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Truthout Daily Digest | Thursday, 16 April 2015

Doing the Unthinkable: Giant Gas Pipeline to Flank a New York Nuclear Power Plant

Ellen Cantarow, Truthout: The federally approved Algonquin Pipeline expansion will come so close to the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester, New York, that experts say a rupture could cause a Fukushima-like catastrophe, making the entire region uninhabitable for generations.

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Drug Reform Is About Animal Rights, Too

Andrew Gargano, Truthout: While drug raids have become known for the human casualties they claim and their infringement on the Fourth Amendment, they also contribute to an inordinate number of animals killed.

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Tom Hayden: Cuba Has Stood Up to US Hegemony for 55 Years

Mark Karlin, Truthout: In this interview, activist and author Tom Hayden discusses his new book, Listen, Yankee! Why Cuba Matters, and explains the changing nature of Cuban-US relations and the legacy of the Cuban Revolution.

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Tax (Break) Day

Jasmine Tucker, Truthout: Each year, the US loses out on billions of dollars in revenue due to corporate tax breaks. Every dollar the government spends on a tax break is a dollar it can’t spend elsewhere, yet few Americans are aware of how much corporate tax breaks cost the government.

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Transnational Companies Driving Deadly Conflict in Guatemalan Indigenous Territory

Jeff Abbott, Truthout: As privatized hydroelectric projects – part of “Plan Mesoamerica” – have rapidly expanded in Guatemala, so too have conflicts with indigenous populations. The plan would interconnect the infrastructures of all Central American countries.

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Hotel Industry Spins Wage Hikes as Extreme While CEOs Rake in Millions

Mary Bottari and Jody Knauss, PR Watch: The little-known trade association representing the $163 billion hotel industry is a major force fighting behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and in statehouses and courtrooms across the country to keep workers’ wages low.

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The Chevron Tapes: Secret Videos Reveal Company Hid Pollution in Ecuador

Kevin Koenig, Amazon Watch: Recently released videos are a true treasure trove of Chevron’s misdeeds and corporate malfeasance. Chevron is seen finding its own extensive contamination – in areas the company claimed to have cleaned up in 1998 – then pre-gaming the judicial inspections to defraud the court.

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Physical Murder and Political Asphyxiation: The Story of Danielle Hicks-Best

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Black Agenda Report: An 11-year-old Black girl is raped twice by men and winds up jailed and institutionalized for years by a callous and predatory system. Danielle Hicks-Best was simply used to justify the salaries and maintenance of a system based on the decapitation of Black bodies.

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US Chamber of Commerce Doubling Down on Political Juggernaut

Carrie Levine, The Center for Public Integrity: The Chamber of Commerce’s new election season strategy will include a greater emphasis on recruiting the right sort of business-friendly GOP candidates and intervening in primaries as it attempts to sculpt a compliant Congress that mirrors its priorities.

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Bill O’Reilly’s Latest “White” Dream

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: When Bill O’Reilly says that it’s “open season” on white men in this country, he’s either mind-numbingly ignorant or just not taking a good hard look at our society today. White privilege and male privilege are very real.

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Obama to Remove Cuba From Terror List After Latin American Outcry; Will the Embargo Follow?

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: While Cuba is being removed from the US terrorism list, the trade embargo remains in place. Former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray Treto discusses the dire effects US sanctions have had on the Cuban population.

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Four Election Stories That Show the GOP Is Moving Even Further Right

Robin Marty, Care2: From primaries to party leaders, Tea Partiers are becoming the predominate face of the GOP. That could mean a party ready to crumble if it becomes too extreme or, even more frightening, if today‘s Congress ends up being more “moderate” than the Congress that convenes in 2017.

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Hillary Clinton’s Likely Planned Chipotle Moment Represents Tawdry Mass Media and Politics

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: This is the level that politics has sunk to: a likely pre-strategized nonevent – probably leaked by the Clinton campaign to The New York Times – creating an international media sensation.

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Gay Marriage Still Under Attack by Religious Right Zealots

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Fracking and Big Ag Are Polluting 80 Percent of the Depleted Groundwater in California

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Alzheimer’s Breakthrough: Scientists May Have Found Potential Cause of the Disease

Read the Article at The Independent

How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World

Read the Article at Mother Jones

Boston Marks Two Years Since Marathon Bombings

Read the Article at The Boston Globe

“Fight for 15” Movement: Low-Wage Workers Plan Walkouts, Protests

Read the Article at the Tribune News Service

New Bill Would Help Domestic Violence Survivors Find Shelter for Their Pets, Too

Read the Article at RH Reality Check

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Truthout Daily Digest Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Mike Lofgren | The Implications of the Torture Report

Mike Lofgren, Truthout: The reaction to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s “Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program” is as significant as what the study uncovered about the psychology and methods of those who run the deep state that rules us.

