Sunday, May 24, 2015

Senate to Try Again After Bill on N.S.A. Collection of Phone Records Is Blocked

WASHINGTON — After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records.
 
With the death of that measure — passed overwhelmingly in the House this month — senators scrambled but failed to pass a short-term measure to keep the program from going dark when it expires June 1. The disarray in Congress appeared to significantly increase the chances that the government will lose systematic access to newly created calling records by Americans, at least temporarily, after June 1.
 
“This is a high-threat period,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, who was stymied in his efforts to extend the program even for a few days by the junior senator for his state, Rand Paul.
 
More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/us/politics/senate-nsa-surveillance.html
 
 

NSA Winds Down Phone-Records Collection Program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month.

Barring an 11th hour compromise when the Senate returns to session May 31, a much-debated provision of the Patriot Act — and some other lesser known surveillance tools — will sunset at midnight that day. The change also would have a major impact on the FBI, which uses the Patriot Act and the other provisions to gather records in investigations of suspected spies and terrorists.

More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/23/nsa-phone-records_n_7429392.html

Report Shows Massive Lack Of Medical Treatment For Illinois Prisoners

Unqualified staff and inadequate care have contributed to some 60 percent of non-violent deaths in Illinois prisons, according to a new report released Wednesday.
Cases reviewed by medical experts and lawyers representing the Illinois Department of Correction (IDOC) show a broad range of problems with treatment of inmates in the state’s prison system, including unsanitary conditions, a lack of leadership and lapses in care that even lead to deaths.

Dixon Correctional Center (DCC), which houses male inmates with special needs, including those with developmental disabilities and mobility impairments, and geriatric patients, was missing a Health Care Unit Administrator and a Director of Nursing, according to the report. Its Medical Director was a “traveling” director from a private company contracted by the IDOC. The company, called Wexford, has faced its own criticism for providing inadequate health care.

The report also charges that records were not adequately maintained, containing “excessive amounts of outdated information,” and Medical Administration Records, necessary to monitor patients medication compliance, were often missing. Approximately 70 percent of the 2,349 inmates at DCC are on medication.

More:  http://chicagoist.com/2015/05/22/report_shows_massive_lack_of_medica.php

Documents Detail US Complicity in Operation Condor Terror Campaign

Orlando Letelier was driving to work on the morning of September 21, 1976. When he turned into Washington, DC's Sheridan Circle, a bomb suddenly exploded, propelling his car into the air. Twenty minutes later, Letelier - a former minister and ambassador to the United States in the democratically elected socialist government of Chilean President Salvador Allende, which was violently overthrown in 1973 in a US-backed coup - died. His assistant Ronni Moffitt, a 25-year-old newlywed whose husband was in the backseat, drowned in her own blood less than an hour later.

The car bomb had been planted by the DINA, the secret police under far-right, US-backed Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Among those convicted for the murder were Michael Townley, a CIA agent and professional assassin, and Chilean Gen. Manuel Contreras, former head of the DINA. Townley served just over five years in prison and was then released under the aegis of the US federal witness protection program.

Less than a year before the bombing, Contreras had called a meeting that would forever change the political landscape of Latin America, leading to many more assassination missions.

More:  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30840-documents-detail-us-complicity-in-operation-condor-terror-campaign

Edward Snowden: NSA reform in the US is only the beginning

Edward Snowden has hailed landmark shifts in Congress and the US courts on NSA surveillance but cautioned that much more needs to be done to restore the balance in favour of privacy.

He also warned this was only the beginning of reform of the NSA, saying there are still many bulk collection programmes which are “even more intrusive”, but expressed hope that the Senate would act to curb the NSA, saying retention of the status quo is untenable.

In an hour-long interview with the Guardian in Moscow, the NSA whistleblower said the moves by the federal court and the House of Representatives marked the first time since the 1970s there had been a reduction rather than expansion in the powers of the surveillance agencies.

“In our modern era, that is without precedent,” he said.

More:  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/22/edward-snowden-nsa-reform



http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/may/22/snowden-monitor-everyone-understand-nothing-video



Obama Takes Unexpected Setback On Trade Agenda As Fast Track Passes Senate

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's trade agenda suffered a setback Friday evening during a series of last-minute maneuvers in the Senate. While the upper chamber eventually passed a bill that would help Obama streamline a trade pact with 11 Pacific nations, the final product threw a wrench into the president's plans.

