2018-05-17: News Headlines

James Heddle (2018-05-17). Yucca Redux and the Nuclear Shell Game. counterpunch.org On Thursday, May 10, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 2018 — HR 3053 — by a vote of 206 to 179, with 94 Democrats and 85 Republicans voting 'Nay.' Now, what some Nevadans have dubbed, 'The Screw Nevada Bill 2.0,' will go to the Senate, perhaps in this Session. More

Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet (2018-05-17). Trump Marks Year Anniversary of Mueller Probe by Once Again Accusing Obama of Spying on Him: 'Bigger Than Watergate!&#039. alternet.org From "wire tapping" Trump Tower to "spying" on his campaign, Trump can't quit the Obama "deep state" conspiracies. | President Donald Trump on Thursday once again accused former President Barack Obama of performing clandestine spy operations during the 2016 presidential campaign. May 17, 2018The tweet, which recalls Trump's unsubstantiated claim that Obama "wire tapped" Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election, followed a bizarre post congratulating America on being in the "second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History. ""The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money," Trump wrote Thursday morning. Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History. . . and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win. . .

Media Matters (2018-05-17). Here's What You Need to Know About the Right's Theory That the FBI Planted a Spy in the Trump Campaign. alternet.org Conservative media has been pushing a new theory in recent days. | 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 Trump. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-17). President Trump Is Not Wrong About Community Colleges, but He Should Be. truth-out.org When President Trump characterized community colleges as "vocational schools," he was merely articulating what has long been true. The original mission of community colleges as places to educate the citizenry of a democracy — as envisioned by the Truman Commission — has unfortunately been superseded by the narrow neoliberal goal of training bodies to join the workforce.Donald Trump boards Air Force One on a windy day at Andrews Air Force base on April 5, 2018, near Washington, DC. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images) | On more than one occasion, President Trump has declared his fondness for "vocational schools" and his distaste for "community colleges." As he told an audience at the "Generation Next" White House forum in March: "So we need vocational schools. Now, they call them, a lot of times, community colleges. I don't think it's an…

Staff (2018-05-17). Confirmation Vote for CIA Chief Brings Out Democratic Rift. truthdig.com The political schism in the Democratic Party is playing out in the confirmation vote for Gina Haspel, as support from red-state senators bumps up against a more liberal flank.

Paul Street (2018-05-17). How the Left Can Gain Footing in White America. truthdig.com Near the end of his life, the great civil rights and anti-war leader and democratic socialist Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that the "real issue to be faced" in the United States was "the radical reconstruction of society itself." These words have never been truer than they are today, when the profits system threatens to end livable ecology in the historical near term. | It will be difficult, if not impossible, to carry out King's reconstruction without backing from millions of white people in what is still very much the world's most powerful state. While the U.S. population becomes less Caucasian with each decennial census, the nation is still supermajority—69 percent—non-Hispanic white. The nation's physical and related political geography is whiter still, thanks to a political system that overrepresents America's disproportionately white rural and exurban regions and states. | How might a…

Roger D. Harris (2018-05-17). On the Eve of Venezuela's Elections, the US Empire Isn't Sitting Idly by. mintpressnews.com "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

Conn Hallinan (2018-05-17). Erdogan and Turkey's Elections. counterpunch.org When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of his opponents, dismissed 140,000 from their jobs, jailed a presidential candidate, and launched an attack on More

Amanda Marcotte, Salon (2018-05-17). Beyond Flint: Contaminated Drinking Water is Everywhere in America. alternet.org Agricultural runoff is poorly regulated and turning many waterways across the country into dangerous cesspools | The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, became a national news story, and for good reason. Republican leaders in the state were finally forced to take steps to stop the poisoning of Flint's drinking water with lead and other toxins, foisted on the community as part of a short-sighted cost-cutting measure. Despite improvements, the future of Flint's water supply is uncertain, but at least that story has brought increased attention to the problem of lead in water in many large cities, including Chicago. The grim reality, however, is that the problems with American drinking water are diverse and widespread, even if most aren't quite as severe as what happened in Flint. Agricultural waste in particular is poisoning water, especially in rural areas, creating a myriad of. . .

