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Heated NYC Mayoral Primary Race Enters Final Days; City Uses Ranked-Choice Voting for First Time
Thu, 17 Jun 2021 08:44:00 -0400
Early voting is underway in a historic New York City Democratic primary election for mayor, 35 City Council seats and several other key races. For the first time in almost a century, New Yorkers will use ranked-choice voting, which allows them to choose up to five candidates in order of preference in each race. In the mayor's race, Brooklyn borough president and former New York police officer Eric Adams has led recent polls, while businessman Andrew Yang seems to be falling behind. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have already cast their votes ahead of the June 22 Democratic primary, with the general election set for November 2. Journalist Ross Barkan says despite New York City's reputation as a progressive stronghold, the Democratic primary for mayor reflects "an incredible amount of diversity" within the Democratic coalition. "You have a real competition of ideas," he says.

Biden and Putin Agree to Begin Work on Arms Control & Cybersecurity in Effort to Avoid New Cold War
Thu, 17 Jun 2021 08:15:57 -0400
U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva Wednesday for a three-hour summit and agreed to set up working groups to deal with nuclear arms control, as well as cyberattacks. The sides also agreed to send ambassadors back to their posts, restoring "normal diplomatic relations of a kind which exist between most countries on the face of the Earth," says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow for Russia and Europe at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. "A more cooperative atmosphere has been established so that the U.S.A. and Russia can work together." He also discusses ongoing tensions over NATO's expansion into Eastern Europe, American hypocrisy about its actions in other countries and how China's rise impacts the U.S.-Russian relationship.

Headlines for June 17, 2021
Thu, 17 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Biden, Putin to Restore Diplomatic Ties After Brief Summit in Geneva, CureVac COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Disappointing 47% Efficacy in Large Clinical Trial, Arizona Bars COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Requirements for Public Colleges, Amid Record Temperatures, NASA, NOAA Say Earth's Energy Imbalance Has Doubled Since 2005, House of Representatives Votes 415-14 to Establish Juneteenth as Federal Holiday, DOJ Ends Trump-Era Rules Blocking Survivors of Domestic and Gang Violence from Receiving Asylum, Department of Education Will Restore Title IX Protections to LGBTQ+ Students , North Carolina's Ban on Abortions After 20 Weeks Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Court, Remains of Third Victim of Mexico's 2014 Ayotzinapa Massacre Identified , Peruvian Presidential Candidate Pedro Castillo, Who's Vowed to Fight Inequality, Declares Victory, Rep. Jim McGovern Calls on Biden to End U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela over "Needless Death", Chinese Military Sends Record 28 Warplanes into Airspace Controlled by Taiwan, Three Taikonauts Arrive at New Chinese Space Station After Successful Launch, Saudi Arabia Beheads Man Accused of Joining Anti-Government Uprising as Teenager, 3 Honolulu Police Officers Face Murder Charges in Fatal Shooting of Teenager , Video Shows Honolulu Officers Failed to ID Themselves Before Killing Black Man Who Posed No Threat , Texas Signs Law to Allow Permit-Free Gun Carrying; San Jose Tightens Gun Rules After Mass Shooting, Jack Weinstein, Federal Judge Who Sided with Ordinary Citizens Against Corporations, Dies at 99, Another Power Outage Hits Puerto Rico After Takeover of Grid by LUMA Energy, Greek Unions Strike Against Labor Reform Bill

Masha Gessen on the Biden-Putin Summit, Alexei Navalny & the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations
Wed, 16 Jun 2021 08:16:10 -0400
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Geneva for a closely watched summit between the world's two largest nuclear powers. Topics expected to be discussed include nuclear arms, cybersecurity, Syria, the Iranian nuclear deal, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula, Putin's crackdown on dissent inside Russia and the U.S. military presence near the Russian border. The two world leaders are coming to the summit with fundamentally different goals, says Russian American journalist and writer Masha Gessen. Putin "accomplishes what he has come to Geneva for by simply having the summit," Gessen says. "Biden is concerned ... with finding areas of common interest, and he is alone in that. He is alone in actually trying to negotiate in good faith." Gessen also discusses the ongoing imprisonment of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, Russia's low vaccination rate and their own experience with COVID-19.

