. “Hogg, police said, was asleep in the drivers seat next to a pistol with an extended magazine.”   https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Oakland-police-release-body-cam-video-of-2015-13236810.php

Alaska man who choked woman unconscious gets no jail time. “Justin Schneider served one year on house arrest with an ankle bracelet and is not slated to spend any time in jail over the August 2017 incident as a result of a deal.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/hope-doesnt-happen-judge-lets-man-strangled-woman/story?id=57967614

 

September 21, 2018

September 17, 2018

Widespread reports of New Yorkers unable to vote in Democratic primary election. “An untold number of primary voters are arriving at polling sites today only to find that their names are mysteriously missing from the voter rolls. Others have found that their registration has been quietly transferred to new election/assembly districts, or assigned to new parties without their knowledge.”   http://gothamist.com/2018/09/13/voter_rolls_primary_purge.php

Border Patrol supervisor charged with four counts of murder. “A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been accused of going on a nearly two-week-long “serial killing spree” that came to an end on Saturday after he was arrested him in connection with the deaths of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth woman.”   https://www.texastribune.org/2018/09/15/texas-border-patrol-agent-accused-serial-killing-spree-laredo/

Almost 1/3 of U.S. workforce earns less than $12 an hour. “Nearly 40 percent of full-time hourly workers know their work schedules just a week or less in advance.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/11/magazine/americans-jobs-poverty-homeless.html

Police screenshot reveals that Massachusetts counter-terrorism Fusion Center is tracking activist groups. “The fact that state police, who are funded by our taxpayer dollars, are spending time monitoring groups on Facebook that opposed racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic violence, instead of those groups who perpetuate such violence, is abhorrent and should be examined under scrutiny.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/15/massachusetts-police-tweet-leftwing-surveillance-boston

Humanitarian group facing charges for providing water to migrants stranded in desert. “In addition to the exhibits the government would like to have sealed, the motions filed this week provide the latest evidence that law enforcement actions taken against No More Deaths, an official ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Tucson, are part of a campaign targeting the organization.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/16/border-patrol-no-more-deaths-prosecution-arizona-immigrants/

Black employee questioned by undercover officers after caller reports him walking to work. “Police shut down the building and searched for (Reg) Andrade, a 14-year employee at the (University of Massachusetts) who works as a case manager in the disability services office.”   https://www.gazettenet.com/UMass-employee-says-he-was-racially-profiled-in-anonymous-call-to-police-20227707

How researchers used Facebook ‘likes’ to profile the site’s users. “‘If I know 70 of your likes on Facebook, that’s enough to outdo what your friends know about you. If I know 150 likes that you clicked on Facebook, I know you better than your parents know you.’ And at 300 likes, (Michal) Kosinski intimated, the algorithm knows you better than you know yourself.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/heres-unique-behavioral-psychological-profile-used-manipulate/

FEMA directors says domestic violence may be to blame for high death toll in Puerto Rico after hurricane. “You know, the other thing that goes on,” Long added. “Spousal abuse goes through the roof. You can’t blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/fema-director-blames-puerto-rico-spousal-abuse-defends-trump-3000-people-die-due-hurricane/

Police and conservatives upset after North Carolina Dollar Store asks cops not to arrest ‘looters’. “On Twitter, the announcement angered conservatives, some of whom called on the the police to shoot people getting supplies from the Dollar Store after living for two days without power.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/north-carolina-cops-complain-dollar-store-managers-ask-not-arrest-black-looters-hurricane/

 

September 17, 2018

September 15, 2018

Seven New York progressives win their Democratic primary elections. “… (State) Senator Martin Dilan, who was not part of the I.D.C., was defeated by Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist whose candidacy energized young voters in swaths of gentrifying Brooklyn, despite near-constant controversy in the final weeks of the campaign.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/nyregion/state-senate-election-results-idc-klein.html

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who was involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, was reportedly a White House intern during the Bill Clinton administration. “Get inspired and depressing reading that article about how Obama approached the mail room,” Page wrote Strzok on Jan. 19, 2017 – the last day of the Obama administration. “Needless to say, it was very different when I interned there under Clinton.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/09/13/ex-fbi-lawyer-lisa-page-interned-under-clinton-texts-reveal.html   No conflict of interest there!

