2018-02-24: News Headlines Leave a reply WSWS (2018-02-24). Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK. World Socialist Web Site At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings. 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." 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. Janine Jackson (2018-02-23). 'The United States Is Driving a Wedge Between the Two Koreas'. FAIR Janine Jackson interviewed Christine Hong about United States/Korean history for the February 16, 2018, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. | Media… Human Rights Watch (2018-02-23). Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses. Human Rights Watch News | Expand | Police officers patrol along a road in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 21, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | Ethiopia's newly proclaimed state of emergency risks further closing the space for peaceful political activity, Human Rights Watch said today. The action dashed hopes that the release of key political prisoners days earlier was a first step toward more widespread political reforms. The government should promptly repeal or revise restrictions that violate the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, association, and expression protected under international human rights law. | On February 17, 2018, following Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's resignation, Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa announced a countrywide six-month state of emergency. The Directive of the State of Emergency contains overly broad restrictions and vague language that will facilitate government abuses, Human Rights Watch said. During Ethiopia's Janine Jackson (2018-02-23). 'This Is a Uniquely American Crisis'. FAIR Janine Jackson interviewed Lee Fang about the opioid lobby for the June 10, 2016, episode of CounterSpin; an excerpt was re-aired on February 16, 2018. This is a lightly edited transcript of the re-aired version; a longer transcript is available here. | Media… 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. 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. 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… 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… 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. 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… 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. 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.