Democracy Now! (2018-05-17). Headlines for May 17, 2018. democracynow.org Trump on North Korean Threats to Cancel Summit: "We'll See", U.N. Human Rights Council to Review Israel's Massacre in Gaza, Under Trump, Refugee Admissions to U.S. at Lowest Level in Decades, President Trump Calls Undocumented Immigrants "Animals", DHS Sought Negative Info on Haitians Ahead of Canceling Protections, Senate Approves Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules, Trump Financial Disclosure Reveals Stormy Daniels Payment, WHO Ships Experimental Vaccine to Congo as Ebola Outbreak Kills 23, Chile: Thousands March Against Campus Sexual Violence, Michigan State to Settle Larry Nassar Sexual Abuse Lawsuit for $500M, EPA Chief Pruitt & White House Sought to Block Chemical Release Study, Whistleblower Says Steve Bannon Sought to Suppress Black Vote, CIA Cites Hacker Joshua Schulte as Suspect in WikiLeaks Release, North Carolina: Thousands of Teachers March for School Funding, Brooklyn Man Exonerated 27 Years After Murder Conviction…

wsws.org (2018-05-17). Little room for manoeuvre in US-China trade talks. wsws.org A letter signed by 32 Democrats stated that "America's national security must not be signed away as bargaining chip in trade negotiations."

RT (2018-05-17). Who framed President Putin? CIA veteran hints at culprit, slams Senate-backed 'collusion' tale. rt.com A Senate committee thinks it's a viable scenario that Vladimir Putin ordered the manipulation of US elections to install Donald Trump as president. A CIA veteran of 55 years believes it's more likely the spy agency framed Russia.
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wsws.org (2018-05-17). US primary elections show deepening political polarization. wsws.org While working people are moving to the left, the Democratic Party is promoting as its main candidates for federal offices individuals drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-17). Planned U.S.-North Korea Peace Talks in Jeopardy as Trump Adviser Bolton Pushes for Regime Change. democracynow.org North Korea is threatening to cancel the June 12 U.S.-North Korea summit, after President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said on Sunday the U.S. should use the so-called Libyan model for denuclearization. In 2003, Libya negotiated sanctions relief from the United States in exchange for renouncing its nuclear program and welcoming international inspectors to verify the dismantlement. Eight years later, the U.S. and other nations attacked Libya, toppling and killing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. We are joined by Christine Hong, an associate professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute.

wsws.org (2018-05-17). Senate Intelligence Committee approves "black site" torturer to head CIA. wsws.org Behind the threadbare trappings of parliamentary procedures, American "democracy" has been reduced to a dictatorship run by a military/intelligence/industrial apparatus.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-17). Meet Tarek Loubani, the Canadian Doctor Shot by Israeli Forces Monday While Treating Gaza's Wounded. democracynow.org As Palestinians vow to continue protesting against the Israeli occupation of Gaza, we speak to a Canadian doctor who was shot by Israeli forces in both legs Monday while he was helping injured Palestinians. Israeli forces shot dead at least 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return Monday, including one doctor. Canada, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Belgium have called for an investigation into the killings. The United Nations Human Rights Council has announced that it will hold a special session Friday to discuss escalating violence in Gaza. We speak with Dr. Tarek Loubani, an emergency room medical doctor, one of 19 medical personnel shot in Gaza on Monday. Loubani is an associate professor at Western University in London, Ontario. He is a Palestinian refugee and a member of the Glia Project creating open-source medical devices for low-resource settings.

