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Category Archives: North America

Why the Democratic National Committee Must Change the Rules and Hold a Climate Debate

Dear Members of the DNC:

Your meeting in San Francisco this weekend takes place against a backdrop that is literally on fire. You are gathering one month after the hottest month ever recorded in human history. You are meeting on the same week that smoke from a record number of wildfires in the Amazon rainforest turned day into night in the Brazilian megapolis of São Paulo. And you are meeting just days after Iceland’s prime minister led her country in its first funeral service for a major glacier lost to climate change.

This is the terrifying context in which you will vote on a series of resolutions to determine whether the presidential primaries will include a dedicated debate about the climate emergency. Not the already scheduled climate “forum” or climate “town hall,” which will surely be fascinating for those who seek them out — but a formal televised debate among the top candidates vying to lead your party and the country.

I am writing to add my voice to the hundreds of thousands of others who have called on you to use your power to turn that debate into a reality.

Many of you are already on board, including the chairs of several state parties, but you are up against some powerful opponents. Let’s take on their two main counterarguments in turn.

https://theintercept.com/2019/08/21/climate-debate-dnc/

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Posted by on August 22, 2019 in North America

 

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Mike Pompeo Has Extreme Views on Muslims — and Liberals Don’t Seem to Care

On June 11, 2013, not long after the Boston Marathon bombings, a Republican congressman from Kansas took to the floor of the House of Representatives. “It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening,” began Mike Pompeo, before going on to claim that “silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and, more importantly still, those that may well follow.”

Pompeo’s remarks were “false and irresponsible,” as the Council on American Islamic Relations demonstrated at the time. Every major Muslim organization in the United States had put out a statement condemning the horrific terror attacks in Boston within hours of the blasts. Democrat Keith Ellison, one of only two Muslims members of Congress back in 2013, complained to Pompeo on the House floor — but the Republican refused to apologize and doubled down on his smear.

https://theintercept.com/2019/08/20/mike-pompeo-new-yorker-muslims/

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2019 in North America

 

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When You Give a Teacher a Gun

As Pam cracks the door to the front office, her hand creeps to the gun strapped at her hip. She’s in her 40s, with dark-rimmed glasses and a ponytail poking through the back of a baseball cap. At five foot six, she is not an imposing presence, but then again, what kindergarten teacher is?

She peers inside and sees a parent—Mr. Brown, who she’d heard was locked in a custody dispute with his ex-wife—shouting at Betsy, the school secretary, something about how he wants to see his son. And then he takes out a pistol of his own and holds it right up to her head.

Pam is lucky; Mr. Brown doesn’t notice her. She draws, her elbows locking out as her eyes settle between the sights. But in the split second before her index finger depresses the trigger, she hesitates. I have to try, right?

https://www.gq.com/story/when-you-give-a-teacher-a-gun

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2019 in North America

 

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Domestic War on Terror Is Not the Answer to White Supremacy

Americans often respond to tragedy by turning to ill-considered, dangerous ideas. But the suddenly popular idea of launching a domestic version of the war on terror — proposed in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton — is one of the worst ever.

The most ominous call for a new war on terror has come in an opinion article by John Allen and Brett McGurk in the Washington Post. Allen is a former Marine general and, in 2014, was named by President Barack Obama as a special envoy dealing with the Islamic State. In 2015, McGurk succeeded Allen in that role and continued under Donald Trump until last December. Their August 6 article had a headline designed to frighten: “We worked to defeat the Islamic State. White nationalist terrorism is an equal threat.”

The two former officials wrote that “we worked with all departments and agencies of the U.S. government to develop a comprehensive and multi-faceted campaign to defeat Islamic State terrorists on the battlefield, but also, and crucially, through counter-finance, counter-messaging and information sharing across the United States and globally… these efforts have stopped attacks and saved lives.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/08/17/domestic-terrorism-war-on-terror/

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2019 in North America

 

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The Trump Administration Just Gutted the Endangered Species Act

The Trump administration announced new regulations that will
effectively gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Monday, hampering
one of the most important environmental laws ever passed.

The
Department of the Interior, currently headed by former fossil fuel
lobbyist David Bernhardt, and the Department of Commerce made sweeping
changes to the regulations required by the ESA just months after a United Nations report
detailed an “unprecedented” decline of biodiversity and accelerating
extinction rates. The changes “clarify, interpret, and implement
portions of the Act,” according to the text of the final regulations.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kz4q9z/the-trump-administration-just-gutted-the-endangered-species-act

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in North America

 

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We hired the author of ‘Black Hawk Down’ and an illustrator from ‘Archer’ to adapt the Mueller report so you’ll actually read it

Editor’s note

It feels as if nobody read the Mueller report. That’s a shame, because it’s an important document, depicting possible crimes by a sitting US president.

