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Cuba: Más huracanes, ¿otro lado feo del cambio climático? - Por Raquel Sierra- Yaremis Orta vive en una pequeña loma, cercana al poblado de San Diego de los Baños, en Pinar del Río, unos 80 kilómetros al oeste de La Habana. Hoy tiene una casa nueva, de tablas de palma. La vieja se la llevaron los vientos de Gustav, uno de los huracanes que hicieron estragos en Cuba, en 2008.
Bolivia: Bosques en peligro constante- Por Helen Álvarez Virreira - Bolivia cuenta con una Ley Forestal desde hace 12 años; sin embargo, la tala ilegal y el tráfico de maderas preciosas no han disminuido, y persisten las quemas, a pesar de que, simultáneamente, el país se colocó en el primer lugar del mundo en la certificación de sus bosques para el manejo sostenible.
Chile: Mujeres llaman por información sobre aborto - Por Tamara Vidaurrázaga - Para obtener información segura sobre aborto con medicamentos, diariamente 10 mujeres de entre 18 y 35 años de edad utilizan la línea telefónica que lanzó a fines de mayo la Red de Salud Mujeres Chile, con el objetivo de facilitar el acceso a tales datos en un país donde esta práctica es ilegal en todos los casos. "Esta es una acción más de las muchas que ha realizado el movimiento feminista en Chile para exigirle a la clase política que abra el debate sobre el tema.
Colombia: Primera mujer general de la Policía - Por Ángela Castellanos Aranguren - Tiene 48 años, 29 de servicio en la Policía, 49 felicitaciones, 19 reconocimientos y, ahora, el grado de general. Es Luz Marina Bustos, quien se convirtió en la primera generala de la Policía y de la historia de las fuerzas armadas de Colombia.
Cuba : Enriqueta Favez, una vida contra las convenciones sociales - Por Sara Más - Travestida de hombre sirvió como cirujano en las guerras napoleónicas, en el siglo XIX; ejerció la Medicina en la oriental provincia cubana de Baracoa y sufrió prisión en La Habana. Por si fuera poco, Enriqueta Favez terminó en un convento de monjas en Nueva Orleans, Estados Unidos, y se hizo misionera en México.
Atentado contra la ciencia y las mujeres, leyes antiaborto: AMC / Insostenible, considerar el cigoto como una persona, destacan expertos / México retrocede al aprobar reformas que incluso impiden investigar con células madres - Emir Olivares Alonso para La Jornada, junio 24 2009 - Las reformas contra el aborto que se han realizado en 12 entidades del país no tienen sustento científico, van contra las garantías de las mujeres y vulneran la Constitución, el Estado laico y el derecho de investigación, advierten científicos de la Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (AMC).
México: Sufren algún tipo de violencia 70% de las unidas en pareja, dice el grupo Fortaleza/ Cada día llegan 2 mil víctimas a refugios instalados en todo el país - Carolina Gómez Mena para La Jornada, junio 24 2009 - En México, 70 por ciento de las mujeres unidas en pareja refieren haber padecido algún tipo de violencia, y cerca de 40 por ciento la sufren en grado extremo, particularmente agresiones físicas, sicológicas y sexuales, que ponen en riesgo su vida e incluso la de sus hijos.
Aumentan las violaciones en el Congo - Dos hechos que tuvieron lugar a lo largo del último medio año permitían albergar la esperanza de un cambio en la región oriental de la República Democrática del Congo, que lleva sumida en la violencia desde que millones de refugiados cruzaran la frontera tras el genocidio en Ruanda en 1994. Un conflicto que se ha cobrado la vida de más de cinco millones de personas y que se perpetúa en buena medida debido a minerales como el coltán.
"Cuando ya no pueda pensar, quiero que me ayuden a morir con dignidad" - Miguel Mora, 18/04/2009 - El 22 de abril cumple 100 años Rita Levi-Montalcini. La científica italiana, premio Nobel de Medicina, soltera y feminista perpetua -"yo soy mi propio marido", dijo siempre- y senadora vitalicia produce todavía más fascinación cuando se la conoce de cerca. Apenas oye y ve con dificultad, pero no para: investiga, da conferencias, ayuda a los menos favorecidos, y conversa y recuerda con lucidez asombrosa.
