July 31, 2019

Democratic presidential candidates clash over ‘hope and change’ vs. restoring the pre-Trump status quo, Marianne Williamson denounces Trump for conjuring up ‘dark psychic force of collectivized hatred’. “…what many considered the line of the night from (Elizabeth) Warren responding to (John) Delaney: ‘You know, I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.'”   https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/dan-gainor-marianne-williamson-debate-dark-psychic-forces-detroit-democrats

Only one Democratic Party candidate mentions increasing wages and unionization. “…I proposed we allow gig workers to unionize. … We have to respond to the changes (in the economy)… by doubling unionization.” (Pete) Buttigieg also said the minimum wage is too low. “So-called conservative Christian senators right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage, when Scripture says whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.”   https://www.vox.com/2019/7/31/20748003/democratic-debate-2020-working-class-voters-issues

Man claims that after he donated his mother’s body for scientific research it was blown up by a military contractor to simulate a roadside bomb attack. “Her body was strapped to a chair and a bomb was detonated underneath it to simulate what happens to the human body when a vehicle hits an IED, he said.”   https://www.foxnews.com/us/arizona-mother-body-detonated-military-ied-blast-test-army-phoenix-biological-resource-center

Hawaii’s governor rescinds ‘state of emergency’ he imposed to give law enforcement greater latitude when dealing with anti-observatory protesters on sacred mountain. “The governor declared an emergency on July 17 to give law enforcement more authority to close areas of the mountain and to use additional National Guard troops to help deliver construction gear.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/hawaii-governor-withdraws-emergency-order-telescope-protesters-n1037096   The public is peacefully protesting an unpopular government policy! Call out the National Guard!

South Carolina deputy accused of filing a false report after shooting homeowner. “The video confirms the homeowner had a gun, but it does not capture the homeowner aiming a weapon at the deputy. The last image of the homeowner, before the shooting, appears to be of him walking away from the front door…. (Dick) Tench and his attorney also allege that the deputy did not identify himself as law enforcement until after he fired the shots.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/31/police-said-they-shot-man-when-he-opened-his-door-aiming-gun-then-bodycam-video-came-out/

National Archives releases previously withheld, 1971 phone call from then California governor Ronald Reagan to Richard Nixon. “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries—damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”   https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/ronald-reagans-racist-conversation-richard-nixon/595102/

Trump retweets Twitter meme calling Democrats ‘the true enemies of America’, Twitter suspends that account. “…the suspension was due to the account breaking Twitter’s rules on users having multiple accounts to ‘artificially amplify or disrupt conversations’.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-suspends-conspiracy-theory-account-retweeted-trump-2019-7

Wealthy families accused of giving up custody of their children so they can qualify for financial aid for college. “Students would then file for financial independence, which effectively opened the door to financial aid they wouldn’t have been able to access while under the legal care of their parents.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/07/30/college-financial-aid-custody-transfer-guardianship-loophole-admissions-scandal/1868220001/

79 year-old woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for feeding stray cats. “I would always feed them and care for them because I was worried about them and I’m a cat lover. Once my neighbors got upset about it, they called the animal warden.”   https://www.foxnews.com/us/79-year-old-woman-sentenced-to-jail-for-good-deed-feeding-stray-cats   I wonder what the mandatory minimum sentence is for this?

Elizabeth Warren says she paid $50 a semester when she was an undergraduate student. “It was a public four-year college just 40 minutes away and tuition was just $50 a semester — something I could afford on a part-time waitressing salary.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/30/elizabeth-warren-paid-for-college-with-a-part-time-waitressing-job.html   I believe tuition when I was in college (1979 to 1983) at a state university was between $400 and $500 a semester.

Indigenous community in New Zealand protests over child removals and land development. “In the 2017-2018 year, 290 Māori babies were taken into care, and Māori children make up more than 50% of all children in state care.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/31/new-zealand-rocked-by-maori-protests-on-child-removals-and-use-of-sacred-land

State Department reportedly spent $315 million trying to build housing for contractors guarding U.S. embassy in Afghanistan, but then cancelled the project. “The plan now is to build housing for the guards on the embassy grounds. It is not scheduled to be completed until 2023.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/two-us-troops-shot-dead-by-afghan-soldier-at-southern-army-base/2019/07/30/fde6545e-b289-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html

China claims 90% of Uighurs detained in ‘training camps’ have been released. “Gathering evidence to test their claims of numerous releases from the camps is likely to be difficult.”   https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/07/china-release-uighurs-xinjiang-muslims-internment-reeducation-camps.html

Canadian judge rules that wine made at West Bank Jewish settlements does not have to be labeled ‘Made in Israel’. “Whatever the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be, all of the parties and interveners agree that the settlements in issue in this case are not part of the State of Israel.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746507056/canadian-court-rules-west-bank-wines-are-not-a-product-of-israel   How about ‘Made in Occupied West Bank’?

