North American News


Trump privately presses for U.S. military to pay for border wall

29th March 2018

President Donald Trump, who repeatedly insisted during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for a wall along the southern border, is privately pushing the U.S. military to fund construction of his signature project.

Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a “national security” risk.

After floating the notion to several advisers last week, Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the idea, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.

Trump’s pursuit of defense dollars to finance the U.S.-Mexico border wall underscores his determination to fulfill a campaign promise and build the barrier despite resistance in the Republican-led Congress. The administration’s last-minute negotiations with lawmakers to secure billions more for the wall failed, and Trump grudgingly signed the spending bill Friday after a short-lived veto threat.

Four days later, Trump continued to express regret over signing the $1.3 trillion package, which funded the government and averted a shutdown, saying it was a mistake and he should have followed his instincts.

In another interaction with senior aides last week, Trump noted that the Defense Department was getting so much money as part of the spending bill that the Pentagon could surely afford the border wall, two White House officials said. The Pentagon received about $700 billion in the spending package, which Trump repeatedly lauded as “historic.”

 

 

source/read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-military-pay-border-wall-20180327-story.html

David Hogg Admits He Was at Home During Parkland Shooting

27th March 2018

In a recently leaked excerpt of a CBS documentary, David Hogg admits he was at home during the Parkland shooting.

According to a breaking report by The Columbian Post, Hogg states “On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.”

Hogg makes no mention of why he was not at school, or how he heard about the shooting, and the interviewer never questions either of these details.

 

 

 

 

 

source/read more: https://squawker.org/politics/exposed-david-hogg-admits-he-was-at-home-during-parkland-shooting/

More than half of US adults say legal gun owners actually make the country a safer place

25th March 2018

Nearly six in 10 American adults believe citizen gun ownership does more to improve public safety because it allows law-abiding people to protect themselves in case of danger, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Friday.

The March 10-14 survey found 58 percent of people think legal gun owners help make the country a safer place compared to 38 percent who think the chance for accidental misuse of firearms is connected to more people having them.

Over the past two decades since the 1999 Columbine massacre, the public’s beliefs on gun ownership and safety have dramatically changed.

 

source/read more;  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/more-than-half-of-us-adults-say-legal-gun-owners-actually-make-the-country-a-safer-place-poll

US added 700,000 new millionaires in 2017

24th March 2018

The number of millionaire households in the U.S. jumped by more than 700,000 last year, thanks to surging stock prices and housing values, according to a new report.

 

The number of millionaire households in the U.S. jumped by more than 700,000 last year, thanks to surging stock prices and housing values, according to a new report.

The U.S. now has more than 11 million millionaire households, according to Spectrem Group, up more than 6 percent from 2016. The number of new millionaires and the total population of millionaires set records. Spectrem defines millionaire households as those with at least $1 million in investible assets, not including primary residence.

“It was the equity markets that really pulled these folks up,” said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group. “This is the group that has the most equity holdings, so the biggest change is at the high end.”

The S&P 500 gained 19 percent last year and the Dow was up 25 percent.

Since the financial crisis, the number of millionaire households has nearly doubled. In 2009, there were just under 6 million millionaire households. It’s grown every year since, and is now well past the precrisis level of 9 million millionaires.

The richer multimillionaires have done the best, since they have the largest share of stocks relative to their overall wealth.

The number of households worth $5 million to $25 million grew by 84,000, to 1.35 million households. The number of households worth more than $25 million jumped by 10 percent, increasing by 16,000 to a total of 172,000…

 

 

 

source/ read more : https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/21/us-added-700000-new-millionaires-in-2017.html

Florida school shooting: Students now required to wear clear backpacks

24th March 2018

Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie informed students from MS Douglas High School they would be required to wear clear backpacks as part of a number of safety measures set to be implemented across the district.

Superintendent Runcie sent a letter to families on Wednesday outlining the security measures, following the shooting where 17 people were killed at the Parkland school on February 14.

The security measures for MS Douglas High School included student identification badges, extra security and the potential for the introduction metal detectors at the entrance of the school.

