August 11, 2020

Rioting and looting in Chicago after police shoot fleeing man suspected of having a gun. “More than 100 people were arrested and 13 officers were injured, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Monday morning at a news conference.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/100-arrested-13-officers-injured-overnight-chicago-unrest-following-police-n1236265

Biden still attracting more billionaire donors than Trump. “Joe Biden has received donations from 131 members of the upper crust, while Donald Trump has gotten donations from just 99 of his fellow tycoons, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.”   https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelatindera/2020/08/08/biden-pulls-away-in-race-for-billionaire-donors/

Man shot outside White House was apparently unarmed, may have been suicidal. “The suspect approached the (uniformed Secret Service) officer and told the officer he had a weapon. The suspect then turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing. He then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/10/trump-white-house-shooting-secret-service

Lebanon’s parliamentary government steps down, country’s president now in charge. “After the (Beirut port explosion) catastrophe, (prime minister Hassan) Diab had sought to stay on for two months to organize new parliamentary elections and allow a map for reforms. But the pressure from within his own Cabinet (leading to multiple resignations) proved to be too much…. The weekend protests saw (continued) clashes, with security forces firing tear gas at demonstrators.”   https://apnews.com/598da05d3907aa58399c86ff85a9babc

Seattle’s city council passes budget that includes cuts to police department, with socialist council member Kshama Sawant voting ‘no’, saying the cuts fall far short. “The… amended 2020 budget… included historic reductions to the Seattle Police Department, such as cutting as many as 100 officers through layoffs and attrition…. the approved budget will cut about $3 million of the department’s $400 million annual budget this year.”    https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-city-council-approves-cuts-police-positions-budget/JEL3FQBAWJHTFMLGS4LOFBXYDE/   Less than a 1% cut! But it’s a news story that both CNN and Fox News agree (!) needs to be blown completely out of proportion. CNN headline: “Seattle Police chief announces her retirement after city council votes to cut the police budget by nearly $4 million”.  Fox News headline: “Seattle City Council approves plan to defund police department, slashes jobs and salaries”.

South Dakota law enforcement kept busy by massive Sturgis motorcycle rally. “The Department of Public Safety reported that police made 84 arrests for driving under the influence or drug-related offenses during a 24-hour period spanning from Saturday into Sunday morning…. with 226 people getting tickets…. So far, police in the region have reported 18 crashes…”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sturgis-rally-2020-84-arrests-24-hours/

Los Angeles county deputies hold unarmed black teens at gunpoint after altercation with homeless man who allegedly attack them with a knife while they were waiting at a bus stop. “A call for service was received regarding a felony assault, and the deputies detained those (alleged) to be involved. The matter is currently being investigated.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/viral-video-shows-police-pointing-guns-at-black-teens-who-were-allegedly-victims-of-attack/ar-BB17NIOf

Additional police body camera footage of George Floyd’s arrest released, some of which had been previously leaked. “… about six-and-a-half minutes in, Floyd became unresponsive and officers could not find a pulse. Both (Thomas) Lane and (Alexander) Kueng almost immediately get off of Floyd.”   https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/08/10/george-floyd-case-judge-releases-ex-officers-lane-and-kueng-body-cam-videos-warning-graphic-content/

Black Lives Matter leader arrested at protest in Portland. “(Demetria) Hester gained prominence in 2017 when she was assaulted by a white supremacist while riding a light-rail train. The man who attacked Hester, Jeremy Christian, stabbed two men to death the following night and critically injured a third man…. She… publicly criticized the police for failing to arrest Christian that night, which allowed him to commit the murders the following day.”   https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/riot-swiftly-declared-portland-protest-union-building-72276767

More than 100 protesters in Ferguson, Missouri mark 6th anniversary of fatal shooting of Michael Brown. “… police declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowd to leave. Handheld pepper spray was used to disperse the crowd, police said. Four St. Louis residents were arrested and charged with failure to disperse.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/10/us/ferguson-protests-michael-brown/index.html

Reno, Nevada police say officer accidentally shot reckless driving suspect after being hit by another officer’s taser. “In the video, at least four officers can be seen pointing Tasers at the suspect. That’s when a Washoe County deputy moved around the suspect, completely surrounding him.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/10/us/reno-police-accidental-shooting-taser-trnd/index.html

Russian researchers claim to have developed first coronavirus vaccine. “The treatment is yet to go through crucial Phase 3 trials where it would be administered to thousands of people…. Russia has released no scientific data on its testing and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine’s claimed safety or effectiveness.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/11/europe/russia-coronavirus-vaccine-putin-intl/index.html   President Putin reportedly let them use his daughter as a test subject – thanks, dad! I guess it’s better than testing experimental drugs on prisoners or soldiers.

Australian court sides with union activist fired over Hitler movie subtitle gag. “Scott Tracey used the popular meme, from (the) 2004 film Downfall, to portray scenes from company wage negotiations, posting it on a closed Facebook group.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-53730847

California judge orders Uber and Lyft to stop classifying their drivers as independent contractors. “In a 34-page decision faulting the money-losing companies’ ‘prolonged and brazen refusal’ to comply with state law, (Judge Ethan) Schulman said the plaintiffs showed an ‘overwhelming likelihood’ they could prove Uber and Lyft classified drivers illegally.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uber-california/judge-blocks-uber-lyft-from-classifying-drivers-as-contractors-in-california-idUSKCN2562J6

Company lands contract to build thousands of electric garbage trucks. “Shares of Nikola surged Monday after the company confirmed an order of thousands of all-electric refuse trucks for Republic Services. The order includes 2,500 electrified chassis, with the option to increase it up to 5,000 units…”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/10/nikola-shares-surge-more-than-22percent-on-garbage-truck-order-for-republic-services.html

Ghislaine Maxwell tells judge she is being held in isolation, is reportedly the only prisoner on the entire floor. “Lawyers for Ms Maxwell, 58, have written a motion to Judge Alison Nathan asking that their client be moved into the general prison population at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ghislaine-maxwell-jail-conditions-news-judge-lawyer-a9664561.html

CDC says U.S. has had 200,000 ‘excess deaths’ this year compared to same period in 2019. “… the 200,000 count is more than 50,000 deaths higher than the toll of those who died due to identified cases of COVID-19, suggesting that far more have passed away either from the illness or from the disruption associated with the pandemic.”   https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/us-now-has-now-seen-200000-more-deaths-than-in-previous-years-cdc-estimates-show

U.S. partnering with Kurdish leftists to defend and exploit Syrian oil fields. “The (inspector general’s) report came as an agreement was made public between a Delaware-based firm called Delta Crescent Energy LLC and Kurdish-led authorities in Syria to develop and export crude oil in areas under their control…. The area controlled by U.S.-backed Syrians likely produced at least 30,000 barrels of oil per day, garnering between $1 million and $3 million a day in revenue, until the recent price collapse, according to the IG report.”   https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/08/10/heres-the-current-us-plan-to-build-up-syrian-proxies-including-an-oilfield-guard-force/

Belarus opposition candidate allegedly pressured to leave country. “In a video published on Tuesday morning, a visibly distressed (Svetlana) Tikhanovskaya indicated she had faced an ultimatum involving her family and was forced to flee for neighbouring Lithuania.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/11/belarus-opposition-candidate-lithuania-protests-svetlana-tikhanouskaya

New York City judge hears testimony in lawsuit to reopen investigation into Eric Garner’s death during his arrest for selling cigarettes. “… there has been scant information released by the city about Mr. Garner’s death. For example, the city has not even identified all of the NYPD officers present at the scene.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/city-in-eric-garner-inquiry-claims-nypd-has-no-duty-to-discipline-officers/