Philippines ranked most dangerous for environmental and indigenous activists. “In an average week last year, three people were killed while defending their land and the environment from industries such as mining, logging and agribusiness, the report said.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/philippines-deadliest-country-environment-activists-2018-190730050417470.html

27% of food delivery drivers reportedly admitted to snacking on customers’ orders. “Fifty-four percent of the drivers surveyed admitted to being tempted by the smell of a customer’s food, and about half of them actually took a bite.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746600105/1-in-4-food-delivery-drivers-admit-to-eating-your-food   Not getting enough to eat?

ACLU accuses Trump administration of violating court order to stop family separations. “The filing alleges that from June 28, 2018, through June 29, 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents separated 911 children — including numerous babies and toddlers — based on (parental) criminal history as well as ‘defendants’ unilateral, unsupported determination that the parent is unfit or a danger’ or a mistake about the identity of the adult as the child’s parent.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/455383-aclu-says-trump-admin-has-separated-over-900-migrant-children-in-past


July 31, 2019

July 30, 2019

Solider caught with missile launcher in his luggage not charged, claimed it was a ‘souvenir’. “The man was allowed to catch his flight, but TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted, ‘Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead!'”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2019/07/30/tsa-missile-launcher-found-bwi-airport-texas-man-checked-luggage/1864580001/   Let me guess – a white officer?

After President Trump claims he was at Ground Zero after 9/11 attacks, #LostTrumpHistory trends on Twitter. “Trump painted the Mona Lisa and gave the painting away because she wasn’t his type.”   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-lost-trump-history-george-conway_n_5d3f7071e4b0db8affad16a4

At least five teens reportedly shot dead by Sudanese security forces during peaceful protest. “Witnesses described how militia from the feared Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fired on teenagers, many of whom were wearing school uniforms and carrying school bags, as they marched peacefully in protest at shortages of water, electricity and public transport in El-Obeid, the capital of North Kordofan state.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/29/four-teenage-protesters-killed-by-security-forces-in-central-sudan

Britain to have its first ‘First Partner’. “Asked if (Boris) Johnson’s partner would be moving into 10 Downing Street, the spokeswoman said: ‘The (Prime Minister) is officially moving in today and yes, his partner will be living there.'”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-johnson-downingstreet/moving-in-uk-pm-johnson-and-partner-take-up-residence-in-downing-street-idUSKCN1UO1AM   ‘Culture war over, hippies win’.

Pharmaceutical companies to pay California $70 million to settle allegations they paid generic drug manufacturers to delay releasing drugs. “The bulk of the money will come from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and its affiliates for paying to delay a generic narcolepsy drug, Provigil, from entering the market for nearly six years.”   https://www.marketwatch.com/story/3-pharma-companies-to-pay-california-70-million-for-delaying-drugs-to-keep-prices-high-2019-07-29

Saudi Arabia accused of having a well established program for making dissidents disappear. “It soon came to light that the regime had been sending squads across sovereign borders to physically repatriate Saudi dissidents. Indeed, shortly after the grisly hit job in Istanbul, a journalist from Reuters, who was briefed in Riyadh by an unnamed government official, was presented with what the reporter described in an article as ‘internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back such dissidents as well as the specific one involving (Jamal) Khashoggi’.”   https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/07/how-saudi-arabia-makes-dissidents-disappear

Hundreds of satellites are taking images of earth, which could easily be combined with other data and used for surveillance. “Imaging company Planet Labs confirmed that it has 140 imaging satellites currently in orbit. The report says this is enough to pass over every place on Earth once a day.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/satellites-are-starting-to-watch-your-every-move/

Anti-torture coalition accuses Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies of ‘systematic torture’. “‘Extreme forms of physical violence’ had been used on detainees, the (Geneva-based World Organization Against Torture) said, citing instances such as shooting in the legs or knees, the breaking of bones, drilling holes in arms and legs, and rape, as well as mental abuse, including mock executions and death threats.”   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-bangladesh-politics-report/rights-group-accuses-bangladesh-of-torture-government-says-report-baseless-idUKKCN1UO0N0

Federal appeals court rules that parody websites are protected by the First Amendment. “(Parma, Ohio police officer) Thomas Connor, who monitored the parody page, was eventually sent over 3,000 pages of records after he requested information from Facebook regarding the anonymous creator of the page. (Anthony) Novaks’ identity was among the records. Connor obtained a warrant and Novak was arrested and charged with felony disruption of public services.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/panel-oks-lawsuit-over-arrest-for-police-parody-page/


July 30, 2019

July 29, 2019

Bernie Sanders joined Joe Biden in voting for 1994 crime bill that expanded the death penalty and increased prison sentences, but he says he just wanted to ban assault rifles and address violence against women. “We are dooming today tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, hopelessness, drugs, crime and violence.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/28/politics/bernie-sanders-not-happy-terrible-1994-crime-bill/index.html   Statistically, the effect of banning assault rifles on the crime rate was about zero, since the overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed with pistols.

