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August 22 2018


Water shortages weigh heavy on Afghanistan

The capital Kabul is already thirsty, and its population is set to grow by over a third in the next three decades.

Trump slams ESPN for not airing national anthem before NFL games

Pres. Trump took aim Tuesday at ESPN for not airing the national anthem, coming after months of attacks on the NFL and its players over protests. ......

Pakistan PM Imran Khan lifts censorship of state TV, radio: Minister

NEW DELHI: The Imran Khan government in Islamabad has ended censorship at state-run media outlets Pakistan TV (PTV) and Radio Pakistan and given them "complete editorial independence", said the country's new minister for information, Fawad Chaudhary, on his...

U.S. To 'Keep Pushing' For Iranian Exit From Syria In Talks With Russia

White House national-security adviser John Bolton says the United States will continue to push for full withdrawal of Iran's military from Syria in talks with Russia over the Syrian civil war.

Saudi Arabia Seeking Death Penalty Against Women's Rights Activist in Terrorism Court

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is reportedly seeking the death penalty against five human rights activists, including the first woman to possibly face the death penalty for rights-related work, from the Eastern Province who are on trial in a secretive terrorism court on Wednesday, according to The Globe and Mail. Israa al-Ghomgham is facing charges of incitement to protest and providing moral support to rioters. “Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Reuters. Saudi government...

Western Powers Warn Syria Not To Use Chemical Weapons Again

The United States, France, and Britain are warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons as he launches a campaign to retake the last remaining rebel-held province in Syria.

Russia Signs Military Cooperation Deal With Central African Republic

Russia signed a military cooperation agreement with the Central African Republic (CAR) on August 21, less than a month after three prominent Russian journalists were killed in the war-ridden country while investigating Russian mercenaries.

The Founding Fathers Really Wanted A National University

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Even before the Constitutional Convention in 1787, American leaders had tossed around the idea of a national university based in Washington, D.C. for years.

With the United States of America in its infancy, the new country needed a pipeline of future senators, future congressmen, future public servants of all kinds if the "Great American Experiment" of republican democracy was to survive.

American youth were regularly seeking the world's best educational opportunities abroad. It was both an indictment of the limited opportunities at home and worrisome for founders trying to maintain a sense of national pride.

Addressing Congress (pg. 273) in December 1796, President George Washington said, "In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important, and what duty more pressing on its legislature, than to patronize a plan for communicating (the science of government) to those who are to be the guardians of the future liberties of the country?"

President George Washington even left land on the Potomac River in his will for the national university, a dream that never materialized for various reasons.

But in this "Ask The Experts," Professor Justin Dyer notes state universities did get off the ground.

"And one of the principal reasons for the first public state universities was precisely this civic education mission," says Dyer, executive director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. "It was that in a regime like ours, we have to have educated citizens who are going to carry on the project in the next generation. ... It's something we really need to think about, 'How do we do this well?'"


Growing Legal Woes Facing Manafort, Cohen Fuel Trump Impeachment Concerns

Even though President Donald Trump didn't mention his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen during his West Virginia rally on Tuesday night, many Republicans couldn't ignore the growing legal troubles facing those close to Trump, according to CNN. Two courtroom decisions with eight convictions each created a chaotic afternoon as Republicans across Congress attempted to downplay the roles Cohen and Manafort played while Democrats raised concerns over Trump's own financial history and potential malfeasances in the 2016 presidential campaign. Former Trump adviser Michael Caputo said the Manafort verdict "isn't nearly as worrisome to me as the Cohen...

Facebook Deletes Political Misinformation Sites Linked To Iran, Russia

Facebook says it has removed 652 accounts and web pages linked to Russia and Iran for spreading political misinformation ahead of the November U.S. congressional elections.

Iran Vows To Boost Military, Parades New Jet To Deter U.S. 'Attack'

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has vowed to boost the nation's military while parading a new domestically built fighter jet in response to what he said is growing U.S. aggression toward Tehran.