One in Four Men in South Africa Admit Rape, Survey Finds - By David Smith, The Guardian. Posted June 20, 2009.,- One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country's endemic culture of sexual violence. Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year.
A Prison Nightmare / A federal commission offers useful standards for preventing sexual abuse behind bars.- Washington Post Ed., , June 23, 2009 - When T.J. Parsell was sentenced to four years in adult prison in 1978, he was 17 years old. Less than a day after he arrived, a group of inmates forced him to drink Thorazine and raped him. For years too traumatized and terrified to come forward, he testified years later that the rape "had stolen my manhood, my identity, and part of my soul."
Was the Economic Meltdown a Crisis of Masculinity Run Amuck? It's Time for Women to Step In - By Courtney E. Martin, AlterNet, Posted on June 27, 2009 - Everywhere you look these days, someone is making a case for why the latest economic shake up could be a tremendous gift in the long run. No one is pushing that point of view more enthusiastically than feminists, who see a great opportunity for gender equality in these uncertain economic times. The big boys have been humbled and the women emboldened by the financial meltdown. In fact, a new report by the National Council for Research on Women argues that the economic crisis was caused by a perfect storm of things, but was in part, a result of masculinity run amuck.
Women Are Risking -- and Losing -- Their Lives On the Front Lines of the Iran Uprising -
By Barbara Crossette, The Nation, Posted on June 24, 2009 - As Iran's government lashed out today at its foreign critics, people around the world were lighting candles and laying flowers at makeshift shrines to the political opposition's first "martyr" in the battle against the hardliners of the Islamic Republic. In every way the unwitting victim, Neda Agha-Soltan, has become a powerful if tragic icon of a new Iran. She was a young woman of 26, and she died Saturday wearing tight jeans and running shoes, her head uncovered as she fell from the gunshot that killed her. Male strangers rushed to help her, ignoring draconian religious taboos.
'Courageous' Women Front Iran's Resistance - by Cathal Kelly, Published on , June 24, 2009 by the Toronto Star/Canada - The brutal death of the young Tehran woman Neda Agha-Soltani continued to prompt revulsion inside and outside Iran yesterday, but it also drew more attention to the role the women's movement has played in the current uprising. "We have seen courageous women stand up to brutality and threats, and we have experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death in the streets," U.S. President Barack Obama said at a White House news conference yesterday, noting the recent events in Iran. "While the loss is raw and painful, we also know this: those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history."
In Iran, One Woman's Death May Have Many Consequences - By Robin Wright for Time_CNN, Jun. 21, 2009- Iran's revolution has now run through a full cycle. A gruesomely captivating video of a young woman — laid out on a Tehran street after apparently being shot, blood pouring from her mouth and then across her face — swept Twitter, Facebook and other websites this weekend. The woman rapidly became a symbol of Iran's escalating crisis, from a political confrontation to far more ominous physical clashes. Some sites refer to the woman as Neda, Farsi for "the voice" or "the call." Tributes that incorporate startlingly up-close footage of her dying have started to spring up on YouTube.
Although it is not yet clear who shot Neda (a soldier? a pro-government militant? an accidental misfiring?), her death may have changed everything. The cycles of mourning in Shi'ite Islam actually provide a schedule for political combat — a way to generate or revive momentum. Shi'ite Muslims mourn their dead on the third, seventh and 40th days after a death, and these commemorations are a pivotal part of Iran's rich history. During the revolution, the pattern of confrontations between the Shah's security forces and the revolutionaries often played out in 40-day cycles. (See pictures of violence used as intimidation in Iran.)
Neda, Obama, Iran -- and the rest of us - The president has condemned the government and said the U.S. "stands with" protesters. What more does the GOP want? / by Joan Walsh for Salon.com, Jun. 23, 2009 | Iranians in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, light candles in front of the image of Neda Agha Soltani, who was reportedly shot to death during a protest in Tehran Saturday.
I haven't been able to shake the image of the Iranian martyr, 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, dying, live, on a cellphone video in Tehran on Saturday. The way her eyes follow the camera -- follow us, the global bystanders, seeming to demand that we do something -- has haunted me ever since.
Is the burqa a prison? / Sarkozy says it is. But wouldn't a ban be just another attack on women's freedom? - by Tracy Clark-Flory for Salon.com, Jun. 22, 2009 | The burqa imprisons women "behind netting," deprives them of their identity and social life, and is entirely unwelcome in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Monday in a speech before parliament. In response, the crowd of sober legislators went wild with applause. "The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women," Sarkozy continued. "We cannot accept that some women in our country are prisoners behind a grille, cut off from social life, deprived of their identity."
