News

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Victims of Friday's barrel bomb attack seek help in Aleppo. Is Syria Ceasefire Achievable? US-Russia Talks Bring No Solution
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took part in a 10-hour negotiation on the Syrian conflict with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Geneva on Friday—but the lengthy talks fell far short of a desired ceasefire agreement, the Guardian reported Saturday. "We are close [to a ceasefire]," Kerry...
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A Moral Monday rally against House Bill 2. University of NC Blocked from Enforcing 'Bathroom Bill' in Partial Win for LGBTQ Rights
A U.S. judge on Friday ordered the University of North Carolina to allow transgender students and staff to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, blocking enforcement of the state's controversial "bathroom bill" known as House Bill 2, while a lawsuit challenging the anti-LGBTQ...
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Friday, August 26, 2016
'Good Riddance': Canada's Stephen Harper Bids Adieu to Politics, Hello to Consulting
As expected , former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced his resignation from Parliament, saying that he's now gearing up for "for the next chapter of my life." That chapter, as the Toronto Star reports , includes "launching a global consulting business." Harper posted the news...
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'Good News,' Says Sanders, as McConnell Signals No Lame-Duck Vote on TPP
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the U.S. Senate will not vote on the 12-nation, corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership ( TPP ) this year, buoying progressive hopes that the trade deal will never come to fruition. Responding to the news, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—...
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'Line in the Sand': Court Halts Burkini Ban on French Beaches
France's highest administrative court halted the controversial ban on full-body "burkinis" imposed by the town of Villeneuve-Loubet on the grounds that it "seriously and clearly illegally breached fundamental freedoms." The court said a final decision on the legality of the ban—which is similar to...
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Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Others Condemn 'Coup' in Brazil
Naomi Klein, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sarandon, Arundhati Roy, and 17 other human rights activists, intellectuals, and public figures on Wednesday sent a letter to the Brazilian government condemning the impeachment of the country's President Dilma Rousseff, and demanding that Brazil's...
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Win for Climate Protection as Obama Creates World's Biggest Marine Sanctuary
President Barack Obama's creation on Friday of the world's largest marine protected area drew praise from lawmakers, Hawaiian community members , and environmental groups alike, who say it will help protect biodiversity and increase resilience in the face of climate change. Obama is expanding the...
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Slamming 'Absurd' US Healthcare, Sanders Backs Single-Payer in Colorado
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this week endorsed a Colorado ballot measure that would create single-payer healthcare in the state, urging his supporters to rally around the amendment and stating, "If that proposal can win in Colorado, I believe that idea will spread around the country." "It is absurd...
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Challenged Over 'Racist' Remarks, Maine Governor Leaves Unhinged Voicemail
Maine's Donald Trump-supporting, race-baiting , Republican Governor Paul LePage has gotten into hot water— again —after leaving a state lawmaker an expletive-laced and threatening voicemail on Thursday. In the phone message , LePage—who was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 —demands that...
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In Zika-Gripped Florida, Concerns Mount Over Insecticide Use—and Efficacy
Not only is the anti- Zika aerial insecticide spraying program raising health concerns in Florida and beyond, but the high-rise landscape in Miami Beach may be making such campaigns ineffective, to boot. Weeks ago, as mosquitoes carrying the disease became resistant to a less-potent pesticide,...
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New Study Warns Biofuels May Be Worse for Climate Than Gas
A new study finds that biofuels—which are derived from plants like corn or soybeans and sometimes considered to be carbon-neutral—may actually be worse for the climate than gas. University of Michigan (UM) Energy Institute research professor John DeCicco analyzed all the greenhouse gas emissions...
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Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with Saudi King Salman. Saudi-Led Bombing Kills 11 Civilians in Yemen, While Kerry Ignores US 'Complicity'
Another Saudi-led coalition airstrike in northern Yemen killed 11 civilians on Friday—only one day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Saudi Arabia, purportedly to urge Saudi King Salman to seek a "political solution" to the Saudi-led coalition's bombing campaign in Yemen. And despite...
