Author Archive

AZ: SCOTUS blocks abortion drug law enforcement

December 15, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked Arizona from enforcing a state law that restricts access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses of RU-486, the so-called 'abortion pill.' The high court’s refusal to hear the state’s appeal means that an April ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that prevented the law from going into effect while litigation continued will remain intact. Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said the decision 'effectively nullifies part of the statute.'" (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m3oedvr  

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CA: Appeals court upholds condom use in LA porn films

December 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A federal appeals court has upheld a Los Angeles County ordinance requiring that actors in pornographic films use condoms. Monday's ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments by porn industry leaders that the requirement inhibits the industry's First Amendment free-speech rights. The ordinance adopted by voters in 2012 was championed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other advocates as a means of reducing sexually transmitted diseases. The porn industry says its past experience with condoms has taught it that viewers don't want to watch films in which they are used." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o7rfh93  

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Saudi Arabia playing chicken with its oil

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Mohamad Bazzi  

"In August 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat paid a secret visit to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to meet with King Faisal. Sadat was preparing for war with Israel, and he needed Saudi Arabia to use its most powerful weapon: oil. Until then, King Faisal had been reluctant for the Arab members of OPEC to use the 'oil weapon.' But as the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war unfolded, the Arab oil producers raised prices, cut production and imposed an embargo on oil exports to punish the United States for its support of Israel. Without Saudi Arabia, the oil embargo would not have gotten very far. Today, Saudi Arabia is once again using its 'oil weapon,' but instead of driving up prices and cutting supply, it’s doing the reverse." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o94zvlr  

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Fed faces big decision over a few choice words

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Federal Reserve officials will decide this week whether to make a critical change to their policy statement that would widen the door for interest rate hikes next year and effectively bet the United States will continue to shine in a gloomy global economy. In one of the last major wild cards for financial markets in 2014, the U.S. central bank's policy-setting committee is to issue the statement and fresh economic forecasts on Wednesday at 2 p.m., following a two-day meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will then hold a news conference at 2:30 p.m." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o8zufu9  

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VA: Dem lawmaker may commute to work from jail

December 15, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Democratic Virginia state delegate Joseph Morrissey, who reached a plea agreement for charges relating to a sexual relationship he had with his 17-year-old office assistant, is yet to decide whether he will resign or commute to work from jail. The 57-year-old Democratic representative for Henrico county was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 6 months suspended for charges of 'contributing to the delinquency of a minor,' according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Morrissey’s lawyers say that he will be allowed to continue his work in the general assembly and his private law practice as part of a work-release program. He will drive his own car to work and authorities will monitor him through a device that will remain secured to his ankle, according to his lawyers." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/okqdpyp  

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NY: Cardinal tries to make peace between NYPD & City Hall

December 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"As tensions have begun to mount this weekend between the New York Police Department and the tens of thousands of protesters who continue to march against the grand jury decision in the killing of Eric Garner, the spiritual head of the area’s millions of Catholic residents spoke out on Monday, urging both sides 'tune down the volume and speak calmly' as anger continues to rise. And Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the charismatic archbishop of 2.6 million Catholics in much of New York City (Brooklyn and Queens are in a separate archdiocese with 1.6 million more Catholic residents), is in many ways in a unique position as a broker of peace in the city, remaining a highly respected religious official among the NYPD, which has traditions long shaped by the city’s Irish Catholic heritage." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/perb7vj  

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Denmark challenges Russia and Canada over North Pole

December 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Denmark has presented a claim to the UN, arguing that the area surrounding the North Pole is connected to the continental shelf of Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said it was a 'historic and important milestone' for Denmark. Canada and Russia have already asserted their own sovereignty over the energy-rich Arctic territory. Arctic nations have agreed that a UN panel will settle the dispute." (12/15/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30481309  

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Just you & Rover, roaming in the clouds

December 15, 2014
posted by

Jon Carroll San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"It was a sweet story in the New York Times. According to the Times, a young boy told Pope Francis that he was sad because his dog had recently died. The pope allegedly responded: 'Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.' Alas, it was not a true story. Never happened. However, in a general audience at the Vatican, he did say: 'The Holy Scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us.' This was indeed interpreted as meaning that all creatures go to paradise. Yow! A heaven for animals!" (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o7mrb56  

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Cops scan social media to help assess your “threat rating”

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Brent Skorup  

"A national spotlight is now focused on aggressive law enforcement tactics and the justice system. Today’s professional police forces (where officers in even one-stoplight towns might have body armor and mine-resistant vehicles) already raise concerns. Yet new data-mining technologies can now provide police with vast amounts of surveillance information and could radically increase police power. Policing can be increasingly targeted at specific people and neighborhoods -- with potentially serious inequitable effects." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ksh7wp5  

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Can Warren & Pelosi lead Dems to high ground?

