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Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara — A Rare Look Inside Africa's Last Colony as Ceasefire Ends
Fri, 27 Nov 2020 08:30:00 -0500
In this special rebroadcast of a Democracy Now! exclusive documentary, we break the media blockade and go to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco's violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. Earlier this month, a three-decade ceasefire in Western Sahara ended after the Moroccan military broke into a southern no-go buffer zone on November 13 to attack Sahrawi civilians and exchanged fire with the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement seeking independence. Morocco's action came shortly after a top U.S. general met with the commander of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces Southern Zone, which includes occupied Western Sahara. As Morocco and the Polisario engage on the battlefront, dozens have been arrested in the occupied territory. In late 2016, Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years. Many of the Sahrawis in this film are currently under police siege or in hiding.

Bree Newsome & Prof. Eddie Glaude: The Black Lives Matter Movement Helped the Democrats Defeat Trump
Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:37:41 -0500
As President-elect Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris prepare to take power, we continue to look at the growing debate over the direction of the Democratic Party. House Majority Whip James Clyburn recently criticized calls to "defund the police" and argued the phrase hurt Democratic congressional candidates. "It is actually insane that we would think the way to respond to the scale of problems that we confront as a nation is to harken back to an older form of politics that ... seems to try to triangulate and appeal to this Reagan Democrat that they are so obsessed with," responds Eddie Glaude, author and chair of Princeton University's Department of African American Studies. "It makes no sense that we would go back to the politics that produced Trump in the first place." We also speak to artist and antiracist activist Bree Newsome Bass, who argues Black voters "are scapegoated when it's convenient, and then we are thrown under the bus when it's convenient. ... That's a dynamic that has to end."

Juan González: Mainstream Media Has Missed the Real Story About Latinx Voter Turnout
Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:25:18 -0500
About 160 million voters cast ballots in this election, setting a new record, and President-elect Joe Biden's lead in the popular vote has jumped to over 6 million. Much of the increased turnout was powered by people of color, while the total number of votes cast by white Americans barely increased from the last presidential election. "The main story is that in an election which saw historic turnout, people of color — and especially Latinos — had an unprecedented increase in voting," says Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. "After decades of political experts talking about the growing Latino vote, this year it actually happened."

As COVID Devastates Native Communities, Indigenous Voters Played Key Role in Defeating Trump
Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:01:56 -0500
As COVID-19 rampages through the U.S., we look at how the rapid spread of the disease is affecting Native American communities, which have already faced disproportionate infection and death rates throughout the pandemic. We speak to Jodi Archambault, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and former special assistant to President Obama for Native American affairs. We also speak with Protect the Sacred founder Allie Young of the Navajo Nation.

Indigenous Groups Vow to Keep Resisting as Construction Is Approved for Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:49:54 -0500
A massive fight is brewing in Minnesota against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit for the project this week. After years of resistance, pipeline construction is now set to begin by the end of the month despite the concerns of Indigenous communities, who say it would violate tribal sovereignty and contaminate the land and water. The controversial proposed pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin, cutting through Indigenous territory in Minnesota and running under more than 200 streams. Construction could also bring thousands of temporary workers to Minnesota even as COVID-19 cases are spiking in the state. "It's been a long, seven-year fight against this particular project," says Tara Houska, an Indigenous lawyer, activist and founder of the Giniw Collective, who is Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation. Minnesota leaders, she says, "are willing to put our children's futures on the line to allow through a Canadian corporation to do as it wishes and to suppress the rights of our citizens."

Barbara Ransby & David Sirota Warn of Close Links Between Biden's Cabinet Picks & Corporate Power
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:25:29 -0500
President-elect Joe Biden declared "America is back" this week as he revealed some of the people who will staff his administration in key national security posts, vowing to roll back Donald Trump's "America First" foreign policy and embrace multilateralism. Among his picks are longtime adviser Tony Blinken for secretary of state, diplomatic veteran Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, and former Secretary of State John Kerry for a new Cabinet post as climate czar. Historian, author and activist Barbara Ransby says Biden's picks so far mostly come from the centrist establishment of the Democratic Party and lack progressive voices. "We need people who have compassion, who have accountability to the most vulnerable, who pledge to defend the planet, people who have a clear understanding and commitment to fighting white supremacy and police violence," says Ransby. We also speak with investigative journalist David Sirota, who says Biden's picks represent "an attempt to restore the old Washington." Sirota served as an adviser and speechwriter for Senator Bernie Sanders during his presidential campaign.

