2018-05-12: News Headlines

Mina Jafari (2018-05-12). I Lived In Iran Under US Sanctions—Killing The Deal Is A Big Mistake. iranian.com I wasn't supposed to be American. But the 1979 Iranian revolution changed that. Instead, I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. Six years ago, after graduating from the University of Maryland with a double major in Persian Studies and Government & Politics, I decided to move to Iran. Most of my friends […]

Julia Conley (2018-05-12). Thousands Of Iranians Take To Streets, Enraged By 'Insane' US Foreign Policy. iranian.com Cities across Iran saw thousands of demonstrators pouring into the streets to express fury over President Donald Trump's violation and abandonment of the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated by the Obama administration, Iranian officials, and several other world powers. twitter.com/ajplus/status/994925… Protesters in Tehran and other cities carried posters which read, "Mr. Trump, you are talking nonsense," as they echoed Iranian […]

Tehran Times (2018-05-12). Iran's Oldest Document On Cinema Unveiled. iranian.com Iran's oldest film document ever found was unveiled during a special ceremony at the Film Museum of Iran on Wednesday evening. The document is a decree issued by Qajar king Mozaffar ad-Din Shah (1853-1907) on February 11, 1900, in which he assigned the renowned royal photographer Mirza Ahmad Khan Sani os-Saltaneh the task of buying […]

Ilana Novick (2018-05-12). CIA Torture Survivor Demands Answers From Gina Haspel. truthdig.com In 2004, Fatima Boudchar was kidnapped and held in a "black site" prison similar to the one run by Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director.

Ilana Novick (2018-05-12). Will Democrats' Last-Ditch Effort to Save 'Net Neutrality' Succeed? truthdig.com "Net neutrality" laws are set to expire June 11, the Federal Communications Commission announced Thursday, and now 12 Senate Democrats are staging a last-ditch effort to save them. | The Obama-era rules, enacted in 2015, aimed to create a free and open internet by preventing telecommunications companies from charging more for faster internet service, or otherwise privileging their own material or that of their advertisers online. If the rules are allowed to expire, companies will have "broad new power over how consumers can access the internet," Reuters notes. | In repealing the rules, the government is favoring the interests of giant telecoms over those of American consumers, effectively limiting the information they can consume based on their ability to pay for it. | Multiple state and federal officials have spoken against repeal. Barbara Underwood, the acting attorney general for New York, told Reuters…

RT (2018-05-12). 'They're trying to kill him': Pamela Anderson wants Kanye's help to free Assange. rt.com Actress-turned-activist Pamela Anderson has become one of the most vocal allies for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and now she wants Kanye West's help in setting him free.
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amnesty.org (2018-05-12). Colombian Human Rights Defenders Need Protection. amnesty.org

Juliana Gonàßalves (2018-05-12). Quase 9 mil cartas de presos — a destinatários como Temer e STF — expàµem os horrores do cárcere. theintercept.com Correspondências de presos expàµem abuso de autoridade, violência física e psicológica, falta de acesso a saúde, educaàßà£o e assistência médica.

RT (2018-05-12). Meet NASA's robot helicopter of Mars (VIDEO). rt.com A robot helicopter will fly the skies of Mars as part of the 2020 mission, NASA has announced, hoping to replicate the success of the Wright brothers on the red planet.
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Human Rights Watch (2018-05-12). Britain Should use Erdogan Visit to Speak out on Human Rights. hrw.org Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 28, 2017. | © 2017 Reuters | Despite the sharp deterioration in human rights under his leadership, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoƒüan, is being accorded a state visit to Britain next week, including a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and with the Queen. Undoubtedly, May would prefer the discussion focus on investment, trade, and Syria, but the scale of repression underway in Turkey makes it impossible to ignore. She should use the moment to urge an end to the Turkish government's brutal crackdown on opponents and critics. | The visit comes ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 in which Erdogan seeks to renew his mandate with greatly enhanced powers. The elections…

David Yearsley (2018-05-11). Imperial Pomp. counterpunch.org No work of music has a greater lock on a single ritual than Edward Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance March no. 1 does on American graduations. Cock an ear in the direction of high school and university campuses across this country in May or June and its impossible not to hear the strains of this late-colonial hymn to More

Clark T. Scott (2018-05-11). Applauding Plowshares Into Swords. counterpunch.org About a week ago I attended a graduation convocation ceremony at the Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Ames Iowa. Within this event there were about 15 department and interdepartmental programs representing various majors from "Agricultural Systems Technology" to "Agronomy" to Environmental Science" to "Genetics" to "Animal Ecology" and beyond. The More

L. Michael Hager (2018-05-11). Is Massachusetts Turning Red? counterpunch.org Massachusetts has a proud record of investing in its communities and people. It created the first pubic park, the first public schools and the first public transportation system. It was the first state to legalize marriage for all and the first to offer universal health care insurance. By traditional voting standards as well, Massachusetts is clearly a blue-state. In More

Nicole Braun (2018-05-11). Adjuncts of the World, Unite! counterpunch.org School teachers across the U.S. are striking for many reasons, from atrocious working conditions to low pay. Polls show that most Americans support these teachers' strikes. What many people may not know is that similar protests are taking place at colleges and universities across the country. Graduate students, adjuncts, and lecturers are quietly engaging in direct actions More

