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  • Concern over Militarization of U.S. Policy Arises from Trump’s Ceding Civilian Leadership Posts to Generals

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    Donald Trump's move to pack his administration with military brass has prompted worry about an increased militarization of American policy. Former Defense Dept adviser Singh said the law requiring a gap between military service and leading the Pentagon is "to preserve civilian control of the military, a cornerstone of American democracy." VoteVets' Soltz said, "We should never lose sight of the balance in civilian and military roles that has served our nation well for centuries."   read more
  • Rollout of Fake News Traced to Money-Hungry Teens in Macedonia Town

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    “The fake news is the good news,” the 18-year-old said. “A fake news article is way more opened than any other.” He ripped much of his material off a right-wing news site that produces a steady drumbeat of pro-Donald Trump pieces. With 685,000+ page views a week, his monthly revenue is in the four figures, a considerable sum in a country where the average monthly pay is $383. He sees it all as a money-making scheme and preparation for his career after high school--in marketing and politics.   read more
  • Trump Claims His Support for Dakota Pipeline is Unrelated to His Stock Ownership in Project Participants

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman's investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide's memo. Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.   read more
  • Texas Imposes New Obstacles on Abortion Providers and Their Patients

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    Despite losing a milestone abortion case at the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, Texas threw down another stumbling block last week. It will require facilities that provide abortions to pay for the cremation or burial of fetal remains, rather than dispose of them as biological medical waste. It is the latest attempt by abortion opponents to make it more burdensome for women to get abortions — by creating rules and laws that make it more difficult for providers to stay in business.   read more
  • U.S. Congress Passes Bill to Bar Companies from Suing Customers Who Post Online Reviews

    Monday, December 05, 2016
    Supporters of the bipartisan bill say it is needed to ensure freedom of speech in a growing online economy. It was written in response to businesses that have made customers sign non-disparagement clauses and then sued if a bad review showed up. In one case, a Dallas couple was sued by a pet-sitting company for up to $1 million after giving the company a one-star review on Yelp and complaining that their fish had been overfed. The case was dismissed this past summer.   read more
  • Countering Justice Dept., Homeland Panel Pushes Use of Private, For-Profit Prisons for Immigrant Detainees

    Sunday, December 04, 2016
    Some panel members objected to the report's overall findings, including that the government "should, or inevitably must" continue to rely on private jails. The recommendation comes months after the Justice Dept said it will phase them out. Critics argue that the jails are unsafe for people who face not criminal charges, but rather civil immigration violations and deportation proceedings. Under Donald Trump's deportation plans, immigration detention space is likely to continue to be needed.   read more
  • The Clause in the U.S. Constitution that Trump as President Would Violate with His Foreign Businesses

    Sunday, December 04, 2016
    There is no question that the Emoluments Clause applies to the president. Unless Trump sells or gives his business to his children before taking office the Emoluments Clause would almost certainly be violated. Even if he does sell or give it away, any retained residual interest would still give him a stake in its fortunes, again violating the Constitution. The full extent of Trump's business ties remains unknown, as he has refused to disclose them, or to make public his tax returns.   read more
  • Ohio Tops Nation in Opioid Deaths

    Sunday, December 04, 2016
    More people died of opioid overdose deaths in Ohio during 2014 than any other state, providing further proof that Ohio is the epicenter of an opioid epidemic ravaging the nation. And it appears doubtful Ohio will relinquish the grim standing soon. "We still have not peaked yet," said ADAMHS's Jones-Kelley. "That's the scariest part." Fentanyl -- and more recently carfentanil -- are extraordinarily potent synthetic opiates that officials blame for the ever-rising number of deaths.   read more
  • Choice of Mnuchin as Treasury Chief is Hard Pill to Swallow for Some Trump Voters

    Sunday, December 04, 2016
    When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink. She had voted for Trump believing he'd knock the rich elites from their perch in Washington. And she knew Trump's pick for Treasury — Steven Mnuchin — all too well. His bank, OneWest, had foreclosed on her home in the aftermath of the Great Recession. "I just wish that I had not voted," said Colebrook. "They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in."   read more
  • Liechtenstein’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Kurt Jaeger?

