Monday, November 18, 2013

BAUAW NEWSLETTER: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013

PUSH CHELSEA'S JAILERS TO RESPECT HER IDENTITY

Call and write Ft Leavenworth today and tell them to honor Manning's wishes around her name and gender:
SF PRIDE
Chelsea's supporters were awarded the title “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Private Manning has been an icon both for the government transparency movement and LGBTQ activists because of her fearlessness and acts of conscience. Now, as she begins serving her sentence, Chelsea has asked for help with legal appeals, family visits, education, and support for undergoing gender transition. The latter is a decision she’s made following years of experiencing gender dysphoria and examining her options. At a difficult time in her life, she joined the military out of hope–the hope that she could use her service to save lives, and also the hope that it would help to suppress her feelings of gender dysphoria. But after serving time in Iraq, Private Manning realized what mattered to her most was the truth, personal as well as political, even when it proved challenging.
Now she wants the Fort Leavenworth military prison to allow her access to hormone replacement therapy which she has offered to pay for herself, as she pursues the process to have her name legally changed to ‘Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.’
To encourage the prison to honor her transgender identity, we’re calling on progressive supporters and allies to contact Fort Leavenworth officials demanding they acknowledge her requested name change immediately. Currently, prison officials are not required to respect Chelsea’s identity, and can even refuse to deliver mail addressed to the name ‘Chelsea Manning.’ However, it’s within prison administrators’ power to begin using the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ now, in advance of the legal name change which will most likely be approved sometime next year. It’s also up to these officials to approve Private Manning’s request for hormone therapy.

Call: (913) 758-3600

Write to:
Col. Sioban Ledwith, Commander
U.S. Detention Barracks
1301 N Warehouse Rd
Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027

Tell them: “Transgender rights are human rights! Respect Private Manning’s identity by acknowledging the name ‘Chelsea Manning’ whenever possible, including in mail addressed to her, and by allowing her access to appropriate medical treatment for gender dysphoria, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT).”
While openly transgender individuals are allowed to serve in many other militaries around the world, the US military continues to deny their existence. Now, by speaking up for Chelsea’s right to treatment, you can support one brave whistleblower in her personal struggle, and help set an important benchmark for the rights of transgender individuals everywhere. (Remember that letters written with focus and a respectful tone are more likely to be effective.) Feel free to copy this sample letter.
Earlier this year, the Private Manning Support Network won the title of most “absolutely fabulous overall contingent” at the San Francisco Pride Parade, the largest celebration of its kind for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) people nationwide. Over one thousand people marched for Private Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning in that parade, to show LGBTQ community pride for the Iraq War’s most well-known whistleblower.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38591

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter


Table of Contents:
A. ARTICLES IN FULL
B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.

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A. ARTICLES IN FULL

(Unless otherwise noted)


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1)  Anger Takes Hold in City Ravaged by Typhoon
By
November 12, 2013 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/world/asia/anger-rising-over-conditions-in-tacloban-ravaged-philippine-city.html?hp




2) Typhoon in Philippines Casts Long Shadow Over U.N. Talks on Climate Treaty
By and
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/typhoon-in-philippines-casts-long-shadow-over-un-talks-on-climate-treaty.html?hp




3) Blighted Cities Prefer Razing to Rebuilding
By
November 12, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/blighted-cities-prefer-razing-to-rebuilding.html?hp




4) Protests Escalate in Bangkok, Rattling Government and Raising Fears of Clashes
By
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/escalating-protests-in-bangkok-raise-fears-of-clashes.html?ref=world 




5) Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Collective Bargaining Law
By STEVEN YACCINO
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/wisconsin-supreme-court-hears-arguments-on-collective-bargaining-law.html?ref=us




6) Socialist candidate takes lead in City Council race in left-leaning Seattle as count continues
By Associated Press 
November 13,  2013
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/seattle-on-the-verge-of-electing-socialist-candidate-for-the-first-time-in-modern-history/2013/11/13/cf8ac8a6-4c82-11e3-bf60-c1ca136ae14a_story.html



7) Philippines’ President Faces Growing Anger
By
November 13, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/world/asia/philippines-president-faces-growing-anger.html?hp




8) Socialist Sawant wins City Council seat
By:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/11/14/sawant-wins-city-council-seat/




9) For Some Aid Workers, Rescues Must Wait as Bodies Are Removed
By AUSTIN RAMZY
November 15, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/world/asia/tacloban-philippines-aid-effort-typhoon-haiyan.html?ref=world




10) Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan destruction aggravated by capitalism
Thousands killed and 11 million affected by the strongest storm ever
Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong)
November 14, 2013
http://chinaworker.info/en/2013/11/14/5053/



11) Michigan Homeowner Charged in Woman’s Death
By and
November 15, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/us/michigan-homeowner-charged-in-renisha-mcbrides-death.html?ref=us 




12) A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk
"About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it. ...The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case 'adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,' the report showed. ...The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being 'openly displayed.' If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it. "
By
November 14, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/nyregion/a-marijuana-stash-that-carried-little-risk.html?ref=nyregion 




13) C.I.A. Collects Global Data on Transfers of Money
By and
November 14, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/us/cia-collecting-data-on-international-money-transfers-officials-say.html?ref=business




