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Showing posts from March, 2018

15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq

Saudi Crown Prince Claims Jared Kushner is 'In His Pocket'

Already under fire after the revelation last month that officials from at least four foreign governments—the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico—have discussed ways to "manipulate" his financial entanglements to their advantage, White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner came under even more scrutiny Wednesday night after The Intercept reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) believes that he has Kushner "in his pocket."  Read more.

Biden and Trump Exchange Exposes Bipartisan Commitment to Violent Masculinity

A former vice president threatens to beat up the current president—or at least fantasizes about doing so back when the two septuagenarians were back in high school and buffed out like teenage jocks.
So the current president fires back, saying the former vice-president would lose and "go down hard and fast."  Read more.

Ben Carson's housing agency drops pledge to end housing discrimination

The US housing department, helmed by the former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, has proposed a new mission statement in which the pledge to build “inclusive” communities “free from discrimination” is removed.
The proposal comes just two weeks after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement more.

ANC tells white farmers to apologise for taking black land

KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala has called on white landowners to apologise for taking land from African farmers, saying refusing to do so would set the country on the path to self- destruction.
“Who gave the white landowners a mandate to take the land? They did not pay for the land to begin with, and developed it using black labour.  Read more.

Mercer's Cambridge Analytica 'Utterly Sleazy'

Invasion of Iraq: The original sin of the 21st century

Fifteen years ago today, Iraq was cast into the abyss as the US administration under George W Bush launched one of the most destructive invasions in modern history. In his now infamous speech announcing the start of the "Operation Iraqi Freedom", President Bush told Iraqis that "the day of their liberation is near". But rather than becoming a bastion for democracy and human rights in the region, Iraq has been decimated as a result of this military intervention, and millions of Iraqis have been subjected to horrors few more.

Austin bombing suspect Mark Conditt dies after blowing himself up

After a string of exploding packages terrorized Austin for nearly three weeks, police said the search for a serial bomber ended in a suburb outside the Texas capital when the suspect blew up an explosive inside his car as officers closed in.
Authorities said the suspected bomber — identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, of Pflugerville, Tex. — was killed more.

Rep. Keith Ellison: "Why Shouldn't There Be a Maximum Wage?

On March 9 and 10, the Congressional Progressive Caucus gathered for its strategy summit in Baltimore, Maryland. Members of the caucus and allies from left-leaning organizations and European left parties gathered to talk policy and power for the short, medium and long term. At the conference, I spoke with Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota about the new push more.

Facing poverty, teachers turn to sex work and sleeping in cars

There is nothing she would rather do than teach. But after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.
She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch, several years ago, when her course load was suddenly cut in half and more.

First modern Britons had 'dark to black' skin, Cheddar Man DNA analysis reveals

The first modern Britons, who lived about 10,000 years ago, had “dark to black” skin, a groundbreaking DNA analysis of Britain’s oldest complete skeleton has revealed.
The fossil, known as Cheddar Man, was unearthed more than a century ago in Gough’s Cave in Somerset. Intense speculation has built up more.

African Continental Free Trade Area: What you need to know

African countries are set to put their signature to an agreement that will launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Wednesday.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has estimated the agreement's implementation could increase intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022, compared with trade levels in 2010.  Read more.

15 Years Ago, America Destroyed My Country

When I was 12, Saddam Hussein, vice president of Iraq at the time, carried out a huge purge and officially usurped total power. I was living in Baghdad then, and I developed an intuitive, visceral hatred of the dictator early on. That feeling only intensified and matured as I did. In the late 1990s, I wrote my first novel, “I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody,” about daily life under Saddam’s authoritarian regime. Furat, the narrator, was a young college student studying English literature at Baghdad University, as I had. He ends up in prison for cracking a joke about the dictator. Furat hallucinates and imagines Saddam’s fall, just as I often did. I hoped I would witness that moment, whether in Iraq or from afar.  Read more.

EPA Sued for Removing Independent Scientists from its Advisory Board

Russian election follows old Soviet tradition

President Vladimir Putin received 75 percent of votes cast so far in Sunday's election, easily winning another six-year term as Russia's leader.
Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin was in second with 13 percent, followed by nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky with 6 percent, results from the Central Electoral Commission showed with about half of all ballots cast counted.  Read more.

What Standing Rock Gave the World

At the height of the movement at Standing Rock, Indigenous teens half a world away in Norway were tattooing their young bodies with an image of a black snake. Derived from Lakota prophecy, the creature had come to represent the controversial Dakota Access pipeline for the thousands of water protectors determined to try to stop it.  Read more.

