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Showing posts from September, 2017

Under pressure from Trump, Price resigns as health secretary over private plane uproar

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned under pressure from President Donald Trump on Friday in an uproar over Price’s use of costly private charter planes for government business.
His abrupt departure was announced an hour after Trump told reporters he was disappointed in...read more.

Anti-Fascists Aren't Scary, Neo-Nazis Are

At a recent anti-hate rally in Berkeley, Joey Gibson, leader of the extreme right-wing, white supremacist group, Patriot Prayer, strolled directly in front of me -- his three burly bodyguards in tow. A few people nearby pointed him out, shouting his name.
I had an immediate visceral reaction to the sight of this man, whom I consider to be a...read more.

Cruel cycle of domestic violence and homelessness in LA

Kalanie* and her boyfriend got into an argument one day when she wasn't at work. Her boyfriend was drunk - as he often was when he got angry, she said. She wanted to avoid a confrontation, so she went into the bathroom, locked the door and started to shower.

Then, she heard a noise. Her boyfriend had gone downstairs to get his toolbox, and was taking the door off its hinges.  Read more.

Katrina Comparisons Mount for Trump as Puerto Rico Screams for Bolder Response

As Puerto Ricans were stockpiling their few remaining resources on Wednesday, with some resorting to drinking water from streams according to news reports, President Donald Trump faced mounting criticism of his response—or lack thereof—to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria's direct hit to the island territory last week.  Read more.

From 1776 to Trump - White Mobs, Racist Heroes & Hidden History

Facebook's about-face is only partial victory

Mark Zuckerberg’s withdrawal of plans to excrete an inferior class of Facebook shares onto the investing hoi polloi should go down as an extraordinary moment in contemporary American capital markets. But the social network founder’s climbdown is not an unalloyed victory for democratic capitalism. Facebook is facing other, existential, challenges that almost certainly rendered Zuckerberg’s decision an expedient one.  Read more.

Shannon Sharpe on NFL Protest: ‘I’m Disappointed, and I’m Unimpressed’

Shannon Sharpe, the Hall of Fame former NFL tight end-turned-the most woke sports analyst to ever to do it, is back at it again dropping straight gems. Sharpe wasn’t feeling the show of NFL locked-arm unity after President Donald Trump came out and declared that any player who protested during the national anthem should be fired.  Read more.

Star-Spangled Bigotry: The Hidden Racist History of the National Anthem

Wars can jump-start slumping economies and manufacture legitimacy for unpopular or embattled states, but they can be all-on-the-table gambles as well. Even hegemonic global powers -- deceived by their own arrogance, the egos of their leaders, or fatal assumptions about the willingness of their people to fight -- have walked this road straight into their own collapse.  Read more.

Trump Is Running the US Like One of His Casinos

During the 2016 election campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly emphasized that our country was run terribly and needed a businessman at its helm. Upon winning the White House, he insisted that the problem had been solved, adding, "In theory, I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There's never been a case like this."
Sure enough, while Hillary Clinton spent her time excoriating her opponent for not releasing his tax returns...read more.

#TakeaKnee Sunday as NFL Teams and Players Rebuff President Trump

Sunday is game day for the National Football League and the hashtag #TakeaKnee is going viral as people across the nation see how players and teams respond to calls by President Donald Trump to punish players who do so.

For the earliest round of games that began at 1:00 pm (EST), dozens of players knelt while many teams chose to...read more.

Wisconsin, Ohio, California among states targeted by Russian hackers in 2016 race

Wisconsin, Ohio, California and 10 other states said on Friday they were among 21 states that Russian government hackers targeted in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump though no votes were changed.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed it had notified the states of the activity but declined to identify them.  Read more.

White Nationalists Continue Berkekey Takeover Quest

As a student group prepares to host several far-right speakers at the University of California, Berkeley, faculty, students and community members are gearing up for protests and boycotts to voice their outrage.

Berkeley Patriot, a right-wing student organisation, is hosting "Free Speech Week" from Sunday until Wednesday. The group organised the events in coordination with far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.  Read more.

Trudeau tells UN Canada has failed indigenous people

Declaring that Canada is "no land of wonders", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the United Nations that his country was working to address failures in the treatment of its indigenous people.
Trudeau used his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday to frankly acknowledge the dark history of Canada's colonisation as on...read more.

