A note from the publisher

Dear readers,

It’s a “web-only Friday” at Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily — 20 news stories, 30 commentaries, and 10 audio/video links await your reading pleasure at:


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Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

Manafort jury ends first day with questions, including definition of “reasonable doubt”

Source: The Hill

“The jury in the criminal trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sent a note to the judge asking him to redefine ‘reasonable doubt’ and answer three other questions as their first day of deliberations drew to a close. Judge T.S. Ellis III, who reconvened court to answer the questions orally for the 12-member jury shortly after 5 p.m., said the government is not required to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond all possible doubt — only doubt based on reason. Manafort’s defense team said the jury’s question about reasonable doubt is the best question the defense can get. ‘It indicates someone has doubts,’ the team said. Ellis allowed the jury to recess for the day after their questions were answered.” [editor’s note: Bad news for the prosecution. I’ll renew my prediction that he will not be convicted on all charges and may not be convicted of any – TLK] (08/16/18)


The evolution of a police state lockdown

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by John W Whitehead

“Whatever the threat to so-called security — whether it’s civil unrest, school shootings, or alleged acts of terrorism — government officials will capitalize on the nation’s heightened emotions, confusion and fear as a means of extending the reach of the police state. These troubling developments are the outward manifestations of an inner, philosophical shift underway in how the government views not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but ‘we the people,’ as well. What this reflects is a move away from a government bound by the rule of law to one that seeks total control through the imposition of its own self-serving laws on the populace. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for the American people to march in lockstep with the government’s dictates, even if it means submitting to martial law, having their homes searched, and being stripped of one’s constitutional rights at a moment’s notice.” (08/16/18)


Source: Egypt’s regime finalizing details of long-term Hamas-Israel truce

Source: Reuters

Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security source said on Thursday, amid easing tensions on the border of the enclave where some two million Palestinians live. Cairo has brokered an interim truce that has allowed commercial goods into Gaza ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast which starts next week. … A long-term truce could pave the way for talks on other issues, including the easing of a blockade that has crippled Gaza’s economy and allowing a possible swap of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.” (08/16/18)


New Haven overdoses: It’s time for indictments

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“[A]s law enforcement likes to tell us, getting a single dealer off the street does little good. We need to move up the food chain and nab the people at the origins of this thing. Who are those top dogs? Whose names can be presented to a grand jury for indictments in the conspiracy to put ‘synthetic marijuana’ on our streets? Here are two: Uttam Dhillon and Scott Gottlieb. Dhillon is the Acting Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Gottlieb heads the US Food and Drug Administration.” (08/16/18)


Aretha Franklin, 1942-2018

Source: Detroit Free Press

“Aretha Franklin, whose impassioned, riveting voice made her a titan of American music, has died, her niece, Sabrina Owens, confirmed to the Free Press. She was 76. … Franklin was the loftiest name in the rich history of Detroit music and one of the transcendent cultural figures of the 20th Century. Raised on an eclectic musical diet of gospel, R&B, classical and jazz, she blossomed out of her father’s Detroit church to become the most distinguished black female artist of all time, breaking boundaries while placing nearly 100 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart — 20 of them reaching No. 1. … Her death follows several years of painstakingly concealed medical issues, which led to regular show cancellations and extended absences from the public eye.” (08/16/18)


The US must engage with Russia

Rand Paul

Source: The Atlantic
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

“On my recent trip to Russia, I spent an hour with Mikhail Gorbachev. I told him that in the West we are grateful that he and President Ronald Reagan defied Cold War orthodoxy to significantly reduce our countries’ nuclear arms. And I asked him whether there was a moment in his life when he’d realized that he might shape history. He paused a moment and then recounted how as a young man, he had watched a film on the devastation that would occur with nuclear war. He and the other young officials in the room looked at each other in shock as the film concluded. … I asked Gorbachev about meeting Reagan for the first time. He said that their first meeting was affable but inconclusive. Press reports from the Reagan camp revealed that Reagan thought Gorbachev was just an old-school Bolshevik. Gorbachev remembered his response when his aides asked whether Reagan was just a hard-line anti-communist. Gorbachev chuckled and said, ‘No, he is a dinosaur!’ But both men persisted.” (08/15/18)


Report: NSA broke into secure networks of Al Jazeera and others

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“The National Security Agency (NSA), a US intelligence agency tasked with collecting data for foreign and counter intelligence operations, broke into the encrypted network of the Al Jazeera Media Network and several others in 2006, according to a report by US media. A document provided to The Intercept by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden shows that the NSA cracked Al Jazeera’s Virtual Private Network (VPN), an encrypted tunnel used to secure internet traffic. … In 2013, German publication Der Spiegel published an article based on the same document, stating the NSA was spying on Al Jazeera, but the publication did not detail that this was done through cracking the VPN used by Al Jazeera.” [editor’s note: Meanwhile, the NSA’s funders in Congress are passing resolutions saying the press is not the enemy. Maybe they should start ACTING like they mean that – TLK] (08/16/18)


The FDA thinks you don’t know that soy milk doesn’t come from cows

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by John-Michael Seibler

“If Washington politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists have their way, consumers of common nondairy ‘milks’ — such as almond milk and soy milk — may soon have to buy those products under obscure labeling such as ‘plant juice’ and ‘tree-nut beverage.’ In another unfortunate instance of overcriminalization, after efforts to make it a crime to label nondairy products as ‘milk’ stalled in the Senate, the Food and Drug Administration may now be trying to do through regulatory means what Congress has been unwilling or unable to do through legislation.” (08/16/18)


538 forecast: Democrats have 70% chance of winning House


Source: CNBC

“Democrats have reason for optimism heading into November’s midterms, according to one widely followed election forecaster.

The party has about a 70 percent chance of flipping enough Republican-held House seats to take a majority in the chamber, according to models from FiveThirtyEight, the analytics site run by data guru Nate Silver. The outlet’s forecasts project an average Democratic gain of at least 32 seats, comfortably above the 23 districts the party needs to gain to win a majority.” [editor’s note: 538 also gave Hillary Clinton a 71% chance of winning the White House in 2016. I wonder if they’ve worked on their models since then? – TLK] (08/16/18)