Brazilian miners accused of murdering tribe’s leader, attacking indigenous village and seizing their land. “Their territory is one of hundreds Brazil’s government demarcated in the 1980s for the exclusive use of indigenous inhabitants, and access by outsiders is strictly regulated.”   https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/28/brazil-miners-kill-tribal-leader-amazon-land-invasion/

39 Palestinian demonstrators reportedly shot during Friday border protest in Gaza, 1 dies. “Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has reported that Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, 71 Palestinians, including 30 children, one medic and three women, after the army attacked the Great Return March processions in the Gaza Strip.”   https://imemc.org/article/army-injures-71-palestinians-including-30-children-3-women-and-1-medic-in-gaza/

An estimated 1 million acres have burned in Alaska. “Similar fires in Greenland and Siberia have combined to make 2019’s Arctic wildfires unprecedented in recorded history.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/7/26/headlines/unprecedented_wildfires_scorch_over_1_million_acres_of_alaskan_forest

Russian opposition figure hospitalized after his arrest for calling for protest. “An ophthalmologist, who treated Navalny after he was doused with green dye by pro-Kremlin activists in 2017 in an attack that left him temporarily blind in one eye, (Anastasia) Vasilieva, said it was clear Navalny was not suffering from an allergy but from exposure to toxic substances.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/28/russian-opposition-calls-for-more-protests-after-mass-arrests

Chinese internet journalist, accused of revealing state secrets, is sentenced to 12 years in prison. “(Huang Qi’s) website, which reported on local corruption, human rights violations and other topics rarely seen in ordinary Chinese media, is blocked on the mainland.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/29/china-first-cyber-dissident-huang-qi-jailed-12-years

Turkey and Lebanon accused of forcibly repatriating Syrian refugees. “Some refugees described a whirlwind deportation process of being transferred through three detention facilities. Their mobile phones confiscated, they were held incommunicado from families or lawyers and forced to sign papers saying they ‘voluntarily’ agreed to return to war-ravaged Syria.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/29/syrian-refugees-in-beirut-and-istanbul-detained-and-deported

ACLU sues Fraser, Colorado over law banning yard signs. “Fraser’s sign code imposes drastic and unjustifiable limits on residents’ rights to express their views with messages posted on their own property,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU legal director, in the release…. “The town’s sign code is a content-based regulation of speech that violates the First Amendment.”   https://www.skyhinews.com/news/aclu-sues-fraser-over-sign-code/

Federal appeals court rules against Kansas City SWAT officers who used a flash-bang grenade as they forced their way into a home where a suspect, already in custody, used to live. “Any reasonable officer would have known the use a flash-bang grenade under these circumstances constituted excessive force.”   https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/19/07/173365P.pdf


July 29, 2019

July 28, 2019

Man billed $524,000 for 14 weeks of kidney dialysis. “… the couple received a bill for $540,841.90. Their insurer, Allegiance, paid $16,241.73…. Fresenius billed the couple the unpaid balance of $524,600.17 — an amount that is more than the typical cost of a kidney transplant.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/07/26/745596505/dialysis-firm-cancels-524-600-17-medical-bill-after-journalists-investigate

Apple contractors listen to some users’ Siri commands, including background conversations. “This ‘small portion’ of Siri requests is apparently randomly chosen, and as the whistleblower notes, it includes ‘countless instances of recordings featuring private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, seemingly criminal dealings, sexual encounters and so on’.”   https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/26/siri-recordings-regularly-sent-to-apple-contractors-for-analysis-claims-whistleblower/

Feds planning to use pentobarbital for executions. “One of the drug’s main manufacturers, a European company called Lundbeck, has not sold to the U.S. for executions since 2011…. As Buzzfeed News reported last year, Texas inmates injected with locally made pentobarbital writhed on the floor, screamed in pain and said they could feel themselves ‘burning’.”   https://www.npr.org/2019/07/26/745722219/lethal-injection-drugs-efficacy-and-availability-for-federal-executions

17 Congressmen-turned-lobbyists with leftover campaign funds are allegedly using the money to make donations to current members, who they are lobbying on behalf of foreign interests. “…the cash-for-access culture that expects lobbyists to contribute to lawmakers for the opportunity to bend their ear is also well known. But the phenomenon of leveraging ‘zombie campaign’ funds to grease the wheels for a foreign government ‘add another dimension to the familiar but ever-expanding story of money, influence, and access in Washington’….”   http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/report-lawmakers-turned-lobbyists-use-zombie-campaigns-as-slush-funds-for-foreign-governments

An estimated 1,000 demonstrators reportedly arrested outside office of mayor of Moscow. “People were protesting against the exclusion of opposition candidates from local polls…. Officials disqualified about 30 people, saying they had failed to collect enough valid signatures to stand.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49125045

Hong Kong police use tear gas and less-than-lethal projectiles against pro-democracy protesters marching against gang attack. “Saturday’s march had been banned by the police, a highly unusual move in the territory, where protests are usually allowed.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49123445

President Trump claims Obama responsible for poor A/C in White House, suggests possible federal investigation of his book publishing deal. “Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me from day one,” he said…. “They could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-blames-obama-administration-white-house-air-conditioning

President Trump calls black Congressman’s district ‘a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess… very dangerous & filthy place…. no human being would want to live there’.  “As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, (Rep. Elijah) Cummings has instigated a series of investigations into the Trump administration’s policies, including its handling of migrants at detention centres.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49141521

