Today’s news tip: Just because somebody says something on a TV show, that doesn’t make it news.
… and… if a Chinese space station crashes into the ocean, and nobody’s there to witness it, does it make a splashing sound?
The Battle to Restore Democracy
Arizona lawmakers block cities from identifying “dark money”
— The Arizona Legislature passed a bill to protect anonymous political spending on Thursday, less than a month after Tempe, Arizona residents voted overwhelmingly to increase transparency. The battle between city and state opens a new front in the national debate over “dark money” in politics; it’s also the first time a state has banned local governments from shining light on secret spending.
China hammers U.S. goods with tariffs as ‘sparks’ of trade war fly
— China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a spat between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.
Big Brother in China has eyes even on the crosswalks
— Residents of Shenzhen don’t dare jaywalk.
— Since April 2017, this city in China’s Guangdong province has deployed a rather intense technique to deter jaywalking. Anyone who crosses against the light will find their face, name, and part of their government ID number displayed on a large LED screen above the intersection, thanks to facial recognition devices all over the city.
Teachers walk out in Kentucky, Oklahoma
— The red-state teachers rebellion that started in West Virginia continues to grow, with teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma walking out on Monday after the Kentucky teachers shut down schools in nearly two dozen counties on Friday. In Oklahoma, dozens of school districts have announced closures for Monday, and many Kentucky schools are closed as well.
Court rules Iowa man can make a stink about the stink
Courthouse News Service
First Amendment vs. a smelly city and small-minded politicos — who wasted $27,000 taxpayer dollars.
— Josh Harms put up his website after becoming fed up with the odors emanating from the plant near downtown Sibley, which he likened to “horrible rotten blood and stale beer” and said “you can’t escape the stench no matter where you are in town,” according to the lawsuit.
— After losing in court, the city of Sibley agreed to provide training on the First Amendment to its staff, issue a written apology to Harms, and pay $20,475 in attorney fees and $6,500 in damages.
Iowa’s problem? Too many jobs, not enough workers
Wall Street Journal
MASON CITY, Iowa—Manufacturers in northern Iowa are begging Terry Schumaker for freshly trained workers for their factories. The problem is he doesn’t have enough students to train.
— “It’s not like we have the people beating down our door to apply,” said Mr. Schumaker, a dean at the North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City.
— It is a problem playing out in many parts of the Midwest. Employers, especially in more rural areas, are finding that there are just too few workers.
— Mr. Schumaker said Iowa has plenty of free programs to train workers. And Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is poised to sign Tuesday legislation that would provide an estimated $18 million for worker-training programs. But shrinking high-school classes leave fewer potential trainees. Other states, including Indiana and Wisconsin, are undertaking similar moves.
Guaranteed job for all Americans,
a notion catching on among politicians
— In the last week alone, rumored 2020 hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told The Nation that “guaranteed jobs programs, creating floors for wages and benefits, and expanding the right to collectively bargain are exactly the type of roles that government must take to shift power back to workers and our communities.”
— And Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., another presumed 2020 aspirant, has begun looking closely at this issue, a source close to her told The Intercept. Senate aides have begun interoffice meetings to grapple with how to draft a workable bill, aides in two separate offices told The Intercept.
US Senate barely bothers to hold a vote anymore
> “There’s a lot of weeks I’m not sure why I show up.”
— Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
> “I think it sucks.”
–Sen. John Kennedy, (R-La.)
London’s now just about as murderous at New York City
> “London’s violent traits have become a virus.”
— London police official Leroy Logan
NY taxi drivers in despair as Uber, Lyft suck up their rides
Voice of America
— Upon learning that New York taxicab veteran Nicanor Ochisor had hanged himself in his garage, Nigerian-native driver Emanuel Agbai was hardly at a loss for words.
— “I’m even surprised that there are no more drivers committing suicide or going on some sort of rampage at this time,” Agbai told VOA. “This business has been so destroyed.”
Florida cities challenge state over gun laws
— In Florida, only the state is allowed to regulate firearms. Local government officials who ignore that law — posting signs prohibiting guns in city parks, for example — face stiff penalties. They include removal from office, a $5,000 fine officials must pay from their personal funds and lawsuits from any person or group affected.
— Two weeks after the Parkland shooting, Raul Valdes-Fauli, the mayor of Miami suburb Coral Gables, proposed a law that would ban the sale of high velocity semiautomatic rifles. Valdes-Fauli said he was prepared for the state-mandated penalties.
— “Our legislature is cowardly,” Valdes-Fauli said. “They are sold to the NRA.”
>>> Lifelong gun owner decries culture of paranoia
Raw Story summary, originally in NY Times
— “Fear is the factor no one wants to address — fear of criminals, fear of terrorists, fear of the government’s turning tyrannical and, perhaps more than anything else, fear of one another.”
>>> New York State to ban domestic abusers from owning guns
NY Daily News
Veteran’s daughter faces deportation,
so whole family may move to Korea
Stars & Stripes
— It’s a complicated case. But all of immigration law is that way — far too complicated, said the Scheibers’ attorney, Rekha Sharma-Crawford.
— If a decorated soldier with 27 years of service — including military intelligence — can get lost in the tangle of immigration rules, “how is the average guy supposed to get it?” asked Sharma-Crawford.
(Photo: Retired Army Lt. Col. Patrick Schreiber is hoping his family — adopted daughter Hyebin and wife Soo Jin Schreiber — can stay in the US.)
Malaysia outlaws ‘fake news’; sets jail of up to six years
— Malaysia on Monday approved a law against “fake news” that would allow for prison of up to six years for offenders, shrugging off critics who say it was aimed at curbing dissent and free speech ahead of a general election.
WARNING! TRUMP STORIES BELOW
Trump invites Putin to White House
Trump (My God! Trump!) proposes remedy for sexual assault
Besides the shameless hypocrisy, the White House cannot spell assault. Not even with the help of a spell checker. Think of it.
— Trump who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women and who was once caught on tape bragging about grabbing women “by the pussy,” announced Friday that April would be “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.”
— In a typo-riddled White House statement, Trump pledged to raise awareness of sexual assault and to hold offenders accountable, since “these heinous crimes are committed indiscriminately.”
“We must not be afraid to talk about sexual assualt [sic] and sexual assult [sic] prevention with our loved ones, in our communities, and with those who have experienced these tragedies,” he said.