March 30, 2019

Vallejo, California police release video of Willie McCoy shooting. “(A sleeping) McCoy eventually started to move, scratching his shoulder and not yet appearing alert or saying anything to officers, and several seconds later, all six officers fired at him.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/29/willie-mccoy-police-shooting-video-vallejo

Chandler, Arizona police release video of armed raid to seize child with a fever from his home after his parents declined their physician’s advice to take the boy to the emergency room. “The boy was whisked away to a hospital, and since that raid on Feb. 25, he and the couple’s two other children, ages 4 and 6, have been in the state’s custody.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/us/unvaccinated-children-home-raids.html

Environmental activists troll Interior Secretary nominee at his confirmation hearing by dressing up as ‘swamp creatures’ and sitting in the audience. “David Bernhardt heading the Interior Department would be a dream come true for fossil fuel companies, but a nightmare for the American people.”   https://www.fastcompany.com/90327053/green-swamp-creatures-swarmed-latest-trump-stooges-confirmation-hearing

Republicans divided over Trump administration’s plan to take high quality health insurance away from millions of Americans. “The first camp, the realists, believe that while it’s easy to snooker people with lies about immigration or terrorism, people tend not to be as easily deceived about whether they’ve lost their own health insurance. The second camp, the BS artists, believe they can bamboozle people, especially white people in red states, about anything.”   https://www.salon.com/2019/03/29/donald-trumps-health-care-lie-too-big-for-the-base-to-swallow/   Does President Trump really have a replacement plan (cheap insurance that doesn’t cover very much), or as the author suggests, is he just lying about having a plan?

New York City police officers cleared in fatal shooting of mentally ill homeless man holding a piece of pipe. “Security videotape released by police shortly after the incident showed the 34-year-old man raising the object in a two-handed shooting stance moments before officers unleashed 10 shots that left him dead.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-killing-pipe-wielding-nyc-man-called-legal-62047543

Guess which countries don’t want a ban on killer robots? “…the UK is among a group of states – including Australia, Israel, Russia and the US – speaking forcefully against legal regulation.”   https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/mar/29/uk-us-russia-opposing-killer-robot-ban-un-ai

DEA reportedly failed to get clearance for three mass, warrantless data collection programs. “In a heavily redacted, 144-page report published Thursday, the Justice Department Inspector General revealed the administration failed to fully assess the legal basis for three massive international surveillance operations that ran largely unchecked from 1992 to 2013.”   https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/03/dea-never-checked-if-its-massive-surveillance-operations-are-legal-watchdog-says/155933/

Federal judge concerned that lawsuit over NSA mass surveillance program could threaten national security. “A ruling on (the legal standing of the five plaintiffs) would expose whether the National Security Agency collected the plaintiffs’ internet and phone data, a disclosure the government says will imperil state secrets.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-weighs-whether-advancing-nsa-suit-will-harm-national-security/

Federal judge rules that California’s ban on large ammunition magazines is unconstitutional. “The judge found because magazines over 10 rounds are commonly owned by ‘law-abiding responsible citizens for lawful uses like self-defense’, ownership of the weapons passes the Supreme Court’s Heller test which found citizens have a right to keep and bear arms that are not unusual and are ‘in common use’.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/california-ban-on-high-capacity-gun-magazines-struck-down/

Video of Justine Ruszczyk Damond police shooting too graphic to be viewed in open court rules judge. “(Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance) said the body camera video recorded by (Officer) Noor and his partner will be played at the back of the courtroom so that only the judge, jury and attorneys can see it.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/public-wont-see-video-of-ex-cop-shooting-australian-woman/

Former military officer from El Salvador gets to keep his U.S. citizenship despite failing to disclose his alleged participation in a massacre of civilians. “After a lengthy investigation, in 1989 the Commission for the Investigation of Criminal Acts, a Salvadoran military commission, identified Vasquez as one of several soldiers who had killed the 10 detainees on Beltran’s orders.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/ex-salvadoran-military-officer-wins-citizenship-battle/

 

Advertisements
March 30, 2019

March 28, 2019

Lawrence, Kansas releases video of black motorist being shot during a ‘driving without seat belt’ traffic stop. “Shaye Downing, (Akira) Lewis’ defense attorney, says police escalated a situation that ‘could have been de-escalated by any number of interventions’ instead of denying Lewis’ requests to speak with a supervisor.”   https://newsmaven.io/pinacnews/public-records/watch-rookie-cop-shoots-man-who-requested-supervisor-during-seat-belt-stop-Db4PIE9HekOBo58109pkgA/

