Priests & Politicians – the Mafia of the Soul – 2023

Priests & Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul

“These politicians and these priests have been constantly in conspiracy, working together hand in hand. The politician has the political power; the priest has the religious power. The politician protects the priest, the priest blesses the politician – and the masses are exploited, sucked; their blood is sucked by both.”1 Osho

See also:

Osho: Only One Thing Can Prevent Politicians From Destroying the World
Democracy – The Primary Fatal Flaw
Democracy – Towards a Democratic Meritocracy
Mother Teresa: Deceiver, Charlatan, and Hypocrite
Time to Move Over, Old Man
A Complete Democracy Is Impossible without Economic Equality – Osho

We are asking three questions:

  • One, if this is illegal, why is no one prosecuted?
  • Two, if it is legal, who made those laws?
  • Three, then whose action or inaction allowed those lawmakers to have that power?

The Unfolding Story – Updated Regularly:

Read the 2022 Edition HERE

December 31, 2023
Mainstream media is playing into Trump’s neo-fascist hands. I’m sticking with democracy and the Guardian
“Much of the GOP no longer accepts the rule of law, the norms of liberal democracy, the legitimacy of the opposing party or the premise that governing requires negotiation and compromise. Why isn’t this being reported?… Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.” – The Guardian

December 31, 2023
Burundi’s President Says Gay People Should Be Stoned
“’I think that if we find these kinds of people in Burundi, it is better to take them to a stadium and stone them,’ Mr. Ndayishimiye said on Friday during an event in the country’s eastern Cankuzo Province, where he answered questions from journalists and members of the public. ‘That’s what they deserve.’” – The New York Times

December 31, 2023
Former aides warn of ‘running out of time’ to prevent Trump re-election
“Sarah Matthews, Cassidy Hutchinson and Alyssa Farah Griffin insist Trump’s behavior would be worse if he wins second term. The re-election of Donald Trump in 2024 could ‘end American democracy as we know it,’ according to three women who worked for him in the White House during his chaotic term in office.” – The Guardian

December 31, 2023
Tax Cuts Don’t Pay For Themselves. A New Paper Says Medicaid Might.
“A nonpartisan study says helping kids stay healthy has long-term fiscal benefits….. In a paper published last month, the CBO said Medicaid and other programs that provide a long-term boost for the recipients’ economic prospects may be far cheaper than their initial price tags, once those long-term effects are included in the calculus.”

December 30, 2023
‘There’s No Other Job’: The Colonial Roots of Philippine Poverty
“Decades after independence, the Philippines lacks the kind of factory economy that has lifted up other Asian nations, tying millions to farm work…. The desperation confronting tens of millions of landless Filipinos stems in part from policies imposed by the powers that controlled the archipelago for centuries — first Spain, and then the United States.” – The New York Times

December 29, 2023
Everything politicians tell you about immigration is wrong. This is how it actually works
“Escaping poverty, violence and the climate crisis are factors, but the main driver is rich societies demanding cheap labour.” – The Guardian

December 29, 2023
End the show trial of free speech hero Jimmy Lai
“The Hong Kong media mogul, pro-democracy activist and British passport holder faces life in prison for publishing ‘seditious’ material in his now-closed Apple Daily newspaper, in charges trumped up by China. The Independent demands his release.” – Independent

December 28, 2023
Forsaken but not forgotten: Free Aung San Suu Kyi
“As Myanmar’s jailed leader begins her third year in isolation in a jungle prison, we demand: world leaders must no longer look the other way – they must join forces to campaign for her release.” – Independent

December 27, 2023
Brittany Watts miscarried a nonviable pregnancy into her toilet. Now she’s facing a felony charge
“Brittany Watts suffered a miscarriage at home after doctors deemed her foetus unviable. Days later, she was charged with felony abuse of a corpse in a striking example of Ohio’s dangerously confusing abortion laws.” – Independent

December 27, 2023
Free Alexei Navalny from his Polar Wolf prison colony hell
“The opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner is facing decades in prison on charges his supporters and the international community have denounced as politically motivated, writes Kim Sengupta. With growing concerns over his health, The Independent calls on leaders around the globe to ramp up the pressure on Putin to release Alexei Navalny.” – Independent

December 26, 2023
FBI investigating threats directed at Colorado supreme court justices after Trump ruling
“Court voted 4-3 last week that ex-president was ineligible to run for White House again under US constitution’s insurrection clause.” – The Guardian

December 24, 2023
‘You better pray’: Christian nationalist groups are mobilizing before the 2024 elections
“‘Patriot’ groups – which deny Trump’s 2020 defeat and are pressing for voting restrictions – are proliferating…. Davis’s recommendations might prescribe technical changes to elections administration. But he cast their importance in starkly biblical terms. ‘I don’t know where you are with the Lord, and I mean this sincerely: you better pray,’ said Davis. If the 2024 election wasn’t conducted ‘the correct way,’ he warned, ‘there’s going to be you-know-what to pay.’” – The Guardian

December 23, 2023
More than 1,100 officers under investigation for sexual or domestic abuse in England and Wales
“More than 1,100 police officers across England and Wales are under investigation for sexual or domestic abuse, prompting fresh calls for vetting and misconduct procedures to be radically overhauled. Of these, 180 – almost one in seven – have been allowed to carry on working as normal despite the severity of the offences. Of the 1,151 officers under investigation, 428 have been placed on restricted duties, with another 378 suspended.” – The Guardian

December 22, 2023
Anti-democracy playbook has new threats in store for the US in 2024
“Overturning a US election in 2024 depends on more believers in powerful positions using these well-documented tactics.” – The Guardian

December 22, 2023
California town proposes ban on Pride, Black and women’s history celebrations
“The southern California city of Huntington Beach, a bastion of conservative voters, has made the move to block diverse monthlong celebrations of Black history, women’s history and Pride, in favor of observing the revolutionary and civil wars, California’s history and America’s independence.” – The Guardian

December 21, 2023
Iran executes child bride who killed abusive husband
“Samira Sabzian is among 800 people executed by Iranian authorities in 2023.” The Independent

December 21, 2023
Thailand accused of ‘piggybacking’ Myanmar, sidelining Asean by leading talks with junta
“By acting independently of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Thailand is giving the impression that the kingdom is propping up Myanmar’s regime…. The Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights Group described Thailand’s informal meetings with the junta as “a betrayal of the Myanmar people and an affront to Asean unity.”… Given the close ties between the Thai military and the junta and both sides’ ‘tolerance of authoritarianism,’ it is not surprising that Thailand aspires ‘to work outside of Asean’ on the Myanmar issue, ANU’s Raymond said.” – SCMP

December 20, 2023
Trump Ballot RulingTrump Is Disqualified From the 2024 Ballot, Colorado Supreme Court Rules
“Colorado’s top court ruled on Tuesday that former President Donald J. Trump is disqualified from holding office again because he engaged in insurrection leading up to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, an explosive ruling that injected more legal uncertainty into the 2024 presidential race and could put the basic contours of the election in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.” – The New York Times

December 19, 2023
Trump ‘kept a book of Adolf Hitler speeches by his bed’, according to resurfaced Ivana interview
Donald Trump’s former wife claimed he kept a book of Adolf Hitler speeches in his bedside table in a resurfaced interview, amid accusations that he is “parroting” the controversial leader’s words. After a recent speech given by the former president at a rally in New Hampshire, Republican politicians were confronted with accusations that the former president was repeating some problematic tropes shared by the Nazi leader. In his speech, Trump claimed that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of the United States, echoing the same hatred and fear whipped up by Hitler.” – Indy100

December 19, 2023
China rights activist goes on trial for ‘inciting subversion of state power’
Li’s charges carry a sentence of up to five years, or potentially longer if she is deemed a ringleader. Li’s lawyer Li Guobei said she had been blocked from entering the Linyi intermediate people’s court, where the trial was due to be held, by two security guards…. Li is the partner of the imprisoned human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong, one of the leaders of China’s embattled civil rights movement. In November, a court in Shandong upheld the conviction of Xu and a fellow human rights lawyer, Ding Jiaxi, for subversion of state power, sentencing them to 14 and 12 years in prison respectively…. Li was arrested on 14 March 2021, having previously spent several months under ‘residential surveillance at a designated location,’ a form of detention used by China’s police to hold someone outside of a normal prison without access to family or lawyers. After her release from that period of detention, Li described her experience as ‘black hoods and handcuffs, closed rooms, 24-hour white lights,’… Previously employed in Tsinghua University’s sociology department, Li had worked as a researcher and activist since at least 2017, when she worked with other volunteers to support migrant workers who had been evicted from their homes in Beijing in 2017. She later supported various MeToo campaigns and helped Xu maintain the website Beautiful China, where they published articles about China’s civil rights movement.” – The Guardian

December 18, 2023
Israeli Official Suggests Gaza Be ‘Flattened Completely, Just Like Auschwitz Today’
“In addition to mentioning the Nazi death camp, David Azoulai said in a radio interview that Israel should forcibly send Palestinians to refugee camps in Lebanon.” – HuffPost

December 16, 2023
Trump tells rally immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood of our country’
“The broadcaster Mehdi Hasan said on Saturday: ‘Classic Trump: say something crazy outrageous, neo-Nazi-like and it gets headlines, creates outrage. “o wait a little. Then say it again, no one notices, no coverage, and it gets normalized and mainstreamed. Let’s be clear: migrants ‘poisoning the blood’ is Hitler rhetoric.’” – HuffPost

December 16, 2023
Ron DeSantis Sides With Man Who Destroyed Satanic Temple Statue At Iowa State Capitol
“’Satan has no place in our society and should not be recognized as a ‘religion’ by the federal government,’ the Florida governor wrote on X…. Michael Cassidy, a 35-year-old Navy veteran and former Mississippi House candidate, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief for the statue vandalism, the Des Moines Register reported. On his campaign website, Cassidy describes himself as ‘a Christian conservative who loves our nation and is committed to preserving the blessings of liberty bestowed upon us by the Founding generation.’ Cassidy told The Sentinel that he destroyed the statue to ‘awaken Christians to the anti-Christian acts promoted by our government. I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged,’ he said. ‘My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.’” – Huffpost

December 16, 2023
In India, There’s an App for Everything. Even Dream Babies.
“Underpinning this maternal inheritance is a practice known as garbh sanskar, in which the nurturing of a child, and the creation of an environment conducive to instilling a Hindu value system, begins in the womb. – The New York Times

December 16, 2023
Supreme Contempt for Women
“Religious fanatics on the Supreme Court have yanked America back to back alleys. American women are punished, branded with Scarlet Letters, forced to flee to get procedures…. It is outrageous that such an important right in America was stripped away by a handful of cloistered, robed zealots, driven by religious doctrine, with no accountability.” – The New York Times

December 16, 2023
US Homelessness Soars To Highest Reported Level As Rents Soar
“About 653,000 people were homeless, the most since the country began using the yearly point-in-time survey in 2007.” – HuffPost

December 15, 2023
Why is the US far right finding its savior in Spanish dictator Francisco Franco?
“The military general led a nationalist revolt against Spain’s democratic republic from 1936-1939, executing 150,000 of his opponents…. It also comes as fears of authoritarianism and Christian nationalism in the US are on the rise with Donald Trump almost certain to win the Republican party nomination amid fears he would misuse his powers in any second term to erode or dismantle American democracy.” – The Guardian

December 14, 2023
How Zionists Became the New Nazis – Tragedy repeats itself in Israel
“The most traumatic event of my life happened six years before I was born. That’s when Nazi Germany implemented their ‘final solution’ to the ‘Jewish problem.’ My immediate family was already in the US by that time, but they lost friends and distant family to the terror…. In the Jewish community, the post-war reaction was a commitment that this horror could never happen again. But here we are, less than 80 years later, and it is happening again, only this time we’re the ones doing the terror. The horrors Israel is visiting in Gaza and the West Bank remind me of stories we heard in childhood about Germany…. It was in fact predicted by Jewish opponents of Zionism such as Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt. We know that abused, traumatized children often become abusers themselves. Why wouldn’t the same be true of an abused people, especially when the world rewards their abusiveness?” – Medium

December 14, 2023
State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack
“A Republican-led campaign against researchers who study disinformation online has zeroed in on the most prominent American government agency dedicated to countering propaganda and other information operations from terrorists and hostile nations. The agency, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, is facing a torrent of accusations in court and in Congress that it has helped the social media giants — including Facebook, YouTube and X — to censor Americans in violation of the First Amendment.” – The New York Times

December 14, 2023
‘The venom of our age’: James Carville on the danger of Mike Johnson’s Christian nationalism
Carville zeroed in on the US variant: white Christian nationalism, particularly as embodied by Mike Johnson, his fellow Louisianan and the US House speaker. ‘Johnson has no skill, no background, no majority to speak of.’… ‘What Johnson does represent is a level of breathtaking hypocrisy,’ Carville said. ‘His anti-homosexuality and young earthism are hypocrisy on steroids.’… ‘Young earthism’ signals Johnson’s belief that the planet is 6,000 years old, a literal interpretation of Genesis…. Johnson said: ‘The Ark Encounter is one way to bring people to this recognition of the truth that what we read in the Bible are actual historical events.’… ‘The debate I want begins: “Resolved, Christian nationalism is a greater threat to America than al-Qaida,”‘ Carville said. ‘I want students to see real debate and make up their own minds about what kind of America we want.’” – The Guardian

December 14, 2023
Rwandan politician who criticised Sunak’s bill fears for her safety
“A Rwandan opposition politician who publicly criticised the UK’s deportation deal this week fears for her safety after a presidential adviser condemned her for ‘waging war on her compatriots.’… Umuhoza, who spent eight years in jail after what human rights groups called a flawed trial, also says she has received warnings of a threat against her life. Her views have been condemned by government supporters on social media.” – The Guardian

December 14, 2023
Liz Cheney Is Very Worried
“’I am very sad to say,’ she acknowledges in her final pages, “’That America can no longer count on a body of elected Republicans to protect our republic.’” – The New York Times

December 13, 2023
How Zionists Became the New Nazis – Tragedy repeats itself in Israel
“In the Jewish community, the post-war reaction was a commitment that this horror could never happen again. But here we are, less than 80 years later, and it is happening again, only this time we’re the ones doing the terror. The horrors Israel is visiting in Gaza and the West Bank remind me of stories we heard in childhood about Germany.” – Medium

December 13, 2023
Inside the Troll Army Waging Trump’s Online Campaign
“A team of meme-makers has been flooding social media with pro-Trump posts riddled with sexist and racist tropes. Donald Trump is cheering them on. Mr. Trump has helped spread memes that traffic in misinformation, artificial intelligence and deepfakes. The meme-makers are ‘single-handedly changing the landscape of politics and social media,’ a Trump adviser said.” – The New York Times

December 8, 2023
OPEC Leader Tells Members to Block Any Climate Summit Deal to Curb Fossil Fuels
“In a letter, the secretary general of the oil cartel called on countries in the group to ‘reject any text or formula that targets energy.’ The head of the OPEC oil cartel, alarmed that nations gathered at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai are considering an agreement to phase out fossil fuels, has directed the group’s members to scuttle any deal that would affect the continued production and sales of oil, gas and coal.” – The New York Times

December 8, 2023
World’s Richest Families 2023
“From the house of Hermès to Gulf royals, the wealth of global dynasties soared 43% in the last year…. As a group, the world’s richest families have gotten $1.5 trillion wealthier since the last ranking…. If you want to see everyone who has more money than the most of the rest of the world combined, we have your list right here.” – Bloomberg

December 7, 2023
How Politicians Broke One of the World’s Best Health Care Systems
How Britain Put One of the World’s Best Health Care Systems on Life Support. as the Opinion video above argues, that esteemed institution is in jeopardy owing to mismanagement by British politicians. – The New York Times

December 7, 2023
Slavery and the Journal — Reckoning with History and Complicity
“The Journal’s relationships to slavery and racism were complicated. Its founders’ families had profited from slavery. Its authors wrote casually about slavery. And it provided a prominent forum where physicians perpetuated race hierarchies before and after the Civil War. It is essential that this complicity be recognized. The Journal’s engagement with slavery illustrates how medical theories, practices, and institutions influenced, and were influenced by, social and political injustices. The effort to reckon with this history must be sincere, deliberate, and persistent.” – New England Journal of Medicine

December 6, 2023
House approves resolution that declares ‘anti-Zionism is antisemitism’
“Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler condemns Republican attempts to ‘weaponise Jewish lives for political gains.’” Independent

December 3, 2023
It’s Time to Fix America’s Most Dangerous Law
“The Insurrection Act, a federal law that permits the president to deploy military troops in American communities to effectively act as a domestic police force under his direct command…. Its flaws would give Trump enormous latitude to wield the staggering power of the state against his domestic political enemies…. He has declared many of his domestic political opponents to be ‘vermin.’ His campaign has promised that his critics’ ‘sad, miserable existence’ will be ‘crushed.’ And he has specifically told his followers, ‘I am your vengeance.’ The act gets worse, much worse…. giving the president the ability to call out the National Guard or the regular army ‘whenever the president considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any state by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.’” – The New York Times

December 2, 2023
Sam Altman, Sugarcoating the Apocalypse
“Hinton, the so-called godfather of artificial intelligence, was stunned by OpenAI’s miracle baby, ChatGPT, realizing we may be only a few years from A.I. being smarter than we are. Hinton gloomily told ’60 Minutes’ in October that A.I. could malevolently turn on us, manipulating us with what it has learned from being fed all the books ever written, including works of Machiavelli.” – New York Times

November 29, 2023
Looks Like ‘Axis of Evil’ Is Back on the Menu
“’Axis of evil’ is a phrase that harkens back to an era of badly misguided optimism about American power abroad—and the badly mishandled wars that followed. The fact that it has come back could be a harbinger of what U.S. foreign policy will look like in the coming years.” – Foreign Policy

November 23, 2023
Learning from the Bomb
“Every August, I get discouraged by the diminishing public and media attention to the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9)…. Estimating the number of deaths attributable to the atomic bombs is challenging, since so many victims were vaporized. Perhaps the most accurate figures are 90,000 to 120,000 deaths in Hiroshima and 60,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki.3
… The RERF found no such threshold apparent in their data; every increase in exposure linearly increased the risk of disease…. For decades, the RERF and its international collaborators have contributed greatly to our knowledge of the short- and long-term effects of nuclear radiation, and they continue to provide a detailed scientific record of the horrors of nuclear war. That knowledge must not be buried or forgotten. It continues to make a compelling case for preventing the deployment of nuclear weapons.” – NEJM

November 22, 2023
What Was Hamas Thinking?
“Within this climate, the options Hamas had were to acquiesce to the continued assumption that Palestinians had been effectively defeated and to remain confined and strangulated within their various Bantustans—parcels of discontiguous land resembling the apartheid-era South African ‘homelands’ of the same name, where many disenfranchised urban Black people were relocated and governed by supposedly independent local puppet regimes while a white supremacist government continued to exert military control. The choice, as Hamas saw it, was between dying a slow death—as many in Gaza say—and fundamentally disrupting the entire equation.” – Foreign Policy

November 21, 2023
Billionaires are lining up to fund Donald Trump’s anti-democratic agenda
“The more disturbing Trump’s public proclamations become, the more US plutocrats seem to want him to win…. As more and more wealth concentrates at the top, the moneyed interests rationally fear that democratic majorities will take it away through higher taxes, stricter regulations (on everything from trade to climate change), enforcement of anti-monopoly laws, pro-union initiatives and price controls. So they’re sinking ever more of their wealth into anti-democracy candidates. Donald Trump is going full fascist these days and gaining the backing of prominent billionaires.” – The Guardian

November 21, 2023
Argentina’s new leader is a snake-oil salesman with extreme views on abortion, gay rights and more. I fear for my country
“Milei is often described as an outsider – but his revolutionary persona has been carefully crafted by one of the country’s richest men. Argentinian billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian plugged the wild-haired economist relentlessly on his A24 media network as an antidote to those he views as the dominant ‘political caste.’ Milei has accused the Peronist establishment of being ‘socialist’ because they had legalised gay marriage and abortion, put on trial and sentenced the perpetrators of Argentina’s genocidal 1976-83 dictatorship and threatened to impose new taxes on wealth.” – The Guardian

November 20, 2023
‘Extremely worrying’: Argentinian researchers reel after election of anti-science president
“Milei, who has called climate change a hoax and has said that companies should be allowed to pollute rivers ‘as much as they want to,’ has pledged to shut down key science agencies and eliminate the ministries of health, science and environment. His win ‘is not good news for science, public education, universities, culture, the environment and human rights in Argentina,’ says molecular biologist Alberto Kornblihtt.” – Nature

November 16, 2023
Russian artist jailed for seven years over Ukraine war price tag protest
“Aleksandra Skochilenko replaced five supermarket price tags with pieces of paper urging shoppers to stop the war.” – The Guardian

November 15, 2023
Trump goes all in on Nazi rhetoric, and the media gives him another free pass 
“In any other America on any other timeline, a presidential candidate echoing the words of Adolf Hitler would soon be packing up for an early retirement. We clearly don’t live in any of those Americas, because former President Donald Trump got yet another free pass from the press after echoing fascist slogans during a rally in New Hampshire last week.” – Politico

November 13, 2023
Leila de Lima, Critic of Duterte’s Drug War, Is Released on Bail
“Though she was never convicted, Ms. de Lima was detained for six years after she fiercely opposed the Philippine former president’s brutal war on drugs.” – The New York Times

November 13, 2023
Man Convicted in Russian Journalist’s Murder Is Pardoned After Serving in Ukraine
“The lawyer of Sergei G. Khadzhikurbanov, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping to organize the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, said he had been pardoned by President Vladimir V. Putin…. Ms. Politkovskaya, who became one of Russia’s most acclaimed journalists as a result of her uncompromising reports of human rights abuses during the country’s wars in Chechnya that erupted in the 1990s, was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in central Moscow. Her murder caused shock waves in Russia and abroad as it highlighted the growing dangers of reporting in the country that is critical of the Kremlin.” – The New York Times

November 13, 2023
An ‘Unimaginable’ Death Toll Among Anchorage’s Homeless Residents
“The harsh winters in Alaska have long brought dangers for those sleeping outside. But this year, those conditions have joined a confluence of other factors contributing to a dire situation: a housing crisis, the spread of fentanyl and a dearth of shelter beds after the city shuttered a large shelter in a city arena six months ago.” – The New York Times

November 13, 2023
Israel presides over a new Palestinian catastrophe
“For many Palestinians, one word haunts their historical imagination: ‘Nakba.’ It means catastrophe in Arabic and summons the disasters that befell hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war when they were driven from their homes and native cities in the wake of Israel’s founding. ‘Their villages were destroyed, or resettled and renamed, their histories erased,’ explained my colleague Louisa Loveluck. ‘It is a deep and enduring trauma that has touched nearly every Palestinian family — one many fear is repeating itself.’” – The Washington Post

November 12, 2023
Catholic dioceses are declaring bankruptcy. Abuse survivors say it’s a ‘way to silence’ them
“In Oakland, California, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Christ the Light is difficult to miss. Towering over Lake Merritt in the heart of the city, its modernist glass dome reflects the East Bay sun in all directions. The building, which was completed in 2008 and financed by the Roman Catholic diocese of Oakland, cost $175m. But that price tag confounds Joseph Piscitelli. In the 1970s, Piscitelli attended a Catholic high school in nearby Richmond, where, from the age of 14, he experienced repeated sexual abuse at the hands of his vice-principal, an ordained priest. For decades, Piscitelli experienced nightmares and panic attacks. Friends who had also been abused turned to drugs and alcohol, and several took their own lives…. ‘Oakland could get together enough money to build a $200m cathedral not too long ago, but they can’t get the money together to pay the child victims whom they raped for decades,’ Piscitelli said. ‘They’re morally and ethically bankrupt, but they’re not financially bankrupt.’… More than 2,000 individuals around the state had filed cases against the Catholic church; 330 accusers have sued the Oakland diocese alone.” – The Guardian

November 10, 2023
Outrage grows after ‘chilling call for genocide’ by Florida Republican
“Calls to censure Michelle Salzman, who said, ‘All of them’ when Democrat asked: ‘How many [dead Palestinians] will be enough?’” – The Guardian

November 9, 2023
Israel’s attacks on Gaza: The weapons and scale of destruction
“Since the start of Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip, following Hamas’s surprise attack on October 7, its military has killed more than 10,500 people, at least 4,300 of whom are children. Thousands more are missing or entombed under the rubble. Israel says it has struck at least 12,000 targets across the besieged Palestinian territory from October 7 to November 1, marking one of the most intense bombing campaigns in recent history…. According to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tonnes of explosives on the Gaza Strip since October 7, equivalent to two nuclear bombs. In comparison, the Little Boy nuclear bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima during World War II yielded 15,000 tonnes of high explosives and destroyed everything within a one-mile (1.6km) radius.” – Aljazeera

November 9, 2023
Most top Myanmar officers responsible for rape and torture – war crimes report
“Security Force Monitor finds 64% of senior army officers led units allegedly committing killings, rapes, torture and disappearances…. Widespread sexual violence perpetrated by Myanmar’s soldiers has been a hallmark of the culture of abuse and impunity in the country’s decades-long civil wars with its ethnic minorities. A Human Rights Watch report in 2017 found that security forces raped and sexually assaulted countless women and girls before and during major attacks on villages and that, in every case described to them, the perpetrators were uniformed members of Myanmar’s armed forces.” – The Guardian

November 8, 2023
The Lancet Commission on medicine, Nazism, and the Holocaust: historical evidence, implications for today, teaching for tomorrow
“The Holocaust, the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Jews by the National Socialist (Nazi) regime and its collaborators, is arguably the most extreme instance of crimes against humanity and genocide in history. During its reign of terror, the Nazi regime committed innumerable acts of violence against Jews, Sinti and Roma, people with disabilities or psychiatric illnesses, political prisoners, prisoners of war, and others. A distinctive and disturbing feature of these atrocities is the important role that health professionals played in formulating, supporting, and implementing inhumane and often genocidal policies.” – The Lancet

November 7, 2023
Why Southern Baptists are Furious Over a Sex Abuse Case in Kentucky
“At the center of the case is a woman whose father, a police officer, was convicted in 2020 of sexually abusing her over a period of years when she was a child. The woman later sued several parties, including the Louisville Police Department, saying they knew about the abuse and had a duty to report it. Now, the state’s highest court is considering whether sex abuse victims can have more time to sue ‘non-perpetrators’ — institutions or their leaders that are obligated to protect children from such abuse…. The brief has disrupted continuing reform efforts in the denomination, which have gained momentum since an investigation by The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News in 2019 revealed that hundreds of Southern Baptist leaders had pleaded guilty or had been convicted of sex crimes in recent decades.” – New York Times

