Category Archives: Religion

Kansas GOP Pushes Local Abortion Bans After Voters Rejected State Law

“This is an attempt to blatantly disregard the will of the people.”

By Julia Conley  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans rally in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Kansas voters left little room for interpretation when a sizable majority voted in August to reject a ballot measure that would have paved the way for a statewide abortion ban—but that isn’t stopping Republicans from attempting to force residents to continue unwanted pregnancies by imposing city-by-city bans.

State Sen. Chase Blasi on Thursday introduced Senate Bill 65, which would authorize cities and counties “to enact local laws more stringent than state law regarding regulation of abortion” and would repeal the state law which prohibits “political subdivisions” from enacting bans. Continue reading

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’21 Years Is 21 Too Many’: 150+ Groups Urge Biden to Close Guantánamo

“We should not be marking another year in the life of this ignominious product of U.S. imperialism and racism as we have every January since the first anniversary of its opening in 2002,” said one of the letter’s signers. “Yet we will succeed in shutting it down.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-11-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: CODEPINK/Twitter

Twenty-one years after the George W. Bush administration opened the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—and 13 years after then-President Barack Obama signed an executive order for its closure—more than 150 groups on Wednesday implored the Biden administration to “act without delay” to close the notorious lockup.

“Among a broad range of human rights violations perpetrated against predominantly Muslim communities over the last two decades, the Guantánamo detention facility—built on the same military base where the United States unconstitutionally detained Haitian refugees in deplorable conditions in the early 1990s—is the iconic example of the abandonment of the rule of law,” the groups said in a letter to President Joe Biden. “The Guantánamo detention facility was designed specifically to evade legal constraints, and Bush administration officials incubated torture there.” Continue reading

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Thousands in Israel March Against ‘Fascism and Apartheid’ at Anti-Netanyahu Protests

“We can see right now many laws being advocated for against LGBTQ, against Palestinians, against larger minorities in Israel,” said one organizer.

By Julia Conley.  Published 1-8-2023 by Common Dreams

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a roundtable dealing with Israeli foreign policy in 2017 Photo: Chatham House/flickr/CC

Carrying signs reading, “Together against fascism and apartheid” and “Democracy in danger,” thousands of Israelis on Saturday marched in protest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government, which less than a week after being sworn in has already threatened to strip the country’s judiciary of power and announced punitive measures against Palestinian people and leaders.

According to Haaretz, about 20,000 people attended two different marches—one organized by the grassroots group Standing Together and calling for equality and partnership between Palestinians and Israelis, and another focusing on Netanyahu’s threats to the Israeli justice system. Continue reading

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Israeli Government Accused of ‘Assassinating Democracy’ With Proposed Judiciary Overhaul

“It is not necessary to send the Proud Boys to storm the Capitol to attempt a coup,” said one former Israeli ambassador. “Abusing a tiny legislative majority to crush the judiciary and the nature of Israel’s democracy is also a coup.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, seen here in 2008, has proposed sweeping judiciary reforms widely condemned in his country and beyond. Photo: Reuven Kapuchinski,/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Israeli liberals and critics around the world sounded the alarm Thursday over a plan by Israel’s new far-right government to dramatically limit the power of the country’s judiciary, in part by allowing a simple parliamentary majority to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

On Wednesday, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin—a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party—released a set of proposals he said were aimed at “strengthening democracy, rehabilitating governance, restoring faith in the judicial system, and rebalancing the three branches of government.” Continue reading

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Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

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‘Why Are These Conflicts Allowed?’ Corporate Giving to Group Tied to Supreme Court Sparks Concern

“You want to ‘preserve #SCOTUS history’?'” said one watchdog group. “Hire a curatorial staff. Don’t run a pay-for-play.”

By Jon Queally  Published 12-31-2022 by Common Dreams

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Both alarm and concern were expressed Saturday in response to new reporting about a charitable group with close ties to the U.S. Supreme Court that has been soliciting and accepting donations from corporate interests and far-right activists with cases before the court.

The New York Times exposé focused on the activities and fundraising of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a nonprofit that claims its mission is “dedicated to the collection and preservation” of the Court’s history. Continue reading

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Study Ties Abortion Restrictions to ‘Significant’ Jump in Suicide Rates for Young Women

“This association is robust—and it has nothing to do with politics,” said one co-author. “It’s all backed by the data.”

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 12-28-2022 by Common Dreams.

Over 10,000 abortion rights protesters marched on the Minnesota Capitol to demand that abortion remain legal in Minnesota in July 2022 Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

With abortion currently inaccessible in over a quarter of U.S. states, peer-reviewed research published Wednesday highlights the impact of cutting off care, revealing that restricted access is linked to increased suicide risk in young women.

Published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the analysis of targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws was conducted by four experts at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Continue reading

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1,000+ US Faith Leaders Call for ‘Christmas Truce’ and Ceasefire in Ukraine

“In the spirit of the truce that occurred in 1914 during the First World War, we urge our government to take a leadership role in bringing the war in Ukraine to an end.”

By Jake Johnson.  Published 12-23-2022 by Common Dreams.

Taking inspiration from the storied holiday fighting pause in the early months of the First World War, more than 1,000 faith leaders in the United States have signed onto a statement calling for a Christmas truce and ceasefire in Ukraine in the hopes that such a gesture would open the door to substantive diplomatic negotiations.

“As people of faith and conscience, believing in the sanctity of all life on this planet, we call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine,” reads the statement, which was signed by Bishop William J. Barber II, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Cornel West, Rev. Liz Theoharis, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Sikh leader Valarie Kaur, and hundreds of other religious leaders representing believers from every major tradition. Continue reading

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UN Report Shows 11,000 Children Killed or Maimed in This US-Backed War

“Ultimately,” said the UNICEF chief, “only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 12-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: UNDP Yemen

After launching an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid for children in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund on Monday released a report showing that more than 11,000 young people have been killed or injured in the U.S.-backed conflict, where a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out attacks since 2015.

The true death toll of children is likely far higher, said the agency, commonly known as UNICEF, as millions face hunger and disease. Continue reading

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‘Intentional Vandalism’ Leaves Thousands Without Power in North Carolina

One right-wing extremist implied that multiple electrical substations were targeted to disrupt a drag show in Moore County. Local law enforcement authorities and the FBI are investigating.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 12-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Police officers survey the perimeter line of the West End substation in Moore County, North Carolina on December 3, 2022. (Photo: John Nagy/The Pilot)

Officials in a North Carolina county where more than 40,000 households remain without power amid freezing temperatures declared a state of emergency on Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after multiple electrical substations were damaged by gunfire in an apparent act of criminal vandalism.

“As utility companies began responding to the different substations, evidence was discovered that indicated that intentional vandalism had occurred at multiple sites,” Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said in a statement. The massive blackout, which began just after 7:00 pm Saturday night, is “being investigated as a criminal occurrence.” No arrests have been announced. Continue reading

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