Spain accuses U.S. of harboring men suspected of involvement in attack on North Korean embassy in Madrid. “In a summary of his investigation, José de la Mata, a judge of Spain’s national court, identified the leader of the gang as Adrian Hong Chang, who he said had escaped, through Portugal, to the United States. An American citizen, identified as Sam Ruy, was also involved in the Feb. 22 assault, he said.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/world/europe/spain-north-korea-embassy-attack.html

Trump appointee allegedly killed report on threat pesticides posed to wildlife. “…(The New York Times) reported that in October 2017, David Bernhardt directed political appointees at the department to block a report from the Fish and Wildlife Service — which is under the control of the department — that found two pesticides were so toxic that they ‘jeopardize the continued existence’ of more than 1,200 endangered birds, fish and other animals and plants, a conclusion that could lead to tighter restrictions on use of the chemicals.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/26/politics/interior-secretary-nominee-david-bernhardt-endangered-species/index.html

Anti-poverty activist says President Trump’s budget proposal gives WAY too much money to the military, at the expense of the public. “With this budget, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and disperses fully $750bn to the military.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/27/trump-budget-military-immoral

Facebook extends its ban on white supremacy posts to include white nationalism and white separatism. “Today we’re announcing a ban on praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism on Facebook and Instagram, which we’ll start enforcing next week. It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organized hate groups and have no place on our services.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-bans-white-nationalism-after-pressure-civil-rights-groups-n987991

Jury awards California man $80 million in Roundup herbicide lawsuit. “The lawsuit alleged that (Edwin) Hardeman’s long-term exposure to Roundup caused his cancer and that Monsanto knew or should have known of the risks and failed to provide adequate warnings about the harm associated with using the product.”   https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/skbaer/hardeman-roundup-cancer-damages

Controversial Federal Reserve Board appointee reportedly owes IRS more than $75,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. “Court records state that (Stephen) Moore, a former Trump presidential campaign adviser, owes the US $75,328 for taxes incurred in 2014.”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/27/stephen-moore-trump-federal-reserve-pick-owes-taxes-us-government-alleges

Unite the Right protester who drove into crowd of counter-protesters pleads guilty to federal hate crimes. “(James) Fields was convicted in state court in December for the death of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer, 32, and for injuring dozens more during the infamous Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12, 2017.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/driver-deadly-car-attack-charlottesville-white-nationalist-rally-pleads-guilty-n987961

Air Force says it needs $4.9 billion to repair natural disaster damage to its bases. “Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Tuesday that service members ‘desperately need the supplemental funding to recover from the natural disasters that hammered’ Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.”   https://thehill.com/policy/defense/436060-air-force-submits-urgent-49b-request-for-bases-damaged-by-storms-floods

Joseph Biden allegedly blocked additional women from testifying against Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court confirmation hearings. “According to Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, who wrote a book on the hearings, there were at least three other women whose workplace experiences with Thomas echoed (Anita) Hill’s…. Biden decided that certain evidence should not be heard.”   https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-dont-buy-joe-bidens-apology-about-anita-hill-20190327-kjltlg3rgfdtjamv5covkrfesq-story.html

Law professor points out contrast in how Bill Clinton and Donald Trump investigation reports were handled. “Imagine if the Starr Report had been provided only to President Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno, who then read it privately and published a 4-page letter based on her private reading, stating her conclusion that President Clinton committed no crimes.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/27/politics/monica-lewinsky-barr-letter-mueller-report-comparison/index.html   Clinton investigation was the ‘fishing expedition’ that Trump feared. “Originally dealing with the failed land deal years earlier known as Whitewater in 1994, Starr, with the approval of Attorney General of the United States Janet Reno, conducted a wide-ranging investigation of alleged abuses including the firing of White House travel agents, the alleged misuse of FBI files, and Clinton’s conduct during the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former Arkansas government employee, Paula Jones. In the course of the investigation, Linda Tripp provided Starr with taped phone conversations in which Monica Lewinsky, a former White House Intern, discussed having oral sex with Clinton.”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starr_Report

No gun found after Baltimore police fatally shot man who they claim threatened them. “(Police Commissioner) Harrison told reporters Wednesday despite reports that Kevin Mason, 57, had a gun and threatened to kill police, no gun was found at the site of a standoff that began Sunday night.”   https://www.wbaltv.com/article/baltimore-police-shooting-body-camera-video/26964226

San Benito, Texas police to investigate fatal shooting of fleeing, unarmed suspect by San Benito police. “The pursuit ended when (Ricardo) Trevino stopped in a cul-de-sac in El Ranchito…. moments later Trevino, who was unarmed, was shot dead in a barrage of bullets.”   http://www.kurv.com/internal-investigation-to-be-conducted-into-deadly-san-benito-police-shooting/