Feminism Not Militarism: Medea Benjamin on the Movement to Oppose Michèle Flournoy as Pentagon Chief
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:14:25 -0500
President-elect Joe Biden has introduced key members of his national security team this week, including his picks for secretary of state, national intelligence director, national security adviser, homeland security chief and ambassador to the United Nations. Biden has yet to announce his defense secretary, but progressives are already raising alarm over reports that he intends to nominate Michèle Flournoy, a hawkish Pentagon veteran with close ties to the defense industry. If nominated, Flournoy would become the first woman to lead the Department of Defense. "She represents the epitome of what is worst about the Washington blob, the military-industrial complex's revolving door," says CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. "Her whole history has been one of going in and out of the Pentagon ... where she supported every war that the U.S. engaged in, and supported increases in the military budget."

Headlines for November 25, 2020
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
U.S. Sees Deadliest Day in Pandemic in Over 6 Months as Hospitalizations Reach Record High, U.S. to Begin Pfizer Vaccine Distribution by Mid-December, France Readies to Ease Restrictions as Italy and Spain Record Highest Death Tolls of Second Wave, Russia Says Sputnik Vaccine Over 95% Effective, Biden National Security Appointments Focus on Multilateralism, International Cooperation, Trump Takes Credit for Historic Dow Jones Surge, Plans Election Hearing with Giuliani at Gettysburg, Donors Pledge $12 Billion in Afghan Aid as 14 Killed in Bamiyan in Latest Act of Violence, Ethiopia Warns of Imminent Attack in Tigray Capital as Rights Group Says Tigray Attack Killed 600+ Civilians, Protesters Decry Police Attack on Refugees in Paris as France Debates Law Censoring Images of Police, At Least 4 People Killed Off Coast of Canary Islands Amid Growing Refugee Crisis, Reports: Trump to Pardon Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Activists Call on Dianne Feinstein to Resign Following News She Will Cede Top Spot on Judiciary Cmte., U.S. Temporarily Halts Deportation of Immigrants Who May Have Been Forcibly Sterilized in GA Prison, Hudson County, NJ, Renews 10-Year Contract with ICE Despite Vocal Public Opposition, Two U.S. Citizens Who Were Detained for Speaking Spanish Reach Settlement Deal with U.S. Gov't, U.S. Deported 33 Unaccompanied Children in Violation of Legal Ruling Issued Earlier the Same Day, Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges, Admits It Fueled Opioid Epidemic, Scotland Becomes First Country to Make Period Products Free and Easily Accessible

As 2020 Sets Grim Record for Trans Killings, Advocates Call for Holistic & Uplifting Media Coverage
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:49:30 -0500
At least 37 transgender and gender nonconforming people were violently killed in 2020, making it the deadliest year for trans and gender nonconforming people on record, according to a new Human Rights Campaign report. Of those killed, 22 were Black, and seven were Latinx. More than 200 trans and gender nonconforming people have lost their lives to violence since 2013, when HRC began recording and reporting violence toward trans people. The media often perpetuates systemic discrimination by covering trans and gender nonconforming people "when we're celebrities or when we're dead," says Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at the Human Rights Campaign, noting that the true number of deaths is likely much higher. "It is important that the media counteract some of the negative imagery around us by telling stories that uplift our community, that provide a more holistic view of who we are."

Betting Pool? Tyson Managers Bet on How Many Workers Would Get COVID. Advocates Call It Grim Pattern
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:37:09 -0500
The family of a former meatpacker who died from COVID-19 alleges in a lawsuit that managers at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa knew working conditions would result in illness, and even placed bets on how many workers would be infected. The family of Isidro Fernandez, who died in April, says the plant manager set up a winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager on coronavirus infections. Since the start of the pandemic, at least six workers have died and more than 1,000 tested positive for COVID-19 at the Iowa facility. Tyson Foods has suspended the managers involved in the alleged betting scheme, but worker rights advocates say it is further evidence of abuse and exploitation in the meat industry. "These companies are treating them like animals. They're treating them as disposable," says Magaly Licolli, executive director of Venceremos, an advocacy group for poultry plant workers.

