tl;dr – top stories for the week
- Chicago police corruption exposed
- Clinton: more emails leaked (from John Podesta)
- Trump: leaked video of lewd remarks plus 1995 tax returns
- UK to formally begin leaving EU within 6 months
- Colombian peace deal rejected by voters
- Saudi coalition allegedly kills and injures over 500 in strike
- Over 50 dead in Ethiopia after protests
- Hurricane Matthew blasts Haiti and other countries, leaving hundreds dead
- Mass surveillance: Yahoo scans customer emails at request of government agencies
- Nobel prizes awarded
The Intercept published a four-part series on corruption within the Chicago police department, calling it a “criminal enterprise.”
“The Loma fire has been burning in the Santa Cruz mountains since September 26, and although it is more than 60 percent contained, it still threatens more than 150 structures, according to Cal-Fire, the state agency in charge of wildfire efforts. Almost 2,000 personnel, including inmate fire crews, are fighting the blaze.” (NPR)
More jobs were added, increasing the number of job seekers, but this also increased the unemployment rate to 5 percent. This is because people aren’t counted as unemployed if they haven’t searched for a job recently. If someone gives up looking for a job, for whatever reason, he or she isn’t counted in the unemployment rate.
united states politics
“The organization WikiLeaks on Friday released what it claimed to be Clinton campaign email correspondence revealing excerpts from paid speeches that Hillary Clinton gave in recent years, before her presidential bid.” (WSJ) The emails were from a private account held by Clinton adviser John Podesta, and included politically damaging quotes. WikiLeaks said they have released 1 percent of his emails. “Communication officials in the Obama administration coordinated how to handle fallout from Hillary Clinton’s email server scandal before she launched her presidential campaign, according to a new report.” (TH) As usual, Russia was accused of the hacking, despite no clear evidence of the government’s involvement.
Leaked tapes from 11 years ago showed that Trump made some lewd remarks about women. A large number of high-profile Republican politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, immediately distanced themselves from Trump. Many demanded that Trump drop out of the presidential race, and the RNC said it would not help fund the presidential campaign. Trump apologized and his wife said “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me… I hope people will accept his apology, as I have.”
“News that Donald Trump claimed a $916 million net operating loss on 1995 state tax returns has led to speculation that he could have wiped out his tax liabilities for more than 15 years.” (WSJ) Trump’s tax return was leaked to the New York Times, who may have published them illegally.
The first debate between the Vice President candidates took place, featuring Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Trump and Clinton will have another presidential debate on Sunday, 9 October.
“UK Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will trigger formal process for leaving European Union [Article 50] by end of March 2017″ (AP) The UK also wants to drastically reduce immigration, from over 300,000 migrants a year to under 100,000.
“Three British-born scientists won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for revealing unusual states of matter, leading to advances in electronics that could aid researchers trying to develop quantum computers.” (Reuters)
“Police in the eastern German city of Chemnitz have detained three people as they continue a search for a suspect believed to be planning a bomb attack.” (BBC)
“Colombia’s government and Marxist guerrillas went back to the drawing board on Tuesday after a peace deal they painstakingly negotiated over four years was rejected in a shock referendum result.” The deal was rejected by Colombians in a close vote (50.2% against) with many people saying it was too lenient on the rebels. However, they do want an end to the fighting, and the government-rebel ceasefire is still in place. Two major points of contention were guaranteed congressional seats for FARC rebels, and immunity from prison sentences for some of FARC’s leaders.
“Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 52-year conflict with left-wing rebels.” (BBC)
Turkey extended their state of emergency by an additional 3 months.
Some journalists have left Twitter over allegations that the service has censored them at Turkey’s request.
War in Syria continues. “On Friday, the World Health Organization said that fewer than 30 doctors remain in Aleppo — and that all attacks should cease in order to let relief flow into the city that’s been under siege since early July.” (NPR)
A Saudi-led coalition allegedly struck a funeral hall in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, killing at least 80 people and injuring more than 500. The coalition denied carrying out an air strike, saying “other causes” must have resulted in the deaths and injuries.
“Fifty-two people were killed and many more injured in Ethiopia’s Oromia region during a protest at a religious festival, the government says.” (BBC)
“A coalition of human rights groups is calling on the Obama administration to make good on an executive order issued this summer that requires the United States to investigate when civilians are harmed in lethal operations abroad, including drone strikes.” (TI) This comes after news that the United States government is building a drone base in Niger. “The long-planned project — considered the most important U.S. military construction effort in Africa, according to formerly secret files obtained by The Intercept through the Freedom of Information Act — is slated to cost $100 million, and is just one of a number of recent American military initiatives in the impoverished nation.”
environment, technology, and science
Hurricane Matthew, “the most powerful Atlantic storm in more than a decade,” has wrought tremendous destruction. Almost 900 people were killed in Haiti, with countless more injured or in need of assistance. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. At least a million people in the United States are without power, and 6 died in Florida. Preeemptive states of emergency were declared.
“Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials… scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI….” (Reuters) Yahoo called the Reuters article “misleading” while others said Yahoo’s practice of scanning emails “represents some deeply troubling new twists” in mass surveillance.
“For a few thousand dollars, Chinese companies offer to export a powerful chemical that has been killing unsuspecting drug users and is so lethal that it presents a potential terrorism threat, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP identified 12 Chinese businesses that said they would export the chemical — a synthetic opioid known as carfentanil — to [at least 7 countries,] no questions asked.” (AP)
“The U.N. is planning to launch its first space mission into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can’t afford their own space programs.” (NPR)