August 9, 2017

Country’s enemy will “face fire and fury like the world has never seen,” says Kim Jong Un. Oh, sorry, that should be “…says Donald Trump”. “… North Korea is a real threat, but the President’s unhinged reaction suggests he might consider using American nuclear weapons in response to a nasty comment from a North Korean despot.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/lawmakers-trump-fire-fury-north-korea-mccain/index.html

Leaked draft of government report says climate change is real and human activity is to blame. “Contradicting Trump’s claims that climate change is a “hoax,” the draft report representing the consensus of 13 federal agencies concludes that the evidence global warming is being driven by human activities is “unambiguous”.”    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-09/us-scientists-contradict-trump-s-climate-claims-j64r89z0

Secretary of Health and Human Services says no need for opioid “state of emergency” recommended by commission. “We believe that at this point, the resources that we need or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crises can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/08/health/hhs-opioid-emergency-declaration/index.html   Might involve restrictions on pharmaceutical companies?

Shorter lives, fewer families for post-industrial American men. “As middle-income workers are pushed down the economic ladder — going from relatively higher-wage factory jobs to, say, minimum-wage retail jobs — it’s making it harder for lower-income workers to pull themselves up.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/trade-impact-jobs-trump-campaign-2017-8

Biggest student loan company failed to direct struggling borrowers into income based repayment plans. “Navient employees… should have steered borrowers to White House-promoted plans that could’ve allowed zero-dollar payments based on earnings and eventually led to debt forgiveness, officials said.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/state-prosecutors-navient_us_57214218e4b01a5ebde47a02

 

August 9, 2017

August 8, 2017

Trump, Republicans and Democrats all favor business interests over “average Americans” say Republican voters. “Nine in 10 said (Trump) sides with corporations over regular people. Everyone in this focus group said congressional Republicans side with corporations, as well, while eight of the 10 said Democrats side with corporations.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/07/politics/phoenix-voter-focus-group-trump/index.html

New York City medical examiner withholds name of newly identified 9/11 victim. “The victim’s name was withheld at his family’s request, the ME’s office said.”   https://nypost.com/2017/08/07/remains-of-911-victim-identified-nearly-16-years-later/    How can this not be a public record? People can be killed anonymously in the United States now? What about governments that make their troublesome citizens “disappear”?

Obama attorney generals Holder and Lynch used alias email accounts to discuss official business. “Loretta Lynch used the alias “Elizabeth Carlisle” for official emails as attorney general, including those related to her infamous tarmac meeting last summer with former President Clinton.”   http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/08/07/lynch-used-email-alias-elizabeth-carlisle-to-write-about-clinton-tarmac-meeting.html

Campbell, California police officer allegedly held passenger in car of speeding suspect at gunpoint for 9 minutes. “…(the) man sitting in the vehicle’s passenger seat — the target of the officer’s gun — maintained throughout the incident that he had simply been reaching for some papers on the floor to try to find the vehicle’s license and registration, as requested.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/08/06/a-cop-stopped-a-car-for-speeding-then-pointed-a-gun-at-a-passenger-for-more-than-9-minutes/?utm_term=.433baf4bf2a4

Google employee who complained about diversity programs likely protected under employment laws. “It is unlawful for an employer to discipline an employee for challenging conduct that the employee reasonably believed to be discriminatory, even when a court later determines the conduct was not actually prohibited by the discrimination laws.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/07/it-may-be-illegal-for-google-to-punish-engineer-over-anti-diversity-memo-commentary.html

Health insurer pulls out of Obamacare market, cites uncertainty about continuation of government subsidies. “(Insurers) have grown increasingly jittery over participating in Obamacare amid the uncertainty emanating from Washington D.C., particularly as President Trump’s threatens to stop paying a key set of subsidies.”   http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/07/news/economy/anthem-obamacare/index.html

44% of Americans make less than $15 an hour. “Meanwhile, the richest Americans continue to accumulate exorbitant wealth.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/07/us-inequality-breeds-oligarchy-new-report-details-pathway-equity

Fines on Wall Street firms drop by almost 2/3rds under Trump administration. “According to a Wall Street Journal analysis published Sunday, it appears that the nation’s largest financial institutions are benefiting greatly from having their friends in government.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/07/wall-street-fines-down-66-under-trumps-goldman-sachs-filled-administration   But Trump was unable to drop below Obama administration’s record of zero top Wall Street executives charged with criminal offenses.