As Hunger Soars Across Nation, U.S. Trade & Foreign Policy Is Also Causing Hunger Across the Globe
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:24:08 -0500
As the U.S. enters the holiday season, millions of people across the country are struggling to find enough to eat, with the hunger relief group Feeding America warning that some 54 million U.S. residents currently face food insecurity amid a massive public health and economic crisis. Food insecurity in the U.S. has intensified after the expiration of federal assistance programs in the CARES Act, and the United Nations World Food Programme predicts acute hunger could affect 270 million people worldwide by the end of 2020 — an 82% increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. We speak with author and filmmaker Raj Patel, host of the food politics podcast "The Secret Ingredient," who says hunger was already at alarming levels in the U.S. before the pandemic, and it's only gotten worse. "The long story here is the continuing war on the American working class," Patel says.

Juan González Remembers NYC's Only Black Mayor David Dinkins & Vieques Activist Carlos "Taso" Zenón
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:14:50 -0500
We speak with Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about the deaths of two leading figures he reported on: New York City Mayor David Dinkins and beloved Puerto Rican social leader Carlos "Taso" Zenón. "Most people forget [Dinkins] was a Democratic Socialist before democratic socialism was in vogue," notes González. He also recalls how Dinkins backed the movement against apartheid in South Africa, ordering the city to divest its pension fund from companies doing business there, and brought Nelson Mandela to the city right after he was freed. González also recalls how Zenón was a longtime activist who for decades led the fight against the U.S. Navy's occupation of the island of Vieques, his hometown, where the U.S. government tested weapons and held military training exercises.

Headlines for November 24, 2020
Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
Trump Administration Clears Path for President-elect Biden's Transition to Begin, Biden Taps Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary, Avril Haines for DNI & Alejandro Mayorkas for DHS, U.S. Coronavirus Hospitalizations Surge to Record High as Nurses Warn of Unpreparedness, California Gov. Gavin Newsom & Family in Quarantine After Possible Coronavirus Exposure, HUD Secretary Ben Carson Says Access to Experimental COVID-19 Drug "Saved My Life", Hong Kong Protest Leaders Face 3 Years in Prison After Pleading Guilty to Unlawful Assembly, Somalia Receives Two Years' Worth of Rain from Record-Shattering Indian Ocean Cyclone, Reuters: U.S. Dropped Drug Charges Against Ex-Mexican General in Exchange for Cartel Leader's Arrest, Florida Police Face Investigation into Officers' Killing of Two Black Teens, Omaha Protesters Demand Justice for Kenneth Jones, African American Man Killed by Police, San Francisco DA Charges Police Officer over Killing of Unarmed Black Man in 2017, Hamza "Travis" Nagdy, Leader of Breonna Taylor Protests in Louisville, KY, Killed in Shooting, Asylum Seekers in Tacoma ICE Jail on Hunger Strike to Protest Brutal Conditions, 9 Asylum Seekers Continue Hunger Strike in New Jersey's Bergen County Jail, GM Recalls 7 Million Vehicles over Airbags, Will End Support for Lower Fuel Efficiency, Carlos "Taso" Zenón, Who Led Protests Against U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico, Dies at 84, David Dinkins, First and Only African American Mayor of NYC, Dies at 93

A People's Vaccine? Drugmakers Set to Profit from COVID Vaccines Made with Publicly Funded Research
Mon, 23 Nov 2020 08:48:48 -0500
With the world pinning its hopes on a successful coronavirus vaccine to curb the pandemic, corporate watchdogs say much of the research and development of the medicines rely on publicly funded research. "The investment in these vaccines, as for most drugs, has really been underwritten by the taxpayer, by the government," says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

In Another Country This Would Be Called a Coup: Detroit NAACP Head on Trump Trying to Overturn Vote
Mon, 23 Nov 2020 08:27:47 -0500
As part of the unprecedented attempt to keep President Trump in office despite his election loss, Republicans have focused on Michigan, where the party is seeking a delay in the certification of the vote results and to throw out votes from Detroit, which is overwhelmingly Black. A group of Michigan Republicans met with President Trump at the White House last week in what was widely viewed as an attempt by Trump to personally pressure the lawmakers to block Biden from being awarded the state's 16 electoral votes. "This is an attempt to disenfranchise the African American vote and to give the election to Trump," says Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP. "If we were in a different country, this would be called a coup, a political coup."