President Trump bashes Fox News poll results showing Joe Biden ahead 49% to Trump’s 39%. “…there can be NO WAY, with the greatest Economy in U.S. history, that I can be losing to the Sleepy One. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”   https://deadline.com/2019/07/donald-trump-julie-banderas-defends-fox-news-report-on-poll-numbers-1202655024/

Store pulls black dolls marketed for stress relief. “The ‘Feel Better Doll’ included instructions to ‘whack’ the doll ‘whenever things don’t go well and you want to hit the wall and yell’. The black fabric dolls came with multicolored hair in the style of dreadlocks and featured large white eyes and a white smile.”   https://www.foxnews.com/us/black-rag-dolls-meant-for-abuse-pulled-from-stores   Is this product a clever expose of racism, or an example of blatant, unconscious racism?

100th anniversary of ‘Red Summer’ of anti-black pogroms across the U.S. “By the end of the summer, every city was just waiting for theirs to happen, it was just all a giant panic.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/27/us/red-summer-1919-racial-violence/index.html

Abducted teen assumed murdered after cops failed to respond to her repeated phone calls, pleading for them to rescue her. “Police found human remains and jewellery the girl wore at a house, and have detained a 65-year-old man for questioning.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49139930   Thousands protest, police chief fired. “Three buildings were searched by officers before they finally found the house where she had been held, more than 12 hours after her phone calls. Police then sought a search warrant, which is not required in emergencies, and waited till dawn to enter the house – 19 hours after Alexandra’s last call.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/28/thousands-protest-romania-police-child-kidnapping-murder

Puerto Rican police accused of using indiscriminate force against protesters. “The New York Times reviewed dozens of videos and photos of the protests. They show that Puerto Rican police used tear gas on large crowds packed into confined streets, fired rubber-coated metal pellets from shotguns at close range and used batons to beat protesters who did not pose a threat.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/us/puerto-rico-violence-protests.html

U.N. cites Saudi Arabia for attacks on children in Yemen for third year. “The UN said it verified 1,689 child casualties in Yemen last year, including the killing of 576 and the maiming of 1,113.”   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/year-saudi-led-forces-listed-yemen-child-killings-190727061648880.html

Economy not performing as well as estimated. “In its annual data revisions, which also dropped Friday, the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew by just 2.5 percent or 2.9 percent in 2018, depending on exactly how you measure it. It also turns out that growth never actually hit 4 percent in the second quarter of 2018, which—despite being sort of meaningless—had been a point of pride for Trump.”   https://slate.com/business/2019/07/trump-gdp-report-economy.html

FedEx may have rerouted Huawei packages to the U.S. to comply with government directive. “These shipments in question were handled while we were trying to comply with the U.S. [Department of Commerce] order which was unclear and resulted in considerable complexity for our operations.”   https://qz.com/1675374/china-suspects-fedex-of-violating-laws/

U.S. newspaper circulation falls to below 1940 level, despite huge increase in the country’s population. “Total daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) was an estimated 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday in 2018.”   https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/23/key-takeaways-state-of-the-news-media-2018/

Yippie co-founder Paul Krassner dies at 87. “Paul’s greatest legacy is The Realist, which he kept going for 43 years, until 2001. Among those he published were Norman Mailer, Dick Gregory, Jerry Garcia, Allen Ginsberg, Kurt Vonnegut, Groucho Marx (whom he turned on to LSD), Ken Kesey, Richard Pryor, Marshall McLuhan, Woody Allen, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Neil Postman, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Joseph Heller, Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Barbara Garson (whose brilliant play MacBird Paul helped fund), Terry Southern (who called The Realist ‘the most important publication in the United States’), and artists Art Spiegelman and R. Crumb.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/paul-krassner-yippies-realist-merry-prankster/

Anti-poverty activist Rev. William Barber invites Democratic presidential candidates to Reserve, Louisiana, where the city’s mostly black residents are dying from cancer caused by industrial pollution. “These folks are not anti-job or anti-industry. They’re anti-death. They’re anti-being-killed when it doesn’t have to happen.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/27/cancer-town-rev-william-barber-democrats-president

Judge agrees to keeping details of Jeffrey Epstein’s 2008 plea deal secret. “The documents, which will be shared with Epstein’s attorneys, are believed to concern not only the deal itself, which allowed Epstein to plead guilty to low-level state solicitation charges, but also a clause that granted immunity to any and all potential co-conspirators and named four women suspected of facilitating or participating in alleged crimes against minors.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/27/jeffrey-epstein-2008-documents-secret

Predappio, Italy, birthplace of Benito Mussolini, accused of cashing in on fascism. “Unable to stop (an estimated 100,000 people a year) coming to the town, whether out of intrigue or nostalgia, former mayor Giorgio Frassineti is still endeavouring to open a museum aimed at teaching people about Italy’s dark period, rather than glorifying it.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/27/mussolini-birthplace-cashes-in-on-rise-far-right-tourism

Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, and Booker reportedly raking in the Wall Street cash. “Wealthy executives have said they oppose Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and now they are making their 2020 preferences clear.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/26/biden-harris-buttigieg-and-booker-emerge-clear-favorites-wall-street-bankers-open

