Category Archives: Special Reports

With Roe under threat, sale of location data on abortion clinic patients raises alarm

"Companies that traffic in personal, geolocation, advertising, or other data could become digital crime scenes for eager prosecutors armed with subpoenas," said one expert on technology and gender.

A location data firm said Wednesday that it would no longer sell information about people who visit abortion clinics after reporting on the company’s sales raised alarm, but privacy advocates warned that strict regulation is needed to protect patients from such sales—particularly in light of news that abortion rights are likely to be rolled back by the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading

By redefining UNRWA, Washington destroys the foundation for a just peace in Palestine

Palestinians are justifiably worried that the mandate granted to the United Nations Agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, might be coming to an end. UNRWA’s mission, which has been in effect since 1949, has done more than provide urgent aid and support to millions of refugees. It was also a political platform that protected and preserved the rights of several generations of Palestinians. Continue reading

Report from Germany: Refugees welcome—sometimes

Posted on streetlamps all over Germany are stickers showing fleeing silhouettes with the caption, “Refugees welcome—bring your families”. Some have been blacked out with felt markers or ripped partially away. The Germans have mixed feelings about refugees, as demonstrated in the earlier waves from the Mideast and the current one from the Ukraine. Continue reading

Trump wanted to shoot protesters, says his former Pentagon chief

Mark Esper claims in a new book that the former president asked: "Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?"

Former President Donald Trump suggested protesters in Washington, D.C. denouncing police brutality back in the spring of 2020 should be shot, according to former Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Continue reading

Amazon Bessemer warehouse reflects danger on the job nationwide

BESSEMER, Ala.—Shoving merchandise around Amazon’s giant warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., isn’t easy, Isaiah Thomas says. It also isn’t safe. Continue reading

Climate activists to Biden: Stop stalling, attack climate change

WASHINGTON—Unionists and climate activists are sending a blunt message to Democratic President Joe Biden and the Democratic-run Congress: Stop stalling and attack climate change, now. Continue reading

How PeoplesHub is fostering local revolutions

PeoplesHub offers organizers essential knowledge and online solutions for progressive change.

Every revolution starts small—with an idea that the status quo isn’t quite right and a change needs to happen—but building a social movement from the ground up means putting in serious work. Connecting and organizing people who are like-minded, even at a local level, without access to the right knowledge can be daunting, especially without any help. Since 2017, PeoplesHub has assisted and reinforced progressive social movements through online training in team building and leadership, so that nascent revolutionaries can see their vision to fruition. Continue reading

‘A real threat to democracy’: Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion

"This isn't just some corporate takeover," said one critic. "This is about a set of very specific moves that our oligarchs have been taking that have gradually concentrated economic, political, and discursive power in fewer and fewer hands."

Rights advocates, public health experts, and media critics were among those on Monday who warned that the purchase of Twitter by mega-billionaire Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, creates a direct threat to democracy and the common good by putting the outsized power of the social media platform used by hundreds of millions worldwide into the hands of one man. Continue reading

Execution halted, Melissa Lucio’s legal team vows to ‘continue fighting’

"It would have shocked the public's conscience for Melissa to be put to death based on false and incomplete medical evidence for a crime that never even happened," said one of Lucio's lawyers.

Lawyers representing Melissa Lucio vowed to “continue fighting” to prove her innocence after a Texas appeals court on Monday granted the mother of 14—who advocates say was wrongfully convicted of murdering her two-year-old daughter in 2007—a stay of execution, two days before she was scheduled to be killed by lethal injection. Continue reading

‘He’s a liar’: New audio tapes confirm McCarthy wanted Trump to resign

"Maybe he lied because he's a spineless sycophant who went to Mar-a-Lago begging for forgiveness days after this call?" said one Democratic lawmaker.

Democratic lawmakers and political observers said late Thursday and Friday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been exposed as a “liar” not once but twice in the past 24 hours following the release of audio tapes confirming that the California Republican said former President Donald Trump should resign in the wake of the January 6, 2021, insurrection. Continue reading

Dems chant ‘Black votes are under attack’ as Florida GOP rams through DeSantis’ map

Republicans are "drunk on power and bullying anyone in their way into submission," warned Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

Florida’s Republican-controlled House voted along party lines Thursday to approve a congressional map drawn by the office of right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis, a move that came after state Democrats staged a sit-in on the chamber’s floor to condemn the redistricting plan as unconstitutional and racist. Continue reading

‘Journalism is not a crime’: Outrage as judge approves Assange extradition to US

"Extraditing Julian Assange to face allegations of espionage for publishing classified information would set a dangerous precedent and leave journalists everywhere looking over their shoulders."

