Thursday

“WHAT EMERGENCY?” Senate pisses on Trump’s wall
The Hill

The Senate voted on Thursday to nix President Trump’s national emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall, setting up the first veto battle with his White House.

Senators voted 59-41 to pass the resolution of disapproval blocking Trump’s declaration. Underscoring the broad base of concern over Trump’s actions within the Republican caucus, 12 GOP senators broke rank and voted with all the Democrats.

The measure passed the House last month, 245-182.

Dazed and confused, Parliament votes for foot-dragging Brexit
BBC

… but any delay has to be agreed by the 27 other EU member states.

THE NEWS GRADED, A THRU F

A: Possibly true and important

Court rules gun maker Remington can be sued over Newtown shooting
CNBC

A divided Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled gun maker Remington can be sued over how it marketed the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

Justices issued a 4-3 ruling that reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit and overturned a lower court ruling that the lawsuit was prohibited by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from liability in most cases when their products are used in crimes.

The plaintiffs include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre. They argue the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza is too dangerous for the public and Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people.

Too late to stop radical warming in Arctic, study says
Motherboard

Rising temperatures in the Arctic are on an unsteerable course, even if drastic measures to curb climate change are undertaken, a United Nations report has found.

The new environmental report projects that winter temperatures in the Arctic will increase 3 to 5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, and a subsequent 5 to 9 degrees Celsius by 2080, changes that are “locked in,” even if nations collectively meet Paris Agreement goals.

The report was released at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, and adds to other recent, dire predictions for the Arctic—one of the places on Earth where global warming will trigger catastrophic outcomes due to the snowballing effects of melting permafrost.

US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan
while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public

The Guardian

Balash-5x7A top US official told a group of fossil fuel industry leaders that the Trump administration will soon issue a proposal making large portions of the Atlantic available for oil and gas development, and said that it is easier to work on such priorities because Donald Trump is skilled at sowing “absolutely thrilling” distractions, according to records of a meeting obtained by the Guardian.A

Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, was speaking to companies in the oil exploration business at a meeting of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, or IAGC, last month.

“One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration,” said Balash,“is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.”

For young Brits, fear and loathing of Brexit
The New Yorker

For a number of reasons, Brexit has been an invidious political process. But one of the most unsettling has been the mismatch between the generations that voted for Britain’s departure and the generations that will have to bear the consequences. Around seventy per cent of those under the age of twenty-four voted Remain, while sixty per cent of those older than sixty-five voted Leave. “It’s really, really scary to watch politicians who are trying to implement something which the vast majority of us don’t want and have never wanted.”

EU on no-deal Brexit motion: ‘like Titanic voting for iceberg to move’
The Guardian

“We take note of the votes in the House of Commons this evening,” the spokesman said. “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both. To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal – you have to agree to a deal. We have agreed a deal with the prime minister, and the EU is ready to sign it.”
<> MPs to vote on second Brexit referendum
The Guardian

Students File Class Action Over College Admissions Bribery Case
Courthouse News Service

Two Stanford students said in the lawsuit that qualified students paid college admission fees without realizing that “unqualified students were slipping in through the back door of the admissions process by committing fraud, bribery, cheating, and dishonesty.”

The lawsuit names Stanford University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University, Yale University and Georgetown University as defendants.

B: Probably true

Venezuela: Motorcycle gangs become Maduro’s enforcers 
WaPost

CARACAS, Venezuela — The neighbors were fed up. For days, they’d had no electricity or running water because of a massive national blackout. So one morning this week, they piled logs and garbage into a makeshift barricade in their middle-class Caracas neighborhood and started yelling slogans against the government.

Then came the motorcycles.

There were at least 20 of them, their motors buzzing, driven by men with scarves over their faces, according to interviews with 10 witnesses. The demonstrators scattered. But as people in surrounding buildings started hurling bottles at the bikers, the men raised their weapons — pistols and rifles — and opened fire.

No one was injured. But the neighbors were terrified.

“Now we can’t even protest, because they’ll shoot at us,” said Delia Arellano, 72, one of the demonstrators.

Inactive Ingredients in Drugs May Be Less Inactive Than You Think
Live Science

US whitewashes Kashoggi murder, fails to mention the Prince who done it
CBS News

Anchor Beer Workers Win First Union at a U.S. Craft Brewery
Bloomberg

Employees at the 123-year-old San Francisco brewer won a March 13 election to form a unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The workers’ win takes on extra significance given the beer’s iconic reputation in the Bay Area.

Miami surgeon fired after posting pix of patients’ genitals on Instagram
OUT

A Miami surgeon known for his gender reassignment work with trans patients has lost his job after it was discovered that he’d been posting offensive, explicit images of his patients’ body parts to a secret Instagram account without their consent.

According to The Trans Advocate’s Noah Adams, Dr. Christopher Salgado of the University of Miami Health System had been operating the since-deleted Instagram account, @sexsurgeon, since at least as far back as October of last year. There, he would post pictures of surgically removed genitals, pairing them offensive captions intended to be humorous.

C: True, but maybe meaningless

House votes 420-0 for Mueller report to be made public
WaPost

(Original Post report said vote was 420-1. This has been since corrected.)
But the resolution by itself cannot force attorney general William P. Barr to publish more of the report than he intends to — and that is why even some of the Republicans supporting it complained that the measure was a waste of time.

Facebook’s Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation
NY Times

A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

The companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world’s dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users’ friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years.

D: Spin and Opinion

College cheating scandal shows why elite colleges should use a lottery to admit students
Natasha Warikoo, Harvard assoc. prof. of education
In The Conversation

The lottery I envision would involve applicants who meet a certain academic threshold and help universities admit students in a more equitable way. An admissions lottery would accomplish two important goals:

1. Acknowledge the advantage for the wealthy.

2. Save time and money.

E: Entertaiment

As population falls, Russia seeking migrants from “donor countries”
Moscow Times

Big changes as MLB hopes to pick up pace of baseball games
USA Today

  1. — Pitchers will be required to face a minimum of three batters in a game beginning in 2020.
  2. — There will be a single July 31 trade deadline.
  3. — Mound visits will be reduced from six to five.
  4. — There will be an All-Star election day where fans can determine the starting players in the All-Star Game with 24-hour voting.
  5. — Commercial breaks will be shortened by 20 seconds to 2 minutes.
  6. — Position players will be prohibited from pitching in games that don’t go into extra innings, unless a team is ahead or behind by at least eight runs.
  7.  — Committees will be appointed by the Commissioner’s office and the union to formally discuss the game’s economic concerns. They will study ways to make the free-agent market more active. They will discuss eliminating the incentive for teams from purposely losing to gain top draft picks.
  8. — Beginning in 2020, all teams will have a 28-man roster in September, after having a 26-man roster the first five months of the season.

yawn

Gambino Don plugged outside his tasteless Staten Island home
The Ultimate NY Daily News story

frank-cali-gambino-crime-family-shot-sources

Top 30 cities to live in? NOT ONE in US
Market Watch

Global consulting firm Mercer has released its quality-of-living rankings, and, for a 10th year in a row, Vienna took the No. 1 spot. It was followed by Zurich, with Auckland, Munich and Vancouver tying for third place.

The company ranks hundreds of global cities based on a number of factors, including recreation, housing, economy, public services and transport, political and social environment, education, medical and health considerations, and the natural environment.

Top 20 all in Europe, Canada, New Zealand, Australia … almost all US cities fall in rankings.

F: False Claim

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposed daylight saving time because “the extra hour of sunlight drastically speeds up climate change.”
False, says Snopes

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