Marielle Franco: Protests held across Brazil after Rio councillor shot dead

Protests were held across Brazil after a popular Rio city councillor and her driver were shot dead by two men in what appears to have been a targeted assassination.
Marielle Franco, 38, was a groundbreaking politician who had become a voice for disadvantaged people in the teeming favelas that are home to more.

National Geographic Acknowledges Its Anti-African American Past

As National Geographic editors prepared an issue dedicated to race, they realized the 130-year-old magazine might face questions about its troubled history on the subject.
So they asked John Edwin Mason, a University of Virginia professor who studies the history of Africa and photography, to dig through the magazine’s archives to examine its shortcomings in covering people of color in the United States and abroad.  Read more.

Stephen Hawking: Fighter for Progressive Politics

Trump's Personal Lawyer Calls on DOJ to Kill Mueller Probe

Speaking to The Daily Beast Saturday following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' late-night firing of former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, John Dowd—President Donald Trump's personal attorney—called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "bring an end to [the] alleged Russia collusion investigation" being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.  Read more.

The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion

March 19 marks 15 years since the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the American people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed. The US military has refused to keep a tally of Iraqi deaths. General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the initial invasion, bluntly told reporters, “We don’t do body counts.” One survey found that most Americans thought Iraqi deaths were in the tens of thousands. But our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion.  Read more.

As Haspel Nomination Reopens Dark CIA Chapter, Liz Cheney Leads Pack of Torture Apologists

President Donald Trump's decision this week to nominate Gina Haspel—an intelligence official civil libertarians argue "should be in jail" for her role in the Bush administration's torture regime—as the next CIA chief has illuminated something of a spectrum of torture apologists among America's political elite.  Read more.

Senate Expands 'Lobbyist Bill' to Deregulate Real Estate

UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela

Israeli Military Strangles Its Own Weapons Manufacturer to Privatize It

The CIA's New Torturer-in-Chief

Not Without Black Women

Ford recalls 1.4 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars, saying steering wheels could fall off

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced a safety recall for 1.4 million of its cars in North America, saying that because of issues with the steering wheel bolts, the steering wheel could detach.
It also announced a safety recall for about 6,000 manual-transmission cars over a clutch-plate problem that carries a risk of fire.  Read more.

Britain’s presumption of guilt towards Russia invites conflict and chaos

Britain’s abandonment of due process has taken a dangerous and reckless leap, with Theresa May declaring economic sanctions and diplomatic expulsions for Russia’s “failure” to respond to allegations over the Skripal poisoning.

Provocatively, Moscow was given a 24-hour deadline to “answer” charges leveled by the British government that it more

Democrat Conor Lamb Prevails in District Trump Won by 20

Thanks to strong backing from organized labor and an agenda that focused heavily on shielding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from GOP attacks, Democrat Conor Lamb on Wednesday was finally declared the apparent winner of the closely-watched special election in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district—where President Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016.  Read more.

Economic crisis looming? Hungary latest country to repatriate gold

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced it is bringing home the country’s 100,000 ounces (3 tons) of gold reserves from London.
The decision to repatriate gold reserves, in total worth some 33 billion Hungarian forint (US$130 million), was also explained as being for safety reasons, in case of a potential geopolitical crisis.  Read more.

The Walls Are Closing In on Trump

The Fox News and Trump media enterprise Monday launched into a spasm of complete ecstasy as the House Intelligence Committee declared its investigation of Russian interference in our elections and their contacts with and collaboration with the Trump campaign over, done, solved. In its alternate reality, it’s declaring the CASE CLOSED.  Read more.

Bee Sanctuaries in Detroit: Conserving Honeybees on the City's Vacant Lots

Land-use and acquisition concerns in Detroit usually revolve around who owns what property and how it is used to support the life of the neighborhood -- and often the answers to these questions are "a millionaire" and "not very well." But Detroit's many wide-open spaces allow us to peer through the thin veil that separates city life from nature and ask much bigger questions about how the use of land can sustain life in general. Recent studies suggest that the vacant lots in Detroit hold great potential to conserve declining honeybee populations, and smart, local beekeepers are taking heed.  Read more.

Israel Lobby Doesn't Want Al Jazeera to Spill its Secrets

#Enough: US students plan mass walkout to call for gun control

Thousands of students and teachers across the US plan to walk out of schools on Wednesday to commemorate the month anniversary of the high school shooting in Florida and call for increased gun control measures to prevent future incidents.
The walkout will take place at 10am local time and will last for 17 minutes to honour the 17 people killed when a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.  Read more.

