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SeaWorld Polar Bear Dies After Separation From Lifelong Partner

For 20 of the 21 years she’d been in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego, a polar bear named Szenja shared her enclosure with her best friend, another female bear named Snowflake.
After losing her appetite and energy, Szenja died “unexpectedly” April 18, according to SeaWorld officials. But based on what had recently happened to Szenja, her death should hardly be considered “unexpected.”  Read more.
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Louisiana Rape Survivors Could Face Jail if They Don't Testify

Today in rape culture: a Louisiana district attorney who thinks that traumatized rape victims should be punished for refusing to testify.
Leon Cannizzaro, who has served as the district attorney for Orleans Parish since 2008, stands accused of compelling material witnesses to crimes, including rape, to testify -- or face jail time. When Cannizzaro responded to the accusations, it was only to double down.  Read more.

Secret US Military Documents Reveal a Constellation of American Military Bases Across Africa

General Thomas Waldhauser sounded a little uneasy.  "I would just say, they are on the ground.  They are trying to influence the action," commented the chief of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a Pentagon press briefing in March, when asked about Russian military personnel operating in North Africa.  "We watch what they do with great concern."  Read more.

Chinese Workers Paid $1 an Hour to Make Ivanka Trump's Clothes

Ivanka Trump has again proven that where business, money-making and worker exploitation are concerned, it's like father, like daughter. Workers at a factory in China that makes clothes for the Ivanka Trump clothing line and other labels made roughly $1 an hour, according to a new audit cited by the Washington Post. The workers toiled 60 hours a week to produce clothing they could never afford, such as the "brand's $158 dresses [and] $79 blouses" -- but low wages weren't the only difficulty they endured.  Read more.

US Empirical Agenda Has Killed Tens of Thousands of Children In Syria

For a dead child who is one of the tens of thousands of victims of a civil war egged on by outside powers, there is no difference between a death caused by an airstrike or a chemical attack: The child is dead in both cases. However, the Trump administration used the gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun to self-righteously appear outraged and smug, while so many children are being killed every day by means of "conventional" war.  Read more.

VIVE L’EUROPE! A MACRON WIN WOULD GIVE THE E.U. A LIFELINE

or years now, it has been fashionable on the right to argue that Europe is heading for Armageddon, that it could not survive the consequences of mass immigration, stifling bureaucracy, an overweening welfare state, and restrictive labor laws. This dark view isn’t restricted to believers in Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis and Trumpian ethno-nationalists, though it is widely shared in those quarters. Last year, I heard a well-travelled and urbane British banker argue for a “leave” vote in the Brexit referendum on the grounds that the European Union was destined to collapse anyway, and it would be better for the United Kingdom to be on the outside when the inevitable happened.  Read more.

Critics blast US shipment of fighter jets to Israel

Israel received three F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States at the weekend - a new generation of "near-invisible" planes that critics fear will free the country's hand to launch air strikes and spying operations against neighbouring states undetected.
In total, Israel has bought 50 F-35s from manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and claims it will have the first squadron combat-ready before the end of the year.  Read more.

Russians who hacked Clinton campaign also targeted French candidate Macron

Hackers linked to the same Russian military unit that hacked Democratic computers in the United States during last year's election also have sought to penetrate the networks of a leading candidate in France's presidential elections, a leading cybersecurity firm says.
Researchers from Trend Micro, a global security software company, said Monday that Russian hackers took aim last month at the...read more.

The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment

The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.  Read more.

Rare Photo of Ella Fitzgerald Goes On Display at Smithsonian

The National Portrait Gallery unveiled a stunning photograph of American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, often referred to as "The First Lady of Song," on Thursday. At first glance it looks like just another image of the icon caught up in the melody of a song, but a closer look reveals a brief moment of discord between the players.  Read more.

Happy 100th, Ella Fitzgerald

As we approach Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday on April 25, musicians at the Clef Club and many other venues in the country are paying homage to her prodigious career, her glorious, ecstatic voice, her jazz sensibility, her rhythmic surety, and her corporeal and emotional connection to the music she sang.  Read more.

Dennis Kucinich Is Back, With His Sights Set on For-Profit Education

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich launched a four-city, anti-charter school tour in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, telling attendees at a press conference that "public education's financial base is being destroyed by private, for-profit corporate interests."
Kucinich, who served 16 years in Congress, was Cleveland mayor in the late 1970s, and ran for...read more.