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Saga Of Barrett Brown: Inside Anonymous And War On Secrecy

Mon, 2017-06-26 11:03
By Christian Stork for Who What Why - Alleged “hacktivist” Barrett Brown, the 31-year old mislabeled “spokesman” for the shadowy hacker collective known as Anonymous, faces federal charges that could put him away for over a hundred years. Did he engage in a spree of murders? Run a child-sex ring? Not quite. His crime: making leaked emails accessible to the public—documents that shine a light on the shadowy world of intelligence contracting in the post-9/11 era. A critically acclaimed author and provocative journalist, Brown cannot be too easily dismissed as some unruly malcontent typing away in the back of a gritty espresso lounge. He is eccentric. And he was clearly high on something, if only his own hubris, when he made a threatening video that put him in the feds’ crosshairs. But that’s not the real reason for the government’s overreaction. Evidence indicates it has a lot more to do with sending a message to the community he comes from, which the government sees, correctly, as a threat. The Barrett Brown case is simply the latest in a string of prosecutions in which the government pursues anyone involved in making information “liberated” from governmental or corporate entities easily accessible to the public.

Gay Pride Parades Sound A Note Of Resistance

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:48
By Olga R. Rodriguez, Rebecca Gibian and Colleen Long and Martha Irvine for Associated Press - SAN FRANCISCO — Tens of thousands of people waving rainbow flags lined streets for gay pride parades Sunday in coast-to-coast events that took both celebratory and political tones, the latter a reaction to what some see as new threats to gay rights in the Trump era. In San Francisco, revelers wearing rainbow tutus and boas held signs that read “No Ban, No Wall, Welcome Sisters and Brothers” while they danced to electronic music at a rally outside City Hall. Frank Reyes said he and his husband decided to march for the first time in many years because they felt a need to stand up for their rights. The couple joined the “resistance contingent,” which led the parade and included representatives from several activist organizations. “We have to be as visible as possible,” said Reyes, wearing a silver body suit and gray and purple headpiece decorated with rhinestones. “Things are changing quickly and we have to take a stand and be noticed,” Reyes’ husband, Paul Brady, added. “We want to let everybody know that we love each other, that we pay taxes and that we’re Americans, too.”

Yemen To Probe Alleged Interrogation Abuses By United Arab Emirates, U.S.

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:44
By Ahmed Al-Haj for Associated Press - SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s internationally-recognized government on Saturday ordered the creation of a committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations, following reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. A copy of the order issued by Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Daghr was obtained by The Associated Press. It said the investigation would focus on areas liberated by government forces from Shiite rebels known as the Houthis and their allies. The six-member committee will be chaired by Justice Minister Jamal Mohamed Omar and include representatives from the Human Rights Ministry, security agencies and the prosecution. It will immediately start work and have 15 days to conclude its investigation and report back to bin Daghr. The reports of the abuses were revealed in an AP investigation published Thursday. The investigation detailed a network of secret prisons across southern Yemen where hundreds are detained in the hunt for al-Qaida militants. American defense officials said U.S. forces have interrogated some detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in, or knowledge of, human rights abuses.

Utility CEOs Try To Rob Shareholders Of Rights To Express Climate Concerns

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:37
By David Pomerantz for Energy and Policy Institute - The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs that lobbies for policies that support the fossil fuel industry, is attempting to restrict shareholders’ rights as utilities and fossil fuel companies face increasing scrutiny from investors over climate change. Fossil fuel and utility CEOs, facing unprecedented levels of activism from shareholders who are worried about the risks posed to their investments by climate change, have responded by trying to pass legislation that would curtail investors’ rights to register their concerns. The main purpose of The Financial CHOICE Act is to gut the consumer protections passed by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010, but a section of the bill would produce a significant change in what kind of shareholders are able to file resolutions for changes in the company. Currently, any shareholder that owns 1 percent of a company, or $2,000 worth of shares – hardly a paltry sum, but one that is within the realm of possibility for many investors – is able to file shareholder resolutions calling on the company’s management to make changes. The resolutions are generally not binding, but when they garner significant support, say over 20%, management tends to take them as serious signals of shareholder sentiment, and often respond accordingly.

