October 12, 2017

Trump suggests that news media “licenses” should perhaps be “challenged” over “fake news” stories. “A call to challenge the licenses of news organizations for doing their jobs is genuinely shocking. This is the language of an autocrat, not the elected leader of a democracy.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-escalates-threats-against-press-calls-news-coverage-frankly-disgusting/2017/10/11/32996dba-ae9c-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html   Uh-oh, where do I get one of those free press licenses?

Kansas education contractor challenges state’s ban on Israel boycotts. “The lawsuit asks the court to strike down the law and bar the Kansas Department of Education from requiring contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel.”   https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-free-speech-case-challenges-law-aimed-anti-israel-boycotts

Facebook declines to answer questions about ad policies. “You recently told advertisers that new ad campaigns that involved “politics, religion, ethnicity or social issues” would be reviewed by humans before being approved. What guidelines will reviewers be given about which ads to allow and which to reject? Will these guidelines be made public?”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/11/technology/facebook-election.html

Hundreds missing after northern California wildfires. “More than 550 people were still reported unaccounted for in Sonoma County on Wednesday morning, said Jennifer Laroque, a county emergency operations center spokeswoman.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-california-fire/at-least-23-dead-hundreds-missing-as-winds-fan-california-wildfires-idUSKBN1CG124

Louisiana State University police arrest 10 in connection with death of fraternity pledge during hazing ritual. “The pledges were… asked questions by fraternity members and if they answered incorrectly, were made to take “pulls” of 190-proof Diesel liquor.”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-arrest-10-on-hazing-charges-in-death-of-lsu-frat-pledge-maxwell-gruver/

Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly received $180,000 from his Christian charity for part-time work. “In total, Moore was paid more than $1 million by the charity from 2007 to 2012, when he was the organization’s president…. The charity has also employed two of Moore’s children, and Moore’s wife, Kayla, serves as its current president and has been paid $195,000 over three years.”   http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/10/11/senate_candidate_roy_moore_received_undisclosed_thousands_in_salary_from.html

News organizations force release of congressman’s mugshot. “Rep. Greg Gianforte’s mugshot, taken after assaulting a reporter on the eve of his election, was released to the public Wednesday on the order of a Montana judge.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/10/11/congressman-greg-gianforte-mugshot/756343001/

Florida Airbnb host arrested for hidden video camera in bedroom. “Starnes explained he saw a black hole on the smoke detector and took it down. That’s when he found a camera recording onto an SD card and called the police.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article178012796.html

Las Vegas shooting timeline still not determined. “…neither the police account of the ensuing moments nor publicly transmitted police radio traffic indicate when the hotel security office dialed 911.”   http://abcnews.go.com/US/questions-persist-initial-response-vegas-massacre/story?id=50427462

Major international bank says no loans for fossil fuel projects. “In concrete terms,” writes Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, director and CEO of BNP Paribas, “these decisions mean that we will cease providing finance to a number of companies and organizations that are not making an effort to be part of the transition to a less greenhouse gas-emitting economy.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/11/great-news-climate-banking-giant-ditches-tar-sands-arctic-drilling   Oh, no – that sounds like a boycott! Is that legal?

Mensa agrees to administer Trump vs. Tillerson IQ test. “American Mensa would be happy to hold a testing session for President Trump and Secretary Tillerson.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/354718-mensa-offers-to-host-iq-test-for-trump-and-tillerson

UN accuses Myanmar of intentional ethnic cleansing campaign. “Some of those interviewed said that before and during attacks, megaphones were used to announce: “You do not belong here — go to Bangladesh. If you do not leave, we will torch your houses and kill you.””   https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-10-11/un-myanmar-violence-a-deliberate-strategy-to-expel-rohingya

Japanese railway companies find substandard parts on their high speed trains. “Kobe Steel Ltd.’s fake data scandal penetrated deeper into the most hallowed corners of Japanese industry as iconic bullet trains were found with sub-standard parts supplied by the steelmaker.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-12/bullet-train-wheel-parts-made-by-kobe-steel-failed-quality-tests

Malfunctioning Google Home Mini recorded owner’s activity continuously and transmitted the data to Google. “Needless to say, if a listening device records almost every minute of every day and stores it remotely, we’re talking about a huge privacy violation.”   http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/10/10/google-nerfing-home-minis-mine-spied-everything-said-247/