Man claims he was beaten by Baytown, Texas police before being falsely arrested. “According to court documents, the arrest came after an officer ‘located several pills in individual bags consistent to narcotics distribution’. But (Kedrick) Crawford maintains the pills were antibiotics prescribed to him after a spider bite. Moreover, his charge of aggravated assault on a peace officer has nothing to do with drug possession of any type.”   https://www.click2houston.com/news/excessive-force-man-claims-baytown-officers-wrongly-assaulted-him

Tennessee sheriff’s deputies charged with using excessive force during arrest by grand jury, few details provided. “The indictment alleges that the defendants, while serving with the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, used unreasonable force when they assaulted and injured arrestee F.M. in December 2017.”   https://newschannel9.com/news/local/federal-grand-jury-indicts-two-grundy-co-sheriffs-officers-on-excessive-force-charges

Kent, Washington settles excessive force claim against the city’s police for $250,000 after man was attacked by officers with a police dog while walking home with his laundry. “David E. Lewis Jr., who did not have a weapon, suffered serious bite injuries to his leg, was hit at least three times with a metal flashlight and had his face ground into the pavement, causing injuries to his mouth and teeth, after officers stopped him to serve a misdemeanor warrant in 2016, according to a civil-rights lawsuit filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court.”   https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/kent-agrees-to-pay-250000-to-settle-excessive-force-lawsuit-involving-police-dog/

Musician suffers facial injuries after violent arrest by Indianapolis police officers who accused her of using marijuana. “(Chanel) Bates said she went to Eskenazi hospital after being released. Bates says she can’t feel anything in her right hand because she now has nerve damage and her anxiety is at an all-time high. She now fears driving her car.”   https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/video-of-two-impd-officers-allegedly-using-excessive-force-on-indianapolis-woman-goes-viral

July 28, 2019

July 26, 2019

Imprisoned man cleared of 20 year-old rape charge and released from prison after alternative explanation for long-delayed DNA identification is discovered. “…earlier this year, (the rape victim) was shown a picture of what (James) Clay looked like when he was younger. She recognized him as a young man she dated in high school around the time she was raped.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/24/james-clay-released-prison-rape/1815380001/

Robert Mueller tells Congress that the only thing that saved President Trump from being charged was the fact that he was a sitting president. “… Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., asked, ‘Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?’ Mueller replied, ‘Yes’.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/were-mueller-hearings-disaster-democrats-only-if-americans-weren-t-ncna1034366

Attorney general William Barr re-instates federal death penalty. “The Supreme Court outlawed state and federal death penalty laws in the 1972 decision Furman v. Georgia. The ruling invalidated the laws then on the books, but did not outlaw the death penalty under all circumstances, leading states and the federal government to draft new legislation.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/25/william-barr-orders-first-federal-executions-in-nearly-two-decades.html   One in ten death row inmates between 1976 and 2015 had their death sentence vacated.   http://www.ncadp.org/pages/innocence#_ftn6

White frat boys pose in front of lynching memorial with firearms, college says it won’t be punishing them. “Three (University of Mississippi) students, two of them brandishing weapons, posed in front of the purple sign that marks the place where (Emmett) Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River in August, 1955.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mississippi-students-who-posed-guns-front-emmet-till-memorial-suspended-n1034726

Jeffrey Epstein reportedly visited Clinton White House on several occasions. “…Epstein — a convicted sex offender who is currently facing fresh charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking — visited the Clinton White House on multiple occasions in the 1990s.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/report-jeffrey-epstein-visited-white-house-under-bill-clinton-2019-7

Paris sets new all-time record high. “Thursday’s record-breaking heat wave in Paris hit 109 degrees, delaying trains, leaving passengers stranded and even affecting the power grid.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/europe-heat-wave-sets-record-breaking-temperatures-in-france-belgium-netherlands-britain-and-germany-2019-07-25/

Australian company reportedly shipping high tech weapon systems to Saudi Arabia and UAE. “The R400s remote weapons station allows small cannons, guns or missile launchers to be mounted on military and light vehicles and operated remotely.”   https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/25/australian-weapons-shipped-to-saudi-and-uae-as-war-rages-in-yemen

Mainstream media accused of downplaying link between climate change and adverse weather events. “On Sunday, Michael Mann tweeted at The New York Times urging the paper to change the headline to its story, ‘What a Heat Wave Looks Like’. Mann said it should have read ‘What Climate Change Looks Like’.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/7/24/michael_mann_climate_crisis_media_coverage

Joe Biden claims 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which greatly expanded the number of crimes which could be punished with the death penalty, was popular with voters. “Former vice president and 2020 presidential contender Joe Biden on Wednesday defended his support for the 1994 crime bill, which imposed mandatory minimum sentences on nonviolent offenders, directed billions of dollars toward prison construction and led the United States to become the world’s largest mass incarcerator.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/7/25/headlines/joe_biden_defends_his_role_as_co_author_of_1994_crime_bill