Headlines for June 16, 2021
Wed, 16 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Presidents Biden and Putin Meet in Geneva for Highly Anticipated Summit, Israeli Soldiers Shoot and Kill Palestinian Woman After Overnight Air Raids on Gaza, Palestinians Protest Ultranationalist Israeli "March of the Flags" in Occupied East Jerusalem, New York and California Lift Majority of Coronavirus Restrictions, Senate Approves Bill Making Juneteenth a National Holiday, Texas Bans Critical Race Theory in Schools, Reps. Cori Bush and Bonnie Watson Coleman Unveil Bill Decriminalizing All Drug Possession, Bomb Blast Kills 15 People in Mogadishu, Hungarian Lawmakers Advance Legislation Barring LGBTQ Content for Minors, Arctic Scientists Say We May Have Already Passed Climate Tipping Point, Indigenous Activists Continue Resistance Against Line 3 After Setback in Court, Antitrust Leader Lina Khan Confirmed by Senate, Named as Chair of FTC, Biden Administration Lays Out New Strategy to Combat White Supremacist Domestic Terror, Trump and Aides Pressured DOJ to Back Fabricated Voter Fraud Claims, Program Allowing Central American Children to Reunite with Parents in U.S. Set to Be Expanded, Janitors Unite to Demand Justice, Fair Working Conditions, William vanden Heuvel, Former Gov't Adviser and Advocate for Prisoners, Dies at the Age of 91, 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize Honors Climate Justice Activists Around the World

Disaster Capitalism: Puerto Rico Plunged into Darkness After Privatization of Electric Utility
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 08:51:09 -0400
More than 1 million people in Puerto Rico were left in the dark this month after power transmission and distribution for the island was taken over by a private company under a 15-year contract. Much of Puerto Rico lost power after a fire at an electrical substation caused a massive blackout just days after the private U.S. and Canadian company LUMA Energy formally took over management of the island's electric grid from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Many people are still without power or facing ongoing blackouts. "This is a classic example of disaster capitalism," says Arturo Massol-Deyá, executive director of Casa Pueblo, a community-based natural resources conservation and sustainable development group.

NATO Ramps Up Rhetoric Against China & Russia. Is Biden Leading the U.S. into a New Cold War?
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 08:25:45 -0400
China says NATO is adopting a "Cold War mentality" after the military alliance singled out China and Russia for criticism during a summit in Brussels. In its final communiqué, NATO leaders said, "China's stated ambitions and assertive behavior present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order." NATO leaders also criticized Russia and called on Moscow to withdraw troops from Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. Stephen Wertheim, a historian of U.S. foreign policy, says he is concerned that the Biden administration is "moving toward a quite hostile posture toward China and Russia simultaneously." He also says policymakers need to urgently reevaluate the purpose of NATO, which he says could fuel greater conflict. "Is that really what the American people need for the rest of the 21st century?" he asks.

NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Released from Prison as Family Pushes Biden to Pardon Her
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 08:14:11 -0400
Former National Security Agency contractor Reality Leigh Winner was released from prison Monday to serve the rest of her sentence in a halfway house. We get an update from the lawyer handling her commutation and pardon process. Winner was arrested in 2017 under the Espionage Act for leaking classified government information about Russian interference in the 2016 election to reporters at The Intercept. Prosecutors told The New York Times she got the longest sentence ever given by a federal court for unauthorized disclosure of government information to the press. Winner's family and legal team say she should receive a pardon and are calling for her sentence to be commuted. "Reality released a document that gave us information that we needed to know at a time that we absolutely needed to know it," says Alison Grinter Allen, Winner's attorney.

Headlines for June 15, 2021
Tue, 15 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
China Blasts "Cold War Mentality" as Biden Pushes NATO to Declare China a Security Risk, WHO Says G7 Vaccine Pledge Falls Far Short of What's Needed to End Pandemic, COVID-19 Surges in Unvaccinated African Nations; Chile Locks Down Santiago Despite Vaccinations, Brazilian Indigenous Leaders March Against Copa América, Demanding Vaccines, Not Soccer Matches, U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Top 600,000, the Worst Toll in the World, NSA Whistleblower Reality Winner Released from Prison, Sen. Mitch McConnell Suggests Republicans Won't Confirm Biden SCOTUS Nominees After 2022 Election, Boeing to Resume Campaign Contributions to Republicans in "Sedition Caucus", Marjorie Taylor Greene Won't Apologize for Calling Democrats "Nazis" After Comparing Masks to Holocaust, Protesters Demand West Virginia Sen. Manchin End Opposition to Filibuster Reform, Voting Rights Bill, Progressives Reject "Compromise" Infrastructure Bill They Say Fails to Meet Scale of Climate Crisis, Massive Fire Erupts at Illinois Chemical Plant, Driver Kills Peaceful Protester at Minneapolis Vigil for Black Man Killed by Police, Burmese Military Junta Begins Closed-Door Trial for Deposed Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ICC Prosecutor Seeks Probe of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte over Drug War Killings