NBC accused of quashing Harvey Weinstein story. “In August, according to four sources familiar with the conversations, Farrow was repeatedly told by the network that he didn’t have enough reporting done to go to air but that he should also stop reporting on Weinstein’s story, putting him in an untenable position.”   https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nbc-harvey-weinstein_us_59de5688e4b0eb18af059685

Flu shots given to healthy people are to protect the lives of people at risk – the elderly, pregnant women, children and people with weakened immune systems. “Statistically, you’re not likely to know anyone who landed in the emergency room—much less someone who passed away. But you might have passed one on the street, or touched a door handle before one, or sneezed in the same bus.”   https://www.popsci.com/you-should-get-flu-shot

Social Security Administration releases latest wage report. “In 2014, 51 percent of all workers in America earned less than $30,000 per year…”   http://www.kansan.com/opinion/van-dyke-despite-american-s-supposed-wealth-inequality-remains-high/article_64ac92e0-a84e-11e7-a07d-875a83e17391.html   34% of Americans have no savings at all, while 14% have a negative net wealth due to debts.   https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/05/14/166-million-us-households-have-a-negative-net-wort.aspx

Trinidad and Tobago knock United States out of World Cup playoffs. “…we’ve developed a lot of highly trained but mediocre rich kids while missing out on training lots of potentially fantastic poor kids.”   https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/10/usmnt-world-cup-qualifying-spending/542658/   Of course this only applies to soccer. In the field of politics, we are definitely blessed with excellent leadership, no matter how rich or mediocre our politicians may be.

FEMA officials say not enough food for Puerto Rico’s hurricane survivors. “Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency say that the government and its partners are only providing 200,000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than 2 million people. That is a daily shortfall of between 1.8m and 5.8m meals.”   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/11/puerto-rico-food-shortage-hurricane-maria

55% of deaths resulting from encounters with law enforcement officers were miscategorized in Centers for Disease Control reports. “(Researchers) found that a majority, 599 deaths, were classified as resulting from something other than “legal intervention” – principally “assault”…. accuracy varied wildly by state, with just 17.6% misclassification in Washington, but a startling 100% in Oklahoma.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/11/police-killings-counted-harvard-study

Bomb dog thwarts apparent “homegrown” terror attack at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina, captured suspect claims he is a veteran, was preparing to “fight a war on U.S. soil”. “(Michael) Estes described how he created the device using ammonium nitrate… Estes admitted to putting the nails in the device as well.”   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/10/10/north-carolina-airport-bomb-suspect/749938001/   Authorities have apparently declined to release information about his motive.

Pro-corporate lobbying group to hold conference at Trump International Hotel. “The American Legislative Exchange Council, a controversial group that brings corporate lobbyists together with state legislators to formulate business- and Republican-friendly policies, will host its 45th anniversary gala at the Trump International Hotel next year.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/11/alec-conference-trump-hotel/

Lead likely responsible for rise and fall of crime rates in America. “Only gasoline lead, with its dramatic rise and fall following World War II, can explain the equally dramatic rise and fall in violent crime.”   http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/02/lead-exposure-gasoline-crime-increase-children-health/

Israeli prime minister approves expansion of West Bank settlements. “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved building plans for 3,736 new units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, in what activists say is part of a new wave of construction spurred by the Trump admin­istration’s more accommodating stance.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/israel-approves-plans-for-thousands-of-new-settlement-units-in-the-west-bank/2017/10/10/a3fd5058-ad29-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html


October 12, 2017

October 11, 2017

No charges for Harvey Weinstein after actress reported being groped. “After a two-week investigation, the Manhattan district attorney decided not to file charges, The New Yorker reported. “We had the evidence,” an unnamed police source told The New Yorker.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/harvey-weinstein-nypd-audio-recording-2017-10   I have an idea for a TV show – “Unpunished Crimes of the Rich and Famous”.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance allegedly received $10,000 donation from one of Weinstein’s lawyers (who was not involved in that particular incident) after decision was made not to charge Weinstein. “In the months after he declined to prosecute the case, Vance received a $10,000 contribution from David Boies, an attorney who had worked for Weinstein and his company, according to a review of campaign finance documents by International Business Times.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/mariska-hargitay-honored-manhattan-da-vance-who-dropped-weinstein-sexual-assault-2599538

Armed suspect in fatal shooting of Texas Tech police officer arrested without incident after fleeing police, identified as Hollis A. Daniels. “His father is a former city councilman and his family… owns a chain of movie theaters.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4964748/Police-officer-shot-killed-Texas-Tech-University.html   Suspect’s full name is Hollis Alvin James Reid Daniels III.   http://www.mystatesman.com/news/crime–law/police-texas-tech-student-charged-shooting-was-acting-erratically/ysAzJJ6BhcHGfB4xvnaqyJ/

