Government Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
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Americans for Prosperity ... is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes. In cities and counties across the country ... the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit. At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties. In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success. Early polling ... suggested that [a] $5.4 billion transit plan would easily pass. But the outcome of the May 1 ballot stunned the city: a landslide victory for the anti-transit camp. The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending ... dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads. Since 2015, Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots. Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-backed groups have also opposed more than two dozen other transit-related measures ... by organizing phone banks, running advertising campaigns, staging public forums, issuing reports and writing opinion pieces in local publications.
Note: The Koch brothers built a secretive empire to manipulate the political process in the US. This empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.
Donald Trump said on Monday he would direct the Pentagon to create a “space force” as a new branch of the US military to shore up American dominance in space. Trump claimed that the plan will ensure that America, which plans a return to the moon and a mission to Mars, stays ahead of China and Russia in any new space race. But it is likely to raise fears over the militarisation of space. “Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” the president said at the White House. “We are going to have the air force and we are going to have the space force – separate but equal.” The president was speaking at the third meeting of the National Space Council, revived after a quarter of a century. He was joined by Mike Pence, the new Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon. But there was a skeptical reaction from Bill Nelson, the Democratic senator for Florida. He tweeted: “The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want. During his remarks, Trump ... insisted: “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. So important.” Trump has floated the idea of a space force before but met both mockery and high-level resistance.
Note: In 1974, the founder of modern rocket science Wernher Von Braun told his spokesperson Dr. Carol Rosin that "first the Russians are going to be considered the enemy. Then terrorists would be identified. The next enemy was asteroids – against asteroids we are going to build space-based weapons. Then ... the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens, and all of it is a lie."
“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted. President Trump’s top domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, was quoted in Sunday’s New York Times touting the crackdown. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry,” he said. “Period.” DHS announced last week that around 2,000 children have been taken from their families during the six weeks since the policy went into effect, and officials acknowledge the number may be even higher. More than a month after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s new “zero tolerance” policy to great fanfare, members of the administration continue to struggle with how to talk about it – alternating between defending the initiative as a necessary deterrent, distancing themselves, blaming Democrats, trying to use it as leverage for negotiations with Congress or denying that it exists at all. Former first lady Laura Bush compares what’s happening to Japanese internment: “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.”
Note: On June 20th, Trump signed an executive order intended to keep families of immigrant detainees together, though the fate of the more than 2,300 children already separated is not clear. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
On May 30, Illinois became the 37th state to pass the Equal Right Amendment (ERA), which says, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Next, advocates aim to secure the final state needed to ratify the amendment. They will probably target Virginia, North Carolina or Georgia. The law is overdue. Many Americans assume that the United States already has gender-equality rules. The Civil Rights Act, Title IX and the Equal Pay Act all offer protections against discrimination. But these are pieces of legislation. New laws and Supreme Court rulings can diminish their power. An amendment, by contrast, would force a constitutional reckoning for sex-based discrimination. Activists lobbied, marched, went on strike and persuaded Congress to pass the amendment in 1972. Within just two years, 34 states ratified it. Then the momentum faltered. The amendment failed to secure ratification from the four additional states needed before 1982, the expiration date set by Congress. Passing the ERA will not be easy. Fierce opposition has long accompanied feminist surges, and this is already happening today. In Illinois, Republicans largely spoke out against the amendment. The dominant party could block the ERA’s path at the federal level, and other states could rescind their decades-old ratification. Securing the final state to pass the ERA will probably prove as challenging as it was to secure the final state to pass the 19th Amendment a century ago.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
A short press statement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, effectively [gives] a green light for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch an offensive in Yemen aimed at capturing Hodeidah on the Red Sea. The port city is the point of entry for 70 per cent of food and medical supplies for the eight million Yemenis whom the UN says are on the brink of starvation out of the 22 million in need of humanitarian aid. Pompeo was deliberately low-key in his three sentence statement about Hodeidah: “I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.” Absent from this message for the first time was any call for Saudi Arabia and the UAE not to attack Hodeidah. The US and UAE have been working hard on a smokescreen of misinformation about who is responsible for what is happening and why they are launching the offensive now. The 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on Hodeidah are not an independent force but are paid for and under the control of the UAE. Air support is provided by the Saudis and the UAE with the US providing essential services such as mid-air refuelling and target intelligence. The Hodeidah operation may ... turn a humanitarian disaster, which the UN is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, into complete catastrophe. Three quarters of the 27 million Yemenis already require aid to survive and this may be cut off in the next few days.