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August 11, 2020

August 10, 2020

Portland protesters set police union building on fire. “Police said there were several protests on Saturday that were peaceful, but a small group lit a fire at the Portland Police Association (PPA) building. According to The Oregonian, it’s the second time a fire has been lit at the police union building, a regular site of protests since they began in late May.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/riot-declared-portland-after-police-union-building-set-on-fire-2020-08-09/

President Trump wants his face on Mt. Rushmore, claims South Dakota’s governor. “I shook his hand, and I said, ‘Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.’ And he goes, ‘Do you know it’s my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?’ “I started laughing,” she said. “He wasn’t laughing, so he was totally serious.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/how-gov-noem-trumps-desire-carved-into-mt-rushmore-2020-8

Progressive native Hawaiian wins Democratic Party primary. “(Kai) Kahele is an advocate of ‘Medicare for All’ and supports the idea of a ‘Green New Deal’ to address climate change and help Hawaii meet its clean energy goals.”   https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/kahele-wins-hawaii-democratic-primary-congress-72264809

President Trump’s inner circle reportedly has him convinced he’s doing a great job managing the pandemic. “… staffers have concocted a positive feedback loop for the boss. They present him with fawning media commentary and craft charts with statistics that back up the president’s claim that the administration has done a great — even historically excellent — job fighting the virus.”   https://www.salon.com/2020/08/09/white-house-concocted-a-positive-feedback-loop-to-trick-trump-into-thinking-hes-doing-a-good-job_partner/

U.S. government spending more than $11.5 billion to develop seven different coronavirus vaccines, plus materials for delivery. “The vaccine candidates now receiving government funding are all based on new technologies, most of which have not been the basis of previously approved vaccines. They have been chosen because they were faster to develop than more conventional vaccines…”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/08/08/feds-spending-more-than-9-billion-covid-19-vaccine-candidates/5575206002/

Pro-democracy media figure arrested in Hong Kong. “(Jimmy) Lai, 71, is the chairman and majority owner of the staunchly pro-democratic newspaper Apple Daily and its publishing company, Next Digital.”   https://www.npr.org/2020/08/10/900758905/prominent-hong-kong-publisher-arrested-under-new-national-security-law

Protesters and police clash in Belarus after President Lukashenko is projected to win sixth term in office by the usual landslide. “A human rights group said one protester was killed and about 120 arrested. Mr Lukashenko won 80% of the vote, according to a preliminary count.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53717834

Coronavirus death rates falling despite increase in deaths due to surge in new cases. “In California, 3.6% of people diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and May died of the disease. Among those diagnosed between June 1 and Aug. 3, that figure dropped to 1.2%, according to a (Los Angeles) Times analysis of state data.”   https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-09/covid-19-coronavirus-survival-rate-improves

President Trump allegedly forced intelligence official into early retirement after he refused to delete information about Russian plans to help his campaign. “‘Key Judgement 2’ in the report concluded that Russia aimed to interfere in the 2020 election to help Trump, unnamed national security sources told Times reporter Robert Draper. Trump was reportedly unhappy with that finding.”   https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-russia-report-2020-election-dni-coats-2020-8

Amazon workers protest outside Jeff Bezos’ multi-million dollar New York penthouse, demand protection from coronavirus and right to unionize. “I have workers [who] contact me all the time. They’re not protected still.”   https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/amazon-protest-new-york-jeff-bezos

Beirut explosion death toll rises to 220, with 110 others still missing. “(Governor Marwan Abboud) told the Al Jadeed TV channel that many foreign workers and lorry drivers were among the missing, which he said had made identifying them more difficult.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53720383

Former Cigna health insurance executive admits he lied about Canada’s health care system, now regrets it. “… I spent much of (2007) as an industry spokesman… spreading AHIP’s “information” to journalists and lawmakers to create the impression that our health-care system was far superior to Canada’s, which we wanted people to believe was on the verge of collapse. The campaign worked.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/08/06/health-insurance-canada-lie/

New book The Jakarta Method implicates U.S. government in massacres of left-wing political opponents in less developed countries. “Working with CIA analysts, embassy political officer Robert Martens prepared lists with the names of thousands of communists and suspected communists, and handed them over to the (Indonesian) Army, so that these people could be murdered and ‘checked off’ the list.”   https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-jakarta-method-how-the-u-s-used-mass-murder-to-beat-communism/

Military expert estimates that the amount of ammonium nitrate that exploded at Beirut’s port was only about 300 tons. “… (Viktor) Murakhovsky said that if the full amount announced by Lebanese officials (2,750 tons) did explode, it would have erased Beirut off the map…. it is much more likely that large amounts from such a stockpile were stolen over the years.”   https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/08/09/Beirut-would-be-erased-had-full-chemical-load-exploded-bulk-likely-stolen-Expert.html

Workers with the lowest incomes excluded from Trump’s unemployment plan. “The language of Trump’s unemployment memorandum issued over the weekend defines “eligible claimants” as those receiving “at least $100 per week” in state unemployment benefits—meaning that laid-off workers currently receiving less than $100 per week in aid will not see a dollar in federal relief unless states agree to increase their benefits.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/10/experts-warn-trump-executive-action-unemployment-insurance-deliberately-leaves-out

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August 10, 2020

August 9, 2020

Billionaires who pledged to give away half their wealth are having trouble keeping their promise. “Though they’ve promised to shed at least half of their wealth for the common good, many of the billionaires who have signed the Giving Pledge are richer than ever, the Institute for Policy Studies said; it added that, ‘while some pledgers earnestly intend to fulfill their promises, many are unable to because their assets are simply growing too fast’.”   https://www.marketwatch.com/story/giving-away-money-well-is-very-hard-the-giving-pledge-turns-10-and-its-signers-are-richer-than-ever-2020-08-08

Waycross, Georgia police officer shoots at teens fleeing traffic stop. “The… officer opened fire on the two teens inside the car after they reportedly drove toward him as he approached the vehicle, authorities said. Nobody was struck by the gunfire, and the 15- and 16-year-old got out of the car while it was still in drive…”   https://www.ajc.com/news/gbi-investigating-officer-involved-shooting-in-south-georgia/L6D5YHRIYZDAXC3A3BULN2ZCQI/

Libertarian presidential candidate gets news coverage after bat bite. “(Jo) Jorgensen’s campaign wrote on Facebook that she would get a rabies vaccine on the advice of her doctor, though she later tweeted that she did not believe the bat was rabid.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/511157-libertarian-candidate-scraps-rally-appearance-after-being-bitten-by-bat

Six hour stand-off outside New York City apartment building as dozens of police officers attempt to arrest Black Live Matter protest leader accused of injuring officer with loud megaphone. “(Derrick) Ingram was unarmed when the officers, some in tactical gear, arrived at his building early Friday morning…. Officers had police dogs and sharpshooters pointed rifles at his window, and more than 30 police vehicles were stationed outside Ingram’s building, (the group’s) statement says.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/08/us/nypd-protest-derrick-ingram-trnd/index.html

President Trump promises to permanently cut Social Security tax if re-elected. “… Trump would be embarking on a fraught process that could have catastrophic fiscal effects on… Social Security, which watchdogs recently have warned is in dire financial straits, expected next year to have costs that exceed its total incomes.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/08/08/trump-payroll-tax-cut/

Joe Biden’s climate advisors have deep links to fossil fuel industry. “Immediately after leaving her post in the Obama White House, (former Obama administration climate policy chief Heather) Zichal joined the fossil fuel industry’s ranks, accepting a lucrative position on the board of Cheniere, one of the largest natural gas companies in the country.”   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/07/joe-biden-climate-policy-advisers/

Trump campaign has raised millions from fossil fuel industry. “… Trump Victory, the joint fundraising committee of Trump’s campaign and the RNC, has raked in $9.3m from fossil fuel donors in 2019-2020, while its counterpart Biden Victory has raised a meager $40,465 from fossil fuel donors in the same period, according to Open Secrets.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/09/big-oil-trump-campaign-donations-fossil-fuel-industry

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August 9, 2020

August 8, 2020

Pandemic stimulus negotiations stall, President Trump threatens to take unilateral action. “He said his pending executive orders would extend lapsed enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of the year at an unspecified level, continue an expired eviction moratorium and indefinitely suspend federal student loan payments. They would also suspend the payroll tax through December.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/07/coronavirus-stimulus-updates-relief-bill-stalls-trump-mulls-executive-order.html   Trump wants to suspend Social Security and Medicare payroll deductions ‘retroactively’. “Trump said if coronavirus negotiations continued to stall, he would sign an executive order deferring the payroll tax until the end of the year, starting July 1 retroactively…”    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-relief-executive-order   But people getting regular paychecks are not the ones who need the help. So why would a Republican president want to put the retirement system at risk by cutting its funding? Why not cut income tax withholding instead? And making this retroactive will be an accounting nightmare. Are you going to adjust income tax withholding retroactively too?