November 3, 2023
‘The perpetrators were people like us’: the burden of history at Auschwitz
“As we tramped through the rain and mud of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) – where 1.3 million people were held, 1.1 million of whom perished, including 1 million Jews, up to 75,000 Poles, 20,000 Roma and Sinti and 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war as well as prisoners from elsewhere in Europe – the burden of history was on us…. The story of Auschwitz, he said, was the story of dehumanisation, of us and them, of perpetrators and prisoners…. ‘They did monstrous things but they weren’t monsters. They were people like us, they did what they did then they went home to their families, had dinner … if we want to look for a warning of this, it’s not the tragedy of the victims. It’s the people who chose to do this,’ he says.” – The Guardian

November 2, 2023
Ukraine reports most extensive Russian shelling of the year
“It comes amid reports that North Korea has supplied Russia with two months’ worth of artillery shells…. ‘Over the last 24 hours, the enemy shelled 118 settlements in 10 regions,’ Igor Klymenko, the Ukrainian interior minister, wrote on social media. ‘This is the highest number of cities and villages that have come under attack since the start of the year.’” – The Guardian 

November 2, 2023
Hamas says Israeli strikes on Gaza City district kill more than 195 people
Pressing an offensive against Hamas militants, Israel has bombed Gaza by land, sea and air in its campaign to wipe out the Iran-backed Islamist group after its cross-border rampage into southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israel said Hamas gunmen killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took more than 200 hostages. The Gaza health ministry says at least 8,796 Palestinians in the narrow coastal enclave, including 3,648 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes since Oct. 7.” – Reuters

November 2, 2023
Iranian mother jailed for 13 years after denouncing death of son shot at protest
“Mahsa Yazdani convicted of blasphemy and ‘insulting supreme leader’ as Iran regime targets families of those killed in protests. A mother in Iran, whose son was reportedly killed after being shot repeatedly at close range by security forces, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by an Iranian court after she demanded justice for her child on social media.” – The Guardian

November 1, 2023
Former Australian PM Tony Abbott says climate warnings are ‘ahistorical and implausible’
“Speaking in London, Abbott criticises the ‘emissions obsession’ of a ‘climate cult that will eventually be discredited.’” – The Guardian

November 1, 2023
‘The Embodiment of White Christian Nationalism in a Tailored Suit’
“Mike Johnson is the first person to become speaker of the House who can be fairly described as a Christian nationalist, a major development in American history in and of itself. Equally important, however, his ascension reflects the strength of white evangelical voters’ influence in the House Republican caucus, voters who are determined to use the power of government to roll back the civil rights, women’s rights and sexual revolutions…. What is Christian nationalism? Christianity Today described it as the ‘belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way. Popularly, Christian nationalists assert that America is and must remain a “Christian nation” — not merely as an observation about American history, but as a prescriptive program for what America must continue to be in the future.'” – The New York Times

November 1, 2023
Infant Deaths Have Risen for the First Time in 20 Years
The increases were particularly stark among babies born to Native American, Alaska Native and white mothers in 2022. Rates among Black infants remained highest of all. The mortality rate of babies between 4 weeks and a year old increased by 3 percent last year, a significant jump over the figure in 2021.” – The New York Times

November 1, 2023
Pay Gap for Women in New York City Is Unchanged Since 2007, Study Says
“Sixty years after a federal law mandated equal pay for equal work, women who live in New York City, one of the world’s leading economic hubs, still earn less than men across all occupations, from lawyers and accountants to child care workers…. Since 1997, women’s pay in the city has actually declined slightly.” – The New York Times

October 27, 2023
Spanish Church sexual abuse affected 200,000 children, commission finds
“The details emerged from an unprecedented public investigation by Spain’s ombudsman, who spoke of the ‘devastating impact’ on victims. Angel Gabilondo also criticised the Church for its inaction and attempts to cover up or deny the abuse. ‘What has happened has been possible because of that silence,’ he said…. It found that 0.6% of the country’s adult population, roughly 39 million people, said that they had suffered sexual abuse as children by members of the clergy. That percentage rose to 1.13%, more than 400,000 people, when including alleged abuse by lay people in institutions overseen by the Church.” – BBC

October 27, 2923
‘Why must we be silent?’: horrific attack in Kyrgyzstan puts focus on violence against women
“’He hit me twice on the head with his fists, then began to strangle me,’ she says. ‘I heard my youngest son screaming and crying, then I lost consciousness. I woke up on the kitchen floor. Everything was covered in blood.’ Nogoibaeva could not work out where the blood was coming from. It was only later that she found out that her ex-husband had cut off her nose and ears…. Campaigners at the Femicide in Kyrgyzstan project have identified at least 300 murders of women – at the hands of their husbands, boyfriends or former partners – between 2008 and 2020. In 70% of the cases, the killer attempted to dispose of the body to hide the crime, they said. During the first eight months of 2023, 8,512 cases of domestic violence were officially registered, according to the ministry of internal affairs. Just 2% have gone to trial. In 2022, only 2,709 of 6,580 registered domestic violence cases went to trial.” – The Guardian

October 26, 2023
Three’s a Party in the New Age of Nuclear Brinkmanship
“The report, ‘America’s Strategic Posture,’ is 160 pages of grim warnings, doom and gloom, and a bevy of recommendations on how to modernize and revamp the U.S. nuclear arsenal…. The report’s findings ‘are likely to exacerbate the arms race, further constrict the window for engaging with Russia and China on arms control, and redirect funding away from more proximate priorities,’ the Federation of American Scientists, a policy and advocacy organization, concluded in its analysis of the review. William Hartung of the Quincy Institute think tank lambasted the report as reminiscent of the classic 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove, which is about the absurdity of nuclear weapons and nuclear doctrine. ‘[N]uclear hawks—and even moderates who should know better—will brandish the report in their efforts to promote a nuclear buildup that is both enormously risky and immensely expensive,’ he wrote. ‘We survived the Cold War nuclear arms race in part by sheer luck—we shouldn’t take that risk again.’” – Foreign Policy

October 25, 2023
The Palestine Double Standard
“It is, of course, a remarkably effective strategy. A slaughter isn’t a slaughter if those being slaughtered are at fault, if they’ve been quietly and effectively dehumanized — in the media, through policy — for years. If nobody is a civilian, nobody can be a victim.” – The New York Times

October 24, 2023
Iranian teen now ‘brain dead’ after alleged altercation with morality police on Tehran metro
“Sixteen-year-old Armita Geravand was admitted to hospital with head injuries earlier this month after the incident at a Tehran metro station. Activists have accused the morality police of assaulting the teenager for not wearing a hijab…. Iranian police have denied allegations that the teenager was hurt following a confrontation with officers, who say Ms Geravand ‘fainted’ due to low blood pressure…. Many Iranians have drawn parallels with the case of Mahsa Amini, 22, who died in custody in September 2022 after being detained by morality police in Tehran for allegedly wearing her hijab ‘improperly.’ Witnesses alleged she was beaten by officers, but authorities attributed her death to pre-existing medical conditions. During the protests that followed Amini’s death, hundreds of people were killed and thousands were detained amid a violent crackdown by security forces.” – Independent

October 24, 2023
Open the Congo files and face up to what the CIA did
“In fact, the CIA very much had blood on its hands for the death of Lumumba. It played a role in every event leading to his downfall and death….. Lumumba’s death robbed Congo of a popular leader who had a plausible route back to the prime minister’s office. Instead, the country was saddled with Mobutu, a feckless military ruler who, in his early years, required constant CIA help to stay in power. Nourished by American aid, Mobutu remained in charge until 1997. The collapse of his regime sparked a war so bloody and confused that estimates of its death toll range from 2 million to 5 million.” – The Washington Post

October 22, 2023
Israel’s bombing of Gaza undercuts the West’s Ukraine moralism
“’Today, Western governments are paying for their inability to find, or even to seek, a solution to the Palestinian question,’ noted an editorial in French daily Le Monde. ‘In the current tense climate, their support for Israel — which is perceived as exclusive by the rest of the world — risks jeopardizing their efforts to convince Southern countries that international security is at stake in Ukraine.’ The diplomat speaking to the FT gloomily summed up the latest Gaza war’s impact: ‘All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost … Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.’” – The Washington Post

October 21, 2023
‘The most successful land-grab strategy since 1967’ as settlers push Bedouins off West Bank territory
“‘They didn’t leave us air to breathe,’ said Zawahri, 52, describing a months-long campaign of violence and intimidation that intensified in the last two weeks. First villagers were barred from grazing lands, and the spring, then violence reached their homes. ‘They came into the village and destroyed houses and sheep pens, beat an 85-year-old man, scared our children. Slowly our lives became unlivable.’ A few men are trying to stay on amid the shells of homes, empty animal pens, smashed solar panels and broken windows, staking a fragile claim to their own village.” – The Guardian

October 21, 2023
UN finds further evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine
“Report points to ‘wilful killing, torture, rape and other sexual violence, and the deportation of children to the Russian Federation.’” – The Guardian

October 18, 2023
We’re anti-Zionist Jews and we see genocide unfolding in Gaza
“As Jews, we condemn what Israel is doing in Gaza. Any mass slaughter will not just be on Israel’s hands, but on the hands of America.” – The Guardian

October 17, 2023
“Weak rules and industry power have allowed ultra-processed products on the menu…. The weak standards that govern federally subsidized school lunches illustrate the power of the food industry in Congress and the outsize influence of food companies on the School Nutrition Association, which represents 50,000 school lunch personnel. While many nations have adopted more-nutritious school meals and stricter advertising standards, pizza sauce and french fries still count as vegetables for schoolchildren in the United States, and U.S. food companies remain virtually free to advertise to youngsters any way they like. Together, these circumstances contribute to the country’s harrowing childhood obesity problem: Nearly 20 percent of children are obese, a rate nearly four times what it was in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and much higher than those in most other countries. The rates are worse for Black, Latino and Native American children…. More than a decade after the last major overhaul of school nutrition standards, the Agriculture Department is proposing to further restrict sodium in school lunches and added sugar in cereals, flavored milks, desserts and yogurt, starting in fall of 2025 — despite some objections from industry representatives, congressional Republicans and the School Nutrition Association…. ‘Any of these regulations that are implemented to try to improve health and lifetime-wellness outcomes for children are manipulated and bent to afford profitability for large food manufacturers.’… Studies have suggested a link between ultra-processed food — industrially produced using additives that make food hyper-palatable — and obesity as well as chronic disease. The rate of premature deaths linked to obesity more than doubled in the last two decades for people 35 to 64 years old, according to a Washington Post analysis of CDC death records.” – The Washington Post

October 15, 2023
Tom Cotton Says Israel Can ‘Bounce The Rubble’ In Gaza Amid Humanitarian Crisis
“The Arkansas Republican essentially said bombing Palestinian women and children is a justified counterattack to Hamas’ assault on Israeli civilians.” – HuffPost

October 13, 2023
As Israel ramps up war with Hamas, backers cheer destruction of Gaza
“An interview with former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett on Britain’s Sky News got rather heated…. ‘Are you seriously asking me about Palestinian civilians?’ Bennett shouted in response. ‘What is wrong with you? Have you not seen what’s happened? We’re fighting Nazis.’… In their messaging, Israeli authorities have likened their quarry not just to Nazis, but to ‘human animals’ and to the Islamic State. – Washington Post

October 13, 2023
An Alabama woman was imprisoned for ‘endangering’ her fetus. She gave birth in a jail shower
In March 2021, sheriffs in Etowah county, Alabama, arrested Ashley Caswell on accusations that she’d tested positive for methamphetamine while pregnant and was “endangering” her fetus. Caswell, who was two months pregnant at the time, became one of a growing number of women imprisoned in the county in the name of protecting their “unborn children”. But over the next seven months of incarceration for ‘chemical endangerment’ in the Etowah county detention center (ECDC), Caswell was denied regular access to prenatal visits, even as officials were aware her pregnancy was high-risk due to her hypertension and abnormal pap smears…. She was also denied her prescribed psychiatric medication and slept on a thin mat on the concrete floor of the detention center for her entire pregnancy.” – The Guardian

October 13, 2023
Ferdinand Marcos Jr drops Philippines holiday marking toppling of father
Day commemorating 1986 People Power Revolution omitted from official list of holidays for 2024…. Thousands of political opponents were tortured, arrested and disappeared during Marcos Sr’s time in office, while as much as $10bn (£8bn) was plundered.” – The Guardian

October 13, 2023
CIA admits 1953 Iranian coup it backed was undemocratic
The toppling of prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq and ensuing rule of the shah directly led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution…. The coup also prompted the CIA into a series of further actions in other countries, including Guatemala, where American clandestine operations in 1954 installed a military dictator and sparked a 40-year civil war that likely killed approximately 245,000 people.” – The Guardian

October 12, 2023
Israeli official says government cannot confirm babies were beheaded in Hamas attack
“The Israeli government has not confirmed the specific claim that Hamas attackers cut off the heads of babies during their shock attack on Saturday, an Israeli official told CNN, contradicting a previous public statement by the Prime Minister’s office.” – CNN

October 9, 2023
There Are No Rules – States and quasi-states are using extreme, uninhibited violence against civilian populations.
“The Geneva Conventions did not stop the Vietnamese from torturing American prisoners of war, did not prevent Americans at Abu Ghraib from torturing Iraqi prisoners of war, and do not prevent Russians from torturing Ukrainian prisoners of war today…. Open brutality has again become celebrated in international conflicts, and a long time may pass before anything else replaces it.” – The Atlantic

October 9, 2023
Western leaders accused of hypocrisy over response to Palestine, Ukraine
Social media users, including journalists and observers, are calling out what they call a ‘double standard’…. Clips also emerged on social media from a CNN interview with Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, in which he posed the rhetorical question, ‘Why does the United States support Ukraine in fighting occupation – while here they support the occupier, who continues to occupy us?’” – Aljazeera

October 8, 2023
RNC Chair Spots ‘Great Opportunity’ For GOP Candidates Following Hamas Attack
“’I think this is a great opportunity for our candidates to contrast where Republicans have stood with Israel ― time and time again ― and Joe Biden has been weak,’ McDaniel said.” – HuffPost

October 8, 2023
Media Calls The Attack On Israel Unprovoked. Experts Say That’s Historically Inaccurate.
“As the violence between Israel and Hamas rages on, experts point to the decadeslong apartheid against Palestinians that led to the recent attacks.” – HuffPost

October 7, 2023
Angus Deaton on inequality: ‘The war on poverty has become a war on the poor’
“The Nobel prize winner and author of new book Economics in America argues economists must get back to serving society…. 
Deaton persevered, building a reputation as a contrarian for scrutinising the prevailing orthodoxy that an unfettered free market would deliver greater economic equality and individual liberty, and that government intervention and regulation would undermine both. The result, said Deaton, is a predatory brand of capitalism in the US that enriches corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working people, deepens inequality of wealth and opportunity, and – although many Americans will deny it – is fuelling the rise of a class system. As he picks the system apart, Deaton zeros in on the evident absurdities of claims about the purity of the market. The results are clear. Real wages have stagnated since 1980 while productivity has more than doubled and the rich cream off the profits. The top 10% of US families now own 76% of wealth. The bottom 50% own just 1%.” – The Guardian

October 7, 2023
‘An end of American democracy’: Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s historic threat
“The historiI am going to watch. Nobody is to remain silent.
You are so full of gibberish. Throw it out! First clean the ground, then silence descends on its and Substack superstar says the US is in peril not seen since the civil war – and Joe Biden is its best defender. Kevin Seefried did what the rebel army never could. On 6 January 2021, the 53-year-old carried a Confederate flag through the US Capitol. For historians of the American civil war such as Heather Cox Richardson, it was like a blow to the solar plexus. ‘The whole point of a civil war was to make sure that battle flag never had influence in the United States Capitol,’ she says, via Zoom from near Augusta, Maine. ‘With a loss of almost $6bn and 600,000 lives, they kept that flag out of the Capitol, and then, I’m sorry, but those fuckers brought it in. I saw that, and the gut-punch was larger than any other moment in history, for me as a historian who has lived that civil war as deeply as I have.’” – The Guardian

October 6, 2023
No Charges Against Georgia State Troopers Who Killed ‘Cop City’ Activist
“Manuel Teran, 26, was shot 57 times by police in January while protesting the intended site of the new training facility, dubbed ‘Cop City’ by critics…. Teran is accused by police of shooting at officers through their tent four times with a 9 mm pistol, injuring an officer. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation alleged Teran had gun residue on their hands. But an autopsy from the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office and another independent autopsy did not detect the presence of gunshot residue. The independent autopsy also found that Teran had their hands raised in the air when they were fatally shot. ‘Manuel’s left and right hands show exit wounds in both palms,’ a statement from attorneys representing Teran’s family said at the time. ‘The autopsy further reveals that Manuel was most probably in a seated position, cross-legged when killed.’ Georgia State Troopers are not required by law to wear body cameras, but nearby Atlanta Police Department body cameras did capture an officer suggesting that another officer had been shot by friendly fire. There was apparently no footage of the shooting itself.” – HuffPost

October 6, 2023
Anti-migrant fringe group NSC-131 not so fringe
“The New England-based neo-Nazi group is apparently trying to recruit new members on the South Shore. Carrying banners with messages like “Invaders: go home” and ‘New England is ours, the rest must go,’ members of a home-grown neo-Nazi group have been showing up lately to protest outside emergency shelters where the state of Massachusetts is housing migrants.” – The Boston Globe

October 5, 2023
I Saw a Rural Teacher Throw a Student Down the Stairs
Pro-authoritarian conditioning starts early in small town America.” – Medium

October 4, 2023
Did Trump Echo Hitler with Remark About Migrants: ‘Poisoning the Blood of Our Country’?
“Medhi Hasan, the host of MSNBC’s ‘The Medhi Hasan Show,’ posted on X that former U.S. President Donald Trump said that undocumented immigrants coming into the U.S. were ‘poisoning the blood of our country.’ Hasan called Trump’s remark “a straight-up white supremacist [or] neo-Nazi talking point.” – Snopes

October 4, 2023
The U.S. Has a New Set of Tools for Bullying the World
“The system by which the United States seeks to lay down laws for the whole world has more to do with economics than with brute force. Over the past two decades, the United States has made use of a novel, often mysterious set of tools for rewarding those who help it and punishing those who cross it. That set of tools is now a bit less mysterious, thanks to two political scientists, Henry Farrell of Johns Hopkins and Abraham Newman of Georgetown. Their book published last month, ‘Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the Global Economy,’ reveals how the United States benefits from a set of institutions built up late last century as neutral means of streamlining global markets…. The United States now has the ability to survey and influence the world’s communications and supply chains, should it choose to…. American policymakers have weaponized the world economy in a way that is hard for democracies to register, let alone influence…. The authors hint they would not be half so worried about these regulatory means if only they served worthier ends — say, fighting climate change instead of protecting American hegemony.” – The New York Times

October 4, 2023
Toxic information is harming democracies — and my starving daughter
“Worse, the platforms are aware of and profiting from this, as the whistleblower Frances Haugen, formerly of Facebook, helped expose. The platform’s own analysis shows it harms children. Those of us working on malign information operations are intimately familiar with the ways these platforms operate: Bad, angry informationis promoted over the good. Engagement is prioritized over authoritative, constructive content. On YouTube, even when there are multiple complaints and warnings, false content often remains in active circulation.” – The Washington Post

October 4, 2023
How generative AI is boosting the spread of disinformation and propaganda
“In a new report, Freedom House documents the ways governments are now using the tech to amplify censorship…. Governments and political actors around the world, in both democracies and autocracies, are using AI to generate texts, images, and video to manipulate public opinion in their favor and to automatically censor critical online content.” – MIT Technology Review

October 4, 2023
Five years after Khashoggi murder, lots of geopolitics, little justice
“U.S. intelligence officials believed the order to ‘capture or kill’ Khashoggi came from the very top in Riyadh — that is, from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman…. From the outset, the Trump administration worked to shield the crown prince from further scrutiny. But President Biden also decided to effectively drop the matter in his dealings with Riyadh, even after campaigning on the need to make the Saudi royal a global ‘pariah.’ Instead, Prince Mohammed is once more a fixture in Western capitals and global forums. Last year, he received Biden on his home soil with an awkward fist bump; now, his kingdom is discussing terms with the United States over a lucrative potential security alliance.” – The Washington Post

October 4, 2023
Indonesia voted at the UN not to sell arms to Myanmar. So why are its state-owned firms suspected of selling to the junta?
“Human rights groups on Tuesday urged Indonesia to investigate suspected arms sales by state-owned companies to Myanmar, where Indonesia has been trying to promote reconciliation since a 2021 military coup triggered widespread conflict. Groups filed a complaint with Indonesia’s national human rights commission on Monday alleging that three state-owned arms makers had been selling equipment to Myanmar since the coup, according to Feri Amsari, a legal adviser to the activists…. The UN special rapporteur on Myanmar reported in May that Myanmar’s military had imported at least US$1 billion worth of arms and related material since the coup, largely from Russia, China, Singapore, Thailand and India.” – South China Morning Post

October 3, 2023
Telling the Truth About Mexico, and Dying for It
“Drug violence and government corruption have put the country’s journalists in peril. In one town, reporters tried to fight back…. If Mexico ever hoped to escape the violence that was devouring it, Linares often said, the press would need to pursue the politicians who enabled the crime…. Since the central government began its brutal and chaotic war on drugs in 2006, at least 128 reporters have been killed there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 13 of them last year alone, a chilling record.” – The New York Times

October 3, 2023
With Surge in Attacks, Militants Begin New Era of Bloodshed in Pakistan
“Since the Taliban seized power in neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021, offering some groups safe haven on Afghan soil and starting a crackdown on others that pushed their fighters into neighboring Pakistan, the violence has roared back. The number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan rose by around 50 percent during the Taliban’s first year in power, compared with the year before, according to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, which monitors extremist violence and is based in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.” – The New York Times

October 3, 2023
NewsClick: Delhi police raid homes of prominent journalists
“Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group for journalists, has placed India at 161st place in its press freedom rankings this year. It said the situation in the country has deteriorated from ‘problematic’ to ‘very bad’ and compared it with Tajikistan (at 153rd) and Turkey (at 165th).” – BBC

October 1, 2023
Police think a landfill holds women’s bodies. Why won’t they search it?
“Indigenous women make up 5 percent of women in Canada, but they represented 24 percent of all women homicide victims from 2015 to 2020. A government-appointed commission said in 2019 that the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls in Canada amounted to a ‘race-based genocide.’” – The Washington Post

Septemeber 30, 2023
All the Palestinians Got From Oslo Was KFC
“Thirty years of the peace process has left us with less land and fewer rights.” – Foreign Policy

September 30, 2023
Revealed: UK government keeping files on education critics’ social media activity
“An Observer investigation finds DfE tried to cancel conference with ‘unsuitable’ speakers – and experts who criticised state education policy had online posts monitored. The Department for Education (DfE) is keeping files monitoring the social media activity of some of the country’s leading educational experts…. Bradbury, principal lecturer in early childhood studies at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘I received a phone call from the organisers saying there were some concerns about us being speakers. The DfE had decided we were unsuitable because we had been critical of government policy.’ He said: ‘To be told that we couldn’t have this debate felt like we were living in a dictatorship, not a democracy.'” – The Guardian

September 29, 2023
‘Canada has a dark history with Nazis’: political scandal prompts reckoning
“Canada has a really dark history with Nazis in Canada,” the immigration minister, Marc Miller, told reporters ahead of the prime minister’s apology. “There was a point in our history where it was easier to get [into Canada] as a Nazi than it was as a Jewish person. I think that’s a history we have to reconcile.” – The Guardian

September 26, 2023
In My Country, a Woman Dies From an Illegal Abortion About Every Two Days
“Today Brazil prohibits abortion, with only narrow exceptions in cases of rape, risk to life and a fatal fetal condition known as anencephaly…. Brazil’s women cannot wait any longer for the equality and justice their Constitution promises them. The court must vote, and it must do so as soon as possible…. There is nothing more to analyze, no more evidence to call; only a constitutional future for the women of Brazil and their fundamental rights awaits. The time for judgment is now.” – The New York Times

September 26, 202
Inside with Jen Psaki
“Ahead of Trump’s visit to Michigan, I thought the story of one GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, might be useful… He was a charlatan then and he is a charlatan now.” – X

September 26, 2o23
Uyghur academic, 57, jailed for life in China for ‘endangering state security’
“Prior to her conviction, Dawut was a professor at Xinjiang University and founder of the school’s Ethnic Minorities Folklore Research Center. She was internationally renowned for her work studying sacred Islamic sites, authoring books and lecturing as a visiting scholar abroad…. Beijing has been accused of committing “crimes against humanity”against the Uyghurs and other ethnic minority groups over the past decade through alleged widespread abuses, including mass incarceration, forced labour, torture and sexual assault…. ‘She was a guardian of Uyghur identity, and that’s something the Chinese government is after,’ Ms Mijit told the Associated Press. ‘They want to erase everything, and they want Uyghurs to forget how beautiful and colourful a culture they had.’” – Independent

September 26, 2023
After Taking Away Critics’ Citizenship, a Country Takes Their Houses
“Managua in 2018: Government opposition landed hundreds of people in prison, and at least 300 were shot in protests.” – The New York Times

September 25, 2023
Why thousands of people missing in the Mediterranean are never identified
“The first quarter of 2023 was the deadliest in six years for migrants seeking passage; experts and activists insist more can be done…. Over the past decade, the vast blue sea between North Africa, Turkey and Europe has become a stage for mass death. Of the more than 2 million people who have attempted the crossing, most from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, at least 28,000 are missing, presumed to have perished, conservative estimates suggest.” – The Washington Post

September 24, 2023
Unreleased Sinéad O’Connor song to play at finale of church cruelty drama
“Hers was once the lone voice of protest singing out against the abuses of the Catholic church in Ireland – a brave stand that made her an outcast in the entertainment industry until many of her claims were proved true…. ‘The first half of the track is completely heartbreaking, and the second half is pure defiance,’ said David Holmes, the Belfast musician who produced O’Connor’s music in her final years…. ‘It’s crazy that the last laundry only closed in the 90s. Those girls were being tortured. I’ve never been able to get my head around the collective evil of those nuns.'” –  The Guardian

September 22, 2023
China MeToo activist stands trial for subversion
Journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin appeared in court in the southern city of Guangzhou on Friday with her co-accused, labour campaigner Wang Jianbing. The two were detained in 2021 as part of China’s wide crackdown on activists. Ms Huang, a freelance journalist, was a prominent figure in the MeToo movement in China, sparking the first MeToo case in 2018 after she helped a graduate student go public with accusations against her PhD supervisor. Ms Huang also wrote about her experiences on workplace sexual harassment while working at a Chinese news agency. Many advocates for gender rights and social causes in China choose to remain anonymous and are accused of being ‘agents of hostile western forces’ by state media and nationalists online. Mr Wang, a strong supporter of gender rights, is better known for defending labour rights and helping workers with disabilities find legal support.” – BBC

