SPLASH! News For January 7, 2017

Dive Into The News Of The Day

Photo Credit: Kiran Opal


Two Men Storm Michigan Police Station

Fox NewsTwo men wearing body armor and carrying firearms and cameras were arrested Sunday at a Michigan police headquarters in a confrontation livestreamed on the internet.

Dearborn police said that one of the men wore a ski mask and they initially refused to drop the weapons.

James Baker, 24, of Leonard, and Brandon Vreeland, 40, of Jackson, face charges including breaching the peace and failure to cooperate with police. Both men were free on bond.

Vreeland tells the Detroit Free Press state law allows them to openly carry legally owned weapons. He said they “audit police to see how well they honor the Constitution and people’s rights.”

As Many As 13,000 Secretly Hanged in Syrian Jail, says Amnesty

The GuardianAs many as 13,000 opponents of Bashar al-Assad were secretly hanged in one of Syria’s most infamous prisons in the first five years of the country’s civil war as part of an extermination policy ordered by the highest levels of the Syrian government, according to Amnesty International.

Many thousands more people held in Saydnaya prison died through torture and starvation, Amnesty said, and the bodies were dumped in two mass graves on the outskirts of Damascus between midnight and dawn most Tuesday mornings for at least five years.

Trump’s First 100 Days

Washington Post – It might not be the Supreme Court, but when it comes to President Trump’s refugee ban, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit could prove just as powerful.

That is the court where lawyers for the Trump administration and parties challenging the travel ban will face off Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Eastern, presenting arguments for and against Trump’s executive order barring entry to the United States for refugees from around the world and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

A lower-court federal judge in Seattle put the ban on hold Friday. The Justice Department wants the policy enforced again immediately, arguing it is necessary for national security. Challengers, which include the states of Washington and Minnesota, a coalition of former national security officials and nearly 100 tech companies, view the ban as a discriminatory measure that will harm families and the economy without averting any real terrorist threat.

Israel Passes Controversial Law On West Bank Settlements

BBC – Under the legislation, the Palestinian landowners will be given financial compensation or alternative land. Palestinian officials denounced the law, saying it legalised land theft. Israel’s attorney-general has also said it is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it in the Supreme Court.

The legislation’s passage comes amid an escalation in settlement activity since the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. Emboldened by a new administration it sees as a more sympathetic, Israel’s government has advanced plans for thousands of new settler homes.

Sen. Kamala Harris Joins Democrats To Sink Devos Confirmation

L.A. TimesBetsy Devos lacks basic knowledge of American schools and should not be confirmed as secretary of Education, Sen. Kamala Harris said Monday night as Democrats made a last-ditch effort to sink DeVos’ nomination.

“Our country needs a secretary of Education who has demonstrated basic competency when it comes to issues facing children,” said Harris (D-Calif.), who previously served as California’s attorney general. “She cannot or will not uphold the law if she does not understand the law.”

After watching DeVos’ confirmation hearing, Harris said, “It was clear Ms. DeVos didn’t know the difference between two basic theories of testing.” Harris was referring to DeVos’ inability to answer questions at her confirmation hearing about the difference between measuring student proficiency and student growth — two competing methods of evaluating how much students are learning.

Why Poland Is Being Drawn To Its Wartime Foe

Bloomberg – As German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to discuss Europe’s future on a visit to Poland, she won an unlikely endorsement from her sometimes prickly eastern neighbor.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the governing Law & Justice party leader, in effect backed Merkel’s bid for a fourth term, saying he prefers her to Social Democrat candidate Martin Schulz, who said last year that Poland was turning into a democracy resembling Russia. “Frau Merkel would be best for us,” Kaczynski was cited as saying in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper to be published on Tuesday.

Relations cooled after a change of government in Warsaw 16 months ago led to a clash with the European Union over its control of the courts and media. Merkel was personally rebuffed last year when the Polish government refused to implement an EU agreement to accept refugees, despite her repeated pleas for a European solution to the biggest migration crisis since World War II.

Written by Pamela Getz

Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News For January 7, 2017