Former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio loses sheriff’s race in state’s Republican primary. “The loss marked Arpaio’s second failed attempt to return to politics. He ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for U.S. Senate in 2018, not long after President Donald Trump had pardoned his 2017 criminal contempt of court conviction for disobeying a judge’s order in a racial profiling case.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/joe-arpaio-loses-sheriff-s-race-second-failed-comeback-bid-n1236210

Virginia rape suspect released from pre-trial detention due to pandemic kills his accuser, then shoots himself during police chase. “Police said the woman was a native of Venezuela and did not have family in this country.”   https://www.pilotonline.com/news/crime/vp-nw-rape-suspect-kills-accuser-20200807-bsyekpq5nrdfvmf75qzlpb72ne-story.html

Oprah Winfrey funds Breonna Taylor billboards. “‘Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged,’ each of the 26 billboards — one for every year Taylor was alive — reads.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/08/07/900192570/oprah-winfrey-commissions-26-billboards-demanding-arrests-in-breonna-taylors-kil

President of Lebanon: Beirut explosion may have been set off by a missile or bomb. “(Michael) Aoun said Friday that he asked France for satellite images to see if there were warplanes or missiles in the air at the time of the blast.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/08/07/beirut-explosion-due-negligence-missile-says-lebanon-president/3317722001/

Nutley, New Jersey police charge activists with felonies over tweeting and re-tweeting photo of masked police officer with covered badge who was allegedly fraternizing with counter-protesters at Black Live Matter protest. “What this appears to be is a police officer flexing his ability to charge someone notwithstanding the fact that he cannot establish the elements of the crime.”   https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/6/21355999/twitter-cyber-harassment-felony-charges-police-protests-retweet   Ironically, the officer was identified in the summons, and now his name is in the press, which sort of undercuts their argument that he feared being targeted by activists.

Green Party presidential candidate struggling to get on the ballot. “(Howie) Hawkins… will appear on the ballot in 31 states and the District of Columbia. In five states — Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Ohio — voters can cast a write-in vote for Hawkins…. Hawkins said during a video conference with reporters Thursday that ballot access has been the main focus (of his campaign).”   https://auburnpub.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/green-party-presidential-candidate-howie-hawkins-on-ballot-access-kanye-west/article_edf551a8-485c-5834-bc21-d29f24093b2d.html

Life in a developed market economy: consumers in 43 states sickened by onions contaminated with salmonella. “Some of the onions were sold at stores including Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Publix, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, and H-E-B, under a variety of brand names, the CDC said.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/08/health/onions-salmonella-outbreak/index.html

Russia warns U.S. that all incoming missiles will be assumed to be carrying nuclear weapons. “The harsh warning in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) is directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-warns-it-will-see-any-incoming-missile-as-nuclear/ar-BB17GrTb

Hezbollah leader denies allegations that group had weapons stored at Beirut’s port. “We have nothing in the port: not an arms depot, nor a missile depot nor missiles nor rifles nor bombs nor bullets nor (ammonium) nitrate.”   https://www.france24.com/en/20200807-lebanon-s-hezbollah-leader-categorically-denies-storing-arms-at-blast-site

Federal contractor claims it can access user location data from software embedded in over 500 phone apps. “Anomaly Six says it embeds its own (software development kit) in some apps, and in other cases gets location data from… partners.”   https://www.imore.com/us-government-contractor-embedded-tracking-software-apps-millions-smartphone-users

U.N. accuses troops from Mali and Burkina Faso of carrying out more than 140 extrajudicial executions in three months. “The UN report said the army targeted numerous terrorist elements in central Mali, as well as sometimes conducting ‘reprisal operations against civilian populations’, accused of supporting jihadists.”   https://www.thedefensepost.com/2020/08/07/extrajudicial-killings-malian-burkinabe-troops/

Federal judge speaks out against ‘qualified immunity’ for police officers after reluctantly dismissing plaintiff’s lawsuit. “(Clarence) Jamison’s case relates to a 2013 traffic stop in which Officer Nick McClendon pulled him over in Shreveport, Louisiana…. McClendon aggressively searched the car, leaving $4,000 worth of damage and detaining Jamison for nearly two hours before leaving him on the side of the road, the interior of his car destroyed.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/07/prohibited-holding-police-officer-account-federal-judge-calls-supreme-court-overturn

Louisiana’s supreme court refuses to overturn man’s life sentence for stealing a set of hedge trimmers. “Five of the court’s six justices ruled last week that Fair Wayne Bryant’s life sentence for an attempted burglary in 1997 was fair and should be carried out, leaving Bryant with little recourse.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/07/enraging-and-inexcusable-louisiana-supreme-court-rules-black-man-convicted-garden

Federal judge upset to learn that child immigration detainees have not been released from custody, as she had ordered. “(U.S. District Judge Dolly) Gee… ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release detained immigrant youth who’ve been held for more than 20 days at the agency’s Family Residential Centers.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/federal-judge-alarmed-immigrant-children-still-detained-during-pandemic/

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August 8, 2020

August 7, 2020

General strike in Bolivia after government delays post-coup election for the third time. “The Bolivian Workers’ Center union (COB), which organized the strike, is demanding that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal reverse an earlier decision to postpone the election —originally scheduled for September 6— to October 18…. The new election was originally slated for May, but was delayed because of the pandemic. Conservative Interim President Jeanine Áñez has been accused of using the pandemic to try to hold onto power.”   https://www.latinousa.org/2020/07/29/bolivianworkersstrike/

Georgia high school student suspended after posting photo of unmasked students crammed together in school hallway. “I was concerned for the safety of everyone in that building and everyone in the county because precautions that the CDC and guidelines that the CDC has been telling us for months now, weren’t being followed.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/07/us/georgia-teen-photo-crowded-school-hallway-trnd/index.html

Progressive Democrat wins Tennessee U.S. Senate primary election, defeating party-endorsed centrist despite huge gap in campaign spending. “Memphis environmentalist, Black activist and single mom Marquita Bradshaw won the Democratic primary for an open U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee on Thursday.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/marquita-bradshaw-scores-upset-win-tennessee-democratic-senate-primary-n1236096   “James Mackler, one of Bradshaw’s four primary competitors, was endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and raised more than $2 million over the course of the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Bradshaw, by contrast, had the backing of the Memphis-Midsouth chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and raised just over $8,400.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/07/outraised-250-1-progressive-marquita-bradshaw-upsets-establishment-opponent

Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes pandemic windfall tax on billionaires. “The ‘Make Billionaires Pay Act’ would impose a one-time 60% tax on wealth gains made by billionaires between March 18, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/06/sanders-billionaire-tax-bill-would-cost-bezos-musk-zuckerberg.html