Electric company accused of bankrolling Ohio legislators in order to win $1.1 billion dollar state bailout. “(House speaker Larry) Householder was a co-sponsor of the nuclear bailout bill that stalled in the legislature in 2018, making him a key ally to the nuclear industry. Several dark-money vehicles backed the pro-Householder candidates (in the state’s Republican primary election), and won 15 of the 18 races.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/07/26/ohio-billion-dollar-nuclear-bailout-firstenergy/

California gas company accused of creating ‘astroturf’ non-profit to lobby for ‘energy solutions’ that don’t involve banning fossil fuels. “According to state filings, SoCalGas began paying the bills for (Citizens for Balanced Energy Solutions) in March 2018. The not-for-profit was registered with the state nearly a year later, in January 2019.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/26/us-natural-gas-ban-socalgas-berkeley

Writer claims the reason billionaires are backing right-wing clowns these days instead of technocrats is because the sources of their wealth have changed. “The largest fortunes are now made not through entrepreneurial brilliance but through inheritance, monopoly and rent-seeking: securing exclusive control of crucial assets such as land and buildings privatised utilities and intellectual property, and assembling service monopolies such as trading hubs, software and social media platforms, then charging user fees far higher than the costs of production and delivery. In Russia, people who enrich themselves this way are called oligarchs. But this is a global phenomenon.”   https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/26/trump-johnson-nationalists-billionaire-oligarchs

UAE accused of withholding medical treatment for imprisoned activist. “Hospitalised when it was too late, (Alia Abdulnoor) received only palliative care.”   https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jul/26/shocking-death-sick-woman-uae-custody

Berkeley bans new construction with natural gas utilities. “Berkeley, California on Tuesday became the first U.S. city to approve a ban on natural gas hook-ups in all new residential buildings, a move that proponents argued is a needed step for all cities in the state if California is to meet its goal of shifting to net-zero carbon emissions from energy sources by 2045.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/24/berkeley-california-makes-incredible-leap-away-fossil-fuels-natural-gas-ban-new

As many as 150 migrants drown after boats sink off coast of Libya. “(U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo) Grandi called on European nations to resume rescue missions in the Mediterranean, halted after an EU decision, and appealed for an end to immigrant detentions in Libya.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/150-people-feared-dead-in-the-mediterranean/


July 26, 2019

July 25, 2019

Amid massive protests, Puerto Rico’s governor resigns. “On Monday, more than a half-million people paralyzed metropolitan San Juan in protest, marching across one of the main highways despite heavy rain in a ‘March of the People’ that ended late in the night as police fired tear gas canisters.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/embattled-puerto-rico-gov-ricardo-rossell-resigns-amid-public-outcry-n1033241

Someone changed presidential seal displayed during Trump event. “The presidential seal displayed on a giant screen behind President Trump as he addressed the conference had been mysteriously doctored, to show what appeared to be a Russian imperial eagle clutching golf clubs.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-speech-in-front-of-presidential-seal-with-russian-eagle-2019-7   And in the other talon, a wad of cash.

Texas teenager held by Customs and Border Protection and ICE for 23 days claims he lost 26 pounds and never got to shower. “It got to the point where I was ready to sign a deportation paper just to not be suffering there anymore. I just needed to get out of there.”   https://www.dallasnews.com/news/immigration/2019/07/24/no-shower-23-days-us-citizen-held-deportation-shares-like-immigrant

Tea Party dead at 10, Donald Trump accused of murder. “The federal deficit for this budgetary year, which has two more months left in it, is almost $750 billion — an increase of nearly 25% from the previous year. The new compromise budget deal — again, assuming it passes — would raise spending limits by $321 billion over the next two years.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/23/politics/debt-deal-budget-ceiling/index.html

Juul employee alleged to have lectured high school students on nicotine addiction. “…17-year-old Caleb Mintz, said a Juul representative spoke to his class as part a ‘mental health [and] addiction seminar’… The representative mentioned his connection to Juul, Mintz said, and the comments on e-cigarette safety were met with a ‘sigh of relief’ among his classmates who were already vaping.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/25/health/juul-reps-in-classroom-teen-testimony/index.html

Community members block ICE agents from arresting man and 12 year-old boy. “Neighbours reported that they were worried and outraged because some had known the family for more than a decade.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/human-chain-immigration-ice-agents-deport-raids-trump-border-a9019131.html

President Trump vetoes Congressional resolutions blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate banded together to introduce resolutions to block the weapons sale in what was viewed as a bipartisan pushback to Trump’s foreign policy.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-vetoes-congressional-effort-block-saudi-arms-sales-n1034286

One of the teen Canadian murder suspects on the run was reportedly into Nazis and violent video games. “…(Bryer) Schmegelsky lost friends when he started making them ‘feel uncomfortable’, after showing them pictures of him wearing a Nazi armband and telling them how he imagined playing out shooter games in reality, Lucas said.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7282871/Family-friend-Canadian-teen-murder-suspect-said-loved-violent-video-games.html

Russian opposition figure arrested after an estimated 22,000 protested exclusion of opposition candidates from local Moscow election. “(Alexei) Navalny threatened an even bigger rally this Saturday, near the mayor’s office, unless Moscow’s authorities register a new crop of popular politicians including Ilya Yashin and Lyubov Sobol within seven days.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-alexei-navalny-arrest-opposition-leader-protest-moscow-parliament-elections-today-2019-07-24/