"Frankenstein's Monster": Judge Slams Trump Team's Efforts to Overturn Election Results
Mon, 23 Nov 2020 08:13:52 -0500
As President Trump's unprecedented campaign to overturn the results of the presidential election drags on, over two dozen lawsuits filed by his legal team have been dismissed or withdrawn. The Trump team is now focusing on delaying or blocking the certification of the election in several states while trying to toss out votes in cities with large Black populations, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta. New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon says the Trump legal team's efforts have so far lacked real substance, with the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani "treating court as if it's cable news." She also says more Republican lawmakers need to stand up against Trump's attempt to subvert democracy.

Headlines for November 23, 2020
Mon, 23 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
U.S. Holiday Travel Surges as U.S. COVID-19 Cases Soar Past 12 Million, Housing Activists in Tacoma Take Over Empty School Building for Emergency Pandemic Housing, G20 Pledges Fair Distribution of Vaccine as U.N. Warns Some Countries Face Financial Ruin, Hunger, India and Brazil Pass Grim Coronavirus Milestones; Gaza Warns Health System Will Soon Be Overwhelmed, Biden to Name Adviser Tony Blinken as Sec. of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. Ambassador, 50+ House Dems Back Deb Haaland for Interior Sec.; Progressive Orgs Endorse Joaquin Castro as HFAC Chair, Michigan GOP Threatens to Delay Election Certification as Trump Continues to Challenge Results, Ethiopian PM Warns Tigray Residents of "No Mercy" Attack, Benjamin Netanyahu and Prince Mohammed bin Salman Held Secret Meeting During Pompeo's Saudi Trip, Fatal Beating of Black Man by Brazilian Police Spurs Nationwide Protests, Guatemalans Demand President Resign Amid Budget Cuts and Devastating Aftermath of 2 Hurricanes, New Report Shows Devastating Toll of Afghan War on Children as Deadly Attacks Continue, U.S. Withdraws from Open Skies Treaty, Protests Mount over Controversial French Law That Would Ban Publication of Images of Police, Kyle Rittenhouse, Who Killed Two Protesters, Released on $2 Million Bail, ICE Arrested 150+ Immigrants Who Were Granted Voluntary Removal in Latest Crackdown, Tennessee Can Enforce Ban on Down Syndrome Abortions

"A Huge Blow to Civil Society": Egypt Arrests Leading Human Rights Monitors in Latest Crackdown
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:52:49 -0500
In Egypt, the executive director of the country's leading human rights group has been arrested as part of an unprecedented crackdown on activists and journalists. Gasser Abdel-Razek was arrested at his home just days after two other staffers for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights were also arrested. The move signals a major escalation of repression from the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has imprisoned thousands of people since he came to power after the 2013 overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi. "These arrests are a huge blow to civil society in Egypt," says Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! correspondent and reporter for Mada Masr, the country's last independent media outlet. "It has really sent shockwaves throughout the community here."

Astra Taylor: As Trump Tries to Steal Election, We Need to Reform Our "Deeply Undemocratic" System
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:47:40 -0500
President Trump has called Republican leaders of Michigan's state Legislature to the White House today in his latest attempt to overturn the election. The Trump campaign is pushing Republican state lawmakers to ignore the will of the voters and appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College. We speak to Astra Taylor, who has looked closely at the state of our democracy in the film "What Is Democracy?" and her book, "Democracy May Not Exist, But We'll Miss It When It's Gone."

