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January 1, Biden administration bombs Somalia for the third time in two weeks



Hello Americans,

The White House is escalating the airstrikes in Somalia in the ongoing drone efforts against the militant group al-Shabaab. The Biden administration bombed Somalia for the third time in less than two weeks. The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) released a press release stating “no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.” Some pointed out that AFRICOM has incorrectly reported the number of civilian casualties during their drone efforts against al-Shabaab in the past. The escalation of the conflict in Somalia began during former President Trump’s time in office when the US dropped a record number of bombs on the country.

You may want to skip the airport bar next time you’re flying somewhere. Amid an uptick of unruly incidents, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called on airports to monitor alcohol use. “Every week, we see situations in which law enforcement was asked to meet an aircraft at the gate following an unruly passenger incident. In some cases, flight attendants have reported being physically assaulted,” wrote Steve Dickinson, the FAA administrator. “Our investigations show that alcohol often contributes to this unsafe behavior.” Nearly one in five flight attendants were involved in a “physical incident” with a passenger this year, according to a recent union survey.

The Justice Department is launching an investigation into Phoenix’s police over claims of excessive force. “We have reviewed court files, media reports, citizen complaints and we also considered factors that we ordinarily weigh in determining whether to open an investigation, including the nature and seriousness of the allegations, the number of allegations, the steps that a department may be taking to address the allegations and the history of the department,” said Kristen Clarke, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. The DOJ’s probe will focus on any potential unlawful seizures or disposals of the belongings of homeless individuals.

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was part of a group of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s confidants who contributed to a culture of “sexually harassing conduct,” according to a new report by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The report said the group was: “regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information about state operations and helped make decisions that impacted State business and employees—all without any formal role, duty, or obligation to the State.” Additionally, the report said that the common thread of all members of the group was their “proven, personal loyalty to the Governor.”

Apple revealed plans to scan Americans’ phones for images of child sexual abuse, a move that drew mixed responses. The Apple messaging app will use a tool called neuralMatch to detect known images of child sexual abuse without decrypting anyone’s messages. If neuralMatch finds a match, a human will review the image and notify the proper authorities if necessary. Child protection groups lauded the decision, but some security researchers are concerned about the system’s potential misuse by the government for the unlawful surveillance of dissidents.

In New York, the attacker wanted in the broad daylight beating of a senior citizen was arrested. Zamori Simmons, 21, was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of assault in last month’s mugging. “Thanks to great investigative work by the @NYPD75Pct detectives, the man responsible for this brutal attack & robbery of a 68-year-old in #Brooklyn is now in police custody,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea via Twitter. The incident gained notoriety after police posted a video of the assault.

Be well,

Fraser Dixon


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