Manafort held secret talks with Assange?
— Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.
— Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.
— It is unclear why Manafort would have wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last apparent meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Euros call for new sanctions on Russia, cite Ukraine mess
Russian courts say detain sailors for 2 months
Corrected headline: Russkies take 3 Ukraine sailors hostage
A move begins to form pan-Europe army
Courthouse News Service
— Europe, a continent defined by catastrophic wars and the clash of empires, is talking about a future where it is a military might again, and on a war footing. Its top leaders are advocating something long viewed as highly unrealistic: A pan-European army relying on European-made and -owned weapons and machinery instead of American ones. A Europe defended by its own nuclear weapons.
— Since the end of World War II, Europe’s defense has depended on the military muscle of the United States and the NATO alliance. Now, citing growing threats, Europe’s leaders are talking seriously about a future where they go it alone militarily.
> Editor’s Note> It sometimes seems that the future might be a Democratic Europe vs. China’s Dictatorship as the main political forces … While the US succumbs to its own pig-headed provincialism, fading into to a kind of big South Africa, with islands of wealth surrounded by rural “townships.” It certainly looks like we’re headed that way.
Dark money threatens US democracy …
here’s how we can stop it
By JOSEPH BIDEN and MICHAEL CARPENTER in Politico
— The lack of transparency in our campaign finance system combined with extensive foreign money laundering creates a significant vulnerability for our democracy. We don’t know how much illicit money enters the United States from abroad or how much dark money enters American political campaigns, but in 2015, the Treasury Department estimated that $300 billion is laundered through the U.S. every year. If even a small fraction of that ends up in our political campaigns, it constitutes an unacceptable national security risk.
3 US soldiers killed by bomb in Afghanistan
Stars & Stripes
1 in 40 US kids now has autism
The estimated prevalence of US children with a parent-reported ASD diagnosis is now 1 in 40, with rates of ASD-specific treatment usage varying by children’s sociodemographic and co-occurring conditions.
Autopsy: Transgender migrant was beaten while in US custody
— A transgender asylum-seeker who fell sick and died while being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement may have been beaten while in federal custody, according to an independent autopsy report released this week.
— The body of 33-year-old trans woman Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez was marked by “deep bruises” and “contusions” consistent with “blows and/or kicks and possible strikes with a blunt object.”
The FDA Killed a Rule That Could Have Prevented the Latest E. Coli Outbreak
GQ via Yahoo
……. six months before people were sickened by the contaminated romaine, President Donald Trump’s FDA – responding to pressure from the farm industry and Trump’s order to eliminate regulations – shelved the water-testing rules for at least four years.
…..Despite this deadly outbreak, the FDA has shown no sign of reconsidering its plan to postpone the rules. The agency also is considering major changes, such as allowing some produce growers to test less frequently or find alternatives to water testing to ensure the safety of their crops.
^ …. But Hillary’s e-mails. The caravan! Fake News! CNN!
Americans seem determined to learn the lessons of the early 20th century all over again. Read The Jungle, people. Nothing has changed.
More than half of the women slain in 2017 were killed by family or partners, study finds
….. Women in Africa and the Americas are most at risk of being killed by intimate partners or family, the study found. The slayings typically aren’t random or spontaneous, but rather stem from a long-term pattern of gender-related violence,the study found.