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-17). Central African Republic: Crucial Court For Victims. hrw.org Congolese Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (R) and the five other judges of the Special Criminal Court (SCC)—which is to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Central African Republic since 2003—sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017. | © 2017 Saber Jendoubi/AFP/Getty Images | (Nairobi) — Recent violence in the Central African Republic makes the country's new Special Criminal Court especially important as a means to offer justice to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country's conflicts, Human Rights Watch said today. A new report by Human Rights Watch finds that the court will need more support from the United Nations and government donors to prosecute grave crimes, including widespread killings, rape and sexual violence, and destruction of…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-17). 50 Years Ago Today: Catonsville 9 Burned Draft Papers with Homemade Napalm to Protest Vietnam War. democracynow.org Fifty years ago today, on May 17, 1968, in the Baltimore suburb of Catonsville, Maryland, a group of Catholic priests and activists stood around a small fire, praying and singing. They had gone into the local draft board office and taken 378 draft records, for the young men in the 1-A category who were most likely to get drafted to go to war in Vietnam. They set fire to the draft records using homemade napalm, made from gasoline and laundry soap, to symbolize the U.S. military's use of napalm on Vietnamese civilians. Video of the act of civil disobedience was seen around the world. They became known as the Catonsville Nine, and in 1970 they were given prison sentences of up to three years behind bars. We feature interviews with Fathers Phil and Daniel Berrigan, who helped organize the protest, and speak to Margarita Melville, one of the last surviving members of the Catonsville Nine, during a ceremony to mark the unveiling of a new historical marker to commemorate the action.

wsws.org (2018-05-17). New Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan takes belligerent stand on Nagorno-Karabakh. wsws.org Pashinyan's reckless moves toward military conflict expose the fraudulent character of the Western media coverage of Armenia's supposed "democratic revolution."

wsws.org (2018-05-17). Oppose the slaughter of Palestinians! Oppose imperialist war! wsws.org The Democratic senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, has a long record of support for the Israeli government's war crimes.

wsws.org (2018-05-17). 20,000 teachers rally in North Carolina. wsws.org While teachers expressed their determination for a united struggle, the unions called the rally to avert a strike and channel opposition behind the Democratic Party.

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Rudy Giuliani Says If Trump Campaign Colluded with the Russias 'They Would Have Used It&#039. alternet.org The president's lawyer's appearances on Fox News continue to be. . . bizarre. | Appearing on Fox News Wednesday night, Rudy Giuliani, who is somehow still President Donald Trump's lawyer, made a perplexing admission for someone who is supposed to be defending the president. Discussing the fact that multiple members of Trump's campaign met with Russian representatives in order to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton, Giuliani dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing out of hand. "There's nothing illegal about that," he said to Laura Ingraham. "Even if it comes from a Russian or a German or an American, it doesn't matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it — they rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it. "Aside from admitting that the Trump campaign was more than willing to collude with the Russians. . .

truth-out.org (2018-05-16). Will Democrats Be Able to Preserve Net Neutrality After All? truth-out.org Your support is crucial to keeping ethical journalism alive! Donate now to keep our writers on the streets, covering the most important issues and beats. | The impending death of net neutrality looked pretty much set in stone, but congressional Democrats are giving it another shot to live on. On Wednesday, the US Senate will hold a vote to reverse the FEC's previous decision. Can net neutrality be spared after all? | I don't want to get anyone's hopes up — the answer to that question is "probably not." Although the initiative is likely to succeed in the Senate where it has the support of every Democrat as well as Republican Senator Susan Collins (making it a 50-49 vote with John McCain absent,) it will have a much bigger hurdle to clear in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

John Wojcik (2018-05-16). Trump and his GOP Congress: Complicit in crimes against democracy. peoplesworld.org Rudy Giuliani, the newest addition to President Trump's legal defense team, has added his voice to the list of Republicans demanding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up his investigations of the president and those around him, claiming, as did Vice President Pence last week, that there has been no finding of proof of "collusion" […]…