Police search home of Dallas police shooting victim, find marijuana. “Although the search warrant affidavit for Jean’s apartment was made public on Thursday, the same the day as Jean’s funeral, one for (Officer) Guyger’s apartment wasn’t.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bothan-jean-search-warrant-marijuana_us_5b9afc61e4b046313fb95f27

10 years after Wall Street financial crisis, the world’s governments have taken on incomprehensible levels of  debt that future generations will have to pay off. “Global debt has ballooned over the past two decades: from $84 trillion at the turn of the century, to $173 trillion at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, to $250 trillion a decade after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-lehman-debt/

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pleads guilty to unregistered foreign lobbying charges. “Court documents show that Manafort devised a complex and secretive lobbying campaign to rebrand (Ukrainian president) Yanukovych, who was dogged by corruption charges, as an earnest, pro-Western reformer.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manaforts-guilty-plea-exposes-hardball-tactics-he-used-to-thrive-in-washington-swamp/2018/09/14/6113fb4c-b82d-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html

‘Early Days’ statue showing ‘fallen’ Native American’ removed by city of San Francisco. “Dozens of people watched and celebrated the removal of the statue, which showed a Native American man on the ground, gazing up toward conquering European figures.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/09/14/647904005/san-francisco-removes-statue-of-native-man-at-feet-of-colonizers

Former  Biscayne Bay, Florida police chief admits framing black men for burglaries. “(Raimundo) Atesiano, 52, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge of depriving the three suspects of their civil rights because he and the officers framed them.”   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article218261470.html

You, the taxpayer, paid $52,700 for motorized curtains for Nikki Haley’s $58,000 a month apartment. “The State Department spent $52,701 last year on motorized curtains for Nikki Haley’s official residence as ambassador to the United Nations at a time when the department was cutting its budget and freezing hiring.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-department-spent-52700-on-curtains-for-nikki-haley_us_5b9bc7c0e4b04d32ebf7dc74

France admits to torturing and executing prisoners during Algerian War. “On Thursday, Macron’s statement said he ‘recognized, in the name of the French Republic, that Maurice Audin was tortured and then executed, or tortured to death, by soldiers who arrested him at home.’”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/09/14/france-just-acknowledged-using-torture-algeria-here-are-searing-photos-that-war/

Police in Germany remove protesters from ancient forest to make way for coal mine. “The 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest, which is owned by RWE, has shrunk to less than 10% of its original size since the company began razing sections of it four decades ago, according to estimates by RWE and environmental activists.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/13/europe/germany-hambach-forest-police-intl/index.html

Brett Kavanaugh accuser claims she was attacked at party. “According to the New Yorker, Kavanaugh’s accuser says Kavanaugh ‘held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her’ at a party…. the woman says that during the attack Kavanaugh and a classmate turned up music to ‘conceal the sound of her protests’, and that he ‘covered her mouth with his hand’.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/kavanaugh-allegations-tied-to-high-school-party/

Tennessee prosecutor reopens civil rights murder case of man murdered while registering blacks to vote.   “Three days after being taken to the jail, (Elbert) Williams’ body was found in the Hatchie River downstream of Brownsville, Tennessee.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/tennessee-searches-for-justice-in-cold-civil-rights-cases/

Jeff Bezos announces homeless charity after scuttling Seattle corporate tax that would have funded housing for the homeless. “Philanthropy will not solve income inequality or stagnant wages.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/13/after-pressuring-seattle-forgo-corporate-tax-fund-affordable-housing-bezos-commits

15 groups are reportedly the source of 75% of anonymous ‘dark money’ donations. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce—which gets substantial funding from big banks, pharmaceutical companies and polluting industries—spent $130 million, and Crossroads GPS, co-founded by former White House strategist Karl Rove, spent $110 million. The third highest spender was the right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/13/citizens-united-just-15-groups-account-75-percent-800-million-dark-money-spent-us

NRA-TV runs bizarre piece showing Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends wearing Klan hoods as they speed down burning tracks. “How do you bring ethnic diversity to a show that literally has no ethnicities – because they’re trains!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hv-fAsBL-c

The Brett Kavanaugh story that Facebook said was ‘fake news’. “So, to spell this all out, Kavanaugh believes that the way to determine whether the Constitution protects a particular unenumerated right is to apply the test the Supreme Court laid out in Glucksberg [i.e., that rights protected by the Constitution are rights which are ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’]. And the judge also thinks that ‘even a first-year law student could tell you’ that Roe is inconsistent with Glucksberg.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/14/facebook-weekly-standard-suppressed-a-story-about-brett-kavanaughs-opposition-to-roe-v-wade-were-republishing-it/

Military officials planning Trump’s ‘tanks and missiles’ parade consulted with a foreign government, but they aren’t saying which one. “After a protracted process, some of which remains under active litigation, the Pentagon responded with 76 pages of emails. Most of them reference the unnamed foreign government.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/14/veterans-day-parade-trump/

Google scientist resigns over company’s censored Chinese search engine and plan to store user data in China. “Due to my conviction that dissent is fundamental to functioning democracies, I am forced to resign in order to avoid contributing to, or profiting from, the erosion of protection for dissidents.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/09/13/google-china-search-engine-employee-resigns/   Actually, dissent is even more fundamental to non-functioning democracies and especially to non-democracies, because the press can no longer do the job of questioning the government’s version of reality.

