2018-02-23: News Headlines


WSWS (2018-02-23). Nova Scotia teachers vote massively in favour of "illegal" strike. World Socialist Web Site The province's Liberal government is seeking to ram through changes to the education system that will enhance its managerial power over teachers and facilitate further spending cuts.

TRNN (2018-02-23). The Nation's Strongest Charter School Regulations Are Under Attack. The Real News Network Loyola University's associate dean of education, Rob Helfenbein, says corporate-backed forces have long targeted troubled school systems for privatization…

Amnesty International (2018-02-23). Iran: Young human rights defenders at risk of torture: Shima Babaee and Dariush Zand. Amnesty International Young Iranian human rights defenders Shima Babaee, who is campaigning against compulsory veiling, and her husband Dariush Zand are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Both have been detained in Tehran's Evin prison, without access to family and lawyer following their arrest by the Ministry of Intelligence on 1 February in connection with their peaceful human rights work. They are prisoners of conscience.

Truthout Stories (2018-02-23). Masha Gessen: Did a Russian Troll Farm's Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election for Trump? Truthout Stories The Justice Department recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies in connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The indicted are accused of orchestrating an online propaganda effort to undermine the US election system. The indictment claims the Russians spread negative information online about Hillary Clinton and supportive information about Donald Trump, as well as Bernie Sanders — but some are warning against overstating what Russia accomplished. For more, we speak with award-winning Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her recent piece for The New Yorker is titled "The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller's Russia Indictments." | TRANSCRIPT | AMY GOODMAN: We begin today's show looking at the Justice Department's recent indictment of 13 Russians and three companies in connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The indicted are accused of orchestrating an…

Democracy Now! (2018-02-23). Masha Gessen: Did a Russian Troll Farm's Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election for Trump? Democracy Now! The Justice Department recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies in connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The indicted are accused of orchestrating an online propaganda effort to undermine the U.S. election system. The indictment claims the Russians spread negative information online about Hillary Clinton and supportive information about Donald Trump, as well as Bernie Sanders—but some are warning against overstating what Russia accomplished. For more, we speak with award-winning Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her recent piece for The New Yorker is titled "The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller's Russia Indictments."

Ajamu Baraka (2018-02-22). Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire. Global Research Only in the world of comic-book fantasies is the United States a friend to the oppressed in Africa or anywhere else on the planet. In the real world, the U.S. is a predator, colonial/capitalist nation. But like the imagined nation …

Democracy Now! (2018-02-22). "The Time to Act Is Now": Florida School Shooting Survivors Confront Trump, Rubio on Gun Control. Democracy Now! "The time to act is now." That's the message of survivors of last week's school shooting in Florida. On Wednesday, the nation witnessed grieving students, parents and teachers powerfully confront the president and lawmakers over gun control in pointed—and often tense—televised exchanges. The day began with students across the United States—from Minnesota to Colorado to Arizona—walking out of class to demand stricter gun laws. Meanwhile, survivors of the shooting descended on the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee to demand lawmakers pass legislation addressing gun violence before the legislative session ends. In the afternoon, President Trump—along with Vice President Mike Pence and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—hosted a listening session with survivors of recent shootings, including students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Wednesday evening, survivors of the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School sparred with politicians during a town hall hosted by CNN.

Rachel M. Cohen (2018-02-22). Betsy DeVos is Helping Puerto Rico Re-Imagine Its Public School System. That Has People Deeply Worried.. The Intercept Many in Puerto Rico worry that the government is treating this more as an opportunity to disrupt education, rather than stabilize it. | The post Betsy DeVos is Helping Puerto Rico Re-Imagine Its Public School System. That Has People Deeply Worried. appeared first on The Intercept.

WSWS (2018-02-22). Growing opposition to public education cuts in Oklahoma. World Socialist Web Site Teachers are calling for a statewide "sickout," while students at two schools have staged recent walkouts.

Eric Ortiz (2018-02-22). School Threatens to Suspend Students Protesting Gun Violence (Video). Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists A Texas school district has threatened to punish students for protesting gun violence. Students in the Needville Independent School District will be suspended for three days if they take part in any demonstrations during school hours in response to the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting, said Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes. | According to KHOU11, Rhodes made the announcement in a statement posted on Facebook: The Needville ISD is very sensitive to violence in schools including the recent incident in Florida. Anytime an individual deliberately chooses to harm others, we are sensitive and compassionate to those impacted. There is a "movement" attempting to stage walkouts/disruptions of the school through social media and/or other media outlets. | Please be advised that the Needville ISD will not allow a student demonstration during school hours for any type of protest or awareness!! Should students choose…