14) Caught in Unemployment’s Revolving Door
By "The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent."
November 16, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/business/caught-in-unemployments-revolving-door.html?hp&_r=0 




15) Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis
By and
November 16, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/world/growing-clamor-about-inequities-of-climate-crisis.html?hp




16)  The Shame of American Health Care
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/opinion/the-shame-of-american-health-care.html?hp&rref=opinion 




17) Inland, No Aid for Survivors of Typhoon
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/world/asia/inland-no-aid-for-survivors-of-typhoon.html?ref=world 




18) Fuel Removal Starts at Japan’s Crippled Nuclear Plant
By
November 18, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/world/asia/fuel-removal-starts-at-japans-crippled-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world 




19) Top U.N. Official Warns of Coal Risks
By
November 18, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/world/top-un-official-warns-of-coal-risks.html?ref=world 




20) Extension of Benefits for Jobless Is Set to End
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/business/extension-of-benefits-for-jobless-is-set-to-end.html?ref=us















 

 

 

 





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1)  Anger Takes Hold in City Ravaged by Typhoon
By
November 12, 2013 
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/world/asia/anger-rising-over-conditions-in-tacloban-ravaged-philippine-city.html?hp


TACLOBAN, the Philippines — Wearing face masks or pulling their shirts up over their noses to mask the smell of rotting flesh, a procession of typhoon survivors three miles long walked toward the shattered airport here on Tuesday to beg for food, water or a flight out of the chaos of what used to be a city of 220,000.

They witnessed personal tragedies like that of Erroll de la Cruz, 34, who squatted next to the pavement to scrawl the names of his wife, Michelle, and 7-year-old son, Matthew, on a piece of plywood. Then he walked across the crowded road and laid the plywood between their corpses, in the hope that their lives would be remembered, and perhaps their bodies someday traced.

“I don’t think I can handle this by myself,” he said with the quiet voice of someone who has not yet begun to come to terms with the sudden deaths of loved ones.

The people of Tacloban, on Leyte Island in the east-central Philippines, have been struggling largely on their own for almost five days to deal with the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, as the civilian and military authorities of the Philippines struggle to cope with a natural disaster of a scope far beyond expectations. The pace of relief flights by the Philippines and United States air forces has finally accelerated, but only after a long series of delays and hiccups.

There is no reliable evidence that slow relief work has caused further loss of life. The deaths of the wife and stepson of Mr. de la Cruz, for example, appear to have occurred during the initial rush of wind and water from the storm.

But difficulties in distributing relief assistance have made the lives of the survivors far more difficult.

Some residents were understanding of the delays in distributing food. Lamberto Patau, 31, a bus dispatcher, said that more relief shipments had arrived than could be handed out. “There is food, but there is no one to distribute it, because they were all victims,” he said.

The devastation apparent during an eight-mile drive into the city center made the extent of the challenge clear. Mounds of debris up to 15 feet high towered next to the main road. Concrete pillars and other hazards had fallen into the traffic lanes, forcing drivers, motorcyclists and pedestrians to dodge and weave.

Police officers were operating a series of simple checkpoints, built of little more than scraps of wood, to try to restrain unruly behavior. An 8 p.m. curfew has been imposed.

Jennifer Cicco, the administrator of the Leyte Island chapter of the Philippines Red Cross, said the conservative estimate from provincial officials was that in addition to the deaths in Tacloban, a city of 220,000, some 10,000 people had died in the surrounding province, where some 1.3 million people live, almost all of them on the coast where many fishing villages were unprepared for the fury of the storm.

The International Committee of the Red Cross tried to send a dozen truckloads of supplies to Tacloban from Davao in the southern Philippines ahead of the typhoon, only to find that the storm moved so fast that the trucks did not reach their destination in time. An attempted hijacking of the convoy around 20 miles south of Tacloban by a hungry crowd forced it to stop, and by Tuesday night the roads were still too unsafe for the convoy to proceed, Ms. Cicco said.

Instead of experienced police officers directing the ever-growing crowds at the airport who were trying to flee the city on Tuesday, there were young soldiers with M-16 assault rifles and bandoleers of ammunition.

The airport still had no radar or other effective air traffic control system; it was relying instead on contacting the relief planes via radio once they came within ni9 to 12 miles of the city, and asking them to take turns using the runway. Only small planes with limited capacity, mostly propeller planes, could use the airport, because of the air traffic control problem and because no one had brought in new portable staircases for reaching the doorways of larger jets; virtually all of the airport’s staircases were destroyed by the storm.

In the city, conditions were even worse than on the road. So many rotting bodies lay uncollected in the streets that senior Philippine military officers complained of severe nausea from the stench. Water and food were scarce, and looters picked through the mangled remains of retail stores in the hope of finding anything of value that previous looters may have missed. The municipal prison had released all its prisoners as the typhoon hit the city, urging them to save themselves from drowning. Little effort had yet been made to find them.

Relief operations in this devastated city were slowly starting to pick up Tuesday as the Philippines struggled to cope with the scale of the damage.

Some survivors, however, were growing angry.

“There’s no food coming, but that is not as big a problem as dealing with the dead,” said Juanita Experas, a 63-year-old resident of a village near Tacloban. “There are dead bodies everywhere, and it is making us sick.