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Amid Justice Department Investigations, Protesters Call Out Cleveland Police Murders

Britney Schultz, Truthout: As national protests against police killings continue, and on the heels of an unfavorable review of the Cleveland Police Department by the Department of Justice, activists and concerned residents are calling for accountability.

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Rev. Edward Pinkney Imprisoned for Fighting the Whirlpool Corporation

Ben Ptashnik and Victoria Collier, Truthout: On December 15, Rev. Edward Pinkney, a leader in the struggle for social and economic justice for the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, was sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison, on the basis of thin circumstantial evidence.

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Connecting Police Violence Against People of Color and People With “Mental Illness”

Leah Harris, Truthout: There is a common thread between police violence against people of color and people diagnosed with “mental illness.” Racism intersects deeply with “mentalism,” defined as discrimination and violence against people of all races who are perceived as unstable or “mentally ill.”

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We Thought We Were Free

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: Slowly but surely, the government begins to grow its police, surveillance and military power. People begin to accept authoritarianism; it becomes the new normal. We can’t let authoritarianism continue to grow and become the new normal in the United States.

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$4 Million: That’s How Much These Dim Sum Restaurant Workers Won in Back Pay

Michelle Chen, The Nation: Approximately 280 workers in San Francisco, many of them monolingual Chinese immigrants, are savoring a sweet labor victory with a landmark $4 million settlement, which also includes new rules for labor standards and benefits.

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Torture Report: What Next?

L. Michael Hager, Truthout: The Senate report on CIA torture of suspected terrorist detainees is welcome for its transparency. However, without a concrete plan of action including recommitment to the rule of law, torturer accountability and abolition of the CIA, the abuses could well be repeated in the future.

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Emissions-Cutting Deal Reached at COP 20 Lima, but Will It Help Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change?

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: Negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed to a new deal that forms the basis for a global agreement on addressing climate change. The countries most dissatisfied with the outcome in Lima, however, were those who are poor and already struggling to rebuild from the impacts of climate change.

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Arizona Opens New $50 Million Supermax Prison; New Report Denounces State’s Use of Solitary Confinement

Lisa Dawson, Solitary Watch: The Arizona Department of Corrections has opened a new facility with 500 maximum-security prison beds, which is estimated to cost Arizona taxpayers $50 million. This comes after an agreement to a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union to limit the use of solitary confinement in Arizona prisons.

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“Forgiveness Is Liberating”: Desmond Tutu on Healing a Nation’s Racist Past

Desmond Tutu, YES! Magazine: “Who could have thought we would ever be an example, except of awfulness; who could ever have thought we would be held up as a model to the rest of the world?” the archbishop asked in 1997. Today, South Africa’s healing process is a beacon of hope for the United States.

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Timeline: The Tortured History of the Senate’s Torture Report

Kara Brandeisky and Sisi Wei, ProPublica: The Senate began investigating the CIA’s detainee program nearly six years ago. It completed a draft of its report two years ago. What took so long? It’s a tale of White House indecisiveness, Republican opposition and CIA snooping.

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On the News With Thom Hartmann: 15,000 People Marched for Climate Justice in Lima, Peru, and More

In today‘s On the News segment: Last week, 15,000 people took to the streets of Lima, Peru, to demand climate justice; food companies spend millions of dollars on marketing every year, and it’s not always in the form of advertising; punishing young children for lying may not teach them to tell the truth; and more.

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Surgeon General Finally Confirmed Despite Fierce NRA Opposition

Mark Karlin, BuzzFlash at Truthout: The confirmation of Vivek Murthy, M.D., as surgeon general is a sign that while the NRA remains virtually indomitable, it is not invincible.

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Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Need to Run Against Hillary Clinton to Save Liberals

Read the Article at The Guardian

Squatting on the Flag

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Bush “Intimately Involved” With CIA Torture, Says Rove

Read the Article at Common Dreams

Jon Stewart: Dick Cheney’s Mind Is the Scariest Place in the Universe

Watch the Video at Comedy Central

Dennis Kucinich: Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking

Read the Article at Truthdig

In the Struggle Against Police Violence, the Youth Shall Lead

Read the Article at The Nation

Congress Quietly Ends Federal Government’s Ban on Medical Marijuana

Read the Article at the Los Angeles Times

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Truthout Daily Digest Sunday, 16 November 2014

Abundant Clean Renewables? Think Again!