Burnet, Texas police officer fatally shot driver fleeing a ‘loud music’ complaint. “The car ran over the officer’s foot, and that’s when he fired his weapon, hitting the driver.”   https://www.kxan.com/news/local-news/burnet-man-shot-and-killed-after-driving-over-officer-s-foot/1880169931

FBI still investigating fatal 2017 shooting of fleeing motorist by U.S. Park Police in Washington, D.C. “In the three-paragraph letter to (Senator) Grassley, FBI Assistant Director Jill Tyson provided no new details of the incident, or timeline for when the investigation would be completed.”   https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2019/03/fbi-defends-length-of-investigation-into-police-shooting-of-unarmed-driver/

California’s Attorney General made no public announcement of his decision to drop review of investigation into fatal 2017 police shooting of 16-year-old Elena Mondragon. “A spokesperson for (Xavier) Becerra’s office said in an email last year it was conducting a review of (Alameda County District Attorney Nancy) O’Malley’s decision not to file charges against the two Fremont officers who fired the fatal shots during a covert task force operation that went awry.”   https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/03/25/california-attorney-general-backed-off-review-of-fatal-fremont-police-shooting/

San Francisco settles lawsuit with family of Mario Woods. “Woods was killed on Dec. 2, 2015 after he was shot 21 times by five officers during a confrontation with police near Third Street and Le Conte Avenue.”   https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/03/26/mario-woods-san-francisco-police-fatal-shooting/

Leaked document reveals U.S. approval of sales of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. “The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in the document that the companies had requested that the Trump administration keep the approvals secret.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/27/us-approved-secret-nuclear-power-work-for-saudi-arabia-reuters.html

Lithuanian court convicts former Soviet military and intelligence personnel for war crimes during crackdown on independence struggle. “The assault by security forces on a TV tower in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on 13 January 1991 left 14 civilians dead and hundreds injured.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47725239

Brazil’s far-right president calls for official observation of anniversary of military coup that led to decades of dictatorship. “In 2014, the (national) truth commission concluded that at least 434 people were killed or disappeared during the dictatorship….. It is estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 people were illegally arrested and tortured, the prosecutors’ office said.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/anger-bolsonaro-calls-brazil-army-mark-1964-coup-190327134828691.html

Nissan reportedly picked up the tab for college educations of former CEO Carlos Ghosn’s four children. “Ghosn’s eldest, Caroline, graduated from Stanford in 2008, followed by daughters Nadine and Maya in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and son Anthony in 2015.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-26/nissan-is-said-to-have-paid-stanford-tuition-for-ghosn-children

British special forces troops reportedly secretly deployed in Yemen. “At least five British Special Forces commandos have been wounded in gun battles as part of a top-secret UK military campaign in Yemen, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6843469/Five-British-Special-Forces-troops-wounded-Yemen-advising-Saudi-Arabia-campaign.html

CIA reportedly ‘briefing’ 2020 presidential candidates on key issues. “The only aim in this is to provide a foundation of fact and analysis for debate and discussion…. these are the views of people who have worked on these issues for a long time.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/former-cia-leaders-give-briefing-book-to-2020-candidates-to-counteract-fake-news-election-interference/2019/03/27/22e11fcc-50a2-11e9-8d28-f5149e5a2fda_story.html

The U.S. has been helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen for four years now. “Since March 2015, the Royal Saudi Air Force has, with US assistance, launched nearly 20,000 air raids in Yemen — an average of more than 13 per day, for four years straight. This bombing has targeted civilian homes, schools, hospitals, funerals, food facilities, and even buses full of children.”   https://www.mintpressnews.com/four-years-of-hell-to-crush-yemen-independence-us-saudi-war-created-worlds-worst-humanitarian-crisis/256593/   “A new study by the Yemen Data Project found more than 17,500 civilians have been killed or injured in air raids since the U.S.-backed assault began in March of 2015.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/27/headlines/study_17_729_yemeni_civilians_killed_or_injured_by_us_backed_strikes

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee threatens to blacklist consultants who help progressive candidates challenge incumbents in primary elections. “Many progressives in Congress will fight until this rule is changed. We stand for reform in Congress and reform of the Democratic Party machinery…”   https://theintercept.com/2019/03/27/progressive-caucus-slams-dccc-head-cheri-bustos-for-her-assault-on-primary-challengers/

