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Showing posts from February, 2016

SeaWorld Admits Using Employees to Spy on Animal Rights Activists

Multiple SeaWorld employees posed as animal-welfare activists so they could spy on critics, the company admitted Thursday.
The acknowledgment comes seven months after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals accused SeaWorld of spying. The animal-welfare group, which has waged an intense campaign against SeaWorld, went public with...read more.

The U.S. Extends Its Drone War Deeper Into Africa With Secretive Base

Garoua International Airport,proclaimed the sign on the concrete and glass terminal building. The designation was something of a misnomer, because only three or four planes land each week in this sleepy outpost in northern Cameroon, near the Nigerian border, all of them domestic flights. The schedule of the flights tends to be unpredictable. The aging jet that had just flown me to Garoua from Douala, for example, had made an unscheduled stop in N’Djamena, the capital of neighboring Chad, so that a government minister could attend a funeral nearby. As a result, the plane had touched down in Garoua five hours late.  Read more.

Nevada Residents Fight Energy Monopoly's Attempts to Control Solar Power

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission's two unassuming office buildings in Carson City and Las Vegas, usually only occupied by attorneys and engineers, are now the staging ground for a populist revolt against monopoly utility NV Energy, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.
Nevadans have turned out in force against new regulations enacted by the three-member commission that effectively wiped out the fastest growing residential solar market in the United States.  Read more. 

Make Monsanto pay

Monsanto is in the news again. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country’s antitrust regulator, has recently said that it suspects a Monsanto joint venture abused its dominant position as a supplier of genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds in India and has issued an order citing prima facie violation of Sections 3(4) and 4 of the Competition Act, to be investigated by CCI’s director-general.  Read more.

Sanders Hits a Brick Wall with the Black Vote

All War Games Between China and US Lead to Nuclear Attacks

Kalamazoo shooting suspect picked up Uber customers during rampage

A bizarre twist in the Kalamazoo shooting rampage that left six people dead and two injured has seen the suspect revealed as an Uber driver who picked up customers throughout his alleged crimes. Police say Jason Dalton chose seemingly-random victims in several parking lots including an apartment complex, Kia car dealership, and Cracker Barrel restaurant.  Read more.

Complying with FBI would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ - Apple CEO’s email to staff

Apple CEO Tim Cook told staff members in an email Monday that the world’s second most valuable company will not set "a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties".
Cook thanked employees for their support during the ongoing controversy surrounding the FBI’s request for Apple to assist them in unlocking the iPhone.  Read more.

Canadian First Nations Demand Action on Missing and Murdered Women

"Even though the grave has silenced my granddaughter's voice, I will continue to speak for her," vows Renee Hess of Helyna Rivera, a Mohawk woman who was murdered in the US-Canada border city of Buffalo, NY on Aug. 10, 2011.
Hess was one of many family and community members at the 2015 Strawberry Ceremony, an annual Valentine's Day event organized to mourn and protest the brutal rapes, killings, and disappearances of over 1,100 indigenous women since 1981.  Read more.

Harper Lee dead at age of 89: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' author passes away

Author Nelle Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 for her book, "To Kill a Mockingbird," passed away in her sleep Friday morning at the age of 89, her family has confirmed.
"This is a sad day for our family. America and the world knew Harper Lee as one of the last century's most beloved authors," Hank Conner...read more.

To Make Health Care for All a Reality, Stop Killing People

After eight years of swallowing massive, co-pay-coated promises of "universal health care," it's a relief that a substantive debate is opening up around single-payer health care during this election cycle. However, too many conversations on this issue are being halted by calls of "impracticality." Real health care for all would be nice, we are told, but there's just no room for it in the budget.  Read more.

Hillary Clinton expands huge superdelegate lead since New Hampshire loss

While Bernie Sanders’ landslide victory in New Hampshire helped him gain critical momentum, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton continues to widen her lead in terms of superdelegate count.
Sanders current has a 36-32 lead in delegates won in primaries and caucuses, having seen a razor-thin loss in Iowa and an overwhelming victory in New Hampshire.  Read more.

Hillary Clinton expands huge superdelegate lead since New Hampshire loss

While Bernie Sanders’ landslide victory in New Hampshire helped him gain critical momentum, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Hillary Clinton continues to widen her lead in terms of superdelegate count.
Sanders current has a 36-32 lead in delegates won in primaries and caucuses, having seen a razor-thin loss in Iowa and an overwhelming victory in New Hampshire.  Read more.