September 23, 2023
Vietnam executes man despite diplomatic pleas for mercy: ‘sickening’, Amnesty says
In 2005 Le Van Manh was charged with robbery as well as the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in the northern Thanh Hoa province. The International Commission of Jurists said police obtained a confession through torture that was relied upon to convict him.” – SCMP

September 23, 2023
Misinformation research is buckling under GOP legal attacks
“An escalating campaign, led by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and other Republicans, has cast a pall over programs that study political disinformation and the quality of medical information online.” – The Washington Post

September 22, 2023
9/11 Suspect Can’t Stand Trial Because Abuse In CIA Custody Left Him Psychotic, Judge Says
“A military judge at Guantanamo Bay has ruled a 9/11 defendant incompetent to stand trial after a military medical panel found that the man’s abuse in CIA custody years earlier had rendered him psychotic.” – HuffPost

September 20, 2023
Ex-Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson claims Rudy Giuliani groped her on January 6
“Cassidy Hutchinson, the former Trump aide turned crucial January 6 witness, says in a new book that she was groped by Rudy Giuliani, who was ‘like a wolf closing in on its prey,’ on the day of the attack on the Capitol. Describing meeting with Giuliani backstage at Donald Trump’s speech near the White House before his supporters marched on Congress in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, Hutchinson says the former New York mayor turned Trump lawyer put his hand ‘under my blazer, then my skirt.’ ‘I feel his frozen fingers trail up my thigh,’ she writes. ‘He tilts his chin up. The whites of his eyes look jaundiced. My eyes dart to [Trump adviser] John Eastman, who flashes a leering grin.'” – The Guardian

September 20, 2023
American Hatred Goes Global – How the United States Became a Leading Exporter of White Supremacist Terrorism.
“In its decades-long fight against terrorism, the United States regularly criticized countries such as Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for exporting extremist ideologies and violence. Ironically, today the United States stands accused of doing the same. The spread of homegrown American conspiracy theories, beliefs in racial superiority, antigovernment extremism, and other manifestations of hate and intolerance has become such a problem that some of the United States’ closest allies—Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom—have designated both American groups and citizens as foreign terrorists.” – Foreign Affairs

September 19, 2023
World inching ever closer to a great fracture, says UN chief
“António Guterres calls for financial reform, climate solidarity and an end to coal, in speech to UN general assembly. ‘Victims of years of conflict, victims of climate chaos, victims of leaders – near and far – who failed to find a way to peace,’ he said of those who died in the floods. ‘The people of Derna lived and died in the epicentre of that indifference.'” – The Guardian

September 19, 2023
Putin Is Obsessed With History. So Is the Man Behind His Name.
“Starting this month, all high school students in Russia have a new history textbook. On its pages, they’ll find a strikingly simplistic account of the past 80 years…. Stalin, in contrast to the standard depiction in Russian textbooks over the past 30 years, is presented as a wise and effective leader thanks to whom the Soviet Union won the war and ordinary people began to live much better. Repressions are mentioned, but in an accusatory way. The reader is left with the feeling that Stalin’s victims were guilty and suffered a well-deserved punishment.” – The New York Times

Saturday 17, 2023
Halliburton equipment worth $7.1m imported into Russia in past year, customs records show
“Exclusive: US oil multinationals face questions over trade with Russia amid pressure to cease operations…. There is exasperation in Ukraine at the lethargy of many large industrial players in the west in extracting themselves from the Russian economy…. Some of the world’s largest US oil and gas field service companies are already facing questions over their conduct. The Kremlin is heavily dependent on its oil and gas sector for the revenue that funds its military.” – The Guardian

Saturdays 16, 2023
Letter suggests Pope Pius XII knew of mass gassings of Jews and Poles in 1942
“Newly discovered correspondence suggests that the second world war-era Pope Pius XII had detailed information from a trusted German Jesuit that up to 6,000 Jews and Poles were being gassed each day in German-occupied Poland. The documentation undercuts the Vatican’s argument that it couldn’t verify diplomatic reports of Nazi atrocities to denounce them. The documentation from the Vatican archives, published this weekend in Italian daily Corriere della Sera, is likely to further fuel the debate about Pius’s legacy and his now-stalled beatification campaign.” – The Guardian

September 16, 2023
‘It is not possible to organise in Iran’: jailed activist warns of totalitarianism after Mahsa Amini protests
“The first anniversary of Amini’s death falls on Saturday, and the regime is taking every step to prevent protests, including with patrols outside the Amini family home…. ‘A totalitarian government is established here. Maybe because this is a modern totalitarianism, it has not come to the attention of the west. That is to say, because the structures of repression and censorship have given way to the structures of control and propaganda, the observers do not notice it. Or maybe they are deceived because of the promotion of a permitted opposition within modern totalitarianism,’” says Majid Tavakoli, one of Iran’s most prominent political activists has said, as he prepares to start a six-year jail sentence, leaving his wife and three-year-old daughter behind.” – The Guardian

September 15, 2023
A year after Mahsa Amini’s death: Repression and defiance in Iran
Its clerical leaders are still standing, having brutally crushed the demonstrations. More recently, they have strengthened the kind of strict social controls that gave rise to the protest movement…. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a parallel force loyal to the supreme leader, was key to crushing the demonstrations. Over six months, security forces killed more than 500 Iranians, according to rights groups. Tens of thousands were detained. Seven protesters were executed after hasty trials…. On Saturday, she will walk unveiled with like-minded Iranians. She will breathe in, she said, and keep trying to change her world.” – The Washington Post

September 15, 2023
The One Million Tibetan Children in China’s Boarding Schools
“As the Chinese government continues its 70-year quest to build legitimacy and control over Tibet, it is pivoting increasingly to using education as a battlefield to gain political control. By separating children from their families and familiar surroundings and funneling them into residential schools where they can become assimilated into Chinese subjects, the state is betting on a future where younger generations of Tibetans will become groomed Chinese Communist Party loyalists, model subjects easy to control and manipulate. Today these boarding schools house roughly one million children between ages 4 and 18, approximately 80 percent of that population. At least 100,000 of those children — and I believe there are many more — are only 4 or 5 years old, like my nieces were.” – The New York Times

September 15, 2023
With democracy on the ballot, the mainstream press must change its ways
“US news organizations have turned Biden’s age into a scandal and continue to cover Trump as an entertaining side show…. Last week, as she celebrated her 40 years at CNN, she issued a challenge to her fellow journalists in the US by describing how she would cover US politics as a foreign correspondent. ‘We have to be truthful, not neutral,’ she urged. ‘I would make sure that you don’t just give a platform … to those who want to crash down the constitution and democracy.’ It’s an important call to action. But so far, the American press is failing to meet its responsibility to adequately emphasize the stakes of the coming election.” – The Guardian

September 15, 2023
It’s a tragedy of modern plutocratic Britain: if you want to rise, follow the Piers Morgan playbook
In a rare moment of insight, the broadcaster articulated an undeniable truth: in the UK, the vastly wealthy hold the power…. But these specific impacts fail to capture the aggregate effect: the remarkable way in which society comes to reflect the demands of the ultra-rich…. Morgan’s maxim is not just the unspoken rule. It is also the unspeakable truth. Everyone knows it, hardly any will mention it. It underpins our august institutions, our legal codes, our manners and mores. It is the great silence we need to break.” – The Guardian

September 15, 2023
Alex Jones spent $93,000 in July, but none went to the Sandy Hook families he owes $1.5bn
“Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones spent more than $93,000 on himself in the month of July, despite owing $1.5bn to families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook mass shooting. Jones was found guilty in October 2022 of defaming the families after suggesting the shooting was a hoax and accusing the families of being actors. Since that ruling, Jones has not been paying the families, but spending huge amounts on household expenses, according to the Associated Press.” – Independent

September 14, 2023
Western Voters Support Foreign Aid. Fearful Governments Are Blocking It.
“Elected officials, not electorates, are the primary barrier to redistributive policies that would benefit the world’s poorest countries…. A working paper from the World Inequality Lab, authored by Adrien Fabre, Thomas Douenne, and Linus Mattauch, suggests that global redistribution and cooperation are actually quite popular among the populations of rich countries.” – Foreign Policy

September 13, 2023
The food industry pays ‘influencer’ dietitians to shape your eating habits
“Registered dietitians are being paid to post videos that promote diet soda, sugar and supplements on Instagram and TikTok.” – The Washington Post

“September 13, 2023
Retired priest pleads not guilty to raping child in New Orleans in the late 70s
“The retired Catholic priest Lawrence Hecker pleaded not guilty in a New Orleans courtroom on Wednesday, five days after he turned himself in to jail on aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated crime against nature and theft charges. He’s accused in a grand jury indictment of raping a teenage boy in 1975 or 1976 after the unnamed victim ‘resisted to the utmost but … was overcome by force.'” – The Guardian

September 13, 2023
Switzerland: Hundreds of sex abuse cases ‘tip of the iceberg’, say researchers
“An official inquiry into the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland has identified nearly 1,000 cases of sexual abuse since 1950. Many involved children and 56% of the victims were male, the report said. The vast majority of the accused were men. Researchers from the University of Zurich also found evidence of a ‘widespread cover up.’ ‘The cases we identified are without a doubt only the tip of the iceberg,’ said the study’s leads.” – BBC

September 12, 2023
$1bn in aid has been used to support failed ‘war on drugs’ over past decade, says report
“Analysing data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the NGO Harm Reduction International (HRI) found that, between 2012 and 2021, the US and the EU spent $550m and $282m of their aid budgets respectively on programmes that supported drug control policies…. Under Joe Biden, the US has hugely increased the amount of aid spent on narcotics control from $31m in 2020 to $309m in 2021. Some of the money has been used by the Drug Enforcement Agency to train police and special units in Vietnam and Honduras, which have been accused of arbitrary arrests and killings. The report found more aid globally was spent on supporting drugs policies ($323m) in 2021 than on school feeding projects ($286m) or labour rights ($198m).” – The Guardian

September 12, 2023
Child Poverty, Income Inequality Spike As COVID Safety Net Retreats
“An annual report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed how much pandemic-era aid made a difference. Income inequality and child poverty rose in 2022 as the temporary expansion of the social safety net the federal government unfurled during the early part of the COVID-19 epidemic contracted, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau’s annual report found its broadest measure of poverty rose by 4.6 percentage points to 12.4%, the highest since 2018. Child poverty, measuring the percentage of kids under 15 living in low-income families, shot up to 12.4% in 2022 from 5.2% in 2021, mostly due to the expiration of the expanded child tax credit.” – HuffPost

September 11, 2023
Caitlin Bernard Performed an Abortion on a 10-year-old Rape Victim
“What happened next is an abomination…. Speaking out against abortion ban brutality…. She offered a stark illustration of the new order the Dobbs ruling had ushered in. She aimed to highlight the abortion-based sexist cruelty that continues to grip many US states and does not grant mercy even to the most vulnerable…. The physician’s pro-choice interview enraged the Indiana Attorney General (AG) Todd Rokita. Swearing revenge against her, he told Fox News, ‘We’re gathering evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end.'” – Medium

September 9, 2023
A Threat of Bullets If Trump’s Denied a Win at the Ballot Box in 2024
“On Wednesday, September 6, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said 2024 will be the last election “decided by ballots rather than bullets” if former President Donald Trump doesn’t win the Presidential race because of his various legal battles. Huckabee accused President Biden of using his ‘police agencies to arrest [his] opponent for made-up crimes… to make sure Donald Trump is not his opponent in 2024.'” – Medium

September 9, 2023
Modi operandi: India’s ruling party will be biggest hitter at Cricket World Cup
“It is likely India 2023 will be a wonderful tournament, but it will also be a six-week campaign rally before April’s election.” – The Guardian

September 8, 2023
Democracy’s Assassins Always Have Accomplices
“Mr. McConnell, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other top Republican leaders are not trying to kill democracy, but they have subordinated its defense to their personal and partisan interests. Such reckless indifference could make them indispensable partners in democracy’s demise. They risk joining the long line of semi-loyal politicians littering the histories of interwar Europe and Cold War Latin America who sacrificed democracy on the altar of political expediency. American voters must hold them to account.” – The New York Times

September 8, 2023
Twitter ‘unfit’ for banking over alleged complicity in Saudi rights abuses
“Lawyers for family say Saudi government took brother’s data in breach and ‘arrested, tortured, and imprisoned’ him and others. ‘While Twitter has protested that it was a ‘victim’ of its employees’ misconduct, the evidence we found tells a much different story,’ the letter claims, pointing to data that shows that, once the breach was discovered by federal investigators, Twitter began approving Saudi requests for confidential information, including ’emergency disclosures’, in ‘droves.’ In 2016, 85% of these requests were approved, the lawyers say – a much higher approval rate than those for Canada and the US. It also pointed to Musk capitulating to Saudi’s existing stake in X – investors there are the second largest in the company – even though he was ‘fully aware’ of Saudi’s prior actions.” – The Guardian

September 7, 2023
North Korea says it has produced a ‘tactical nuclear attack submarine’
“Leader Kim Jong Un, in a beige suit and a borrowed naval cap, said that the new submarine was capable of ‘both preemptive and retaliatory strike,’ the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported Friday morning.” – The Washington Post

September 7, 2023
Musk cut internet to Ukraine’s military as it was attacking Russian fleet
“New details of the previously reported incident underscore how critical SpaceX has become to the U.S. government.” – The Washington Post

September 6, 2023
Pushing to Remove Racism From Medicine
“Racism is built into American medicine. A New England Journal of Medicine article in 2020 identified common medical guidelines that “correct” their formulas for race.” – Bloomberg

September 6, 2023
In Mexico, Drug Trade Flourished With the Help of the State
“In 2014, 43 college students disappeared after the police stopped their buses, forced them into patrol cars, and handed them over to a drug cartel. They were never heard from again…. The cartel, known as Guerreros Unidos, was colluding with nearly every local arm of the Mexican government, including the military. The gang effectively had the resources of the state at its disposal.” – The New York Times

September 6, 2023
Myanmar journalist jailed for 20 years for cyclone coverage
“Sentencing of Sai Zaw Thaike at one-day trial for treason and defamation shows press freedom has been ‘completely quashed’ under junta, editor says.” – The Guardian

September 6 , 2023
Israel imposing apartheid on Palestinians, says former Mossad chief
“A former head of the Mossad intelligence agency has said Israel is imposing a form of apartheid on the Palestinians, joining a growing number of prominent Israelis to compare the occupation of the West Bank to South Africa’s defunct system of racial oppression.” – The Guardian

September 5, 2023
Israel Sold Arms to Myanmar Even After the 2021 Military Coup
“The government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the Israeli arms maker Elbit Systems maintained their trade with Myanmar despite an international arms embargo on the country, and despite a 2017 ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice and the Israeli government’s own 2018….” – Haaretz

September 5, 2023
Confessions of a McKinsey Whistleblower
“Inside the soul-crushing, morally bankrupt, top-secret world of our most powerful consulting firm.” – The Nation

September 4, 2023
Five ways kleptocrats can keep hold of their UK assets
Politicians’ promises to rid Britain of ‘dirty money’ in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine haven’t come to fruition…. Introducing the measures, Boris Johnson, then the prime minister, said in March 2022 ‘what we are bringing forward now is the exposure of the ownership of properties in London, and across the whole of the UK.’ But the legislation that was passed hasn’t achieved this. There is not one, but five, ways in which a foreign kleptocrat can continue to benefit from the ownership of UK land and property without you or I knowing about it.” – The Guardian

September 4, 2023
Jen Psaki Busts Republican Reason For Gun Violence As ‘Big Cop Out’
“’Our mental health crisis isn’t unique. Our gun violence is. The Republican argument that a ‘mental health crisis’ is only the reason we have a horrific gun violence problem in this country isn’t just inaccurate. It’s also a cop-out.’” – HuffPost

September 4, 2023
Fox News Hosts’ Own Words Come Back To Haunt Trump In Brutal MSNBC Supercut
“The right-wing network gets busted for hypocrisy when it comes to the former president.” – HuffPost

September 3, 2023
The big picture: an image that defined Chile’s brutal 1973 coup
“The accepted figure for the number of political prisoners tortured or killed by Pinochet had risen to 40,018.” – The Guardian

September 3, 2023
Native tribe to get back land 160 years after largest mass hanging in US history
Golden prairies and winding rivers of a Minnesota state park also hold the secret burial sites of Dakota people who died as the United States failed to fulfill treaties with Native Americans more than a century ago. Now their descendants are getting the land back. The state is taking the rare step of transferring the park with a fraught history back to a Dakota tribe, trying to make amends for events that led to a war and the largest mass hanging in US history. ‘It’s a place of holocaust. Our people starved to death there,’ said Kevin Jensvold, chairman of the Upper Sioux Community, a small tribe with about 550 members just outside the park.” – The Guardian

September 2, 2023
Why Did a Drug Gang Kill 43 Students? Text Messages Hold Clues.
“The Mexican police, military officers and others secretly colluded with a cartel that kidnapped 43 students, a case unsolved after nearly a decade. Wiretaps show just how much the authorities helped the cartel behind the mass abduction, and what led to it.” – The New York Times

September 2 2023
Quietly Crushing a Democracy: Millions on Trial in Bangladesh
“The most active rivals to the country’s ruling party face dozens, even hundreds, of court cases each, paralyzing the opposition as a crucial election approaches. A rare rally by the political opposition in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in July. A few weeks later, the police crushed another opposition rally….. Nearly every day, thousands of leaders, members and supporters of opposition parties stand before a judge. Charges are usually vague, and evidence is shoddy, at best. But just months before a pivotal election pitting them against the ruling Awami League, the immobilizing effect is clear.” – The New York Times

September 1, 2023
No Charges Filed Over Death of Black Frenchman in Police Custody
“Adama Traoré, 24, died in 2016 shortly after three officers pinned him to the ground during an arrest.” – New York Times

August 31, 2023
Homeless people were given lump sums of cash. Their spending defied stereotypes.
“Efforts to alleviate the growing crisis of homelessness typically avoid putting money directly in the hands of the unhoused, reflecting the stigma that it will be misused. But new research challenges that perception, suggesting that when some homeless people are given cash, they are likely to put it toward essentials such as housing, furniture and transportation.” – The Washington Post

August 30, 2023
Saudi man receives death penalty for posts online
“Al-Ghamdi’s death sentence over tweets is extremely horrific but stands in line with the Saudi authorities’ escalating crackdown,” said Lina Alhathloul, the head of monitoring and advocacy at the London-based advocacy group ALQST. ‘Lengthy prison sentences issued for free speech, such as 27 years against Salma al-Shehab, have not received sufficient outcry, and the authorities have taken this as a green light to double down on their repression,’ Alhathloul said. ‘They are sending a clear and sinister message — that nobody is safe and even a tweet can get you killed.’” – ABCNews

August 30, 2023
“For more than 150 years, spurred by federal assimilation policies beginning in the early 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Native American children were sent to boarding schools across the country. In many cases, they were forcibly removed from their homes…. Many children faced beatings, malnutrition, hard labor and other forms of neglect and abuse. Some never returned to their families. Hundreds are known to have died, a toll expected to grow as research continues…. Upon entry, children were renamed and stripped of their tribal clothing and hairstyles…. Parents who resisted the boarding school system could be severely punished. The mother of 3-year-old Nu-Shukk, of the Tlingit tribe, was incarcerated in 1895 after refusing to return her daughter to Douglas Island Friends Mission School…. In addition, the government hired Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Congregationalist associations to run schools, regardless of whether they had experience in education, paying them an amount for each student.” – The New York Times

August 30, 2023
Violence Is the Engine of Modi’s Politics
“Never before have attacks on Muslims been so geographically dispersed, continuous, or chillingly unpredictable.” – The Atlantic

August 29, 2023
White House says Kremlin has ‘long history’ of killing its opponents following Prigozhin death
“’We all know that the Kremlin has a long history of killing its opponent. That is the history of the Kremlin,’ Ms Jean-Pierre continued, adding later that Prighozin — who she called ‘a cold-blooded killer’ — had been killed less than two months after speaking out against frustrations with Mr Putin’s conduct of Russia’s war against Ukraine. ‘So, you know, it’s very clear. It’s pretty evident what happened here,’ she added.” – Independent

August 29, 2023
Uganda Arrests Man on Antigay Charge Punishable by Death
“Prosecutors used the death penalty provision of a newly passed law to charge a 20-year-old man. The measure has sown widespread fear among gay Ugandans.” – The New York Times

August 29, 2023
Police In Ohio Fatally Shot A Pregnant Shoplifting Suspect
“A supermarket employee told officers who were at the store on an unrelated matter that multiple people were fleeing from the store with stolen items, Blendon Police Chief John Belford said. That included Young who had allegedly taken multiple bottles of alcohol…. Young then put the car in gear and accelerated forward, Belford said, and the officer directly in the vehicle’s path fired one shot through the front windshield. Young’s car then traveled about 50 feet before coming to a stop on the sidewalk outside the store. She was pronounced dead a short time later. Young was due to give birth in November, her family told The Columbus Dispatch. Her unborn daughter did not survive the shooting. Young was the mother of two sons, ages 6 and 3.” – HuffPost

August 27,2023
China wants to erase Tibet. Will Britain stay quiet about this crime?
“Last week’s US sanctioning of Chinese officials involved in Beijing’s ongoing criminal efforts to erase Tibet as a separate political, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious entity showed America at its best. Few other governments give a hoot. Most cravenly look the other way. Citing a recent UN report on the ‘forced assimilation’ of one million Tibetan children ordered into Mandarin-language state boarding schools far from their homes and families, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, demanded China stop trying to eradicate Tibet’s distinct identity.” – The Guardian

August 26, 2023
US state department declassifies more documents about Pinochet’s 1973 coup
“Papers reveal how Richard Nixon was briefed on impending military takeover in Chile that ushered in 17-year dictatorship…. During his bloody rule, 40,175 people were recorded as victims of executions, torture, political imprisonment or were ‘disappeared.’ Chile returned to democracy in 1990 and began a fraught transition period which continues to divide the country. Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998, but never served any jail time for his alleged crimes before he died under house arrest in 2006.” – The Guardian

August 26, 2023
U.S. Knew Saudis Were Killing African Migrants
“The United States was told last year that Saudi security forces were shooting, shelling and abusing groups of migrants, but it chose not to raise the issue publicly.” – The New York Times

August 26, 2023
He Fled China’s Repression. But China’s Long Arm Got Him in Another Country.
“Beijing has become more aggressive in its pursuit of dissidents overseas, as highlighted by the arrest of a Chinese rights lawyer in Laos…. Given China’s stature as a key trading partner that makes large investments in the infrastructure of Southeast Asian countries, the governments of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos have detained or extradited Chinese dissidents, presumably at Beijing’s request. In 2009, Cambodia deported 20 Uyghur asylum seekers to China. More recently, China critics like Dong Guangping and Gui Minhai disappeared from Vietnam and Thailand, only to resurface in Chinese prisons…. Experts have described Beijing’s campaign as “China’s long arm” or “transnational repression.” Combined with authoritarian tactics at home, this strategy has severely restricted space for defending rights in China, according to Li Fangping, a prominent Chinese human rights lawyer who moved to the United States. ” – The New York Times

August 25, 2023
Lock Him Up? A New Poll Has Some Bad News for Trump
“A new POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll provides some bad news for Trump: Even as he remains the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, the cascading indictments are likely to take a toll on his general election prospects.” – Politico

August 25, 2023
Three in five Americans say Trump should stand trial before the Republican primaries or 2024 general election
“Most feel that the Justice Department’s decision to indict Trump in the 2020 election subversion case is rooted in a fair evaluation of the evidence and law.” – Ipsos

August 25, 2023
BRICS Shows It’s Little More Than a Meaningless Acronym
“As it happened, their doings and sayings ranged from the semi-farcical to the meaningless. According to a leading South African news website, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to leave his aircraft on arrival in South Africa because the host, President Cyril Ramaphosa, wasn’t at the airport to welcome him. China’s Xi Jinping inexplicably failed to deliver a scheduled speech at an opening event where the other leaders spoke, including Russian President Vladimir Putin on video link.” – Bloomberg

August 25, 2023
Facebook should pay for what it did to my people, Rohingya
“For six years, I have been stuck in an overcrowded refugee camp in Bangladesh with little hope for the future. Facebook helped create the conditions that got me here…. I reported these messages to Facebook, but those in charge did nothing, claiming that those objectively hateful posts and messages ‘do not violate [Facebook’s] community standards.’… Soon after, killings began.” – Aljazeera

August 24, 2023
China’s Covid Zero Exit Led to 1.9 Million Deaths in Two Months, Study Finds
“China’s unexpected decision to end its strict Covid Zero policy in December 2022 led to nearly 1.9 million excess deaths in just two months, according to one of the first independent studies to estimate the virus’s devastation as it rampaged across the vast country…. The Chinese government had previously disclosed about 60,000 Covid-related deaths in health facilities from early December to the middle of January.” – Bloomberg

August 23, 2023
In Wuhan, doctors knew the truth. They were told to keep quiet.
The Wuhan health commission reported 59 cases on Jan. 5, then abruptly reduced the number to 41 on Jan. 11, and claimed there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission or any signs of doctors getting sick. That claim was a lie. The coronavirus was running rampant. Doctors at the radiologist’s hospital, and other hospitals, were getting sick…. Secrecy has long been a major tool of the governing Communist Party. It suppresses independent journalism, censors digital news and communications, and withholds vital information from its people. Doctors in Wuhan who knew the truth were afraid to speak out. China did not reveal human transmission of the virus until Jan. 22, and by then, the global pandemic had been ignited. In 3½ years, covid-19 has taken nearly 7 million lives by official counts. The true death toll is probably twice or three times that number.” – The Washington Post

August 23, 2023
America Is Losing Religious Faith
“’More people have left the church in the last 25 years than all the new people who became Christians from the First Great Awakening, Second Great Awakening and Billy Graham crusades combined,’ Davis and Graham write.” – The New York Times

23 August, 2023
India lands spacecraft near south pole of moon in historic first
“India has become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon, in a historic moment that drew cheers at watching parties around the country.” – The Guardian

23 August 2023
India railway bridge collapses during construction killing 26 workers
“Government-run railway opens inquiry after incident in north-eastern state of Mizoram.” – The Guardian

