“We must not be fooled into treating each massacre as its own tragedy,” said one civil rights advocate. “The tragedy first lies in the unchecked proliferation of the violent racist ideology coupled with the unchecked access to weapons of war.”
As the community of Jacksonville, Florida reeled from the killing of three Black Americans by a white supremacist at a Dollar General store last Saturday, a government watchdog said that the “lion’s share” of blame for the proliferation of racist, white nationalist violence in the U.S. can be placed on Republican politicians including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump—but noted that the Obama administration helped allow white supremacy to fester by caving to the GOP at a crucial moment more than a decade ago.
Chris Lewis, a senior researcher at the Revolving Door Project, pointed to the Democratic administration’s response when Republican lawmakers complained about a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report in 2009 that warned of the growth of right-wing extremism, including the white supremacist movement, and the danger it posed to communities across the United States.
Reports that Iran is constructing a very large, deep bunker as part of its nuclear programme mean there is a renewed risk of an upsurge in tension, and the potential for conflict, most likely involving Israel but always with risk of it spreading much wider.
Context here is important.
During Barack Obama’s second term in the White House, countries including the UK, France and Germany, worked hard with the US to forge an agreement with the Iranian regime to avoid Iran developing nuclear weapons. A powerful motivation was the risk of Israel otherwise taking unilateral action.
“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.”
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 →
“A huge blow against fascistic politics and a huge victory for decency and sanity.”
That’s how RootsAction director Norman Solomon described Brazilian President-Elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s Sunday presidential runoff victory against far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, the culmination of a most remarkable political comeback for a man who was languishing behind bars just three years ago.
With 99% of votes counted via an electronic system that tallies final results in a matter of hours—and which was repeatedly aspersed by Bolsonaro in an effort to cast doubt on the election’s veracity—da Silva led the incumbent by more than two million ballots, or nearly two percentage points. Continue reading →
“It is no surprise that the international oil cartel is seeking to maintain high prices,” said a campaigner with Food & Water Watch. “Political leaders here at home must understand that the solution is not to increase drilling.”
Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA Director General met with HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during a bilateral meeting at the IAEA 65th General Conference held at the Agency headquarters in Vienna, Austria. 20 September 2021. Photo: IAEA Imagebank/flickr/CC
The Biden administration and Congress faced new pressure Wednesday to reinstate a ban on U.S. gasoline exports after the Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to slash oil production by two million barrels a day to boost prices, a move that drew outrage from the White House and some congressional Democrats.
U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a statement that President Joe Biden is “disappointed” by OPEC’s decision and will consider “tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices.” Continue reading →
Documents sought by the U.S. Justice Department from former President Donald Trump may contain material related to what The New York Times described as “some of the most highly classified programs run by the United States.” The Washington Post reported that “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought” during a search of Trump’s Florida home on Aug. 8, 2022.
Classified information is the kind of material that the U.S. government or an agency deems sensitive enough to national security that access to it must be controlled and restricted. Continue reading →
Surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming. Photo: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons/CC
Climate and Indigenous activists on Friday applauded the reinstatement of an Obama-era moratorium prohibiting new coal leases on all public lands until after the completion of a thorough environmental review.
A trio of congressional lawmakers reintroduced the Espionage Reform Act on Wednesday to prevent reporters from being prosecuted for publishing classified information—a common journalistic practice used to expose government wrongdoing.
Unveiled by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), the measure aims to narrow the scope of the 105-year-old Espionage Act and similar laws enacted during the First World War—ostensibly to protect the United States from spies but, according to critics, to criminalize anti-war dissent, resulting in the imprisonment of nearly a thousand people, including leading socialist Eugene Debs. Continue reading →
Net Neutrality protest at Google HQ in 2010. Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr/CC
Open internet defenders cheered this week after a federal appeals court rejected an industry-backed petition to block enforcement of California’s net neutrality law.
Internet service providers (ISPs) wanted a hearing before all the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after a three-judge panel of that court in January upheld that the law could go into effect. Continue reading →