D.C. police accused of opening fire on Trump inauguration protesters without warning. “There was no warning given before these (crowd control) weapons were discharged indiscriminately into a crowd. The ACLU suit against (Metropolitan Police Department) claims that “Neither Defendant Officers Doe 1-60, nor any other MPD officers or officials, ordered anyone to disperse, halt, or turn back, before Does 1-60 deployed their weapons”.”   http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20169

University of Hawaii sends email to students entitled “In the event of a nuclear attack”. “It said missile sirens will go off, and students will be asked to shelter in place.”   http://www.newsweek.com/university-hawaii-nuclear-attack-north-korea-681496   As the old joke goes, “Sit and place your head between your knees – then kiss your posterior goodbye.”

FBI agents searching for piglets rescued by animal welfare group. “On the last day of August, a six-car armada of FBI agents in bulletproof vests, armed with search warrants, descended upon two small shelters for abandoned farm animals…”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/05/factory-farms-fbi-missing-piglets-animal-rights-glenn-greenwald/

Five killed by mobs in Malawi during vampire scare. “The (UN) report said at least five people had been killed in the area since mid-September by lynch mobs accusing them of vampirism.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/vampire-scare-triggers-mob-violence-prompts-u-n-pull-staff-n809386   Are they sure it wasn’t clowns?

Cook County commissioners vote to scrap soda tax. “It’s a major victory for Big Soda, which has spent millions on ad buys, lobbyists and political contributions in the county.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/10/10/why-chicagos-soda-tax-fizzled-after-two-months-and-what-it-means-for-the-anti-soda-movement/

Japan’s third largest metals supplier accused of faking product specifications, blames employees. “Kobe Steel said on Sunday that employees at four of its factories had altered inspection certificates on aluminum and copper products from September 2016 to August this year. The changes, it said, made it look as if the products met manufacturing specifications required by customers…”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/business/kobe-steel-japan.html

Press challenges Trump’s claim that Americans are the most highly taxed people in the world. “In an exchange one journalist described as “Orwellian,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders doubled down in her Tuesday press briefing on President Donald Trump’s repeated lie that the U.S. is the “highest-taxed nation in the world”—clarifying that when he says that, he’s talking about the corporate tax rate even though that is not what he says time and time again.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/10/orwellian-press-briefing-huckabee-sanders-defends-trumps-repeated-tax-rate-lie

Traumatized Fukushima residents win lawsuit against power plant operator and Japanese government, plaintiffs will each get about $3,200.   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/10/court-awards-fukushima-residents-measly-3200-nuclear-disaster-made-area-unlivable

EPA chief asks Congress to remove tax incentives for solar and wind power. “Without acknowledging the billions of taxpayer dollars awarded to the oil and gas industry every year in the form of subsidies and tax incentives, Pruitt said that he would let wind and solar ‘stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources’…”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/09/pruitt-calls-end-incentives-trump-intensifies-war-against-wind-and-solar

Republican leader calls the White House an “adult day care center”. “I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are (the) people that help separate our country from chaos.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/08/bob-corker-white-house-adult-day-care-center-trump-twitter

Man documented bullying by FBI agents trying to recruit him as an informant. “By recording his conversations with federal agents and filing local police reports (about listening devices found in his home, GPS tracking devices found on family vehicles and cars following him around town), Refaie had effectively run a one-man counterintelligence program against the FBI.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/10/recordings-capture-brutal-fbi-tactics-to-recruit-potential-informant/

Detroit police officer beats shoplifting suspect with baton, it is later determined he was innocent. “In a news conference Monday afternoon, (Police Chief) Craig said, “It appears that the force was proper” even though an investigation found no evidence that the man had shoplifted.”   http://www.wzzm13.com/news/video-shows-detroit-cop-hitting-mans-face-with-his-club-chief-says-it-was-proper/482134826   Presumed guilty until you can prove yourself innocent?