Bernie Sanders accuses Big Pharma of making Americans pay twice for the world’s most expensive prescription drugs. “… Americans pay twice. First we pay to create these lifesaving drugs (by giving pharmaceutical companies federal tax dollars for research), then we pay high prices to buy those drugs.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/bernie-sanders-tells-big-pharma-stop-making-americans-pay-twice-2575552

U.S. military exploring the use of small, “usable” nuclear weapons. “(Air Force Gen. Paul) Selva said the U.S. needs to be able launch a nuclear attack on an adversary without ending the world or causing massive “indiscriminate” casualties.”   http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/08/us-military-eyes-new-mini-nukes-21st-century-deterrence/139997/

Turkey claims Germany is sheltering thousands of “terrorists”. “We gave (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel 4,500 dossiers, but have not received an answer on a single one of them.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-turkey-erdogan-idUSKBN1AN1RV

 

August 8, 2017

August 7, 2017

Japanese Prime Minister calls for a world without nuclear weapons on 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima bombing, as his government fails to support U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty. “The anniversary came after Japan sided last month with nuclear powers Britain, France and the United States to dismiss a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons, which was rejected by critics for ignoring the reality of security threats such as North Korea.”   http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/hiroshima-anniversary-highlights-contrasting-nuclear-views

Belgian government knew about eggs contaminated with pesticide, did not inform public. “The country’s food safety agency said in a statement that the information was not shared because of a fraud investigation.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/belgium-eggs-fipronil-contaminated-favv-food-agency-germany-a7879131.html

Venezuelan government puts down armed forces mutiny. “The government said that those arrested included a first lieutenant who had deserted. It said the others were civilians wearing uniforms.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40846311

Lawsuit claims Santa Clara, California police shot unarmed man who they knew was mentally ill. “The police were aware that (Jesus Geney) had a psychiatric issue. He was unarmed and essentially naked, there’s just no justification for that.”   http://abc7news.com/lawsuit-filed-against-santa-clara-after-deadly-police-shooting-/2276812/

Hawaiian protester reportedly suffers concussion during arrest. “At least 18 minutes passed between the time that (David “Kai”) Prais was dragged off and the time the ambulance came.”   https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2017/08/protesters-accuse-police-of-excessive-force-after-incident/

Black guy taken down at gas station after police accuse him of turn signal violation and burned out tail light. “Reached by the Tribune late Monday, (Corey) Williams said he thinks the officers overreacted, treating him as if he were a murder suspect and not someone they had supposedly pulled over for a minor traffic violation.”   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-police-video-release-met-20170731-story.html   I wasn’t able to watch the video on the Chicago Tribune web site, but it’s also posted on Vimeo here:   https://vimeo.com/226221089

Chinese tourists arrested after doing Hitler salutes in front of German Reichstag (parliament building). “…while Germans are familiar with the legacy of World War II and the laws forbidding Nazi gestures, it is less certain that foreign tourists are aware of the rules.”   http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/06/541898669/nazi-salutes-end-in-arrests-for-chinese-tourists-in-berlin

Lonely people have a 50% increased risk of early death, compared to 30% for obesity, claims study. “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival.”   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/06/loneliness-deadlier-obesity-study-suggests/

Some Republicans questioning whether Trump should represent their party in 2020 election. ““For some, it is for ideological reasons, and for others it is for stylistic reasons,” Mr. Dent said, complaining of the “exhausting” amount of “instability, chaos and dysfunction” surrounding Mr. Trump.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/05/us/politics/2020-campaign-president-trump-cotton-sasse-pence.html

Republicans may try to suppress young voters by requiring ID with a current address, closing polling sites near college campuses or requiring registration far in advance of elections. “Many college-age millennials move from their home state with only about one month to register to vote or update their registration.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/08/07/gop-plan-suppress-rising-millennial-vote-will/