Astra Taylor: Biden Can Cancel Student Debt on Day One. Movements Must Make Him Do It.
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:26:42 -0500
The incoming Biden administration is facing increasing pressure to cancel federal student loan debt, something Joe Biden is reportedly considering through executive action, which would not require Congress to pass legislation. Astra Taylor, a member of the Debt Collective, says canceling student debt would be a boon to debtors and the wider economy, and could be part of a larger wave of progressive action from the Biden administration. "There was a sense right after the election ... that because Democrats didn't take the Senate, that it would be impossible for a Biden administration to govern," says Taylor. "There are things that Biden can do if he's willing to play hardball, if he's willing to actually understand that's what Republicans do, and the Democrats can do the same."

Biden Be Bold: AOC & Cori Bush Join Climate Protest Outside DNC Urging Activists to "Bring the Heat"
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:17:28 -0500
Indigenous, racial justice and climate activists staged an occupation outside the Democratic National Convention in Washington Thursday, calling on President-elect Joe Biden to take immediate climate action and to approve the Green New Deal. Advocates are also calling for a Cabinet free of lobbyists and others with close industry ties. A number of lawmakers spoke at the protest, including Congressmember-elect Cori Bush from Missouri and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. We air excerpts of their remarks.

Headlines for November 20, 2020
Fri, 20 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
CDC Warns Against Thanksgiving Travel as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit Another Record High, Trump Absent as Coronavirus Task Force Holds First News Briefing Since August, Mexico Becomes Fourth Nation to Record 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths, Georgia Secretary of State to Certify Biden's Win Despite Trump Allies' Pressure, Trump Summons Michigan GOP Leaders to White House, Plotting to Overturn Election , Trump Campaign Lawyers Allege Massive Plot to Subvert Election, Offering No Proof, Food Pantries Report Long Lines as Unemployment Claims Rise to 743,000 in One Week, Protesters at Democratic Party Headquarters Demand Biden Support Green New Deal, Rights Groups Demand Temporary Protective Status for Refugees from Hurricane-Ravaged Countries, Federal Court Halts Trump Administration's Rapid Deportation of Refugee Children, Orlando Hall, Sentenced by All-White Jury, Gets Lethal Injection in 8th Federal Execution of 2020 , 37 Dead After Ugandan Police Arrest Opposition Candidate Then Crack Down on Protests , Argentine President Sends Lawmakers a Bill to Overturn Strict Anti-Abortion Laws

Progressives Demand "Corporate-Free Cabinet" as Biden Taps Pharma & Fossil Fuel Allies for Top Jobs
Thu, 19 Nov 2020 08:52:09 -0500
Climate and racial justice activists are mobilizing with union members and newly elected members of Congress at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee to call on President-elect Joe Biden to address the intersecting crises of the pandemic, economy and climate change. They're also calling for Biden to create a "corporate-free Cabinet," following his recent announcement of aides that included people with close ties to the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. Waleed Shahid, spokesperson for the progressive group Justice Democrats, says it will be important to maintain pressure on the incoming administration in order to fulfill grassroots demands. "Unlike President Obama in 2008, there is not much of a honeymoon period," Shahid says.

Trump's "Multipronged Attack Against Iran" Ramps Up with New Sanctions, Possible Bombing Plans
Thu, 19 Nov 2020 08:40:00 -0500
President-elect Joe Biden has said he will rejoin the Iran nuclear deal once in office, but his attempts at reviving diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran could be complicated by President Donald Trump, who is reportedly considering bombing Iran's main nuclear site in the final weeks of his presidency. The New York Times reports Trump's advisers have attempted to dissuade the president, warning that a strike could escalate into a broader conflict, but officials tell the newspaper that Trump may still be looking for ways to attack Iran or Iranian assets. We speak with Narges Bajoghli, professor of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Dead Before Christmas: As U.S. Passes 250K COVID Deaths, Healthcare Workers Brace for Holiday Surge
Thu, 19 Nov 2020 08:14:04 -0500
As the official U.S. COVID-19 death toll breaks worldwide records and passes 250,000, hospitals are at capacity, and overwhelmed healthcare workers still lack personal protective equipment. Health officials say conditions will worsen further with holiday travel and family gatherings for Thanksgiving. "I can't really overemphasize how important the next few days are," says Ed Yong, science writer at The Atlantic. "The people who get infected at Thanksgiving, they are going to slam into those hospitals in the two weeks after that, and some of those people are going to be dead before Christmas."