Activist groups ask senators not to approve the president’s nominee to lead the Department of Interior. “David Bernhardt is a walking, talking conflict of interest,” said Alissa Weinman, a senior organizer for the nonprofit Corporate Accountability. “Between his Big Polluter ties and corporate lobbying connections, it’s clear Bernhardt will continue to serve the corporate interests to whom he owes his career, not the people or our public lands.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/27/senate-urged-reject-walking-talking-conflict-interest-david-bernhardt-run-interior

Union leader calls out AT&T over corporate tax cut windfall. “AT&T provided cover for legislators to pass the tax bill with its promise of investing in workers, but AT&T’s own data shows those promises were just veils for corporate greed. I’m encouraged that Congress is finally digging into how companies like AT&T are harming American workers.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/27/labor-leader-demands-tax-code-working-people-replace-gop-tax-scam-rich

Bernie Sanders wants to see private insurance companies driven out of business. “…Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the U.S. must ‘get rid of the insurance companies’ and move to Medicare for All…. ‘Because ultimately we have to recognize that the current system is incredibly dysfunctional and wasteful.'”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/27/youre-damn-right-sanders-doesnt-cower-call-get-rid-private-insurance-companies

Federal judge nixes work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Arkansas and Kentucky. “The ruling is a significant rebuff of the Trump administration’s nefarious attempts to turn Medicaid, a program designed to ensure access to health care, into a work program.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/%ef%bb%bfmedicaid-work-requirements-struck-down-in-two-states/

Federal judge rules that Alameda County, California jail’s 2:30 a.m. medication distribution and 4 a.m. breakfasts violate prisoners’ constitutional rights. “…the Constitution does not permit inhumane treatment of duly convicted prisoners, all the more so for pretrial detainees who have not had their day in court.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-orders-jailers-to-let-female-inmates-sleep/

 

March 28, 2019

March 26, 2019

Boeing 737 MAX crashes likely due to combination of faulty sensors and lack of sufficient pilot training. “In the Lion Air crash, pilots used the thumb switch more than two dozen times to try to override the system. The system kept engaging nonetheless, most likely because of bad readings from a sensor… Before the Lion Air crash, Boeing and regulators agreed that pilots didn’t need to be alerted to the new system, and training was minimal.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/business/boeing-simulation-error.html

Department of Justice moves to completely abolish Obamacare. “… it is now the official position of President Trump’s administration that all of the ACA — the private insurance markets that cover 15 million Americans, the Medicaid expansion that covers another 15 million, and the protections for people with preexisting conditions and other regulations — should be nullified.”   https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/25/18281788/doj-obamacare-unconstitutional-trump   If that happens, Medicare for All will be a slam dunk. No one will be able to argue that we should ‘leave well enough alone’, because that option will be gone. Millions of newly uninsured Americans will not want to go back to seeking treatment for stage 4 cancer in the emergency room.

FBI accused of misleading FISA Court to obtain permission for Carter Page surveillance. “In its warrant application, the FBI incorrectly assured the FISA court on numerous occasions that other sources independently corroborated Steele’s claims and did not clearly state that Steele worked for a firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-fbi-stonewalled-house-gop-request-for-mccabe-texts-sources-say

Spanish government refuses to apologize for its brutal ‘cross and sword’ conquest of Mexico. “The arrival 500 years ago of the Spanish on present-day Mexican territory cannot be judged in light of contemporary considerations.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47701876

Ten children reportedly killed in airstrikes in Afghanistan. “Thirteen civilians were killed by joint U.S. and Afghan airstrikes in northern Afghanistan over the weekend, the United Nations said on Monday…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/un-confirms-that-us-led-airstrike-killed-13-civilians-in-afghanistan/2019/03/25/47d93a16-4eeb-11e9-a3f7-78b7525a8d5f_story.html

The Trump effect? U.S. CO2 emissions rose instead of falling in 2018. “CO2 emissions increased in China (+2.5 percent), the US (+3.1 percent), and India (+4.5 percent). Europe’s emissions fell by 1.3 percent.”   https://www.dw.com/en/climate-change-energy-linked-co2-emissions-hit-record-high-in-2018/a-48060649

Wind and solar power now cheaper than 75% of coal-generated power. “Coal is on its way out,” said Curtis Morgan, the chief executive of Vistra Energy, a major Texas-based coal plant owner. “More and more plants are being retired.”   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/25/coal-more-expensive-wind-solar-us-energy-study

Hackers used computer company’s software updates to gain control of their customers’ computers. “The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems.”   https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/pan9wn/hackers-hijacked-asus-software-updates-to-install-backdoors-on-thousands-of-computers

Flying while black: woman questioned for lining up for first class boarding. “Now my wife’s a Black lady. The guy behind her’s a white dude, and the ticket agent was a white dude. But he asked the Black lady, ‘Are you in first?’ But not the white dude.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/not-okay-actor-gary-owens-calls-out-delta-for-being-racist-against-his-wife/