Federal court rules that the Americans for Prosperity Foundation must reveal its top donors to California charity monitoring officials. “The Koch-funded foundation argued that the state donor filing rules violated the First Amendment, in that it discouraged people from donating because they would be exposed to threats and harassment.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/09/12/koch-group-must-disclose-donors-to-state-officials-court-rules/

Texas and North Carolina voter fraud and voter disenfranchisement cases show the huge disparity between the severity of crimes and their level of punishment. “In a nutshell, these two cases illustrate why widespread in-person voter fraud is so rare while voter suppression, gerrymandering, and other crimes against democracy are so widespread: The former has a very low upside and a major downside; the latter has a major upside and no downside whatsoever.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2018/09/09/will-the-real-voter-fraud-criminals-please-stand-up/

Millions of gallons of pig poop may flood North Carolina after days of heavy rain. “..there are still 62 of these factory swine operations storing more than 200 million gallons of animal waste generated each year in the 100-year floodplain.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/13/nc_lagoons_hold_billions_of_gallons

Protesters unhappy with market-based climate protection plans. “We cannot commodify the sacred and allow our lands and territories to be put into capitalist markets so that they can be traded to allow other corporations to continue to pollute our skies and destroy our communities’ rights, sovereignty, territories and ecological systems that we have relied on for millennia.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2018/9/14/over_100_indigenous_activists_decry_california

 

September 15, 2018

September 13, 2018

Federal appeals court dismisses ‘incitement of violence’ lawsuit against President Trump. “The protesters alleged Trump incited violence against them at a March 2016 campaign rally at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville when the then-candidate yelled at five different times during his 35-minute speech to ‘get them out of here’.”   http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/406079-court-says-protesters-cant-sue-trump-over-claims-of-inciting

Andrew Cuomo aide reportedly pushed Cynthia Nixon boycott, divestment and sanctions story to the press, casting doubt on the campaign’s claim that it was not behind the anti-Semitism mailer. “On Friday, the top Cuomo campaign official was making a hard pitch for the Nixon-BDS story in a series of text messages coaxing the reporter to give it coverage.”   https://nypost.com/2018/09/11/email-from-cuomo-aide-casts-doubt-on-claims-over-anti-semitic-mailer/   Cuomo campaign admits responsibility for Nixon anti-Semitism mailer. “Larry Schwartz who serves on our campaign in a volunteer capacity was reviewing mail pieces in an ad hoc fashion, but he only saw the positive section of the mailer and never saw the negative section.”   https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/mailer-linking-nixon-to-anti-semitism-drafted-by-top-cuomo-aides/

Donald Trump reportedly boasted on 9/11 that he now owned the tallest building in New York City, later claimed that ‘thousands and thousands’ of people, including ‘Arabs’, cheered as the WTC buildings fell. “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan…. And now it’s the tallest.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-september-11-anniversary_us_5b97abe3e4b0511db3e61093

American Psychological Association bans its members from working at Guantanamo. “Military psychologists advised on which techniques would take advantage of the weaknesses of individual detainees. And it was two psychologists, one an APA member, who designed the CIA’s whole ‘enhanced interrogation program’.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/psychologists-are-standing-up-against-torture-at-gitmo/

World hunger at 10 year high. “The report estimates that the number of undernourished globally increased to 821 million in 2017; meaning that one in every nine people, does not have enough to eat.”   https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/hunger-reached-alarming-ten-year-high-in-2017-according-to-latest-un-report-118091201013_1.html

Brett Kavanaugh blames his personal debt on baseball ticket purchases. “In 2016, Kavanaugh reported between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt, according to his financial disclosures, which was spread out over three credit cards and a loan.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/kavanaugh-offers-details-on-nationals-tickets-purchases-that-led-to-debt/2018/09/12/db1ca478-b6ef-11e8-b79f-f6e31e555258_story.html

Russian oligarch reportedly made suspicious money transfers to the U.S. after meeting with Trump campaign. “After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting.”   https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/anthonycormier/trump-tower-meeting-suspicious-transactions-agalarov

Huge cache of bottled water found on Puerto Rican runway. “Hundreds of thousands of water bottles meant for victims of Hurricane Maria are still sitting at a Puerto Rico airport — nearly a year after the deadly storm, according to a report.”   https://nypost.com/2018/09/12/massive-stockpile-of-bottled-water-found-in-puerto-rico-a-year-after-maria/

Video of post election meeting reveals top Google executives were oblivious to popular discontent. “(Google co-founder Sergey) Brin says that ‘voting is not a rational act’ and that not all of Trump’s support can be attributed to ‘income disparity’. He suggests that Trump voters might have been motivated by boredom rather than legitimate concerns.”   https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/12/leaked-video-google-leaderships-dismayed-reaction-to-trump-election/   Free trade and offshoring – Google them!