Somalia Declares State of Emergency After Intense Fighting *From Democracy Now - In Somalia, thousands have fled the capital of Mogadishu as government forces continue to fight opposition Islamist fighters. Fierce street fighting over the past month has claimed hundreds of lives. Just last week, bombs killed two lawmakers, the country's security minister, the police commander of Mogadishu and nearly two dozen civilians. We speak to Somali American writer and human rights activist Sadia Ali Aden. Listen/Watch/Read:http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/22/somalia_declared_state_of_emergency_after
Vice and Spice - By Maureen Dowd for The New York Times, June 24, 2009 - Washington - Sneaking a smoke now and again is not the worst presidential flaw imaginable. Our president is positively monkish compared with Silvio Berlusconi, whose Vesuvial vices spurred a trio of women academics in Italy to write an “Appeal to the First Ladies.” It urges Michelle Obama and other wives of world leaders to boycott next month’s G-8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, to protest the Italian prime minister’s “sexist” and “offensive” manner toward women. One of the things the petitioners objected to, according to The Times of London, was Berlusconi’s attempt to put up actresses and showgirls as candidates in the European elections (not to mention as allegedly remunerated ornaments for wild parties at his posh villas).
VIDEO: Michael Savage Feels Oppressed - The shock jock is worried that the "Christian heterosexual married male" is under attack. / Posted by Melissa McEwan, Shakesville June 18, 2009 - "The white Christian heterosexual married male is the epitome of everything right with America, and yet it is the white Christian heterosexual married male who has been made the beast of America." - Michael Savage, who, like most conservatives, doesn't understand that it's not being white that's bad, but privileging whiteness, and it's not being Christian that's bad, but privileging Christianity, and it's not being straight that's bad, but privileging straightness, and it's not being married that's bad, but privileging marriage, and it's not being male that's bad, but privileging men and maleness. What's bad is not being these things, but benefiting from the undeserved privilege conferred upon them. The beast is not the white Christian heterosexual married male, but the white person, or the Christian person, or the heterosexual person, or the married person, or the man who sits on hir laurels not challenging the institutions that grant them a birthright of unearned privilege, access, and opportunity. ( Check it out Michael Savage video here!)
FBI says child porn found on Von Brunn's computer - New court documents could reveal another side to the alleged Holocaust Museum shooter . - Alex Koppelman for Salon.com, Jun. 19, 2009 | More sad, but in a way unsurprising, news from the ongoing saga surrounding alleged Holocaust Museum shooter James Von Brunn. The Associated Press is reporting that, in a search of a computer taken from Von Brunn's home, the FBI found child porn. The court documents don't give any further details about the nature of the material, or the quantity, and it's not necessarily the 88-year-old's computer. But if it is, and if it turns out he was seeking out child porn, it would be just one more piece in Von Brunn's already long and disturbing history. His story seems to have ended in tragedy, with the death of a museum guard, but it provides a fascinating, though chilling, psychological portrait of a man consumed by demons and lost in his own hatred.
Why are conservatives such hypocrites about sex? - Our undercover Wingnut explains why John Ensign, David Vitter and Newt Gingrich still have political careers - By Glenallen Walken for Salon.com - Editor's note: "Ask a Wingnut" is written by a real live conservative and former Bush official who chooses to remain anonymous. Each week "Glenallen Walken" will bridge the cultural divide and answer questions from liberals about why conservatives think and do what they think and do. If you would like to submit a question to "Ask a Wingnut," send it to mschone (at) salon (dot) com.
Jun. 22, 2009 | Dear Wingnut, I'm perplexed. Should David Vitter and John Ensign resign from the Senate or just retire at the end of their respective terms (like Larry Craig)? Should the thrice-married Newt Gingrich really be running for president? I thought the GOP was the party of social conservatism. How come your side can't walk it like you talk it? Yours truly, Rachel
Rating the Greatest GOP Sex Scandals of the Past 20 Years - By Brad Reed, AlterNet, Posted on June 26, 2009 - Give this to Republicans: They know how to conduct sex scandals in style.Oh sure, Democrats have their sex scandals, but they're not nearly as interesting. For one thing, most Democrats busted in sex scandals aren't the same type of overbearing moral scolds as your average GOP politician. (The one recent exception was former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, whose work shutting down prostitution rings left him open to charges of bald hypocrisy when he was caught rendezvousing with a prostitute himself.)
