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June 2016

Europe Must Reform To Avoid A Populist Domino Effect

By Sven Giegold for The Huffington Post - Brexit is an historic setback for the European Union, but not a death sentence. As sad as the referendum result is, it must be respected. After referenda over the European Union’s constitution were held in France and the Netherlands in 2005, it was “business as usual.” That mistake must not be repeated. Europe has to prove that it is capable of learning and changing. Reforms can’t be made by heads of government behind closed doors — they should be transparent.

Business Owners Arrested; Dozens Halt Pipeline Construction

By Nancy Wilson of Resist the Pipeline & Stop the West Roxbury Lateral - West Roxbury, MA - Two business owners, Aravinda Ananda and Joseph Rotella of Spencer Organ Company, were arrested for disrupting construction on Spectra Energy’s West Roxbury Lateral pipeline. They were arrested Tuesday morning and arraigned that afternoon at West Roxbury District Court. Their charges were lowered from misdemeanors to civil infractions. “I risked arrest because I’m gravely concerned about climate change and new fossil fuel infrastructure is the last thing we need” said Ananda.

Senate Food Fight Erupts Over Sham GMO Labeling Bill

By Lauren McCauley for Common Dreams - The pending "compromise" GMO labeling bill has food safety and consumer advocates both in and out of government scrambling to block the legislation, which they warn will destroy popular efforts to label products made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to put a hold on the legislation, which would prevent it from coming up for debate unless proponents can muster 60 votes.

500,000 Petitions To Congress Demand Rejection Of TPP

By Brittany Matter for Friends of the Earth - Today, June 29, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and other environmental advocates delivered more than 500,000 petitions to Congress demanding the rejection of a Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal that promises to ramp up fossil fuel exports, accelerate climate change and encourage deregulation of environmental safeguards across the board. Among other anti-environment provisions, the Trans Pacific Partnership would offer thousands of new foreign firms virtually the same broad rights included in NAFTA...

Chomsky: Suffering Major Downside Of Corporate Globalization

By Noam Chomsky for E-International Relations - For better or worse, I’ve pretty much stayed the same throughout my life. When I was a child in elementary school I was writing articles for the school newspaper on the rise of fascism in Europe and the threats to the world as I saw them from a 10-year-old point of view, and on from there. By the time I was a young teenager, I was very involved in radical politics of all kinds; hanging around anarchist bookstores and offices. A lot concerned what was happening during the Second World War: the British attack on Greece and the atomic bomb I thought was shattering.

Puerto Rico: 500 Years Of Colonial Bondage & Resistance

By Abby Martin for Tele Sur - Puerto Rico’s massive debt has been discussed at length in Congress and the media, all omitting the most important fact: the history of being a colonial subject for over 500 years, still owned and controlled by the United States. Abby Martin talks to two professors of Latin American studies, Luis Barrios and Danny Shaw, about the long struggle of Puerto Rico to break the shackles of U.S. and Spanish colonialism—from indigenous resistance to the Young Lords in Harlem.

European Commission Approves Glyphosate For 18 Months

By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch - Crop Protection Association CEO Nick von Westenholz said he was disappointed that EU member states “forced the commission into this position by ignoring the science and advice of expert regulators.” “The indecision of Member States and the need for an extension demonstrates how politicized this process has become,” he said. “Nevertheless, it will be a relief to farmers that they will be able to continue to use this crucial tool, at least in the short-term.” He added that the standard 15 year renewal should have been granted and urges the member states “to take the sensible, science led decision to re-licence this safe, efficient and effective product for the full 15 year period once the 18 month extension has expired.”

Victory!! Pesticide Contamination Prohibited From Organic Production

By Staff of Center for Food Safety - SAN FRANCISCO— Synthetic pesticides are once again prohibited in compost used for organic production, thanks to a federal court in the Northern District of California. The court issued a decision in litigation brought by several nonprofits challenging the United States Department of Agriculture’s allowance of pesticide contamination in compost used in organic food production. Center for Food Safety, Center for Environmental Health and Beyond Pesticides filed the case in April 2015, arguing that USDA had unlawfully changed organic regulations to create a new pesticide loophole ...

IRS Still Unrestrained On Asset Seizures Despite Deal

By Fergus Hodgson for Tax Revolution Institute - Since 2014, the Internal Revenue Service has ceased confiscating the property of innocent individuals. Or have they? No one wants to throw cold water on the party, especially when it comes to a victory over the IRS. However, an exclusive interview with Attorney Robert Everett Johnson of theInstitute for Justice (IJ) reveals how little the tax-collection agency has conceded with their policy updates.

Civil Society Targetted While Responding To Human Rights Abuses

By Staff of Civicus - In an increasingly unequal world where human rights are being undermined, civil society is challenging exclusion in innovative ways. “Much of civic life is about promoting inclusion. It is about amplifying the voices of the marginalised, tackling the causes of discrimination, and promoting equal rights and access to services,” said Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, CIVICUS Secretary-General on launching the organisation’s 2016 State of Civil Society Report. “But, for many millions of people exclusion remains a painful, everyday reality.”

People Power Kills Coal In Oakland And Likely Kills An Export Terminal

By Erin Baldassari for The Mercury News - OAKLAND -- During a raucous four-hour meeting Monday night, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to ban the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in the city. Councilmember Desley Brooks was absent from the meeting. Hundreds of people filled the council chambers, spilling into overflow rooms, and offered several hours of commentary frequently punctuated by cheers, applause and outbursts from audience members on both sides of the issue.

Science Orgs Again Urge Congress To Take Climate Change Seriously

By Lisa Song for Inside Climate News - Thirty-one major American scientific organizations sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday emphasizing the overwhelming consensus on climate change science and the urgent need for climate action. The letter served as a scientific counterpoint to recent actions by Congress designed to question that consensus. Reminding members of Congress that "rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver" of global warming, they cited nearly universal support for the scientific consensus as expressed by the U.S. National Academies, the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Private Prisons Making Deals To Lock Up More Immigrant Women & Children

By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet - Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is striking deals with private prison companies to lock up a “guaranteed minimum” of mothers with their children in euphemistically-termed family detention centers. The 2009 congressional mandate for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep a minimum of 34,000 people minimum locked up at any given time is already well-established. But a new report by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Detention Watch Network reveals that this federal quota rests, in part, on aggressive deals with companies in the business of locking up families.

Another Corporation Suing Our Government Thanks To Trade Agreements

By Dave Johnson for Campaign for America's Future - A Canadian corporation is suing the us because we wouldn’t let them build a pipeline across our country (seizing people’s property along the way) so they could sell oil to China. They can do this because we signed a trade agreement that places corporate rights above our democracy. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would increase by an order of magnitude the companies that can sue us for hurting their profits by protecting the environment, consumers, public health and small businesses.

#KeepCorbyn: Labour Civil War Reaches Fever Pitch

By Staff of Socialist Appeal - All talk now of “unity” between these two camps is now a laughable joke. The only “unity” that these right-wing MPs are willing to accept is for Corbyn’s head to be paraded around on a stick. They have demonstrated that they have an utter contempt towards rank-and-file Labour members and for the basic principles of Labour Party democracy. They believe that the Labour Party is their personal property, and that the membership is merely a passive mob that must accept their condescending diktats. They would clearly rather split the party than see it dominated by Corbyn and those who support him.
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