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PG&E expects to pay $2.5 billion for costs related to North Bay fires

PG&E expects to pay $2.5 billion for costs related to North Bay fires | 21 June 2018 | PG&E is warning investors it may be on the hook for at least $2.5 billion in costs related to some of the devastating North Bay fires, but the utility giants warns it could get worse. The utility giant says the amount does not cover all the fires. Last month, Cal Fire investigators determined PG&E was involved in causing several of the deadly October wildfires. Its power lines had made contact with trees, sparking the flames.

Melania Trump contacted Secret Service after Peter Fonda tweets called for violence against her son

Melania Trump contacted Secret Service after Peter Fonda tweets called for violence against her son | 20 June 21018 | First lady Melania Trump's office contacted the Secret Service after actor Peter Fonda went after her 12-year-old son during an early morning Twitter rant on Wednesday. Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director, said in a statement to The Hill that the Secret Service was notified on Wednesday after Fonda tweeted about Barron Trump. "The tweet is sick and irresponsible," Grisham said. Fonda called for the 12-year-old son of the first lady and President Trump to be ripped from Melania Trump's arms and "put in a cage with pedophiles."

'Aware of its significance' - England fans pay respects at WWII memorial, win friends in Volgograd

'Aware of its significance' - England fans pay respects at WWII memorial, win friends in Volgograd | 18 June 2018 | England fans have been paying their respects in Volgograd at the city's memorial complex dedicated to the victims of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. England open their World Cup campaign against Tunisia at Volgograd Arena on Monday night. Ahead of the kick-off, many supporters took the time to visit the Mamayev Kurgan memorial, which pays testament to the city's tragic past. Formerly named Stalingrad, the city saw more than 1 million people killed, wounded or captured between 1942 to 1943 in the battle between Red Army forces and the Nazis. The Soviet victory was seen as a key turning point in the war, and the tremendous losses suffered means the Battle of Stalingrad has been etched into the Russian psyche ever since.

The Person Doxxing ICE Employees Is a Professor at NYU

The Person Doxxing ICE Employees Is a Professor at NYU | 20 June 2018 | A New York University professor is the person responsible for creating a database of over 1,500 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees' personal information and spreading it to Antifa. Sam Lavigne, a far-left artist and game designer, is an adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He created a database of 1,595 ICE employees using their LinkedIn profiles and shared it to his 3,600 followers on Twitter Tuesday morning.

The Trump administration has left the United Nations' Human Rights Council

The Trump administration has left the United Nations' Human Rights Council | 20 June 2018 | US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley called it "an organisation that is not worthy of its name", marking the latest withdrawal by the Trump administration from an international institution. Ms Haley said the US had given the human rights body "opportunity after opportunity" to make changes. She lambasted the council for "its chronic bias against Israel" and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China...Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Ms Haley at the State Department, said there was no doubt that the council once had a "noble vision".

IG confirms Comey under investigation over memo handling

IG confirms Comey under investigation over memo handling | 19 June 2018 | Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed publicly Monday that his office is investigating James Comey for his handling of classified information as part of memos he shared documenting discussions with President Trump. The inspector general's comments confirmed reports dating back to April that the ex-FBI director was facing scrutiny, amid revelations that at least two of the memos he shared with his friend, Columbia University Professor Daniel Richman, contained information now deemed classified. The confirmation came during Monday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on the findings in the IG's report on the handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.

North Korea expected to return remains of up to 200 US service members lost in Korean War

North Korea expected to return remains of up to 200 US service members lost in Korean War | 19 June 2018 | The Trump administration is expecting North Korea to return up to 200 sets of remains believed to be American service members who died during the Korean War, three U.S. officials confirmed. Planning is underway to receive the remains from North Korea in the coming days...One official said though it was unclear where the handover of remains could occur, they would ultimately be taken to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii where the Defense Department has a lab to identify remains of missing U.S. service members from all wars.