The Senate approved a bill to "fast-track" trade agreements negotiated by the president. The agreement will prevent Congress from amending or filibustering Obama's controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. The TPP deal would have a hard time surviving without fast-track authority.

But a key crackdown on human trafficking survived the legislative jujitsu. The White House considers the provision a deal-breaker, as it would force one of the nations involved in the TPP talks -- Malaysia -- out of the agreement. An immigration-related amendment authored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) never got a vote, making it far more difficult for Obama to win over skeptical tea party Republicans in the House.

More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/22/senate-passes-fast-track_n_7425614.html

Saturday, May 23, 2015

LEONARD PELTIER DAY 2015: 39 YEARS Of SUFFERING

"LEONARD PELTIER DAY 2015
39 YEARS Of SUFFERING!"
JUNE 25 & 26 2015
Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/q2nhvk


In conjunction with the Oglala Commemoration, AIM Grassroots and LPDOC Grassroots will be hosting the Freedom Run and Leonard Peltier Day Wakanyeja Wacipi.

June 26, 2015 this will be the time for PRAYER and UNITY to promote EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY for PELTIER!

We invite all Leonard Peltier Support Groups, individuals, family and friends to attend these important events and meeting. We will be discussing a new phase in Leonard’s struggle for freedom and the path to Clemency.

OPEN MEETING JUNE 25,1:00 pm
Bro Rene Hall Oglala, SD
Speakers Edgar Bear Runner, Chauncey Peltier, SD rep Kevin Killer, More to be announced.

THE RUN FOR FREEDOM
9:00am Morning prayer at Camp Justice, then the runners will begin the RUN for FREEDOM Whiteclay to Little's Family Cemetery

PRAYER CIRCLE
Noon

WALK FOR JUSTICE
Walk to the Jumping Bull Property

JUMPING BULL GATHERING
Greetings, Prayers, Guest Speakers, and History. Give-away.

COMMUNITY FEAST
Brother Rene Hall 4:00 pm

LEONARD PELTIER DAY WAKANYEJA WACIPI
Grand Entry starting at 6pm
Honorings and specials to be announced.

Host Hotel : Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel.
Special Rates coming soon.
1-800-705-WIND

 

Driving While Indian: A Refresher Course

...The public debate over police violence against unarmed black men has reminded me of the same police treatment of Native men and the palpable lack of public concern. The August 2014 report by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice notes that the racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans. It's painful to consider and not much fun to write about, but I must. Like so many frail humans, I try to ignore pain until it touches me personally.

"Driving while Indian" isn't a skill I want to know, nor is it something I want to pass along to my children. I would prefer to loll comfortably in racial anonymity here in my home in Southern Ohio, where race is primarily about black and white.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/18/driving-while-indian-refresher-course


Disrobing Junipero Serra: Saint or Monster?

On May 30, the public is welcome to attend a discussion on the Sainthood of Junipero Serra and the real history of California missions hosted by the Barbareño Chumash Tribal ’Iyalmuwič Council and The American Indian Movement of Southern California.

The two organizations have brought together some of the Native community’s most notable academics and leaders to lead two panels at The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara at 1535 Santa Barbara St., in Santa Barbara, California.


More: 
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/22/disrobing-junipero-serra-saint-or-monster-160353

The Hopi Tribe Gains Support of Arizona Congressional Delegation to Halt Sale of Sacred Items by Paris Auction House

Herman G. Honanie, chairman of the Hopi Tribe, will be joined by U.S. Representatives Paul A. Gosar (Arizona – 04) and David Schweikert (Arizona – 06) and others this coming Wednesday, May 27, 2015 to call on the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and other federal agencies to take all immediate actions necessary to halt the Auction House EVE from conducting a scheduled auction of Hopi sacred items, known as “Katsina Friends” on June 1 in Paris, France.

More:  http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/the-hopi-tribe-gains-support-of-arizona-congressional-delegation-to-halt-sale-of-sacred-items-by-paris-auction-house/