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Common Dreams Highlights | Thursday, 2 April 2015

Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community


New Report Debunks ‘Myth’ That GMOs are Key to Feeding the World
by Lauren McCauley
Over the past 20 years, the report notes, global crop yields have only grown by 20 percent—despite the massive investment in biotechnology. On the other hand, it continues, in recent decades “the dominant source of yield improvements has been traditional crossbreeding, and that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”


Despite Dire Scientific Warnings, GOP Leaders Vow to Bury Global Climate Deal
by Lauren McCauley
“Even if the job-killing and likely illegal Clean Power Plan were fully implemented, the United States could not meet the targets laid out in this proposed new plan,” McConnell said.
In Reversal, Arkansas Governor Says He Won’t Sign Pro-Discrimination Bill
by Jon Queally
The bill passed by Arkansas legislators on Wednesday mirrors enacted in Indiana last week that created a national backlash and a wave of criticism against similar laws in other states.
Astroturf on Steroids: Did Right-Wing Group Fake Anti-Net Neutrality Emails?
by Deirdre Fulton
For Free Press, which is leading the fight for an open Internet and net neutrality protections, the revelations are unsurprising. “There’s a relatively small community of organizations fighting against net neutrality,” Free Press senior director of strategy Tim Karr said in a statement to Common Dreams.
Chorus of Outrage as Obama Administration Approves Arctic Drilling for Shell Oil
by Nadia Prupis
The decision opens up 30 million acres in the Chuchki Sea to fossil fuel exploration and drilling, a move which state and national green groups called “unconscionable.”
Disregarding Human Rights Concerns, US Resumes Arm Shipments to Egypt
by Jon Queally
The move comes as Egypt has joined with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to launch airstrikes, and possibly a ground invasion, of Yemen.
Oregon Seeks to Become First State to Limit Antibiotic Use at Factory Farms
by Deirdre Fulton
bacteria commonly present on farms are mutating into stronger, antibiotic-resistant strains, which in turn find their way to the human population through numerous pathways, including contaminated food, airborne dust blowing off farms, and water and soil polluted with contaminated feces.
Closer to Justice as Palestine Joins International Criminal Court
by Lauren McCauley
“As Palestine formally becomes a State Party to the Rome Statute today,” Al-Malki said, “the world is also a step closer to ending a long era of impunity and injustice. Indeed, today brings us closer to our shared goals of justice and peace.”
more news…


Feeding the World – Without GMOs
by Emily Cassidy
GE crops have done nothing to improve global food securityand there’s little reason to think that they will any time soon.
Burning Our Bridges: Failing Infrastructure in the Age of Corporate Tax-Dodging
by Sarah Anderson & Scott Klinger
To generate funds to shore up our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, the U.S. Congress is considering giving corporations large tax cuts on their offshore profits….The last time we tried this, in 2004, it failed miserably.
Iran Demands Lifting of Sanctions for ‘Irreversible’ Moves, Says Insider
by Gareth Porter
Iran has already made some significant concessions on the sanctions issue, the source revealed.
Guilty of Being Poor
by Karen Dolan
When a community issues arrest warrants for more offenses than it has residents, something’s deeply wrong. A democratic society that purports “freedom and justice for all” can’t coexist with one that profiles and criminalizes poor people and communities of color.
How Ohio’s Energy Economy Became a Radioactive 19th Century Relic
by Harvey Wasserman
After being at the cusp of major solar and wind power advances, the state has all but killed the prospects for any large new green energy projects. The state may now miss one of history’s biggest and most profitable technological transformations.
The Backlash Against Discrimination And GOP’s “Indiana” Problem
by Terrance Heath
In 2016 and beyond, Republicans will find it hard to strike a balance between “religious freedom” and discrimination. They will find it even harder to choose between either “caving” and alienating their base, or alienating the growing majority of voters and facing a grassroots onslaught.
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more newswire…

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Truthout Daily Digest | Thursday, 2 April 2015

Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men

Aaron Cantú, Truthout: One jailhouse informant for the Detroit Police Department sent Lacino Hamilton to prison. Now, Hamilton’s fight to be released has revealed systemic corruption allegedly perpetrated by police, prosecutors and prisoner informants hoping for more lenient sentences.