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-22). Bahrain: 5 More Years for Jailed Activist. Human Rights Watch News | Expand | Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015. | © 2015 Reuters | (Beirut) — The Bahrain High Criminal Court on February 21, 2018, sentenced the prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab to five years in prison for criticizing torture in a Bahrain prison and Saudi airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. The new sentence is in addition to the two-year sentence that Rajab is already serving on other charges related to peaceful expression. | "The new prison sentence for Nabeel Rajab is only the latest chapter in years of persecution and efforts to silence an activist solely for his efforts to sound the alarm on human rights abuses," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Rajab…

Joseph Thomas (2018-02-22). Confirmed US Meddling in Thailand's Upcoming Elections. Global Research As the United States intensifies its accusations against Russia for alleged interference in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, the United States itself is found engaged in confirmed political interference worldwide. | This includes in Southeast Asia where Washington is attempting to …

Amnesty International (2018-02-21). Bahrain: Shameful attack on freedom of expression as Nabeel Rajab sentenced to five years in prison for tweets . Amnesty International | The sentencing of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab to five years in prison today for peacefully expressing his opinions online illustrates the Bahraini authorities' utter contempt for freedom of expression, said Amnesty International. | The sentence relates to posts on his Twitter account in 2015 as well as retweets about alleged torture in Bahrain's Jaw prison, and the killing of civilians in the Yemen conflict by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. | "The conviction of Nabeel Rajab today is a slap in the face to justice. This sentence demonstrates the authorities' ruthless determination to…

TRNN (2018-02-21). What's Behind the Taliban's Call for Talks? The Real News Network The Taliban's letter, which urged the American people to pressure Trump to begin peace talks, is "more of a reflection of internal Taliban politics than a very meaningful and sincere request to talk," says Thomas Johnson, former advisor to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Michael Welton (2018-02-21). 1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War. counterpunch.org Throughout the 1980s until the fall of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the world still shivered in the edgy cold war air. The global yearning for world unity and peace appeared to be cast far off into a never-never land. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report of More

Democracy Now! (2018-02-21). Headlines for February 21, 2018. Democracy Now! Syria: 200 Killed in Two Days of Gov't Bombing in Eastern Ghouta, Florida Lawmakers Vote Down Debate on Assault-Style Weapons Ban After Parkland Massacre, Trump Calls for Rule Change to Ban "Bump Stocks" After Parkland Shooting, Woman Accusing Trump of Sexual Assault in Trump Tower Demands Release of Security Camera Footage, Woman Accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of Sexual Harassment Calls for His Impeachment, Guess Co-Founder Steps Down After Kate Upton Accuses Him of Groping Her, NYT: Kushner and Kelly Face Off over Security Clearances, Mahmoud Abbas Calls for International Conference to Restart Peace Process, Bahraini Human Rights Activist Nabeel Rajab Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison, U.N.: Hundreds of Thousands Flee Violence in Southeast Democratic Republic of Congo, Minnesota Reaches $850 Million Settlement with 3M over PFCs, Polk Awards Honor Weinstein Exposé, Revelations on U.S. Raid in Yemen…

Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers (2018-02-21). War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears. counterpunch.org Since we published "Regime Change Fails: Is a Military Coup or Invasion Next," we received more information showing steps toward preparing for a potential military attack on Venezuela. Stopping this war needs to become a top priority for the peace movement. Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) published a newsletter that reported "troubling news of an impending More

WSWS (2018-02-20). Iowa state government preparing mid-year budget cuts. World Socialist Web Site For the second year in a row, Iowa's legislature is preparing to enact budget cuts slashing funding for public education and social services.

TRNN (2018-02-20). Empire Files: In the Deadliest Country for Unions & Social Leaders. The Real News Network In 2017, murders of social leaders, union organizers and indigenous activists in Colombia hit a new high since the historic peace agreement. Empire Files' Abby Martin goes to Colombia to document the increasingly deadly situation for human rights activists. Watch more on teleSUR…

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-20). What "Meaningful Progress" in Kazakhstan? Human Rights Watch News Shuttering media outlets. Allowing attacks on journalists. Severely limiting peaceful assembly. When it comes to ensuring an "enabling environment" for civil society, Kazakhstan is far from the ideal. | | Expand | A worker walks past oil tanks in southern Kazakhstan. | © 2016 Reuters | So it's unfortunate the board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a coalition of governments, companies, and nongovernmental groups meant to foster open public debate about the use of resource revenues, chose to gloss over the chilling effects of Kazakhstan's heavy restrictions over civil society, and in doing so, ignore calls by its own board members to include tougher language on Kazakhstan. | When it met last week in Oslo, the EITI finalized an assessment of Kazakhstan's compliance with its standards, which requires member governments to "refrain from actions which result in…

Amnesty International (2018-02-20). Iran: Human Rights Council should renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran amid worsening human rights record. Amnesty International Written Statement to UN Human Rights Council thirty-seventh session: Amnesty International is concerned at the scale of human rights violations in Iran perpetrated against the backdrop of the country's improving relations with the international community. The Iranian authorities have continued to use the death penalty against juvenile offenders at a pace that appears to be accelerating; heavily suppressed freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly; and imposed increasingly harsh prison sentences against peaceful activists and human rights defenders. Torture is committed with widespread impunity; and floggings, amputations and other cruel punishments continue to be imposed and carried out.

