Browsing: US News

‘Catherine Austin Fitts just published documentation of Department of Defense (DOD) official audit reports from 1998 that acknowledge “losing track” of $6.5 trillion, along with Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) admission of “losing” over $100 billion. This is euphemistically termed “unaccounted,” and literally means that DOD agrees they received these funds, agrees the funds are gone, and then claims to not have records of where the money went…

…I wrote last year upon publication of DOD’s report. Of course, such “official” looting never happens with lawful accounting because records always show where the money goes. This would be like your bank agreeing they received a $65,000 deposit from you, agreeing the money was gone, and not refunding your account while claiming no further information of this “unaccountable,” “lost,” and “missing” money.

The most common historical explanation of governments “losing” money is, of course, embezzlement to enrich an oligarchy.’

Read more: Pentagon Looses Track of $6.5 Trillion Embezzled ‘Unaccounted Funds’ at Expense of US Tax Payers

‘Hawaii is the first state to prepare the public for the possibility of a ballistic missile strike from North Korea.

The state’s Emergency Management Agency on Friday announced a public education campaign about what to do. Hawaii legislators have been urging emergency management officials to update Cold War-era plans for coping with a nuclear attack as North Korea develops nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that can reach the islands.

Starting in November, Hawaii will begin monthly tests of an “attack-warning” siren the state hasn’t heard since the end of the Cold War in the 1980s.

The wailing siren will be tested on the first working day of each month, after a test of an “attention-alert” steady tone siren with which residents are already familiar.

Informational brochures, along with TV, radio and internet announcements will help educate the public about the new siren sound and provide preparedness guidance.’

Read more: Hawaii prepares for ballistic missile threat from North Korea

‘Sean Spicer has resigned as White House Press Secretary, capping a tumultuous tenure in the White House where he took heat for his sometimes clumsy attempts to defend President Trump as he improvised his way through his first months in office.

He is being succeeded by his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and gave notice on a day President Trump offered telegenic New York financier Anthony Scaramucci the job of communications director with plans to make him the face of his White House defense.

On a topsy-turvy day, Scaramucci stunned reporters by showing up at a televised press briefing, taking question after question from reporters where he flattered his boss, avoided factual misstatements, and cracked jokes about making money and ‘getting the hook.’

President Trump thanked Spicer in a statement at a televised press briefing Friday.’

Read more: I’m free! Relieved-looking Spicer waves goodbye to the White House after shock resignation in protest over Trump’s appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as Communications Director  

‘Verizon wireless customers have noticed their video streaming being throttled when testing their speeds on Netflix and YouTube. The telecom giant later confirmed that video streaming speeds were being temporarily capped.

In a statement provided to Ars Technica, Verizon claimed users were experiencing lower speeds due to a temporary test they were conducting on a new video optimization system.

“We’ve been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network,” a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. “The testing should be completed shortly.”

Customers who tested their data speeds on fast.com, which runs from Netflix’s servers, found Verizon’s LTE network was capped at around 10 Mbps.’

Read more: Verizon admits to throttling video in violation of net neutrality rules

‘Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council met with protests before she’d even arrived in Denver. But teachers and activists aren’t the only ones objecting to the extreme, anti-public education agenda DeVos shares with ALEC. One of the great questions of our time is just how far to the fringe the right wing of the Republican Party can march before the business-minded set steps in and yanks the chain. ALEC’s education platform is providing a real-time test case.

Virtually everything you need to know about ALEC’s education priorities is captured in the group’s most recent Report Card on American Education. Here, “forward-thinking” states like Arizona reign supreme thanks to a ranking system that prizes freedom from the education monopoly above all. Arizona’s high school graduation rate may be a full 25 percent lower than my own adopted home state of Massachusetts (languishing at #32 on the ALEC scale), but at least students aren’t choked by burdensome homeschooling regulations.’

Read more: Deeply Unpopular, DeVos and ALEC in Lockstep in Trying to Destroy Public Education

‘An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the US-backed framework of international order established after World War II is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing,” leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.

The solution proposed to protect US power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism.

The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which US power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling.

Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence,” the US now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority.”’

Read more: Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

‘US lawmakers in Congress have introduced legislation seeking to increase sanctions on the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah.

The Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced the bill on Thursday over accusations that the resistance movement is involved in violence in Syria and has transferred rockets along the Syrian border.

The measure, an amendment to an existing sanctions law on the anti-Israeli group, seeks to further restrict Hezbollah’s ability to recruit and fundraise.

The bill also seeks to increase pressure on foreign banks that do business with Hezbollah, and put pressure on countries that support it, including Iran.

Officials in Lebanon say the US efforts to expand sanctions would damage the Arab country’s important banking industry.’

Read more: US lawmakers introduce new sanctions against Hezbollah

‘A former pastor has been sentenced to eight weekends in jail for jury tampering after distributing pamphlets on a sidewalk in front of a Michigan courthouse. The man argued he was exercising his free speech rights while advocating for jury nullification.

On Friday, District Judge Kimberly Booher ordered Keith Wood to serve eight weekends in jail, six months of probation and pay fines, according to WMXI.

The prosecution asked the judge to sentence Wood to 45 days in jail, but defense attorneys argued that was inappropriate since Wood has no prior criminal record, is self-employed and he is the only financial supporter for his wife and eight children.

Booher agreed to a shortened sentence, but said it would be inappropriate for him not to serve jail time. “He’s going straight to jail today,” Booher said, according to WMXI.’

Read more: Michigan man gets jail time for distributing jury nullification flyers outside courthouse

‘The administration of US President Donald Trump has stopped making military reimbursements to Pakistan over what it calls Islamabad’s lack of action in addressing threats posed by terror groups such as the Haqqani network.

The Pentagon revealed the decision on Friday, shortly after US Defense Secretary James Mattis informed Congress that he was not sure whether Pakistan was up to the job.

“The funds could not be released to the Government of Pakistan at this time because the secretary could not certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient action against the Haqqani Network per the requirement in the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act,” Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, told Reuters.

This means that the $350 million left of the Coalition Support Funds (CSF) has been moved to other accounts, according to Stump.’

Read more: ‘US stops Pakistan military reimbursements over terror charges’

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