David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement (2018-05-16). Giuliani Announces to News Networks That Mueller Told Him a Sitting President Can't Be Indicted. alternet.org The claim by the president's lawyer doesn't appear to have been corroborated by the special council's office. | President Donald Trump's top attorney defending him in the Russia probe has just told news networks that Robert Mueller says a sitting president cannot be indicted. Rudy Giuliani told CNN and NBC News, among others, late Wednesday afternoon. Justice Dept. policy, based on both Nixon and Clinton era memorandums, is that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Robert Mueller, who works for the DOJ, was likely expected to honor that convention. But that does not mean he cannot issue a report recommending indictment, or that an Attorney General could not make the decision to try. And that does not mean that an indictment after Trump were to leave office couldn't happen either. Also, Giuliani has in recent times had trouble discerning fact from fiction, so his claims could be made-up or mistaken. Related Stories: Republicans Push for End to Mueller Probe As Investigation Prepared to Enter Second YearTrump's Racist Statements May Destroy His Case As 9th Circuit Hears DACA AppealTrump's Newly-Released Financial Report Provides More Evidence That He Lied About Stormy Daniels

Daniel Warner (2018-05-16). Of Babies, Marriages and Illiberal Democracies. counterpunch.org Newspaper front pages are showing pictures of a British royal baby and preparation for a royal wedding in one of the world's oldest democracies while in Poland, Hungary, Austria and other countries serious questions are being raised about the decline of democracy. Why are people so fascinated by the birth of Prince Louis Arthur and More

Alan MacLeod (2018-05-16). Writing Off Democracy in Venezuela, US Press and Politicians Dream of a Coup. fair.org When are elections free and fair, according to corporate media? When the US government says they are. | The May 20 Venezuelan presidential elections pit Hugo Chavez's successor, President Nicolas Maduro, against opposition challenger Henri Falcon. Maduro has called for the United Nations to observe and oversee the contest. Despite calling for elections throughout 2017, many local opposition groups, together with the US government, have demanded no observers should come, arguing that it would "validate" the elections, and have preemptively decided they will not recognize the victor. Miami Herald ( 5/2/18) | The US State Department ( 2/8/18) has cast doubt on the validity of the elections, claiming they represent a "dismantling" of Venezuela's democracy, as "they do not have the agreement of all political parties." That the country is ruled by a dictator presiding over fake elections is taken as…

teleSUR (2018-05-16). What the United States Could Learn from Venezuelan Democracy. mintpressnews.com Vice President Mike Pence called on Venezuela to suspend its upcoming elections, only months after having clamored for them to be held. But is the United States really the model democracy it claims to be?

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-16). 'They Never Say Sorry': MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Chides the New York Times over Pseudo-Apology on Trump Election Story. alternet.org "This is a big moment in American journalism. " | It seems the New York Times may be trying to express some regrets about one of its most controversial articles in recent years. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pointed out that in a portion of the Times' blockbuster and extremely detailed Wednesday report about the origins of the Russia investigation — called by the codename "Crossfire Hurricane" — the outlet gave something close to a mea culpa. It relates to the story headlined "Investigating Donald Trump, F. B. I Sees No Clear Link to Russia," which was published just over a week before the 2016 election. The story noted that the FBI had started an investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the summer of 2016, yet it said there was no "conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. "

Dina Radke, Media Matters (2018-05-16). The U.S. Senate Just Voted to Save Net Neutrality—Mainstream Media Was Too Trump-Obsessed to Care. alternet.org This is a really big deal, but you wouldn't know it from the reporting. | Today, senators voted on a resolution to undo a 2017 move by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to end net neutrality regulations, but major television and print media outlets have devoted little more than a few mentions to the issue. This dearth of coverage may stem in part from the distraction of President Donald Trump, as since his election, media outlets have been laser-focused on his statements and actions. Several significant Trump-related stories did break today, but it's nonetheless obvious that media outlets have done little to address their Trump obsession and prioritize the many other issues that matter to Americans. Net neutrality requires internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to give their users equal access to all internet content. Upending. . .