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Efrain Perez felt a pain in his chest. Doctors near his small town sent him to Puerto Rico’s main hospital. But when the ambulance pulled into the parking lot in the capital, San Juan ... a doctor ran out to stop it. “He said, ‘Don’t bring him in here, I can’t care for him,'” Perez’s daughter, Nerybelle, recalled. Perez died as the ambulance drove him back ... but he is not included in the island’s official hurricane death toll of 64 people, a figure at the center of a growing legal and political fight over the response to the Category 4 storm that hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. Facing at least three lawsuits demanding more data on the death toll, Puerto Rico’s government released new information on Tuesday that added detail to the growing consensus that hundreds or even thousands of people died as an indirect result of the storm. According to the new data, there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same time period over the previous four years. The Puerto Rican government says it believes more than 64 people died as a result of the storm but it will not raise its official toll until George Washington University completes a study of the data being carried out on behalf of the U.S. territory. Like Perez, thousands of sick Puerto Ricans were unable to receive medical care in the months after the storm caused the worst blackout in U.S. history, which continues to this day, with 6,983 home and businesses still without power.
When Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated just minutes after winning California's 1968 Democratic primary, the United States was fiercely divided. Many looked to him to help heal that divide. That's part of an unfulfilled legacy his son, Robert Kennedy Jr., describes in his new book, "American Values." It's a history of the ... 40-year tension between my family and the CIA," he said. The Kennedy feud with the CIA was multi-generational. The family patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, sat on a commission that called for an end to the CIA's paramilitary operations. And his sons John and Robert Kennedy both railed against the CIA's role in Vietnam. "The first thing [my father] was gonna do was to remove the clandestine services from the CIA and make the CIA ... an intelligence gathering organization," he said. But the seeds of doubt about who killed his father weren't planted by that notion. "I never suspected at any level that anybody other than Sirhan Sirhan had killed my father until maybe three years ago," he said. What changed for Kennedy? "Well, Paul Schrade." Schrade was a close friend of Robert Kennedy and was with the candidate the night he was shot. Schrade ... has insisted for decades that Sirhan could not have acted alone. He's now raised serious questions in Kennedy Jr.'s mind as well. "It's hard to believe that Sirhan shot my dad, that his bullets hit my dad. Because Sirhan was always in front of my father. And yet, all shots, all the four shots that hit my father came from behind him," he said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing assassinations news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show. Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products. But ... reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week. Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical. Disposal of chemicals - leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance - will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them. The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.
The U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS may have committed war crimes as its airstrikes rained down on civilians trapped by the brutal fighting in the Syrian city of Raqqa last year, a new report claims. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, American, British and French strikes on the city from June to October 2017 “decimated extended families and neighborhoods” as the coalition embarked on a “war of annihilation.” Amnesty [claimed] its investigation provided “prima facie evidence that several coalition attacks that killed and injured civilians violated international humanitarian law.” After heavy fighting, surviving ISIS fighters were allowed to leave the city in October 2017. The U.S., British and French militaries claimed they did everything possible to minimize the risk of collateral damage during the operation, but Amnesty says hundreds died and thousands more were injured during the assault. The U.S. said it fired more than 30,000 artillery rounds during the five-month operation, and American forces were responsible for 90 percent of the airstrikes. The organization interviewed 112 civilian residents of Raqqa and visited the sites of 42 air, artillery and mortar strikes. The report focused on four cases in particular, which Amnesty said amounted to war crimes. In all cases “witnesses reported that there were no fighters in the vicinity at the time of the attacks,” Amnesty said. “Such attacks could be either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) went to a shuttered Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, that has been converted into a detention center for immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. He asked for a tour. Instead, the government contractor that runs the converted store called the cops. An officer filled out a police report, and the senator was asked to leave. The half-hour incident at a strip mall near the southern border with Mexico underscores the lack of transparency from President Trump’s administration about its intensifying efforts to break up undocumented families caught crossing the border, the centerpiece of a “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month. “The administration calls this ‘zero tolerance.' ... It is really a ‘zero humanity’ policy," Merkley said. The senator said he tried to go through proper channels to arrange a site visit but was rebuffed. Merkley said he’s also sought to figure out just how many kids are being held at the old Walmart ... but he still cannot get a straight answer. [This] policy may split up an untold number of families. Minors are not allowed in criminal jails, where adults are held when they’re charged with crimes related to crossing the border. Children are sent to separate facilities. This happens even if their folks present themselves at official ports of entry and declare that they are seeking asylum.
