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Showing posts from August, 2015

MIT unveils device molding 10 materials at once

A group of MIT scientists says they have developed the world’s first 3D-printer capable of making ready-to-use objects from 10 different materials at once. The new device, supplied with powerful software, boasts nearly human-free operation. A research team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has devised what they call a better, cheaper and more user-friendly 3D-printer – MultiFab.   Read more.

How Seattle Made Dark Alleys Safer - by Throwing Parties in Them

Alleyways have long posed a safety threat in Seattle. In April, the city decided that to curb the crime that occurred on these streets, it would be easier to shut them down, using them only for garbage pickup and restricting them from public use. Some of the city's most problematic alleys remain blocked today. Similar strategies have been used in... read more.

Canadian Officer Convicted for Mass Arrests at 2010 G-20 Toronto Summit

Thousands of Walruses Stranded Ashore in Alaska Once Again Due to Rapidly Melting Sea Ice

In what has now become a regular occurrence, thousands of walruses are being forced ashore on a remote barrier island in Alaska, threatening their survival. Walruses use sea ice to rest and feed. But with Arctic sea ice hitting a new low this past winter and fears that the Arctic could be entirely ice-free in summer months by... read more.

Kim Jong Un praises ‘landmark’ accord with S. Korea, talks unity & trust

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise statement saying the recent agreement between the two Koreas marks a “landmark occasion” and paves the way for “reconciliation” and “trust” for the divided nation. The North and South Koreas agreed to end their military standoff on Tuesday, after an exchange of artillery fire had raised tensions along the border to a critical level.   Read more.

World's Largest Ocean Harvesting Clean Energy Plant

Hawaii is definitely ahead of the curve when it comes to renewable energy. In June, the Aloha state became the first state to mandate that all of its electricity come from renewable sources no later than 2045. Along with other islands, its charging ahead with wind, solar and smart grid systems. But now, the state is home to the first fully closed-cycle Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant in the US.   Read more.

Burger King to McDonald’s: Let’s Make a ‘McWhopper’

In full-page ads running in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Burger King, a perennial also-ran in the burger races, has asked McDonald’s, its battered but still potent archrival, to join forces. The goal? To operate one restaurant for one day staffed by employees of both companies and selling a burger called the... read more.

Will a massive new prison be built in Appalachia?

The United States Bureau of Prisons is trying to build a new, massive maximum-security prison in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky - and there's a growing movement to stop it. The prison industry in the US has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 20 years- a new prison was built at an average rate of... read more .

After Harsh Scrutiny, Ferguson to Withdraw Thousands of Arrest Warrants

A municipal court judge in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday announced sweeping changes to the city's court system, including an order to withdraw all arrest warrants issued in the city before December 31, 2014. The announcement came ahead of a major new municipal reform law taking effect this week—Senate Bill 5, which will put a cap on court revenues from fines and fees, among other things. Stephanie Karr, municipal prosecutor for Ferguson, said close to 10,000 warrants would be affected by the change.   Read more .

Bernie Sanders plays the role of media critic as well as candidate

When addressing audiences, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) regularly includes the “corporate media” in a list of what’s ailing American politics these days, right alongside the outsize influence of the “billionaire class,” corporate greed and super PACs. He did so again Monday, at a rally here attended by about 750 people, complaining that the media is too eager to turn presidential politics into a soap opera or a sporting event rather than... read more.

Wall Street plummets 1000 points at opening bell

At the opening bell on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted as much as 1,000 points in the first minutes of trading. Later it corrected to 485 points down or around three percent. The Nasdaq dropped eight percent at the start of trading, but is now down three percent. The S&P 500 had initially sunk five percent and is now down three percent.   Read more.

The Courage of Jimmy Carter

Cool, composed and as forthright as ever, former president Jimmy Carter said in a news conference Thursday that, in the wake of a cancer diagnosis, he is “perfectly at ease with whatever comes.” The way Mr. Carter handled the conference underscores the grace with which he has conducted his entire post-presidency... read more.