Investigation reveals Florida juvenile justice officers arranged prisoner beatings. “The investigation found that for years — long before (Elord Revolte’s) death — youths have complained of staff turning them into hired mercenaries, offering honey buns and other rewards to rough up fellow detainees.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article177883676.html

CIA recruiting spies at academic conferences. “I recruited a ton of people at conferences,” R told me. “I was good at it, and it’s not that hard.”   https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/oct/10/the-science-of-spying-how-the-cia-secretly-recruits-academics

Egyptian human rights activist Mohamed Zaree accepts award. “…this award belongs to the tens of thousands of Egyptian citizens who have been tortured, imprisoned, disappeared or killed over the last six years for nothing more than standing up to corruption and tyranny through peaceful means.”    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-rights/activist-dedicates-rights-award-to-tortured-imprisoned-egyptians-idUSKBN1CF2F3

Trump told military leaders he wanted to increase U.S. nuclear arsenal from 4,000 warheads to 32,000. “… the president’s advisers outlined the reasons an expansion of America’s nuclear arsenal is not feasible. They pointed to treaty obligations and budget restraints…”   https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/trump-wanted-dramatic-increase-nuclear-arsenal-meeting-military-leaders-n809701

Secretary of State Tillerson reportedly called Trump a “f&%$ing moron”.   https://mobile.twitter.com/MSNBC/status/915599070458085376

October 11, 2017

October 10, 2017

Clark County sheriff changes timeline of Las Vegas shooting, check in date for gunman. “…Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Monday that Paddock shot (hotel security guard) Campos before his mass shooting — at 9:59 p.m. — and they now don’t know why Paddock stopped his attack on the crowd.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-vegas-shooting-20171009-story.html   So it sounds like you can shoot a hotel employee in Las Vegas and still have an hour to commit a mass shooting before the cops arrive.

EPA director Scott Pruitt proposes relaxing CO2 emission limits. “The war against coal is over.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/10/09/pruitt-tells-coal-miners-he-will-repeal-power-plan-rule-tuesday-the-war-on-coal-is-over/   And the war on the planet is heating up.

Russian agents bought huge number of ads on various Google websites during election campaign. “Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on its YouTube, Gmail and Google Search products in an effort to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a person briefed on the company’s probe told Reuters on Monday.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-russia-alphabet/google-uncovered-russia-backed-ads-on-youtube-gmail-source-says-idUSKBN1CE192

Man in shark suit ticketed by police in Austria for violating burka ban. “Police issued their second misdemeanor citation after a man — part of a street advertising campaign for the McShark computer chain stores — refused several requests to take off his shark head.”   http://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/world/activist-shark-suited-man-cited-austria-face-cover-ban-article-1.3552143

NATO to move thousands of troops into Romania. “The U.S. has deployed thousands of troops to Eastern Europe and conducted drills this year, while Russia has done the same along its western border with Europe.”   http://www.newsweek.com/nato-troops-russia-cold-war-680628

Economist Richard Thaler wins Nobel Prize for pointing out that people behave irrationally, even when spending and investing money. “Among other things, they lack self-control, they’re inconsistent in how they value things, they have an outsized fear of losses, and they overreact to bad news.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-09/what-economists-can-learn-from-richard-thaler-s-nobel

Miami Dolphins coach fired after apparent drug use video emerges. “Sherrod… said on Facebook that she released the video because of the treatment of players who have kneeled during the anthem.”   http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-sp-dolphins-chris-foerster-20171008-story.html

One, huge North Atlantic wind farm could power the planet say researchers. “(Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira) – from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, California – pointed out wind speeds are on average 70 per cent higher over the Earth’s oceans than over the land.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/wind-farm-world-renewable-energy-green-deep-sea-india-electricity-power-north-atlantic-a7991326.html

Knowingly exposing a partner to HIV is now a misdemeanor in California. “It will really advance public health and reduce stigma and discrimination that people living with HIV have suffered.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/07/health/california-hiv-bill-signed/index.html   But why not go the other way, and make INTENTIONALLY exposing a partner to ANY serious disease a felony? Wouldn’t that have the same effect?

Pence NFL walkout cost taxpayers an estimated $242,500. “The Trump administration is under fire from ethics watchdogs after spending massive amounts of public dollars to send Vice President Mike Pence to a professional football game on Sunday just so that he could walk out.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/09/pence-and-trump-blasted-nfl-publicity-stunt-cost-taxpayers-242500

Medicare of All is not a leap into the unknown say proponents. “…roughly 10,000 Americans make that transition every single day. We call them seniors who are enrolling in Medicare for the first time…. They described lower medical bills, great access and choice, and much less fighting with insurance companies for coverage.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/09/new-medicare-recipients-bernie-sanders-health-care/

Mexican journalist is 11th to be killed this year. “Esqueda’s death came after the 23-year-old reporter repeatedly complained to a government-run human rights group that state police had threatened him over his journalism.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/9/headlines/mexico_edgar_daniel_esqueda_assassinated_11th_journalist_killed_in_2017