Google’s work on Project Maven, which reportedly involved the use of artificial intelligence to help select targets for drone strikes, is exempt from FOIA requests, according to the Pentagon. “In response to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed more than a year ago, seeking documents related to Project Maven’s use of Google technology, the Defense Department said that it had discovered 5,000 pages of relevant material — and that every single page was exempt from disclosure.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/03/25/google-project-maven-pentagon-foia/

Islamic extremists routinely charged as terrorists after attacks, while most right-wing extremists are portrayed as ‘crazy white guys’ and charged with non-terror offenses. “According to The Intercept’s review, 268 right-wing extremists prosecuted in federal court since 9/11 were allegedly involved in crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism. Yet the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of them, compared to more than 500 alleged international terrorists.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/03/23/domestic-terrorism-fbi-prosecutions/

9/11 Truth groups sue U.S. Attorney General and FBI over alleged omissions of evidence from 9/11 Commission report. “…the plaintiffs argue that investigators failed to address a few key points of evidence, including potential explosives placed before the attacks…. the lawsuit claims that testimony from over 100 first responders describes ‘sights or sounds of explosions on 9/11 which due to the circumstances and timing and specific details observed and reported could not be explained by plane impacts or resultant office fires’.”    https://www.courthousenews.com/fbi-accused-of-omitting-evidence-from-9-11-report/

 

 

March 26, 2019

March 25, 2019

Russiagate coverage a severe blow to the mainstream media’s credibility, writes Matt Taibbi. “CNN told us Trump officials had been in ‘constant contact’ with ‘Russians known to U.S. intelligence’, and the former director of the CIA, who’d helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller’s probe, said the President was guilty of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’, committing acts ‘nothing short of treasonous’. Hillary Clinton insisted Russians ‘could not have known how to weaponize’ political ads unless they’d been ‘guided’ by Americans‘.”   https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

New Zealand’s prime minister to hold an official inquiry into Christchurch mosque attacks. “It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47689676   Hmm, shouldn’t it be ‘inquiry first, then take action’? Almost looks as if they were just waiting for an excuse to disarm the public, and seized their opportunity to do so.

People living near Texas chemical fires concerned about health risks. “Residents of two Texas cities were told to shelter in place as hazardous chemical vapors escaped the foam blanket put in place to extinguish the industrial fire.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/25/us/deer-park-residents-environment/index.html

Escondido, California mosque set on fire. “Police said the suspect left a message in graffiti in the mosque’s parking lot. EPD did not reveal what the graffiti said, only noting that it referenced the New Zealand shooting.”   https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/islamic-center-escondido-mosque-epd-efd-sdso-reported-arson-unit-507585851.html

Vague federal law makes it difficult to prosecute unlicensed gun dealers. “The (Firearms Owners’ Protection Act) states that it does not apply to someone engaged in only occasional gun sales or collectors or hobbyists adding to, or selling from, their personal collection. The law places no set number of transactions that differentiates between a person engaged in the business and one who makes ‘occasional sales’.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/25/us/unlicensed-gun-dealers-law-invs/index.html

President Trump likely to run on his success in deregulating businesses, a key goal for him but not for most voters. “As Trump prepared to enter office in January 2017, 51 percent of voters said he should not remove regulations on businesses and corporations, while 39 percent responded that he should, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/24/trump-claims-about-cutting-regulations-give-dems-2020-election-opening.html

Irregularities observed during first Thai election since 2014 military coup. “On Monday afternoon, the Election Commission delayed for the third time releasing its unofficial count of Sunday’s polls. Such postponements have never occurred before, Thai election experts say.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/world/asia/thailand-election-results-military.html

New Zealanders debate the country’s censorship laws after suspected Christchurch mosque shooter’s manifesto is banned. “Some say the ban goes too far and risks lending both the document and the gunman mystique…. ‘The damage and risks are greater from suppressing these things than they are from trusting people to form their own conclusions and to see evil or madness for what it is.’”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/03/24/new-zealand-mosque-shootings-free-speech-debate-manifesto-ban/3264886002/   Anyone caught in possession of the manifesto reportedly faces up to 10 years in prison. But Adolf Hitler’s autobiography can still be purchased from bookstores.

