Tag Archives: Atrocities

Failed US Military Pier Offered ‘Humanitarian Gloss’ as Israel Starved Gaza

“The entire operation was a failed exercise in public relations by the Biden administration,” said one observer.

By Brett Wilkins Published 7-12-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. troops prepare components of the Gaza aid pier on March 15, 2024. (Photo: United States Naval Institute)

After failing to re-anchor its “humanitarian pier” in Gaza, the Pentagon said Thursday that the much-ballyhooed project—which critics dismissed as a “public relations ploy” that did next to nothing to stop the deadly starvation spreading in the besieged Palestinian enclave—would shut down indefinitely.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder said U.S. troops had failed to reconnect the floating Trident Pier to Gaza’s shore due to “technical and weather-related issues,” according to The Washington Post.

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‘Unfathomably Cruel’: Billionaire-Backed Justices Rule in Favor of Criminalizing Homelessness

“Maybe the right-wing justices could empathize with the most vulnerable Americans if they spent less time jet-setting on luxury vacations on their wealthy benefactors’ dime,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles over the freeway in 2021. Photo: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/CC

“SCOTUS just criminalized homelessness.”

So said numerous legal experts and advocates for the unhoused Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority ruled that local governments can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, regardless of whether municipalities are able to offer them shelter space.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the justices ruled in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson that officials can criminalize sleeping and camping on public property including parks, even when housing options are unavailable or unaffordable.

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Brazilian rape victims who have abortions may face longer in jail than rapists

Proposed law would further limit access to abortion for the 75% of reported rape victims in Brazil who are under 18

By Diana Cariboni. Published 6-20-2024 by openDemocracy

Demonstrators gathered in front of Brazil’s National Congress in Brasilia on Wednesday to protest a bill that would further criminalise abortions. Screenshot: Euronews

Abortion is illegal in Brazil with only three exceptions: risk to the life of the pregnant person, fetus anencephaly (a condition in which parts of the fetus’ skull and brain don’t develop) and rape. In these cases, people can seek an abortion with no time limits.

But a new bill that Brazilian conservatives are attempting to push through seeks to declare all abortions performed after week 22 of the pregnancy as homicide – and punishable with prison terms of up to 20 years.

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‘Truly Evil’ Clarence Thomas Offers Defense of Guns for Domestic Abusers

“The Thomas dissent is only further proof that he is simply a threat to America,” said the father of a mass shooting victim.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Screenshot: Library of Congress

“Thank goodness. Also, Clarence Thomas is truly evil.”

That’s how one progressive pollster responded Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling in United States v. Rahimi, which upheld a law prohibiting individuals subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm.

Critics across the political spectrum called Thomas’ lone dissent in the case “insane” and blasted the right-wing justice as “fucking awful,” a “corrupt lunatic,” and a “contemptible POS” who “continues to undermine the safety of women and disgrace the court.”

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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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US Jury Holds Chiquita Liable for Colombian Death Squad’s Murder of Banana Workers

“The verdict does not bring back the husbands and sons who were killed,” said one attorney, “but it sets the record straight and places accountability for funding terrorism where it belongs: at Chiquita’s doorstep.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Then-AUC commander Carlos Castaño is seen here with some of his paramilitary fighters. Photo: Carlos Castaño Gil/Facebook

In what case litigants are calling the first time an American jury has held a U.S. corporation legally liable for atrocities abroad, federal jurors in Florida on Monday found that Chiquita Brands International financed a Colombian paramilitary death squad that murdered, tortured, and terrorized workers in a bid to crush labor unrest in the 1990s and 2000s.

The federal jury in West Palm Beach, Florida found the banana giant responsible for funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) and awarded eight families whose members were murdered by the right-wing paramilitary group $38.3 million in damages.

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Fresh Calls to ‘Reject AIPAC’ After Analysis of GOP Money in Dem Primaries

“George Latimer in New York and Wesley Bell in Missouri are trying to become Democratic members of Congress off millions of dollars of money from rich right-wing Republicans,” said one group.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan /CC

Politico reported Sunday that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is “the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year,” sparking new calls for candidates and voters nationwide to #RejectAIPAC.

“If you don’t want Republican megadonors to choose your next Democratic congressperson for you, then there’s only one option: #RejectAIPAC,” Naftali Ehrenkranz, digital director at Get Free, said on social media, pointing to the reporting.

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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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UN Agencies Call for International Aid as War-Torn Sudan Faces Famine Threat

“Extreme hunger is unfolding” as a civil war enters its second year and funding is slow to arrive, the agencies warned.

By Edward Carver. Published 5-31-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ahmed Hussen/X

A group of United Nations agencies and humanitarian groups sounded the alarm Friday that 18 million Sudanese are acutely hungry as a civil war that began in April 2023 continues to ravage the country.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a group of 12 U.N. agencies and 7 humanitarian organizations, issued a statement on the staggering scale of hunger and insecurity in Sudan, including in the Darfur region in the country’s west. They called for an immediate influx of international funding—billions of dollars of which has already been pledged, but not yet delivered—so that food could be planted before the rainy season.

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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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