News

Thursday, May 28, 2015
In New Documentary, Omar Khadr Speaks for Himself
Viewers in Canada and beyond are finally getting the chance to hear directly from Omar Khadr, once the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison, who has spent the last 13 of his 28 years in custody. Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was 15 when he was shot and captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan...
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Corporate Media Accused of Parroting Fear-Mongering over Patriot Act
With key provisions of the USA Patriot Act nearing a long-awaited expiration date, there remains one last adversary to take down in the fight for privacy rights: the corporate media. The most recent case is the New York Times , which on Thursday quoted several anonymous White House officials who...
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Minneapolis as the 'New South': Police Data Shows Severe Racial Disparities
Black people and Native Americans in Minneapolis face "extreme racial disparities" at the hands of local law enforcement, with black residents nearly 9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for a low-level offense, according to a new analysis released Thursday. "Minneapolis police show the...
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As DOJ Cracks Down on FIFA, Are Powerful Multinationals Being Shielded from Public Exposure?
As the U.S. Department of Justice, in concert with European officials, launches a much-publicized crackdown on FIFA corruption, bribery, and racketeering, the powerful multinational corporation Nike—widely believed to be implicated in the scandal—has been largely shielded from the same public...
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Hawaii to Norway to Scotland: Divestment Movement Racks Up Wins
Rack up some more wins for divestment: the University of Hawaii System, the University of Edinburgh, and the Norwegian wealth fund have all within the last week answered the growing global call for institutions to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry. Norway's parliamentary parties announced on...
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Is US Trade Rep a Wall Street Crony? Groups Demand Transparency.
Noting deep ties between the country's top trade negotiator and Wall Street banks, ten groups representing millions of Americans are calling on the White House to make public all communications between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the massive financial institutions that stand to...
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Japanese Nuke Restart Gets Greenlight Despite Safety Concerns of Residents
Despite the health and safety concerns of local residents, Japan's Sendai nuclear power station on Wednesday was granted final regulatory approval to restart its operations, meaning it is now poised to be the first such facility to reopen since the industry was halted nation-wide following the...
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Oops: Pentagon Admits to Sending Live Anthrax Across Nation and Abroad
A research lab run by the U.S. military in Utah that deals with highly-infectious diseases inadvertently sent live Anthrax spores to facilities in nine states as well as one military base in South Korea, Pentagon officials confirmed Wednesday. As the Washington Post reports : The first live sample...
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Overcoming Governor's Veto, Rightwing Nebraska Ends Death Penalty
Overcoming a veto by Governor Pete Ricketts, the Nebraska legislature on Wednesday voted to abolish the death penalty in the conservative midwestern state. The move makes Nebraska the 19th in the U.S. to have imposed a ban on the practice, which opponents have long considered cruel and morally...
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Julian Assange on the TPP, NSA Spying, and his Own Ambiguous Future
In an hour-long interview aired Wednesday, Julian Assange spoke with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! at the Ecuador embassy in London and shared his perspective on NSA spying, the pending Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and other controversies. The Wikileaks founder currently awaits his...
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Dems Back Debt-Free College as Issue Moves Into Election Spotlight
Nine additional Democratic senators on Wednesday came out in support of a resolution calling for debt-free public college, bringing to 20 the total number of Senate Dems who support the measure, introduced only a month ago by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Chuck...
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'Love Affair' Continues as Former Sen. Landrieu Joins Keystone XL Lobby Firm
In another instance of the "revolving door" between business and politics, it was announced on Tuesday that former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who often distinguished herself as Democrat who openly supported the interests of the Big Oil, will be joining the lobbying firm Van Ness...
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Edward Snowden a 'Total Hero,' Says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
Privacy advocate and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak considers NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be a "total hero" and laments a missed opportunity to build more privacy protections into modern computer operating systems, according to a recent interview. Asked about Snowden in an interview with...
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Meet the Corporate Villains Sponsoring the COP21 Climate Talks
Fresh revelations that yet another round of United Nations climate talks—this time the upcoming negotiations in Paris—will be sponsored by some of the very corporations driving global warming have been met with outrage and alarm that the global process continues to be " captured by big polluters...
