Category Archives: Uncategorized

2018-05-20: News Headlines

Ilana Novick (2018-05-20). After Texas School Massacre, Facebook Trolls Spread Disinformation. truthdig.com It's a horrifyingly common pattern. First, the tragic event, such as America's latest school shooting, in Galveston County, Texas, on Friday. Then, the grief over the loss of lives is compounded by online hoaxes and disinformation—especially on Facebook. | In the aftermath of the shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 people dead, the online trolls wasted no time in creating their first hoax. Among other things, they created fake photos of the suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, wearing a hat saying "Hillary 2016." | This and similar postings were quickly flagged and removed by the social network, but as The Washington Post notes, "others rose rapidly in their place." Also: Chris Sampson, a disinformation analyst for a counterterrorism think tank, said he could see new fakes as they were being created and filled out with false information, including images linking the suspect to…

RT (2018-05-20). Hawaiian volcanologists advise wider evacuations as violent lava flows engulf homes (VIDEOS). rt.com Lava flows from Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island have reached Highway 137, threatening to cut off the escape route from lower Puna. While there is no immediate threat to the public, lava discharge is quickening.
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Ilana Novick (2018-05-19). Texas Candidates Come Out in Support of Single-Payer. truthdig.com As 2020 presidential hopefuls such as Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California voice support for single-payer health care, the concept has slowly found backing in some unlikely places. That includes the 2018 congressional races in Texas, where more than half the Democratic candidates competing Tuesday in the primary runoff elections have endorsed single-payer. | As Politico reported Saturday, while the national party is "trying to minimize internal battles on health care, Democrats in this deep red state have also watched closely races where single-payer advocates have upset centrist primary opponents." | This group includes Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging Ted Cruz for a Senate seat. Before his 2016 presidential bid, Cruz was most famous for his staunch opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even helping to shut down the government in a failed repeal attempt in…

Jim Naureckas (2018-05-19). The Surprising Popularity of 'Far Left' Policies. fair.org The Washington Post ( 5/16/18) characterized Nebraska congressional candidate as "far left" because she supports universal background checks, raising taxes on the wealthy and decriminalizing marijuana. | "The Far Left Is Winning the Democratic Civil War" was the headline over a Washington Post report ( 5/16/18) on the results of recent primary elections. | So what counts as "far left" to the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by the world's richest human? | Here are the positions cited by the Post's James Hohmann to characterize the "unelectable activists" who are "thwarting" Democratic hopes to take back the House, or are otherwise part of a "leftward lurch": | Kara Eastman of Nebraska "advocated for universal background checks to buy guns, raising taxes and decriminalizing marijuana." | John Fetterman in Pennsylvania "campaigned on universal healthcare and legalizing marijuana." | Running for governor…

truth-out.org (2018-05-19). Republican Proposal Would Rescind Funds That Make Public Housing Safe for Residents. truth-out.org The Henry Rutgers Houses, a public housing development built and maintained by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), stand in in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, April 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images) | The stories at Truthout equip ordinary people with the facts and resources to create extraordinary change. Support this vital work by making a tax-deductible donation now! | A rescission bill from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy would cut $38.8 million from the public housing capital fund, which helps more than 2 million seniors, people with disabilities, children, and other vulnerable people live in decent, safe, and sanitary housing. These funds also give public housing residents access to job training programs, which help raise their earnings. This rescission would reverse bipartisan congressional action in the 2018 government funding bill that…

truth-out.org (2018-05-19). After Texas School Shooting, Progressives Say Refusal to Take on NRA Leading to "Slaughter After Slaughter" truth-out.org Candles, flowers and stuffed animals line a table during a vigil in Santa Fe, Texas for the victims of the mass shooting on May 18, 2018.(Photo: AFP / Getty Images) | "Let's call it like it is," declared Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Friday in response to the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas that left at least nine students and one teacher dead. "The horrifying inaction of Congress, slaughter after slaughter, has become a green light to would-be shooters, who pervert silence into endorsement." | In placing blame for the gun violence crisis that continues to inflict communities nationwide on inaction at the highest levels of the US government — where the National Rifle Association (NRA) holds tremendous sway, particularly over President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress — Murphy echoed the reaction of many students,…