October 10, 2017

October 9, 2017

Vice President Pence leaves Colts-49ers game after players kneel for anthem. “…the last time he’s been to a Colts game was three years ago. So this looks like a PR stunt to me.”   http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/251811/eric-reid-mike-pences-departure-from-49ers-colts-game-a-pr-stunt

Anti-independence speaker, Nobel Prize-winning author Mario Vargas Llosa, denounces Catalan “nationalism” amidst a sea of Spanish flags. ” “The nationalist plot will not destroy 500 years of Spanish unity.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/catalan-independence-referendum-thousands-march-barcelona-pro-spain-unity-seny-cristina-cifuentes-a7989281.html   Wow, talking about spinning a story…

Trump campaign official credits Facebook ads with winning the election. “I understood early that Facebook was how Donald Trump was going to win.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354472-trumps-digital-campaign-chief-says-facebook-was-why-president-won

Miami police fatally shoot female motorist fleeing accident. “Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates tells news outlets that the woman, who was driving a black BMW, ran through a red light and hit a Mercedes. She then accelerated and hit an officer…”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article177806971.html

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of multiple incidents of sexual harassment, threw a Hillary Clinton fundraiser during the 2016 campaign. “Mr. Weinstein held a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton at his Manhattan home last year.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html

Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women march for peace. “…we must change the paradigm that we have been taught for seven decades now, where we have been told that only war will bring peace. We don’t believe that anymore.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/08/israeli-and-palestinian-women-hold-peace-march

McClain County, Oklahoma pays $750,000 to settle lawsuit filed by estate of dead prisoner. “As he was being booked in, (Kory Dane) Wilson told jailers he had Type 1 diabetes and needed insulin, records show. The federal investigation found he was never given any medication at the jail and was never seen by a doctor.”   http://newsok.com/article/5567242

iPhone iOS 11 still has security “flaw” that allows anyone to use Siri to bypass the passcode lock screen. “With iOS 11, you can still bypass the iPhone lock screen and trick Siri into getting into a person’s phone.”   https://www.computerworld.com/article/3041302/security/4-new-ways-to-bypass-passcode-lock-screen-on-iphones-ipads-running-ios-9.html

Documents from lawsuit against CIA psychologists reveal details of deadly “black site” torture program. “(Jessen) described seeing Rahman “shaking [and] showing the early signs of hypothermia” after he was given “a cold shower as a deprivation technique”.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/oct/09/cia-torture-black-site-enhanced-interrogation

Soap company runs ad showing black woman turning white, gets a lot of grief from the public. ” Y’all literally could’ve googled “racist soap ads” and it would show you ones just like yours.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/controversy-dove-soap-apologizes-racist-ad-twitter-explodes-2598692

Comic fans protest Marvel plan to “join forces” with military contractor. “Images circulated of a comic cover featuring Avengers heroes such as Captain America alongside a new, corporate-branded troupe of superheroes known as the Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus, or NGEN.”   https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/oct/07/marvel-northrop-grumman-comic-con-fan-rebellion

Fight brewing over scheduled October 26th release of last batch of JFK assassination files. “I know CIA Director (Mike) Pompeo is urging the President to delay release of these records for another 25 years.”   http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/congress/article177428561.html

A dozen Americans reportedly being held in Turkey in connection with failed coup. “…it has become increasingly clear that the detainees are potential bargaining chips in a long-running effort by Turkey to force the American government to extradite (alleged coup mastermind) Mr. Gulen (from the U.S.).”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/07/world/europe/turkey-american-detainees.html

235 protesters reportedly detained across Russia. “The protests, along with rallies in dozens of other cities, were called by the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny to mark Putin’s 65th birthday, urge him to quit power and allow the opposition leader to run for president.”   https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russian-police-detain-66-anti-putin-protesters-monitors/ar-AAt1NFG

Germany pulls the plug on investigation into U.S. spying on German citizens. “It was impossible for the federal prosecutor to gather evidence about the German activities of the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ because of a lack of witnesses and documents, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.”   https://www.pcworld.com/article/2216780/germany-drops-nsa-prosecution-due-to-lack-of-evidence.html

College cheerleaders take a knee, get banned from the field. “We are always looking for ways to improve the fan experience.”   https://www.myajc.com/news/local/ksu-cheerleaders-kept-off-field-after-some-knelt-during-national-anthem/3FE7PkGn1R8me0zNx8K8rO/