Juan Cole (2018-05-11). Why There Isn't Likely To Be A Conventional War Between Israel And Iran. iranian.com It is understandable that observers are alarmed about an Iran-Israel conflict in the aftermath of the violation by Trump of the 2015 Iranian nuclear enrichment treaty. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu worked hard to undermine the treaty in the US, using cut-outs such as allegedly corrupt casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who bought the Republican Party […]

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Trump May Have Already Triggered a Cyberwar with Iran: Report. alternet.org Many people warned against Trump's decision to violate the Iran deal. | Iran already redirected its cyberwarfare tactics within a day of President Donald Trump's announcement that he would no longer abide by the multilateral agreement meant to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, according to a new report from the New York Times. These moves could foreshadow increasing tensions between the two countries in the wake of the destruction of the deal, as many had warned. Reporter Nicole Perlroth found that the security firm CrowdStrike reported an increase in Iranian cyberattacks targeting diplomats of American allies following the announcement. These attacks included sending malware to "diplomats who work in the foreign affairs offices of United States allies and employees at telecommunications companies in an attempt to infiltrate their computer systems," the report said. The report also found that Iranian hackers have. . .

Mel Gurtov (2018-05-11). Breaking the Iran Deal: The Delusion of Victory. counterpunch.org Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has undoubtedly been sipping champagne these days in celebration of his successful effort to lobby Donald Trump over the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu's crude interventions to change US policy had been rebuffed by President Obama, but in Trump Netanyahu found a similarly singleminded partner who cannot see the long-term security problems More

Patrick Cockburn (2018-05-11). If Europe Wants to Remain on the World Stage, It Must Resist Trump on Iran. counterpunch.org "Iraq is at the muzzle of the gun," says Ali Allawi, Iraqi historian and former minister, speaking of the increased turmoil expected to follow the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. It is not only Iraq which is in danger: an escalating confrontation between the US and Iran will affect the whole region, but More

David Krieger (2018-05-11). Violating the Iran Deal: Playing With Nuclear Fire. counterpunch.org President Trump has demonstrated yet again why he lacks the understanding, intelligence and temperament to be president of the United States. By violating the Iran nuclear deal, he is undermining the security of the U.S., our allies and the world. There are many good reasons that the U.S. should have remained in the agreement, but More

Wim Laven (2018-05-11). Dangerous Fallout when Trump Blows Up Deals. counterpunch.org Trump's detonation of the Iran Deal is a monumental disaster. On the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran Deal), dozens of retired generals and admirals, in an open letter, said: "There is no better option to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon … Military action would be less effective than the deal, assuming it is More

Jim Naureckas (2018-05-11). Who's Reacting to Iran Deal Pull-Out? Why, It's Women in Chadors, Walking Past Anti-US Mural. fair.org Adam Johnson (FAIR.org, 10/21/17) called the "Woman in Chador Walks by Anti-US Mural" image "one of the most overused and toxic stock photos." Documenting its ubiquity in online US coverage of Iran, Johnson argued that the cliche photo of "one or two Iranian women clad in black chadors, faces usually barely visible, walking past a mural of the Statute of Liberty with a skull face" was intended "to lazily tie together US-bashing and perceived subjugation of women, reinforcing the image of Iran as a country defined by misogyny and seething hate for the West." | Iran is big in the news now, as the Trump administration pulls out of the multinational agreement about Iran's nuclear energy program and generally tries to ramp up hostility toward Tehran (FAIR.org, 5/9/18). And so we're once again seeing a raft of news reports illustrated with…

Jeremy Sherman, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Here's Why Self-Indulgent Libertarian Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds. alternet.org A window into a tempting tendency in human nature. | I once had a conversation with a libertarian friend who insisted that freedom was the answer to everything, ironic since he was getting married the following week. "Freedom to have sex with others while married? " I asked. "Of course not," he said. "Freedom for your children to do whatever they want? ""No, that's different," he said. "Freedom for everyone to have a nuclear bomb? ""No, that wouldn't be good. ""Freedom for people to steal? ""No, that has to be controlled. ""You don't really think that freedom is the answer to everything," I said. "The real question is what to constrain and what to let go free. The question in social engineering is the question in all engineering. It's a question of tolerances: What to constrain with tight tolerances and what to let run free with loose tolerances. That question is. . .

Joseph Natoli (2018-05-11). That's the Problem: Nothing Proves Anything. counterpunch.org We are out of the Iran nuclear deal because nothing anyone said to President Trump proved anything to him. We saw this on day one when no amount of visual and statistical proof could convince him that he did not have the largest crowd in inauguration history but about one third of what he claimed. More

Tarek Dika (2018-05-11). The Coming American Assault On Iran. iranian.com The new American strategy on Iran is to dismantle the nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Mike Pompeo, Trump's most recent Secretary of State, recently visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, and in both countries he focused almost exclusively on Iran. As yesterday's early morning bombing of Iranian targets in […]

Miko Peled (2018-05-11). Israel Wants Its Own War in Syria. mintpressnews.com Hard as it may be to believe, at the moment of writing these words I am at the airport about to embark on a trip which will culminate in Mashhad, Iran. At the same time, Israeli army spokesperson is tweeting that twenty rockets launched by Iranian Quds brigades stationed in Syria were intercepted by the Israeli "Iron Dome." The rockets, so the IDF claims, were aimed at IDF posts in the Golan Heights and sirens were sounded to alert the people living on the Golan Heights to go into bomb shelters. It seems that once again Israel got what it wanted: Its own war in Syria. | The shock that spread around the world as the president of the United States stood and declared that he was going to unitarily pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action…