truth-out.org (2018-05-19). How Weakened US Fossil Fuel Regulations Threaten Environmental Justice in Colorado. truth-out.org The news and analysis at Truthout go way beyond the talking points. You can contribute to the creation of independent, insightful journalism by making a donation today! | From the start, President Donald Trump's administration has made dismantling regulations, especially for the oil, gas and coal industries, a top priority. | And though his claims of rolling back more regulations than any other administration are exaggerated, Trump's team has tried hard to erase many environmental and energy-related rules. | Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Trump have teamed up with the Republican-led Congress to get federal agencies on the case, by streamlining environmental permitting and attempting other sweeping changes. | As an environmental sociologist who has spent hundreds of hours researching communities directly affected by…

wsws.org (2018-05-19). Democrats defend FBI following reports it spied on Trump's election campaign. wsws.org The Democratic response has been to rush to the defense of the FBI and declare unqualified support for its operations, as well as those of the Central Intelligence Agency.

wsws.org (2018-05-19). South Carolina teachers to rally for better pay and funding for schools. wsws.org For the unions, the aim of the demonstration is to smother opposition, isolate it from protests in other states, and channel workers behind the Democratic Party.

Natasha Lennard (2018-05-19). Call Congress's "Blue Lives Matter" Bills What They Are: Another Attack on Black Lives. theintercept.com On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Protect and Serve Act of 2018 by a vote of 382 to 35. The act — a congressional "Blue Lives Matter" bill — would make it a federal crime to assault a police officer. The Senate version of the bill, which also has broad bipartisan support, goes even further, framing an attack on an officer as a federal hate crime. | The bills exemplify the very worst sort of legislation: at once unnecessary and pernicious.The bills exemplify the very worst sort of legislation: at once unnecessary and pernicious. | The Protect and Serve Act would allow anyone who knowingly causes serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer to be imprisoned up to 10 years. And it creates even harsher penalties for other criminal acts against police: If a police officer were kidnapped, killed,…

RT (2018-05-19). Stefan Halper — Latest character in Russiagate drama spied for the CIA in the 80s. rt.com A new persona has been thrust into center stage of Russiagate drama. Stefan Halper, who has a long history of working with the CIA, has been revealed as the man who was charged with keeping tabs on Trump's election campaign. |
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RT (2018-05-19). Gene editing opens world of 'man-gods,' but Jesse Ventura doubts society and politics are ready. rt.com Advances in technology, from brain chips to gene selection, may be creating a new type of man, but what are the dangers? The former governor of Minnesota shares his take in the latest episode of 'The World According to Jesse.'
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Glenn Greenwald (2018-05-19). The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election. theintercept.com Far from the top-secret, covert intelligence asset the FBI has depicted him as, Stefan Halper is a long-time, well-known CIA operative with ties to the Bush family and a shady past.

Rick Sterling (2018-05-18). An Iranian Perspective on the Battle for Syria. mintpressnews.com West against East on the Syrian battlefield, in the newspapers and now on film: A new, full-length action movie, titled "Damascus Time," gives an Iranian perspective on the battle against ISIS in Syria. | The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award-winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria. The pilots have come to help the townspeople escape in an aging Ilyushin cargo plane. | Syrian and Iraqi actors play Syrian civilians and ISIS terrorists hell-bent on blowing up the plane or using it on a suicide mission against Damascus. | The movie portrays sensational scenes from real ISIS atrocities with a backdrop showing the Syrian desert and famous ruins of Palmyra. The city where civilians are surrounded and besieged…

