November 30, 2018

Green Party’s Jill Stein settles election lawsuit with Pennsylvania, wins paper record of votes cast and election audits. “By agreeing to end the use of paperless voting machines, Pennsylvania is not only safeguarding its citizens’ right to vote. By example, the agreement is also a big step towards the retirement of paperless voting machines that one in four voters across the nation are still required to use, despite their demonstrated vulnerability to hacking, tampering, and error.”

Thousands in Buenos Aires protest G20 summit. “Thousands have assembled for protests in the Argentinian capital, but protests were banned at the Antalya summit in Turkey in 2015 and the streets were clean and quiet in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in 2016.”

Chinese photojournalist goes missing after visiting Uighur province. “Lu (Guang) had been meeting with photographers who had invited him to Urumqi, the capital of China’s remote Xinjiang province.”

Deutsche Bank raided in connection with Panama Papers probe. “The German bank is suspected of helping clients to set up offshore companies in tax havens, prosecutors said in a statement.”

St. Louis police officers charged in beating of undercover officer at police shooting protest. “They believed the undercover officer was a protester and assaulted him ‘while he was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone’, the indictment says.”   Apparently the beaten undercover officer was black and the officers who beat him were probably all white, but I’m just guessing because the article doesn’t really say that directly for some reason….

President Trump and former President Clinton both mentioned in connection with Jeffrey Epstein sex abuse scandal. “Epstein’s private Boeing 727 — nicknamed the Lolita Express — hosted former President Bill Clinton a whopping 26 times. Friends of Epstein’s that have been accused of sleeping with underage victims include President Donald Trump, Trump legal ally Alan Dershowitz and the UK’s Prince Andrew. Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen were also associates of Epstein’s and have been separately accused of sex acts with underage victims.”

Trump protege Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress. “Mueller said that in addition to lying about the extent of Trump’s oversight of the Moscow (Trump Tower) project, Cohen’s emails showed that he also lied when he told Congress that there had been no plans for Trump to travel to Moscow in 2016.”

Seven convicted in murder of Honduran environmental activist Berta Isabel Cáceres. “The court ruled the murder was ordered by executives of the Agua Zarca dam company Desa because of delays and financial losses linked to protests led by Cáceres.”

Rising world consumption of meat and dairy products is making climate crisis worse says author. “If you want to eat meat, you can have extreme cruelty or extreme environmental destruction. My answer to that? Stop eating meat.”

UNESCO declares reggae a ‘global treasure’. “Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual.”

November 30, 2018

November 29, 2018

GM announces plan to close five plants and lay off 14,000 workers. “GM isn’t the first to abandon much of its car market. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles got out of small and midsize cars two years ago, while Ford announced plans to shed all cars but the Mustang sports car in the U.S. in the coming years.”

Kneeling during the national anthem will get you suspended from high school, but giving a Nazi salute during a class photo won’t. “… in a letter to parents this week, Baraboo Superintendent Lori Mueller said that the students have the right to free expression under the First Amendment — even if that expression happens to be a Nazi salute…. Meanwhile, a number of other schools and school districts have decided that the First Amendment rights of students do not apply to taking a knee during the national anthem.”

Lawsuit targets alleged voter suppression in Georgia. “Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, it asks the court to permanently order election officials to block ‘exact match’ and ‘use it or lose it’ policies, replace ‘insecure and unreliable’ voting machines with paper ballots counted by optical scanners, train local officials and adopt and enforce ‘uniform standards’.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Fox News defend tear-gassing of children on U.S. border. “Of course, Sinclair isn’t the only pro-Trump media outlet to dismiss concerns about the U.S. tear-gassing children. On Monday, Fox & Friends devoted three hours to talking about the migrant caravan and defending the use of tear gas against mothers and their young children.”

Hoover, Alabama police walk-back story on man fatally shot by police at shopping mall. “(Emantic) Bradford was actually trying to help people to safety when he was shot, said his family’s attorney, Ben Crump. Crump also said Bradford had a permit to carry a concealed weapon…. “(The officer) saw a black man with a gun and he made his determination that he must be a criminal,” Crump said.”

Ivanka Trump denies wrongdoing after using private email account to conduct government business. “Last week, officials confirmed that Ms Trump had used a private email account to send hundreds of messages discussing official White House business.”

Multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal reportedly sheltered other, possibly influential, people involved in sexually abusing underage girls. “Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to ‘any potential co-conspirators’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes.”

