April 30, 2019

Federal judge who stood up to the Richard Nixon and George W. Bush administrations dies. “(Judge Damon) Keith rejected the government’s claim that it had the authority to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant on anyone it considered a national security threat.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/28/718077751/judge-damon-j-keith-judicial-giant-and-civil-rights-icon-dies-at-96

Boeing CEO dodges responsibility for 737 MAX crashes, blames pilots. “Dennis Muilenburg said the pilots did not ‘completely’ follow the procedures that Boeing had outlined to prevent the kind of malfunction that probably caused a March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet. A Lion Air 737 Max crashed under similar circumstances in October.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/29/investing/boeing-annual-meeting/index.html

U.S. once again world’s top spender on weapons of war, China a distant second, Russia drops out of top five. “The U.S. is ‘by far the largest spender in the world’, accounting for 36% of the total, spending almost as much as the next eight countries combined, researchers wrote. The U.S. spent $649 billion in 2018; China, which came in second on the list, spent $250 billion.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/718144787/global-military-expenditures-up-driven-by-top-two-spenders-u-s-and-china

Poll: Majority of Americans believe the economic and political systems primarily benefit the wealthy and those in power. “Most Americans also feel that the U.S. political system is skewed to reward the powerful—72 percent of U.S. adults believe the American political system ‘works to benefit those in power’ rather than ‘all people’, the (Washington) Post/ABC survey found.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/americans-reject-trumps-spin-62-percent-believe-us-economy-primarily-benefits-rich-and-powerful/

Nurses tape posters of GoFundMe pages to outside of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America office building. “The people inside this building spent $28 million on lobbying last year to keep prescription drug prices so unaffordable that some of our patients needlessly die.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/demanding-medicare-for-all-nurses-use-band-aids-to-plaster-gofundme-pages-to-big-pharma-headquarters/

Tens of thousands of foreign troops and private security contractors still deployed in Afghanistan. “More than 5,800 privately employed security personnel are currently operating in Afghanistan under Pentagon contracts, according to the latest report released this month that the military headquarters overseeing Middle East wars compiles for Congress…. More than 17,000 uniformed troops from NATO and partner countries are currently operating in Afghanistan in support of local forces… Of those, roughly 8,500 are Americans. Another 5,500 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan for the separate mission of hunting insurgent forces like the Islamic State group and elements of the Taliban.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2019-04-26/us-employs-unprecedented-number-of-security-contractors-in-afghanistan

The case that Maria Butina may not have actually been a  Russian spy after all. “As Butina was looking into master’s degree programs in the United States, (Rockefeller heir George) O’Neill offered to assist with her finances. The help was critical, since her parents in Siberia could not afford the expense. (Alexander) Torshin, her supposed handler, never offered to help pay her two-year tuition. Instead, it was O’Neill, and her boyfriend Erickson, who gave her the money to enroll at American University’s Graduate School of International Service.
”   https://newrepublic.com/article/153036/maria-butina-profile-wasnt-russian-spy

“17 years, $900 billion and 3 presidents later, America must finally get out of Afghanistan.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/27/afghanistan-trump-taliban-opium-corruption-column/3589562002/

Iran allegedly executes two cousins for rapes committed they when they were 15. “Between 1990 and 2018, Amnesty recorded the executions of 97 prisoners who were convicted as minors.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/amnesty-iran-secretly-executes-minor-boys-rape-190429183050266.html

Trump administration accused of cutting funding for domestic terrorism investigators. “…from 2009 to 2018, right-wing extremists have been responsible for 73% of the extremist murders in the United States; an additional 23% were at the hands of Islamist extremists.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/26/joe-biden-charlotesville-trump-adl-white-supremacy-column/3575579002/

Just a trickle of corporate tax cut money actually reached workers, says group. “The bulk of the $150bn the tax cut put into the hands of corporations in 2018 went into shareholder dividends and stock buy-backs, both of which line the pockets of the 10% of Americans who own 84% of the stocks. Just 6% of the tax savings was spent on workers, according to Just Capital, a not-for-profit that tracks the Russell 1000 index.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/30/trump-tax-cut-law-investigation-worker-benefits

Tech recruiting firm reportedly ran ads for ‘preferably Caucasian’ and ‘female candidate only’ positions. “We are also looking at measures that could help us catch offensive or outside-of-policy ads before they ever go live to ensure this can’t happen again.”   https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/29/tech-firm-apologizes-after-job-ad-seeks-preferably-caucasian-candidates

U.S. backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó launches coup attempt in Venezuela. “At this moment, I am with the main military units of our armed forces, starting the final phase of Operation Liberty. People of Venezuela, we will go to the street with the armed forces to continue taking the streets until we consolidate the end of usurpation, which is already irreversible.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelan-opposition-leader-juan-guaido-appears-to-stage-military-backed-challenge-to-president-maduro/2019/04/30/c7028eee-6b35-11e9-8f44-e8d8bb1df986_story.html

Residents of Hugo, Oklahoma protest accidental police shooting of three children, few details revealed about the incident. “Three days after the shooting, it remained unclear why gunfire broke out Friday when two Hugo police detectives tried to pick up William Devaughn Smith, 21, on a robbery warrant.”   https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2019-04-29/residents-of-oklahoma-town-demand-answers-in-police-shooting

No gun found after New Haven police shooting that erupted when unarmed black man came out of his car with his hands up. “Hamden and Yale police officers stopped (Paul) Witherspoon’s car on April 16 after a 911 caller said it was connected to an robbery with a gun minutes earlier. Officials confirmed no gun was ever located.”   https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-new-haven-hamden-yale-police-shooting-witherspoon-family–20190429-zb267zukzveuloppblalps2hfy-story.html

Residents protest Wethersfield, Connecticut police shooting of teen suspect Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, who was allegedly attempting to flee a traffic stop. “On Monday, activists protested outside the Wethersfield Police Department, demanding the dashboard camera video from the incident be released. They also demanded answers from Chief of Police James Cetran as to what transpired the night Cruz was shot.”   https://www.courant.com/community/wethersfield/hc-news-wethersfield-chulo-vega-shooting–20190426-oan6gnfv2nb3xktlxlonmtdkqi-story.html

Vallejo, California requests Department of Justice assistance after string of fatal police shootings. “At a City Council meeting Tuesday, residents complained that city officials had not listened to them and family members of loved ones who died in police-involved shootings and implored officials to take action.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/after-spate-police-shootings-vallejo-california-officials-ask-doj-help-n999111