23 August 2023
A sex educator in Michigan refused to be shamed. Then came the backlash.
As the sex educator for the county’s health department, Alberda, 46,developed programs to lower teen pregnancy and curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections. She spoke about sex and sexuality with a directness that was rare in her conservative county and sometimes got her into trouble…. In her 21 years at the health department, the county’s teen pregnancy rate had decreased by 76 percent and is the fourth-lowest among Michigan’s 83 counties. The abortion rate for Ottawa County during the same period fell by 18 percent, according to state data. The county’s successes, though, were colliding with the fears of many Christian conservatives that they were losing the culture wars; that their faith and families were under siege. The new board members and their backers saw Pride flags — which had become a common sight in stores along Ottawa’s Lake Michigan shore — as markers of a society that they believed celebrated sex, promiscuity and perversion.” – The Washington Post

23 August 2023
‘It’s like a target on our house’: homophobic murder sparks fears for those flying Pride flag
“A California woman was shot by a man who tore the flag from her store. How do others feel about keeping it flying?… They say they’re feeling more shaken after learning of the murder of Laura Ann Carleton, a California boutique owner shot dead by a man who tore down the Pride flag outside her Cedar Glen store. Before opening fire, the 27-year-old yelled homophobic slurs. Officials later said he had a history of posting hateful content online. ‘Neither me or my wife have been sleeping well,’ Littleton said. ‘When there’s a noise in the night, we think someone is coming to retaliate.’ A week ago, the couple’s son and a friend were the victims of a homophobic attack at a county fair, which caused them to close the shop for a few days.” – The Guardian

21 August, 2023
Saudi Border Guards Accused of Killing Hundreds of African Migrants
“Border guards in Saudi Arabia have regularly opened fire on African migrants seeking to cross into the kingdom from Yemen, killing hundreds of men, women and children during a recent 15-month period, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Monday.” – The New York Times

21 August, 2023
A right-wing sheriffs group that challenges federal law is gaining acceptance around the country
“’The sheriff is supposed to be protecting the public from evil,’ the chief law enforcement officer for Barry County, Michigan, said during a break in the National Sheriffs’ Association 2023 conference in June. ‘When your government is evil or out of line, that’s what the sheriff is there for, protecting them from that.’… The sheriffs group has railed against gun control laws, COVID-19 mask mandates and public health restrictions, as well as alleged election fraud.” – Chicago Tribune

21 August 2023,
Gun-Related Deaths In Children Dramatically Increased In Recent Years
“The rate of children’s deaths by firearms increased by more than 40% from 2018 to 2021, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. In 2020, gun violence became the leading cause of death for youth after jumping 28.8% from the previous year. The rise continued in 2021. From 2018 to 2021, there was about a 41.5% increase in deaths of children by firearms, the study said.” – HuffPost

21 August, 2023
Muslim couple killed in India over son’s relationship with Hindu girl
“Woman’s family members were enraged after her relationship and marriage with Muslim man” – Independent

20 August, 2023
The US Destroyed Iranian Democracy to Uphold British Imperialism
“Seventy years ago this week, the US and the UK overthrew the Iranian leader Mohammad Mossadegh, who had fought back against British imperialism by nationalizing the oil company now known as BP. The UK has yet to acknowledge its role in this travesty.” – Jacobin

20 August, 2023
Lake Arrowhead store owner shot and killed over Pride flag hanging outside shop, officials say
“According to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the suspect, who has not been identified, ‘made several disparaging remarks about a rainbow flag that stood outside the store before shooting Carleton.'” – ABC

19 August, 2023
The Constitution includes a provision that disqualifies Donald Trump from ever holding public office again. 
“Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment is also known as the ‘disqualification clause.’ It’s only two sentences long but it could doom Trump’s bid to return to the White House. The disqualification clause ‘forbids the former president from holding the office of the presidency again because of his conduct in and around January 6, 2021,’ says Judge Luttig. And as Tribe points out, it’s not a sanction against an individual. ‘The framers of the 14th Amendment took great care not to treat this as a punishment … Nobody has a right to be president without meeting the qualifications.’” – MSNBC

19 August, 2023
What did Ron DeSantis do in Guantanamo?
“Former prisoner has told The Independent that Florida governor watched him be force-fed to such a degree that he was ‘bleeding and throwing up.’” – Independent

18 August, 2023
‘Bomber’ is one of the greatest British antiwar novels ever written
“Referring to the decision during the Second World War by Arthur Harris, head of the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command, to send hundreds of planes, night after night, to bomb the residential neighborhoods of German cities…. 
Harris was a psychopath. Twenty-five thousand people in Cologne once burned to death, in one night, on his orders…. By the 1960s, in the UK, the full history of WWII was starting to trickle out, and it was becoming obvious that the bombing campaigns against Germany that were crowned in glory during the war were actually stupid, bloody, ill-conceived wastes of resources and human life: The efforts of Harris and his cohorts did not speed the end of the war, they probably prolonged it…. There is a statue of Arthur Harris in central London, in the Strand, in front of Saint Clement Danes Church. It was erected in 1992. Harris stands tall and proud, in all his fatuous glory. The plaque reads: In memory of a great commander and of the brave crews of Bomber Command, more than 55,000 of whom lost their lives in the cause of freedom. The nation owes them all an immense debt. When the shrine to Harris was unveiled by the Queen Mother, in 1992, an angry crowd gathered at the ceremony and shouted ‘mass murderer.'” – The Washington Post

18 August 2023
Kansas paper raid shines light on rising anti-media rhetoric in US
“Incident charts a disturbing spike in intimidation and violence toward journalists following hateful bombast from politicians. When police raided the office of a Kansas newspaper last week and tore through the homes of its reporters, Donald Trump’s oft-heard refrain that the US media is ‘the enemy of the people’ might not have been uppermost in the officers’ minds. But an invasion that was likened to “Hitler tactics” by the newspaper’s co-owner, who subsequently died, and a wave of other recent attacks on journalists and media outlets across America, can be directly tied to the enmity whipped up by the former president and his ilk, analysts say.” – The Guardian

18 August, 2023
Georgia school board fires teacher who read book on gender fluidity to class
“Vote on party lines punished Katie Rinderle for reading book to her fifth-grade class in violation of vaguely worded policy…. It comes amid a nationwide conservative backlash to books and teaching about LGBTQ+ subjects in school.” – The Guardian

17 August, 2023
The Guardian view on the Rabaa massacre: a template for Egypt’s campaign of repression
“Ten years ago this week, having recently seized power in a coup, Gen Abdel Fatah al-Sisi commanded police and troops to crack down on mostly unarmed demonstrators in central Cairo. At least 817 people died in the Rabaa massacre, and probably more than 1,000.” – The Guardian

17 August 2023
Brazil’s Ex-President Bolsonaro Sought Breach of Voting System, Hacker Says
“Former President Jair Bolsonaro asked a computer programmer if it was possible to infiltrate Brazil’s electronic voting system and expose vulnerabilities, and promised to pardon him if he was caught, the hacker testified on Thursday. Bolsonaro also requested that the hacker, Walter Delgatti Neto, take responsibility for wiretapping the top court justice who is investigating the right-wing former leader, according to his testimony.” – Bloomberg

16 August, 2023
Australia ex-priest’s jail term for sex crimes extended to 40 years: ‘you will probably die in custody’
An Australian ex-priest convicted of sexually abusing children had another 12 months added to his 39-year prison sentence on Tuesday for molesting a 72nd victim. He was sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates Court to an additional year after he pleaded guilty in June to indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy while he worked at a Catholic school in Horsham in 1987. It was his 193rd conviction for child abuse.” – Bloomberg

15 August 2023
In full: The bombshell charges against Trump and his allies in Georgia RICO case
“Ex-president will face 13 criminal counts in Georgia, the second state-level case brought against him…. The list of criminal counts itself was overshadowed only by the sheer number of individuals connected to Mr Trump who have now been charged. Every prominent member of Mr Trump’s legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell and John Eastman are now under indictment, as is former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The list goes on to include a former publicist for the rapper Ye, better known as failed (two-time?) presidential contender Kanye West, as well as a currently-sitting member of the Georgia state Senate, Shawn Still. A total of nineteen people are charged in the indictment, with nearly three dozen unindicted co-conspirators also named.” – Independent

August 15, 2023
UK should finally acknowledge role in 1953 Iran coup, says David Owen
“The UK should finally acknowledge its leading role in the 1953 coup that toppled Iran’s last democratically elected leader, for the sake of Britain’s credibility and the Iranian reform movement, a former foreign secretary has said. The US formally admitted its role 10 years ago with the declassification of a large volume of intelligence documents, which made clear that the ousting of the elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosadegh, 70 years ago this week was a joint CIA-MI6 endeavour. The formal UK government position is to refuse to comment on an intelligence matter.”  – The Guardian

August 14, 2023
Trump praises ‘terrific’ white supremacist conspiracy theorist
“Laura Loomer, banned from social media after describing herself as ‘proud Islamophobe’, draws approval from former president.” – The Guardian

August 14, 2023
Revealed: neo-Nazi active club counts several of US military as members
“Active clubs – white nationalists and neo-fascist fight clubs that train in combat sports – are a growing concern for US law enforcement. Their recruitment among active and former members of the military underscores both the broadening appeal of the fitness-centric organising model and the American armed services’ persistent struggle with extremism within the ranks.” – The Guardian

August 14, 2023
Opioid Settlement Money Is Being Spent on Police Cars and Overtime
“As states and counties spend the first wave of billions of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry, public health groups are challenging how some funds are being used.” – The New York Times

August 14, 2023
Girl, 13, gives birth after she was raped and denied abortion in Mississippi
“The nearest abortion clinic – in Chicago – was too far away and too expensive for her mother to provide her with the procedure.” – The Guardian

August 14, 2023
Even Rich Countries Are Seeing Period Poverty in Cost of Living Crisis
“The World Bank estimates that 500 million women worldwide don’t have access to menstrual products and adequate facilities to hygienically manage their periods. That can cause infection, like Toxic Shock Syndrome, and lead to sexual and reproductive health challenges later on.” – Bloomberg

August 13, 2023
Cancel Shakespeare
“Last week, school district officials in Hillsborough County, Fla., said that they were preparing high school lessons for the new academic year with some of William Shakespeare’s works taught only with excerpts, partly in keeping with Gov. Ron DeSantis’s legislation about what students can or can’t be exposed to.” – The New York Times

August 13, 2023
Afghanistan’s Corruption Was Made in America
How Self-Dealing Elites Failed in Both Countries” – Foreign Affairs

August 13, 2023
We can have the Constitution….  Or we can have Trump
“It is obvious on a plain reading of this part of our Constitution that (absent a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress) Donald Trump is now ineligible for the office of the presidency. He took an oath as an officer of the United States, and then engaged in insurrection and rebellion, and gave aid and comfort to others who did the same. No one seriously disputes this. Trump certainly does not…. I suggest you read the article itself.” – Snyder 

August 12, 2023
Growing Segregation by Sex in Israel Raises Fears for Women’s Rights
“Ultra-Orthodox members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition want to expand the powers of all-male rabbinical courts, and to bar women and men from mixing in many public arenas.” – The New York Times

August 12, 2023
Blackwater paved the way for Wagner
“The use of contractors in the US ‘war on terror’ inspired Russia and other powers to outsource war. In the aftermath of the mutiny by the Wagner private military company (PMC) in Russia…. It is hardly surprising that Putin has decided to preserve a mercenary force that has proven quite effective in pushing forward his foreign policy adventures in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has likely learned a lesson or two from another great power – the United States – whose heavy reliance on private military company’s, PMCs, paved the way for the growing privatisation and outsourcing of war across the globe.” – Al Jazeera

August 12, 2023
In Israel and the U.S., ‘apartheid’ is the elephant in the room
“Bartov, a preeminent scholar of the Holocaust, described the dangers posed by Netanyahu’s coalition in ominous, historical terms. ‘I am a historian of the 20th century and don’t make analogies lightly,’ Bartov said, before discussing how European fascism took hold when once-fringe political movements managed entry into ruling governments and got their hands on the levers of power. ‘This is the current moment in Israel. It’s terrifying to see it happening.’” – The Washington Post

August 11, 2023
Trump’s Plan To Go Full-On Fascist If He Wins In 2024
“If elected, the former president and his allies are planning a wholesale restructuring of the executive branch that would give him sweeping presidential power.”  HuffPost

August 11, 2023
U.S. Suicides Hit All-Time High In 2022
“About 49,500 people took their own lives last year in the U.S., the highest number ever, according to new government data posted Thursday.” – HuffPost

August 10, 2023
Female scientists who worked on A-bomb mostly absent from ‘Oppenheimer’
“You wouldn’t know it from the blockbuster film, but many women were involved in the Manhattan Project during World War II.”  – The Washington Post

August 10, 2023
The US Is Pushing Guns on a Country It Labels Violent and Corrupt
“The National Security Council says Guatemala’s lawlessness is fueling waves of desperate migrants. The Commerce Department has said the instability is a ‘unique opportunity’ for gunmakers.” – Bloomberg

August 10, 2023
Racism in health: the roots of the US Black maternal mortality crisis
“A perfect storm of factors has led to huge racial disparities in maternal health care. In the United States, as abortion clinics continue to close, this inequity is projected to widen. In this podcast from Nature and Scientific American, we hear from leading academics unpacking the racism at the heart of the system. From the historical links between slavery and gynaecology to the systematic erasure of America’s Black midwives. What is behind the Black maternal mortality crisis, and what needs to change?” – Nature

August 10, 2023
Owners of ‘LGBT’ Swatch watches could be jailed for three years in Malaysia
“Anyone who ‘prints, imports, produces … or has in his possession’ such items faces a jail term of up to three years, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Any individual wearing or distributing the watches could also be fined 20,000 Malaysian ringgit (£3,425), according to the ban notice…. ‘The Malaysian government is committed to preventing the spread of elements that are harmful or may be harmful to morals,’ the ministry said in a statement.” – The Guardian

August 10, 2023
Safeguarding Childhood
“Recent estimates by the World Health Organization indicate that up to one billion children between the ages of two and seventeen have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect within the past year.” – Foreign Policy

August 9, 2023
The Atomic Bombings of Japan Were Based on Lies
“On the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Japan, we should remember that deploying the bomb wasn’t necessary to win the war. US policymakers were aware of this fact, yet they pressed on, thereby authoring the atrocity that launched the nuclear age.” – Jacobin

August 7, 2023
‘12 years of hell’: Indian boarding school survivors share their stories
“They were stripped of their clothes and scrubbed with lye soap. Matrons cut their long hair. Speaking their tribal language could lead to a beating. Taken from their homes on reservations, Native American children — some as young as 5 — were forced to attend Indian boarding schools as part of an effort by the federal government to wipe out their languages and culture and assimilate them into White society. For nearly 100 years, from the late 1870s until 1969, the U.S. government, often in partnership with churches, religious orders and missionary groups, operated and supported more than 400 Indian boarding schools in 37 states, according to the first investigation into the schools by the U.S. Interior Department. Government officials and experts estimate that tens of thousands of Native children attended the schools over several generations, though no one knows the exact number. Thousands are believed to have died at the schools. Many others were sexually assaulted, physically abused or emotionally traumatized.” – The Washington Post

August 5, 2023
The NIH halts a research project. Is it self-censorship?
“Many Americans don’t understand a lot about their health. Whether due to people believing conspiracy theories or simply walking out of their doctor’s offices without a good idea of what was said, communicating what scientists know has been a long-standing challenge. The problem has gotten particularly acute with a recent wave of misinformation. And when Francis Collins led the National Institutes of Health, the world’s premier medical research agency, he thought he had a solution: to study health communications broadly…. But Collins’ hopes appear dashed. In a sudden reversal, the NIH’s acting director, Larry Tabak, has paused — some say killed — the planned initiative, Advancing Health Communication Science and Practice…. The agency has offered shifting and inconsistent explanations, sometimes outright contradicting itself in the space of days. Sources familiar with the project insist that whatever the agency’s official story, it has acted unusually, contrary to its normal procedures in deciding what science to fund.” – CBSNews

August 3, 2023
Moroccan man jailed for five years for criticising king in Facebook posts
“Court’s sentence over posts denouncing country’s ties with Israel is ‘harsh and incomprehensible’, says lawyer.” – The Guardian

August 2, 2023
‘Everything you’ve been told is a lie!’ Inside the wellness-to-fascism pipeline
“’They have been moving generally to far-right views, bordering on racism, and really pro-Russian views, with the Ukraine war,’ she says. ‘It started very much with health, with “Covid doesn’t exist,” anti-lockdown, anti-masks, and it became anti-everything: the BBC lie, don’t listen to them; follow what you see on the internet.’” – The Guardian

August 1, 2023
Top Trump DOJ Official Was Prepared To Use Insurrection Act To Stay In Power
“Philbin warned Clark that if Trump tried to stay in office despite no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, there would be ‘riots in every major city in the United States.’ Clark replied, ‘Well, [Phibin], that’s why there’s an Insurrection Act.’ The Insurrection Act, originally enacted in 1792, empowers the president of the United States to deploy the military domestically in certain cases, like suppressing civil disorder or rebellion.” – HuffPost

July 31, 2023
Trump has ‘my Kevin’ trapped. New data on Fox News viewers shows why.
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is under intense pressure from the right to do all he can to protect Donald Trump from justice and accountability. The former president’s backers want McCarthy (R-Calif.) to direct the House to defund Justice Department prosecutions of Trump and to impeach President Biden, apparently to muddy the waters around Trump’s culpability. A new poll from the New York Times and Siena College helps explain why McCarthy might struggle to resist this pressure. Large percentages of likely GOP primary voters appear convinced of Trump’s innocence — and a big reason for this appears to be Fox News and right-wing media.” – The Washington Post

July 31, 2023
Twitter Sues Nonprofit That Tracks Hate Speech
The Center for Countering Digital Hate said it had received a letter from X, Twitter’s parent company, accusing it of trying to hurt the social platform with its research…. Imran Ahmed, the chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said, ‘Elon Musk’s actions represent a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research.’ He added that Mr. Musk wanted to ‘stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild his relationship with advertisers.’ The center also said it did ‘not accept any funding from tech companies, governments, or their affiliates.’” – The New York Times

July 30, 2023
What ‘Oppenheimer’ Doesn’t Tell You About the Trinity Test
I Got Cancer Living Downwind of Trinity…. For days after, they said, ash fell from the sky, contaminated with 10 pounds of plutonium. A 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that after the test, radiation levels near some homes in the area reached ‘almost 10,000 times what is currently allowed in public areas.’ That fallout has had devastating health consequences. While I know of no people who lost their lives during the test, the organization I co-founded has documented many instances of families in New Mexico with four and five generations of cancers since the bomb was detonated.” – The New York Times

July 30, 2023
Why the Press Failed on Iraq
“As the invasion of Iraq devolved into a colossal failure, and the blunders of both the Bush administration and the press came to light, media outlets that got Iraq wrong would ultimately issue corrections and apologies. But today, Walcott warns, ‘there is little evidence that much has changed in the culture of Washington or in the way it is covered.’” – Foreign Policy

July 30, 2023
‘Ripe for political violence’: US election officials are quitting at an alarming rateThe Guardian

July 23, 2023
‘Rainbow Hunters’ Target LGBTQ Chinese Students
“In recent years, gender and sexual minorities in China have been increasingly targeted by the authorities and social media platforms, limiting their advocacy and outreach. Most recently, in May, the Beijing LGBT Center was unexpectedly closed, and in 2021, WeChat abruptly shut down several accounts belonging to LGBTQ groups from different universities without any reason. But nine former and current students from five Chinese universities, some of whom wished not to be quoted, told Foreign Policy that student-led LGBTQ groups have been under immense pressure for years. They’re seen as a “cult” and labeled as “radical” and “illegal” organizations and have been dying a slow death even before the recent crackdowns. Foreign Policy isn’t naming the schools and clubs or disclosing the students’ real names to protect their identities and from possible repercussions against them or their families.” –  Foreign Policy

July 27, 2023
Satellite data sheds light on China’s detention facilities in Tibet
“Exclusive: China appears to have expanded use of high-security prisons as tool of repression in Tibet, researchers say…. Activists and human rights groups have expressed growing concern over the harassment, detention and torture of Tibetan activists, religious figures, and intellectuals, as well as mass surveillance of the population, and programmes of mandatory re-education and labour transfer. UN experts have also said about 1 million Tibetan children have been separated from their families and sent to state-run ‘boarding schools’ in an effort to ‘culturally, religiously and linguistically’ absorb them into the dominant Han society.” – The Guardian

July 26, 2023
Why America Forgets—and China Remembers—the Korean War
“The CCP’s Dangerous Historical Distortions and the Struggle Over Taiwan.” – Foreign Affairs

July 26, 2023
Doctors who put lives at risk with covid misinformation rarely punished
“Across the country, doctors who jeopardized patients’ lives by pushing medical misinformation during the pandemic and its aftermath have faced few repercussions, according to a Washington Post analysis of disciplinary records from medical boards in all 50 states…. Florida legislators passed a law in May that effectively prevents professional boards from punishing doctors accused of spreading covid misinformation online. Six other states have limited the power of medical boards to discipline physicians for prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.” – The Washington Post

July 25, 2023
Investigators, denied access in student disappearances, will leave Mexico
“The international investigators who have spent nearly a decade trying to solve one of Mexico’s most heinous crimes — the disappearance of 43 students from a rural teachers college — ended their investigation Tuesday, saying they have been persistently stonewalled by the armed forces.” – The Washington Post

July 22, 2023
International Control of Atomic Energy By (Republished today.)
“It was quite clear that with nations committed to atomic armament, weapons even more terrifying, and perhaps vastly more terrifying, than those already delivered would be developed; and it was clear even from a casual estimate of costs that nations so committed to atomic armament could accumulate these weapons in truly terrifying numbers…. If the atomic bomb was to have meaning in the contemporary world, it would have to be in showing that not modern man, not navies, not ground forces, but war itself was obsolete…. We may discern the essential harmony, in a world where science has extended and deepened our understanding of the common sources of power for evil and power for good, of restraining the one and of fostering the other. This is seed we take with us, travelling to a land we cannot see, to plant in new soil.” – Foreign Affairs

July 21, 2023
The atomic bombings left Oppenheimer shattered: ‘I have blood on my hands’
“While Truman assured Oppenheimer he should not carry the burden of the bombs — ‘I told him the blood was on my hands, to let me worry about that’ — the president was privately infuriated by what he described to aides as a ‘crybaby scientist’” and the regret he had over the decimation, according to author Ray Monk’s 2012 biography, “Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center.” ‘
Blood on his hands, dammit, he hasn’t half as much blood on his hands as I have,’ Truman said afterward. ‘You just don’t go around bellyaching about it.’ Truman later told Dean Acheson, his secretary of state: ‘I don’t want to see that son of a bitch in this office ever again.’” – The Washington Post

July 21, 2023
Fulton county prosecutors prepare racketeering charges in Trump inquiry
“The Fulton county district attorney investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia has developed evidence to charge a sprawling racketeering indictment next month, according to two people briefed on the matter.” – The Guardian

July 21, 2023
In the House, it’s open season on LGBTQ Americans
“Last week, the GOP blew up the annual defense authorization bill — which had enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support — by trying to turn it into a vehicle for blocking abortion access, banning books, honoring Confederate generals and dismantling racial diversity initiatives. This week, they took the normally sleepy markup of the humdrum Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill and turned it into a vehicle for overt bigotry against gay and lesbian Americans.” – The Washington Post

July 20, 2023
Hong Kong’s first person tried under national anthem law sentenced to 3 months in jail for using protest song in video
“Earlier this month, the court found the 27-year-old insulted ‘March of the Volunteers’ by replacing it with the protest song and using the accompanying footage of Tokyo Olympics fencer Edgar Cheung Ka-long receiving a gold medal in July 2021.” – SCMP

July 19, 2023
America’s Battle To Save Its Democracy From Trumpism
“The New York Times revealed Trump’s plans to basically enact an authoritarian-fascist agenda if he returns to power. Of course, that’s something that critics have long accused him of. But to have actual details of such an agenda is something else entirely — it puts paid to the rumors and suspicions, if you like.” – Eudaimonia and Co

July 18, 2023
Raising Minimum Wage Benefits Health of Poor Mothers and Their Babies, Study Finds
“Raising the hourly minimum wage holds unexpected benefits for low-income pregnant women and their children, with increases as small as $1 helping to fend off events linked to poor health, researchers found…. US rates of pregnancy-related death more than doubled in the last 20 years, especially among minorities, according to a separate study published this month in JAMA that found Black women are more than twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their White peers. Women in low-income communities are also more vulnerable to events that magnify stress, even as simple as changing one’s address, that raise the risk for premature delivery, low birth weight, high blood pressure and pregnancy-related depression.” – Bloomberg

July 18, 2023
‘Disturbing’ decline in global nuclear security, watchdog says
Nuclear security risks are rising for the first time in a decade, according to an annual index released Tuesday by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based watchdog nonprofit that looks beyond the well-known nuclear threats such as weapons proliferation, and toward less widely considered problems, such as the storage of weapons-usable uranium that could be exploited by terrorist groups or the safety of nuclear sites during conflicts.” – The Washington Post

July 16, 2023
The “Constitutional Sheriff” Movement: The Most Dangerous Group You Never Heard Of
“Another case of white nationalists slipping tentacles into our institutions and corrupting them from within.” – Medium

July 15, 2023
‘The single biggest threat to the security of the country’: Extremism in the military is alarming experts
“In the last five years, at least 82 current and former military service members have been arrested and exposed as harboring far-right, antigovernment, or neo-Nazi ideologies, according to a Globe analysis of court documents, media reports, and studies compiled by independent researchers. (That number excludes the 178 active and former military members arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection.) Some plotted to kill law enforcement members, torch minority churches, sabotage their own military units, kidnap politicians, and destroy national infrastructure. Others amassed arsenals in preparation for perceived race and civil wars. A handful have fired — at a shopping mall, police officers, and a carful of teenage girls.” – The Boston Globe

July 14, 2023
Trump Indictments Sparked Threats Linked to Russians, Extremists
“Donald Trump’s criminal indictments in New York and Miami sparked a barrage of threats from his extremist supporters and alleged Russian hackers including bomb threats, protest plans and other forms of violence, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News.” – Bloomberg

July 14, 2023
Sexual violence is junta’s ‘modus operandi’, Myanmar activist tells UN
“’Right now the military just has three things to sustain itself – money, arms and international legitimacy. These things all come from international support.’… Russia and China, which supply arms to the military and have used their veto powers to shield it from pressure. Nevertheless, activists point to the international response to Russia’s war in Ukraine as proof that it is possible to find ways to take action.” – The Guardian