FBI agent Peter Strzok escorted from FBI building, amid ongoing internal proceedings at the bureau on his conduct

FBI agent Peter Strzok escorted from FBI building, amid ongoing internal proceedings at the bureau on his conduct | 19 June 2018 | FBI agent Peter Strzok was escorted from the FBI building Friday as part of the ongoing internal proceedings at the bureau on his conduct, according to a source familiar with the matter. As of Tuesday, the source said, Strzok is still an FBI employee. He had a central role on the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information. He later worked on the investigation into connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia and briefly worked for special counsel Robert Mueller before text messages between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered.

IG confirms he is reviewing whether Strzok's anti-Trump bias impacted launch of Russia probe

IG confirms he is reviewing whether Strzok's anti-Trump bias impacted launch of Russia probe | 19 June 2018 | Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed Tuesday that he is investigating whether FBI official Peter Strzok's anti-Trump bias factored into the launch of the bureau’s Russia probe. During a joint hearing before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, Horowitz testified that his office was reviewing Strzok's anti-Trump text messages as part of a separate probe related to the Russia investigation. "It clearly shows a biased state of mind," Horowitz said, referring to text messages written as the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton's private email use was wrapping up and the Russia probe was getting underway. The most infamous text, revealed in last week's IG report on the Clinton email case, showed Strzok responding "We'll stop it" when his colleague and lover Lisa Page sought assurances that Trump would not become president.

 

Vigil for the health of Julian Assange to take place in London

Vigil for the health of Julian Assange to take place in London --The vigil coincides with the sixth anniversary of the WikiLeaks founder's self-imposed exile in London's Ecuadorian Embassy. | 19 June 2018 | A vigil will take place Tuesday evening outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the health of its longstanding resident Julian Assange. The vigil will be held between 6 and 8 p.m. local time. Tuesday marks six years since WikiLeaks founder Assange first entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges. The charges have since been dropped, but Assange is still wanted in the UK for skipping bail in 2012. He is concerned that if he leaves the embassy the US may also seek to extradite him on espionage charges.

Lawyer for texting FBI official who told lover they could 'stop' Trump's election says he's willing to testify to Congress without pleading the Fifth

Lawyer for texting FBI official who told lover they could 'stop' Trump's election says he's willing to testify to Congress without pleading the Fifth --FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok infamously texted his lover that the two of them could 'stop' Donald Trump from becoming president --House Judiciary Committee chairman was preparing to subpoena him | 17 June 2018 | A senior FBI agent who remains employed by the Bureau despite telling his lover in 2016 that they could together 'stop' Donald Trump from becoming president is willing to testify before Congress, his lawyer said Sunday. For supporters of the president, Peter Strzok's name has become synonymous with institutional bias at the Justice Department and a 'deep state' of anti-Trump collaborators whose influence runs through the agency's highest levels. But attorney Aitan Goelman told The Washington Post that Strzok 'wants the chance to clear his name and tell his story.' Goelman promised the Post that Strzok would answer questions without invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, a tantalizing guarantee for Republicans who have already been drafting a subpoena to drag him to Capitol Hill.

Republican pressure intensifies to end family separations at border

Republican pressure intensifies to end family separations at border | 19 June 2018 | The Trump administration is facing mounting pressure from fellow Republicans and other allies to end the practice of separating children from parents caught illegally crossing the border, as backlash over the enforcement policy quickly escalates into a political crisis. Some GOP lawmakers want the administration to stop the policy on its own, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and others are proposing emergency legislation. Meanwhile, GOP governors are pulling their state's National Guard troops from the border in protest. All this comes as President Trump and top Cabinet officials put the blame on Congress, in the run-up to a meeting late Tuesday between the president and House Republicans -- where discussion of the family-separation backlash will likely dominate.

House GOP 2019 budget calls for deep Medicare, Medicaid spending cuts

House GOP 2019 budget calls for deep Medicare, Medicaid spending cuts | 19 June 2018 | The House GOP budget proposal released Tuesday calls for a $5.4 trillion decrease in mandatory spending over a decade, including $537 billion in reductions to Medicare and $1.5 trillion in reductions to Medicaid and other health programs. Another $2.6 trillion in reductions would come from other mandatory spending programs that include welfare and anti-poverty programs...The budget also calls for a precipitous drop in non-defense spending over the next decade, even as defense spending rises.

