US law has to be based on human rights standards. We see as a contradiction for the US to pretend to be a leader of human rights when its law and practice is anything but practices in law that are in correspondence with human rights standards. We believe that if there's going to be legitimacy and the international human rights framework, that has to be a framework that is applied equally to all nations. For example, when we were building the US human rights network that would apply international human rights standards to the US, looking at issues of mass incarceration that we have in the US, looking at the failure of the US state to address the basic human rights needs of the people around issues like food security, access to food, our health care, education, a clean environment, water that was safe, the jobs that will allow people to live in a decent way.
As Westerners, we are deeply attached to the idea not only that we live in democracies but that our way of life is economically, socially and morally superior to that of citizens in authoritarian states. Following on from these two assumptions is a further one — today held less consciously, for the obvious reason that it smacks a little too uncomfortably of racism — that we, as the people who fought for and created our democracies, are superior to those who did not. Our largely unexamined premise is that modernity and democracy grew out of the particular circumstances of a Western Enlightenment. A combination of rationality, a superior culture and richer public sensibility provided the soil in which democracy, uniquely, could flourish.
Hot Springs, South Dakota – A budding national reputation for healing mineral waters spawned this town of 3,400 in the early 1900s. Appreciative of that source, today’s area residents have fended off proposed radioactive uranium mining in the aquifers for more than four decades. This summer of 2022, they scored a breakthrough. They collected enough signatures to obtain a ballot measure that would declare the activity a “nuisance” in Fall River County. If the measure passes in the county’s Nov. 8 general election, then an interested party could take legal action to prevent or stop the nuisance, according to South Dakota law.
"We consider the IAEA's demands excessive because their implementation is impossible due to the sanctions," Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behruz Kamalvandi said Tuesday. The spokesman explained that the "Strategic Action to Lift Sanctions" law, approved in November 2020 by the Iranian Parliament, implies that the UN nuclear agency will have minimal oversight within the framework of safeguards mechanisms. However, he said that if Westerners lift anti-Iranian sanctions and accomplish their commitments, Iran will also return to the original promises made under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
California - Community, environmental and tribal activists opposed to renewed logging in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest plan to rally in the forest Sunday and warn of potential civil disobedience in the future. The notice comes in response to a Cal Fire announcement that tree cutting would resume as early as this week on at least one of four incomplete timber harvest plans in the Mendocino County forest. Those plans were recently revised to halt removal of the largest trees. The return of logging crews ends an eight-month pause on tree removal that allowed state officials to start rethinking priorities for the nearly 50,000-acre forest and begin negotiations with local tribes that are seeking co-management rights.
Los Angeles, California - Google employees have protested their company’s $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government and military called Project Nimbus, which aims to silence and profile pro-Palestine voices in the high-tech company and around the world. “Google’s Project Nimbus will be an ugly moment in Google’s history and shameful and embarrassing engagement,” said one employee who preferred to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation. “I have found Google’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program to be a whitewash, it’s more of a tool for censorship and control than for truly supporting employees,” said another.
Anderson, South Carolina - On August 1, Melissa Morris, a manager of a Starbucks location in Anderson, South Carolina, accused unionized workers at her store of kidnapping and assaulting her during her first week on the job. The shocking accusation resulted from workers holding a “march on the boss” to demand that they benefit from the same pay raise the company was providing to non-union stores, and, as a result, 11 workers have been suspended while the company and police investigate the issue. These workers call the allegations “ridiculous” and part of the company’s broader anti-union campaign.
Like many of his co-workers, Levi Kamel was nearly ready to quit. But before he did, he decided to try one thing: win a union. Kamel was making $18 an hour doing backbreaking work repairing container chassis—the trailers that attach to containers so they can be pulled down the road by semi-trucks—at the Port of Tacoma in Washington. He was a mechanic at P&B Intermodal, a logistics maintenance company that operates at intermodal yards across the country. The job was a revolving door. In February 2021, Kamel had been there more than a year, but most workers lasted less than three months. And no wonder: “We didn’t have very good health care,” Kamel said. “We were treated really badly.”
Several Kenyan activists are suing the United Kingdom over abuses committed during the British empire's colonial era, raising a case against the country in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday. The plaintiffs, Africans forced off their land in the Kenyan Rift Valley, are saying London violated the European Convention of Human Rights through the abuses it committed in Africa during its colonial rule of the continent. The UK is a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights, and the plaintiffs' lawyers are saying it violated the accord by consistently ignoring complaints raised by the victims of the brutal British colonial rule.
Columbus, Ohio - Students, teachers, and support staff in Ohio's largest school district returned to the classroom on Monday after the Columbus Education Association won a new contract and ended its weeklong strike. Gathered at the local minor league ballpark on Sunday, CEA members voted 71% to 29% to approve a three-year contract with Columbus City Schools that satisfies most of the union's demands, which revolved around improving students' learning environments and opportunities. "We are so excited to get back to where we belong—our classrooms—doing what we do best: educating our students and shaping the future of our great city," CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes said at a press conference.
The Zaporozhye (also spelt Zaporizhzhia) Nuclear Power Plant has become a focal point in the Ukraine war, as any major nuclear incident risks radioactivity release over a vast area. In such an accident, not only Ukraine but large parts of Europe could face radioactive contamination and much higher cancer rates and other diseases. Russia has claimed the Ukrainian side shelled the Zaporozhye plant in July and August and, on August 23, submitted photographic and other documentary evidence to the UN Security Council. Ukraine contends Russia has been shelling the plant even though it is under Russia’s occupation. The Zaporozhye plant in the town of Enerhodar is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, with six 1,000 MW capacity units.
Beit Hanina, Occupied Jerusalem – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people. Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.
Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that the US is trying to start a war with China over Taiwan. He also explained how imperialism is rooted in capitalism and detailed its economic exploitation of the Global South. It’s quite obvious that when the Eastern bloc was still there, it was a bustle between capitalism and communism. Once communism was defeated, then capitalism could expand and show its true self. It’s no longer constrained by the need to be nice, so that people will choose their so-called free-market system as opposed to the centrally planned system. So because of that, nowadays there is nothing to restrain capital, and capital is demanding that it should be able to go anywhere and do whatever it likes.