Good evening, all.
❖ 45% of US voters polled oppose “supplying munitions” to Syrian rebels, while 57% of Britons also reject arming them.
❖ “Iran threatens to destroy Tel Aviv, Haifa if Israel attacks”.
❖ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has finally apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan “for the 2010 raid on a flotilla headed for Gaza, during which Turkish nationals were killed.” Erdogan accepted Netanyahu’s apology and the two have agreed to “normalize relations”.
❖ President Obama promised to “work with Congress to provide Jordan an additional $200 million in aid this year . . . to cope with nearly half a million [Syrian] refugees”.
❖ “Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda . . . is on the way to The Hague in the custody of the International Criminal Court.”
❖ Pope Francis may be for helping the poor endure the suffering brought by economic injustice, but is he for helping free them from the causes? Accounts of an Argentine priest, relative of a tortured priest, representative of mothers of other tortured persons, and a journalist.
❖ “While Cyprus Sinks, France and Slovenia Start to Founder”.
❖ “Fitch has warned it could strip the UK of its triple A rating next month”.
❖ “[P]reliminary charges have been filed against former President Nicolas Sarkozy in connection with allegations he illegally took donations from France’s richest woman for his 2007 election campaign.”
Money Matters USA
❖ “Solution to Student Debt is to Get the Banks Out of the Education Business“: Michael Hudson.
❖ More on the “Rentier Agenda”: “low tax rates on unearned income flowing to passive investors, replacing public utilities with private toll-charging monopolies, and pursuing policies that deter inflation, even at the risk of prolonged, mass unemployment and idle factories.”
❖ Sarah Raskin of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, thinks growth of “low-wage, temporary jobs [leaves] the recovery on shaky ground”.
❖ A Wells Fargo typo led to a nightmarish situation ultimately resulting in foreclosure. The homeowner, Larry Delassus, died of a heart attack in the courtroom during his “negligence and discrimination case” against Wells Fargo. Delassus’ pro bono lawyer now intends to launch a wrongful death suit.
❖ Raj Rajaratnam is in prison for 11 years, guilty of swapping “secrets about public companies with other hedge fund managers and friends”. His brother, Rengan Rajaratnam has now been charged “with conspiring with his brother to cheat on Wall Street”.
❖ How refreshing! “New Hampshire House Votes To Prohibit Private Prisons”.
❖ The Senate voted 40-59 to reject Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s budget. All Democrats voted against it, except Sen Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who “missed the vote”. Republicans who voted “Nay” were Sens. Mike Lee (UT), Ted Cruz (TX), Dean Heller (NV), Susan Collins (ME) and Rand Paul (KY).
❖ All Senate Republicans and 34 Democrats voted to repeal the 2.3% sales tax on medical devices that was part of Obamacare.
❖ Now we’re told that former President Bill Clinton has “urged both” Ashley Judd and KY Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to run against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) next year.
❖ Quinnipiac poll: 88% support universal background checks, including 85% of gun owners. “The poll comes as Sen. Harry Reid put in motion a Senate debate on a gun control bill, which includes background checks and school safety measures.”
❖ Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City and gun control advocate, and Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association will be on this Sunday’s Meet the Press.
❖ Evan Ebel, 28-year old suspect in the shooting death of CO’s Dept of Corrections director, Tom Clements, was gunned down in Montague, TX by sheriff’s deputies and is dead. He was a “paroled Colorado inmate” and “Alleged white supremacist“. “Clements is the fifth criminal justice official in the United States to be targeted since the beginning of the year”.
❖ Life under skies filled with US drones. “There have been 365 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, 313 of them under Obama, killing as many as 3577 people, including 197 children. Drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia also continued.”
❖ Fundamental questions about drone warfare: Why strikes only in remote areas of the world and not in London or Paris? Why such latitude in defining an ‘armed combatant’? What are the distinctions between warfare and police use, “imminent threat” vs retaliation? Why is control of drones under the CIA rather than the Pentagon which does have a “stronger tradition of accountability”?
❖ A “bright orange, 20-foot long, missile-shaped object [aka drone]“, which cost tax-payers $570,000 and was shot down during a January training mission in Tyndall AFB, FL was found floating in the FL keys.
Women & Children
❖ “A group of GOP state lawmakers in North Dakota will protest new abortion restrictions on Monday at a Stand Up for Women rally in Bismarck, N.D., because they believe their fellow Republicans have gone too far.” Nonetheless, the ND legislature “has placed a ‘personhood’ amendment” on the 2014 ballot.
❖ “A third student has been charged in the Torrington [CT] High School sexual assault investigation, and police say even more charges could be on the way.”
Planet Earth News
❖ “Action Alert: We Have 1 Week Or Less to Stop Genetically Engineered Foods and Destruction of the Separation of Powers”.
❖ Koch brothers, China, carbon emissions–what’s not to love? “Canadian Government Fights US Opposition to Tar Sands Pipeline”. Unprecedented political battle by the Canadian government.
❖ “Sierra Club blasts new plan to improve fracking” in the northeastern section of PA.
❖ “Researchers . . . have demonstrated”how to “use excess carbon dioxide to produce acrylate . . in the manufacture of everything from polyester cloth to disposable diapers.”
❖ “The Magic of Monsanto: Your 1950s Guide to Better Gardening”.