Former NATO commander worried about Trump’s North Korea tweets. “A million people are going to die, and we can still avoid that if we can hold ourselves back from this kind of impetuous behavior.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/ex-nato-commander-warns-a-million-people-are-going-to-die-if-trumps-tweets-sleepwalk-us-into-korea-war/

October 9, 2017

October 8, 2017

230 cases of pneumonic plague reported so far in Madagascar. “It is considered to be the most deadly form of the disease and can be fatal within 24 hours.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-41537193

CIA whistle-blower John Kiriakou, the only person who went to prison in connection with the “black site” torture scandal, hospitalized after suspicious traffic accident. “The Washington Metropolitan Police Department initially said it had no record of the incident and referred inquiries to the U.S. Park Police, which also patrols the area. But on Saturday it found an incident report of the crash, which it said was caused by a vehicle braking “for a bus pulling out of the lane of travel”.”   http://www.newsweek.com/cia-torture-john-kiriakou-traffic-accident-al-qaeda-leaks-679854

Turkish troops cross border into Syria. “Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Syrian rebels backed by Turkish forces would launch an operation in Idlib and warned that Turkey would not allow “a terrorist corridor” near its borders.”   https://in.reuters.com/article/mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkish-military-vehicles-enter-syrias-idlib-sources-idINKBN1CD06M

Russian protesters denounce exclusion of opposition candidate from presidential election. “Protesters called on Putin to allow (Alexei) Navalny to run in elections next March despite a criminal conviction which Navalny says is politically motivated.”   https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russians-take-to-streets-in-mass-anti-kremlin-protests-to-support-navalny-59203

Trump tweets the drums of war. “Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/07/trump-bashes-diplomacy-claims-only-one-thing-will-work-north-korea

Mental health professionals say Trump too unstable for presidency. “In a new book published this week, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” a group of 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts warn that “anyone as mentally unstable as this man should not be entrusted with the life-and-death-powers of the presidency”. ”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/07/worried-about-trumps-mental-stability-the-worst-is-yet-to-come/

Facebook says it will start using humans to screen some ads. “New campaigns with ad sets [that] contain targeting options that we feel warrant additional review (such as those associated with topics such as politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues), [will be routed] for manual review prior to being approved.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/after-russian-propaganda-discovery-facebook-will-manually-review-political-religious-2598567   You need some humans to check your grammar too!

Then White House physician James Young claims additional bullet found in John F. Kennedy’s limousine after the assassination. “The bullet was found by two chief petty officers who, during the autopsy, were sent to retrieve any skull fragments they could find in the limousine. They came back with three pieces of bone, and the bullet. The skull fragments were reported — but not the bullet.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/10/06/navy-doctor-bullet-found-jfks-limousine-never-reported/

White nationalists hold a second torch-light rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. “White nationalist figurehead Richard Spencer led a crowd of three dozen supporters to the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday night, local NBC reporter Matt Telham reported on Twitter.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/richard-spencer-and-other-white-nationalists-march-with-torches-in-unplanned-rally-on-charlottesville/

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers ordered man to raise his hands AND drop his pistol. He raises both hands and they fatally shoot him with assault rifles. “As they approached, officers told (Rueben Galindo) in Spanish to raise his hands. He complied, and then two officers — Courtney Suggs and David Guerra — fired.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/new-bodycam-footage-shows-latino-man-had-hands-up-when-nc-police-fatally-shot-him/

Vietnamese man shot by King’s County, Washington deputies was armed with a pen. “More than a week later, the police changed their account and said the object Le held when they arrived was a pen, not a knife.”   http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-tommy-le-police-vietnamese-20171005-htmlstory.html

Shots fired by police at fleeing Little Rock suspect, who hits brick wall and dies. “We’re unsure right now if the deceased individual died from the car (wreck) that resulted or if it was from the shots fired.”   http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/oct/07/one-person-dead-after-police-shooting-little-rock-/?breaking


October 8, 2017

October 7, 2017

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to anti-nuclear weapon campaigners. “…on Friday the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to the Geneva-based International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”.”   http://www.startribune.com/ican-s-can-do-on-nuclear-weapons-ban-befits-nobel-peace-prize/449825913/

Treasury Department accused of sharing private financial data with intelligence agencies without proper legal authorization. “At issue is the collection and dissemination of information from a vast database of mostly US citizens’ banking and financial records that banks turn over to the government each day.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasonleopold/us-intelligence-unit-accused-of-illegally-spying-on