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Mary Ellen Mark, Award-Winning Photographer Who Captured 'Ragged Edges of Society,' Dies at 75
Mary Ellen Mark, the legendary photographer known for haunting, empathetic portraits of people who are so often overlooked by society, has died at 75. The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease affecting bone marrow and blood, Mark's studio manager Julia Bezgin told the New York Times . Mark...
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Given Rampant White-Collar Crime, FIFA Raid Raises Questions About DOJ Priorities
While the early morning raid and arrest of several high-ranking officials with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) captivated the international news circuit Wednesday morning, many observers were left wondering: With so many corrupt bankers , politicians, and other one-...
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With Deadline in Sight, Senate Scrambles on Patriot Act
As public outcry against government spying reaches a fever pitch, the U.S. Senate is scrambling to address the USA Patriot Act, key sections of which are currently speeding toward expiration. President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned the Senate—which is on a weeklong Memorial Day recess—to pass...
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Disgusted With Tory Government, Brits March in Force Against Austerity Madness
Thousands are gathering in London on Wednesday, protesting the conservative Tory government's 'oppressive and draconian' austerity program. Tweets about #fuckthetories OR #endausteritynow According to the Guardian , organizers expect a crowd of around 5,000—including a large student bloc —to rally...
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Terror on Trial: Family of Drone Victims Vows to Fight German Court Ruling
Three years after a U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed two civilians attending a wedding, a German court on Wednesday ruled against a member of the victims' family in a case that challenges international support for the so-called "War on Terror." Faisal bin Ali Jaber was granted permission to appeal...
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'Justice Delayed is Justice Denied': Court Blocks Reprieve for Millions of Deportations
In a blow to undocumented people across the United States, a federal appeals court on Tuesday obstructed an initiative of President Barack Obama that could have deferred roughly four million deportations. Human rights advocates bemoaned the ruling, even as they insisted that Obama's program already...
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Roads Melting, Death Toll Soaring as 'Unprecedented' Heatwave Grips India
The deathtoll related to an ongoing and "unprecedented" heatwave in India has soared to nearly 1,200 people, according to the nation's health ministry on Wednesday, with no respite for hundreds of millions of people expected until at least the weekend. According to officials quoted in the Hindustan...
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015
'Today We Begin a Political Revolution': Bernie Sanders Launches Presidential Bid in Vermont
With a progressive vision that includes breaking up the biggest banks , political transparency, free college education , environmental action , and equity for working and middle class Americans, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday officially launched his bid for the 2016 Democratic...
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Amidst New Protests, DOJ Seeks to Rein in Deadly Cleveland Police
On the same day that clergy from about 40 churches marched through downtown Cleveland to protest the acquittal of a white police officer charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists in 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with the city and its police department,...
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Israel Thanks Obama for Sabotaging Nuclear Nonproliferation Deal
The U.S. rejection of a global agreement aimed at eradicating nuclear weapons stockpiles has been met mostly with alarm and frustration around the world—but gratitude from one key U.S. ally: Israel.
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War Leaves Two-Thirds of Yemen without Water Access: Oxfam
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...
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Threat of 'Inevitable' War Looms Between US and China Over Pacific Island Row
Tensions between China and United States continue to rise over the South China Sea as a Chinese government newspaper warns that war may be 'inevitable' if the U.S. and its allies do not back off from the heavily disputed territory. Last week, the Chinese government condemned the actions of the U.S...
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With Local Democracy Squashed, Fracking to Resume in Texas Town
Less than two weeks after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation to prevent local municipalities from regulating a wide variety of drilling practices, fracking is set to resume in the city of Denton, where nearly 60 percent of voters banned the practice last November. According to KERA News , "...
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Amid Climate Crisis, Big Oil CEOs Rewarded for Massive Extraction Projects with Big Bonuses
Drilling the Russian Arctic. Expanding tar sands exploitation in Alberta. Exploring for oil in the South China Sea. These are just a few of the capital-intensive fossil fuel extraction projects that are translating into direct bonus payouts to the CEO's at the helm of the largest oil corporations...
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Devastating Floods in Texas Just Latest Example of Global Weather Extremes
With at least a dozen people dead and the raging high waters described as having ' tsunami-type power ' in Texas over the Memorial Day weekend, the latest example of extreme weather in the United States is being tied to a global pattern of increasingly volatile events that are claiming lives and...
