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Monday, September 26, 2016

Echoing pipeline opponents' concerns, the statement from the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, cited the pipeline's threats to drinking water and sacred sites. She admonished the U.S. for failing to protect protesters' rights and failing to properly consult with communities affected by the fossil fuel infrastructure. The tribe was denied access to information and excluded from consultations at the planning stage of the project, and environmental assessments failed to disclose the presence and proximity of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The pipeline, slated to snake a 1,172-mile path across four states from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to a hub in Illinois, has faced months of building resistance.

Informed consent from those affected and abiding by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is essential, she said, "particularly in connection with extractive resource industries." (Andrea Germanos) read more


Florida Rethugs used fake felon lists to purge voters in predominantly poor neighborhoods. Ohio's "purge" is said to be the most aggressive in the nation, removing more voters over a five-year period than any other state. Since 2011, more than 2 million voters have been purged. According to Secretary of State Jon Husted's office, from 2011 to 2014, 846,000 were scrapped for infrequent voting and 480,000 for moving.

In a decision said to be a "big deal" for voters in a crucial swing state, a federal court on Friday declared that Ohio's practice of purging millions of registered citizens from its rolls is in violation of national voting laws. The order reverses a lower court ruling, which favored the purge. It is not clear whether this damage can be undone before November. (Lauren McCauley) read more


Friday, September 23, 2016

Nadia Prupis, CommonDreams: Agrochemical giants Syngenta and Bayer discovered in their own tests that their pesticides caused severe harm to bees, according to unpublished documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the environmental group Greenpeace. The companies conducted the trials on products that used the controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, which have long been linked to rapid bee decline. Neonics are also the world's most commonly used pesticide. According to their own studies, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and Bayer's clothianidin were found to cause severe harm at high levels of use, although the effect was lessened when used under 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40 ppb respectively. The research assumes a very narrow definition of harm to bee health and ignores wild bees which evidence suggests are more likely to be harmed by neonicotinoids. That means the findings may substantially underestimate the impact of neonics. read more


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Police said officers went to a Charlotte apartment complex around 4pm looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant when they encountered Scott, who was not the suspect they were looking for, inside a car.

A police spokesman Keith Trietley stated officers saw [Scott] get out the car with a gun and then get back in. As police approached the car they claimed Scott got out of the car with the gun again. Officers then deemed the man a threat and at least one fired a weapon. A weapon was allegedly recovered by detectives at the scene.

According to police, they began rendering aid after the shots were fired. Scott, a father of seven, was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center.

The police version is at odds with that of Scott's family who insist that he was disabled, sitting in his car reading a book, and had no gun. "He sits in the shade, reads his book and waits on his kid to get off the bus," Scott's sister told reporters. "He didn't have no gun." (Nika Knight) read more


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

For $178 Million, the US Could Pay for One Fighter Plane, or 3,358 Years of College. Free college threatens the military. Unlike nearly every other developed country, which offer free or low cost higher education (Germany, Sweden and others are completely free; Korea's flagship Seoul National University runs about $12,000 a year, around the same as Oxford), in America you need money to go to college. Harvard charges $63,000 a year for tuition, room, board and fees, a quarter of a million dollars for a degree. Even a good state school will charge $22,000 for in-state tuition, room and board.

75% of those who enlisted or who sought an officer's commission said they did so to obtain educational benefits. This raises the question of whether the lower cost college education presidential nominee Hillary Clinton proposes is a threat to America's all-volunteer military. If college was cheaper, would they still enlist? (Peter Van Buren) read more


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