July 13, 2023
Always look in the well
“After hundreds of exhumations, Snow presented his forensic evidence at the 1985 trial of General Jorge Rafael Videla – commander in chief of the Argentinian army and dictator between 1976 and 1981 – and eight other military officials. On a screen in the courtroom Snow projected an image of the skull of a young woman called Liliana Carmen Pereyra, who the military claimed was a guerrilla fighter killed in a confrontation. Her cranium had been shattered into twenty pieces. After being painstakingly retrieved and glued back together, it revealed a three-inch hole, tell-tale sign of a close-range execution. ‘That’s tough to do in an armed encounter unless only one side is armed,’ Snow told the court in his Texan drawl.” – London Review of Books

July 13, 2023
Behind the rare criminal conviction of a Catholic cleric in New Orleans
Patrick Wattigny is one of the few clerics appearing on a list of more than 70 priests and deacons whom his archdiocese strongly suspects of child molestation to face prosecution…. The victim from Wattigny’s first arrest called his abuser’s punishment a ‘grossly lenient and unfair slap on the wrist’ in a written statement provided to reporters Wednesday. With the help of his attorney, Richard Trahant, the victim prepared the statement in lieu of appearing in court because he said he had no confidence that his words would make a difference to either Wattigny or the judge who decided his fate. ‘This sentence,’ the statement said, ‘makes me feel really worthless and hopeless as a victim.'” – The Guardian

July 13, 2023
Guatemala’s Election Thrown Into Turmoil After Top Party Is Suspended
“The independent watchdog group Mirador Electoral said in a statement that the suspension ‘attempts to consummate an electoral coup equivalent to a coup d’état.’” – The New York Times

July 13, 2023
Malala: I know progress can be slow but never expected ‘complete reversal’ of women’s rights
“Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai has spoken of her despair at the ‘complete reversal’ of education and rights for women in Afghanistan under the Taliban. ‘Ten years ago, millions of Afghan girls were going to school,’ she told an audience at the United Nations House in Abuja, Nigeria. ‘One in three young women were enrolled in university. And now? Afghanistan is the only country in the world to ban girls and women from seeking education. Even as a teenager, I understood that progress could be slow – but I never expected to witness a complete reversal, an entire country of girls locked out of school, trapped in their homes and losing hope.’” – Independent

July 12, 2023
Racism and Sexism Underlie Higher Maternal Death Rates for Black Women, U.N. Says
A new United Nations analysis of Black women’s experiences during pregnancy and childbirth in the Americas has concluded that systemic racism and sexism in medical systems — not genetics or lifestyle choices — are the main reasons they are more likely to experience serious complications or even death.” – The New York Times

July 9, 2023
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Reparations For Tulsa Race Massacre
“The lawsuit was brought under Oklahoma’s public nuisance law, saying the actions of the white mob that killed hundreds of Black residents and destroyed what had been the nation’s most prosperous Black business district continue to affect the city today. It contended that Tulsa’s long history of racial division and tension stemmed from the massacre, during which an angry white mob descended on a 35-block area, looting, killing and burning it to the ground. Beyond those killed, thousands more were left homeless and living in a hastily constructed internment camp. The city and insurance companies never compensated victims for their losses.” – HuffPost

July 9, 2023
For North Koreans in China, Seeking Freedom Is More Perilous Than Ever
“Beijing’s ever-expanding surveillance state has made avoiding the authorities more challenging. The number of North Koreans who reached South Korea in 2019 was 1,047. Last year, that number plummeted to 63.” – The New York Times

July 8, 2023
12 people jailed for not standing up for national anthem in India’s Jammu and Kashmir
“Srinagar police say 12 people have been ‘generally bound down for good behaviour’” – Independent

July 7, 2023
Top Oklahoma School Official Says Teachers Can Talk About Race Massacre — If They’re Careful About The Race Part
“Teachers just need to make sure no one is ‘made to feel bad’ about it.” – HuffPost

July 7, 2023
National security law in Hong Kong: 8 wanted suspects should be treated like ‘rats in the street’, city leader John Lee says
“Earlier this week, national security police arrested the former leader and four ex-members of disbanded opposition political party Demosisto in connection with alleged fundraising activities in support of Nathan Law Kwun-chung, sources told the Post. Law, a former legislator, left Hong Kong after the national security legislation was adopted on June 30, 2020, banning acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.” – SCMP

July 6, 2023
World’s 722 biggest companies ‘making $1tn in windfall profits’
“The world’s 722 biggest companies collectively are making more than $1tn a year (£780bn) in windfall profits on the back of soaring energy prices and rising interest rates, according to research by development charities. The companies made $1.08tn this way in 2021 and $1.09tn last year, according to analysis of Forbes magazine data by the charities Oxfam and ActionAid. The collective profits were 89% higher than the previous four-year average covering 2017-2020…. The surge in energy profits has led to the creation of a total of 96 energy billionaires with a combined wealth of nearly $432bn – about $50bn more than in April last year…. Katy Chakrabortty, Oxfam’s head of advocacy, said “These eye-watering excess profits are not only immoral, We are also seeing increasing evidence that a corporate bonanza is supercharging inflation, leaving millions of people in the UK and around the world struggling to pay their bills and feed their families.” – The Guardian

July 5, 2023
A Georgia teacher’s plight exposes the essence of anti-woke MAGA fury
“Katherine Rinderle, a fifth-grade teacher in Georgia… faces likely termination by the Cobb County School District for reading aloud a children’s book that touches on gender identity. Yet she is charged in part with violating policy related to a state law banning ‘divisive concepts’ about race, not gender.” – The Washington Post

5, July 2023
Liz Truss was paid more than £90,000 for five-day visit to Taiwan
“China has beefed up its military activities around the self-ruled island in recent years, arguing that Taipei is obliged to reunite with Beijing, by force if necessary. Beijing claims Taiwan has no right to conduct foreign relations and often responds with large-scale military exercises around the island that split from the mainland in 1949 following a civil war.” – Independent

July 4, 2023
Thousands of Palestinians flee Jenin refugee camp after major Israeli raid
“The UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland said the escalation in the West Bank was “very dangerous”. The UN spokesperson Farhan Haq, asked about the Israeli drone attacks on residential areas, said: “Attacks on heavily populated areas are violations of international humanitarian law.” – The Guardian

July 2, 2o23
Palestinians furious over Netanyahu claims that Israel must ‘crush’ statehood ambitions
“The veteran Israeli politician has revealed his true goal, critics say: no Palestinian state and a Palestinian Authority that serves only as Israel’s ‘subcontractor.’” – The Jerusalem Post

June 27, 2023
A historic rise in global conflict deaths suggests a violent new era
“More than 238,000 people died in global conflict last year, according to a new study released Tuesday, marking a massive 96 percent increase year over year in deaths related to conflicts…. What’s particularly worrying about this latest figure, however, is the trend line. The Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace has been producing the peace index since 2009. Its index, which ranks countries based on their peacefulness, has found rising levels of conflict around the world in 13 of the last 15 years…. But what surged last year was state-based violence, according to the UCDP data, such as that seen in both Ethiopia and Ukraine. Here, one or more governments are a direct party to a conflict between warring sides…. But the rising number of conflict deaths is just one of the signals of a bloody new era. The number of countries involved in some kind of conflict outside of their borders had risen from 58 in 2008 to 91 in 2022. The Institute for Economics and Peace put this down in part to increasing geopolitical competition, with the United States no longer the only country willing to project its power far outside its region: Russia, China, and even smaller powers such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran are all part of the trend.” – The Washington Post

June 22, 2023
Meteorologist resigns, citing PTSD from threats over climate change coverage
“When Iowa meteorologist Chris Gloninger got an email notification last June, it read: ‘Getting sick and tired of your liberal conspiracy on the weather.’ ‘What’s your address,’ another asked Gloninger a few days later. ‘We conservative Iowans would like to give you an Iowan welcome you will never forget.’ The emails arrived relentlessly in Gloninger’s inbox for another month, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported. The sender accused the award-winning meteorologist, who spoke frequently about the effects of climate change, of being a conspiracy theorist and a ‘worthless Biden puppet.’ Another told Gloninger to ‘go east and drown from the ice cap melting.'” – The Washington Post

June 19, 2023
Vaccine scientist says anti-vaxxers ‘stalked’ him after Joe Rogan’s challenge
“A vaccine scientist says anti-vaccine activists ‘stalked’ him at his home Sunday after Joe Rogan and others, including Twitter owner Elon Musk, challenged the scientist to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine proponent and Democratic presidential candidate, over vaccine misinformation.” – The Washington Post

June 15, 2023
Twitter Halts Promotion Of Campaign Video Due To ‘Abortion Advocacy’
“’The mention of abortion advocacy is the issue here,’ a Twitter employee told North Carolina candidate Rachel Hunt, according to emails HuffPost reviewed.” – HuffPost

June 15, 2023
Google earned $10m from ads misdirecting abortion seekers to ‘pregnancy crisis centers’
“…from advertisements misdirecting users who were seeking abortion services to ‘pregnancy crisis centers’ that do not actually provide care, according to a new study.” – The Guardian

June 15, 2023
I Won’t Let Donald Trump Invade My Brain
“I have consistently underestimated his depravity. I was shocked at how thuggishly Trump behaved in that first debate with Joe Biden in 2020. As the Jan. 6 committee hearings progressed, I was stunned to find out just how aggressively Trump had worked to overthrow the election. And then, just last week, in reading his federal indictment, I was once again taken aback to learn how flagrantly he had breached national security.” – The New York Times

June 14, 2023
The long, dark shadow of Bhopal: still waiting for justice, four decades on 
“The cloud of poisonous gas that leaked from a rusting chemical plant in 1984 still blights the lives of tens of thousands of people in the Indian city, including many not born then. But Union Carbide never answered for the devastating contamination…. Union Carbide shut down the site and left it to rust. It has never been cleaned up – and so the poisoning continues.” – The Guardian

June 12, 2023
Nine out of 10 people are biased against women, says ‘alarming’ UN report
Researchers ‘shocked’ at lack of progress, and entrenched social norms that curtail women’s chances in politics, business and work. Bias against women is as entrenched as it was a decade ago and gender equality progress has gone into reverse, according to a UN report.” – The Guardian

June 10, 2023
The Indictment of Donald Trump Is American Democracy’s Last and Final Chance
“What’s happening here is a democracy now at profound conflict with…itself. One of the branches of government, the judiciary, is trying to hold another, the executive, to account — for matters of espionage. It doesn’t get graver than that. If you can’t trust a President not to…engage in espionage…what can you trust them with?” – Eudaimonia and Co

June 10, 2023
How to avoid a civil war, by the man who predicted Trump
“His book’s title, End Times, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but it does provide a clear theory about how we got into this mess, and how to get out of it. There are some familiar concepts here – falling living standards leading to mass discontent – but others, ‘elite overproduction’ in particular, are much less widely recognised, and genuinely eye-opening.” – The Guardian

June 9, 2023
Dear Republicans
“I wake up this morning to read a number of Republican elected representatives assigning themselves the role of judge and jury in the Trump espionage case.  Why do I write “judge and jury”?  Because to declare the man not guilty is to take the place of the judicial branch…. The basis of our Constitution is the separation of powers.  When elected representatives take the place of judges and juries, they violate that spirit.  They tell citizens that the laws they make are in fact meaningless.” – Timothy Snyder

June 9, 2023
Are Americans Really That Dumb?
“People still wrongly believe that Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen, the Parkland shooting victims were crisis actors, and the 2020 election was rigged. ‘I don’t need to do research, only need to see the obvious.’” – HuffPost

June 8, 2023
The Most Dangerous Man In America – Now That He’s Cornered, He Might Do Anything
“DeSantis now finds himself cornered. He can’t run for Governor again in Florida in 2026, which the Florida Constitution prevents. Given his absolute control of the Legislature and Supreme Court, it can’t be totally ruled out. He can’t serve another consecutive term but could run as Governor in 2030 or U.S. Senator when Marco Rubio or Rick Scott is up for reelection. His chances for the Republican Presidential nomination depend on something happening to take out Donald Trump, who is crushing DeSantis in current polls.” – Medium

June 8, 2023
New York Lawmakers Try to Sabotage Campaign Reform
“For generations, deep-pocketed donors have called the shots in New York State politics, leaving ordinary voters with less power and less of a voice in their government. Incumbent lawmakers are bankrolled by moneyed special interests and are routinely re-elected with little competition, and there has been no real alternative to the traditional system of big campaign contributions influencing candidates and politics. One recent study by the Brennan Center for Justice showed that just 200 people contributed $15.9 million to candidates in New York state elections last year, outspending the 206,000 people who donated $13.5 million in amounts of $250 or less. A law passed in 2019, one of the most promising New York campaign reforms in decades, was supposed to change that…. But this week, in the final days of the legislative session, the Democratic lawmakers who dominate the capital are preparing to severely weaken those reforms.” – The New York Times

June 6, 2023
More than a quarter of a billion people faced severe hunger in 2022
“More than 258 million people across 58 countries faced severe hunger in 2022, the highest rate of food insecurity in the last seven years, according to a new United Nations-led report. Fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine, local conflict, climate change and the economic impacts of COVID-19 — including high inflation, the report found — were the major drivers of hunger…. ‘Organizations and others in power have been ringing the alarm bells for years, as this latest hunger crisis is part of a long and avoidable cycle,’ Emily Farr, food and economic security lead for Oxfam, a global organization that focuses on the alleviation of global poverty, told Yahoo News. ‘But the international community doesn’t seem to heed these warnings and fulfill their responsibilities until true catastrophe hits, and even then it’s still not enough.’” – YahooNews

June 6, 2023
States haven’t stopped spying on their citizens, post-Snowden – they’ve just got sneakier
“The historic leaks prompted legislation: yet governments are finding new ways to monitor us. The UK’s online safety bill is one of them. It’s been 10 years since Edward Snowden holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room and exposed Britain and America’s mass surveillance operations to a group of journalists. His bombshell revelations revealed how the US and UK governments were spying on their citizens, intercepting, processing and storing their data, and sharing this information.” – The Guardian

June 6, 2023
These academics studied falsehoods spread by Trump. Now the GOP wants answers.
“Rep. Jim Jordan is demanding emails and meetings with leading disinformation researchers, part of a flurry of records requests, subpoenas and lawsuits that academics say have become a means of harassment…. The deluge of bad information about disinformation researchers’ work also has led to a torrent of digital harassment, threats and smears. Starbird has long been a target of online harassment, but the campaigns have grown brutal. After Starbird provided a statement to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol describing how extremists behind the attack collaborated via social media platforms, internet foes besieged her government employer with demands for her private emails and told her that they knew where she lived. Even when her colleagues and peers publicly backed her, the abuse took its toll. Starbird walked away from her Twitter account, which had roughly 50,000 followers, and cut back on media appearances, a venue in which she could explain her findings to a broader audience.” – The Washington Post

June 6, 2023
A Reporter Investigated Sexual Misconduct. Then the Attacks Began.
“After publishing an exposé, journalists in New Hampshire faced broken windows, vulgar graffiti and a legal brawl, with important First Amendment implications. Lauren Chooljian of New Hampshire Public Radio reported on allegations of sexual misconduct against the founder of the state’s largest network of addiction recovery centers.” – The New York Times

June 5, 2023
Number of Young Britons Too Sick to Work Doubles in a Decade
Problem is adding to a shortage of workers in UK economy… with the problem most acute among those with poor qualifications, according to new research.” – Bloomberg

June 3, 2023
US Mayors Cite ‘Unprecedented’ Mental Health Crisis as Top Concern
“An ‘unprecedented’ mental health crisis is overwhelming US cities, which lack adequate resources to address growing challenges, according to a new report released today by the US Conference of Mayors…. The report also cited ‘staggering increases in stress, depression, isolation, loneliness, and accompanying mental health hurdles faced by Americans of all ages.’” – Bloomberg

June 3, 2023
King James Bible removed from Utah school library after review of books for ‘vulgarity and violence’
“’Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,’ the challenge read. ‘You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has “no serious values for minors” because it’s pornographic by our new definition.’” – Independent

June 3, 2023
The long, bloody lineage of private equity’s looting – Or, if you prefer, “plundering.”
“Fans of the Sopranos will remember the ‘bust out’ as a mob tactic in which a business is taken over, loaded up with debt, and driven into the ground, wrecking the lives of the business’s workers, customers and suppliers. When the mafia does this, we call it a bust out; when Wall Street does it, we call it ‘private equity.'” – DoctorowMedium

June 2, 2023
What the Latest Investigations Into Catholic Church Sex Abuse Mean
“About 20 state attorneys general have mounted investigations that have cataloged decades of abuse but yielded few criminal prosecutions…. More than 300 priests were found to have abused children, at least 1,000 of them, over the course of seven decades.” – The New York Times

June 2, 2023
US military drone controlled by AI killed its operator during simulated test
“The artificial intelligence used ‘highly unexpected strategies’ to achieve its mission and attacked anyone who interfered.” – The Guardian

May 31, 2023
Hundreds were killed in the Tulsa race massacre. Are we already forgetting them?
“This year, on the 102nd anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, television crews won’t descend upon Greenwood, the neighborhood where as many as 300 Black people were murdered by a white mob in 1921. Thousands of protesters won’t march through the streets chanting ‘justice for Greenwood,’ as they did following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Joe Biden won’t be on hand to declare Greenwood a symbol of the ‘American spirit,’ as he did on the centennial of the race massacre in 2021. Despite the pop culture awareness delivered by HBO’s Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, Greenwood risks going it alone once again. All too often, that’s been the normal state of play in the neighborhood known across the United States as ‘Black Wall Street.’” – The Guardian

May 31,  2023
Across Europe, the far right is rising. That it seems normal is all the more terrifying
“Austria, France, Germany, Sweden and now Spain – the firewall between the mainstream and the far right is crumbling…. Once Trump became ‘normal,’ events that seemed even more extreme did too. A 2022 survey found that two in five Americans thought civil war was ‘at least somewhat likely’ in the next decade. One political scientist speaks of the possibility of rightwing dictatorship in the US by 2030. The same creep of normalisation is happening in European politics.” – The Guardian

May 31, 2023
India cuts periodic table and evolution from school textbooks — experts are baffled
“Nature has learnt that the periodic table, as well as evolution, won’t be taught to under-16s as they start the new school year… along with other foundational topics such as sources of energy and environmental sustainability. Younger learners will no longer be taught certain pollution- and climate-related topics, and there are cuts to biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics and physics subjects for older school students. Overall, the changes affect some 134 million 11–18-year-olds in India’s schools.” – Nature

May 31, 2023
Frilly dresses and white supremacy: welcome to the weird, frightening world of ‘trad wives’
“No longer a far-right subculture, the movement’s anti-feminist tenets are now inserting themselves into mainstream western politics.” – The Guardian

May 30, 2023
How did patriarchy actually begin?
As documented by the American historian Gerda Lerner, written records from that time show women gradually disappearing from the public world of work and leadership, and being pushed into the domestic shadows to focus on motherhood and domestic labour. This combined with the practice of patrilocal marriage, in which daughters are expected to leave their childhood homes to live with their husbands’ families, marginalised women and made them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in their own homes. Over time, marriage turned into a rigid legal institution that treated women as property of their husbands, as were children and slaves.” – BBC

May 3o, 2023
Sacklers Can Be Shielded From Opioid Liability, Appeals Court Rules
“Members of the Sackler family, the billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma, will receive full immunity from all civil legal claims — current and future — over their role in the company’s prescription opioids business, a federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday. The ruling gives the family the sweeping protection that it has been demanding for years, in exchange for payment of up to $6 billion of the family’s fortune to help address the ongoing ravages of the opioid crisis…. Ryan Hampton, an advocate for opioid victims who served as the co-chairman of the Purdue creditor’s committee: ‘The system is far from perfect, but the true injustice will be if this victims’ settlement is held up any longer.’ But others said the Sacklers had received a significant pass. ‘Bankruptcy was not meant to be an alternative justice system for powerful corporations and their superrich owners. But that is the effect and perception when courts read the law to provide extraordinary protections well beyond what Congress authorized,’ said Melissa B. Jacoby, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” – The New York Times

May 30, 2023
Government official drains a dam to get his phone back
“Water from the reservoir was emptied out for three days using a diesel pump…. Food inspector Rajesh Vishwas dropped his phone in Kherkatta dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh while taking a selfie on his holiday.” – Independent

May 30, 2023
A.I. Poses ‘Risk of Extinction,’ Industry Leaders Warn
“Leaders from OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Anthropic and other A.I. labs warn that future systems could be as deadly as pandemics and nuclear weapons.” – The New York Times

May 27, 2023
Chinese Courts Want Abused Women to Shut Up
“Personal and political violence are intermixed in authoritarian societies. The fact that authoritarian societies are more brutal seems intuitive. Why shouldn’t a coercive state create coercive relationships between its citizens? Yet the mechanisms of how authoritarianism breeds intimate partner violence in particular are rarely considered—even though authoritarian regimes tend also to be reactionary and patriarchal ones. For many years, domestic violence was seen even by dissidents and critics as a personal matter, far removed from the high and mighty machinations of the state. Writers, mostly male, who were eager to consider the impact of the gulag or the Cultural Revolution had no space for thinking about ordinary home life, especially about women…. In this dismal setup, women, the primary victims of domestic abuse, are intended as a barrier, absorbing the impotent rage of men so they don’t turn this rage toward society and the state.” – Foreign Policy

May  27, 2023
Henry Kissinger turns 100 this week. He should be ashamed to be seen in public
“Much of the world views Kissinger as a war criminal – yet in the US, surrounded by powerful friends, he is feted as a celebrity…. He also scorned women: ‘To me women are no more than a pastime, a hobby. Nobody devotes too much time to a hobby.’… In fact, much of the world reviles Kissinger. The former secretary of state even avoids visiting several countries out of fear that he might be apprehended and charged with war crimes.” – The Guardian

May 26, 2023
Chinese archaeologists find WWII bio-weapons lab run by Japanese scientists: ‘Horror bunker’
“In these experiments, Japanese scientists dissected live prisoners to determine the effects of pathogens on the human body. The imperial army learnt from these experiments and began to spread typhoid, cholera and plague across China.” – Independent

May 23, 2023
Sex Abuse in Catholic Church: Over 1,900 Minors Abused in Illinois, State Says
“A new report by the attorney general of Illinois covering decades names more than 450 credibly accused sexual abusers, including priests and lay religious brothers.” – The New York Times

May 21, 2023
What Christian Nationalism Has Done to My State and My Faith Is a Sin
“’God, guns and Trump’ is an omnipresent bumper sticker here, the new trinity. The evangelical church has proved to be a supplicating audience for the Christian nationalist roadshow. Indeed, it is unclear to me many Sundays whether we are hearing a sermon or a stump speech.” – The New York Times

May 21, 2023
Russia’s Frighteningly Fascist Youth – A new generation of Russians glorifies war, death, and Vladimir Putin.
“Young Russian internet users flaunt their rage, driving each other into an anti-Ukrainian frenzy as news of—or, rather, conspiracy theories about—the war consumes every part of Russian society. Ukrainians are attacked as subhuman; the latest government narrative about Western evil is repeated ad nauseam; Putin and God are praised for leading Russia into Ukraine to destroy the fascist threat; and dead Russian soldiers are lauded as saintly martyrs.” – Foreign Policy

May 21, 2023
The uncounted: how millions died unseen in America’s post-9/11 wars
“A new report puts the loss of life from Afghanistan to Yemen at 4.5 million – the bulk of them poor women and children who are victims of economic collapse and continuing trauma…. Savell’s report, How Death Outlives War: The Reverberating Impact of the Post-9/11 Wars on Human Health, published by the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute, focuses on what she terms ‘indirect deaths’ – caused not by outright violence but by consequent, ensuing economic collapse, loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, destruction of public health services, environmental contamination and continuing trauma, including mental health problems, domestic and sexual abuse and displacement. Calculated this way, the total number of deaths that occurred as a result of post-9/11 warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Somalia rises dramatically from an upper estimate of 937,000 to at least 4.5 million, of which up to 3.6 million were “indirect deaths”. Such deaths grow in scale over time. In Afghanistan, where the war ignited by the 2001 US-led invasion ended in 2021, the indirect death toll and related health problems are still rising.” – The Guardian

May 20, 2023
Russian mercenaries behind slaughter of 500 in Mali village, UN report finds
“Report implicates Wagner group fighters in Moura atrocity, including the torture and rape of civilians.” – The Guardian

May 18, 2023
Myanmar military has imported weaponry worth $1bn since coup
“Despite ‘overwhelming evidence of its responsibility for atrocity crimes,’ a United Nations expert has said. Most of the weapons came from Russia, China and companies in Singapore, Tom Andrews, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar said in a report [PDF] released on Wednesday in New York.” – Al Jazeera

May 17, 2023
No Joke: China Fines a Comedy Firm $2 Million for ‘Insulting’ the Military
“The Beijing Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau accused a popular comedian, Li Haoshi, who is employed by the studio, of ‘severely insulting’ the People’s Liberation Army, China’s military, during two live performances in Beijing on Saturday. The authority said his joke had a ‘vile societal impact.’ ‘We will not allow any company or individual to wantonly slander the glorious image of the People’s Liberation Army,’ the statement read.” – The New York Times

May 17, 2023
Rudy Giuliani said he and Trump were selling pardons for $2m apiece, ex-aide claims
“The bombshell allegation was levied in a complaint filed against Mr Giuliani by Noelle Dunphy, a New York-based public relations professional who is suing him for “unlawful abuses of power, wide-ranging sexual assault and harassment, wage theft, and other misconduct” committed while she worked for him in 2019 and 2020. The lawsuit also claims that she was subjected to sexual assault, harassment, wage theft and other misconduct by Mr Giuliani, and alleges that she was forced to perform sex acts on him and work in the nude.” – Independent

May 17, 2023
An ‘open secret’: Top White House aides reveal Trump’s alleged inappropriate conduct towards female staffers
“Just one week after a Manhattan jury found former president Donald Trump liable for sexually assaulting and defaming writer E Jean Carroll, no fewer than three women who had senior roles in his administration have come forward to allege inappropriate behaviour on Mr Trump’s part towards women on his White House staff.” – Independent

May 16, 2023
The Ten Year Decline of White Christians
“PRRI’s 2022 American Values Atlas shows that the proportion of white Christians in the country is 42% and has remained relatively constant since 2018 (42%) after a long decline from 72% in 1990 and 54% as recently as 2006. Included in the white Christian portion of the U.S. adult population are 14% of Americans who are white evangelical Protestant (down from 23% in 2006), 14% who are white mainline/non-evangelical Protestant (down from 18% in 2006), 13% who are white Catholic (down from 16% in 2006), and small proportions of white Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Orthodox Christians…. The proportion of those who are religiously unaffiliated has risen to 27% from 16% in 2006.” –PRRI