Mayor of Dallas in 1963 was a CIA asset according to newly released government documents. “Earle Cabell, who had been elected mayor of Dallas in May 1961, oversaw arrangements for Kennedy’s trip and motorcade, which took him through Dealey Plaza, a route that violated almost all standard rules for presidential safety — and where normal safeguards, such as sealing windows and placing sharpshooters, were ignored.”   https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/08/02/dallas-mayor-jfk-assassination-cia-asset/

Woman harassed by Fox News anchor says it was representative of the company’s culture. “[Fox] was the Wild West of sexual harassment.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/fox-news-host-has-an-anthony-weiner-moment-joy-reid-lambastes-eric-bolling-for-alleged-lewd-photos/

Trump administration seeking to reverse rule banning mandatory arbitration when residents have disputes with nursing homes. “The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) announced plans in June to do away with an Obama-era rule that prohibited nursing homes that accept Medicare or Medicaid funds from including language in their resident contracts requiring that disputes be settled by a third party rather than a court.”   http://thehill.com/regulation/healthcare/345411-fight-over-right-to-sue-nursing-homes-heats-up

43 Syrian civilians reportedly dead after U.S. planes hit Raqqa. “Though the Syrian government had broadly been fine with the Kurdish YPG invading ISIS territory, they have complained to the UN Security Council about the US airstrikes, saying they are excessively targeting civilians and basic infrastructure.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/06/us-airstrikes-kill-at-least-43-civilians-in-raqqa/

Syrian deputy foreign minister says his government will eventually regain control of Kurdish held parts of the country. “When asked if the Syrian government was willing to take back control of areas now controlled by Kurdish groups he said: “It is not a matter of ‘willing’ it is a matter of ‘must’.””   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-kurds-idUSKBN1AM0LM

 

August 7, 2017

August 6, 2017

Venezuela’s chief prosecutor fired amid corruption probe. “In a statement released by the public prosecutor’s office, she said Mr Maduro’s government was leading a “coup against the constitution”.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40840850

Bomb explodes in Bloomington, Minnesota mosque. “An attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, it’s an attack on all faith communities, so we stand with you, a million protestants in Minnesota.”   http://www.fox9.com/news/272146616-story

White House undergoing renovations during Trump’s vacation, presumably to make it less of a dump. “Now that President Trump has left the White House and kicked off his 17-day getaway to his golf course in New Jersey, renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going full-steam ahead.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-staffer-tweets-photo-white-house-renovations-kicking/story?id=49049242

With 90% voter turnout for presidential election in Rwanda, incumbent president wins another 7 year term with almost 99% of the vote. “Three potential candidates were disqualified for allegedly failing to fulfill requirements including collecting enough signatures.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rwanda-president-wins-with-98-percent-of-vote/

Nissan workers at Mississippi plant vote against union representation. “…a significant number of workers at the plant, which has a total work force of nearly 6,500, are contract workers who earn lower wages than employees – they were not eligible to vote in the union election.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/05/business/nissan-united-auto-workers-union-mississippi.html

Major health insurance companies reportedly made $6 billion dollars in three months. “That’s up more about 29 percent from the same quarter a year ago — far outpacing the overall S&P 500 health care sector’s growth of 8.5 percent for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/05/top-health-insurers-profit-surge-29-percent-to-6-billion-dollars.html

Wells Fargo reportedly agrees to pay $108 million to settle claims that it defrauded veterans and the government. “The lenders allegedly overcharged veterans and concealed their conduct from the government to obtain guarantees for the loans, according to filings.”   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-04/wells-fargo-settles-with-u-s-government-over-loans-to-veterans

232 illegal migrants have died trying to cross Mexican border this year, a 17% increase from 2016 despite a 52% drop in arrests. “There is also a concern that more women and children could be attempting more dangerous border crossings, instead of seeking asylum, because of a reported uptick in cases in which immigration officials have illegally turned back asylum seekers at the southern border since Trump was elected in November 2016.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/05/migrants-us-mexico-border-deaths-figures