Gov. of Iowa signs bill to let former felons vote. “Iowa no longer is the only state in the country to permanently… ban its citizens from voting following any felony conviction.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/iowa-gov-reynolds-signs-order-restoring-felon-voting-rights-n1235991

Hong Kong bans Tiananmen Square massacre remembrance for first time in 30 years. “Hong Kong police said in a statement that 24 people – 19 men and five women between the ages of 23-69 – had been charged with holding and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-53689265

Saudi leader accused of sending assassination team to Canada. “The alleged plot failed after Canadian border agents became suspicious of the hit-squad as they attempted to enter the country at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, court documents say…. the group – which included a man from the same department as the man accused of dismembering Khashoggi – were carrying two bags of forensic tools.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53677869

74% of Americans polled want to see U.S. troops leave Iraq, 76% want them to leave Afghanistan. “Given how polarized the country is on so many other issues, it is striking how unified Americans are on ending our endless wars in the Middle East, prioritizing domestic concerns over foreign ones, and avoiding greater military engagement in conflicts overseas.”   https://thehill.com/policy/defense/510851-poll-about-three-quarters-support-bringing-troops-home-from-iraq-afghanistan

Journalist points out the hypocrisy of accusing Chinese companies and the Chinese government of secretly exploiting people’s personal data. “We’ve known since NSA contractor Edward Snowden helped expose various surveillance programs seven years ago that information from Silicon Valley heavies like Google, Facebook, and Apple was routinely and systematically provided to the NSA…. Marketing apps to young people and then hoovering up their data to be subject to facial recognition or machine learning or who knows what else should either offend us or not, regardless of whether perpetuated by (Mark) Zuckerberg or TikTok boss Zhang Yiming.”   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/06/the-filthy-hypocrisy-of-americas-clean-china-free-internet/

National Rifle Association leaders accused of misappropriating the organization’s funds. “(New York Attorney General Letitia) James said the NRA’s chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, and other top officials broke state and federal laws while enriching themselves and their families.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2020/8/7/headlines/new_york_attorney_general_files_suit_to_dissolve_nra_over_executives_self_dealing

Americans reportedly going abroad to have their babies. “…’expat’ motivation surveys, migration experts and interviews with over a dozen Americans around the world reveal that many leave home, at least in part, to escape the crushing financial and personal costs of starting a family in the United States.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/07/reverse-birth-tourists-americans-are-having-babies-abroad

Hundreds protest after German police shut down 35 year-old bar popular with leftists, so that foreign property owners can convert the building into apartments. “Increasing anger over gentrification in Berlin, swathes of which have been bought up by property and pension funds in recent years – in particular in the southern district of Neukölln, where Syndikat is located – has led to political interventions including a law to freeze rent for five years.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/07/protest-arrests-as-landlord-bar-berlin-leftwing-syndikat

Peace and human rights groups oppose Trump’s appointment of Elliott Abrams as special envoy on Venezuela and Iran. “Elliott Abrams has made a career of lying and committing criminal acts that have led to the death and suffering of innocent people from Guatemala to Iraq. He embraces militarism, covers up for gross human rights abuses, and has a history of supporting authoritarian regimes.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/07/trump-blasted-naming-war-criminal-and-iran-contra-convict-elliott-abrams-iran-envoy

Voting rights groups urge Congress to reauthorize Voting Rights Act. “…in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act by freeing states to change their election laws without federal approval. Since then, more than a dozen states have passed stringent voter ID laws, closed more than 1,600 polling places, including many in majority-Black and Latino communities, or otherwise made it more difficult for residents to vote.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/06/55th-anniversary-voting-rights-act-advocates-call-congress-fully-restore-law-honor

Georgia sued over long lines at polling stations. “Among the plaintiffs is Sara Alami, a Fulton County resident who allegedly had to wait ‘six hours in the scorching heat’ to cast her vote during the primary. She had planned on sending her vote in by mail, but her absentee ballot never arrived, according to the lawsuit.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/georgia-democrats-sue-state-election-officials-over-voting-wait-times/

Attorney for family of police shooting victim Sean Monterrosa accuses Vallejo, California police of disposing of windshield the officer shot him through, when he opened fire from inside a still-moving, unmarked vehicle. “Experienced officers wouldn’t destroy evidence,” (John) Burris said. “Unless they were trying to cover something up.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/vallejo-police-sued-over-shooting-death-of-unarmed-man/

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August 7, 2020

August 6, 2020

Israel accused of accidentally setting off Beirut explosion while targeting weapons depot. “A confidential highly-informed Israeli source has told me that Israel caused the massive explosion at the Beirut port earlier today…. Israel targeted a Hezbollah weapons depot at the port and planned to destroy it with an explosive device. Tragically, Israeli intelligence did not perform due diligence on its target.”   https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2020/08/04/breaking-israel-bombed-beirut/   This would explain Trump’s comments about it being a ‘terrible attack’. “I’ve met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that this was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event,” the president told reporters. “It was a bomb of some kind.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/05/donald-trump-beirut-explosion-remarks   “Maintenance was conducted on the warehouse door just hours before the blast on Tuesday, (Director General of Beirut Port Hassan Kraytem) added. ‘We were asked to fix a door of the warehouse by State Security and we did that at noon, but what occurred in the afternoon I have no idea.'”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/05/europe/lebanon-russian-ship-blast-intl/index.html   I wonder why the door needed to be repaired? Did someone break in?

Baltimore Police Department responds to my Public Information Act request by refusing to provide the public with requested information. “Specifically, you requested answers to the following questions: 1) Were any of the officers involved in the shooting of Tyrone D. Banks armed with M4 rifles capable of firing in fully-automatic mode? 2) Did any of the officers fire an M4 rifle at Mr. Banks in fully-automatic mode? 3) How many Baltimore Police Department officers are equipped with fully automatic rifles? The Maryland Public Information Act (“PIA”), Annotated Code of Maryland, General Provisions Article, § 4-101, et seq. governs your request. Please note, the DCU mistakenly overlooked your request due to the large volume of requests received on a daily bases (sic). Your request consists of questions concerning the fatal shooting of Tyrone Domingo Banks that occurred on August 28, 2019 directed to the Document Compliance Unit. The BPD is under no obligation to answer questions. The MPIA provides a right of access to government records, but does not task the government with a general responsibility to research and answer questions.” So how hard would it be for them so say, ‘No, we didn’t use these weapons and we don’t have these weapons?’ Based on the video that’s been released (what appears to be automatic gunfire begins just after the 5:20 mark), and the quasi ‘Glomar response‘ from the BPD, I’m fairly certain Mr. Banks was gunned down with one or more automatic rifles on the streets of Baltimore, after firing zero shots at police officers during the incident. I’m still waiting for a response from the State’s Attorney for Baltimore’s office. Their long-awaited report on this incident failed to address this minor detail; whether or not police officers are using machine guns to kill motorists and wound bystanders during traffic stops.