Manuel Aballe, a 27-year-old resident who began the long trudge to the airport with his wife and 2-month-old baby, said, “We have to get out of Tacloban or we will die here of hunger.”

In some ways, the damage in Tacloban is even worse than it was in Indonesia after a giant tsunami swept ashore in 2004. In Indonesian cities like Banda Aceh, the tsunami inundated neighborhoods closest to the coast, but homes, cars and diesel generators farther inland were spared and provided bases for relief efforts.

But in Tacloban, a city of 220,000 wrapped around a horseshoe-shaped bay, the water overflowed from the bay in all directions. It flooded practically everything in sight with fast-moving torrents as the sea level rose as much as four meters, or 13 feet. Winds exceeding 140 miles an hour tore away the roofs and windows that withstood the walls of water. Cars were overturned or floated away, their engines ruined.

As people from other towns have driven here to search for relatives, they have found that there is essentially no gasoline available in the city or nearby. Lines have formed at service stations.

Backyard diesel generators, usually used during blackouts, were also wrecked by the water, so the city has been dark at night, when large bands of looters gather. Virtually no diesel fuel is available at any price, although the government has its own supplies.

Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez of Tacloban said in a brief interview that he was aware of difficulties, but described them as affecting nearby villages more than his own city.

“These communities are very difficult to access,” he said. “Many people are confused and don’t have cellphone service.”

Mr. Romualdez said that he had personally lost everything, including his house. But he suggested that reports of damage to his own city might have been exaggerated, saying that only a couple hundred deaths had been confirmed by the authorities. Some officials have estimated that as many as 10,000 people died in Tacloban.

A Philippine Army colonel acknowledged that it was unusual for soldiers with assault rifles to perform crowd control, like at the Tacloban airport, instead of the police. But the rifles do not have rounds in the chambers, he said, before adding that the soldiers are responsible for their weapons and so carry them everywhere.

The colonel said that “everything is in chaos.” He insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Despite the many difficulties, there were hints of improvements on Tuesday. The United States sent in C-130 propeller cargo planes at a faster tempo to take survivors to safety. Some roads opened to nearby towns and villages.

But the crowds milling at the airport grew faster than what the Philippine and United States Air Forces were taking out, possibly because word had started to spread of additional flights.

Sally Reyes, who is 29 years old and seven months pregnant, said that she had been waiting for four days at the airport with no food or water from the government, only donations from relatives. She has been pleading for a flight out every day, she said, and plans to keep pleading.


Robert Gonzaga and Jes Aznar contributed reporting.

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2) Typhoon in Philippines Casts Long Shadow Over U.N. Talks on Climate Treaty
By and
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/typhoon-in-philippines-casts-long-shadow-over-un-talks-on-climate-treaty.html?hp

The typhoon that struck the Philippines produced an outpouring of emotion on Monday at United Nations talks on a global climate treaty in Warsaw, where delegates were quick to suggest that a warming planet had turned the storm into a lethal monster.

Olai Ngedikes, the lead negotiator for an alliance of small island nations, said in a statement that the typhoon, named Haiyan, which by some estimates killed 10,000 people in one city alone, “serves as a stark reminder of the cost of inaction on climate change and should serve to motivate our work in Warsaw.”

Naderev Saño, the chief representative of the Philippines at the conference, said he would stop eating in solidarity with the storm victims until “a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness; the climate crisis is madness,” Mr. Saño said. “We can stop this madness right here in Warsaw.”

His declaration, coupled with the scope of the disaster, moved many of the delegates to tears.

Yet scientists remain cautious about drawing links between extreme storms like this typhoon and climate change. There is not enough data, they say, to draw conclusions about any single storm.

“Whether we’re seeing some result of climate change, we find that impossible to find out,” said Kerry A. Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at M.I.T.

Scientists largely agree that it appears that storms will become more powerful as the climate changes. Dr. Emanuel helped write a 2010 study, for example, that forecast that the average intensity of hurricanes and typhoons — different names for the same phenomenon — would increase by up to 11 percent by the end of the century.

Typhoon Haiyan, with winds of at least 140 miles an hour, was considered one of the strongest storms to make landfall on record. “The data suggests that things like this will be more frequent with global warming,” said James P. Kossin, an atmospheric scientist at the National Climatic Data Center.

Dr. Emanuel said that as the planet warms because of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, the difference between sea and air temperatures increases. It is this difference that fuels these kinds of cyclonic storms.

“As you warm the climate, you basically raise the speed limit on hurricanes,” he said.

As with Hurricane Sandy last year in the United States, powerful storm surges contributed to the deaths and destruction in the Philippines. And Dr. Kossin and others noted that one of the impacts of climate change — an overall rise in sea levels — is sure to worsen storm surges. While factors like wind speed, storm track, geography and the timing of tides affect the height and extent of a surge and the damage it causes, a higher sea level baseline will lead to a higher surge.

“When you strip everything else away, we’re seeing a general rise in sea level,” Dr. Kossin said. “There’s no question that storm surge is going to be compounded.”

The effect of climate change on storms in the Pacific is especially difficult to study, scientists said, because no governments fly research planes into storms there to gather data. In the Atlantic, the United States government regularly sends reconnaissance flights into hurricanes, but the last regular flights into Pacific typhoons — also by American aircraft — occurred more than a quarter of a century ago. “Since then, we’ve been pretty much blind,” Dr. Emanuel said.

