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Showing posts from September, 2014

Wildlife populations decline by over 50% since 1970

RT.com - The world’s wildlife populations, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, have dropped by more than half in the last 40 years, the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) said in its latest report.
“Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half,” Director General of WWF International Marco Lambertini said in a statement.  Read more.

Terrorism Serves the State

Brian Martin @ Truthout - The continual attention to terrorism serves to justify state power. Meanwhile, alternative approaches are marginalized. In the media, it is almost impossible to escape the unending stories about the threat from terrorism. Whether it is the threat from homegrown terrorists, the danger of a new terrorist movement such as Islamic State or the need to eradicate terrorist plots, there seems no let-up in the alarm.  Read more.

Los Angeles Hotel Workers Win Big Minimum Wage Victory

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - The Los Angeles City Council passed one of the highest minimum wage requirements in the country this week, which will apply to employees at big hotels around the city.
In a 12-3 vote on Wednesday, council members backed an ordinance establishing a minimum hourly wage of $15.37 for workers at Los Angeles hotels with at least 125 guest rooms.  Read more.

'Umbrella Revolutionaries' Sweep Riot Police From Hong Kong Streets

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Despite deployment of increasingly harsh tactics over the weekend aimed at forcing pro-democracy protesters off the streets of Hong Kong, by Monday it was police units forced into retreat while the number of those backing democratic reforms and promising to hold 'central' areas of the city appear to be growing.  Read more.

Ron Paul: Obama’s bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria 'immoral and illegal'

RT.com - Ron Paul, America’s most outspoken libertarian and anti-mainstream politician, has slammed US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.
Not known for mincing his words or flip-flopping, Paul told RT’s Abby Martin that President Obama’s decision to use military force in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State [IS], without approval from the UN or the US Congress, was “immoral and illegal” under US and international law.  Read more.

Cradle to Grave: Student Debt Now Bankrupting Seniors

The Hill - As if aging in America isn’t hard enough these days, a new government report has uncovered that seniors are facing yet another barrier to a secure retirement: their student debt. Once thought to be a young person’s issue, new data released by the Government Accountability Office shows that older Americans are also finding themselves buried under the weight of their student loans.  Read more.

‘Don’t apologize, resign!’ Family of killed teen wants justice amid renewed Ferguson unrest

RT.com - Ferguson’s top cop should resign, the best apology from him will be not words but the arrest and prosecution of the police officer who killed their son, the parents of Michael Brown said as tensions in the St. Louis suburb escalated again this week.
The parents of Michael Brown said they were unmoved by Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson’s apology which he offered earlier this week, more than a month after their 18-year-old son was killed by a white police officer.  Read more.

6 Weeks Later: Ferguson police chief apologizes to Michael Brown’s parents

Washington Post - Thomas Jackson, the police chief of Ferguson, Mo., apologized Thursday to the parents of Michael Brown more than six weeks after the black teenager was killed by a white police officer in a shooting that ignited protests and sometimes violent clashes with authorities in the small St. Louis suburb.
Jackson’s videotaped remarks came as Brown’s parents held a Washington news conference calling for the Justice Department to take over the investigation...read more.

Mississippi Sued Over 'Hellish' Conditions in For-Profit Prison

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - Denial of food and medical care. Cells and floors soiled with blood, urine, and feces. Excessive force by prison guards. Weeks, months, and years in solitary confinement.
These are the conditions found at a "special needs" for-profit prison, the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, which is tasked by the state's department of corrections with incarcerating 1,200 people, approximately 1,000 of whom have severe psychiatric disorders, according to a legal motion filed Friday.  Read more.

World Must Hold Israel to Account for "War of Genocide"

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - A day after the Palestinian Authority and Hamas announced a "comprehensive" agreement to implement a unity government to rule the Gaza Strip, PA President Mahmoud Abbas delivered an impassioned speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on Friday as he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" against the Palestinian people during more than 50 days of bombing and military attacks in July and August that left thousands dead, thousands more wounded, and life-supporting infrastructure obliterated in Gaza.  Read more.