Read the Article

Laura Flanders | The Fight Against High-Stakes Testing: A Civil Rights Movement

Laura Flanders, Truthout: Jesse Hagopian, history teacher and editor of More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing, talks about the fight against high-stakes testing, the roots of that testing in eugenics movement and its insidious anti-democratic and anti-labor social goals.

Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Rounding Us Up, and Exposing Us All to Cancer

Brian Moench, Truthout: The World Health Organization has just declared the most widely used herbicide in the world, glyphosate, a “probable human carcinogen,” a designation long overdue. Cancer is only one of many health consequences of the growing scourge of herbicides, pesticides and GMOs.

Read the Article

It’s Time to Talk About the Next System

Cecilia Gingerich, Truthout: For systemic crises, relief will come only through systemic solutions. The Next System Project, which launches today, offers such solutions to the systemic climate, political, economic, social and cultural crises the United States is experiencing.

Read the Article and Watch the Video

Fatal Construction Accident Shows Higher Risks Faced by Latino Workers

Danica Jorden, Truthout: Three men were killed and one left in serious condition after a construction accident in Raleigh, North Carolina. The incident illustrates the differential risks still facing Latino workers, often employed by a tangled web of contractors and subcontractors.

Read the Article

When Is the Next Ice Age?

The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program: If we want to prevent a new ice age for much of the planet, then we need to put a price on carbon now to fight back against climate change – the greatest threat our human species has ever faced.

Read the Article

Impunity Fuels Abuse in Immigrant Detention Centers in Spain

Inés Benítez, Inter Press Service: In Spain, immigrants are frequent victims of abuse and mistreatment by the national police, who are in charge of guarding them. Human rights organizations also complain about hurdles thrown in the way of investigations of reports of abuse and the prevailing impunity.

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What the Atlantic Coast Should Brace for if Offshore Drilling Gets Approved

Wilma Subra, Facing South: Offshore energy exploration, drilling and production on the Atlantic coast will leave permanent environmental damage and destruction. The physical environment will be severely negatively impacted in the name of “progress,” with no consideration of the devastation.

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Grabbing Africa’s Seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation Back Agribusiness Seed Takeover

Stephen Greenberg and Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist: The latest salvo in the battle over Africa’s seed systems has been fired with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa’s governments as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labor feed the continent.

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Court Steps in to #SaveH2B, but Is the US Guestworker Program Worth Saving?

Rachel Luban, In These Times: While many H-2B guestworkers are unhappy with the abuse and exploitation they suffer on the job, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want the program to go away, as the program often offers the only means of employment available for some workers.

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Climate Change: When It’s All in the Family

Felix Kramer, The Houston Chronicle: Could heartfelt pleas from family members move the people who run the world to an urgent response to our climate crisis? The families and friends of movers and shakers have a unique opportunity: They can spur what may have already begun.

Read the Article


The BuzzFlash commentary will return soon.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Either Confused or Misleading Everyone About His Controversial Law

Read the Article at the Huffington Post

Midnight Deadline Looms Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Read the Article at The Middle East Eye

Pharmacy Groups Balk at Supplying Lethal Injection Drugs

Read the Article at NBC News

Turns Out the World’s First “Clean Coal” Plant Is a Backdoor Subsidy to Oil Producers

Read the Article at Grist

A Court Case So Secret, the US Government Says It Can’t Go On

Read the Article at Bloomberg View

US Pledges Emissions Cuts of Up to 28 Percent Ahead of Global Climate Treaty

Read the Article at The Guardian

Honoring Cesar Chavez’s Birthday by Supporting the Farm Workers for Whom He Gave His Life

Read the Article at the Huffington Post

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Truthout Daily Digest Sunday, 2 November 2014

Given Scant Information, Activists Struggle to Fight New Pipeline in Iowa

Mara Kardas-Nelson, Truthout: Farmers and environmental activists are trying to fight a proposed pipeline that would bring Bakken crude through Iowa. With little information from the company or the government, however, they’re left in the dark – and are struggling to organize across ideological divides.

Read the Article

The National Security State Has Filled Us With Fear but Not Improved Our Well-Being

Tom Engelhardt, Haymarket Books: None of the frameworks we normally call on to understand the national security state capture the irrationality, genuine inanity and actual madness that lie at its heart. Perhaps reimagining what has developed in these last decades as a faith-based system – a new national religion – would help.

