December 14, 2017

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 after Omarosa Manigault Newman is escorted off the premises. “The White House issued a statement Wednesday morning, saying Manigault Newman ‘resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities’.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-thanks-omarosa-reality-star-escorted-from-white-house/   Housing 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

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December 14, 2017

December 13, 2017

France’s president: We are losing the climate change battle. “The leader, who has made climate change a focal point of his presidency, said that governments and business had run out of excuses.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/12/losing-the-battle-emmanuel-macron-delivers-bleak-assessment-of-fight-against

Bel Air wildfire reportedly started at homeless camp. “Investigators have determined the fire was caused by an illegal cooking fire at an encampment in a brush area adjacent.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/la-fires-homeless-camp-cooking-equipment-started-flames-latest-a8106646.html   I guess that makes homelessness everyone’s problem.

President Trump signs off on $700 billion defense budget. “But the NDAA exceeds budget caps by more than $80 billion, and Congress continues to be locked in debate over whether and by how much to raise the caps.”   http://thehill.com/policy/defense/364457-trump-signs-nearly-700b-defense-policy-bill

Grand Rapids police bodycam video shows officers cuffing screaming 11 year-old black child during search for 40 year-old white woman. “… a complaint was filed because officers pointed their guns at an 11-year-old girl then handcuffed and searched her.”   http://www.wzzm13.com/news/local/grand-rapids-central/complaint-filed-against-grpd-after-officers-point-gun-at-an-11-year-old/498704215

Unions want Trump’s tax bill promise of $4,000 in “trickle-down” wage hikes in writing. “This campaign is about holding corporations and politicians accountable to their claims and getting a much-needed raise for America’s workers.”   https://aflcio.org/press/releases/afl-cio-bolsters-innovative-cwa-campaign-get-4000-raises-working-people

Missouri legislator proposes “Protestors’ Bill of Rights”. “Under the “Protestors’ Bill of Rights”, no department or law enforcement agency in the state of Missouri shall:

  • Declare an “unlawful assembly” unless there is an imminent threat of violence.
  • Declare an “unlawful assembly” for the purpose of punishing people for exercising their constitutional rights to engage in expressing their First Amendment rights.
  • Use chemical agents against anyone nonviolently expressing their First Amendment right to protest in the absence of probable cause to make an arrest. The city must also issue clear and unambiguous warnings that the person is subject to arrest and such chemical agents will be used.”   https://themissouritimes.com/46509/franks-files-the-protestors-bill-of-rights/

Didn’t this used to covered by the First Amendment to the Constitution?

EPA chief reportedly spent $25,000 on soundproof phone booth. “The installation of the booth raises questions about ‘why such equipment is needed and what types of conversations Administrator Pruitt is having that would warrant a private soundproof booth’.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-12/pruitt-s-soundproof-phone-booth-to-be-probed-by-epa-watchdog

Judge skeptical of government’s arguments why American detained in Iraq has been held for three months without access to a lawyer. “Justice Department attorney Kathryn Wyer… said the American “didn’t give any indication of urgency” to the FBI when they met with him and when he requested a lawyer.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-isis-aclu-case_us_5a2eb5d8e4b0c780113741ef

Case of slain Baltimore police detective, who had been scheduled to testify in court against fellow officers, gets stranger after police department dodges question about burial and it then turns out he was cremated. “When I told the woman (at the cemetery) on the phone that I was looking for Det. Suiter’s grave, she paused and told me to hold on. When she came back on the line, her voice was harried. “It was too late to make the burial,” she said. “It was dark.”   http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20685:Grave-Concerns%3A-Will-Detective-Suiter%27s-Death-Bring-Commissioner-Davis-Down%3F

San Francisco animal welfare group used robot to keep homeless people off nearby Mission District sidewalks, was reprimanded by city. “Knightscope rents out the robots for $7 an hour — less than a security guard’s hourly wage.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/security-robots-are-monitoring-the-homeless-in-san-francisco-2017-12

Trump’s Commerce Secretary accused of insider trading. “If Ross was aware that the Bank of Ireland was concealing losses, he had an obligation to disclose that information before the sale of his shares…”  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/european-parliament-report-accuses-wilbur-ross-of-insider-trading/