50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals U.S. Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan
Mon, 14 Jun 2021 08:51:04 -0400
As President Biden meets with leaders of NATO countries, where he is expected to continue stepping up rhetoric against China and Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this Wednesday in Geneva, we speak with famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about why he recently released another classified document showing that U.S. military planners in 1958 pushed for nuclear strikes on China to protect Taiwan from an invasion by communist forces. The top-secret study revealed the U.S. military pressed then-President Dwight Eisenhower to prepare a nuclear first strike against mainland China during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1958. Taiwan "could really only be defended, if at all, by the U.S. initiating nuclear war against China," says Ellsberg. The document also shows that U.S. military planners were ready to accept the risk that the Soviet Union would launch its own nuclear retaliation, including against Japan. Although Ellsberg's online release of the document was publicized in May, he reveals that he shared the same information with Japan decades earlier. "I had given the entire study to the Japanese Diet," Ellsberg says.

Pentagon Papers at 50: Daniel Ellsberg on Risking Life in Jail to Expose U.S. Lies About Vietnam War
Mon, 14 Jun 2021 08:18:07 -0400
Fifty years ago this week, The New York Times began publishing excerpts of the Pentagon Papers — 7,000 pages of top-secret documents outlining the Pentagon's secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam since the 1940s. The leak exposed years of government lies about the war, revealed that even top officials believed it was unwinnable, and would end up helping to end the Vietnam War and lead to a major victory for press freedom. The Times exposé was based on documents secretly photocopied by Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, who both worked as Pentagon consultants at the RAND Corporation. Ellsberg, who had been deeply involved in the Vietnam War as a defense analyst, decided to risk life imprisonment to reveal the truth about Vietnam. "I'd been lied to. The whole country had been lied to. The Congress had been lied to as to what the situation was," Ellsberg says. He says top officials knew for years that the war had "very little likelihood of helping anyone, but leading just to an escalating stalemate."

Headlines for June 14, 2021
Mon, 14 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
New Israeli Gov't Coalition Ousts Benjamin Netanyahu After 12 Years as Prime Minister, G7 Concludes as Activists Slam Failure to Act on Climate Crisis, Vaccine Inequality, Biden to Meet with Turkey's President Erdogan as NATO Summit Kicks Off, Novavax Vaccine 90% Effective; U.S. COVID Cases Continue to Fall as California Readies for Reopening, U.K. Delays Reopening as Moscow Sees New Surge in Cases; India Moves to Reopen as Infections Drop, Bombs Kill at Least 7 in Afghanistan as Hazara Shia Come Under Mounting Attacks, Shelling in Afrin, Syria, Kills at Least 13 People, Tunisian Protesters Call for an End to Police Brutality After Recent Killings of Civilians, Israeli Forces Killed 5 People in the Occupied West Bank Over Past Week, Including a 15-Year-Old Boy, Nigerians Protest on Democracy Day After Deadly Raid in Zamfara Kills at Least 53 People, Fire at New Delhi Rohingya Refugee Camps Leaves Hundreds Without Shelter, Calls for Justice in Guatemala After Two Trans Activists Killed, Shootings Over Weekend Bring U.S. to More Than 270 Mass Shootings Since Start of 2021, AG Merrick Garland Says DOJ Will Work to Protect Voting Rights, Louisiana ICE Jail Puts Prisoners on "Communications Lockdown" After Mishandling Tuberculosis Case, Record Temperatures Hit Southwest as Drought Conditions Worsen Across Western U.S., Pulitzer Prize Honors Darnella Frazier; Les and Tamara Payne Win for Malcolm X Biography

Why Germany's Apology for Its 1904-1908 Genocide in Namibia Does Not Go Far Enough
Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:43:25 -0400
Germany has apologized for its role in the first genocide of the 20th century, which took place in Namibia, a former colony then known as German South West Africa. Between 1904 and 1908, German colonizers killed tens of thousands of Ovaherero and Nama people in Namibia. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas officially described the massacre as genocide and outlined an offer of more than $1.34 billion in development aid to the Namibian government. The offer was not negotiated with survivors of the genocide, and critics have described it as a pittance. We speak with Nyoko Muvangua, born of the Ovaherero people who were targeted for ethnic cleansing by the German government, and Namibian researcher Emsie Erastus.

