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October 2018

Julian Assange Warns That Ecuador Is Moving To End His Political Asylum

Before being abruptly cut off by an Ecuadorian government lawyer during a court hearing on Monday, WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange accused that government of seeking to end his asylum in its London embassy and hand him over to the United States. Assange spoke from the tiny embassy via teleconference to a hearing in Quito of a lawsuit in which he is challenging a draconian protocol that President Lenín Moreno’s government has sought to impose on him. Assange said the new rules were a sign Ecuador was trying to push him out, and that Moreno had already decided to end his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

Increased Restrictions On Protest Won’t Keep Communities Safer

On Oct. 15, the Portland Police Bureau held a press conference to announce a new ordinance that would expand police power to limit protest activity. The proposal comes after two years of catastrophic attacks poised as political theater, including mass melees downtown that left people in the hospital, white nationalist contingents taking the streets and an acolyte murdering two people on public transportation when interrupted in the middle of an Islamophobic attack. Every time Patriot Prayer, the Trumpian far-right group who allies with white nationalists, takes to the streets, the entire city revolts. On Aug. 30, Patriot Prayer returned to Portland after a rally a month earlier where attendees brutally assaulted counter-protesters.

Human Rights World Summit Warns Of Rise In Activist Murders

The conference is aimed at building ties between activists to develop strategies for fighting repression and discrimination over the next two decades. More than 150 rights campaigners from around the world gathered in Paris on Monday, warning of a spike in the number of activists from Brazil to the Philippines being murdered for their work. Groups behind the Human Rights World Summit, including Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights, said at least 312 activists were murdered in 2017. This represents a doubling in the murder rate since 2015, they said in a statement on the first of three days of meetings in Paris, bringing together activists from 105 countries.

A Trans-Atlantic Cooperative Of Dairy Farmers

Foremost Farms USA and Arla Foods, a European dairy cooperative, are in advanced discussions about forming a strategic partnership. Representatives recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the possibility of future partnership. Henrik Andersen, Arla Foods Ingredients group vice-president, said the two farmer-owned cooperatives share many of the same values, plus their whey-market ambitions are compatible. Arla Foods wants to secure access to whey in the U.S. market, he said.

Halt To Youth Climate Lawsuit Inspires Nationwide Resistance

The three-year-long case has survived countless obstacles and the 21 youth plaintiffs don't plan on backing down now. This week should have been the start to the three-year-long landmark youth climate trial against the federal government, deemed the “trial of the century.”Instead, the Supreme Court halted the case in response to a last-ditch effort by the Trump administration to kill the case. Now the rest of the country is responding to the disgraceful decision. The 21 youth plaintiffs of the case, Juliana v. United States, have been joined by thousands across the country the past several days to “keep our government accountable for the effects of climate change.”

Bezos And Bipartisanship: Voting Vets Not Always The Best

Veterans running for office have never had a stronger personal brand or more political backing. To hold onto or win back seats in Congress, both major parties have recruited many candidates whose resume includes past military service. Across the political spectrum, various Super PACs have backed this effort to increase the veteran population on Capitol Hill. And one such group, the With Honor Fund, claims that electing more vets will help restore “public trust” in Congress and reduce “the extreme partisanship that has corroded our national legislature.”

After Three Decades, Trespass Prosecutions Resume At Nevada Nuclear Test Site

With the United States ready to burst from the starting gate in a new nuclear arms race, a recent change in policy aims to rein in any renewed protest at the U.S. nuclear weapons test site in Nevada. On October 8, Marc Page-Collogne was arrested with two others when they stepped across the line at the Mercury gate. He was jailed for a few hours and released pending trial for trespass on December 3. The last time this simple act of crossing the line at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site) was prosecuted was in 1987, at the height of mass actions against nuclear weapons testing. From 1986 until the end of full-scale nuclear testing in 1992, more than 15,000 protest arrests were reported at the Nevada Test Site.

The Cult Of Trump

Cult leaders arise from decayed communities and societies in which people have been shorn of political, social and economic power. The disempowered, infantilized by a world they cannot control, gravitate to cult leaders who appear omnipotent and promise a return to a mythical golden age. The cult leaders vow to crush the forces, embodied in demonized groups and individuals, that are blamed for their misery. The more outrageous the cult leaders become, the more they flout law and social conventions, the more they gain in popularity. Cult leaders are immune to the norms of established society. This is their appeal. Cult leaders demand a God-like power. Those who follow them grant them this power in the hope that the cult leaders will save them.

