April 17, 2021

Police weigh in on Derek Chauvin trial. “’If he’s convicted, it will be a strong declaration that we as a society hold police officers to account for their actions,’ (Tighe O’Meara, the police chief in Ashland, Oregon) said. ‘If he’s acquitted, it will be an event that takes us in the exact opposite direction.’ …. ‘It’s disheartening to hear the prosecution throw cops under the bus and leave the defense to build them up, which is the opposite of what normally happens,’ said a white detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of losing his job.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-across-u-s-respond-derek-chauvin-trial-our-american-n1264224

Thousands gather to protest fatal police shooting of 13 year-old boy. “Thousands gathered in the Logan Square neighborhood Friday evening to listen to speakers and protest the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago police officer.”   https://www.wbez.org/stories/photos-thousands-gather-in-logan-square-to-mourn-adam-toledo/350ce183-f9ff-490a-8714-c9d6dfd578e9

Mass arrests during sixth night of Daunte Wright protests. “During a joint news conference with Operation Safety Net law enforcement leaders, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said about 100 people were arrested in connection with Friday night’s unrest.”   https://kstp.com/news/protesters-demand-justice-for-daunte-wright-for-sixth-night-in-brooklyn-center-/6077896/   “At the police department in Brooklyn Center, an estimated thousand protesters gathered. There was originally supposed to be no curfew issued for the city Friday night, but the city ended up issuing a last-minute mayoral emergency proclamation imposing a city curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.”   https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2021/04/16/brooklyn-center-curfew-protests-arrests-police-department-daunte-wright/

Raul Castro to step down as leader of Cuba at age 89. “His retirement means that for the first time in more than six decades Cubans won’t have a Castro formally guilding their affairs…. Raul succeeded (his brother Fidel) as head of the (Communist) party in 2011. Fidel Castro died in 2016.”   https://nypost.com/2021/04/16/raul-castro-resigns-ending-era-of-family-rule-over-cuba/

Facebook blocks New York Post article on Black Lives Matter founder’s multiple homes. “The $3.2 million real estate spending spree of BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors is newsworthy for two reasons. One, she’s an avowed Marxist, and as a public figure, it’s legitimate to question whether she’s practicing what she preaches. Secondly, as the article details, the finances of Black Lives Matter are opaque, a mixture of for-profits and tax-free nonprofits, and they don’t reveal how much its executives are paid…. We reached out to Khan-Cullors for comment before publication; she didn’t respond. After it was posted, her organization put out a statement saying yes, she used to take a salary from BLM but doesn’t anymore, and the money she used to buy property came from her private income (from) book and development deals.”   https://nypost.com/2021/04/16/social-media-again-silences-the-post-for-reporting-the-news/

Unarmed black burglary suspect shot during nighttime altercation with three Honolulu police officers. “After the man was shot multiple times, an officer shouts ‘police!’…. The man killed by police has been identified as Lindani Myeni, 29. He had no criminal record and no weapons, but repeatedly punched and ‘charged’ officers at the scene, police said…. When asked why police didn’t identify themselves until after shots were fired, (acting deputy Chief Allan) Nagata said it was clear they were officers given their uniforms and marked police cars.”   https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2021/04/16/live-hpd-holds-news-conference-release-body-cam-footage-fatal-officer-involved-shooting/

German court strikes down rent control in Berlin, thousands protest. “Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe earlier ruled that the Berlin state government had no right to impose the cap. (Going) into effect in February 2020, it saw rents for 90% of Berlin’s apartments frozen for five years at their June 2019 level.”   https://www.dw.com/en/angry-berlin-renters-protest-court-ruling/a-57220959

France bans sex with teens under 15. “While the age of consent was previously 15, prosecutors in France used to be required to prove sex was non-consensual to obtain a rape conviction…. ‘This is an historic law for our children and our society,’ Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told the National Assembly. ‘No adult aggressor will be able to claim the consent of a minor younger than 15-years-old.'”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/france-outlaws-sex-children-aged-under-15-n1264274

Another UFO disclosure article! “Now recently retired national security officials are speaking out. In the run-up to the task force’s report in June, John Ratcliffe, former director of national intelligence, told Fox News last month that there were ‘a lot more sightings than have been made public’. Similarly, James Woolsey, former director of the CIA, said on a podcast this month he was taking the subject seriously, as did a successor at the CIA, John Brennan, in December…. We will know more when the Pentagon’s report on unidentified aerial phenomena comes out in June, but now that the government is starting to take UFOs seriously, it’s high time that more academics and industry leaders step up to do the same.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/u-s-military-takes-ufos-seriously-why-doesn-t-silicon-ncna1264107

Bipartisan groups in the House and Senate introduce legislation to scrap Selective Service (military conscription). “The Selective Service Repeal Act of 2021 (H.R. 2509 and S. 1139) was introduced in Congress on April 14th with bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. Initial co-sponsors of the bill to end draft registration and abolish the Selective Service System are Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).”   https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2021/04/16/selective-service-repeal-act-introduced-in-congress/

U.N. says Jewish West Bank settlers are conducting a campaign of violence against their Palestinian neighbors. “More than 210 violent incidents by settlers were recorded during the first three months of 2021, including one Palestinian death, the report said. During the course of 2020, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 771 incidents of settler violence, which caused injuries to 133 Palestinians, mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah.”   https://www.palestinechronicle.com/un-report-settler-violence-against-palestinians-rising-drastically/