Gowdy scorches Comey in blistering opening statement at IG hearing

Gowdy scorches Comey in blistering opening statement at IG hearing | 19 June 2018 | House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy scorched James Comey in a blistering opening statement at a high-profile congressional hearing on Tuesday, declaring "we can't survive with a justice system we don't trust." Gowdy kicked off the hearing featuring testimony from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on his review of the Hillary Clinton email case. The top DOJ watchdog is on Capitol Hill for the second day in a row to discuss the explosive report. But Gowdy launched into Tuesday's session -- a joint hearing held by the House oversight and judiciary panels -- with a fiery condemnation of the former FBI director and certain agents in the bureau he led.

Julian Assange health fears: UK forcing Wikileaks chief to 'make impossible choice'

Julian Assange health fears: UK forcing Wikileaks chief to 'make impossible choice' | 19 June 2018 | Julian Assange's lawyers hit out at the UK and the WikiLeaks founder is being forced to make an "impossible choice" between his health and his safety...Mr Assange's team of lawyers claimed doctors have confirmed his protracted confinement in the Ecuador's London embassy is having a severe impact on the journalist’s physical and mental health. Calling for the intervention of the UN's Human Rights Council, they argued the UK is forcing Mr Assange, 46, to make an "impossible" choice. Human rights barrister Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, representing the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, said: "The UK shows a deliberate disregard for his medical needs by forcing him to choose between his human right to asylum and his human right to medical treatment."

Wind-down of 'irritating' war games: US and South Korea suspend military drill planned for August

Wind-down of 'irritating' war games: US and South Korea suspend military drill planned for August | 18 June 2018 | US President Donald Trump seems to be delivering on his promise to scale down military exercises with South Korea, which he made after meeting North Korea's Kim Jong-un. A drill scheduled for August has been suspended. Washington and Seoul have agreed to suspend their preparations for the exercise code-named Ulchi Freedom Guardian, the South Korean defense ministry said on Tuesday. "The South and the U.S. plan to continue consultations over additional measures," the ministry’s text message to the media said, as cited by Yonhap news agency.

Thousands of DACA recipients with arrest records, including 10 accused murderers, allowed to stay in US

Thousands of DACA recipients with arrest records, including 10 accused murderers, allowed to stay in US | 18 June 2018 | Nearly 60,000 immigrants with arrest records -- including 10 accused of murder -- have been allowed to stay in the United States under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed Monday. According to DHS, 59,786 DACA recipients have been arrested while in the U.S. -- approximately 7.8 percent of all who have been approved to remain in this country under the program since it was created in 2012. Of those, 53,792 were arrested before their most recent request for a so-called "grant of deferred action" was approved. Another 7,814 were arrested after their request was approved.

Former CIA engineer charged with leaking classified information to WikiLeaks

Former CIA engineer charged with leaking classified information to WikiLeaks | 18 June 2018 | The Justice Department on Monday announced charges against a former CIA computer engineer for allegedly leaking top-secret information on U.S. government hacking tools to WikiLeaks. In a 13-count superseding indictment, the agency charged Joshua Adam Schulte with illegally gathering classified national defense information and transmitting it to “an organization.” WikiLeaks published the data in March of last year. Prosecutors identified Schulte as a suspect in the leak last month, but did not yet have sufficient evidence to bring charges.

Blowback Over Japanese Plan to Reuse Radioactive Soil From Fukushima

Blowback Over Japanese Plan to Reuse Radioactive Soil From Fukushima | 14 June 2018 | Japan's plan to reuse soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant accident for agriculture is sparking something of its own nuclear reaction. Residents and other critics don't want any part of it. "Pollutants contained in crops will surely pollute air, water and soil, thereby contaminating food to be consumed by human beings," Kazuki Kumamoto, professor emeritus at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo told Bloomberg Environment. Contaminated crops "could trigger the release of radiation." ...The international agency standard is 100 becquerel, a measure of radioactivity, per kilogram. Japan revised its limit to 8,000 becquerel per kilogram for nuclear waste and soil, exempting a greater amount of contaminated soil from strict treatment requirements and allowing it to be reused for public works projects and agricultural land.

