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Showing posts from May, 2015

Swedish Dads Get 3 Months Paternity Leave

Common Dreams - Sweden is planning to introduce a third month of paid parental leave reserved for fathers as of 2016, in a bid to further increase gender equality, the country’s government has just announced. The country's Left Party is hoping for more individualized paid time off for new parents... read more .

Internet Access for the All through the FCC Lifeline program

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler on Thursday introduced a proposal to subsidize internet access for low-income Americans, marking the agency's strongest and most recent recognition that broadband services are an essential public utility. The plan seeks to expand the FCC's $1.7 billion Lifeline program, which has helped more than 12 million low-income households pay their phone bills since its inception in 1985.   Read more.

Capitalism Could Kill All Life on Earth

Thom Hartman @ Truthout - Are we going to let capitalism destroy life on Earth? According to 99 percent of climate scientists – we'll know by the end of the century. Scientists have agreed for three decades about what is causing atmospheric temperatures to rise – humans are burning Earth's carbon resources to fuel economic activity.   Read more .

Gentrification and the Death of Black Communities

Margaret Kimberly @ Black Agenda Report - There is no city in this country where black people are safe from the current method of displacement known as gentrification. Washington, DC, once had a majority black population and was known as Chocolate City. Perhaps it is now the Café au Lait city as the black population has fallen below 50%. That dynamic gathers steam in New York and other cities and continues to push people out of their homes, deprive them of needed services and erode their quality of life.   Read more .

India's heat wave kills over 1,400 people - With roads melting right before your eyes, the heat has become lethal in India, killing at least 1,412 people in May. After temperatures reached new benchmarks, rising to 47C, doctors were forced to postpone vacations to cope with sufferers. India's two southern states, Andhra Pradesh and nearby Telangana, are the worst affected areas. The heat has raged for over a week and the death toll there is said to be more than... read more.

Pentagon admits the US and West created ISIL

Insurge Intelligence - A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad. The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, and that these "supporting powers" desired the emergence of a "Salafist Principality" in Syria to "isolate the Syrian regime."   Read more.

Apartheid Israel

Nebraska abolishes death penalty

Washington Post - Nebraska lawmakers voted to abolish the death penalty Wednesday, overriding a veto from the governor and making that state the 19th in the country to ban capital punishment. The narrow vote in Lincoln on Wednesday made Nebraska the first state in two years to formally abandon the death penalty... read more .

In England political party donations skyrocket 100% in 10 years, figures reveal - Almost £100 million was collectively declared by UK political parties in the run up to the new parliament, Electoral Commission figures show, making the 2015 general election the most expensive in history. May’s election battle sparked a huge swell in political donations to the two main parties, with the Tories raking in close to £38 million and Labour pocketing £32 million.   Read more .

Lessons From an Indian Tribe on How to Manage the Food-Forest Nexus

Inter Press Service - Scattered across 240 sq km on the remote Niyamgiri hill range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, an ancient tribal group known as the Dongria Kondh have earned themselves a reputation as trailblazers. Having fought – and won – a decade-long battle with a British mining giant that invested close to a billion dollars in a bauxite extraction operation in this mineral-rich area, the Dongria Kondh set an example in 2013 to millions of tribal people around the world that David versus Goliath-style confrontations can still be won by the underdog.   Read more .

War Leaves Two-Thirds of Yemen without Water Access: Oxfam

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - As war continues to ravage Yemen, at least 16 million people—nearly two-thirds of the country's population—are now without access to clean water, a humanitarian crisis that threatens to escalate, Oxfam warned on Monday. According to a statement released by the international aid group, "People are being forced to drink unsafe water as a result of the disintegration of local water systems, bringing the real risk of life-threatening illnesses, such as malaria, cholera, and diarrhea."   Read more.

Obama Administration Sabotages Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference

Joseph Gerson @ Truthout - So much for President Obama's commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free world. With its decision on May 22 to block the adoption of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Review Conference's consensus statement, the Obama administration gave the human species another hefty push toward nuclear catastrophe, shaking the foundations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).   Read more.