April 30, 2019

April 29, 2019

President Trump accuses Democrats of allowing the murder of babies. “The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.”   https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/trump-abortion-baby-wrapped-blanket-execute-baby.html

Socialist Party wins largest block of seats in Spain’s parliament. “The Socialists won 123 seats in Sunday’s election, up from 84 in the outgoing parliament as they saw off the challenge from the right, which was splintered by the rise of the far-right Vox (party).”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-election/spains-socialists-short-of-majority-weigh-partners-for-forming-government-idUSKCN1S50OA   Party ran on a ‘Green New Deal’ platform. “Since winning a razor-thin majority in June, the PSOE has buoyed a previously embattled renewables sector by scrapping an emblematic levy on solar energy and committing to install 6,000-7,000MW of renewable power every year until 2030.”   https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/04/29/spains-socialists-win-election-green-new-deal-platform/

Indonesian government claims 272 election workers died of exhaustion while counting ballots. “Staff were expected to work through the night in sweltering conditions, which took a hefty physical toll on many.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48083051   Sure, I believe that!

Winnie the Pooh’s forest is on fire again. “Chris Sutton, an (Ashdown Forest ranger), said bracken in the area was ‘as dry as straw’, and ground-nesting birds would have seen eggs and nests destroyed.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-sussex-48090078

Thousands of residents of Hong Kong protest against proposed extradition law. “Hong Kongers fear the law will allow China to demand that Hong Kong turn over political dissidents, religious workers and business people whose work may violate some yet-to-be-written law.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/28/hong-kong-residents-protest-at-plans-for-extradition-to-china

Left-wing groups participate in ‘yellow vest’ protest march in Paris. “Thousands of trade unionists and activists from left-wing parties marched with gilet jaune (yellow vest) protesters through Paris on Saturday to present a united front against French President Emmanuel Macron’s latest reforms package.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/27/leftwing-activists-join-gilets-jaunes-for-peaceful-paris-protest

Prominent activists denounce arrest of Swedish Wikileaks activist. “Ola Bini sits in an Ecuadoran prison, denied bail, and with no guarantees of due process.”   https://www.nationofchange.org/2019/04/24/open-letter-from-noam-chomsky-arundhati-roy-dave-eggers-pamela-anderson-and-many-more-on-behalf-of-imprisoned-tech-privacy-activist-ola-bini/

The troubling popularity of the Marvel ‘Punisher skull’ with the authoritarian right. “It is immeasurably rich and sad that cops and conservatives, in an effort to temper complaints that police departments are too quick to pull the trigger and too indiscriminate in their use of violence, have expressed their defense with the emblem of a fictional character who ‘sees war as the answer to all his problems’, routinely violates the U.S. Constitution, and appoints himself judge, jury and executioner when dealing with anyone under suspicion of illegal activity.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/marvels-punisher-skull-used-deluded-macho-wingnuts-completely-miss-point-character/

Military reportedly used F-22 Raptor stealth jets and B-52s used to bomb drug labs in Afghanistan, but has now ended the program. “Experts… told us that this was not going to succeed, because the labs that were destroyed were extremely small and mobile,” (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John) Sopko said. “They cost about $500 to build and operate.”   https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/04/28/us-no-longer-using-f-22s-bomb-afghan-drug-labs-watchdog-says.html   Too bad the article doesn’t give the estimated cost of each bombing mission.

More than 60 wounded by Israeli gunfire during Gaza border protest. “Among the injured were 15 minors, a paramedic and a journalist.”   https://gephardtdaily.com/national-international/protests-at-gaza-border-leave-60-palestinians-injured/


April 29, 2019

April 28, 2019

USA Today publishes police misconduct files. “The level of oversight varies widely from state to state. Georgia and Florida decertified thousands of police officers for everything from crimes to questions about their fitness to serve; other states banned almost none.”   https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/04/24/usa-today-revealing-misconduct-records-police-cops/3223984002/

California politicians accused of interfering in wildfire containment efforts by requesting special protection for property of important constituents. “A significant number of requests by political figures to check on specific addresses of homes to ensure their protection distracted from Department leadership to accomplish priority objectives.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/report-politicians-hampered-fight-against-california-fire-033457554.html

Three kids wounded by police gunfire during arrest in Hugo, Oklahoma. “Investigators have not determined what led to the shooting that also wounded (William) Smith, who was treated at a hospital and then taken to a Texas jail on a robbery warrant, (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Brooke) Arbeitman said Saturday.”   https://koaa.com/news/2019/04/27/mom-says-oklahoma-police-shot-3-of-her-kids-in-head-or-face/

U.S. deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein criticizes former FBI director James Comey for releasing information on the Russian election interference investigation before the 2016 election. “The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers. Someone selectively leaked details to the news media. The FBI director announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rosenstein-slams-obama-administration-for-choosing-not-to-publicize-full-story-of-russia-hacking

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley agrees to retract his allegation of massive voter fraud by immigrants as part of legal settlement. “Under the terms of Friday’s settlement, Whitley must retract his January advisory and ask counties to stop purging voters on the basis of the lists he sent…. Naturalized citizens will not be targeted, and voters suspected of lacking citizenship will have a real opportunity to prove they’ve been misidentified.”   https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/texas-retracts-voter-fraud-claim-stops-purge.html

Houston area prosecutor says 27 more drug cases will be dropped due to possible police misconduct. “This is the largest group of cases that has been dismissed since the (fatal) ‘no-knock’ raid on Harding Street dramatically altered how the Houston Police Department’s undercover narcotics division operates.”   https://abc13.com/27-drug-cases-involving-harding-street-raid-officer-dismissed/5272625/

Australian government planning to poison millions of cats for killing wildlife. “Part of the plan to cull the rising cat population is to bait the cats with lethal sausages made of kangaroo meat, chicken fat, herbs, spices and a poison called 1080, which is deadly to animals, according to the New York Times.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/australia-is-trying-to-kill-millions-of-stray-cats-by-airdropping-poisoned-sausages-2019-04-26/   Hmm, to put this in perspective, what do you think of this (fake) headline? ‘Aliens say millions of humans must be eliminated due to their harmful impact on the planet’s environment.’ “It’s unfortunate,” said Splink Gork, chief planet protection officer for the Milky Way galaxy, “but we can’t just stand by and watch the out-of-control human population destroy the entire planet.”

