In North Dakota, four protesters were shot at and arrested during a peaceful prayer walk after accidentally encountering law enforcement near a construction site where Energy Transfer hopes to drill under the Missouri River. Police were armed with a water cannon, riot gear and armored vehicles. Meanwhile, Energy Transfer is facing additional setbacks as Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. and Marathon Petroleum Corp. are pulling back on their $2B investment into the project. They now have until March 31st to completely back out of the deal, instead of the original December 31st deadline.
On the 22nd, Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. must “strengthen and expand” its nuclear arsenal, adding, quote, “Let it be an arms race,” unquote. Trump’s statement reportedly echoes Vladimir Putin’s recent call for a nuclear expansion in Russia as well. John Tierney, the executive director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, has stated that the consequences for changing the U.S. nuclear weapons policy are unimaginable. Aside from triggering a dangerous arms race, the Pentagon has already expressed concerns that they will be unable to afford to maintain the nuclear arsenal the U.S. already possesses, let alone additional nuclear weapons.
Trump’s transition team has sent out another request for employee names, this time through the State Department. The request came in the form of a memo, asking the State Department to provide information about individuals who worked on, quote, “activities to promote gender equality, such as ending gender-based violence,” unquote. This follows requests from Trump’s transition team earlier this month, for the names of Energy Department employees working to fight climate change. Concerns are again being raised that Trump is working on the creation of a, quote, “enemies list.”
Carl Paladino, the New York co-chair for Trump’s campaign and current member of the Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education, recently sent an email by mistake to the weekly Buffalo publication, ArtsVoice, stating that he would like to see President Obama have sex with a cow and die from mad cow disease. Of Michelle Obama, he stated quote, “I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla,” unquote. Paladino states the email was meant for friends, with the aim of venting with deprecating humor. The Buffalo Board of Education has demanded that Paladino resign from his post, stating that if he refuses to do so, they will ask the state education commissioner to remove him.
In Flint Michigan, the attorney general has filed felony charges against four more officials on December 20th over the water contamination crisis. Included among those charged were emergency managers Darnell Early and Gerald Ambrose, and city employees Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson. According to Democracy Now, they were specifically, quote, “charged with criminal conspiracy to violate safety rules,” unquote. The water crisis in Flint began when Darnell Early switched the city’s water source to the corrosive Flint River, causing the city’s aging pipes to corrode, and raising the level of lead in the drinking water.
The white supremacist website, The Daily Stormer, which was founded, and is currently ran by neo-Nazi and angry-Lollypop Kid, Andrew Anglin, has called for citizens of Whitefish Montana to quote, “take action,” against Jewish residents in the town. Anglin claims the quote, “vicious, evil race,” is ruining the business of Whitefish resident, Sherry Spencer, who is the mother of white supremacist and leader of the National Policy Institute, Richard Spencer – as though Richard Spencer’s reputation as a bigot with a small-penis-complex had no negative effect on her business. The announcement came with the release of personal information on various citizens, including a teenage-boy whose mother was one of those targeted. After divulging the teenager’s Twitter handle, Anglin told his readers to quote, “hit him up, tell them what you think of his whore mother’s vicious attack on the community of Whitefish,” unquote. An armed march has since been planned in Whitefish to protest the Jewish community. Anglin has himself raised ire with various white supremacist groups who have denounced him due to his liking of underage, multiethnic girls.
Last week, eight children in Seattle, who have sued the state of Washington for failing to protect them from climate change, were granted their day in court by King County Superior Court Judge, Hollis Hill, who stated, quote, “It is time for these youth to have the opportunity to address their concerns in a court of law, concerns raised under statute and under the state and federal constitutions,” unquote. The children’s lawsuit argues that the state of Washington violated its own constitution by failing to protect shared resources as mandated by the public trust doctrine. This ruling comes after a federal judge in Eugene Oregon ruled on a similar case, allowing a group of youths to proceed with their lawsuit as well.
After the legislative coup in North Carolina, it is being reported that the state can no longer be classified as a democracy. In a report from the Electoral Integrity Project, or EIP, North Carolina earned an electoral integrity score of 58 out of 100, which is similar to the scores of Cuba, Sierra Leone, and Indonesia. This is due not only to the recent stripping of power of the incoming Democratic Governor, but extreme gerrymandering, and voter suppression of communities of color. Historically, North Carolina has been one of the least democratic states in the Union, and is representative of the struggle between the forces of progress, and the forces of the status quo.
In Missouri, the prison-industrial-complex continues to set its sights on U.S. children, as officials pass a new law set to be in effect with the New Year that will allow felony charges to be filed against children who get in fist fights on school buses and school property. Children of all ages and grade-levels can face 3rd degree assault, and up to 4-years in prison. The Arizona State Law Journal has already found that a trend has formed within public schools to involve law enforcement, rather than school administrators or teachers dealing with student altercations themselves. During the 2011-2012 school year, roughly 260,000 students were dealt with by law enforcement, and almost 92,000 were arrested on school property. Experts state that America’s reliance upon the juvenile system does not reduce offenses committed by youth, it provides no overall benefit to public safety, it in fact wastes large sums of taxpayer dollars, and it exposes children to alarming levels of violence and abuse.
