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Conflict

The latest war and intelligence agency news from around the globe, including: the United States, Russia, China, and the Middle East.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Sees a “Russia Connection” Lurking Around Every Corner

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One day after her network joined the rest of corporate media in cheering for President Trump’s missile attack on Syria, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was back to regular business: seeing Russian collaboration with Trump at work.

-via The Intercept

Unbelievable: One Chicago Cop Accused of Framing 51 People for Murder

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Horrific acts of Chicago Police Department brutality, from killings to racial profiling to harassment of youth, do not spring from a few bad apples alone. Mounting evidence from city residents, grassroots organizations like We Charge Genocide and even the Department of Justice shows that the problem is system-wide, extending from streets to courts to jail cells and condoned by the chain of command, all the way up to the mayor’s office. However, focusing on the bad behavior of individual cops, and examining how the system responds, can be instructive.

-via AlterNet

Chap Trap House, Episode 98 – Gorka II: The Gorkaning feat. Alex Pareene & James Adomian (4/9/17)

The international supervillain Sebastian Gorka (James Adomian) calls into the show again, recently hampered by a conspiracy exposing him as a member of the Hungarian fascist Vitézi Rend. Will it stop his plans to push out all other top Trump advisers and achieve global domination?

Then we talk to Alex Pareene about Trump’s Syria strikes, the media’s massive, pathetic war chubby, and his piece this week about the rightwing grift that has overtaken its creators and unraveled reality.

Alex’s piece: http://fusion.net/the-long-lucrative-right-wing-grift-is-blowing-up-in-t-1793944216

-via Chap Trap House

Central American Children Try to Convince Courts They Need Protection

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Ultimately, between April 2014 and August 2015, more than 102,000 unaccompanied children were detained at the border, and their fates haunted Luiselli to such an extent that on her return to New York, she started volunteering as an interpreter for children facing deportation in federal immigration court. She has written a new book about her experience, “Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay In Forty Questions,” and it couldn’t be more timely.

-via The Intercept

 Too Many of Trump’s Liberal Critics Are Praising His Strike on Syria

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It shouldn’t be surprising, but it is to me nonetheless: Plenty of liberals who’ve long criticized Donald Trump as unfit to be president are praising his strike on Syrian airfields.

On CNN’s New Day Thursday, global analyst Fareed Zakaria declared, “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States” last night. To his credit, Zakaria has previously called Trump a “bullshit artist” and said, “He has gotten the presidency by bullshitting.” But Zakaria apparently thinks firing missiles make one presidential.

-via The Nation

Only Cops, Not Public, Will Have Easy Access To NYPD Body Cam Footage

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The U.S.’s largest police force is finally rolling out police body-worn cameras — but footage will mostly be for cops’ eyes only.

Though both de Blasio and the NYPD have touted the measures as a way to increase police accountability and win back the public’s trust, the guidelines are decidedly one-sided when it comes to who gets to see the footage.

-via Vocativ

University of Minnesota student takes on injustices in the bail system

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Simon Cecil sat on a metal stoop at the Hennepin County jail’s exit, studying a mug shot of a man he’s never met but just paid $50 to bail out.

Mug shots rarely capture a flattering likeness, and Cecil has learned that calculating the time it takes to discharge someone from jail is a science of educated guessing, so he stares at every face moving to the door, looking for David Stribling. After about half an hour, Cecil spots a guy who might be Stribling, but when he approaches, the stranger shakes his head and asks for a cigarette.

-via StarTribune

Arkansas Plans to Execute Seven People This Month, Continuing Long Tradition of Assembly-Line Killing

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On April 17, the state of Arkansas plans to kill Don Davis and Bruce Earl Ward, two men who have been on death row since the early 1990s. Neither has applied for clemency. Both will die on the same gurney, back to back, if all goes according to plan. Executioners will start by injecting them with a sedative called midazolam, never before used by the state, but which is supposed to render them unconscious for the two lethal drugs to follow. No one, apart from a handful of officials, knows where the drugs will come from, or who exactly will do the injecting.

-via The Intercept

DEA Takes Billions In Cash From People Not Charged With A Crime, Can’t Say How It’s Helping

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Over the past decade, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has permanently seized $3.2 billion in cash from individuals who were never charged with a crime, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday.

Authorities confiscated this money using a controversial process known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows police to take property ― including vehicles, jewelry, houses and, most commonly, cash ― based solely on the suspicion it’s tied to crime.

-via Huffington Post

How the FBI Played a Central Role in the First ISIS Attack on U.S. Soil

http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/fbi-isis-garland-texas-shooting-undercover-agent

The first attack on U.S. soil for which ISIS claimed responsibility—a 2015 shooting in Garland, Texas—was instigated by the FBI, according to an investigation by CBS’ “60 Minutes” and government documents obtained by an attorney involved in the case.

In a macabre twist, an undercover FBI agent who encouraged one of the shooters to “tear up Texas” was also physically present at the scene of the crime, mere feet away from the shooters.

