2018-02-26: News Headlines

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-27). Thailand: Activist Held Incommunicado in South. Human Rights Watch News Aiman Hadeng, chair of the Justice for Peace Network, has been detained in a military camp in Thailand's Yala province since February 23, 2018. | © 2018 Justice for Peace Network | (New York) — The Thai government should immediately end the incommunicado military detention of a prominent ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist, Human Rights Watch said today. Aiman Hadeng, chair of the Justice for Peace Network, has been detained in a military camp in Thailand's Yala province since February 23, 2018, without effective safeguards against mistreatment. | "The Thai military's incommunicado detention of a well-known rights activist should set off alarm bells given the army's long history of abuse in southern Thailand," said Brad Adams, Asia director. "The Thai government can address the growing concerns for Aiman's safety by immediately allowing…

Amnesty International (2018-02-26). Iran: Dozens of women ill-treated and at risk of long jail terms for peacefully protesting compulsory veiling. Amnesty International A warning by Iranian police that women could be jailed for up to a decade for joining protests against compulsory veiling has put dozens at immediate risk of unjust imprisonment and represents an alarming escalation of the authorities' violent crackdown on women's rights, said Amnesty International. | More than 35 women have been violently attacked and arrested in Tehran alone since December 2017 for taking part in ongoing peaceful protests against the discriminatory and abusive practice of compulsory veiling. In an official statement on 23 February, the police warned that women would now be charged with "inciting corruption and prostitution," which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. One of the protestors, Narges Hosseini, was today put on trial before an Ershad (Moral Guidance) court in Tehran on charges that include this new charge. |

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-26). Egypt: Arrests Escalate Ahead of Unfair Elections . Human Rights Watch News Chairman of Strong Egypt party, Abd al-Moneim Abu al-Fotouh, speaks during a news conference in Cairo, February 4, 2015. | © 2015 Reuters | (Beirut, February 26, 2018) — Egyptian authorities carried out a series of arbitrary arrests in late January and February, 2018, in an escalating crackdown against political opposition, Human Rights Watch said today. Among those arrested is Abd al-Moniem Abu al-Fotouh, a 2012 presidential candidate and the head of the Strong Egypt Party. | The intensifying repression and the use of terrorism-related charges against peaceful activists are emblematic of a government strategy to silence critical voices ahead of the planned presidential elections on March 26-28. Human Rights Watch and 13 other rights organizations have said that they lacked "the minimum requirements for free and fair elections." | "Abu al-Fotouh's arrest…

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-26). Egypt: Arrests Escalate Ahead of Unfair Elections . Human Rights Watch News Chairman of Strong Egypt party, Abd al-Moneim Abu al-Fotouh, speaks during a news conference in Cairo, February 4, 2015. | © 2015 Reuters | (Beirut, February 26, 2018) — Egyptian authorities carried out a series of arbitrary arrests in late January and February, 2018, in an escalating crackdown against political opposition, Human Rights Watch said today. Among those arrested is Abd al-Moniem Abu al-Fotouh, a 2012 presidential candidate and the head of the Strong Egypt Party. | The intensifying repression and the use of terrorism-related charges against peaceful activists are emblematic of a government strategy to silence critical voices ahead of the planned presidential elections on March 26-28. Human Rights Watch and 13 other rights organizations have said that they lacked "the minimum requirements for free and fair elections." | "Abu al-Fotouh's arrest…

Tony Cartalucci (2018-02-25). Sum of All American Fears in Korea: Peace. Global Research North Korea has been depicted by the Western media as a dangerous rogue state, plotting the nuclear holocaust of America and holding global peace and stability hostage with its irrational aggression. It is the supposed threat North Korea poses to …

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-23). Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses. Human Rights Watch News 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

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-23). Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses. Human Rights Watch News 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…

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 (2018-02-22). Bahrain: 5 More Years for Jailed Activist. Human Rights Watch News 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…

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…

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.