Why I Refused to Meet With President Obama

On February 18, civil rights activists and leaders from around the country were invited to the White House for what the Obama administration has called a "first-of-its-kind" intergenerational meeting to discuss "a range of issues, including the administration's efforts on criminal justice reform" and "building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve." The event's guest list includes high-profile civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, student organizer DeShaunya Ware and others.  Read more.

When a Nation Has Lost Its Soul, Its Politics Become a Tacky TV Performance

For at least the last four decades now I feel like I've been living in Beached America: a nation that has lost its values, even as it writhes in violent agitation, inflicting its military on the vulnerable regions of the planet.
It does so in the name of those lost values . . . democracy, freedom, equality. These are just dead words at this point, public relations blather, silently followed by a sigh: yada, yada, yada. Then we send in the drones.  Read more.

Tim Cook Says Apple Will Fight Order to Help Unlock iPhone

Last night, a California court ordered Apple to assist the FBI in hacking an iPhone. It’s an unprecedented request, one with potentially huge repercussions for the privacy and security of every Apple customer. This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted an impassioned defense of encryption, and signaled the legal battles to come.  Read more.

Former U.N. chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali dead at 93

Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a blunt-spoken Egyptian who led the world body through global turmoil as it defined its peacekeeping role and lost his job over disputes with Washington, died on Tuesday. He was 93.
Boutros-Ghali headed the United Nations from 1992-1996, chaotic years marked by war in the former Yugoslavia and famine and genocide in Africa.  Read more.

How the United States' Two Major Parties Helped Destroy Democracy

A little over two decades ago, on December 2, 1993, the principle engineer of Colombia's infamous cocaine empire, Pablo Escobar, was killed while fleeing police on the barrio rooftops of his hometown, Medellin. Before he died he had amassed an organization of state-like power, challenging, in fact, the government of Columbia itself over the question of its extradition policies-and winning. Dubbed the Medellin drug cartel, his international cocaine operation grew to prominence functioning similarly to the corporations which dominate today's global economy. Escobar knew, by controlling every possible...read more.

Trump Booed for Reminding GOP of Bush's 9/11 Failure and Iraq War Lies

The loudest boos of the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on Saturday night came as billionaire real estate mogul and media personality Donald Trump reminded the audience that President George W. Bush, in fact, did not "keep us safe" on 9/11 and that when talking about the 2003 invasion of Iraq it's important to remember that the central premise used by his administration was a lie.  Read more.

Antonin Scalia’s death challenges U.S. leadership

The death of Antonin Scalia disrupts the Supreme Court’s balance and electrifies an already charged presidential race. The longest-serving member of the panel also leaves behind a vacancy just as the highest U.S. court is considering important cases on immigration, abortion and unions. Leading Republicans are already threatening to block any...read more.

Scalia: Hero of the Far-Right Dead at 79

Ohio cop put on leave for gloating over suicide of Black Lives Matter activist

An Ohio police officer was placed on paid administrative leave after allegedly calling the suicide of a Black Lives Matter activist a “happy ending” in a Facebook comment. The post has since been deleted.
The Fairborn Police Department has a strict social media policy that prohibits officers from writing anything on social media while on duty.  Read more.

Tyson Foods Accused of Dumping More Poison Into Waterways Than Exxon, Dow and Koch

The environmental advocacy group Environment America has released an analysis that concludes meat manufacturer Tyson Foods is a bigger polluter of American waterways than Exxon, Dow, Koch and pretty much anyone else - with the sole exception of AK Steel Holding Corp (and AK Steel only wins by a hair).
The animal-slaughter mega-power is the world's biggest processor of chicken, beef and pork, and is said to be the second largest meat producer in the world.  Read more.

The Oregon Issurection and the ALEC Agenda to Transfer Public Land to Private Hands

After a six-week takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, Ammon Bundy and seven other members of his ragtag militia were in a Portland jail facing criminal proceedings. And Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, inspired to join the occupation following an earlier armed resistance by Bundy's father, was dead - shot by police officers after attempting to avoid a traffic stop on the highway north of the city of Burns.  Read more.

Dear Americans, Please Stop Dreaming of a Better Nation

This political season seems decidedly more bizarre than others have been. It's not just the fact that someone as arrogant and ignorant about real life as Donald Trump is leading on the Republican side.  What really troubles me is the assertion that we ought not aspire to achieve the best, most equitable and just solutions to our most serious problems because that is unrealistic, politically infeasible and dooms us to fail. This criticism of Bernie Sanders' platform is really unsettling.  Read more.

