March 20, 2019

New Zealand man says he reported Christchurch shooter’s rifle club to police. “… (Pete Breidahl) said he complained in late 2017 to an arms officer — a local police officer who monitors people’s gun licenses — about the disturbing behavior of members of a rifle club in the southern city of Dunedin that Tarrant reportedly joined…. Breidahl said the club members had Confederate flags, wore camouflage clothing with rank insignia, vilified Muslims and had homicidal fantasies.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/christchurch-harbored-white-supremacists-before-massacre/ar-BBUXgTl?li=BBnb4R5

Popular ADHD medication Adderall is basically a milder form of methamphetamine. “Chemically speaking the difference is small, but the extra methyl group in methamphetamine makes a big difference in the drug’s effects by allowing it to cross the blood brain barrier faster — which makes the drug much more potent. In addition, meth contains a wide host of chemicals and is neurotoxic, which means it can cause more severe damage to the brain than Adderall.”   https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/blog/is-adderall-the-same-as-meth/

Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX  malfunctioned the day before its October 2018 crash. “(An) extra pilot, who was seated in the cockpit jump-seat, correctly diagnosed the problem and told the crew how to disable (the) malfunctioning flight-control system and save the plane, according to two people familiar with Indonesia’s investigation.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-19/how-an-extra-man-in-cockpit-saved-a-737-max-that-later-crashed

Rep. Devin Nunes is suing someone pretending to be one of his cows. “… Devin Nunes’ cow engaged a vicious (Twitter) defamation campaign against Nunes that lasted over a year. Devin Nunes’ cow has made, published and republished hundreds of false and defamatory statements of and concerning Nunes…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/devin-nunes-is-having-a-cow–over-a-cow/2019/03/19/3f01e324-4a7d-11e9-b79a-961983b7e0cd_story.html

A fourth migrant dies in Border Patrol custody in less than four months. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the death Tuesday, saying agents arrested the 40-year-old man early Sunday for re-entering the country illegally.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/border-patrol-announces-4th-custody-death-migrant-december-n985221

President Trump says action is needed to tackle social media ‘discrimination’ against conservatives. Or maybe he’s saying that it’s fair to discriminate against them. Or that it’s fair to do something to stop such discrimination. It’s hard to tell. “It seems to be, if they’re conservative, if they’re Republicans, if they’re in a certain group, there’s discrimination … I see it absolutely on Twitter, and Facebook which I have also, and others I see…. Something’s happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter, and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it. It’s very fair, it’s collusive, and it’s very very fair today that we have to do something about it.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-says-do-something-social-media-bias-2019-3

President Obama’s former chief economist commits suicide. “‘When I asked Alan Krueger to serve as my chief economist in the White House, he’d already had a stellar career inside and outside of government,’ said President Obama in a statement on Monday.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/03/19/704675853/what-alan-krueger-taught-us

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff and former campaign chair, Saikat Chakrabarti, removed from board of Justice Democrats PAC. “Both Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were only officially removed from the board on March 15, according to documents obtained by (The Daily Caller), almost eight months after attorneys had said she was removed.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ocasio-cortez-de-listed-from-board-of-justice-democrats-after-controversy

Medical marijuana legalized in Florida, two years after it was approved by voters. “(Governor Ron) DeSantis noted that more than 70 percent of voters approved medical marijuana in a 2016 constitutional amendment. However, in 2017, then-Governor Rick Scott signed a law that banned smoking pot in all forms.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6827595/Smoking-medical-marijuana-legalized-Florida-two-years-residents-voted-it.html   Democracy wins.

Facebook pays approximately $5 million to settle lawsuit, agrees to stop hiding ads from minorities, women and older job seekers. “The settlement resolves claims that Facebook’s targeting technology allowed advertisers to exclude protected groups such as racial minorities, women and older workers from seeing housing, employment and credit offers.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/03/19/facebook-pledges-block-ad-discrimination-targeting-older-workers-blacks/3208282002/

Man who spent 8 years in prison before being acquitted at retrial wins $13.1 million settlement from San Francisco over the way police conducted their investigation. “Alex Reisman, one of (Jamal) Trulove’s lawyers, said Trulove spent eight years in maximum security prisons, mostly in Southern California hundreds of miles from family. He was also stabbed, Reisman said.”   http://www.ktvu.com/news/ktvu-local-news/san-francisco-pays-131-million-to-man-framed-by-sfpd-for-murder

