Thursday

A 5-Month-Old Girl Has Been Hospitalized With Pneumonia After Being Detained By The Border Patrol
Buzz Feed
— 
A 5-month-old girl who traveled with the migrant caravan has been hospitalized with pneumonia after spending five days inside freezing cells operated by border authorities in California, her mother said.
— A. Portillo, the girl’s mother (who asked to be identified only by her first initial because she is fleeing from an abusive partner), said she jumped a low part of the border fence with her daughter on Dec. 12 near Tijuana before being detained by Border Patrol agents.

UNCHARTED TERRITORY
Washington Post

Trump is truly unraveling, to the point where who knows whether the administration’s daily mixture of lies, propaganda, threats and bombast mean anything at all. Following the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, here’s three points from Washington Post columnist Trudy Rubin:
> First, Mattis and other former national security officials should testify in open hearings in the House next year to lay out their concerns about Trump’s fitness and threat to national security. If they have not already done so, they should lay out their concerns to the special counsel about Trump’s reflexive support for Russian objectives.
> Second, Congress must reassert its sole authority to wage war, denying Trump the legitimacy to unilaterally launch first strikes. In addition, it is essential to subpoena the translator’s notes from Helsinki to determine what, if any, pledges Trump made to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
> Finally, it is time for Senate Republicans to seriously consider removing Trump in the event the House moves to impeach. Trump is a menace to our democracy and national security; unless and until Republicans recognize this and express a willingness to remove him, Trump may do untold damage during the time he has left in office.


HUNDREDS OF PERVERT PRIESTS IN ILLINOIS
“The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself.”
— Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, announcing that nearly 700 Catholic priests in her state are credibly accused of child sexual assault.
AFP/Yahoo


Chinese government waging global cyber war, UK says
The Independent
— Britain and its western allies have accused the Chinese government of carrying out an extensive campaign of industrial espionage through cyberwarfare.
— A group known as APT 10, it is claimed, is acting on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security to carry out a “malicious” offensive targeting intellectual property and sensitive commercial data in Europe, Asia and the US.
— The British government said that the Chinese security establishment is not upholding the commitments Beijing made directly to the UK in a 2015 bilateral agreement.
— It is also inconsistent, it says, with G20 commitments that no country should conduct or support information and communications technology-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information.


Drones spotted at London airport, flyers face “days of disruption”
BBC
— Tens of thousands of passengers have been disrupted by drones flying over one of the UK’s busiest airports.
— Gatwick’s runway has been shut since Wednesday night, when two devices were seen flying over the perimeter fence.
— The airport said at about 12:00 GMT on Thursday a drone had been spotted “in the last hour” and the runway would not open “until it was safe to do so”.
— About 110,000 passengers on 760 flights were due to fly on Thursday. Disruption could last “several days”
— Sussex Police said it was not terror-related but a “deliberate act” of disruption, describing the drones as of “industrial specification”.

snipers
Police snipers are trying to shoot down drones which are being flown over Gatwick airport.


U.S. Military to quit Syria
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw its forces from Syria, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday, a move that marks an abrupt reversal of the American military strategy in the Middle East.
[ The Guardian: PULLOUT DRAWS PRAISE FROM PUTIN ]
–U.S. officials began informing partners in northeastern Syria of their plans to begin an immediate pullout of American forces from the region where they have been trying to wrap up the campaign against Islamic State, the people said.
[ UK Defense Minister: ISIS IS VERY MUCH ALIVE ]
— “The Pentagon has an order to move troops out of Syria as quickly as possible, “ a U.S. official said.
–The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the move. But President Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning that “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
— The move follows a call last week between Mr. Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has threatened to launch an assault on America’s Kurdish partners in Syria.
— Erdogan steadfastly opposed the American partnership with Kurdish forces in Syria that he views as a terrorist force intent on destabilizing Turkey. But the U.S. has relied on the Kurdish forces as the most effective fighting force in Syria against Islamic State, which has been pushed to the brink of defeat.


BACKLASH
breed— Napoleon Brown robs a restaurant, flees Across Golden Gate Bridge, cops in pursuit. He pushes the getaway driver, a 25-old-woman, out of the car. She is struck and killed on the bridge. Brown gets a 44-year sentence.
— He is the brother of San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who now petitions the governor for his freedom.
— Breed is kinda surprised that there’s a backlash.

SF Chronicle


Pacific plastic cleanup an utter failure
The Guardian
— A giant floating barrier launched off the coast of San Francisco as part of a $20m project to cleanup a swirling island of rubbish between California and Hawaii, is failing to collect plastic.
— The mastermind behind the Ocean Cleanup, an ambitious plan to clear a swathe of the Pacific twice the size of Texas of floating debris, reported four weeks into testing that while the U-shaped device was scooping up plastic, it was then losing it.

German cop found guilty of “condom stealthing”
CNN
— The victim told the court that she “explicitly requested” the man to wear a condom, and gave no consent to sexual intercourse without protection. She added that she only realized the man had not been wearing a condom when he ejaculated.
— The woman subsequently left his flat enraged — worried that she might have caught a sexually transmitted disease — and called the police.
…….. while no “stealthing” cases have been reviewed in the US, criminal trials have taken place in other countries, including Switzerland and Canada.

Montana Man ‘mistook guy for Bigfoot’ and shot at him
Trap Magazine
— The shooter told the victim, “I thought you were Bigfoot,” Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said. The victim added that the suspect told him, “I don’t target practice — but if I see something that looks like Bigfoot, I just shoot at it.”
— The shooter then told his victim to wear orange if he didn’t want to be confused for Bigfoot.
— Ah, America, where any lunatic can carry a gun.


Amazon error allowed Alexa user to eavesdrop on another home
Reuters
— Corporate spin: “This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case,” an Amazon spokesman said on Thursday.
——-> And some Amazonian making $11 an hour was fired?


40,000 vow to contribute to GoFundMe border wall
Fortune
— Days after a New York Post op-ed asked why no one had launched a GoFundMe to fund the border wall, Trump supporter Brian Kolfage answered the article’s call. The triple amputee and military veteran launched the campaign on Dec. 16, setting an initial goal of $200 million.
— Within four days, more than 40,000 people have contributed to the campaign, donating more than $2.4 million to date. Due to the rapid success of the campaign, Kolfage increased the goal to $1 billion, which is the current maximum for the site.
——> However, while private citizens MAY donate to the US Treasury, they MAY NOT specify how the funds are used. That’s up to Congress.


Cons pissed after Trump’s “gutless” retreat on border wall
Faux News
“Let me get this straight… our chances of getting the Wall will be better in February when Nancy Pelosi is Speaker than now when we have the majority?”
–Rep. Jim Jordan

Our medieval bail system costs taxpayers $15 billion a year
(Aside from unfairly punishing the poor)
Reason
— America’s dependence on cash bail does more than just deprive people of their liberty merely for being accused of a crime; it also costs the rest of us a fortune. Taxpayers are on the hook for keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jail before they go to trial.

Here’s $38 million, now go away, says baseball club
CNN Sports
So why, exactly, is former All-Star Troy Tulowitzki available for chump change? Because the Toronto Blue Jays are giving him $38 million not to play for them.


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