Instead, researchers have to rely on remote sensing data from satellites that essentially detect the degree of cloud cover, and use pattern-recognition software and algorithms to come up with estimates of storm intensity. Dr. Kossin used that data in a 2008 study of the Pacific that found “that the strongest storms are getting stronger,” he said.

In Warsaw, some of the delegates expressed hope that the typhoon and its aftermath would give fresh impetus to the talks.

“The scale of the response in the talks must match with what is clearly an escalating situation,” Dessima Williams, a former chairwoman of the alliance of island states, said in an interview from Warsaw.

The negotiations, which will last about two weeks, are another step in a long effort to replace a weak treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, which failed to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, with a new one that would take effect in 2020.

The Philippines disaster is likely to be cited by delegates debating one of the main issues, a longstanding fight about climate justice. As global warming proceeds, some of the poorest people in the world, who have had the least to do with the burning of fossil fuels, stand to be among the primary victims in small island nations and in countries like Bangladesh, India and the Philippines.

Developing countries want the West — historically responsible for emissions, for the most part — not only to take the lead in reducing the use of fossil fuels, but to put up huge amounts of money to help poorer countries adapt to climatic changes that have already become inevitable. Western governments, which in some cases are already starting to consider their own adaptations to climate change, agree in principle that they should help poor countries. But they have committed relatively small sums, and they are wary of letting fast-growing countries like China off the hook on emissions.

Analysts say the likeliest outcome of the Warsaw negotiations is a weak pact that essentially urges countries to do what they can to cut emissions.

 


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3) Blighted Cities Prefer Razing to Rebuilding
By
November 12, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/blighted-cities-prefer-razing-to-rebuilding.html?hp

BALTIMORE — Shivihah Smith’s East Baltimore neighborhood, where he lives with his mother and grandmother, is disappearing. The block one over is gone. A dozen rowhouses on an adjacent block were removed one afternoon last year. And on the corner a few weeks ago, a pair of houses that were damaged by fire collapsed. The city bulldozed those and two others, leaving scavengers to pick through the debris for bits of metal and copper wire.

“The city doesn’t want these old houses,” lamented Mr. Smith, 36.

For the Smiths, the bulldozing of city blocks is a source of anguish. But for Baltimore, as for a number of American cities in the Northeast and Midwest that have lost big chunks of their population, it is increasingly regarded as a path to salvation. Because despite the well-publicized embrace by young professionals of once-struggling city centers in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles, for many cities urban planning has often become a form of creative destruction.

“It is not the house itself that has value, it is the land the house stands on,” said Sandra Pianalto, the president and chief executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “This led us to the counterintuitive concept that the best policy to stabilize neighborhoods may not always be rehabilitation. It may be demolition.”

Large-scale destruction is well known in Detroit, but it is also underway in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others at a total cost of more than $250 million. Officials are tearing down tens of thousands of vacant buildings, many habitable, as they seek to stimulate economic growth, reduce crime and blight, and increase environmental sustainability.

A recent Brookings Institution study found that from 2000 to 2010 the number of vacant housing units nationally had increased by 4.5 million, or 44 percent. And a report by the University of California, Berkeley, determined that over the past 15 years, 130 cities, most with relatively small populations, have dissolved themselves, more than half the total ever recorded in the United States.

The continuing struggles of former manufacturing centers have fundamentally altered urban planning, traditionally a discipline based on growth and expansion.

Today, it is also about disinvestment patterns to help determine which depopulated neighborhoods are worth saving; what blocks should be torn down and rebuilt; and based on economic activity, transportation options, infrastructure and population density, where people might best be relocated. Some even focus on returning abandoned urban areas into forests and meadows.

“It’s like a whole new field,” said Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan, who helped plan for a land bank in Detroit to oversee that city’s vacant properties.

In all, more than half of the nation’s 20 largest cities in 1950 have lost at least one-third of their populations. And since 2000, a number of cities, including Baltimore, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Buffalo, have lost around 10 percent; Cleveland has lost more than 17 percent; and more than 25 percent of residents have left Detroit, whose bankruptcy declaration this summer has heightened anxiety in other postindustrial cities.

The result of this shrinkage, also called “ungrowth” and “right sizing,” has been compressed tax bases, increased crime and unemployment, tight municipal budgets and abandoned neighborhoods. The question is what to do with the urban ghost towns unlikely to be repopulated because of continued suburbanization and deindustrialization.

“In the past, cities would look at buildings individually, determine there was a problem, tear them down and then quickly find another use for the land,” said Justin B. Hollander, an urban planning professor at Tufts University. “Now they’re looking at the whole DNA of the city and saying, ‘There are just too many structures for the population we have.' ”

Cleveland, whose population has shrunk by about 80,000 during the past decade to 395,000, has spent $50 million over the past six years to raze houses, which cost $10,000 each to destroy, compared with $27,000 annually to maintain.

Some neighborhoods have lost two-thirds of their residents since 2000. There are so many vacant lots that the city, now home to more than 200 community gardens and farms, zones for urban farms and allows people to keep pigs, sheep and goats in residential areas. A vineyard has popped up as well.