Bradley Foundation Fueled Campaign Against Paid Sick Leave Laws

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:28
By Lisa Graves for PR Watch - The Bradley Files provide new insights into who underwrote recent efforts to undermine popular public policies that help women and families, such as paid sick leave laws. The Bradley Foundation did, through funding the controversial Independent Women's Forum. The files indicate that Bradley gave the Independent Women's Forum more than one million dollars over the years. That includes nearly half a million dollars in the past three years in response to its proposals for a campaign against public support for requiring paid sick leave, providing better child care policies, addressing the wage gap, and ensuring Americans can access life-saving medical treatment through the Affordable Care Act, known as "Obamacare." The Independent Women's Forum said the campaign -- dubbed "Working for Women" -- would cost at least $720,000 last year. Bradley staff recommended a gift of $200,000 in 2016 to cover more than a quarter of that budget. In 2015, the group had sought $350,000 from Bradley for the precursor to that project. Bradley obliged by providing nearly half the amount requested, $150,000.

15,000 At Glastonbury Set Record For Biggest Human Peace Sign

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:21
By Hannah Ellis-Petersen for The Guardian - About 15,000 people gathered at Glastonbury’s monumental stone circle on Thursday to set a new record for making the world’s biggest human peace sign. The event was one of the first to display a spirit of unity in the face of recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, as the festival officially opens on Friday. Organised by the team who run Glastonbury’s green fields as a “message of peace to the world”, the attempt broke the previous record when 5,814 people performed a similar stunt at Ithaca festival in New York in 2008. Among those taking part were Emily Eavis and William Hawk, a Native American from the Standing Rock reservation. Cat Warren, 22, from Bristol, was held aloft on the shoulders of her friends – all part of a cheerleading team – to cheers from the crowd. “There are worries that things like the attacks in Manchester and London are just going to divide people, and make people more hateful towards minorities,” said Warren. “So just coming together and celebrating with people from all ages, races and religions, it feels so lovely. It’s almost like a protest to anyone who is being hateful and shows we’re not afraid. We could do with a bit more of this outside of Glastonbury.”

Southwest’s Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life In A Warming World

Mon, 2017-06-26 10:10
By Phil McKenna for Inside Climate News - The extreme heat baking the Southwestern U.S. isn't finished yet. The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning today for parts of Southern California and Arizona, including Phoenix, through Monday, saying temperatures are forecast to reach 108-118 degrees each day. In its alert, the weather service warned of "a major increase in the potential for heat-related illness and even death." The week has provided a preview of the risks scientists warn are ahead as greenhouse gas emissions continue to raise global temperatures. Thermometers in the Phoenix area edged up to around 120 degrees for three straight days this week, flights were grounded as the rising temperatures decreased the air density, and the city's main burn treatment center saw twice its usual number of patients with burns caused by walking barefoot on hot pavement or getting into cars that had been heating up in the sun. Several heat-related deaths were reported in the Las Vegas area and in California. In California, where San Diego County set a record at 124 degrees, some communities faced power outages as air conditioners ran non-stop.

New TSA Policy May Lead To Increased Scrutiny Of Reading Material

Mon, 2017-06-26 09:57
By Jay Stanley for ACLU - The TSA is testing new requirements that passengers remove books and other paper goods from their carry-on baggage when going through airline security. Given the sensitivity of our reading choices, this raises privacy concerns. Tests of the policy are underway in some small airports around the country, and DHS Secretary John Kelly recently said that “we might, and likely will” apply the policy nationwide. “What we’re doing now is working out the tactics, techniques, and procedures, if you will, in a few airports, to find out exactly how to do that with the least amount of inconvenience to the traveler,” he told Fox News. The policy may also apply to food items. The rationale for the policy change given by Kelly and the TSA is that the imposition of growing fees for checked baggage by the airlines has prompted passengers to more densely pack their carry-ons, and that this has made it harder for screeners to identify particular items amid the jumble of images appearing on their screens. Laptops must already be pulled out separately because they are regarded as a heightened threat and can be better examined if they are not scanned in a bag with many other objects.

Venezuela’s Grassroots: “We Need to Lead the Revolution”

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:42
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim for Venezuela Analysis. Venezuelan grassroots activists say the upcoming National Constituent Assembly (ANC) could be a major step forward for the country’s commune movement and could deepen the Bolivarian revolution. Called by President Nicolas Maduro, the ANC will have broad powers to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution following the election of delegates in July. When Maduro called the assembly on May 1, he argued it could be an avenue for overcoming the country’s current political and economic crisis. The initiative has been welcomed by much of Venezuela’s left, with activists from progressive social movements viewing the assembly as a way to deepen the country’s Bolivarian revolution. Jesus Silva is one such activist. This week, he registered as a pre-candidate for the ANC elections. Speaking to venezuelanalysis.com, he said he hopes to represent his movement, the Alexis Vive Patriotic Force, at the ANC later this year. “Enough of impositions, of finger pointing, of the habits of the old political culture of imposition; enough of corruption, of bureaucrats, we believe that we [the grassroots] need to lead the revolution,” he told VA.

