White House walks back Tillerson’s offer to meet with North Koreans. “In an unusual statement released to reporters on Tuesday evening, the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Mr. Trump’s position on North Korea had not changed — namely, that talks were pointless if the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, continued to menace his neighbors.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/world/asia/north-korea-trump-tillerson.html Almost seems like somebody WANTS a war, but that would be terrible. Millions killed and billions of dollars of taxpayer money flowing to defense contractors – who would want that to happen?
Fox News story suggests that dying polar bear in viral video of a snowless arctic was probably starving because he was too old or ill to hunt. “I wouldn’t really blame the climate change. It’s just part of the animal, what they go through.” http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/12/13/controversy-swirls-around-viral-video-starving-polar-bear.html A healthy polar bear would be able to catch plenty of seals, even without any ice to hunt them from. He’d just put on his big bear panties and out-swim them.
FBI lawyer investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server was apparently a hard-core Clinton supporter. “I just saw my first Bernie Sanders bumper sticker. Made me want to key the car.” http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/12/fbi-agents-called-trump-idiot.html
FBI refuses to release files on dead FBI officals. “It seems that when it comes to FOIA requests for FBI files on their deceased officials, the law is used to consider investigations or prosecutions against the requesters and to protect the privacy of the Bureau’s personnel, but not the privacy of the requesters or to fulfill the statutory FOIA requirements…” https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/dec/12/fbi-foia-investigation/
Record number of journalist imprisoned in 2017. “(The Committee to Protect Journalists) said it had confirmed that 262 people were in government custody for reasons directly related to their work as journalists as of Dec. 1. That’s three more that the previous record, set last year.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/jailing-journalists-worldwide-hits-record-high-activist-group-says-n829541
Journalists arrested in Myanmar for attempting to disclose “official secrets” about Rohingya persecution. “The reporters ‘illegally acquired information with the intention to share it with foreign media’, said the statement, which was accompanied by a photo of the pair in handcuffs.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists/two-reuters-journalists-arrested-in-myanmar-face-official-secrets-charges-idUSKBN1E71CO
Trump loses half of his senior African-American White House staff afterHousing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is still pursuing his current opportunity.
Walmart employees are so poor that the company is setting up a system to advance them money from upcoming paychecks. “Walmart said the new initiative is intended to help workers avoid costly payday loans and other debt traps, and reduce the stress that comes with financial hardship.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/13/business/walmart-workers-pay-advances.html Awww, isn’t that nice!
Three students allegedly took over millions of internet connected devices and used them to wreak havoc on the internet. “Paras Jha, 21, of Fanwood, N.J., admitted he and two co-conspirators created the Mirai software that was designed to hijack poorly secured routers, security cameras, and baby monitors…. (and) launched distributed denial of service attacks on internet service providers and websites.” http://www.philly.com/philly/business/paras-jha-iot-mirai-cybercrime-rutgers-worst-outtage-internet-bitcoin-ballard-20171213.html
Senior female Democratic legislator allegedly says women should dress less provocatively to avoid harassment. “(Rep. Marcy Kaptur) shocked fellow lawmakers Wednesday when she said that the revealing clothing that some members and staffers wear is an “invitation” to sexual harassment.” https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/13/marcy-kaptur-womens-clothing-sexual-harassment-294974
Progressives rally against Republican tax bill. “”There has not been one public hearing, no opportunity to hear from economists, governors, mayors, or ordinary Americans who will be impacted by this tax bill,” (Sen. Bernie) Sanders said.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/13/if-bill-passes-people-will-die-tax-scam-opponents-rally-gop-aims-final-vote-next
Workers rights organizations push for NAFTA replacement deal. “Americans have had enough with trade deals that make it easier to outsource jobs to wherever workers are the most exploited and environmental regulations are the weakest.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/13/lawmakers-and-70-advocacy-groups-call-north-american-leaders-replacenafta
Net neutrality activists project Verizon logo on FCC building. “…defenders of net neutrality overnight went to the commission’s headquarters in Washington, DC where they projected various messages—including “Property of Verizon”—on the building to draw attention to the corporate interests at play behind the proposal by FCC chairman Aijit Pai, a former lobbyist who worked for the telecom giant.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/13/property-verizon-projected-fcc-headquarters-ahead-vote-destroy-net-neutrality
Fewer executions being conducted in the U.S. “In Amnesty International’s most recent assessment of global executions, the human rights group found 2016 was the first year the US did not appear (among) the world’s top five executioners since 2006. It was edged out of its usual position by China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/13/us-death-sentences-executions-2017
Corporate lobbyist gearing up for fight against $15 an hour minimum wage. ““A bipartisan public is receptive to lower ‘apprentice’ or ‘intern’ wage rates for young people,” (Rick) Berman says in the memo. A lower youth wage would have the additional benefit of depressing wages across the board for lower level employees, the memo states…” https://theintercept.com/2017/12/14/minimum-wage-rick-berman-democrats/
Black Lives Matter activist sues Fox & Friends commentator for defamation. “According to McKesson’s lawsuit, (Judge Jeanine) Pirro ‘made a series of outrageously false and defamatory statements about Mr. McKesson, including that he directed someone to hit the police officer in the face with a rock’.” http://www.ibtimes.com/jeanine-pirro-net-worth-tv-host-sued-black-lives-matter-activist-2628375
Dan Rather was right about George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service. “Rather’s producers were poking into an authentic story that powerful political forces had long been trying to suppress: how the then-President of the United States, who had taken the country into war in Iraq under false pretenses, resulting in untold unnecessary deaths, himself had gone AWOL from military service years earlier — and covered it up.” https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/12/14/memo-cbs-george-w-bush-dan-rather-got-mostly-right/
U.N. investigator accuses U.S. of continued use of torture at Guantanamo Bay prison. “In addition to the long-term effects of past torture, noise and vibrations are reportedly still being used against (Ammar al-Baluchi), resulting in constant sleep deprivation and related physical and mental disorders, for which he allegedly does not receive adequate medical attention.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guantanamo-torture/u-n-expert-says-torture-persists-at-guantanamo-bay-u-s-denies-idUSKBN1E71QO
Human Rights Watch accuses Singapore of political repression. “Singapore promotes itself as a modern nation and a good place to do business, but people in a country that calls itself a democracy shouldn’t be afraid to criticize their government or speak out about political issues.” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-politics/human-rights-watch-calls-on-singapore-to-relax-free-speech-assembly-laws-idUSKBN1E70A9
Canada authorizes sale of automatic weapons to Ukraine. “…Canada will include Ukraine in the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL),” the government said in its official newspaper. The change ‘will enable Canadian companies and individuals to apply for a permit to export certain prohibited firearms, weapons and devices to Ukraine’.” https://sg.news.yahoo.com/canada-authorizes-export-automatic-weapons-ukraine-233724423.html
Thousands of Argentines protest WTO meeting. “We don’t want policies of hunger or unemployment or the handing over of sovereignty to be imposed on us.” https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/13/headlines/thousands_take_to_streets_to_protest_wto_meeting