"Julian Is Suffering": Family of WikiLeaks Founder Assange in U.S. to Demand His Release from Prison
Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:23:58 -0400
The U.S. State Department is pushing to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Britain, where Biden is now meeting with leaders during the G7 summit. A U.K. judge blocked Assange's extradition in January, citing serious mental health concerns. Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if brought to the U.S., where he was indicted for violations of the Espionage Act related to the publication of classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. We speak with Assange's father and half-brother, who are on a tour of the United States to advocate for his release. "The G7 meeting is based upon values, and yet they have, just a few kilometers down the road, a foremost journalist in jail," says John Shipton. Assange is a victim of "an abusive process" meant to punish him for his journalism, adds Gabriel Shipton. "The situation there is really dire, and Julian is suffering inside that prison."

"Our House Is on Fire": Activists Urge G7 to Immediately Address Climate, Vaccine Apartheid & Poverty
Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:11:45 -0400
As world leaders gather for the first in-person G7 summit in two years, talks are set to focus heavily on ending the pandemic and the climate crisis, and climate activists are calling on them for more immediate action. "It's not just one crisis," says Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want and spokesperson for the COP26 Climate Coalition. "What we've seen is simply rich countries doing too little too late and not taking up their responsibility, and unfortunately this G7 has not changed that at all."

Headlines for June 11, 2021
Fri, 11 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
G7 to Donate 1 Billion Vaccine Doses to Poorer Nations, But Billions More Needed, Biden Says "No Strings Attached" to Vaccine Donations, But Venezuela Is Blocked from Getting Any, Trump Administration Secretly Seized Private Data from Two Democratic Lawmakers, Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Slammed for Failing to Address Climate Crisis, U.N.: Tigray Region of Ethiopia Facing World's Worst Famine in a Decade, Socialist Teacher Pedro Castillo Closing In on Becoming Peruvian President, Undercover Israeli Forces Kill Three Palestinians in West Bank Raid, Shocking Video Shows Israeli Guards Brutally Assaulting Palestinian Prisoners, Amnesty International Accuses China of Crimes Against Humanity in Xinjiang, Republican Lawmaker in Oregon Expelled for Helping Armed Protesters Enter State Capitol, State Autopsy Confirms Police Shot Andrew Brown Jr. in the Back of His Head, DA in Westchester, NY Orders Review of 2011 Police Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., Texas Sheriff Deputy Placed on Leave for Tasering Teenage Honduran Asylum Seeker, Puerto Rico Faces Massive Blackout Days After Privatization of Electrical Grid

Biden to Buy 500 Million Vaccine Doses for Other Countries, But Billions More Needed to End Pandemic
Thu, 10 Jun 2021 08:47:05 -0400
President Biden's plan to buy 500 million doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine and donate them to 92 countries comes as health experts warn vaccination inequity could prolong the pandemic for everyone if the coronavirus continues to mutate, possibly making it more infectious and resistant to vaccines. Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong has said people on the continent are watching in "amazement" as Americans turn down vaccines, many of which are now expiring instead of being sent elsewhere. "Right now the game plan should be providing the surplus vaccines to countries around the world, because the pandemic is happening right now," says Dr. Syra Madad, infectious disease epidemiologist who leads the Special Pathogens Program for NYC Health and Hospitals, the largest public healthcare system in the United States.

Vaccine Hesitancy, Even by Healthcare Workers, Means Shots Expire, Variants Emerge, Pandemic Drags On
Thu, 10 Jun 2021 08:34:24 -0400
As President Biden pledges to buy half of a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to give to the world, many Americans are refusing to get vaccinated, and thousands of Johnson & Johnson shots will expire soon. This week, Houston Methodist Hospital suspended 178 staff members who refused to abide by its mandate that employees be fully vaccinated. We speak with infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Syra Madad, who heads the largest public healthcare system in the United States and says we must counter vaccine hesitancy. She also describes her own struggle to encourage health aides in her own household to get the shot. "It's been an uncomfortable reality to see that we are now in June and nearly 50% of healthcare workers remain unvaccinated and unprotected."