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'Here We Go Again': Cable Mega-Merger Redux as Charter Bids for Time Warner Cable
Charter Communications, currently the fourth-largest cable television company in the United States, has confirmed a deal that would see it purchase Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable and internet company, for approximately $55 billion in cash and stock. As Bloomberg notes , if the...
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Monday, May 25, 2015
'Badass Left-Winger' Rebukes Gossip-Style News Ahead of Campaign Kick-Off
Sen. Bernie Sanders, set to host his official presidential campaign kick-off event in Vermont on Tuesday, spent Memorial Day weekend exercising his political chops by saying that his path towards the Democratic nomination will be focused on having a serious conversation with the American people...
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Pushing New Economic and Political Vision, Left Surges in Spanish Elections
Local elections across Spain on Sunday saw the further rise of left-wing parties and candidates as an ongoing populist push from below resulted in the worst performance of the ruling People's Party in a generation. Fueled by the street-level support that began with the indignados movement in the...
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After Lifetime of Discoveries, Climatologist Asks: 'Now That You Know, What Will You Do?'
Though all the awards had been announced and a week of celebrity sightings and red carpet fanfare was nearly complete, the final word at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night was not from a famous actor, producer or director but from an octogenerian French glaciologist who in a documentary film...
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
Failure of Review Conference Brings World Close to Nuclear Cataclysm, Warn Activists
After nearly four weeks of negotiations, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference ended in a predictable outcome: a text overwhelmingly reflecting the views and interests of the nuclear-armed states and some of their nuclear-dependent allies. “The process to develop the draft...
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Farmers Cut Back as Beleaguered California Hit by Water Loss
A day before California accepted voluntary water cutbacks by farmers, vandals targeting an inflatable dam in Fremont sent 50 million gallons of water meant for the city's residents flowing into the San Francisco Bay. "This is a very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in...
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Women March for Peace, Reconciliation in Historic Korean Border Crossing
An international group of women activists, including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates, on Sunday crossed the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea in a call for global peace and reconciliation. "We are walking for a peaceful world, we are walking for a peaceful world,"...
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'This is Straight Murder': Protests Sweep City Following Cleveland Acquittal
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...
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
'No More Poison': World Unites for Annual #MarchAgainstMonsanto
For the third year in a row, activists around the world are taking up the mantle against Monsanto. The March Against Monsanto is taking place on Saturday in 428 cities across 38 countries as activists raise awareness over the potential dangers of the agrochemical giant's products—from its...
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Protests Erupt in Cleveland Over Not Guilty Verdict for Police Officer
A white police officer who stood on a car and shot its two unarmed black occupants in 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio was found not guilty of voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault on Saturday. The verdict has been anxiously awaited since the spread of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement,...
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Senate Passes Fast Track Bill as Opposition Readies for Showdown
At the tail end of a frenzied legislative week, the U.S. Senate quietly voted to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as "Fast Track," a bill that would give President Barack Obama increased power to ram through trade deals without congressional input. The Senate voted 62-37 to approve...
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Ireland Makes History: First Country in the World to Vote for Gay Marriage
The results are in: Ireland has officially become the world's first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. With a final count of 62.1 percent voting yes, with a total turnout of 60 percent, marriage equality is now legal in Ireland. Responses from officials were vastly positive...
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'Historic Tactical Win Against Surveillance' as USA Freedom Act Fails in Senate
In a move that is being hailed by civil liberties advocates as a victory for privacy rights, the U.S. Senate on Friday rejected the USA Freedom Act, a bill that sought to rein in the National Security Agency's (NSA) spying powers but that would have reauthorized some of the most controversial...
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Friday, May 22, 2015
As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance
With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and campaign stops in their home states—the chance to see the sun go down on the controversial spying bill is still on the table. The...
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Media Executives Are Salivating Over Big Money Flooding the 2016 Election Cycle
At least one small slice of the American public looks forward to the non-stop, sleazy political advertisements set to inundate viewers during the 2016 elections: media executives and their investors. Peter Liguori, the chief executive of Tribune Company, said earlier this month that the next...