USS Reagan Crew To Sue Japanese Company Over Fukushima Disaster

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:38
By Russia Today. A federal appeals court has ruled that members of the US Navy can now, in a US court, pursue their lawsuit which alleges that they were exposed to radiation while providing aid after the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan. On Thursday, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in favor of the sailors who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while providing humanitarian aid after an earthquake destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. 1ussreaganThe ruling allows sailors, who were aboard the ship at the time, to pursue their lawsuit against the state-owned Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for misrepresented radiation levels in the surrounding air and water. The lawsuit alleges that TEPCO misled them about the extent of the radiation leak.

Analyzing The Failures Of Syriza

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:35
By Pete Dolack for Counterpunch. So many put their puts hopes into Syriza; so many were bitterly disappointed. Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left proved wholly unable to resist the enormous pressures put on it and it is Greek working people who are paying the price, not excepting those who voted for Syriza. How should we analyze the depressing spectacle of what had been a genuinely Left party, indeed a coalition of leftist forces from a variety of socialist perspectives, self-destructing so rapidly? The simplistic response would be to wash our hands and condemn Syriza as “opportunists,” but we’ll learn exactly nothing with such an attitude. If we are serious about analyzing Syriza’s spectacular failure — including those who expected this outcome in advance — digging through the rubble is unavoidable. There were many currents coursing through Syriza, in addition to other Left tendencies outside. Nor were there shortages of people who feared what the fate of Syriza might become, including leaders inside it, before it took power, reminds Helena Sheehan in her new book The Syriza Wave: Surging and Crashing with the Greek Left. Written in exhilaration and sorrow, Professor Sheehan, a veteran of solidarity work with the Greek Left, rides those tides as she recounts the anticipation and optimism before, and the depression and shock afterward, inside Greece and among Syriza’s allies across Europe.

No Pipelines Under The Potomac Camp To Launch

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:29
By No Potomac Pipeline. From Standing Rock to Hancock people are rising up to resist fracked gas pipelines in their community. Following a historic fight in Maryland, where we became the first state with gas reserves to legislatively ban fracking, we still find our communities our under attack by Big Oil and Gas. TransCanada the same company behind the Keystone Pipeline that spilled over 16000 gallons of crude oil on South Dakota land now wants to build a pipeline that would transport fracked gas between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. How are they going to do this? They are going to do it through the shortest and cheapest route by cutting through Maryland and underneath the Potomac River that serves as the source of drinking water for millions of residents in our state and the DC suburbs.

The Roots Of US Empire: Military Actions In The 1800s

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:28
By Tom Correa for American Cowboy Chronicles. American interest after the Civil War spread like wild fire. Along with our interest, came influence - and in many cases problems. Contrary to what some would say, it was the American Spirit that moved people to venture from our shores. The same American Pioneer Spirit that moved thousands upon thousands of Americans to go West and settle - also moved Americans around the globe to explorer new lands. It was on April 9th, 1865, that Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia. General Grant allows Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permits soldiers to keep horses and mules. On March 9th and 10th, 1865, a full month before Lee's surrender and the official end of the Civil War, the U.S. Navy landed U.S. Marines in Panama to protect the lives and property of American residents because of a revolution that was getting out of hand. From June 20th to July 7th, 1866, in China, U.S. Navy and Marines retaliated against a group of Chinese for their assault on the American consul at Newchwang.

L’Eau Est La Vie Camp Launches in Louisianna

Sun, 2017-06-25 15:06
From LEau Est La Vie Camp Facebook Page. The L'eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life) Camp was launched on June 24, 2017 in the swamps of Southern Louisiana along the route of Energy Transfer Partners' (ETP) proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline. This camp isa hub for the resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The camp is by Indigenous leaders, environmental justice communities, and many allies, the L'eau Est La Vie Camp will serve as a hub of resistance to Bayou Bridge -- the final southern leg of the Dakota Access Pipeline system. This video was released on the eve of the opening of the L’eau Est La Vie Camp in South Louisiana to provide some background on what the Bayou Bridge Pipeline is, it’s connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline, who the pipeline will impact, and why this pipeline needs to be stopped.