Donald Trump was able to borrow $2 billion from Deutsche Bank, despite multiple bankruptcies. “Time after time (over a period of 20 years), with the support of two different chief executives, the bank handed money — a total of well over $2 billion — to a man whom nearly all other banks had deemed untouchable.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/business/trump-deutsche-bank.html

SDF overruns village of Baghuz, forcing IS fighters to the edge of the Euphrates river. “On Tuesday morning, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said it had taken control of the encampment and that the last militants had retreated to the riverbank.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47628209

President of Kazakhstan resigns after 30 years in power. “During his long period in office Mr Nazarbayev has focused on economic reform while resisting moves to democratize the political system.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-47628854

France to restrict public protests in high-end business districts. “At a press conference on Monday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said by ‘as early as next Saturday’ authorities will ban gatherings in areas that have been the most affected by the demonstrations — as soon as they are aware that extremists ‘claiming they belong to the (yellow vest protests)’ are present.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/18/europe/yellow-vest-ban-demonstrations-intl/index.html

Amnesty International accuses U.S. of killing civilians during airstrikes in Somalia, despite claims of zero civilian casualties. “The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-could-be-guilty-of-war-crimes-in-somalia-report-says-2019-3

Israel’s justice minister appears in campaign ad spoofing a commercial for a perfume called Fascism. But what exactly is she selling? “(Ayelet) Shaked is frequently critical of Israel’s top court as being too liberal and interventionist, but these and other views of her New Right party have been roundly criticized by leftists.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-election-commercial/israeli-campaign-ad-seeks-to-make-political-point-with-fascism-perfume-idUSKCN1R01XL   You can view the ad with English subtitles here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0peSwxSEqY

Man who barely survived political imprisonment in Syria speaks out. “It was… physical and psychological torture, sexual torture, a lot of dead people. Some people (were) just killed by just like (a) cable or something [gestures to his throat]. Some people were killed by torture when they (were being interrogated). They torture you, and you get electricity until you die. Other people died from starvation.”   https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/silenced-at-the-university-of-whispers-an-assad-prison-survivor-can-now-tell-his-story#transcript

Jury rules that Roundup contributed to man developing cancer. “The jury in San Francisco federal court in a unanimous ruling found Roundup, one of the world’s most widely-used weed killers, to be responsible for the cancer of California resident Edwin Hardeman.”   https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/20/monsanto-found-responsible-for-cancer-case-by-us-court

Reefer madness? Habitual use of marijuana linked to increased risk of psychosis. “…people who used any type of cannabis on a daily basis were three times more likely to have a diagnosis of a new episode of psychosis, compared with people who had never used cannabis, the researchers concluded. This increased to five times more likely for daily use of high potency cannabis.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/daily-use-high-potency-marijuana-linked-higher-rates-psychosis-study-n985151   So, what is psychosis you may be asking (I was). “Psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind that results in difficulties determining what is real and what is not.”   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosis

Cola is death say researchers. “Compared with infrequent (Sugar Sweetened Beverage) drinkers, those who drank two or more servings per day of SSBs had a 31 percent higher risk of early death from cardiovascular disease.”   https://thetakeout.com/harvard-study-sugar-soda-drinks-risk-early-death-1833406295

Do Not Track for web browsers declared dead. “Apple’s move follows the dissolution of a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) project, the Tracking Protection Working Group, which shut down after eight years on January 17. The release notes for Safari 12.1 called Do Not Track an ‘expired’ standard, which is sadly accurate.”   https://www.fastcompany.com/90308068/how-the-tragic-death-of-do-not-track-ruined-the-web-for-everyone

Americans asked for paper ballots to prevent election fraud. Instead they got machines that mark paper ballots for them, and machines that don’t even show them the paper ballot it has marked for them. “… the ExpressVote hybrid, which Johnson County, Kansas, had purchased a few months before the 2018 gubernatorial primary, could be maliciously programmed or hacked to create an entirely fraudulent machine-marked ‘paper ballot’ because the machine includes an option that allows the voter to ‘AutoCast’ the ballot without first printing and inspecting it.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/03/19/permission-to-cheat-audits-cant-detect-fake-votes-on-new-hybrid-voting-machines/

Supreme Court to decide if Mississippi prosecutor conspired to keep black people off the sixth jury that tried a man for the same crime. “Curtis Flowers was always tried by an all-white jury or a nearly all-white jury, even though the place where the murders happened and where he lived was nearly 50 percent African-American.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/supreme-court-study-case-black-man-tried-six-times-crime/

