Pathologist Says Jeffrey Epstein Was Strangled to Death!

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A forensic pathologist hired by the brother of Jeffrey Epstein says the injuries that killed the multimillionaire sex abuser were consistent with strangulation — not a death by suicide, as a New York medical examiner reported. Dr. Michael Baden says a broken bone in Epstein’s neck is “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.” Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August as he awaited trial on federal sex trafficking charges. Epstein once counted President Trump and former President Bill Clinton among his high-profile friends.

Catholic Peace Activism: Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Found Found Guilty of Conspiracy at Naval Base Housing Nuclear Arsenal

After US INF Withdrawal, Plowshares Activists, Facing ...

In Georgia, a federal grand jury on Thursday found seven Catholic peace activists guilty on three felony counts and a misdemeanor charge for breaking into the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base on April 4, 2018. The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, entered the base armed with hammers, crime scene tape, baby bottles containing their own blood, and an indictment charging the U.S. government with crimes against peace. The base is home to at least six nuclear ballistic missile submarines, each of which carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. The activists said they were following the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” At this week’s trial, the defendants were barred from citing their religious motivations or from mounting a “necessity defense” saying that their lawbreaking was necessary to prevent the far greater crime of a nuclear war. The activists will be sentenced within the next 90 days. They face more than 20 years in prison.

Sign the petition to have the charges dropped: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/sign-global-petition-to-dismiss-charges-against-anti-nuclear-plowshares-activists-facing-25-years

Rashida Tlaib to Mark Zuckerberg: Why Haven’t You Stopped Hate Groups From Organizing on Facebook?

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We feature more highlights from the five-hour grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week on Capitol Hill, where Michigan Congressmember Rashida Tlaib said she feared that far-right hate groups were using Facebook event pages to incite violence against Muslims and other minorities — including death threats directed at her office. Tlaib asked to be seen not only as a Congresswoman, but also as “a mother that is raising two Muslim boys in this pretty dark time in our world.” Meanwhile, California Congressmember Katie Porter pinned Zuckerberg down on Facebook’s privacy policies. “You are arguing in federal court that in a consumer data privacy lawsuit, in which your own lawyers admit that users’ information was stolen, that the plaintiffs fail to articulate any injury,” Porter said. “In other words, no harm, no foul. Facebook messed up, but it doesn’t matter. Is that your position?”

Is Mitch McConnell Trying to Kill the Violence Against Women Act?

OCTOBER 24, 2019

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By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

Twenty-five years ago, the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, was signed into law. The protections it afforded to victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking were renewed and expanded in 2000, 2005 and 2013. Last April, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, with bipartisan support, yet another renewal, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, H.R. 1585, this time with added protections for women on tribal lands, for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and with new limits on the ability of perpetrators of domestic violence to obtain guns. The bill was sent to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it has languished. One Senate staffer confirmed Wednesday that “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t put it on the legislative schedule.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, during which many survivors of domestic abuse and their supporters wear purple to draw attention to this problem, considered a national epidemic. Every 16 hours in the United States, a woman is shot to death by her partner.

The text of the current bill contains statistics worth repeating:

“Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries. Female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined. The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent.”

The bill continues: “Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for women on the job. Domestic partners or relatives commit 43 percent of workplace homicides against women … in 2010, homicides against women at work increased by 13 percent despite continuous declines in overall workplace homicides in recent years.”

This new House VAWA bill, one of the earliest considered by the new Congress, which includes a historic number of women, passed by a vote of 263 to 158, with 33 Republicans joining the Democratic majority. The Republican support came despite opposition from the National Rifle Association, which strongly opposes language in the bill to close the “boyfriend loophole,” which allows gun purchases by unmarried, domestic or intimate partners who have been convicted of abuse or are under a restraining order.

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Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety reported: “Every month, an average of 52 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. Nearly 1 million women alive today have reported being shot or shot at by intimate partners, and 4.5 million women have reported being threatened with a gun. In more than half of mass shootings over the past decade, the perpetrator shot a current or former intimate partner or family member as part of the rampage.”

Amplifying that last statistic, March for Our Lives, the gun control group founded by teenage survivors of the Parkland, Florida, massacre on Valentine’s Day 2018, sent out an email calling domestic violence a gun violence issue, noting that at least 54% of mass shootings are committed by domestic abusers. The list of mass shooters who were known domestic abusers or stalkers is long. In Parkland, the shooter had stalked another student and killed her in the massacre; in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the shooter had been convicted of domestic violence, but that conviction was not shared on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database, allowing him to purchase guns; in Newtown, Connecticut, the shooter killed his mother first before heading to Sandy Hook Elementary; the Pulse nightclub shooter in Orlando was physically and verbally abusive to his wife; and, most recently, in Dayton, Ohio, the shooter had kept a “rape list” of potential targets in high school and killed his sister during his murderous rampage.

Last Saturday, the Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees, clinching a spot in the World Series. Among three female journalists in the Astros locker room covering the celebration was Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, who was wearing a purple domestic-violence awareness bracelet. Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled at them, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f***ing glad we got Osuna!” The Astros signed relief pitcher Roberto Osuna from the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018, weeks after he received a 75-game suspension related to accusations he assaulted his child’s mother. On Thursday, after conducting an investigation with Major League Baseball, the Astros fired Taubman.

One goal of the Violence Against Women Act is to educate people across all sectors of our society, to make domestic abuse simply unacceptable. “VAWA’s overwhelming impact on the lives of victims makes the need for reauthorization more critical now than ever,” writes Lynn Hecht Schafran of Legal Momentum (the new name for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). “VAWA is moving the culture forward toward a future where everyone can live free from violence.”

Top U.S. Student Loan Official Quits, Calling for Massive Debt Forgiveness!

OCT 25, 2019

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Image Credit: Twitter: @johnsonsenate

The Trump administration’s top student loan official said Thursday he will resign his position at the Education Department and will work for the cancellation of nearly $1 trillion in federally-administered student loan debt. A. Wayne Johnson says he’ll promote a plan that would forgive up to $50,000 for anyone with federal student loans, worth about $925 billion. He told the Wall Street Journal, “We run through the process of putting this debt burden on somebody … but it rides on their credit files — it rides on their back — for decades. The time has come for us to end and stop the insanity.”

His high-profile resignation came as a federal judge on Thursday held Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in contempt of court for violating an order to stop collecting student debt for people who were defrauded by the for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges. The court ruled DeVos ignored the rights of more than 60,000 former students who were granted relief from the federal government after Corinthian Colleges collapsed in 2014 amid government scrutiny of its fraud and predatory lending. Under Thursday’s contempt of court ruling, DeVos will face no jail time and her Education Department will be fined $100,000.

Julian Assange Appears Frail and Confused in London Court Hearing

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In London, lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange are warning of a blow to press freedom worldwide after a court denied Assange’s request for a delay in his U.S. extradition hearing scheduled for February. Assange, who’s been jailed by British authorities since he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy by London police in April, appeared dazed and frail at a court appearance Monday, struggling to say his own name and birthday before telling a judge, “I can’t think properly.” Human rights groups have warned Assange has suffered “psychological torture” in British custody. This is Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, who visited Assange last May in London’s Belmarsh Prison.

“State of Emergency”: Special Report on California’s Criminalization of Growing Homeless Encampment

OCTOBER 25, 2019

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