Author Archives: MNgranny

About MNgranny

MNgranny has been an activist since the age of 17. After earning a BA in Mass Communications and enjoying a 30 year career, she is now disabled and dedicates her life to that activism. Her experiences include volunteering in community service organizations and taking leadership roles throughout her academic and professional life. She is also a survivor of rape and domestic violence, a published author and a master naturalist. She is also a professional member of the United States Press Association. She has focused for the last several years and specializes in Kurdish history, culture and politics.

‘Truly Shameful’: Pentagon Ran Secret Anti-Vax Campaign Against China at Height of Covid Pandemic

“I don’t think it’s defensible,” an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth said of the clandestine effort.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo:Covid-19 vaccination/flickr/CC

Reuters investigation published Friday revealed that the Pentagon ran a “clandestine operation” aimed at discrediting China’s coronavirus vaccines and treatments, a campaign that U.S. public health experts and others condemned as a cynical ploy that endangered lives for political purposes.

According to Reuters, the Pentagon’s secretive campaign was designed to counter what the U.S. “perceived as China’s growing influence in the Philippines,” a country that was ravaged by Covid-19. The virus, which killed millions of people globally, was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

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Corporate Landlords’ Profits Soar as Tenants Drown in Rent Hikes and Fees

“Through-the-roof rent hikes based on greed—not need—have kept many Americans from getting ahead,” said one advocate at Accountable.US.

By Julia Conley. Published 6-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Yn 2002, the Roosevelt began operating as a luxury apartment building (Camden Roosevelt), owned by Camden Property Trust. Photo: NCinDC/flickr.CC

With monthly inflation down to its lowest point in more than two years and heading toward the Federal Reserve’s target, the Biden administration on Wednesday celebrated “welcome progress.”

But an analysis from Accountable.US showed how more than 100 million people who rent their homes in the U.S. are not seeing the benefits of what one Biden spokesperson called “the great American comeback” in their housing costs, particularly millions of people whose homes are owned by corporate landlords.

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Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Contests

“We live in a Europe where neofascism and absenteeism are on the rise—a combination that allows the oligarchs to plunder,” said Yanis Varoufakis.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap legislative elections on Sunday after his party suffered a major defeat in European Parliament contests, with Marine Le Pen’s far-right, xenophobic National Rally scoring twice the support of Macron’s Renaissance.

In a nationally televised speech following the elections, which saw the far-right make gains across much of the European Union, Macron said that “the rise of nationalists and demagogues is a danger for our nation and for Europe.”

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Is Shell’s exit from Nigeria a front to dodge legal responsibilities?

The oil giant is selling its Niger Delta subsidiary – but lending the new owners the money for the purchase

By Andy Rowell and James Marriot Published 6-6-2024 by openDemocracy

Damaged trees in the Niger Delta following the 2008 Bodo oil spill. Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU)/flickr/CC

Nigerian activists believe Shell’s apparent end to its 87-year operation in the country is an effort to avoid its legal responsibilities while holding onto the potentially profitable side of the business.

In January, the oil giant revealed it had “reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary” to Renaissance, a consortium of four Nigerian oil firms and one based in Switzerland.

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ISDS Courts Have Helped Fossil Fuel Firms Rake In $80 Billion in Public Money

“ISDS is the secret weapon for fossil fuel companies against climate laws,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley. Published 6-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Demonstration against the TTIP and ISDS in 2016. Photo: War on Want

A week after the European Union announced its withdrawal from the controversial Energy Charter Treaty, which has been criticized for being one of many global agreements that allow fossil fuel companies to sue governments, a coalition on Thursday released an analysis showing just how lucrative such deals have been for firms whose emissions are wrecking havoc on the planet.

The Transnational Institute, the Trade Justice Movement (TJM), Power Shift, and the Institute for Policy Studies joined forces to unveil the Global ISDS Tracker, which includes data on more than 1,300 cases that have made their way to secretive tribunals set up by investor-state dispute mechanisms in treaties including the Energy Charter Treaty.

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US Senate Hearing Highlights Impacts of ‘Horrific Anti-Abortion Crusade’

Sen. Patty Murray described the event as “a close accounting of the trauma Republicans are inflicting on women and families across our country, and the damage they are doing to basic reproductive healthcare.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-4-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Senator Patty Murray/X

Abortion rights advocates in the U.S. Senate held a Tuesday hearing highlighting the impacts of healthcare bans imposed by the GOP, particularly since the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reversed Roe v. Wade.

The hearing—titled, “The Assault on Women’s Freedoms: How Abortion Bans Have Created a Healthcare Nightmare Across America”—was officially hosted by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but he kicked it off by explaining why he was turning things over to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the panel’s former leader.

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China turns to private hackers as it cracks down on online activists on Tiananmen Square anniversary

By Christopher K. Tong, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Published 5-31-2024 by The Conversation.

Image: ideogram

Every year ahead of the June 4 commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese government tightens online censorship to suppress domestic discussion of the event.

Critics, dissidents and international groups anticipate an uptick in cyber activity ranging from emails with malicious links to network attacks in the days and weeks leading up to the anniversary.

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United States and Iran Help China Push Global Executions to 10-Year High

Lawmakers in southern U.S. states accused of demonstrating “a chilling commitment” to state-sponsored murder alongside “a callous intent to invest resources in the taking of human life.”

By Jon Queally. Published 5-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: AFSC/CC

The number of executions worldwide hit a nearly 10-year high in 2023 thanks to a surge in state killings by Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States.

A new global report published by Amnesty International documents that the death penalty was imposed on 1,153 people last year, though the total is believed to be significantly higher due to the secrecy surrounding China’s penal system. The international human rights group believes “thousands” of people were executed by the Chinese government, but the exact figure is not known.

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World Leaders Urged to Protect Syrian Refugees Amid Lebanon’s Crackdown

“Lebanon’s authorities must stop summarily deporting refugees to a place where they are at risk of violations, lift restrictions, and end their vitriolic campaign against refugees,” said one Amnesty campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-27-2024 by Common Dreams

Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection/flickr/CC

Amnesty International on Monday reiterated human rights groups’ rising concerns about a Lebanese crackdown on Syrian refugees as the European Union hosted a conference in Brussels focused on “supporting the future of Syria and the region.”

The conference comes at right-wing leaders in the E.U. campaign as anti-migrant ahead of the bloc’s June elections and after European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen in early May announced a three-year, €1 billion ($1.06 billion) assistance package to support “the most vulnerable people in Lebanon, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities,” as well as “urgent domestic reforms” and “border and migration management.”

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Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

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