Clothing company to donate it’s $10 million corporate tax cut windfall to environmental groups. “Patagonia, the popular outdoor gear brand, plans to donate $10 million to environmental groups using the money it’s saving from the Trump corporate tax cuts this year.”

President Trump threatens to release classified documents exposing Democrats if they launch investigations of his administration. “President Donald Trump said that if Democrats ‘want to play tough’ when they control the House of Representatives next year, he will declassify documents that will be ‘devastating’ to them.”

Macomb County, Michigan sheriff claims man killed in police shooting at baby shower was armed with an unusual, stolen pistol exactly like those used by the SWAT team that shot him. “The 5.7mm handgun, an FN Five-SeveN, is the type of gun used by the sheriff’s office SWAT team, according to (Sheriff) Wickersham…. He said five officers fired a total of 48 shots during the Nov. 4 incident.”

Orange County, California businessman arrested after allegedly threatening former customer, police find 57 firearms and Nazi memorabilia at his home. “Officers arrested (Mitchell) Todd on Tuesday morning after raiding his home and finding the stash of weapons and Nazi memorabilia, which included swastikas, a German Nazi war flag, a picture of Hitler and Confederate flags.”

Texas woman’s 8 year sentence for voter fraud upheld by appeals court, she was reportedly registered as a Republican. “Rosa Maria Ortega, a green card holder, is a permanent resident who lives in the Dallas area.”

Woman sues government for $60 million after her daughter dies of respiratory infection contracted during immigration detention. “Mariee (Juarez) entered (the Dilley facility) a healthy baby girl and 20 days later was discharged a gravely ill child with a life-threatening respiratory infection.”

State railway of the Netherlands to pay compensation to victims of the Holocaust. “(Nederlandse Spoorwegen) earned large sums to transport Jewish families to death camps via the Westerbork transit camp, the NOS national broadcaster reported.”

UN: World’s major polluters unlikely to meet climate change targets. “Together, the G-20 countries account for 78 percent of the globe’s emissions. Seven of these countries — Argentina, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States — are off track to meet their Paris promises for the year 2030, the UNEP report finds. So is the entire European Union.”

New home sales down sharply. “Over the past year, sales of new homes have dropped 12 percent as higher mortgage rates have caused would-be buyers to back away.”

U.S. life expectancy drops for second year in a row. “These sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

Border police experimenting with ‘lie detecting’ artificial intelligence. “Besides acting as a lie detector, the system is designed to tell if documents are real, make a ‘biometric verification’ of a person, and come up with a ‘risk assessment’ for travelers.”

Supreme Court hears excessive fines case. “Justice Sonia Sotomayor also noted (Indiana Solicitor General Thomas) Fisher’s position (that state civil forfeiture laws are not restricted by the Eighth Amendment) would require the court to overturn its unanimous decision in Austin v. United States, in which the court held the Eighth Amendment applies to civil forfeiture actions.”

U.S. Senate passes Bernie Sanders’ motion to debate an end U.S. involvement in war in Yemen. “In a historic vote that could “mark the beginning of the end of American complicity” in Saudi Arabia’s mass atrocities in Yemen, the Senate on Wednesday voted to advance Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Yemen War Powers resolution by an overwhelming margin of 63-37.”

Immigration officials accused of using interrogations of detained children to build cases against their family members. “Immigration authorities have been mining children in U.S. custody for information about their family members in order to detain and deport them, according to a letter signed by more than 100 national groups demanding an end to the practice.”

Domestic violence the leading cause of violent death of women says U.N. “Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime on Sunday released a global study on homicide, focusing on gender-related killings, and revealed that out of 87,000 women who were murdered around the world in 2017, 58 percent of them were killed by family members or partners.”

Good government group asks National Archives to deny Interior Department’s request to destroy documents. “… efforts to hide meetings with industry groups, combined with Interior’s failure to fulfill many of (Western Values Project’s) FOIA requests, demonstrate a culture that allows for corruption at the expense of America’s public lands. Giving Interior permission to destroy its records would only push the agency further into the dark.”

Information sharing with UK authorities puts Americans at risk of ‘parallel construction’ investigations by U.S. authorities. “Using the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s example of a Londoner communicating on Slack, any communications between the targeted British citizen and Americans would also be turned over to London police…. The CLOUD Act also leaves open the possibility that a foreign police agency could obtain, without a warrant, incriminating communications from a U.S. citizen, which could then be shared with U.S. law enforcement.”

