Search Results for: Salaries of public employees – Page 176

Wikileaks expected to release 1000s of classified docs Friday

Editors and reporters at the New York Times, U.K.’s Guardian and Der Spiegel of Germany are poring over hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents expected to be released as early as Friday, Bloomberg reported today. “The Pentagon warned the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees that the website WikiLeaks.org ‘ntends to release several hundred thousand’ classified U.S. State Department cables as soon as Nov. 26. The documents ‘touch on an enormous range of

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Supreme Court finds key part of campaign finance law unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the McCain-Feingold finance law violated the free speech rights of corporations to spend as much as they wished to back or oppose political candidates. -DB Courthouse News Service January 21, 2010 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court today killed a central part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law and ruled that corporations may spend as much as they wish to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress.

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Free speech: Twitter spared revealing identities of ranting users

Anonymous Twitter users won a round in federal court when a judge ruled that their criticism of a music company and its CEO were protected under the First Amendment. The Twitter users had posted tweets saying that the company’s products were designed to break prematurely, the company encourages domestic violence and that the CEO engages in prostitution. The company, Music Group Macao Commercial Offshore Ltd., received permission from the Seattle Federal Court to find the

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A&A: Can newspaper publish captured police-scanner audio of gunfight?

Q: We have a recording of police scanner traffic detailing the response to the gunfight between Sheriff’s deputies and Chris Dorner–the ex-LAPD police officer and former United States Navy reservist who was charged in connection with a series of shooting attacks on police officers. We recalled a challenge to being able to post such information in the past. Is it legal/defensible for a newspaper to publish this information? A: As a general matter, you will

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Freedom of Information Act: FBI climate survey shows FBI not ‘in turmoil’

Results of the annual FBI climate surveys showed that the bureau was not “in turmoil” as claimed by President Donald Trump in justifying his firing of FBI director James Comey. The survey was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Editors of Lawfare have just filed a request for the 2018 survey. (Lawfare, April 24, 2018, by Scott R. Anderson and Benjamin Wittes) The FBI released climate surveys from 2013-17 after FOIA requests. The

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Trump’s view of press as ‘opposition party’ seen as threat to democracy

With the presidential seat barely warm, President Donald Trump declared the media “the opposition party,” endorsing the views of his top aide Steve Bannon. Trump’s stance is unprecedented in its timing and severity. (Yahoo! News, January 27, 2017, by Adam Geller) Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich warns that Trump’s labeling the press as opposition is only part of his strategy to discredit the press and dominate the news. By claiming that the press is

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“Let us Now Praise” a Famous Man: Ray Pryke, Friend of the First Amendment

BY PETER SCHEER—The First Amendment has lost a good friend. Raymond Pryke, a free speech provocateur, agitator for open and accountable government, and patron of First Amendment scholarship and advocacy, died February 7 in the southern California high-desert community of Hesperia, where he lived and worked for many years. He was 91. A British subject, the son of an Anglican minister, Ray discovered America in the early years of World War II, when he was

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Media explains decision to publish news of government decryption

ProPublica and The New York Times explained their decisions to publish stories about the U.S. and British government’s defeating the encryption of information on the Internet the public thought was private. The publications said they thought the public interest in revealing the news outweighed government arguments to hold back the sensitive information. The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica formed a partnership to publish the stories based on documents from Edward Snowden, the former

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Election of Novato mayor raises charges of open meeting violation

A divided Novato council elected a mayor bypassing a long standing tradition of elevating the pro tem mayor prompting her to challenge the election through accusations that the decision was made behind closed doors violating California’s Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law. -db Marin Independent Journal December 8, 2010 By Rob Rogers Under ordinary circumstances, Novato’s annual election for mayor is as regular as the tides — and about as exciting. On Tuesday, however,

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Opinion: Son of late Nevada governor harassing reporter in court

Jeff Guinn, the son of the late Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn, is so unhappy with the reporting of a lawsuit brought against him by investors that he is suing the reporter claiming she was bribed with personal favors to pursue the story. The problem is that even after losing in lower court, Guinn has appealed to the state Supreme Court, in effect, creating a disincentive for reporters to aggressively report the news in the public’s

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Manning defense team says secrecy demolishes chances of fair trial

Attorneys for Pfc. Bradley Manning, charged with espionage for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, are charging that the federal prosecutors are withholding documents needed for a defense. Manning’s attorneys say that they have been frustrated in their attempts to gain access to official “damage assessments” that provide details on the actual damages of the leaks to national security. -db From the Courthouse News Service, April 23, 2012, by Adam Klasfeld. Full story  

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Social media dealing with Russian lies over invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine is pleading with social media companies to take strong measures to restrict access to services within Russia, stop the spread of lies and put the whammy on Russian-backed news outlets. The prime ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia sent a letter to Google, Facebook and Twitter noting their efforts to curtail Russian lies but asking for a greater effort to suspend accounts that deny or rationalize war crimes and crimes against humanity. (The

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ACLU asks for more transparency in disclosing legal rulings on federal surveillance

The American Civil Liberties Union has commented on new rules by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court regarding public access to court records by asking the FISC to disclose records of significant rulings. -db American Civil Liberties Union Press Release October 4, 2010 NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today submitted comments on new rules recently proposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) regarding public disclosure of court records. The ACLU urged the

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California: Too quick may mean open meeting violation by Sacramento City Council

The Sacramento City Council may have violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, when it quickly adopted a plan for Sacramento redistricting  at its August 9 meeting, writes Melissa Corker for the Sacramento Press. Corker says the council suddenly presented a new map for redistricting after months of work by a citizens’ advisory committee and passed it with a 6-3 vote, prompting speculation about whether a majority of the council had met behind closed

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Charlottesville debacle prompts discussion of limits to free speech

Three U.S. Supreme Court decisions provide rules for groups wanting to speak and demonstrate in public spaces on highly charged issues such as racial discrimination. In the 1969 Brandenburg v Ohio decision, the justices said,  “Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite

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Muhammad Ali a central figure in unfolding of First Amendment rights

Muhammad Ali, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, “embodies the essence of the First Amendment,” writes David L. Hudson Jr., of the First Amendment Center. Hudson shows how Ali was at the “vortex of…First Amendment freedoms,” freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.  -db From a commentary for the First Amendment Center, January 21, 2012, by David L. Hudson Jr. Full story

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Federal judge opens door for release of records in Giffords shooting

The Washington Post said it was a “positive development” when a federal district judge said the U.S. Attorney’s office could review the records in the Tucson shootings in January that killed six and wounded 13 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and after redacting any private or confidential information, could release them to the media. Under a previous court order, the federal prosecutors argued they had no obligation to review the records. -db From The Reporters Committee

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Tabloid gossip threatens credibility of mainstream journalism

The sight of the mainstream media picking up tabloid speculation about a Will and Jada Pinkett Smith breakup is distubing, writes Mary Elizabeth Williams in a commentary for Salon, “…the Smith story…illuminates how utterly pathetic the mainstream media’s mania for headlines has become. Just toss up any old dubious report, and if you’re really butt-covering, tack a question mark at the end of it. You’ve got a story!” In a desperate attempt to fill space,

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First Amendment sidelined in defunding of Planned Parenthood in Ohio

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio could cut its funding of Planned Parenthood because it conducts abortions. The court ruled that the Ohio law defunding abortion services “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.” (Politico, March 12, 2019, by Alice Miranda Ollstein) The court majority did not consider the First Amendment argument, that the withdrawal of funding violated the free

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