Category Archives: News

Congo: Bodies of UN investigators, interpreter found

Source: New Delhi Times [India]

"The bodies of an American and a Swedish investigator with the United Nations and their Congolese interpreter were found in Central Kasai province, authorities said Tuesday, more than two weeks after they disappeared while looking into recent violence there. … Michael Sharp of the United States and Zaida Catalan of Sweden, along with interpreter Betu Tshintela, driver Isaac Kabuayi and two motorbike drivers, went missing March 12 while looking into large-scale violence and alleged human rights violations by the Congolese army and local militia groups. Congo's police inspector general, Charles Bisengimana, said the bodies were found Monday between the cities of Tshimbulu and Kananga, the provincial capital." (03/29/17)

Venezuela: Supreme Court annuls act of congress, parliamentary immunity

Source: PanAm Post

"Venzuela's Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) reported that it will begin a process of control that will define the limits of the immunity for the deputies of the nation's National Assembly. The ruling comes within the framework of the approval of the Agreement on the Reactivation of the Implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS)." (03/28/17)

UK: May signs letter triggering Brexit

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the UK's departure from the European Union. Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk later. In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks 'the moment for the country to come together.' It follows June's referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU." (03/29/17)

Scotland: Parliament backs independence referendum call

Source: Chicago Tribune

"Scottish lawmakers voted Tuesday to seek a new referendum on independence, to be held within the next two years — an unwanted headache for the British government as it prepares to push the European Union exit button. The Edinburgh-based legislature voted 69-59 to back First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's call to ask the British government for an independence vote. Outside, several dozen independence supporters bearing Scottish and EU flags broke into cheers and tears of joy as the news broke. … Scottish voters rejected independence in a 2014 referendum that Sturgeon's Scottish National Party called a once-in-a-generation vote. But Sturgeon says Brexit has changed the situation dramatically." (03/28/17)

Video of TSA thug feeling up teenager goes viral

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"A Transportation Security Administration official is drawing heavy criticism after a video that shows him patting down a boy at DFW Airport went viral on social media over the weekend. Jennifer Williamson, the boy's mother, posted the video to Facebook on Sunday morning, writing that she was 'livid' at the TSA agent. The two-minute clip shows Williamson's son, Aaron, standing in a security area at the airport. The agent begins patting down the boy's arms, back and torso before moving to the back of his shorts and the insides of his legs." (03/28/17)

Iran: Regime says Russia can use its military bases "on case by case basis"

Source: Reuters

"Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters on Tuesday that Russia could use Iranian military bases to launch air strikes against militants in Syria on a 'case by case basis.' Russia and Iran are both key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and have played decisive roles in the past 18 months to turn the tide of the Syrian conflict in his favor. Russian jets used an air base in Iran to launch attacks against militant targets in Syria last summer, the first time a foreign power had used an Iranian base since World War Two." (03/28/17)

Trump signs order to roll back Obama's climate moves

Source: The Hill

"President Trump on Tuesday signed a wide-ranging executive order to start the process of rolling back former President Obama's aggressive climate change agenda. … The most significant piece of the order instructs the EPA to formally consider repealing the Clean Power Plan. It was the central piece of Obama’s second-term climate agenda, setting a 32 percent cut in the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030." (03/28/17)

Germany: 1.4 million Turks head to polling stations as voting in crucial referendum begins

Source: Chicago Chronicle

"As 1.4 million eligible Turkish voters in Germany headed to the polls to cast their vote in the crucial Turkish referendum on expanding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers — the sentiment amongst voters was that of conflict and confusion. Polling stations in Germany opened on Monday and was [sic] closely watched in Ankara as the number of eligible voters in Germany make up about half the total number of expatriates who can cast ballots." (03/28/17)

CA: Middle school losing funding because it has too many white students

Source: Fox News

"Having too many white students will cost a California middle school funding and imperil the jobs of some teachers and others. Last week the Los Angeles Unified School District informed parents of students at the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood that because the white population had exceeded 30 percent, it had to make cuts. Under provisions of a district policy, the school had qualified for additional funding, which enable the hiring of more teachers and having smaller classes, because it had a student body that was 70 percent or higher of Hispanics, blacks, Asians and non-Anglos. However, in the last two years that percentage has fallen beneath the 70 percent level, meaning Walter Reed no longer qualified for those extra funds. The announcement infuriated parents, who fear that class sizes will increase as the number of teachers and other school personnel decreases." [editor's note: Okay, I would note that this was an added subsidy for being a good doobie, not basic funding, as is implied by the headline – SAT] (03/28/17)

Trump expected to sign controversial hunting bill

Source: Raw Story

"A controversial hunting law awaits the signature of President Trump after the Senate voted mostly along party lines last week and after clearing the House in February. The Senate voted 52-47 on March 21 to overturn Obama-era hunting restrictions that protected grizzly bears, wolves and other animals on national wildlife refuges in Alaska from baiting, trapping and aerial shooting. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, who introduced the resolution, said the Obama-era rules were an overreach of government power. He shared support with other Alaska Republicans on Capitol Hill. 'Not only does this action undermine Alaska'’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government,' Young wrote on his website." (03/28/17)