Robert Fantina (2018-05-18). What's Wrong With the United States? counterpunch.org Despite the myth perpetrated by United States spokespersons, the country is not, and never has been, a beacon of peace and freedom, the 'land of the free and the home of the brave', or a democracy that is the envy of the word. It is, and always has been, a racist, imperialist society, an oligarchy More

Dave Lindorff (2018-05-18). Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza. counterpunch.org Hong Kong. Sitting in this peaceful city on the far side of world from the United States can put some things in perspective. For one thing, the local papers, both Chinese-language and the English-language South China Morning Post today featured front-page images of dead Palestinian protesters lying on the ground in Gaza. Accompanying articles focused on them More

WT Whitney (2018-05-18). America's Role in Removing a Revolutionary and Restoring War to Colombia. mintpressnews.com Former FARC leader Jesús Santrich has been conducting a hunger strike since his arrest on April 9. His looming death ought to be big news in the United States whose government has responsibility for his fate. The U.S. State Department and DEA personnel did the groundwork in Colombia in manufacturing a case against him. The Southern New York District Court is requesting his extradition on a charge of drug-trafficking. Santrich won't be judged in Colombia. | Santrich's case deserves continuing attention especially because his arrest and threatened extradition portend the return of civil war to Colombia. (See our earlier report here.) | Legislators, FARC comrades, the top UN representative in Colombia, and former Uruguayan President "Pepe" Mujica begged Santrich to end his hunger strike. This is his "last battle," he replied. On April 26 prison authorities transferred a weakened Santrich from Bogota's…

Rev. William Alberts (2018-05-18). The Danger of Praying Truth to Power. counterpunch.org Praying for those in power is easy. Faith leaders do it all the time in houses of worship. Especially on national holidays like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. "Almighty God, Father of everyone, we pray for our political leaders, that You may guide them with wisdom in the ways of peace, and lead them to enact policies More

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-18). Afghan President Offers Airstrike Victims Apology, Not Justice. hrw.org Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during during a peace and security cooperation conference in Kabul, Afghanistan February 28, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized Thursday to the families of civilians killed and injured in Dasht-e Archi, Kunduz province, on April 2, 2018, when Afghan air force helicopters fired heavy machineguns and launched unguided rockets at an outdoor religious ceremony attended by hundreds of people. Thirty of the 36 people killed were children, some under age 10 — in an attack the government claimed was targeting senior Taliban leaders. | A report on the airstrike by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that the attack "rais[ed] questions as to the Government's respect of the rules of precaution and proportionality" under the laws of war. UNAMA concluded…

Caleb Jones, Sophia Yan (2018-05-18). Hawaii volcano spews huge cloud of ash. peoplesworld.org

Rachel Leah, Salon (2018-05-18). Steve Bannon Tried to Suppress Black Vote: Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower. alternet.org Christopher Wylie told Congress that the firm engaged in "voter disengagement" tactics and targeted black Americans | Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower and a former employee of the firm, told Congress Wednesday that the company ran voter suppression campaigns, which targeted black Americans and other liberal demographic groups. He said that those orders came from Steve Bannon, former chief executive of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and later Chief Strategist in the Trump White House. "Mr. Bannon sees cultural warfare as the means to create enduring change in American politics. It was for this reason Mr. Bannon engaged SCL (Cambridge Analytica's parent company), a foreign military contractor, to build an arsenal of informational weapons he could deploy on the American population," Wylie told CNN after the hearing, adding that "voter disengagement tactics" were used to "discourage or demobilize certain types of people from. . .