Missouri voters pass Medcaid expansion through ballot initiative. “Missouri joins five other mostly conservative states that have passed Medicaid expansion via ballot initiatives, most recently Oklahoma, which voted in the measure on June 30…. Medicaid expansion has been fiercely resisted by Republican lawmakers and was placed on the ballot as the result of a petition.”   https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/08/05/898899246/missouri-voters-approve-medicaid-expansion-despite-resistance-from-republican-le

Progressive Democrat U.S. Rep. Rashia Tlaib wins in landslide against her primary challenger. “Let it be known that in the 13th District, just like in communities across our country, we are done with establishment politics that put corporations first,” Tlaib said in a victory statement. “If I was considered the most vulnerable member of the Squad, I think it’s safe to say the Squad is here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tlaib-wins-michigan-democratic-primary-squad

Dr. Anthony Fauci and his family still receiving death threats. “Public safety guidelines like wearing face coverings, social distancing and avoiding large crowds have become a point of contention in the U.S. and has hindered efforts to slow the spread of infections.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/05/dr-fauci-says-his-daughters-need-security-as-family-continues-to-get-death-threats.html

Governor of Michigan declares racism a ‘public health crisis’. “Michigan isn’t the first state to declare racism a public health crisis; Colorado and Wisconsin have done so recently as well. On a more local level, municipalities in 19 states have taken similar steps, including California, Pennsylvania and Texas.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/510689-michigan-governor-signs-order-calling-racism-a-public-health-crisis

84,108 mail in ballots reportedly disqualified in New York primary elections. “One out of (five) mail-in ballots (21%) were disqualified for arriving late, lacking a postmark, failing to include a voter’s signature, or other defects.”   https://nypost.com/2020/08/05/84000-mail-in-ballots-disqualified-in-nyc-primary-election/

Governor of Georgia creates special penalties for crimes against police officers. “The measure, House Bill 838, creates the crime of ‘bias-motivated intimidation’…. The crime will be punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines…. It will also allow officers to sue people or entities for knowingly filing false complaints against them or infringing on their civil rights…”   https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/510806-kemp-signs-law-granting-additional-legal-protections-to-police-officers

Three teenagers arrested in Palm Beach after jumping wall into Mar-a-Lago with a loaded AK-47. “The teens claimed they didn’t own the AK-47 and had ‘found it’. They added that they were trying to evade police and it was a coincidence that they had ended up at Trump’s club.”   https://www.foxnews.com/us/3-teens-arrested-after-jumping-mar-a-lago-wall-with-loaded-ak-47

North Carolina judge orders release of jail video of John Neville’s death. “According to the autopsy report, Neville, 56, died on Dec. 4, 2019, from a brain injury that was caused by positional and compressional asphyxia during prone restraint…. Neville is heard saying ‘Help me!’ and ‘I can’t breathe!’ dozens of times.”   https://www.wral.com/video-shows-inmate-said-i-can-t-breathe-29-times-before-death/19221165/

State Department’s acting inspector general resigns three months after replacing previous inspector general, who was fired. “After (Stephen) Akard was named acting IG, lawmakers pointed to a possible conflict of interest and requested he resign as head of the Office of Foreign Missions and recuse himself from all matters involving that office and the Office of the Secretary (of State). Akard committed to stepping down from Office of Foreign Missions operations but stayed on as its director.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/acting-state-department-watchdog-resigns-months-after-firing-previous-inspector-n1235895   “Stephen Akard took over the office of inspector general at the State Department in an acting capacity in May after the president fired former IG Steve Linick, who had been probing the details of a US-Saudi arms deal as well as allegations that Mr Pompeo was abusing the power of his office for political gain and to keep his household orderly.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-pompeo-state-department-resigns-fired-a9655701.html

President of India lays foundation for Hindu temple on site where mosque was destroyed by a mob of Hindu religious extremists. “The state-sponsored pageantry of the moment, however, proclaimed their greater victory: the transformation of India from a secular-nationalist republic into an ethno-nationalist state.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-08-06/ayodhya-temple-marks-triumph-of-modi-s-hindu-nationalists   Or from a multicultural republic into a Hindu ethno-nationalist theocracy.

Increase in private sector jobs in U.S. in July was way below projections. “… private payrolls increasing by just 167,000, ADP reported Wednesday. That total was well below the 1 million expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones and represented a tumble from the 4.314 million created in June…”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/05/adp-private-payroll-growth-at-167000-in-july-well-below-expectations.html

Tech company documents reveal that Amazon sold diapers at a loss to beat down a competitor, then bought it, then liquidated it. “As I’ve mentioned to each of you, I think, we need to match pricing on these (diapers.com) guys no matter what the cost,” (Douglas) Booms wrote. Over the next year, Amazon began operating its diaper business at a loss…. Amazon announced in 2010 its move to buy (diapers.com parent company) Quidsi in a reported $545 million deal, only to shut down the business in 2017 after Amazon said it failed to become profitable.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/06/amazon-apple-google-and-amazon-emails-most-revealing-antitrust-finds.html

Virgin Atlantic airline files for bankruptcy. “In an effort to raise much-need funds, (multi-billionaire Richard) Branson requested that the British and Australian governments bail him out. He was met with sharp criticism, as many people felt that the public shouldn’t have to bailout a billionaire who owns his own island and leads an unabashed, flamboyant, hedonistic, jet-setting and fun-seeking lifestyle.”   https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/08/05/multibillionaire-sir-richard-bransons-virgin-atlantic-files-for-bankruptcy/   And who apparently has money for developing a commercial space travel business.

Conventional wisdom of ‘atomic bombs or horrific invasion’ to end the war with Japan is a false choice, writes Brett Wilkins. “Throughout the spring and summer of 1945, Japanese officials increasingly sought an honorable end to the war…. they knew that the defeat of Nazi Germany meant that a Soviet invasion, first of Manchuria and Korea and then of Japan itself, was now imminent. ‘The Japanese could not fight a two-front war…. The idea of a Soviet occupation of Japan was their worst nightmare.’…. ‘Japan was already defeated and dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary,’ President Eisenhower wrote in 1954.”   https://original.antiwar.com/Brett_Wilkins/2020/08/05/nuclear-war-or-invasion-the-false-dichotomy-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki/

Atomic bomb survivors urge Japan’s prime minister to sign treaty to abolish nuclear weapons. “I ask the Japanese government to heed the appeal of the (bombing survivors) to sign, ratify and become a party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons,” (Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi) Matsui said in his peace declaration. “As the only nation to suffer a nuclear attack, Japan must persuade the global public to unite with the spirit of Hiroshima.”   https://www.yahoo.com/news/bomb-survivors-lament-japan-not-232524939.html

Progressive Democrats alarmed by Biden foreign policy team. “We ask you not to rely on foreign policy advice from those who may have a conflict of interest as a result of their relationships and lobbying on behalf of merchants selling weapons and surveillance technology,” the letter says. “We ask you to appoint top foreign policy advisors whose records reflect good judgment and an understanding of the importance of diplomacy and international cooperation, particularly in the face of global climate catastrophe.”   https://www.huffpost.com/entry/biden-foreign-policy-dnc_n_5f2adbd3c5b64d7a55ed7fd7

Three employees of France’s foreign intelligence agency arrested under suspicion of plotting a murder. “French media reported Wednesday that the Directorate-General for External Security agents were believed to have been plotting to kill a target, but not as part of their job duties. The agency, known by the acronym DGSE, is the French equivalent of the CIA.”   https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/French-intelligence-agents-charged-in-alleged-15460647.php

Progressive prosecutors elected in four states. “Reformers in Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and New Mexico won their primaries for district attorney on Tuesday night.”   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/06/district-attorney-races-progressive-prosecutors/

California’s attorney general sues rideshare companies over alleged wage theft. “The lawsuits ‘seek recovery of unpaid wages and other amounts due to all of Uber and Lyft’s California drivers’, including unpaid minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks, reimbursement of car and gas expenses and damages and penalties for violations of state labor laws, according to a letter written by the assistant chief of the Wage Theft Adjudication Unit for the California Department of Industrial Relations.”    https://www.courthousenews.com/california-labor-commissioner-sues-uber-lyft-for-wage-theft/

Police unions sue to reverse chokehold ban. “The (New York City) statute criminalizes using any restraint that restricts the flow of air or blood ‘by compressing the windpipe or the carotid arteries on each side of the neck, or sitting, kneeling, or standing on the chest or back in a manner that compresses the diaphragm, in the course of effecting or attempting to effect an arrest’.”    https://www.courthousenews.com/new-york-city-police-unions-sue-to-block-citys-chokehold-ban/