State Department Finally Releases Updated Official History of Iran Coup

Sun, 2017-06-25 14:32
By Malcolm Byrne for National Security Archive. The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran. The volume includes fascinating details on Iranian, American and British planning and implementation of the covert operation, as well as information about U.S. contacts with key figures such as Ayatollah Abol-Ghasem Kashani, and insights into U.S. concerns about the growing influence of communist Tudeh Party. The publication is the culmination of decades of internal debates and public controversy after a previous official collection omitted all references to the role of American and British intelligence in the ouster of Iran’s then-prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq. For decades, neither the U.S. nor the British governments would acknowledge their part in Mosaddeq’s overthrow, even though a detailed account appeared as early as 1954 in The Saturday Evening Post, and since then CIA and MI6 veterans of the coup have published memoirs detailing their activities.

‘Big Reflection’ Needed On Opioid Crisis

Sun, 2017-06-25 14:17
By Tharanga Yakupitiyage for InterPress Service. UNITED NATIONS, Jun 22 2017 (IPS) - Opioids are among the most devastating drugs and are creating a crisis of epidemic proportions, said the UN drug agency. In its annual World Drug Report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found concerning trends in drug use around the world. In 2015, an estimated quarter of a billion people used drugs at least once. Of these, almost 30 million suffered from drug use disorders including dependence. UNODC found that opioids were the most harmful drug type, accounting for 70 percent of negative health impacts associated with drug use disorders worldwide, and its production is only increasing. “[Opioid use] is a really dramatic epidemic…they are really, in terms of burden of disease, at the top of the scale,” said UNODC’s Chief of Drug Prevention and Health Branch Gilberto Gerra to IPS.

Three Nations With Most Refugees Were Targets Of US Intervention

Sun, 2017-06-25 14:01
By Whitney Webb for Mintpress News. CHILE– A United Nations report has shed light on the world’s burgeoning crisis of displaced peoples, finding that a record 65.6 million were forced to vacate their homes in 2016 alone. More than half of them were minors. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which drafted the report, put the figure into perspective, stating that increasing conflict and persecution worldwide have led to “one person being displaced every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.” UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi called the figure “unacceptable” and called for “solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving the crisis.” However, what the UN report failed to mention was the role of U.S. foreign intervention, indirect or direct, in fomenting the conflicts responsible for producing most of the world’s refugees.

Police Searches Plummet In States That Legalize Weed, But…

Sun, 2017-06-25 13:18
By Andy Campbell for the Huffington Post. Marijuana is often used as a tool by police officers to search your car. In many cases, the mere odor of weed serves as probable cause to pull you over and rifle through your belongings. States that have decriminalized it are still grappling with the legality of using marijuana for warrantless searches. In the case of Philando Castile, who was shot to death by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last year, we saw the devastating effects the smell of marijuana can have on an officer’s perception of motorists. Though marijuana is decriminalized to some degree in the state, St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez would later tell investigators that he thought he was in danger because he smelled weed. It may come as no surprise, then, that states that have legalized marijuana are seeing a dramatic decline in warrantless searches.

Newsletter – Positive Actions You Can Take This Summer

Sat, 2017-06-24 21:16
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. This week, we look at some of the current struggles in the United States and ways that you can get involved this summer. From protecting health care, net neutrality and the environment to building positive alternatives that transform our current dysfunctional systems, there is something for everyone to do. Read on to learn what's happening and how to take action. This is the time to rise up and protect our families, communities and planet.

Britain Wants A ‘Way Out’ Of The Julian Assange Standoff, Says Ecuador

Sat, 2017-06-24 13:39
By Julian Assange for The Guardian - Maria Fernanda Espinosa, foreign minister, says UK and Ecuador working on an ‘opening’ Britain is interested in finding a solution to the standoff that has led to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy for five years, the foreign minister of the South American country has said. In May, Sweden dropped an investigation into rape allegations that led Assange, 45, to seek asylum in the embassy in 2012, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the building. “The United Kingdom wants a way out, but evidently that is in the hands of the UK justice system, they have their procedures, their ways,” the minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, told reporters on Thursday. “This opening has been there, and we are working on it.“ A British court issued an arrest warrant for Assange when he failed to surrender to the court on 29 June, 2012, and the Metropolitan Police Service is compelled to execute that warrant, the London police said in May. Assange, who denies the rape allegations, fears being handed over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.

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