Steven Rosenfeld, Independent Media Institute (2018-05-18). Florida Election Official Illegally Destroyed Ballots in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Heated 2016 Primary Race. alternet.org Judge sides with progressive challenger Tim Canova and activists. | The Florida county election supervisor overseeing one of 2016's most bitter primary races, pitting the just-resigned Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz against progressive law professor Tim Canova, unlawfully broke federal and state laws by prematurely destroying that election's ballots. A ruling by Broward County Circuit Court Judge Raag Singhal found Broward County Election Supervisor Brenda Snipes violated the state's open record laws and federal law when she destroyed the ballots a year after the August 2016 primary, where Wasserman Schultz beat Tim Canova by 6,775 votes, according to the certified results. Canova, assisted by election transparency activists, wanted to verify the vote count. But Snipes repeatedly rebuffed their efforts, even telling a documentary filmmaker she would have to pay nearly $72,000 before the election office in Florida's second. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-18). Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Payday Loan Rule Survives GOP Repeal — for Now. truth-out.org There was rare good news for regulatory safeguards this week: The window closed for Congress to pass legislation repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule on payday loans, according to advocates of the initiative. | Stop the Debt Trap, a coalition of labor unions and non-profits, said Wednesday evening that the "legislative clock has expired" on efforts to annul the rule under the Congressional Review Act. | "Consumer and civil rights advocates are urging the consumer bureau to keep intact the rule, which is set to go into effect summer 2019, and to fulfill the bureau's responsibility to enforce the law," the organization said in a statement. | The rule is centered around the idea short-term, high-interest lenders must try to ensure that borrowers can afford to make payment on their products. It was finalized last October by then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray,…

Michael Slager (2018-05-18). Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees. counterpunch.org According to the National Catholic Reporter, Honduran human rights leader and Jesuit priest Fr. Ismael Moreno Coto, who was a friend of slain environmental activist Berta Caceres, plans to meet with members of the US Congress this week in order to "offer a number of suggestions on how the U.S. government can play a constructive role More

Mark Gruenberg (2018-05-18). Senate vote to preserve net neutrality faces GOP roadblock. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—The long campaign by unions and progressive groups to preserve "net neutrality" — open and unprejudiced access to the Internet for everybody, without discrimination by price or content — succeeded in the Senate on May 16. It now shifts to the House, where leaders of that chamber's ruling Republicans oppose it. That leaves more work […]…

Staff (2018-05-18). Will U.S. Torturers Ever Be Held Accountable as War Criminals? truthdig.com This piece was first published Wednesday, May 16, on Truthout. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Gina Haspel as the first female CIA director. | The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to support Gina Haspel's nomination today, despite the fact that her facilitation of torture should disqualify her from assuming the role of CIA director. | Next the full Senate will make a final decision on Haspel's nomination in a vote that is expected to take place next week but could occur as early as tomorrow. | In her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 9, Haspel insisted that the CIA's interrogation program during the Bush administration was legal. Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran, argued that it could not be determined whether torture was effective to gain intelligence. She refused to state categorically that torture is immoral. And she never…

Brian Saady (2018-05-18). How the "Cocaine Mitch" Saga Deflected the Spotlight on Corruption. counterpunch.org The West Virginia Senate Republican Primary ended last week with Don Blankenship in third place. He would have otherwise been considered a fringe candidate, but a series of attack ads against Mitch McConnell launched him onto the national scene. Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, is no stranger to controversy. He served a year More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-18). 'They're Coming for Roger Stone': Former Prosecutor Explains What Mueller May Have on Trump's Fiery Ally. alternet.org "He's been a shady character from day one in this investigation. " | Yet another associate of conservative provocateur Roger Stone has been subpoenaed by the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, according to a new report from Reuters on Friday. Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler explained on MSNBC that this fact builds the case that Mueller's team has something on Stone, an ally of President Donald Trump. "They're coming for Roger Stone," Butler told "The Beat" host Ari Melber Friday evening. "He's been a shady character from day one in this investigation. "Butler noted that Stone has suspicious ties to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is believed to have facilitated the released of Russian-hacked emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign Chair John Podesta during the 2016 campaign. At the time, Butler said, "Roger Stone knows all about what's coming out. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-18). In Desperate New Defense for Trump, Rudy Suggests Russia Collusion Wasn't Illegal. truth-out.org Latest appointee to Donald Trump's legal team and former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani attends the Conference on Iran on May 5, 2018, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images) | Much as he gleefully signaled in the days leading up to the election that the Trump campaign had "something up their sleeves" to derail Hillary Clinton, Rudolph Giuliani once again teased the press last week that the Trump team was preparing to "make a fuss" on the one-year anniversary of Robert Mueller's assignment as special counsel for the Russia investigation. Yesterday was the day, and the Trump defense brigade unveiled its extravaganza. The Washington Post reported: | President Trump's allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. The effort reached new heights…

