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Showing posts from January, 2017

Billionaires Arrive in Davos on Private Jets to "Solve" Inequality While Starving Children Eat Ashes in Madacascar

In-between cocktail parties at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, billionaires tried to solve global inequality and climate change. Most of the attendees had arrived by private jet, which can burn as much fuel in an hour as an average car does in a year.  Read more.

Chad foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat to head African Union

Chad’s foreign minister has been elected as the new chair of the African Union Commission, pledging to place development and security at the top of his agenda and streamline the organisation’s bureaucracy.
Moussa Faki Mahamat – a former prime minister who has been at the forefront of the fight against Islamist militants in Nigeria, Mali and the Sahel – was chosen by the 54-member body at a summit that has exposed splits over Africa’s relationship with the international criminal court and Morocco’s readmission to the union.  Read more.

African Union criticises US for ‘taking many of our people as slaves’ and not taking refugees

The head of the African Union has criticised Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from some Muslim-majority countries, saying it presents “one of the greatest challenges” for the continent.
As representatives of the AU’s 53 member states met in Addis Ababa for a two-day summit, the chief of its commission said the bloc was entering “very turbulent times” after the US President’s election.
“The very country to which many of our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade has now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.  Read more.

Ford breaks from Trump over ban as Detroit Muslims protest

Majed Moughni has lived the American dream: He climbed the ladder from impoverished refugee, to hotel dishwasher, to parking cars for Ford Motor Co. royalty. Today he’s a lawyer, sitting at a chair and desk in an office that all once belonged to a Ford chief executive officer whose Lincoln Continental he used to park.
Moughni sees the business case behind Ford’s senior executives courting Donald Trump after the president spent months criticizing automakers for making cars in Mexico. Their silence through the weekend on Trump’s order halting immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries was another matter, and he couldn’t hide his disappointment.  Read more.

Trump signs executive order to block new government regulations

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order mandating that for each new government regulation being enacted, two need to be revoked.
The order is in line with the new president’s plan to slash regulations by as much as 75 percent, as Trump believes the expanding body of government rules is stifling the US economy.  Read more.

Gunmen kill 6, injure 8 in ‘terrorist attack’ on worshipers at Quebec City mosque

Gunmen attacked a suburban Quebec City mosque as worshipers were finishing their prayers Sunday night, killing six and wounding at least eight.
A spokeswoman for the Sûreté du Québec, the Quebec provincial police, said that two suspects had been arrested who remained unidentified. Authorities do not believe at this time that others were directly involved in the attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center.  Read more.

America Should Look in the Mirror

Esteban Santiago, the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooter, is an Iraq war veteran. Prior to executing five innocent people and wounding seven, he told the FBI that voices were telling him to watch ISIS videos. Although clearly exhibiting the possible symptoms of a thought disorder, the authorities were not able to connect him with mental health treatment.  Read more.

US judge blocks deportations under Trump's Muslim ban

A federal judge has blocked part of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, ruling that  travellers who have already landed in the US with valid visas should not be sent back to their home countries.
Lawyers  had filed a legal case in response to the order that includes a  90-day entry ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.  Read more.

Former KGB chief who helped British spy Christopher Steele compile his lurid Trump dossier found dead

A former KGB chief suspected of helping British spy Christopher Steele compile his lurid dossier on President Donald Trump was found dead late last month in the back of his car in Moscow.
The Dec. 26 death of Oleg Erovinkin set off a firestorm of speculation this weekend in local media and British tabloids about possible Kremlin involvement and a cover-up.  Read more.

Trump banned refugees on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That says everything

In 1939, the German oceanliner St Louis and its 937 passengers, almost all Jewish refugees, were turned away from the port of Miami and sent back to Europe. Of those passengers, 254 were murdered in the Holocaust. The US government turned away those refugees, so heartbreakingly close to safety – and also restricted Jewish immigration and instituted new vetting procedures – because of rampant overblown fears that the Nazis might smuggle spies and saboteurs in among the Jewish refugees.  Read more.