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). 'Willful Ignorance': CNN Panel Stunned by White House Refusal to Denounce Staffer's Cruel McCain Joke. alternet.org A staffer has been widely reported to have made an inappropriate joke about McCain dying. | A CNN panel seemed baffled Friday after Sarah Sanders held the White House press briefing and failed to denounce an aide's uncouth joke about Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) brain cancer. On Thursday, multiple outlets reported that communications staffer Kelly Sadler said of McCain "he's dying anyway" in a discussion about his opposition to the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director. Haspel has been a controversial pick because of her past involvement in the CIA's torture program and destruction of evidence, and McCain faced torture while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "Willful ignorance, I would say, is what we've just witnessed," said anchor Brianna Keilar after Sanders refused to condemn the comment. "For the life of me, I can't understand," politics analyst Gloria Borger said. "The. . .

Mike Luckovich (2018-05-11). Cyber Bully Initiative. truthdig.com

Robert Koehler (2018-05-11). Let the Prayer Continue. counterpunch.org ". . . may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws but benefits balanced and shared More

Ramzy Baroud (2018-05-11). Eclipsing Factionalism: The Missing Story from the Gaza Protests. counterpunch.org The Gaza border protests must be understood in the context of the Israeli Occupation, the siege and the long-delayed 'Right of Return' for Palestinian refugees. However, they should also be appreciated in a parallel context: Palestine's own factionalism and infighting. Factionalism in Palestinian society is a deep-rooted ailment that has, for decades, thwarted any unified More

Jill Richardson (2018-05-11). With Help, Things Can Get Better. counterpunch.org About a month ago, my life changed practically overnight. I've had migraines nearly every day since 1995. There are all kinds of other quirks about my body too. I needed at least 10 hours of sleep, and I couldn't get up before noon. I was hungry all of the time. I had (and still have) More

Brett Wilkins (2018-05-11). The Dark Side of Israeli Independence. counterpunch.org On May 14, 1948, Israel declared its independence. Each May 15, Palestinians solemnly commemorate Nakba Day. Nakba means catastrophe, and that's precisely what Israel's independence has been for the more than 700,000 Arabs and their five million refugee descendants forced from their homes and into exile, often by horrific violence, to make way for the More

CounterSpin (2018-05-11). Tim Karr on Net Neutrality Fight, Mark Trahant on Indian Country Today. fair.org The FCC has posted notice that net neutrality rules—the ones that keep service providers from favoring websites that give them money, and slowing down or "throttling" your access to websites that don't pony up—will disappear on June 11. Since abandoning the fight for an open internet is not an option, what do we do now?

Elliott Gabriel (2018-05-11). Israeli Attack On "Iranian" Targets In Syria A Sign Of Tel Aviv's Frustration, Fear. iranian.com Immediately after Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA on Tuesday, Israeli officials began accusing Iran of positioning its forces in preparation for an attack. The alleged activity was cited as a justification for a new round of airstrikes on Syria targeting a military base in Kisweh. [dropcap]A[/dropcap]n hours-long exchange of fire between the Israeli military and […]

Consortiumnews.com (2018-05-11). The Coming War Against Iran. consortiumnews.com We've been through this before: the trumped-up threat from Iraq based on false evidence in 2003 is the harrowingly similar model to what is emerging for Iran in 2018, argues John Kiriakou. By John Kiriakou I spent nearly 15 years… Read more →

Ron Jacobs (2018-05-11). An Ideology of Self-Righteousness. counterpunch.org Rolf Petri begins his introduction to his new book A Short History of Western Ideology by quoting Samuel Huntington from his too-often-quoted essay titled "The Clash of Civilizations." The essence of that essay was simple: the future of history will be the struggle between different earthly civilizations. More to the point, the likely conflict would More

Randi Nord (2018-05-11). What Else is Washington Hiding About US Participation in Yemen? mintpressnews.com The recent news about Green Berets deployed along the Saudi border highlights the ever-growing U.S. role. So, what else is Washington not disclosing about the US in Yemen?

Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos (2018-05-11). Trump Was Reportedly Furious with Homeland Security Chief for Not Separating Enough Kids from Their Families. alternet.org The president's twisted logic on immigration is becoming even clearer. | Buried in the New York Times story about Donald Trump's extended tirade against his Homeland Security chief was the real reason he was so peeved at her—and it's downright evil: One persistent issue has been Mr. Trump's belief that Ms. [Kirstjen] Nielsen and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, several officials said. The president and his aides in the White House had been pushing a family separation policy for weeks as a way of deterring families from trying to cross the border illegally. Just to be clear, Nielsen and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under her direction haven't shown any hesitation about separating families. Remember DHS separating a 7-year-old girl and her. . .

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Conservative Writers Have Found a Weird New Argument to Claim that They're Oppressed. alternet.org What on earth is the "Intellectual Dark Web? " | Despite the fact that Republican politicians are in charge of Congress and the White House while a conservative-leaning majority reigns in the Supreme Court, conservatives are nevertheless convinced that "the Left" is using political correctness to quash their ideas. This pattern of thought is nowhere more evident than in the writings of National Review writer David French, who Friday published a story defending a recent article — written by the New York Times' Bari Weiss — about the "Intellectual Dark Web. "The web is a "network" of iconoclastic thinkers who include people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Ayan Hirsi Ali. Despite these individuals' relative success, the idea of the Intellectual Dark Web is that they are somehow kept down by oppressive political correctness and excluded from legacy media outlets. French argues,. . .