IRS targeted both conservative and progressive groups requesting tax-exempt status. “While the investigation does not specify the political affiliations of the groups, names that were flagged included the words “Progressive,” “Occupy,” “Green Energy,” and Acorn — the acronym for the now defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/politics/irs-targeting-tea-party-liberals-democrats.html

U.S. military must hand captured American Islamic State fighter over to the courts says ACLU. “If the government has legitimate grounds to suspect the citizen fought with ISIS, he should immediately be transferred to the federal criminal justice system for criminal charges.”   http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article176662756.html

Japan’s largest ad agency fined the equivalent of $4,400 for making employees work huge amounts of overtime without pay. “The high-profile case led to renewed calls for changes to the country’s notoriously long working hours and illegal unpaid overtime.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41521460

Girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman describes his strange behavior. “Marilou Danley revealed Paddock “would lie in bed, just moaning and screaming, ‘Oh my God’… Ms Danley also said that Paddock showed “mental health symptoms”….”   http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/las-vegas-shooting-stephen-paddocks-girlfriend-reveals-how-he-lay-in-bed-moaning-and-screaming/news-story/f8c5a5235b6df66ee46143ff6ba5ea69   Paddock made $5 million in 2015. “IRS records show that Paddock was a successful gambler, earning at least $5 million in 2015. Some of that could be from other investments, but most of it was from gambling, officials say.”   https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/las-vegas-shooting/las-vegas-massacre-investigators-probing-whether-others-were-gunman-s-n808431

Trump administration says employer health plans don’t have to cover contraceptives. “…the Department of Health and Human Services issued two rules rolling back a federal requirement that employers must include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/06/us/politics/trump-contraception-birth-control.html   In case you are one of those employers with “deeply held religious beliefs” that would rather have employees get abortions…

President Trump’s approval rating falls sharply. “Thirty-two percent of Americans polled said they approved of Trump’s handling of his job in office nine months into his presidency, while 67 percent of those polled said they disapproved.”   http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354325-poll-trump-approval-hits-32-percent

75% of world’s honey tainted with pesticides. “In North America, 86 percent of samples from contained one or more neonicotinoid.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/06/tainted-honey-bee-poisoning-pesticides-found-globally

Trump administration removes unflattering Puerto Rico statistics from FEMA website. “The page still exists, but no longer contains key data that 96 percent of the island’s residents still don’t have electricity and half still have no clean drinking water—statistics that clearly don’t comport with President Donald Trump’s positive pr spin on the administration’s highly-criticized response to the devastation.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/06/administration-blots-out-damning-data-puerto-ricos-lack-power-water-federal-response

Trump smiles as he hints at the possibility of war with “calm before the storm” remark during photo op with military leaders. “Following Trump’s remarks, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) urged his colleagues to support his bill that would bar the president from launching a nuclear first strike without congressional approval.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/10/06/trumps-ominous-calm-storm-comment-sparks-fear-impending-war

FBI warns of threat from “black identity extremists”. “Incidents of “alleged police abuse” have “continued to feed the resurgence in ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement”.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/06/fbi-black-identity-extremists-racial-profiling   “Alleged” because all those videos of police officers shooting and beating black suspects could be “fake news”!

U.S. economy suffers first reverse in job growth in seven years. “The US (job) market stalled in September, losing 33,000 jobs…”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/06/us-jobs-market-september-hurricanes-harvey-irma

Video shows Salt Lake City police officer shoot fleeing black suspect. “Prosecutors in Salt Lake City have said officers were justified in killing Patrick Harmon, 50, who was pulled over for riding a bicycle without a light and who attempted to flee when police tried to arrest him.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/05/patrick-harmon-utah-police-shooting

Russian election hacking whistle-blower Reality Winner denied bail. “On Thursday, a federal judge denied a second request for bail from Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act, despite an admission from the federal prosecutor in charge of the case that the government relied on false information (from the FBI) in Winner’s initial bail hearing.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/10/06/nsa-reality-winner-judge-denies-bail/

Law firm made political donations to Manhattan DA who gave its clients lighter sentences. “Vance’s office negotiated deals that resulted in light sentences for some of the firm’s clients, and in certain cases allowed them to avoid prison time altogether.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/criminal-defense-firm-bankrolled-manhattan-da-cyrus-vance-kept-clients-out-prison   Same prosecutor allegedly received $10,000 from lawyer for film producer Harvey Weinstein after criminal charges were dropped. “Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer delivered $10,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in 2015, in the months after Vance’s office decided not to prosecute Weinstein over sexual assault allegations, according to an International Business Times review of campaign finance documents.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/harvey-weinsteins-lawyer-gave-10000-manhattan-da-after-he-declined-file-sexual

Arizona man who handed his guns over to police “to stop mass shootings” is a dual American-British citizen. “Pring said he could have pawned the guns for a few thousand dollars, but he hoped to inspire others by giving them up.”   https://www.rawstory.com/2017/10/arizona-man-gives-up-his-firearms-after-las-vegas-massacre-and-now-gun-nuts-want-him-dead/   Was he thinking about shooting people? I’m sure his guns are safe with the cops – they never shoot anyone.