L.A. tallies its homeless population amid concern about rising encampments

The annual Los Angeles homeless count ended early Friday amid disappointment that the street encampments rankling residents across the city are still on the rise.
The three-day event, which marshaled 7,700 volunteers for a street-by-street hand count of homeless people and encampments, was held to update Los Angeles County’s homeless count, which stood at 47,000 in 2016. Populations in shelters, transitional housing and other facilities are also counted.  Read more.

John Hurt, the actor who died in ‘so many spectacular ways’

There was, perhaps, no actor as practiced in death as the late British legend John Hurt.
The 77-year-old actor, known for his world-weary face and the economy of his emotional expression, died Wednesday, though it wasn’t for the first time. Over the course of a six-decade career that included roles as a cowboy and an astronaut — and garnered Oscar nominations for playing a man with severe physical deformities in “The Elephant Man” and an imprisoned heroin addict ... read more.

Federal judge blocks Texas law requiring funeral rites for aborted or miscarried fetuses

A Federal judge late Friday again blocked Texas rules mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains, in a victory for abortion rights groups.
Austin-based U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said that the health department regulations would remain suspended until further notice and that a trial date would be set in coming weeks.  Read more.

Donald Trump: 'Had we taken the oil, you wouldn't have ISIS'

Less than a week after the start of Shia LaBeouf’s nonstop anti-Trump live stream, “He Will Not Divide Us,” the space has become an online target for Donald Trump supporters and neo-Nazis. BuzzFeed has a detailed report on groups congregating on 4chan and chat platform Discord to disrupt the peaceful exhibit in real life.  Read more.

Compromise Does Not Work With Our Political Opponents. When Will We Learn?

Barack Obama left behind hints of a progressive legacy. Unfortunately, despite his faith in our system and his positive track record on many issues over the last eight years, there have been very few permanent accomplishments.
This vulnerable legacy should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us. What we need as well is a relentless grassroots movement to hold that leadership accountable.  Read more.

Bessie Coleman: The first African American female to become a pilot

Bessie Coleman was the first African-American female to become a licensed pilot in 1921. Defeating gender and racial prejudice, the then 29-year-old became a symbol for millions of women of colour at a time when African Americans were still battling segregation and fighting for equal rights across the country.  Read more.

Americans could save $1 trillion over 10 years by financing infrastructure through publicly-owned banks

President Donald Trump has promised to rebuild America’s airports, bridges, tunnels, roads and other infrastructure, something both Democrats and Republicans agree should be done. The country needs a full $3 trillion in infrastructure over the next decade. The $1 trillion plan revealed by Trump’s economic advisers relies heavily on public-private partnerships, and private equity firms are lining up for these plumbing investments. In the typical private equity water deal, for example, higher user rates help the firms earn annual returns of anywhere from 8 to 18 percent – more even than a regular for-profit water company might expect. But the price tag can come as a rude surprise for local ratepayers.  Read more.

Carl Reiner Remembers Mary Tyler Moore: ‘She Was Grace Personified’

“The Dick Van Dyke Show” creator Carl Reiner remembered Mary Tyler Moore as a graceful and talented performer with a strong sense of the responsibility she bore as a role model for American women.
“She was grace personified. She could never take a wrong step,” Reiner told Variety. “The fact that she started out as a dancer was indicative of everything she did after that. Her grace was unmistakable. I saw it the first time she walked into my office.”  Read more.

Oil Pipeline Spills 53,000 Gallons on First Nations Land

An oil pipeline has leaked about 200,000 liters, or 52,834 gallons, of crude onto an aboriginal community in the oil-rich province of Saskatchewan, Canada.
This is the province's largest pipeline breach since July's disastrous 225,000 liter (59,438 gallon) Husky Energy Inc spill, in which some oil entered the North Saskatchewan River and cut off drinking water supply for two cities.  Read more.

Mary Tyler Moore, Emmy-winning sitcom star, dead at 80

Emmy-winning actress Mary Tyler Moore, who brightened American television screens as the perky suburban housewife on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and then as a fledgling feminist on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died on Wednesday at the age of 80, a representative said.
Moore, who won seven Emmy Awards for her television work, died in the company of friends and her husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, representative Mara Buxbaum said in a statement.  Read more.