Andrew Levine (2018-05-18). The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi. counterpunch.org Since at least 1945, the United States has only fought stupid wars. Some have been stupider than others, but, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, Democrats and Republicans have supported them all. If Trump does get an Iran War going, count on bipartisan support for it too, though, for sheer stupidity, it would rival and perhaps even exceed the Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon war against Vietnam. More

David Swanson (2018-05-18). Tim Kaine's War Scam Hits a Speed Bump. counterpunch.org Virginia ought to be in the running for worst U.S. senators in the country, a couple of walking catastrophes empowered in part by their status as Democrats and, in one case, the status of rightful Vice President if not for various outrages, real (the Electoral College, vote suppression) and imagined (Vladimir Putin's evil manipulation of More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-18). Democratic Senator Warns that Republicans' Attempt to Undermine Mueller Probe Is 'Potentially Illegal&#039. alternet.org Rep. Devin Nunes and other House Republicans could reportedly put an FBI source at risk with their requests. | Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on Friday fired a shot across the bow of Republican efforts to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between the President Donald Trump's campaign in Russia, warning that recent attempts to reveal a sensitive FBI source might be "potentially illegal. "House Republicans, led in part by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), have issued repeated requests for documents from the Justice Department pertaining to the beginning of the Russia investigation. Their efforts, many observers have noted, seem designed to undermine the investigation and Mueller's credibility. And Thursday night, the Washington Postreported that the most recent request for information on a particular source, who is a U. S. citizen, has spooked the FBI, forcing them to take steps to mitigate. . .

Grace Bennett, Media Matters (2018-05-18). Here's Everything You Need to Know About Right-Wing Theory That FBI Planted Spy in Trump Campaign. alternet.org The claim relies upon the testimony of a co-founder of Fusion GPS. | In recent days, many on the right have pushed the claim that the FBI "infiltrated" President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign with a "mole. " The claim relies upon the testimony of a co-founder of Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired a former British agent who compiled an intelligence dossier about Trump's connections to various Russians. The claim also builds off of a recent squabble between the Department of Justice and the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), over the release of classified information. Here is what you need to know about the story's origins: On January 2, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the founders of the research firm Fusion GPS, claimed in an op-ed that the FBI had a source "inside the. . .

Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos (2018-05-18). Georgia Republican's Sick 'Deportation Bus' Broke Down—Restauran Owner Tells Racist Candidate to Get Lost. alternet.org The poorly-performing bigot is not having a good week. | Georgia Republican Michael Williams, bless his heart, is desperate for attention and even more desperate for the racist vote, which is why he kicked off his "Deportation Bus Tour" stunt, traveling from city to city and threatening to "fill this bus with illegals. " Impersonating a federal officer is illegal, by the way. But facts aside, things aren't going well for Williams, aside from the fact that he's polling dead last. Not well at all, actually: Williams, a Georgia Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate, has been taking a "deportation bus" to campaign rallies across the state. But on Thursday, Cracker Barrel and several other restaurants where the bus is scheduled to stop told The Daily Beast that Williams' campaign isn't welcome. The news came the same day the bus broke. . .

