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

 

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March 23, 2019

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