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Thursday, August 25, 2016
In Effort to Kill Pipeline, Groups Call Directly on Obama to Oppose Permits
As Indigenous activists maintained resistance to a proposed oil pipeline in North Dakota this week, allied groups on Thursday sent an open letter to President Barack Obama asking him to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pull its permits for the project. "After years of pipeline disasters—...
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Fatigue, Migraines Linked to Fracking as Case Builds for National Ban
New research published Thursday links severe fatigue and migraine headaches to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, leading to renewed calls for a ban on the controversial oil and gas extraction method . Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reported their findings...
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A heavy machine gun atop a U.S. military vehicle in Afghanistan in 2012. Pentagon Has No Idea Where Hundreds of Thousands of Guns Went in Iraq and Afghanistan
The U.S. government has shipped over 1.4 million guns to Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11, according a new analysis by the U.K.-based watchdog Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), but the Pentagon is only able to account for fewer than half of them. AOAV released its analysis of publicly available data...
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Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward
A panel of federal judges on Wednesday advanced what an expert says could be "the biggest gerrymandering case in a generation"—one that could have nationwide implications for elections and democracy across the United States. The three-judge court ruled 2-1 (pdf) that the First Amendment-based claim...
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Diane Ravitch to Readers: Don't Let Charter Industry Silence John Oliver
What do an education historian and a late-night comedian have in common? Shared opposition to the fraud and abuse associated with charter schools and other privatization efforts, of course. On Thursday, longtime educator and activist Diane Ravitch encouraged her readers to start a campaign of...
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Colombians celebrate the signing of the peace accord in Bogotá on Wednesday. 'It Is Time to Give Peace a Chance': Historic FARC Peace Deal Achieved
After almost four years of negotiations and over 50 years of war, Colombia's rebel FARC group and the government finally signed a peace accord in Havana, Cuba, late Wednesday. "We won the most beautiful of all battles: Peace," said the rebel group's top negotiator, Iván Márquez. "The war is over,"...
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Rights Advocates Slam Baltimore's "Incomprehensible" Police Spying
Revelations that Baltimore police are spying on residents from the air—which the department publicly confirmed for the first time on Wednesday—have prompted outrage from civil liberties activists who slammed the program as "incomprehensible and unacceptable." Bloomberg revealed this week that the...
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Groups Demand Clinton Publicly Oppose Lame-Duck TPP Vote—Now
Heavy-hitting progressive groups have sent a letter to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, urging her to make "a clear, public, and unequivocal statement opposing any vote on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the post-election, 'lame-duck' session of Congress." "...
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Scale of Threat Seismic Blasting Poses to Whales, Dolphins Laid Bare
Though the Obama administration in March put a halt on drilling for oil and gas in Atlantic, the dolphins and whales inhabiting the waters are still at risk, says one ocean conservation group, as proposed seismic airgun blasting to look for reserves of the fossil fuels would leave the marine...
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Report Shows Post-9/11 NYPD Spying on Muslims to Be 'Highly Irregular'
In the wake of 9/11, New York City police repeatedly violated safeguards meant to protect lawful political and religious activities from unwarranted surveillance, according to the department's own inspector general. A report (pdf) from the New York Police Department (NYPD)'s Office of the Inspector...
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As Court Hears Arguments in Dakota Pipeline Suit, Protesters Say 'Protect Our Water'
As peaceful prayer camps grow in North Dakota against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, demonstrators in Washington, D.C. are marching and chanting in solidarity while a U.S. federal court hears arguments regarding the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's motion to halt pipeline construction. "This...
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Critics Say French Burkini Bans Employ Language of Human Rights to Limit Human Rights
So-called 'burkini bans' in France have come under fierce criticism after images surfaced this week of police in Nice surrounding and forcing a Muslim woman to remove some of her clothes. A burkini, or burquini, is a full-body swimsuit "intended to accord with Islamic traditions of modest dress,"...