Karen J. Greenberg, Tom Dispatch (2018-05-18). How Trump Assaults the Very Language of American Democracy with Every Word He Utters. alternet.org Trump's strategic assault on democracy, word-by-word. | Consider us officially in an Orwellian world, though we only half realize it. While we were barely looking, significant parts of an American language long familiar to us quite literally, and in a remarkably coherent way, went down the equivalent of George Orwell's infamous Memory Hole. This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch. This hit me in a personal way recently. I was asked to give a talk at an annual national security conference held in downtown Manhattan and aimed largely at an audience of college students. The organizer, who had pulled together a remarkable array of speakers, encountered problems in one particular area: his efforts to include representatives of the Trump administration in the gathering. Initially, administration officials he dealt with wouldn't even divulge the names of possible participants, only their titles, leaving who was coming. . .

Max Parry (2018-05-18). The U.S. Won't Say 'Genocide' But Cares About Armenian Democracy? counterpunch.org "Did Armenia just dance its way to revolution?" Mass demonstrations that have shut down Armenia leading to the replacement of its prime minister have queued the obligatory western media push for regime change. Already dubbed a 'Velvet Revolution' after the 1989 protests that collapsed communist Czechoslovakia, there have been so many 'color revolutions' in former More

John W. Whitehead (2018-05-18). The Age of Petty Tyrannies. counterpunch.org "Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers' enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and More

Manmeet Sahni (2018-05-18). The Western Media's Fear and Loathing of Venezuela. mintpressnews.com Humanitarian crisis, starvation, migration, repressive government, economic crisis, sanctions, resistance, Communist Party, Chavez, hyperinflation, crackdown on corruption, election fraud: just some of the keywords used by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Reuters and the Miami Herald to describe Venezuela as it heads to the polls on May 20 to select its next president. | While some of these words might give a glimpse into the current situation in Venezuela, Western media's hyper-sensationalism of the nation's domestic affairs falls far short of addressing the realities on the ground. | On a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver — a British comedian — attempted to shed light on the ongoing crisis by weaving some random anecdotes into a 20-minute segment. He outrightly dismissed crucial facts about Venezuela and its socialist history, coming perilously close to publicly endorsing the U.S. sanctions…

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-18). FBI Agents Actively Sought to Keep Trump Campaign Probe Secret After Going Public with Clinton's: Report. alternet.org A new report from the New York Times shatters the right-wing conspiracies around the Russia investigation. | While President Donald Trump and his allies in right-wing media insist that his campaign was unfairly targeted by the FBI in 2016 as a result of the investigation into potential collusion with Russian interference in the presidential election, a new report from the New York Times reveals that the agency actually took exceptional efforts to ensure the probe was out of public view. The framing of the new report focuses on the fact that the agency used an informant, not a "spy" as Trump had claimed, to gather information from the campaign before the election. But perhaps the most interesting section is what follows: But agents were leery of disrupting the presidential campaign again after the F. B. I. had announced in a high-profile news conference that it. . .

Barbara Nimri Aziz (2018-05-18). Swing Status, Be Gone. counterpunch.org During the last nationwide election, the one before that, and the preceding one as well, I was led to believe my vote really doesn't count. Why? Because I don't live in what our political parties define as a "swing state", or a swing district, or a swing county. Our media focuses on races and on More

Alan Macleod (2018-05-18). A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections. counterpunch.org To an outsider, Venezuela can be a hard country to get your head around. The supposedly dictatorial government is pleading with the United Nations to send an international observation team to oversee the country's presidential elections on May 20th, while the major opposition parties are demanding they do not, boycotting the very vote they had More

Roger Harris (2018-05-18). Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn't Sitting by Idly. counterpunch.org "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." — US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, 1970 Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is the frontrunner in More