Amnesty International organizing protests against Google’s censored search engine project. “Google’s plan for China would ‘irreparably damage internet users’ trust in the tech company,’ Amnesty said in statement, and ‘would set a dangerous precedent for tech companies enabling rights abuses by governments’.”


November 29, 2018

November 26, 2018

Trump administration releases climate report on Friday after Thanksgiving. “Authored by officials from over a dozen federal agencies, the report warns that in the absence of aggressive action to quickly slash carbon emissions, the climate crisis will continue to have increasingly devastating effects on the environment, wildlife, and human health.”

Clinic tells patient she needs to raise funds if she wants to be considered for a heart transplant. “Shortly before Thanksgiving, the Spectrum Health Richard Devos Heart and Lung Transplant Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, got back to (Hedda Martin) to say that she could not have a heart transplant, because she doesn’t have enough money to pay for the immunosuppressant drugs she would need to make sure her body accepts the new heart. The hospital recommended that she should set up a ‘fundraising effort’.”

Amazon warehouse workers across Europe go on strike. “A coalition of unions across Europe coordinated the action, and the British trade union GMB published a video of workers telling Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ‘we are not robots’ in five different languages.”

Federal jury finds Border Patrol agent who fatally shot rock-throwing Mexican teenager on the Mexican side of the border not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. “Thirteen bullets hit the boy, all but three from the back.”

Children reportedly hit with teargas after approaching U.S. border. “Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem after teargas was fired following an attempt by a few migrants to breach a fence.”

Health care industry groups unite to fight national health insurance. “Over the summer, leading pharmaceutical, insurance, and hospital lobbyists formed the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, an ad hoc alliance of private health interests, to curb support for expanding Medicare.”

Saudi feminists reportedly being tortured in prison. “Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say Saudi guards routinely use beatings, electric shocks, sleep deprivation and psychological torture against the detainees.”

An estimated 85,000 children have starved to death in Yemen. “… a new report by the charity Save the Children estimates 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died from acute malnutrition brought on by the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen.”

Book ‘Rise and Kill First‘ exposes Israel’s targeted assassination program. “Much that was done by the United States in the years after (9/11) is based on Israeli experience, know-how and technology. I am saying that the U.S., while adopting these tactics, also needs to see the moral lesson, the moral price that Israel has paid.”

Some 2018 midterm election absentee ballots were returned to voters as undeliverable. “Since a significant number of ballots were received successfully by the registrar [of voters] and the envelopes they used are pre-prepared, it is a mystery why any were returned undeliverable.”

November 26, 2018

November 15, 2018

U.S. has spent almost $6 trillion on ‘War on Terror’. “Between 480,000 and 507,000 people have been killed in the United States’ post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan – including nearly 7,000 US troops – according to the Costs of War project.”

Trump claims illegal aliens are voting multiple times. “This is a problem in California that’s so bad of illegals voting…. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again.”

Number of missing from northern California wildfires exceeds 600, confirmed deaths hit 63. “Authorities said they had no firm accounting of how many people had been driven from their homes into shelters. But they said that at its height earlier in the week, the number reached 52,000.”

Police and news organizations accused of doing a poor job of documenting disappearances and murders of indigenous women. “Of the 506 disappearances and murders they were able to document, the majority were never covered by any news outlet.”

Man yells ‘Heil Hitler!’ at performance of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, is escorted out by security guards.  “‘People started running,’ Rich Scherr, who was in the audience, told The Washington Post…. There was no arrest, and no incident report was filed in the case, the authorities said.”

Youngest member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not getting any respect. “People keep giving me directions to the spouse and intern events instead of the ones for members of Congress.”

Trump administration accused of offering to hand over exiled Turkish activist in exchange for Turkey easing up on Khashoggi murder. “When the White House first floated the idea of extraditing Gulen, career officials at top federal agencies thought it was a joke but became ‘furious’ when they learned it was a serious request, according to NBC News.”

Justice Department allegedly planning to charge Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. “The Trump Justice Department has considered several potential cases against Mr. Assange, including prosecuting him in connection with the cables Ms. Manning provided and his more recent involvement in the DNC disclosures. Prosecutors have also considered tying Mr. Assange to foreign intelligence services, people familiar with the discussions said.”

Defense Department audited for the first time, numbers don’t add up. “Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters in a news briefing Thursday that the Pentagon had failed the audit. Some of the agency’s accounting issues could take years to fix.”

