December 26, 2018

Pope condemns greed in Christmas message. “For many people, life’s meaning is found in possessing, in having an excess of material objects. An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically, a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46676268

Activist banned from Hoover, Alabama mall over police shooting protest. “(Carlos) Chaverst said said Sunday night the trespass warning is part of the ‘overall cover-up’ of what happened to (Emantic) Bradford Thanksgiving night.”   https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/2018/12/protest-organizer-carlos-chaverst-jr-banned-from-riverchase-galleria-for-one-year.html

Mayor of Inglewood, California claims destruction of years of police records just weeks before they were to become public records was ‘routine’. “Until this month, Inglewood required the Police Department to retain records on shootings involving officers for 25 years after the close of an investigation.”   https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-inglewood-protest-20181223-story.html

Activists raising money for a border wall… and ladders. “Two competing GoFundMe pages – one raising money to fund President Trump’s border wall and another raising money for ladders for migrants to use to surmount that wall – are both continuing to rack up quite a bit of cash.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6523891/GoFundMe-Trumps-border-wall-hits-15M-counter-campaign-ladders-tops-127K.html

Waikiki, Hawaii police sweep homeless off the streets on Christmas Eve. “I don’t know why they couldn’t give these families a break over the holidays.”   http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2018/12/24/aclu-citys-grinch-rousting-homeless-christmas-eve/

Bankruptcy court approves $25.3 million in bonuses for Sears executives while cutting severance pay for the company’s laid off workers. “(Sheila Brewer) found a job recently at CVS but the first paycheck isn’t coming until after New Year’s and the eight weeks of severance she was supposed to get ended after four weeks when the bankruptcy court stopped the rest of the payments to laid-off Sears Holdings workers.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/while-sears-executives-get-25-million-bonuses-laid-workers-struggle-n949446

Japanese birthrate lowest since 1899. “Since the 1990s, labor laws changed, leading to more part-time and contract work, according to The Atlantic. That could have affected people’s trajectory, building ‘a class of men who don’t marry and have children because they — and their potential partners — know they can’t afford to’.”   https://www.npr.org/2018/12/21/679103541/japans-population-is-in-rapid-decline

French police officer threatens ‘yellow vest’ protesters with pistol. “He briefly pulled out the weapon after being pushed off his motorcycle and did not fire, but the threat of lethal action shocked many in France.”   https://www.foxnews.com/world/french-police-defend-pulling-out-gun-against-protesters

British police search couple’s home over drone flights at nearby airport and place them under arrest, but then clear them. “Police took the couple into custody on Friday and cleared them Sunday, saying they had been cooperative and were no longer under suspicion.”   https://www.foxnews.com/world/police-unequivocally-affirm-london-airport-drone-sightings   They don’t need no stinkin’ warrants in the UK?

Britain bans sales of kittens and puppies by retailers. “(The) Lucy’s Law campaign was named after a severely malnourished King Charles spaniel who was rescued from a breeding site. She had been forced to breed several times a year and her puppies were taken away after just four weeks – half the recommended time.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/22/government-to-ban-unethical-puppy-and-kitten-farms-in-england

Japanese government announces plan to pull out of international whaling body and resume commercial whaling. “We continue to hope Japan eventually reconsiders its position and will cease all whaling in order to advance the protection of the ocean’s ecosystems.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-whaling/japan-to-withdraw-from-international-whaling-commission-idUSKCN1OP03O

Second migrant child dies after being detained by Border Patrol. “Authorities say an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died in government custody on Christmas morning, making it the second immigrant child to die in a U.S. detention center this month.”   http://time.com/5488217/migrant-boy-dies-border-patrol-custody/

Chinese human rights lawyer gets trial after more than 3 years of detention. “(Wang Quanzhang) is one of approximately 250 lawyers and activists detained in the summer of 2015, now known as the 709 crackdown for the first day of the detentions. He is the last of the group still awaiting trial.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/26/my-husband-is-innocent-wife-of-detained-chinese-lawyer-barred-from-trial

Animal right activists facing decades in prison for ‘theft’ of sick and injured farm animals. “In Utah, stealing property worth less than $1,500 is generally a misdemeanor. But lawmakers have carved out an exception specifically for the benefit of the animal agriculture industry. If the property in question is an animal ‘raised for commercial purposes’, then no matter how little economic value that animal may have, the crime is a felony.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/12/23/dxe-animal-rights-factory-farms/

Attorneys for migrant rescue group claim judge engaged in back channel discussions with federal prosecutors. “On November 7, (Judge Bernardo) Velasco ordered the government to produce all communications sent to the two Border Patrol agents who led the operation, from the time they clocked in until the time they clocked out…. In early December, Trump administration prosecutors privately communicated a written plan to Velasco to narrow the Border Patrol communications that had turned up in response to his order, arguing that some of the materials were related to other investigations, while others were related to Warren’s case but did not fall under federal guidelines requiring their disclosure.”   https://theintercept.com/2018/12/21/no-more-deaths-judge-secret-talks-trump-prosecutors/

New York Times accused of smearing foreign policy critic William Blum in his obituary (in contrast to its treatment of George H.W. Bush). “In books like The CIA: A Forgotten History (re-released as Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II) and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, Blum documented the violent and anti-democratic record of the US empire…. How did the New York Times (12/11/18) frame this remarkable life? With this remarkable headline: ‘William Blum, US Policy Critic Cited by bin Laden, Dies at 85’.”   https://fair.org/home/william-blum-us-policy-critic-derided-by-nyt-dies-at-85/

Turkey asks Google to remove a user-created map of a possible Kurdistan. “In July 2017, the Turkish parliament adopted new guidelines that banned use of the terms ‘Kurdistan’, ‘Kurdish regions’, and ‘Armenian genocide’.”   http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/25122018

 

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December 26, 2018

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