Former Trump aide Michael Cohen tells House Committee that he threatened as many as 500 people on behalf of Donald Trump, and that his previous deceptive testimony to Congress had been edited by Trump’s lawyers, but that he saw no hard evidence of collusion with Russia. “‘Today’s testimony by Michael Cohen that attorneys for the president edited or changed his statement to Congress to alter the duration of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is completely false,’ (counsel to the president Jay) Sekulow said.” https://news.yahoo.com/president-trump-attorneys-coach-michael-cohens-false-testimony-congress-235256436.html He also called Donald Trump ‘a racist’, ‘a con man’ and ‘a cheat’, but we already knew that.
Cohen warns that if Trump loses in 2020, things may get ugly. “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michael-cohen-testimony-2020-trump_n_5c7710b2e4b0d3a48b564439
United Methodist Church split on same-sex marriage and gay clergy. “The delegates approved a conservative measure known as the Traditional Plan that strengthened the church’s prohibitions on ‘self-avowed practicing homosexuals’ from ordination as well as same-sex marriage.” https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/religion/2019/02/27/united-methodist-church-general-conference-lgbt-decision-vote/3001716002/
House Republicans tacked on provision to universal background check bill that requires Immigration officials to be notified when undocumented migrants attempt to buy firearms. “Just moments before the bill to require universal background checks was approved, Republicans were able to peel off more than two dozen Democrats to push through an amendment promoting the deportation of immigrants without legal status.” https://thehill.com/homenews/house/431919-democratic-tensions-bubble-up-after-gop-amends-gun-bill
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, say Republicans are being held hostage by Trump supporters. “Well, in the Republican Party, there’s a hostage situation going on. There are a lot of Republicans that know what the right thing to do is — not just on impeachment but on a wide range of issues — and they refuse to speak up.” https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-congress-interview-797214/
The next mayor of Chicago will be a black woman, and voters will soon decide which one it will be. “Either Ms. Lightfoot or Ms. Preckwinkle would be the first African-American woman to lead the nation’s third largest city, succeeding Mayor Rahm Emanuel as mayor…. If Ms. Lightfoot were to win, she also would be the first openly gay mayor of Chicago.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/us/chicago-election.html
Supreme Court rules that death row prisoners must be able to understand why they are being executed. “If a person suffering from any mental disorder — dementia included — is unable to rationally understand why the state wants to execute him, then the Eighth Amendment doesn’t allow the execution.” https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/431840-supreme-court-blocks-execution-of-inmate-with-dementia
Arrested woman is handed over to Immigration officials after knocking MAGA hat off customer’s head. “(Rosiane Santos) is presently in ICE custody and has been entered into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts.” https://abc7.com/society/woman-facing-deportation-after-alleged-maga-hat-assault/5159387/
Man who bought $540 of cookies from cold Girl Scouts charged with drug trafficking. “(Detric) McGowan is accused of conspiring to ‘intentionally and unlawfully’ possess heroin, cocaine and fentanyl with the intent to distribute, according to the indictment…” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/girl-scout-cookies-good-samaritan-detric-mcgowan-who-bought-girl-scout-cookies-arrested-dea-drug-bust/
CNN failed to mention that Bernie Sanders’ town hall questioners were Democratic Party activists. “Among those who quizzed the socialist presidential hopeful was Baltimore County Democratic Party Chair Tara Ebersole, who was identified on the episode only as a ‘former biology professor’…” https://nypost.com/2019/02/27/cnn-didnt-disclose-democratic-party-ties-of-questioners-in-sanders-town-hall/
Oregon ‘rent control’ bill reportedly still allows 7% annual rent increases, on top of an inflation allowance. “If tenants leave their residences of their own volition, landlords would be able to increase the rent without a cap.” https://www.npr.org/2019/02/27/698509957/oregon-set-to-pass-the-first-statewide-rent-control-bill Try finding another investment that offers you a 7% annual increase, in addition to a 50% or so profit margin (e.g., if the landlord’s mortgage payment is $400 a month, your rent is probably about $800 a month).