U.S. Led 2020 Nuclear Weapons Spending; Now Biden Going "Full Steam Ahead" on Trump's Nuclear Plans
Thu, 10 Jun 2021 08:16:46 -0400
As President Biden prepares for the G7 and NATO summits and a meeting with Vladimir Putin, we look at how the United States, Russia and other nuclear-armed nations continue to spend billions on nuclear weapons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite President Biden's criticisms of the Trump administration's nuclear policies during his candidacy, his administration is continuing initiatives to expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal and is seeking $43 billion for nuclear weapons in his new budget. This comes as a new report from the Nobel Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons reveals global spending on nuclear weapons increased during the pandemic, and found the world's nine nuclear-armed countries spent $72.6 billion on nuclear weapons in 2020, with the United States alone spending $37 billion. "We've been seeing, from year to year, the spending on nuclear weapons has been increasing," says Alicia Sanders-Zakre, ICAN's policy and research coordinator. "Despite Biden's campaign promises of wanting to work for arms control, wanting to work for disarmament, we're seeing that in reality he's going full steam ahead with Trump's legacy nuclear weapons programs and continuing to spend more money on these weapons of mass destruction."

Headlines for June 10, 2021
Thu, 10 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Biden Set to Announce U.S. Donation of 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Poorer Nations, WTO to Start Negotiations on COVID Vaccine Patent Waivers, 8 Months After They Were Proposed, India Logs Pandemic-High Daily Death Toll; COVID Surges in Haiti, Where 0% Are Vaccinated, 10 Killed in Afghanistan as ISIS Attacks Mine-Clearing Charity, Rights Group Says Colombian Police Have Killed at Least 20 Anti-Government Protesters, U.S. to Keep Trump-Era Sanctions on Iran Even If Nuclear Deal Is Restored, AG Merrick Garland Explains DOJ Decision to Defend Trump in Defamation Case, TC Energy Cancels Keystone XL Pipeline as Water Defenders Continue to Fight Enbridge Line 3, Massive Wildfires Rage in Arizona as Drought Worsens Across Western United States, Louisiana Police Unit That Killed Ronald Greene Investigated for Other Abuses Against Black Drivers, 55 Corporations That Paid No Taxes in 2020 Spent $450 Million on Lobbying and Campaigns Since 2016, Biden Admin Revokes Trump Orders on TikTok & WeChat, Orders Review on Risks of Foreign Apps, Calls Mount for University of North Carolina to Grant Tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones

"Takeover": New Doc Chronicles Historic 1970 Young Lords Occupation of Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx
Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:42:03 -0400
A new film called "Takeover" follows the 12 historic hours on July 14, 1970, when members of the Young Lords Party took over the rundown Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx in New York City. The Young Lords were a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, a co-founder of the Young Lords, helped organize the action. Using archival footage and modern-day interviews, "Takeover" chronicles their resistance to institutions founded on wealth and white supremacy, and their collective struggle for quality, accessible healthcare. "The takeover really exemplified what the Young Lords were about," says director Emma Francis-Snyder, who says she wanted to capture the heroism of the activists. "There's so much emotion and planning and courage that comes along with direct action," Francis-Snyder says. "We understood that to get the system to listen and change, you had to disrupt it," adds González. "You had to find a way to force people to pay attention to the problems."

Shocking Video Shows Officer Tasering Teenage Refugee from Honduras at Children's Shelter in Texas
Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:27:59 -0400
The Biden administration has vowed to take a compassionate approach to migrants and asylum seekers who are fleeing violence, poverty and persecution, but a damning new investigation reveals the mistreatment of children upon their arrival to the border. The report found more than 80 children in government-funded shelters were turned over to local law enforcement when they engaged in behavior common for kids, especially those who have been through trauma. Many were arrested for fighting, breaking property or mental health crises, and police body-camera footage obtained by Reveal shows at least one child was tasered without warning by a sheriff's deputy in San Antonio, Texas. "The idea that a child, particularly a refugee child, someone who is fleeing violence and is a minor and has special rights under international law and U.S. law, would then be subjected to arrest for something like fighting ... that seems highly unusual," says Aura Bogado, senior investigative reporter at Reveal.