Attack on synagogue north of San Diego likely a hate crime. “(Poway Mayor Steve) Vaus said he considered it a hate crime ‘because of statements that were made when the shooter entered’.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/27/us/san-diego-synagogue/index.html

Life in a developed market economy: Four die after construction crane collapses in Seattle. “Two of the dead were crane operators and two were in cars smashed by the crane, Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said at a news conference.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/27/us/seattle-crane-collapse/index.html   Crane reportedly fell from a Google campus building. “A Google spokesperson said in a statement that the company was saddened to learn of the accident and that they were in communication with Vulcan, the real estate firm that is managing the site and working with authorities.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/28/crane-collapse-four-killed-in-seattle-as-cars-are-crushed

Man accused of hitting eight Sunnyvale pedestrians with his car allegedly targeted people he mistakenly thought were Muslims. “Based on our investigation, new evidence shows that the defendant intentionally targeted the victims based on their race and his belief that they were of the Muslim faith.”   https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Sunnyvale-crash-Driver-to-face-hate-crime-13801183.php

Second recruit dies at Navy boot camp. “Spokesman Lt. Joseph W. Pfaff says Kelsey Nobles, of Mobile, died Tuesday after collapsing during training at the Navy Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alabama-navy-recruit-18-collapses-dies-during-training-n999156

Man has $300 traffic ticket overturned in court, but has to pay $1,000 in legal fees. “The officer testified that he saw (Jason) Stiber holding his phone and moving his lips…. Stiber presented receipts of his morning purchase of a hash brown and caramel frappe and said he has Bluetooth wireless in his car that would make holding his phone unnecessary.”   https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-connecticut-driver-not-guilty-for-eating-hashbrown-20190426-tewifjngarftzputty6qqwpvje-story.html

Companies that make apps to help users limit their phone time accuse Apple of trying to drive them out of business. “They are systematically killing the industry.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/27/technology/apple-screen-time-trackers.html

Trump resorts reportedly turned away 57 Americans seeking jobs, hired foreign workers on short-term visas instead. “The Trump properties offered the Labor Department a variety of reasons for rejecting the US applicants, including that candidates were ‘not interested’ or did ‘not meet the minimum experience requirement’, or that they did not return the company’s phone calls. In seven (petition) recruitment reports, the properties’ representatives said that zero US workers had applied.”   https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/kenbensinger/mar-a-lago-rejected-dozens-of-americans-in-favor-of-foreign

Pentagon requests an additional $33 billion over last year’s budget. “The Defense Department is asking Congress for $718 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget, an increase of $33 billion or about 5% over what Congress enacted for fiscal 2019.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/26/breakdown-of-718-billion-pentagon-budget-request.html

Federal agencies reportedly unwilling to take action against Saudi Arabia for helping its citizens escape justice in the U.S. “Many former diplomats and national security officials also said they suspected the Saudi government had grown more brazen in support of its accused citizens as its defiance of local and state courts had been ignored by successive administrations in Washington.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-knew-that-saudi-diplomats-were-helping-fugitives-the-us-2019-4

Co-host of Joseph Biden fundraiser estimates 90% of those who attended were members of the top 1%. “For 90% of the people who attended last night’s fundraiser, they’re contributing against their own financial interest. They will do better with a Republican president, because they’re in the top 1%.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/26/headlines/comcasts_top_lobbyist_holds_fundraiser_for_biden_in_philadelphia

President Trump pulls U.S. out of U.N. arms control treaty. “Today the president once again walked away from America’s leadership role in the world and undermined international efforts to reduce human suffering caused by irresponsible and illegal arms transfers.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/26/trump-nra-united-nations-arms-treaty-gun-control

Kansas supreme court rules that the state’s women have the right to have access to abortion services.  “The 6-1 ruling would protect the rights of women in the state in the event that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that affirmed American women’s right to abortion, is overturned by the majority right-wing U.S. Supreme Court.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/26/amid-fears-federal-attack-roe-kansas-supreme-court-guarantees-right-abortion

Military gets break after Trump administration changes pollution rules. “The new rules will allow military bases to take years to clean up PFAS contamination, eliminating from the draft a section that had called for the prompt removal of ‘immediate threats posed by hazardous waste sites’.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/26/pentagon-pushed-weakened-regulations-toxic-chemicals-endangering-drinking-water

Medicare for All hearings in the House of Representatives will not feature any proponents actually speaking in support of the idea. “What Dem leadership seems to have done with this Medicare for All hearing is assemble a group of witnesses who won’t really make the case for Medicare for All, leaving the impression that the ACA, Medicare Buy-In, they’re all good approaches!”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/26/progressives-raise-alarm-over-lack-single-payer-supporters-chosen-testify-historic

Bureau of Land Management proposes opening more than 1 million acres in California for fossil fuel extraction. “This administration is dead set on letting oil and gas companies dig up every last drop of dirty fuel. Putting these public lands back at the mercy of the fossil fuel industry would be a huge blow to our state’s future.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/feds-to-open-over-a-million-california-acres-for-oil-fracking/

Lawyers for NFL owner spar with prosecutors over massage parlor sex tapes. “The defense is trying to convince Judge Leonard Hanser that (Detective Andrew) Sharp’s installation of the cameras was an illegal search and that (Robert) Kraft’s constitutional right to privacy was violated.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/lawyers-for-patriots-owner-seek-to-have-sex-video-thrown-out/

Frat boys get their sentences converted from jail to house arrest in case involving hazing death of new member. “WTAJ-TV reported this week that Joshua Kurczewski and Michael Bonatucci had faced minimums of three months and one month in jail, but that instead they’re going to do that time on home monitoring.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/judge-turns-jail-into-house-arrest-for-2-in-frat-death-case/


April 28, 2019

April 26, 2019

Video shows Florida deputy beating man handcuffed to hospital bed while awaiting treatment for injuries sustained during his arrest. “What, you’re going to beat my a** again?”   https://www.local10.com/news/florida/broward/bodycam-footage-shows-bso-deputy-punching-man-handcuffed-to-hospital-bed