Hold Bankers Accountable for Their Crimes

Katrina vaden Heuvel @ Washington Post - Last week, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that five major banks were pleading guilty to criminal charges for what she described as a “brazen display of collusion” to manipulate the currency markets. The banks — Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland Group — were hit with $5.6 billion in fines and penalties. Sensibly, the banks were forced to plead guilty, not simply pay fines in settlements where they neither admitted nor denied the changes. But the charges still were brought against banks, not bankers. No banker was held accountable.   Read more .

Chelsea Manning: Releasing the 'War Diaries' Have Been a Rollercoaster

Chelsea Manning @ Common Dreams - Today marks five years since I was ordered into military confinement while deployed to Iraq in 2010. I find it difficult to believe, at times, just how long I have been in prison. Throughout this time, there have been so many ups and downs – it often feels like a physical and emotional roller coaster.   Read more.

Israel's Plan for Palestine is Destruction and Non-Development

Lies, Not Mistakes, Led to Invasion of Iraq

Paul Krugman @ Truthout - Jeb Bush definitely did us a favor: In attempting not to talk about the past, he ended up bringing back the discussion of the Iraq war, which many political and media figures have been trying to avoid. And of course they're still trying to avoid it - they want to make sure this just about the horse race, or about the hypothetical question of "if you knew what we know now."   Read more .

NYU as a Model for Predatory Higher Education

Yves Smith @ Naked Capitalism - Under Chairman of the Board Martin Lipton and President John Sexton, New York University has been operating as a real estate development/management business with a predatory higher-education side venture. A group of 400 faculty members at NYU, Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (FASP), have been working for years against what Pam Martens has called “running NYU as a tyrannical slush fund for privileged interests.” FASP just published a devastating document, The Art of the Gouge, which describes how NYU engages in a mind-numbing range of tricks and traps to extract as much in fees as possible from students, while at the same time failing to invest in and often degrading the educational “product”.   Read more .

Sanders to billionaires: 'You can't have it all'

Burlington Free Press (Vermont) - Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pulled out the stops Tuesday at his presidential campaign launch in Burlington, as he outlined his role in "a political revolution to transform the country -- economically, politically, economically and environmentally." "Brothers and sisters, now is not the time for thinking small," he told a large crowd at Waterfront Park. "Now is not the time for the same-old-same-old. Now is the time for millions of working families to revitalize American democracy."   Read more .

California takes action to mitigate drought

LA Times -  a move reflecting the growing severity of California's drought, state water regulators have accepted a historic proposal by Delta region farmers to voluntarily cut water usage by 25%, or, alternatively, to allow a quarter of their fields to lay idle. The action follows a move by Gov. Jerry Brown to cut urban water use by 25% — an emergency measure that has caused... read more .

John Nash, mathematician who inspired 'A Beautiful Mind,' killed in car crash

Reuters - Mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Prize winner whose longtime struggle with mental illness inspired the movie "A Beautiful Mind", was killed in a car crash along with his wife in New Jersey, state police said on Sunday. The couple were in a taxi when the driver lost control, crashed into a guard rail and hit another car on Saturday afternoon on the New Jersey Turnpike, said police.   Read more.

'This is Straight Murder': Protests Sweep City Following Cleveland Acquittal

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - After a white police officer in Cleveland, Ohio was acquitted on Saturday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man and woman in 2012, protests against racism and police brutality spread throughout the city as activists called for justice. Police in riot gear arrested multiple protesters marching peacefully through the streets of Cleveland, where the shooting took place.   Read more .

Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail

Oil kills every living thing it covers

Jacqueline Marcus @ Buzzflash - Oil kills every living thing it covers. Imagine being drenched from head to toe with thick, gooey tar: Toxic suffocation is an extremely painful way to die. That’s what happens to dolphins, whales, pelicans, otters that, unbeknownst to them, swim into the devil’s poison.   Read more.

Ireland legalizes same-sex marriage in historic vote

USA Today - Ireland became the first country Saturday to legalize same-sex marriage by national referendum, a vote that has highlighted the dramatic pace at which this traditionally conservative Catholic nation has changed in recent times. Just 22 years after decriminalizing homosexuality, more than 60% of voters approved the measure... read more .

Dolphin deaths passes 1300 from 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill

EcoWatch - It was more than five years ago when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico blew out, spewing an unknown amount of oil. The April 2010 accident was the worst oil spill to ever occur in U.S. waters and it had far-reaching impacts on the region’s economy and ecosystems that continue to this day.   Read more .

