Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Counties, Including in Latin America
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir earlier this month when he said the Bush administration ran an "executive assassination ring" that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. "Under President Bush's authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving," Hersh said. Seymour Hersh joins us to explain.
"The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience"
The current financial crisis is widely described as the nation's worst since the Great Depression. With the comparisons to the 1930s has come a renewed focus on the New Deal, the government initiative of social programs and public service jobs launched by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A new book argues that no voice in the FDR administration was more influential in shaping the New Deal than Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, the first-ever woman cabinet member in the United States. The book is called The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience. We speak with author Kirstin Downey.
Rep. McDermott: "The Medical-Industrial Complex in this Country is Bigger than the Military-Industrial Complex" - We speak with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), a leading advocate for a single-payer healthcare system, about healthcare reform on Capitol Hill. McDermott also speaks about his recent trip to Afghanistan and his thoughts on President Obama’s escalation of the war.
R.I.P. Women's Movement, - By Tracy Clark-Flory, for Salon.com , March 31 - Breaking news: The women's movement died early Monday morning at the ripe old age of 160. It is survived by innumerable offspring (including many estranged descendants who took its existence for granted). Services have not been scheduled, as its loved ones are still in total denial...more
Afghanistan legalizes marital rape - By Tracy Clark-Flory, for Salon.com April 1, 2009-Shortly after Hillary Clinton called the failure of U.S. aid to Afghanistan "heartbreaking," there came some illustrative news: President Hamid Karzai has legalized rape within marriage. You might ask, nervously: This is a sick April Fool's joke, right? Sadly, no, this is a sick reality...more
12,000 rape kits, untested - By Abigail Kramer for Salon.com , April the 1st. And now for something completely frustrating: While prosecutors across the country indict teens for taking topless pictures of themselves, police departments in Los Angeles ignore evidence that could help prosecute thousands of cases of violent rape.
Tracy Clark-Flory first wrote about the LAPD rape kits backlog in October, but since then the numbers have gotten even worse: Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday that more than 12,000 rape kits are sitting around untested in L.A. County police departments and crime labs..more...
Antiabortion stunt girl strikes again By Lillian Bixler, for Salon.com, March 25, 2009 - Brianna is 13 years old and seeking an abortion after getting knocked up by her 31-year-old boyfriend. Lizzie is 15; the father of her unborn baby is 27. The twist: These girls aren’t who they say they are. Instead, they’re college-age pro-life activists who fake pregnancy at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country in order to reveal that the organization isn’t following minor abuse reporting laws. Uh-huh, they're still at it...more (and video)
Embryo nation - By Lynn Harris for Salon.com, March 25, 2009 - Thought you could snark away recent efforts to establish the "personhood" of a fertilized egg with a couple of North Dakota jokes? Think again. The "personhood" movement is gaining quasi-hip grass-roots momentum. Legislators in five states have introduced bills that would grant constitutional rights to the "pre-born" from the moment of fertilization; ...more (and video)
Does less money mean more abortions? - By Judy Berman, for Salon.com, March 26, 2009 - Yesterday, anti-choice publications were abuzz following an Associated Press article reporting that the recession may be causing an increase in abortions. Here is how the Catholic News Agency spins it:
Responding to reports that more financially troubled women are seeking abortions, pro-life leaders have criticized the 'pseudo-compassion' which presents abortion as an answer to personal economic turmoil. Emphasizing that abortion signals that women’s needs are not being met, they called for more help for pregnant mothers, pregnancy centers and fathers.
If there's one thing that pro- and anti-choice factions can agree on, it's that pregnant women and their families need more public support...more
FROM THE PROGRESS REPORT/ COMMON DREAMS
We Shouldn't Militarize the US/Mexico Border - by Yolanda Chávez Leyva, Published on Friday, March 27, 2009 by The Progressive - We should not send troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, despite the drug-related violence on the Mexican side.
President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and a variety of other government officials have discussed the possibility of sending the National Guard. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has requested 1,000 troops on his southern border.