Note: The response from the White House to this incident was to blame Merkley for immigrant crimes. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Edward Snowden has no regrets five years on from leaking the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history. He is wanted by the US. He is in exile in Russia. But he is satisfied with the way his revelations of mass surveillance have rocked governments, intelligence agencies and major internet companies. What has happened in the five years since? The most important change, he said, was public awareness. “The government and corporate sector preyed on our ignorance. But now we know. People are aware now. People are still powerless to stop it but we are trying. The revelations made the fight more even.” He said he had no regrets. His own life is uncertain, perhaps now more than ever, he said. His sanctuary in Russia depends on the whims of the Putin government, and the US and UK intelligence agencies have not forgiven him. For them, the issue is as raw as ever. One of the disclosures to have most impact was around the extent of collaboration between the intelligence agencies and internet companies. In 2013, the US companies were outsmarting the EU in negotiations over data protection. Snowden landed like a bomb in the middle of the negotiations and the data protection law that took effect last month is a consequence. But he will not be marking the anniversary with a “victory lap”. There is still much to be done. “The fightback is just beginning,” said Snowden. “The governments and the corporates have been in this game a long time and we are just getting started.”
Seymour M. Hersh didn’t even want to write a memoir. His publishers at Alfred A. Knopf ... “said, ‘Write a memoir,’ and I said, ‘No way,’” Mr. Hersh, 81, recalled the other day. The story of a working-class [kid who] exposed the horror of the My Lai massacre, revealed domestic and foreign abuses by the C.I.A. and harried Washington’s elite ... was not finished. Not for the first time in his career, the editors prevailed. “Reporter,” a 355-page memoir, will be released on Tuesday. The book ... reconstructs his reporting on Vietnam, his feuds with Henry Kissinger, the foibles of former bosses. He notes that major publications passed on his My Lai exposé, fearful of government denials that American soldiers had murdered dozens of Vietnamese civilians. In the end, Mr. Hersh syndicated the stories himself, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his efforts. Mr. Hersh’s place in the pantheon of reporters is secure, but his current status is ambiguous. In arguably the most fertile moment for investigative reporting since Watergate, he has been on the sidelines. By choice, he said. Mr. Hersh has found himself at odds with much of Washington’s reporting establishment since The New Yorker declined to publish his report on the death of Osama bin Laden — a story that directly contradicted the account given by the Obama White House and much of the mainstream press. His subsequent reporting on Syria, which questioned whether President Bashar al-Assad had gassed his own people, was similarly derided. But Mr. Hersh is unrepentant.
This is a tale of two defendants and two systems of justice. Suspected of colluding with the Russian government, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump, [Paul Manafort, was] indicted on a dozen charges involving conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, and lying to federal investigators. Manafort avoided jail by posting $10 million in bond, though he was confined to his luxury condo in Alexandria, Virginia. Reality Winner, an Air Force veteran and former contractor for the National Security Agency ... was accused of leaking an NSA document that showed how Russians tried to hack American voting systems in 2016. Her case is related to Manafort’s in this sense: While Manafort is suspected of aiding the Russian effort, Winner is accused of warning Americans about it. Even though she has been indicted on just one count of leaking classified information and faces far less prison time than Manafort, the judge in her case ... denied her bail. Winner spent the holidays at the Lincolnton jail, which is smaller in its entirety than Manafort’s Hampton’s estate. The U.S. government rarely acts kindly toward the leakers it chooses to prosecute - unless they happen to be popular figures like David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who shared with his girlfriend several notebooks filled with top-secret information; he was allowed to plead guilty to just a misdemeanor charge. Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions proudly announced that the DOJ was investigating three times as many leaks as in the Obama era.