Cohen pleads guilty and implicates Trump

Campaign finance claim from former lawyer comes as former aide Manafort is found guilty of fraud

Strongest Sea Ice In The Arctic Ocean Breaks Up For The First Time On Record

Some of the oldest, thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters just north of Greenland which are normally frozen throughout the hottest months of summer, according to a report from The South China Morning Post on Tuesday. The unique weather phenomenon has never been recorded before until this year when it was recorded twice due to warm winds and climate change driven heatwave striking the northern hemisphere in July. Thomas Laverge, a scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, called the issue "scary" on Twitter after tweeting an image of the blue water rising over the white ice along the Greenland coastline. Scientists said it could prompt a revision to...

California Congressman Indicted On Campaign Finance Charges

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U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted Tuesday on campaign finance violation charges. 

The indictment alleges the two used over $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. Federal prosecutors say the couple started misusing the money in 2009, the year Hunter entered Congress. 

The California Republican and his wife are accused of using those funds for multiple family vacations, dental work, movie tickets, school tuition and more.

Both are charged with five counts, including wire fraud and falsification of records. Hunter is currently running for re-election in southern California. 


A 7.3-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Venezuela

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Venezuela on Tuesday according to the United States Geological Survey. CNN reported their local reporters felt shaking for at least one minute and a seven-floor building where journalist Stefano Pozzebon was evacuated during the tremor. No damage and no tsunami warning were immediately reported. Venezuelan Interior Minister Néstor Luis Reverol called on Venezuelans to remain calm via his official Twitter account. Gerald Cabrera, a translator for a tour company in Güiria, near the epicenter of the earthquake, said the shaking lasted around a minute with three aftershocks after the initial quake. Cabrera, 34, said he was used to occasional...

Chief Al-Qaeda Bomb Maker Was Killed In Yemen Drone Strike, U.S. Reports

U.S. officials are reportedly confident that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's suspected chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, has been killed, BBC News reports. U.S. media cited sources as saying they believed the Saudi militant died in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year.Asiri is alleged to have been behind the 2009 underwear bomb plot and made devices found on cargo planes in 2010. Intelligence suggesting he was working on a bomb hidden in a laptop or tablet led the U.S. to ban them on some flights. A U.N. report published last week, which also said Asiri might have been killed, said his death would represent “a serious blow” to AQAP’s operational capability. A Yemeni tribal leader...

Hurricane Lane Poses Rare Threat to Hawaii

A rare hurricane is forecast to narrowly pass over Hawaii according to meteorologists on Tuesday who warned local residents their lives and property were at risk amid intense surf, flash flooding, mudslides, and Category 4-level winds, according to AccuWeather. Hurricane Lane could make a direct hit on one or more of the Hawaiian islands later this week or weekend, but the ultimate severity will depend on the track and strength of the storm system. AccuWeather's hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said even without a direct hit to Hawaii, "Lane has the potential of bringing the state of Hawaii serious and perhaps record damage." "All residents and interests on the islands should closely monitor...

August 21 2018

Prisoners Strike Nationwide, Citing Conditions Akin to ‘Modern-Day Slavery’

Debts catch up with consummate Washington insider

Paul Manafort worked his way up Republican ranks to Donald Trump’s inner circle

Inmates Organize Nationwide Protests Over Prison Conditions

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Inmates in several states just started a nationwide organized protest demanding better conditions and more rights.

Organized by advocacy group Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, the protest will reportedly include federal, state and immigration prisons as well as local jails. In a list of demands, the protesters called for improved prison conditions, better rehabilitation programs, and an end to  "racial overcharging" and "prison slavery."

The U.S. has the world's highest rate of incarceration, according to the nonprofit Prison Policy Institute. Inmates are often paid well below minimum wage, sometimes less than a dollar an hour

The protest will include work strikes, boycotts, hunger strikes and sit-ins. Organizers say it's in response to a deadly prison riot in South Carolina that left seven inmates dead. The protest is scheduled to last until Sept. 9. 

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