The Breakfast Club (Piano Man)

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.

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This Day in History

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer gets life in prison; House lawmakers pick a president; Garry Kasparov beats IBM’s Deep Blue at chess; NBA star Michael Jordan born; The Eagles release their greatest hits.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

You can jail a Revolutionary, but you can’t jail the Revolution.

Huey Newton

Breakfast News

Taiwan: China has deployed missiles on South China Sea island

China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on an island in the Paracel chain in the South China Sea, the Taiwan government told CNN.

A statement released by the Taiwanese Defense Ministry says that it has first-hand intelligence that confirms the existence of missile batteries in the region, which is hotly disputed by China and its neighbors.

“The Taiwanese Defense Ministry has learned of China’s deployment of surface-to-air missiles on the Woody Island in the Paracel Islands. The Republic of China military is closely monitoring further development of the situation,” a statement from Taipei reads.

Apple ordered to aid FBI in unlocking California shooter’s phone

A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered Apple Inc to help the FBI break into a phone recovered from one of the San Bernardino shooters, an order that heightens a long-running dispute between tech companies and law enforcement over the limits of encryption.

Apple must provide “reasonable technical assistance” to investigators seeking to unlock the data on an iPhone 5C that had been owned by Syed Rizwan Farook, Judge Sheri Pym of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said in a ruling.

That assistance includes disabling the phone’s auto-erase function, which activates after 10 consecutive unsuccessful passcode attempts and assisting investigators to submit passcode guesses electronically.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has five business days to contest the order if it believes compliance would be “unreasonably burdensome,” Pym said.

U.N. envoy wins Syria government green light for aid convoys – U.N.

The Syrian government has approved access to seven besieged areas and U.N. convoys are expected to set off in days, the United Nations said on Tuesday after crisis talks in Damascus.

U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who won the green light at talks with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, said the world body would test the government commitment to allow access on Wednesday but gave no details.

Their meeting in Damascus came at a time when government forces have been advancing rapidly with the aid of Russian air strikes, and just days before an internationally agreed pause in fighting is due to take effect.

De Mistura said they had discussed the issue of humanitarian access to areas besieged by all sides in the five-year war.

Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy Must Stay Behind Bars in Oregon, Federal Judge Rules

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy must stay behind bars, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, calling him a danger to the community after he arrived in Oregon to support the armed occupation of a national wildlife preserve led by his sons.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart also said Bundy should not be released ahead of trial because there is a risk he won’t show up for future court dates. Federal prosecutors called the 69-year-old “lawless and violent” in a document filed before the hearing, an assertion his attorney and family denied.

“If he is released and he goes back to his ranch, that is likely the last the government will see of him,” Stewart said.

Student debt protests planned after armed marshals arrest man for old loans

Seven US marshals armed with automatic weapons turned up at Paul Aker’s home in Houston, Texas, last week to arrest him over a $1,500 student loan debt dating back to 1987.

“It was totally mind-boggling,” Aker said. “I was wondering, why are you here? I am home, I haven’t done anything … Why are the marshals knocking on my door? It’s amazing.”

Aker said he was arrested, shackled and taken to federal court. “I was told: ‘You owe $1,500.’ I just couldn’t believe it,” he told Fox 26. “I was taken before a judge surrounded by seven marshals.”

Texas representative Gene Green, a Democrat, said it was unacceptable that US marshals are being used to collect decades old student loans. “There’s bound to be a better way to collect on a student loan debt that is so old,” he told the station.

Aker is unlikely to be the only person to be surprised by marshals collecting on student loans. A source at the marshal’s office told Fox 26 that it is planning to serve warrants on 1,200 to 1,500 people over student loan debts.

El Niño is causing global food crisis, UN warns

Severe droughts and floods triggered by one of the strongest El Niño weather events ever recorded have left nearly 100 million people in southern Africa, Asia and Latin America facing food and water shortages and vulnerable to diseases including Zika, UN bodies, international aid agencies and governments have said.

New figures from the UN’s World Food Programme say 40 million people in rural areas and 9 million in urban centres who live in the drought-affected parts of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and Swaziland will need food assistance in the next year.

In addition, 10 million people are said by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) to need food in Ethiopia (pdf), and 2.8 million need assistance in Guatemala and Honduras.

Millions more people in Asia and the Pacific regions have already been affected by heatwaves, water shortages and forest fires since El Niño conditions started in mid-2015, says Ocha in a new briefing paper, which forecasts that harvests will continue to be affected worldwide throughout 2016.

Breakfast Blogs

No, A Judge Did Not Just Order Apple To Break Encryption On San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone, But To Create A New Backdoor Mike Masnick, Techdirt

Let’s Dispel With This Fiction That President Obama Is a Lame Duck Charles Pierce, Esquire Politics

Thomas Piketty On the Democratic Primary Ed Walker, emptywheel

Two Former U.S. Presidents Simultaneously Advocate for a Close Family Member as the Next U.S. President Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

New Cold War Declared Dan Wright, ShadowProof