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Showing posts from October, 2017

Enslavement through the US prison system

Last week, a Louisiana sheriff gave a press conference railing against a new prisoner release program because it cost him free labor from “some good [inmates] that we use every day to wash cars, to change oil in the cars, to cook in the kitchen.” Two days later, news broke that up to 40 percent of the firefighters battling California’s outbreak of forest fires are prison inmates working for $2 an hour. Practices like these are disturbingly common: Military gear, ground meat, Starbucks holiday products, and McDonald’s uniforms have all been made (or are still made) with low-wage prison labor.  Read more.

California Judge Delivers 'Knockout Punch' to RICO Case Against Greenpeace

Billionaire Donor Tom Steyer Urges Local and State Leaders to Speak Out on Trump Impeachment

A prominent Democratic donor called on every governor in the United States and the mayors of 2,000 cities to tell constituents where they stand on the question impeaching President Donald Trump—an issue that has been publicly raised by two lawmakers since the president took office in January.
In a letter, billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer asked state and local leaders to call on federal representatives to support...read more.

56 Years After Paris Massacre, State Racism Lives On In France

Mother of Fallen Soldier Confirms Account of Call from 'Cold-Hearted' Trump

The mother of U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson—a soldier who was killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month—has confirmed reports that President Donald Trump said her son "knew what he signed up for" when talking to Johnson's widow, a comment which sparked outrage after it was first relayed to the media by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.).  Read more.

Carnage in Somalia Was 'Revenge' for Children Killed in US Raid

New details emerged Tuesday about the possible motivations behind a bomb attack that killed more than 300 people in the Somalia capital of Mogadishu over the weekend—the deadliest such violence in the nation's history—with the information suggesting the bombing may been in direct retaliation for a raid by U.S. soldiers this summer that left 10 civilians, including children, dead.  Read more.

Groups outraged over Utah fatal police shooting captured on camera

Anti-police brutality groups in Utah are livid after a prosecutor this week determined police were legally justified in a fatal shooting of a black man in August that was captured on body camera video released this week.
While one video appears to show the victim, Patrick Harmon, 50, shot from behind as he ran from police, a slowed-down version shows...read more.

Marilyn Mosby Recalls Racists Attacks After Charges in Freddie Gray Case

Pope Francis delivers comments on World Food Day

Pope Francis seemed to take a jab at the United States and President Donald Trump on Monday, while speaking at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Rome headquarters for World Food Day.

The pope called on the global community to work together to solve the related issues of hunger, climate change, and the refugee crisis.  Read more.

Driscoll Fruit is Being Boycotted Because of Slave-Like Labor Conditions on Farms

Black Neighbors Band Together to Bring in Healthy Food, Co-op-Style

A decade ago, researchers reported that more than half of Detroit residents live in a food desert -- an area where access to fresh and affordable healthy foods is limited because grocery stores are too far away. Efforts since then to bring more grocery stores -- and food security -- to predominantly Black neighborhoods haven't worked.

But that's looking to change.

Malik Yakini is executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, a coalition of...read more.

Dear Betsy DeVos, You’re Not Welcome Here

My name is Jesse Hagopian and I teach ethnic studies at Seattle’s Garfield High School. I hope you didn’t just stop reading this letter after you heard the subject I am teaching—I urge you to keep reading.
I am writing in regards to the Washington Policy Center’s $350-a-person fundraising dinner you will be addressing on October 13 at the Hyatt Regency in the nearby city of Bellevue. Thousands of my colleagues and I will...read more.

Militarization and "Shock Doctrine" Policies Abound After Earthquake in Mexico

The colored tarps hung over streets and patios of homes awaiting repair have become part of the everyday landscape of the Isthmus communities in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, after the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on September 7 causing around 100 deaths. It was the most intense earthquake to strike Mexico in a century. People are still afraid and panicked due to the destruction that the earthquake and its aftershocks have caused. The earth still hasn't settled.  Read more

EU Congratulates Moroccan-French Audrey Azoulay as the New Director of UNESCO

The EU issued a press statement on Friday night explaining that “UNESCO is an essential pillar of the multilateral system, a global force for the protection and promotion of cultural diversity and heritage.”

 The statement added that the EU considers the organization the “strongest supporter of the universal right to education and of freedom of expression.”  Read more.

Roger Goodell's Empty Letter to the NFL

On Tuesday, the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the executives and presidents of all 32 teams. Its contents concerned the most prominent topic of discussion surrounding the league recently. “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
Goodell’s written remarks are the most official response yet to the players across the league who...read more.

Goodell and N.F.L. Owners Break From Players on Anthem Kneeling Fight

By appearances anyway, the N.F.L. was one big family two weeks ago. After President Trump urged owners to fire players who did not stand for the national anthem, everyone from Commissioner Roger Goodell to the 32 team owners to the players and coaches locked arms, in many cases literally, in defiance and unity.  Read more.

NFL Players Write Open Letter of Unity

In an open letter published on Friday, NFL player Russell Okung, a Pro-Bowl linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers, called on his colleagues to come together in a more organized manner as the focus on those "taking a knee" or otherwise demonstrating against police violence and racial injustice have become the focus of threats and intimidation by President Donald Trump, the league, and team owners.  Read more.

Charlottesville: Warrant issued for DeAndre Harris

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of an African American man who was assaulted by at least six white nationalists following a confrontation during the deadly August rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The arrest warrant was issued on Monday for DeAndre Harris, 20, for unlawful wounding, a felony charge that is punishable by...read more.