New Haven clergy demand firing of police officers who opened fire on black couple apparently mistaken for car thieves. “Religious leaders in New Haven, Connecticut, reiterated demands Wednesday for the firing of two police officers who allegedly shot and wounded an unarmed woman after authorities released partial body-camera footage showing them unleashing a barrage of bullets on a car she was in despite the driver apparently complying with orders to come out with his hands up.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/connecticut-religious-leaders-officers-shooting-unarmed-woman-fired/story?id=62597404

Homeland Security officials reportedly considered holding detained child migrants at infamous Gitmo prison camp. “In one initiative examined earlier this year, Department of Homeland Security officials looked at housing migrant children at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which has a dormitory facility that has been used in the past to hold asylum seekers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/us/immigration-detention.html

Activists who oppose nuclear weapons to protest mass celebrating nuclear weapons. “It’s morally repugnant that a service of thanksgiving for Britain’s nuclear weapons system is due to be held at Westminster Abbey…. It says that here in Britain we celebrate weapons – in a place of worship – that can kill millions of people.”   https://cnduk.org/cnd-condemns-westminster-abbey-nuclear-weapons-thanksgiving-service/

Skeptical peace group offers $1,000 reward to any school that will openly admit that bars military recruiters. “Peace activists who struggle to gain admittance to high schools to present the case against military enlistment have not in recent years encountered a school that barred admittance to the military. The military has not publicly named a single example from its claimed list of 1,100 public high schools.”   https://washingtonsblog.com/2019/04/pentagon-claims-1100-high-schools-bar-recruiters-peace-activists-offer-1000-award-if-any-such-school-can-be-found.html

Man suspected of orchestrating Sri Lanka terror bombings was thrown out of Muslim religious school and then a local mosque. “(Hashim) Zaharan was kicked out of school. He enrolled at another Islamic college but never graduated, his acquaintances said…. After getting ejected from serving as imam of one mosque for his extremist views, Mr. Zaharan started a group in 2014 called National Thowheeth Jama’ath…”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/world/asia/sri-lanka-attacks-mastermind.html

Pentagon cuts off funding for secretive group of academics that has been advising the military for decades. “They were offering the opposite of cheerleading,” he says. “And DOD decided that maybe they didn’t want to pay for that any longer.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/25/717225118/after-pentagon-ends-contract-top-secret-scientists-group-vows-to-carry-on   One has to wonder if military contractors were involved in this decision as well. It’s hard to sell an expensive, new system if scientific experts say it probably won’t work. On the other hand, I would ask these scientists to reflect on who they are working for. Is the United States government really a force for peace, stability and democracy in the world, or is it recklessly pursuing less noble, private interests?

White nationalist terror suspect to be released on bail. “Christopher Hasson, who was accused in February of stockpiling weapons and drawing up a political hit list, will be released on bail, according to a Baltimore NBC affiliate.”   https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/440711-judge-agrees-to-release-coast-guard-lt-accused-of-plotting-domestic   Now seriously, would a Muslim, African American, Native American, Puerto Rican, leftist or even an animal rights or ‘eco-terrorism’ terror suspect with a hit list EVER be released on bail by a federal judge?

Minneapolis cop claims he shot woman in her pajamas to protect his partner, was following his training. “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minnesota-officer-says-he-fatally-shot-unarmed-woman-save-partner-n998786 (quote) and   https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/04/25/police-trial-shooting-justine-damond-ruszczyk-australia-noor-testify (pajamas)

Florida police officer sentenced to 25 years in prison for roadside shooting of stranded motorist. “Prosecutors said (Nouman) Raja, one of the few police officers nationwide convicted of an on-duty shooting, escalated what should have been a routine interaction into a deadly confrontation.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nouman-raja-sentencing-ex-florida-officer-gets-25-years-in-fatal-shooting-black-musician-corey-jones-2019-04-25/

Satanic Temple recognized as a religious organization by the IRS, not just ‘separation of church and state’ provocateurs. “In Oklahoma, the Satanic Temple tried to install a statue of Baphomet — a goat-headed, winged Satanic figure — after lawmakers there approved a Ten Commandments monument.”   https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2019/04/25/satanic-temple-is-real/

President Macron proposes reforms to quell ‘yellow vest’ protests which don’t include increasing taxes on the wealthy. “The overall message was not what must now change, but what must remain the same. And that, says Mr Macron, is the overarching ‘orientation’ of his presidency.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48059063

U.S. reportedly billed $2 million by North Korea for ‘medical care’ for Otto Warmbier. “The Post said an invoice was handed to State Department envoy Joseph Yun hours before Warmbier, 22, was flown out of Pyongyang in a coma on June 13, 2017. Warmbier died six days later.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-northkorea-warmbier/trump-approved-payment-of-2-million-bill-for-north-korea-care-of-warmbier-report-idUSKCN1S124E   As more details of the Otto Warmbier incident come out (I suspect he attempted to commit suicide), we still don’t even know the NAME of the U.S. citizen who went into a coma and died after being detained by Tokyo police in 2015.   https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2015/03/english-teacher-dies-after-being-restrained-by-police/   I still haven’t gotten a response to my 2015 State Department FOIA request. The guy just… disappeared, and no one seems to care.

Americans are the 4th the most stressed out people in the world, say pollsters. “Most Americans (55%) recall feeling stressed during much of the day in 2018. That’s more than all but three other countries, including top-ranking Greece (59%), which has led the world in stress since 2012.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/04/25/gallup-emotions-report-2019-top-happiest-saddest-countries-rankings/3568251002/   People in the Philippines and Tanzania were ranked the 2nd and 3rd most stressed.

Human rights groups claim 1,600 civilians were killed in U.S. coalition airstrikes and artillery bombardment of Raqqa, Syria in 2017. “Amnesty and Airwars said that following an unprecedented investigation they had been able to build a database of the civilians reportedly killed as a direct result of US, UK and French air strikes and US artillery strikes carried out in Raqqa from June to October 2017 in support of a ground offensive by the SDF.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48044115   In contrast, the Coalition reported only 180 civilian deaths.

Anti-war activists occupy vacant Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C. “They say the Trump administration is trying to orchestrate a coup in the oil-rich South American nation.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/04/24/activists-occupy-venezuelan-embassy-confrontation-over-trump-policy/3565968002/

Minnesota pipeline spills 8,400 gallons of diesel fuel. “Minor remnants of a petroleum sheen have passed through the containment areas along the drainage ditch into the Yellow Medicine River.”   https://www.ksfy.com/content/news/Damage-Minnesota-pipeline-causes-8400-gallon-fuel-spill-suspect-IDed-509084721.html

President Trump reportedly seeking arms control treaties to cut weapons spending. “Between Russia and China and us, we’re all making hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, including nuclear, which is ridiculous.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-orders-staff-to-prepare-arms-control-push-with-russia-and-china/ar-BBWiim1   Uh-oh, Trump is daring to touch the ‘third rail’ of the military industrial complex, by cutting the transfer of tax dollars to arms companies. My prediction – he will be replaced by a hawkish Democrat in 2020.