Poor Mothers Don't Matter in Welfare Policy

This week marks the 19th anniversary of legislation that conditions income assistance for parents and children on participation in a disciplinary program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Over the lifetime of the brutal TANF regime, the provision of actual income assistance has been overshadowed by the imposition of rules and services to regulate poor mothers’ lives. As the Black Lives Matter movement shines a light on the racism of so-called criminal “justice,” it is an important moment to consider how the intersecting inequalities of race, gender, and poverty are reproduced in the policy that claims to promote poor peoples’ “welfare.”   Read more .

War Refugees Trapped, Under Fire Trying to Enter Macedonia

Several thousand rain-soaked war refugees and asylum-seekers ran across Macedonia's border from Greece Saturday as riot police chased them lobbing stun grenades, tear gas and beating them with batons. The violence came as Macedonia is cracking down on the flow of thousands of Syrian war refugees attempting to reach safety in western Europe by traveling through the Balkan region.   Read more.

Greek Left Platform Creates New Popular Unity Party

Noam Chomsky | "The Iranian Threat": Who Is the Gravest Danger to World Peace?

Throughout the world there is great relief and optimism about the nuclear deal reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 nations, the five veto-holding members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Most of the world apparently shares the assessment of the US Arms Control Association that "the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action establishes a strong and effective formula for blocking all of the pathways by which Iran could acquire material for nuclear weapons for more than a generation and a verification system to promptly detect and deter possible efforts by Iran to covertly pursue nuclear weapons that will last indefinitely."   Read more.

New French Law Mandates Energy-Producing Rooftops

Green rooftops will soon be sprouting up across France, thanks to a new law passed in March. New buildings in the country's commercial zones - think shops, offices, and restaurants - must now have either solar panels or green roofs, meaning a growing medium such as soil and a covering of vegetation.   Read more.

Private Prison Firms Entice Public Officials at Lavish Industry Conferences

The prison industry in the United States has grown so large that there are no less than seven professional associations for people who work at prisons and jails. The industry conferences held by these associations provide a perfect venue for private corrections companies to influence government officials with little public oversight, according to a recent report by the watchdog group In The Public Interest (ITPI). The biggest names in the prison business spend millions of dollars sponsoring... read more.

Who's the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?

In the first GOP debate alone, Scott Walker promised that he'd tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency. Carly Fiorina blamed the country for "most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East." Mike Huckabee vowed to topple the "terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam." Oddly, when the candidates complain about the "evil forces of radical Islam" or trouble in the Middle East, they never seem to mention Saudi Arabia.   Read more .

Associated Press Caught Lying: IAEA says report Iran to inspect own military site is 'misrepresentation'

The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief on Thursday rejected as "a misrepresentation" suggestions Iran would inspect its own Parchin military site on the agency's behalf, an issue that could help make or break Tehran's nuclear deal with big powers. Without International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmation that Iran is keeping promises enshrined in the landmark July 14 nuclear accord, Tehran will not be granted much-needed relief from international economic sanctions.   Read more.

Notorious Insecticides Found in Half of Sampled Streams in US

Andrea Germanos @ Common Dreams - A class of insecticides linked to the decline of bees has more found in more than half of the streams in the United States where samples were taken, new research has found. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) say it is the first national-scale study of the presence of neonicotinoids, or "neonics," in urban and agricultural land use settings across the nation.   Read more.

Three Killed While Fighting Washington State Wildfires

Three firefighters were killed and four more were injured in Washington State on Wednesday night, officials said, as wildfires forced thousands of people to evacuate two towns in the state’s rural interior. The firefighters were killed near the town of Twisp, where the advancing fire forced residents to evacuate, Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.   Read more .

1,000+ black activists endorse boycott of Israel on behalf of Palestine - More than 1,000 African-Americans have signed a letter reaffirming black solidarity with the plight of Palestinians and endorsing resistance to Israel and its products, known as the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. In the letter, the activists “reaffirmed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.” The text was signed by high-profile names such as scholar Cornel West, 1960s activist Angela Davis, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.   Read more.