Emails Indicate Flint Lead Tests Withheld from Public at Snyder's Command

Adding to controversy over what top officials knew and when regarding Flint's water crisis and resulting health epidemic, emails obtained by the Flint Journal suggest that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder told state officials to suppress lead testing results, both from local health officials and the community, while they figured out how to present the information to the public.  Read more.

Michael Moore Says His New Movie Will Change America

Filmmaker Michael Moore on Friday is launching the national release of his new documentary Where to Invade Next, which is said to be both his happiest and "most subversive" movie yet.
In the film, Moore travels to countries throughout Europe and also Tunisia to "pry loose from them the tools they’ve been using to make their countries happy, shiny places," he writes, with the goal of "show[ing] millions of Americans what these countries have been hiding from us."  Read more.

After NH Trouncing, Clinton's Delegate Haul Exposes Rigged Electoral System

The electoral process is just as "rigged" as the economy, Bernie Sanders supporters are charging after it was reported that, despite his double-digit trouncing of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, he may walk away with the same number of delegates as the establishment favorite.
In New Hampshire, Sanders won 15 pledged delegates with his 22-point victory on Tuesday while Clinton won nine. However, the former secretary of state also claims...read more.

We Resist, We Survive: Leonard Peltier and Imprisoned Indians

Leonard Peltier, a Chippewa-Lakota man, has been in prison for 40 years, incarcerated for the murder of two FBI agents in 1975. The case against him is shaky, that's the best way I can describe it, and it seems he is the victim of an overzealous prosecution during a period of time when being a Native activist was treated like an act of treason. Peltier's involvement with the American Indian Movement (AIM) made him a target, as it made several other Natives activists, their families and their children targets during the 1970s while AIM led a resistance against corrupt federal, state and local government policies.  Read more.

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.  Read more.

Welcome to the United States of Flint

“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip to Michigan.  “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme.  To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks.  Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.  Read more.

India Rejects Facebook Plan to Exploit World's Poorest with Private Internet

In a move that open internet advocates say will "resonate around the world," India's top telecom regulator on Monday struck a decisive blow against Facebook's "discriminatory" and controlling internet scheme known as Free Basics.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India ruled against two-tiered pricing for different data platforms or content, effectively banning Free Basics, which only allows users free access to a small number of curated websites, including Facebook.  Read more.

Why Are Black Girls and Women Dying in Police Custody?

Gynna McMillen was brought into the Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on January 10, 2016, after police were called to her mother's house about a "domestic incident." The next morning she was found unresponsive in a cell. What happened to her? Why is she dead after less than 24 hours in the detention facility? These are questions being asked by Gynna's family and others concerned about the deaths of Black people in police custody.  Read more.

Mass Incarceration Since 1492: Native American Encounters

The recent right-wing militia occupation of federal land in Oregon once again reminds us that we actually live in what historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz refers to as the US "settler colonial state." Amazingly, Ammon Bundy and his clan took over this land with the claim that they were the rightful owners. With typical settler arrogance, they neglected the historical truth - that the Indigenous people of the Northern Paiute nation were there long before a single imperialist ship set sail from Europe. As journalist Simon Moya-Smith has pointed out "for Native America being overlooked is nothing new.  Read more.

Albright Declares: 'Special Place in Hell' for Women Who Don't Vote Clinton

Maybe it wasn't such a great idea for Hillary Clinton to invite Madeleine Albright to campaign for her in New Hampshire.
During a campaign event in Concord on Saturday, the former Secretary of State declared: "Young women have to support Hillary Clinton. The story is not over!"
"They’re going to want to push us back," she continued. "It’s not done and you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other."  Read more.

Capitalism, Slavery, Racism and Imprisonment of People of Color Cannot Be Separated

Slavery didn't end; it evolved. That's the powerful argument made in Slaves of the State by Dennis Childs. Ever since a clause in the 13th Amendment allowed for enslavement as "punishment for crime," the groundwork has been laid for the prison industrial complex to function as the 21st century equivalent of chattel slavery.  Read more.

