2018-05-18: News Headlines

David Orenstein (2018-05-18). A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance. counterpunch.org The nonbeliever community has a long and noble history of resistance to oppression. Often, such activism is focused on the violations of civil rights and attacks on secular well-being. But our activism also includes fighting the attacks on science and science education and serves as a constant reminder that when we work together and with allied More

Morna McDermott (2018-05-18). Classrooms, Not Computers: Stop Educating for Profit. counterpunch.org Protect Public Education From Profiteering By Corporations Gathering Data From Students During the last few years, a lot of debate has been had over the promise and perils of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Many education advocates argued we must embrace ESSA because it promised to reduce the federal chokehold of high stakes standardized More

Robert Koehler (2018-05-18). Two Prongs of a Pitchfork. counterpunch.org Such gentle abhorrence! It almost doesn't seem like racism. "But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from — fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English, obviously that's a big More

Rev. William Alberts (2018-05-18). The Danger of Praying Truth to Power. counterpunch.org Praying for those in power is easy. Faith leaders do it all the time in houses of worship. Especially on national holidays like the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. "Almighty God, Father of everyone, we pray for our political leaders, that You may guide them with wisdom in the ways of peace, and lead them to enact policies More

Dave Lindorff (2018-05-18). Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza. counterpunch.org Hong Kong. Sitting in this peaceful city on the far side of world from the United States can put some things in perspective. For one thing, the local papers, both Chinese-language and the English-language South China Morning Post today featured front-page images of dead Palestinian protesters lying on the ground in Gaza. Accompanying articles focused on them More

WT Whitney (2018-05-18). America's Role in Removing a Revolutionary and Restoring War to Colombia. mintpressnews.com Former FARC leader Jesús Santrich has been conducting a hunger strike since his arrest on April 9. His looming death ought to be big news in the United States whose government has responsibility for his fate. The U.S. State Department and DEA personnel did the groundwork in Colombia in manufacturing a case against him. The Southern New York District Court is requesting his extradition on a charge of drug-trafficking. Santrich won't be judged in Colombia. | Santrich's case deserves continuing attention especially because his arrest and threatened extradition portend the return of civil war to Colombia. (See our earlier report here.) | Legislators, FARC comrades, the top UN representative in Colombia, and former Uruguayan President "Pepe" Mujica begged Santrich to end his hunger strike. This is his "last battle," he replied. On April 26 prison authorities transferred a weakened Santrich from Bogota's…

Robert Fantina (2018-05-18). What's Wrong With the United States? counterpunch.org Despite the myth perpetrated by United States spokespersons, the country is not, and never has been, a beacon of peace and freedom, the 'land of the free and the home of the brave', or a democracy that is the envy of the word. It is, and always has been, a racist, imperialist society, an oligarchy More

Grace Bennett, Media Matters (2018-05-18). Here's Everything You Need to Know About Right-Wing Theory That FBI Planted Spy in Trump Campaign. alternet.org The claim relies upon the testimony of a co-founder of Fusion GPS. | In recent days, many on the right have pushed the claim that the FBI "infiltrated" President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign with a "mole. " The claim relies upon the testimony of a co-founder of Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired a former British agent who compiled an intelligence dossier about Trump's connections to various Russians. The claim also builds off of a recent squabble between the Department of Justice and the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), over the release of classified information. Here is what you need to know about the story's origins: On January 2, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the founders of the research firm Fusion GPS, claimed in an op-ed that the FBI had a source "inside the. . .

