Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Trump is no Navalny, and prosecution in a democracy is a lot different than persecution in Putin’s Russia

By James D. Long. Published 2-22-2024 by The Conversation

Alexei Navalny in 2020 on a march in memory of politician Boris Nemtsov, who was killed in Russia. Photo: Michał Siergiejevicz/Wikimedia Commons/CC

The death of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, announced on Feb. 16, 2024, lays bare to the world the costs of political persecutions. Although his cause of death remains unknown, the 47-year-old died while serving a 19-year sentence in a Siberian penal colony.

“Three days ago, Vladimir Putin killed my husband,” said Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, in a Feb. 19 video.

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Ticker Shows Climate Inaction Cost US Nearly $3,000 Per Second in 2023

“This exorbitant price tag, driven by an unparalleled number of weather and climate disasters, reinforces the urgent need for the Biden administration to use every tool at their disposal,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-23-2024 by Common Dreams

Road sign on U.S. Route 101 in Windsor warning of severe weather during the atmospheric rivers in January 2023. Photo: Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)

After an unprecedented number of billion-dollar extreme weather disasters across the United States last year, advocacy groups on Friday released an updated “Cost of Inaction Ticker” estimating the price of not tackling the fossil fuel-driven climate emergency.

Launched by the Climate Action Campaign and other groups in 2022, the ticker is based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which found that 2023 was the hottest year on record and the 28 disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage collectively cost Americans at least $92.9 billion, or $2,945.84 per second.

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Feds ‘All F—king Tied Up in Knots’ Over How to Handle Election Threats

Top CIA, DHS, DOJ, and FBI officials recently gathered to discuss simulations on deepfakes and violence at the polls—and, as one journalist put it, “the results weren’t encouraging.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Public Policy Institute of California/Facebook

Just nine months away from the U.S. general election, reporting published Friday by CNN suggests the federal government is poorly prepared to respond to “nightmare scenarios,” from violence at the polls to disinformation created with artificial intelligence.

One U.S. official familiar with a previously unreported meeting at the White House Situation Room in December told CNN‘s Sean Lyngaas that in terms of a coordinated federal response to an election-related threat, “we’re all f—king tied up in knots.”

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FCC Announces New Rule to Confront Deepfake Robocalls

While welcoming the rule, one advocate said it is “not enough to safeguard citizens and our elections.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Just over two weeks after New Hampshire voters were inundated with artificial intelligence-generation robocalls featuring U.S. President Joe Biden’s fake voice telling them not to vote in their state’s primary, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday announced what one adocate called a “desperately needed” rule declaring such calls are illegal under federal law.

The FCC unanimously voted to adopt the declaratory ruling, saying calls like those made in New Hampshire are “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

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Bombings Kill Dozens in Pakistan on Eve of Contentious Elections

As Pakistanis prepare to head to the polls with the country’s most popular politician behind bars on dubious charges, human rights groups sounded the alarm on a wide range of election-related repression.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-7-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Dozens of Pakistanis were killed Wednesday in two bombings targeting political offices on the eve of highly contentious parliamentary elections from which the country’s most popular leader—who is jailed on what critics say are politically motivated charges—is banned.

The blasts both occurred in the southwestern province of Balochistan, homeland of the nomadic Baloch people, who also inhabit a large swath of southeastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. Government officials said the first bombing, which targeted independent candidate Asfandyar Khan’s office in the Pashin district, killed 18 people. A second blast approximately 80 miles away then killed at least 12 people at the Qilla Saifullah office of the Sunni fundamentalist Jamiat Ulema Islam party, which has close ties to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Youth Fight Back as Biden DOJ Seeks to Derail Historic Climate Case

“These youth have been politically targeted and persecuted, for over eight years, as the enormous power and machine of the Department of Justice singles them out among tens of thousands of other plaintiffs.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-2-2024 by Common Dreams

The 21 youth plaintiffs in the constitutional climate case Juliana v. United States pose for a photo in New York City. (Photo: Our Children’s Trust)

As the Biden administration seeks to derail a historic youth-led climate lawsuit against the U.S. government, plaintiffs in the suit—some of them now in their mid-to-late 20s—on Thursday moved to block the Department of Justice from further delaying the case.

Plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States filed a challenge to the Biden administration’s bid for a stay in the case, calling the Justice Department’s latest petition for a writ of mandamus “nothing short of shocking.”

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Arizona GOP Bill Would Let Legislators Overrule Voters in Presidential Elections

“This is a full sound-the-alarm moment for American democracy,” said one critic.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-30-2024 by Common Dreams

Arizona state Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27), an ally of GOP former President Donald Trump, is spearheading a resolution that says “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” (Photo: Anthony Kern)

Just months away from a potential rematch between Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump, democracy defenders are sounding the alarm about an Arizona bill recently introduced by a GOP state legislator.

State Sen. Anthony Kern (R-27) is spearheading Senate Concurrent Resolution 1014, which says that “the Legislature, and no other official, shall appoint presidential electors.” If it passes both chambers, the measure could appear on the November ballot.

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20+ NGOs Condemn ‘Reckless’ Decision to Cut Off UNRWA Aid

“Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people, and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-29-2024 by Common Dreams

UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza in 2009. Photo: ISM Palestine/flickr/CC

More than 20 humanitarian aid organizations on Monday condemned the decision by the United States and a growing list of nations to suspend funding for the United Nations agency that provides vital services to Palestinians suffering through a genocidal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

Following Israeli claims—reportedly extracted from Palestinian prisoners in an interrogation regime rife with torture and abuse—that 12 of the more than 13,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) workers in Gaza were involved in the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel, the United States and nine other nations cut off funding to the largest humanitarian aid organization operating in the besieged coastal enclave.

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Primary Season Is Here, But Still No FEC Action on Campaign Deepfakes

A consumer advocacy group warns that deceptive images generated by AI are “one of the biggest threats to our elections.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1-16-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: ApolitikNow/flickr/CC

As consumer advocacy group Public Citizen marked three months since the Federal Election Commission closed its public comment period on regulating artificial intelligence-generated “deepfake” images in election ads, the group on Tuesday questioned whether the FEC itself is “just a computer-generated illusion.”

“Do we have a real Federal Election Commission?” asked Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, eight months after the group submitted its first petition asking the FEC to establish new rules banning deepfakes in campaign materials.

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‘Don’t Just Quote Him’: US Agencies, Politicians Under Fire on MLK Day

“It’s that day of the year where people who don’t know anything about MLK, and would hate him if he were alive today, post the one or two MLK quotes they know.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota on April 27 1967 Photo: Minnesota Historical Society/CC

U.S. politicians, agencies, and departments provoked intense criticism on Monday—Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States—for sharing select quotes from the civil rights icon while ignoring his messages about important issues including militarism, poverty, and racism.

King—who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee—would have celebrated his 95th birthday on Monday.

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