Two miles northwest of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, which has at least 6,000 vacant buildings, is an uninhabited deciduous forest where a sprawling 74-acre housing development once stood before the city demolished it because so few people lived there.

Philadelphia, which has 40,000 vacant lots, has promoted the benefits of lower-density living by allowing people in largely vacant neighborhoods to spread out to the lot next door — where a neighbor’s home once was. The city has been studying a plan to sell $500 leases to urban farmers. One such farm, Greensgrow, which was built on a former Superfund site, sold $1 million in produce in 2012.

Baltimore has begun to turn over vacant lots to groups of amateur farmers. Boone Street Farm, boxed in by abandoned rowhouses on an eighth of an acre, is completing its third season of growing tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes and other fruits and vegetables in the city’s Midway neighborhood. It sells produce to restaurants, has a table at a local farmers market and delivers $10 boxes of produce weekly to members of its community-supported agriculture program.

But even as they bulldoze thousands of vacant houses, Baltimore and other shrinking cities have continued to seek new people.

“I’m trying to grow the city, not get smaller,” said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore’s mayor, about the notion that the city could be fine with between 500,000 and 600,000 people. “I’m not the first to say that a city that’s not growing is dying.”

Baltimore lost nearly 110,000 jobs from 1990 to 2010, about 23 percent, and has seen its population drop from 950,000 in 1950 to 621,000 today. The city has 20,000 vacant buildings and lots, and more than one house in eight is vacant.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake wants to attract 10,000 families to the city within a decade and has reached out to immigrants, gays and lesbians (Maryland allows same-sex marriage), and Orthodox Jews who might want to buy newly refurbished three-story rowhouses that the city is selling for as little as $100,000.

At least one city that has taken a pioneering approach to confronting diminution has found that accepting shrinkage does not mean problems go away. Youngstown, Ohio, once a bustling steel city of 170,000 but now with only 66,000 people, has sought to head off collapse by tearing down thousands of vacant houses — 3,000 so far and 10 more each week.

But while the city had planned on a stable population of 80,000, more than 1,000 people move away every year, leaving behind 130 additional empty homes in addition to the city’s 22,000 vacant properties and structures. Four thousand of those homes are in dangerous condition, according to the city, but each demolition costs $9,000 and the city has yet to decide whether to close nearly abandoned neighborhoods to try to save money.

“It’s almost anti-American to say our city is shrinking,” said Heather McMahon, the executive director of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, a Youngstown community group. “But if we’re going to survive as a city and not go bankrupt like Detroit,” she said, “we’re going to have to figure something out.”

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4) Protests Escalate in Bangkok, Rattling Government and Raising Fears of Clashes
By
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/escalating-protests-in-bangkok-raise-fears-of-clashes.html?ref=world

BANGKOK — With thousands of antigovernment protesters in the streets of Bangkok on Monday, Thailand’s opposition announced a campaign of civil disobedience, including a three-day general strike later this week and a call for businesses to delay paying their taxes.

The protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra signaled a return to the fractious and volatile politics that destabilized Thailand several years ago. At least four large demonstrations were held simultaneously across Bangkok on Monday, closing schools and stoking fears of clashes between rival groups.

“I would like to urge all Thais to fight with the people so that a great, absolute and sustainable victory belongs to Thailand,” Suthep Thaugsuban, a protest leader and senior member of the opposition Democrat Party, told a crowd of thousands on Monday.

It was not yet clear late on Monday evening whether his call for a general strike Wednesday through Friday would be widely heeded.

The initial spark for the protests, which began a week ago, was an amnesty bill proposed by the government that would have eased the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, a polarizing figure who was ousted as prime minister in a 2006 military coup. The lower house of Parliament passed the bill earlier this month, but the Senate rejected it decisively on Monday.

“The opposition to the amnesty bill has been deep and wide,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. “It has now escalated into an effort to overthrow the government.”

The protests have rattled the government of Ms. Yingluck, Mr. Thaksin’s sister. The prime minister has said repeatedly that if the amnesty bill is defeated, it will not be considered in Parliament again, and she has pleaded with protesters to stop their demonstrations.

The bill initially angered many of the governing party’s supporters, known as the red shirts, because along with pardoning Mr. Thaksin in the corruption cases he faces, it would have offered amnesty to those responsible for the bloody crackdown on his followers in 2010. But the majority of red shirts appeared to have swung back to the government’s side, and they staged their own rally with tens of thousands of people on Sunday and another in northeastern Thailand on Monday.

Thai politics, which until recently had enjoyed relative calm during Ms. Yingluck’s more than two years in office, appear to have returned to the polarized and unpredictable deadlock between opponents and supporters of Mr. Thaksin.

One of Mr. Thaksin’s main rivals, Sondhi Limthongkul, described the political conflict on Monday as a battle of good and evil. In a measure of the frustration with Thailand’s political problems, he repeated a call to return political power to Thailand’s king. “I think Thailand must suspend the role of politicians for at least two to three years,” he said. He asserted that Mr. Thaksin was exercising power from abroad, including deciding who got major appointments in the government.

Mr. Thaksin, the de facto leader of the governing party, Pheu Thai, has been weakened by the amnesty controversy, Mr. Thitinan said. But, he added, Pheu Thai retains strong support, especially in northeastern Thailand, where a third of the electorate lives.