A still unemployed Colin Kaepernick visits NYC jail, upsetting corrections workers union. “Colin understands that the systemic racism he’s fighting nationally is epitomized on Rikers.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/kaepernick-visits-rikers-island-sparks-feud-union-article-1.3693792

Los Angeles alternative newspaper apparently bought by consortium of  right-wingers. “Whatever the paper becomes under its new owners, it will not be the L.A. Weekly of yore.”   https://theconcourse.deadspin.com/rich-people-demolished-l-a-weekly-to-build-the-future-1821019602

Poll: 60% of Americans say the Washington swamp is getting deeper. “The current US president was elected on a promise of cleaning up American politics and making government work better for those who feel their interests have been neglected by political elites. Yet, rather than feeling better about progress in the fight against corruption over the past year, a clear majority of people in America now say that things have become worse.”   https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_in_the_usa_the_difference_a_year_makes

U.S. reverses course, willing to talk with North Korea without pre-conditions. “While reiterating Washington’s long-standing position that it cannot tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea, Tillerson said the United States was “ready to talk any time they’re ready to talk”, but there would first have to be a “period of quiet” without nuclear and missile tests.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-tillerson/tillerson-says-u-s-ready-to-talk-to-north-korea-japan-wants-pressure-idUSKBN1E62UI

World Bank says it will stop funding most fossil fuel extraction projects after 2019. “Environmental, human rights, and development campaigners have been amplifying the voices of frontline communities for decades in calling for an end to World Bank financing of upstream oil and gas projects.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/12/big-after-years-pressure-world-bank-drastically-curb-funding-fossil-fuels

Companies hiring security firms to infiltrate protest groups. “The leaked documents suggest that corporate security firms frequently run espionage operations to gather information on protesters, including infiltrating private meetings and obtaining internal documents.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/12/inside-the-secret-world-of-the-corporate-spies-who-infiltrate-protests

China collecting biometric and DNA data from its Uighur population. “Part of the collection is being done through government-provided medical checkups, and it is unclear if patients are aware the exam is also designed to transmit biometric data to the police.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/13/chinese-authorities-collecting-dna-residents-xinjiang

Oil and gas pipeline investor tax break directly benefits several ranking legislators. “When Texas Sen. John Cornyn slipped an obscure tax break for pipeline giants into the GOP tax bill, he wasn’t just helping major Republican Party donors, he was also potentially helping 16 of his congressional colleagues.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/tax-bill-john-cornyns-fossil-fuel-provision-would-personally-enrich-republican

 

December 13, 2017

December 12, 2017

13 top U.S. climate scientists hired by France. “The French government’s offer attracted 1,822 applications, nearly two-thirds of them from the United States.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/12/11/promising-to-make-our-planet-great-again-macron-lures-13-u-s-climate-scientists-to-france/

Jeremey Corbyn, Noam Chomsky and Okinawan anti-base activists win peace prize. “UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize along with Noam Chomsky and Japanese anti-military base activists, yet the award received scant coverage in the British [and U.S.] media.”   https://www.rt.com/uk/412667-corbyn-chomsky-peace-prize-geneva/

Spirit Airlines accused of kicking breastfeeding woman off plane. “Mei Rui, a concert pianist and cancer researcher, says she asked for a few minutes to let her son fall asleep in her arms while the plane was still at the gate in Houston and other passengers were walking around.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/12/11/spirit-boots-breast-feeding-woman-plane/942907001/

Congress refusing to renew government’s Section 702 “backdoor” data search program without more details. “At least one Republican lawmaker on the panel said he would withhold his support for extending Section 702 until the FBI is more open with the committee about how it uses the spying powers on American citizens.”   http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42859-lawmakers-tie-fisa-data-disclosures-to-section-702-reauthorization

Politicians and government agencies blocking citizens on social media for criticizing their positions. “The responses (ProPublica has) received so far show that governors and (federal) agencies across the country are blocking at least 1,298 accounts.”   https://www.propublica.org/article/governors-and-federal-agencies-are-blocking-accounts-on-facebook-and-twitter

Venezuelan government bans opposition political parties from participating in upcoming elections. “A party that has not participated today (in mayoral elections) cannot participate anymore,” Maduro said in televised comments Sunday. “They will disappear from the political map.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/world/venezuela-president-threat-ban-opposition-draws-rebuff-article-1.3690286