Northern Europe breaking heat records. “Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures as the second extreme heatwave in as many months to be linked by scientists to the climate emergency grips the continent.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/24/summers-second-heatwave-set-to-break-records-across-europe

Families separated by Trump travel ban sue over long waits for waivers. “…the group suing — all of whom are US citizens or permanent residents and their Iranian relatives who are visa applicants — have waited ‘unreasonable amounts of time’ — an average of 447 days at the time the lawsuit was filed — for travel ban waivers, the complaint says.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/24/politics/iranian-americans-travel-ban-trump-lawsuit/index.html

‘City killer’ asteroid the size of an Egyptian pyramid zips past Earth within the moon’s orbit, no warning issued. “It was discovered by the Brazilian SONEAR survey just days ago, and its presence was announced mere hours before it zoomed past our planet.”   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-25/an-asteroid-just-buzzed-past-earth-and-we-barely-noticed-in-time/11347402

Mexican police and investigators charged with torturing suspects in connection with case of 43 missing students. “Besides the 119 agents charged with torture, the commission said Wednesday that criminal complaints were filed against 116 investigators, police or agents alleging they conducted faulty investigations.”   https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/article233083912.html

China offers its troops to put down pro-democracy protests if Hong Kong requests them. “(An article of the Hong Kong Garrison Law) stipulates that the Hong Kong government may ask for assistance from Chinese military troops stationed in the city ‘in the maintenance of public order’.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/24/beijing-suggests-it-could-mobilize-troops-in-hong-kong-if-necessary.html

Mob attacks Roma neighborhood in Albuccione, Italy. “This was the third ‘pogrom-like attack’ on the outskirts of Italy’s capital Rome in the past three months against Roma, according to Marcello Zuinisi, a lawyer with the National Association of Roma in Italy.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/roma-suffer-violent-racist-attacks-in-italy/

U.S. needs a massive, moon-program scale effort to avoid climate change disaster, says Rear Adm. David Titley. “If we do nothing, if we continue business as usual, then that stability that we have built human civilization on is absolutely over…”   https://www.courthousenews.com/climate-crisis-demands-lavish-spending-experts-tell-house/

Environmental groups sue EPA over Freedom of Information Act redactions. “The rule, published June 26 in the Federal Register, allows the EPA to redact portions of requested records if certain information in those files is not responsive to a specific FOIA request….  even if the information does not qualify for a FOIA exemption…”   https://www.courthousenews.com/epa-accused-of-waging-war-on-transparency/

Federal Trade Commission fines Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations. “Facebook’s default settings were set so that Facebook would share with the third-party developer of an App User’s app not only the App User’s data, but also data of the App User’s Facebook Friends, even if those Affected Friends had not themselves installed the app,” the lawsuit states. “In the wrong hands, user and Affected Friend data could be used for identity theft, phishing, fraud, and other harmful purposes.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/ftc-fines-facebook-5-billion-for-privacy-violations/


July 25, 2019

July 24, 2019

Coffee company CEO offers to pay off lunch debts of students threatened with removal from their families, Wyoming Valley West School District official refuses his offer. “…(Todd) Carmichael said his offer was motivated in part because he received free meals as a child growing up near Spokane, Washington. ‘I know what it means to be hungry. I know what it means to feel shame for not being able to afford food.'”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/ceo-schools-denied-offer-warning-164840943.html

U.S. citizen held by Border Patrol for almost a month. “…when CBP stopped him, he reportedly was carrying a wallet-sized copy of his birth certificate, his Social Security card, and a Texas ID that’s only available to citizens with Social Security numbers…”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/border-patrol-kept-teenage-u-143441500.html   I’m sure this doesn’t have anything to do with him being Hispanic. (sarcasm)

160,000 members of Britain’s Conservative Party choose Boris Johnson as their new leader and the country’s new prime minister. “In his victory speech, Mr Johnson promised he would ‘deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn’.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49084605   Ah, the dreaded Jeremy Corbyn, a greater threat than IS, Russia or climate change! My first headline was ‘Conservative Party gives Britain Johnson’.

ICE agents break car window to arrest immigration suspect in Kansas City after he demands to see an arrest warrant. “(Cheyenne) Hoyt said the agents told her they had a ‘paperless warrant’ and asked (Florencio) Millan again to get out of the car.”   https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/live-streamed-ice-arrest-shows-agents-busting-window-arresting-father

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ slammed for being ‘a self-serving lie’. “(Quentin) Tarantino’s Hollywood in his latest film is one in which the #MeToo movement isn’t necessary. It’s one in which he doesn’t have to acknowledge his own power, or the power of his friends and idols, or how he and they have used that power for ill.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/once-upon-time-hollywood-three-hour-reminder-tarantino-s-talent-ncna1032906