To be sure, violence has risen dramatically across the border in the past year and a half. There have been almost 2,000 murders since the beginning of last year in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, across from my hometown of El Paso in Texas.
I hear stories from friends and acquaintances almost daily of the robberies, kidnappings, carjackings and shootouts.
The local university has undertaken a study of women in Juarez who are experiencing post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of living in the chaos of ever-increasing violence.
While once a frequent visitor to Juarez, I haven't crossed the border in months. I grew up on the Texas-Mexico border, but I have never seen this level of violence on the Mexican side.
But do I want troops sent to the border in the name of protecting me? No...more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2009 Contact: Enough Project Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376 firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategy Paper: Can You Hear Congo Now?
Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals, and the Worst Sexual Violence in the World - The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress today issued a call to action on "conflict minerals" that are mined in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, sold by rebel groups to purchase arms, and serve as a direct cause of widespread sexual violence in that country.
In a new strategy paper authored by Co-founder John Prendergast, Enough called for electronics companies to endorse a pledge that they will manufacture their products without conflict minerals and make their supply chains subject to a transparent audit. Enough also urged activists around the world to endorse a similar pledge calling on companies to examine their business practices. "The deadly nexus in the Democratic Republic of Congo between conflict, sexual violence, and resource exploitation is undeniable," notes the strategy paper, Can You Hear Congo Now? Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals, and the Worst Sexual Violence in the World...more
Civil rights -Vermont governor announces that he will veto marriage equality bill: Claiming he wants to focus on more pressing issues, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas (R) announced yesterday that he will veto a marriage equality bill moving quickly through the state's legislature. The state Senate "overwhelmingly approved the bill" last week, and the House is expected to approve it soon. "During these extraordinary times the speculation about my decision has added to the anxiety of the moment and further diverts attention from our most pressing issues," he said, adding, "I cannot allow that to happen." Nevertheless, Douglas allowed "speculation" about his decision whether or not he would veto the bill to linger for weeks. Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith (D) said that Douglas' action at this stage in the legislative process is "really undermining democracy in some respects." Since Democrats have the votes to override the veto, Douglas's plans only drag out the process unnecessarily. Beth Robinson, an attorney with the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, argued that the marriage equality bill directly benefits more "pressing issues" such as the economy. "This is not a distraction from our economic situation, it is one factor in a multi-pronged approach," Robinson said. "The state of Massachusetts, for instance, has used its gay marriage statute as a way to attempt to draw workers in technology fields from California." Indeed, a 2008 UCLA study found that allowing same-sex marriage would have boosted California's economy by $683.6 million over three years, allowing for industries to create over 2,100 new jobs.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered "a blunt mea culpa," in Mexico yesterday saying that U.S. "anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border." "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," she said, adding, "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border" arms the drug warriors.
USA Today reports that "[t]he nation's immigration courts are now so clogged that nearly 90,000 people accused of being in the United States illegally waited at least two years for a judge to decide whether they must leave. The cases "are emblematic of delays in the little-known court system that lawyers and lawmakers say is on the verge of being overwhelmed."
The Silence Surrounding Sri Lanka - by Arundhati Roy, Published on March 31, 2009 by The Boston Globe - New Delhi - The horror that is unfolding in Sri Lanka becomes possible because of the silence that surrounds it. There is almost no reporting in the international press - or in the mainstream media in India, where I live - about what is happening. From the little information that is filtering through, it looks as though the Sri Lankan government is using the propaganda of "the war on terror" as a fig leaf to dismantle any semblance of democracy in the country and commit unspeakable crimes against the Tamil people.
The government is working on the principle that every Tamil is a terrorist unless he or she can prove otherwise, and civilian areas, hospitals, and shelters are being bombed and turned into a war zone. Reliable estimates put the number of civilians trapped at over 200,000. The Sri Lankan army is advancing, armed with tanks and aircraft...more
Number of Chronically Hungry Tops 1 Billion - by Javier Blas, Published on March 27, 2009 by Financial Times.- London - The number of chronically hungry people has surpassed the 1bn mark for the first time as the economic crisis compounds the impact of high food prices, the United Nations' top agriculture official has warned.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that the increasing numbers of undernourished people could trigger political instability in developing countries.