Senator Bernie Sanders' Plan to Tax 1% and Fund Higher Education

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - A broad coalition of nurses, students, religious and civil rights groups, environmentalists, labor and housing advocates on Tuesday praised Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) plan to use a so-called Robin Hood tax on stock transactions to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities.   Read more .

Julian Assange May be Exiled in the Ecuadorian Embassy But Wikileaks Continue

False Inprisonment Lawsuit: Innocent Ohio man sues Cleveland cops after 40yrs in jail - Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit, is suing the police officers who allegedly helped frame him. Jackson was convicted on the testimony of a 12-year-old boy who didn’t see the crime and later retracted his statement. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday against the city of Cleveland, alleges that eight officers, including detectives and their superiors, were involved in framing Jackson and brothers Wiley and Ronnie Bridgeman for the killing of salesman Harold Franks... read more .

Civil War Rages On for Black America

Sara Anderson @ - Hundreds of African-American men marched to the White House this past Sunday. They were not wearing hoodies in honor of Trayvon Martin. They were not making the “hands up don’t shoot” gesture in honor of Michael Brown. They were wearing blue wool trousers and greatcoats, forage caps and cavalry boots—in honor of African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Their aim: to correct a wrong made in 1865, when black soldiers were left out of the Grand Review, the Union Army’s victory parade.   Read more.

Six police officers indicted in Freddie Gray wrongful death case

Christian Science Monitor - A grand jury indicted all six officers charged in the case of Freddie Gray, who died of injuries he suffered in police custody, allowing the state's attorney to press ahead with the most serious charges despite criticism that she was part of an "overzealous prosecution." The indictments announced Thursday were similar to the charges Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced nearly three weeks ago. The most serious charge for each officer, ranging from second-degree "depraved heart" murder to assault, stood, though some of the lesser alleged offenses had changed.   Read more .

Over 1,400 suspects investigated in UK historical sex abuse inquiry - Over 1400 individuals are under investigation by British police as part of an inquiry into a historic VIP sex abuse network believed to include celebrities and politicians. Information released by Operation Hydrant, the group of police officers tackling the alleged ring, said that the 1,433 suspected offenders included 76 politicians, 43 musicians, and 135 from film, television and radio.   Read more.

Young Black Boys Committing Suicide at Rates Higher Than Ever

Kali Holloway @ AlterNet - Researchers have found that between 1993 and 2012, the suicide rate for very young black children, between the ages of 5 and 11, nearly doubled. The increase was driven almost entirely by the suicides of young black boys, who took their own lives in numbers that rose steeply over the nearly two-decade study period. Suicides among young black girls remained essentially level, while the rate of suicide among white children of the same age dropped.  Read more.

Notorious Repeat Offender Behind Oil Spill 'Nightmare' in California

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - As an investigation into an oil spill along the California coast continued on Thursday, environmentalists described a "nightmare" scenario in the area and new details emerged about the pipeline operator's long history of generating similar disasters. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Wednesday over the oil spill near Santa Barbara... read more .

Banks to pay $5.7 billion in fines over rate rigging, but no prison time for executives

Reuters - Five of the world's largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc, were fined roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, authorities said on Wednesday. A fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the U.S. Justice Department said. U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will pay $550 million and $925 million in criminal fines, respectively, as part of their guilty pleas.   Read more .

​Busted pipeline leaks 21,000 gallons of oil off California coast

Reuters - A pipeline ruptured along the scenic California coastline on Tuesday, spilling some 21,000 gallons (79,000 liters) of oil into the ocean and on beaches before it could be secured, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said. The pipeline, which runs parallel to Highway 101 near Santa Barbara, left a slick extending about four miles (6.4 km) along Refugio State Beach, extending about 50 yards (46 meters) into the water... read more.

‘Iraq war vet Brown’s death in jail was murder’: US Army veteran - The death of Sergeant James Brown in a Texas jail was an outrageous “torture operation,” author and US Army veteran Rory Fanning told RT. But the odds that police officers involved get indicted are very low, unless there are massive protests, he added. A video obtained by KFOX14 has revealed aggressive force being used by officers during Brown’s time in custody in 2012.  Read more.