May 16, 2023
Black communities endured wave of excess deaths in past 2 decades, studies find
“America’s Black communities experienced an excess 1.6 million deaths compared with the White population during the past two decades, a staggering loss that comes at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, according to two new studies that build on a generation of research into health disparities and inequity.” – Washington Post

May 15, 2023
Kissinger’s Bloody Paper Trail in Chile
“As Henry Kissinger reaches 100 years of age on May 27, Chileans are preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the bloody military coup that the former US national security adviser helped orchestrate in September 1973.” – The Nation

May 13, 2023
Revealed: almost 1,000 rapes in prisons in England and Wales since 2010
“A further 2,336 sexual assaults were reported to police in the same period, and experts warned that the true figure for both crimes may be far higher because not all attacks would be reported.” – The Guardian

May 13, 2023
India Struggles to Eradicate an Old Scourge: Witch Hunting
“Once driven largely by superstition, the brutal practice is now often simply a tool to oppress women, in many cases violently.” – The New York Times

May 13, 2023
Faith leaders speak out against ‘toxic’ Christian nationalist conference arriving at Trump’s Miami resort
“‘The “toxic blend” of baptisms and comparisons of Trump as a Christlike figure, alongside rampant denial of the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and antisemitic QAnon conspiracy mongering further risks inciting political violence,’ said, the Rev Nathan Empsall.” –  Independent

May 12, 2023
Professor accused of sexually assaulting teenager as China’s #metoo movement struggles forward
“Previous #MeToo allegations have attracted a lot of attention on social media before being effectively muted by China’s extreme censorship. Multiple advocates have been harassed or detained, including Huang Xueqin, a journalist and activist who has been held in jail without chargefor about two years.” –  The Guardian

May 12, 2023
The Long and Violent History of Anti-Black Racism in the Latino Community
“The gunman in last weekend’s massacre at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas — which left eight people dead and at least seven injured — wore a vest inscribed with the letters RWDS, short for Right Wing Death Squad, and had tattoos of a swastika and an SS lightning bolt insignia. He was also Latino, a fact that has bewildered some people in the wake of this tragedy. But Latino participation in extremist political projects has a long history in the United States, going back to the John Birch Society.” – The New York Times

May 10, 2023
The 26 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct
“On Tuesday, a Manhattan jury found Trump liable for the sexual abuse of columnist E. Jean Carroll.” – Business Insider

May 9, 2023
Taliban vows to continue public floggings and executions as UN raises alarm
“Hundreds of flogging incidents, public executions and stonings carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan in just the past six months have been slammed by a new UN report.” – Independent

May 3, 2023
Media freedom in dire state in record number of countries, report finds
“World Press Freedom Index report warns disinformation and AI pose mounting threats to journalism…. The World Press Freedom Index revealed a shocking slide, with an unprecedented 31 countries deemed to be in a “very serious situation”, the lowest ranking in the report, up from 21 just two years ago…. Increased aggressiveness from autocratic governments – and some that are considered democratic – coupled with “massive disinformation or propaganda campaigns” has caused the situation to go from bad to worse, according to the list, released by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF)…. The group expressed concern about rising populism and illiberal governments such as in Hungary and Poland trampling on the rule of law, including press freedom. The Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and the Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak had been murdered in connection with their work.” – The Guardian

May 1, 2023
Facial Recognition Powers ‘Automated Apartheid’ in Israel, Report Says
“Israel is increasingly relying on facial recognition in the occupied West Bank to track Palestinians and restrict their passage through key checkpoints, according to a new report, a sign of how artificial-intelligence-powered surveillance can be used against an ethnic group…. In one walk through the area, Amnesty researchers reported finding one to two cameras every 15 feet. Some were made by Hikvision, the Chinese surveillance camera maker, and others by TKH Security, a Dutch manufacturer.” – The New York Times

April 24, 2023
Clarence Thomas’s Billionaire Friend Did Have Business Before the Supreme Court
“Justice Clarence Thomas said he was advised he didn’t have to disclose private jet flights and luxury vacations paid for by billionaire Harlan Crow because, although a close friend, Crow “did not have business before the court.” But in at least one case, Crow did.” – Bloomberg

April 23, 2023
Gun Violence Is Actually Worse in Red States. It’s Not Even Close.
“In reality, the region the Big Apple comprises most of is far and away the safest part of the U.S. mainland when it comes to gun violence, while the regions Florida and Texas belong to have per capita firearm death rates (homicides and suicides) three to four times higher than New York’s. On a regional basis it’s the southern swath of the country — in cities and rural areas alike — where the rate of deadly gun violence is most acute, regions where Republicans have dominated state governments for decades.” – Politico

April 20, 2023
America’s Loneliness Epidemic Is Fueling The Far Right, Sen. Chris Murphy Says
“The rate of loneliness among American young people has become a particular cause for concern. More than 3 in 5 — or 61% — of Americans ages 18 to 25 reported frequent loneliness in the Harvard study, compared with 24% of Americans ages 55 to 65.” – HuffPost

April 18, 2023
Chinese defence minister hails Putin for ‘promoting world peace’ in newly surfaced video
“‘Mr president is an extraordinary state leader deeply loved by the Russian people.’” – Independent
April 18, 2023
Oklahoma Sheriff Says Recording Of Officials Discussing Killing Reporters Was Illegal
“Sheriff Kevin Clardy didn’t address the comments about killing journalists and hanging Black people, but calls the situation ‘complex.'” – HuffPostApril 17, 2023
Young, White, Female and Dying of Despair in Rural America
“At the current rate of progress, U.N. Women projects that it will take another 286 years — nine generations — for women to achieve legally protected equality…. Why the life expectancy of America’s least educated white women has recently been shrinking. Many women are dying from what researchers call ‘diseases of despair’: suicide, drunken driving, overdoses.” – The New York Times
April 16, 2023
China unveils electromagnetic gun for riot control
The product was made public in a military technology programme aired on the state broadcaster CCTV on March 28. It described the device as “non-lethal” although it also showed it could penetrate wood and shatter glass bottles…. A double-chamber magazine allows for continuous firing and swift reloading…. “It is powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery that can continuously fire hundreds of rounds when fully charged. The charging time is also very short, with little influence from temperature” the gun’s designer, Lei Fengqiao, told CCTV. – South China Morning Post

April 15, 2023
The modern Republican party is hurtling towards fascism
“America no longer has two parties devoted to a democratic system of self-government. We have a Democratic party, which – notwithstanding a few glaring counter-examples, such as what the Democratic National Committee did to Bernie Sanders in 2016 – is still largely committed to democracy. And we have a Republican party, which is careening at high velocity toward authoritarianism. OK, fascism.” – The Guardian

April 14, 2023
Gender equality in farming could add US$1 trillion to world economy, study reveals
“Eliminating discrimination against women in agriculture could increase the size of the world economy and reduce hunger at a time when a record 345 million people are expected to face acute food insecurity. ‘Closing the gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agrifood systems would increase global gross domestic product by 1 per cent, or nearly US$1 trillion,’ according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s The Status of Women in Agrifood Systems report. “’This would reduce global food insecurity by about 2 percentage points, reducing the number of food-insecure people by 45 million,’ the study said.” – South China Morning Post

April 12, 2023
World Bank staff were told to give special treatment to son of Trump official
“World Bank staff were apparently told to give preferential treatment to the son of a high-ranking Trump administration official after the US Treasury threw its support behind a $13bn (£10bn) funding increase for the organisation, a leaked recording suggests. Shared with the Guardian by a whistleblower, the recording of a 2018 staff meeting suggests colleagues were encouraged by a senior manager to curry favour with the son of David Malpass, who is now president of the World Bank but at the time was serving in the US Treasury under Donald Trump.” – The Guardian

April 11, 2023
Myanmar military airstrike kills at least 53 – witnesses
“They say that the dead include at least 15 women and a number of children…. The military has increasingly used air strikes against their opponents since they seized power in February 2021…. The military government has been increasingly relying on its Russian and Chinese aircraft to bomb opposition-controlled villages, because its ground troops are finding it difficult to move around on roads where they are often ambushed or hit by mines and improvised explosive device (IEDs). The airstrikes can inflict much higher casualties among non-combatants.” – BBC

April 10, 2023
Gun deaths soar among kids
Gun deaths among America’s kids rose 50% in the past two years, according to a new Pew Research Center report last week. More children and teens were killed by guns in 2021 than in any year since 1999, the first year the CDC began tracking the data…. While the majority of adult gun deaths are by suicide, children and teens killed by gunfire are more likely to die by homicide (60%).” – Axios

April 10, 2023
Racism ‘part of daily lives’ in Britain, major study finds
“The research found that more than one in three people from minority backgrounds have experienced racially motivated physical or verbal abuse. One in six also reported suffering racism from neighbours while 17 per cent said they had property damaged in racist attacks.” South China Morning Post

April 10, 2023
Research with exotic viruses risks a deadly outbreak, scientists warn
“A growing number of scientists are reconsidering the dangers of prospecting for unknown viruses and conducting other high-stakes work with pathogens.” – The Washington Post

April 10, 2023
The Covert Mission to Solve a Mexican Journalist’s Murder
“After the death of a reporter who investigated narcopolitics, her colleagues formed a secret collective to bring the killers to justice—and challenge a culture of impunity…. ‘In the past decade, by C.P.J.’s count, there have been more unsolved journalist murders in Mexico than in Syria, South Sudan, and Myanmar combined.”” – The New Yorker

April 10, 2023
China jails human rights activists for years over private gathering
“China has sentenced to prison two prominent human rights activists, each for more than a decade, after they organized a small private gathering, signaling the Chinese Communist Party’s growing intolerance toward any semblance of political advocacy deemed to undermine its rule.” – The Washington Post

April 8, 2023
Iranian police plan to use smart cameras to identify ‘violators of hijab law’
“A statement said police would ‘take action to identify norm-breaking people by using tools and smart cameras in public places and thoroughfares.'” – The Guardian

April 8, 2023
Texas Gov. Seeks To Pardon Army Sergeant Convicted Of Murder
“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking to pardon a U.S. Army sergeant who was convicted of murder in the 2020 fatal shooting of an armed protester.” – HuffPost

April 8, 2023
Hedge funds made $7bn from betting against banks during turmoil
“Short sellers’ March haul was their largest from the banking sector since 2008.” – Financial Times

April 8, 2023
Justice Clarence Thomas’ GOP Megadonor Has A Nazi Memorabilia Collection: Reports
“Harlan Crow, the Republican billionaire and megadonor to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, allegedly has a collection of Adolf Hitler artifacts and Nazi memorabilia on display at his home, according to news reports. Crow’s million-dollar estate in Dallas, Texas, houses Adolf Hitler artifacts, including two paintings by Hitler and a signed copy of his book ‘Mein Kampf,’ along with a stockpile of other Nazi mementos such as a swastika medallion, statues of dictators of the 20th century in the backyard and more, according to the Washingtonian.” – HuffPost

April 7, 2023
Clarence Thomas and the Billionaire
“For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks. The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court. – ProPublica

April 7, 2023
Supreme Court criticises Indian government for quashing free speech in name of ‘national security’
“India’s Supreme Court has heavily criticised Narendra Modi’s government for using national security as an excuse to deny legal remedies to citizens – actions that are ‘not compatible with the rule of law”. The rebuke came in a judgment against the broadcast ban imposed on Malayalam language news channel MediaOne by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.” – Independent

April 7, 2023
Florida removes book about Anne Frank from school libraries
“Jennifer Pippin, the chair of the Indian River chapter of ‘Moms for Liberty,’ told WPTV that she and her group opposed the book because it contains a scene in which Anne Frank asks a friend to expose themselves to each other. She complained that another scene features Anne Frank walking near sexually explicit nude statues.” – Independent

April 7, 2023
People were taking drugs in Spain 3,000 years ago, study finds
“Scientists say that hair from a burial site in Menorca shows that ancient human civilisations used drugs derived from plants and bushes. It is believed to be Europe’s oldest direct evidence of people taking hallucinogenic drugs.” – BBC

April 7, 2023
South Africa bid to extradite wealthy Guptas from UAE fails
“Atul and Rajesh Gupta are accused in South Africa of profiting from their close links with former President Jacob Zuma and exerting unfair influence. The justice ministry said it had learnt with “shock and dismay” about the move.” – BBC

April 7, 2023
The Betrayal That DESERVES To Put Trump In Jail
“It is a monumental crime that brought war to Ukraine, threats of a global nuclear war, and disrepute to the United States. Trump’s deals with Putin triggered that dictator to believe he could get away with conquest. It was such an egregious action on Trump’s part that it crossed the line from ‘business profit-making’ to intentional sell-out of the nation.” –Medium

April 6, 2023
Global scholars decry funding ban on influential Indian research centre
“The move has sparked an outcry among Indian and foreign researchers who fear the funding pause could cripple the CPR and muzzle independent scrutiny of policy in India, which some say is threatened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. ‘CPR cannot survive in its present shape,’ says political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot at the French national research centre CNRS in Paris….  ‘This government action will scare away even potential domestic funders,’ says Vinay Sitapati, a political scientist at Ashoka University in Rajiv Gandhi Education City near Delhi.” – Nature

April 5, 2023
Report Details ‘Staggering’ Church Sex Abuse In Maryland
“More than 150 Catholic priests and others associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore sexually abused more than 600 children over the past 80 years.” – HuffPost

April 3, 2023
How to rig an election — with deadly, racist consequences
“Recent efforts to erase Black history have a lot in common with the slogan of the totalitarian regime in George Orwell’s ‘1984’: ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’ It’s an effective strategy and, in the United States, it has been especially so when it comes to discussions of Black history. If the past contradicts your narrative about the present and the future, just erase it.” – The Washington Post

April 1, 2023
Prominent Republican Donor Convicted In Sex Trafficking Trial
“Anton ‘Tony’ Lazzaro, who gave more than $270,000 to GOP campaigns, was found guilty of enticing teenage girls with gifts and money in exchange for sex.” – HuffPost

April 1, 2023
‘Window Into History’: Tapes Detail LBJ’s Stolen Election
“’Johnson did not win that election; It was stolen for him. And I know exactly how it was done,’ Luis Salas said.” – HuffPost

March 31, 2023
Why the Indictment of Donald Trump Matters (Even) More Than America Thinks
“The Fight for Justice Never Matters More Than When Fascists Are Trying to Pervert the Very Idea of It.” – Eudaimonia and Co

March 31, 2023
Absurdity to a new level’ as Russia takes charge of UN security council
“In Ukraine, Moscow is pursuing an unprovoked war of aggression. In The Hague, Vladimir Putin is facing an arrest warrant for war crimes. But at the UN, Russia is about to take charge of a powerful international body, the security council…. The last time Russia held the gavel was in February last year, when Putin declared his ‘special military operation’ in the middle of a council session on Ukraine. Fourteen months on, tens of thousands of people have been killed, many of them civilians, cities have been ruined and Putin has been indicted by the international criminal court for the mass abduction of Ukrainian children. In such circumstances, putting Russia in the driving seat of a world body tasked with “maintaining international peace and security” seems like a cruel April fools joke to many, not least the Ukrainian mission to the UN. ‘As of 1 April, they’re taking the level of absurdity to a new level,’ said Sergiy Kyslytsya, the Ukrainian permanent representative…. ‘Everybody will get accustomed to this new level of global hypocrisy.'” – The Guardian

March 30, 2023
Excess Mortality in the US Has Always Been High — Now It’s Worse Than Ever
“In 2017, 17% of total deaths in the US could be considered “excess”. In 2021, that number had doubled to 35%. Nearly 900,000 individuals in the US died in 2021 that, perhaps, didn’t need to. The obvious culprit to blame here is COVID, but COVID-associated excess deaths only explain about 50% of the excess we see in 2021. The rest reflect something even more concerning — a worsening of the failures of the past, perhaps exacerbated by the pandemic, but not due to the virus itself.” – Medium

March 29, 2023
A new book-ban fiasco in Florida reveals the monster DeSantis created
“DeSantis probably calculates that this would serve his short-term political interests. Headlines about banned books — and liberal outrage in response — will bolster him among GOP primary voters.” – The Washington Post

March 29, 2023
Russia Puts Pussy Riot Member On Wanted List For Criminals
“The unspecified charges against Nadezhda Tolokonnikova come at a time when the Kremlin is working to stifle political dissent…. Earlier this month Russia’s top human rights lawyer, Pavel Chikov, said a criminal case had been launched against Tolokonnikova on the charge of offending religious believers’ feelings, which became a criminal offense in Russia after the 2012 Pussy Riot protest.” – HuffPost

March 29, 2023
Man sentenced to death in Pakistan over ‘blasphemous’ WhatsApp post
“Earlier this year, Pakistan tightened its strict blasphemy laws…. In Warburton, an area of district Nankana, Pakistan, Sunday, 12 February 2023. Hundreds of Muslims descended on a police station in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, snatched Waris, a blasphemy suspect from his cell and took him outside and lynched him, police said.” – Independent

March 28, 202
Why Doesn’t the World Care More About the Uyghurs? How Xinjiang fell by the wayside.
“More than a million people have been detained in the camps for arbitrary reasons, including having a beard, having contacts abroad, or having attended a Western university. Camp survivors and human rights groups have reported instances of torture, forced abortion and sterilization, rape, and slavery while the United States has deemed China’s campaign against the Uyghurs to be a genocide. Watching the largest arbitrary internment of a minority group since the Holocaust from afar, Turkel grapples with the question: What do you do when ‘never again’ is happening once more?” – Foreign Policy

March 28, 2023
Pakistan minister sparks backlash demanding Imran Khan’s ‘elimination’
“In an interview with a private channel, Mr Sanaullah Khan, who occupies the second most important constitutional post after the prime minister, said ‘either he [Imran Khan] will be eliminated from the political arena or us.’” – Independent

March 27, 2023
We spent 7 months examining the AR-15’s role in America. Here’s what we learned.
“The industry embraced the gun’s political and cultural significance as a marketing advantage as it looked for new revenue. Manufacturers rode a post-9/11 surge in military admiration while also stoking a desire among new gun owners to personalize their weapons with tactical accessories…. Who owns AR-15s and why: About 1 in 20 U.S. adults — or about 16 million people — own at least one AR-15…. AR-15 owners are more likely to be White, male and between the ages of 40 and 65. They’re also more likely than adults overall to be Republican and to live in states Donald Trump won in 2020.” – The Wasthington Post

March 27, 2023
Rick Scott Suggests ‘Automatic Death Penalty’ For School Shooters
“Congress ought to consider a mandatory death penalty for school shooters, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said Monday after the latest high-profile mass shooting this year claimed the lives of seven people at an elementary school in Tennessee.” – HuffPost

March 25, 2023
Idaho Governor Signs Firing Squad Execution Bill Into Law
“Idaho is the latest state to turn to older methods of capital punishment amid a nationwide shortage of lethal-injection drugs.” – HuffPost

March 24, 2023
‘No one can deny it now’: death flight plane to be returned to Argentina
“Flight logs revealed how 12 people were thrown out to their deaths into the Atlantic during the years of dictatorship…. The technical log they had completed on takeoff registered no passengers, but that was a lie: on the cabin floor behind them lay eight women and four men, tortured, drugged and barely conscious. Two of the flight crew stripped the victims naked and opened the ramp door at the rear of the plane. Then they pushed their victims out, to fall thousands of feet into the South Atlantic.” – The Guardian

March 24, 2023
Question Time audience asked: Was Boris Johnson telling truth?
“Fiona Bruce asked the Question Time audience if they believed the former PM was truthful when he gave evidence to the Commons privileges committee about Partygate. No-one raised a hand.” – BBC

March 24, 2023
Liam Holden was waterboarded and tortured by British army, Belfast high court rules
“On Friday – half a century after the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, 11 years after the sentence was quashed and a year after Holden died – a high court in Belfast awarded £350,000 to his estate…. The court accepted that the army waterboarded and tortured Holden into confessing to shooting Frank Bell, an 18-year-old member of the parachute regiment. The posthumous award included damages for inhumane and degrading treatment, misfeasance in public office and malicious prosecution.” – The Guardian

March 24, 2023
‘Show me the toes’: Row erupts over megachurch pastor who claims to have regrown amputee’s toes through prayer
“A furious row has erupted after a Missouri megachurch pastor claimed to have regrown an amputee’s toes through the power of prayer – prompting a fellow Christian to launch a mocking website at…. As they prayed, they watched as three toes began to grow on her feet, Mr Johnson claims…. ‘They saw the bone come, wrapped in flesh. And by morning, the toenails, everything had formed, she got three brand new toes,’ he says.” – Independent

March 24, 2023
How far-right American Jews are enabling Netanyahu’s court takeover
“If liberal and progressive and democratic Jewish forces around the world will not stand together with us, other players will influence events in a much more serious way. That’s a real battle for the future of the Jewish state,” he told the Guardian.” – The Guardian

March 23, 2023
Florida Principal Out After Viewing Of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ Upsets Parents
“The principal of Florida’s Tallahassee Classical School is out of a job after parents complained that their sixth-grade children were shown Michelangelo’s 16th century ‘David’ sculpture, with one parent calling it ‘pornographic,.'” –HuffPost

March 22, 2023
Florida lawmaker behind ‘Don’t Say Gay’ pleads guilty to wire fraud and money laundering
“Joseph Harding resigned from office last year after federal indictment in Covid-19 relief fraud case…. Mr Harding then fraudulently acquired more than $150,000 in Small Business Administration loans, according to federal prosecutors.” – The Independent

March 22, 2023
Uganda Anti-Homosexuality bill: Life in prison for saying you’re gay
“People who identify as gay in Uganda risk life in prison after parliament passed a new bill to crack down on homosexual activities. It also includes the death penalty in certain cases.” – BBC

March 22, 2023
‘Most are unaware’: film highlights Germany’s genocidal past in Namibia
“It was one of the darkest eras in German history, and the first genocide of the 20th century: the mass killing of tens of thousands of people in German South West Africa after a rebellion against colonial rule by the Herero and Nama tribes.” – The Guardian

March 21, 2023
‘We Were Helpless’: Despair at the C.D.C. as the Pandemic Erupted
“Current and former employees recall rising desperation as Trump administration officials squelched research into the new coronavirus.” – The New York Times

March 21, 2023
‘It crucifies you every time’: the ‘crushing’ new tactic the church uses to block claims by abuse survivors
“In interviews with 13 lawyers working on separate abuse cases, analysis of court records and in discussions with survivors and their advocates, the Guardian has found that the church is now routinely using the deaths of clergy to either have survivors’ claims thrown out or to force them to accept paltry settlement amounts.” The Guardian

March 21, 2023
Lives torn apart by British airstrikes in Mosul give lie to UK’s ‘perfect’ precision war
“Beyond broader questions of moral responsibility and future strategy, the coalition position on civilian casualties during the campaign against IS has left those whose lives were torn apart by British bombs utterly alone. ‘Life and death are the same to me now,’ said Badour, after the loss of her beloved parents, siblings and nephews. ‘My message to the British people is that they should know what the British government is doing.’” – The Guardian

March 21, 2023
The killing of Shireen Abu Akleh: what one morning in the West Bank reveals about the occupation
“The face of Al Jazeera in Palestine, Abu Akleh was a journalist whose death resounded across the Arab world. Hours later, a bullet claimed the life of a schoolboy 60 miles away, Thaer Yazouri. This is the story of their last day…. At 9.30am, three hours after Abu Akleh was killed, 16-year-old Thaer Yazouri is hit in the chest by a bullet…. According to the human rights group B’Tselem, witnesses see Thaer and his friends peeking from behind the van when it is hit by two live bullets, one of which goes through Thaer’s chest. He is taken to hospital by a local resident who saw him shot. He is pronounced dead almost immediately…. Thaer was just one of 36 Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022.” – The Guardian

March 21, 2023
Ferraris and Hungry Children: Venezuela’s Socialist Vision in Shambles
“After years of extreme scarcity, some Venezuelans lead lives of luxury as others scrape by. The nation of grinding hardship has increasingly become one of haves and have-nots.” – The New York Times

March 21, 2023
Firing squad executions to return in Idaho after lawmakers pass controversial bill
“‘There can be about 10 seconds of extreme pain before death at times, but I find it to be, in my personal view, more humane than lethal injection,’ lawmaker says.” – Independent

March 21, 2023
Met police found to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic
“Author of landmark report says Met can ‘no longer presume that it has the permission of the people of London to police them.’” – The Guardian

March 20, 2023
‘War crimes’ committed by all sides in Ethiopia, says US secretary of state
“The United States has concluded that Ethiopian and Eritrean troops as well as rebels committed war crimes during the brutal two-year conflict, secretary of state Antony Blinken has said after visiting Addis Ababa…. ‘Many of these actions were not random or a mere byproduct of war. They were calculated and deliberate,’ the top diplomat said as he presented an annual US human rights report.” – The Guardian

March 20, 2023
Iran rights violations amount to crime against humanity, says UN expert
“Rehman warned Iran was experiencing the most serious violations in four decades. He also claimed the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, in September 2022 resulted from beatings by the ‘morality police.’ Iran has said she died from a pre-existing neurological disorder, but Rahman said reliable medical sources pointed to state culpability…. ‘The violations committed by Iranian authorities, especially since the death of Ms Amini, points to the possible commission of international crimes, notably the crimes against humanity of murder, imprisonment, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual violence, and persecution,’ he said…. ‘Protesters including children were beaten to death,’ Rehman said, adding that ‘at least 527 people, including 71 children were killed, and hundreds of protesters severely injured.’” – The Guardian

March 20, 2023
Top Israeli Minister Says ‘No Such Thing’ As Palestinian People
“The Palestinian prime minister said Bezalel Smotrich’s remarks were ‘conclusive evidence of the extremist, racist Zionist ideology that governs’ Israel.” – HuffPost

March 20, 2023
Republicans tried to delay release of US hostages to sabotage Carter, ex-aide claims – report
“A former Texas governor met Middle Eastern leaders in 1980 to convince Iran to delay releasing American hostages as part of a Republican effort to sabotage Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign, according to a news report.” – The Guardian

March 19, 2023
U.S. companies must stop enabling mass DNA collection in Tibet
“Beijing’s latest, horrible abuse of the Tibetan people is to forcibly collect their DNA, their last remaining vestige of privacy. What’s worse, U.S. companies are still working with the authorities perpetrating these atrocities. They should cut that out right now.” – The Washington Post

March 19, 2023
US Christian group accused of covering up sexual abuse of minors
“Lawsuits claim International Churches of Christ leaders failed to report as well as plotted to conceal abuse of women and children…. ‘What happened to your girls isn’t that big of a deal,’ a church elder allegedly told a mother of two young girls who were sexually assaulted on church grounds, according to a February filing. ‘Most girls have been molested by the time they reach 18.’” – The Guardian