Right-Wing Extremists Threaten Women's Rights All Over the World - By Gillian Kane, AlterNet. Posted June 17, 2009 - In the weeks following the assassination of Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, it was perhaps too much to hope that antiabortion organizations and activists would reflect on, and even temper, their movement’s rhetoric. Instead, the halfhearted denunciations of violence issued by groups like the National Right to Life Committee and Operation Rescue were all too quickly followed by a return to offensive characterizations not only of abortion, but of abortion providers.
Men, Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence - By Rob Okun, AlterNet. Posted June 21, 2009.,
How can we comfortably celebrate Father’s Day in the middle of a domestic violence epidemic? Yes, suffering and celebrating are simultaneous truths in life. But there is an urgency -- and opportunity -- right now to transform this holiday. Fatherhood has perhaps never been more visible than today, in part because of the current occupant of the White House (and the vice-president, who for many years was a single dad). Let’s seize the moment to transform the day from one of consumerism to one of activism.
Can we ever say a woman can't choose? / It's hard for pro-choicers to admit sometimes a woman shouldn't be allowed to choose abortion -- but we have to - By Frances Kissling for Salon.com, Jun. 21, 2009 | About 15 years ago I was on an ethics panel at a Planned Parenthood annual meeting. The format was the old Fred Friendly case study discussion: The moderator lays out a tough ethics case and then asks members of the panel what they would do if they were -- in Planned Parenthood's case -- the doctor, nurse, patient, clinic director, lawyer, whoever.
In one scenario I was the doctor and was asked if I would perform an abortion for a couple -- perfectly ordinary middle-class people -- who had a son and wanted a daughter to round out the family. The woman was pregnant with another boy. I said I wouldn't do it and I thought Planned Parenthood policy should preclude such abortions but be open to referring women to providers whose values may be more in sync with the patient's. I also suggested that institutions as well as individuals have values, and that those of us in leadership positions on reproductive rights had an obligation to let the public know what our values were – in all their complexity.
Virginity Movement on the Defensive, Scrambling to Rebrand - By Jessica Valenti, The Nation. Posted June 23, 2009 - Keith Deltano has a high school student tied up onstage and is precariously dangling a cinder block over the young man's genital region. Deltano is not a school bully or an escaped lunatic. He's an abstinence proponent, a comedian who uses this brick trick to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of condoms (although the actual lesson learned may be to steer clear of comics brandishing bricks).
Coitus Interruptus Erroneous: Would You Believe That Pulling Out Actually Works? / By Andy Wright, AlterNet, Posted on June 22, 2009 - Coitus interruptus, withdrawal, pulling out, raw dog. Of all the names ascribed to the intimate act that is a man removing his penis from his partner's vagina before orgasm, the terminology that best encapsulates the public's perception of it is "Pull and Pray." As in, pull out and pray you don't have a baby. As a form of birth control, the method is largely regarded as ill-thought out -- the last resort of hasty teenagers with access to the family car and several cans of beer. In short, it doesn't work. Except that it probably does.
The plus-size state of the union / Is fat fashion heading for a renaissance or sinking under the weight of the recession? - Judy Berman for Salon.com - Jun. 18, 2009 | Is this the best of times or the worst of times for plus-size fashion? That's the question prompted by a New York Times story that explores new clothing lines catering to plus-size young women, including a forthcoming line designed by rock band The Gossip's outspoken fat-activist front woman, Beth Ditto. (Unfortunately, author Ruth La Ferla refers to Ditto as a "favorite mascot of the fashion world" -- faint praise that nonetheless seems positively classy compared to the words of a British GQ editor, who last week denounced Ditto as a "porker" and a bad example to girls.) La Ferla also points to trendy plus-size offerings from higher-end designers, including Karen Kane and Kiyonna, and bargain basement retailers such as Target, Kmart and Forever 21 (whose new Faith 21 line, as Broadsheet contributor Kate Harding has noticed, tops out at size 15/16).