Pocomoke Councilwoman Gives Inside Story of How City's First Black Chief was Fired

Why Republicans Vote for Bernie

Thom Hartman @ Truthout - Ann Coulter knows who she wants to be the Democratic nominee for president, and who that person is, well, it may surprise you. She wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, and thinks that if Bernie gets the nod, he'll beat whoever the Republicans come up with to run against him.   Read more.

Forgiving Medical Debt Becomes Passion for Former Debt Collectors

When Paola Gonzalez received a phone call from RIP Medical Debt, she was certain what she heard was a mistake. A prank, maybe. The caller said a $950 hospital bill had been paid for in full: It would not affect her credit and she wouldn't have to worry about it again. "They wanted to pay a bill for me," she said. "I was just speechless."   Read more.

Islamic Declaration Blasts Short-Sighted Capitalism, Demands Action on Climate

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Just as scientists announced July was the hottest month in recorded history, and ahead of a major climate summit in Paris later this year, an international group of Islamic leaders on Tuesday released a public declaration calling on the religion's 1.6 billion followers to engage on the issue of global warming and take bold action to stem its worst impacts.   Read more .

14 San Francisco cops gang up on homeless man ‘armed’ with crutches - It took 14 San Francisco Police Department officers to take down and restrain a one-legged, black homeless man, armed with crutches and apparently dangerous. The incident is the latest embarrassment for the US police, who face constant accusations of unreasonable use of force. The confrontation was captured on video released by journalist Chaedria LaBouvier via blog platform Medium, and shows white police officers taking down a one-legged homeless black man... read more .

Bomb explodes near busy Bangkok crossroads; at least 16 killed

Washington Post - A powerful explosion sent a fireball and hail of debris through a busy Bangkok district filled with shoppers and tourists on Monday, killing at least 16 people near a site that also has been a hub for past political rallies and clashes, police said. Dozens of people were injured, and one police official said many foreigners were among the casualties near one of the city’s tourist and commercial crossroads.  Read more.

Michael Ratner: From a Zionist Youth to Outspoken Critic of a Jewish State

Civil Rights Icon Julian Bond Dies at 75

Deidre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a former chairman of the NAACP, and a vocal critic of the Vietnam War, died Saturday night after a brief illness. He was 75.   Read more.

Environmentalists Sue EPA Over Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

The second largest dead zone in the world is located in the Gulf of Mexico. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers by industrial agriculture in the US is one of the leading causes of the dead zone. The fertilizers, which contain phosphorous and nitrogen, generate an increase in algae, which then starves other marine life of oxygen in the water.   Read more.

Nuclear-waste plant whistleblower wins settlement of $4.1 million

When Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 that the Energy Department’s plans for a waste treatment plant at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex were unsafe, he was demoted and put in a basement room with cardboard boxes and plywood for office furniture. Tamosaitis had been leading a team of 100 scientists and engineers in designing a way to immobilize millions of gallons of highly toxic nuclear sludge... read more.

A Civil Society Arose in Watts Before and After the Unrest

As we mark 50 years since the Watts riots, expect endless newsreel footage of buildings aflame and National Guard units occupying Central Avenue, experts rattling off gruesome statistics, eyewitness accounts of that stifling hot night on Aug. 11, 1965, when Marquette Frye's drunk driving arrest became the flashpoint for one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in US history. But a focus on violence and looting reduces the people of Watts to "rioters" rather than residents confronting social and economic catastrophe. What they burned is less important than what they built, both before and after the insurrection.   Read more.

Navajo Nation 'Lifeline' Under Threat from Toxic Mine Spill

The Navajo community is fearing for its land and livelihood as 3 million gallons of yellow water laden with lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals on Wednesday flowed through its territory. According to the Associated Press on Wednesday, since the August 5 spill at the Gold King Mine, the 100-mile plume has traveled down the... read more.

Amnesty International Votes for Decriminalization of Sex Work

Sara Lazare @ Common Dreams - In what is being hailed as a historic human rights victory, international delegates for the influential humanitarian organization Amnesty International voted on Tuesday to adopt a resolution to press for the global decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. "Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse," said Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International... read more.