Trump set to issue orders on border wall, immigration crackdown

President Donald Trump plans to sign a sweeping set of immigration-related executive actions on Wednesday jumpstarting a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border by directing federal funds for construction, tripling the number of immigration enforcement agents and increasing the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff by 5,000, according to an administration official and others familiar with the directive.
Another order will specify a temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for people from Syria and six other Middle East countries.  Read more.

The Netherlands to Counter Trump's "Global Gag Rule" With International Abortion Fund

The world has responded with fear and outrage to many of President Donald Trump's repressive actions since taking office, and the Dutch government immediately announced plans to counter one: the reinstatement of the "global gag rule" which cuts off U.S. funding to any NGO around the world that mentions abortions.
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen announced the government's plan for a new international abortion fund on Tuesday.  Read more.

Gag Me: Trump's Anti-Abortion Executive Order

Here we go again. The bad old days of United States foreign assistance are coming back, now that President Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating the global gag rule on overseas discussion of abortion by individuals and organizations receiving federal funding. We have been here twice before -- under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush -- and we know that this order often backfires, leading to increased abortion rates.  Read more.

Now President, Trump Once Again Lies About Why He Lost Popular Vote

Though he became the 45th President of the United States last Friday, Donald Trump on Monday took the opportunity of his first meeting with congressional leaders to again repeat the lie that he would have won the popular vote (which he lost to rival Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million people) if it wasn't for millions of undocumented immigrants he claims participated in the election.  Read more.

Gov to Trump: 'California is not turning back. Not now, not ever'

California's governor on Tuesday decidedly pitted his state against the Trump administration, in a call to prepare for "the battle ahead," during the annual State of the State address.

Instead of focusing on California, Gov. Jerry Brown pointed to the East, warning Washington that the most populous state in the union views the future as "uncertain" after the election, and that "dangers abound."  Read more.

Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer says 'we can sometimes disagree with the facts'

In a statement delivered to the media on Saturday at at so-called press briefing where he never took questions, Sean Spicer accused the media of “deliberate false reporting” over reports that showed the number of people attending Mr Trump inauguration was considering fewer than that of Barack Obama in 2009.
“Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power ... some members of the media were engaged in deliberate and false reporting,” he said.  Read more.

Pope warns against Hitler-like leaders coming to power on wave of populism

Pope Francis warned against populist leaders, saying that Germany came to elect one in 1933, and ended up with Adolf Hitler as its dictator.
“Crises provoke fear, alarm. In my opinion, the most common example of European populism is Germany in 1933... A people that was immersed in a crisis, that looked for its identity until this charismatic leader came and promised to give their identity back, and he gave them a distorted identity, and we all know what happened,” he said...read more.

On His First Day in Office, Trump Raises Taxes on Middle-Class Homebuyers

In one of the first official acts of his presidency, Donald Trump has increased taxes on a million middle-class homebuyers.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday reversed a scheduled 0.25 percent cut in mortgage insurance premiums issued by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For a mortgage worth $200,000, this adds $500 to a homebuyer’s annual costs.  Read more.

How Kellyanne Conway ushered in the era of ‘alternative facts’

For Donald Trump, size matters -- most recently, when it comes to discussion of his inaugural crowds. But not when it comes to feuds: the president and top aides demonstrated again this weekend that no fight is too small, no spat too insignificant; they spent the first full day of his term focused publicly not on policy pushes, but on re-litigating the number of people who'd come in person to watch him take the oath of office -- and using it as one of several avenues of attack on the press.  Read more.

Secret Service plans to investigate Madonna for saying she wants to blow up the White House

e Secret Service plans to open an investigation into Madonna after she stated during the Women’s March On Washington that she has thought about “blowing up the White House.”
While sporting a black p*ssyhat she also said the F-word four times, causing broadcasters to have to apologize since they were airing the broadcast live.
She talked about the rate she has felt over Trump being elected, saying that she had thought about “blowing up the White House” but knew that it “wouldn’t change anything.”  Read more.

Trump’s Two-Step Strategy To Take Over the Truth

Donald Trump is such a consummate liar that in coming days and years our democracy will depend more than ever on the independent press – finding the truth, reporting it, and holding Trump accountable for his lies. 
But Trump’s strategy is to denigrate and disparage the press in the public’s mind – seeking to convince the public that the press is engaged in a conspiracy against him. And he wants to use his tweets, rallies, and videos to make himself the only credible source of public information about what is happening and what he’s doing.  Read more.

