April 12, 2019

Julian Assange arrested by UK police at Ecuador’s embassy in London, could face deportation to the U.S. on hacking charges. “The Ecuadorean government suspended the citizenship it had granted Mr. Assange and evicted him on Thursday, clearing the way for his arrest.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/world/europe/julian-assange-wikileaks-ecuador-embassy.html

Journalism expert says many of the things Assange is charged with are things journalists routinely do. “The indictment discusses journalistic practices in the context of a criminal conspiracy: using encryption, making efforts to protect a source’s identity, and source cultivation,” said University of Georgia media law professor Jonathan Peters. Those practices, he told me, are not only routine and lawful, ‘they’re best practices for journalists’.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/traditional-journalists-may-abandon-wikileaks-assange-at-their-own-peril/2019/04/11/45ae985c-5c84-11e9-842d-7d3ed7eb3957_story.html

Working class people with diabetes face serious health risks when forced to ‘ration’ insulin due to skyrocketing prices. “This vial of insulin cost just $21 when it first came on the market in 1996. It now costs $275.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/insulin-prices-2019-diabetes-rationing-insulin-amid-rising-drug-prices-sanofi/

Obama administration official accused by Mueller investigation of lying about work for Ukrainian government when questioned by federal agency. “The charges against (Greg) Craig, who was White House counsel during the Obama administration, concern work he performed for Ukraine in 2012 while he was a partner at top law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/11/politics/greg-craig-indicted-mueller-related/index.html

Attorney general claims federal agencies ‘spied’ on Trump campaign, experts question investigators’ tactics. “Instead of helping Trump block Russia from penetrating his organization, it seems more like the (intelligence and law enforcement) agencies were hoping to discover that a collusion network was up and running.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/04/11/spygate-william-barr-spying-donald-trump-campaign-column/3434458002/

Ohio Republican group apologizes for fund raising email that called Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a ‘domestic terrorist’. “Ocasio-Cortez is not the only Democratic congresswoman to argue this week that the rhetoric used against her has placed her life in danger. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., made a similar point in a Wednesday tweet in the wake of a ‘Fox & Friends’ segment criticizing her comments about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”   https://www.salon.com/2019/04/11/college-gop-group-apologizes-for-email-calling-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-a-domestic-terrorist/

Treasury Department fails to produce Trump income tax documents requested by Congress. “The battle over Trump’s tax returns — after he was the first president in four decades not to release the annual filings — has been brewing since the 2016 campaign.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/10/712029640/treasury-department-will-miss-house-committee-deadline-to-turn-over-trump-tax-re

Ohio passes ban on ‘heartbeat’ abortions, which means those performed after around 6 weeks of pregnancy. “Doctors who perform abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected could be subject to a $20,000 fine from the State Medical Board of Ohio and could have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.”   https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/438515-ohio-governor-signs-heartbeat-abortion-bill

Donald Trump’s sister retires from her position as a federal appeals court judge, cutting off investigation into the possibly illegal transfer of wealth to her and her brother by their father. “The Trump kids, including Donald and Maryanne, were set up as the owners of a company called All County Building Supply & Maintenance. All County then sold boilers, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, and other equipment at unusually high prices to buildings owned by Fred Trump.”   https://www.vox.com/2019/4/11/18306167/maryanne-trump-barry-tax-returns-trump

Former fossil fuel lobbyist confirmed as Secretary of the Interior. “Interior is considering an unprecedented plan to offer federal offshore leases that could lead to drilling on nearly the entire U.S. outer continental shelf, including the Arctic and Atlantic, areas where drilling has been largely forbidden.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/04/11/senate-confirms-former-oil-gas-lobbyist-david-bernhardt-secretary-interior/

Trump executive orders make it harder for states to block fossil fuel projects. “‘When states say ‘no’ to the development of natural gas pipelines, they force utilities to curb safe and affordable service and refuse access to new customers, including new businesses,’ said Karen Harbert, president and CEO at the American Gas Association.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/10/president-trump-orders-speed-oil-gas-pipeline-projects/3431466002/