Sharon Lerner (2018-05-18). The EPA's "Leadership Summit" on PFOA Pollution Will Exclude Victims and Community Groups. theintercept.com Kristen Mello wasn't invited to the Environmental Protection Agency's upcoming " National Leadership Summit" on PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS chemicals. For most of her life, Mello, a member of Westfield Residents Advocating For Themselves, drank water contaminated with the chemicals that are going to be discussed at the meeting. At least six compounds in this class seeped into local drinking water from firefighting foam used at the Air National Guard base in her hometown of Westfield, Massachusetts. Mello and several of her immediate family members have developed some of the health problems associated with the chemicals, including thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and liver problems. While most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS, Westfield is one of the growing number of communities to learn they've had an especially high dose of the chemicals as the…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-18). US Suit Risks Cloaking Immigrant Detention Abuse. hrw.org An immigrant takes food into a cell for incoming ICE detainees at the Adelanto immigration detention center, which is run by the Geo Group Inc (GEO.N), in Adelanto, California, U.S., April 13, 2017. © 2017 Reuters/Lucy Nicholson | (San Francisco, CA) — California has a clear interest in monitoring dire health and safety conditions in immigrant detention centers in the state, three human and immigrant rights groups said today in a friend-of-the-court brief. | Human Rights Watch, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC) filed the amicus brief in a federal district court in the case of United States v. California. The lawsuit was brought by the United States Department of Justice against California to block three state laws aimed at protecting the rights of immigrants. In their brief, the…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-18). Politicians Dash Hopes for Justice in Tunisia. hrw.org | Time is running out for justice in Tunisia. | The mandate of the Truth and Dignity Commission, set up in 2014 to investigate serious human rights violations of the past, is under threat and could be terminated at the end of May. The law founding the commission — known by its French initials IVD — gave it four years to get its job done, with the option to extend for one year at its own discretion, upon providing the reasons to parliament. The commission did just that in February, extending its mandate until December 2018, but that was rejected by an alliance of political parties in the chamber hostile towards the commission. | This vote, which occurred shortly after the commission transferred the first case to the specialized chambers created by the Transitional Justice law to try past…

Jon Jeter (2018-05-17). Why a Prized Indiana High School Goes Against the Grain of Education Reform. mintpressnews.com The yawning gap between the kind of schools that America's ruling class chooses for its own children, and the curriculum it increasingly imposes on other people's children provides compelling evidence that the plutocrats and policymakers do not view education as a ladder to help lift up the masses, but rather as a tool for reproducing inequality.

Nicole Karlis, Salon (2018-05-17). Millennial Women Say Dismal Economy is Preventing them from Having Children. alternet.org An historic drop in the fertility rate was partly due to millennial and GenX women struggling to make ends meet | The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released updated statistics regarding the country's fertility rate — the pace at which American women in their childbearing years are having children — and according the data, it has reached a record low for the second year in a row. The U. S. fertility rate decreased to 60. 2 births per 1,000 women in 2017, a 3 percent decrease from 2016. The report also showed that birth rates — the number of live births per 1,000 people — declined for nearly all age groups under the age of 40, though increased for women in their early 40s. As Pew Research Center has previously explained, this is not exactly a cause for concern for economists. It is also. . .

Ajamu Baraka (2018-05-17). Israel Commemorates Nakba with Mass Murder at the Gaza Fence. counterpunch.org One of the essential features of European colonialism were the boundaries drawn between Europeans and so-called Western civilization and everyone else. Even during the European enlightenment, the accepted philosophical justifications for human inequality in Western liberal thought meant that women, the colonized, the enslaved and non-property holders occupied different rungs on the ladder of humanity and were excluded from demanding same inherent rights as the White, male bourgeoisie. More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-17). 'An All-Out Propaganda War': CNN Analyst Dissects the Trump Team's Dirty Tactics to Undermine Mueller. alternet.org "I think it's hurting our democracy to erode public trust in these institutions. " | CNN analyst David Gergen delivered a searing critique of President Donald Trump and his allies' efforts to undermine the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation Thursday night. "This is an all-out propaganda war," Gergen said. "Hand-to-hand conflict, conducted by one side, conducted by the White House and, as you say, by the president's allies, who are doing everything they can to discredit the investigation, to discredit the institutions of the FBI and Justice Department in order to drive public opinion in the president's direction. "Gergen also bemoaned the fact that there has been no corresponding voice going in the opposition direction. Mueller's team, after all, does not appear to leak and has rightfully stayed out of the press, but it has become vulnerable to attack. At the same time, no Democrat. . .