Trump Advisor Calls Press Secretary's Falsehoods "Alternative Facts"

After President Donald Trump spent his first full day in the White House attacking the press, deploying White House press secretary Sean Spicer to falsely claim the media underreported the size of his inauguration crowds, top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway doubled-down on those statements on Meet the Press early Sunday.  Read more.

Civil Rights, Climate Change, and Healthcare Were All Scrubbed from the White House Website

Donald Trump was just sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Just gonna leave that there for a moment.
As part of the presidential transition, Trump's team assumes control of WhiteHouse.gov. Before today, the "Issues" tab of the website had a section devoted to climate change, the existential threat posed to our species that a scientific consensus holds is caused by human activity. That section is completely gone with the website revamp, along with any mention of climate change whatsoever.  Read more.

At Sundance, Hollywood stars rally against Trump: 'This is a new America'

While Donald Trump spent his first full day as the President of the United States of America warring with journalists over anemic inauguration attendance numbers, pro-female power united at the Sundance Film Festival as Hollywood stars added their voices to the global women’s movement.
Led by comedian Chelsea Handler, an estimated 8,000 protesters flooded the mountain town of Park City, Utah to voice their objection to Trump and call for solidarity – far exceeding the predicted turnout of expected attendees.  Read more.

Donald Trump’s Unprecedented, Divisive Speech

The inauguration of a new president is always a balance between the national legacy and the promise of a fresh start. It is common for the speaker to try to set himself apart. Nevertheless, when Donald John Trump stood for the first time as the 45th President of the United States in a light rain to deliver his address, he went where no president has gone in more than a century. Trump’s message was not on the order of John F. Kennedy’s torch passing, or Ronald Reagan’s declaration that government is the problem. It was not even a 21st century version of Andrew Jackson’s attack on corrupt and incompetent Washington. In 16 mostly harsh, mostly confrontational minutes, Trump laid out a view of America’s destiny and place in the world that would alienate his predecessors dating back to Theodore Roosevelt and beyond.  Read more.

Gambia's former leader Jammeh flies into exile in Equatorial Guinea

Gambia's former leader Yahya Jammeh on Saturday flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea after stepping down under pressure from West African nations to accept that he lost a December election to President Adama Barrow, mediators said.
His exit ends rising tension as thousands of troops from Senegal and Nigeria who entered the tiny country on Thursday were poised to swoop on the capital Banjul. It also paves the way for the return home of Barrow, who was sworn in as leader at the Gambian embassy in Senegal on Thursday.  Read more.

In San Francisco it's no kids allowed

In a compact studio apartment on the fringes of the Castro district here a young couple live with their demanding 7-year-old, whom they dote on and take everywhere: a Scottish terrier named Olive.
Raising children is on the agenda for Daisy Yeung, a high school science teacher, and Slin Lee, a software engineer. But just not in San Francisco.
“When we imagine having kids, we think of somewhere else,” Mr. Lee said. “It’s starting to feel like a no-kids type of city.”  Read more.

Madonna Women's March Speech "Blowing Up The White House" on Washington Anti Trump

Madonna stuns MSNBC hosts with live F-bombs at Washington Women’s March

MSNBC will no doubt be hearing from the FCC after they failed to bleep popular singer Madonna who said “F*ck you” not once but twice before the feed was cut from her speech at the Washington Women’s March.
Saying, “The revolution starts here,” the singer and activist told the assembled crowd to continue to fight against injustice.  Read more.

Women's Marches on All Seven Continents Demand 'A Better Future'

A massive crowd blocked the area around Pershing Square Saturday in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and similar events being held in cities nationwide to protest the presidency of Donald Trump.
Organizers estimated that as many as 750,000 people were at the march, drastically eclipsing the expectations of 150,000 people, but the Los Angeles Police Department declined to provide crowd estimates.  Read more.

She's white rural republican and she's protesting President Trump

Seventy-one miles into a 162-mile trip, the women riding the bus began to stir as the blackness of the morning lifted. They had gathered at 3:30 a.m. in a parking lot in Williamsport, Pa., and now, as signs for Washington started appearing, one woman applied makeup with a mirror, another bounced a baby on her lap, and two more talked about what could happen when they got where they were going.  Read more.