Mr. Thaksin is “farther away than ever from coming home,” Mr. Thitinan said. “But the avenues to his return are not totally closed.”


Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting.

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5) Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Collective Bargaining Law
By STEVEN YACCINO
November 11, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/us/wisconsin-supreme-court-hears-arguments-on-collective-bargaining-law.html?ref=us

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments on the constitutionality of a 2011 law that all but eliminated collective bargaining for most public employees.

The law, which prompted large protests and thrust the Republican administration of Gov. Scott Walker into the national spotlight, has divided the state along partisan lines for more than two years. The latest battle has centered largely on a broad legal question: Can state lawmakers so significantly curtail collective bargaining that union membership is made less desirable?

“I don’t believe the two ships pass in the night,” J. B. Van Hollen, the attorney general of Wisconsin, said when asked by a judge about the dueling legal theories. “I believe they collide.”

Mr. Van Hollen argued that group bargaining was not a constitutional guarantee but rather a “benefit” permitted by lawmakers. He added that he believed state officials had a “bigger ship” and would win in the end.

The law, which led to a failed attempt to remove Mr. Walker from office last year, has been challenged by a teachers union in Madison and by a labor group representing employees of the city of Milwaukee. Both plaintiffs contend that the measure violates freedom of association rights and equal protection of the law by subjecting unionized public employees to burdens not faced by their nonunion colleagues.

“If you are an employee and you choose to associate in this activity, you will be penalized,” said Lester A. Pines, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs, Madison Teachers Inc. The law, he said, essentially forces public employees to “walk away from their associational choice.”

Wisconsin’s Republican-majority legislature drew national attention when it passed the law during Mr. Walker’s first year in office, drawing tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol building and leading more than a dozen Senate Democrats to leave the state to delay a vote on the bill.

Although the measure exempted police officers and firefighters, it limited collective bargaining for teachers and most local government workers so that only wages could be negotiated, omitting other matters, such as vacation days and sick leave, that had long been part of bargaining agreements. It also required annual recertification elections for bargaining representatives and prohibited municipal employers from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

Amid the uproar, opponents collected hundreds of thousands of signatures to force a recall election in June 2012. Governor Walker overcame that with 53 percent of the vote.

Wisconsin’s highest court was asked early on to determine whether the measure had been enacted illegally. In 2011, it disagreed with a lower court that had found that the legislature had rushed it through and violated the state’s open-meetings requirement. The justices voted 4 to 3, along what many see as the court’s conservative-liberal divide.

Those same justices will now weigh the law on its merits after a county judge struck down some of its provisions in September 2012. The judge, Juan B. Colás of Dane County Circuit Court, overturned aspects of the law that applied to local government and school district workers, saying they infringed on state and federal constitutional protections. State government workers were not included in the legal challenge.

On Monday, lawyers for the state and the unions also disagreed on whether the law infringed on local governments’ authority to set the terms of their own labor agreements.

“It all comes down to the ability of a locality to control its own local affairs,” said M. Nicol Padway, who represented Public Employees Local 61, the Milwaukee city employees union, dismissing the state’s arguments that collective bargaining with municipalities was still a statewide concern.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Van Hollen, the attorney general, countered that the more expenditures cities have, the less money is available for them to spend on projects that benefit all of Wisconsin.

Tom Sheehan, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, said there was no time frame for the justices to make their final decision.

 


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6) Socialist candidate takes lead in City Council race in left-leaning Seattle as count continues
By Associated Press 
November 13,  2013
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/seattle-on-the-verge-of-electing-socialist-candidate-for-the-first-time-in-modern-history/2013/11/13/cf8ac8a6-4c82-11e3-bf60-c1ca136ae14a_story.html

SEATTLE — Voters in left-leaning Seattle, where police recently handed out snacks at a large marijuana festival and politicians often try to out-liberal each other, are close to electing a Socialist candidate to the City Council.

Following the latest ballot count Tuesday night, Kshama Sawant had a 41-vote lead over 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin.

Given Washington state’s mail-in voting system, a winner won’t be named for days or even weeks after the Nov. 4 election.

Still, the strong showing by Sawant, a college economics professor and prominent figure in Seattle’s Occupy Wall Street movement, has surprised many people.

Scott Cline, the city’s archivist, said research showed no Socialist candidate had won a citywide office in the past 100 years.

“This is new territory. There really isn’t any precedent,” said Stuart Elway, a longtime political pollster. “You think Seattle has a pretty liberal electorate, but you haven’t seen someone who calls themselves a socialist win.”

Sawant, 41, drew attention as part of local Occupy Wall Street protests that included taking over a downtown park and a junior college campus in late 2011. She then ran for legislative office in 2012, challenging the powerful speaker of the state House, a Democrat. She was easily defeated.

This year, she ran against Conlin, pushing a platform that appeared to resonate with the city. She backed efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15; called for rent control in the city where rental prices keep climbing; and supports a tax on millionaires to help fund a public transit system and other services.

“I think we have shown the strongest skeptics that the Socialist label is not a bad one for a grassroots campaign to succeed,” said Sawant, who is on leave from her job as an professor at Seattle Central Community College.

During her campaign, she condemned economic inequality, contending that some people aren’t benefiting from the city’s declining jobless rate, ongoing recovery from the recession, and downtown building boom.