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August 6, 2020

August 5, 2020

Dept. of Homeland Security’s Tactical Terrorism Response Teams allegedly investigated American anti-fascist volunteers who fought against Islamic State in Syria. “‘They targeted Americans like they’re Al Qaeda,’ a former senior DHS intelligence officer with knowledge of the operations told The Nation.”   https://www.thenation.com/article/society/dhs-antifa-syria/

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina beachgoer handcuffed for wearing thong bikini, police accuse her of public nudity. “You literally detained me for being in a thong?” (Sam) Panda can be heard asking in the video. “Yes, because of the way you’re acting,” a Myrtle Beach police officer who identified himself as Kyle Dick said.”   https://www.newsweek.com/myrtle-beach-thong-swimsuit-arrest-swimwear-history-bikini-1522683

Aurora, Colorado police hold black family at gunpoint, some handcuffed, face down on hot pavement, after mistaking their SUV for a stolen motorcycle. “Police claim they mistook the SUV for a stolen motorcycle because the minivan-style vehicle with Colorado plates had the same license number as the allegedly stolen bike with Montana plates.”   https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/colorado-cops-mistake-black-family-of-five-in-suv-for-one-stolen-motorcycle/   Video here:   https://twitter.com/AttorneyCrump/status/1290497252553719808   Wanna bet this was caused by automated license plate reading technology? “Law enforcement agencies will often pre-load a list of license plates that the ALPR system is actively looking for—such as stolen vehicles and vehicles associated with outstanding warrants…. If the ALPR camera scans a plate on the list, the system sends an alert to the officer in the squad car (if it’s a mobile reader) or the agency (if it’s a fixed reader).”   https://www.eff.org/pages/automated-license-plate-readers-alpr

FBI reportedly conducting 300 ‘domestic terrorism’ investigations related to violent George Floyd protests. “Erin Nealy Cox, a U.S. attorney tapped by Attorney General William Barr to lead a task force on violent anti-government extremists, said the feds have opened hundreds of federal criminal investigations surrounding the violence and rioting since May 28.”   https://www.foxnews.com/politics/fbi-300-domestic-terror-investigations-antifa

Federal prosecutors have apparently failed to uncover an antifa conspiracy behind protests in Portland. “We have not alleged defendant affiliation with any specific groups or ideologies in our cases stemming from recent Portland protests,” said Kevin Sonoff, the spokesman. “Our cases focus purely on the criminal conduct alleged.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-race-protests-antifa/us-prosecutors-do-not-charge-portland-protesters-with-antifa-ties-idUSKCN2502NQ

Progressive Democrat and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush defeats 10-term incumbent in Missouri primary election. “(U.S. Rep. William) Clay highlighted his own ties to the Democratic power structure, earning endorsements from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Kamala Harris of California and groups like Planned Parenthood.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/05/us/politics/cori-bush-missouri-william-lacy-clay.html

Seattle protesters sue over city’s ‘protest tax’. “Demonstrators need to obtain helmets, gas masks, protective clothing, goggles, gloves, boots, umbrellas and other gear to fend off police pepper spray and less-lethal projectiles, the lawsuit says…. Attorney Talitha Hazelton wrote in the lawsuit that the city of Seattle established a ‘de facto protest tax’ by forcing demonstrators to purchase gear to withstand police munitions.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/washington-lawsuit-says-protective-gear-costs-impede-protest/2020/08/04/a999a546-d69a-11ea-a788-2ce86ce81129_story.html

Homeland Security to phase out military-style camouflage uniforms for personnel who are suppressing protests. “To address concerns about (the) military-like appearance of some of Customs [and] Border Protection’s (CBP) officers’ uniforms, which are the normal uniforms used by some CBP teams in the course of regular duty, we are moving rapidly to replace those uniforms for those personnel.”   https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/510588-cuccinelli-says-dhs-to-change-camouflage-uniforms-of-federal-agents

New book, Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-Up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World, tells the story of how the U.S. government tried to hide the effects of radiation from the atomic bombings. “(John Hersey’s story) was published a year after the United States dropped the first nuclear bomb on (Hiroshima), a year in which the U.S. government had gone to great lengths to conceal the human devastation caused and to depict the bomb as a conventional, humane weapon.”   https://www.npr.org/2020/08/04/899060899/reporters-role-in-exposing-hiroshima-cover-up-explored-in-fallout   New York Times reviewer claims there was no real cover-up. “It’s obvious to anyone who has been around the U.S. Army that whatever ineffective obfuscation occurred during the months following the atomic bombings resulted from the same old stuff — a mixture of authentic ignorance, reflexive secrecy and incompetent military spin.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/04/books/review/fallout-hiroshima-hersey-lesley-m-m-blume.html

Malaysian police raid media offices over documentary on mass detention of foreign workers due to coronavirus pandemic. “Malaysian police raided the office of news broadcaster Al Jazeera and two local TV stations on Tuesday, seizing computers as part of an investigation into a documentary on undocumented migrants that enraged the government.”   https://time.com/5875816/malaysia-police-raid-al-jazeera/

U.S. Air Force conducts ICBM test. “The missile was launched at 12:21 am (0721 GMT) (on August 4th) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, traveling 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) over the Pacific Ocean before landing in the sea near the Marshall Islands.”   https://www.thedefensepost.com/2020/08/04/us-ballistic-missile/

NSA provides tips for avoiding location tracking. “Using a mobile device—even powering it on—exposes location data,” the NSA warned in the guidance. “Mobile devices inherently trust cellular networks and providers, and the cellular provider receives real-time location information for a mobile device every time it connects to the network.”   https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/510519-nsa-warns-of-security-threats-from-mobile-location-data

Los Angeles police video shows protester shot in the head with a ‘less-than-lethal’ projectile had his arms in the air before being hit. “The protester, CJ Montano, is a 24-year-old former marine who was protesting the killing of George Floyd. Montano was hospitalized for four days and is still recovering.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2020/8/4/headlines/video_shows_lapd_shot_peaceful_protester_in_the_head_as_he_held_his_arms_in_the_air

No charges for Conway, Arkansas police officers involved in fatal arrest of shoplifting suspect. “Newly released police bodycam footage shows officers pressing 39-year-old Lionel Morris into the floor of a supermarket for six-and-a-half minutes and ignoring his repeated cries for medical help.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2020/8/4/headlines/prosecutor_clears_arkansas_officers_who_pushed_black_man_into_the_ground_for_65_minutes_before_he_died

Centralized economic planning, as envisioned by Alexander Hamilton. “These (measures) included carefully targeted state subsidies; protective tariffs; strategic exemptions from the same tariffs; selective export bans of strategic raw materials; quality-control standards and inspections; public investment in infrastructure; research and development; recruitment of skilled labor, and other measures that are detailed later.”   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/04/radical-hamilton-christian-parenti/

Los Angeles district attorney’s husband, David Lacey, charged with pointing gun at BLM protesters. “Had it been anyone else who pointed a gun at someone’s chest, at three people in fact, and said the words, ‘I will shoot you’, we know they’d be getting more than misdemeanors,” said (victim Melina) Abdullah, who is also a professor of Pan-African studies at Cal State LA. “The system is there to protect themselves.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/04/husband-los-angeles-district-attorney-charged-with-pointing-a-gun-at-black-lives-matter-protesters

Publisher of Sean Hannity book quietly fixes bogus Latin subtitle. “At first, the cover (of Live Free or Die) featured the Latin tagline ‘vivamus vel libero perit Americae’ ….(Classics student Spencer) McDaniel… translated Hannity’s Latin text as ‘Let’s live or he passes away from America for the detriment of a free man’. He then inferred that the incorrect Latin had been arrived at by putting ‘live free or America dies’ into Google Translate.”   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/aug/05/sean-hannity-removes-gobbledygook-latin-motto-from-book-cover   malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium (I prefer a dangerous freedom over a peaceful slavery.)