“While we cannot change the heartbreaking and senseless act of violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, by working together, we can change the future,” Superintendent Runcie wrote in the letter to families in the district.

All students deserve safe schools. We are proud of our students’ determination to effect positive change in this country – and for the incredible support from the Broward community and across the country.”

MS Douglas High School had another incident on Wednesday after two students were charged with bringing weapons onto campus, according to CNN.

Despite the incident, many students are preparing for their trip to Washington for March for Our Lives on Saturday.

 

source/read more; https://www.sbs.com.au/news/florida-school-shooting-students-now-required-to-wear-clear-backpacks

Questions for TSA after reports of laptop and phone searches on domestic flights

13th March 2018

 

There are a growing number of reports of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) searching the electronic devices of passengers on domestic flights in the US, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has sued the federal agency for records.

The ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a lawsuit against the TSA on Monday demanding that the government disclose its policies for searching the computers and cellphones of domestic travelers, arguing that anecdotal accounts have raised concerns about potential privacy invasions.

“We’ve received reports of passengers on purely domestic flights having their phones and laptops searched, and the takeaway is that TSA has been taking these items from people without providing any reason why,” the staff attorney Vasudha Talla told the Guardian. “The search of an electronic device has the potential to be highly invasive and cover the most personal details about a person.”

A TSA spokesman, Matt Leas, declined to comment on the lawsuit but said: “TSA does not search the contents of electronic devices.”

Over the past year, civil liberties groups have repeatedly raised concerns about US border agents expanding the invasive searches of international travelers’ phones. Some travelers reported authorities demanding they unlock their devices and allow officials to review text messages, social media accounts, photos and other private information – without warrants or reasonable suspicion. Now, there are questions about whether similar practices could be happening for passengers traveling within the US, raising fears that the government may be increasing surveillance and privacy violations at airports.

“It speaks to a growing attempt by the government to investigate individuals not based on probable cause or reasonable suspicion, but perhaps based on impermissible factors,” said Talla.

The ACLU of Northern California had not previously received reports of these kinds of domestic searches, but recently learned of a handful of cases, said Talla, who said the ACLU did not have specific data to share.

There are no clear patterns in the searches that people have described to the ACLU, though in each case, the TSA has not explained its justification to passengers, who have typically experienced the searches while going through security before boarding flights, Talla said. The ACLU in California has not heard of specific cases of the TSA requiring domestic fliers to unlock their devices, but last year, numerous reports emerged that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would not let travelers enter the US without granting the agents access to devices.

When devices are unlocked, “they are really able to access a person’s entire life that is on the phone as well as using the device to access what is on the cloud”, Talla said.

One woman who shared her story with the ACLU told the Guardian that in the last year, she had twice had her electronics searched while flying within California. The 64-year-old, who works in the not-for-profit sector and requested anonymity for fear that she could face further scrutiny from TSA, said that on one occasion last year, TSA agents pulled her aside to pat her down multiple times and eventually asked to see both her iPhones – a work and personal one.

The agents did not ask her to unlock the phones, but took them for at least 10 minutes out of her view, she said, adding that she quickly became distraught.

“I no longer had my phones, so there was no one I could contact,” she said, adding, “It just feels like an invasion of privacy, especially when they are not telling you what the problem is.”

The woman said on a recent trip, the TSA also briefly took her laptop, which was password protected.

“If somebody is suspecting you of doing something wrong or some kind of crime, you should be told what it is. You should be able to defend yourself,” she added.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/12/tsa-surveillance-laptops-cellphones-domestic-flights

Democrats Are 3 Times More Likely to Unfriend You on Social Media, Survey Says

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Is anyone actually surprised at this point?

 

11March 2018

This year’s bitter presidential election has caused a rift in online relationships. According to a new survey, 13% of Americans reported blocking or unfriending a “friend” on social media because of their political postings

But the results of the study, carried out by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, show the impulse to block varies widely based on gender and political leanings.

The study shows Democrats were almost three times more likely than Republicans (24% vs. 9%) to have unfriended someone after the election. A similar disparity turned up for self-identified liberals versus conservatives (28% vs. 8%). Meanwhile, only 9% of independents reportedly booted someone out of their online social circles because of politics.