-via AlterNet

Ohio Prisoner On Hunger Strike Against Punishment For Netflix Documentary Enters Infirmary

https://shadowproof.com/2017/03/29/hasan-enters-infirmary-netflix-documentary-captive/

Ohio prisoner Siddique Abdullah Hasan entered the infirmary at the Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) on March 24, “presumably due to failing health,” nearly one month into his hunger strike against a 90-day phone and email restriction he received as punishment for appearing in the Netflix documentary series, “Captive.”

One episode of the series chronicles the events surrounding the deadly 1993 prison riot known as the Lucasville Uprising, for which Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death. He has been in solitary confinement on death row at OSP ever since.

-via Shadowproof

Is Trump Counterterrorism Aide Sebastian Gorka a Sworn Member of Hungarian Nazi-Allied Group? [Video]

Is President Donald Trump’s top counterterrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka, a member of a Hungarian far-right, Nazi-allied group? We speak with reporter Larry Cohler-Esses, who first reported the allegations in The Forward, a leading Jewish American newspaper. The outlet reports members of the Vitézi Rend elite order confirmed Gorka took a lifelong oath of loyalty to the Hungarian far-right group, which is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II.

-via Democracy Now

The Rise of the Paranoid Citizen

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/opinion/the-rise-of-the-paranoid-citizen.html

As I follow the news and listen to politicians these days, I am struck by the extent to which America and Europe are awash in conspiracy thinking. Conspiracy theories have replaced ideologies at the heart of politics. They mobilize people to take to the streets; they connect political leaders to their followers. They decide the outcome of the elections.

But as the saying goes, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

-via The New York Times

Across the Country, Reports of Swastika Graffiti

http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/swastikas

After years of decline, reports of anti-Semitic crimes began increasing in 2015, according to FBI data. Experts say the trends appears to have accelerated in recent months. ProPublica and its partners on the “Documenting Hate” project received hundreds of reports of anti-Semitic incidents that were said to have occurred between early November 2016 and early February 2017.

-via ProPublica

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department switches from silver to gold belt buckles at a cost of $300,000

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-sheriff-belt-buckle-20170313-story.html

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is getting down to brass tactics.

Sheriff’s officials are spending $300,000 on items they say would make deputies look more professional in their jobs and could help make them safer. But the taxpayer dollars won’t go toward tools such as higher-quality ballistic vests, backup guns or body cameras, all of which are optional items that deputies have to pay for on their own.

-via The Los Angeles Times

Jeff Sessions Hasn’t Even Read the DOJ’s Landmark Reports on Police Abuse in Ferguson and Chicago

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/02/sessions-comments-chicago-ferguson-reports-doj

Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged Monday that he hasn’t read the Obama-era Department of Justice reports on abuses committed by police departments in Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri. Sessions, who is now the nation’s top law enforcement official, said he’s only read summaries of the two reports, according to Reuters, and, apparently, he found no reason to read on. “Some of it was pretty anecdotal and not so scientifically based,” he commented.

-via Mother Jones

Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in December, White House Says

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/us/politics/kushner-flynn-sessions-russia.html

Michael T. Flynn, then Donald J. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, had a previously undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador in December to “establish a line of communication” between the new administration and the Russian government, the White House said on Thursday.

Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and now a senior adviser, also participated in the meeting at Trump Tower with Mr. Flynn and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. But among Mr. Trump’s inner circle, it is Mr. Flynn who appears to have been the main interlocutor with the Russian envoy — the two were in contact during the campaign and the transition, Mr. Kislyak and current and former American officials have said.

-via The New York Times

Pence used personal email for state business — and was hacked

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/02/pence-used-personal-email-state-business—-and-hacked/98604904/

Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

Cybersecurity experts say the emails raise concerns about whether such sensitive information was adequately protected from hackers, given that personal accounts like Pence’s are typically less secure than government email accounts. In fact, Pence’s personal account was hacked last summer.

-via Indy Star

The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable Truths About U.S. and Russia

https://theintercept.com/2017/02/28/the-new-yorkers-big-cover-story-reveals-five-uncomfortable-truths-about-u-s-and-russia

The New Yorker is aggressively touting its 13,000-word cover story on Russia and Trump that was bylined by three writers, including the magazine’s editor-in-chief, David Remnick. Beginning with its cover image menacingly featuring Putin, Trump and the magazine’s title in Cyrillic letters, along with its lead cartoon dystopically depicting a UFO-like Red Square hovering over and phallically invading the White House, a large bulk of the article is devoted to what has now become standard – and very profitable – fare among East Coast news magazines: feeding Democrats the often-xenophobic, hysterical Russia-phobia for which they have a seemingly insatiable craving. Democratic media outlets have thus predictably cheered this opus for exposing “Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence on the presidential election.”

-via The Intercept

Unless It Changes, Capitalism Will Starve Humanity By 2050

http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2016/02/09/unless-it-changes-capitalism-will-starve-humanity-by-2050

Capitalism has generated massive wealth for some, but it’s devastated the planet and has failed to improve human well-being at scale.

-via Forbes

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