Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
This Day in History
President John F. Kennedy laid to rest at Arlington; New details emerge about Iran-Contra affair; British forces leave New York; Elian Gonzalez rescued off Florida coast; Baseball’s Joe DiMaggio born.
There are some things that are predictable, this was one. The blame lies at the feet of the Ferguson Police Department, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Eric Holder.
The police officer who shot dead an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, leading to weeks of unrest and reviving a national debate about law enforcement and race in America, will not face state criminal charges, it was announced on Monday.
A grand jury in St Louis County declined to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown on 9 August, following an altercation after the officer stopped him and a friend for jaywalking. Wilson is also under investigation by federal authorities, which could bring civil rights charges.
There were multiple reports of looting in Ferguson after the announcement by St Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch, and windows were broken at shops near the Ferguson police department.
When his criticism of US strategy in Syria leaked last month, the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, said it was important he remained “honest and direct” in his advice to the National Security Council. The long-winded but brutal response he received from the White House on Monday seems to have been anything but that.
It was clear, at least, that Hagel was being sacked, but it was death by platitude: a showering of public praise designed to make it as hard as possible for outsiders to discern precisely what he had done wrong. [..]
But behind the scenes, senior administration officials did nothing to counter rumours of a more troubling explanation. Hagel was forced out because his job of winding down US military engagement in the Middle East was rapidly becoming one of winding it back up again.
The U.S. government’s so-called “pinpoint” drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen are, in fact, leaving wide perimeters of death, as people on the Kill List are targeted-and even reported dead-again and again, according to a report published Monday by the UK-based charity Reprieve.
While drone attacks and their victims are kept secret by the U.S. military and government, Reprieve compiled public information available, most of it from media reports and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, to determine who actually died when the U.S. went after individuals in Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014.
The study examines the cases of 41 people included on a Kill List-a classified U.S. assassination program personally approved by President Obama with no judicial or public oversight. According to the report’s findings, up to 1,147 unnamed people were killed in pursuit of these 41 known individuals.
Furthermore, each of these 41 men was reported killed multiple times.
The soon-to-be-released Senate inquiry into CIA torture has failed to investigate the experience of those who felt that treatment first hand: Guantanamo’s highest level detainees, according to Monday reporting by the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, who spoke with attorneys for the imprisoned men.
“If you’re conducting a genuine inquiry of a program that tortured people, don’t you begin by talking to the people who were tortured?” David Nevin, who represents accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, told Ackerman. According to Nevin, his client along with accused al-Qaeda members Walid bin Attash, Abu Zubaydah, and suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were never approached by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), led by committee chairwoman Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), which is conducting the investigation on the CIA’s abusive interrogation practices.
“Even very ambitious mitigation” can’t change the fact that the world has already “locked in” mid-century warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial times, a new report from the World Bank Group finds.
This warming brings increased threats to food and water security and jeopardizes poverty-reduction efforts, the study states.
It “confirms what scientists have been saying-past emissions have set an unavoidable course to warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people the most,” stated Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.
Titled Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal (pdf), the report looks at how the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa will be impacted by more frequent weather extremes including heatwaves and drought. These extremes will be the “new climate normal,” the report states.
Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme have been extended until the end of June next year in the hope that the broad outlines of a deal can be agreed within three months.
The extension was announced on Monday after nine months of negotiations culminated in a week of talks in Vienna that failed to close gaps between Iran and a six-nation negotiating group over the scale of a future Iranian nuclear programme and the speed with which international sanctions would be lifted. [..]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also sounded an upbeat note. “During the talks in Vienna many gaps were narrowed and our positions with the other side got closer,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by Iranian state television.
Talks will resume next month to try to consolidate progress made in the Austrian capital and to continue the search for ways to bridge the remaining differences.
An overwhelming majority of Internet users around the world-83 percent-believe that affordable access to the Internet should be considered a human right.
That was among the findings of a survey by the think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos. The results were presented Monday in Ottawa, where the Global Commission on Internet Governance, an initiative by CIGI and Chatham House, is holding a two-day meeting. [..]
The survey findings echo a 2011 United Nations report (pdf) which declared that access to the Internet is a human right, a view also shared by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee.
Among the other findings of the CIGI survey are that nearly two-thirds of respondents-who hail from countries including China, Pakistan, Tunisia and the United States-are more concerned today about online privacy than they were compared to a year ago, and 62 percent of users expressed concerns of government agencies from other countries spying on their digital activity.
The survey also found that sixty-four percent of respondents are concerned about governments censoring the Internet.
The Americas are experiencing an epidemic that has been largely ignored by the rest of the world as it focuses on west Africa’s Ebola outbreak.
The debilitating mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has infected almost one million people since it first emerged in South America and the Caribbean less than a year ago. The virus has rapidly spread across the Americas, causing huge pressure on health services in some of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.
The Dominican Republic, the most popular Caribbean island for tourists last year with 4.7 million visitors, has recorded 500,000 cases. A third of the population lives on 80 pence ($1.25) a day. Central America has also been affected, with 123,000 cases in El Salvador.
Must Read Blog Posts
Dead Of Night: The Ferguson Decision Charles P. Pierce, Esquire’s Politics Blog
Ferguson Police Arrest Yet Another Journalist, Ignoring Direct Court Orders Mike Masnick, Techdirt
For CNN, Michael Smerconish Helps Police Create Propaganda Against Ferguson Protesters Kevin Gosztola, FDL The Dissenter
Federal Reserve Facing Scrutiny After Corruption Scandals DSWright, FDL News Desk
Americans’ Weird Belief Their Country Is Becoming a Lawless Hellscape Jon Walker, FDL Action
Another Iraq Failure by Petraeus: Graft-Ridden Military Jim White, emptywheel
U.S. Among Only 3 Countries at U.N. Officially Backing Nazism and Holocaust-Denial Eric Zuesse, The Smirking Chimp
Something to Think about over
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
No Justice. No Peace.