"The issue of world food security is an issue of peace and national security," he said, urging world leaders who are discussing ways to resolve the economic crisis not to forget that last year more than 30 countries suffered food riots...more
Rage to Reform. Why policymakers need to hear the nation's anger.
by Medea Benjamin, Published on March 26, 2009 by Newsweek - A U.S. Capitol Police officer stopped me as I tried to make my way inside the House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on AIG compensation last week wearing a sign pinned to my butt that read, "Bonus? My ass!" "I was told by the committee that you can't go in with signs that have profanity," the officer said. "So you'll have to take that off." Then, as I unpinned the sign from my skirt, he whispered, "Not that I don't agree with you."
Members of Codepink, or "the pink ladies," as Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski of the finance subcommittee called us, became a fixture in congressional chambers during the Bush administration, protesting the war in Iraq. We gave voice to the general public sentiment that had turned against the war long before Congress did. We embodied the public outrage that helped sweep Barack Obama into the White House.
Today, while Codepink still rallies and lobbies for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've become vocal-and visible-opponents of Wall Street bailouts...more
Pro-Choice Americans Prevail in First-Ever Congressional Vote on So-Called "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"
Senate vote coincides with NARAL Pro-Choice America’s effort to urge DNC chairman and Virginia
Gov. Tim Kaine to veto bill that would fund similar organizations
Washington - March 26 - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed the Senate for resoundingly rejecting an amendment to a national-service bill that would have encouraged anti-choice organizations to apply for federal funding.
Last night's amendment offered by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), which failed by a vote of 41 to 56, would have made so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" explicitly eligible for federal funding for the first time ever. Many CPCs use deceptive, intimidating, and emotionally manipulative tactics to block women from learning the facts about, or choosing, legal abortion...more
FROM MOTHER JONES
Feminism's Frankensteins - By Debra J. Dickerson | March 31, 2009
"Feminism's Frankensteins" is Courtney E. Martin's phrase, not mine. And she's right.
Writing in TAP, she argues that, "The era of the singular feminist agenda is over. But that doesn't mean gender-based activism is."
If it's Tuesday, that means the feminist movement has been declared DOA again. This time, though, the analysis is actually worthy. Usually what that means is that women are not, and perhaps never were, discriminated against; the movement is over because it is no longer, or never was, needed. In other words: Bitches, quit your bitching. The absolute worst of these 'feminism is dead' dirges are the ones written by young female wannabees with nothing to offer the world but their quest for unearned fame. Martin's saying something quite different. Attending an old school feminist forum, she writes:Now these women are older, many of them happily shifting into what Jane Fonda calls "the third act"—a stage of life when they don't give a shit what anyone else thinks, ..more
Corn on "Hardball": Palin Attacks with Prayer - By David Corn for MotherJones.com, March 26, 2009 - At a recent speech in Alaska before a Republican crowd, Governor Sarah Palin complained that during the presidential race last year she had no one on the McCain campaign with whom she could pray at a crucial moment. (And in a big shocker, she slammed the media for treating her unfairly.) Then there's GOP chairman Michael Steele, who says he might consider running for president--that is, if God gives him a sign. What's with all this God-talk from GOPers with less-than-impressive track records as political leaders? On Thursday night, we hashed it out on Hardball:..more and video
I Married an Illegal Immigrant: A First-Hand Account of How Screwed Up This Country's Rules for Foreigners Are - By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, Posted on March 30, 2009, - Immigration is an issue that always spurs heated debates. There are some decent arguments floating around, some kooky ones and one that reveals that the person making it is utterly clueless about the issue. That argument, in a nutshell, is that the system's fine.