Leaked IRS Files: Billionaires Bezos, Musk, Bloomberg, Buffett Avoided Taxes as Wealth Soared
Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:11:15 -0400
A major exposé by ProPublica has revealed how U.S. billionaires pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth, or sometimes even nothing. Private tax records of some of the country's top billionaires show that between 2014 and 2018 the wealthiest 25 Americans saw their collective wealth jump by more than $400 billion, but they paid just over $13 billion in federal income taxes — amounting to a tax rate of just 3.4%. "Typical wage earners like you or me, we pay taxes every time we get a paycheck," says Jeff Ernsthausen, a senior data reporter at ProPublica. "But for the ultra-wealthy, it's a completely different story."

Headlines for June 9, 2021
Wed, 09 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
VP Harris Meets with Mexico's AMLO, Faces Backlash for Not Visiting U.S. Southern Border, Over 2,000 Migrant Children Might Still Be Separated from Families, Activists Call on Thomson Reuters to Cut Ties with ICE, Biden Ends Weeks-Long Talks on Infrastructure as New Bipartisan Groups Aim to Reach Compromise, Manchin Remains Steadfast in Opposition to Voting Rights Bill in Face of Mounting Pressure, "Planned in Plain Sight": Senate Report Details Security Failures Ahead of Jan. 6 Insurrection, Vaccination Key to Curbing Spread of Delta COVID Variant; CDC Updates Coronavirus Travel Guidance, International Sting Leads to 100s of Arrests After Suspects Used an FBI-Created Encrypted Device, U.N. Warns of Mass Deaths and Suffering After Military Attacks Displace 100,000 in Eastern Burma, Salvadoran Woman Jailed for Having Miscarriage Freed After 10 Years Behind Bars, Dems Reintroduce Act to Protect Reproductive Rights Amid Republican Assault on Abortion Access

Socialist Teacher Takes Lead in Peruvian Election as Nation Reels from Pandemic & Political Crisis
Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:51:31 -0400
We get an update from Peru, where socialist candidate Pedro Castillo has pulled ahead of his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori in the country's presidential election on Sunday. Castillo is the son of peasant farmers, and a union leader who led a nationwide teachers' strike in 2017. Fujimori is the daughter of former dictator Alberto Fujimori, who is in prison for human rights abuses and corruption. Political scientist Carlos León Moya discusses the history of the two candidates and describes how the election took place amid a years-long political crisis. "You have most of the Peruvian political elite charged by corruption," he says. "Keiko Fujimori was in prison herself two years ago for a corruption case."

"Do Not Come": VP Harris Sends Anti-Migrant Message in Guatemala, Visits Mexico Amid Deadly Election
Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:34:26 -0400
In her first foreign trip as vice president, Kamala Harris is in Mexico City to meet with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after first visiting Guatemala to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei. Harris is tasked by President Joe Biden with stemming the flow of Central American migrants fleeing corruption, violence and poverty, even after the two campaigned on allowing more migrants to apply for asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border, and issued a stern warning to migrants: "Do not come." Her visit comes after voters cast their ballots in one of Mexico's largest and deadliest elections in history, as over 80 politicians were killed in the run-up to the election, which had 21,000 local and national seats up for grabs. "This electoral process has been one of the most violent," says Erika Guevara-Rosas, a human rights lawyer and Americas director for Amnesty International. "It is reflective of the human rights crisis that Mexico has been facing for many years."

"Not Having It": Winona LaDuke on Mass Protest by Water Protectors to Halt Line 3 Pipeline in Minnesota
Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:15:29 -0400
In the largest act of civil disobedience to date to halt the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, more than 100 water protectors led by Indigenous women have been arrested in Minnesota. We get an on-the-ground update on the day of action and how water protectors blockaded a pipeline pump station north of the town of Park Rapids, with many locking themselves to heavy machinery as authorities tried to disperse protesters by sending in a low-flying Customs and Border Protection helicopter which produced a sandstorm. Thousands gathered for a Treaty People Gathering weekend of action to stop Line 3, which would carry more than 750,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day through Indigenous land and fragile ecosystems and endanger lakes, rivers and wild rice beds. If completed, Line 3 would be "the largest tar sands pipeline in the world," says Winona LaDuke, an Anishinaabe activist and executive director of Honor the Earth who lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. "We have a Canadian corporation coming in here trying to make a buck at the end of the fossil fuels era and run over a bunch of Indigenous people, and we're not having it."

