Category Archives: PND News

Kushner used private email to conduct White House business

Source: Politico

"Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business. Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account, sometimes trading emails with senior White House officials, outside advisers and others about media coverage, event planning and other subjects, according to four people familiar with the correspondence. POLITICO has seen and verified about two dozen emails." (09/24/17)

OH: Bill would bar abortion when prenatal test is positive for Down syndrome

Source: Portland Press Herald

"Kelly Kuhns rejected Down syndrome testing the first three times she got pregnant; the 36-year-old nurse from Ohio always knew she’d never terminate a pregnancy. But after her third pregnancy ended in miscarriage, she decided with the fourth to take the test. Her hope was to help doctors guide her to a healthy outcome. What she got was a positive result for Down syndrome — and a barrage of disheartening counseling. … Kuhns is fighting for an Ohio bill that would ban abortions in cases where a pregnant woman has had a positive test result or prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome. Physicians convicted of performing an abortion under such circumstances could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, stripped of their medical license and held liable for legal damages. The pregnant woman would face no criminal liability." (09/24/17)

NFL players, owners defy Trump on anthem protests

Source: Yahoo! News

"National Football League players sat out, knelt and linked arms during pre-game national anthems played across the country and in London on Sunday, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump called on fans to boycott teams that do not discipline players who protest. In the first few games since Trump stepped up his criticism of NFL players, dozens of players and coaches of teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins did not stand for the anthem and took a knee, a gesture that began last year as a protest over police treatment of African-Americans and other minorities. … At a political rally on Friday in support of his favored Senate candidate in a special election in Alabama, Trump suggested any protesting football player was a 'son of a bitch' and should lose his job." (09/24/17)–nfl.html

Hurricane Maria: Aid reaches Puerto Rico after Maria as threat from cracked dam recedes

Source: The Guardian [UK]

"Large amounts of federal aid began moving into Puerto Rico on Saturday, as the island tried to recover from a battering by hurricane Maria. Local officials praised the Trump administration’s response but also called for the emergency loosening of rules long blamed for condemning the US territory to second-class economic status. In the north-west of the island, people began returning to their homes after a spillway eased pressure on a dam that cracked after more than 1ft of rain fell in the wake of the hurricane. Though water continued to pour out of rain-swollen Lake Guajataca, the dam had not burst by Saturday night." (09/24/17)

Feds recruit 21 states to help keep up "Russian election meddling" scare

Source: CBS News

"The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems last year, although in most cases the systems were not breached. The government told The Associated Press last year that more than 20 states were targeted by hackers believed to be Russian agents before the 2016 elections. But for many states, the calls Friday from the Department of Homeland Security were the first official confirmation of whether their states were on the list. … The government did not say who was behind the hacking attempts or provide details about what had been sought. But election officials in three states said Friday the attempts could be linked to Russia." (09/22/17)

Samantha Power allegedly tried to "unmask" Americans on a daily basis

Source: New York Post

"Samantha Power, who was the US Ambassador to the UN under former President Barack Obama, averaged more than one 'unmasking' request for every working day in 2016 — even going so far as to seek the names of Trump associates just before his inauguration, a report says. Sources told Fox News that Power tried to expose more than 260 people last year, most in the final days of the Obama administration. The 46-year-old is one of several officials who worked for the former president and are now facing congressional scrutiny for their 'unmasking' attempts. The process is ultimately carried out when one wants to reveal the identity of an individual whose name surfaced in foreign intelligence documents." (09/21/17)

SEC: Hackers may have traded using stolen insider information

Source: Reuters

"The top U.S. markets regulator said on Wednesday that hackers accessed its corporate disclosure database and may have illegally profited by trading on the insider information stolen. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the hack occurred in 2016 but that it had only discovered last month that the cyber criminals may have used the information to make illicit trades. The hackers exploited a software glitch in the test filing component of the system to gain access to non-public information, the agency said. The SEC hosts large volumes of sensitive and confidential information that could be used for insider-trading or manipulating U.S. equity markets. Its EDGAR database houses millions of filings on corporate disclosures ranging from quarterly earnings to statements on mergers and acquisitions." [editor's note: Just "hackers?" No allegations of "Russian spies" this time? – SAT] (09/21/17)

Harvard study: Two-party duopoly to blame for government dysfunction

Source: Independent Voter News

"A groundbreaking new report was published last week by the Harvard Business School that could change the way we think about politics altogether. 'Most people think of politics as its own unique public institution governed by impartial laws dating back to the founders. Not so. It is, in fact, an industry—most of whose key players are private, gain-seeking organizations,' say authors Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter. So what do Gehl and Porter mean by “an industry,” a term generally reserved for sectors of economic activity like energy, technology, or banking? It means that, from an analytical standpoint, the Republican and Democratic Parties are just like the major players of any other private industry: they act out of their private and rational self-interest." (09/20/17)

Harvard alumni protest against Spicer, Lewandowski

Source: Raw Story

"Harvard University alumni really don’t want Sean Spicer or Corey Lewandowski to be given fellowships at the institution. The Ivy League institution announced a controversial list of visiting fellows at the Institute of Politics at Harvard earlier in September. Besides former White House press secretary Spicer and Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Lewandowski, the list also included breakfast television host Joe Scarborough and Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. military intelligence analyst who spent seven years in prison for leaking classified documents. But Spicer and Lewandowski have attracted the most pushback from members of the university community. An online open letter asking Harvard President Drew Faust to rescind the offers of fellowships to the pair has been signed by more than 1,900 people claiming to be Harvard alumni." [editor's note: They already lost cred by failing ot protest the dropping of Manning from the list – SAT] (09/21/17)

UK VW diesel car protest: Greenpeace members climb on boat

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Environmental protesters have climbed on to a ship at a Kent port transporting diesel cars from Germany. Greenpeace said campaigners had boarded the ship at Sheerness in Kent and were preventing the unloading of the cars. The group said it would not leave the ship until Volkswagen agreed to return the cars to Germany. Volkswagen said they were aware of the protest. More than 40 people are 'attempting to immobilise all the VW diesel cars by removing their keys,' Greenpeace said." (09/21/17)