Tenants in San Francisco Fight Back Against Nuisance Evictions

Adam Hudson @ Truthout - Leaving a stroller in the hallway. Hanging laundry out a window. Living with a new roommate. These everyday activities have now become eviction-worthy offenses in the eyes of some landlords in San Francisco, who are using low-fault or nuisance evictions over issues like these to chase long-term tenants out of rent-controlled units. The city's tenants, however, are refusing to go down without a fight.   Read more .

State of emergency called in Ferguson after gunfire mars protests

Reuters - Authorities declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday in an effort to quell a repeat of the violence that erupted during demonstrations overnight to mark the police shooting of an unarmed black man one year ago. The order was issued for the St. Louis suburb and surrounding areas amid already tense relations between residents and police after officers shot and critically wounded an 18-year-old man in an exchange of gunfire that marred what had been a day of peaceful demonstrations.   Read more .

U.S. consulate in Turkey targeted as wave of attacks kills 9

Reuters - Two women shot at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul on Monday and at least nine people were killed in a wave of separate attacks on Turkish security forces, weeks after Ankara launched a crackdown on Islamic State, Kurdish and far-left militants. The NATO member has been in a heightened state of alert since starting its "synchronized war on terror" last month, including air strikes against... read more.

Bernie Sanders continues to draw larger turnouts than any other presidential candidate

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - It was by far the largest turnout for any presidential candidate this year, as nearly 30,000 people rallied in Portland, Oregon on Sunday evening for Bernie Sanders, filling the city's Moda Center to capacity with thousands more directed to overflow areas to watch the event on large screens. "Whoa. This is an unbelievable turnout," said the U.S. senator and presidential candidate after taking the podium.   Read more .

Racialized Poverty in America has Nearly Doubled in 21st Century

Sara Lazare @ Common Dreams - Discriminatory housing, zoning, and other policy choices are driving the dramatic rise of racialized poverty and segregation across the United States, with the number of people residing in low-income "ghettos, barrios, and slums" nearly doubling in the 21st century alone, a new report finds.   Read more.

Cornel West Blasts Ta-Nehisi Coates for Perceived Obama Worship

Truthdig - The literati darling Ta-Nehisi Coates received some daunting criticism Thursday via Facebook. Political commentator and professor Dr. Cornel West has countered Toni Morrison’s glowing comparison of the author to James Baldwin with a politically charged status update. New York Times columnist David Brooks weighed in on Coates’ book Friday as well.   Read more .

American Psychological Association Ends Association with Military Torture Programs

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - The American Psychological Association (APA) on Friday voted overwhelmingly to bar its members from participating in the interrogation of U.S. prisoners on foreign soil, officially ending the association's complicity in torture of detainees and taking the first step out of "the dark side." All but one member of the APA's 173-person Council of Representatives voted to end the association's collusion with the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies in abusive interrogations... read more .

When Oppression Is the Status Quo, Disruption Is a Moral Duty

Bree Neesome @ The Roo t - I visited the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site for the first time two weekends ago while in Atlanta for a wedding. I sat in the pews of the original Ebenezer Baptist Church listening to recordings of King speaking on racial and economic injustice, words just as applicable to the present moment as they were 50 years ago.  Read more .

EPA Causes Massive Mine Waste Spill in Colorado That Turns River Orange

Nadia Prupis @ Common Dreams - Workers with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spilled roughly one million gallons of mine waste into a Colorado creek on Wednesday, turning the nearby Animas River bright orange and prompting criticism from environmental groups over the government's lackluster response to the accident. EPA officials on Thursday confirmed that the leak was caused by its own employees... read more .

Black People Can't Vote If We're Dead

William C. Anderson @ Truthout - The Black vote seems to matter more to some than Black life itself. This election season has inspired presidential candidates to engage in an array of political performances appealing to the mass movement for Black lives, but these performances appear mechanical: None of the candidates are addressing their own roles within the oppressive system that takes Black life.   Read more.

