April 17, 2019

Audience at Fox News town hall cheers for Bernie Sanders and Medicare for All. “‘…how many (of you with private insurance through your employer) are willing to transition to what the senator says, a government-run system?’ Baier asked, which was met with even more hands raising and cheers from the audience.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6927821/Fox-News-host-asks-backs-Bernies-single-payer-healthcare-plan-rust-belt-crowd-erupts-cheers.html   How Bernie explained Medicare for All: ‘Every other country, or virtually every country, does it in the same way we do education for our kids. OK, when a kid walks into school, the kid doesn’t have to take out a credit card, right? It’s paid for out of public funds. That’s what most countries do… Are people going to pay more in taxes? Yes. But at the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people are going to end up paying less for health care because they’re not paying premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.’

Was the FBI involved in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal cover-up? “Then an art student in New York, Farmer said she reported her assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996.”   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article229277874.html

Attorney General Barr authorizes indefinite detention for asylum seekers. “‘Basically if you pass the initial asylum screening you can now be indefinitely detained,’ said immigration attorney Eileen Blessinger, who called Barr’s decision ‘horrible news’.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/16/politics/barr-immigration-ruling-reversal/index.html

Trump vetoes Congressional bill to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen. “The resolution passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate in March, the first time both chambers had supported a War Powers resolution, which limits the president’s ability to send troops into action.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47958014   So much for Congressional war powers… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imperial_Presidency

Egyptian legislature approves increased powers, longer term for country’s president. “If the constitutional changes are approved in the referendum, (President) Sissi’s critics fear that his government — already considered the most authoritarian in Egypt’s modern history — will only escalate its ongoing evisceration of freedoms, rights and the rule of law. Sissi’s regime has jailed tens of thousands of critics and opponents, all but obliterated independent media and shut down hundreds of websites deemed critical of his presidency.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egyptian-president-sissi-wins-approval-from-lawmakers-to-stay-in-office-until-2030/2019/04/16/3d934824-6068-11e9-bf24-db4b9fb62aa2_story.html   But of course this could never happen in the U.S.

Israel expels Human Rights Watch official. “In a statement, Human Rights Watch said neither the organization nor (Omar) Shakir promotes boycotts of Israel, but acknowledged that both have called for companies to cease operations in West Bank settlements because they ‘inherently benefit from and contribute to serious violations of international humanitarian law’.”   https://www.vox.com/world/2019/4/16/18410981/omar-shakir-israeli-court-deportation-human-rights-watch

Number of arrests during London climate change protests hits 290. “Organisers said (Extinction Rebellion) protests had been held in more than 80 cities across 33 countries.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-47945397

Almost 6,000 retail outlets closed so far in 2019. “According to a new report from Coresight Research, US retailers have announced 5,994 store closures so far this year, compared to 5,864 store closures in all of 2018.”   https://www.thisisinsider.com/retail-apocalypse-start-of-2019-more-store-closures-all-of-2018-2019-4

Goldman Sachs lays off employees, cuts pay and benefits by 20%. “The bank is cutting 98 jobs across its divisions amid a 20% drop in net income, citing “economic reasons” for the sackings, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed by Goldman with the New York State Department of Labor on February 19th.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-wall-street-bank-is-cutting-98-jobs-after-lower-profits-2019-4   “The world’s largest investment bank reduced employee compensation and benefits by 20 percent to $3.26 billion, outstripping the decline in company-wide revenue.”   https://www.ibtimes.com/goldman-sachs-cuts-employee-pay-20-avoid-profit-loss-2785693

State of Washington appeals court says “Valve Turner” was denied his Sixth Amendment rights when a lower court blocked him from presenting a necessity defense in his pipeline protest trial. “The ruling marks the first time a Washington court has recognized in writing a climate protester’s right to present a necessity defense at trial.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/washington-court-of-appeals-upholds-right-to-present-necessity-defense-in-climate-case/

President and Vice President tweet their concern over Notre Dame fire, but have shown no sympathy for burned out black churches in Louisiana. “The church fires have, of course, drawn wide coverage and attention. The Louisiana governor mentioned it in his recent state of the state. But top Trump administration officials have not spoken out on or condemned the violence.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/04/16/trump-pence-tweeted-about-notre-dame-fire-said-nothing-when-black-churches-burned/

Julian Assange recognized by EU Parliament with journalism award. “Assange, jailed last week after being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, was awarded the 2019 GUE/NGL Award for Journalists, Whistleblowers & Defenders of the Right to Information.”   https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/julian-assange-wins-eu-journalism-award/news-story/f1bea94a9b040db4f7caa08897f7f6c3

CIA director accused of misleading president over Salisbury Novichok attack. “Ms. Haspel showed (President Trump) pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/us/politics/gina-haspel-trump.html   “There were no reports of any children affected by ‘Novichok’ nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury. They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill. No duck died.”   https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/04/cia-director-used-fake-skripal-incident-photos-to-manipulate-trump.html

Historic Palestinian mosque in Israel reportedly converted into a bar. “The mosque – its name changed from al-Ahmar mosque to Khan al-Ahmar, was turned into a bar and wedding hall by a firm affiliated with the Israeli Safed municipality, reported al-Quds al-Arabi.”   https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/News/2019/4/14/Thirteenth-Century-Palestinian-mosque-converted-to-nightclub-in-Israel

Bahrain sentences 69 to life in prison, 70 others to various prison terms. Of these, 138 have their citizenship revoked. “Tuesday’s decision took the number of citizenship revocations in Bahrain to 990, 180 of them this year, the institute said in a statement.”  https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bahrain-security/bahrain-jails-139-on-terrorism-charges-revokes-citizenship-idUKKCN1RS0XU

Mexico releases security service files on the country’s current president. “The 63-page archive consists of old intelligence documents drawn up between 1979 and the early 1980’s by spies from the now-extinct Federal Security Department.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/mexico-releases-spy-agencys-files-current-president-185337532.html

Julian Assange reportedly denied dental treatment while in Ecuador’s London embassy. “In her letter, Crosby says that the British government had repeatedly rejected requests to give Assange safe passage to a hospital for treatment.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/04/15/julian-assange-health-medical-care/

Minneapolis police turned their body cameras off at scene of Justine Damond police shooting. “The incident commander turned her body camera off when talking to Mohamed Noor in the moments after the July 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, while other officers told him not to say a word, according to prosecutors and court testimony. Many responding officers turned their body cameras on and off at will; one had his camera recording while headed to the scene and shut it off upon arrival.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/17/justine-damond-shooting-trial-raises-fears-about-police-protecting-their-own

Charter school operators lived extravagant lifestyle, pocketed fees paid by parents. “The (Texas Education Agency) also discovered that the school paid the Cluffs more than $400,000 in salary in 2011, but also reimbursed them $1.5 million that year for what appeared to be personal expenses, including $132,000 on cruises and trips and $22,500 on airline tickets, according to an August 2013 report by The Dallas Morning News.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/4-4-million-seized-from-houston-charter-school-fraudsters/

Lawsuit alleges Sandy Hook administrators failed to follow emergency protocols during shooting. “The lawsuit alleges school Principal Dawn Hochsprung and other officials failed to order a ‘code blue’ lockdown over the intercom, as was directed by security protocols, after hearing the 20-year-old Lanza shoot out the locked glass entrance of the school on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012.”   https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/ct-appeals-court-hear-arguments-alleged-failures-sandy-hook


April 17, 2019

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