Read the Excerpt

Truthout Interviews on Domestic Abuse, State Violence and the Case of Marissa Alexander

Ted Asregadoo, Truthout: Tasasha Henderson, Monica Trinidad and Ash Stephens talk about domestic abuse, state violence and the upcoming trial of Marissa Alexander – a Florida woman who may face up to 60 years in prison because of the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Watch the Interview

This Is What Happens When You Criticize Teach For America

George Joseph, The Nation: While Teach For America has failed at providing the nation with many long-term educators, it has provided a stream of political operatives who have gone on to help fuel their former organization’s expansion and codify its narrow, corporate vision of education reform.

Read the Article

You Just Got “Richsplained”

Marjorie E. Wood, OtherWords: According to Steve Siebold – a multimillionaire and author of the book How Rich People Think – billionaires like Walmart founder Sam Walton’s affluent heirs deserve their wealth because they think, feel and act differently than ordinary people.

Read the Article

Plastics Chemical Linked to Changes in Baby Boys’ Genitals

Lindsey Konkel, Environmental Health News: Boys exposed in the womb to high levels of di-isononyl phthalate – a chemical found in vinyl products – are born with slightly altered genital development, according to new research.

Read the Article

Telling the Stories of Victims in Indiana Serial Killings

Ava Thompson Greenwell, The Chicago Reporter: “What will it take for African-American female crime victims to get the national news coverage they deserve? Perhaps more African-American women journalism managers are needed.”

Read the Article

Japan’s Natural Perils and Promises, in the Wake of Fukushima

Nassrine Azimi, The Asia-Pacific Journal: If natural disasters are simply unavoidable, then for a country smaller than the state of California and with more than three times the population, the presence of nuclear power plants seems, to say the least, a little akin to playing Russian roulette.

Read the Article

Fear Factor: Ebola and the Politics of Paranoia

Nicholas Powers, The Indypendent: Ebola will ultimately be contained or tragically burn itself out among the poor. It is not a species threat. Yet the waves of terror sweeping across the world have already moved us rightward, reinforcing a conservative vision across the divide between the Third and First Worlds.

Read the Article

This week in Speakout:

Gail Smith writes about the urgent need to approve emergency clemency for Niurca Torres;Norman Solomon and Marcy Wheeler report on a new campaign starting with a billboard in Seattle near Amazon headquarters questioning why the CIA is on Amazon’s cloud; Lamont Lilly suggests the police report on 17-year-old Lennon Lacy’s death conceals a lynching in North Carolina; Robert Bruce Ware dissects racism as it relates to state violence and “open carry” gun rights; Turning Point Suffragist Memorial and Suffrage Wagon News Channelannounce a partnership to observe November 15 as the “Night of Terror” campaign against women’s suffrage activists; Reprieve reports that 76 members of Congress have demanded to see tapes of the abusive force-feeding practice at Guantánamo Bay; activists from Gas Free Seneca put their bodies on the line to protect Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes from a gas storage facility built by an out-of-state corporation; Tony Pereiraexcoriates a California Department of Food and Agriculture plan to allow pesticide spraying anywhere, any time; Tamanna Rahman and Brendan Smith talk about how nurses have become frontline climate workers; and more.

Read the Articles


The BuzzFlash commentary for Truthout will return soon.

The Time to Act Is Now: IPCC Issues “Final Word” on Climate Change

Read the Article at The Guardian

The Pentagon’s Plans for a Spy Service to Rival the CIA Have Been Pared Back

Read the Article at The Washington Post

States Ditch Electronic Voting Machines

Read the Article at The Hill

Exxon Fighting to Keep Public From Seeing 900,000 Pages of Documents in Oil Spill Lawsuit

Read the Article at InsideClimate News

Probe of an FBI Agent’s Misconduct Leads to the Release of Prisoners Convicted of Drug Charges

Read the Article at The Washington Post

Federal Judge: Washington Redskins Team Can Sue Five Native Americans

Read the Article at MSNBC

Angela Davis | From Michael Brown to Assata Shakur, the Racist State of the US Persists

Read the Article at The Guardian