At least five dead as temperatures hit the mid-hundreds in Europe. “Unusually high temperatures, in some cases unprecedented, are being recorded across an area spanning much of the Iberian peninsula, southern France, Italy, the Balkans and Hungary.”   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/05/european-heatwave-kills-five-temperatures-soar-40c/

August 6, 2017

August 5, 2017

Kern County, California district attorney drops “charges” against small, 19 year-old girl attacked with a police dog after being mistaken by Bakersfield officers for an adult man with a goatee and a machete.   http://kvpr.org/post/kern-da-drops-charges-against-female-teen-mistaken-male-suspect   Video is here (I was unable to watch the last 42 seconds due to Facebook technical issues):   https://www.facebook.com/786247818090483/videos/1407350295980229/   The officers involved will not be facing any charges either, says DA.

South Korean intelligence agency tampered with country’s 2012 election to help conservative candidate win. “The in-house investigators at the National Intelligence Service (NIS) said the agency had hired internet experts to try to sway public opinion through social media postings.”   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40824793

Rights groups call for more transparency for private prisons. “The Private Prison Information Act of 2017 (S.1728) would strengthen accountability and oversight by requiring for-profit prisons under contract with federal agencies to comply with the same Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements as their government-operated counterparts.”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/private-prisons-not-operate-secrecy/

Hundreds of fired police officers have gotten their jobs back. “To investigate how often fired officers were returned to their jobs, The (Washington) Post filed open records requests with the nation’s 55 largest municipal and county police forces. Thirty-seven departments complied with the request…”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/investigations/police-fired-rehired/

Long-time backer of warrantless surveillance programs worried about unmasking of politicians. ““We have found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information,” Nunes wrote in the letter to Coats.”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170731/19173137894/house-oversight-head-still-concerned-surveillance-he-approves-is-being-used-against-his-party.shtml

Trump administration officials say limits may be imposed on press when reporting leaked information. “Journalists were alarmed Friday after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice was revisiting guidelines for handling media subpoenas in leak investigations and said there needed to be limits on press freedom.”    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sessions-jailing-journalists-media_us_5984dcbae4b041356ebfc875

U.S. officially informs U.N. that it intends to withdraw from Paris Climate Accord. “Trump announced in June that the U.S. will leave the agreement.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/04/trump-notice-withdraw-from-paris-climate-deal-241331   Meanwhile… “The high in Portland, Oregon, topped 103 F on Wednesday, a new daily record. Temperatures in Seattle hit into the 90s, more than 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.”   http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2017/08/04/weekly-wrap-up-thunderstorms-cut-lollapalooza-short-record-heat-bakes/

Federal appeals court strikes down sentences of mercenaries implicated in “Bagdad’s Bloody Sunday”. “A federal appeals court on Friday threw out lengthy prison sentences of three former operatives for private mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide—and ordered a retrial for a fourth operative who had received a life sentence—for their roles in the notorious 2007 Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad, which left 14 unarmed Iraqis dead and another 17 wounded.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/04/court-throws-out-blackwater-guards-sentences-2007-baghdad-massacre

Debbie Wasserman Schultz allegedly fought to withhold IT staffer’s computer from Capitol Hill police. “She told (the Sun-Sentinel) she has now allowed police to examine the laptop; on July 19th Fox News reported that she had been blocking the review for months due to “speech and debate clause” issues but was now open to “negotiating” over access.”   http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/04/wasserman-schultz-says-laptop-she-sought-to-keep-from-police-was-awans-not-hers/

Washington Post and New York Times reporters showed little interest in meeting between Bill Clinton and then-attorney general Lynch during Hillary Clinton investigation. “Mark Lander, a reporter for the Times, is seen in one June 30 email reaching out to a DOJ official to say he’s “been pressed into service to write about the questions being raised” by the meeting.”   http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/emails-show-washington-post-new-york-times-reporters-unenthusiastic-about-covering-clinton-lynch-meeting/article/2630650

Kushner Companies accused of improperly offering U.S. visas in return for investments. “Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, discussed her connection to Trump at a marketing event in Beijing in May, where potential investors were informed they could receive visas and potentially green cards for themselves and their families if they invested $500,000 in one of Kushner Companies’ projects.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/04/kushners-company-issued-subpoena-over-misuse-visa-program