Bahrain accused of using torture and sexual abuse during interrogations. “Whereas it is difficult for Amnesty International to state that sexual assault of detainees is systematic, it is certain that this practice has taken place and continues to take place and we consider it to be an act of torture.”   https://apnews.com/c5333f6d89694f5b8241483b6e3cc469

Mexican government promises to stop widespread practice of torturing prisoners. “Asphyxiation and electric shocks are used, as well as sexual violence, 120 groups said in a joint statement.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mexico-torture/mexico-vows-to-eradicate-torture-of-detainees-idUKKCN1S11CL

Critic of Bosnian government killed in ambush. “Drasko Stanivukovic, a prominent opposition lawmaker who is a distant relative of (slain critic Slavisa) Krunic’s, said Thursday that people were increasingly warning him to keep quiet out of fear that he might be the next government critic to ‘end up dead’.”   https://www.apnews.com/f2961cef13284f189b067e1c741106b8

Journalist calls Joe Biden ‘Hillary Clinton 2.0’. “The definition of insanity… is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/03/21/joe-biden-2020-hillary-clinton/

2/3 of the 120 suspects swept up in Bronx, New York anti-gang dragnet three years ago were not convicted of violent crimes. “Three years ago this week, helicopters and armored vehicles swarmed (Kraig) Lewis’s old neighborhood, and SWAT teams and some 700 officers with the NYPD and a host of federal law enforcement agencies knocked down doors at the Eastchester Gardens public housing project and nearby homes.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/04/25/bronx-120-report-mass-gang-prosecution-rico/

State of Washington passes public, senior-care insurance scheme. “Beginning in 2022, workers will pay a modest monthly payroll tax, 58 cents for every $100 they earn in income…. the average monthly contribution would be about $18.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/04/26/washington-state-long-term-care/

Federal judge gives Trump administration 6 months to identify children separated from their families at the border. “The administration will review about 47,000 cases of unaccompanied children in custody between 1 July 2017 and 25 June 2018 – the day before Sabraw halted the general practice of separating families and ordered that children under government care at the time be reunited in 30 days.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/25/family-child-separations-trump-administration-immigration

Sri Lankan government mistakenly includes photo of American Muslim activist as a bombing suspect. “Among those listed was a woman identified as Abdul Cader Fathima Khadhiya, accompanied by a photo of a woman in a headscarf purported to be the individual wanted for questioning. But the photo in fact showed Amara Majeed, an American Muslim whose parents are Sri Lankan immigrants and who wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump in 2015 about his rhetoric on Muslims.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/26/sri-lankan-police-apologise-for-wrongly-identifying-suspect   It’s unclear from the article where the Sri Lankan authorities obtained the photograph.

Hungarian government accused of withholding food from migrants. “The policy, whereby adults whose asylum claims have been rejected are denied food, was described as ‘an unprecedented human rights violation in 21st-century Europe’ by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights organisation working to offer legal support to those in the transit zones.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/26/hungary-denying-food-to-asylum-seekers-say-human-rights-groups

Federal judge strikes down Texas anti-boycott law. “…(Judge Robert Pitman) on Thursday struck down a Texas law requiring government contractors to sign a pledge vowing not to participate in the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/26/landmark-victory-first-amendment-court-strikes-down-texas-anti-bds-law

Federal judge blocks lawsuit that accused government of warrantless mass surveillance. “The American people deserve to know whether mass surveillance is legal and constitutional,” (Electronic Frontier Foundation Executive Director Cindy) Cohen said in a statement Thursday.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/%ef%bb%bfjudge-kills-lawsuit-over-mass-surveillance-programs/   Of course it is illegal, due to the 4th amendment to the Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


April 26, 2019

April 25, 2019

Navy concerned about incursions by UFOs. “‘Since 2014, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis,’ Joseph Gradisher, spokesman for office of the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told The Washington Post on Wednesday.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/04/24/how-angry-pilots-got-navy-stop-dismissing-ufo-sightings/   This is what disclosure looks like.

Woman body-slammed by Fort Collins police officer sues city. “According to The Coloradoan, on August 24th, 2018, after three trials, (Michaella) Surat was found guilty and sentenced to one year of probation, community service, and a behavioral course.”   https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/michaella-surat-sues-colorado-police-for-violent-takedown-204433744.html   The original video of the officer’s take down on Twitter, linked to by several recent news stories, is apparently no longer available, but you can still view it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyL_1L1ApFY

White supremacist John King executed in Texas for dragging a black man to death behind a truck in 1998. “Testimony shows that Byrd’s limbs were scattered across the secluded (Jasper area) roads the next morning. Police found 75 places littered with Byrd’s remains.”   https://www.itemonline.com/news/white-supremacist-executed-for-race-related-murder/article_3ec98644-66ef-11e9-8168-4325db583f70.html

California legislature considers imposing state oversight on medical exemptions approved by doctors from school vaccination law. “California, West Virginia and Mississippi are the only states that do not allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children for religious or personal belief reasons.”   https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-vaccine-exemption-review-bill-20190424-story.html

Florida state legislature passes bill to bar ex-offenders from voting unless they pay all outstanding court fees, fines and restitution. “The bill’s passage on Wednesday comes months after Florida voters approved an amendment automatically restoring voting rights to approximately 1.5 million felons in the state.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/440570-florida-house-passes-bill-requiring-felons-to-pay-court-fees-before

New Jersey state police, FBI and Homeland Security investigators posted fake profiles on dating and chat apps, then arrested men who showed up for dates with people they thought were underage teens. “The teacher, the police officer and the minister were among the (sixteen) men from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania who were arrested during a week-long sting operation aimed at catching people seeking sexual encounters online with underage teenagers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/nyregion/underage-dating-sting-operation.html   Ideas for future sting operations: Leaving the engine running in a parked sports car? Dropping a wad of cash on the sidewalk? Offering people free samples of illegal drugs?