Note: The NSA document Winner is accused of leaking revealed high-level interference in a US election. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the intelligence community and in the judicial system.
Google will not seek to extend its contract next year with the Defense Department for artificial intelligence used to analyze drone video, squashing a controversial alliance that had raised alarms over the technological buildup between Silicon Valley and the military. Google ... has faced widespread public backlash and employee resignations for helping develop technological tools that could aid in warfighting. Google will soon release new company principles related to the ethical uses of AI. Thousands of Google employees wrote chief executive Sundar Pichai an open letter urging the company to cancel the contract, and many others signed a petition saying the company’s assistance in developing combat-zone technology directly countered the company’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto. Several Google AI employees had told The Post they believed they wielded a powerful influence over the company’s decision-making. The advanced technology’s top researchers and developers are in heavy demand, and many had organized resistance campaigns or threatened to leave. The sudden announcement Friday was welcomed by several high-profile employees. Meredith Whittaker, an AI researcher and the founder of Google’s Open Research group, tweeted Friday: “I am incredibly happy about this decision, and have a deep respect for the many people who worked and risked to make it happen. Google should not be in the business of war.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Tiny Jewel Box, which calls itself Washington’s “premier destination for fine jewelry and watches,” had promised to expedite the order of a dozen customized silver fountain pens — each emblazoned with the seal of the Environmental Protection Agency and the signature of its leader, Scott Pruitt. Now all that the EPA staff member working with the store needed was for a top Pruitt aide to sign off on the $3,230 order. “The cost of the Qty. 12 Fountain Pens will be around $1,560.00,” the staffer emailed Aug. 14 to Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s head of scheduling. “All the other items total cost is around $1,670.00 ... Please advise.” “Yes, please order,” Hupp responded. The exchange, included among thousands of pages of emails released this week as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Sierra Club, offered another glimpse of the high-end tastes of the EPA chief, who has faced months of scrutiny over his expenditures of taxpayer money on first-class travel, an unprecedented security detail, a $43,000 phone booth, a top-of-the-line SUV and other office upgrades. In a Senate hearing last month, Pruitt came as close as he ever has to publicly acknowledging any personal fault in the ethical decisions that have triggered a dozen federal inquiries, including probes by the EPA’s inspector general, the Government Accountability Office and the White House itself. “There have been decisions over the past 16 months that, as I look back, I would not make the same decisions again,” Pruitt told lawmakers.
Note: EPA scientists have been leaving the agency in droves. The EPA is one of three federal agencies reported to have been "gagged" by the Trump administration. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the scientific community.
The federal government has placed thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children in the homes of sponsors, but last year it couldn't account for nearly 1,500 of them. Steven Wagner, a top official with the Department of Health and Human Services, disclosed the number to a Senate subcommittee last month while discussing the state of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that oversees the care of unaccompanied immigrant children. Wagner is the acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. After a stay in an ORR shelter, the majority of children are sent to live with sponsors who have close ties to the children - typically a parent or close relative, Wagner said, though some end up living with "other-than-close relatives or non-relatives." Between October and December 2017, Wagner told the subcommittee, the ORR reached out to 7,635 unaccompanied children to check on them. But the ORR "was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children," Wagner testified. That's more than 19% of the children that were placed by the ORR. But Wagner said HHS is not responsible for the children. "ORR is not legally responsible for children after they are released from ORR care," Wagner said. Wagner's statement has received increased scrutiny a month after the Department of Homeland Security defended an agency policy that will result in more families being separated at the border.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pulled up to the massive Richard J. Donovan Correctional Center, a California state prison complex. Kennedy was there to visit Sirhan B. Sirhan, the man convicted of killing his father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, nearly 50 years ago. It was the culmination of months of research by Kennedy into the assassination. He would not discuss the specifics of their conversation. But when it was over, Kennedy had joined those who believe there was a second gunman, and that it was not Sirhan who killed his father. He now supports the call for a re-investigation of the assassination led by Paul Schrade, who also was shot in the head as he walked behind Kennedy in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel ... but survived. Though Sirhan admitted at his trial in 1969 that he shot Kennedy, he claimed from the start that he had no memory of doing so. And midway through Sirhan's trial, prosecutors provided his lawyers with an autopsy report that launched five decades of controversy: Kennedy was shot four times at point-blank range from behind, including the fatal shot behind his ear. But Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant, was standing in front of him. Was there a second gunman? The debate rages to this day. Sirhan's appeals have been rejected ... as recently as 2016, even with the courts considering new evidence that has emerged over the years that as many as 13 shots were fired - Sirhan's gun held only eight bullets - and that Sirhan may have been subjected to coercive hypnosis, a real life "Manchurian candidate."