The Real "Looting": From Slavery to Policing and Beyond

Adam Hudson @ Truthout - In April, another unarmed Black person was killed by police. Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American male, was arrested by Baltimore police on April 12, given a "rough ride" and a week later died of a spinal cord injury he received in the police van. Much has been, and will still be, written about Baltimore. However, one word that has been overused in that coverage is "riot." We must keep in mind: The protests and property destruction in Baltimore may have been a spontaneous reaction to police violence but they were not isolated. They are part of a growing uprising against generations-long systemic racism across the United States.   Read more.

Ruptured Pipeline Along California Coast Dumps Crude Oil into Pacific Ocean

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - An oil pipeline that runs along the coast of central California broke on Tuesday, according to officials, dumping tens of thousands of gallons of crude onto local beaches and creating a 4-mile slick in the Pacific Ocean. Initial estimates put the spill at about 21,000 gallons Tuesday, but the Associated Press cited a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson on Wednesday who said that figure is likely to change... read more .

LA City Council approves minimum rage increase to $15 by 2020

LA Times - Los Angeles City Council tentatively agreed Tuesday to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining a trend sweeping cities across the country as elected leaders seek to address stagnating pay for workers on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder. The ordinance would boost the $9 an hour base wage to $15 by 2020 for as many as 800,000 workers... read more .

Graduating Class of 2015 Most Debt Burdened in History

Fossil fuel companies receive $5.3 trillion a year in funding from governments worldwide

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - The fossil fuel industry receives $5.3 trillion a year in government subsidies, despite its disastrous toll on the environment, human health, and other global inequality issues, a new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published Monday has found. That means that governments worldwide are spending $10 million every minute to fund energy companies—more than the estimated public health spending for the entire globe... read more .

'You Shell Not Pass!': Seattle Activists Blockade Oil Giant Over Arctic Drilling

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Culminating days of fierce resistance against plans to drill for Arctic oil, activists in Seattle on Monday are risking arrest as they attempt to shut down operations at Shell Oil's drilling rig. In the wee hours Monday morning, hundreds of people stopped traffic on the Spokane Street Bridge before marching to the Port of Seattle where protesters blocked the entrances to Terminal 5, which houses the oil giant's floating rig, the Polar Pioneer.   Read more.

Yoko Ono and the Myth That Deserves to Die

Vulture Magazine - In Tokyo, in 1964, the 31-year-old conceptual artist Yoko Ono organized a happening in which she screened a Hollywood film and gave the audience a simple instruction: Do not look at Rock Hudson, look only at Doris Day. Like most of the countercultural riddles that appear in Grapefruit, Ono’s book from the same year... read more .

The Phony ‘Bad Intel’ Defense on Iraq

Ray McGovern @ Consortium News - Presidential aspirant Jeb Bush this week may have damaged his chances by flubbing the answer to an entirely predictable question about his big brother’s decision to attack Iraq. On Monday, Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked the former Florida governor: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?” Jeb Bush answered, “I would’ve. And so would’ve Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody... read more.

Trey Anastasio Pays Tribute to 'Incredible' B.B. King

Rolling Stone - Trey Anastasio has penned a tribute to blues legend B.B. King, who passed away Thursday night at the age of 89. "It's literally impossible to overstate B.B. King’s influence on every single electric guitarist who followed in his path. All of us who have ever bent a note owe him an enormous debt of gratitude," Anastasio wrote. "When B.B. bent a note, it sounded like an amazingly soulful singer. He could shape it at will, and it sung out, like it was coming straight from his soul."   Read more .

Israel continues to criminalise marking Nakba Day

Al Jazeera - Each year on May 15, Palestinians across the world commemorate the Nakba (catastrophe), or the 1948 establishment of Israel that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being displaced from their homeland. The estimated 1.7 million Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and live in villages, towns and cities across the country are no exception. Each year, protests, marches, lectures and other events to mourn their ancestors' dispossession are held in Palestinian communities across Israel. Yet, since 2011, Israeli legislation has made mourning the Nakba publicly difficult for Palestinians and others in Israel. The "Nakba Law" authorises Israel's finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel's character as a "Jewish state" or mark the country's Independence Day as a day of mourning.   Read more.

B. B. King, Defining Bluesman for Generations, Dies at 89

New York Times - B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89. His death was reported on his website, which said he died in his sleep. Mr. King, who was in hospice care, had been performing until October 2014, when he canceled a tour, citing dehydration and exhaustion stemming from diabetes.   Read more.

University of Washington Divests from Coal

EcoWatch - Here at the University of Washington in Seattle, Divest UW has gotten one of the biggest victories of the movement so far, with the Board of Regents voting to divest from coal today. Founded in 2012, back when the fossil fuel divestment movement was just starting to spring up on college campuses, Divest UW has been pushing for this for a long time. We have shown that students here would like to see their school get its money out of dirty energy... read more.

Migration Is an Act of Desperation, Not a Crime

Sonali Kolhatkar @ TruthDig - A father from Ivory Coast wanted to reunite his son with the rest of his family living in Spain. But the Spanish government denied him a family reunification visa. Desperate, he paid a Moroccan woman to smuggle his 8-year-old onto Spanish soil. On May 7, 2015, she attempted to do so by placing the boy, tightly folded into a fetal position, inside a carry-on suitcase and traveling to Spain.   Read more.

Facebook Feudalism

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - The Facebook empire of 1.4 billion users just conquered new territory, unrolling a "partnership" to host articles from some of the most well-known news publications in the world, in a venture that critics warn poses a direct threat to independent media outlets... read more.

Why Did Mexican Police Make 43 Student Teachers Disappear?

Fredrick Linden @ Truthout - Luis Carrillo is 20 years old. He is gentle with his mother, and though quiet, a good debater at school. He is training to be a teacher. On September 26, 2014, six of his classmates were openly murdered, and he was among 43 more carried away by police, never to be seen again. On April 26, Mexican teachers burned trucks at the legislature and continued to demand an explanation.   Read more.

Vatican officially recognizes Palestine, while Israel fumes - The Vatican has become the latest country to recognize the state of Palestine, after a new treaty was finalized on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly Israel has hit out at the move, saying that it damages prospects for peace in the region. The treaty, which was agreed, though has yet to be formally signed states the Vatican has switched its diplomatic allegiance from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.   Read more.

Amtrak Train Crash Press Conference, Mayor Michael Nutter

Amtrack railway crash blamed on lack of funding, crumbling infrastructure - The US is no stranger to fatal railway accidents: over the last decade, dozens of lives were lost, and hundreds of people injured in train wrecks. All this is due to lack of funding, infrastructure and development, critics say. The latest Amtrak train crash has left at least six people killed and dozens injured, with the cause of the crash remaining unknown.  Read more.

Fast-Track TPP hits a big bump in the road

The Hill - Senate Democrats on Tuesday delivered a stinging blow to President Obama’s trade agenda by voting to prevent the chamber from tackling fast-track legislation. A motion to cut off a filibuster and proceed to the trade bill fell short of the 60-vote hurdle, failing 52-45. Sen. Tom Carper (Del.) was the only Democrat to back it.   Read more.

‘West still treats Africa as former vassals’ – South Africa’s Zuma to RT - Western “colonial” states are not interested in S. Africa’s development, but rather want to take its natural resources and never give anything back, Jacob Zuma, S. African president, told RT. It’s China’s investment that Zuma sees as a way to prosperity. “The Western world or the European countries, in particular, came to Africa [in the 19th century] to colonize and they had been taking the resources of Africa,” Zuma said.   Read more.

Noam Chomsky: The Crimes of Others

Jacobin - Earlier this month, Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson, both high school educators, sat down with Noam Chomsky in his Cambridge, MA office. In a brief conversation, edited and condensed here for clarity, they covered a wide range of topics - the projection of US power abroad and the stories told to justify it; COINTELPRO and domestic repression; the failures of the mainstream media; the West's posture toward Putin; and much more. As always, we're happy to publish Professor Chomsky's invaluable insights.   Read more.

Russia, China agree to integrate Eurasian Union - Russia and China have signed a number of energy, trade and finance deals on Friday aimed at strengthening economic ties. The two countries have multiple mutual projects which “achieved a unity of views on a wide range of issues.” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a decree on cooperation in tying the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the "Silk Road” economic project.   Read more.

Mothers of dead police brutality victims march in DC - Mothers from across the United States poured into Washington, DC on Saturday, choosing Mother’s Day weekend to march for justice for the loved ones they have lost to violent encounters with law enforcement. Dubbed the “Million Moms March,” the event featured hundreds of people marching to the US Department of Justice and calling for police reform around the country.   Read more.