Tens of thousand of Europeans protest new EU copyright law, which would require people to get permission from copyright holders before sharing content on the internet. “Tech companies have also taken issue with a second section, Article 11, which says search engines and news aggregators will be charged to display snippets of news they’re linking to (called a link tax).”   https://www.cnet.com/news/article-13-eus-controversial-copyright-law-due-for-final-vote/

Physicians’ groups call for restrictions on sweetened beverages. “As a nation we have to say ‘no’ to the onslaught of marketing of sugary drinks to our children.”   https://abcnews.go.com/Health/sugary-drink-regulations-curb-childhood-obesity-supported-pediatricians/story?id=61896170

Federal appeals court dismisses journalist’s lawsuit claiming she was hacked by the government, with one of the three judges dissenting. “(Judge James) Wynn called (Sharyl) Attkisson’s claims ‘plausible’, and he was skeptical about some of the government’s arguments in the case — such as that IP addresses aren’t a persuasive indication of the source of a cyberintrusion. The judge noted that in child pornography cases prosecutors frequently argue such addresses are a strong indicator of who’s involved.”   https://www.politico.com/story/2019/03/22/journalist-surveillance-suit-1232528

 

March 25, 2019

March 24, 2019

Protesters march in Pittsburgh after police officer acquitted in fatal shooting of unarmed teen. “It’s very painful to see what happened, to sit there and deal with it,” (Antwon) Rose’s father, Antwon Rose Sr., told the crowd. “I just don’t want it to happen to our city no more. It’s happening like every other day.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/protests-continue-pittsburgh-after-officer-acquitted-fatal-shooting-antwon-rose-n986661

Fraternity at University of Georgia suspended after racist video emerges. “In the video, shared to Twitter, a Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity member can be seen whipping another man, who’s under bed covers, with a belt. “I’m not black!” the victim said during the incident…. ‘Pick my cotton, n*****!'”   https://www.newsweek.com/georgia-fraternity-suspended-after-racist-belt-beating-video-goes-viral-pick-1373187

Protesters hurl abuse outside fundraising event in California for a Muslim American advocacy group. “‘Burn the Quran!’, ‘Ilhan Omar, go to hell!’ and ‘Shame on you, terrorists!’ were among some of the messages shouted outside a Woodland Hills hotel where the Minnesota Democrat spoke at a fundraiser for the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Greater Los Angeles…. The protesters lined a sidewalk area, where they waved Israeli flags and denounced the freshman congresswoman…”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/hundreds-of-protestors-gather-against-rep-ilhan-omar-during-southern-californian-speaking-engagement

Second and third Southern Poverty Law Center officials resign. “(President Richard) Cohen’s resignation comes a little more than a week after he fired the center’s co-founder and chief litigator, Morris Dees, for unspecified misconduct…. The Washington Post also received confirmation Rhonda Brownstein, the SPLC’s legal director and a member of its senior leadership staff, also resigned on Thursday.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/23/southern-poverty-law-center-president-steps-down-organization-begins-workplace-review/

Tanks and soldiers appear on the streets of France to confront the country’s ‘yellow vest’ protesters. “Frightening images saw the army and riot police surround the giant tanks released by (President) Macron in an attempt to rid French cities of violent protests against his government.”   https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1104413/yellow-vest-protest-paris-france-tanks-army-emmanuel-macron-Bruno-Le-Ray

Death toll in Chinese pesticide factory blast rises to 64, hundreds injured. “No one is thinking about how people will pay their medical bills at the moment — the priority is rescuing them and worrying about fees later.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-blast/chinese-rescuers-pull-survivor-from-factory-blast-rubble-death-toll-reaches-64-idUSKCN1R404O   What, no national health insurance in ‘communist’ China? Oh, I forgot, they have a capitalist economy.

Researchers claim evidence of algae, lichens and mushrooms on Mars. “Dr. Regina Dass, of the Department of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, India, the study’s co-author said: “There are no geological or other abiogenic forces on Earth which can produce sedimentary structures, by the hundreds, which have mushroom shapes, stems, stalks, and shed what looks like spores on the surrounding surface. In fact, fifteen specimens were photographed by NASA growing out of the ground in just three days.”   https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1104520/life-mars-nasa-scientists-fungi-evidence-in-mars-curiosity-rover-photos

Hackers for hire reportedly helped United Arab Emirates spy on human rights activist. “…the Emirati government was caught installing NSO spyware on the mobile phone of Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent human rights activist…. Mansoor (was) fired from his job, had his passport confiscated, his car stolen, his email hacked, his location tracked, his bank account emptied of $140,000, and was beaten by strangers twice in the same week.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/us/politics/government-hackers-nso-darkmatter.html

Armed U.S. men arrested at the Banque de la République d’Haïti in Haiti last month were reportedly there to assist the country’s president move $80 million into a bank account that only he controlled. “(Presidential aides) Leconte and Jean-Louis told the Americans that by moving the money into an account (Prime Minister) Céant and (central bank president) Dubois could not access, Moïse could more effectively lead the country, hence the promise that they would be supporting Haiti’s democracy.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/03/20/haiti-president-mercenary-operation/