Trey Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ, FBI with 'full arsenal' to get documents

Trey Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ, FBI with 'full arsenal' to get documents | 17 June 2018 | House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with senior Justice Department and FBI officials Friday, and claimed he "made it very clear" the House will use "its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance" on outstanding subpoenas. Gowdy, R-S.C., said on "Fox News Sunday" that Republican lawmakers' actions could involve "the full panoply of constitutional weapons available to the people’s house." However, it was not immediately clear which subpoenas or requests Gowdy was referencing.

Woman shouting 'Allahu akbar' injures two with blade in France

Woman shouting 'Allahu akbar' injures two with blade in France | 17 June 2018 | Two people were injured in a town in southern France on Sunday when a woman shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) attacked two people in a supermarket with a boxcutter, prosecutors said. A man was struck in the chest during the late-morning attack in La Seyne-sur-Mer, outside the Mediterranean port of Toulon, but the wound is not life-threatening, prosecutor Bernard Marchal told AFP. A woman working at a checkout counter was also wounded, though not as seriously.

'Disease X' killer bird flu strain could cause global pandemic, say experts

'Disease X' killer bird flu strain could cause global pandemic, say experts --The newly discovered pathogen has a death rate of 38 per cent | 16 June 2018 | A new lethal strain of bird flu could lead to a global pandemic, experts fear. The new pathogen, chillingly known 'Disease X', has been discovered in China and has a 38 per cent death rate. It is thought it could prove to be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu which killed nearly 100 million people. Deputy chief medical officer for England professor Jonathan Van-Tam told The Telegraph that 'virus H7N9', which is currently spreading through poultry farms in China, could spark a global catastrophe. He said: "[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans. It's possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic."

Hawaii volcano update: Terrifying tornado emerges as Kilauea whips up fiery twister

Hawaii volcano update: Terrifying tornado emerges as Kilauea whips up fiery twister | 08 June 2018 | Hawaii's raging Kilauea volcano eruption has destroyed hundreds of homes across the defenceless Big Island and a new catastrophic danger has emerged from the inferno -- a terrifying volcanic tornado. Hawaii’s serene jungle landscapes have transformed to Biblical scenes of fire and brimstone since Hawaii volcano Kilauea began erupting more than a month ago on May 3. An incredibly rare phenomenon was now captured on camera by a touring photographer who witnessed strong winds whip up a fiery twister, dubbed lavanado.

Lava flow sparks Winter Weather Advisory on Big Island

Lava flow sparks Winter Weather Advisory on Big Island | 10 June 2018 | The Hawaii volcano Kilauea eruption has triggered a shock event that has left experts baffled. The interaction of lava with sea water has created an unusual weather phenomenon causing freezing rain on the Big Island Summits, forcing the Hawaii National Weather Service to issue a shock Winter Weather Advisory alert...The steam from lava in the ocean goes into the atmosphere, cools down and falls back to the Island as freezing rain and fog. The unusual weather event is incredibly rare and meteorologists have admitted that they have "never seen this before".

Cornell considering 'enhanced' punishments for 'bias' incidents

Cornell considering 'enhanced' punishments for 'bias' incidents. | 14 June 2018 | Cornell University is considering "enhanced" punishments for misconduct that is "motivated by bias" along with dozens of other proposals for making the campus more "diverse" and "inclusive." As Campus Reform reported in October, Cornell created the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate in response to student demands sparked by a flurry of racially-charged incidents, including one in which a student caused a stir by chanting "build a wall." ...The report from the second subcommittee, which examined "regulation of speech and harassment," recommended that the university "revise the campus Code of Conduct to make it applicable to student conduct only," arguing that faculty and staff misconduct should be addressed through "personnel and other policies."