Sure, there are around 11 million people in this country illegally; sure, many toil away in horrific conditions without any legal protections; yes, we detain suspected illegal immigrants (children included) -- meaning some number of legal immigrants and citizens as well -- in obscene conditions that human rights groups say violate international norms and, yes, those citizens who employ undocumented workers do so with something very close to impunity...more
OMG Gitmo! Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo Bay, Finds it 'Relaxing' 'Calm and Beautiful' - By Liliana Segura, AlterNet, Posted on March 30, 2009,
This post originally appeared in PEEK. - Ever wondered what it takes to be Miss Universe? Thanks to Venezuela's Dayana Mendoza, we can now be sure it's not a finely tuned sense of current events. The reigning beauty queen visited Guantanamo Bay last week, courtesy of the U.S.O, and, in a truly astonishing feat of self-parody, wrote the following description of her trip, including rave reviews of the jails, the military dogs, and of course, the beaches. I am posting it in its entirety, in case the original post is removed for being just too damn embarrassing to beauty queens everywhere. (Perhaps somewhere Miss Teen South Carolina is feeling a little bit better.)...more
The Woman Who Could Nail Bush: Are the Worst of the Torture Memos Still to Come?
By Scott Horton, The Daily Beast, Posted on March 30, 2009 - Until recently, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, often considered the “brains” of the department, has been known mostly to legal experts. But for the past eight years, it was the epicenter of allegations of political manipulation and, worse, the source of infamous memoranda on torture. In tapping Eric Holder as attorney general, President Obama has promised to restore standards of professionalism to the department. For Republicans, this is tantamount to a declaration of partisan war. more...
FROM THE VILLAGE VOICE
The AIDS-Babies-as-Guinea-Pigs Story Is Finally Over. Right?
By Elizabeth Dwoskin for The Village Voice, March 31st 2009 - On January 27, The New York Times published a short article that was clearly intended toprovide the final, definitive word on a controversy over the medical treatment of AIDS babies that, just a few years earlier, gripped much of the city.
Using the kind of vocabulary that cautious journalists rarely use with such certainty, the Times asserted that a new study by a nonprofit research institute had settled questions about whether foster children at a convent in Washington Heights had actually been killed in drug trials...more
Cuba: Reflexión de las diferencias a las violencias - Por Dixie Edith - Se basa en desigualdades, ocurre en diferentes ámbitos, de maneras diversas, y para que exista debe haberse comprobado un daño físico o psicológico. A grandes rasgos, ese fue el concepto colectivo de violencia de género que construyeron quienes participaron en un taller de prevención de la violencia de género en las familias, realizado a inicios de marzo en La Habana...
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Argentina: Aprobada ley contra la violencia hacia las mujeres - Por Norma Loto - Finalmente, las argentinas tienen una ley que previene la violencia en todas sus formas. El pasado 11 de marzo, la Cámara de Diputados de la Nación convirtió en ley un proyecto que ya contaba con media sanción de la Cámara de Senadores, desde noviembre de 2008. La Ley de Protección Integral para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres define, de manera clara, todas las tipologías de violencia que sufren las mujeres, desde la intrafamiliar hasta la económica, pasando por la del ámbito institucional, la ejercida por los medios y otras.
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REPORTAJES ESPECIALES (todos en: www.redsemlac.net y www.redsemlac-cuba.net )
-Colombia: Estudio define factores de vulnerabilidad al VIH-sida en las mujeres
-Salud: Prevenir la diabetes en personas invidentes
-Uruguay: Trabajadoras domésticas con reclamos desde Suramérica
-Guatemala: Buscan proteger los lugares mayas de adoración
Costa Rica: De "gatas con botas" y "caperucitos rojos"
Día Internacional de las Trabajadoras del Hogar . Trabajadoras del hogar: 5 por ciento tiene contrato y .01 IMSS - CIMAC | México DF.- Las trabajadoras del hogar, quienes representan 96.6 por ciento de más de un millón 716 mil 934 personas dedicadas a esta labor, ejercen su oficio sin ninguna garantía social, en un ambiente de discriminación, maltrato y acoso sexual donde quien define las condiciones de trabajo es el patrón.