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August 5, 2020

August 4, 2020

Additional body camera video leaked of George Floyd’s arrest. “These new videos provide new evidence about how quickly police were escalating the interaction. You see the (officer’s) gun drawn there, despite the individual, the suspect here, being clearly unarmed.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze3OR3uqivE

President Trump signs executive order to prohibit federal agencies from replacing American workers with foreign contractors. “This Executive Order follows the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) announcement that it will outsource 20 percent of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries,” the White House said in a release. “TVA’s action could cause more than 200 highly-skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to low-wage, foreign workers hired on temporary work visas.”   https://nypost.com/2020/08/03/trump-calls-for-firing-of-top-paid-official-over-outsourcing/   Do as I say, not as I do.

Minnesota drops requirement that mail-in ballots be notarized or signed by a witness. “(Ramsey County District Judge Sara) Grewing, however, denied a separate request that would have required mail-in ballots to be sent to all registered voters in the state automatically.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/03/politics/minnesota-vote-by-mail-witness-requirement/index.html

Barack Obama releases list of 118 political endorsements for 2020 election, declines to endorse Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib or Ayanna Pressley (aka The Squad). “I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats,” the former president tweeted. “If you’re in one of their districts or states, make sure you vote for them this fall.”   https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8588915/Obama-issues-round-2020-endorsements-including-one-Democrat-challenging-Lindsey-Graham.html

Mainstream media runs story on minor party candidates. “As the 2020 presidential election is now less than four months away, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen are registering support in national polls, signaling that their respective messages resonate with a segment of voters frustrated with Democrats and Republicans.”   https://www.newsweek.com/libertarian-green-party-candidates-are-making-surprising-appearances-2020-election-polls-1519464

Houston narcotics officers facing multiple grand jury charges over deadly raid that resulted in the deaths of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, after no drugs were found in their home. “The allegations suggest that officers such as Goines, Bryant, and Armstrong routinely built their cases on lies, while their supervisors not only looked the other way but actively participated in the deceit.”   https://reason.com/2020/08/03/grand-jury-indictments-paint-a-picture-of-deadly-deceit-in-houston-narcotics-division/

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August 4, 2020

August 3, 2020

Man in Colin Kaepernick jersey allegedly used for Navy SEAL attack dog demonstration. “… after the dogs are pulled off, the man in the jersey said, ‘Oh man, I will stand’.”   https://www.yahoo.com/sports/navy-seals-investigating-colin-kaepernick-jersey-k9-dog-demonstration-florida-protests-national-anthem-222506467.html

Former Vallejo, California police captain claims he was fired for being a whistle-blower. “… a secretive clique within the Vallejo Police Department has commemorated fatal shootings with beers, backyard barbecues, and by bending the points of their badges each time they kill in the line of duty, an investigation by Open Vallejo has found…. The captain who pushed for an investigation, John Whitney, would soon be out of a job.”   https://openvallejo.org/2020/07/28/vallejo-police-bend-badge-tips-to-mark-fatal-shootings/

Far right ‘Northern Cross’ group in Germany, which included police officers and military veterans, accused of plotting to massacre their liberal opponents. “Over two years, the raids and intelligence work uncovered weapons, ammunition, enemy lists, and a handwritten order list for Day X that included the body bags and quick lime.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/01/world/europe/germany-nazi-infiltration.html

Portland had two protest marches on Saturday, one peaceful and one not. “Separately, a few miles east, a group of about 200 people marched from Laurelhurst Park to the Penumbra Kelly Building, and they blocked traffic, directed lasers at officers and threw glass bottles at them, according to Portland Police.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/02/us/portland-protests/index.html

Unidentified law enforcement employees accused of ignoring coronavirus restrictions by attending private party at Los Angeles bar. “The man, who declined to identify himself, claimed, ‘Everybody’s spaced there. Everybody’s wearing things. Everybody’s getting temperature checks.’ CNN did not observe any of that occurring…. the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said, ‘We are investigating reports of a private indoor party and remind all businesses that have been ordered to close indoor operations that there are no exceptions.'”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/02/us/los-angeles-first-responders-covid-party/index.html

U.S. coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx says virus is now ‘extraordinarily widespread.’ “It’s not super spreading individuals, it’s super spreading events and we need to stop those.”   https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/02/politics/birx-coronavirus-new-phase-cnntv/index.html

Iran accused of fabricating coronavirus statistics after leak. “The government’s own records appear to show almost 42,000 people died with Covid-19 symptoms up to 20 July, versus 14,405 reported by its health ministry. The number of people known to be infected is also almost double official figures: 451,024 as opposed to 278,827…. The first death in Iran from Covid-19 was recorded on 22 January, according to lists and medical records that have been passed to the BBC.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53598965

194 year-old department store chain files for bankruptcy. “… founded in New York in 1826, (Lord & Taylor) had in recent years fallen out of touch with high-end customers and younger shoppers.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/02/lord-taylor-chapter-11-bankruptcy-retail/

Parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks files for bankruptcy. “(Tailored Brands, Inc.) operated more than 1,400 stores in the U.S. and Canada as of Feb. 1, and employed more than 1,900 people.”   https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mens-wearhouse-jos-a-banks-parent-tailored-brands-files-for-bankruptcy-report-2020-08-02

Biden’s projected lead over Trump in electoral votes widens. “… in the past month and a half, the latest NPR analysis of the Electoral College has several states shifting in Biden’s favor, and now has a 297-170 advantage over Trump with exactly three months to go until Election Day.”   https://www.npr.org/2020/08/03/897202359/2020-electoral-map-ratings-trump-slides-biden-advantage-expands-over-270-votes

Emails provide additional evidence that SAS and SBS special forces troops may have executed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan. “(Two senior officers) feared some of the UK’s most highly-trained troops had adopted a ‘deliberate policy’ of illegally killing unarmed men…. Emails outline concerns over Afghan forces refusing to accompany the British on night raids because they did not believe the killings were justified.”   https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53597137

Jerusalem police clear protesters from area around prime minister’s residence. “Footage from Jerusalem’s Paris Square shows many riot police officers dragging away protesters blocking the road. Demonstrators chant slogans at the cops as the scene seems to be deteriorating into chaos and violence.”   https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog-august-1-2020/

Israeli policeman shows up at man’s home, tells him he has to delete a photo of the prime minister that he posted on Facebook. “Sagi Haber, a resident of Givatayim, uploaded the photo, from some 30 years ago, in which Netanyahu makes a hand gesture which can appear similar to the Nazi salute…. One hour after Haber uploaded the photo, a police officer arrived at Haber’s door and told him he’d committed a criminal offense by inciting against the prime minister, and was required to remove the post.”   https://www.timesofisrael.com/policeman-arrives-at-mans-home-demands-he-delete-netanyahu-photo-from-facebook/

‘Open Debate’ letter criticizing ‘cancel culture’ in Harper’s has received more media coverage than more typical threats to freedom of expression. “After tweeting, ‘Federal police in cities…now where have I seen that before?’, (and) accompanying it with a picture of Nazi troops, (9News Denver meteorologist Marty Coniglio) was promptly fired.”   https://fair.org/home/medias-cancel-culture-debate-obscures-direct-threats-to-first-amendment/

Last Friday’s Border Patrol raid on a No More Deaths rescue camp in the desert was excessive, say activists. “According to (Montana) Thames, members of the tactical unit raised their rifles and shouted at volunteers while they were zip-tied…. ‘They took all of our SOAP notes, all of our (migrant) medical records, and every single volunteer’s phone.'”   https://theintercept.com/2020/08/02/border-patrol-raid-arizona-no-more-deaths/

