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Tuesday, Sep 19th

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White House 'pressuring' intelligence officials to find Iran in violation of nuclear deal

Tillerson and AmanoUS intelligence officials are under pressure from the White House to produce a justification to declare Iran in violation of a 2015 nuclear agreement, in an echo of the politicisation of intelligence that led up to the Iraq invasion, according to former officials and analysts.

The collapse of the 2015 deal between Tehran, the US and five other countries – by which Iran has significantly curbed its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief – would trigger a new crisis over nuclear proliferation at a time when the US is in a tense standoff with North Korea.

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White House reverses Obama ban on police getting military equipment

Sessions lifts ban on military equipment for policeThe Trump administration is lifting a controversial ban on the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local police departments, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday.

President Trump will sign an executive order Monday reinstating the Pentagon program, Sessions said.

Former President Obama put a halt to the so-called 1033 program in 2015 after images of heavily armed police responding to protests in Ferguson, Mo., shocked the nation.

Obama's initiatives blocked the transfer of armored vehicles, grenade launchers, armed aircraft, bayonets and guns and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher.

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Mexico to Trump: We won't pay for a border wall 'under any circumstances'

Mexican President says NO to wallSpurred by President Donald Trump’s emphatic reiteration that it will eventually pay for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Mexican government said in a statement Sunday that it will not fund such a project “under any circumstances.”

“As the Mexican government has always stated, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border,” the statement from Mexico’s foreign ministry read. “This statement is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but rather a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.”

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How a Corporate Assault on Greenpeace Is Spreading

GreenpeaceGreenpeace should be worried. A second large company has accused the prominent environmental group of violating the potent U.S. racketeering law. In a lawsuit filed August 22, Energy Transfer Partners accused Greenpeace of spreading lies and inciting vandalism to raise money and hamper completion of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The legal attack follows a similar suit against Greenpeace brought last year on behalf of the Canadian timber company Resolute Forest Products Inc.

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Houston crippled by catastrophic flooding with more rain on the way

Houston reels from floods

Houston is facing worsening historic flooding in the coming days as Tropical Storm Harvey dumps more rain on the city, swelling rivers to record levels and forcing federal engineers on Monday to release water from area reservoirs in hopes of controlling the rushing currents.

Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years when it came ashore on Friday near Corpus Christi, about 220 miles (354 km) south of Houston, and has killed at least two people. It has since lingered around Texas’ Gulf Coast, where it is forecast to remain for several more days, drenching parts of the region with a year’s worth of rain in the span of a week.

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Oldest white supremacist site shut down after complaint

Stormfront.org shut downThe founder of the internet's oldest white supremacist site says he's trying to get back online after having his operations shut down following complaints that it promotes hatred and is linked to dozens of murders.

Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who has operated stormfront.org since 1995, said Monday he didn't receive any warning before Network Solutions, the leading company that registers website names, shut down the site Friday.

TVNL Comment: The more frightening part is that this ugly site has more than 300,000 registered users.  Are there really that many insane people?

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GOP Illinois Governor Signs Major Voting Reform Into Law

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs voting bill into lawIllinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a law Monday authorizing different state agencies to automatically register voters when they interact with them, marking a huge victory for voting advocates after Rauner vetoed similar legislation a year ago.

Illinois is the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration, a process by which people are automatically registered to vote or have their information updated on the rolls when they interact with the state’s motor vehicle agency or some other state agencies. Oregon was the first state to adapt automatic voter registration in 2015, and advocates say the reform can significantly strengthen voting rights.

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Maybe Trump is a kind of cry for help from the Earth, a human flare

Maybe Trump is a call for help from the EarthSo are we heading for a Mad Max-style future? I don’t think so. After having lived through Donald Trump we’ll surely just call him Max. Trump is behaving so strangely, we’re probably about a month away from not being allowed to make jokes about him.

He’s gone past Charlie Sheen and we’re now entering the bald Britney phase. It’s hard to imagine how America can go back to having a normal president after this. The next president will have to be a car with guns for wheels. After Trump, a Saturday Night Live sketch about Mike Pence would look like something by Samuel Beckett.

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The Trouble With Ivanka’s Business Partner

Moshe Lax, Ivanka's businss partnerHis vendors call him a “career grifter.” His father’s creditors claim he’s a fraud and a serial extortionist who shakes people down with trumped-up threats of criminal charges. With these and other allegations piling up in court records along with judgments—against him, his wife and his businesses—for millions of dollars, his lawyers are abandoning him, saying he’s a deadbeat. All the while, he’s been living in one of the most luxurious mansions in the Bronx.

Meet Ivanka Trump’s longtime friend, matchmaker and business partner, Moshe Lax.

For the past decade, Lax, a 43-year-old New York diamond heir and entrepreneur, has been Trump’s partner in Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the first major venture of her business career.

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