But not reading it makes sense. As a narrative, the document is a disaster. And at 448 pages, it’s too long to grind through. For long stretches, it reads less like a story and more like a terms-of-service agreement. The instinct to click “next” is strong.

And yet, buried within the Mueller report, there is a narrative that reads in parts like a thriller, like a comedy, like a tragedy — and, most important — like an indictment. The facts are compelling, all the more so because they come not from President Donald Trump’s critics or “fake news” reports, but from Trump’s own handpicked colleagues and associates. The story just needed to be rearranged in a better form.

So we hired Mark Bowden, a journalist and author known for his brilliant works of narrative nonfiction like “Black Hawk Down,” “Killing Pablo,” and “Hue 1968.”

Our assignment for him was simple. Use the interviews and facts laid out in the Mueller report (plus those from reliable, fact-checked sources and published firsthand accounts) to do what he does best: Tell a story recounting Mueller’s report that’s so gripping it will hold your attention (and maybe your congressional representative’s).

We also hired Chad Hurd, an illustrator from the art department of “Archer.” We asked him to draw out scenes from the report to bring them to life.

Here’s what Bowden and Hurd gave us …

https://www.insider.com/mueller-report-rewritten-trump-russia-mark-bowden-archer-2019-7

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in North America, Reportages

 

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Can CBD Really Do All That?

When Catherine Jacobson first heard about the promise of cannabis, she was at wits’ end. Her 3-year-old son, Ben, had suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 3 months old, a result of a brain malformation called polymicrogyria. Over the years, Jacobson and her husband, Aaron, have tried giving him at least 16 different drugs, but none provided lasting relief. They lived with the grim prognosis that their son — whose cognitive abilities never advanced beyond those of a 1-year-old — would likely continue to endure seizures until the cumulative brain injuries led to his death.

In early 2012, when Jacobson learned about cannabis at a conference organized by the Epilepsy Therapy Project, she felt a flicker of hope. The meeting, in downtown San Francisco, was unlike others she had attended, which were usually geared toward lab scientists and not directly focused on helping patients. This gathering aimed to get new treatments into patients’ hands as quickly as possible. Attendees weren’t just scientists and people from the pharmaceutical industry. They also included, on one day of the event, families of patients with epilepsy.

 

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2019 in North America, Reportages

 

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Why the US trade war with China is a genuine conflict

The trade war between the US and China can only fill us with dread. How will it affect our daily lives? Will it result in a new global recession or even geopolitical chaos?

To orient ourselves in this mess, we should bear in mind some basic facts. The trade conflict with China is just the culmination of a war which began years ago when Donald Trump fired the opening shot aimed at the biggest trading partners of the US by deciding to levy tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

Trump was playing his own populist version of class warfare: his professed goal was to protect the American working class (are metal workers not one of the emblematic figures of the traditional working class?) from “unfair” European competition, thereby saving American jobs. And now he is doing the same with China.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/us-china-trade-war-trump-us-economy-mexico-steel-a9046501.html

 
 

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The scorched corpses of Nagasaki should be a grim restraint to the chest beating in India, America and Iran

We like our anniversaries in blocks of 50 or 100 – at a push we’ll tolerate a 25. The 100th anniversary of the Somme (2016), the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (2015). Next year, we’ll remember the end of the Second World War, the first – and so far the only – nuclear war in history.

This week marks only the 74th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It doesn’t fit in to our journalistic scorecards and “timelines”. Over the past few days, I’ve had to look hard to find a headline about the two Japanese cities.

But, especially in the Middle East and what we like to call southeast Asia, we should be remembering these gruesome anniversaries every month. Hiroshima was atomic-bombed 74 years ago on Tuesday, Nagasaki 74 years ago on Friday. Given the extent of the casualty figures, you’d think they’d be unforgettable. But we don’t quite know (nor ever will) what they were.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/india-pakistan-israel-nuclear-war-donald-trump-iran-saudi-arabia-a9046566.html

 
 

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Trump Plays the Race Card. So What?

This week witnessed outrage over racism at the highest levels of government in Britain and U.S. The day after the U.S. Congress voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s attacks on four congresswomen of color, British Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn accused each other of tolerating racism in their parties.

Such moral indignation might make racism seem a taboo and Trump a pariah. But this would ignore both the insidious nature of racism and its tenacity, not to mention the hypocrisy of those ostentatiously recoiling from it.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-19/donald-trump-s-send-her-back-racism-is-american-tradition

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2019 in North America

 

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