Bruce Raynor (2018-05-18). In an Age of Fake News, Journalists Should be Activists for Truth. counterpunch.org President Trump has prompted a new era of attacks on journalists, emboldening other politicians across the country and around the globe to follow suit. These assaults on the credibility of the news media have already had an alarming impact: Two months before the 2016 presidential election, Gallup found that Americans' trust in mass media fell More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-18). 'I'm Not Discouraged—I'm Pissed Off': Parkland Father Slams GOP After Santa Fe Shooting. alternet.org "You can't legislate by shutting up. And they're just shutting up. And it's pathetic. " | As national news outlets again descend on the site of another deadly school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas, the father of a victim from the Parkland shooting expressed his outrage with the Republican Party for its failure to address gun violence at the national level. CNN's Jake Tapper brought Fred Guttenberg on air to get his reaction to the horrific event that killed at least 10 people, mostly students, on Friday. "It must be so discouraging," Tapper said, "to think that the horror that you went through, now another set of families is going through it. And really, very little has changed in terms of anyone doing anything to prevent this from happening. ""So, I'm going to say this: I'm not discouraged — I'm pissed off," Guttenberg said. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-18). Trump's EPA Doesn't Want You to Know Chemicals in Teflon Are Poisoning Waterways and Firefighters. truth-out.org The Environmental Protection Agency is facing a major new scandal after it worked with the White House to bury an alarming federal study detailing widespread chemical contamination of the nation's water supply. One Trump administration official warned release of the study would create a "public relations nightmare." The study found chemicals commonly present in Teflon and firefighting foam are a threat to human health at levels the EPA had previously called safe. We speak with Robert Bilott, the attorney The New York Times calls the "worst nightmare of DuPont," the manufacturer of Teflon. He successfully won compensation for his clients whose drinking water had been contaminated by toxic chemicals used to make Teflon. He is a recipient of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award. | TRANSCRIPT: | AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman.

wsws.org (2018-05-18). The US political police and the 2016 elections. wsws.org A 4,000-word front-page report in the New York Times paints a picture of an American political system in which the FBI and CIA play a critical and at times decisive role.

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-18). Afghan President Offers Airstrike Victims Apology, Not Justice. hrw.org Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during during a peace and security cooperation conference in Kabul, Afghanistan February 28, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized Thursday to the families of civilians killed and injured in Dasht-e Archi, Kunduz province, on April 2, 2018, when Afghan air force helicopters fired heavy machineguns and launched unguided rockets at an outdoor religious ceremony attended by hundreds of people. Thirty of the 36 people killed were children, some under age 10 — in an attack the government claimed was targeting senior Taliban leaders. | A report on the airstrike by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that the attack "rais[ed] questions as to the Government's respect of the rules of precaution and proportionality" under the laws of war. UNAMA concluded…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-18). Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Civil Disobedience Against Vietnam War Led Me to Leak Pentagon Papers. democracynow.org Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst in 1971 when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. We speak with Ellsberg about the recent 50th anniversary of one of the most famous acts of civil disobedience in the United States. On May 17, 1968, Catholic priests and activists broke into a draft board office in Catonsville, Maryland, and stole 378 draft cards and burned them in the parking lot as a protest against the Vietnam War. They became known as the Catonsville Nine. Ellsberg discusses the role nonviolent direct action can play in social movements. Ellsberg says that the ending of the war in Vietnam "relied on a lot of people doing unusual things."

Zaid Jilani (2018-05-18). "Medicare for All" Becomes Issue in Race for Al Franken's Senate Seat. theintercept.com When Sen. Al Franken resigned, the "Medicare for all" bill lost a sponsor. The Democrats vying to replace Franken are split on whether they'll support it.

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-18). In Thailand, No Justice 8 Years After Crackdown. hrw.org On August 30, 2017, Phayao Akhard wears the bloody nurses gown worn by her daughter, nurse Kamolkate "Kate" Akhard, when she was killed by Thai Special Forces soldiers while tending wounded persons at the front of Wat Pathum temple on May 19, 2010. | © 2018 Human Rights Watch | Eight years ago my colleagues and I watched as the streets of Bangkok were covered with blood in one of Thailand's most violent political confrontations. Yet there is still no justice for the at least 98 people killed and more than 2,000 injured between April and May 2010 — despite compelling evidence that the military was behind most of these abuses. | At the time, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship — also known as the Red Shirts — held a mass protest against…

Last Process: 50 Citations 2018-05-20 09:16:08 GMT (03:19 MDT)