Attorney General’s summary of Mueller investigation results clears Trump campaign of collusion with Russia, but says insufficient evidence to prosecute the president for obstruction of justice. Donald Trump, Jr. responds magnanimously: “Sadly, instead of apologizing for needlessly destabilizing the country in a transparent attempt to delegitimize the 2016 election, it’s clear that the Collusion Truthers in the media and the Democrat [sic] party are only going to double down on their sick and twisted conspiracy theories moving forward.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/24/mueller-report-donald-trump-barr-congress-russia

73 year-old, female yellow vest protester in France suffered skull fracture when police charged demonstrators. “Geneviève Legay was taken to hospital with a fractured skull after she was knocked over in a charge by officers wielding shields and batons at an unauthorised rally in the centre of Nice.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/24/gilets-jaunes-protester-police-complaint-genevieve-legay-nice

‘Yuge’ crowd turns out for Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. “Exactly how many people attended isn’t yet known, but the numbers are significant since the park can hold from 25,000 to 50,000 people, depending on the setup…. so many people showed up that an overflow crowd formed on the steps of City Hall across the street.”   https://heavy.com/news/2019/03/bernie-sanders-los-angeles-rally-turnout-la-crowd/

 

March 24, 2019

March 23, 2019

Kurdish leftists claim Islamic State foothold near Baghouz, Syria has been wiped out, few details as to how the battle was won. “Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS. On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/23/middleeast/isis-caliphate-end-intl/index.html   A 500 pound U.S. bomb? Any survivors or prisoners?

East Pittsburgh police officer who fatally shot fleeing, unarmed black teen is acquitted of murder charges. “He shot the fleeing (Antwon) Rose in the back, arm and side of the face.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/03/22/706106885/jury-acquits-white-former-police-officer-in-fatal-shooting-of-unarmed-black-teen

Colorado man arrested and charged with assault after throwing glass of water on controversial congressman in Iowa restaurant. “(Rep. Steve) King… recently created controversy when he questioned how the terms ‘white supremacist’ and ‘white nationalist’ became offensive in a New York Times interview.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/house/435404-man-arrested-for-allegedly-throwing-glass-of-water-at-steve-king

Rep. King shames Hurricane Katrina victims for asking for help from FEMA. “King was one of 11 members of Congress to vote against a bill to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 because he said the $51.8 billion aid package was too expensive.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/rep-steve-king-slammed-white-supremacist-remarks-about-katrina-victims-n986371

DACA ‘dreamer’ held by ICE for more than a month after her employer told her it was ok for her to leave the country for work. “When (flight attendant Saavedra Roman) was assigned the Mexico flight, she exchanged several emails with her employer questioning whether she could work the flight because of her status… The airline told her it was permissible, (her lawyer) said.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/flight-attendant-daca-gets-airline-s-ok-fly-mexico-then-n986351

President Trump ties federal aid to colleges to free speech on campuses. “These universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans.”   https://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article228218714.html   It will be interesting to see how long this lasts when students start demonstrating for socialism, peace, impeachment, boycotts of Israel or revolution, and against police shootings, invasions, wars, income inequality, the Wall or Trump.

Mississippi governor signs ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill into law. “The law that (Gov. Phil) Bryant signed Thursday says a physician who performs an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected (at about the sixth week of a pregnancy) could face revocation of his or her Mississippi medical license.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mississippi-s-new-heartbeat-law-bans-most-abortions-6-weeks-n986021

Two American kids detained for 32 hours by Customs and Border Protection officers after attempting to cross the border into California to attend school. “San Ysidro reportedly has the highest rate of homelessness in the country, as the price of living has risen to a staggering rate, which has driven many families across the border to find affordable housing.”   https://www.foxnews.com/us/cbp-defend-decision-to-detain-girl-9-for-more-than-30-hours-despite-being-a-u-s-citizen

French security official claims the country’s anti-terrorism troops are authorized to shoot ‘yellow vest’ protesters, if necessary. “If their life or that of the people they defend is threatened, they will indeed be able to shoot.”   https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1104014/yellow-vest-protests-paris-france-news-emmanuel-macron   French history suggests this may not be a good idea.