Binoy Kampmark (2018-02-20). The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse. counterpunch.org It's the sort of thing to turn many an otherwise calm stomach, but the revelations that UN peace keeping staff have been involved in sexual assault has done its fair share of upsetting. Legislators in the United States, many sceptical of the body to begin with, are taking note. Such revelations draw out the worst More

Whitney Webb (2018-02-20). Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon: A Movement, Not Just a Protest. MintPress News Sheehan was taken aback by how some prominent organizers of the recent Women's March were unwilling to express anti-war positions and argued for excluding the issue of peace entirely from the event and movement as a whole. | The post Cindy Sheehan and the Women's March on the Pentagon: A Movement, Not Just a Protest appeared first on MintPress News.

WSWS (2018-02-19). West Virginia teachers denounce education cuts, social crisis. World Socialist Web Site Teachers and other workers described the impact of decades of attacks on wages and conditions and the need for a broad fight by the entire working class.

Sheldon Richman (2018-02-19). 'Peace Through Strength' is a Racket. counterpunch.org Donald Trump has embraced the popular "peace through strength" doctrine (PTSD) with his characteristic panache: "I'm going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody — absolutely nobody — is gonna to mess with us," Trump says. On other occasions he's said similar things: "We want to defer, avoid and prevent conflict through More

TRNN (2018-02-19). Colombian Peace Agreement with FARC on the Brink of Collapse. The Real News Network The peace agreement that the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed last year is on the verge of collapse, as violence against social leaders and former FARC fighters continues unabated…

WSWS (2018-02-16). The political issues facing West Virginia teachers. World Socialist Web Site Thousands of West Virginia teachers, school employees, state workers and supporters are protesting today to demand the right to a decent standard of living and high-quality public education.

CounterSpin (2018-02-16). Christine Hong on North Korean Peace Threat, Lee Fang on Opioid Lobby. FAIR Media…

Democracy Now! (2018-02-14). Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Trump's Immoral Budget Punishes the Poor, Sick & Elderly. Democracy Now! President Trump's $4.4 trillion budget proposes deep cuts to education, healthcare and social safety net programs—while massively increasing the Pentagon's budget. Trump's plan would slash the Department of Education's budget by more than 10 percent. It would sharply reduce income-based student loan repayment plans, while ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Trump's budget would cut more than $17 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or SNAP—barring food stamp recipients from buying fresh fruit and vegetables, and instead providing only a boxed food delivery program. The budget would also phase out federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public and community radio and TV stations. This comes as McClatchy reports the Trump administration is considering a plan that would not only impose work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, but which would also put a lifetime limit on adults' access to Medicaid. Meanwhile, Trump's budget would see a 13 percent rise in spending on weapons and war, bringing the Pentagon's budget to $686 billion. We speak to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), vice ranking member of the House Budget Committee and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Adam Johnson (2018-02-14). US Media Turn to 'Superhero' Pence to Combat Korean Olympic Peace Threat. FAIR North Korea, like virtually every country on earth, is using the Olympics this week as an opportunity for political theater, and this has greatly upset many in US media. Ostensibly this is because North Korea, marching with South Korea in the opening ceremonies and sending a squadron of cheerleaders to the Winter Games, is getting a pass on human rights abuses. But if one scratches the surface of the widespread outrage, it's clear the real objection is that North and South Korea are having bilateral peace talks without the permission of—much less the participation of—the United States. Not shown: the US military, whose budget is roughly 100 times the size of North Korea's. | Leading the charge were four pieces by Atlantic Media—an outlet that last year plastered the cover of its magazine ( 7—8/17) with a cartoonish depiction of a North…

PSR Press Releases (2018-02-06). In Memoriam: Dr. Victor W. Sidel, PSR Founding Member. Physicians for Social Responsibility Victor W. Sidel, MD, a visionary medical leader and founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), died on January 30, 2018 at his children's home in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Dr. Sidel's 60 years of advocacy invigorated the American medical and public health communities for the cause of peace and nuclear disarmament.

Joe Sims (2018-01-29). Communist Party replies to Trump's State of the Union. Article — Communist Party USA Watch the CPUSA reply to Trump here. John Bachtell, national chairman of the Communist Party USA, will replied yesterday to Trump's State of the Union on Facebook Live. Bachtell said: In his speech, Trump offered no constructive solutions to addressing social and economic inequality, health care and education needs, the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico […]…

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