Headlines for November 19, 2020
Thu, 19 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 250,000; Nearly 1% of U.S. Population Currently Infectious, Pfizer to Seek Emergency Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccine, Touting 95% Efficacy, Lawsuit Alleges Tyson Foods Managers Wagered on Meatpackers' Coronavirus Infection Rate, COVID-19 Surge Overwhelms Hospitals as Healthcare Workers Fall Ill, Biden Says Trump's Refusal to Concede Could Set Back Vaccine Rollout by Months, Arizona Secretary of State Faces Death Threats as Trump Promotes Election Conspiracy Theories, Democratic Congressmembers Reelect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, Australian Military Apologizes to Afghan People over Troops' War Crimes, U.S. Secretary of State Tours Illegal Israeli Settlements, Declares BDS Movement "Anti-Semitic", Hurricane Iota Death Toll Climbs to 30, with Isla de Providencia 98% Destroyed, Haitians March on U.S. Embassy Demanding Biden End U.S. Support for Haiti's Authoritarian President, U.S. Dropped Charges Against Ex-General After Mexico Threatened to Expel DEA Agents, Court Clears Path for More Federal Executions, Families of Passengers on Doomed Flights Protest as FAA Clears Boeing 737 MAX Planes, Philadelphia City Council Formally Apologizes for 1985 Police Bombing That Killed 11, Colin Kaepernick Demands Freedom for Renowned Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, National Book Award for Nonfiction Goes to "The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X"

An Election We Could Not Sit Out: How Indigenous Voters Helped Defeat Trump & Elect Biden
Wed, 18 Nov 2020 08:42:29 -0500
Native American voters saw a massive increase in turnout this year and helped deliver key swing states for Joe Biden, but Indigenous peoples and the role they played in defeating Donald Trump have been largely ignored in mainstream media analyses. We speak with Allie Young, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and founder of Protect the Sacred, who organized a horseback trail ride to the polls. She says it was important to her to motivate Indigenous youth to turn out. "I was hearing on the ground that they weren't feeling very motivated to participate in this election," she says. "I wanted to communicate to them that this is an election that we just cannot sit out."

As North Dakota Faces World's Deadliest Outbreak, Native Communities Condemn States' COVID Response
Wed, 18 Nov 2020 08:29:02 -0500
As COVID-19 rampages through the U.S., we look at how the rapid spread of the disease is affecting Native American communities, which have already faced disproportionate infection and death rates throughout the pandemic. "We're having a lot of people perish. We're having a lot of death, a lot of hospitalizations," says Jodi Archambault, a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and former special assistant to President Obama for Native American affairs. We also speak with Allie Young, founder of Protect the Sacred, who says the Navajo Nation has "worked hard to flatten the curve" of COVID-19 infections but is still vulnerable due to lax public health measures in nearby areas. "We have to travel to these territories where they're not wearing masks, they're not thinking about their neighbors who've been impacted," says Young.

As COVID Deaths Soar, El Paso at Breaking Point with Hospitals & Mobile Morgues Filling Up
Wed, 18 Nov 2020 08:12:48 -0500
Some Republican governors are dropping their resistance to mask mandates, as public health officials in the United States brace for a COVID-19 surge from the Thanksgiving holiday amid already record-high infection rates. However, Republican resistance to other public health safety measures continues as coronavirus cases in Texas reach record highs for a second time during the pandemic. El Paso County, an area along the U.S.-Mexico border where 80% of residents are Latinx, is also facing one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S. and now has 10 mobile morgues to hold bodies. Some prisoners are being paid just $2 an hour to move the bodies as the number of cases and deaths has completely overwhelmed local hospitals. "We're at capacity," says Dr. Emilio Gonzalez-Ayala, a leading pulmonary disease and critical care specialist in El Paso. "We're beyond the limit where we can continue to admit to the hospital patients that come in critically ill."