Rachel Smolker and Almuth Ernsting, Truthout: Although “renewable” energy is growing faster than ever before, it is neither carbon neutral, “clean” nor sustainable. We need to transform into low-energy societies that meet human – not corporate – needs.

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James Risen: The Post-9/11 Homeland Security Industrial Complex Profiteers and Endless War

Mark Karlin, Truthout: Journalist James Risen provides evidence of how the United States has become enmeshed in an endless war. He also discusses how the post-9/11 military-surveillance state has enriched – with little oversight or accountability – many opportunists.

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Why an Assassinated Psychologist – Ignored by US Psychologists – Is Being Honored

Bruce E. Levine, Truthout: This month, people around the world who decry oppression will commemorate the 25th anniversary of liberation psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baró’s assassination in El Salvador by a “counter-insurgency unit” created at the US Army’s School of the Americas.

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Locked Down, Locked Out: What It Means to Be a Prison Abolitionist

Alice Kim, Praxis Center: In this interview, Maya Schenwar talks about her own transformation as a journalist, activist and sister and what it means to be a prison abolitionist.

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The Minstrelsy of Marketing

William C. Anderson, Truthout: Companies have been “blackening up” on Twitter lately. Performing blackness is normalized as good marketing. However, the appropriation and theft of black culture by outsiders is rooted in the tradition of minstrelsy.

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Truthout Interviews Maya Schenwar on Why Prisons Don’t Work

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: Maya Schenwar talks about her new book Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn’t Work and How We Can Do Better, how corporations profit from prisons, decarceration, rehabilitation, social justice and prisons’ impact on society.

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Fed Up With FERC: The People Declare Greed “Not in the Public Interest”

Anne Meador, Cetology: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concludes that the natural gas projects it approves are necessary, but the question is, “Necessary for whom?” Activists will no longer play by FERC’s rules or tolerate greed disguised as public need.

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A Silence That Speaks: Ayotzinapa and the Politics of Listening

Armando Carmona, Toward Freedom: While the silence of the state reinforces its complicity in maintaining the drug war and the immense violence against the people of Mexico, the silence from below speaks of a shift in focus, where those at the grassroots reinvigorate their commitment to struggling for radically new politics.

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Blocking the Vote

Emily Schwartz Greco and William A. Collins, OtherWords: Suppressing votes has become a booming new conservative industry. Citizens who face economic hardship, belong to communities of color, or happen to be young, tend to support Democrats – and unfortunately they have become the targets of voter disenfranchisement.

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Leadership Wanted: Pushing for More College Attainment? Start in Public Housing

Kevin Stump, Next New Deal: There are more than 600,000 New Yorkers with an average annual income under $25,000 served by conventional public housing and nearly 250,000 families on a waiting list. Public housing creates an opportunity to bring together resources to increase college attainment and success for some of the neediest students.

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This week in Speakout:

Lyrics and music are included as Abraham Entin sings about corruption, revolution, power, hope and the emperor’s new clothes; the Drug Policy Alliance announces Bill de Blasio’s plans to end low-level marijuana possession arrests in New York City; the Oakland Institutereleases a report detailing how land grabs fuel ethnic conflict in Ethiopia; leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina William J. Barber describes the Forward Together Moral Movement agenda in the wake of the midterms; Frank Seo discusses the need to push the immigrant rights movement forward in light of the Democrats’ disastrous midterm election results; James and Jean Anton blame Democrats’ shift to the right for low progressive voter turnout; Armin Niakan says recent prizes in mathematics awarded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg illustrate an inconsistency in our cultural attitudes surrounding math and science; Arnold Oliver argues we need to reclaim Armistice Day; theBrennan Center for Justice reports on how a federal appellate court struck down Kansas and Arizona proof of citizenship laws for federal elections; and more.

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The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

Most People in the US Aren’t Even Aware of the Nation’s Unending Wars

Read the Article at BuzzFlash

More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

Read the Article at The New York Times

US and EU Override Australia to Put Climate Change on G20 Agenda

Read the Article at Reuters

Islamic State Claims to Have Beheaded Another American

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations and Millions in Fines

Read the Article at NPR

Strikes Planned for 1,600 Walmart Stores Nationwide on Black Friday

Read the Article at Reuters

First Snowden, Then Tracking You on Wheels, Now Spies on a Plane – Yes, Surveillance Is Everywhere

Read the Article at The Guardian