Immigration authorities accused of targeting labor activists. “ICE’s actions have chilled and continue to chill Migrant Justice’s ability to organize and advocate for migrant workers,” the complaint states. “Fewer members attend community assemblies, events, protests, and rallies.”

Progressives pushing Democratic Party to take action on climate change. “… climate action groups and the new contingent of progressives on Capitol Hill are arguing that with their new power in Congress, Pelosi and other Democrats must make clear whether they will decide to boldly push for visionary climate solutions like the Green New Deal or fail humanity and the planet by continuing their servitude to the fossil fuel industry.”


November 15, 2018

November 14, 2018

Hate crimes up for third year in a row according to FBI. “The report, released Tuesday, shows there was a nearly 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes. There was a 37 percent spike in anti-Jewish hate crimes.”

Iran hangs currency traders. “Signaling zero tolerance for economic crimes, Iran hanged two financial traders who were convicted of stockpiling gold coins and profiteering during a currency crisis, state media reported Wednesday.”

Milwaukee police leave 4 year-old girl in impounded van. “The preschooler spent about eight hours trapped inside the vehicle at the tow lot in the early morning hours Tuesday, when temperatures dropped as low as 19 degrees.”

Canadian teens used handicapped classmate as a human bridge, made him lay in water. “About 20 students walked out of classes at (Glace Bay High School) on Friday afternoon to protest the incident and what they say is a lack of action in combating a serious problem with bullying at the school.”

Americans having less sex. “I do think that conversations around consent, and what consent is, are becoming much more real,” says Brotto. “This can mean that (male) partners are initiating less, that they’re sitting back and waiting for the female to initiate. And then feeling rejected when they don’t. In my clinical practice, I see a lot of that.”

Boeing accused of failing to warn airlines and pilots about automated anti-stall system on 737 MAX 8 aircraft. “Boeing said last week that a safety bulletin issued to aircraft operators in the wake of the crash was merely meant to reinforce existing procedures. Both Lion Air and the APA have now rejected the company’s assertion.”

As U.S. economy strengthens while other major economies are slowing down. “The economies of Germany and Japan shrank in the third quarter, according to data published Wednesday, providing a sharp contrast to another quarter of strong US growth. In China, there are signs of a deepening economic malaise.”

Hasbro trolls millennials with new edition of Monopoly. “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway.”

Election integrity activists discover voting machine with wireless connection. “A vulnerability like this means there is no secure chain of custody for election materials in Broward County or any other county that has modems inside or connected to their election systems,” Levy said. “That means we can’t trust the official election results produced by those voting systems.”

Black men wearing hooded sweatshirts at a Tennessee mall were arrested, but white women who wore hooded sweatshirts at the same mall didn’t get arrested. “We made a total point that it’s not enforced equally.”

U.S. reportedly offering bounties for leaders of Kurdish resistance group. “‘The Department [of State] has authorized rewards for information leading to the identification or location of the senior PKK members: Murat Karayilan (up to USD $5 million), Cemil Bayik (up to USD $4 million), and Duran Kalkan (up to USD $3 million),’ US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer announced in a statement published by the US embassy in Turkey on Tuesday.”

Mass arrests at climate demonstration in Nancy Pelosi’s office. “On Capitol Hill, police arrested 51 youth climate activists Tuesday as they held a nonviolent sit-in protest inside the office of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, demanding a ‘Green New Deal’ and urgent action on climate change.”

Amazon to receive billions in tax breaks for its new pair of headquarters. “Look, we know that the price tag of the incentives alone in New York City is well over $2.8 billion…. We know that there’s unreported subsidies in the Virginia end of the deal, as well, so that the total packages together exceed $4.6 billion.”

Croatian police accused of beating refugees. “Asylum seekers from Algeria, Syria and Pakistan, they had been captured by the Croatian police attempting to cross the Bosnia-Croatia border into the EU, and brutally beaten before being sent back.”

Kuwait bans 948 books from book fair, total ‘black list’ said to number more than 4,000. “Saad al-Anzi, who heads the Kuwait International Literary Festival, said the information ministry had banned 948 books including Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, a novel set in 19th-century Russia that explores morality, free will and the existence of God.”

Federal appeals court refuses to hear case involving child migrants. “Toddlers will continue representing themselves in immigration court in the wake of a Ninth Circuit panel’s refusal Tuesday to revisit dismissal of a class action that claimed kids should have court-appointed attorneys in immigration proceedings – a refusal that drew a blistering dissent from five circuit judges.”