Chelsea Manning says Citizens Should Have the Right to Criticize Government without Fear

Chelsea Manning @ Guardian UK - When freedom of information and transparency are stifled, then bad decisions are often made and heartbreaking tragedies occur – too often on a breathtaking scale that can leave societies wondering: how did this happen? Think about the recent debates on torture, assassination by unmanned aircraft, secret warrants and detentions, intelligence and surveillance courts, military commissions, immigration detention centers and the conduct of modern warfare. These policies affect millions of people around the world every day and can affect anyone – wives, children, fathers, aunts, boyfriends, cousins, friends, employees, bosses, clergy and even career politicians – at any time. It is time that we bring a health dose of sunlight to them.   Read more .

Why Iran Must Remain a US Enemy

Gareth Porter @ Common Dreams - Since the start of the US nuclear negotiations with Iran, both Israeli and Saudi officials have indulged in highly publicized handwringing over their belief that such a nuclear deal would represent a fundamental strategic shift in US policy towards the region at the expense of its traditional alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia.   Read more.

Texas cartoon exhibition defaming the Prophet Muhammad results in fatal confrontation - Police in Garland, Texas say the two men who were fatally shot outside a controversial event there on Sunday would have killed visitors had they not been stopped. “They were there to shoot people,” Officer Joe Harn with the Garland Police Department told reporters at a press conference on Monday barely 24 hours after 10 men were killed outside a “Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest.”   Read more .

Ethiopians March Against Police Brutality in Tel Aviv

Common Dreams - Several thousand people, mostly hailing from Israel's large Ethiopian population, took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Sunday to protest racism and police brutality against ethnic minorities. According to reports, marchers blocked highway traffic chanting and bearing signs which read: "A violent policeman must be put in prison" and "We demand full equal rights."   Read more.

Guatemalan Campesinos Embrace Ancestral Farming Practices to Prevent Migration

Waging Nonviolence - There is a crisis facing campesinos in rural Guatemala, as tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have traveled to the United States over the last year in search of work. Yet the same forces that have driven many onto the migrant trail have led to the emergence of a movement of young campesinos organizing to stay on their land, and not be forced to migrate to the cities or the United States. In the process, they hope to recuperate the ancestral Mayan forms of agriculture, and combat hunger and poverty in their communities.   Read more.

Will Indictment Lead to Systemic Change in Baltimore?

"Black Spring" has Begun

Lauren McCauley @ Common Dreams - Fueled by the announcement on Friday that six police officers would be charged for their role in the tragic death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, activists are holding a national day of protest on Saturday to amplify the growing call for racial justice and end to police brutality against people of color. "#BlackSpring has begun," event flyers announced. Last week, in the wake of Gray's death and the local protests and police crackdown that followed, solidarity demonstrations began springing up in cities across the country, with many more expected for the weekend.   Read more

Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby to Press Charges Agains Six Baltimore Cops in Freddie Gray Case

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Friday's news that six Baltimore police officers will face criminal charges in the death of Freddie Gray elicited cheers from city residents grateful for some modicum of accountability for police brutality, and mixed reactions from those who said the announcement was only a first step toward justice. The ACLU of Maryland called the development a "historic moment" brought about by "the tireless efforts of families who have lost loved ones to police violence—here in Baltimore, throughout Maryland, and all across America."   Read more.

Thousands still missing after Nepal earthquake

Reuters - Thousands of people were still missing in Nepal on Friday as food and help began to trickle through to those stranded in remote areas after last week's earthquake which killed 6,250. The death toll could rise further. Bodies are still being pulled from the debris of ruined buildings, while rescue workers have not been able to reach some remote areas.   Read more.

Freddie Gray Investigation: Six Cops Charged in His Death

NBC News - A Baltimore prosecutor announced criminal charges on Friday against six police officers in the arrest of Freddie Gray, whose death after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody touched off riots. One officer, the driver of the van that carted Gray away after his arrest, was charged with a count known as second-degree depraved heart murder. Other charges against the six officers included manslaughter and assault. Marilyn Mosby, the state's attorney for Baltimore, said that Gray's arrest was illegal. She said officers failed to get medical help for him even though he repeatedly asked for it. She also said a switchblade that officers accused Gray of carrying illegally was a legal pocket knife.   Read more .