Tar sand pipeline companies responsible for hundreds of hazardous leaks says Greenpeace. “Since 2010… the three companies “have seen 373 hazardous liquid spills from their U.S. pipeline networks,” releasing a total of “63,221 barrels of hazardous liquids”—including thousands of barrels of diluted bitumen, which is is more difficult to remove from water than conventional crude oil because it sinks.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/04/new-report-reveals-water-threats-posed-dirty-threes-pipeline-routes

Eight year-old suffocates four months after drinking boiling water on a dare. “According to doctors, the boiling water burned her throat and mouth. Kiari underwent a tracheotomy, which left her deaf and with chronic respiratory problems.”   http://wsvn.com/news/local/authorities-investigating-death-of-boynton-beach-girl-after-she-drank-boiling-water/   Most of the stories in the news seem to be suggesting this is the result of parental neglect rather than medical malpractice. This is the only story I found that names the hospital.

Martin Shkreli, who became famous after hiking drug prices, reportedly found guilty of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. “This was a witch hunt of epic proportions, and maybe they found one or two broomsticks, but at the end of the day, we’ve been acquitted of the most important charges.”   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-crime-shkreli-idUSKBN1AK27F

Banks making billions on overdraft fees, mostly from the poorest Americans. “The (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) found that a huge share of fees (80%) come from a very small portion of people with little money who frequently overdraft, and that those borrowers are essentially using overdraft as a very expensive short-term loan to regularly cover a temporary lack of cash.”   https://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/banks-15-billion-overdraft-fees   It’s like a reverse-Robin Hood scheme – taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Did an NRA spokesperson just threaten the New York Times with sexual assault? “In conjunction with the hashtag #ClenchedFistofTruth, confusion spread through Twitter like wildfire, as many had misheard Loesch as having said “We’re going to fist The New York Times,” which was thought to be a reference to a sexual act.”   http://www.businessinsider.com/fisk-dictionarycom-most-searched-words-after-nra-new-york-times-video-2017-8

Stock market bubble poised to pop says analyst. “It won’t be your average correction. It’s going to be something a little more meaningful.”   https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/04/a-meaningful-market-correction-is-close-says-widely-followed-strategist.html

Trump has taken almost twice as many vacations days as Obama, but falls far short of George W. Bush. “As President Trump departed for Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Friday for a 17-day working vacation, it will mark his fifth visit to that golf club and his 13th vacation-like trip since he took office.”   http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-do-trumps-days-away-from-the-white-house-compare-to-his-predecessors/   “Now watch this drive.”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3p9y_OEAdc

Democratic Socialists of American claims it now has 25,000 dues-paying members. “…shortly before the November election, the organization had between 7,000 to 8,000 members. On November 9, they started seeing supporters of Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential run and others flooding into DSA.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/08/04/dsa-democratic-socialists-convention-record-membership-chicago/

Green Party’s presidential candidate Jill Stein denies any contacts with Trump campaign. “I had no secret meetings, rendezvous… it’s just like so preposterous…. I find it really interesting that there is such an effort, a consistent effort, to try to demonize me and the Green Party.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/4/green_party_s_jill_stein_our

Steve Bannon still reportedly participating in National Security Council meetings, despite being removed. ““Bannon and Gorka have recently become a more regular and outspoken presence at meetings led by McMaster and his team on Afghanistan, the Middle East and the administration’s national security strategy,” The (Washington) Post reported.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/bannon-still-actively-engages-and-attends-nsc-meetings-despite-white-house-saying-he-was-removed/

U.S. boots on the ground in Yemen. “A day after the US was reported to have participated in an anti al-Qaeda offensive in southern Shabwa Province of Yemen, the Pentagon is confirming that a “small number” of US ground troops have been deployed into Yemen for an ongoing operation against the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) force.”   http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/04/us-troops-are-on-the-ground-in-yemen-for-al-qaeda-offensive/

Mainstream media accused of running “perseverance porn” stories. “One particularly vulgar example was CBS News (12/16/16) referring to an “inspiring” African-American kid who had to work at his fast food job with an arm sling and a neck brace after a car accident.”   http://fair.org/home/medias-grim-addiction-to-perseverance-porn/   Do you have what it takes to succeed, snowflake?

U.S. unnecessarily militarizing Mexican border claims journalist. “They’ve portrayed these (illegal) immigrants as criminals, as terrorists, as gang members, when the U.S. Border Patrol statistics actually prove that over 99 percent of all undocumented immigrants have no criminal record.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/4/us_ramps_up_border_militarism_as

August 5, 2017

August 4, 2017

NSA employees reportedly resigned after they discovered agency had removed safeguards built into their program. “By the end of October 2001, the original THINTHREAD development team had left NSA, motivated to leave upon learning that key THINTHREAD technologies—minus the Constitutional safeguards built into it—was being misused to conduct warrantless mass surveillance against the American people.”   http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-is-mattis-declaring-war-on-whistleblowers/

Federal court rules that drug enforcement officers can view patients’ prescription drug history without a search warrant. “Physicians and patients have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the highly regulated prescription drug industry.”   https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/08/02/guess-whos-tracking-your-prescription-drugs

Undercover law enforcement officers may be posing as Uber drivers. “The suspect was cuffed before being placed in the back of a car bearing the ride-sharing company’s insignia, according to a colleague of mine who witnessed the arrest and provided the photo.”   https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/3kn94b/are-cops-posing-as-uber-drivers-now

For second year in a row, less than 1/2 of the students admitted to Harvard identify themselves as “white”. “Harvard spokeswoman Melodie Jackson said in a statement that the college’s admissions process “considers each applicant as a whole person” and is “consistent with the legal standards established by the US Supreme Court”.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/03/us/harvard-minority-admissions-trnd/index.html

Trump leaves Washington for 17 day vacation at one of his resorts. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that, as of March 2016, 27 percent of American workers have zero paid days off.”   https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/trump-vacation-american-workers/    Worn out from all the winning?

Google algorithm to fight fake news is also allegedly hiding opposition websites. “In the three months since Internet monopoly Google announced plans to keep users from accessing “fake news,” the global traffic rankings of a broad range of left-wing, progressive, anti-war and democratic rights organizations have fallen significantly.”   https://mronline.org/2017/07/28/new-google-algorithm-restricts-access-to-left-wing-progressive-web-sites/

Thai student on trial for sharing BBC article about the country’s king on Facebook. “The BBC article included mentions of the king’s personal life when he was crown prince, including details of three marriages that ended in divorce and other material Thai news media can publish only at their own risk.”   http://host.madison.com/news/world/thai-activist-on-trial-for-facebook-share-of-king-profile/article_b3ecbb43-04f0-547e-bf04-71ef0ee65391.html

EPA official resigns, publishes open letter criticizing proposed roll-back of environmental protection standards. “The former official also said agency staffers are rejecting industry demands, because there’s no new scientific evidence or data to support the rollbacks, but she also warned about the Trump and Pruitt’s continued willingness to push for polluters’ proposals.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/03/trumps-war-science-forces-federal-officials-consider-polluters-demands

Thousands of asylum seekers crossing border from U.S. to Canada, don’t believe their requests will be handled fairly in U.S. “About 70 percent of asylum seekers who have recently arrived in Quebec are Haitian, according to the province’s Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/03/asylum-seekers-fleeing-trumps-hostility-overwhelm-quebecs-refugee-resources

Israel’s PM Netanyahu attends groundbreaking ceremony for new West Bank settlement. “This new settlement will rehouse residents of Amona, an illegal settlement shut down by the Supreme Court.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/08/03/netanyahu-rewards-evicted-jewish-settlers-with-new-west-bank-home

French host charges Muslim woman for damages after she goes swimming in a burkini. “The owner of a private residence near Marseille, France, asked a woman to pay 490 euros because he said the communal pool had to be disinfected after she swam in a burkini, according to an organisation established to combat Islamaphobia.”   http://www.euronews.com/2017/08/03/woman-told-to-pay-pool-cleaning-fees-after-swimming-in-burkini