Top aide to New Jersey governor Chris Christie sentenced to 13 months in prison for role in Bridgegate scandal, claims governor was involved. “A federal jury in 2016 found (Bridget) Kelly, once the governor’s deputy chief of staff, and another former Christie aide guilty of conspiracy and other crimes in connection to the September 2013 plot to cause days of massive traffic jams near the bridge to New York City. Emails, text messages, and witness testimony showed that Christie allies wanted to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, Bergen County, because he had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection campaign.”   https://www.philly.com/news/chris-christie-bridget-anne-kelly-bully-bridgegate-prison-statement-20190424.html   Is Christie just too big to jail?

Life in a developed market economy: Meat packing plant employee dies after falling or being pulled into meat grinder. “The (Lycoming County, Pennsylvania) coroner says Jill Greninger, 35, fell into the machinery around 11:30 a.m. Monday.”   https://wnep.com/2019/04/22/worker-killed-after-falling-into-meat-grinder/

Supreme Court rules against employees seeking arbitration as a class, court’s liberals dissent. “Wednesday’s decision, Lamps Plus v. Varela, No. 17-988, started in 2016, when a hacker posing as a company official persuaded an employee of Lamps Plus, which sells lighting fixtures, to disclose the tax filings of about 1,300 workers.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/us/politics/supreme-court-class-arbitrations.html

7 of the 10 U.S. cities with the worst smog are in California says American Lung Association. “The report covers the two main types of air pollution that plague the USA: smog (also known as ‘ground-level ozone’) and soot (technically known as ‘particulate matter’).”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/24/air-pollution-smog-soot-worst-california/3551734002/

Charlotte, North Carolina police release additional video from fatal police shooting of Danquirs Franklin. “The video does not show any officers giving aid to Franklin…. About four minutes after (Officer Wende) Kerl opened fire, medics arrived and began treating Franklin.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/25/us/charlotte-danquirs-franklin-video/index.html

13 year-old Houston girl dies after being beaten by classmates. “(Mamie) Jackson said her daughter (Kashala Francis) was jumped about a block from her school by two girls on Thursday as she was walking home.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/13-year-houston-girl-dies-jumped-laughing-classmates/story?id=62597195

Afghan civilian casualties caused by government and coalition forces are up sharply says UN, slightly exceeding those caused by the Taliban in first three months of 2019. “The leading causes of casualties, according to the UN, were ground fighting and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Air strikes also killed 145 civilians during the period, half of them women and children. The UN attributed almost all of these (air strike casualties) to American forces.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48047356

Western bankers and investors attend Saudi Arabia’s investment summit. “Global finance chiefs who boycotted a Saudi investment summit last year following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi returned to Riyadh this week as the Gulf kingdom gets business back on track.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-finance-khashoggi/undeterred-by-khashoggi-murder-global-executives-return-to-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1S01DX   I wonder if they got to watch this week’s mass beheadings?

11 day strike cost firm that owns Stop & Shop supermarkets an estimated $90 to $110 million. “The strike, which included about 31,000 associates in New England, began on April 11. Employees returned to work on Monday.”   https://www.masslive.com/boston/2019/04/stop-shop-owner-says-11-day-strike-cost-company-about-100-million.html

Frontier Airlines accused of having passenger arrested after complaint about vomit found on her daughter’s seat led to argument with flight crew. “(Rosetta) Swinney was put in jail for 12 hours, and her daughter was placed in child protective custody.”   http://www.wect.com/2019/04/25/woman-arrested-after-complaining-frontier-airlines-about-vomit-daughters-seat/

Life in a developed market economy: FDA investigation finds listeria monocytogenes in samples from 19 ice cream manufacturing facilities, salmonella in one. “The investigation was launched in August 2016 after 16 recalls of ice cream products in the prior three-year period and an outbreak of listeriosis linked to an ice cream maker in 2015 that involved three deaths.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/24/health/ice-cream-investigation-fda-bn/index.html

Extinction Rebellion protesters target London’s financial district. “One protester, Adam Woodall, said they had targeted the (London Stock Exchange) building because ‘people are making millions, even billions of pounds out of trading ecological destruction’.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-48049040

How many South Carolina judges have been publicly sanctioned by the state’s oversight body in the last 20 years, in response to approximately 1,000 ethics complaints? Zero. “That defies the law of probability,” (state Rep. Gary Clary) said. “You would have to say the system is built to protect judges.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/happens-judges-police-secret-not-much/

Lawsuit accuses FEC of failing to punish NRA for violating campaign finance laws. “Plaintiff’s complaints demonstrate that the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by using a complex network of shell corporations to unlawfully coordinate expenditures with the campaigns of at least seven candidates for federal office, thereby making millions of dollars of illegal, unreported, and excessive in-kind contributions, including up to $25 million in illegal contributions to now President Donald J. Trump.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/nra-busted-giving-trump-9259-times-legal-limit-bombshell-campaign-finance-lawsuit/

Students for Trump co-founder reportedly arrested for posing as a lawyer. “… John Lambert was arrested for fraudulently posing as a Manhattan attorney and bilking people of thousands of dollars for his fake services.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2019/04/students-for-trump-co-founder-arrested-fraudulently-posing-lawyer-report/

NSA reportedly recommending shut down of domestic metadata collection program. “Sources told the (Wall Street) Journal that the NSA has concluded that the program, which gathered metadata on domestic text messages and phone calls, is too burdensome to maintain.”   https://thehill.com/policy/technology/440538-nsa-recommends-ending-mass-phone-data-collection-program-report

Indonesia maids accused of ‘witchcraft’ deported by Saudi Arabia after serving long terms in prison. “The women were sentenced to death by a court in Riyadh in 2009 but had their punishment reduced in early 2019 after years of negotiation between Jakarta and the oil-rich kingdom.”   https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2019/4/24/riyadh-deports-two-indonesian-women-facing-execution-for-witchcraft

Joseph Biden’s first fundraiser reportedly being hosted by Comcast executive. “Though (David L.) Cohen is technically not a registered lobbyist, he directs Comcast’s lobbying operations—a distinction that critics said allows him to skirt federal lobbying regulations.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/25/hours-after-entering-2020-race-biden-attend-big-money-fundraiser-hosted-comcast-blue