U.S. blocks leader of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement from entering the country. “(Omar) Barghouti had scheduled a speaking tour that included stops at Harvard and New York University, meetings with Washington policymakers and an appearance at a bookstore in Philadelphia owned by professor Marc Lamont Hill, whose CNN pundit contract was terminated last November over controversial remarks he made in support of Palestinian rights.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/04/11/712189791/u-s-denies-entry-to-leader-of-movement-to-boycott-israel

Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth jet crashes 11 days after going into service with Japan’s air force. “While most F-35s are made in the United States, the one that crashed Tuesday was the first to come off an assembly line in Nagoya, Japan, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/09/asia/japan-f-35-stealth-fighter-missing-intl/index.html

Life in a modern, free market economy: Uber has reportedly lost at least $6.8 billion so far, but is still in business. “We may not achieve profitability.”   https://qz.com/1592971/uber-ipo-filling-reveals-how-it-spends-its-money/

Thousands of New England supermarket workers go on strike. “Instead of a contract that recognizes the value and hard work that our members provide every day, Stop & Shop has only proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care benefits and take home pay, while replacing real customer service with more serve-yourself checkout machines.”   https://www.wcvb.com/article/stop-and-shop-workers-go-on-strike-walk-off-job/27115921

Discount store chain to close 159 locations. “The closing stores represent nearly 29% of Fred’s 557 stores and are located in 13 states, with Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee losing the most stores.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/04/11/freds-store-closings-2019-discount-chain-shuttering-159-stores/3425057002/   You know things are bad when even discount stores can’t make it.

American Airlines jet hits sign during takeoff, returns to airport with damaged wing. “I cried the whole way back and many others did also.”    https://abc7ny.com/aa-flight-returns-to-jfk-airport-after-clipping-wing/5242796/

Fewer than 5% of U.S. employees tested fail their drug tests. “Roughly 4.4 percent of more than 10 million workplace drug tests in 2018 showed positive results, marking a 14-year high…”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/american-workers-testing-positive-for-drug-use-at-14-year-high/

Department of Defense employees have reportedly charged more than $300,000 in expenses at Trump-owned properties. “Internal agency documents reviewed by CNN found that agency employees have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, parking fees, and restaurant visits at various Trump Organization properties, which President Trump continues to own in a trust established prior to his presidency.”   https://thehill.com/policy/defense/438351-defense-dept-paid-trump-properties-300000-since-start-of-trump-presidency

President Trump’s nominee to head ICE, Matthew Albence, once compared immigration detention facilities to summer camps. “I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp. These individuals have access to 24/7 food and water. They have educational opportunities. They have recreational opportunities, both structured as well as unstructured. There’s basketball courts. There’s exercise classes. There’s soccer fields that we put in there.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/12/headlines/official_who_compared_family_detention_centers_to_summer_camps_set_to_become_head_of_ice    There’s sexual abuse, there’s family separation and there’s cages!

AIPAC reportedly targeting Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar with Facebook ads. “The sponsored post urges Facebook users to add their names to an online petition telling Sanders that ‘America stands with Israel’.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/04/09/aipac-targets-bernie-sanders-facebook-ads-focused-key-democratic-primary-states/

Lawmaker asks JP Morgan Chase CEO making $31 million a year how his employees can live on $16.50 an hour. “After paying for rent on her one-bedroom apartment, food, utilities, child care for her daughter, and other basic needs, Porter estimated that her constituent has a $567 budget shortfall each month.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/11/watch-rep-katie-porter-uses-basic-budget-math-expose-jamie-dimon-starvation-wages

Public Citizen sues Department of Education for blocking its website. “Users attempting to access Public Citizen’s website though the department’s guest wireless networks receive a message that access is ‘in violation of your internet usage policy’. We requested the department’s policy for blocking access to internet sites, but it hasn’t responded to our request.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/09/blatant-violation-first-amendment-public-citizen-sues-betsy-devos-censoring-its

ICC drops U.S. war crimes probe due to lack of cooperation from U.S. officials. “With its decision today, the International Criminal Court sends a dangerous message: that bullying wins and that the powerful won’t be held to account.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/buckling-to-trump-admin-icc-blocks-u-s-torture-probe/


April 12, 2019

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