Seven NYPD officers arrested in connection with prostitution ring. “On Sept. 12, according to NY1 News, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau arrested two police officers, two detectives and three sergeants allegedly involved in the ring over the last three years.”   https://qns.com/story/2018/09/12/developing-seven-cops-queens-brooklyn-reportedly-cuffed-running-prostitution-ring/

An estimated 12,800 migrant children still in government custody. “Detention facilities such as the one in Tornillo, Texas, are exempt from child welfare inspections that are required at similar facilities.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/some-detention-centers-for-immigrant-children-wont-be-subject-to-traditional-inspections/

Poll: 72% of Republicans trust President Trump more than the media. “Eight percent of black people trust Trump more than the media.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/09/12/number-americans-who-trust-trump-over-media-has-hit-record-low/

FBI reportedly evacuated the public from Sunspot, New Mexico five days ago. “Some say the evacuation could be part of a government effort to cover up a discovery involving aliens, an impending solar flare or something else extra-planetary. Others on Reddit and elsewhere think the security issue may involve a foreign power attempting to use the observatory’s antennas to spy on nearby White Sands Missile Range.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/mysterious-observatory-evacuation-stirs-alien-conspiracy-theories/

Sex offender held an additional 17 years while awaiting trial. “Before his September 2000 release, Los Angeles County prosecutors petitioned to commit (George) Vasquez to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator, citing in part his diagnosis as a pedophile. Over the next 17 years, Vasquez’s hearings and trial dates were delayed dozens of times so a series of six court-appointed attorneys could prepare for trial.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/man-held-17-years-without-trial-ordered-free-by-appellate-court/

Federal court hears lawsuit over public access to details of Arizona executions. “(Joseph Wood’s) lawsuit, which the First Amendment Coalition later picked up (after Wood’s almost 2 hour, 15 dose execution), claims that the new execution drugs were dangerously under-tested and that the state Department of Corrections’ policies of preserving the anonymity of staff involved in executions unnecessarily limited public access to important information such as the makeup, lot numbers, and expiration dates of lethal-injection drugs, as well as the qualifications of those administering the injections.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/battle-over-public-access-to-executions-rages-on/

776 groups opposing second round of Republican tax cuts. “Signed by AFL-CIO, Public Citizen, MoveOn.org, and hundreds of other prominent progressive organizations, the letter warns that by aggressively pursuing yet another round of massive tax cuts for the rich, Republicans are setting the stage for a future attempt to slash key safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/12/because-richest-americans-do-not-need-another-massive-tax-cut-776-groups-urge

U.N. chief calls climate change an ‘existential threat’ to humanity. “If we do not change course by 2020, we could miss our chance to avoid the disastrous consequences of runaway climate change.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/09/11/warning-existential-threat-humanity-un-chief-says-climate-change-moving-faster-we

Suspects in Salisbury nerve agent attack claim they were just tourists. “Our friends had been suggesting for a long time that we visit this wonderful town.”   https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/13/russian-television-channel-rt-says-it-is-to-air-interview-with-skripal-salisbury-attack-suspects

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi defends imprisonment of Reuters journalists. “… in her first public comments since the verdicts were handed down to Wa Lone, and Kyaw Soe Oo last week, Aung San Suu Kyi insisted their imprisonment was justified and that the case had ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/aung-san-suu-kyi-rohingya-crisis-reuters-journalist-rakhine-myanmar

European Court of Human Rights rules that Britain’s mass surveillance programs violated EU citizens’ human rights. “This is a major victory for the rights and freedom of people in the UK. It shows that there is – and should be – a limit to the extent that states can spy on their citizens.”   https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/13/gchq-data-collection-violated-human-rights-strasbourg-court-rules

Pussy Riot activist hospitalized, may have been poisoned say his comrades. “(Pyotr) Verzilov was one of four members of the group to invade the pitch, dressed in a police officer’s uniform, during the World Cup final between France and Croatia.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/pussy-riot-activist-in-hospital-after-being-poisoned-says-group-pyotr-verzilov

Family of four with an annual income of $24,601 are not poor, says the U.S. government. “A single individual making $1,060 a month would not be considered poor.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/new-data-paint-unpleasant-picture-poverty-us/

CEO of Nostrum Laboratories defends 400% price hike for antibiotic. “I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/pharma-exec-says-morally-obligated-raise-antibiotic-price-400-percent/

ABC accused of axing anti-Trump episode of ‘Black-ish’. “The episode reportedly included news footage of President Trump, the fatal ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville and the NFL kneeling protests started by Colin Kaepernick.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2018/09/abc-spiked-anti-trump-black-ish-episode-made-sure-script-wiped-planet-report/

September 13, 2018