The US Leaves UNESCO

Citing in part its "anti-Israel bias" and otherwise complaining of costs, the Trump administration announced Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations agency focused on education, science, and culture.
A press statement from the State Department says the decision was also based on "the need for fundamental reform in the organization" as well as stacking up bills the...read more.

'Unprecedented' California Wildfires: 21 Dead, More than 500 Missing

FBI Report Targets Black Activists

ESPN Denounced for 'Despicable Attempt to Silence' Journalist Jemele Hill

Fellow journalists, free speech defenders, and racial justice advocates are jumping to the defense of sports anchor Jemele Hill on Tuesday, after she was suspended for two weeks for "a second violation" of ESPN's social media policy.

Hill posted a series of tweets about Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' demand that his players stand for the...read more.

The Vietnam War is Not History for Victims of Agent Orange

Watching the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick 18-hour series, “The Vietnam War,” is an emotional experience. Whether you served in the US military during the war or marched in the streets to end it, you cannot remain untouched by this documentary. The battle scenes are powerful, the stories of US veterans and Vietnamese soldiers who fought on both sides of the war compelling.
The toll in human terms caused by the war is staggering.  Read more.

Trump’s actions in Latin America 'criminal,' may lead to war on continent, says Dilma Rousseff

Washington’s attempts to interfere in politics in South America, including in Venezuela, are “extremely dangerous” and “may lead to civil war,” former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has told RT. She added that the US has already made mistakes in the Middle East, which only led to...read more.

How $40 Can Land You in Prison for Seven Years and on the Sex Offender Registry for Life

In December, after more than seven years behind bars, 32-year-old LeeAnn walked out of federal prison. But she's not a free woman -- she will spend the rest of her life on the sex offender registry. Her crime? Letting a girl shower in her mother's apartment, giving her a clean change of clothes and holding the girl's $40 while she had sex with a man in another room.  Read more.

The Psychological Ripple Effects of Mass Shootings

The latest mass shooting in America -- the largest in modern history -- has us once again questioning the role of guns in our society and our willingness to allow weapons and ammunition to proliferate throughout. Until Sunday, when a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas and killed 59 people and wounded hundreds more, the deadliest mass shooting happened in June 2016 at an Orlando nightclub, leaving 49 dead and many injured. Since then, there have been over...read more.

Nurses and Labor Unions Join Puerto Rico Relief Efforts

As President Donald Trump continues to come under fire for failing to deliver sufficient help to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria—which killed dozens and left millions without power and running water—nurses, doctors, engineers, and other workers affiliated with various unions including National Nurses United (NNU) and the AFL-CIO have teamed up to assist with relief and recovery efforts.  Read more.

How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation

In May 2017, a team of researchers at the University of Oxford published the results of a survey of the world's best artificial intelligence experts, who predicted that there was a 50 percent chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks within 45 years. All human jobs were expected to be automated in 120 years, with Asian respondents expecting these dates much sooner than North Americans. In theory, that means we could all retire and enjoy the promised age of universal leisure. But the immediate concern for most people is that they will be losing their jobs to machines.  Read more.

Over 300 Arrested in St. Louis: It's About More Than Police Brutality

Mississippi Textbooks Are Keeping Students Ignorant of the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement was once a footnote in Mississippi social studies classrooms, if it was covered at all. Then, in 2011, Mississippi became a "model" for other states when new social studies standards set an expectation that students learn civil rights in depth.

But despite those new expectations, most school districts in the state...read more.

Hamas and Fatah​ Meet in Gaza: Will They​ Strike a​ Unity​ Deal?

John Whitehead: The Military-Entertainment Complex’s Culture of Violence Turns Deadly

This latest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 injured is as obscure as they come: a 64-year-old retiree with no apparent criminal history, no military training, and no obvious axe to grind opens fire on a country music concert crowd from a hotel room 32 floors up using a semi-automatic gun that may have been rigged to fire up to 700 rounds a minute, then kills himself.  Read more.

People Power Defeats an Oil Pipeline in Canada

Gun Violence Created the United States

It happens after every mass shooting. Corporate media outlets have a formula for coverage. They publish stories for a week or so ascertaining a "motive" for the shooter, talking about the details of high-tech -- usually military-style firearms -- used in the massacres and speculating on what gun control would have stopped the specific shooting of the moment. Of course, we can't forget the pro forma, with rare exception, neighbor or relative who can attest that...read more.

Senator Warre says Equifax Profitting from Data Hack While Consumers Pay the Price

If You Want Puerto Rico To Recover, Cancel Its Debt

More than 40% of Puerto Rico is without clean water, and the vast majority has no electricity. Many hospitals and operating rooms are not functioning, and the threat of a public health crisis looms. On Wednesday, 145 members of Congress took the unusual step of writing to President Trump and asking for more Department of Defense resources to be immediately deployed.  Read more.

The End of Empire

The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more...read more.

In Puerto Rico, acute shortages plunge the masses into survival struggle

Brian Jimenez had burned through dwindling supplies of scarce gasoline on a 45-minute drive in search of somewhere to fill his grandmother’s blood thinner prescription. He ended up in Fajardo, a scruffy town of strip malls on Puerto Rico’s northeastern tip, where a line of 400 waited outside a Walmart.  Read more.

Justin Trudeau's UN Indigenous Rights Speech Rings Hollow at Home

Why Natural Disasters Aren't All That Natural

Summer 2017 has been full of stories about (not so) 'freak' weather events. Floods in Japan and Italy and hurricanes in the USA have been extensively covered in news broadcasts (while other disasters in low-income countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and India have been largely ignored). Disasters and the risks they pose are thus becoming more and more prominent on political and media agendas as the damages caused by these disasters are on the increase.  Read more.