Staff (2018-05-11). Trump Aide Mocks McCain View: 'He's Dying Anyway'. truthdig.com Kelly Sadler was discussing the ailing senator's opposition to the president's pick for CIA director, Gina Haspel, at a White House meeting Thursday, two people present tell The Associated Press.

Robert Fantina (2018-05-11). Iran, the U.S. and EIKO. counterpunch.org Now that U.S. President Donald Trump has violated the internationally-recognized JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), to the dismay of most of the world, and even most of the U.S.'s military experts, Iran can once again expect sanctions. This, of course, puts the U.S.'s European allies in an awkward position, since those that are signatories More

MBGP (2018-05-11). Author of Trump's Iran Regime Change Blueprint is Actually a Right-Wing Troll. mintpressnews.com The white paper was produced by Jim Hanson, a self-proclaimed expert "practitioner of the art of war" who is virtually unknown in Washington. Hanson has a prolific presence on Twitter, where he operates under the handle, "Uncle Jimbo."

Mark Gruenberg (2018-05-11). Federal worker unions and retiree groups blast Trump pension cuts. peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Two top federal worker unions and a federal employee retiree group are blasting a Trump administration plan to cut pensions for past and present federal workers by $143.5 billion over the next decade. The cuts, which would hit retirees as well as current feds, would — combined with Trump's pay freeze — also harm future […]…

Lena Moffitt (2018-05-11). Raising the Flag on the Corruption of Ryan Zinke. counterpunch.org The media's been swirling around the many scandals involving Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, and rightfully so. But there's another scandalous member of Trump's cabinet who's bending ethical standards and attacking our environment: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Like Pruitt, Ryan Zinke is misusing taxpayer dollars, promoting industries he's supposed to regulate, and remaining completely More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). 'He's with Trump on Immigration': MSNBC Analyst Explains Why John Kelly Is Not One of the Adults in the Room. alternet.org The White House chief of staff gave an interview this week in which he sounded a lot like Trump. | White House Chief of Staff John Kelly continued to face blowback Friday after an interview published the night before by NPR revealed he made prejudiced comments about immigrants crossing the Mexican border. John Heilemann, an MSNBC analyst, explained that these comments were hardly out of character for the general. "John Kelly constantly makes these kinds of comments," Heileman said on "Deadline: White House" with host Nicolle Wallace. "This is not the first time he's said it. "He continued: "He is with [President Donald] Trump on immigration. " Heilemann noted how Kelly's interview remarks were a less extreme version of the notorious speech Trump made to launch his campaign, saying immigrants are bringing "drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. "Heilemann reminded viewers that Kelly also denigrated. . .

John Davis (2018-05-11). Modernity's Long Twilight. counterpunch.org While Marx expected the industrial proletariat to spearhead the socialist revolution, it is now left to those who resist the burning of the last of the planet's fossil fuel — which continues to engorge the hyper-capitalism of the early twenty-first century — to usher us into the gloaming: the dappled shadowland of Modernity's long twilight More

Julia Conley (2018-05-11). Trump's Message to Immigrants: If You're Poor, Now or Ever, You Don't Belong Here. mintpressnews.com Immigrants applying for green cards would be considered a "public charge" and would likely be passed over if they've used—or are deemed likely to use—government resources including Medicaid and SNAP benefits

Binoy Kampmark (2018-05-11). The Spectre of Torture: the Gina Haspel Hearings. counterpunch.org "I'm not going to sit here with the benefit of hindsight and judge the very good people who made hard decisions who were running the agency in very extraordinary circumstances." Gina Haspel, May 9, 2018. It was always going to be the most complicated of hurdles. Having moved Mike Pompeo on to the role of More

Rick Sterling (2018-05-11). New Film Gives an Iranian Perspective on the Battle Against ISIS in Syria. mintpressnews.com The movie comes from Iranian screenwriter and film director Ebrahim Hatamikia. Two award winning Iranian actors, Hadi Hejazifar and Babak Hamidian, play father and son pilots trying to rescue civilians besieged and attacked by ISIS forces in eastern Syria.

Joan McCarter, Daily Kos (2018-05-11). Republicans Are Scrambling to Find Votes for Their Farm Bill—It's Probably Doomed. alternet.org The votes just aren't there. | The Republican House leadership is intent on forging ahead with a farm bill that isn't guaranteed at this time to pass the House, and almost certainly cannot pass the Senate. Vulnerable Republicans don't like it because it will open them up to a charge that they're trying to make more people go hungry. Nihilistic Republicans—and the interest groups that amplify them—don't like it because it either helps farmers who aren't their constituents to much, or doesn't help their own farmers enough. But Speaker Paul Ryan and team are plowing ahead with a vote planned for next week: As of Thursday afternoon, Conaway had not secured support from a number of Republican lawmakers after several days of meetings. But he told reporters that he is convinced that they will come around. The date of the floor debate. . .

Staff (2018-05-11). 'Bloody Gina' Haspel's Hearing Does Not Bode Well for Us. truthdig.com While President Trump's pick for CIA director wiggled out of addressing the morality and legality of torture, agency veteran Ray McGovern was dragged out of the hearing and arrested.

Sazzad Haider (2018-05-11). Xi Jinping: The Emergence of Chinese Ultra-Nationalism? counterpunch.org Chinese leader Xi Jinping started his second term as President last month and delivered his speech with a nationalistic appeal stating China's desire to take up its "due place in the world." Xi seems to be taking the long way to achieve Chinese superiority all over the world. Xi began his new tenure in an More

Bob Lord (2018-05-11). Congress Made It Harder to Give Teachers Raises. counterpunch.org In just a few months, we've seen teachers in five states walk out of the classroom to protest their abysmal pay. Stingy state budgets are mostly to blame for low teacher pay and poor school conditions, but there's a federal tax connection, too. Unfortunately, last year's Republican tax plan could make keeping good teachers in More

Staff (2018-05-11). Robert Scheer: CIA 'Gangster Element' Is a Stain on America (Videos and Transcript). truthdig.com "The CIA is an agency that is out of control, and they are not doing the job that they were created to do," Truthdig's editor in chief tells The Real News.

Pete Dolack (2018-05-11). If You Incentivize Pollution, You Incentive Death. counterpunch.org The cost of pollution in human lives is often abstract due to the long-term nature of such deaths. The cost, however, is quite concrete: A new report estimates that 4.1 million people died as a result of ambient air pollution in 2016. And that's a conservative estimate. Globally, only five causes of death took a More

Michael Doliner (2018-05-11). Consulting With My Advisers. counterpunch.org The other day I was sitting around with my closest advisers, when, just for the heck of it, we started batting about the idea of going to war with Iran. "Iran? Isn't that kind of close to Saudi Arabia?"Tom asked. Dick googled it up. Sure enough there was Saudi Arabia, just a little bit of More

DeWitt Kennard (2018-05-11). DACA and the Dreamers From El Salvador. counterpunch.org The total number of the world's displaced people is at an all-time high. Fear of persecution caused by war, race, religion, or political affiliation is a force that drives these people from their homelands. El Salvador, a country that lost about 25 percent of its population to migration during its civil war, is one of More

David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement (2018-05-11). The AT&T Executive Who Authorized $600,000 in Payments to Cohen Was Just Forced Out. alternet.org The exit was framed as a retirement. | After Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti revealed that several companies paid President Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen millions of dollars for access, several have declared the decisions a "big mistake. "Among them, AT&T, who has just forced out their top DC exec responsible for authorizing $600,000 in payments to Cohen. The NY Post says AT&T "told employees in a memo that Bob Quinn was retiring — but an insider said Quinn was booted after the embarrassing revelation about the payment," according to a Wall Street Journal report. "There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake," company CEO Randall Stephenson told employees in a company-wide email. AT&T's general counsel, David McAtee will take over for Quinn. "David's number one priority is to ensure every one. . .

Staff (2018-05-11). Latest Gaza Border Protest Turns Deadly. truthdig.com One protester is killed and 146 are wounded in the seventh weekly action aimed at shaking off a decade-old blockade of the Palestinian territory. More protests are expected.

Douglas Valentine (2018-05-11). Trump's Penis: Is It Presidential? counterpunch.org Donald Trump's sex life is nobody's business but his own. And maybe Melania's, if her Pre-Nuptial Agreement (PNA) stipulates that she can sue his fat ass for divorce and receive a huge percentage of his rumored wealth if he cheats on her, too often. Like the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen, signed with More

Mark Gruenberg (2018-05-11). Sanders: Make card-check the law, outlaw "right to work" peoplesworld.org WASHINGTON—Bernie Sanders, Mark Pocan and their congressional allies want to make joining unions and funding them a lot easier. Which is why the Independent senator from Vermont and the Democratic U.S. representative from Wisconsin, a Painter, introduced — or in Sanders' case, reintroduced — the Workplace Democracy Act. The bill, dropped in the hopper on […]…

Staff (2018-05-11). AT&T Top Lobbyist Out After Hiring Michael Cohen. truthdig.com Senior executive Bob Quinn will retire; CEO Randall Stephenson said the company made a "big mistake" in hiring President Trump's personal lawyer as a political consultant.

Barry Barnett (2018-05-11). An Urgent Appeal to Try Preventing War. counterpunch.org Of all the "mistakes" that Donald Trump has made since being selected president (not elected — see articles, books and films by Greg Palast, Harvey Wasserman and myself on how the Republican Party, Robert Mercer and others stole the 2016 election for Trump — not any Russians), the withdrawal of the United States from the More

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (2018-05-11). Narrative On Iran Defective At Its Core. iranian.com President Trump's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes as the culmination of years of flawed conversations about Iran's involvement in the Middle East. Yesterday, he stated that the deal was "defective at its core." In reality, the actual core defect lies in the political narrative on Iran in the United States, […]

Kristine Mattis (2018-05-11). The Game Never Named, the Addendum Never Spoken. counterpunch.org Remember that silly game we used to play with fortune cookies from Chinese restaurants? Maybe people still play it. It's the one where you read your fortune and tack on "… in bed" to the end of the sentence — like, "You will soon meet a mysterious stranger … in bed." The supplemental phrase usually More

Stephen Martin (2018-05-11). Neoliberal Defenestration and the Overton Window. counterpunch.org 'It is difficult to get Artificial Intelligence to understand something, when the Research and Development funding it depends upon its not understanding it'— Paraphrase of Upton Sinclair. defenestration (diÀêÀåf…õn…™Ààstre…™ É…ôn) n the act of throwing a person or thing out of a window [C17: from New Latin dƒìfenestrƒÅti≈ç, from Latin de- + fenestra window The freedictionary.com 'If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists of treating another human being More

Richard Moser (2018-05-11). The People Made the First New Deal. Can the People Make Another? counterpunch.org The kind of electoral victories we need will take far more than standard electioneering and Facebook debates. Let's look at what it took to create the New Deal so we can see just how challenging the task ahead is. During the Great Depression massive organizing efforts and protest movements were necessary just to reform the two-party system. New Deal history strongly suggests that the current dementer v. demexit debate is largely a waste of time until we organize movements powerful enough to upset the existing order. More

ANIS SHIVANI (2018-05-11). The Aesthetic Meaning of Trump's Wall. counterpunch.org "Your door is shut against my tightened face / And I am sharp as steel with discontent." — Claude McKay, "The White House" "I pity the poor immigrant / When his gladness comes to pass." — Bob Dylan, "Pity the Poor Immigrant" In the context of NAFTA, we must think of the Wall on the southern More

Franklin Lamb (2018-05-11). Palestinian Refugees Suffer Setback in Lebanon's Parliamentary Election. counterpunch.org Shatila Camp, Beirut Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have no right to vote and that has never been a significant issue with them. As refugees they are not citizens of Lebanon and have never sought naturalization. Rather, their focus continues to be on acquiring at least some elementary civil rights pending full return to their own More

David Macaray (2018-05-11). Flag-Burning. counterpunch.org Not to question the motives or earnestness of those good people who engage in it, but doesn't publicly burning the American flag in protest of government policy seem just a tad too….well, self-aggrandizing? A tad too self-congratulatory? Given that little or nothing is being risked by these "arsonists," doesn't it even reek a bit of More

Stavros Mavroudeas (2018-05-11). The Financialisation Hypothesis and Marxism: a Positive Contribution or a Trojan Horse? counterpunch.org Introduction The Financialisation Hypothesis (FH) is a popular argument in contemporary Heterodox Economics, Marxist Political Economy but also in Mainstream Economics. Its basic thesis is that modern capitalism has undergone a radical transformation during the last three decades. The financial system, through a series of innovative mechanisms, has conquered capitalism's commanding heights, became independent from More

Andrew Moss (2018-05-11). Fear and Opportunity in Immigration Politics. counterpunch.org With each passing week, the battle of words over immigration intensifies, as Trump administration officials continue honing their favorite rhetorical weapon: fear. This past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that people crossing the border illegally will be charged for criminal offenses instead of facing civil deportation proceedings, and that they will be separated from More

Darius Shahtahmasebi (2018-05-11). America Just Sent a Destructive Message to North Korea By Nuking the Iran Deal. mintpressnews.com Trump may believe he is sending a strong message to North Korea that he will not hesitate to reimpose sanctions and walk away from a deal if he has to, but the reality is that he has actually sent a very destructive message to both North Korea and Iran that the U.S. can't be trusted.

Dan Corjescu (2018-05-11). Marx, Science, and Values. counterpunch.org That Marx was a great, ground breaking revolutionary thinker is no longer at issue. The more interesting question is why some of his predictions did not come to pass. Many have tried to answer that question from Gramsci to Adorno to Habermas to Wallerstein. The questions are almost always the same: Why hasn't capitalism collapsed? More

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Watch MSNBC's Joy Reid Explain the Bizarre Connection Between Trump and Eric Schneiderman's Abuse Accusations. alternet.org It strains credulity — but somehow Trump is involved in the New York Attorney general's abuse scandal. | MSNBC's Joy Reid, filling in for Rachel Maddow Friday evening, explained the extremely convoluted twist to the Eric Schneiderman abuse allegations story that somehow — almost unbelievably — has ties to both President Donald Trump and his frequently newsworthy fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen. A new letter sent by lawyer Peter Gleason to the judge in Cohen case revealed the bizarre connection Friday. "Gleason says that between 2012 and 2013, he was contacted separately by two women who claim to have been 'victimized' by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman," she said. "Gleason tells the New York Times today that these two women are not among the four women whose accounts were reported in the New Yorker on Monday. "She continues: "Gleason says he did. . .

MPND (2018-05-11). Interview: Western-Trained Brazilian Troops Deepen Nightmare for Homeless Women of Rio. mintpressnews.com Thirty days into the army intervention in Rio and it has become clear that the situation has only worsened. Military operations are concentrated in the favelas, amplifying the use of repression against the poor, black population. So many beautiful lives are lost.

Howard Lisnoff (2018-05-11). Chaos or Community? counterpunch.org Racism remains a major force in the US. Those who employ the dog whistle of race on the right have known how effectively race can work as they vie for power. Nixon knew it with his southern strategy and Reagan knew it when he launched his first successful bid for the presidency in 1980. His More

Brian Terrell (2018-05-11). Two Interrogations, Gina Haspel and Adolf Eichmann. counterpunch.org On May 9, Gina Haspel, Donald Trump's choice for head of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified at her Senate confirmation hearing in Washington, DC. Some senators questioned her about her tenure, in 2002, as CIA station chief in Thailand. There, the agency ran one of the "black sites" where suspected al-Qaida extremists were interrogated using More

Jeffrey St. Clair (2018-05-11). Roaming Charges: The Torture Never Stops. counterpunch.org In a Wednesday morning tantrum, Trump threatened to take away press credentials from the White House press corps. Good. A credentialed press is an obedient & captive press, ever fearful of losing its precious access. Credentialing by the government is itself an abridgment of press freedom, a form of censorship. More

Jonah Raskin (2018-05-11). Captain Charles Moore: Oceanic Muckraker. counterpunch.org "Recycling is a myth. We are making more junk than we can reuse. Today, we only recycle 3% of the total production of our garbage." — Captain Charles Moore The reporters who built their reputations in the Golden Age of Muckraking raked muck on dry land, not at sea. Ida B. Wells, Ida Tarbell and More

Louis Proyect (2018-05-11). Capitalism: a Horror Movie. counterpunch.org As part of its special series celebrating the 200thbirthday of Karl Marx between May 18-22, the Anthology Film Archives will be screening "Capitalism", a 320-minute, six-part documentary that is both supremely intelligent and briskly entertaining, on May 20th at 3: 45. Directed by Ilan Ziv, the founder of Icarus Films, it is like no other film More

Kerry Eleveld, Daily Kos (2018-05-11). House Republicans Want to Straight-Up 'Break' the Actual System of Law Itself. alternet.org They're trying to dismantle the legal system. | House Republicans are attacking the Department of Justice and by extension the special counsel's Russia probe on so many fronts it's impossible to keep track. Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows's new tact is to push for a federal audit of Robert Mueller under the guise of oversight in order to get an unredacted copy of the "scope memo," which lays out the boundaries of his Russia investigation. The Washington Post writes: Meadows, speaking Thursday during a taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" that is to air Sunday, said he believed the audit is required under federal law and could not be completed without an unredacted copy of the memo written in August 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. [. . . ]Meadows and fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has pushed for weeks to. . .

Simon Floth (2018-05-11). Another Aptly Anti-Assange Article. counterpunch.org The antithesis of all journalistic decency has finally come to the dead end which he has relentlessly pursued for more than a decade. Ecuador has withdrawn both Assange's internet access and his accessibility to visitors for more than a month now. Naturally his enraged supporters are invoking a UN estimate of two weeks solitary confinement More

Katherine Krueger (2018-05-11). WaPo Positions Support for Torturer as Vote for Feminism. fair.org As the war over Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency has waged on this week, we've been gifted an incredible batch of corporate media apologias for the CIA's decades-long legacy of torture, extrajudicial killings and civil liberties violations. Perhaps most remarkably, these outlets have spent hundreds of words arguing that Haspel should be confirmed as the next director of the CIA—despite having overseen a black site prison where detainees were brutally tortured, and directing the destruction of evidence of this illegal and inhumane practice—because it's the feminist thing to do. | This was the perfect line for the Trump administration's Haspel push—a notion informed both by the Republicans' elementary understanding of identity politics and their obsession with calling out perceived liberal hypocrisy: After all, how could any self-respecting Democrat vote against a woman to usher the United States' international spying…

David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement (2018-05-11). Trump Is Threatening the Safety of Transgender Inmates with Obama Regulation Rollback. alternet.org Once again, we're using "biological sex" as a primary factor in housing. | The Trump administration has just rolled back regulations, mostly from the Obama era, designed to make transgender prisoners more safe. Going forward the Bureau of Prisons will not use an inmate's gender identity, but their biological sex in determining which cell blocks they will be housed in, and which bathrooms transgender inmates can use. "The designation to a facility of the inmate's identified gender would be appropriate only in rare cases," the new Transgender Offender Manual now says, as Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden, who broke the news Friday evening, reports. Holden adds that the new Trump "policy apparently gives federal officials, for example, more leeway to place transgender women in cells alongside men — a circumstance that transgender advocates argue leaves transgender inmates vulnerable to violence and. . .

Ben Lilliston (2018-05-11). A Farm Bill Lost in Never-Never Land. counterpunch.org As financial stress rises, suicide hotlines are spreading across farm country. Four straight years of low income, rising debt, and now fights with major trading partners are taking their toll on farmers and rural communities. Worse, Congress seems to be pretending these hardships don't exist. The Farm Bill, passed every five years, is the nation's More

James Munson (2018-05-11). Making the World Safe for Precarity. counterpunch.org Annually, since 1978, the World Bank has published a self-graded report card, with targets for growth, hokum about reducing poverty, and Xswhere to dig in the coming year. A draft of their rather bizarre 2019 WBR is now available, titled the 'Changing Nature of Work'. In the course of time our fear has risen from More

M. G. Piety (2018-05-11). Reflections on Mother's Day. counterpunch.org My father said he had no memory of his mother, none that is, except for one very vague, shadowing memory of being held by a woman who was standing at a stove, cooking something. He was the third of what would eventually be five children. His mother was seventeen when he was born. Alice Eugenia More

Elliott Gabriel (2018-05-11). Haley, Pence Convey US Message on Venezuela: Only Election Worth Holding is One that Results in Regime Change. mintpressnews.com "On May 20, without fail, presidential elections will take place in Venezuela and the people will defend their right to decide with votes, without interventions of any kind. The whole world will witness a new popular expression which will reaffirm the democratic character of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet (2018-05-11). Here's Why Trump Doesn't Fight Back Against Stormy Daniels' Lawyer. alternet.org Trump prides himself on going after his critics — but he leaves Michael Avenatti alone. | Michael Avenatti has become a near-ubiquitous presence on cable news in recent weeks and months, so much so that speculation has inevitably arisen suggesting he may get his own network show. This week he even broke a major story in his own right, revealing that President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen used a shell company since the election to take payments from major companies, including one backed by a Russian oligarch. But while Avenatti attracts substantial attention and has created serious problems for the president, Trump largely ignores the media-savvy attorney. Since Trump prides himself on "counterpunching" and going after his critics, it is suspicious that he remains silent on the man representing Stephanie Clifford, who is better known as Stormy Daniels. Clifford is suing Trump and Cohen. . .