A British judge on Wednesday officially approved the U.S. government’s request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces espionage charges for publishing classified material that exposed war crimes by American forces. Continue reading

Societies can prevent wars from starting—and the future of humanity requires peace

Experts in peace and conflict studies explain the scientific evidence that societies can choose peace, and that warfare is also a choice, not a necessity.

Humanity’s future existence hinges on cooperation on a global scale. The greatest existential threats we face are worldwide problems that stem from the man-made climate disaster—and the massive decline in biodiversity, pollution, worsening storms, fires and sea level rise that come with it. Even the COVID-19 pandemic potentially resulted from deforestation and dwindling biodiversity on the planet, and the lack of action to slow down such destruction will only increase the likelihood of pandemics in the future. Continue reading

DOJ urged to probe whether Trump ‘willfully mutilated and destroyed’ Jan. 6 call logs

Two groups assert that the former president "engaged in a pattern of conduct throughout his tenure in office that violated his record-keeping obligations under the Presidential Records Act."

A few weeks after the revelation that White House documents turned over to the panel probing the attack on the U.S. Capitol contains a seven-hour-and-37-minute gap in call logs, a pair of U.S. groups on Monday called for an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump “willfully mutilated and destroyed critical records of his presidency before leaving office.” Continue reading

‘We’re suing,’ says ACLU as Kentucky GOP enacts draconian abortion ban

"Make no mistake: the Kentucky Legislature's sole goal with this law is to shut down health centers and completely eliminate abortion access in the state," argued one abortion rights group.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood announced late Wednesday that they are suing Kentucky after the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature voted to override the Democratic governor’s veto of a sweeping 15-week abortion ban, an extreme measure inspired by the Mississippi law that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading

Why the U.S. culture of colonial extraction is making people sick and destroying the planet

Rupa Marya, a physician and musician, studies how social structures impact health. She says colonial capitalism fractures the critical relationships that keep us healthy.

A widespread culture of isolation and disconnection from our bodies, each other and the planet is negatively impacting the mental and physical health of people in America and beyond—and this was true long before the pandemic. Our relatively new human social structure that is work-obsessed and separated from nature and each other leaves us scant time to connect and relate to each other, and is not aligned with our natural rhythms. This way of living has grave impacts on people’s overall health, as well as the health of the planet. Continue reading

‘Blatantly unconstitutional’ ban on nearly all abortions signed into law in Oklahoma

"We are at a tipping point for abortion rights nationwide," warned president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Republican Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma was denounced Tuesday for signing into law one of the most extreme forced-pregnancy bills in the United States, a law pro-choice advocates argue is blatantly unconstitutional and must be challenged. Continue reading

‘This law will not stand,’ say equality defenders as DeSantis signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "has damaged our state's reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place for all families," said one rights advocate. "Worse, he has made schools less safe for children."

Rights advocates on Monday said they will continue to fight against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attacks on LGBTQ+ families after the Republican governor signed the so-called Parental Rights in Education bill that’s come to be known as the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” proposal. Continue reading

Majority of Americans fear nuclear weapons use after Russia’s Ukraine invasion

Nearly nine in 10 people in a new poll said they fear the U.S. could be drawn into Putin's war in Ukraine, and 75% said they are worried the U.S. will be targeted in a nuclear attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has left Americans on edge, according to a recent poll which found a majority of people in the U.S. are worried that the war has made the impending use of nuclear weapons more likely. Continue reading

Hunger stalks Central Asia as the Ukraine war unfolds

On March 16, 2022, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered his State of the Nation address in Nur-Sultan. Most of Tokayev’s speech was about the political reforms in Kazakhstan he had either accomplished or planned to advance, after he had promised them as redress to January’s political unrest and protests against the Kazakh government. He also addressed the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on Kazakhstan during his speech and pointed to the spikes in food prices and currency volatility as some of the worrying economic consequences being faced by the country as a fallout of this conflict. Continue reading

Watchdogs say if Clarence Thomas won’t resign, ‘Congress must move to impeach’

Fresh calls for the Supreme Court justice's removal came amid "damning" new evidence of his wife's involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Calls for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign—or face impeachment proceedings—mounted late Thursday after text messages revealed that his wife urged former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to aggressively pursue efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Continue reading

Madeleine Albright: in memoriam?

The demons will still be there at the end of the journey, waiting for her arrival and for the pleasure of her company.