Global tensions boost defense industry profits. “The surge in sales by U.S. companies was in large part thanks to Lockheed Martin, the world’s top weapons producer.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/11/led-us-weapons-makers-global-arms-sales-soared-2016-analysis

Internet founders, tech giants criticize FCC’s planned revocation of “net neutrality”. “The proposed Order removes long-standing FCC oversight over Internet access providers without an adequate replacement to protect consumers, free markets and online innovation.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/11/save-internet-they-helped-create-web-pioneers-demand-fcc-cancel-net-neutrality-vote

Texas woman stopped for having tinted windows was deported. “At the Border Patrol office, according to Ruth, the troopers sipped convenience-store cappuccinos as she was identified, immigration court records confirm, as being exactly who she said she was, with no criminal record. She was deemed removable and sent to an immigrant detention facility.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/12/10/theyre-taking-everybody-videos-show-texas-troopers-ripping-apart-immigrant-families-during-traffic-stops/

Election integrity activists sue Alabama for deleting voting records. “Alabama’s “optical scan” tabulating systems, which don’t count the ballots themselves but instead scan them and count the resulting image files, purge these files from memory upon shutdown.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/12/11/voters-left-dark-alabamas-election-system/

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department withholding information on deputy misconduct from prosecutors. “California is among 22 states that keep officer discipline from the public, but it is the only one that blocks prosecutors from seeing entire police personnel files.”   http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-sheriff-brady-list-20171208-htmlstory.html

Judge in Cliven Bundy trial scolds prosecution for withholding evidence. “The documents include FBI memos that clarified the agency’s support role in the standoff.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/us-judge-warns-of-mistrial-in-nevada-rancher-bundys-trial/

Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq kill 29 Kurds. “Turkish attacks against northern Iraq are fairly common, and everyone killed in the Kurdish region tends to be labeled PKK in official statements, despite a lot of questions about who exactly is being killed.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/12/11/turkish-army-29-pkk-killed-in-strikes-on-northern-iraq/

Polish TV station fined $420,000 for covering anti-government protests. “The National Broadcasting Council said in a statement that all-news station TVN24’s coverage of street protests over three days last December violated Polish law by ‘propagating illegal activities and promoting behavior that threatens security’.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/polish-media-regulator-fines-us-175709875.html

Family of man fatally shot by Pittsburgh transit police after stabbing K-9 sues. “(Officers) O’Malley and Rivotti shot Kelley seven times, including twice in the back, and killed him, according to the lawsuit.”   https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/former-washington-county-man-s-family-members-allege-excessive-force/article_b9e78e0c-deab-11e7-b089-3bf2d9df739f.html

Thousands of protesters demand resignation of Philippine leader. “Duterte has repeatedly boasted about personally killing suspected drug dealers, and he’s led a bloody so-called war on drugs that’s seen police and vigilantes carry out more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/11/headlines/philippines_thousands_march_to_demand_dutertes_resignation_on_intl_human_rights_day

 

 

December 12, 2017

December 10, 2017

Lawyer representing family of Mesa police shooting victim Daniel Shaver releases graphic body camera video of incident, in which an unarmed and cooperative Shaver was fatally shot five times. “Prosecutors said Shaver appeared to be attempting to pull up his shorts.”   http://heavy.com/news/2017/12/daniel-shaver-philip-brailsford-mesa-police-shooting-video-full/

Sources say Trump drinks about 12 Diet Cokes a day, watches up to 8 hours of television. “… I don’t get to watch much television, primarily because of documents. I’m reading documents a lot.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-drinks-12-diet-coke-watch-tv-cable-news-2017-12

Business and government agencies say they added 228,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in November, but survey results say only 57,000. “While the (official) unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1%, a broader measure of joblessness ticked up to 8% from 7.9%. That rate includes the unemployed as well as part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs and discouraged Americans who have stopped looking.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/careers/2017/12/08/jobs-november-employment-report-offers-positives-negatives-u-s-workers/934792001/

Expert says making Trump resign as part of a plea deal better for the country than impeachment. “… Mueller might do well to avoid a lengthy legal battle over the constitutionality of his prosecutorial authority, and strike a deal with Trump.”   http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/363875-a-presidential-plea-deal-is-better-than-impeachment

South Carolina serial killer claims he killed more than the 7 people he was sentenced to life for. “(Kala Brown) said… that (Todd) Kohlhepp raped her daily during her captivity and bragged that he was good at killing, claiming that his victims numbered nearly 100.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/todd-kohlhepp-serial-killer-says-there-are-more-victims/

Nobel peace prize winner says the world will not be safe until nuclear weapons are abolished. “All nine nuclear-weapons states need to acknowledge the insanely dangerous situation they have created and commit to a fundamental change in their nuclear policy, one based not on deterrence, but on the active pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/08/opinions/nuclear-weapons-helfand-opinion/index.html

New York Times says it’s likely more than 1,000 Puerto Ricans died as a result of Hurricane Maria. “The Times’s analysis found that in the 42 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, 1,052 more people than usual died across the island….Officially, just 64 people died as a result of the storm that ravaged the island…”   https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/08/us/puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-death-toll.html

Conflicting theories on why so many North Korean “ghost ships” full of dead fisherman are washing up in Japan. “The ghost ships are a barometer for the state of living conditions in North Korea — grim and desperate.” Versus, “… North Korean economics, which adopted free market partly, have grown, and generated a wealthy class. A wealthy class demands not caloric food, but healthy food.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/ghost-ships-suspected-to-be-from-north-korea-showing-up-in-japan-2017-12

Why isn’t a supposedly tightening U.S. labor market resulting in higher wages? “…the pedestrian 2.5 percent average hourly earnings growth (in November) left many scratching their heads wondering how a 4.1 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in 17 years, still wasn’t producing fatter paychecks.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/08/lack-of-wage-growth-remains-the-economys-greatest-mystery.html

San Francisco puts limits on delivery robots. “You do not need a robot to deliver a ham sandwich. If you want one that badly, just go down and get it yourself.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/10/san-francisco-delivery-robots-laws

Unity Commission suggests reducing number of Democratic Party “super delegates” by 60%. “Voters first, in terms of eliminating 400 super delegates out of 715 on the first ballot for the presidential nomination of the United States.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/dnc-unity-reform-commission-takes-a-whack-at-superdelegates/

CNN allegedly refusing to explain how it blew Trump/Wikileaks story. “The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 – which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

Videographer captures images of starving polar bear dying in a snowless Arctic. “As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diets – seals.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/starving-polar-bear-captured-on-video-rummaging-through-trashcan/

Last June, 90 U.S. Senators, including Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer, voted in favor of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.”   https://www.timesofisrael.com/senate-unanimously-passes-bill-marking-50-years-since-jerusalem-reunification/

December 10, 2017

December 9, 2017

Former Mesa, Arizona police officer found not guilty in fatal shooting of unarmed suspect. “The detective investigating the shooting had agreed Shaver’s movement was similar to reaching for a pistol, but said it also looked as though Shaver was pulling up his loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he was ordered to crawl toward officers.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/08/arizona-police-shooting-philip-brailsford-acquitted

Jails ending free visits, replacing them with $12.99 video calls. “The prison phone system is a $1.2bn-a-year industry, dominated by big players like Securus.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/09/skype-for-jailed-video-calls-prisons-replace-in-person-visits

NSA whistle-blower claims corruption is to blame for 9/11 intelligence failures. “The whole vision statement for them is keep the problem going so the money keeps flowing.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/12/08/whistleblower-prevented-9-11/

Anti-American demonstrations held around the world after Trump recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Besides Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, “Thousands of people also gathered in protest in Algeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kashmir, Iran and Indonesia.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/israel-day-of-rage-protests_us_5a2a59a1e4b073789f68c247

Pentagon not exactly sure where 44,000 U.S. troops are stationed. “(Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob) Manning presented this as simply a limitation of the Pentagon’s current capabilities, and that there is literally “no personnel system” in the Pentagon that tracks where everyone is, and they just stick everyone else in “unknown” so the number of troops they officially have balances out with the number of troops deployed in actual, real places.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/12/08/44000-us-troops-on-unknown-deployments-worldwide/

Trump’s evangelical Christian supporters believe recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will lead to Armageddon – and that it’s a good thing. “Some Christian fundamentalists believe Israel and Jerusalem will play an important role in the apocalyptic end of days and the Second Coming of Christ….  Shifting the US embassy to Jerusalem could help hasten the inevitable Battle of Armageddon.”   http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/why-trump-supporters-believe-moving-us-embassy-jerusalem-could-trigger-armageddon-1650463

 

December 9, 2017

December 8, 2017

Al Franken resigns, Donald Trump doesn’t. “There is some irony that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who preyed on young girls runs for Senate with the full support of his party.”   http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-franken-resignation-20171207-story.html

Israeli troops reportedly fired real bullets at protesting Palestinians, wounding 4. “At least 104 people have been injured in the West Bank and Gaza amid protests and clashes after Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, including four with live bullets, according to the Palestine Red Crescent.”   http://abcnews.go.com/International/palestinians-israeli-forces-clash-trumps-jerusalem-decision/story?id=51646135

Jail and prison guards accused of using tasers as a sometimes fatal form of punishment. “The 2009 incident is among hundreds documented by Reuters in which Tasers have been misused or linked to accusations of torture or corporal punishment in U.S. prisons and jails. Reuters identified 104 deaths involving Tasers behind bars, nearly all since 2000…”   https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-taser-jails/

Former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner charged with treason over terror attack cover-up. “On January 14, 2015, (Alberto Nisman) filed a criminal claim accusing Mrs Kirchner and others of secretly negotiating a deal with Tehran to offer immunity for Iranian suspects in the bombing, in exchange for Iranian oil…. Mr Nisman was due to present his findings before Congress on January 20, but the day before was found dead inside his apartment, with a bullet fired into his head.”    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/07/argentine-judge-issues-arrest-warrant-cristina-kirchner-terror/   Conspiracies, cover-ups and political murders DO apparently happen.

Stop the presses! Former police officer Michael Slager sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting fleeing, unarmed suspect Walter Scott. “A bystander recorded the shooting on a cellphone, and it was shared around the world, setting off protests across the U.S. as demonstrators said it was another egregious example of police officers’ mistreating African-Americans.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-judge-rules-ex-south-carolina-cop-committed-murder-2017-12   This will really be news if he actually goes to prison and serves some time, but chances are this will be thrown out on appeal or he will be pardoned. BTW, Google News apparently doesn’t consider this to be an important story, I just chanced onto it via a link in another story.

General Electric to eliminate 12,000 jobs. “Given the challenges within the global power market, today’s announcement represents an obvious next step in reducing headcount and footprint in order to improve margins and cash flow within the struggling business.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-07/ge-is-said-to-plan-12-000-job-cuts-as-new-ceo-revamps-power-unit

Protesters rally in defense of “net neutrality”. “Broadband companies have supported FCC Chairman [and former Verizon lawyer] Ajit Pai’s plan to dismantle the rules, arguing the (consumer protection) regulation is heavy-handed and has hurt investment.”   https://www.cnet.com/news/net-neutrality-protesters-take-to-the-streets/

Pozni scheme convict escapes from federal prison. “… (Frederick) Berg carried out the biggest financial scam in Washington state history when he stole $120 million from more than 800 investors over a period of 10 years.”   https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/12/08/Ponzi-scam-artist-who-stole-100M-escapes-from-federal-prison/3551512715089/

Congressional campaigns of Trump’s new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief were funded by financial industry and payday loan companies. “During his congressional campaigns, (Mick) Mulvaney vacuumed in more than $567,000 from donors in the commercial banking, credit and securities/investment industries, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That includes more than $55,000 from donors in the payday and title loan industry, according to data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-financial-regulator-mulvaney-pushed-cfpb-back-industry-bankrolled-him

Woman sues St. Paul police after being mistakenly attacked by police dog while she was taking out her garbage and seriously mauled. “St. Paul police officer Thaddeus P. Schmidt lost control of his K-9, Gabe, who repeatedly ignored more than 10 commands from Schmidt and another officer to release the woman, Desiree Collins, according to the suit filed Wednesday.”   http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-police-dog-attacked-innocent-woman-suit-says/462416373/