“This is one of wealthiest cities in the wealthiest country in the world,” she said. “For people to struggle for basic needs is absurd.”

City Council races are technically non-partisan in Seattle. Sawant, however, made sure people knew she was running as a Socialist, a label that would ensure defeat in many areas of the country.

The last time a self-declared Socialist ran for office in Seattle was 1991, when Yolanda Alaniz emerged from the primary in second place but was easily defeated in the general election.

“There were certainly populist candidates,” said Cline, the city archivist. “I don’t think any of them you could remotely call Socialist. Certainly there has never been anybody who has run as strongly as Sawant has.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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7) Philippines’ President Faces Growing Anger
By
November 13, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/world/asia/philippines-president-faces-growing-anger.html?hp

MANILA — Five days after a devastating typhoon swept through the midsection of this impoverished island nation, Filipinos are losing patience with the slow relief effort, increasingly angry with their president, Benigno S. Aquino III, a popular figure who has until now navigated multiple crises during his three years in office.

The heir to a political dynasty, Mr. Aquino, 53, is facing the biggest challenge of his presidency, and even allies say he appears to have been caught off guard by the scope of the crisis. “He has to move fast, otherwise this will engulf him,” said Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, a veteran politician.

Although planes have begun arriving with badly needed supplies, much of the aid remains undistributed because of impassable roads, a dearth of working vehicles and inadequate access to fuel.

“The situation is catastrophic; it’s total chaos,” Dr. Natasha Reyes, the Philippines emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement.

Mr. Aquino flew to the devastated city of Tacloban on Sunday, but his public statements have struck some as insensitive. He lashed out at looters and seemed to criticize local officials for their initial failure to help the living and count the dead. Some critics say he has held fast to national pride rather than issue forceful appeals for international assistance.

During a meeting with officials in Tacloban, the president expressed annoyance at his top disaster management official and grew peevish when a local business owner complained of being held up at gunpoint by looters. “But you did not die, right?” Mr. Aquino snapped, according to local news media reports, shortly before presidential guards ushered the man out of the room.

On Tuesday, Mr. Aquino played down reports that the death toll could exceed 10,000, suggesting 2,000 might be more realistic. In an interview with CNN, he attributed the larger figure to the “emotional trauma” experienced by those providing the estimates.

Ramon C. Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform in Manila, said the debate over casualty figures was becoming an unnecessary distraction. “I don’t believe the lower figures put out by officials, but if the number turns out to be greater, you’re going to have a political backlash,” he said.

A columnist for The Manila Times, Ben D. Kritz, ridiculed top officials, among them the nation’s defense secretary, for flying to the disaster zone without working phones. He noted that one of the first military planes to land was carrying a van — which could not be used on Leyte Island’s debris-clogged roads. “In the aftermath of the typhoon, the response of the Aquino administration, as usual, has been an uncoordinated, fumbling embarrassment,” he wrote.

The president’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Until now Mr. Aquino, popularly referred to as Noynoy, had a remarkably smooth tenure as the leader of nation long derided as “the sick man of Asia.” The son of former president Corazon C. Aquino and Benigno S. Aquino Jr., a beloved political figure who was assassinated in 1983, Mr. Aquino has earned high marks by taking on the endemic corruption that has long bedeviled the Philippines. Among his most notable achievements was a landmark peace accord with the nation’s largest group of Muslim separatists that had evaded his predecessors.

Since his election in 2010, the economy has been expanding at a heady pace, with 7.6 percent growth during the first half of the year. His administration has bolstered tax collection and has helped fuel increased spending on infrastructure, social welfare and disaster preparation.

But few would deny that Mr. Aquino has been dealt a difficult hand in recent months. In September, the government was caught off guard after a splinter group of Muslim insurgents seized a city in the south, prompting a battle with the army that left more than 200 people dead and destroyed 10,000 homes. There have also been back-to-back natural disasters, including an earthquake last month that killed more than 200 people on Bohol, an island that was battered again last week by Typhoon Haiyan. Last year, Typhoon Bopha killed more than 1,100 people in the southern island of Mindanao, causing $900 million in damage.

Then there is an unfolding corruption scandal involving more than $200 million in public money that ended up in the pockets of elected officials, and a businesswoman accused of setting up fake nongovernmental organizations. Investigators said some of those funds had been earmarked for flood prevention and projects that would have rehoused vulnerable residents living in storm-prone coastal areas.

“We’re already a country under siege by nature, and we have no money to spend on disaster preparation because all our high officials are stealing from us,” said Senator Santiago, who conducted televised hearings on the scandal last week that transfixed the nation just as the storm was approaching.

For the moment, however, all eyes are focused on Mr. Aquino and his administration’s response to the latest natural calamity. That effort will require him to navigate the clannish politics of a region traditionally loyal to the Marcos family, including Imelda Marcos, 84, the wife of former President Ferdinand Marcos who is a member of the House of Representatives.

Initial estimates put the devastation at $14 billion, an enormous sum for a country with a gross domestic product of $250 billion, and where a quarter of all residents live on less than $1.25 a day. Mars S. Buan, a senior analyst at Pacific Strategies and Assessments, said Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquake that struck Bohol last month would probably depress economic output by 5 percent in the final quarter of 2013. “No one was prepared for this kind of disaster,” she said.