Trump's Judicial Makeover is White and Far-Right

White Nationalist Groups Are Splitting Over Gay Inclusion

With the recent blowback from Charlottesville, the churning wheel of fascist infighting has once again kicked off, exposing a number of fault lines within white nationalist groups in the US.
One major fault line has emerged over homosexuality: While fascist and white nationalist movements have historically condemned queerness, many in the self-described "alt-right" wanted to dash this image...read more.

Comedian's sharp criticism detours Republican U.S. healthcare drive

The latest Republican drive to replace Obamacare was detoured on Wednesday by popular comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s biting criticism of the proposal and accusation that one of its chief sponsors “lied right to my face” about it, while President Donald Trump embraced the bill.
Kimmel, who in May became an unexpected player in the U.S. healthcare debate after...read more.

At U.N., Trump's tough talk opens door for Macron's diplomacy

French President Emmanuel Macron cast himself as the antithesis of Donald Trump at the United Nations on Tuesday, a position that could enable him to play the honest broker in international conflicts.
A few hours after the U.S. president pugnaciously defended his unilateralist America First doctrine and launched scathing verbal attacks on North Korea and Iran, Macron took to the same stage to advance a diametrically opposed stance.  Read more.

Even Business Leaders Are Realizing Health Insurance Companies Serve No Purpose

Polls show a growing number of Americans are warming up to the idea of single-payer health care. Whether that's a reaction to the repeal-and-replace bills proposed by congressional Republicans or to the failure of the Affordable Care Act to get us to universal coverage (or even reduce medical costs in a meaningful way) is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that most of us have lost faith in private health insurers and want the government to do more in health care.  Read more.

Even Business Leaders Are Realizing Health Insurance Companies Serve No Purpose

Polls show a growing number of Americans are warming up to the idea of single-payer health care. Whether that's a reaction to the repeal-and-replace bills proposed by congressional Republicans or to the failure of the Affordable Care Act to get us to universal coverage (or even reduce medical costs in a meaningful way) is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that most of us have lost faith in private health insurers and want the government to do more in health care.  Read more.

GOP Retries ACA Repeal as Single-Payer Surges

Police kill Ga Tech student who called for help

The call that led Georgia Tech campus police to respond to a man reportedly wielding a knife was made by the student who was later shot and killed by officers,  police investigators said Monday night.

That student, Scout Schultz, left three suicide notes behind in a dormitory room, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  Read more.

Women's Narratives - The Real Cost of Selling Weapons

Remembering the day the Eritrean press died

People who haven't experienced Eritrea's descent into totalitarianism first hand cannot truly understand what daily life looks like there. Even the infamous labels associated with the country - such as "most censored" country on Earth or the bottom-ranked nation on the Press Freedom Index for 10 consecutive years - do not help understand Eritrea's day-to-day reality.  Read more.

After Failing to Prosecute Bankers, Obama Cashes In With Wall Street Speeches

Less than a year has passed since he departed from the White House, and former President Barack Obama has already joined the "well trod and well paid" Wall Street speaking circuit, a decision many argued will negatively impact the Democratic Party's credibility as it attempts to fashion a message around taking on corporate monopolies, tackling income inequality, and loosening the insurance industry's control over the American healthcare system.  Read more.

Desperate Yemenis sell organs to survive

The scars from Adnan Ali's recent kidney surgery are fading, but his emotional pain lingers.
Ali - who is unemployed, divorced and in his early thirties - recently found himself facing a stark choice. He could either sign up to fight with the Houthi rebels on the front lines of the war in Yemen, seek work in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, or sell his organs.  Read more.

U.S. judge sides against Trump in fight over 'sanctuary cities'

A federal judge on Friday barred the U.S. Justice Department from denying public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities in retaliation for limiting cooperation with the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
The preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber was in response to a legal challenge brought by...read more.

Investigators' Knives Out for Equifax After Massive Data Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) became the first economic regulator to formally announce an investigation into Equifax's handling of a cyber intrusion that left more than 100 million Americans vulnerable to identity theft.
An FTC spokesman confirmed the probe one day after dozens of lawmakers urged the agency and other government bodies to look into the...read more.

Justice Department Drops Investigation into the Death of Freddie Gray

Iran signs deal to repair Syria's power grid

The government of Syria has signed an agreement with Iran to repair parts of the war-torn country's power grid, state media said, in an early sign of the major role Tehran is expected to play in Syria's reconstruction. 
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday during a visit by Syria's electricity minister to...read more.

