Human Rights Human Rights 

Backtracking on Human Rights

United States (HRW) – The United States moved backward on human rights at home and abroad in the second year of President Donald Trump’s administration, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. With Trump’s Republican Party controlling the legislative branch, his administration and Congress were able to pass laws, issue executive orders, revise regulations, and carry out policies that undermined fundamental rights. “For the second year running, the Trump administration assaulted human rights in the US and abroad with an array of policies that harmed refugees, immigrants, women, and many others,” said Nicole Austin-Hillery, US director at Human Rights Watch. “The reality Read More

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MLK Culture Featured 

A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality

United States (CD) – January 15th marked what would’ve been Dr. Martin Luther King’s 90th birthday. Most known for his famous “I Have Dream Speech,” King envisioned a future in which deep racial inequalities — including deep economic inequality — was eradicated. He worked tirelessly towards that mission. Over 50 years after his assassination, sensational media stories have focused heavily on the black unemployment rate, which has reached historic lows. President Trump was quick to claim credit for this improvement last year, tweeting: “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at Read More

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Environment Featured 

Report: Texas Coal Power Plants Leaching Toxic Pollutants into Groundwater

Texas, United States (TexasTribune) – As the Trump administration considers weakening Obama-era safeguards for the disposal of toxic coal waste, a new report shows that groundwater near all of Texas’ 16 monitored coal-fired power plants is contaminated with pollutants — including known carcinogens — linked to so-called coal ash. The report by the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project, released Thursday, analyzed on-site groundwater monitoring data that power companies are now required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under an Obama-era regulation known as the “Coal Ash Rule.” The report found that the groundwater around coal-fired plants across Read More

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US Flag Culture 

Watch: Devastating New ‘Land of the Free’ Music Video Decries Violence and Cruelty of Trump’s America

United States (CD) – In a powerful indictment of cruelty across the United States, The Killers’ new song “Land of the Free”—released Monday with a devastating music video directed by Spike Lee—decries President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, the dehumanization and abuse of asylum-seekers, mass incarceration, institutional racism, and the nation’s refusal to address the epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence. Watch: Taking on Trump’s widely denounced immigration policies, frontman Brandon Flowers sings: Down at the border, they’re gonna put up a wall Concrete and rebar steel beams (I’m standing, crying) High enough to keep all those filthy hands off Read More

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Politics Culture Featured 

Who’s More Compassionate, Republicans or Democrats?

United Staes (Conversation) – It’s a common refrain of American voters: How can your party be so heartless? Democrats want to know how Republicans can support President Trump’s policy of separating babies from refugee families. Republicans want to know how Democrats can sanction abortion. But does either party really care more about compassion? In my research into the public’s support for a variety of government policies, I ask questions about how compassionate someone is, such as how concerned they are about others in need. These questions are integral to understanding how people feel about who in America deserves government Read More

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R Kelly Featured Violence Against Women 

How to Really Divest From R. Kelly—and Other Disgraced Celebrity Favorites

World Wide (Yes) – Singer-songwriter R. Kelly has maintained a wildly successful music career for the past three decades, despite a long and disturbing history of sexual misconduct allegations against him. But in 2017, a social media campaign to bring down the so-called “King of R&B” was launched amid reports of Kelly holding several women—and girls—as sexual prisoners. And on the heels of Lifetime’s six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, the Fulton County district attorney in Georgia reportedly opened a criminal investigation into sex crimes allegedly committed by Kelly in and around Atlanta, where the 52-year-old once resided. Also, the Cook County state attorney Read More

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Human Rights 

Suit Filed Over Immigration FOIA Request

United States (HRW) – Human Rights Watch filed suit yesterday against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for their failure to respond adequately to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for detailed immigration enforcement data. Human Rights Watch requested data in October 2017 on several aspects of immigration enforcement practices of ICE since 2012, including the apprehension of non-citizens, their detention, disposition of the cases, and the detainees’ final removal or release from detention. Human Rights Watch also requested detailed criminal history, family relationships, and demographic data of non-citizens who were apprehended Read More

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Wounded Knee Culture 

Trump’s Reference to Wounded Knee Evokes the Dark History of Suppression of Indigenous Religions

United States (Conversation) – President Trump evoked the Wounded Knee massacre in a recent tweet. He was reacting to an Instagram video that Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted on New Year’s Eve. There’s been considerable criticism of the president’s inaccurate portrayal of Native American history, including from members of his own party. Two Republican senators from South Dakota, Mike Rounds and John Thune, spoke out against the tweet. Wounded Knee is among the worst massacres in Native American history. It was also one of the most violent examples of the repression of indigenous religion in American history. Religious suppression Religion Read More

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Antler, Sheds A Woman's Guide to the Apocalypse Featured 

Shed Hunting: How to Do It like a Pro – WGTTA

World Wide (SurvivalSullivan) – When you hear someone mention “Sheds,” they are likely referring to the dropped, or shed, antlers of deer and other antlered animals that are lost each year following mating season. The hard bone-like material of the antlers keeps them from breaking down in the wild. Once the spring thaw arrives and the snow melts off, the antlers are scattered amongst the forest. While the antlers are hardened against most of Mother Nature, there are several species of animals that will gnaw and eat in the sheds to get to the minerals they hold. Animals such Read More

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Featured Violence Against Women 

Twitter Threats, Abuse, Murder: What Women Face Defending the Environment

(OpenDemocracy) – Isabel Cristina Zuleta is a human rights activist in Antioquia, northern Colombia, where she works for the Ríos Vivos Movimiento de Afectados por Represas (movement of people affected by dams). According to the NGO Global Witness, 27 activists were murdered in this country in 2017 alone. Since 2010, Zuleta has opposed the construction of the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam on the river Cauca, Colombia’s second most important. Ríos Vivos is trying to raise awareness of problems the dam could cause – including environmental damage, forced evictions, and the impoverishment of local residents whose livelihoods rely on the river. Because of her Read More

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