Chelsea Manning Sues Defense Department Over Denial of Medical Care

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Chelsea Manning filed a federal lawsuit against Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other officials in the Department of Defense on Wednesday for "failure to provide the necessary medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition with which she was originally diagnosed by Army officers more than four years ago," according to a statement by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has taken on her case.  Read more.

Attorney General Eric Holder to Resign

Reuters - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of President Barack Obama's closest allies, will announce on Thursday he is stepping down after a term marked by advances in civil rights and frequent battles with Republicans in Congress.
Holder, the nation's first black chief prosecutor, will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed, the Justice Department said.  Read more.

Edward Snowden Awarded 'Alternative Nobel' for Revealing Vast Surveillance

Andrea Germanos @ Common Dreams - Whistleblower Edward Snowden is among a group of tireless and courageous people being honored with this year's Right Livelihood Award for their efforts "stemming the tide of the most dangerous global trends."
The winners of this year's award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, were announced Wednesday.  Read more.

Are Head Injuries the Bridge Between the NFL Playing Field and Domestic Violence?

David Zirin @ The Nation - There is an unspoken question lurking behind the NFL domestic violence cover-up saga that has emerged over the last month. It is whether the brutality of the game, particularly head injuries, plays a role in the prevalence of players committing acts of violence against women. The NFL has a vested interest in not having this discussion. On head injuries, as the title of the award-winning book said so clearly, it remains "a league of denial." If, in the name of public relations, the owners won't have a discussion about the connection between their sport and horrific post-concussive syndromes like ALS and early-onset dementia, are they really going to talk about links between head injuries and domestic violence? The sports media are largely in denial about this topic as well, as there was not one question in Roger Goodell's instantly infamous Friday press conference about whether the league would investigate whether brain injuries could be the…

It's Not the Carbon; It's the Capitalism!

Laura Flanders @ GritTV - The big climate march in New York City and a big new book have concentrated attention on the climate. Enough denial and delay the marchers chant; This Changes Everything, says Naomi Klein in her latest call to action.
"It's not about carbon, it's about capitalism," says Klein.
I couldn't agree more. It's time we faced not just the symptoms, but the system that is cozying us up to catastrophe.  Read more.

Fifty Activists and a Polar Bear Halt UK Coal Train

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - What happens when a polar bear crosses the tracks?
The train stops.
That's how it went in central England on Tuesday when fifty Greenpeace activists and a polar bear (or a person dressed like one) halted a 1,500 tonne coal train bound for the coal-fired Cottam Power Station in the town of Nottinghamshire, east of Sheffield.  Read more.

The Joys of Abolishing Debt

Astra Taylor @ Moyers & Co. - For the last two years I have worked as a volunteer debt abolisher for Rolling Jubilee, which just announced the the abolition of nearly $4 million dollars of student debt. It's a nice addition to the nearly $15 million of medical debt we have erased since November 2012 when the campaign launched.  Read more.

How Rich Old White Men Are Taking Lunch Money Away From Inner-City Black Kids

Paul Buchheit @ Buzzflash - According to a Standard and Poor's analysis, average annual state tax revenue fell from 10% to 5% between 1980 and 2011, even as the share of total income for the top 1% of earners doubled. The top 10% and the top 500 CEOs are predominately white males. Our country's missing tax revenue can be found in their growing stock portfolios.  Read more.

400,000 Converge on Manhattan to Demand Climate Change Action

Time Magazine - At the People’s Climate March in New York Sunday, a four-foot-tall walking banana passionately articulating his feelings about wind turbines.
“They can make things run just by the wind,” said 9-year old Danny Haemmerle, who dressed up as the yellow fruit to attend the march with his family. “And my parents don’t have to pay as much,” added his brother Eddie Haemmerle, 11, sporting a lime green wig.  Read more.

A Global Call for Climate Action

Deirdre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Global mobilization is exceeding expectations on Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets demanding action on climate change on the eve of the UN Climate Summit. In addition to the massive action in New York City, People's Climate demonstrations took place in cities and towns across continents, from rural villages to major urban centers.  Read more.

"Don't Warehouse Me in a Nursing Home"

Robin Marty @ Care2- The state of Tennessee has already made it impossible for loving, married couples to remain together when one of them is sick and medical insurance literally keeps him or her alive. But by refusing to expand Medicaid, as so many other states across the country have done, Tennessee is being forced to make cuts that are affecting those with illnesses or disabilities who previously had been living independeir own homes, forcing them into assisted living situations instead.  Read more.

Fairness and Justice? Post-9/11 Muslim Charity Prosecution

Katherine Hughes @ Truthout - My passion for the protection of civil liberties was sparked at the age of 14 when I saw a documentary on the Allies' liberation of Bergen-Belsen. For the past 40 years, in an effort to understand how something like that could happen, I've been reading first-hand accounts of 1930s and 1940s Europe and the former Soviet Union. Over the last 25 years I began noticing similar circumstances in both Europe and the United States: wars creating millions of refugees, financial crises, erosions of workers' rights and sharpening income inequality, along with national and individual poverty and debt, a xenophobic and racist climate, and attacks on civil liberties, including freedom of speech.  Read more.

Top News Editors Slam White House for Secrecy, Intimidation

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Some of the nation's top journalists are criticizing the White House for undermining journalism through lack of transparency and intimidation of sources, which they say has only gotten worse under President Barack Obama—the self-proclaimed "most transparent" president in history.
Criticism of Obama's administration on the issue arose during a joint convention this week of the American Society of News Editors...read more.

California adopts new olive oil standards

LA Times - California has approved new quality standards for olive oil, dealing a major victory for large-scale state producers hoping to reverse years of European market dominance.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture on Thursday adopted most of the standards proposed by the Olive Oil Commission of California, a group of local growers and millers who called for new testing and labeling requirements.  Read more.

Airline Workers Win Big In Union Vote - In The South!

Campaign for America's Future - Airlines have been notoriously following the typical American capitalist business model of (literally) squeezing the customer into smaller and more uncomfortable seats, literally starving their customers, extorting cash for a bit more comfort on long trips, charging more for less – and then, to top things off, adding hidden fees. They notoriously have also been squeezing their employees, downgrading working conditions, demanding givebacks and fighting unionization.  Read more.

In Spain, Italy and Belgium battle lines drawn for independence after Scottish vote

RT.com - The Scots have lost their stab at independence by a tiny 10-percent margin. Analysts predicted that only a ‘yes’ vote would send waves throughout Europe, but the dire economic situation of other independence-seeking regions can’t be eclipsed so easily.
In a historic referendum on Thursday, Scotland voted 55 to 45 percent to stay in the four-nation United Kingdom.  Read more.

Jennifer LeBarre leads the way in Oakland’s school lunch progress

Oakland Local (California) - Oakland has been at the forefront of progressive food service since the Black Panthers started the Free Breakfast for Children program in 1969. That history is one reason the city was chosen to host the fifth School Food FOCUS Conference this February, and why Jennifer Lebarre was tapped as its keynote speaker.
Ask LeBarre why she’s OUSD’s Director of Nutrition Services, and she’ll answer with a story.  Read more.

Occupy abolishes $4 million in other people's student loan debt

CNN Money - Marking the third anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the group's Strike Debt initiative announced Wednesday it has abolished $3.8 million worth of private student loan debt since January. It said it has been buying the debts for pennies on the dollar from debt collectors, and then simply forgiving that money rather than trying to collect it.  Read more.

In Vermont, a milestone in green-energy efforts

Washington Post - Vermont’s largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water and biomass.
With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of the 7.4-megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project on the Winooski River at the city’s edge.
When it did, Burlington joined the Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont, which reached 100 percent earlier this year.  Read more.

Obama Declares Perpetual War

Majorie Cohn @ Truthout - President Barack Obama escalated the drone war he has conducted for the past five and a half years by declaring his intention to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or ISIL. Since August 8, Obama has mounted at least 154 airstrikes in Iraq. He will send 475 additional US troops, increasing the total number in Iraq to about 1,600. Obama announced he would conduct "a systematic campaign of airstrikes" in Iraq, and possibly in Syria. But, not limiting himself to those countries, Obama declared the whole world his battlefield, stating "We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are . . . if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."  Read more.

Sacrificing the Vulnerable, From Gaza to America

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - I would like to begin by speaking about the people of Gaza. Their suffering is not an abstraction to me. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I spent seven years in the region. I speak Arabic. And for much of that time I was in Gaza, including when Israeli fighter jets and soldiers were attacking it.
I have stood over the bodies, including the bodies of children, left behind by Israeli airstrikes and assaults.  Read more.

The People of Sweden "'Turn Their Backs' on Austerity

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Turning their backs on the prevailing austerity government, Swedish voters on Sunday elected the Social Democrat Party and its head Stefan Löfven to lead the country, allowing the center-left parties to reclaim power in the historically socialist state.

The Social Democrat Party, along with the Green Party and the Left Party, won 43.7 percent of the vote and 159 parliamentary seats forcing current...read more.

Contractors Ready to Cash In On ISIS War

Daily Beast - Obama pledged that the war against ISIS won’t be fought with U.S. ground troops. He didn’t say anything about contractors, who see this as “the next big meal ticket.”
America’s rapidly-expanding war against ISIS won’t involve large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground, President Obama is promising. And it’s clear that airstrikes alone won’t beat back the extremist group. Which means that if the President wants to have any hope of meeting his far-reaching goal of destroying ISIS, he’s going to have to rely on private military contractors.  Read more.

"Zombie" Homes Haunt Florida Neighborhoods

Center For Public Integrity - Kelly Young was stunned when she got a letter in January informing her that her disability payments, those of her daughter, and their Medicare benefits were being cut off. The Social Security Administration said she lied on her application when she failed to disclose she owned a house.
As far as Young knew, she didn’t own anything. Four years earlier, Bank of American informed her it was foreclosing on her...read more.

'We share the same prosecutor': Snowden, Assange & Dotcom team up

RT.com - In the first-ever gathering of the world’s leading whistleblowers, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald joined internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom to discuss threats to privacy worldwide.
The whistleblowers came out in support of Dotcom's campaign against unaccountable surveillance by the NZ government, at an event to promote Dotcom’s Internet party at upcoming elections.  Read more.

Crews battle out-of-control wildfire as Southern California bakes

Reuters - Hundreds of firefighters spent a second day on Saturday battling a wildfire burning out of control in a national forest southeast of Los Angeles, as the region baked under triple-digit temperatures that prompted authorities to issue a "heat alert."
The so-called Silverado Fire, which broke out in the Cleveland National Forest on Friday morning, had charred some 1,600 acres (647 hectares) by Saturday afternoon...read more.

A complete timeline of the Atlanta Hawks' racist front-office controversy

SB Nation - Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of the racially charged controversy surrounding the team. Ferry came under fire for offensive remarks he repeated from a scouting report about Luol Deng on a conference call with the Hawks' ownership group.
Meanwhile, majority owner Bruce Levenson plans to sell the team after a racially insensitive email he sent to other members of the organization two years ago was discovered during an investigation triggered by Ferry's comments.  Read more.

A Moment of Restorative Justice

The Rag Blog - It never happens. That’s what the chairman of the Massachusetts Parole Board said on August 26, at the parole hearing for lifer Keyma Mack when families of both the victim and the murderer reached out to each other with sobs of remorse and vows of forgiveness. Mothers, fathers, cousins, siblings — all were refusing to be bound by shame and hatred.
For those of us who witnessed this, it was a moment of grace and an example of why restorative justice was created.  Read more.

Public School Police Receive War-Grade Vehicle from Department of Defense

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - The police department for San Diego's public schools recently revealed that they have acquired a large armored combat vehicle from the U.S. military.
The $700,000 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle (MRAP), which is designed to withstand blasts from improvised explosive devices and mines, was given to law enforcement for the Unified School District in April.  Read more.

Remains of 3 infants found in Blackstone home, woman arrested

Boston Globe - Investigators found the remains of three infants inside a squalid, vermin-infested home here on Thursday, two weeks after child welfare officials removed four children from the same address to protect them from suspected abuse or neglect, authorities said.
A woman identified as Erika Murray, a 31-year-old resident of the house, was arrested Thursday night and will be arraigned Friday on a witness intimidation charge, as well as additional unspecified charges stemming from living conditions in the residence, police and prosecutors said.  Read more.

Obama's "declaration of war" against ISIS called "imperial hubris" more extreme than Bush

Bruce Ackerman @ NY Times - President Obama's declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.  Read more.

Boston University Faculty Launch Largest Divestment Effort to Date

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - In the largest of such efforts by a single university's faculty to date, 245 Boston University professors and instructors on Tuesday called on the President and Board of Trustees to divest its endowment from oil, gas, and coal companies. 
“Because it is unlikely that fossil fuel interests (the major source of this crisis) will stop of their own accord their unrelenting drive to burn these fuels at current rates, we must find strategies to induce them to stop," the letter reads.  Read more.

Say ‘No’ to War and Media Propaganda

Mairead Maguire @ Inter Press Service - While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.We are at a dangerous point in our history of the human family and it would be the greatest of tragedies for ourselves and our children if we simply allowed the war profiteers to take us into a third world war, resulting in the death of untold millions of people.  Read more.

The Gentrification of Birmingham, Alabama

William C. Anderson @ Truthout - The city that raised me is changing. Over the years I have watched Birmingham, Alabama, transform in many different ways. My hometown periodically captures the nation's attention during discussions about civil rights or its high murder rate. I recently saw images of Birmingham appear frequently during the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri. People made comparisons to Jim Crow Birmingham without really knowing much about the city today. It's a city that has often displayed abandonment, disrepair and mismanagement. Today, its government is boldly evoking a word of great political significance during this era, stating to the world that the city is moving 50 years "forward." This 2013 proclamation marked the 50th year after 1963, when things were much different. However, some questions about what needs to be changed remain.  Read more.

New Video of Michael Brown Shooting Shows Immediate Witness Reaction

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - A new video that appears to show the immediate aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9 corroborates earlier witness statements that the unarmed black teenager was surrendering to Officer Darren Wilson when he was killed.
The footage, released by CNN on Thursday, shows two construction workers reacting to the shooting with shock and yelling out, “He had his fucking hands in the air!”  Read more.

John Perkins: How Greece Has Fallen Victim to "Economic Hit Men"

Truthout - John Perkins is no stranger to making confessions. His well-known book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, revealed how international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, while publicly professing to "save" suffering countries and economies, instead pull a bait-and-switch on their governments: promising startling growth, gleaming new infrastructure projects and a future of economic prosperity - all of which would occur if those countries borrow huge loans from those organizations. Far from achieving runaway economic growth and success, however, these countries instead fall victim to a crippling and unsustainable debt burden.  Read more.

Germany wants more independence from US

RT.com - The majority of German citizens, for the first time in history, insist on less dependence on the United States in terms of their national security and diplomacy, according to a major survey released by the German Marshall Fund think-tank.
The study published on Wednesday shows that most Germans want their country to take a more independent position from the United States, especially on issues as vital as national security and sovereign diplomacy.  Read more.

Remembering Hiroshima in an Age of Neoliberal Barbarism

Henry Giroux @ Truthout - Seventy years after the horror of Hiroshima, intellectuals negotiate a vastly changed cultural, political and moral geography. Pondering what Hiroshima means for American history and consciousness proves as fraught an intellectual exercise as taking up this critical issue in the years and decades that followed this staggering inhumanity, albeit for vastly different reasons.  Read more.

Internet Slowdown Day: Leading web companies fight for ‘net neutrality’

RT.com - Reddit, Netflix, Foursquare, Mozilla, Vimeo, and Wordpress are backing the ‘Internet Slowdown’ protest against proposed US regulations that would segregate internet surfing speeds and kill “net neutrality.”
The September 10 protest features a revolving icon – symbolizing slow connectivity – illustrating how losing net neutrality would harm websites and other online services.  Read more.

Climate Change Activists Vindicated: Massachuttes Prosecutor Drops Charges Against Coal Blockaders

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - A local district attorney in Massachusetts surprised parties on all sides on Monday after he sided with two climate justice activists who employed a "necessity defense" to justify their use of a small lobster boat to block the path of an enormous coal freighter trying to dock at the Brayton Point Power Station in the town of Somerset last year.  Read more.

Kindergarten Teacher Refuses to Administer Standardized Test

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Risking her job and life passion, a kindergarten teacher in Florida is taking a stand against the high-stakes takeover of the public school system by refusing to administer the state-mandated standardized test to her young students.
In a letter posted to her personal Facebook page this weekend and later re-posted on the blog Opt Out Orlando, 59-year-old Susan Bowles of Gainesville, Florida explained how the...read more.

Profiting From America's Misery

Paul Buchheit @ Buzzflash - The profit motive fogs the thinking of free-market advocates. The Economist gushes, "Take a bow, capitalism...the biggest poverty-reduction measure of all is liberalising markets to let poor people get richer." Forbes proclaims its belief in "the unmatched power of capitalism to improve human life."
Self-indulgent capitalists have turned much of America against its own best interests by promoting a winner-take-all philosophy that reaps great rewards for a few people at the expense of everyone else. To the neoliberal, vital human needs like health and education are products to be bought and sold.  Read more.

Liar in a Tan Suit

Margaret Kimberly @ Black Agenda Report - On August 28th, president Obama delivered remarks in the White House press room. That is hardly newsworthy but on that day the president wore a tan suit, not the usual presidential dark blue uniform. This simple fashion choice exposed many things that are wrong with America, from shallow media reporting to popular obsession with trivialities. The substance of the president’s statements was lost in the repetition of nonsense and silly jokes. That is unfortunate because the president used this occasion to tell terribly dangerous lies about this country and the rest of the world.
The primary motivation for the press conference was to repeat the Obama doctrine of enacting regime change against sovereign nations and violating the right of human beings to live without fear of death from the American empire. The president called ISIL “a cancer” not once but twice during the briefing. Of course he neglected to mention that ISIL is the Frankenstein mon…

Israel's Video Justifying Destruction of a Gaza Hospital Was From 2009

Gareth Porter @ Truthout - A video distributed by the Israeli military in July suggesting that Palestinian fighters had fired from the Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatric Hospital in Gaza City was not shot during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza, and both audio and video clips were manipulated to cover up the fact that they were from entirely different incidents...read more.

Africa’s Future is Lit by the Sun

Common Dreams - Every year, the world’s water experts meet in Stockholm for World Water Week. Yesterday, Sweden’s King Carl Gustav presented the city’s prestigious Water Prize to John Briscoe, a former water manager at the World Bank. After many years spent in the international water bureaucracy, Briscoe says that he is “controversial and proud of it”.  Indeed, the jury’s choice raises contentious questions about dams and their alternatives.  Read more.

The Price of Blackness: From Ferguson to Bed-Stuy

Feminist Wire - The unsettling image of the lifeless body of 18-year old Mike Brown, the unarmed teen shot six times by Officer Darren Wilson, which laid prostrate before family and neighbors for hours in a pool of blood in the sweltering summer heat in Ferguson, MO, will surely haunt the collective conscious of the US for years to come.  Read more.

Guantanamo Bay: An Untold History of Torture and Resistance

RT.com - Few realize how expensive it is to keep Guantanamo Bay prison operational. The Joint Task Force (JTF) detention center, which opened in 2002, costs US taxpayers $140 million a year, breaking down to about $800,000 per detainee.
The JTF was never meant to be permanent, yet twelve long years after the first round of prisoners arrived, 149 prisoners remain detained there indefinitely.  Read more.

Bush-Era Memos Show 'Virtually Unlimited' Presidential Power

Washington Post - The Justice Department released two decade-old memos Friday night, offering the fullest public airing to date of the Bush administration’s legal justification for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails — a program that began in secret after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The broad outlines of the argument — that the president has inherent constitutional power to monitor Americans’ communications without a warrant in a time of war — were known, but the sweep of the reasoning becomes even clearer in the memos written by...read more.

LA Times reporter worked with CIA in editing favorable government stories

LA Times - A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the...read more.

Elizabeth Warren shows her true colors as Israeli pawn and warhawk.

The Intercept - The last time Elizabeth Warren was asked about her views on the Israeli attack on Gaza – on July 17 – she, as Rania Khalek put it, “literally ran away” without answering. But last week, the liberal Senator appeared for one of her regularly scheduled “office hours” with her Massachusetts constituents, this one in Hyannis, and, as a local paper reported, she had nowhere to run.  Read more.

After 41 Years in Solitary, 'Angola Three' Prisoner Renews Fight for Justice

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - After serving more than 41 years in solitary confinement, the longest sentence in isolation ever served by a U.S. inmate, Angola Three prisoner Albert Woodfox had a new day in court on Thursday to seek damages against Louisiana prison authorities for constitutional rights violations.  Read more.

Same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin unconstitutional

Chicago Tribune - A Federal appeals court in Chicago has upheld lower court decisions that same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin are unconstitutional.
The swift decision comes just more than a week after the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments at which lawyers for the two states often found themselves on the defensive amid tough questioning from the three-judge panel.  Read more.

San Francisco: Three hospitalized, including firefighter in five-alarm fire

San Jose Mercury News - Three people, including a firefighter, were hospitalized with smoke inhalation as a result of a five-alarm fire burning in San Francisco's Mission District this afternoon, a fire spokeswoman said.
Other people have been evaluated and treated at the scene as a result of the blaze that started shortly after 1 p.m. at 2632 Mission St., the address listed for Big House Inc., a retail store, San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.  Read more.

Get Ready for the ‘Internet Slowdown’

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - Next Wednesday, Sept. 10, if your favorite website seems to load slowly, take a closer look: You might be experiencing the Battle for the Net’s “Internet Slowdown,” a global day of grass-roots action. Protesters won’t actually slow the Internet down, but will place on their websites animated “Loading” graphics (which organizers call “the proverbial ‘spinning wheel of death’”) to symbolize what the Internet might soon look like. As that wheel spins, the rules about how the internet works are being redrawn. Large Internet service providers, or ISPs, like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon are trying to change the rules that govern your online life.  Read more.

Nine Years After Katrina, Coastal Restoration Plans Remain Distant Dream for New Orleans

DeSmogBlog - The scars of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans that remain nine years later are a reminder of the city's vulnerability to rising tides and storm surges. Both Katrina and Rita, a hurricane that followed just weeks later, washed away miles of coastal marshland, the state's first line of defense from storms.  Read more.

Missing Russian journalist Andrey Stenin confirmed dead in Ukraine

RT.com - Russian journalist Andrey Stenin, missing in eastern Ukraine for a month, has been confirmed dead, RIA Novosti, the news agency where he worked, reports. He was in a vehicle traveling in a convoy of escaping civilians when it came under heavy fire.
Stenin apparently died in a vehicle, on his way to an assignment, according to the agency’s director, Dmitriy Kisilev.  Read more.

If Only American Kids Could Eat School Lunches Like They Do in France

AlterNet - The standard school lunch for an American child often contains dishes brimming with preservatives and sodium. While some schools have completely overhauled their school menus to contain fresh vegetables and grains, others still struggle with meeting nutritional guidelines. But for students in France, it appears that school lunches are the least of their concerns.  Read more.

Art After War

Stacey Bannerman @ Truthout -  The arts are moving center stage as providers brace for the coming tidal wave of war-related post-traumatic stress disorders in troops and veterans, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For some who've seen war, the arts - including music, creative writing, dance, drama and painting - offer relief from depression and anxiety where traditional treatments, such as talk therapy and medication, may not have succeeded. Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative process of art making is healing and life enhancing, and is a form of nonverbal communication of thoughts and feelings...read more.

Israel continues redrawing its borders into Palestinian lands

Al Jazeera - The United States has urged Israel to reverse its decision to seize nearly 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank, a move anti-settlement activists termed the largest land grab in 30 years.
Israel announced the massive land appropriation on Sunday in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem just days after Gaza ceasefire.  Read more.

Israel escalates theft of Palestinian land

Ma'an (Palestine) - Israeli authorities on Sunday announced the confiscation of around 4,000 dunums (1,000 acres) of private Palestinian land south of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank.
Palestinian owners of the land were given 45 days to submit formal objections to the announcement in Israeli courts, otherwise all confiscated lands would automatically become Israeli government property.  Read more.