Trump calls New Hampshire a “drug-infested den” during chat with Mexican president. “New Hampshire does have a serious problem with drugs, (state officials) said, but with opioid addiction of the kind that is affecting a number of states rather than over narcotics smuggled in from abroad.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/03/new-hampshire-donald-trump-opioid-epidemic

FBI’s biometric database, which includes data on millions of innocent Americans, to be exempt from Privacy Act rules. “This means the agency does not have to notify persons that the agency holds biometric information (on) them.”   http://www.ibtimes.com/new-rule-exempts-fbi-disclosing-its-biometric-database-americans-2574272

Five traits that may make people Trump supporters. “Those with (authoritarian personality syndrome) often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid, hierarchical view of society.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/a-psychological-analysis-of-trump-supporters-has-uncovered-5-key-traits-about-them/

Secret Service leaves Trump Tower over terms of lease, sets up camp on sidewalk. “Two people familiar with the discussions said the sticking points included the price and other conditions of the lease.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-service-vacates-trump-tower-command-post-in-lease-dispute-with-presidents-company/2017/08/03/7338de16-785d-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

10 federal agencies reportedly involved in pre-publication review of book on Guantanamo interrogations. “A former chief investigator at the Guantanamo Bay detention center is accusing the Pentagon of blocking publication of his book on the use of brutal interrogation techniques and top U.S. officials’ advocacy of what he calls “torture”.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/pentagon-suppressing-book-on-interrogations-former-investigator/

Audio recording purporting to be voice of Seymour Hersh claims FBI found evidence Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks and wanted money for DNC emails.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYzB96_EK7s

Federal appeals court overturns lower court’s award of damages to man detained for more than three years by ICE, under the suspicion he was not a U.S. citizen. “This week, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the payout, ruling a statute of limitations had expired while Watson was in ICE custody without access to a lawyer.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/3/headlines/federal_court_blocks_payout_to_us_citizen_imprisoned_by_ice_for_over_3_years

August 4, 2017

August 3, 2017

A record six Senators voted against appointment of Christopher Wray as FBI director. “James Comey, who was confirmed in 2013, received the only other opposing vote in history — Sen. Rand Paul voted no after raising questions about how the agency was using surveillance drones on American soil.”   http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/01/politics/fbi-director-history-no-votes/index.html

Federal appeals court refuses to suppress evidence gathered by FBI using faulty warrant to infect computers of suspects around the country with FBI malware. “The Tenth Circuit Appeals Court overturned the suppression of evidence granted by the lower court, ruling that the FBI’s NIT warrant was invalid but that the agent’s “good faith” reliance on the warrant prevented exclusion of the evidence.”   https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170727/13552137874/another-appeals-court-denies-suppression-evidence-obtained-with-invalid-fbi-warrant.shtml

Female state trooper sues Nebraska over female-only pre-employment genital examinations. “Trooper Brienne Splittgerber claims that as part of her pre-employment testing in 2014, she and other female troopers had to submit to embarrassing genital examinations.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/female-nebraska-trooper-sues-unnecessary-genital-exams/

Philadelphia woman sues city over alleged sexual assault in officer’s patrol car. “J.H. says O’Neill (drove) her to the back of a school, where he sexually assaulted her by, among other things, rubbing his gun against her pelvis and inner thigh, forcing her to touch the gun so “if she fought him, he would be able to shoot her and claim that she had grabbed his gun,” penetrating her with his fingers, forcibly giving her oral sex, and ejaculating on her “backside”.”   https://www.courthousenews.com/woman-says-cops-sexual-assault-recorded/

White House press secretary admits no phone calls from Boy Scout leader or Mexican president. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, confirmed at her daily briefing what the Boy Scouts and the Mexican government had already asserted publicly, which is that neither phone call that Mr. Trump referred to had occurred.”   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/politics/those-calls-to-trump-white-house-admits-they-didnt-happen.html

Trump endorses Republican bill to cut legal immigration, favor highly skilled workers. “Many pro-business Republicans have long supported legal immigration, and the new legislation is likely to stoke the divides between this wing of the party and more populist Republicans.”   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/02/trump-immigration-law-reduction-10-years