November 14, 2018

November 13, 2018

Kansas City health officials destroy food meant for the homeless. “Home-cooked chili, stacks of foil-wrapped sandwiches, vats of soup and other food prepared by volunteers with Free Hot Soup Kansas City were dumped in bags and soaked in bleach to make sure no one went back to try to recover it.”

Hundreds missing as a result of California wildfires. “The confusing search for hundreds of missing people has been complicated by many factors: bad cellphone service. A lack of access to burned-out areas. A sheer scattering of people across the region who are staying in shelters, hotels, friends’ houses and their vehicles and may have not gotten in touch with loved ones.”

Released CIA document shows health professionals deeply involved in torture program, truth serum drug was also considered. “Between 2002 and 2007, CIA doctors, psychologists, physician assistants and nurses were directly involved in the interrogation program, the report said. They evaluated, monitored and cared for 97 detainees in 10 secret CIA facilities abroad and accompanied detainees on more than 100 flights.”

Large group of Wisconsin high school students allegedly gave Nazi salute for prom picture. “Auschwitz with its gas chambers was at the very end of the long process of normalizing and accommodating hatred.”

15 arrested at Georgia capitol during ‘count every vote’ protest, including a state senator. “Georgia State Patrol told NBC News Tuesday that 15 protesters were arrested for unlawfully disrupting ‘orderly conduct of official business’. State patrol said protesters were taken to the Fulton County Jail.”

Protesters occupy Nancy Pelosi’s office, demand ‘Green New Deal’ (originally proposed by the Jill Stein campaign). “The group’s petition has a clear two-part mandate: create a 12-year plan to ‘champion a Green New Deal that would create millions of jobs’, and ‘any Democrat in leadership must take the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge’– divesting from fossil fuels and creating economic job growth in a sustainable and energy efficient market.”

China reportedly cracking down on left wing students and labor activists. “A grassroots student movement, led by activists labeling themselves Marxists and calling for greater workers’ rights, has become a growing problem for the Chinese government in recent years.”


November 13, 2018

November 12, 2018

President Trump demands that Florida halt election recounts, in violation of the state’s election laws, claims some ballots are forgeries. “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

Joseph Biden awards George W. Bush the Liberty Medal for his support of veterans. “Veterans Against the War, a group of post-9/11 service members and veterans, protested outside the center, while others blocked the entrance. At least one protester interrupted Biden’s remarks, and was escorted out by security.”  News video here: “All these years later there are 500,000 people dead, and one of them is my son. I can’t understand why we’re giving a medal to a man who lied to this country and brought us into this colossal mistake of a war.”

Green-Rainbow Party wins ballot status in Massachusetts. “With 99% of the vote reporting, both (Juan) Sanchez and (Jamie) Guerin received more than the 3% of the vote required for official party status in Massachusetts.”

15 arrested at London climate change protest. “The newly formed group Extinction Rebellion seeks to push the UK government to declare a state of emergency, work towards a carbon free economy by 2025 and convene an assembly of ordinary citizens to plan out the country’s carbon-free future.”

Kyrsten Sinema declared winner in Arizona U.S. Senate race. “The last time a Democrat was elected to an open senate seat in this conservative western state was 1976, the year Sinema was born.”

42 dead in California as multiple wildfires burn around the state. “The death toll from the Camp fire in Paradise jumped to 42 Monday, making it the deadliest fire in California history, as President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the state.”

41 civilians reportedly killed by U.S. airstrikes in Syria. “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that 41 people were killed, including 17 children and 13 women, as a result of the airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition on Islamic State (IS)-held areas in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria on Thursday and Friday.”

Satellite mapping firm says it has identified ‘as many as a dozen’ secret missile bases in North Korea. “North Korea is continuing to put in place infrastructure that supports its status as a nuclear weapons state.”

Mexico’s leftist president is selling country’s ‘Air Force Uno’, will be taking commercial flights. “It’s not just an efficient, modern plane – it’s a comfy plane, with a bedroom, a restaurant, with lots of space.”

Stock market plunges more than 2%. “Among the big losers was Goldman Sachs, which fell about 7.5 percent amid reports of its involvement in a Malaysian corruption scandal.”

UFOs spotted off the coast of Ireland by multiple pilots. “At 6:47 a.m. UTC, one British Airways pilot can be heard asking controllers if there were any military exercises taking place in the area. Air traffic control responds that no such exercises are visible on radar.”


November 12, 2018