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

Philip M. Giraldi (2018-02-26). Donald Trump's Foreign Policy: Made in Israel? MintPress News It was refreshing to hear then aspirant to the GOP nomination for president Donald Trump tell a gathering of Republican Jews in New York City that he didn't need their money. It was, of course, a lie, like so many other lies that came out of the electoral campaign, but it seemed to open the door on a new era for American foreign policy. Combined with Trump's pledge that he would not rush headlong into any new wars in the Middle East, linked to a robust condemnation of what had gone wrong in Iraq, it seemed to indicate that the Israel Lobby would no longer be defining the playing field for U.S. engagement in the region and that a Trump presidency just might take office with considerable wariness about Jewish power in the United States. Or so it seemed. | Two years later,…

Justin Szilard (2018-02-26). Bank of America to SEC: Cryptocurrency Creating Pressure To Lower Prices. MintPress News The second largest bank by total assets, Bank of America, detailed in an annual report to the SEC that cryptocurrencies pose a threat to their business model. | The bank detailed credit, liquidity, market, geopolitical, and operational risk factors moving into the future, but the threat of cryptocurrencies was a surprising addition to the list. The report touched on the commonly accused threat that cryptocurrencies would "limit [BoA's] ability to track the movement of funds" and to comply with KYC and AML regulations. | However, the most surprising threat assessment was the realization that crypto could threaten the bank's overall service business model. BofA outlined that "clients may choose to conduct business with other market participants who engage in business or offer products in areas we deem speculative or risky, such as cryptocurrencies," which would "negatively affect [BoA's] earnings by creating…

RT (2018-02-26). 'I know my father': Ivanka Trump's TV riposte about sexual misconduct sets Twitter on fire. RT US News Ivanka Trump took offense to a question by a TV interviewer about accusations by several women that her father engaged in sexual misconduct. Her response has caused a flame war on Twitter.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Juan Cole, Informed Comment (2018-02-24). Top 10 Signs the U.S. Is the Most Corrupt Nation in the World (2018 Ed.). AlterNet.org American democracy is being corrupted out of existence. | Those ratings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly "corrupt" always imply that the United States is not corrupt. This year's report from Transparency International puts the US on a par with Austria, which is ridiculous. All kinds of people from politicians to businessmen would go to jail in Austria today if they engaged in practices that are quite common in the US. While it is true that you don't typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America's political and financial practices make it in absolute terms far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. After all, the US economy is worth over $18 trillion a year, so in our corruption a lot more money changes hands. 1. A sure. . .

Paul Street (2018-02-23). Where's the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate. counterpunch.org Neo-McCarthyite liberals and other dismal Democrats are clucking about how Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 untouchable Russians for "defrauding" the U.S. by buying some Facebook ads and employing some Internet trolls to "say horrible things" (imagine!) about Hillary Clinton (a horrifically bad politician who was accurately described as a "lying neoliberal warmonger" by a leading U.S. left intellectual trying to get leftists to hold their noses and vote "for" her as the lesser evil) "proves" that Russia engaged in relevant meddling to undermine U.S. "democracy" on Donald Trump's behalf during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. More

Lee Fang (2018-02-23). DCCC Goes Nuclear, Slams Democratic Candidate as Corrupt for Same Behavior It Engages in Regularly. The Intercept On Thursday evening, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took the extraordinary step of publicly attacking a prominent Democratic candidate in a contested Texas primary. The party committee's move was made all the more jarring given the background of the candidate, Laura Moser, who in 2017 became a hero of the Trump resistance movement as the creator of Daily Action, a text-messaging tool that channeled progressive anger into a single piece of activism per day. | "Voters in Houston have organized for over a year to hold Rep. [John] Culberson accountable and win this Clinton district," DCCC Communications Director Meredith Kelly told the Texas Tribune. "Unfortunately, Laura Moser's outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate, and would rob voters of their opportunity to flip Texas' 7th in November." | The comment followed the release of an