Everybody examines the work and life of Wilhelm Reich. “Both psychoanalysis and communism were full of potential for understanding human unhappiness and expanding human freedom, Reich thought, but each had major blind spots. The problem with psychotherapy was that it insisted on treating the individual as if their pain occurred in a vacuum, unmediated by the society they inhabited or the politics that governed their lives. As for Marxism, it failed to recognize the importance of emotional experience, not least the trouble caused by shame and sexual repression, especially to women. Therapy was not enough. Politics was not enough. Only sex was a sufficiently powerful force to reshape society. As he explained in his memoir, People in Trouble, he believed freeing sex from centuries of repression would change the world…. The Mass Psychology of Fascism (was) his landmark work of analysis of the Nazis’ appeal. In it, he explained how the patriarchal family acted as a unit of indoctrination, training people from childhood to submit to authority.”   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/apr/17/wilhelm-reich-the-strange-prescient-sexologist-who-sought-to-set-us-free   If sex can’t change the world, at least sex (and love) can improve people’s mental health, if it can be done without jealousy, possessiveness and control.

Italy accused of shutting down private rescue-at-sea operations for African migrants crossing the Mediterranean, and relying on the unreliable Libyan coast guard instead. “For years Libyan authorities have been accused of intercepting dinghies and returning people to detention centres in Libya, where aid agencies say they suffer torture and abuse…. Francesco Creazzo, a spokesperson for the NGO rescue boat SOS Méditerranée, said Libyan authorities were ‘mostly unresponsive, regardless of the day of the week’.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/16/wiretaps-migrant-boats-italy-libya-coastguard-mediterranean   “It’s a day off. It’s a holiday here…. Perhaps we can be there tomorrow.”

Maybe it’s not the glyphosate in Round Up that is killing bees. “‘The inert ingredients are added to pesticides to aid in mixing and to enhance the products’ ability to stick to plant leaves, among other purposes.’ The study found that these inert substances can be highly toxic and even block bees’ breathing capacity, essentially causing them to drown…. ‘Bees exhibited 94% mortality with Roundup® Ready‐To‐Use® and 30% mortality with Roundup® ProActive®, over 24 (hours). Weedol® did not cause significant mortality, demonstrating that the active ingredient, glyphosate, is not the cause of the mortality. The 96% mortality caused by Roundup® No Glyphosate supports this conclusion.‘”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/16/new-study-finds-undisclosed-ingredients-roundup-lethal-bumblebees

Financial industry reportedly spent $2.9 billion on 2020 elections. “As part of Wall Street’s ‘relentless push to influence decision-making’ in Washington, D.C., the powerful financial sector spent a record $2.9 billion on campaign donations and lobbying in the 2020 election cycle, a new report shows, with Democrats including President Joe Biden accepting millions of dollars.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/16/wall-street-gave-more-money-during-2020-election-any-campaign-season-us-history

1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams warns of the threat of autonomous weapons systems. “The weapons are fully autonomous and can target and kill human beings on their own. A devastating ‘marriage’ of artificial intelligence and weapons of war!”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/16/nobel-laureate-warns-devastating-marriage-between-artificial-intelligence-and-killer   Or at least that is where we are headed. For now there is still usually a human in the loop to actually pull the trigger because AI makes mistakes. If you wore a donkey suit or disguised yourself as a washing machine, you could probably fool it.

Portland, Oregon police fatally shoot man near Lents Park, sparking unrest. “Juan Chavez was working at the time of the shooting, pumping gas at the Arco across the street from the park. Chavez said he saw the man police shot standing in the intersection, shirtless, before police arrived. Chavez thought he recognized the man as one who was living in a tent near the park…. Chavez said he didn’t see a gun. And when police arrived, Chavez said he didn’t hear any warnings before police fired two shots and the man went down.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/protesters-gather-after-portland-police-fatally-shoot-man-in-city-park/

State Department inspector general accuses Mike Pompeo of flagrantly misusing the agency’s human resources. “Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan misused department resources over 100 times, tapping a host of federal employees for errands unrelated to official duties and in violation of ethics rules, a State Department watchdog report found Friday.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/report-former-secretary-of-state-pompeo-misused-department-resources-over-100-times/

Prisons mostly failed to protect inmates and staff from pandemic. “At the state and federal level, 1,700 individuals have died behind bars of the virus.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/federal-prisons-flunked-the-pandemic-senators-say/

‘Leaving’ Afghanistan doesn’t necessarily mean ending U.S. military involvement in the war. “Regardless of whether the 3,500 acknowledged U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, the U.S. military will still be present in the form of thousands of special operations and CIA personnel in and around Afghanistan, through dozens of squadrons of manned attack aircraft and drones stationed on land bases and on aircraft carriers in the region, and by hundreds of cruise missiles on ships and submarines.”   https://consortiumnews.com/2021/04/16/what-biden-didnt-say-about-us-in-afghanistan/

Members of UK royal family outlive other UK citizens by 30 years on average. “As a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, I had previously observed the exact same phenomenon among U.S. presidents – they also tend to live decades longer than the general population they serve…. Put simply, British monarchs and their families live so much longer than their subjects for the same reason other subgroups of the population across the globe live longer than contemporaries born in the same year: privilege over poverty…. In the U.S., similar studies of life expectancy by county, census tract and zip code demonstrated the same phenomenon.”   https://consortiumnews.com/2021/04/15/long-live-the-monarchy-and-so-they-do/





April 17, 2021

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