NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SLAMS POLICE TACTICS FOLLOWING ARRESTS OF DEMONSTRATORS

Berkeley, CA (PT) – The recently appointed executive director of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco chapter has spoken out against what has been described as the deliberate targeting of ‘anti-fascist protesters’ by Police, in an interview with the Guardian newspaper following disturbances in Berkeley, California, the weekend before last. The criticism came after photographs and other personal details of those arrested were posted on Twitter by members of the local Police Department. Image Source: Berkeley PD Public Domain Critics of the demonstrators on the now largely discredited Blue Lives Matter website, which recently…

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Contract Suggests ICE Is Bugging Phones From The Air

US (PT) – A wave of unease has blanketed America’s immigrant communities since President Donald Trump took office. Videos of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, often in plain clothes and in unmarked cars, detaining suspected immigrants now seem commonplace. Few, however, question how exactly ICE is locating those targets. A look into an extensive database of contracts awarded by the agency might offer some clues. It was shared with Pontiac Tribune by colleges in the independent media community. Dozens of companies are listed in the logs, including the private prison…

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HOW TO TURN BACK A GIANT

Lancaster, PA (OW) – What’s the best way to push profit-seeking corporations out of the public sphere? Don’t let them take over in the first place. Residents of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania were thrilled to learn this lesson with their recent victory against Geo Group, a giant of the private prison industry. Geo turned into a household name for profiting off the youth and family detention centers that have become hallmarks of President Donald Trump’s inhumane immigration policies. But the company’s shady practices go way back. Geo Group has misspent millions in federal…

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289Mln to Dying Man for Causing Cancer

California (Sputnik) –  A Californian jury has ordered Monsanto to pay close to $290 million to a dying man who said the chemical giant’s weedkiller gave him cancer, local media reported, citing the ruling. The jury deliberated for three days before concluding that the firm had failed to warn its clients about cancer risks associated with the product’s main ingredient, glyphosate, USA Today reported. Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos said in court Monsanto, which was acquired in June by German pharma giant Bayer, “acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.” The 46-year-old plaintiff, DeWayne Johnson,…

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DOCUMENTS RELATING TO POLICE SURVEILLANCE OF ACTIVISTS MADE PUBLIC AFTER ACLU LAWSUIT

Memphis, TN (PT) –  The American Civil Liberties Union is back in the news again this week following the successful outcome of yet another lawsuit, this time filed by the ACLU of Tennessee, which was to result in the release into the public domain of a substantial trove of legal documents. The case, brought against the City of Memphis, was based on a consent decree, ‘an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties without admission of guilt’, dating from 1978, which lawyers, acting on behalf of the…

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Cannabis Use Can No Longer Be Punished in Georgia, Court Rules

Georgia (TD) – Georgia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that all punishments for cannabis consumption, including fines, be immediately abolished. The court’s ruling – which took place on July 30 – was effective immediately, meaning it is now the law. The only exception to this, according to the Court, is if the cannabis consumption is perceived to cause direct harm to a third party. The Court stated that cannabis use could still be punished if “it is conducted in institutions, in some public places, for example in public transport, in the presence of…

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Revenge Assault on Pregnant Woman may lead to Jail for ousted Miami Beach Cop

Miami Beach, FL (PT) – A former North Miami Beach police officer could face up to fifteen years in prison following a vicious assault on a pregnant woman who gave birth prematurely within minutes of arriving at a nearby hospital. The incident took place last Wednesday evening after a seemingly unprovoked attack ended with the woman being kicked in the stomach. According to the former Police officer, Ambar Pachero, the assault had happened in the immediate aftermath of the victim’s partner, Joseph Predelus Jr., punching her sister, Mikaela, in the…

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California Wildfires Force Citywide Evacuations

Redding, CA (Sputnik) – Driven by extreme winds, a deadly wildfire in California described by local firefighters as a ‘monster’ rapidly expanded in size by two-thirds overnight, sending an urban population into a panicked evacuation. The city of Redding, California (population 90,000), saw almost half of its residents evacuated as high winds whipped the deadly Carr Fire across a 125-sq-mile area. Image Source: FB Cal Fire Some 3400 firefighters supported by 17 helicopters are currently battling the blaze which has killed two, including one firefighter and a bulldozer operator. An estimated nine people — including a woman…

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The “Terrible” Consequences of Chicago’s Ticketing Policies

Chicago, IL (ProPublica) – On Thursday, in partnership with WBEZ, we published the latest in our series of investigations into Chicago’s ticketing practices, pinpointing how the city raised the cost of city vehicle sticker tickets as a way to bring in millions of dollars in revenue. That extra revenue didn’t materialize. Instead, the increase in ticket cost disproportionately impacted black Chicagoans, helping force some black motorists into substantial debt, to lose their licenses, lose their cars and even declare bankruptcy. Melissa Sanchez and WBEZ reporter Elliott Ramos talked about this story on WBEZ and WVON…

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Baltimore Police Department Under Scrutiny over ‘Excessive Overtime Spending’

Baltimore, MD (PT) – In recent days the Baltimore Police Department has come under sustained criticism for what its critics view as excessive expenditure on overtime, according to a groundbreaking report by Baltimore based TRNN Journalist Stephen Janis, broadcast on Thursday. For some considerable time now the BPD has been justifying the allocation of tens of millions of dollars in public expenditure on overtime payments, due to what it claims is a shortage of Patrol Officers. The principal bone of contention, according to this report, is that with one in every…

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