Apparently Trump is Innocent, so says House Intelligence Committee

Even as the special counsel expands his inquiry and pursues criminal charges against at least four Trump associates, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on Monday that their investigation had found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.  Read more.

House Intelligence Committee Shuts Down Its Trump Russia investigation, claiming no evidence of collusion

After a yearlong investigation marred by bitter partisan divisions, Republicans announced Monday that the House Intelligence Committee has found no evidence of collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russians who used social media and hacked emails in an effort to influence the 2016 election.  Read more.

Marching Backwards for Freedom

In 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers to the Dallas County Courthouse in Selma, Alabama to demand their right to vote.  When they got there, they were arrested. That arrest, and the police brutality that followed it, galvanized the nation and forced passage of the Voting Rights Act.  Read more.

Student Debt Cancellation a Viable Option, Economists Say

In Budget Battle, Pelosi Retreats on DACA and Gun Control

Congress is set to consider a long-term spending measure next week, and the Democrats' leader in the House offered up disappointing news about the process to Dreamers and gun reform advocates.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that her caucus would not insist on a DACA fix or new gun control measures as part more.

NYC Public Housing Residents Demand Bold Action From Mayor

Mayor Bill de Blasio's 2018 State of the City address, held on Feb. 13 at Brooklyn's renowned King's Theater, was premised on a particularly bold claim. The words "Mayor Bill de Blasio Making New York America's Fairest Big City" were emblazoned on the marquee so that attendees, passersby and the scores of protesters who had been forced to the other side of Flatbush Avenue couldn't miss them.  Read more.

Saudi Prince Visits UK as Britain Boosts Murderous Arms Sales

Elizabeth Warren slams her party leaders for financial collusion

I ran for the United States Senate because I wanted to protect working families from another financial crisis.
I spent most of my adult life studying how America’s middle class was getting squeezed by rising costs and stagnant wages. The 2008 financial crisis was a punch to the gut for a lot of those families — and a lot of them are still struggling to recover years later.  Read more.

How Did Communist China Become a Capitalist Superpower?

DC Democrats' War on Progressives Backfires in Texas

Big Pharma Depends on Our Tax Dollars

Amid ongoing uproars over the high cost of life-saving medicine, it is worth remembering that the US government pays for a significant portion of the research funds for new pharmaceuticals. Alexander Zaitchick of the Other98 website notes that a recent study by the Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI) came to the conclusion: "No NIH [National Institutes of Health] funds, no new drugs, no patents, no profits, no industry."  Read more.

The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right

Parkland Student Delivers Powerful Rebuke to NRA

Sarah Chadwick, a high school student who survived the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 of her peers and teachers last month, published a video takedown of a recent advertisement from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to promote March for Our Lives, a student-led demonstration to demand stricter gun laws that will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 24.  Read more.

Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (1/4)

Why Is the FDA Banning Kratom?

With the opioid crisis growing ever more dire, what is the significance of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recent decision to ban the herb Kratom?
Kratom is a plant indigenous to Southeast Asia that has been utilized for millennia to treat pain and illness, and improve mood, among other uses. Read more.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Faces Native American Resistance

Two Native American tribes in North Carolina are among the groups seeking to join a court challenge to federal regulators' decision to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5 billion project proposed by utility giants Dominion and Duke Energy. The 600-mile pipeline would carry fracked gas from West Virginia through Virginia to eastern North Carolina, which is home to many Native Americans.  Read more.

Brazil's Military Takeover in Rio Sparks Authoritarian Fears

The Arctic Is Melting Down as the Antarctic Food Chain Is Breaking

A draft UN report has warned that missing the 1.5°C warming target set by the Paris Climate Accords will multiply hunger, migration and conflict around the globe. The 1.5°C target means limiting atmospheric temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C above what they were prior to the industrial revolution when humans began emitting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.  Read more.

Big Business Penitentiary: Eddie Conway on the Enterprise of Mass Incarceration

California Dems Reject Sen. Feinstein, Open Path for Progressive Candidate

On the Last Day of Black History Month, Chicago's School Board Votes to Shutter Five Black Schools

Chicago saw another tumultuous episode in the city's battle over public education on Wednesday, with a sadly familiar script. As many expected, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked, un-elected school board voted unanimously to close four predominantly Black high schools, despite the impassioned pleas and organizing of students and local residents. Four of the schools -- Hope, Harper, Team Englewood and Robeson -- are the last remaining neighborhood schools in the community of Englewood, a neighborhood Chicago officials have long failed on a number of levels. National Teachers Academy elementary school (NTA) also faces closure, despite significant community protest.  Read more.