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NYPD Sued After Kicking Wrong Family Out of Home

The New York Police Department got an order kicking a family of four out of their Queens apartment by telling a judge it was a drug den, but the dealers had moved out seven months earlier. A lawsuit to be filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday details an egregious case of the NYPD’s use of the nuisance abatement law — a controversial tool in which cops are able to get a temporary order barring people from their homes without first giving them the opportunity to appear before a judge. The bungled operation left Austria Bueno, 32, a housekeeper, crashing at a hotel and on a relative’s floor, beside her two sons and husband, for four nights, as they waited for their first court date.

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Five Big Banks Flunk Key Test, Proving They're Still

JP Morgan Chase & Co. is one of five big banks whose plan was rejected on Wednesday. (Photo: Gideon Benari/flickr/cc) Federal regulators Wednesday confirmed what watchdogs have been warning for years—the biggest banks in the United States are still "too big to fail." The Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) found that five major U.S. banks failed to offer credible strategies for how they would enter bankruptcy in an "orderly fashion," without taking the whole economy down with them. The so-called "living wills" rejected by the banking agencies were submitted by Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., State Street Corp., and Wells Fargo.

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Congress Prepares Puerto Rico Bailout as Island Governor Suspends Debt Payments

During negotiations of the omnibus budget deal at the end of 2015, House Republican Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised House Democrat Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that Congress would consider legislation to grant the Island with bankruptcy protection from its debts. The tentative deadline to begin action was March 31. The House Natural Resources Committee is drafting a rescue package for Puerto Rico. Hearings on the measure will begin this week. The House conservative Republican Study Committee blasted an early draft of the Puerto Rico legislation, calling it a “bankruptcy-style involuntary restructuring.”

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“Nuit Debout” – Have Protests in France Turned Into a Larger Movement?

The French people have been protesting new labor laws for a couple of weeks, but what I find particular interesting is the potential for these gatherings to turn into a full fledged political movement. We all know by now that the status quo doesn’t care if the peasants get out in the streets for a few days to blow off some steam after being raped and pillaged by politicians. What really worries them; however, is when people get together, start talking to each other and then form cohesive movements. With “Nuit Debout,” or “Up All Night,” this may be happening in France.

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Former US State Department Official to Buy Ukraine's Largest Telcom Company

This is just about as insane and open of an inside look, as to how US empire operators grab the spoils of their interventions that result in turmoil, that you are ever likely to get. As is clear, the US played an important role in the Ukrainian revolution as revealed by the release of a recording of a phone call between Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (SEE: An Important Second Listen to the "F--k the EU" Ukraine Recording). But, Nuland isn't the only US State Department official playing a major role in Ukraine.

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Chelsea Clinton joins $12b ‘shadow bank’ - the kind her mom rails against

Chelsea Clinton once worked for the type of shadow-bank her mom, Hillary Clinton is now railing against on the presidential campaign trail. Mrs. Clinton joined Avenue Capital Group, a $12 billion hedge fund whose founder has contributed to many Democratic Party campaigns in 2006. She has since left the firm, Erika Gudmundson, a spokesman for the Clinton’s confirmed. The hedge fund was co-founded by Marc Lasry, who is well-known in Democratic circles, having contributed to the campaigns of Mrs. Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and others. The younger Clinton is now on the campaign trail for her mother.

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Under ObamaCare, Insurers Are Losing Money On A Product People Must Buy

ObamaCare requires people to buy insurance, but UnitedHealth Group is losing so much money it’s exiting two states, and eight co-ops are on the brink. This is your health care on government. The good news just keeps on rolling in for ObamaCare. A few days after the Congressional Budget Office issued a serious downgrade of the law’s future, UnitedHealth (UNH) announced it was pulling out of ObamaCare in Georgia and Arkansas. That could be the first step toward the company’s abandoning ObamaCare entirely — something the insurer had warned that it would do after posting a $720 million loss last year. Some ObamaCare boosters have dismissed this as no big deal, since UnitedHealth isn’t a big player in the individual market. But Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies are big players, and they’re getting hammered as well. A Fitch Ratings report earlier this year found that 16 of 23 had let losses in the first nine months of last year. Many others are reporting losses. Aetna says it posted losses of up to 4% last year on its ObamaCare plans. On and on it goes.

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Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

According to a new offender manual from Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prisoners whose families maintain a social media presence to call attention to their incarceration will be liable to harsh punishment, including up to 45 days in solitary, loss of privileges, and extra work duty.

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In Transparency Report, Uber Reveals It's Sharing a Lot More than Rides

Uber's first-ever transparency report, released Tuesday, reveals that in the second half of 2015 alone, the popular ride-sharing app handed over information affecting more than 12 million riders and drivers to a number of U.S. regulators, and shared data about more than 400 users with federal and state law enforcement agencies.

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Section of 9/11 Commission report linking Saudi Arabia to 9/11 attacks may be declassified

The 9/11 Commission interviewed hundreds of witnesses and compiled a report of more than 800 pages. The report’s last chapter of the report, however, has been classified for the last thirteen years.