The survey also identified “Democratic women” as the most likely of all groups to block someone on social media…

 

 

 

source: http://fortune.com/2016/12/19/social-media-election/

 

80 percent of mass shooters showed no interest in video games, researcher says

Another out of touch ignoramus trying to pin blame on make-believe video games. Can someone remind him cavemen were bashing each other’s skulls in with rocks well before anyone had a PlayStation.

 

 

11 March 2018

President Trump met with video game industry representatives Thursday, after saying last month violent video games may play a role in mass shootings. The president met with parents like Melissa Henson.

“The kind of messages and images that they are putting in their minds, I think they’re nightly dress rehearsals for huge acts of violence,” she said.

But psychologist Patrick Markey’s research shows 80 percent of mass shooters did not show an interest in violent video games.

“It seems like something that should make us safer so it’s a totally understandable reaction,” Markey said. “The problem is just the science, the data, does not back up that they actually have an effect.”

Other critics point to the appearance of specific weapons in video games, like a Remington assault rifle pictured in popular game “Call of Duty.” Images of the rifle come from a lawsuit by Sandy Hook parents, who are suing Remington, saying the company bears responsibility for the killings of the 26 children at the school by shooter Adam Lanza in 2012.

“He was within this younger male demographic that Remington was trying to sell guns to,” said attorney Josh Koskoff. “What we are seeing here is what I describe as a ‘chickens coming home to roost’ scenario, where you saturate, you sell so recklessly so many of these weapons to this high-risk demographic.”

We reached out to Remington but did not hear back. The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video game industry, said it told the president that “numerous scientific studies” show there is “no connection between video games and violence.”  In fact, Markey said his work shows when a new violent game is released, crime actually drops.

 

 

source/read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/80-percent-of-mass-shooters-showed-no-interest-in-video-games-researcher-says/

Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor: TSA put me through “demeaning” body search

6th march 2018

Holocaust survivor says she was a victim of a “very demeaning body search” by U.S. Transportation Security Administration agents after a visit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Eva Mozes Kor tweeted on Sunday in Albuquerque that she had to undergo the intrusive body search before boarding a plane and that it ruined her experience following a lecture.

The Indiana resident spoke with teachers from around New Mexico at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History on Saturday about suffering through inhumane scientific experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp as a 10-year-old.

It was unclear if the TSA search in question occurred at Albuquerque International Sunport.

TSA Regional Public Affairs Manager Carrie Harmon did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.

Kor has been telling her own story as a Holocaust survivor for most of her life.

But in a few weeks, a documentary film about her life will add another level of the public’s understanding of the energetic Terre Haute woman who learned to forgive her Nazi tormentors as part of her own self-healing.

“Eva” will premiere on April 5 in Indianapolis and on April 14 in Terre Haute.

It’s a documentary project produced by Ted Green Films, Mika Brown and Indianapolis PBS affiliate WFYI, and it captures the legacy of Kor as she has persisted in telling her story in her own effort to make the world a better place.

Kor lost her parents and siblings to the Holocaust after her Jewish family was removed from their home in Romania and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

She and her twin sister, Miriam, both of whom survived Auschwitz, were experimented upon by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, and they were orphans upon their liberation from the camp.

As an adult who married and moved to Terre Haute, Kor has shared her Holocaust story and became well-known for her activism and the establishment of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum (CANDLES stands for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors)

Now 84, Kor remains active as she travels the world, sharing her personal epiphany that forgiveness is the ultimate healing agent for one’s psychological and emotional wounds.

“I discovered the cure from victimhood,” Kor said as she talked about the upcoming release of the film and how her message of forgiveness has received both praise and criticism. “Should I keep that to myself?”

Kor stands only 4 feet, 9 inches tall, and she uses a walker. But her personality still seems giant as she enters a room.

“I’m level-headed but not afraid to take on a challenge,” Kor said as she explained her quick mind and steadfast determination to help others.

“I am never a worrier. I am a doer,” she said.

 

 

source/read more; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/holocaust-survivor-eva-mozes-kor-tsa-put-me-through-demeaning-body-search/