AlterNet (2018-05-17). Watch the Racist Lawyer Who Attacked Spanish Speakers in NYC Cafe Literally Run from NBC Reporter. alternet.org This is the best video you'll see all day. | Aaron Schlossberg, the New York City attorney who has reportedly been filmed at least three times making bigoted attacks on strangers, is finally facing a bit of justice. The lawyer is no longer welcome at his own office building, where security told the press he'd be booted from the premises if he showed his face. Now that his identity is known, reporters understandably have some questions. Schlossberg isn't answering them. NBC News received an unintentionally hilarious response when Schlossberg was about to face some tough questions on the street. Spoiler alert: He bolted like a professional sprinter. Watch the video below. The lawyer who threatened to call immigration enforcement on workers at a Manhattan cafe earlier this week sprinted away from an NBC News reporter earlier today t. co/BCsW1WSWDG pic. twitter. com/rb5A6XZBXF— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork)

Garret Martin (2018-05-17). US And Europe Face An 'Increasingly Loveless Marriage' After Trump's Iran Deal Withdrawal. iranian.com Beyond its potentially dramatic consequences for Middle East stability, Trump's May 8 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has also damaged the United States' relations with its European allies. France, Germany and the United Kingdom worked with the Obama administration to barter the United Nations-approved Iran agreement in 2015. Now, the three European signatories must figure out […]

Hunter, Daily Kos (2018-05-17). This Republican Congressman Seriously Suggested Sea Levels Are Rising Because of Falling Rocks. alternet.org "Every time you have that soil or rock or whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise [. . . ]" | One of the worst duties of being a top-level American scientist or researcher is that you get summoned before House Republicans so they can explain why, in their minds, the entire collected research that you and tens of thousands of others have participated in is probably wrong because of Shit They Just Made Up. It might help to imagine Woods Hole Research Center President Philip Duffy as having wandered into a local bar, and Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks as a sloshed-out-of-his-mind patron regaling him with Drunk Guy ideas about the real causes of sea level rise. For example, says Brooks, maybe it's not thermodynamics or melting ice sheets causing our oceans to rise, Maybe it is. . .

RT (2018-05-17). Justice Department IG finishes report on Clinton email case, Comey & Co. brace for impact. rt.com The Justice Department Inspector General has finished its report into law enforcement's handling of the Hillary Clinton email case. Officials named in the report will now review it, and many have a lot at stake. |

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-17). US Police Week and a Lifetime of Fear. hrw.org Demonstrators gather outside City Hall to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento, California, U.S., March 30, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | This is Police Week. While many police "protect and serve," that's not the full story of policing in this country. | I grew up hearing about police harassment my father suffered, a black man who grew up in segregated Williamsburg, Virginia, and turned 18 the day Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. Once a police officer stood on my dad's back so long that he had a cowboy boot imprint for days. | I worry about my partner every day he leaves the house and about our son, when he becomes an adult black man. | Women of color around the country are grieving loved ones killed by police.