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Say Her Name: In Expression of Vulnerability and Power, Black Women Stage Direct Action With Chests Bared
I fight for mothers. I fight for those have been murdered by the state. I fight for my girls to love their bodies. To end infant mortality. With love for female masculinity. These were some of the messages painted on the bare chests of black women as they blocked an intersection in San Francisco's...
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'Nothing to Fear for Voting for Love and Equality': Ireland Poised to Make History
More than 3 million voters in Ireland are expected to take part in the country's historic referendum on same-sex marriage on Friday—with opinion polls pointing toward a big win for the 'Yes' side in favor of marriage equality. Tweets about #voteyes OR #voteyesireland News outlets are reporting that...
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For 7 Years, FBI Defied Law for Seeking a Person’s Records Under Patriot Act
A Justice Department inspector general’s report shows that for seven years the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated statutory law designed to restrict the agency’s surveillance power. During this period, the agency sought individuals’ records under the business records provision of the PATRIOT...
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After Decades, Fake Tire Reefs 'Killing and Smothering' Real Coral
Florida officials have restarted cleanup of hundreds of thousands of tires dumped into the ocean decades ago in hopes of creating an artificial reef. According to Allison Schutes, manager of the Trash Free Seas program at the Ocean Conservancy, between one and two million tires were dropped into...
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If You Thought the Southern Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers Were Stable, Think Again
A group of scientists on Thursday published evidence that the Southern Antarctic Peninsula, a region where glaciers were previously thought to be stable, is now undergoing sudden—and dramatic—ice loss due to the warming of the ocean. Published in the journal Science under the title Dynamic thinning...
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Under Shadow of Trade Deal, US Pesticide Lobby Pressured EU to Dump Toxic Pesticide Rules
Under pressure from the U.S. and agrochemical industry lobbyists and amid ongoing negotiations for a controversial trade deal, the European Union dropped planned rules that could have led to the banning of 31 pesticides containing hazardous chemicals, a new investigative report has revealed. The...
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NYPD, Housing Authority Complicit in Akai Gurley Death: Lawsuit
The family of Akai Gurley, the unarmed black man who was shot dead by a police officer in a Brooklyn housing project last year, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against New York City. Gurley's partner, Kimberly Ballinger, brought the suit on behalf of his estate and their two-year-old daughter,...
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Iranian Official Raises Alarm to UN Over Israel's Thinly Veiled Nuclear Threats
Iran's top envoy to the United Nations this week sent a letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to register his alarm at a recent thinly-veiled nuclear threat by a high-ranking Israeli official. UN Ambassador Gholam Ali Khoshrou, who wrote the missive, said that the...
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GOP Blocks Bill to Shine Light on Clandestine Trade Deals
The contents of the corporate-friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's trade agenda, will remain shrouded in secrecy after Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Thursday blocked legislation that would have increased transparency around the mammoth trade agreement...
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Six Months Later, Pentagon Admits (Maybe) We Killed Some Kids in Syria
In what one journalist described as the " first near-confirmation " of civilian deaths caused by U.S.-led airstrikes inside Syria, an official announcement by the Pentagon on Thursday that one of its bombs "likely led" to the death of two young children was met by derision and suspicion by experts...
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'Race is a Factor': Protests Follow Police Shooting in Washington State
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Olympia, Washington on Thursday night to demonstrate against the police shooting of two unarmed black men that took place earlier that day. Andre Thompson, 24, and Bryson Chaplin, 21, who are step-brothers, both survived being shot in the chest. Thompson was...
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Strangled By War and Siege, Gaza's Economy 'On Verge of Collapse': World Bank
Nine months after Israel's 51-day military assault on Gaza, a damning new report released by the World Bank finds that the 1.8 million residents of this besieged strip of land face the highest unemployment rate in the world and an economy on the "verge of collapse." Approximately 43 percent of the...
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Thursday, May 21, 2015
All 6 Baltimore Police Officers Indicted Over Death of Freddie Gray
Baltimore City state's attorney Marilyn Mosby announced late Thursday afternoon that all six police officers have been indicted in the death of Freddie Gray. The officers will be arraigned on July 2, said Mosby. The Associated Press reports : The charges returned by the grand jury were similar to...