Headlines for June 8, 2021
Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Over 100 Water Protectors Arrested in Minnesota as Mass Civil Disobedience Targets Line 3 Pipeline, Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Hits 420 Parts Per Million, Highest Level in 4 Million Years, "A Two-Track Pandemic": Wealthy Nations Ease Restrictions as COVID Surges in Unvaccinated Countries, ProPublica: Vast Trove of IRS Data Shows How U.S. Billionaires Pay Little in Income Tax, Canadian Police Say Hit-and-Run That Killed Four Was Deliberate Islamophobic Attack, VP Harris to Refugees Fleeing Violence, Poverty and Climate Crisis: "Do Not Come to the U.S.", Supreme Court Rules Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status Are Ineligible for Green Cards, Peruvian Presidential Candidate Fujimori Claims Electoral Fraud as Leftist Opponent Gains Lead, Biden Administration Won't Rule Out Military Action Against Ransomware Hackers, Massive Internet Outage Hits Websites and Apps Worldwide, NJ Governor Orders Closure of Edna Mahan Women's Prison over Widespread Abuses, Biden Administration Defends Trump Against Defamation Suit Brought by Rape Accuser E. Jean Carroll, 1,100 Alabama Coal Miners Enter Second Week of Strike for Better Wages and Benefits

Sheikh Jarrah Residents Face Legal Defeat; Israel Arrests Thousands of Palestinians to Quell Dissent
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:47:56 -0400
Israel is cracking down on Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem and inside Israel amid the ongoing ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. Israeli police have arrested nearly 2,000 Palestinians over the past month in an attempt to quell protests and uprisings against the occupation, according to the newspaper Haaretz. "Israel is criminalizing our right to say we're Palestinian, our right to say we want to live in our homes in dignity, our right to be free," says Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian writer and researcher.

Facebook Bans Trump for 2 Years, But Its Design Still Marginalizes Key Voices in Public Discourse
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:38:19 -0400
Social media giant Facebook has announced it has suspended former President Donald Trump's account until at least 2023. He was initially suspended from the platform for comments to supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and is permanently banned on Twitter. Facebook's move could have implications for other world leaders who use Facebook, like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said he is not sure the decision struck the right balance for protecting free speech but is defensible because Facebook "has a responsibility to ensure that the people using its platform aren't using it to undermine democracy or incite violence." But he argues the much bigger issue is Facebook's engineering and design decisions, such as ranking algorithms, which really determine which speech gets heard or marginalized.

Jameel Jaffer: America's Secret Spy Court Should Be Forced to Make Rulings Public
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:34:59 -0400
We speak to Jameel Jaffer about a petition asking the Supreme Court to review whether the public has a right to access the decisions of the special federal court that rules on the legality of government surveillance, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA Court. The American Civil Liberties Union submitted the request with support from the Knight First Amendment Institute, whose director, Jameel Jaffer, notes the court routinely issues rulings that have far-reaching implications for Americans' privacy and freedom of speech rights. He says the argument free speech advocates are making is that the First Amendment guarantees the public a right of access to the FISA Court rulings like other courts that also deal with national security issues.

Biden's DOJ Vows to Stop Spying on Journalists Months After Placing Gag Order on New York Times
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:25:38 -0400
The New York Times has revealed shocking details about an unsuccessful attempt by the Trump administration, and then the Biden administration, to secretly obtain the email logs of four reporters at the newspaper. As part of the campaign, the Biden Justice Department placed a gag order on the Times in March to prevent many at the paper from even knowing about the request until a federal court lifted it. In recent weeks the Justice Department also disclosed the Trump administration had secretly obtained the call records of four journalists at the Times, as well as three journalists at The Washington Post and one at CNN. Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, says subpoenas for journalists' records are "really troubling" because of their potential chilling effect on critical journalism. "It's about the right of the public to have access to information about the government," he says.

Historic But Inadequate: Joseph Stiglitz on G7 Deal to Back a 15% Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:13:42 -0400
Finance ministers from seven of the world's wealthiest nations have backed a plan to set a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15% on multinational companies. The agreement, which was reached during a meeting in Britain of the G7, or Group of 7, is "historic" but should have aimed higher, says economist Joseph Stiglitz. "If you have too low of a tax rate, that minimum tax becomes, de facto, the maximum tax," he says.

