Category Archives: PND News

US House passes GOP tax bill

Source: CBS News

“House Republicans on Thursday afternoon passed a massive package of corporate and individual tax cuts, holding a final vote on their highly-anticipated tax overhaul plan Thursday afternoon. Lawmakers approved it in a 227-205 vote. The bill would slash the corporate tax rate, cut taxes for individuals and reduce the number of tax brackets. … The Senate will also have to vote on its version, and then the two bills, if they both pass, would be reconciled in conference.” (11/16/17)

Menendez faces Senate ethics probe after mistrial

Source: Politico

“The Senate Ethics Committee will resume its investigation into Sen. Bob Menendez, a move that came just hours after a mistrial was announced in the New Jersey Democrat’s bribery and corruption case. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had called for an ethics probe of Menendez as soon as a mistrial was declared by U.S. District Judge William Walls. The deadlock in the criminal proceedings was a huge legal victory for Menendez, who grew emotional as he spoke about the case with reporters.” (11/16/17)

Judiciary Senators: Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks, Russia ahead of election

Source: The Hill

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Thursday disclosed that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. The two senators sent a letter to Kushner’s lawyer Thursday demanding additional documents from Trump’s son-in-law as part of the committee’s ongoing investigation of Russia’s election interference. In the letter, Grassley and Feinstein say Kushner received an email about WikiLeaks in September 2016 that he passed on to an official within President Trump’s campaign, in addition to communication about a ‘Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.'” (11/16/17)

GA: Idiot sheriff, deputies ordered to pay $3 million to victims of illegal mass drug search/child molestation party

Source: NBC News

“A group of Georgia high school students have reached a $3 million settlement against the Worth County Sheriff’s Office after a judge ruled that law enforcement violated their civil rights by conducting a massive drug search without probable cause. A judge ordered former Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and his deputies to pay the staggering settlement to the students. In April, Hobbs and his deputies spent hours at Worth County High School searching more than 800 students for drugs — and their search turned up empty. Attorneys from the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Atlanta-based civil rights firm Horsley Begnaud filed a class-action lawsuit against the sheriff’s department on behalf of the students. According to the suit, deputies ‘touched and manipulated students’ breasts and genitals” and “inserted fingers inside girls’ bras.’ The suit also alleged that the searches revealed the students’ body parts.” [hat tip — Reason] (11/15/17)

Interior watchdog faults Zinke for incomplete travel records

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The Interior Department’s internal watchdog says Secretary Ryan Zinke has failed to keep complete records of his taxpayer-financed travel — hampering an investigation into his use of private charter flights for government business. Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall says her investigation ‘has been delayed by absent or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips and a review process that failed to include proper documentation.’ Kendall said Interior employees have cooperated with her office, but said investigators have found that documentation and adherence to department policies are ‘deficient and without proper management oversight and accountability.'” (11/16/17)

Kaspersky defends its role in NSA breach

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“The Russian-headquartered anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab has hit back at reports it deliberately extracted sensitive files from a US National Security Agency worker’s computer. The allegations stem from a Wall Street Journal report in early October. Russian hackers had used Kaspersky software to identify classified files on the NSA contractor’s home computer, which they then stole, it said. It later emerged Kaspersky had also copied files off the PC itself. But the company has now said this was not deliberate and any classified documents were destroyed.” (11/16/17)

FCC to loosen TV, newspaper ownership rules

Source: Raw Story

“The U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to rollback landmark media ownership regulations that prohibit owning a television station and newspaper in the same market and making it easier to acquire additional TV or radio stations, Chairman Ajit Pai said on Wednesday. If approved at the FCC’s November meeting, the move would be a win for newspapers and broadcasters that have pushed for the change for decades, but was criticized by Democrats who said it could usher in a new era of media consolidation. The FCC in 1975 banned cross-ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market, unless it granted a waiver, to ensure a diversity of opinions. The rule was made before the explosion of internet and cable news and Republican President Donald Trump and Pai have vowed to reduce government regulation.” (11/16/17)

WI: College Democrats leader resigns after “I f—ing hate white men” tweet

Source: Fox News

“A Wisconsin College Democrats leader — who had interned on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign — resigned Tuesday after tweeting ‘I f—ing hate white men.’ Sarah Semrad, a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse resigned from her state-wide College Democrat leadership position, Campus Reform reported. Semrad also came under fire for a tweet criticizing pro-life literature on campus. ‘My new bit is tearing down all the pro life Christian pregnancy resource center fliers that they put up around campus to try & trick people,’ Semrad wrote. She apologized for the tweets in a statement to the La Crosse Tribune. When contacted by Fox News, Semrad referred a reporter to her Tribune apology.” (11/16/17)

Johnson & Johnson wins California lawsuit claiming asbestos in talc caused cancer

Source: Reuters

“A California jury on Thursday ruled in favor of Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit by a woman who said she developed the cancer mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in the company’s talc-based products including J&J’s Baby Powder. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury’s verdict, watched by a Reuters reporter through an online broadcast by Courtroom View Network, came in the first trial centering on claims that J&J’s talc products contained asbestos. J&J is separately battling thousands of cases claiming those products can cause ovarian cancer. The lawsuit was filed by Tina Herford, who said she developed mesothelioma after using J&J talcum powder products that her lawyers claimed contained asbestos.” (11/16/17)

Australian diplomat dies in New York building “trust fall”

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“An Australian diplomat has died after falling from a New York City balcony while socialising with friends. Julian Simpson, 30, accidentally slipped from a seventh-floor ledge of his Manhattan building and fell to a landing on the second floor, New York police said. US media report he was playing a ‘trust game’ with a friend before he fell. Mr Simpson was a junior diplomat representing Australia at the United Nations. Police were called to the scene about 01:00 local time on Wednesday (06:00 GMT). Mr Simpson was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Australian envoy had been out with his wife and friends when they returned home to view the Empire State Building, which was lit up to celebrate Australia’s same-sex marriage vote result, police said.” [editor’s note: Intelligent people do “trust falls” standing in a chair on solid ground – SAT] [additional editor’s note: Intelligent people trust no one 😀 – TLK] (11/16/17)