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Trump's Lawyer Michael Cohen Reportedly Asked Qatari Government for $1M in 2016. alternet.org The Washington Post and the Intercept both confirmed the report on Wednesday. | President Donald Trump's lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen asked the Qatari government for $1 million in exchange for access to the incoming administration back in December 2016, multiple reports confirmed Wednesday, raising more questions about Cohen's post-election efforts to cash in on his boss's win. The Intercept reported the request as confirmed by Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who was an investor with the nation's sovereign wealth fund. Al-Ruhmaihi said Cohen asked him for the money, but he never agreed to make the payment. In the recently disclosed details from the shell company Cohen used to accept payments from multiple companies after the election, including one backed by a Russian oligarch, there was no mention of any firm connected to Al-Ruhmaihi. In response to the Intercept, Cohen denied making the request. The

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-16). Law Enforcement Official Says More Evidence of Michael Cohen's Suspicious Dealings Has Gone Missing. alternet.org "We've accepted this as normal, and this is not normal. " | There's even more evidence of suspicious financial activity carried out by President Donald Trump's attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, according to an anonymous law enforcement official who spoke with the New Yorker's Ronan Farrow. But this evidence, the official said, has bizarrely disappeared from the Treasury Department's database of Suspicious Activity Reports. In a new article, Farrow identifies the official as the same person who initially released documents showing Cohen's shady dealings through the shell company Essential Consultants, LLC. This information was first released by attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Stephanie Clifford, better known as porn star Stormy Daniels, in her lawsuit against the president and Cohen. The documents showed that Cohen received large payments after the election from multiple companies, including one backed by a Russian oligarch. But the official. . .

amnesty.org (2018-05-16). Malaysia: Release of prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim a momentous day for human rights. amnesty.org The release of long-time Malaysian opposition leader and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim is a landmark moment for human rights in the country, the organization said today. | Anwar, who has twice been imprisoned on politically motivated "sodomy" and corruption charges, received a royal pardon following last week's election win for the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Mahathir Mohamad. Amnesty International has campaigned on Anwar's case for 20 years. | "Anwar should never have been jailed in the first place, and his long overdue release is an important step towards the restoration of justice and human rights in Malaysia after so many years of political persecution by previous governments," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General. | "This day should go down as a landmark moment for human rights in the country, but the new government must not stop here.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). A Wake-Up Call for Dems? 4 Women With Socialist Platforms Win PA Primary to Replace Male Incumbents. democracynow.org Four Pennsylvania state House candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won their Democratic primaries Tuesday: Summer Lee, a lawyer and labor organizer; Elizabeth Fiedler, a former public radio reporter; Sara Innamorato, the founder of a women's advocacy group; and Kristin Seale, who works at an energy conservation nonprofit. Two of the women unseated male incumbent state representatives in Tuesday's primaries. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, D.C. bureau chief for The Intercept.