The Clock Is Ticking On Addressing Climate Change — Med Students Can Help

The latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns us that we have only 12 years left to keep the maximum temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and, thus, avoid calamitous environmental devastation. This report, over 1200 pages and written by 91 researchers across 44 countries, explains that global emissions will have to be slashed by 45 percent to reach this new target. Currently, it is estimated that the world’s temperature will rise by 3 degrees Celsius should no new measures be taken. While the difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees Celsius may not seem substantial, make no mistake about it – the difference is absolutely staggering.

Busload Of Activist Nuns Log 5,600 Miles For Tax Justice

Look out Mar-A-Lago. The renowned activists known as the “Nuns on the Bus” are headed your way. And they’re just as ticked off about the Trump-Republican tax reform as they were when they launched their cross-country “Tax Justice Truth Tour” in California over three weeks ago. President Trump will most likely be out on the hustings when the nuns roll up to his Palm Beach playland just days before the mid-term election. But by picking his members-only Florida resort as their final stop, they’ll make a powerful point about the new tax law’s big winners. In their words, Mar-A-Lago is “the pinnacle of economic inequality and hoarding of wealth.”

US And The Central American Exodus

The exodus of Central Americans, mainly to the United States, has been made visible by the current caravan that crosses Mexico, this is not new and is a long-standing phenomenon.In 2017, the International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, reported that 450,000 migrants, predominantly Central Americans, annually cross Mexico to the country to the North. This phenomenon began to take off in the 1980s as a result of Washington’s massive support for the armies and repressive forces of El Salvador and Guatemala in their bloody war against the liberation movements of those countries that, along with Honduras, were badly affected. The war generated, especially in El Salvador, a great flow of refugees, among them thousands of young orphans, on their way to the powerful U.S.

5,200 U.S. Troops Being Sent To The Border

WASHINGTON — A week out from the midterm elections, the Pentagon said Monday it is sending 5,200 troops, some armed, to the Southwest border this week in an extraordinary military operation to stop Central American migrants traveling north in two caravans that were still hundreds of miles from the U.S. The number of troops is more than double the 2,000 who are in Syria fighting the Islamic State group. President Donald Trump, eager to focus voters on immigration in the lead-up to the elections, stepped up his warnings about the caravans, tweeting: “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” His warning came as the Pentagon began executing “Operation Faithful Patriot,” described by the commander of U.S. Northern Command as an effort to help Customs and Border Protection stiffen defenses at and near legal entry points.

Brazil: The Indispensable Need For Resistance

The die is cast. There are no longer any polls that can be used to draw un provable results. The truth is that a fascist has come to the presidency of Brazil by a vote of millions. The fact is serious from any point of view, and not only for Brazilians, but this vote will undoubtedly have an unpredictable impact on the rest of the continent and beyond. The Nazi Bolsonaro won by nearly a ten point advantage thanks to many factors that will have to be analyzed starting from this very moment. One of them, the fundamental one, is this insistence from many popular sectors of not taking into account that in the framework of these bourgeois democracies that they are absolutely controlled by the enemies of the peoples.

Brazil: How Could A Far-Right Demagogue Win The Election?

Bolsonaro won the second round of the Brazilian presidential election with 55 percent of the vote, defeating Haddad – the Workers’ Party (PT) candidate – who received 45 percent. Any hopes of a last-minute rally were dashed. This result is a setback for the working class and the poor. We need to understand what it means, what led to this situation and what strategy the workers’ movement should follow, faced with this reactionary government. The second round of the presidential campaign was extremely polarised. There was a mobilisation from below on the part of the left in an attempt to stop Bolsonaro, and tens of thousands turned up at big rallies for Haddad in Sao Paulo, San Salvador de Bahía, etc.

Waffles, Beer, And The Penalty We Pay For Tolerating Inequality

Belgium is spreading about as well as any nation on Earth, according to data the Swiss bank Credit Suisse details in its new Global Wealth Report 2018. No other major society currently sports a distribution of wealth much more equitable than Belgium’s. How do we know? The new Credit Suisse report serves up all the key numbers for computing who gets what in over 200 nations worldwide. But we do have to exercise our imaginations a bit to get the most out of the Credit Suisse data. We have to imagine, as a first step, a world with every nation divvying up its wealth on a totally equal basis. That, of course, isn’t happening anywhere. No nation shares its wealth completely.
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