New Developments in Julian Assange's Epic Struggle for Justice

John Pilger @ Truthout - The siege of Knightsbridge is both an emblem of gross injustice and a grueling farce. For three years, a police cordon around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. It has cost £12 million. The quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His "crime" is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.  Read more .

White police officer caught on tape planning to murder Black man

NY Daily News - An Alabama cop is still patrolling the streets after he was secretly recorded talking about murdering a black man and covering up the killing to look like it was done in self-defense. Officer Troy Middlebrook, whose malicious musings cost the city $35,000 to avoid a public lawsuit, ranted about how he would "f-----g kill" a man ... read more .

Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - In a victory for animal rights advocates—and the animals on factory farms they seek to protect—a federal judge on Monday ruled Idaho's controversial "ag-gag" law unconstitutional in a decision that said criminalizing the undercover documentation of livestock abuse violates both free speech and the equal protection clause.   Read more .

Germans Get Debt Relief Twice in 20th Century, But Demand Greeks Pay Up

Republican Rank-and-File Line Up Against Financial Regulation

‘Bodies were shredded’: Anti-ISIS airstrikes killed hundreds of civilians, report claims - Over 400 civilians have been killed in in the first year of US-led anti-ISIS airstrikes, including 58 non-combatants who were being held in an Islamic State prison for offenses such as buying cigarettes, a major study claims.  The study was carried out by the Air Wars transparency group and written by former BBC Panorama and Newsnight journalist Chris Woods.  Read more.

A Year After Ferguson, Little Has Changed

Dennis Parker @ ACLU (blog) - It has been a year since the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri galvanized the nation and the world. Any fears that the passage of time would relegate the issues of police abuses inflicted upon people of color and the importance of respecting the intrinsic value of Black lives to the back burner have proved unfounded.   Read more.

NYPD: 9 shot at Brooklyn house party

USA Today - Gunfire broke out at a backyard party in Brooklyn overnight, injuring nine people, police said. Sgt. Daniel Doody of the New York Police Department said the shooting happened at about 2:15 a.m. Sunday in the East New York section after an argument. Nine people were taken to hospitals with gunshot wounds, but all their injuries are not life-threatening. Doody said four others were taken to hospitals with cuts and bruises from the melee.  Read more .

Nine shot and wounded after bullets ring out during wild Brooklyn house party

NY Daily News - A slew of shootings over the weekend killed three people and wounded 19 with nine people shot at one Brooklyn house party early Sunday. Five women and four men between the ages of 19 and 38 were hit — none fatally — by bullets outside a backyard house party in East New York around 2:20 a.m. after a disagreement turned into a gunfight, authorities said.   Read more.

Cultural Treasurs Are Also Victims of War

César Chelala @ Common Dreams -  The recent damage in Yemen to three out of four UN World Heritage Sites is one more of the unfortunate consequences of a war that has already caused more than two thousand lives and displaced more than one million people. The damage to the sites, listed as cultural heritage of humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is a sad reminder of the brutality of war. The heritage sites in Yemen have been hit by the unrelenting bombing of Saudi Arabia and its coalition forces with United States support, thus showing that not only Islamic fundamentalists from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) are responsible for these grievous actions.   Read more .

Migrant flow to Europe is result of US, EU military ops in Middle East – Czech president - The flow of immigrants to Europe stems from the Western states’ military interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have contributed to the emergence of terrorist groups in the Middle East, Czech President Milosh Zeman told local media. “The current wave of migration [to Europe] is rooted in the crazy [US] idea to launch an intervention in Iraq, which allegedly had weapons of mass destruction, but nothing was found,” Zeman said in a video interview  with the Czech Repubic’s Blesk newspaper published on Sunday.   Read more.

ALEC, Where Corporations Are "People" Like You and Me

PR Watch - Unlike other political organizations of locally elected public officials, corporations, business associations, and think tanks are full voting ALEC members, referred to as the private-interest partners. From talking to one private-interest member, the cost of joining ALEC is just over $1,000 but to vote in one of ALEC’s task forces that make policies, the cost goes above $3,000.   Read more.