Headlines for November 18, 2020
Wed, 18 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
Sen. Chuck Grassley Contracts COVID-19 on One of Deadliest Days of Pandemic, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown Blasts GOP for Failure to Wear Masks, Take Basic COVID-19 Measures, Trump Fires Cybersecurity Official Who Called Election "Most Secure in American History", Wayne County, MI, Officials Reverse Decision to Block Certification of Biden's Win After Massive Outcry, Climate Activists Condemn Biden's Appointment of Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Major Fossil Fuel Ally, Senate Blocks Confirmation of Trump Nominee Judy Shelton to Federal Reserve Board, Dozens of House Dems Call on Mike Pompeo to Condemn Israeli Razing of Bedouin Community, Iran Warns of "Crushing Response" If Trump Attacks in Waning Days of Presidency, Ethiopian PM Says Military Entering "Final Phase" as Conflict's Humanitarian Toll Mounts, 120 Indigenous Otomí Families Occupy Government Offices Demanding End to Violence and Neglect, U.S. Drops Charges Against Mexican Ex-Defense Sec. Accused of Drug Trafficking, Rights Abuses, Trump Admin Pushing Through New Rules to Take Benefits Away from Those in Need, Religious Leaders, Nobel Laureates Call on Gov. Cuomo to Grant Clemency to Activist David Gilbert, Frontline Airport Workers Call for Healthcare Protections Ahead of Thanksgiving Travel Boom

Indigenous Communities on the Frontline as Two Climate Change-Fueled Hurricanes Slam Central America
Tue, 17 Nov 2020 08:44:27 -0500
Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua Monday as a Category 4 storm, just two weeks after Hurricane Eta devastated communities across Central America and caused widespread destruction. Iota is the strongest November hurricane to ever hit Nicaragua. "It's caused a lot of damages to the most vulnerable peoples, which tends to be Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants and Black communities all across Central America," says Giovanni Batz, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, who has been in touch with people reeling from Hurricane Eta.

"No End in Sight": 9 Months into Pandemic, Nurses Are Tired, Demoralized & Still Lack Adequate PPE
Tue, 17 Nov 2020 08:32:06 -0500
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its ninth month, a new report by National Nurses United, the largest nurses' union in the United States, finds hospitals are still failing to provide adequate PPE and are unprepared as the surge is expected to get worse during the flu season. Nurses also report mental health struggles related to the pandemic. The union estimates at least 2,000 frontline healthcare workers have died due to COVID-19, with nurses of color accounting for half of those deaths, even though they're less than a quarter of the workforce. Jean Ross, president of National Nurses United, says the lack of preparedness is having a devastating toll on healthcare workers. "Hospitals still don't have a plan in place for a surge — and we're currently in a surge," Ross says. "It's the lack of response, the improper response, that has nurses and other healthcare workers really down."

With COVID Vaccines on the Horizon, U.S. Urged to Help Ensure Equitable Distribution Across Globe
Tue, 17 Nov 2020 08:13:07 -0500
As the U.S. COVID-19 death toll nears 250,000, drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna have both announced promising vaccine trial results showing over 90% effectiveness in preventing illness. But officials and health experts warn widespread distribution of a vaccine for the coronavirus — which has killed 1.2 million people across the globe — will be tremendously difficult to store and distribute. Vaccine researcher Dr. Saad Omer calls the recent news "reassuring" but says drugmakers need to be much more transparent about their data and issue more than just press releases. "There should be a little bit more detail, and it should be in the form of some scientific report," says Dr. Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health and professor of infectious diseases at Yale School of Medicine.

Headlines for November 17, 2020
Tue, 17 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
California Tightens Coronavirus Restrictions as U.S. Approaches a Quarter-Million Deaths, South Dakota ER Nurse Says Dying Patients Continue to Deny COVID-19, Joe Biden Says "More People May Die" Unless Trump Coordinates with Transition Team, Michigan Governor Blasts WH Coronavirus Adviser's Call to "Rise Up" Against Public Health Measures, Mexico Coronavirus Cases Top 1 Million as Official Death Toll Nears 100,000, Hurricane Iota Strikes Nicaragua as "Extremely Dangerous" Category 4 Storm, Trump Campaign Drops Election Lawsuits as Trump Continues to Deny Loss, Georgia Secretary of State Says Fellow Republicans Pressuring Him to Overturn Election Results, Trump Reportedly Proposed Bombing Iranian Nuclear Sites, White House Preparing to Order Troop Withdrawals from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, Ethiopia Bombs Capital of Tigray as PM Abiy Ahmed Rejects Calls for Mediation, Peru Swears In Third President in a Week After "Legislative Coup" That Ousted Martín Vizcarra, Brazilian Candidates Backed by Jair Bolsonaro Lose in Local Elections, Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Claims Top 92,000 , Thousands of New York City Police Abuse Allegations Ignored or Downplayed by NYPD