Restaurant fires waiter after he shares anti-gay comments left by customer on credit card receipt on social media. “Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food!” the patron wrote on the Nov. 30 receipt at Hickory Tavern’s Sun Valley/Indian Trail location on Old Monroe Road. “Ruined my experience tongt. Will not be back!”   http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article188242204.html

Lawsuit accuses high-end Manhattan sushi restaurant of not paying workers minimum wage. “Sushi Nakazawa, the New York restaurant that famously employs chef Daisuke Nakazawa, was hit with a class-action wage lawsuit Wednesday for allegedly not paying the minimum wage and misappropriating tips.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2017/12/07/new-yorks-acclaimed-sushi-nakazawa-is-accused-of-wage-theft-ahead-of-its-d-c-debut-in-trump-hotel/

Side effects of nuclear conflict would wipe out almost all humans on the planet. “…the fallout would remain mostly limited to the northern hemisphere but the smoke and soot generated by fierce firestorms in hundreds of burning cities would be lofted into the stratosphere, where it would not rain out and would remain for a decade or more, enveloping the globe in smoke and blocking out sunlight, lowering temperatures to the level of the last Ice Age, and killing all harvests worldwide, causing near-universal starvation within a year or two.”   https://harpers.org/blog/2017/12/omnicide/

 

December 8, 2017

December 7, 2017

Stop the presses! Corporate executive sentenced to prison in U.S. for corporate crime! “A former Volkswagen AG executive is heading to federal prison for his role in the German automaker’s emissions cheating scandal.”   http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/12/maximum_prison_sentence_given.html   But he’s not a U.S. citizen, he’s from Germany!

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, clearly siding with Israel over the disputed city, implies critics of his move are “purveyors of hate”. “So today, we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.”   https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/12/06/statement-president-trump-jerusalem   Scene: A china shop. Enter bull, stage right.

Wealthy neighborhoods of Los Angeles burning in wildfire. “At least four houses burned in hilly Bel-Air, where sprawling villas costing tens of millions of dollars are home to celebrities and other wealthy Angelenos.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/us/california-fires.html

Man claims he scammed his garden shed into London’s top rated restaurant on TripAdvisor. “As there is no incentive for anyone in the real world to create a fake restaurant it is not a problem we experience with our regular community – therefore this ‘test’ is not a real world example.”   https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/434gqw/i-made-my-shed-the-top-rated-restaurant-on-tripadvisor   And by the way, this story appeared among the top “World” stories on Google News, listed as the number two story about Mike Flynn allegedly boasting about “ripping up” Russia sanctions.

Putin to run for president of Russia again in 2018. “Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000, longer than veteran Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and outstripped only by dictator Josef Stalin.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/vladimir-putin-reelection-president-russia-2017-12

Three-term mayor of Davenport, Florida accused of using dead people’s handicapped permits to park in handicapped parking spaces. “When authorities searched her home, they found two placards. One was issued to someone who died in 2012, and the other belonged to a person who died two years ago.”   http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-mayor-arrested-handicapped-parking-20171206-story.html

Delta crew beginning takeoff averts possible crash by notifying tower of aircraft trying to land on its runway. “Upon seeing the Volaris aircraft, Delta’s flight crew notified air traffic controllers, who quickly told Delta to abort its plans for takeoff.”   http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/12/06/disaster-averted-after-jfk-bound-flight-nearly-lands-on-same-runway-as-outbound-aircraft.html

Ford moving electric vehicle production to Mexico so it can make self-driving cars in Michigan that will deliver pizzas without human drivers. “Earlier this year, Ford announced a partnership with Domino’s Pizza to develop self-driving cars to deliver pizzas to customers.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/06/ford-makes-room-for-new-self-driving-vehicle-moving-ev-production-to-mexico.html   So who is going to be buying these pizzas? Mexican auto workers? The seven guys who program the autonomous vehicles?