Headlines for June 7, 2021
Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Sen. Joe Manchin Says He Won't Support Voting Rights Bill and Will Fight to Keep Filibuster, G7 Ministers Back 15% Corporate Tax Rate Derided by Critics as Too Low a Bar, Brazilian Soccer Stars Suggest Postponement of Copa America Tournament as COVID-19 Rages, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Blames Looming Ouster on "Biggest Election Fraud in History", Israeli Soldiers Assault Al Jazeera Reporter Amid Mass Arrests of Palestinians , At Least 132 Killed as Gunmen Raid Village in Burkina Faso, Nigeria Bans Twitter After President's Threatening Tweet Is Deleted, Mexican President's Party to Lose Supermajority After Midterm Elections Marred by Violence, Peru's Presidential Runoff Too Close to Call, Colombian Social Leader Who Co-Signed FARC Peace Agreement Assassinated, VP Harris Visits Guatemala, Urging President Giammattei to Crack Down on Migration, Pope Stops Short of Apology for Church's Role in Deaths of Indigenous Children in Canada, Judge Overturns California's Assault Weapons Ban, Comparing AR-15s to Swiss Army Knives, North Carolina Teen Denied Diploma for Wearing Mexican Flag Over Graduation Gown

"Disaster Patriarchy": V (Eve Ensler) on How the Pandemic Has Unleashed a War on Women
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:43:41 -0400
The pandemic has led to a sharp rise in gender-based violence, job losses in female-dominated industries, greater parenting duties for mothers, and other pressures that primarily fall on women around the world. These effects amount to a kind of "disaster patriarchy" in which "men exploit a crisis to reassert control and dominance and rapidly erase the hard-earned rights of women," says V, the artist and activist formerly known as Eve Ensler. "Women are losing their safety, their economic power, their autonomy, their education, and they are pushed onto the frontlines, where they are often used, unprotected and sacrificed."

"We Are a Plutocracy": Jeffrey Sachs Slams Biden for Offering to Preserve Trump's Corporate Tax Cuts
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:35:18 -0400
As Democrats and Republicans in Washington continue to negotiate over an infrastructure bill, President Biden is reportedly considering dropping his demand to roll back the 2017 Trump tax cuts — which primarily benefited corporations and the richest people in the country — in order to gain support for infrastructure spending of at least $1 trillion. Biden is offering to keep Trump's tax cuts and shrink the size of his infrastructure proposal in exchange for a minimum 15% corporate tax rate for all companies. Economist Jeffrey Sachs says a capitulation on the Trump tax cuts would be a huge mistake for the Biden administration. "The corporations have had an unbelievable run of unjust and unaffordable tax cuts," he says.

U.S. Finally Offers to Send Vaccines Abroad, But Lack of Global Plan Leaves Poorer Nations in Crisis
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:12:11 -0400
The Biden administration on Thursday announced that the U.S. will donate 25 million surplus doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, pledging to donate a total of 80 million doses by July. Economist Jeffrey Sachs says rich countries have enough production capacity to speed up vaccine distribution and immunize the whole world within the next year. "There's massive supply, but there's no plan for allocation," he says. We also speak with South African health justice activist Fatima Hassan, who says the global vaccine imbalance comes down to political will. "Even now countries are still sitting around a table and talking and having long conversations instead of figuring out an urgent way to ramp up manufacturing, scale up production and get as many doses to as many people as possible all over the world."

Headlines for June 4, 2021
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 08:00:00 -0400
Activists Call U.S. Plan to Ship 25 Million COVID Vaccine Doses Abroad "Deeply Insufficient", WHO Warns of Surging COVID-19 Cases in Africa as Vaccine Shipments Come to "Near Halt", Chinese Authorities Ban Hong Kong Vigil Commemorating Tiananmen Massacre, Arrest Organizer, Peruvian Presidential Runoff Pits Ex-Dictator's Daughter Against Socialist School Teacher, 89 Politicians Killed in Run-up to Mexican Midterm Elections, Lawyers for Guantánamo Prisoner Challenge Judge's Order Permitting Use of Info Obtained by Torture, Watchdog Says Pentagon Grossly Misrepresented Civilian Casualties from U.S. Military, U.N. Says 200,000 Gazans Need Aid as U.S. Affirms "Ironclad" Support for Israel After Deadly Assault, "Block the Boat" Actions at U.S. Ports Target Israeli Cargo Ships; SF Teachers' Union Backs BDS, Facebook to Extend Hate Speech Policy to Politicians, Mike Pence Defends Donald Trump But Says They'll Never "See Eye to Eye" on January 6, FBI Investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for Campaign Finance Law Violations, Protesters Vow to Defend "George Floyd Square" as Minneapolis Authorities Start Clearing Memorial

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