Graham Peebles (2018-05-11). The Shame of Injustice. counterpunch.org Poverty is the greatest cause of death and illness globally; it strangles the lives of billions of people, denying the expression of innate potential, condemning men, women and children to live stunted uncreative lives of interminable suffering and drudgery. Whilst the numbers living in extreme poverty (the World Bank calculates this to be living on More

Gary Leupp (2018-05-11). Europe: Sorry, Iran, Trump Says We Can't Do Business with You. counterpunch.org Dear Iran: We regret to inform you we will have to cancel that $ 12 billion deal with you to provide civilian airliners for your people by Airbus. Airbus has been informed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that its existing license to do business in Iran "will be revoked." The U.S. ambassador to Germany More

Staff (2018-05-11). Latest Round of Climate Talks Didn't Move the Needle Much, Delegates Say. truthdig.com The Bonn climate talks, a crucial round of UN negotiations on pumping up the muscle of the global treaty on tackling climate change, the Paris Agreement, has ended in Germany. | Participants heading for home know they have a daunting workload ahead, with too few solid outcomes achieved in the last 10 days. But despite the absence of the US government, described by some as "missing in action" after Donald Trump's repudiation of the Paris treaty, many still hope that Bonn has proved a useful prelude to the next climate summit. | This dogged optimism apart, the organisers, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), alarmed at Bonn's lack of progress, are arranging an unusual extra week of talks in Bangkok in September to help the world leaders who will meet in Katowice in Poland in December…

Sam Biddle (2018-05-11). Experts Say Keep Amazon's Alexa Away From Your Kids. theintercept.com What's the best way to keep adults from questioning the use of a deeply problematic product? Get them started when they're too young to question anything. Amazon has a new addition to its line of voice-commanded artificial intelligence Alexa assistants, marketed for use by children as young as 5 years old, who can barely grasp a box of juice, let alone digital privacy. Now, a coalition of children's privacy and psychology advocates are warning parents away from Amazon's latest, cutest device, saying it could normalize surveillance and harm children's mental development. | The Echo Dot for kids is functionally identical to the Echo Dot for adults, except that it's brightly colored and inexplicably costs $30 more than the grown-up version. Cosmetics aside, Echo Dot is still an AI-powered microphone that listens constantly for an activation keyword, relays a user's voice to remote servers…

RT (2018-05-11). CIA veteran McGovern dragged from Haspel hearing tells RT details of his arrest (VIDEO). rt.com Former CIA officer Ray McGovern has been released by a court after being dragged out of Gina Haspel's Senate confirmation hearing. He told RT the arrest caused him injury and that he had taken the hearing's chairman "at his word."
RT.com

RT (2018-05-11). Date from hell: Woman arrested for stalking, threats, and 65,000 texts to online dating match. rt.com Jacqueline Claire Ades took to online dating to find love and settle down. After obsessive stalking, threats, and 65,000 text messages to her match, she's now imprisoned in Arizona awaiting trial.
RT.com

RT (2018-05-11). Worst meddler ever? 'Russian' Facebook ads 'trolling US election' went completely unseen. rt.com As US politicians accuse Russia of planting divisive Facebook ads during the election, they're unwilling to acknowledge that many of those ads weren't seen by a single soul, or were mere reprints of reports in US mainstream media.
RT.com

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-11). Tanzania's Clawback on Rights. hrw.org Tanzania's President John Magufuli leaves after inspecting a guard of honour during his official visit to Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya | Tanzania's President John Magufuli took office in October 2015 promising to stamp out government corruption and to be accountable to ordinary citizens. Instead, in a country that had been considered a leader in the region on human rights, he has restricted free expression, association, and assembly. | On Thursday, 65 independent organizations sent the president a letter urging him to protect "rights which are crucial to civic space." The groups highlight recent cases of harassment of journalists, human rights activists, and opposition politicians and say that recent laws and regulations criminalize freedom of expression on both social and traditional media. | The range of concerns raised in Thursday's letter illustrate…

RT (2018-05-11). Suspect in custody after California police respond to high school shooting reports. rt.com A 14-year-old hispanic male has been taken into custody after police responded to a reported active shooter at a high school in Palmdale, California. |
RT.com

Human Rights Watch (2018-05-11). Brazil: New Evidence of Army Role in Rio Ambush. hrw.org A military vehicle is pictured during an operation after violent clashes between drug gangs in Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 23, 2017. | © 2017 Bruno Kelly/Reuters | New accounts by witnesses suggest that the killers of a group of people in a poor neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro on November 11, 2017, were members of the army special forces, Human Rights Watch said today. | Human Rights Watch interviewed two witnesses and reviewed witness accounts from case files indicating that the clothing and gear of the killers were the same as those of the army personnel who arrived on the scene minutes later. | "Today marks six months of suffering for the survivors and for the families of those killed in Complexo do Salgueiro," said Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil…

Maha Ahmed (2018-05-11). Aided by Palantir, the LAPD Uses Predictive Policing to Monitor Specific People and Neighborhoods. theintercept.com A new report details the Los Angeles Police Department's use of algorithms to identify "hot spots" and "chronic offenders" and target them for surveillance.

Last Process: 100 Citations 2018-05-12 07:24:31 GMT (01:25 MDT)

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