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Headlines for May 16, 2018. democracynow.org U.S. Refuses to Criticize Israel's Massacre of 60+ Palestinians During Nonviolent Protest, Key Democrats Back CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel, North Korea Cancels Talks with South Korea over Joint U.S.-SK Military Drills, Trump Admin Exploring Holding Immigrant Children on Military Bases, Amnesty: Pakistani Human Rights Activists Targeted for Digital Attacks, Mexico: Radio Journalist Juan Carlos Huerta Killed in Tabasco, Fox Settles Racial and Gender Discrimination Lawsuits for $10 Million, Uber & Lyft Will Stop Forced Arbitration for Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Blake Farenthold Won't Repay $84,000 Taxpayer Money Used in Sexual Harassment Settlement, North Carolina Teachers Walk Out of Class, Shuttering Hundreds of Schools, Planned Parenthood and ACLU Sue to Block Iowa's Harsh Anti-Abortion Bill…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). Singapore: Drop Charges for Criticizing Judiciary. hrw.org Activist Jolovan Wham (center) leaves the State Court after a hearing in Singapore, November 29, 2017. | © 2017 REUTERS/Edgar Su | (New York) — Singapore authorities should end contempt proceedings against two critics of the government for comments on social media critical of the country's judiciary, Human Rights Watch said today. | Jolovan Wham, an activist, was charged with contempt for writing on Facebook on April 27, 2018, that "Malaysia's judges are more independent than Singapore's for cases with political implications." John Tan, the vice-chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party, faces contempt charges for commenting on his Facebook page that Wham's prosecution "only confirms that what he said is true." | "Expressing an opinion about Singapore's judiciary should not be a criminal offense, and the cases against Wham and Tan should be…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Norman Finkelstein: Palestinians Have the Right to Break Free of the "Unlivable" Cage That Is Gaza. democracynow.org This spring's mass nonviolent protests in Gaza come as the human rights conditions in the "open-air prison" have even further deteriorated. Last year, the United Nations issued a report warning Gaza is already "unlivable." The majority of its water is contaminated, and electricity is limited to only a few hours a day. About half the population is children. Almost all are refugees who are prevented from ever leaving the tiny Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Koch Brothers-Backed Effort to Sabotage Unions Uses Secret "Tool Kit" to Encourage Members to Quit. democracynow.org Internal documents obtained by The Guardian show how a network of right-wing think tanks have launched a nationwide effort to convince members of public sector unions to stop paying dues. The effort is backed by $80 million in funding from billionaires like the Koch brothers, who expect a favorable decision from the Supreme Court this month in a case that could let workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. The campaign comes as North Carolina teachers staged a massive walkout today, shuttering hundreds of schools, on the heels of major strikes by teacher unions in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona. For more, we speak with Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian in the U.S. His new report is an exclusive look at "How rightwing groups wield secret 'toolkit' to plot against US unions."

Mehdi Hasan (2018-05-16). Anti-Islam Movement Has New Rallying Cry — Let's Delete Verses of the Quran. theintercept.com You think life is bad for Muslims in Trump's America? Spare a thought for the Muslims of France. | Over the past few years, they have been collectively blamed, and punished, for a series of horrific terror attacks carried out in France by so-called jihadists. The latest, a knife attack in Paris by a man shouting "Allahu akbar," killed one person and injured four others last weekend. | While anti-Muslim bigotry has become a hallmark of the Republican right in America, in France it is a truly bipartisan affair. Islamophobia is peddled by the left and right alike, with both socialists and conservatives falling over one another to defend French secularism, or laàØcité, by demonizing French Muslims. | Consider: Successive French governments have criminalized the face veil and banned the headscarf in schools. French mayors have targeted…

RT (2018-05-16). Collusion everywhere? US media suspect Mueller of links to Russian billionaire. rt.com Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the probe into alleged collusion between US President Donald Trump's election campaign and Russia, has himself fallen under suspicion of having ties to a Russian oligarch. |
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Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Norman Finkelstein: Outrage over Israeli Massacre Shows Power of Nonviolent Palestinian Resistance. democracynow.org The United States is refusing to criticize Israel after Israeli forces shot dead at least 61 unarmed Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return in Gaza Monday. More than 2,700 Palestinians were injured. At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has blocked a call for an international investigation into Israel's actions. On Tuesday, she repeatedly blamed the violence on Hamas while praising Israel for showing restraint. During her remarks, Nikki Haley refused to place any blame on Israel. She later walked out of the Security Council chamber when the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, addressed the council. Since Palestinian protests began on March 30, Israel forces have killed at least 112 Palestinians and injured more than 12,000. On Tuesday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said she was closely following the situation in Gaza and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes. Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office has condemned the "appalling deadly violence" by Israeli security forces in Gaza. For more, we speak with Norman Finkelstein, author and scholar whose most recent book is titled "Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom."