Democracy Now! (2018-02-23). Headlines for February 23, 2018. Democracy Now! National Rifle Association Attacks Gun Control Advocates, Trump Repeats Call to Arm Teachers in Wake of Florida School Massacre, Deputy Who Failed to Engage Florida School Shooter Retires, Texas School District to Punish Students Protesting Gun Violence, Minneapolis Mayor Joins Student Protests as Orono Schools Lock Down, Russia Delays U.N. Security Council Resolution on Syria Bloodshed, UNICEF Executive Resigns Following Reports of Sexual Harassment, Haiti Suspends Oxfam over Sex Crimes and Cover-Up, Video Shows Dead Palestinian Was Beaten by Soldiers, Rebutting Israeli Claims, Florida: Prisoner Screams "Murderers!" as Lethal Drugs Administered, Alabama Halts Execution of Cancer Sufferer over Collapsed Veins, Texas Grants Clemency to Death Row Prisoner Amid Father's Plea, Special Counsel Mueller Files New Charges Against Manafort and Gates, Missouri Gov. Greitens Indicted on Felony Invasion of Privacy Charge…

Intercepted (2018-02-22). Video: Glenn Greenwald and James Risen Debate the Trump/Russia Investigation. The Intercept James Risen and Glenn Greenwald have both won Pulitzer Prizes. They both have found themselves in the crosshairs of the U.S. government for their journalism. And they both write for The Intercept. But Jim and Glenn have taken very different approaches to covering the Trump/Russia story. In this one-hour special video edition of Intercepted, they go head-to-head in a debate. Glenn is one of the most high-profile critics of the official story bolstered by the U.S. intelligence community, the Democrats, and many media outlets, including some of this country's most powerful papers and news channels. Jim battled both the Bush and Obama administrations — under threat of imprisonment — for refusing to name his sources in some of the most sensitive national security reporting of the modern era. Jim recently broke a key story on a secret NSA channel to Russia and his first column for The Intercept, about the Trump/Russia investigation, posed the question: Is Donald Trump a traitor? | The post Video: Glenn Greenwald and James Risen Debate the Trump/Russia Investigation appeared first on The Intercept.

Elliott Negin, AlterNet (2018-02-26). 8 Better Things in France for Trump to Emulate Than a Military Parade. AlterNet.org From the environment and health care to gun control and education, France is outdoing America. | President Trump was so impressed by the military parade he saw in Paris on Bastille Day last July that he ordered the Pentagon to plan a bigger one for Washington, D. C. "It was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen," Trump told reporters when he met with French President Emmanuel Macron in New York in September for the opening of the UN General Assembly. "It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France. We're going to have to try to top it. "Of course Trump wants to top it. All things Trump are always "huge," from his inauguration day crowd to his nuclear button to his tax cut. But. . .

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.

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…

Elliott Negin, AlterNet (2018-02-23). 8 Better Things in France for Trump to Emulate Than a Military Parade. AlterNet.org From the environment and health care to gun control and education, France is outdoing America. | President Trump was so impressed by the military parade he saw in Paris on Bastille Day last July that he ordered the Pentagon to plan a bigger one for Washington, D. C. "It was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen," Trump told reporters when he met with French President Emmanuel Macron in New York in September for the opening of the UN General Assembly. "It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France. We're going to have to try to top it. "Of course Trump wants to top it. All things Trump are always "huge," from his inauguration day crowd to his nuclear button to his tax cut. But. . .

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.

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.

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.

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.

RT (2018-02-26). Bernie Sanders bashed for spreading 'false story' while deflecting blame for being 'Kremlin-backed'. RT US News Bernie Sanders, who was attacked for the alleged support his campaign received from "Kremlin trolls," is now accused of supporting a false story about how his campaign worked with that of Hillary Clinton against those trolls.
Read Full Article at RT.com

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…

TRNN (2018-02-23). For 2018, Top Democrats Follow the Big Money. The Real News Network Heading into the 2018 midterms, Democratic leaders are favoring corporate-friendly candidates — even though Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign showed them a different path, Aaron Mate reports…

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."