Air Canada plane was only 59 feet off the ground during San Francisco taxiway near miss. “Investigators could not hear what the Air Canada captain and co-pilot said to each other during the aborted landing because their conversation was recorded over when the plane made other flights, starting with a San Francisco-to-Montreal trip the next morning.”   https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/03/air-canada-near-miss-picture-shows-how-close-planes-came-to-crashing

Company that provided machines for Venezuelan election claims vote total was inflated. ““Based on the robustness of our system, we know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a national constituent assembly was manipulated,” Smartmatic said in a statement.”   https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/venezuela-voter-count-was-fraudulent-says-voting-firm-1.3174655

Second video of Baltimore cops planting drugs on suspects allegedly discovered. “The new video involves different officers, the public defender’s office said. The officers were not named.”   http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-ci-second-body-camera-video-20170731-story.html

Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 22,000 for the first time, Trump takes credit. “Trump’s recent stock market exhortations are… a sharp reversal from his views during the 2016 campaign, when he repeatedly dismissed the increase in stock prices as phony. “It’s all a big bubble,” he said on Fox News almost exactly a year ago.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/02/trumps-market-cheerleading-strategy-241248

Journalism groups in U.S. create web site to track attacks on the press. “So far in 2017, the site has tracked 19 arrests of journalists; 12 equipment searches and seizures; 11 physical attacks; and four cases of journalists who were detained, questioned, or denied entry at borders.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/02/amid-trumps-chilling-war-media-press-freedom-groups-expose-threats-us-journalists

Passengers kept on two Air Transat aircraft in Ottawa, Canada for hours called 911 for assistance. “The flight landed at the Ottawa airport just after 5 p.m. ET, after more than eight hours of flying time. It then sat on the tarmac for six hours and passengers weren’t allowed to get off.”   http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/air-transat-ottawa-planes-parked-hours-delay-1.4230048

Watchdog group accuses Treasury Secretary of perjury. “On three separate occasions, both in written testimony and in live hearings, Mnuchin has denied that OneWest engaged in robosigning of foreclosure documents, when copious evidence exists to the contrary.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/08/02/treasury-secretary-steve-mnuchin-allegedly-lied-under-oath-will-the-justice-department-investigate/

NFL team owners not signing Kaepernick because they are scared of losing white fans says writer. “The NFL’s fan loyalists don’t want him…. they are blue collar, and conservative middle class, white football junkies who year in and year out, pack stadiums, and plop down tens of millions for tickets, and assorted NFL paraphernalia.”   https://www.eurweb.com/2017/08/heres-really-kaepernick-cant-get-job-nfl/

Trump says Russia sanctions bill “included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions”, signs it anyway. “Before Trump signed the bill, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that neither he nor Trump approved of the sanctions, arguing they would hinder the administration’s attempts to restore relations with Russia.”   http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-signs-russia-sanctions-bill/story

Homeland Security allegedly took steps to block congressional oversight during initial rollout of Trump travel ban. “The FOIA request reveals what many, like Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and other congresspeople, already suspected when they were stonewalled at international airports when seeking information about people being detained there.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/revealed-homeland-security-ordered-agents-to-ignore-congresspeople-seeking-answers-during-travel-ban-rollout/

U.S. fires test ICBM, lands near Marshall Islands, no calls for sanctions by other countries or by U.N. “Minuteman missiles have been regularly tested at the Vandenberg base, and today’s test was the fourth this year.”   http://abcnews.go.com/International/us-test-launch-unarmed-ballistic-missile/story?id=48973337

China restricts use of Uighur language in schools. “Under Articles 10 and 37 of the Chinese constitution, ethnic minorities have a right to preserve their own languages and traditions and students are supposed to be able “where possible [to] use textbooks in their own languages and use these languages as a media of instruction”.”   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-muslim-minority-school-language-ban-han-xinjiang-uyghur-hotan-hetian-government-communist-a7873446.html

Department of Homeland Security claims construction of Mexican border wall will be exempt from normal environmental restrictions. “Lawyers with the Center for Biological Diversity say the move to exempt the Department of Homeland Security from following environmental laws is unconstitutional.”   https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/2/headlines/dhs_to_waive_environmental_rules_while_building_border_wall

August 3, 2017