Judge adds six years to man’s sentence after he calls the judge ‘racist as f*ck’. “When I said you had a certain amount remorse? I was mistaken.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/ohio-man-gets-6-years-prison-calling-judge-racist/

Las Vegas cop gets fired for running background checks for her family and friends, making fun of suspects and recording demeaning videos of them. “The long list of crimes police said she committed while working for the department includes looking up addresses, arrest records, and license plate information on potential boyfriends or girlfriends of friends and family.”   https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/report-arrested-las-vegas-officer-recorded-man-s-genitals-told/article_fb62f0aa-46b6-11e9-ba23-373e03e0efb2.html   Sounds pretty routine to me – I wonder who she crossed?

After initially welcoming illegal immigrants fleeing the U.S. dragnet, Canada decides it’s time to strengthen its southern border. “According to the budget, the government will start spending the C$1.2 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year to strengthen the border and speed up the asylum process…. most are sent back (to the U.S.? or home?) once their cases have been handled.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/canada-cracks-asylum-seekers-crossing-us-canadian-border/

President Trump suggests adding Brazil to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, even though the country is actually located in the south Atlantic. “Mr. Trump did not specify exactly what kind of privileges Brazil would be granted, but did say the White House will ‘look at it very very strongly in terms whether it’s NATO or it’s something having to do with the alliance’.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-nato-brazil-bolsonaro-join-latest-press-conference-white-house-a8830386.html

Afghanistan’s national security advisor upset that U.S. is not including the Afghan government in negotiations with the Taliban. “Simmering tensions over the Afghan government’s exclusion from the U.S.-Taliban talks in Doha, Qatar, erupted with (Hamdullah) Mohib’s attack on Khalilzad, an Afghan-born U.S. diplomat, at a news conference in Washington.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan/us-freezes-out-top-afghan-official-in-peace-talks-feud-sources-idUSKCN1QZ2OU

Both houses of Switzerland’s parliament vote to violate the country’s constitution. “The Swiss constitution bans expelling people to countries where they might be subject to torture. But parlimament’s upper house on Tuesday narrowly adopted a motion allowing exceptions for foreign militants, as the Swiss lower house had done.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-swiss/swiss-parliament-backs-expelling-militants-to-states-that-use-torture-idUKKCN1R01QV   ‘European values’ only observed when it’s convenient?

Indigenous activist assassinated in Costa Rica. “Costa Rica has 24 indigenous territories inhabited by eight ethnic groups, with occupation and encroachment on their land by ranchers causing conflict since the 1960s. (Sergio) Rojas had survived at least one previous assassination attempt.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/indigenous-land-activist-shot-dead-costa-rica-192855963.html

Protesters in Kashmir clash with security forces after death of prisoner. “Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 29-year-old chemistry teacher, was arrested as part of ‘terror case investigation’, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/southasia/2019/03/clashes-kashmir-teacher-dies-police-custody-190319133729126.html

EU seeks informal method of encouraging member states to uphold the rule of law. “The EU is a union of values. It is not only about the single market,” Germany’s EU minister Michael Roth said in presenting the plan for an annual peer review. “Everybody has to adhere to those values, they are not just nice-to-have.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-democracy/germany-belgium-propose-new-tool-to-police-eu-democracies-idUKKCN1R026R

More journalists and lawyers come forward with allegations of being detained by Customs and Border Protection officials. “(Hector) Ruiz was asked about his political beliefs during a four-hour detention at a CBP station which continued until he agreed to allow the agents to look through his cell phone contacts. ‘They asked me what my opinion was on the administration, just generally.'”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/19/attorneys-and-reporters-interrogated-border-about-political-beliefs-outrageous

Supreme Court rules that illegal immigrants can be detained at will and indefinitely. “Should the court rule that undocumented immigrants lack these basic liberties, what’s to stop the government from torturing them, executing them, or keeping them imprisoned forever?”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/19/terrible-news-us-supreme-court-rules-indefinite-detention-immigrants

Trump administration accused of sending migrant children to ‘black sites for kids’. “An investigation by Reveal on Monday showed that at least 16 young immigrants—as young as nine years old and in need of mental or behavioral health treatment—have been sent by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to ‘off-the-books’ facilities outside the network of federally-funded detention centers.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/03/19/black-sites-kids-rights-advocates-outraged-over-child-immigrants-being-held-books

 

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March 20, 2019

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