RT (2018-05-16). 'No focus on Russian activities' – Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts. rt.com The 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up to reveal dirt on Hillary Clinton "infuriated" Jared Kushner, was a "waste of time" and had nothing to do with Clinton, according to transcripts of interviews with the meeting's participants.
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David Dayen (2018-05-16). Bill Aimed at Saving Community Banks Is Already Killing Them. theintercept.com After initial reluctance, House Republicans have finally reached an agreement to move forward on a bipartisan bank deregulation bill that the Senate passed in March. Its stated aim — to help rural community banks thrive against growing Wall Street power — appears to have been enough to power it across the finish line. | But banking industry analysts say the bill is already having the opposite effect, and its loosening of regulations on medium-sized banks is encouraging a rush of consolidation — all of which ends with an increasing number of community banks being swallowed up and closed down. | "We absolutely expect bank consolidation to accelerate," Wells Fargo's Mike Mayo told CNBC the day after the Senate passed the deregulation bill in March. The reason? Banks no longer face the prospect of stricter and more costly regulatory scrutiny as they…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). Arrest, Don't Execute Burundi Killers. hrw.org Mass funeral held on May 15, 2018 for 26 people killed in Ruhagarika, Burundi, on May 11. | © 2018 Private | Last Friday night, a group of assailants armed with guns and machetes, some in military uniforms, entered a small Burundi village near the Democratic Republic of Congo border and started attacking civilians. | According to witnesses, the assailants killed 26 people, including 11 children. At least 12 of the victims had family members in the police, and two may have been members of the ruling party's youth league, the Imbonerakure, which may suggest they were targeted by armed opposition groups based in Congo. | "They came without warning," one resident told me. "When I realized they were attacking homes, I ran into nearby manioc fields to hide. I returned around midnight,…

Democracy Now! (2018-05-16). Key Democrats Back Gina Haspel's Confirmation as CIA Director, Despite Her Record on Torture. democracynow.org The Senate Intelligence Committee approved President Trump's nominee for CIA director, Gina Haspel, sending her confirmation to the full Senate floor. Haspel is a 33-year CIA veteran who was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where at least one prisoner was waterboarded and tortured in other ways during her tenure. She also oversaw the destruction of videotapes showing torture at the black site. A number of key Democrats have come out backing Haspel, after she said the CIA torture program should never have existed, even though she repeatedly refused to call the CIA's post-9/11 treatment of prisoners "torture," and declined to state whether she believes torture is immoral, during her confirmation hearing last week. For more, we speak with Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for The Intercept. His latest story is headlined "Ahead of Vote on Gina Haspel, Senate Pulls Access to Damning Classified Memo."

RT (2018-05-16). The art of disaster: 5 times Trump kept election promises, but probably shouldn't have (VIDEO). rt.com Donald Trump has been hailed as a leader who keeps his promises. But the horrific violence and diplomatic rows in the wake of the US embassy's move to Jerusalem illustrate how not all campaign pledges are created equal.
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Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim Finally Freed. hrw.org Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, who was granted a royal pardon, arrives to speak to supporters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 16, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, twice imprisoned on politically motivated sodomy and corruption charges, walked free from prison today with a full pardon. It was a day for celebration — for his family, his supporters, and for long-suppressed advocates of human rights in Malaysia. | It was also, perhaps, a day that will mark a new beginning for the rule of law in that country. | The release of Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and head of the opposition People's Justice Party until his imprisonment, is the first tangible result of the unexpected election victory last week of a coalition that saw Ibrahim's party align with Mahathir…

wsws.org (2018-05-16). Germany's Left Party demands independent German-European imperialist policy. wsws.org Like the Greens 20 years ago, the Left Party now stands ready to paint the return of German imperialism to the world stage "in the brightest possible colours."

Richard Falk (2018-05-15). UN Sponsored Report on Israel's Responsibility for Apartheid in Relation to the Palestinian People. globalresearch.ca The report concludes that Israel is guilty of the continuing crime of apartheid as it is defined in the 1973 Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

John Steppling (2018-05-15). The Anti-Imperialism of Fools. counterpunch.org "God never spoke to an Arab." — Benjamin Disraeli, 1847 "Remembrance is, so to speak, interwoven with forgetfulness. That is why the Jewish historian Yosef Yerushalmi has pointed out that the opposite of "forgetfulness" is not really "remembrance" but "justice". — Carlo Ginzburg "We don't care who will win the election, Palestinian or Israeli. We More

Last Process: 50 Citations 2018-05-17 18:28:11 GMT (12:28 MDT)

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