St. Louis to close ‘Workhouse’ jail that held hundreds in pre-trial detention. “When the Guardian visited two years ago, 575 people were being held inside – 98% of whom had been caged pre-trial and 90% of whom were Black…. Once inside, people were held an average of 10 months…. The dramatic decrease in detainees over the last two years is due to the sustained effort of the Bail Project…”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/03/st-louis-workhouse-jail-legislation-close

Anti-corruption journalist assassinated in Pakistan. “Everything indicates that Anwar Jan Kethran was killed because he informed the public about allegedly corrupt practices by local officials,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “We therefore urge Balochistan first minister, Jam Kamal Khan, to conduct an independent investigation into this murder so that both perpetrators and instigators can be quickly brought to justice.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/03/killing-pakistani-anti-corruption-journalist-protests-anwar-jan

President Trump claims Nevada’s decision to allow mail-in voting means Republicans can’t win. “… President Donald Trump once again openly admitted that increasing access to the ballot amid the Covid-19 pandemic poses a dire threat to the Republican Party’s ability to win elections.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/03/trump-proclaims-nevada-has-made-it-impossible-gop-win-expanding-voting-rights-during

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August 3, 2020

August 2, 2020

Green and Libertarian parties sue state of New York over changes in ballot access law. “In the past… minor parties needed to earn 50,000 votes for their gubernatorial candidates…. to qualify for the ballot every four years – rules that have been in place for decades. The new rules are far more restrictive. They require that minor parties garner 130,000 votes or two percent of votes cast…. every two years, rather than four, at the gubernatorial and presidential elections.”   https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/capital-region/ny-state-of-politics/2020/07/28/green–libertarian-parties-file-suit-against-new-york-s-new-ballot-rules

Portland protests reportedly less combative after withdrawal of federal agents. “Tensions have largely calmed since Wednesday’s announcement that federal agents would take a step back from policing the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse — a deal that Oregon officials hoped would ease friction between law enforcement officers and protesters who vowed to continue demonstrating until the agents left.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/portland-protests-peaceful-after-federal-officers-scale-back-presence-n1235590

Convicted Boston Marathon bomber to received new sentencing trial. “(The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals) found, (Judge George) O’Toole did not screen prospective jurors for how much they had heard about the case previously…. (Judge Juan) Torruella authored an additional opinion agreeing with Tsarnaev’s lawyers that the trial should not have taken place in Boston.”   https://www.vox.com/2020/8/1/21350736/boston-marathon-bomber-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-death-sentence-overturned   Oh, c’mon, a fair trial? (sarcasm)

17 arrested in Rockford, Illinois over two days while counter-protesting against ‘Back the Blue’ rally. “Police warned counterprotesters over a loudspeaker at the start of the event that they would be subject to arrest if they did not leave the Criminal Justice Center parking lot and go to a designated area.”   https://www.rrstar.com/news/20200801/protesters-arrested-for-second-straight-day-in-rockford   Also known as a ‘free speech zone’.

One dead, two hospitalized, eight missing after Marine Corp. armored amphibious vehicle sinks turning training exercise. “Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of the Marine Expeditionary Force, told reporters Friday that the vehicle, which weighs 26 tons, ‘sank completely’ more than 3,200 feet offshore and ‘the assumption is it went all the way to the bottom’.”   https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-01/search-continues-missing-servicemen-training-accident-southern-california-coast

Filing fees for various immigration petitions reportedly increased by as much as 546%. “I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Non-immigrant (Victims of Criminal Activity) – (previous fee): $230, (new fee): $1,485. Percentage change: 546%.”   https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article244631817.html

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of one of several arrested presidential candidates, will take on Belarus ‘president for life’ Alexander Lukashenko in upcoming election. “Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has survived on energy subsidies from the Kremlin, even while staving off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s overtures for closer political and economic integration.”   https://www.npr.org/2020/07/31/897814403/a-37-year-old-opposition-candidate-challenges-the-longtime-leader-of-belarus

An estimated 10,000 Israelis demonstrate outside official residence of Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Throughout the summer, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets, calling for Netanyahu to resign, protesting his handling of the country’s coronavirus crisis and saying he should not remain in office while on trial for corruption charges.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/02/thousands-demonstrate-against-netanyahu-as-israel-protests-gain-strength

Man accused of fatally shooting Austin BLM protester reportedly tweeted threat against BLM protesters.   Perry is a staunch Trump supporter, according to his social media, and tweeted at the president last month to send protesters to Texas to 'show them why we say don't mess with Texas'https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8573297/Man-shot-dead-Black-Lives-Matter-protester-Austin-revealed-33-year-old-Army-sergeant.html

U.K.’s Ministry of Justice refuses to release case history of judge hearing Julian Assange extradition trial, but quickly releases case history of another judge in a separate records request. “‘The judiciary is not a public body for the purposes of FOIA… and requests asking to disclose all the cases a named judge ruled on are therefore outside the scope of the FOIA,’ the officer stated. The officer added that the ‘information requested would in any event be exempt from disclosure… because it contains personal data about the cases ruled on by an individual judge’, and that ‘personal data can only be released if to do so would not contravene any of the data protection principles’ in the Data Protection Act.”    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/31/uk-refuses-to-release-information-on-assange-judge-who-has-96-percent-approval-rate-in-extradition-cases/

No media at Republican convention due to ‘health restrictions’. “Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed [to] press Friday, August 21–Monday, August 24.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/02/media-to-be-banned-from-republican-convention-due-to-coronavirus-restrictions

White House awards $2.1 billion vaccine contract to Operation Warp Speed chief’s former employer.  “It is a huge conflict of interest for the White House’s new vaccine czar to own $10 million of stock in a company receiving government funding to develop a Covid-19 vaccine,” (Sen. Elizabeth) Warren tweeted. “Dr. Slaoui should divest immediately.”    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/31/trumps-vaccine-chief-picks-his-own-former-employer-where-he-still-holds-millions

President Trump doubles down on his claim that rise in number of positive coronavirus tests is due to increase in testing, not increase in infections. “This continued Kindergarten-level logic is why we lead the world in Covid cases and deaths.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/08/01/continued-kindergarten-level-logic-covid-cases-surge-across-us-trump-repeats-false

State legislator threatens to revoke NBA team’s tax breaks if they kneel for national anthem, they do it anyway. “If the Oklahoma City Thunder leadership and players follow the current trend of the NBA by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game, perhaps we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits the State of Oklahoma granted the Oklahoma City Thunder organization when they came to Oklahoma.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/nba-team-ignores-oklahoma-lawmakers-threat-to-revoke-tax-breaks-over-kneeling-for-anthem/

Judge suggests ACLU should decide who is a journalist at protests and issue them a vest, attorney breaks it down for him. “This guy (a protester allegedly disguised as a journalist) – I don’t think he gained any ‘get out of jail free’ card by having press on his helmet. They can see what the guy’s doing and if it’s wrong, they can arrest him…. The ACLU shouldn’t be — I don’t think anybody should be trying to say who’s a journalist and certainly not my client,” (plaintiffs’ attorney Matthew) Borden said. “I don’t think they have the resources to do that or the confidence.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/whos-a-journalist-in-portland-judge-says-aclu-might-decide/

ACLU sues Pomona, California police department for misinforming its officers and blames police group for spreading disinformation about new lethal force law. “Assembly Bill 392, known as the California Act to Save Lives, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in August 2019…. ‘Disregarding the plain language of the bill and the Legislature’s clearly-expressed intent, PORAC began telling police throughout the state that AB 392 does not limit their legal authorization to use deadly force to only when ‘necessary’,’ argues the ACLU in its 14-page complaint.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/aclu-files-tax-suit-against-police-in-southern-california-over-fatal-shootings/

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August 2, 2020