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Mississippi Parents Demand an Answer: Are Charter Schools Constitutional?
Mississippi parents are challenging the public funding of charter schools on the grounds that it's not constitutional. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an advocacy group, filed a motion for a summary judgment this week on behalf of the parents, for a speedy answer to this question. The only...
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Stiglitz Blasts 'Outrageous' TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is "outrageous" and "absolutely wrong." Stiglitz,...
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U.S.-Backed Turkish Offensive in Syria Targets U.S.-Backed Kurds
Turkey has "launched a major military intervention in Syria," the Guardian reports , dispatching tanks and warplanes to purportedly reclaim the city of Jarabulus, currently held by the Islamic State (ISIS), and to attack Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. "At 4am this morning, operations started...
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Baltimore Police Are Secretly Spying on Residents from the Air: Bloomberg
Since January, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) has been using small aircrafts to spy on residents for as much as 10 hours a day, without informing the public, in a project financed by a private donor and facilitated by a private company, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday. The BPD, Bloomberg 's...
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'Our Revolution' Kick-Off Signals New Phase for Movement Sanders Built
With the goal of carrying the progressive vision far past Election Day, Bernie Sanders and his supporters Wednesday evening are formally launching the next phase of the political revolution. Our Revolution is officially kicking off at 9pm EDT, when Sanders will address the tens of thousands...
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Arms Industry Donating to Hawkish Clinton Over Incoherent Trump
Employees of 25 of the nation's largest defense companies—such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon—are choosing to fill the coffers of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over those of her rival, GOP nominee Donald Trump. That's according to a new analysis by Politico ,...
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Held 14 Years Without Charge, CIA Torture 'Guinea Pig' Abu Zubaydah Asks for Freedom
After 14 years of being held without charge, Guantánamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah, who was subject to brutal torture and is known as the "guinea pig" for the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) "enhanced interrogation program," made his first appearance on Tuesday before the Periodic Review Board and...
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In Major Ruling, Grad Students Win Right to Unionize at Private Universities
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said Tuesday that graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants at private colleges are employees—a ruling with " big implications " for both higher education and organized labor in the United States. Inside Higher Ed explains : The NLRB...
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Lawmakers, Peace Groups Team Up to Block 'Disturbing' US-Saudi Arms Deal
Anti-war advocates are launching an 11th-hour bid to stop U.S. Congress from approving a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia in its fight against Houthi rebels in Yemen , which was announced earlier this month. Chief among them are the activist group CODEPINK and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.),...
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Louisiana Climate-Deniers Who Refused Sandy Victims Now Want Federal Flood Relief
As residents of Louisiana this week struggle to recover from " one of the worst floods in modern history ," there is a chance that federal aid may not be so forthcoming thanks to a trio of Bayou State Republicans, who back in 2013 voted against helping victims of another storm: Sandy. House...
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Gulf Residents Arrested Telling Obama: More Drilling Equals More Floods
A group of Gulf residents were arrested after occupying the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) office in New Orleans on Tuesday, where they were demanding that President Barack Obama cancel an imminent lease sale for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The BOEM auction scheduled for...
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Officials Pull Water Supply as Dakota Access Protest Swells in Number and Spirit
This story was updated at 1:45 PM. Growing in number and spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is swiftly gaining strength ahead of a federal hearing on the controversial project. Support has spread across the country, and thousands have descended on the...
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UN Calls for 48-Hour Ceasefire So Aid Can Reach War-Ravaged Aleppo
The United Nations is urging all factions inside Syria to commit to a 48-hour ceasefire so that emergency aid and relief workers can save lives and offer assistance to those caught inside the war-ravaged city of Aleppo. In remarks before the UN Security Council on Monday, Stephen O'Brien, Under-...