"Wife Camp" for Canadian Girls - — By Kiera Butler | for Mother Jones, June 19, 2009, Can your ten-year-old daughter talk to diplomats? Hold her own at a cocktail party? Put guests at ease with her easy charm and natural grace?
No? Sounds like someone is in dire need of manners camp. Macleans ran a story yesterday about a new two-week etiquette camp for ten- to 14-year-old girls in Montreal. The program description from the camp's website:
A unique program designed to offer your child a memorable summer while they develop confidence, social charm and grace, a sense of style and refinement. Participants will learn an array of skills from social etiquette, personal presentation skills, personal grooming and care, choice and co-ordination of attire, reception planning and hosting, to singing and dancing, Students will also be introduced to selected disciplines of music and fine arts (such as painting, and piano). At the end of the event, participants will host a cocktail reception for their parents to celebrate the results of their efforts in a real-life setting.
Understandably, feminists are fuming. (A sociologist interviewed by Macleans quipped, “It might as well be called Wife Camp! Is Betty Draper happy on Mad Men? No! She’s miserable!”)
Gasp! New Study Reveals Mothers Drink Sometimes, and Other Scandals - Posted by Jill Filipovic, Feministe on June 23, 2009. -Sit down, kids, because I have some terrifying news: Sometimes, women drink. And smoke. Sometimes they even smoke marijuana. To top it all off, some of those women are mothers.Yes, this is the news that USA Today brings us, in an article about post-pregnancy “substance abuse” -- a term apparently so loosely-defined that it includes any alcohol use at all.
A Chemical Found in Most Consumer Products May Cause Heart Disease in Women - By Elizabeth Grossman, AlterNet. Posted June 18, 2009.- A study released this week by researchers at the University of Cincinnati says that exposure to bisphenol A may increase heart disease in women.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is the chemical building block of polycarbonate plastics and is used in countless consumer products including food and beverage containers, kitchen appliances, electronics, and packaging and is used to make resins that line food and drink cans.
Rethinking Gender Bias in Theater - by Patricia Cohen for The New York Times, June 24, 2009 - When more than 160 playwrights and producers, most of them female, filed into a Midtown Manhattan theater Monday night, they expected to hear some concrete evidence that women who are authors have a tougher time getting their work staged than men. And they did. But they also heard that women who are artistic directors and literary managers are the ones to blame.
Nixon: Abortion necessary in case of interracial child /New tapes reveal the then-president's view of the Roe v. Wade decision - Alex Koppelman for Salon.com, Jun. 23, 2009 | Every so often, a new batch of tapes and documents from Richard Nixon's time as president is released. That just happened Tuesday, and the latest recordings to be made public offer a shocking revelation about the character of the only man to resign the presidency: Nixon could be a bit of a racist. And a sexist. Also, an anti-Semite. No, seriously.
GAY AND LESBIAN RIGHTS
The Real Mob at Stonewall - By Lucian K. Truscott , for The New York Times, June 26, 2009 - Franklin, Tenn.- I was perhaps the unlikeliest person in the world to cover the Stonewall riots for The Village Voice. It was June 27, 1969. I had graduated from West Point only three weeks earlier and was spending my summer leave in New York before reporting for duty at Fort Benning, in Georgia. After a late dinner in Chinatown, I was about to enter the Lion’s Head, a writers’ hangout on Christopher Street near the Voice’s offices, when I blundered straight into the first moments of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar a couple of doors down the street. Even a newly minted second lieutenant of infantry could see that it was a story.
FROM THE PROGRESS REPORT: Obama administration to meet with gay rights groups: After reportedly refusing to meet with LGBT legal groups to discuss how to move forward on cases involving the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Justice Department reached out on Friday "to major gay rights organizations and scheduled a private meeting...in an apparent effort to smooth over tensions." The Justice Department reversed its decision after controversy arose because of the Obama administration's legal brief filed in the DOMA case, which was initially criticized by gay rights activists such as the Human Right Campaign's Joe Solmonese. On the same day, Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta moderated a panel at the American Constitution Society convention that included Lisa Brown, the White House staff secretary. Podesta asked the panelists about the concern that President Obama is not doing enough on gay rights. Brown responded that the DOMA brief was "an awful lot better than the brief that was written in the Bush administration," though there was "no question, personal statement, that there were some cites in there that should not have been in there." Brown's comments and the DOJ meeting are the most recent gestures from the Obama administration toward the LGBT community. Last week, the President signed a memorandum that, among other things, gives same-sex domestic partners of some federal employees access to long-term-care health care benefits; the White House said it was seeking ways to include same-sex marriages, unions, and partnerships in 2010 Census data; and the administration announced that gay couples traveling overseas can now show passports that feature their married names. The litany of action, said the Washington Monthly's Steve Benen, seems to indicate that "criticism from the gay rights community has clearly gotten the administration's attention, and officials are concerned enough to act."