March 19, 2023
Why white Christian nationalists are in such a panic
“Writes Robert P. Jones, president of the Public Religion Research Institute. “As recently as 2008, when our first Black president was elected, the U.S. was a majority (54%) white Christian country.” By 2014 the number had dropped to 47 percent, and in 2022 it stood at 42 percent.” – The Washington Post

March 18, 2023
Irvo Otieno’s family reacts to seeing tape of fatal incident: He was treated worse than a dog
“The family of 28-year-old Irvo Otieno, who died while in the custody of a Virginia mental health facility, speaks out after having viewed the tape of the fatal incident.” – YouTube

March 18, 2023
Wyoming’s GOP governor signs law banning abortion pills
The new law says that it will be ‘unlawful to prescribe, dispense, distribute, sell or use any drug for the purpose of procuring or performing an abortion.’ The law includes penalties of up to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $9,000.” –The Washington Post

March 18, 2023
The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel
“While US media fixated on Russian interference in the 2016 election, an Israeli secret agent’s campaign to influence the outcome went unreported.” – The Nation

March 18, 2023
Election Conspiracy Movement Grinds On As 2024 Approaches
“As the U.S. barrels toward the next presidential election, the movement that mushroomed after the last one shows no signs of slowing down.” – HuffPost

March 18, 2023
Pro-Russia Voices Tried To Steer Ohio Train Derailment Debate
“Soon after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio last month, anonymous pro-Russian accounts started spreading misleading claims and anti-American propaganda about it on Twitter, using Elon Musk’s new verification system to expand their reach while creating the illusion of credibility. The accounts, which parroted Kremlin talking points on myriad topics, claimed without evidence that authorities in Ohio were lying about the true impact of the chemical spill. The accounts spread fearmongering posts that preyed on legitimate concerns about pollution and health effects and compared the response to the derailment with America’s support for Ukraine following its invasion by Russia…. Regularly spewing anti-US propaganda, the accounts show how easily authoritarian states and Americans willing to spread their propaganda can exploit social media platforms like Twitter in an effort to steer domestic discourse.” – HuffPost

March 17, 2023
Iraq war: 20 years on – A bloody delusion: how Iraq war led to catastrophic aftermath in Middle East
“The 2003 invasion’s legacy reverberates in the emboldenment of Iran, Islamic State’s violence and the disintegration of Syria.” – The Guardian

March 17, 2023
International Criminal Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Vladimir Putin
“The Russian president is accused of war crimes in Ukraine, where children have been taken and deported to Russia.” – HuffPost

March 16, 2023
Child detainees in Iran subjected to flogging, electric shocks and sexual violence, says Amnesty
“Iranian authorities have used torture methods including sexual violence against imprisoned children as part of a crackdown on recent protests, according to rights group Amnesty International. ‘Iran’s intelligence and security forces have been committing horrific acts of torture, including beatings, flogging, electric shocks, rape and other sexual violence against child protesters as young as 12 to quell their involvement in nationwide protests,’ Amnesty said Thursday. A report by the group exposed ‘the torture methods that the Revolutionary Guards, the paramilitary Basij, the Public Security Police, and other security and intelligence forces used against boys and girls in custody to punish and humiliate them and to extract forced “confessions.”’” – CNN

March 16, 2023
Florida Republican’s Bill Would Ban Young Girls From Discussing Their Periods In School
“Rep. Stan McClain’s (R) proposed legislation, House Bill 1069, seeks to restrict the educational materials used in state schools, which critics have likened to book banning. The bill requires course material and instruction on sexually transmitted diseases, health education or material on human sexuality to ‘only occur in grades 6 through 12,’ according to the legislation.” – HuffPost

March 16, 2023
Indigenous Australian boy, 13, spends 36 days in solitary confinement for minor offences
“Queensland state may be violating its own laws and international human rights laws, says human rights chief. He was only allowed out of his cell on five occasions during this span of 36 days.” – Independent

March 16, 2023
America Is in a Disgraced Class of Its Own
“According to the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for government aid and living expenses, more than one in 25 people in America 65 or older lived in deep poverty in 2021, meaning that they’d have to at minimum double their incomes just to reach the poverty line…. On the eve of the pandemic, in 2019, our child poverty rate was roughly double that of several peer nations, including Canada, South Korea and Germany.” – The New York Times

March 16, 2023
How Peru Used Lethal Force to Crack Down on Anti-Government Protests
“Over the course of five weeks, Peru’s security forces repeatedly responded to anti-government protests with what experts called excessive force, including firing shotguns at civilians with lethal ammunition, shooting assault rifles at fleeing protesters and killing unarmed people hundreds of feet away, a New York Times investigation found.” – The New York Times

March 15, 2023
Facing hundreds of abuse claims, Albany Catholic Diocese declares bankruptcy
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it grapples with the financial impact of  hundreds of civil claims resulting from decades of child sexual abuse and cover-ups, both admitted and alleged.” – Times Union

March 15, 2023
Playing the Victim – Testimony to the United Nations Security Council on Russian hate speech
“Dismissing someone else’s history, or calling it a disease, is a colonial attitude with genocidal implications.  The empire does not have the right to say that a neighboring country has no history.  The claim that a country has no past is genocidal hate speech.” – Snyder.Substack

March 15, 2023
Saudi Arabian trans woman feared dead after posting suicide note saying family had forced her to detransition
“Eden Knight, 23, had been living in the US until late last year.” – Independent

March 14, 2023
Covid Death Rate Among Black Children Nearly Three Times Higher Than White Kids
“Black and Hispanic kids also required hospitalization at greater rates than White children, the researchers found. Disparities in health and access to care have long been noted among different racial, ethnic and sexual groups, in association with issues like discrimination and poverty.” – Bloomberg

March 14, 2023
Myanmar army kill more than 28 in monastery attack – insurgent group
“On Saturday, the military’s air force and artillery entered the village after the shelling around 16:00 local time (09:30 GMT) and executed villagers they found hiding inside a monastery, the KNDF said. A video from KNDF – one of several ethnic armies which have joined the fight against the military government – showed at least 21 bodies, including three in the orange robes worn by Buddhist monks, piled up against the monastery. The bodies had what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds. The video also shows the walls of the monastery peppered with bullet holes. The Kantarawaddy Times, a local newspaper, quoted a KNDF spokesperson saying: “‘It was like the [military] made them line up in front of the monastery and brutally shot them all, including the monks.'” – BBC

March 13, 2023
Iraq war: 20 years on – Long shadow of US invasion of Iraq still looms over international order
“‘Tell me, how does this end?’ asked US general David Petraeus during first push to Baghdad in 2003. The French statesman Georges Clemenceau once said: ‘War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.’ In the case of the invasion of Iraq, however, the war that began 20 years ago started in victory and has ended in a series of catastrophes.” – The Guardian

March 13, 2023
In Matthew Desmond’s ‘Poverty, by America,’ the Culprit Is Us
“The new book by the sociologist and author of Evicted examines the persistence of want in the wealthy United States, finding that keeping some citizens poor serves the interests of many.” – The New York Times

March 13, 2023
Nuclear-armed North Korea test-fires two strategic cruise missiles from submarine
“Missiles fly for two hours, drawing figure-eight-shaped patterns and demonstrating ability to hit targets 1,500km away.” – Independent

Catalonia confronts past racism after slave trade documentary
“It has long been acknowledged that many Catalan fortunes… were made on the back of slave labour in the tobacco, sugar and cotton plantations of Cuba and, to a lesser extent, Puerto Rico. Far less well known is the fact that Catalan magnates and mariners spent decades growing rich from slavery after filling the void left by Britain’s decision to abolish slavery and exit the trade.” – The Guardian

March 12, 2023
A Lost Decade Worse Than Japan’s Threatens to Change UK Forever
“Crumbling infrastructure and overstretched services are symbols of Britain’s economic stagnation since the 2016 Brexit vote.” – Bloomberg

March 12, 2023
A Matter Of Life And Death
“How Harris County, Texas, the execution capital of the country, sends poor people to death row…. Like most people who end up on death row, Cruz-Garcia could not afford to hire a lawyer for the resource-intensive process of a capital trial, and Harris County, Texas, doesn’t offer public defenders in death penalty cases.” – HuffPost

March 11, 2023
Hong Kong court jails Tiananmen anniversary vigil organisers
“Prosecutors said Chow Hang-Tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong were under foreign influence but refused to say who it was.” – The Guardian

March 10, 2023
Ukraine’s leading campaigner against Russian fossil fuels refused entry to top US energy conference
“Svitlana Romanko travelled from her home in Ivano-Frankivsk, western Ukraine, to Houston, Texas before being denied entry to the event…. And though she hasn’t been told by the energy summit’s organisers why she was barred, she believes that ‘the fossil fuel industry is actually scared by having someone from Ukraine attend.’ She pointed out that the Stand With Ukraine campaign was not only calling for an end to the ‘global fossil fuel addiction that feeds Putin’s war machine’ but also for countries to stop expansion of coal, oil and gas, and start phasing out.” – Independent

March 7, 2023
Florida Republicans propose ‘fascist’ bill to remove trans kids from parents’ custody
“The bill follows 2022’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law…. On Friday, GOP lawmakers submitted SB254, which allows the state to seize custody of children when they “at risk” or “being subjected” to gender-affirming medical care, including from families where the child at question may reside outside of Florida.” –

March 7, 2023
Six killed in Israeli raid on Jenin as settlers attack Palestinian town again
“Israeli forces swept into a refugee camp in the Palestinian city of Jenin on Tuesday searching for a man suspected of killing two Israeli settlers, in the latest in a series of increasingly deadly incursions targeting armed groups in the occupied West Bank….
The killings last month set off a violent rampage by Israeli settlers through the Palestinian town of Huwara — where the shooting took place — and nearby villages. Hundreds of businesses and homes were torched, some with children inside, and one Palestinian was shot dead. Despite international and domestic condemnation, Israeli settlers attacked Huwara for a second time in just over a week on Monday, an outburst of violence that came during festivities for the Jewish holiday of Purim and after calls by far-right politicians for the town to be destroyed.” – The Washington Post

March 7, 2023
Polish TV report: John Paul II knew of abuse as archbishop
“St. John Paul II knew about sexual abuse of children by priests under his authority and sought to conceal it when he was an archbishop in his native Poland, a television news report has alleged…. TVN24 named three priests whom the future pope then known as Archbishop Karol Wojtyla had moved among parishes or sent to a cloister during the 1970s, including one who was sent to Austria, after they were accused of abusing minors. Two of the priests, Eugeniusz Surgent and Jozef Loranc, eventually served short prison terms for the abuse.” – ABCNews

March 6, 2023
Iran’s school poisonings expose a chasm between the regime and its people
“But many Iranians believe they know who is behind the poisonings and why. Some are referring to the case as serial poisonings; an ominous reference to the gruesome serial murders of political dissidents by pro-regime extremists that gripped the regime in the late 1990s. Many Iranians believe the same fanatical, violent Islamist groups – often parts of shadowy cult-like clerical organisations rooted in Qom – are poisoning girls in order to prevent women from going to school or as revenge for their role in the uprising that began last summer and continues to re-emerge on occasion. Some of the same fanatical extremists have been accused of using acid to disfigure women wearing garb deemed not properly Islamic enough.” – Independent

March 6, 2023
Evangelical Christians flock to Republicans over support for Israel
“Powerful voting bloc looking to back pro-Israel politicians in hopes of dictating policy that fits their theological views.” – The Guardian

March 6, 2023
Gender equality still ‘300 years away’, says UN secretary general
“‘Women’s rights are being abused, threatened and violated around the world,’ he added, as he ticked off a litany of crises: maternal mortality, girls ousted from school, caregivers denied work and children forced into early marriage. ‘Progress won over decades is vanishing before our eyes,’ Guterres said.” – The Guardian

March 6, 2023
Evangelical Christians flock to Republicans over support for Israel
“Powerful voting bloc looking to back pro-Israel politicians in hopes of dictating policy that fits their theological views.” – The Guardian

March 6. 2023
There’s a Menace Hanging Over Brazil
“A strange policy document published last year by a group of institutes run by retired Brazilian military personnel. Titled ‘Nation Project: Brazil in 2035,’ the report proposes a grand national strategy on issues like geopolitics, science, technology, education and health. Alongside its more outlandish predictions, it foresees the end of Brazil’s universal health care system and public universities, and calls for the scrapping of environmental protections…. At the root of the military’s power is amnesia. During the dictatorship, the regime killed hundreds and tortured 20,000 people. Yet in 1979, it passed an amnesty law for those who had committed politically motivated crimes in the previous two decades, covering not only exiled activists but also military and public officials accused of murder, torture and sexual abuse. The law was upheld in 2010 by the Supreme Court. Four years later, a National Truth Commission identified 377 public officials responsible for human rights abuses during the dictatorship, but little was done. No military officers have ever been punished for their crimes.” – The New York Times

March 6, 2023
I’ve seen how overdose wrecks lives – why have the Sackler family members behind OxyContin avoided all charges?
“Today, as the overdose crisis takes the lives of more than 100,000 Americans each year, the question of how these Sackler family members have evaded criminal accountability is not only one of retrospective justice, but also of prevention. The failure of the US Department of Justice to take action specifically against Richard Sackler – who served as president and chairman of Purdue during the heights of Purdue’s federal crimes – only invites future private companies and profiteers to knowingly defraud the government and misinform the public about the dangers of highly addictive drugs.” – The Guardian

March  6, 2023
Babies In Womb To Get Gita, Ramayana Lessons Under RSS Arm’s New Exercise
“Samvardhinee Nyas, an affiliate of the RSS, has started a campaign titled ‘Garbha Sanskar’ for pregnant women to teach babies culture and values in the womb…. Along with gynaecologists, ayurvedic doctors and yoga trainers, the Nyas is planning a programme which will comprise chanting of the Gita, the Ramayana and yoga practice during pregnancy to ‘impart cultural values to babies in the womb.’ This programme will start from pregnancy to babies two years of age, will emphasise on chanting of Gita shlokas, chaupais of Ramayana, said Ms Marathe…. ‘The aim and objective of this campaign is to develop a programme which ensures that the baby can learn sanskar (culture and values) in womb and the process continues till the baby gets two years old,’ Ms Marathe said.” – NDTV

March 5, 2023
As drug deaths soar, experts urge expanded access to methadone
“Studies show methadone works. But draconian regulations make it hard to get even amid the drug crisis.” – The Washington Post

March 4, 2023
South Carolina woman arrested for allegedly taking abortion pill to end 2021 pregnancyIndependent

March 2, 2023
Sakharov Center forced to close as wartime Russia purges human rights groups
“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s wartime purge of liberals and human rights activists has forced the Sakharov Center, a museum and cultural space in Moscow, to close as the Kremlin rips up the legacy of rights defenders like Sakharov, who died in 1989, and destroys organizations dedicated to justice and freedom.”– The Washington Post

February 27, 2023
Settlers rampage in West Bank villages after Israelis killed
“One Palestinian man was killed and more than 100 others were injured in the violence near Nablus on Sunday night, the Palestinian health ministry said. Dozens of cars and houses were also burnt, according to a local official. It followed the killings of the two Israelis – brothers from a nearby settlement – along a highway.” – BBC

February 27, 2023
Preaching Freedom, Ron DeSantis Leads By Cracking Down
“What this has meant in practice looks an awful lot like thought policing: outlawing classroom discussion of sexual orientation through the third grade; rejecting math textbooks that run afoul of Florida’s opaque review process; forbidding teachers and companies to discuss race and gender in a way that might make anyone feel ‘discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress.’ Florida also has a ban on abortion after 15 weeks — which DeSantis has indicated he would be willing to tighten to six weeks — with no exceptions for rape and incest.” – The New York Times

February 26, 2023
Why Fox News Lied to the Viewers It ‘Respects’
“There is now compelling evidence that America’s most-watched cable news network presented information it knew to be false as part of an effort to placate an angry audience. It knowingly sacrificed its integrity to maintain its market share. Why? There are the obvious reasons: Money. Power. Fame.” – The New York Times

February 26, 2023
‘They were shot in the head’: morgue gives up truth of Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war
“Crusading pathologist Raquel Fortun finds evidence of multiple murder at the direction of ‘a madman’ in the exhumed remains of young Filipinos.” – The Guardian

February 25, 2023
Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.
“Arriving in record numbers, they’re ending up in dangerous jobs that violate child labor laws — including in factories that make products for well-known brands like Cheetos and Fruit of the Loom.” – The New York Times

February 25, 2023
Colorado sheriff honors deputy after he killed man who mistakenly got in wrong car
“Richard Ward, 32, was shot thrice at close range by Charles McWhorter, who received a purple heart award. ‘This was nothing short of state-sanctioned murder of a citizen who should not have been arrested, let alone killed in broad daylight,’ the Ward family’s attorney, Darold Killmer, said in a statement.” – The Guardian

February 25, 2023
Fewer people are marrying. That’s cause for celebration, not state intervention
“Some view the decline in marriage rates as a crisis, yet cohabitation has much to recommend it.” – The Guardian

February 25, 2023
Marvia Malik: Pakistan’s first transgender TV anchor escapes assassination bid by two gunmen
“’My family knows I have modelled and they know that I work as a newscaster. It’s the age of social media and there’s nothing that my family doesn’t know. But they have still disowned me,’ she added.” – Independent

February 3, 2023
Florida Executes Man Used As ‘Political Pawn’ By Ron DeSantis
“Florida on Thursday executed 59-year-old Donald Dillbeck, who was sentenced to death 32 years ago by a non-unanimous jury under a death penalty statute that has since been found unconstitutional…. The timing of his execution appears to be part of a push by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to bring back death sentences by non-unanimous juries. DeSantis, who is expected to run for president, signed Dillbeck’s death warrant last month on the same day that he floated changing state law to allow non-unanimous juries to impose death sentences.” – HuffPost

February, 23, 2023
‘Woodstock’ for Christians: Revival Draws Thousands to Kentucky Town
“They were hoping ‘to experience the presence’ of God, Brittany Faubel, a Valor student, said.” – The New York Times

February 22, 2023
America Has Lost the War on Drugs.
“In the 1970s, when soldiers returning from Vietnam were grappling with heroin addiction, the nation’s first drug czar — appointed by President Richard Nixon — developed a national system of clinics that offered not only methadone but also counseling, 12-step programs and social services. Roughly 70 percent of the nation’s drug control budget was devoted to this initiative; only the remaining 30 percent went to law enforcement.
“The moment was short-lived, of course. Mired in controversy and wanting to appear tough on crime, Nixon tacked right just months before resigning from office, and nearly every president after him — from Reagan to Clinton to Bush — followed the course he set. Before long, the funding ratio between public health and criminal justice measures flipped. Police and prison budgets soared, and anything related to health, medicine or social services was left to dangle by its own shoestring.
“The results of that shift are clear: Drug use is soaring. More Americans are dying of overdoses than at any point in modern history.” – The New York Times

February 22, 2023
Liar, Liar Network On Fire: The Legal Case Against Fox News | The Problem With Jon Stewart Podcast
“Thanks to the Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News filing, we now know what we’ve always believed is true: Fox News will do or say anything to retain their power, even if it means lying – over and over and over again – to their viewers. The question is, will they ever be held accountable? We’re joined this week by RonNell Anderson Jones, Professor of Law at the University of Utah, for a lively discussion about defamation law and the possibility that Fox News might actually have to face the music.” – YouTube

February 22, 2023
Who’s laughing now? The Dalit comedians punching up against India’s caste system
“Once the butt of others’ standup routines, comics from the lowest social strata are turning the tables, with humour as their weapon.” – The Guardian

February 22, 2023
Remains of anti-Franco activist who died in 1973 recovered in Catalonia
“Forensic experts in Catalonia have recovered and identified the remains of a young anti-Franco activist, communist and trade unionist who died in 1973 after being forced to drink sulphuric acid during a police interrogation.” – The Guardian

February 22, 2023
Malcom X’s family brings $100m lawsuit accusing CIA, FBI and NYPD of ‘plan to assassinate’ leader
“Two of three men convicted in assassination of activist have been exonerated. The family of influential Black liberation activist Malcolm X plans to sue the FBI, CIA, and New York Police Department, alleging the law enforcement agencies played a part in a “plan to execute” the leader, who was shot dead in 1965 during a speech in Manhattan.” – Independent

February 22, 2023
Mormon church fined $5m for using shell companies to hide investments from the SEC
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm have been fined $5m for using shell companies to obscure the size of the portfolio under church control, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.” – Independent

February 22, 2023
Mexico’s former top security official convicted in US of taking cartel bribes
“Genaro Garcia Luna is one of the most senior Mexican officials ever convicted of ties to a drug cartel.” – Independent

February 21, 2023
‘Insane, lying, complete nut’: How Fox News stars rejected Trump’s election conspiracies while network pushed them
Top personalities, executives and producers at Fox News privately condemned ‘reckless’ claims from election fraud conspiracy theorists they dismissed as ‘crazy’ and ‘insane.’ But they were repeatedly invited on air on some of the most-watched cable news programmes in the country, where they amplified bogus statements about the 2020 presidential election and a voting machine company that has accused the network of defamation in a $1.6bn lawsuit.” – Independent

February 21, 2023
Southern Baptists Expel Saddleback Church Over Female Pastor
“The Southern Baptist Convention on Tuesday decided to expel one of its largest and most prominent churches, Saddleback Church in Southern California, over the church’s installment of a woman as pastor.” – The New York Times

February 21, 2023
Professor at Florida Christian college that hosted DeSantis may be fired for ‘indoctrinating’ students on race
“Professor Joeckel said ‘Things like this do not happen in a vacuum,’ he continued. ‘There is a reason why PBA is threatening me now rather than five years ago or ten years ago. PBA is conforming to a toxic political culture, and they are playing a role that is a part of that culture’s script: a role that says, “We do not like to have uncomfortable conversations about race.”‘” – Independent

February 20, 2023
Bangladesh shuts down main opposition newspaper
“The only newspaper of Bangladesh’s main opposition party has stopped publishing after a government suspension order was upheld, stoking fears about media freedom in the south Asian nation. Campaigners and foreign governments including the US have long expressed worries about efforts by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, to silence criticism and what they see as creeping authoritarianism.” – The Guardian
February 20, 2023
Florida teacher fired over viral video Ron DeSantis branded ‘fake narrative’
“Mr Covey’s firing came days after Mr DeSantis directly condemned the video as a ‘fake narrative’ as he denied that books have been removed from school shelves, despite evidence from teachers and librarians revealing that they have.” – Independent
February 19, 2023
How India’s scandal-hit Adani Group uses legal threats to silence critics
“US investment firm Hindenburg Research said the company had long used the threat of litigation to shield itself from greater scrutiny…. Independent Indian journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is being sued by tycoon Gautam Adani’s business empire in six different courts – and he is not allowed to speak about the conglomerate or its owner.” – South China Morning PostFebruary 19, 2023
‘Brainwashing a Generation’: British Schools Combat Andrew Tate’s Views
“British schools were already reckoning with what officials have recognized as an endemic culture of sexual harassment of students, leaving both young girls and boys feeling victimized and often unsure of the rules of interaction.” – The New York Times

February 18, 2023
Her baby has a deadly diagnosis. Her Florida doctors refused an abortion.
“Deborah and Lee Dorbert say the most painful decision of their lives was not honored by the physicians they trust. Even though medical experts expect their baby to survive only 20 minutes to a couple of hours, the Dorberts say their doctors told them that because of the new legislation, they could not terminate the pregnancy.” – The Washington Post

February 17, 2023
Taliban bans contraception calling use a ‘western conspiracy’
“Taliban fighters have stopped the sale of contraceptives in two of Afghanistan’s main cities, claiming their use by women is a western conspiracy to control the Muslim population. The Guardian has learned that the Taliban has been going door to door, threatening midwives and ordering pharmacies to clear their shelves of all birth control medicines and devices. ‘They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products,’ said one store owner in the city.” – The Guardian

February 16, 2023
Dark arts of politics: how ‘Team Jorge’ and Cambridge Analytica meddled in Nigerian election
“Four weeks before a pivotal presidential election in Nigeria, an Israeli private operative specialising in political ‘black ops’ was preparing his trip to the country. On 17 January 2015 the man, who used the alias ‘Jorge,’ emailed Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy he was coordinating with on a covert plan to manipulate Africa’s largest democracy.” – The Guardian

February 16, 2023
Pompeo says Israel has biblical claim to Palestine and is ‘not an occupying nation’
“'[Israel] is not an occupying nation. As an evangelical Christian, I am convinced by my reading of the Bible that 3,000 years on now, in spite of the denial of so many, [this land] is the rightful homeland of the Jewish people,’ he said.” – The Guardian

February 14, 2023
One in 10 US girls say they’ve been raped, shocking CDC figures reveal
“High school girls are ‘engulfed in a growing wave of violence and trauma’ the researchers state in their report. The figures were published on Monday and show that rates of rape and sexual violence have increased while feelings of sadness or hopelessness have reached record highs.” – Independent

February 14, 2023
Sudan court sentences three men to hand amputation for stealing
“The verdict, the first of its kind in almost a decade, has shocked many who fear country is sliding back into state extremism.” – The Guardian

February 14, 2023
She asked the police to help her husband. They killed him instead
“On 2 January, her husband, Takar Smith, was talking to himself and making nonsensical remarks, a sign he was having another episode of schizophrenia, which had long strained their relationship. She was scared and wanted him to get treatment in a facility, so she walked a few blocks to a nearby Los Angeles police station for help. Soon after, at least six armed officers entered her apartment where Takar, 45, was alone, unarmed and paranoid. Fifteen minutes later, while he was cornered in the kitchen, on his knees and now with a knife in his hand, two officers shot him, causing him to instantly collapse facedown. They handcuffed his motionless body. Takar was pronounced dead at the scene.” – The Guardian

February 13, 2023
ANNALS OF AUTOCRACY  – They clicked once. Then came the dark prisons.
“Ms. Perednya was arrested and sentenced to 6½ years in prison. Ms. Shehab was sentenced to 34 years in prison and to a 34-year travel ban. Ms. Krivtsova has been added to a list of terrorists and extremists, charged with discrediting the military and put under house arrest, and she is facing seven years in prison. They all are being punished by despotic regimes for nothing more than posting or reposting something on social media. That’s all — a click. They are hardly alone. The world’s political prisons are bulging.” – The Washington Post

February 13, 2023
Mob drags out man from Pakistan jail and kills him on charge of blasphemy
“A mob stormed a police station in Pakistan and killed a man suspected of blasphemy while he was in custody, in yet another incident of religion-linked violence in the country…. The man, in his twenties, was reportedly in police custody for desecrating the Quran, the Muslim holy book, according to police spokesperson Muhammad Waqas.” – Independent

February 3, 2023
Teen girls ‘engulfed’ in violence and trauma, CDC finds
“Teen girls across the United States are “engulfed in a growing wave of violence and trauma,” according to federal researchers who released data Monday showing increases in rape and sexual violence, as well as record levels of feeling sad or hopeless. Nearly 1 in 3 high school girls reported in 2021 that they seriously considered suicide — up nearly 60 percent from a decade ago — according to new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 15 percent of teen girls said they were forced to have sex, an increase of 27 percent over two years and the first increase since the CDC began tracking it.” The Washington Post
February 13, 2023
Brexit hit UK growth by £29bn, says Bank of England rate setter
“Investment in the country since the referendum has ‘stopped in its tracks’, according to a study led by Jonathan Haskel. The UK has suffered a loss of business investment since the 2016 Brexit referendum worth £29bn, or £1,000 a household, according to a study by a senior Bank of England official.” – The Guardian

February 11, 2023
San Diego Catholic Diocese Faces Bankruptcy Over ‘Staggering’ Abuse Lawsuit Costs
“Some 400 new lawsuits have been filed after California lifted a statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims, Bishop Robert McElroy said.” – HuffPost

February 9, 2023
The Out-of-Control Spread of Crowd-Control Tech
“Broken bones. Eye trauma. Brain injuries. How America’s sketchy “less-lethal” weapons industry exports its insidious brand of violence around the world…. It could have been Hong Kong or Santiago in 2019, Minneapolis or Portland in the summer of 2020, Tehran or Shanghai in the winter of 2022. But at this particular eruption of unrest in the spring of 2021.”  – Wired

February 9, 2023
A new poll gives us insight into a troubling anti-American movement
“According to a Public Religion Research Institute-Brookings Institution poll released Wednesday, Christian nationalists in fact harbor a set of extreme beliefs at odds with pluralistic democracy. The findings will alarm you…. A vast number of like-minded Americans could be receptive to an authoritarian, racist, dogmatic message donning the cloak of Christianity.” – The Washington Post

February 8, 2023
The Meeting House: Inside a Megachurch Scandal
“By promising to bring the faith into the modern age, megachurches were meant to be an antidote to the scandals of traditional Christian churches. Instead, underneath that promise, megachurches have repeatedly revealed just how similar they are to the religious institutions they sought to rise above.” – The Walrus

February 8, 2023
The U.S. prosecuted Brian Lemley for threats, not violence. Is that what it takes to fight extremism?
“Direct allegiances among domestic violent extremists are usually less clear. They will claim membership in several groups, as Lemley did, or in none. They were often connected to several overlapping movements, a menagerie of American paranoia and rage: white nationalists, accelerationists, neo-Nazis, militiamen, Christian identitarians, neo-Confederates, sovereign citizens, QAnon followers, armed Trump-worshipers and people using that new word, the Boogaloo…. Consider some of the recent crimes that many Americans, including law-enforcement officials, believe are acts of domestic terrorism: James Alex Fields Jr.’s crushing Heather Heyer to death with his car in Charlottesville; Patrick Crusius’s killing 23 people in a Walmart in El Paso; Payton Gendron’s shooting 10 Black people in a supermarket in Buffalo. None of these men were charged with crimes of terrorism, though they’ve all admitted to political or prejudicial motives. The same is true of Dylann Roof, who published a manifesto laying out his political philosophy. All four men were charged with federal hate crimes, but the hate-crimes statute suffers the same strategic problem that the seditious-conspiracy statute does: It is mainly punitive in aim and so, post-facto, not preventive.” – The New York Times

February 7, 2023
The “manosphere” is getting more toxic as angry men join the incels
“Men from the less extreme end of the misogynistic spectrum are drifting toward groups that espouse violence against women, a new study suggests.” – MIT Technology Review

February 6, 2023
Hong Kong: landmark national security trial of 47 democracy advocates begins
“Protests as group of former politicians, activists, campaigners, and community workers appear in court accused of ‘conspiracy to commit subversion.’” – The Guardian

February 3, 2023
582,462 and Counting – To fix a problem like homelessness in America, you need to know its scope
“On any given evening, the forces that drive someone to sleep outside or in a shelter are myriad and complex. A long-run erosion in wages. A fraying social safety net. The fact that hard drugs are cheap and mental health care is not. Year after year, the count finds people experiencing homelessness to be disproportionately Black, disproportionately old and disproportionately sick. Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community are overrepresented as well. There is one factor — the high cost of housing and difficulty of finding anything affordable — that rises above the rest.” The New York Times

February 3, 2023
Iranian court ‘jails young couple in viral dance video for 10 years’
“Defiant pair convicted of ‘disrupting national security’” – Independent

February 3, 2023
Indian police arrest 1,800 men in crackdown on underage marriage
“More arrests are likely and will include people who help to register such marriages in temples and mosques. The nation is home to the largest number of child brides in the world at around 223 million, UN estimates.” – SCMP

February 2, 2023
Bolsonaro attended meeting about plot to keep him in power, senator says
“Senator says he was asked to get justice to make compromising comments on tape as Bolsonaro ‘sat in silence.’ A close ally of Jair Bolsonaro has turned against Brazil’s former president, claiming that an aide to the far-right leader tried to “coerce” him into joining a conspiracy to annul the October elections and keep Bolsonaro in power.” – The Guardian

February 2, 2023
Former Russian soldier reveals he saw Ukrainian prisoners of war tortured
“A senior Russian lieutenant who fled after serving in Ukraine has described how his country’s troops tortured prisoners of war and threatened some with rape.” – The Guardian

February 2, 2023
Iranian Couple Who Went Viral For Dancing Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison
“The couple, who create content for social media, were found guilty of encouraging rioting against Iran’s regime.” – HuffPost

February 2, 2023
Indian journalist freed on bail after being jailed for two years without trial
“Kappan, a Muslim journalist from the southern state of Kerala, was arrested in October 2020 as he was on his way to the northern state of Uttar Pradesh to report on the high-profile case of a Dalit girl who was gang-raped and later died…. In December 2020, the Kerala Union of Working Journalists alleged that Kappan had been ‘beaten thrice and subjected to mental torture during custody…. India has slipped 10 places in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom ranking to 150 out of 180 as critical journalists and media outlets have been harassed online and hit with criminal charges. Nine journalists are still in Indian prisons, according to Reporters Without Borders.’” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
Medvedev Says Russia’s Genocide of Ukraine Is Legitimate
“The Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council claims history justifies Russia’s genocides, and that Poland has to die.” – Medium

February 1, 2023
Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’
In the two years since a murderous junta launched a coup in Myanmar, some of the world’s biggest oil and gas service companies continued to make millions of dollars from operations that have helped prop up the military regime, tax documents seen by the Guardian suggest.” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
California police kill double amputee who was fleeing: ‘Scared for his life’
“A southern California police department is facing national backlash after footage revealed that officers fatally shot a double amputee and wheelchair user who appeared to be hobbling away on the ground before he was killed.” – The Guardian

February 1, 2023
Wagner Commander Who Fled Russia Details Summary Executions 
An ex-commander with Russia’s notorious mercenary group Wagner who is currently seeking asylum in Norway described witnessing summary executions of fellow soldiers during an interview with The Moscow Times on Tuesday. Andrei Medvedev, 26, said that he witnessed a double execution at a Wagner center where the group was training inmates recruited from Russia’s jails.  ‘There was a case when they brought two prisoners who refused to fight and they shot them in front of others for refusing to follow orders,’ Medvedev said from Norway. ‘There were a lot of such cases.’” – Moscow Times

February 1, 2023
Brexit Is Costing the UK £100 Billion a Year in Lost Output
“An analysis by Bloomberg Economics three years after Britain left the European Union paints a bleak picture of the damage done by the way the split has been implemented by the Conservative government. Economists Ana Andrade and Dan Hanson reckon the economy is 4% smaller than it might have been, with business investment lagging significantly and the shortfall in EU workers widening.” – Bloomberg

February 1, 2023
Hong Kong is criminalizing CBD as a ‘dangerous drug’ alongside heroin
CBD was criminalized in the city and declared a “dangerous drug” on the same level as heroin and fentanyl…. It has surged in global popularity in recent years, with brands adding it to shampoos, drinks, body oils, gummy bears and dog treats. In the United States and Europe, you might find it sold in coffee shops and farmers’ markets, mom-and-pop and high-end department stores, and even drugstore chain CVS…. Possession and consumption of any amount of CBD is punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of 1 million Hong Kong dollars ($127,607). Manufacturing, importing or exporting CBD is punishable by life imprisonment.” – CNN

February 1, 2023
Canadian province tries decriminalizing drugs to fight overdose crisis
The western Canadian province of British Columbia on Tuesday began a three-year pilot program to stop prosecuting people for carrying small amounts of heroin, meth, ecstasy, or crack cocaine, as part of an effort to fight a drug overdose crisis. B.C. accounts for about a third of the 32,000 deaths due to overdose and trafficking nationally since 2016, according to official data. The province declared drug overdose a public health emergency that year.” – Reuters

January 30, 2023
These politicians banned alcohol – now poisonous hooch is killing thousands
“The world’s largest prohibition experiment since the 1920s pushed liquor production underground. The consequences have been disastrous.” – The Daily Telegraph

January 30, 2023
Male Iranian protestors raped, ice placed under testicles in prison, says Amnesty report
“The three men, out of the many who are facing the death penalty in Iran for participating in anti-regime protests, have been charged with “corruption on Earth” and “enmity against God”…. One of the men named Mehdi Mohammadifard was reportedly raped by prison guards and brutally beaten, according to the Amnesty report. The rights organisation also learned that 19-year-old Mohammadifard has sustained anal and rectal injuries.” – Firstpost

January 29, 2023
‘It was all for nothing’: Chinese count cost of Xi’s snap decision to let Covid rip
“After three years of lockdowns, the country was ill prepared for its abrupt ‘freedom’. Now, with some estimating 1m deaths, public anger is growing…. As it became clear China’s government had opened up the country, knowing it wasn’t ready…. Melody, a Chinese woman living abroad, wrote… ‘It shows me: protecting lives was never the motor behind zero-Covid. Power was. Now the Chinese people also see it.’” – The Guardian

January 29, 2023
Violent History Echoes in the Killing of Tyre Nichols
“On April 3, 1968, shortly before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver what turned out to be his last speech…. A few days before, a Memphis police officer had shot and killed Mr. Payne in a doorway outside the housing project where he lived…. Three years after Mr. Payne’s 1968 killing, several Memphis law enforcement officers were charged in connection with the murder of Elton Hayes, a Black 17-year-old who was beaten to death in a ditch after a high-speed chase…. In 1974 a Memphis police officer pursued a Black 15-year-old accused of stealing a wallet containing $10 and shot him in the back of the head, killing him as he was running away…. The toxic line reaches much farther back, to 1866, when mobs led by white Memphis police officers…. For three days, the mobs rampaged, raping Black women and looting and burning Black people’s homes, schools and churches in the same part of the city where Mr. Payne and Dr. King were killed 102 years later. No charges were ever brought against any of the policemen….” – The New York Times

January 29, 2023
Inside The Online Community Where Home-Schoolers Learn How To Turn Their Kids Into ‘Wonderful Nazis’
“A Telegram group called Dissident Homeschool has been a resource for neo-Nazis who want to teach their kids hate at home…. Over the past year, the Dissident Homeschool channel has become a community for like-minded fascists who see home schooling as integral to whites wresting control of America.” – HuffPost

January 28, 2023
He was arrested for sharing a cartoon. Eleven years later, he can finally move on
“The simple act of forwarding a mild piece of political satire saw his life ripped apart – and what it says about the dire state of free speech in India…. Remarkably, there are still hundreds of cases like Mahapatra’s across India, where people are still facing prosecution by state governments on the basis of Section 66A, a law that no longer exists.” – Independent

January 27, 2023
Hitler didn’t build the path to the Holocaust alone – ordinary people were active participants
“The process by which this happened demanded effort, thought and consideration. Moreover, it required huge numbers of people – not just thousands, or tens of thousands even, but hundreds of thousands. These people gave Hitler the practical means to achieve his ideological vision. Hundreds of thousands of men and women who cooperated, in various ways, with the mass murder of 6 million men, women and children.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
Burning of Qur’an in Stockholm funded by journalist with Kremlin ties
“Permit for demonstration at which anti-Islam provocateur burned Muslim holy book was paid for by far-right journalist linked to Moscow-backed media.” – The Guardian

January 27, 2023
India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war: Pompeo
“India and Pakistan came ‘close’ to a ‘nuclear conflagration’ in February 2019, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said in his new memoir. This happened after Delhi launched strikes against militants in Pakistani territory following an attack on Indian troops in Kashmir. Pakistan had then said it had shot down two Indian military jets and captured a fighter pilot.” – BBC

January 25, 2023
Censorship, arrests, power cuts. India scrambles to block BBC documentary.
“The film had already been banned, the social media posts censored. Now, the students huddled without light or electricity around glowing smartphones to watch what their government had deemed to be subversive foreign propaganda. China? No. They were in India, ostensibly the world’s largest democracy, and watching the BBC.” – The Washington Post

January 22, 2023
Lost photos from Warsaw Ghetto Uprising reveal horror of Jews’ last stand
“Images found in attic taken by Polish firefighter who risked his life to record how Jewish Poles fought the Nazis despite impossible odds…. The Warsaw ghetto, set up in 1940, was the largest in Europe, and at its peak held almost half a million Jews, packed into a small neighbourhood and forced to live in appalling conditions. Around 260,000 were deported from the ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered. After mass deportations in 1942, those remaining inside the ghetto began to make preparations for an uprising, smuggling in weapons and explosives.” – The Guardian

January 21, 2023
Canada Settles $2 Billion Suit Over ‘Cultural Genocide’ at Residential Schools
“Thousands of Indigenous students educated at about 130 residential schools from the 19th century through the 1990s were forbidden, sometimes through coercive violence, from speaking their ancestral languages and practicing their traditions. Indigenous children were sometimes taken from their families by force and sent to the schools, which were largely run by churches…. Thousands of students are believed to have died at the schools from disease, malnutrition, neglect, accidents, fires and violence.” –  The New York Times

January 20, 2023
I Hate to Tell You This, But the Most Destructive Force on the Planet Is the GOP
What the Standoff Over the “Debt Limit” Really Means, And Why It Matters More Than You Think” – Eudaimonia and CoJanuary 18, 2023
New Photo Shows Serious Injuries On Memphis Man Who Died In Police Custody
“The family of a young Black man who died in the custody of Memphis, Tennessee, police is outraged and looking for answers — starting with the release of body camera footage that may help explain what happened to 29-year-old Tyre Nichols during a routine traffic stop this month.” – HuffPost

January 17, 2023
Russians are living in a frightening, distorted reality
“Propaganda is not limited to news bulletins and talk shows — it also permeates documentaries, cultural programs and even sports coverage. New Year’s Eve, when millions of Russians tune in to listen to popular songs and watch favorite movies, was also filled with propaganda messages…. Western politicians and commentators who blame Russian society for tolerating this regime for such a long time should not forget about their own leaders who did exactly the same.” – The Washington Post

January 17, 2023
Conservative Pundit Spots George Santos Lie That Shows He’s A ‘Complete Sociopath’
“Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes on Monday said the scandal engulfing Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was ‘testing the Republican Party’s capacity for lies and for sleaze, which we know is pretty considerable.’… ‘So, it’s going to test Kevin McCarthy’s capacity for going along with the embarrassment. We already know what his capacity for tolerating lies and sleaze is,’ Sykes said.” – HuffPost

January 16, 2023
Call for new taxes on super-rich after 1% pocket two-thirds of all new wealth
“Oxfam has called for immediate action to tackle a post-Covid widening in global inequality after revealing that almost two-thirds of the new wealth amassed since the start of the pandemic has gone to the richest 1%. In report to coincide with the annual gathering of the global elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the charity said the best-off had pocketed $26tn (£21tn) in new wealth up to the end of 2021. That represented 63% of the total new wealth, with the rest going to the remaining 99% of people.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Western firms facilitating production of Myanmar junta’s weapons, says report
“Companies in 13 countries across Europe, Asia and North America are assisting Myanmar’s junta – either indirectly or directly – by supplying materials to the stated-owned entity that produces the military’s weapons, a report by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M) has found. The weapons are then being used to commit human rights atrocities…. Dozens of companies based in Austria, France, China, Singapore, India, Israel, Ukraine, Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the US were supplying raw materials, machines, technology and parts to the Directorate of Defence Industries (DDI), a state-owned company responsible for producing military equipment for Myanmar’s armed forces…. the Austrian company GFM Steyr is believed to have provided computer numerical control machines for the manufacturing of gun barrels. Dassault Systèmes in France is said to have supplied 3D electromagnetic simulation and analysis software, and computer aided design (CAD) software for 3D modelling. The Germany-based Siemens Digital Industries Software is thought to have provided multiple types of software, and Ukraine’s Ukrspecexport is believed to have supplied types of transfer technology for the production of 2SIU self-propelled howitzers, BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers and MMT-40 light tanks.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
The richest one per cent in India own more than 40 per cent of the country’s total wealth finds Oxfam inequality report
“Richest 1% globally have taken nearly two-thirds of all new wealth worth $42 trillion created since 2020…. While the bottom half of the population together share just 3 per cent of all wealth, according to a new report…. ‘A one-off tax on unrealised gains from 2017-2021 on just one billionaire, Gautam Adani, could have raised Rs 1.79 trillion, enough to employ more than five million Indian primary schoolteachers for a year,’ the report said.” – Independent

January 16, 2023
Australia’s richest 1% pocketed $150,000 a minute over past decade, Oxfam research finds
“The Australian data showed that a wealth tax of just 2% on the country’s millionaires with wealth over $7m, 3% on those with wealth over $67m, and 5% on billionaires would raise $29.1bn annually, enough to increase income support payments to the Henderson poverty line of $88 a day for 1.44 million people. By contrast, the federal government is pressing ahead with the Morrison-era stage three tax cuts, which will result in $243bn of lost tax revenue in the decade after they come into effect.” – The Guardian

January 16, 2023
Tracking rising religious hatred in India, from half a world away
“Naik, 29, is the founder of, one of the most robust real-time data sets of human rights abuses in the world’s largest democracy….
After 2017, India’s crime bureau stopped collecting data on hate crimes, news reports show…. The stop has created a gaping void of information, the scholars added, and most attempts to report on hate crimes in India have quickly been shut down or disappeared. Enter Naik.” – The Washington Post

January 15, 2023
Saudi prosecutors seek death penalty for academic over social media use
“A prominent pro-reform law professor in Saudi Arabia is facing the death penalty for alleged crimes including having a Twitter account and using WhatsApp to share news considered “hostile” to the kingdom, according to court documents seen by the Guardian…. Last year, Salma al-Shehab, a Leeds PhD student and mother of two, received a 34-year sentence for having a Twitter account and for following and retweeting dissidents and activists. Another woman, Noura al-Qahtani, was sentenced to 45 years in prison for using Twitter.” – The Guardian

January 15, 2023
‘We have no one’: The women and girls sold as brides in Kashmir
“For as little as $35, Indian women and girls are being sold by traffickers and forced into marriages against their will.” – Aljazeera

January 15, 2023
Black WWII soldiers asked a White woman for doughnuts. They were shot.
“About two weeks after the end of World War II in Europe, French women were serving U.S. soldiers coffee and doughnuts in a Red Cross tent in France. Two Black soldiers went inside to get some. This was a breach of norms: In a segregated army, many White American soldiers did not want Black men talking to French women. The Black soldiers — Allen Leftridge and Frank Glenn — were challenged by a White sergeant, according to a witness. When a White armed guard arrived, he fatally shot the two men.” – The New York Times

January 14, 2023
How to Help Girls Enduring the Unendurable
“One unpublished survey found that a majority of women in the Kibera slum here in Nairobi had their first sexual experience through rape or sexual assault. The World Health Organization estimates that almost one-third of women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, with rates particularly high in developing countries. A 2013 United Nations survey found that almost a quarter of men in six Asian countries acknowledged that they had raped someone. This is part of the unfinished business of #MeToo, and it could use more American leadership. For many years, the bipartisan International Violence Against Women Act has languished in Congress; it would make permanent an office in the State Department for women’s issues and elevate issues of gender violence.” – The New York Times

January 14, 2023
Christian missionaries target the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal
“Most of the surge in Christian numbers in Nepal is from among members of the community who call themselves Dalits – traditionally at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy – or from indigenous people. They may believe in miracles as Pang suggests, but for them conversion also offers a chance to escape entrenched poverty and discrimination.” – BBC

January 14, 2023
Brazil’s military blocked arrests of Bolsonaro rioters, officials say
“When top Lula administration officials arrived at the army headquarters Sunday night with the aim of securing the detention of insurrectionists at the camp, they were confronted with tanks and three lines of military personnel. ‘You are not going to arrest people here,’ Brazil’s senior army commander, Gen. Júlio César de Arruda, told new Justice Minister Flávio Dino, according to two officials who were present. That act of protection, which Lula administration officials say gave hundreds of insurrectionists time to escape arrest, is one of several indications of a troubling pattern that authorities are now investigating as evidence of alleged collusion between military and police officials and the thousands of rioters who invaded the institutions at the heart of Brazil’s young democracy.” – The Washington Post

January 13, 2023
She Witnessed Mao’s Worst Excesses. Now She Has a Warning for the World.
“Her voice drops, barely audible among the din of cutlery and diners in the restaurant: “When you do things in the spirit of Mao, that scares me,” she says, referring to China’s top leader, Xi Jinping…. Today, Ms. Chen’s voice has been drowned out by party historians who gloss over events like the Great Leap Forward and dismiss the estimates of tens of millions of dead as “historical nihilism” intended to undermine the party. ‘They say history is on their side and that means they are right,’ Ms. Chen said about China’s Communist Party. But, she added, ‘If you know the past and the way they did things then, you can understand better what is happening now.’”  – The New York Times

January 13, 2023
Jailed for life for stealing $14
“In California, if a person commits two felonies that are classed as ‘serious’ or ‘violent’, and then go on to commit any other crime, no matter how small, they will be given a life sentence. It’s a law stemming from a tough crackdown on crime in the 1990s when a wave of crime in the state caused public outcry and was used by politicians determined to respond in kind.” – The Guardian

January 12, 2023
Survey finds ‘classical fascist’ antisemitic views widespread in US
“The survey shows ‘antisemitism in its classical fascist form is emerging again in American society, where Jews are too secretive and powerful, working against interests of others, not sharing values, exploiting — the classic conspiratorial tropes,’ Matt Williams, vice president of the ADL’s year-old Center for Antisemitism Research, told The Washington Post.” – The Boston Globe

January 11, 2023
The Philippines Is Losing Its ‘War on Drugs’
“New President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has promised a more compassionate approach, but that’s not what it looks like in the slums of Manila…. By the time Duterte stepped down as president in the middle of last year at the end of his six-year term, official government figures in the war on drugs were 6,252 deaths. But human rights groups and International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan have a higher estimate of between 12,000 to 30,000 deaths. This includes the many so-called extrajudicial executions (EJKs) in which masked motorcycle riders shoot people for reasons that are often opaque. “Riding in tandem” has become a euphemism for motorcycle assassins. According to documents lodged at the ICC by Khan, these unidentified perpetrators are ‘apparently acting in coordination with police.’” – Foreign Policy

January 9, 2023
Mass-market military drones: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
“Turkish-made aircraft like the TB2 have dramatically expanded the role of drones in warfare…. The tactical advantages are clear. What’s also sadly clear is that these weapons will take an increasingly horrible toll on civilian populations around the world.” – MIT Technology Review

January 6, 2023
‘It never stops’: killings by US police reach record high in 2022
“Law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people or about 100 people a month last year, making it the deadliest for police violence.” – The Guardian

January 6, 2023
Harvard blocks role for former Human Rights Watch head over Israel criticism
“Kennedy School allegedly bowed to donors unhappy with organisation accusing Israel of apartheid in occupied territories…. The school has received tens of millions of dollars from supporters of Israel such as the billionaire Leslie Wexner who, the Nation said, was instrumental in bringing members of Israel’s military and intelligence services to study there. Another major donor, Robert Belfer, is also closely involved with the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee, which have sought to discredit human rights groups over their criticism of Israel. Belfer is a member of the dean’s executive board of major donors who advise Elmendorf.” – The Guardian

January 6, 2023
The Big Rip-Off and the Failed Coup
“Trump knew in advance that he was likely to lose, and he made plans.  One of them was to fundraise from defeat.  Rather than conceding, the idea was to tell his supporters that Democrats were “trying to steal” the election.  Everything went as expected and planned: Trump lost; he claimed that he had won; and the fundraising began immediately with the pre-approved slogan about stopping the steal.  The goals were two: to get a lot of money for nothing, and to build support for extra-legal action to keep Trump in the presidency.” – Timothy Snyder

January 6, 2023
The Jan. 6 coup blared an alarm about rising fascism. Will we hear it?
“How anti-fascist organizing pushed back against the far right in the Reagan era. Two years after the failed Jan. 6, 2021, coup, the far right continues to escalate threats against marginalized groups and to our democratic system more broadly. The mass killing at Club Q in Colorado Springs, followed soon after by an attack on an electrical grid, which some suspect might have been motivated by a desire to disrupt a drag show in North Carolina, offer a grim foreshadowing of more violence to come. This is particularly worrying given Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) recent statement to the New York Young Republican Club that if she and Stephen K. Bannon had been in charge on Jan. 6, the mob ‘would have been armed’ and ‘we would have won.’” – The Washington Post

January 6, 2023
Jair Bolsonaro wrecked Brazil’s presidential palace, TV report suggests
“Journalist touring residence with new first lady is shown torn sofas, broken windows and art damaged by the sun.” – The Guardian

January 3, 2023
Myth America: Historians Take On the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past – Basic Books

January 2, 2023
How Russia’s War on Ukraine Is Worsening Global Starvation
Moscow blocks most shipments from Ukraine, one of the world’s largest wheat producers, and its attacks on the country’s energy grid also disrupt the flow of food. From March to November, Ukraine exported an average of 3.5 million metric tons per month of grains and oilseeds, a drop from five million to seven million metric tons per month before the war.” – The New York Times

January 1, 2023
‘You’re a slave’: Inside Louisiana’s forced prison labor and a failed overhaul attempt
“In recent years there has been a growing movement to prevent forced labor in prisons for little or no pay. But in a state that has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, the debate is unsettled…. As many as 800,000 incarcerated people work in prisons across the country, providing more than $9 billion a year in services to those facilities and creating around $2 billion in goods and commodities, according to a study from the University of Chicago’s Law School and the American Civil Liberties Union. The average prison wage is 52 cents an hour, while seven states are not required to pay prisoners for work. Many spend half their earnings on taxes and accommodation, the research shows.” – Washington Post

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