White Helmets: Washington resumes funding for major 'regime change' tool in Syria

White Helmets: Washington resumes funding for major 'regime change' tool in Syria | 16 June 2018 | Washington's decision to resume funding for White Helmets after a brief freeze highlights how important the controversial group is for the US-promoted agenda for regime change, journalists and Syrian conflict observers have told RT. Mike Raddie, co-editor of BSNews and an anti-war activist, told RT how the so-called Syria Civil Defence units - the White Helmets - have been instrumental in the justification of the US strikes on Syria in April of 2017, and the trilateral strikes by the UK, France, and the US in April 2018. Calling the self-styled volunteer organization a clearly "belligerent party" with links to al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] terrorists, Raddie noted that the group has been actively calling for a "no-fly zone, which obviously means full invasion." Thus, he believes, the State Department decided to release some $6.6mn in previously frozen funding for the White Helmets, just in case another pretext for a strike against Syria or a similar intervention is needed.

Steve King: House GOP 'considering' removing Ryan

Steve King: House GOP 'considering' removing Ryan [It's about time!] | 15 June 2018 | Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says his fellow House Republicans "are considering" removing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Scum-bag-Wis.), who has announced he is retiring after this Congress. "It's kind of odd that he has as much power as he has," King said in an interview with Breitbart News Tonight released Friday. "But I do predict, and it is happening, that that power is diminishing. I also have got information that there are -- I’ll say 'members' -- I say that plurally, with knowledge, that are considering introducing a motion to vacate the chair," King continued. Speculation has been growing among rank-and-file Republicans that Ryan won't be able to hold on to his gavel for the rest of the year, though few are calling on him to resign early.

U.S. Steel to restart another furnace at Granite City Works, bring back 300 workers

U.S. Steel to restart another furnace at Granite City Works, bring back 300 workers --Actions come after President Donald Trump's announcement of greater tariffs on imported steel | 06 June 2018 | (Granite City, IL) U.S. Steel Corp. says it will restart the second of two shuttered blast furnaces at a southwestern Illinois mill and bring back about 300 workers. The decision by the Pittsburgh-based company follows a March announcement that it would restart the other blast furnace at the Granite City Works near St. Louis and recall 500 workers. U.S. Steel laid off about 2,000 workers when it idled the furnaces in 2015. The company says the restart of the first furnace is in progress and that the second furnace should be in operation around Oct. 1.

Netflix bans workers from looking at each other for more than five seconds and asking for phone numbers in new harassment policy

Netflix bans workers from looking at each other for more than five seconds and asking for phone numbers in new harassment policy --'Me Too' movement fallout | 11 June 2018 | Netflix has banned its workers from looking at each other for more than five seconds as part of new bizarre no-flirting rules. The company's film crew can also reportedly no longer ask their colleagues for their phone numbers and staff are encouraged to shout: 'Stop! Don't do that again', if they feel harassed...An on-set runner said: 'Senior staff went to a harassment meeting to learn what is and isn't appropriate. Looking at anyone longer than five seconds is considered creepy.'

Man in custody after barricading himself in 'homemade' armored truck near Hoover Dam, reportedly with notes for 'Mr. President'

Man in custody after barricading himself in 'homemade' armored truck near Hoover Dam, reportedly with notes for 'Mr. President' | 15 June 2018 | A man was taken into custody Friday after he barricaded himself inside a "homemade" armored vehicle near the Hoover Dam on U.S. Highway 93, investigators said. Officials received calls around 11:54 a.m. local time about a white man who had stopped on the highway near the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which heads into Arizona, Jason Buratczuk from the Nevada Highway Patrol said at a news conference. Officials said the unidentified man was holed up in what looked to be a "homemade" armored vehicle and he appeared to have some kind of "long gun rifle" and signage. Pictures emerged of notes taped to the window of the vehicle saying, "Mr. President release the report," KLAS reported.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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