RT (2018-02-26). At US Supreme Court, political power of unions hangs in the balance. RT US News Protesters gathered before the US Supreme Court as the nine Justices considered a controversial labor union case. The decision could damage unions' finances and their impact on elections, in which they tend to back Democrats. |
Read Full Article at RT.com

Truthout Stories (2018-02-26). Six Months After Harvey, Environmental Justice and Climate Change Absent From Houston's Recovery Plans. Truthout Stories This week marks six months since Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding in Houston, Texas, the most diverse city in the nation and one of its largest. Houston is also home to the largest refining and petrochemical complex in the country. As federal money for rebuilding trickles in, Houston's chief "recovery czar" is the president of Shell Oil, Marvin Odum, whose past experience includes rebuilding Shell's oil and gas facilities after Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, immigrants and fenceline communities who suffer from pollution along Houston's industrial corridor are still largely absent from much of the discussion about how the city plans to recover. For more, we host a roundtable discussion with Dr. Robert Bullard, the "father of environmental justice"; Bryan Parras of the Sierra Club; undocumented immigrant activist Cesar Espinosa; and Goldman Environmental Prize winner Hilton Kelley in Port Arthur, Texas. | Please check back later for full transcript.

Truthout Stories (2018-02-26). Dr. Strangelove in the Pentagon: Lowering the Nuclear Threshold and Other Follies of the New Nuclear Posture Review. Truthout Stories (Photo: Sykono / Getty Images) | In times of great injustice, independent media is crucial to fighting back against misinformation. Support grassroots journalism: Make a donation to Truthout. | If you're having trouble sleeping thanks to, well, you know who… you're not alone. But don't despair. A breakthrough remedy has just gone on the market. It has no chemically induced side effects and, best of all, will cost you nothing, thanks to the Department of Defense. It's the new Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, among the most soporific documents of our era. Just keeping track of the number of times the phrase "flexible and tailored response" appears in the 75-page document is the equivalent of counting (incinerated) sheep. Be warned, however, that if you really start paying attention to its actual subject matter, rising anxiety will block your journey to…

Staff (2018-02-26). Gorsuch Silent as Divided Supreme Court Spars Over Unions. Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists The justices hear arguments in a case that could undermine the financial footing of labor unions that represent more than 5 million government workers. | The post Gorsuch Silent as Divided Supreme Court Spars Over Unions appeared first on Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists.

Staff (2018-02-26). Supreme Court Stalls Trump's Bid to End DACA. Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court is rejecting the Trump administration's highly unusual bid to get the justices to intervene in the controversy over protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. | The justices on Monday refused to take up the administration's appeal of a lower court order that requires the administration to continue accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. What made the appeal unusual is that the administration sought to bypass the federal appeals court in San Francisco and go directly to the Supreme Court. | In a brief unsigned comment, the justices they assume "the court of appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case." | A judge in New York also has ruled in favor of immigrants challenging the end of DACA, and that case is expected to proceed to the federal appeals court in…

Democracy Now! (2018-02-26). Six Months After Harvey, Environmental Justice & Climate Change Absent from Houston's Recovery Plans. Democracy Now! This week marks six months since Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding in Houston, Texas, the most diverse city in the nation and one of its largest. Houston is also home to the largest refining and petrochemical complex in the country. As federal money for rebuilding trickles in, Houston's chief "recovery czar" is the former president of Shell Oil, Marvin Odum, whose past experience includes rebuilding Shell's oil and gas facilities after Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, immigrants and fenceline communities who suffer from pollution along Houston's industrial corridor are still largely absent from much of the discussion about how the city plans to recover. For more, we host a roundtable discussion with Dr. Robert Bullard, the "father of environmental justice"; Bryan Parras of the Sierra Club; undocumented immigrant activist Cesar Espinosa; and Goldman Environmental Prize winner Hilton Kelley in Port Arthur, Texas.

Gabe Ortiz, DailyKos (2018-02-26). The Supreme Court Just Dealt Trump a Major Blow in His War on Immigrant Youth. AlterNet.org DACA renewals will continue, even if Dreamers remain incredibly vulnerable. | In a major win for undocumented immigrant youth, the Supreme Court will not hear the Trump administration's appeal of a lower court decision that partially reinstated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program). This means that some DACA renewals can continue, for now: The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to bypass the court of appeals and hear an appeal directly from a trial court decision reinstating DACA. Such requests to circumvent the intermediate appeals court — known as a "petition for writ of certiorari before judgment" — are almost never granted, and Monday's order is no exception. Nevertheless, it is also very uncommon for the Justice Department to make such a request of the Court. Monday's order is an indication that there are limits to the Court's. . .