December 15, 2014
posted by

William Greider The Nation
by William Greider  

"The sordid business of closing out the do-nothing [sic] 113 Congress ... has stained President Obama indelibly. We will never forget what he did and failed to do. He deserves our contempt. The president marginalized himself with his unreliable weakness. The recent events in Washington are nonetheless clarifying. They tell us that the worst is yet to come." [editor's note: Warren? Maybe; too soon to tell. Pelosi? Hardly; she's so far up the corporati a** there's no return - SAT] (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kw78j5b  

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Recipe for a successful protest movement

December 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Mark Engler & Paul Engler  

"Why are some protests ignored and forgotten while others explode, dominating the news cycle for weeks and becoming touchstones in political life? For all of those seeking to promote change, this is a critical question. And it was a particularly pressing concern after the financial meltdown of 2008. In the years following the crash, America entered into its worst economic crisis in three quarters of a century. ... It took an outburst of popular action to change this. And that outburst came in an unexpected form." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgsyrx9  

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Stop the Citibank budget; no more rigged backroom deals

December 15, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The 'Citibank budget' has not passed the Senate. There is time to fight this giveaway to Wall Street. Call your senators today and tell them take the Citibank bailout part out or block the budget. Tell them to let Wall Street know that their days of controlling our government are over. Tell them, 'Don’t let Citibank win.' ... And while they’re at it, take out the parts that gut the IRS’ ability to collect from the billionaires, gut working peoples’ pensions and rig campaign finance in favor of the wealthiest." [editor's note: Though his appeal is now obsolete, his analysis is worth a read - SAT] (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kmknq7g  

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Continuing congressional meddling: The obstruction of DC’s pot legalization

December 15, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Amanda Teuscher  

"It’s not like Representative Andy Harris didn’t warn us. When District of Columbia voters last month overwhelmingly passed Initiative 71, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the District, the Maryland Republican threatened to use 'all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action.' And when it comes to preventing D.C. from exercising home rule, the arsenal of available resources is quite well stocked. Harris (whose marijuana vendetta’s origin story must be a Maureen Dowd–style special-brownie overindulgence that left him shattered) has for the past year made it his personal mission to prevent people who didn’t [and couldn't] vote for him from getting what they voted for." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ldsuybu  

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Jerusalem: Amid violence, seeking paths to peace

December 15, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"For decades, Jerusalem has presented successive teams of Middle East negotiators with an array of complex and emotional issues that touch the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict. It produces the highest of passions, but also unique opportunities to forge a solution. Since July, political resentment, religious tensions, and social ills have boiled over into the worst violence the city has seen in a decade -- from the brutal revenge murder of a Palestinian teenager to the killing of rabbis at prayer in a synagogue -- pushing Jerusalem back into the global spotlight." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/osl5zjj  

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Time to say “thank you, Big Oil”

December 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle
by Andrew S. Ross  

"Likening Big Oil to Santa Claus would be a stretch, but not entirely out of line this Christmas. The plunge in oil prices, which has sent global markets into a tailspin, has put some unexpected extra cash in consumers’ pockets at just the right time. Not only for those who might be feeling a bit more flush, but for retailers who have had a mixed year, praying that some of it goes their way. As the price of crude oil on the world market drops (to under $60 per barrel Friday, the lowest it has been in 5½ years) so does the price at the gas pump." (12/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/otlpbxo  

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Chechnya: Human rights office set on fire

December 15, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Attackers have set alight the office of one of the few human rights groups active in Chechnya after it criticised the Russian republic's president. They attacked the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) office in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on Saturday evening. Nobody was hurt but there are concerns over the safety of two activists. The JMG had criticised Ramzan Kadyrov after he called for collective punishment of the families of rebels behind a recent attack in Grozny." (12/14/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30470085  

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CT: Families of Newtown massacre victims plan lawsuits

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Parents of almost half the young children killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, two years ago on Sunday have taken initial steps toward filing lawsuits tied to one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. For a second straight year the leafy suburb has planned no public events to commemorate the massacre, which left 20 first graders and six educators dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School, an incident that inflamed the U.S. debate over gun control." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwq4rea  

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Black effigies hanged on Berkeley campus spur debate

December 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Effigies of black lynching victims found hanging at the University of California, Berkeley have sparked debate over whether the images are powerful protest art or just plain tasteless and racist. The photographic images were found Saturday morning hanging at two prominent spots on campus. They were discovered a few hours before a demonstration against police brutality organized by a black student union was to start. Police are investigating, but officials say they still don't know who hanged the images or the motivation." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k9k7gdh  

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OH: Student on strike after school removes Commandments

December 14, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A fight over the Ten Commandments is causing controversy at an Ohio public high school. Harding High School’s class of 1953 gifted a copy of the Ten Commandments to the school. For years the plaque hung in a school hallway next to the preamble of the United States Constitution, but in August the principal ordered it taken down. Marion City Schools said it acted to avoid legal challenges that have been prompted by similar Ten Commandments displays in other Ohio public school districts. The removal prompted freshman Anthony Miller to go on strike. He is attending classes at the Marion school, but not doing classwork or homework." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k8787lv  

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Venezuela President: “Stupid” US sanctions won’t undo my government

December 14, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"President Nicolas Maduro charged Saturday that tighter, 'stupid' new US sanctions are just further straining to undermine military staff loyalty after Venezuela derailed a bid to oust him. 'These sanctions are a threat, to see if they can break the morale of leaders of our armed forces,' Maduro said at a speech in Caracas. The tighter US sanctions freeze assets and deny visas to Venezuelan authorities responsible for violence and political detentions triggered by the protests." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pvtmuzb  

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Is racial justice possible in America?

December 12, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by David Dante Troutt  

"As the countless protests, tear gas, National Guard deployments and looting proved, police brutality provokes more anger than other outrages because it’s the supreme violation of our individual rights in a democracy. It is the state actor, as another person, violently snatching our breath away 'under color of law.' That the state’s victims throughout our history have been overwhelmingly African-American stamps it as an indelible 'badge of slavery,' which means that nothing makes you feel more black in America than experiencing police mistreatment. Very few modern oppressions convey the permanence of racism (individual and institutional) like the ritual of unpunished police abuse." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pwdkkxo  

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“Senate torture report”: A window on rules of war

December 12, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor
by staff  

"In coming years, a scholar will probably write a book with this title: A Moral History of the War on Terror. One chapter will surely look at the Dec. 9 report prepared by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee about the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to interrogate terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks. Perhaps the book will reveal if the report led to a better understanding of the principles behind the rules of war, so as to curb atrocities such as torture, mass rape, and chemical attacks -- or even prevent war." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q9xjwd3  

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How the United States rolls

December 12, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Slavoj Zizek  

"Toward the end of September, after declaring war on ISIS, President Obama gave an interview to '60 Minutes' in which he tried to explain the rules of U.S. engagement: 'When trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don't call Beijing, they don't call Moscow. They call us. … That's always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation.' This also holds for environmental and humanitarian disasters: 'When there's a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who's helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there's an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who's leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That's how we roll. And that's what makes this America.'” (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kcu3nc2  

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KY: State drops tax incentives for Noah’s Ark park

December 12, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Kentucky has pulled potential tax credits for a proposed Noah’s Ark-based theme park, telling the developer on Wednesday that the plans had evolved from a tourist attraction into a ministry seeking to advance religion. State tourism officials had given preliminary approval for tax incentives of potentially more than $18 million over 10 years for the Ark Encounter park slated to open in 2016, but later warned the park’s parent company, Answers in Genesis, that it could lose them if it hired only people who believed in the biblical flood." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pujytp5  

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Dems may be threatening shutdown over spending bill

December 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Congressional Democrats objected on Wednesday to controversial financial and political campaign provisions tucked into a $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill, keeping the risk of a government shutdown alive. The complaints from House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats clouded the chances for passage of the funding bill as a midnight Thursday deadline drew near. Republicans were preparing a one-or-two day extension to keep federal agencies open past the deadline, but were unwilling to make any concessions on dozens of provisions added to the bill." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ntrz2dm  

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