December 2016

With small changes, U.S. maintains military aid to Saudi Arabia despite rebukes over Yemen carnage


The Obama administration will curtail some intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia following a review of military assistance, an official said, but it will expand support in other areas despite intense criticism of Saudi strikes on civilians during the Kingdom’s air war in Yemen.

The carrot-and-stick approach reflects an attempt by U.S. officials, increasingly uncomfortable with support for an operation that has been widely condemned by rights groups, to distance themselves from the Yemen campaign without alienating a core Middle Eastern ally.

US to halt some arms sales to Saudi, citing civilian deaths in Yemen campaign

The United States has decided to limit military support to Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties and will halt a planned arms sale to the kingdom, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The United States will also revamp future training of the kingdom's air force to focus on improving Saudi targeting practices, a persistent source of concern for Washington.

Document: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson leaves a legacy of SoCal environmental mishaps

Much has been made  of concerns over ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's ties to Russian leadership as his nomination to secretary of state is evaluated. But to Southern Californians, the company  legacy under Tillerson features serious environmental violations and mishaps, some of which are still under investigation.

The company sold the Torrance Refinery in July, so the ExxonMobil footprint is much smaller in  Southern California than when when it was producing one-fifth of the region's gasoline.

Nuclear Threats Rise in Concert With Trump's Ascension

Since the Cold War ended 25 years ago, Americans haven’t thought much about nuclear war. That changed slightly in the recently concluded presidential campaign, but it needs to change dramatically, many experts say.

Unbeknownst to most voters, a growing cadre of security analysts says the risk that nuclear weapons might be used by nations or terrorist groups is increasing, and it may even be higher than it was in the Cold War, due mostly to a spiral of Russian provocations and Western responses.

Baltimore's cash bail system traps thousands, propelling the poor deeper into poverty

The row house on Cecil Avenue was just like any other in the East Baltimore neighborhood where Rafiq Shaw lives. But one chilly day in December 2015, he had the bad luck to be walking by right as the police were getting ready for a raid.

"All out of the blue a bunch of police cars pulled up and grabbed me," Shaw said. "They threw me to the wall and put cuffs on me." The officers insisted he had come out of the house, which Shaw just as vehemently denied. "They thought I was someone else," he said. "That's what they thought the whole time. They called a name out that wasn't me."