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Maybe The NSA Has Already Broken Every Security System, Not By Hacking Computers, But By Hacking The Entire Industry

Recently, there have been plenty of Techdirt stories about the authorities in the US and elsewhere making increasingly strident attacks on encryption, with claims that things are "going dark," and that Silicon Valley is foolishly aiding terrorism thanks to its "obsession" with privacy etc. etc. Against that background, it's easy to get swept up by a narrative that pits us, the freedom fighters, against them, the dark forces of repression, and to celebrate the occasional wins that come our way.

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Names of intelligence officials, agents, appear in Panama Papers

The massive data leak of documents belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has revealed the names of intelligence officials and agents form several countries, who employed front companies to conceal their financial activities. According to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which was the initial recipient of the largest data leak in history last summer, the list of names includes intelligence officials from the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, as well as “close intermediaries of the [United States] Central Intelligence Agency”.

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Criminal: Details Emerge of Washington’s ‘Fast & Furious’ Arms Trafficking in Syria

No doubt about it. In comparison to Washington’s other weapons trafficking exploits, like Operation Fast & Furious, this one is even more reckless, dangerous, totally unethical – and completely illegal. Back in 2011, President Obama green-lighted one of the CIA’s worst ever operations – one which resulted in a five year-long flood of weapons, ammunition – right into the hands of ‘moderate’ terrorist fighters running wild in Syria. In total, hundreds of millions in US taxpayer funds have been spent on arming terrorists in Syria. This is no accident.

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U.S. and Saudis Causing Hundreds of Thousands of Children to Starve to Death In Yemen

The United States is a major backer and supporter of the Saudi-led war against Yemen. The U.S. supplies the weapons, and provides most of the targeting and military tactics. See this, this, this, this,this and this. (And see this for background on the Yemen war.) The Saudi and American military are committing war crimes left and right …

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The Goldman Sachs Settlement Is an Abomination and Insult to All American Citizens

The increased use of eminent domain to transfer property to powerful political interests, the ramifications of the wars on terrorism and drugs, and the violation of the property rights of bondholders in the auto-bailout case have weakened the tradition of strong adherence to the rule of law in United States. We believe these factors have contributed to the sharp decline in the rating for the legal-system area. To a large degree, the United States has experienced a significant move away from rule of law and toward a highly regulated, politicized, and heavily policed state.

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Police Docs: Cops “Punched, Beat, Tasered, & Strangled” Men Illegally Held in Secret Chicago Prison

Internal police documents obtained through a public records request showed Chicago officers punched, beat, Tasered and strangled men held illegally at Homan Square, the city’s off-site interrogation center. Chicago Police Department files confirm that officers used physical force against at least 14 men when they were held in custody at its warehouse site, according to the Guardian on Tuesday, which obtained the documents through a lawsuit under Illinois’ freedom of information law.

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Goldman and Wells Fargo FINALLY Admit They Committed Fraud

Goldman Sachs has finally admitted to committing fraud. Specifically, Goldman Sachs reached a settlement yesterday with the Department of Justice, in which it admitted fraud: The settlement includes a statement of facts to which Goldman has agreed. That statement of facts describes how Goldman made false and misleading representations to prospective investors about the characteristics of the loans it securitized and the ways in which Goldman would protect investors in its RMBS from harm (the quotes in the following paragraphs are from that agreed-upon statement of facts, unless otherwise noted)

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"The man who brought jihad to Britain, did so thanks to MI6"

“The story of Masood Azhar’s trip to Britain does not fit the narrative promoted by Muslim community leaders and security experts alike,” concluded Bowen. “According to them, the spread of jihadist ideology in Britain had nothing to do with the UK’s mainly South Asian mosques.” Bowen, author of a book seeking to map Muslim communities in Britain, Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent (Hurst, 2014), claims that jihadist ideology, influenced by “Pakistan’s far right, religio-political movements is still deeply embedded in large parts of the Deobandi network in Britain.” This, she suggests citing a former self-styled “founder member of al-Qaeda” turned security consultant, ‘Aimen Dean’, is a legacy of widespread sympathy for extremists among Deobandis both before and after 911.

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Man Nearly Killed & Arrested for Doing NOTHING Wrong

On April 1st, Julian Carmona pulled up to a Houston gas station to use the bathroom. In under a minute, however, he would be face down in the parking lot, looking up at the barrel of a police issued 9mm, arrested and charged aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a Houston police officer.

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Comedian Could Face 3 Years In German (Not Turkish!) Jail For Mocking Notoriously Thin-Skinned Turkish President

Techdirt has been following with interest the ways in which the delicate sensibility of Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is being wounded. First there was Gollum; then the filing of 1,845 cases of allegedly insulting the Turkish President; and finally, a mild satirical video that Erdoğan didn't want you to see. The last of these not only caused the Streisand Effect to kick in with a vengeance, but has provoked a German comedian to take things up a notch, as reported here by the Guardian:

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