Category Archives: Technology

With Attention on Presidential Contest, GOP Goes on Austerity Rampage

One leading Democrat warned Republicans’ spending proposals would “demolish public education” and “let corporate price gouging run rampant.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

With much of the public’s attention on the looming presidential election and high-stakes jockeying over who will take on Donald Trump in November, congressional Republicans in recent weeks have provided a stark look at their plans for federal spending should their party win back control of the presidency and the Senate.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins in October, is currently underway, with congressional committees engaging in government funding debates that are likely to continue beyond the November elections.

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Milei’s ‘twin extractivism’ reforms threaten Argentina and the planet

Argentina’s debt will grow as Big Tech extracts data and knowledge, forcing state to abuse nature to pay it off

By Cecilia Rikap. Published 6-28-2024 by openDemocracy

Javier Milei, President of Argentina speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2024. Photo: World Economic Forum/flickr/CC

Argentina’s far-right president Javier Milei secured early this morning his first major win in office, with the country’s lower chamber passing the first of his landmark regressive reforms. Congress’s approval of the so-called Ley Bases, or the Bases Law, came weeks after the bill prompted a 13-hour debate in the upper chamber and a peaceful demonstration outside Parliament that was met with fierce police repression.

The legislation – which is a key part of Milei’s anarcho-liberal government plan – promotes investment in extractive industries, such as forestry, construction, mining, energy and technology. It includes a Large Investment Incentive Scheme (RIGI, by its Spanish acronym) that will grant extractive investment projects worth at least $200m lower income tax, authorise them to import fixed capital and tax only their exports in the first three years.

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‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Very Dangerous,’ Hurricane Beryl Explodes Into Category 4 Storm

“The climate crisis is here. This is an emergency. Politicians need to start acting like it.”

By Jon Queally. Published 6-30-2024 by Common Dreams

A satellite image of Hurricane Beryl as churns toward the southeast Caribbean on Sunday, June 20, 2024. (Image: NOAA)

Meteorologists, climate campaigners, and extreme weather experts expressed shock and horror Sunday as Hurricane Beryl exploded into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm as it headed into the warm waters of the southern Caribbean with a level of intensification characterized as unprecedented.

The National Hurricane Center on Sunday morning called it a “very dangerous situation” due to “potentially catastrophic hurricane-force winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves” for the numerous mainland and island nations in Beryl’s path.

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Supreme Court Puts Countless ‘Lives at Risk’ by Ruling Against Clean Air

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has abandoned any pretense of neutrality in cases involving environmental regulations,” an expert said.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-27-2024 by Common Dreams

The John E. Amos Power Plant is a three-unit coal-fired power plant in West Virginia
owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). Photo: Cathy/flickr/CC

Health and environmental groups decried a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Thursday that suspended an air pollution rule with far-reaching implications set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The justices ruled 5-4 in Ohio v. EPA to nullify the rule, designed to protect people in states downwind from smog-forming pollution, until the case can be decided on its merits in federal court, siding with the industrial polluters and upwind states who’d petitioned them to do so.

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‘Julian Assange Is Free’: WikiLeaks Founder Strikes Plea Deal With US

“We thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom,” said WikiLeaks. “Julian’s freedom is our freedom.”

By Common Dreams. Published 6-24-2024

Free Julian Assange protest in Raleigh, NC April 2021. Photo: Anthony Crider/flickr/CC

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday reached a deal with the U.S. government, agreeing to plead guilty to one felony related to the disclosure of national security information in exchange for his release from Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom.

A related document was filed in federal court in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. Under the plea agreement, which must still be approved by a judge, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek a 62-month sentence, equal to the time that the 52-year-old Australian has served in the U.K. prison while battling his extradition to the United States.

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Campaigners Decry ‘Dangerous Escalation’ as NATO Chief Floats Nuclear Deployment

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons said both NATO and Russia must “reverse course” and end their nuclear brinkmanship.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-17-2024 by Common Dreams

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Photo: NATO/flickr/CC

Nuclear disarmament campaigners on Monday implored NATO and Russia to step back from the brink after the head of the Western military alliance said its members are considering deploying additional atomic weapons to counter Moscow and Beijing.

“This is the dangerous escalation inherent to the deterrence doctrine,” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) wrote on social media, referring to the notion that the threat of catastrophic nuclear retaliation prevents nations from using atomic weaponry.

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‘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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Scientists Blockade EU Commission Offices to Demand Degrowth

Amid elections in Europe, opponents of ongoing planetary destruction argue that the “science is clear: politicians’ obsession with infinite economic growth is leading us straight to disaster.”

By Edward Carver. Published 6-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Degrowth advocates from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups blocked the entryway to the European Commission office in Brussels on June 7, 2024. Using posters, they wrote a slogan, “The future is degrowth,” onto the building’s facade. (Photo: Growth Kills)

A group of about 20 scientists and allies on Friday blocked the doors to the European Commission office in Brussels to demand degrowth policies as European Union elections unfold in which no party has such an agenda and pro-environment candidates are expected to lose seats.

The degrowth advocates, who came from Scientist Rebellion and affiliated groups, called for the EU to stop using Gross Domestic Product as an index of prosperity and an end to “over-consumption and the advertising that drives it,” among other demands. Carrying placards with messages such as “Green growth is a myth,” they prevented employees of the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, from getting to work Friday morning, they said in an emailed statement.

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UN Chief Calls for Global Ban on Fossil Fuel Advertising

“There is no longer any cover for agencies to say that they are doing the right thing when working with polluters,” said one campaigner. “Everyone knows this is wrong, and everyone needs to act.”

By Julia Conley. Published 6-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Over 100,000 marched in Vancouver in solidarity with the youth of the world in the September 27, 2019 Climate Strike.. Photo::Chris Yakimov/flickr/CC

Despite the grim news that scientists on Wednesday reported last month as the hottest May on record globally, marking 12 straight months with record-breaking heat, climate advocates expressed optimism after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres signaled what one called a “game-changing intervention,” urging governments to ban advertisements by fossil fuel firms.

The demand is in line with prohibitions on advertising for other “products that harm human health—like tobacco,” said Guterres.

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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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