Women's March Sets Off in D.C. as 'Sister Marches' Take to Streets Around the World

The Women's March on Washington set off at 10am EST Saturday in Washington, D.C. Responding to the frightening rhetoric of the past election, the marchers are demonstrating a show of solidarity "in numbers too great to ignore," the organizers write, to fight for human rights and inclusive communities.  Read more.

217 arrests, 6 officer injuries during inauguration protests

Protesters and police clashed in a section in northwest Washington Friday during Donald Trump's historic inauguration in a rolling series of confrontations that injured six police officers and left store windows and ATMs smashed.
Police used pepper spray to control the crowd, some of whom were armed with crowbars and hammers, authorities said. A total of 217 people were arrested by early evening in what were the most violent episodes of the day involving protesters and police. Police said six officers suffered minor injuries, including three head injuries caused by rocks and other projectiles.  Read more.

Trump’s Inauguration Concert Was a Total Disaster

Thursday's inauguration weekend welcome concert did its job, in that it accurately and compellingly set the tone for the new administration and the new America. It didn’t run properly, didn’t reflect your tastes or interests, and you wouldn’t want to purchase a ticket to it—let alone desire to be present to witness the disaster.  Read more.

Why Chelsea Manning's Release Wil Make Us All Safer

As one of his final acts, President Barack Obama responded to widespread public outcry and commuted the bulk of Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence. Instead of serving 35 years in a military prison, she will be released on May 17, after nearly seven years behind bars, including months in conditions that the United Nations considers to be torture.  Read more.

Trump, sworn in as U.S. president, vows to end 'American carnage' in defiant speech

Donald Trump took power as the 45th president of the United States on Friday and pledged to end "American carnage" of social and economic woes in an inaugural address that was a populist and nationalist rallying cry.
Sketching a bleak vision of a country he said was ravaged by rusted-out factories, crime, gangs and drugs, Trump indirectly blamed his predecessors in the White House for policies that helped Washington at the expense of struggling families.  Read more.

'Dump Trump’: Filipinos gather to burn US flag, throw Trump photos into rubbish bins

Hundreds are rallying to protest against US President-elect Donald Trump near the US Embassy in Manila, the Philippines, chanting “Dump Trump” and burning the US flag.
About 300 protesters, mostly Muslim and leftist activists, participated in the rally, holding posters reading, “@realDonaldTrump hands off Filipino immigrants” and “Trump you’re Trash.” They also threw photos of the president-elect into rubbish bins.  Read more.

President Donald Trump Delivers Grim Inauguration Speech as Protests Swell

President Donald J. Trump has taken the oath of office, delivering a blunt speech rife with his signature autocratic declarations, promising to "make America great again" as tense protests swelled around Capitol Hill.
"Today's inauguration is an incredibly dark day for our country," Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the progressive PAC Democracy for America, said in response to Trump's speech Friday. "The only thing more empty than the National Mall today during his poorly attended inaugural address were the platitudes Donald Trump made about bringing the country together."  Read more.

The End of a People: Amazon Dam Destroys Sacred Munduruku "Heaven"

The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.  Read more.

Moby Comes Out of Hiding to Thrash Against Trump in ‘Erupt the Matter’ (Video)

U.S. investors see more automation, not jobs, under Trump administration

When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump criticized United Technologies Corp's (UTX.N) Carrier unit in November for its plan to move some 800 jobs to Mexico, the parent-company made a swift decision to keep the factory in Indiana.
Yet, the move did not translate into saving jobs. Instead, the company decided it would move toward automation as a way to cut costs.  Read more.

Human Rights Watch: Obama Broke the Law by Not Prosecuting Bush and Cheney

Avalanche destroys Italian hotel, up to 30 feared dead under snow

A huge avalanche swallowed up a luxury mountain hotel in central Italy after a series of strong earthquakes rocked the area, burying up to 30 people under tonnes of snow and debris, officials said on Thursday.
More than 24 hours after the avalanche hit, the Civil Protection department said just two bodies had been recovered.  Read more.

Nina Turner says "The Democratic Party Can't Just Whisper Sweet Nothings Anymore" - Nina Turner

We Need the Truth About Trump and Russia Now.