Egypt rounding up LGBT citizens.  “Police, state-aligned media, and the religious establishment all see it as a public duty to combat the spread of homosexuality.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-rights/rainbow-raids-egypt-launches-its-widest-anti-gay-crackdown-yet-idUSKBN1CB1HE


October 7, 2017

October 6, 2017

Las Vegas gunman had been prescribed the psychotropic medication diazepam. “…in some rare cases the drug can trigger suicidal thoughts, aggressiveness, panic attacks, impulsive thoughts, and a lack of empathy.”   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4949476/Dangers-drug-Vegas-shooter-Stephen-Paddock-taking.html

Other mass shooters on psychotropic medications

Joseph T. Wesbecker shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Kentucky in 1989, killing nine. He was taking Prozac. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1996/10/21/putting-prozac-on-trial/3fca186e-6c67-4853-8471-21ab34d18fb6/

Patrick Purdy murdered five children and wounded 30 in Stockton, California in 1989. Purdy had been on the anti-psychotic drug Thorazine. http://www.sactownmag.com/December-January-2014/Trigger-Effect/?cparticle=3&siarticle=2

Eric Harris, who with schoolmate Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 24 others as Columbine High School in April 1999, had been taking Luvox. http://extras.denverpost.com/news/shot0504e.htm

In 2005, 16-year-old Jeff Weise shot and killed nine people and wounded five others in Red Lake, Minnesota before killing himself. Weise had been taking Prozac. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/26/us/family-wonders-if-prozac-prompted-school-shootings.html

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who killed 15 innocent civilians in Afghanistan in March of 2012, was being treated with unspecified anti-depressants. https://www.thedailybeast.com/military-wives-rally-around-wife-of-accused-afghanistan-shooter-robert-bales

Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58 on July 20, 2012 in Colorado. Police found the anti-anxiety drug clonazepam and the anti-depressant sertraline in his apartment. http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/04/nation/la-na-james-holmes-documents-20130405

2013 Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis had been prescribed Trazodone. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trazodone-antidepressant-used-by-aaron-alexis-described-as-very-safe/2013/09/18/4336c044-20ae-11e3-966c-9c4293c47ebe_story.html

In 2014, Ivan Lopez, a soldier at Ft. Hood, Texas, opened fire on fellow soldiers, killing three and wounding sixteen. He was taking “prescription medication” for mental health issues. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fort-hood-gunman-devastated-mother-death-article-1.1744315

Unknown but likely

Seung Hui Cho killed 32 Virginia Tech students and wounded 17 others in 2007. He was taken to a mental health facility by police in 2005 and ruled an “imminent danger”, but it is still unclear what medications he was taking. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3052278&page=1

Adam Lanza, who killed twenty students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, had reportedly been treated by mental health professionals, but information about his treatment was withheld from the public report. https://www.cchrint.org/2013/11/27/sandy-hook-investigation-fails-to-deliver-answers-heres-why/

2016 Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen told an acquaintance that he had been up all night doing research on anti-psychosis medications. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-shooting-mateen/mateen-altered-looks-researched-anti-psychotic-drugs-before-attack-acquaintance-idUSKCN0Z82LH He also discussed medication with a friend in a phone call during the attack. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/17/us/orlando-shooter-omar-mateen/index.html

James Hodgkinson, who wounded five at a Washington D.C. Republican baseball practice in 2017, “suffered from taking some prescription medication” according to the FBI. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/gop-baseball-shooter-200-rounds-ammunition-locker-article-1.3265619

[The information above is loosely based on this article:   http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/big-list-of-drug-induced-killers/ ]

St. Louis police arrest 143 people at officer acquittal protest. “Protesters gathered Tuesday evening and marched to Interstate 64, where some walked onto the roadway and blocked traffic for several minutes. Police began arresting people after protesters left the highway.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/midwest/ct-protest-st-louis-highway-20171004-story.html

October 6, 2017