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Leading Doctor Calls Climate Change Gravest Health Threat of 21st Century
Climate change is the greatest threat to public health worldwide and doctors must step up to help mitigate it, according to a leading advocate speaking at the annual Canadian Medical Association (CMA) meeting in Vancouver on Monday. Dr. James Orbinski , a former top official with the medical...
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"We now have to fight in the courts and at ballot box for every voter," says Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights president Wade Henderson, "and even our nation's best and most well-organized efforts will not meet the demand we're confronted with." (Photo: AFGE/flickr/cc) With Voting Rights at Risk Across US, International Monitors Called to Help
With the right to vote "more vulnerable now than at any time in the past 50 years," an American civil rights coalition is calling for an increase in international election monitors during the 2016 election. In a letter sent this weekend, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,...
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Monday, August 22, 2016
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday restored the voting rights of roughly 13,000 felons. (Photo: Sandor Weisz/flickr/cc) Virginia Just Took Step to Uproot 'Tragic History of Voter Suppression'
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday restored the voting rights of roughly 13,000 felons—a development aimed at stopping his state from being "an outlier in the struggle for civil and human rights." "The Virginia Constitution is clear,” he said in his announcement at the Civil Rights Memorial on...
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Nearly 15 Years and $70 Billion Later, US Troops Still Endlessly Fighting Taliban
More than a hundred U.S. troops were sent to Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan on Monday to continue fighting the Taliban, in the first deployment of forces to the area since the drawdown in 2014—offering another signal that the U.S. military presence there is expanding, not decreasing, as President Barack...
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Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is how much it will impact the next generation if the Earth is bequeathed in a lesser state...
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New Study Shows How Clinging to Nuclear Power Means Climate Failure
While it's been touted by some energy experts as a so-called "bridge" to help slash carbon emissions, a new stud y suggests that a commitment to nuclear power may in fact be a path towards climate failure. For their study, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of...
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US Guilty of 'Basically Unconditional Support' for Saudi War Crimes in Yemen
The United States and other governments that continue to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia are guilty of "the worst kind of hypocrisy," an international watchdog charged on Monday, as the arms trade continues despite mounting evidence of civilian causalities, war crimes, and other atrocities being...
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As She Rakes in the Cash, Clinton Fundraisers Still Shrouded in Secrecy
Hillary Clinton spent the weekend fundraising in affluent New England communities, speaking to more than 2,200 donors at private brunches and gatherings in Nantucket and Cape Cod—but what she told them "remains a mystery," the Associated Press reported Monday. The fundraising effort—which follows...
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Shame, Trauma, and Confusion as Judge Blocks Obama's Trans Bathroom Order
Hours before the start of the new school year, a federal judge issued a national injunction against the Obama administration directive requiring public schools to grant transgender students access to facilities consistent with their gender identity. "Late Sunday order to make sure Trans kids start...
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Sunday, August 21, 2016
Anti-Austerity Leftist Announces Challenge to French President Hollande
Seeking to replace France's increasingly unpopular President François Hollande, former industry minister and "left-wing firebrand" Arnaud Montebourg announced his candidacy for president on Sunday. The French election will take place in May 2017. Hollande, whom Jacobin notes has "force[d] his way...
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More Than 50 Dead in Turkey After Suicide Blast at Kurdish Wedding
At least 51 people were killed and dozens more injured when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Kurdish wedding celebration in southeastern Turkey late Saturday night. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the Islamic State (ISIS) was behind the attack, and that the suicide...
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Saturday, August 20, 2016
US Support for Saudi Coalition Remains Steadfast, Despite Growing Outcry
The U.S. remains defiant in its support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen, even as its backing for the ongoing and indiscriminate assault comes under increasing scrutiny . Following a week that saw the Saudi-led coalition kill significant numbers of Yemeni civilians, including in an attack on a...
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Rock Against the TPP tour, Seattle, August 2016 As Resistance Mounts, TPP Becoming 2016 Election's Third Rail
As the White House prepares for its final " all-out push " to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress, lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are being made vulnerable due to growing opposition to the controversial, corporate-friendly trade...
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Friday, August 19, 2016
Dakota Pipeline Construction Halted Amid Ongoing 'Defiance of Black Snake'
Construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been temporarily halted as protests against the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project continued this week at the North Dakota state capitol building as well as at a "spirit camp" at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers...
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Amid Flooding, Groups Call for End to 'Unconscionable' Fossil Fuel Auctions
A coalition of climate and advocacy groups on Friday called on the Obama administration to cancel an upcoming fossil fuel auction as Louisiana reels from the unprecedented floods that have ravaged the state—and which rescue groups have described as the worst U.S. disaster since Superstorm Sandy...
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CDC Expands Zika Travel Advisory in Miami
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday expanded its unprecedented travel advisory warning pregnant women to avoid several neighborhoods in Miami, Florida. The initial advisory, issued on August 2, was the first of its kind for a continental U.S. city . The expanded advisory...
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Whistleblower Rejects Award to Protest SEC and Wall Street's "Looting"
A Deutsche Bank whistleblower rejected his portion of a $16.5 million award for exposing corporate crime because the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) let bank officials off the hook, he said Thursday. Former risk manager Eric Ben-Artzi, who went to federal authorities in 2010 after he was...
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Bolivia Builds Anti-Imperialist School to Counter US Hegemony
Bolivia's leftist President Evo Morales opened an anti-imperialist military training center this week, describing it as a socialist and anti-colonial counterpoint to the United States' political and military influence on Latin America. "If the empire teaches domination of the world from its...
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'Good to Be King': The Very Good Loans Key Lawmakers Get from Wall Street Banks
A new study identifies "a direct channel through which financial institutions contribute to the net worth of members of the U.S. Congress"—especially those ostensibly tasked with overseeing those very Wall Street entities. The paper from London Business School professors Ahmed Tahoun and Florin...
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As UN Admits Role in Haiti Cholera Crisis, Audits Show No Lessons Learned
A day after the United Nations admitted that it helped spread cholera in Haiti , the organization also found that poor sanitation persisted in its missions around the world—from the Caribbean nation to Africa and the Middle East. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged on Thursday that...
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Sanders and Activists Say DOJ Ban on Private Prisons Doesn't Go Far Enough
Progressives and prison reform advocates hailed the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) announcement Thursday that it would phase out federal private prisons—and celebrated the resulting plummet in private prison stocks—but many also argued that the decision does not go far enough. "Until DHS and...
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Coincidence? Texas Slashed Women's Health and Maternal Death Rate Soared
Texas showed the sharpest increase of maternal deaths of all U.S. states between 2000 and 2014, with that rate doubling in the two-year period after the state slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and women's health programs, according to a study to be published next month. Many of the family...
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The NSA Was Hacked, Snowden Documents Confirm
On Monday, a hacking group calling itself the “ShadowBrokers” announced an auction for what it claimed were “cyber weapons” made by the NSA. Based on never-before-published documents provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Intercept can confirm that the arsenal contains authentic NSA...
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Thursday, August 18, 2016
Sanders Condemns Obscene Levels of Inequality Documented in New CBO Report
Yet another report, this one from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO), highlights what many American families already know: The rich keep getting richer, while everyone else keeps struggling to get by. The CBO report , released Thursday and prepared at the request of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-...
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Photos and Hunger Strikes Expose More Abuses in Migrant Detention
Central American women holding a hunger strike at the Berks County Family Detention Center in rural Pennsylvania implored President Barack Obama to " set aside [his] vacation for 10 minutes and look at how we're suffering locked up in here " on Wednesday, as they continued their second week of...
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From Epic Fires to a 1,000-Year Flood: The Climate Change of Here and Now
From deadly floods in Louisiana to an " explosive " wildfire in California, the impacts of the climate change are being felt across the United States this week. Neither extreme weather event can be exclusively blamed on global warming. But record-breaking heat, warmer oceans, and drier brush—all...
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The Koch-Backed and Not-So-Independent 'Independent Women's Forum'
The Independent Women’s Forum and its 501(c)(4) affiliate, the Independent Women’s Voice , market themselves to the media and voters as “non-partisan,” “independent,” and “neutral.” However, a new investigation of the groups by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reveals them to be anything...
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Admitting Failed Experiment, DOJ to Phase Out Private Prisons
After years of documented human rights abuses by the private prison industry, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is finally ending its use of privately-run, for-profit prisons, the Washington Post reports . "With its announcement today, the Justice Department has made clear that the end of the...
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Detroit Ready to Sue Banks, Private Companies for Unpaid Property Taxes
Detroit has finally set its sights on some of the real culprits of the city's financial crisis—the banks and for-profit companies that refuse to pay their share. The city on Wednesday said it issued demand letters to 1,543 private entities, both residential and commercial, to recoup more than $12...
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Did Green Party Pitch for 'Greater Good' Resonate with National Audience?
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka took part in CNN 's first Green Party town hall Wednesday night, laying out their proposals to abolish all student debt, establish a single-payer healthcare system, create a foreign policy based on...
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The Boy in the Ambulance Offers Glimpse of 'Profound Horrors' in Syria
Laying bare the horrors of Syria's ongoing civil war, heartbreaking footage of a young boy rescued from the rubble following an airstrike in Aleppo has gone viral. Much as last year's photos of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi—" The Boy on the Beach "— offered a stark reminder of the human toll of the...
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zephyr_teachout_debate.jpg Zephyr Teachout Challenges Billionaire Right-Wing Donors to Debate
New York congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout is throwing down the gauntlet to right-wing money men who want to buy elections in secret. Teachout, who won the Democratic primary for New York's 19th district in June, this week challenged hedge fund billionaires Paul Singer and Robert Mercer to a...
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Forced to Reckon with Rising Seas, Alaskan Village Votes on Relocation
Update: Residents of Shishmaref voted reportedly voted 89 to 78 to leave. Earlier: Residents of a remote Alaskan village will find out Wednesday if they are to become the first American community to become climate refugees. Rapidly rising sea levels are forcing the 650-person village of Shishmaref...
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Green Party Town Hall Makes Case Against 'Same Old Political Duopoly'
Update: Watch the Green Party town hall below: Earlier: The Green Party will have its long-awaited town hall on Wednesday, giving outsider nominee Jill Stein a chance to make her case to voters. #GreenTownHall Tweets Stein and her running partner, human rights activist and writer Ajamu Baraka, will...
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Complaint Says Baltimore Cops' Use of Stingray Spy Tool Violates Civil Rights
Civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday, alleging that the Baltimore Police Department's (BPD) unlicensed use of the controversial cell phone surveillance tool known as Stingray violates the law through racial discrimination and willful...
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Koch Brothers Waging War Against Local Effort to Expose Dark Money
A state ballot measure seeking to end political corruption has won the ire of the billionaire Koch Brothers , who have relied on secret donations to conservative interest groups to influence elections coast to coast. South Dakota's Initiated Measure 22 (pdf), dubbed the Government Accountability...
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Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. Sanders: Aetna's Obamacare Threat Shows What "Corporate Control Looks Like"
Healthcare giant Aetna directly threatened the federal government by vowing to pull out of Obamacare if its proposed merger to Humana was not approved, revealed a letter by the company's CEO sent in July and reported on Wednesday. The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post through a Freedom of...
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18 Years of Data Links Neonics to Bee Decline
New evidence shows that the controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, could be linked to bee population decline. A new study , published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications , looks at wild bee populations relative to the use of neonics on the oilseed rape plant in...