Census officials have said that married same-sex couples will be counted as such in the 2010 national tally, "reversing an earlier decision made under the Bush administration." Professor Gary Gates explains the important and valuable ramifications this decision will have.
As Criticism of Obama Mounts within Gay Community, Gay Rights Pioneer Cleve Jones Calls for March for Equality on Washington * From Democracy Now - On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum to extend some, but not all, benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Comprehensive healthcare, for example, is not included. President Obama's promise to work to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, Wednesday came one week after his administration filed a controversial legal brief supporting DOMA, an action which greatly disappointed activists fighting for marriage equality. We speak with Cleve Jones, one of the giants of the gay rights and AIDS awareness movements. He is the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and the co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In the 1970s, Cleve Jones was a friend of the gay rights leader Harvey Milk.
FROM THE PROGRESS REPORT: White House lawyers "are quietly drafting first-of-their kind guidelines barring workplace discrimination against transgender federal employees." The guidelines, which "will be in an updated federal handbook for managers and supervisors to be distributed and posted online in the next couple of months," will list transgender people as among several groups protected by antidiscrimination laws.
Right-Wing Israeli Extremists Using Gay Rights to Justify Incursions Into Arab Villages - By Marsha B. Cohen, AlterNet, Posted on June 27, 2009 - Gay Pride parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are being invoked as the legal basis for ultra-right wing Jewish extremists to march through 15 Israeli Arab communities this weekend, waving Israeli flags and asserting their "Jewish pride."
Stonewall Riots 40th Anniversary: A Look Back at the Uprising that Launched the Modern Gay Rights Movement * Commemorations are being held across the world this weekend to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that launched the modern gay and lesbian rights movement. The uprising began in the morning on June 28, 1969, when New York City police officers raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. As the police began dragging some of the patrons out, members of the gay community decided to fight back, sparking three days of rioting. We play a documentary, Remembering Stonewall, with the voices of people who were there and speak with historian David Carter.
A Look at the Gay Rights Movement Beyond Marriage and the Military * Forty years after Stonewall, where is the gay rights movement headed? What does the focus on marriage equality mean for the goals of gay liberation? We speak with activist, writer and historian, Lisa Duggan. "It remains to be seen whether a call for full civil equality can produce mass mobilization, or whether it might soon be reduced to a call for gay marriage only, or worse, to the production of just another commercially sponsored gay parade," Duggan writes. "The devil will be in the details, which will be settled in the weeks to come."
Listen/Watch/Read : http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/26/a_look_at_the_gay_rights
Judge Orders Release of Guantanamo Prisoner After Seven Years, Saying Government Position "Defies Common Sense" * , From Democracy Now - A federal judge has ordered the release of another prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, thirty-year-old Syrian national Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak Al Janko. In the year 2000, Al Janko was tortured by al-Qaeda, who accused him of being a Western spy, and he was imprisoned by the Taliban for eighteen months. He was then captured by the United States in 2002 and spent the next seven years in Guantanamo. On Monday, District Court Judge Richard Leon rejected the government's position that Al Janko had once been a part of al-Qaeda, saying it "defies common sense." We speak with British journalist Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison.
Who Are We? - By Bob Herbert for The New York Times, June 23, 2009 - Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the early months of the Obama administration has been its unwillingness to end many of the mind-numbing abuses linked to the so-called war on terror and to establish a legal and moral framework designed to prevent those abuses from ever occurring again.
The president deserves credit for unequivocally banning torture and some of the other brutal interrogation techniques that spread like a plague in the Bush administration’s lawless response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But other policies that offend the conscience continue.
White House Weighs Order on Detention / Officials: Move Would Reassert Power To Hold Terror Suspects Indefinitely - By Dafna Linzer and Peter Finn, for ProPublica and Washington Post , June 27, 2009 - Obama administration officials, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.Such an order would embrace claims by former president George W. Bush that certain people can be detained without trial for long periods under the laws of war. Obama advisers are concerned that an order, which would bypass Congress, could place the president on weaker footing before the courts and anger key supporters, the officials said.