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-17). Central African Republic: Crucial Court For Victims. hrw.org Congolese Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (R) and the five other judges of the Special Criminal Court (SCC)—which is to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Central African Republic since 2003—sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017. | © 2017 Saber Jendoubi/AFP/Getty Images | (Nairobi) — Recent violence in the Central African Republic makes the country's new Special Criminal Court especially important as a means to offer justice to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country's conflicts, Human Rights Watch said today. A new report by Human Rights Watch finds that the court will need more support from the United Nations and government donors to prosecute grave crimes, including widespread killings, rape and sexual violence, and destruction of…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim Finally Freed. hrw.org Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim, who was granted a royal pardon, arrives to speak to supporters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 16, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, twice imprisoned on politically motivated sodomy and corruption charges, walked free from prison today with a full pardon. It was a day for celebration — for his family, his supporters, and for long-suppressed advocates of human rights in Malaysia. | It was also, perhaps, a day that will mark a new beginning for the rule of law in that country. | The release of Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and head of the opposition People's Justice Party until his imprisonment, is the first tangible result of the unexpected election victory last week of a coalition that saw Ibrahim's party align with Mahathir…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). The World Bank Should Stop Dodging Accountability. hrw.org Police officers stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2018. | © 2018 Reuters | The private sector arm of the World Bank has long come under fire for funding projects that run afoul of human rights. But, because it enjoys full legal immunity in the United States, it has not been possible for anyone to hold the International Finance Corporation (IFC) accountable in US courts. | | That may change. This week, the US Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a case brought forward by a fishing community in India seeking damages for harm allegedly caused by IFC-funded coal power plant in Gujarat, India. If the court decided to take on the case, it could, for the first time, allow people to seek legal recourse for human…

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-16). Ukraine: Radical Groups Disrupt LGBTI Event. hrw.org Kyiv police waiting outside the venue where an Amnesty International event was disrupted by members of radical groups. Kyiv, Ukraine. May 10, 2018. | © Tanya Cooper/Human Rights Watch | (Kyiv) — Members of radical nationalist groups violently disrupted a May 10, 2018 discussion in Kyiv about LGBTI rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite the intruders' aggressive behavior and threats of violence, the Kyiv police did not remove them from the event or the premises, and the owner of the site canceled the event. | A Human Rights Watch researcher was due to speak at the event, which was open to the public, and was there during the incident. | "It was clear from the way the police responded that nationalists can get away with this kind of violent and disruptive behavior in Ukraine,"

Zaid Jilani (2018-05-15). No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer Defends Israeli Military Actions in Gaza. theintercept.com Amid a growing chorus of condemnation of Israeli violence by American lawmakers this week, the House's second-highest ranking Democratic, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, defended Israel's violence against Palestinian protesters and stood by the Trump administration's controversial decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. | "Israel's in a tough situation. It's trying to defend its borders," Hoyer said in response to a question from The Intercept at a pen-and-pad session on Tuesday with reporters on Capitol Hill. "All the world would hope that it would be done so in a peaceful manner, but when you have a terrorist organization in front of you, that is historically and continuing to use violence, that makes it very tough." | Hoyer, the minority whip, was referring to a threat he claimed Israel faces from Hamas. But it was unarmed civilian protesters, not militants,…

RT (2018-05-15). Max Thunder 2018: US military drills threaten to derail Korea peace talks. rt.com North Korea has called off talks with South Korea and warned the US that the Singapore summit might be next, citing 'Max Thunder,' a military exercise in the south featuring US strategic bombers and stealth jets.

RT (2018-05-14). US opens Jerusalem embassy on 'great day for peace' as dozens of Palestinians shot dead. rt.com The US has opened its embassy in Jerusalem following the highly-divisive decision by President Donald Trump last December. Pledges of peace during the ceremony came as dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israelis in protests.

RT (2018-05-14). 'All people can live in peace,' says Jared Kushner as Israel kills dozens of Palestinians. rt.com Jared Kushner's speech at the US Embassy opening ceremony in Jerusalem claims both sides of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could gain more than they give, as Israeli forces shot dead 55 protesters on Monday.

RT (2018-05-11). Date from hell: Woman arrested for stalking, threats, and 65,000 texts to online dating match. rt.com Jacqueline Claire Ades took to online dating to find love and settle down. After obsessive stalking, threats, and 65,000 text messages to her match, she's now imprisoned in Arizona awaiting trial.

RT (2018-05-10). Trump & Bolton call for regime change in Iran even as they speak of peace. rt.com White House National Security Adviser John Bolton says the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is not a step towards a policy of regime change in Tehran. His own record and President Donald Trump's words suggest otherwise.

Last Process: 30 Citations 2018-05-18 22:07:13 GMT (16:08 MDT)

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