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Snowden Calls 'Shadow Brokers' Hack of NSA Hackers 'Significant' Turn in Spy Wars
The National Security Administration (NSA) was allegedly hacked by a mysterious group calling itself " The Shadow Brokers ," and the "most powerful espionage tools" of the NSA's elite hacker team, as the Washington Post put it, were leaked to the internet this weekend. The Post reported late...
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Complicit in Civilian Carnage, US Support for War in Yemen Called 'Indefensible'
Amid an escalation of violence, increasing numbers of civilian casualties, and a nearly unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the New York Times editorial board on Wednesday called the United States "complicit in the carnage" and demanded the Obama administration end its support for the Saudi...
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Is Another Cheney Headed to Washington?
Following surely in the footprints of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney won a solid victory in the Wyoming Republican primary on Tuesday and will now be in contention for the U.S. House seat that he once held. "I look forward very much to moving forward in the general...
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Asserting Right to Abortion, Dems Ready to Go All Out Against Hyde
Reproductive rights are back in the political spotlight as Democrats gear up to push for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment—the law that bans federal funding of abortions—in the lead-up to the November elections. For the first time, the Democrats included a provision in their platform for the Hyde...
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Aetna's Greed Proves That Medicare-for-All Is the Best Solution
Insurance behemoth Aetna announced late Monday that it is pulling out of Obamacare public exchanges in 11 states, citing projected financial losses because of the high number of people who—it turns out—need expensive medical care. Following a string of similar announcements, advocates of single-...
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Obama Provokes Progressive Outrage with All-Out TPP Push
In defiant opposition to this election's anti-trade sentiment , President Barack Obama is provoking progressive outrage with events around the country in an "all-out push," as Politico puts it , to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. The...
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Scientists Say Expect More 1,000-Year Events Like Louisiana Flood
Parts of Louisiana's disastrous, ongoing flooding has been upgraded by meteorologists to once-in-1,000-years rainfall, with other areas classified as 500-year and 100-year events, nola.com reported Monday, as scientists warn that such storms are growing more and more frequent as the planet heats up...
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NYT: Trump Being "Advised" for Clinton Debates by Disgraced Roger Ailes
Though Roger Ailes resigned his top seat at Fox News last month following accusations and lawsuits over sexual harassment of female employees, the New York Times reports Tuesday that Donald Trump has brought the disgraced executive aboard his campaign to "advise" him ahead of upcoming presidential...
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Tribal Activists Defy Lawsuit, Vow Continued Resistance Against Dakota Pipeline
An epic battle over land rights is being waged in the Dakotas, as a local Indigenous community, facing arrests and litigation, is standing firm in its resistance to a massive Bakken crude pipeline project. Developers of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access (also known as the Bakken) Pipeline filed suit...
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Clinton Transition Team Headed by Anti-Climate 'Powerbroker'
Hillary Clinton has named her transition team should she be elected in November, and the roster—as many feared—is a who's-who of establishment figures, including former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has a maligned track record on climate. The team will also include former national security...
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The aftermath of phosphorous bombs dropped on Aleppo. Rights Groups Sound Alarm Over Devastating Use of Incendiary Weapons in Syria
Human rights advocates are condemning the use of incendiary weaponry—including phosphorous bombs—in airstrikes conducted by the Syrian regime and the Russian government on the cities of Aleppo and Idlib on August 7. "It was so bright you could see the buildings as if was daylight. It was absolutely...
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NASA Study Nails Fracking as Source of Massive Methane 'Hot Spot'
A NASA study released on Monday confirms that a methane "hot spot" in the Four Corners region of the American southwest is directly related to leaks from natural gas extraction, processing, and distribution. The 2,500-square mile plume, first detected in 2003 and confirmed by NASA satellite data in...
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US Transfers 15 Guantánamo Detainees as Rights Groups Push for Full Closure
The Pentagon on Monday announced that 15 men would be transferred from Guantánamo Bay to the United Arab Emirates, in the largest single detainee shuffle under President Barack Obama's administration. The transfer means there are now just 61 people left in the U.S. military prison in Cuba. The 15...