San Francisco police didn’t tell judge that search warrant targeted journalist. “Warrant documents unveiled under orders from the judge show that police identified (Bryan) Carmody as a ‘freelance videographer/communications manager’ as provided in his LinkedIn profile.”   https://ktla.com/2019/07/23/san-francisco-police-omitted-that-raid-target-was-a-journalist-when-obtaining-warrant/

Pelosi/Mnuchin budget deal raises federal debt ceiling, adds $49 billion to national debt. “When Trump was voted into office, military spending stood at roughly $611 billion a year. In 2020, it will be $738 billion…. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that interest payments alone will eclipse combined defense and domestic spending by 2046.”   https://thehill.com/policy/finance/454414-winners-and-losers-in-the-trump-pelosi-budget-deal

Former Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper confirmed as Secretary of Defense. “That’s potentially problematic as the defense secretary has immense sway over which weapons the Pentagon buys.”   https://www.vox.com/2019/7/23/20707236/mark-esper-defense-secretary-confirmed

Lawyers for MAGA bomber Cesar Sayoc claim their client was radicalized by Fox News and right-wing Facebook groups. “Many of these groups promoted various conspiracy theories and, more generally, the idea that Trump’s critics were dangerous, unpatriotic, and evil….They deployed provocative language to depict Democrats as murderous, terroristic, and violent…..Fox News furthered these arguments.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/23/fox-news-helped-radicalize-domestic-terrorist-cesar-sayoc-say-his-lawyers/

Russian gay rights activist murdered after being targeted by web site. “According to friends’ and colleagues’ online posts, (Yelena) Grigoryeva was worried about her safety after she found her name and personal information listed on the snuff site.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/russian-lgbtq-activist-killed-after-being-listed-saw-inspired-site-n1032841

Google settles age discrimination lawsuit for $11 million. “‘We believe that age discrimination is pervasive in the tech industry, and we hope that other companies will scrutinize their employment practices and strive to eliminate age-based bias in hiring,’ said Daniel Low, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, in an emailed statement.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/google-pays-11m-to-settle-with-job-seekers-who-alleged-age-discrimination/

Another U.S. attorney general is demanding that the tech industry install encryption ‘back doors’ in their devices. “…experts are unified in their opinion that introducing deliberate vulnerabilities would likely create catastrophic unintended consequences that could debilitate software functionality and security entirely.”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/07/tech-firms-can-and-must-put-backdoors-in-encryption-ag-barr-says/

13 arrested at Extinction Rebellion protest at U.S. Capitol. “Dominic Serino, one of the protesters risking arrest, said that considering the ‘extreme urgency’ of the climate crisis, passing a nonbinding resolution ‘just acknowledging it exists is the smallest possible demand we could be making to Congress’.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/07/23/extinction-rebellion-climate-change-capitol-hill/

Joseph Biden selects Nicholas Burns as his foreign policy advisor, the same person used by the Hillary Clinton campaign. “It’s not encouraging that, out of countless possible choices, Joe Biden selected a foreign policy advisor who also supported the invasion of Iraq, the biggest foreign policy mistake of a generation — a mistake that veterans like us still are suffering the consequences of.”   https://theintercept.com/2019/07/24/joe-biden-nicholas-burns-foreign-policy/

ACLU sues government over harassment of border activists. “The resources committed to criminalizing these people who are simply trying to help migrants are resources that are desperately needed to actually support these individuals and provide them refuge.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/23/us-surveils-border-activists-and-blocks-their-work-lawsuit-says

Myanmar military accused of destroying abandoned Rohingya villages. “The ASPI researchers identified at least 58 Rohingya settlements that were subjected to fresh demolition in 2018, while satellite imagery also showed the demolition of other Rohingya villages in 2019, as part of what appears to be a campaign by the Myanmar military to ensure there are no habitable villages for the Rohingya to come back to.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/24/myanmars-rohingya-crisis

Bill would ban use of facial recognition in public housing. “The ability to enter your home should not be conditioned on the surrender of your biometric data…”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/23/keep-public-housing-becoming-panopticon-automated-face-scanning-democrats-push   Although that is now the policy for Americans returning from travel abroad.

New York criminalizes revenge porn. “Queens Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, a Bayside Democrat who wrote the legislation, noted in a statement that the option in the law for victims to obtain an injunction is the first of its kind in the country.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/revenge-porn-ban-becomes-law-in-new-york/   Injunction: “a judicial order restraining a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another, or compelling a person to carry out a certain act, e.g. to make restitution to an injured party.”

Tribe sues company over its failure to remove pipeline. “When the easement expired in 2013, the (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians) decided it would not renew it due to environmental concerns, but Enbridge has allegedly continued to pump up to 23 million gallons of oil and gas per day through the pipeline, which runs from Lake Superior through Wisconsin and Michigan into Canada.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/wisconsin-tribe-sues-to-remove-pipeline-from-reservation/

Security firm allegedly spied on Julian Assange 24/7 while  he was living in Ecuadoran embassy. “Several video cameras, which were equipped with audio recording capability between December 2017 and March 2018, recorded dozens of meetings between the WikiLeaks founder and his attorneys and visitors. At these meetings, Assange’s legal defense strategy was discussed.”   https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/07/09/inenglish/1562663427_224669.html


July 24, 2019