Eric Ortiz (2018-02-25). A Case of Selective Justice. Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists The FBI is busy. | Over the last year, the feds have been conducting two big investigations. One involves NCAA basketball violations and dozens of high-profile characters (players, schools, agents and businesses) exchanging money that violate college sports' amateurism rules. The other involves allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. | Both stories are treated as A-1 scandals of biblical proportions. They make mere mortals wonder where these superhero crime fighters find the time. Perhaps not investigating mass shooters frees up some hours? | In the NCAA case, the news that college basketball players are getting under-the-table benefits is not a groundbreaking revelation. Everybody knows everybody is getting paid in college basketball. | In the Russia meddling case, the idea of foreign electoral intervention is not the scoop of the century. The United States itself has…

Staff (2018-02-24). Congress Releases Redacted Democratic Memo. Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists Read the full memo here. | WASHINGTON—After weeks of discussions with the Justice Department, Democrats on the House intelligence committee released Saturday a classified memo that counters GOP allegations that the FBI abused U.S. government surveillance powers in its investigation into Russian election interference. | The release comes after weeks of back and forth over how much of the document would be redacted. The White House on Feb. 9 objected to its release, citing national security concerns. That sent the Democrats back to negotiations with the FBI over how much of the memo needed to be blacked out. | President Donald Trump had no such concerns about an earlier classified memo written by Republicans, which he declassified Feb 2 over strong objections from the FBI. In that memo, Republicans took aim at the FBI and the Justice Department over the use of…

Sonali Kolhatkar, Truthdig (2018-02-24). Young Courage vs. White Male Rage. AlterNet.org The gun-toting right may have met its match in a new generation. | Gun violence in the United States is so routine, and the responses that follow a mass shooting so scripted, that the political response emerging in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. , school shooting last week have caught the nation off guard. It is never easy to predict when a spark will catch fire, when just the right set of circumstances will turn a miscarriage of justice into the birth of a movement. We have all become so used to tiptoeing around the supposedly sacred right of Americans to arm themselves to the teeth that we expect nothing to change in the wake of gun violence, and we rejoice over the most minuscule measures that chip away at the power of the gun industry. But now the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. . .

WSWS (2018-02-24). Florida inmate denounces governor, screams "Murderers!" before lethal injection. World Socialist Web Site Despite briefs filed by a group of former judges, Florida Supreme Court justices and other professionals, the US Supreme Court denied a stay of execution.

Human Rights Watch (2018-02-22). India Gets Another Chance Protecting Transgender Rights. Human Rights Watch News Participants hold placards during a protest demanding an end to what they say is discrimination and violence against the transgender community, in Bengaluru, India October 21, 2016. | © 2016 Reuters | The Indian government will introduce a revised Transgender Persons Bill in the session of parliament beginning March 5. The legislation promises to enshrine the hard-fought battle for legal recognition and access to social services for India's transgender community — rights long denied. | An earlier draft of the bill, introduced in 2016, mandated an "expert evaluation" for transgender people who wanted to be legally recognized according to their gender identity and offered an inaccurate and stigmatizing definition of "transgender." Indian transgender communities, as well as Human Rights Watch, flagged concerns over the draft law. | A parliamentary committee…

Aída Chávez (2018-02-22). GOP Senator Says Impeachment of Judges Who Struck Down Gerrymandered Map Is "a Conversation That Has to Happen" The Intercept In the wake of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order that struck down a Republican congressional map as unconstitutionally gerrymandered, Sen. Pat Toomey said that impeachment of the justices is "a conversation that has to happen." | The GOP map had given Republicans a nearly 3-1 congressional majority in a state that leans Democratic; the court's new map will still give Republicans a significant advantage, but slightly less of one. For Toomey, that amounted, he said, to a "blatant, unconstitutional, partisan power grab that undermines our electoral process." | "I think state House members, state senators, are going to be speaking among themselves and their constituents," Toomey said. "Does that rise to the level of impeachment? That's ultimately their decision but it's a conversation that has to happen." @SenToomey was asked about impeachment talk surrounding the PA Supreme Court on their gerrymandering decision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *