North Korea calls latest UN sanctions an act of war

According to North Korea’s foreign ministry, the latest round of UN sanctions are “an act of war,” and threatened to punish those who supported the measure. The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday due to its recent ICBM test, seeking to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil along with its earnings from workers abroad.

The new resolution seeks to ban nearly 90% of refined petroleum exports by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and demands the “repatriation of North Koreans working abroad within 24 months”. The US-drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4 million barrels a year and commits the Council to further reductions if the North conducts another ICBM/nuclear test.

In a statement, North Korea’s foreign ministry said the US is “terrified” by its nuclear force and was getting “more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country”.

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Former Sanders campaign director running for congress in Iowa

Pete D’alessandro, who is Bernie Sanders former campaign director in Iowa, is now running for congress. Pete is Running for Iowas 3rd congressional district campaigning for; $15 minimum wage, Expand Medicare-for-all, tuition free college, lead on addressing the global climate crisis. He’s been endorsed by his local Our Revolution chapter & also the national group, Nurses United.


Learn more about Pete & how to support his campaign on his website at www.peteforiowa.com


The new GOP tax bill continues to be Socialism for the rich & crony capitalism for the poor

Time after time we hear that giving the top 1% tax cuts will create jobs, yet we never see the result. These same corporations are the same ones paying NOTHING in FEDERAL INCOME TAXES, therefore leaving us the working class the tab to pay.

Why are workers defending the corporations when they’re the ones lobbying for these laws? Back under Eisenhower Income taxes on the top 1% was 90%, only affecting those making $200,000 a year & couples making $400,000 a year thus putting more money into our economy instead of sitting on it.



Today that’s roughly an individual making $1.7 million & a couple making $3.4 million. Todays highest tax rate is a measly 39.6%, and the new GOP tax scam plans to cut the corporate tax rate to 21% which is absolutely absurd.


For example Verizon not only did this telecommunications giant avoid pain federal income taxes on $42.5 billion in United States profits from 2008 through 2013, but it also received a text rebate of $732 million.


How about another example, General Electric. When I comes to dodging Texas, GE brings good things to the table. From 2008 through 2013, while GE made nearly $34 billion in profits, it received tax refunds of nearly $3 billion.

Meanwhile, during the financial crisis of 2008, GE received a $16 billion bail out from the federal reserve while it’s chief executive officer at the time was serving as a director of the New York federal reserve bank.


And then finally how about IBM, no big blue has a long record of outsourcing good paying jobs, slashing pensions, and cutting retiree health benefits. In 2015, IBM made nearly $6 billion in profits in the United States.

So not only did IBM pay nothing in federal income taxes that year, it also received a $321 million tax refund from the IRS, while also receiving $1.35 billion in government contracts. And from 2008 to 2015, IBM avoided $17.8 billion in United States taxes by operating subsidies in 16 offshore tax savings.

So I really can’t find a good reason to give the same corporations a bigger tax break when they already are avoiding paying taxes as it is.


Protests against Catalan leadership arrests

Thousands of Catalans took to the streets outside the region’s parliament in Barcelona on Thursday to protest the internment of eight ministers of Catalonia’s former government. 

The former officials, along with four others who ignored Spain’s high court summons, are charged with rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds.

Carles Puigdemont was also charged but didn’t leave Belgium to answer to Spanish prosecutors. Madrid is pushing for a European Arrest Warrant for Mr. Puigdemont.

Catalan flags and signs adorned with pro-independence slogans and demands for the “political prisoners” to be freed.

Other towns and cities across Catalonia outside Barcelona also held similar rallies in support of the former government officials with political parties, lobbyists and civic groups condemning the move.

Puigdemont arrived in Brussels last week, not to seek asylum as Belgium had previously offered, but to guarantee “safety” from Madrid after the Spanish government dismissed the Catalan autonomy following a declaration of independence.

On the charges against members of his former government, Puigdemont said the detention was “an act that breaks with the basic principles of democracy.”

“I demand the release of the ministers and the vice president,” he told Madrid in a statement that was broadcast on Catalan TV from an unknown location in Belgium.

The former Catalan president has made clear he will not travel to Madrid unless he is guaranteed a fair trial. The exact parameters of the guarantee are not publicly known.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor said the law will be carried if an EU arrest warrant is issued for Puigdemont, but it is unclear whether the offer of political asylum still stands.


Who are the ministers?

The following are the jailed ministers of the former regional government of Catalonia:

  • Former Deputy Vice-President Oriol Junqueras
  • Former Interior Minister Joaquim Forn
  • Former Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva
  • Former Justice Minister Carles Mundó
  • Former Labour Minister Dolors Bassa
  • Former Government Presidency Councillor Jordi Turull
  • Former Sustainable Development Minister Josep Rull
  • Former Culture Minister Meritxell Borras

A ninth official, ex-Minister of Business Santi Vila, was allowed bail at with the approval of prosecutors. Mr. Vila had quit before the Catalan parliament voted for independence on Oct 27.

Prosecutors have requested European Arrest Warrant’s for Meritxell Serret, former agriculture minister; Antoni Comín, a former health minister; Lluís Puig, former culture minister; and Clara Ponsatí, the former education minister.

Six others within the former regional government are also facing charges but due to parliamentary immunity will have their cases handled by the Supreme Court starting with hearings on Nov 9.


More details to follow. Image 1 of the rallying outside the Catalan parliament in Barcelona on Thursday from ABC News. 


Eli

ACLU requests to represent US citizen detained in Syria, reportedly fought with ISIS

The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) has requested to represent a US citizen detained in Syria, who reportedly fought alongside the Islamic State. The citizen, whose identity is being withheld from the public, is being held without formal charges or access to an attorney.

Government attorneys filed a response to the ACLU, after they (ACLU) petitioned the US District Court in Washington DC, to challenge the man’s detention and seek legal counsel for him.

The man was captured by US-backed Kurdish forces in September, according to Steven Dalbey, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Detainee Policy. His captors turned him over to US special forces, on 12/September, who identified him as an enemy combatant and is currently detained in Iraq.


war

Blast kills three in Kabul

A suicide bomber has detonated explosives inside Kabul’s diplomatic area close to the Ministry of Defense killing three in the Afghan capital.

At least three people were killed and 14 others wounded in the blast at the 14th St of Wazir Akbar Khan area, the Public Health Ministry’s spokesman Ismail Kawoosi told Al Jazeera news agency.

The explosion occurred outside the defense ministry building, but they were not the target and neither was the Australian embassy despite initial reports.


More details to follow. Image 1 via CNN


Eli

Former Trump aides enter FBI custody

Former campaign manager for United States President Donald Trump Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates turned themselves over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday.

This comes amid a probe into allegations regarding Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates with a 12-point indictment that includes conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to launder money.


Read the full indictment


Beyond these two charges, the pair faces the following: unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements and seven counts of failure to disclosed foreign bank and financial accounts.

Mr. Trump responded on Twitter a few hours after the charges were laid out, saying “sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign”.

He also called for investigation focus on “crooked” former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

 

The president followed up with a second tweet saying there is “no collusion!”

The indictment revealed that former foreign affairs aide to Mr. Trump George Papadopoulos secretly plead guilty in lying to FBI agents during the investigation.

Manafort and Gates will appear in court at 1:30 pm ET.

The White House has yet to formally respond to the incidents.


More details to follow. Image 1 of Paul Manafort from CNN.


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