DF: 2 millones de trabajadoras del hogar proceden de zonas rurales
Erradicarán mensajes que justifican problema cultural . ONU presenta campaña contra la violencia en el noviazgo - CIMAC | México, DF.- La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), a través de su Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA) ,en conjunto con el Instituto Mexicano de la Juventud (IMJ), presenta la Estrategia de Prevención de la Violencia en las Relaciones de Noviazgo, un fenómeno alarmante del que dan cuenta las estadísticas del Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI).
Iraní cegada por su novio obtiene “justicia”: a él le cegarán solo uno
Derechos sexuales y reproductivos, mínimo avance, gran retroceso - CIMAC | México DF.- En la Conferencia Internacional de Población y Desarrollo (CIPD) de Naciones Unidas, conocida como Cairo+15, que inicia hoy en Nueva York, México tendrá que explicar por qué cambió y retrasó la Norma Oficial Mexicana 046 para atender a las víctimas de violencia sexual y por qué se reformaron las constituciones de cinco estados para hacer imposible cualquier forma de interrupción legal del embarazo (ILE), aún en casos de violación de niñas, riesgo de muerte para la mujer o malformación congénita.
DESDE ALIANZA POR TUS DERECHOS
COSTA RICA: Desde medios de comunicación se combatirá trata de personas -Conocer el contexto en el que se desarrolla la trata de personas, evitar la re-victimización a la hora de informar sobre estos casos y procurar brindar un enfoque humanista a las noticias, fueron parte de los temas que desarrolló el Taller "Trata de Personas en Costa Rica" para periodistas.
ESPAÑA: El miedo de las esclavas sexuales, también en España - Las víctimas de las mafias de la prostitución siguen llegando de América Latina y Europa del Este y caen en estas redes: las amenazan, fomentan que consuman alcohol y drogas y las tratan como esclavas. Salir es casi imposible y apenas se atreven a denunciar.
COLOMBIA: Menores entre 7 y 18 años víctimas favoritas del tráfico humano - Los menores entre los siete y los 18 años son las víctimas favoritas de la trata de personas en Colombia, con fines de prostitución principalmente, y los destinos preferidos de las redes de ese delito son, en su orden, Ecuador, España, Japón y EEUU, según un estudio presentado hoy en Bogotá.
BOLIVIA: Pornografía por internet e impunidad - La pornografía infantil, en una de sus definiciones más aceptadas, está tipificada por el Protocolo Facultativo de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño como ?toda representación, por cualquier medio, de un niño dedicado a actividades sexuales explícitas, reales o simuladas, o toda representación de los genitales de un niño con fines? sexuales?
UNION EUROPEA: Nuevas normas en la UE contra la explotación sexual infantil - La Comisión Europea (CE) presentó dos propuestas de nuevas normas para reforzar la lucha contra la trata de seres humanos y el abuso y explotación sexual de niñas y niños, poniendo especial atención en la pornografía contra la infancia.
EL SALVADOR: Ocuparse más y mejor de los niños y los jóvenes - La atención a la niñez y a la adolescencia ha estado limitada a programas específicos, que van y vienen según consideraciones políticas circunstanciales.
HONDURAS: Niños y adolescentes son el patrimonio - Los niños y adolescentes deben ser considerados como el primer patrimonio con que cuenta Honduras para salir del subdesarrollo y la clase política debe incluirlos con políticas claras en el Plan de Nación que discutirá el Congreso Nacional en los próximos días.
COLOMBIA: Paras, principales explotadores sexuales de los menores - Los corrillos que se escuchaban en Córdoba relacionados con las orgías que protagonizaban menores en los campamentos paramilitares y luego en la zona de diálogos se confirman con los resultados de un estudio que investigó la explotación sexual a menores.
MERCOSUR: Explotación sexual lidera problema de infancia - Secretaría de la Niñez y Adolescencia pidió apoyo para encarar proyectos. ..Y MAS EN: www.alianzaportusderechos.org