Former Nuclear Inspector: Calling North Korea Nuclear-Capable is a 'Gross Exaggeration'

The Racial Wealth Gap Is Leading to An Almost-Nonexistent Middle Class

A new study finds that if the racial wealth divide is left unaddressed, the median wealth for black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053, with Latino Americans reaching the same median wealth two decades later.
According to the report by the Institute for Policy Studies and Prosperity Now, the wealth gap between people of color and their...read more.

After Hurrican Harvey, Texas Left With Toxic Soup of Sewage, Spilled Fuel, Pesticides, and More

Following reports that refineries and petrochemical plants released millions of pounds of pollutants because of Hurricane Harvey, which battered Southeast Texas last month, test results published on Monday by the New York Times confirmed concerns that "Houston's floodwaters are tainted with toxins."
The storm's unprecedented "1,000-year flood," triggered by record rainfall generated by the...read more.

Artist Donates BP Prize Money to Greenpeace

We  can’t stop looking at human faces. Can’t stop being interested in ourselves, our species. The BP Portrait Award, whose annual exhibition of winners and strong contenders can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery until 24 September, is full of humanity. It is, perhaps, the most humanist art prize in the world, an art award that specifically celebrates the painted human image and looks for modern heirs to the profoundly compassionate tradition of portraiture that includes Rembrandt, Velázquez and Lucian Freud.  Read more.

9/11: The Beginning of the End of the US Empire Project

Today, it has been 16 years since the events of September 11, 2001, in the United States. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, and more than 6,000 were injured in the spectacular violence across New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.
The Bush/Cheney administration used these horrible events to justify projecting the...read more.

What Steve Bannon's 60 Minutes Interview Proved

There was gale-force bullshit coming from all points of the compass and nonsense was running at floodtide in the newspapers and on TV this past weekend, a sorry couple of days for elite political journalism. As to the latter, Charlie Rose got a chance to sit down with Steve Bannon, the last heir to House Harkonnen and, despite Rose’s letting Bannon off several hooks, we learned that Steve Bannon is one of those guys who’s read three books and thinks that’s all the books there are, that he’s more than a little batty, and that, as my pal John Fugelsang tweeted this morning, that he continues to look like...read more.

‘Barbuda is literally rubble’: Shocked PM says Irma destroyed 90% of homes on tiny Caribbean island

Houses and infrastructure on Barbuda have been “totally demolished,” Antigua and Barbuda PM told media following a helicopter trip to the Caribbean island. The island of 1,600 residents went radio silent for over twelve hours, causing wild speculations over their fate.
Conflicting reports emerged in the vacuum of information and the absence of direct communication with the island.  Read more.

Intimidating journalists: The death of Suna Venter

As a nine-year-old, Suna Venter used to plead with her mother to let her skip school so she could watch coverage of the first Iraq War on the news.
"She was absolutely fascinated by the people on the fringes of the war, the children especially who were impacted by wars, and fascinated by the fact that this could be publicised, televised and so on," her father, Philip, remembers.  Read more.

Hurricane Irma batters Caribbean as Florida braces for weekend landfall

Monster Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, packing a potentially catastrophic mix of pounding winds, raging surf and rain en route to a possible Florida landfall this weekend.
Irma is expected to become the second powerful storm to thrash the U.S. mainland in as many weeks but its precise trajectory was uncertain. Read more.

How 'Regime Change' Wars Led to Korea Crisis

It is a popular meme in the U.S. media to say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “crazy” as he undertakes to develop a nuclear bomb and a missile capacity to deliver it, but he is actually working from a cold logic dictated by the U.S. government’s aggressive wars and lack of integrity.
Indeed, the current North Korea crisis, which could end up killing millions of people, can be viewed as a follow-on disaster to President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and President Barack Obama’s Libyan intervention.  Read more.

As Irma Intensifies, "You've Never Experienced a Hurricane Like This"

As the northern Caribbean islands brace for impact and evacuations are ordered in south Florida, Hurricane Irma became one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded on Tuesday afternoon with sustained winds of over 185mph and an intensity that was "redefining the rules" of what a storm in this part of the world could be.  Read more.

German churches are standing with refugees as atonement for past complicity

On a brisk Wednesday evening in early March, a group of people walk towards a small building attached to the Immanuelkirche, an Evangelical church in eastern Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood.
Propped on the wall beside the door is a chalkboard. Scrawled across it and flanked by a pair of fuchsia hearts is a greeting: "Welcome to Meet 'n Eat. Come in!"  Read more.