EXCLUSIVE: Animal Rights Activist Jailed at Secretive Prison Gives First Account of Life Inside a "CMU" * In a Democracy Now! exclusive interview, we speak with Andrew Stepanian, an animal rights activist who was jailed at a secretive prison known as a Communication Management Unit, or CMU. Stepanian is believed to be the first prisoner released from a CMU and will talk about his experience there for the first time. He was sentenced to three years along with six other activists for violating a controversial law known as the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of CMUs. We also speak with Stepanian's lawyer and a reporter covering the story.
New Border Fear: Militia Violence - By Jesse Mckinley and Malia Wollan for The New York Times, June 27, 2009 - Arivaca, Ariz. — “Somebody just came in and shot my daughter and my husband!” the woman shouted to the 911 dispatcher. “They’re coming back in! They’re coming back in!” .Multiple gunshots are then heard on a tape of the call.
Senate Democrats Address Immigration - By Spencer S. Hsu for Washington Post , June 25, 2009 -Senate Democrats outlined plans yesterday to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, including a requirement that all U.S. workers verify their identity through fingerprints or an eye scan.Speaking on the eve of a White House summit with congressional leaders on immigration, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) said a national system to verify work documents is necessary because Congress has failed to crack down on unscrupulous employers and illegal immigrants with fake documents.
Priceless: 'English-Only' Supporters Hold Conference, Can't Spell 'Conference' - By Lee Fang, Think Progress, Posted on June 22, 2009 - On Saturday, Pat Buchanan hosted a conference to discuss how Republicans can regain a majority in America. During one discussion, panelists suggested supporting English-only initiatives as a prime way of attracting "working class white Democrats." The discussion ridiculed Judge Sotomayor for the fact that she studied children’s classics to improve her grammar while attending college. The panelists also suggested that, without English as the official language, President Obama would force Americans to speak Spanish.One salient feature of the event was the banner hanging over the English-only advocates. The word conference was spelled “Conferenece.” View it here:
PRINCIPLES FOR REFORM: Earlier this week, the Center for American Progress released a set of principles for immigration reform, which provide guidelines for an approach that "would require immigrants to register and become legal, pay taxes, learn English, and pass criminal background checks." Recognizing that "lasting solutions flow from policies that defend the bedrock American values of opportunity, equality, fairness, compassion, and a commitment to the common good," CAP argues that "five key principles for reform should guide the president and Congress." First, resolve the status of the undocumented, as it is "morally and economically unacceptable for the wealthiest nation on earth to have 12 million people living and functioning in an underground economy." Second, enhance legal immigration channels and labor mobility, so that employment-based immigration and family-based immigration complement each other and are "not pitted against one another in a zero-sum game." Third, any reforms must also protect American workers by safeguarding their ability to defend their rights, including the rights to change jobs freely and organize without fear and to earn a fair wage. Fourth, an inclusive American identity should be fostered by ensuring that newcomers have access to programs that "facilitate their integration into the nation's social and cultural fabric." Finally, smart enforcement policies and safeguards should be adopted, remembering that "a workable system would tolerate neither deliberate unlawful presence nor the violation of an individual's rights."
HARD WORK AHEAD: As President Obama noted, "comprehensive immigration reform is difficult" because it is such "a sensitive and politically volatile issue." Though the lawmakers in the meeting were "united by a common interest in solving the problem," as Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) put it, points of tension did emerge. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom Obama praised by name in the meeting, "drew an early line in the sand" over the issue of a guest-worker program, saying he would not support any reform bill that does not contain a guest-worker measure. However, such a program is opposed by many labor unions, who have proposed that "an independent commission study labor market needs and decide how many immigrant workers should be allowed into the country." Ana Avendano, the Director of the Immigrant Worker Program at the AFL-CIO, pushed back against McCain's position, telling the Los Angeles Times that "just because McCain said no [on Thursday] doesn't mean we're not going to continue pushing policies that are good for working people in the United States." Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), chairman of a Senate committee on immigration, said that the tension over a guest-worker program is representative of the fact that "both parties, left and right, are going to have to give in some to get immigration reform."
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