Facebook hires lawyer who helped write the Patriot Act. “I can’t help but wonder how all the ‘privacy advocates’ that Facebook has been hiring lately are going to feel about working with a LITERAL AUTHOR OF THE PATRIOT ACT as their general counsel.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/24/facebooks-hire-patriot-act-co-author-raises-questions-companys-commitment-privacy


April 25, 2019

April 24, 2019

Like Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg’s website has no policy positions. “His web site, incredibly, does not even have an ‘issues’ page. The first tab is…a store. The rest of the site is just a short bio, a list of events, and a ‘Donate’ prompt.”   https://www.gq.com/story/pete-buttigieg-2020-questions

FBI claims arrested militia leader bragged about plotting assassinations. “(Larry) Hopkins also allegedly made the statement that the United Constitutional Patriots were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, because of these individuals’ support of Antifa.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/22/us/border-militia-arrest-larry-hopkins/index.html

Despite ‘breaking point’ crisis on southern border, detention centers are reportedly only about 1/5 to 1/4 full. “There were nearly 2,000 empty beds in two detention centers last week, with a facility in Dilley, Texas, at 26% capacity and a facility in Berks county, Pennsylvania, at 19% capacity.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/23/immigration-detention-centers-nearly-empty-as-trump-claims-border-crisis

Countries reportedly shut down the internet 150 times in 2018. “One of the first such large-scale shutdowns occurred in Egypt in 2011, when the government blocked the internet for three days during the Arab Spring uprising…”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/sri-lanka-attack-internet-shutdowns-are-more-common-you-think-n997301

Authorities in Algeria arrest 5 billionaires close to country’s former president. “Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election is held on July 4.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/algeria-5-billionaires-arrested-part-anti-corruption-drive-190422111903777.html

Young climate activist Greta Thunberg says it’s time to panic over climate change. “A great number of politicians have told me that panic never leads to anything good and I agree. To panic, unless you have to, is a terrible idea. But when your house is on fire and you want to keep your house from burning to the ground then that does require some level of panic.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-greta-thunberg-eu-parliament-speech-sweden-a8873076.html

Man sues Apple after false shoplifting charges. “(Ousmane) Bah said his interim driver learner’s permit, which does not have a photo, had been either lost or stolen. His attorney told The Washington Post that the permit may have been presented as identification at an Apple store, erroneously connecting Bah’s name with the thief’s face in the company’s security system.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/04/23/teen-sues-apple-billion-blames-facial-recognition-stores-his-arrest/

FBI has reportedly failed to implement government watchdog’s facial recognition reforms. “(The) Government Accountability Office recommended the FBI put in checks to make sure use of the powerful technology met privacy standards. It proposed six changes to ensure this happened and a follow-up report published this week claims none of these have been implemented.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6939473/FBIs-use-facial-recognition-software-fire-AGAIN.html

Video of New Haven police shooting released, shows police officer opening fire after an unarmed suspect exited the car with his hands up. “Officers looking for an armed robbery suspect pulling over this car, ordering the driver to get out with his hands up.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT6jAPzLjVI

Pharmaceutical executives reportedly charged with drug trafficking. “Laurence F. Doud III, who spent 25 years as CEO of Rochester Drug Cooperative, and William Pietruszewski orchestrated a scheme to distribute high volumes of Oxycodone, fentanyl and other highly addictive opioids to pharmacies knowing the drugs would be sold to people who had no medical need for them, prosecutors said.”   https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-opioid-criminal-charge-executive-rochester-drug-20190423-story.html

Trump administration allegedly threatened to veto UN resolution opposing war rape over concerns that women raped by soldiers might seek abortions. “It is intolerable and incomprehensible that the Security Council is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict, and who obviously didn’t choose to become pregnant, should have the right to terminate their pregnancy.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48028773

An estimated 12,000 Boy Scouts were allegedly victims of sexual abuse by scout leaders and volunteers. “These figures were released Tuesday by attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm regularly represents victims of sexual abuse and has been involved in numerous clerical sexual abuse cases.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/12000-boy-scout-members-victims-sexual-abuse-expert/story?id=62573567

Elizabeth Warren’s student loan debt relief plan knocked for primarily benefiting the the upper-middle class. “The U.S. government would forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt for people in households earning less than $100,000 per year, with smaller debt forgiveness for annual incomes up to $250,000. A household with $160,000 of income gets $30,000 of debt forgiven, for example.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-23/warren-s-student-debt-giveaway-to-millennials   Not to mention the unfairness to those who either, a) repaid their loans, b) went to a public university instead of more prestigious schools to avoid huge student loan debts, or c) didn’t go to college or graduate school at all because they feared not being able to find a job that would pay enough to repay the loans. You’d also have people who couldn’t go to college or graduate school (taxpayers without degrees or graduate degrees) paying off the loans of those who could.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protest leaders sentenced to prison. “Tens of thousands of people joined sit-ins and peaceful street demonstrations, using umbrellas to shield themselves when the police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowds.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/world/asia/hong-kong-umbrella-movement.html

Egyptian government claims 89% of voters approved revising the country’s constitution to allow a longer term for the president and less independence for the courts. “More than 60,000 people have been jailed for political reasons, and hundreds have died in prison…”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/716408260/egypt-approves-constitutional-changes-that-could-keep-el-sissi-in-office-until-2

37 members of Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority executed for terrorism. “By (Amnesty International’s) count, the Saudi regime has executed at least 104 people so far this year, a dramatic increase in the number of executions from the previous year.”   https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/04/saudi-arabia-carries-out-mass-execution-death-penalty-shiites-37-people-one-day.html

Conservative Hindu party accused of trying to erase country’s Muslim history. “Over the past five years of Modi’s term as prime minster, Hindu nationalist politicians from the BJP have renamed Indian towns, streets, airports and one of the country’s biggest train stations, swapping names that reflect Muslim heritage for Hinducentric ones.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/714108344/india-is-changing-some-cities-names-and-muslims-fear-their-heritage-is-being-era

Malaysian employer acquitted in death of her Indonesian servant. “She was a young woman made to work for two years without pay. She was a young woman whose body was brutalized. Her death has to mean something. Why have our courts failed her? Why has the Malaysian government failed her? Where is justice for Adelina (Lisao)?”   https://www.foxnews.com/world/indonesia-shocked-by-malaysians-acquittal-in-maids-death

No one is really sure how many Somalis died in ‘Black Hawk Down’ raid, said NPR in 2013, as right-wing outrage machine rails against Ilhan Omar. “Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Somalis were killed.”   https://www.npr.org/2013/10/05/229561805/what-a-downed-black-hawk-in-somalia-taught-america