Over the holidays, John Farrell, author of an upcoming biography of Richard Nixon, wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times confirming what many of us have known for nearly 50 years: In the fall of 1968, Nixon, the Republican candidate for president, deliberately torpedoed President Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to cease the bombing of North Vietnam and begin peace talks to end the Vietnam war.  Read more.

Former 'Apprentice' contestant accuses Donald Trump of unwanted sexual advances, files defamation suit

ormer contestant on TV's “The Apprentice” on Tuesday filed a defamation lawsuit against President-elect Donald Trump, whom she has accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward her.
Summer Zervos announced the lawsuit at a downtown Los Angeles news conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred, three days before Trump's inauguration.  Read more.

Bipartisan EPA Alumni Urge Senate to Reject Pruitt's "Troubling" Nomination

On Monday, 13 former heads of state environmental bureaus sent a letter to senate leaders, urging them to reject Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's nomination as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief.
The letter (pdf), organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), implores members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to vote against Pruitt over his track record of opposing EPA rules—a history that calls into question whether he "appropriately respects science-based decision making" or would cooperate with states to protect Americans' health and safety from climate threats.  Read more.

Trump Inauguration as 'Twilight Zone' Television Listing Goes Viral

Offering a glimpse into how the international community perceives the pending inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, a Scottish newspaper's satirical take on the event, which it casts as a return episode of the "The Twilight Zone," has gone viral in recent days.

Amid the weekly television listings published Sunday, The Herald writer Damien Love described the Trump presidency as an "ambitious, expensive...interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years."  Read more.

Cory Booker and the Big Pharma Dems Have No Excuse. This Vote Proves It.

It’s devastating, and potentially lethal, when Americans can’t afford life-saving drugs because their elected representatives are in thrall to Big Pharma. It’s disappointing when Democrats offer implausible excuses for their votes, as Sen. Cory Booker and twelve other senators did last week.
And it’s downright outrageous when those same Democrats claim their votes were driven by drug safety concerns, since all twelve voted to lower drug safety standards when they supported the 21st Century Cures Act.  Read more.

12yo Indian girl ‘gang raped by school principal & 3 teachers’ in critical condition

A mentally challenged 12-year-old girl is reported to be in a critical condition after allegedly being gang raped by a school principal and three teachers in Bihar’s Jehanabad district in eastern India.
“She is my only child,” said the girl’s mother, who is a physical education teacher at Kako secondary school, where the alleged attack happened. She added that her top priority was to save her daughter and then fight for justice.  Read more.

600yo Buddha statue uncovered in Chinese reservoir

A 600-year-old statue of Buddha has emerged from the depths of the Hongmen Reservoir in eastern China following a drop in water levels.
The statue was spotted by a villager at the site in Jiangxi Province at the tail end of last year when water levels dropped by roughly 10 meters (33ft) following a renovation project at the reservoir.  Read more.

Martin Luther King's daughter says 'God can triumph over Trump'

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, two of the late civil rights leader's children participated in two very different events.
Speaking at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father once preached, Bernice King, his youngest daughter, told the crowd not to be "afraid of who sits in the White House," adding, "God can triumph over [Donald] Trump." She received a standing ovation and thunderous applause.  Read more.

South Korea prosecutors to seek arrest of Samsung chief

South Korea's special prosecutors' office said it will seek a warrant to arrest the head of Samsung Group, the country's biggest conglomerate, as a corruption scandal engulfing President Park Geun-hye escalated on Monday.
Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was questioned for 22 straight hours last week as investigators probe a scandal that has reached the highest levels of power in South Korea.  Read more.

Twitter Explodes After Trump Aide Claims GOP Never Questioned Obama's Legitimacy

In a stunning display of hypocrisy, President-elect Donald Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, claimed on Sunday that Republicans never questioned the legitimacy of President Barack Obama. 
Appearing on ABC News' "This Week," Priebus was responding to Congressman John Lewis' recent remarks, in which he said Trump will not be a legitimate president because Russia hacked the election to help him win. Trump responded by attacking Lewis, a civil rights icon, on Twitter, sparking massive outrage.  Read more.