Note: In 2006, BBC described new evidence that placed "three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination" and reported that Sirhan may have been a Manchurian Candidate programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin. In 2011 the Boston Globe reported that RFK harbored suspicions that the CIA was behind his brother's murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on assassinations reported by reliable major media sources.
Protesters – mainly women – are defying police and energy companies in non-violent environmental activism. Way out in the Appalachian hills ... an orderly clutch of tents were surrounded by a plastic yellow ribbon that read, “police line do not cross”. Past that, a woman sat on top of a 50ft pole. Opposite the knot of tents where the woman’s supporters kept 24-hour vigil lay an encampment of police, pipeline workers, and private security. On Wednesday 23 May, the protester, nicknamed Nutty, finally came down after a record-breaking 57 days spent in the trees ... to stop a fracked natural-gas pipeline from being built through the state. Her final three days in the trees were spent without food. There are others, too, who remain in the forest and are still blocking construction by putting their lives on the line. These activists hold the typical concerns of having a gas pipeline run through the yard: if it leaks it poisons the water, the font of the incredible biodiversity in the area; there’s a two-and-a-half-mile blast radius if it explodes; the pipeline is taking their land through eminent domain against their will for resource extraction. But they also say this is about more than just a pipeline, built by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC. It is, they say, also about the erosion of democracy and the natural world. Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, took $50,000 from MVP’s largest shareholder, EQT Corp, and another $199,251 from Dominion Energy, [a] major shareholder of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline being built nearby.
Cedric O’Bannon tried to ignore the sharp pain in his side and continue filming. The independent journalist, who was documenting a white supremacist rally in Sacramento, said he wanted to capture the neo-Nazi violence against counter-protesters with his GoPro camera. But the pain soon became overwhelming. He lifted up his blood-soaked shirt and realized that one of the men carrying a pole with a blade on the end of it had stabbed him in the stomach, puncturing him nearly two inches deep. He limped his way to an ambulance. Police did not treat O’Bannon like a victim. Officers instead monitored his Facebook page and sought to bring six charges against him, including conspiracy, rioting, assault and unlawful assembly. His presence at the protest – along with his use of the black power fist and “social media posts expressing his ideals” – were proof that he had violated the rights of neo-Nazis at the 26 June 2016 protests, police wrote in a report. None of the white supremacists have been charged for stabbing O’Bannon. O’Bannon’s case is the latest example of police in the US targeting leftwing activists, anti-Trump protesters and black Americans for surveillance and prosecution over their demonstrations and online posts. At the same time, critics say, they are failing to hold neo-Nazis responsible for physical violence. Michael German, a former FBI agent, said the Sacramento case was part of a pattern of police in the US siding with far-right groups and targeting their critics.
Note: A New York Times article describes how journalists, legal observers and volunteer medics were charged with riot-related crimes for attending a protest. United Nations officials recently said that the US government's treatment of activists was increasingly "incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday barred journalists for the second consecutive day from attending a national summit focused on water contaminants, telling reporters from CNN and other news organizations that they would not be permitted inside the venue. Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico, said in a statement that her publication "would much rather be writing about the agency's efforts to address this health problem than about reporters being excluded. "The summit was focused on an important public health crisis that has affected drinking water supplies across the country, and chemicals that are present in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans," she added. "We believe it is important that the news media have access to the entirety of this discussion to keep the public informed." On Tuesday, the EPA blocked several journalists, including those from CNN and the Associated Press, from entering the venue when Scott Pruitt, the agency's chief, was speaking. Only those journalists specifically selected by the EPA were permitted to enter the premises. Sally Buzbee, executive editor of the Associated Press, called the move to block journalists "a direct threat to the public's right to know about what his happening inside their government." Less than two weeks ago, CNN aired a special report, "Pruitt Under Fire: The Battle at the EPA," about the various scandals plaguing the federal agency.
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