Kabul Bombing: Huge Explosion Rocks Diplomatic District

Dozens of Afghan civilians killed after massive explosion rips through the heart of the capital’s diplomatic district. A massive truck bomb blast has ripped through the heart of Kabul’s diplomatic district, killing at least 80 people and wounding hundreds, in a powerful explosion described by officials as “one of the biggest” to have hit the Afghan capital. A tanker truck believed to be carrying either water or human waste exploded on Wednesday near Zanbaq square, in Kabul’s 10th district, close to shops and restaurants, as well as government offices and foreign embassies. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told Al Jazeera that the group was not involved in the attack. READ MORE: Social media users react to ‘horrific’ Kabul bombing Police and health officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that at least 80 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in the attack. Aziz...

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US Declares Success in Key Test of Missile Defence

But since $40bn system was declared ready for combat in 2004, only four of nine intercept attempts have been successful. The US military scored an important success in a test of its oft-criticised missile-defence programme, destroying a mock warhead over the Pacific Ocean with an interceptor that is key to protecting US territory from a North Korean attack. Vice Admiral Jim Syring, director of the Pentagon agency in charge of developing the missile-defence system, called the test result “an incredible accomplishment” and a critical milestone for a programme hampered by setbacks over the years. “This system is vitally important to the defence of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat,” Syring said in a statement announcing the test result. Despite the success, the $244m test didn’t confirm that under wartime conditions the US could intercept an intercontinental-range missile...

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On This Day, May 31, 2005 – Deep Throat is Revealed

W. Mark Felt’s family ends 30 years of speculation, identifying Felt, the former FBI assistant director, as “Deep Throat,” the secret source who helped unravel the Watergate scandal. The Felt family’s admission, made in an article in Vanity Fair magazine, took legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who had promised to keep their source’s identity a secret until his death, by surprise. Tapes show that Nixon himself had speculated that Felt was the secret informant as early as 1973. The question “Who was Deep Throat?” had been investigated relentlessly in the ensuing years since Watergate in movies, books, televisions shows, and on the Internet. America was obsessed with the shadowy figure who went to great lengths to conceal his involvement with the Washington Post reporters. Although his name was often mentioned as a possibility, Felt consistently denied being Deep Throat, even writing in his 1979 memoir, “I never...

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Illinois Advances Legislation That Would Register More Than a Million New Voters

by Kira Lerner – The state legislature unanimously passed automatic voter registration after it was vetoed last year. Illinois’ legislature unanimously passed legislation Monday that would make it the ninth state with automatic voter registration, adding over one million new voters to the rolls. The bill would automatically register eligible citizens who visit the Department of Motor Vehicles, Secretary of State’s office, and several other state agencies unless they opt out. It heads to Gov. Bruce Rauner (R)’s desk after final approval by the state senate, which also unanimously passed it earlier this month. Advocates estimate that roughly one million out of 2.2 million unregistered but eligible Illinois voters will be added to the rolls once they visit a participating agency. The bill marks the second time lawmakers in Illinois have attempted to enact automatic registration. Last August, Rauner vetoed a similar bill, citing the threat of non-citizens committing voter fraud even...

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Steve Bannon Told Trump: ‘go to the mattresses’ & Bodies Falling at WH Just Like a Mafia Movie

by ursulafaw – The Trump White House is flailing like a beached whale right now as Kremlin Gate looms like a tsunami in the distance. They can hear it roaring and it’s only a question of time before it arrives, smashing them down, engulfing them and splintering their soon to be lost dreams of glory. And who is the only man who can stop it, or so he tells them? Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon has advised Donald Trump that his only hope is to “go to the mattresses,” under Bannon’s direction if he wants to  save his presidency. This from the Washington Post: Although much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as campaign manager nearly a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics...

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Homeless Man Who Helped Manchester Victims is Rewarded With Housing (VIDEO)

by Amanda Froelich – For his heroism, the activist has received offers of assistance and housing. Last week, word traveled fast that a homeless man named Chris Parker had stepped in to help victims of the Manchester terror attack when others went fleeing. As True Activist reported, he helped several individuals – including a woman in her 60’s who passed away in his arms. Now that a short period of time has passed, the details of the incident have become more clear. Parker was not alone when he ran into the Manchester Arena where the bomb took place. Another homeless man, named Stephen Jones, joined him. The duo worked to transport the injured away from the building and to pull debris from peoples’ wounds. Together, they kept a woman’s legs elevated so she wouldn’t bleed out. They also comforted some children as they desperately looked for their parents. For their heroism,...

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Senate Republicans Could Preserve One of Trumpcare’s Deadliest Provisions

by Casey Quinlan – Out-of-pocket spending could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for those seeking maternity care. As Senate Republicans move forward with their health care bill, they may decide to keep waivers from the House bill that would harm some of the sickest and neediest Americans. At least six Republican Senators — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — are either open to the state waivers in the American Health Care Act or fully support them, according to BuzzFeed and The Hill. This is despite the fact that a Congressional Budget Office report issued earlier this week found that these waivers could make it impossible for some sick people to purchase any health coverage due to higher premiums. These waivers would make it possible for states to disregard essential health benefit standards — which...

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To Ram Through Unpopular Agenda, Trump Urges GOP to Kill Senate Filibuster

by Common Dreams staff – Though his proposals have found slim support among the American people, president wants GOP allies to push items through “fast and easy”. President Donald Trump indicated to Republicans on Tuesday that they should ignore widespread voter disapproval of his agenda as he urged them to once again jettison filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate in order to ram through a bill that would strip health coverage from an estimated 23 million people over the next decade and pass massive tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations. “The U.S. Senate should switch to 51 votes, immediately, and get Healthcare and TAX CUTS approved, fast and easy. Dems would do it, no doubt!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, only 21% of voters approve of the Republican “wealthcare, not a healthcare bill” which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month...

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Salt Lake City Police Invested in Training and Haven’t had an Officer-involved Shooting in Two Years

by Kelly Macias – In the United States, we’ve come to accept a narrative that part of being a police officer means that an unfortunate reality of the job is that someone (a civilian) may lose their life in a justifiable shooting. This line of thinking is simplistic and prevents us from looking at much-needed reform within the institution of policing and it doesn’t have to be true. Less than six months into the year, police officers have already shot and killed 367 people—a number slightly higher than the last two years. But there is evidence that when police embrace training tactics that involve communication and empathy, they don’t have to take lives. In Utah’s capital, police have actively embraced a tactic called de-escalation. The officers being trained in de-escalation are encouraged to communicate and empathize with suspects, take stock of the factors contributing to a confrontation, and consider ways to disengage before the situation spirals out...

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Boom: Macron Calls Out Putin for Election Meddling…While Standing Next to Him

by ExpatGirl – France’s new President, Emmanuel Macron, isn’t playing when it comes to Vladimir Putin. In their first joint press appearance, he specifically called out Russia Today and Sputnik as Russian propaganda and disinformation arms. Wow. Bradd Jaffy ✔@BraddJaffy Macron said this today while standing literally right next to Putin. Damn. http://apne.ws/2rOizND  12:04 PM – 29 May 2017 To quote one person on Twitter, I have President envy. I get the feeling we are seeing the stirring of a fascinating time on the global stage. France and Germany have stepped up to the plate to forge a stronger and more independent path for Europe based in the liberal democracy ideals the US has historically been considered to embody. Standing up to Trump and Putin visibly and vocally has become a political gain not only in Europe but in the countries on our northern and southern borders. And as forces outside...

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Manuel Noriega, Ex-military Ruler of Panama, Dies at 83 (VIDEO)

Former ruler of Panama was held in medically induced coma after brain surgery in March. Manuel Noriega, Panama’s former ruler, has died aged 83, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela announced on Twitter. Noriega was the country’s military ruler from 1983 to 1989, when he was removed from power by the United States during the invasion of Panama. “The death of Manuel Antonio Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and their families deserve a burial in peace,” Varela said. Juan Carlos Varela ✔@JC_Varela Muerte de Manuel A. Noriega cierra un capítulo de nuestra historia; sus hijas y sus familiares merecen un sepelio en paz. 12:58 AM – 30 May 2017 Noriega was held in a medically induced coma after suffering brain hemorrhaging in March. The hemorrhage occurred after Noriega underwent surgery to have a tumour removed from his brain. During his rule, Noriega initially positioned Panama as a...

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On This Day, May 30, 1491 – Joan of Arc Martyred

At Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy. Joan was born in 1412, the daughter of a tenant farmer at Domremy, on the borders of the duchies of Bar and Lorraine. In 1415, the Hundred Years War between England and France entered a crucial phase when the young King Henry V of England invaded France and won a series of decisive victories against the forces of King Charles VI. By the time of Henry’s death in August 1422, the English and their French-Burgundian allies controlled Aquitaine and most of northern France, including Paris. Charles VI, long incapacitated, died one month later, and his son, Charles, regent from 1418, prepared to take the throne. However, Reims, the traditional city of French coronation, was held by the Anglo-Burgundians, and the Dauphin (heir apparent to the...

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After ‘Heroic Intervention,’ Funds Being Raised for Portland Victims

by Lauren McCauley – Taliesin Myrddin and Ricky Best died after confrontation with alleged racist; Micah Fletcher survived despite extensive injuries to his neck. In a cruel twist to a devastating story about bravery in the face of hate, friends of Micah Fletcher, the sole survivor of the Oregon transit stabbing on Friday, are now trying to raise funds to pay for his life-saving medical treatment. “Our friend was stabbed and critically injured while being a good Samaritan and heroically intervening during the racist terrorist incident that left two men dead,” reads the Go Fund Me page. “He bravely did what anyone should do when confronted with terrorism and stepped in to stop the harassment of Muslim women by a known White Supremacist.” Fletcher was one of three people who approached suspect Jeremy Christian on the Portland MAX train on Friday after Christian was seen “yelling anti-Muslim hate speech at the...

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The Other Special Prosecutor We Need

by ARN PEARSON – Trump and his inner circle cashing in on the White House is its own growing scandal. It’s been one revelation after the other these days about President Trump’s attempts to shut down the FBI’s Russiagate investigation. Turn on the news and you’re bound to hear comparisons to Nixon’s Watergate scandal and phrases like “obstruction of justice,” “intimidating a witness” and “cover-up” being hotly debated. And then last Wednesday, the Department of Justice finally bowed to reality and appointed a special prosecutor, former FBI Director Robert Mueller. “Based upon the unique circumstances the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Progress. Meanwhile, another scandal is brewing in the White House that demands equal attention — Trump, his family and his inner circle cashing...

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Fearing for My Life During a Traffic Stop: Rising Police Violence in the Borderlands

by Ankur Singh, Truthout | News Analysis – Three cop cars with their sirens blazing were coming fast behind me. It was a dark night in April 2017 in Nogales, Arizona, along the US-Mexico border. The infamous wall was visible from where I was stopped. I am an Indian-American college student who had been living in Nogales for the past few months studying journalism and education. My heart dropped as I pulled over to the side of the road. “Driver!” a Nogales Police Department (NPD) officer yelled at me through the loud metallic intercom of his vehicle. I didn’t know how to respond since the officer’s statement wasn’t really a question or a command, so I just shouted, “Yes?” out the window. In my driver-side mirror, I saw an agent creeping toward my car with his blinding, bright flashlight and gun pointed directly at me. Two more officers stood...

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“NSA in Unprecedented Hunt for KremlinGate Evidence”

by pollwatcher – The Trump regime has relentlessly attacked our Intelligence agencies in an effort to discredit them and obstruct any investigation into the regime’s love affair with Putin and other ruthless authoritarians.  I’m not sure how they thought this was going to be a good idea, but it looks like the NSA has had enough.  … now that the Justice Department has appointed Robert Mueller special counsel charged with running the Russia investigation, NSA is apparently pulling out all the stops to track down any additional evidence which might be relevant to the expanded inquiry into KremlinGate. Specifically, last week NSA is believed to have sent out an unprecedented order to the Directorate of Operations, the agency’s largest unit. The DO, as insiders term it, manages all of NSA’s SIGINT (signal intelligence) assets worldwide, making it the most important spy operation on earth. … Such an order would have charged every...

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A Sad, Needy, Little Man

by joe quigley – Donald Trump has to measure up to the big boys. It is important to him. He needs it. He isn’t his father, the man he wants to be just like, and his need to compensate, or even prove himself to his dead father is palpable. His name has to be huge on his buildings. Not only must it be seen from a great distance by the living, but it has to be seen by the dead. He insisted during one Republican Candidate Debate that his penis was the biggest of the bunch. He even had to make sure that people remembered that by calling Marco Rubio ”Little Marco” so he could continually, albeit indirectly, remind people of his  own claimed endowment. He wants people to know, or at least think they know that. At the G7 Summit he needed to push his way to the front, even...

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House, Senate Republicans at Odds Over Blistering Trumpcare CBO Score, Where to go From Here

by Joan McCarter – House Republicans are in full denial over how bad the Congressional Budget Office score of Zombie Trumpcare was for them, insisting that the CBO doesn’t know what it’s talking about. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are at great pains to promise that their bill won’t be as awful as the CBO score says the House bill is. Here, for example, is Rep. Mark Meadows, the lead maniac in the Freedom Caucus. “Some of their assumptions appear not to be backed up by real analysis, specifically as it relates to obviously the number of people uninsured,” he said. “What was probably disappointing is that it was long on rhetoric and short on support of where that rhetoric came from,” Meadows told reporters Thursday. Economic analysis=rhetoric if you are a Republican. Or, if you’re Speaker Paul Ryan, you just ignore all the stuff that was really bad and focus on the sliver...

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Foreign Policy Mag Lays T Word on Jared Kushner: “It’s time to talk about treason.”

by durrati – Foreign Policy Magazine is touted by the mediabias/factcheck website as being one of the least biased and most reliable sources for news on world affairs. The website says of the magazine’s rating…. “These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes).  The reporting is factual and usually sourced.  These are the most credible media sources.” The drumpf maladministration should be very concerned then when Foreign Policy uses the very loaded T word in an opinion piece about Kushner’s attempts to string a tin can directly to Putin under the lede – “Jared Kushner’s Growing Stench of Treason.” Emile Simpson dismisses the maladministration’s various defenses of Kushner’s actions with the simple argument that, if what was to be discussed via Russia’s secret ring decoder hotline to the Kremlin in their NYC Embassy were legal there would be no...

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Trump Will Reportedly Exit Paris Climate Deal, Making Us a Rogue Nation

by Joe Romm – The move could pave the way for other defectors — like Putin’s Russia. President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday. After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see. While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She...

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