As the Latin saying goes, De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Fair enough, and for most deceased a modest effort would probably suffice to act in the spirit of this sentiment and find something decent to say. However, in the case of the recently departed Madeleine Albright, one is genuinely hard put to find even a minimum of virtue to balance the wickedness. Continue reading

Putin’s ‘Peaceful Atom’ apocalypse draws closer by the minute

Minute by minute, Putin’s “Peaceful Atom” pushes us to the brink of an atomic Apocalypse…maybe as you read this… likely within hours or days. Continue reading

‘Worse than Texas’: Extreme anti-choice bills advance in multiple states

"These attacks on our rights are coordinated and connected," noted Planned Parenthood Action.

As anti-choice policymakers across the country seek to severely restrict reproductive freedom—and as the fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance pending a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision—Republican lawmakers in at least four states this week advanced bills banning or limiting abortion access. Continue reading

International Court of Justice orders Russia to halt attack on Ukraine

"Russia must comply immediately," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. "Ignoring the order will isolate Russia even further."

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered the Russian government to immediately halt its invasion of Ukraine, a legally binding decision that Moscow is likely to ignore as it continues bombarding its neighbor. Continue reading

Fossil fuel extraction threatens Africa’s remaining elephants

Destructive oil drilling, fracking and new roads are coming to a UNESCO World Heritage site, putting endangered elephants at even greater risk.

The growing global outcry against the destruction caused by the oil and gas industry has pushed leaders to address their actions to fight the resulting climate and ecological crisis. Yet, the divergence between the ‘climate champion’ rhetoric—which was on full display at last year’s COP26 conference—and leaders’ concrete climate commitments needs to be scrutinized and put to test. The fate of humanity—in particular, the BIPOC and fenceline communities who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis—depends on the actualization of these commitments. In a 2022 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate change is the cause of “[w]idespread deterioration of ecosystem structure and function” across the globe. The fossil fuel industry is not only responsible for the polluting products that worsen the climate but also for destroying ecosystems in their search for and extraction of oil and gas. That is exactly what is happening in the Kavango region in northern Namibia, home to many of Africa’s remaining wild elephants. Continue reading

GOP-run Florida legislature okays “Don’t Say Gay’ bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Over teacher and student opposition and a bitter State Senate debate, the GOP-run Florida legislature approved a “Don’t Say Gay’ bill, and sent it to sponsoring right-wing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign. Continue reading

Idaho becomes first state to replicate Texas-style abortion ban

"It is appalling that anyone could look at the chaos and harm in Texas over the past six months and think, 'I want that for the people in my state,'" said one advocate.

Reproductive rights advocates are calling on Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little to veto the forced-pregnancy legislation passed by the state House on Monday, which made Idaho the first state in the country to pass a “copycat” proposal modeled on S.B. 8 in Texas. Continue reading

UK top court rejects Assange’s request to appeal extradition decision

The decision represents "a blow to Julian Assange and to justice," said one human rights campaigner.

The U.K. Supreme Court on Monday denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s request to appeal an earlier decision permitting his extradition to the United States, where he faces espionage charges and up to 175 years in prison for publishing classified documents that exposed war crimes. Continue reading

Understanding the war in Ukraine

The war between Russia and Ukraine began much before February 24, 2022—the date provided by the Ukrainian government, NATO and the United States for the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to Dmitry Kovalevich, a journalist and a member of a now-banned communist organization in Ukraine, the war actually started in the spring of 2014 and has never stopped since. Continue reading

New mental health book hides institute director’s sordid past

It has been several years since Dr. Thomas Insel left his post as director of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to collaborate on mental health solutions with Google Life Sciences, an arm of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, now known as Verily. Insel is not the first or last government official to treat himself or herself to the riches of the industry revolving door (Louisiana Rep. Billy Tauzin surfaced at PhRMA after overseeing Medicare legislation; CDC director Julie Gerberding surfaced at Merck ). But Insel has a disturbing former cronyism record that should not be forgotten. Continue reading

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, salmon can be a big part of who you are

The salmon stories project collects and archives stories from everyday people living on the edges of the Pacific Northwest bioregion, who have a connection with salmon in some way.

Salmon have shaped the lives and cultures of people in the Pacific Northwest since ancient times. These migratory fish who return each year from the deep sea to the rivers, where they were born to mate, give birth and die—then nourish the forests’ soil after death—are legendary. They are not just a staple food of the area, but are also intrinsic to the art, songs, mythologies and lifestyles of the Pacific Northwest. Many cultures, which are Indigenous to the land that stretches from Alaska through Northern California, call this zone “Salmon Nation” after the fish, knowing that their own survival and the survival of salmon are inseparable. Continue reading