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Monday, August 15, 2016
The Earth Just Experienced the Hottest Month on the Books. Period.
On Monday it was confirmed that the Earth has broken an ominous climate milestone amid a wave of troubling records: July 2016 was the hottest recorded month—ever. According to new NASA data , the global mean surface temperatures last month were 0.84° Celsius (1.51° Fahrenheit) above average and was...
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'Bipartisan Fraud': Debate Rules Shut Out Third-Party Candidates
The U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates on Monday released the polls it will use to determine which candidates will take to the stage in September for their first presidential debate—and shut out third-party candidates in the process. The Hill reports : Candidates will need to hit an average of...
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Documents Confirm CIA Censorship of Guantánamo Trials
In January 2013, during the military trial of five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks, a defense lawyer was discussing a motion relating to the CIA’s black-site program, when a mysterious entity cut the audio feed to the gallery. A red light began to glow and spin. Someone had triggered the...
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Are Climate-Related 'Hot Blobs' Spreading and Killing Marine Life Worldwide?
A massive swath of hot water off the West Coast of North America devastated marine life for years—killing sea lions , whales, starfish, birds, and more—and new research finds that such marine heatwaves are growing more and more frequent. Michael Slezak in the Guardian and Craig Welch in National...
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Florida Keys Residents Resist Controversial GMO Mosquito Trial
Residents of the Florida Keys are up in arms over a plan to release genetically-modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Key Haven neighborhood and are trying to get the word out about the trial, which they say would make them "lab rats" in their own community. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved...
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Saudi Airstrike on Yemen Hospital Kills at Least Seven, Witnesses Say
A Saudi-led coalition airstrike has hit a hospital in Yemen on Monday, killing at least seven and injuring at least 13, Reuters reports . A witness said the attack on the clinic, located in the Abs district in Yemen's northern Hajja province and supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans...
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New Hacks Threaten Chaos for Soros and Democratic Party
Online hacktivists have thrown the Democratic elite into complete chaos after a pair of websites, Guccifer 2.0 and DC Leaks, posted a series of leaks this weekend exposing the personal data of federal lawmakers and the internal records of party donor and influencer George Soros. Purporting to "shed...
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McKibben: Time to Declare a War (Literally) on Climate Change
'It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. And we are losing.'
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Amid More Civilian Deaths, Lawmakers Push to End Saudi Arms Flow
U.S. senators are attempting to block the State Department's deal to sell Saudi Arabia nearly $1.5 billion in weapons, just days after the move was announced by the Obama administration. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Foreign Policy that he would "work with a bipartisan coalition to explore forcing a...
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Milwaukee Sheriff Provokes Outrage, Blames 'Urban Pathology,' 'War on Police' for Police Brutality
Days of demonstrations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin following Saturday's fatal police shooting have shined a national spotlight on the city's segregation and police practices—and the city's infamous right-wing sheriff provoked further outrage Sunday when he blamed the community of the shooting victim...
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Sunday, August 14, 2016
Floodwaters are seen on Range Road and I-12 in Denham Springs, Livingston Parish, Louisiana, U.S., August 13, 2016. "Don't Rely on Your Past Experiences:" La. Battles "Unprecedented" Flooding
Louisiana continues to battle "unprecedented" flooding on Sunday, as experts warn that the historic rainfall that sparked the rising waters is the kind of extreme weather event to expect on a warming planet. Over 7,000 people have been rescued, at least three people have died , and a state of...
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Yemeni children walk amid the rubble of a house in Yemen's Huthi rebel-held capital Sanaa on August 11, 2016, after it was reportedly hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike. (Photo: AFP/Mohammed Huwais) 10 Children Killed in US-Backed Coalition Strike: Yemeni Officials
Ten children were killed and 28 other children were wounded on Saturday when an airstrike struck a school in northern Yemen, medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders said.
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