Senior Navy officer allegedly threatened SEALs with loss of their careers if they lodged war crimes complaints against fellow SEAL Edward “Eddie” Gallagher. “Their commander, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch, reportedly told the SEALs that the Navy ‘will pull your birds’, a reference to the eagle-and-trident badges the SEALs wear to represent their hard-earned status as elite warfighters.”   https://www.thisisinsider.com/navy-seals-were-warned-that-reporting-crimes-could-end-their-careers-2019-4

Apple CEO accuses FBI of  dishonesty when it asked Apple to develop a tool that could be used to hack iPhones. “The report Cook alluded to, published by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General in March 2018, found that ‘there were misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions’ among people working on the case at the FBI and that Apple’s involvement wasn’t actually necessary in the first place.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-apple-fbi-san-bernardino-very-rigged-case-2019-4

13 companies that pay their CEOs 1,000 times more than their typical employees. “Company: Starbucks Corp, CEO annual pay: $13.4 million (1,049 times the typical employee), Median annual employee pay: $12,754″   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/23/disney-ceo-bob-iger-earns-1000-times-as-much-as-a-typical-employee.html

Google accused of retaliating against women who organized sexual harassment walkout. “People who stand up and report discrimination, abuse, and unethical conduct are punished, sidelined, and pushed out. Perpetrators often go unimpeded, or are even rewarded…”   https://www.wired.com/story/google-walkout-organizers-say-theyre-facing-retaliation/

Life in a developed market economy: Boeing accused of ignoring basic rules of aircraft design in order to save money. “So Boeing produced a dynamically unstable airframe, the 737 Max. That is big strike No. 1. Boeing then tried to mask the 737’s dynamic instability with a software system. Big strike No. 2. Finally, the software relied on systems known for their propensity to fail (angle-of-attack indicators) and did not appear to include even rudimentary provisions to cross-check the outputs of the angle-of-attack sensor against other sensors, or even the other angle-of-attack sensor. Big strike No. 3.”   https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/how-the-boeing-737-max-disaster-looks-to-a-software-developer

India reportedly gave Sri Lankan security officials repeated, detailed warnings about planned bomb attacks. “The first warning came more than two weeks before the attacks. Sri Lankan officials were told on April 4 of a potential plot to launch suicide attacks against Christian churches and tourist spots, government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters on Monday. The warnings were repeated two days and two hours before the attacks, Senaratne said.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/23/asia/sri-lanka-investigation-ntj-intl/index.html

University of Arizona students arrested for protesting against event featuring Border Patrol agents on campus. “So, we did our demonstration. It lasted about 45 minutes. No names were taken, no IDs. And we kind of went about our lives for a while. And then, about 10 days later, police came to my mom’s house, where I don’t live, and to another one of the students’ home, with a citation for our disruption of an educational institution.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/23/charges_dropped_for_u_of_arizona   What ever happened to that push for free speech on college campuses?


April 24, 2019

April 22, 2019

Sri Lankan government blames ‘religious extremists’ for bombings that have killed 290. “No group has claimed responsibility, but Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the ‘terrorist incident’ was carried out by followers of ‘religious extremism’.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/22/asia/sri-lanka-investigation-easter-attacks/index.html

Pro-democracy protesters and military engaged in power struggle in Sudan. “The organizers of Sudan’s protests say they have suspended talks with the ruling military council because it has failed to meet their demands for an immediate transfer to a civilian government following the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir.”   https://www.foxnews.com/world/the-latest-sudan-protesters-halt-talks-with-military

Ukrainians elect TV comic with vague platform as president. “I am the result of your mistakes and promises,” (Volodymyr) Zelenskiy told (President) Poroshenko during Friday night’s debate. “I am not your opponent,” he said, pointing a finger at the president. “I am your sentence.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/ukraine-elections-comedian-volodymyr-zelenskiy-declares-victory-presidential-race-n996776

Number of arrests in UK climate protests approaches 1,000. “A total of 963 people had been arrested as of 7 pm on Sunday while 40 have been charged in connection with the XR (Extinction Rebellion) protests, the Met Police said.”   https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/22/climate-change-activists-turn-government-almost-1000-arrests-9283294/

Israeli soldiers reportedly shot fleeing Palestinian teen, even though he had been blindfolded and handcuffed. “The (rock-throwing) suspect was kept detained at the scene even after he had been shot, however, after clashes between soldiers and Palestinians at the scene, the Palestinians evacuated the suspect to receive medical treatment.”   https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-soldiers-shoot-bound-blindfolded-palestinian-teen-trying-to-flee-1.7151104

Egyptian government accused of bribing voters with food to get change to the country’s constitution approved. “The state has blocked more than 34,000 websites in an attempt to restrict an opposition-led campaign that has been launched… to rally Egyptians against the amendments, which activists and rights groups say will only further enshrine military rule in the country.”   https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/food-packages-and-cash-handed-out-egypt-votes-sisi-powers-second-day

New ‘paper trail’ voting machines still vulnerable say experts. “First, the printer and the scanner share the same paper path. If a voter leaves any races blank – a common practice called under-voting – the machine could in theory autofill those races. Neither the voter or election administrators would be able to detect the change. Second, the hybrid machines have a feature critics are calling ‘permission to cheat’. Voters can opt to not to review their ballots, meaning that the BMD prints the ballot straight to the scanner and into the lockbox. In such cases, there would be no way to confirm that what the voter intended to vote was actually what was printed and counted.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/22/us-voting-machines-paper-ballots-2020-hacking

Stop and Shop supermarket workers declare victory. “Union members—who are expected to return to work Monday—will soon vote on whether to approve the three-year agreement, which reportedly raises wages, preserves retirement and healthcare benefits, and upholds time-and-a-half pay on Sundays.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/22/when-workers-fight-workers-win-union-declares-victory-stop-shop-strike-ends-deal

Happy Earth Day! From demands for government action in 1970 to oil company claims they are protecting the environment through corporate research and development. “Two of environmentalists’ major complaints, the corporate takeover of Earth Day and its heightened focus on individual environmental action, can be traced back to a specific year: 1990.”   https://grist.org/article/love-it-or-hate-it-earth-days-just-not-what-it-used-to-be-what-happened/

April 22, 2019