An unnamed police officer in Fort Worth Texas has been put on restrictive duty after a video went viral showing him arresting a woman and her two daughters. The woman had called the police for help when her 7-year-old son was assaulted by her adult neighbor. Jacqueline Craig explained to the officer that her neighbor, a white male adult, choked her son after he threw litter on the ground. The officer replied to Ms. Craig, quote, “Why don’t you teach your son not to litter?” Unquote. After Ms. Craig responded that despite her son littering, the neighbor had no right to choke her child, the officer asked, quote, “Why not?” From there the situation escalated, resulting in the officer tackling Ms. Craig and one of her daughters, and then arresting them. The neighbor who reportedly choked Ms. Craig’s son was not arrested, and as of now, no report was filed by the officer.
In world news this week, the British government’s mass surveillance powers have been severely undermined in what is being described as a major privacy victory for civil liberties advocates. The EU’s top court has just declared that the “general and indiscriminate retention” of data on people’s communications opposed privacy rights. According to The Intercept, the court has stated that the bulk storage of private data, quote, “exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be considered to be justified, within a democratic society,” unquote. Camilla Graham Wood, a legal officer with the London-based group, Privacy International, stated, quote, “Today’s judgment is a major blow against mass surveillance and an important day for privacy. It makes clear that blanket and indiscriminate retention of our digital histories – who we interact with, when and how and where – can be a very intrusive form of surveillance that needs strict safeguards against abuse and mission creep,” unquote.
Security was on high alert for the holidays in France, Britain, and Germany, after Italian police killed the man believed to be responsible for the Berlin market truck attack, according to Reuters. 24-year-old Anis Amri was shot dead early Friday in a town near Milan after pulling a gun on police during a routine check. France’s emergency rule has been extended, and French soldiers now patrol the capital’s streets, while police have been given wider search and arrest powers. Federal police have reinforced armed patrols at airports and rail stations in Germany, and German officials say the dangers of another attack remain high.
Migrants and refugees in Germany are now facing anti-immigrant backlash after the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin. In a statement from a 32-year-old Syrian refugee named Yaser, quote, “We don’t feel good, as refugees, after what happened. Whenever someone commits a crime in Germany, regardless of what his nationality is, we, as refugees, become suspects,” unquote. According to reports, the attack has also threatened to undermine Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, as members of the far-right AFD party have begun to protest the chancellor’s offices.
Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG will pay a combined total of $12.5B for their role in the mid-2000 bust of the U.S. housing market. Deutsche Bank will pay $7.2B, which is far below the initial request of $14B, and take a $1.2B pretax charge this quarter, while Credit Suisse will pay $5.3B, along with a $2B hit to earnings. This news comes hours after Barclays Plc was sued for fraud by the U.S. Justice Department, after it halted agreed upon payments for its role in the collapse.
On December 20th, President Obama permanently banned all future oil and gas drilling in large areas of the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean. Donald Trump, who will be taking office in a month, plans to pursue a pro-oil policy by tapping into the U.S.’s untouched oil reserves, and environmental groups are hopeful that the ban cannot be reversed by future presidents. The White House has reassured the public that Obama’s order will resist any future legal challenge, pointing out that the statutes language does not grant future presidents the authority to undo the permanent restriction. The move coincides with Canada’s ban on new oil and gas leasing in its Arctic waters as well, however neither the U.S. nor Canada’s ban affects existing oil and gas drilling leases or oil-extraction activities in state waters.
Meanwhile in Canada, the country’s telecom agency issued a new rule on Wednesday declaring high-speed internet a basic service that is, quote, “necessary to the quality of life,” unquote. The declaration is being described as “historic,” and aims to provide all Canadians with reliable, high-quality Internet services with an unlimited data option. The network’s target speed is 50 Mbps download speed, and 10 Mbps upload speed, whereas by contrast, the FCC in America defines “broadband” as 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, according to a report from Common Dreams.
The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated at an art gallery in the capital Ankara by a 22-year-old off-duty police officer who was presumably there to protect him. The gunman screamed, quote, “Don’t forget Aleppo,” as the dramatic scene unfolded. It is believed the assassination was an attempt to disrupt newly re-established relations between Turkey and Russia, and both Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin have condemned the act as a provocation. The gunman was later shot by police on Monday night, and six others, including the gunman’s family, have been detained.
In Anonymous news, AnonWatcher reports on Barret Brown, who is back in action, and working on a piece of software called quote, “Pursuant,” where activists, journalists, and otherwise interested parties can coordinate. Brown describes the platform as an open-source, end-to-end encrypted resource that can be hosted by anyone on their own server. The software is intended to provide users with the same collaborative features as Slack or Hipchat, however it will also include additional functions, such as giving users the ability to host and search large collections of documents and data. Brown has yet to recruit a team of coders or volunteers, however, nor is he ready to name any sources of funding. We will follow Brown’s progress with gleeful anticipation.
And finally, the Thai government has been under severe attack after the parliament approved the implementation of the Single Internet Gateway project, under which the military government requires that all digital data from overseas be scanned via a junta-controlled entry point. The websites of the National Security Agency and the Ministry of Defense were shut down on Tuesday. Additionally, the websites of the ruling junta party, the National Security Guard, and the Ministry of Digital Economy were all DDoSed as well. Last year, Anonymous hacked the Thai police server and leaked a large trove of data regarding Internet surveillance and censorship, and now, along with this recent attack, additional data belonging to the Thai Police and the National Intelligence Agency has been leaked, indicating their websites are accessible to the hacktivists.
This article (Teh Weekly News, Ep. 13 – Trump Arms Race, Barrett Brown Back in Action, TWN Signing Out) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.
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