"I Need That Pardon": Ronnie Long, Free After 44 Years, Demands Justice for His Wrongful Conviction
Mon, 16 Nov 2020 08:42:19 -0500
"It's a blessing within itself for me to even be sitting here right now," says Ronnie Long, free after 44 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Long, who is African American, was convicted in 1976 of raping a white woman by an all-white jury and sentenced to 80 years in prison. In 2015, his lawyers learned that investigators had withheld exculpatory evidence proving his innocence — including semen samples and fingerprints taken from the crime scene that did not match his own — and witnesses for the state committed perjury at his trial. It would take several more years and a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Long to win his freedom. Long walked out of the Albemarle Correctional Institute in North Carolina a free man on August 27. He is asking North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for a pardon, which would fully clear his name and make him eligible for financial compensation. "You've got people that have been victimized by the system, like myself, and then you turn around and you put me back into a society and expect for me to live a productive life," he says. "I need that pardon in order to try to get on with my life."

Ceasefire Ends in Occupied Western Sahara After U.S.-Backed Moroccan Military Launches Operation
Mon, 16 Nov 2020 08:16:10 -0500
A nearly three-decade-old ceasefire has ended in occupied Western Sahara — what many consider to be Africa's last colony. Fighting has broken out in several areas between the Moroccan military and the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement seeking independence, after the Moroccan military broke into a no-go buffer zone in southern Western Sahara. For the past three weeks, Sahrawi civilian protesters had blocked a Morocco-built road in the area that Sahrawis consider to be illegal. The peaceful blockade backed up traffic for miles and cut off trade between Morocco and Mauritania to the south. The Polisario Front says it is now mobilizing thousands of volunteers to join for the fight for independence. "We have not seen fighting like this in Western Sahara since 1991," says Jacob Mundy, associate professor of peace and conflict studies and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Colgate University. "We've seen tensions on the rise, but to have open warfare like this is very significant."

Headlines for November 16, 2020
Mon, 16 Nov 2020 08:00:00 -0500
U.S. COVID-19 Cases Top 11 Million as States Enact New Restrictions to Combat Surge, Nurses Report Dangerous Working Conditions Persist as U.S. Heads into Flu Season, Prisoners Have Led 100+ Strikes over Dangerous Conditions During Pandemic, El Paso Prisoners Paid $2/Hour to Help Move Bodies of COVID-19 Victims, Moderna Vaccine Is 95% Effective at Preventing COVID-19 During Trial, 130+ Secret Service Ordered to Isolate or Quarantine, Some After Working Trump Rallies, Boris Johnson in Self-Isolation After Possible COVID-19 Exposure, Biden Transition Team Shut Out of Key Funding and Access as Trump Refuses to Concede, MAGA Rally Ends in Two Stabbings, 20+ Arrests, DACA Nearly Fully Restored After Judge Rules Chad Wolf Not Lawfully Serving as Head of DHS, Unrest Mounts in Peru After at Least 2 Killed in Protests, Interim President Resigns, Conflict Escalates in Ethiopia After Tigray Forces Fire Missiles in Eritrea & 10,000s Flee to Sudan, Armenian Villagers Burn Their Homes as They Withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, 15 Asia Pacific Countries Sign Trade Deal Representing One-Third of World Economy, Trump Pushes Ahead with Drilling Auction in Arctic Wildlife Refuge Before Biden Becomes President, Michigan Moves to Shut Down Enbridge Line 5 Pipelines, Hurricane Iota Threatens More Destruction in Central America; Storm Vamco Pummels Southeast Asia, Sixth Kings Bay Plowshares Anti-Nuclear Activist Sentenced to Prison

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