Young Women For Sanders Not to Be Underestimated

Normally, I would just stay silent if Gloria Steinem said something with which I did not agree.  I admire her so much.  She has shown so much courage on behalf of women's issues throughout the years that it is a bit absurd for someone such as me to even consider challenging any comment she makes regarding women.
So when I read that she thinks young women who support Bernie Sanders for president are doing so because they want attention from boys, I was angry.  Read more.

Super Bowl’s 50th birthday marred by concussion & homeless scandals

San Francisco is a city divided and not just over football. The 7,000 homeless residents who have already seen their chances of escaping poverty diminished by sky-high housing and rental prices have a new foe in the NFL.
Dozens of homeless people were removed from the city’s waterfront to make way for “Super Bowl City”, a fan village erected for one week of use to mark the Super Bowl at a cost of $5 million to taxpayers.  Read more.

Iraqi refugee raped 10yo boy in Austria, says it was ‘sexual emergency’

Austrian police have confirmed that an Iraqi refugee was arrested over the rape of a 10 year-old boy at a swimming pool in Vienna in December. He told police he did it due to a “sexual emergency,” local media reported citing the interrogation record.
"A complaint was filed over the rape of a 10-year-old boy in the Theresienbad swimming pool. We determined the suspect is a 20-year old man, who lives in Vienna. He was arrested and later sent to the Josephstadt prison," Chief Inspector Roman Hahslinger told the Ruptly video new agency on Saturday.  Read more.

Big media boss admits on live radio that the news agenda is govt controlled

If you really want a lesson in how the Western popular press works, this is it. Without question, Germany is the leading power in Europe. ZDF is its state broadcaster and most popular channel.
Together with sister network ARD; German's are obliged to pay €17.98 per month to fund it.
This week, during a radio event in Berlin, the retired head of ZDF Bonn, Dr Wolfgang Herles, dropped a bombshell. He admitted the network, and others...read more.

Freeing Julian Assange: The last chapter – John Pilger

One of the epic miscarriages of justice of our time is unraveling: The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – the international tribunal that adjudicates and decides whether governments comply with their human rights obligations – has ruled that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully by Britain and Sweden.
After five years of fighting to clear his name – having been smeared relentlessly yet charged with no crime – Assange is closer to justice and vindication...read more.

The Terror of Flint’s Poisoned Water

Less than one month after the attacks of Sept. 11, a senior FBI official, Ronald Dick, told the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, “Due to the vital importance of water to all life forms ... the FBI considers all threats to attack the water supply as serious threats.” In 2003, a UPI article reported that an al-Qaida operative “(does not rule out) using Sarin gas and poisoning drinking water in U.S. and Western cities.’” Where the terrorists have failed to mount any attack on a water supply, the Michigan state government has succeeded. In the city of Flint, lead-poisoned water has been piped into homes and offices since...read more.

Freeing Julian Assange: The last chapter – John Pilger

One of the epic miscarriages of justice of our time is unraveling: The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – the international tribunal that adjudicates and decides whether governments comply with their human rights obligations – has ruled that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully by Britain and Sweden.  Read more.

For the Student Debt Movement, JUBILEE is an Old Idea Made New

A growing movement is pressing for relief from this country’s oppressive and mounting burden of student debt. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed a gathering of millennials in Washington, organized by a group called Young Invincibles during a national day of advocacy around this issue. Last November, college students and citizen organizations rallied at more than 115 campuses across the country to...read more.

Adding Up the Costs of Hillary Clinton’s Wars

Historical blindness has been much on display in the primary season. On the Republican side, candidates promised to “kick ass” in Iraq, make the “sand glow” in Syria, and face down the Russians in Europe. While the Democratic aspirants were a little more measured, they generally share the pervasive ideology that binds together all but “cranks” like Ron Paul: America has the right, indeed the duty, to order the world’s affairs.  Read more.

The Dark Side of Clean Energy in Mexico

A palm hat worn down by time covers the face of Celestino Bortolo Teran, a 60-year-old Indigenous Zapotec man. He walks behind his ox team as they open furrows in the earth. A 17-year-old youth trails behind, sowing white, red and black corn, engaging in a ritual of ancient knowledge shared between local people and the earth.  Read more.

Facing Dual Crises, Former Flint Manager Resigns as Detroit Schools Head

On the same day that he refused to testify before Congress on his role in the Flint water crisis, Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Darnell Earley announced he would resign as leader of the embattled school district effective February 29.
Earley, who served as Flint's emergency manager from September 2013 until January 2015, was one of five witnesses...read more.