Progressives are applauding what Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman called the state’s “transformational” legislative session, which ended on Tuesday after the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party passed nearly every item on its agenda, securing economic justice, reproductive rights, and labor protections for Minnesotans.
With the DFL holding only a narrow majority in the state House and Senate—a six-vote and one-vote margin, respectively—policy researcher Will Stancil said on social media that “the scale of their achievement cannot be overstated.”
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—which is set to expire at the end of this year unless reauthorized by federal lawmakers—empowers the U.S. government to engage in warrantless surveillance of electronic communications. Although the law only authorizes targeting foreigners located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information, a massive amount of Americans’ data is also collected.
Thai voters turned out in record numbers on Sunday to reject a decade of military rule and deliver what was seen as a stunning upset for Move Forward, a youth-backed pro-democracy party that is poised to win the most seats in Thailand’s House of Representatives.
Pita Limjaroenrat, Move Forward’s leader, said Sunday that he is prepared to succeed 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as Thailand’s prime minister, and the progressive party has agreed to hold coalition talks with Pheu Thai, the other major opposition party.
Whether Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, maintains power remains an open question as officials continue to count votes following Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Tens of millions of people cast ballots in the pivotal election before polls closed at 5:00 pm local time. Preliminary results indicate that Erdoğan of the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds a dwindling lead over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who heads the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the joint candidate of a six-party opposition coalition.
“The vote will test whether voters in Turkey can rely on social media for independent news and to express their views on the election and its outcome, despite government efforts to put companies under its heel.”
As Turks prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections, a pair of human rights groups warned Wednesday that the right-wing government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “will exert considerable control over the digital ecosystem in an effort to undermine the outcome.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Article 19, an international group promoting freedom of expression, published a question-and-answer report examining “potential threats to Turkey’s online environment in the parliamentary and presidential elections in which President Erdoğan—who has been in power for over 20 years—and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) face a significant electoral challenge.”
In what voting rights advocates called a “blatant attack on democracy,” the North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling that allows partisan gerrymandering, reversing earlier decisions that outlawed rigged maps.
The ruling enables North Carolina Republicans to redraw state and U.S. congressional districts in a self-serving way. This has major national implications because it paves the way for the GOP to expand its narrow U.S. House majority in 2024 and potentially beyond.
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.
“Businesses are deploying potentially dangerous AI tools faster than their harms can be understood or mitigated,” Public Citizen warns. “History offers no reason to believe that corporations can self-regulate away the known risks.”
“Until meaningful government safeguards are in place to protect the public from the harms of generative AI, we need a pause.”
So says a report on the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) published Tuesday by Public Citizen. Titled Sorry in Advance! Rapid Rush to Deploy Generative AI Risks a Wide Array of Automated Harms, the analysis by researchers Rick Claypool and Cheyenne Hunt aims to “reframe the conversation around generative AI to ensure that the public and policymakers have a say in how these new technologies might upend our lives.”
As the deadline for Americans to file federal income tax returns fast approaches, Oxfam America on Friday renewed calls for taxing the ultrarich while publishing an analysis showing America’s growing number of billionaires saw their wealth increase by nearly one-third since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and by nearly 90% over the past decade.
“Wealth inequality in the U.S. is more extreme and dangerous than income inequality; and we need to change our approach, so we effectively tax wealth as well as income,” the charity said in an introduction to the report, Tax Wealth, Tackle Inequality.
Justin Jones being sworn in as a Tennessee representative after being expelled only four days ago. Photo: Dulce Maria Torres G/Twitter
Ahead of the Nashville Metropolitan Council voting Monday to reappoint Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones to the state House of Representatives, attorneys for him and ousted Rep. Justin Pearson warned Republican legislators not to further retaliate against the pair.
The letter from the six attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-25) came after Republicans in the chamber voted last Thursday to expel Jones (D-52) and Pearson (D-86) over their protest in support of gun control after the Covenant School shooting in Nashville.