More than two dozen members of Congress are boycotting Donald Trump’s inauguration

Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis knows a thing or two about fighting for what’s right, and this week he’s taken another moral stand: refusing to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Speaking to NBC News, the Georgia congressman said, “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president… I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected.”  Read more.

After Massive Outrage, Trump Team Reverses, Asks Head of DC National Guard to Not Resign at 12:01 Inauguration Day

The Trump transition team has reversed course and is now asking the head of the Washington, D.C. National Guard to not resign at 12:01 PM on Inauguration Day, after massive nationwide outrage including from at least one local city councilman. Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz received a memo instructing him to tender his resignation effective 12:01 PM January 20, the moment Donald Trump is sworn in as president – which is a customary expectation of all presidential political appointees and cabinet members on every Inauguration Day, even when a president is re-elected.  Read more.

Celebrating John Lewis, a Beacon in Dark Times

“My parents told me in the very beginning as a young child when I raised the question about segregation and racial discrimination, they told me not to get in the way, not to get in trouble, not to make any noise,” John Lewis once recalled.
Lewis, who has served as U.S. Representative for Georgia’s fifth congressional district since the mid-80’s and has been called “the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” clearly didn’t heed his parents’ warning. The powerful noise he has made for the last several decades, his profound courage, his ability to stare down evil, is really what we honor tomorrow and every Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Read more.

Over 4,000 civilians killed, aid blocked, zero accountability

Since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict on behalf of its ousted president, at least 4,125 civilians have been killed, most in coalition bombings, Human Rights Watch says in its annual report.
The organization paints a grim picture of the situation, saying that Western backers of the intervention, particularly the US and Britain, don’t appear to be willing to investigate alleged war crimes perpetrated by the coalition, despite mounting evidence.  Read more.

Bishop Eddie Long dies of aggressive form of cancer, church says

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s senior pastor Eddie L. Long has died, according to the church.
He was 63 years old.  
"Today it is with great sadness I announce that our bishop has transitioned,” Bishop Christopher C. Smith said.
The expectant crowd, many already informed by social media and text messages, wailed and shrieked at the official announcement.  Read more.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus to close after 146 years

After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May.
The iconic American spectacle was felled by a variety of factors, company executives say. Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal rights groups all contributed to its demise.  Read more.

'Like Bull Connor, But With More Bull': Donald Trump Picks Fight with Civil Rights Legend John Lewis on MLK Weekend

President-elect Donald Trump would start a fight in an empty broom closet. As a candidate in the Republican primary and then later in a hard fought campaign against Hillary Clinton, the former real estate developer exuded precious little grace—preferring brickbats to olive branches. Without question, Trump is far less prone to rise above the bar of decency than he is to slither beneath it.  Read more.

Thirteen Democrats Join GOP to Kill Sanders Resolution on Canadian Drug Imports

Twelve Republicans and thirteen Democrats crossed party lines in a 52-46 vote against prodding Congress toward examining the allowance of pharmaceutical imports from Canada.
The non-binding resolution failed Wedneday night amid a series of regular procedural considerations -- a so-called "vote-a-rama." Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sponsored the measure.  Read more.

California Mobilizes for War Against Trump

Here in America's most populous state, the wealthy pay the nation's highest income tax rate, the minimum wage will soon rise to $15 an hour statewide, more than a quarter of the population is foreign born, and the economy is booming. California, the world's sixth-largest economy and a bastion of progressivism, is now being hailed as a kind of great blue firewall—Democrats' most important bulwark against the retrograde policies of Donald Trump.
"If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us," Xavier Becerra, the state's incoming attorney general, taunted the president-elect in December.  Read more.

Protests derail UC Davis event with Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli

A college campus event hosting Milo Yiannopoulos and Martin Shkreli, two controversial and polarizing figures who have both been banned on Twitter, was canceled because of heated protests Friday night.
Yiannopoulos, editor of the right-wing website Breitbart News, and Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive charged with securities fraud, were supposed to speak Friday at the University of California at Davis at an event hosted by the Davis College Republicans, a student-run group. But the university visit, which Breitbart promoted by using #SHKRELOPOULOS, was abruptly canceled after a mass of protesters opposing Yiannopoulos’s appearance on campus showed up outside the building where it was supposed to take place.  Read more.