    Sunday, December 04, 2016
    In 2000, Jaeger moved to the aviation IT company Atraxis Management Services in Zurich as a vice president but moved to Swiss International Air Lines the next year as vice president for aeropolitical affairs. There, he worked on the dissolution of Swissair and the formation of Swiss International as a subsidiary of Germany’s Lufthansa. Jaeger left Swiss in 2005 to become a member of the board of the European Free Trade Association.   read more
  • Trump to Take Office with Enormous Power to Shape Future U.S. Policy on Voting

    Saturday, December 03, 2016
    “The last time we had a national government that was as hostile to the protection of minority voting rights as we may have with this president was probably near the end of the first Reconstruction” after the Civil War, said prof Karlan. Several potentially decisive rulings on voting appear bound for a Supreme Court whose balance is in Trump’s hands. Voting issues will fall to a Justice Dept whose likely attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is viewed with deep suspicion by civil rights advocates.   read more
  • Online Hate Sites Surge during Month since Election

    Saturday, December 03, 2016
    Some who track racists in America say Trump’s effect has been unmistakable. A range of white supremacist and so-called Alt-Right websites have seen surges in traffic across the last year. And many sites, among them Red Ice, which has advanced the idea that “the United States of America was built by white people for white people” and American Renaissance, which derides African Americans and Latinos as low-IQ losers, have seen their traffic more than double over the past year.   read more
  • Canadian Journalist’s Detention at U.S. Border Raises Press Freedom Alarms

    Saturday, December 03, 2016
    He endured aggressive interrogations at border crossings in some of the world’s most authoritarian nations. But a recent confrontation at the U.S. border left him shaken. U.S. agents confiscated his phones and retained their SIM cards that held his confidential data. Privacy advocates said it illustrated a loophole that’s especially problematic for journalists: Without a warrant, U.S. border agents can legally search digital devices that they wouldn’t be able to touch anywhere else.   read more
  • Hillary May Have Lost Election, But She Beats Trump as Primary Target of GOP Oversight Chairman’s Ongoing Investigations

    Saturday, December 03, 2016
    Democrats called for investigations into President-elect Trump's controversial financial ties with foreign businesses and governments. But Rep. Chaffetz, who promised before the election to investigate Hillary Clinton for years, says no rush on Trump. Instead he is pledging to continue investigating Clinton. Said Rep. Cummings: "For Republicans, there was no allegation too small to investigate with respect to Secretary Clinton, but now there is no scandal too big to ignore for Donald Trump."   read more
  • Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Dina Kawar?

    Saturday, December 03, 2016
    Kawar went to work in the Amman office of Jordanian Prince Hassan as a researcher and in press relations. In 1991, she took over as director of Hassan’s Paris office, remaining until 2000 when she assumed the directorship of King Abdullah’s office there. The following year, Kawar was named Jordan’s ambassador to France. She added the Holy See and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to her portfolio in 2002 and Portugal in 2005.   read more
  • Cities across U.S. Prepare to Pay High Price for Resisting Trump Mass Deportations

    Friday, December 02, 2016
    Across the nation, in cities like Boston, L.A., Philadelphia and San Francisco, officials plan to defy Trump and act as a kind of bulwark against mass deportations. “I like to compare this to conscientious objector status,” said Oakland Mayor Schaaf. “We are not going to use our resources to enforce what we believe are unjust immigration laws.” But the cost may be steep: Trump has vowed to block all federal funding for cities where local law enforcement agencies do not cooperate with ICE agents.   read more
  • Only 1 in 4 Americans Want Health Care Law Repealed

    Friday, December 02, 2016
    While 52% of Republicans say they want the law completely repealed, that share is down from 69% just last month, before the election. More Republicans now say they want the law "scaled back" under Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress, with that share more than doubling from 11% before the Nov. 8 election to 24% after. It could be that some Republicans "got a protest vote off their chests, and they're done with that," Kaiser CEO Altman said. "They now have a more moderate position."   read more
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