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'We Will Win': McDonald's Worker Protests Stretch Into Second Day
Less than 24 hours after 5,000 workers marched on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, the fast food giant's cooks and cashiers returned on Thursday morning to bring their call for $15 an hour and union rights directly to the company's shareholders at their annual meeting...
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Growing Global Inequality Gap 'Has Reached a Tipping Point'
With the gap between the rich and poor growing worldwide, a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published Thursday suggests that the only way to reverse such rampant inequality is by implementing government measures aimed at balancing the playing field...
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Gyrocopter Pilot Faces Nearly Decade in Prison for Flight Against Money in Politics
Doug Hughes, the 61-year-old Florida postal worker who flew his gyrocopter onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol building last month to protest money in politics, on Thursday pleaded "not guilty" to six federal charges, two of them felonies. Hughes, who is a grandfather, faces up to nine-and-a-half...
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Sanders to Make Presidential Aspirations Official in Vermont Next Week
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said at the end of April that he would challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, will officially launch his run for president on Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, campaign officials announced this week. Burlington is where Sanders began his...
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Notorious Repeat Offender Behind Oil Spill 'Nightmare' in California
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...
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Gift to Multi-National Corporations as Senate Pushes Fast Track Forward
Thumbing its nose at the wide swath of constituencies and civil society groups that oppose corporate-friendly trade deals, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to end debate on Fast Track trade legislation, handing a significant victory to President Barack Obama and moving the bill a step closer to...
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Judge Rules Obama Can Keep CIA Torture Report in the Shadows
In a decision derided by the ACLU as "disappointing," a federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the administration of President Barack Obama cannot be compelled by the court to hand over the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. With a lawsuit citing the Freedom of Information Act...
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Who Will They Serve? Warnings Mount That Body Cameras Could Do More Harm Than Good
Though use of body cameras for the nation's police officers has been put forth as a key reform that could increase accountability for law enforcement agencies and help curb episodes of police brutality, a new policy framework released by the ACLU on Thursday warns that without proper implementation...
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'Weaponizing Vulnerabilities': New Snowden Doc Reveals Spy Agencies Targeted Smartphones
The intelligence alliance known as Five Eyes—comprising the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia—exploited security weaknesses in one of the world's most popular browsers to obtain data about users and planned to use links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect...
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Scientists Conclusively Link BP Oil Spill with Unprecedented Dolphin Die-Off
Scientists have for the first time made a conclusive link between the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and an unprecedented dolphin die-off along the Gulf's northern coast. Bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama experienced an "unusual mortality event" beginning in...
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A Tangled Surveillance, Trade-Pact Mess on Capitol Hill
Talking for more than ten hours on the Senate floor from Wednesday afternoon to nearly midnight, libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) expressed his opposition to a two-month extension of the controversial Patriot Act but ultimately failed to fulfill his vow to do "everything possible" to kill...
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Get Ready: Protesters Vow to 'Flood the System' for Climate and Planetary Justice
From the tar sands of Alberta to the Port of Seattle to the communities in the blast zone of oil trains, organizers across North America are calling for a "wave of resistance" this fall to "shut down the economic and political systems threatening our survival." Under the banner of "Flood the System...
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Nebraska Votes to Abolish Death Penalty
Lawmakers in Nebraska voted overwhelmingly to end the use of the death penalty in their state. "Nebraska becomes the latest state to acknowledge that the death penalty is an irrevocably broken and unjust practice. The legislature has taken a courageous step forward for human rights." —Steven W...
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As Spying Foes Look to 'Sunset' Patriot Act, White House Turns up the Pressure
With key provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire at the end of the month and congressional in-fighting over the legality of government surveillance continuing to rage, the National Security Agency (NSA) will reportedly begin "winding down" bulk surveillance operations this weekend. "After May...
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Under Banner of 'Black Women and Girls Matter,' Wave of Protests to Sweep Country
Mya Hall. Aiyana Jones. Rekia Boyd. These are a few of the names that will be held up in Thursday's national day of action , slated to sweep at least 17 cities across the United States, demanding an end to "state violence against All Black Women and Girls," including those who are transgender...
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TPP Could 'Undermine Health of Web' Say 250+ Tech Companies and Digital Rights Groups
More than 250 tech companies and digital rights organizations on Wednesday sent a joint letter to Congress, blasting the corporate-backed trade deal they say "actively silences the voices of Internet users, start-ups, and small tech companies...while undermining the health of the entire Web." The...
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In Step with Texas, Oklahoma Poised to Outlaw Local Drilling Bans
Despite mounting scientific evidence that fracking is increasing seismic activity in the state, Oklahoma legislators are poised to pass legislation preventing municipalities from passing local bans on drilling operations. Senate Bill 468 would overturn an 80-year-old statute and explicitly...
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'We Are Many': Documentary Depicts Legacy of Global Anti-War Movement
The extraordinary February 15, 2003 march against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which brought an estimated 30 million people to the streets in 800 cities on every continent, is immortalized on screen in Amir Amirani's acclaimed documentary, We Are Many , premiering in the UK this week. We Are Many...
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Latest Guilty Pleas Prove Big Bank Criminality 'Rampant,' But Jail Time Non-Existent
In the wake of Wednesday's announcement that five global financial institutions have agreed to plead guilty to multiple crimes and pay about $5.6 billion in penalties for manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates, corporate watchdogs are reiterating the call to 'break up the banks' in...
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Mattress in Tow, Columbia University Alleged Rape Victim Graduates
Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz on Tuesday walked across the stage and accepted her graduation diploma with a mattress in tow. Since the beginning of the school year, Sulkowicz has lugged her dorm mattress all over the Manhattan campus to protest Columbia's alleged dismissal of her rape...
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Peace Coalition Warns Rightwing Militias Threaten Democracy
A coalition of peace groups is sounding the alarm over what it calls a growing trend of violent actions by anti-democracy militias, and say they will work to stem the tide of such forces nationwide. Ballots Not Bullets was created this year by organizations including the Coalition to Stop Gun...
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Killing for Conservation? Outrage After Auction Winner Fells Endangered Black Rhinoceros
A Texas man who won a controversial $350,000 auction last year for a permit to kill a black rhinoceros on Monday felled one of the endangered giants in Namibia, prompting immediate condemnation from conservation groups and experts who say the slaughter sets a dangerous precedent. The kill by 36-...
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Decrying Corporate Greed, McDonald's Cooks and Cashiers Confront Shareholders
Calling for higher wages and fairer treatment, McDonald's cooks and cashiers will gather with progressive leaders on Wednesday and Thursday for large protests outside the company's shareholder meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois. The two-day demonstration comes in the aftermath of the largest-ever...
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Fossil Fuel Titan Spins Ebola Crisis for Corporate Gain
The world's largest privately-held coal company has been exposed capitalizing off the Ebola crisis in West Africa—a move public health officials called "ludicrous" and "opportunistic." A Guardian exposé reveals that Peabody Coal's new public relations campaign—which aims to brand the iconic...
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Sen. Warren Calls on Hillary Clinton to 'Be Clearer' on TPP
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday called on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to clarify her position on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the corporate-friendly trade deal that has become one of the most contentious issues in Congress and the 2016...
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Ruptured Pipeline Along California Coast Dumps Crude Oil into Pacific Ocean
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. "Unfortunately with accidents and oil development, it is not a question of if...
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015
In Victory for Growing Workers Movement, LA Passes $15 Minimum Wage
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to approve a $15 an hour minimum wage, becoming the largest U.S. city to adopt a living wage. The ordinance would boost the $9 an hour base wage to $15 by 2020 for as many as 800,000 workers. Los Angeles now joins Chicago, San Francisco,...
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Rights Groups to Obama: No More Foot Dragging On Closing Guantánamo
Omar Khadr—captured by the U.S. as a child, forced to endure torture, and detained 13 years, most of them at Guantánamo Bay—was recently released on bail to widespread media attention. But on Tuesday, leading human rights groups released an open letter reminding U.S. President Barack Obama—and the...
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'Muzzled' Canadian Scientists Call for Protections in Federal Contracts
Canadian federal scientists, backed by major public sector unions, are protesting in Ottawa and beyond on Tuesday against "the muzzling of Canada's public scientists and partisan interference in the development of public science" under Stephen Harper's administration. The Professional Institute of...
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Media and Police Response to Waco Biker 'Brawl' Spurs Critique
Sunday's biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas—which left 9 dead, 18 injured, and over 190 arrested—and the media storm that followed have highlighted a prevalent bias both in policing and reporting on such incidents. The incident reportedly involved five rival motorcycle gangs, which began fighting...
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Tennessee's New Abortion Law Criticized as 'Tool to Shame and Disgrace Women'
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a new measure into law on Monday that forces women seeking abortions to wait 48 hours after a mandated in-person "counseling" session with a doctor in order to undergo the procedure. HB 977 (pdf), sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), makes Tennessee...
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The Purge: How Somalia’s Al Shabaab Turned Against Its Own Foreign Fighters
U.S. counterterrorism agencies have long been preoccupied with the threat posed by the recruiting successes of the Somali terrorist group al Shabaab in Western countries. The group has managed to lure hundreds of foreign fighters — including some 40 Americans — to Somalia through online propaganda...
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'The Bees Can't Wait': White House Plan to Save Pollinators Falls Short, Say Experts
Faced with the growing crisis of declining bee populations, the White House on Tuesday released its strategy for improving pollinator health. Almost immediately, experts decried the plan, saying it "misses the mark" by refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming role that pesticides play in driving...
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Groups Call Foul Over Google Attempt to Ensnare Kids in 'Advertising Empire'
Prominent advocacy organizations charged on Tuesday that the YouTube Kids app, marketed by Google as a family-friendly and child-appropriate platform, is in fact neither, featuring "disturbing" and "potentially harmful" content. The latest accusations were issued by the Campaign for a Commercial-...
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Officer Not Charged in Vonderrit Myers Shooting
The off-duty police officer who fatally shot black 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers in Shaw, Missouri last October will not be charged in his death. Myers' killing, which occurred shortly after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, fueled growing civil rights protests. Officer...
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Progressive Groups Rally Behind Sanders' Plan to Tax 1% and Fund Higher Ed
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. "What...
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Pentagon Spin on ISIS Victory in Iraqi City of Ramadi Called 'Delusional'
Statements from the Pentagon and the Obama administration attempting to downplay the significance of the defeat of Iraqi forces by Islamic State fighters in the city of Ramadi in recent days is being called "ludicrous" and "delusional" by military experts, according to reporting by McClatchy. The...
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By Banning Fracking Bans, Texas Picks Gas Drillers over Local Democracy
In what environmental campaigners and the people of the small town of Denton, Texas are calling a clear example of fossil fuel interests trumping the will of local residents, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed HB 40 into law thereby undermining a local ordinance, approved overwhelmingly...
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Monday, May 18, 2015
Warren Hits Back Hard on 'Broken Promises' of Corporate Trade Pacts
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took decisive aim at President Barack Obama's pending global trade pacts on Monday with the release of a new report, which argues that—despite pledges to the contrary—so-called "free trade" agreements have a record of undermining workers rights. The 15-page staff...
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Majority of Americans Oppose NSA Spying: Poll
Most U.S. citizens across the political spectrum oppose the National Security Agency's (NSA) expansive surveillance powers and want the Patriot Act reformed, according to a new survey by the ACLU released Monday. A bipartisan pair of polling firms surveyed 1,001 likely voters around the country and...
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'Not For Sale': Foregoing $1 Billion Payout, First Nations Tribe Rejects LNG Project
Placing the well-being of the Earth above monetary interests, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations tribe in British Columbia has rejected a $1 billion offer and voted against a proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal. In the third and definitive vote on the Pacific Northwest (PNW) LNG project last...
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WTO Ruling on Meat Labels Exemplifies Corporate Profits Trumping Democracy
In a decision food safety and consumer advocates are calling a blow to animal welfare, environmental standards, and democracy, the World Trade Organization on Monday ruled that U.S. labels on packaged meat indicating where cows, chicken or other animals were born, raised and slaughtered are in...
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Amid Protest Plans, McDonald's to Ban Media from Shareholder Meeting
With thousands of workers planning to descend on McDonald's annual shareholder meeting on May 21 to demand higher wages and fairer treatment, the fast food giant has announced it will ban all media from the corporate event—a move that union leaders called "extremely shocking and troubling." "We can...
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