Historian’s map shows approximate sites of more than 170 massacres of aboriginal peoples in Australia. “She estimates that there were more than five hundred massacres of Indigenous people over all, and that massacres of settlers numbered fewer than ten.”   https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/mapping-massacres

As Guatemalan police records are digitized, families are learning the fates of 245,000 loved ones killed or “disappeared” by the country’s right-wing government. “Statistical analysis of the documents revealed that the mass disappearances were not rogue operations, but part of a systematic method to repress leftist movements.”   https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/5/16733592/guatemala-civil-war-genocide-human-rights-archives

Homeless create their own, new city in Brazil. “Just two months after the Homeless Workers Movement occupied the abandoned land in Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial town just outside the mega-city of Sao Paulo, the number of families staking a claim to a piece of it skyrocketed to 8,300.”   http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-brazil-occupation-20171204-story.html

Former pubic radio co-host accuses WNYC executives of tolerating bullying by NPR “rock star” John Hockenberry. “I was even told one of the reasons for John’s explosions were his frustration with my “incompetence”. I was the problem.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2017/dec/06/john-hockenberry-wnyc-investigation

American fathers facing persecution for taking family leave. “Male and female supervisors were trying to police the men into traditional gender roles. The pervasive assumption is that men are free of family responsibilities.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/06/fired-for-taking-paternity-leave-dads-fighting-gender-roles-face-uphill-battle

Poll: 70% of Americans think Congress should investigate Trump sexual harassment allegations. “While more than a dozen women have come forward over the years saying that Trump mistreated or assaulted them in a sexual nature, Trump has so far remained immune from facing accountability or consequences for these alleged acts.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/06/70-americans-think-congress-should-probe-sexual-assault-allegations-against-trump

Estimated 15,000 march in Washington D.C. on behalf of DACA immigrants, hundreds arrested. “The Dream Act, first introduced in Congress in 2001, would enable undocumented people who were brought to the United States as children and meet other criteria to remain in the United States legally.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/06/picturesvideo-hundreds-arrested-peaceful-protest-thousands-march-demanding-clean

Trump administration reportedly deporting long-term U.S. residents. “Many are married to American citizens and have American-born children. Human Rights Watch found that the number of people detained inside the U.S. rather than at the border — meaning that they were not new arrivals — increased by 42 percent over last year, while immigration arrests of people with no criminal convictions nearly tripled.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/12/06/trump-immigration-deportation-dhs/

Federal appeals court rules in favor of teen ordered to masturbate in front of police officers. “In 2016, Sims filed a federal civil rights suit alleging Detective David E Abbott Jr. forced him to pull down his trousers so the police could take pictures of his penis to compare with the graphic images on his girlfriend’s phone. Abbott obtained a search warrant authorizing photographs of Sims’ “naked body, including his erect penis”…”   http://www.ibtimes.com/detective-asking-teenage-boy-masturbate-evidence-broke-law-court-2625121

Baltimore police officer pleads guilty to involvement in nine armed robberies. “(Thomas Allers) admitted that he teamed up with two former detectives in the gun squad, Momodu Gondo and Jemell Rayam, to use their police powers, armed and with search warrants, to steal thousands of dollars from people.”   http://www.wbaltv.com/article/bpd-sergeant-pleads-guilty-in-federal-racketeering-conspiracy-case/14343112

1,700 – 2,000 U.S. troops believed to be stationed in Syria. “Officially, in late November, the Pentagon figure was 502…”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/12/06/pentagon-admits-to-2000-us-troops-in-syria/

U.N. human rights official urges Mexico not to pass law increasing power of country’s military. “U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said the law did not contain strong enough controls to protect civilians from abuses in Mexico, where extrajudicial killings, torture and disappearances are carried out by both security forces and criminal gangs.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-violence-un/mexican-army-hit-by-execution-finding-as-senate-mulls-new-military-powers-idUSKBN1E00DF

Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of Vietnam War era “Pentagon Papers”, says Eisenhower’s nuclear war strategy was a massive first strike targeting every city in Russia, China and Eastern Europe. “In the event of your carrying out your general nuclear war plans…, how many will die?…. They came back with an answer very quickly: 325 million people in the USSR and China alone. Well, then I asked, “All right, how many altogether?” And a few days later, 100 million in East Europe, the captive nations, another 100 million in West Europe, our allies, from our own strikes, by fallout, depending on which way the wind blew, and, however the wind blew, a third 100 million in adjoining countries, neutral countries, like Austria and Finland, or Afghanistan then, Japan, northern India and so forth—a total of 600 million people.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/6/doomsday_machine_daniel_ellsberg_reveals_he

 

December 7, 2017