Orphaned by the mudslide in Sierra Leone's Freetown

In the blue hour of dawn, brothers Isaac and Idris picked their way back home along the mud and stone track from morning prayers at their local mosque. The rain was heavy and there was little light, but they could have walked the familiar route with their eyes closed as they had walked this path together every day of their lives.  Read more.

Immigrant Rights Advocates Blast Trump's Decision to End DACA

Immigrant rights advocates, legal experts, politicians, and others quickly denounced the Tuesday announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as youth to delay deportation and apply for work permits, is being rescinded.  Read more.

Greenland Is Burning: Wildfires and Floods Surge Worldwide

On Sunday, August 27, I went mountain climbing in Olympic National Park, near my home. I noted how warm the day was -- far warmer, even in early morning, than the norm for this time of year. I would learn that evening that across Puget Sound in Seattle, the city had seen temperatures an average of nearly 10 degrees above normal that day.  Read more.

Hamas Looks to Iran, One of its Last Remaining Allies

Teachers Shouldn't Have to Panhandle to Prepare for a New School Year

Back to school! These three simple words used to leave America's public school teachers giddy with anticipation. Now they leave them opening up their wallets and worrying.

The problem? Teachers have been spending out of their own pockets for generations to decorate their classrooms and the like. Now they're having to spend their own money for...read more.

We Should Serve Kids Food in School, Not Shame

For the past several years, reports have surfaced about the "shaming" of students for outstanding school meal debts. These students, often from low-income families, are being publicly humiliated because they have unpaid debt in their school meal accounts. Policies that shame students can include stamping on children's hands or arms, taking their food away and...read more.

Mexico president vows to defend NAFTA, nation's 'dignity'

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Saturday defended free trade and young migrants in the United States, saying his government would not accept insults against “national dignity” from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trade negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico are working through the...read more.

Did Monsanto Write Seed Policy in Malawi?

Shocking New Scandals Underscore Need for Civilian-Led Policing

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records Detailing Immigrant Sexual Abuse and Deaths in Its Custody

The openly anti-immigrant agenda of the Trump administration has led to a drastic increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants, and a looming threat of removal for Dreamers who have spent most of their lives in the U.S. Those policies promise only to further tax the country's immigration detention centers, where watchdog groups and detainees frequently report unsafe conditions. The dangers these detainees face are often revealed through careful reviews of records that document violations of immigrants' human and civil rights.  Read more.

Texas official turns down Canada's offer of supplies and manpower to restore electricity, asks for prayers instead

Quebec's Minister of International Relations said her recent conversation with one Texas official ended with a surprising counter-offer.

Minister of International Relations Christine St-Pierre told CBC News she called Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos to express the concern all of Quebec felt for the Lone Star State's struggles in the aftermath of...read more.

Utah nurse assaulted by officer for not giving blood sample

A nurse at a Utah hospital was assaulted by a police officer last month after declining to give him a sample of an unconscious patient’s blood because he had neither a warrant nor the patient’s consent, local media reported.
Video of the July 26 incident from Salt Lake City police officers’ body-worn cameras showed...read more.

The New York Times Gives Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince Free Advertising

Sweatshop Lobbyist Nominated for Deputy Secretary of Labor

Odds are that you haven't heard the name Patrick Pizzella before, but you probably should get to know it. Pizzella is President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy labor secretary, which would make him the second most important man in the Department of Labor.
That's an awfully powerful position for a man who formerly lobbied to maintain sweatshop labor on US territories.  Read more.

Trump’s Hostility to the News Media: Reckless driving or premeditated assault?

On Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, held a press conference at his headquarters in Geneva, intending to focus on systematic violations of human rights taking place in Venezuela. This is what the lead UN official for human rights does – calls out governments for serious violations of fundamental rights, conducts high-level fact finding, and encourages countries to meet their international obligations. But he took a detour from one crisis to address another, laying into President Trump’s hostility toward the media and warning that he came close to inciting violence against reporters.  Read more.

Nearly 50,000 Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar

The suffocating smell of charred wood has followed 19-year-old Ahmed for days. On Saturday, a group of armed men set fire to his home village of Ywa Thai Kay. With flames licking his heels and the sound of bullets cutting through the air, Ahmed, who spoke under a pseudonym, was forced to flee his childhood home, desperately clutching his most prized possessions - his English books.  Read more.