Senators question drug companies over high cost of medicine. “The list price (of a drug) is actually working against the patient,’’ said Merck chief executive Kenneth C. Frazier, a stark acknowledgment that the industry’s role in setting prices is hurting individuals. “The people who can least afford it (those without health insurance or whose co-pays are based on list prices) are paying the most.’’ https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/drug-executives-grilled-in-senate-over-high-prices/2019/02/25/abc89c04-393f-11e9-aaae-69364b2ed137_story.html
Canada’s former attorney general claims Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his staff badgered her to drop corruption prosecution of Montreal engineering company. “In a meeting with Trudeau, the prime minister raised the issue and asked her to ‘help out’ with the case, she said.” https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/canada-attorney-government-interfere-case-61363405
Under restored version of Trump travel ban, the number of rejected visa application reportedly jumped from 1,000 in 2017 to 37,000 in 2018. “The ban mostly affects the Muslim-majority countries Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen…. The ban also restricted visas for those from Venezuela and North Korea.” https://www.nationalreview.com/news/state-department-denied-thousands-more-visas-after-trump-travel-ban/
Public schools with mostly white students reportedly receive $23 billion more in funding than schools with predominantly minority students. “States have largely failed to keep up with the growing wealth disparities across their communities.” https://www.al.com/education/2019/02/report-finds-23-billion-racial-funding-gap-for-schools-alabama-disparity-small.html
Walmart accused of replacing disabled ‘greeters’ with ‘customer hosts’. “To qualify to be a host, they need to be able to lift 25-pound packages, climb ladders and stand for long periods.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/27/walmart-greeters-some-disabled-lose-their-jobs-customer-hosts/3010732002/
Boeing developing ‘autonomous fighter’. “Though Boeing declined to share its new plane’s top speed with Reuters, an autonomous vehicle would feasibly be able to travel faster and farther than a human pilot’s physiology would allow, opening the door to new types of missions.” https://futurism.com/boeing-unveils-autonomous-fighter-jet
Federal judge nixes Texas’ effort to purge 95,000 ‘non-citizen’ voter registrations. “The evidence has shown in a hearing before this Court that there is no widespread voter fraud.” https://www.npr.org/2019/02/27/698802643/federal-judge-orders-texas-to-end-purge-of-98-000-people-from-voter-rolls
ACLU takes up case of New Hampshire man who was charged with ‘criminal defamation’ after he posted on Facebook that his local cops are ‘corrupt’, ‘lie in court’ and ‘harass people’. “Critics of criminal-defamation laws have long pointed out that society is awash with claims that are technically defamatory under the statutes—the courts would be overwhelmed if even 1 percent were prosecuted—and that a hugely disproportionate share of the rare cases of actual enforcement involve people in power going after their critics.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/aclu-test-case-takes-aim-criminal-defamation-laws/578383/
Privacy advocate sues cops after being mistakenly stopped for driving a stolen car. “On Nov. 25, 2018, an Automated License Plate Reader told police that (Brian) Hofer’s rental car was listed on a ‘hot list’ as stolen, which led them to conduct a felony stop. What they didn’t know – until after Hofer and his brother spent 40 minutes being terrified – was that the car had been recovered and put back into circulation.” https://rightsanddissent.org/news/alpr-brian-hofer/
Federal appeals court judge rules again in favor of former Abu Ghraib prisoners who have been seeking their day in court since 2008. “The inmates say they were beaten and tortured by (U.S.) military police officers who were acting at the direction of civilian interrogators (employed by CACI) who wanted the inmates ‘softened up’ for questioning.” https://www.yahoo.com/news/government-secrets-threaten-derail-abu-ghraib-case-again-112439944.html
Turkey reportedly seeking life in prison without parole for 16 activists connected to anti-government protests. “The 2013 protests started with an environmental cause — protecting Gezi Park in central Istanbul. They quickly broadened into demonstrations opposing the government.” https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nation-world/article226852284.html
Nicaraguan government releases 100 of its opponents from prison. “Nicaragua has been in a deep political crisis since President Daniel Ortega attempted social security reform last April, leading to massive protests…. Some 320 people were killed and more than 600 imprisoned, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.” https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nicaragua-politics/nicaragua-releases-prisoners-national-dialog-starts-idUKKCN1QG254
U.N. investigators accuse Israeli troops of war crimes over Gaza protest shootings. “The panel said in a statement that it had found ‘reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognisable as such’. Thirty-five of those killed were children, three were clearly identifiable paramedics and two were clearly marked journalists, the report said.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/28/gaza-israel-un-inquiry-killings-protest-war-crimes-army And shooting thousands of protesters, even if they are ‘rioting’, also violates international norms.
Chinese audiences to see edited version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. “According to the Hollywood Reporter, at least a minute will be cut from the film in order to secure permission for it to be screened in Chinese cinemas, including scenes where Mercury (played by Rami Malek) kisses other male characters. Scenes of drug use will also be removed.” https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/feb/28/china-to-remove-lgbt-scenes-from-bohemian-rhapsody
Residents of Toledo, Ohio approve measure that gives citizens the right to sue on behalf of Lake Erie. “Under the (Lake Erie) Bill of Rights, residents will now have legal standing in court to sue corporate polluters on behalf of Lake Erie and to seek damages which would be used to rid the lake of pollution.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/27/historic-vote-ohio-city-residents-grant-lake-erie-legal-rights-person If corporations have ‘free speech’ rights to make political donations, then why not give lakes rights too?
City of Denver settles with homeless residents who have lost their possessions in police sweeps. “Lead plaintiff Raymond Lyall sued the city of Denver in August 2016, claiming its enforcement of a 2012 Urban Camping Ban sanctioned unlawful searches and seizures, depriving thousands of people of their property without notice or due process.” https://www.courthousenews.com/denver-settles-class-action-lawsuit-over-homeless-sweeps/