Second Kashmir independence group banned by India. “In a statement on Friday, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs said the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front was involved in ‘anti-national and subversive activities intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India’…. The move on Friday followed a ban imposed in the first week of March on Jamaat-e-Islami…”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/india-bans-top-pro-independence-group-kashmir-190322193237338.html

New Zealand bans manifesto of suspected Christchurch mosque shooter. “‘People who have downloaded this document, or printed it, should destroy any copies,’ said David Shanks, the chief censor in New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/world/asia/new-zealand-christchurch-shooter-manifesto.html

Right-wing extremists in various countries are linked into an international network. “The Christchurch shooter was not simply a lone actor, but the product of a broader network of right-wing violent extremists.”   https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-the-transnational-network-that-nobody-is-talking-about/

Documentary Combat Obscura examines the war in Afghanistan from the perspective of U.S. soldiers. “I think all (the Marine Corps sees in the movie) is the bad stuff, but in reality, there’s good, bad, ugly, everything. It’s an all-encompassing experience, and you can’t just cherry pick certain things you want to show.”   https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/military-culture/2019/03/15/combat-obscura-is-a-brutally-honest-look-at-the-blurred-morality-of-the-war-in-afghanistan/

Anti-government protesters arrested in Almaty, Kazakhstan. “(Interim president) Tokayev, who assumed presidential powers until the current term ends in April 2020, said on Wednesday that Astana, the capital, would be renamed Nur-Sultan in (former 30-year President) Nazarbayev’s honour. Police, including officers in full riot gear, quickly detained virtually all the protesters, who shouted ‘Shame!’ as they were bundled off.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-kazakhstan-protests/kazakh-police-detain-dozens-at-opposition-rallies-after-president-quits-idUKKCN1R30LD

Democratic Party leaders agree with President Trump that military spending should be increased above the current obscene level. “The Democrats want to lower Trump’s number,” said (Matt) Taibbi, “but still give the Pentagon a raise.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/20/military-keynesianism-back-democrats-and-trump-agree-pentagon-increase-quibble

 

March 23, 2019

March 22, 2019

Facebook kept user passwords in unencrypted text file. “What’s more, those passwords were on a server, Krebs reports, that was accessed millions of times by roughly 2,000 engineers and developers.”   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/facebook-password-security-195429527.html

44 dead, more than 600 injured in blast at Chinese pesticide factory. “The cause of the blast was under investigation, but the company – which produces more than 30 organic chemical compounds, some of which are highly flammable – has been cited and fined for work safety violations in the past, the China Daily said.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-blast/blast-at-chinese-chemical-plant-blast-kills-44-injures-640-idUSKCN1R300D

‘Moving while black’: Black man arrested at gunpoint while moving into his Kansas home. “Karle Robinson, 61, a former Marine, was allegedly moving a television into his home in Tonganoxie on Aug. 19 when police stopped and detained him at gunpoint for suspected burglary…”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aclu-seeks-investigation-alleged-arrest-black-man-moving-new-home-n986001

Man pleads guilty to mailing explosives to prominent Trump critics. “(Cesar) Sayoc, 57, pleaded guilty to 65 counts, including using weapons of mass destruction and the illegal mailing of explosives with intent to kill or injure.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alleged-mail-bomber-cesar-sayoc-pleads-guilty-devices-were-sent-n985786

Jared Kushner accused of using a private email account and an instant messaging app for government business. “(House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings) also claims (Kushner’s attorney) confirmed that Ivanka Trump received official work emails on her personal email account that she has failed to forward back to her official email account, something he notes is required by law.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/435134-kushner-accused-of-using-whatsapp-personal-email-to-conduct-official

President Trump recognizes seized Golan Heights as part of Israel. “(Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Scott) Lasensky said Trump’s move seemed to be ‘totally devoid of strategic imperative’ and possibly aimed at helping (Prime Minister) Netanyahu win the (upcoming election).”   https://www.npr.org/2019/03/21/705583795/president-trump-backs-israeli-sovereignty-claim-over-golan-heights

Leading Democratic Party presidential candidates to skip AIPAC lobby event. “Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and many others have said they won’t be attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual Policy (AIPAC) conference…. Harris addressed the AIPAC in 2017, saying it was ‘an honor’ to speak there and praised the group’s leadership.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/top-2020-democrats-snub-aipac-conference-with-little-or-no-explanation-marking-far-left-shift-on-israel

West Virginia prosecutor releases video of police officers beating injured suspect after his car crashed, showing them dragging him through the broken car window and tossing him on the ground. “Footage shows one of the officers then kicks and stomps him several times and puts his knee on the teen’s shoulder blade, pressing down with his full weight. The officer then punches the teen at least eight times.”   https://www.wvpublic.org/post/video-shows-teens-beating-during-west-virginia-traffic-stop   At LEAST eight times. You can watch the video here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIpA27zYgWE

March 22, 2019