Although Ms. Buan and other analysts credit the Aquino administration for increased spending on disaster preparation, there are some who say the nation has to do a better job planning for storms, especially if the predictions of some climate scientists — who warn of increasingly powerful storms fueled by warming seas — prove correct.

Having been warned days in advance about the route and strength of the typhoon, some critics say the government should have evacuated residents from coastal areas, noting India’s successful evacuation last month of more than 800,000 people in the path of Cyclone Phailin. In the end, only a few dozen deaths were reported.

Benito Lim, a political analyst at Ateneo de Manila University, said the Philippine government had long been focused on short-term relief rather than long-range planning.

“The government thinks it’s enough to give out packages of noodles, cans of sardines and rice,” he said. “The problem is that suffering by the poor has become a normal thing in the Philippines.”

 


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8) Socialist Sawant wins City Council seat
  By:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/11/14/sawant-wins-city-council-seat/

Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant, a “Socialist Alternative” insurgent, has unseated four-term incumbent Richard Conlin, with the latest batch of mail-in ballots nearly tripling Sawant’s lead to 1,148 votes.

A year ago, Sawant was running against the Legislature’s most powerful Democrat, House Speaker Frank Chopp, charging that the “Democratic Party-majority government” had slashed billions from education programs while bestowing tax exemptions on “rich corporations.”



Kshama Sawant (AP photo)

On Thursday evening, however, the victorious “working class activist” Sawant was headed for a 36th District Democratic fundraiser sponsored by State Sen. Jeanne Kohn-Welles. Sawant’s tireless journalist booster, Stranger news editor Dominic Holden, is appearing on a post-election panel at the event.

The Sawant victory comes exactly 97 years after Seattle voters put their first outspoken radical into office, Seattle School Board member Anna Louise Strong. Strong would write about the Wobblies, oppose U.S. entry into World War I and eventually end her days in China, where she was on friendly terms with Mao Zedong.

While the Occupy Seattle organizer is about to occupy an office in the council chambers, ballots are still being counted in several close races. One big ballot measure is still hanging, while other contests appear narrowly decided.

The $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal in SeaTac, already under legal challenge, leads by exactly 53 votes. The margin was cushioned by 12 votes in Thursday’s count.

The proposal for taxpayer-financed elections in Seattle, Proposition 1, has climbed in the late vote count. Unlike Sawant — who overcame a 6,193-vote election night deficit — Prop. 1 hasn’t quite climbed enough. The “No” side still has a lead of 2,656 votes.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has come up in the late count. The air went out of the room at McGinn’s election night party when returns showed him with only 43.6 percent of the vote. Sen. Ed Murray is already into transition, but McGinn has since made it respectable. He now has 47.07 percent of the vote.



Richard Conlin: The Alexander Kerensky of Seattle?

Statewide, Initiative 522 — which would require labeling of genetically modified foods in Washington store shelves — is likewise coming close, but with no likely reversal of fortune.

The record $22 million No on 522 campaign, fueled by big food companies and agribusiness, has yielded 51.42 percent of the vote. The “Yes” side has climbed to 48.58 percent, with a big Yes vote in King County.

The No’s still have it by a margin of a little less than 50,000 votes.

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9) For Some Aid Workers, Rescues Must Wait as Bodies Are Removed
By AUSTIN RAMZY
November 15, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/world/asia/tacloban-philippines-aid-effort-typhoon-haiyan.html?ref=world

TACLOBAN, the Philippines — On a shoreline that was once an entertainment destination in this city, a group of scavengers sorted through piles of debris for anything useful — a rusted drum that might have gasoline, lumber to rebuild their homes, an undamaged fishing net.


Alongside, a team of volunteers from the Philippine Red Cross searched for bodies, a task that has consumed much of aid workers’ time, even as thousands of residents remain hungry and homeless here. They had arrived on Thursday after a five-day voyage on a Philippine Navy ship from Cavite City that was rerouted to Cebu out of fears that another storm would follow the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

The group had originally planned to arrive Sunday on a C-130 from Manila, but had to give way to officials who were flying to Tacloban to survey the damage, according to three of the volunteers.

“So what was supposed to be a rescue operation became a retrieval operation,” said Florabel Fumar, one of the volunteers.

The mayor of Tacloban City, Alfred S. Romualdez, said Friday that the city had 801 confirmed dead. In a sign of the inability of officials to get a handle on even basic information about the disaster one week after the typhoon hit here, Mr. Romualdez apologized for a figure of 2,000 dead that was released Thursday, which he said was “speculation for the entire region.”

The United Nations has also had trouble reporting on the total death toll for the disaster, with its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reporting 3,600 deaths on Friday, a day after saying there had been 4,460. John Ging, the office’s operations director, apologized Friday for the discrepancy, saying the higher number was an estimate and not actual confirmed deaths.

In Tacloban, the dead are being taken to a mass grave in a public cemetery on the outskirts of the city. Mr. Romualdez said just 10 percent to 15 percent of the dead had been identified.

He said the delivery of the first cycle of food packets, which is supposed to be six pounds of rice and some canned goods for each family, was expected to be completed Friday.

Some stalls have begun to sell fresh meat and two or three gas stations have opened in this city, which had a population of 220,000 before the storm. Mr. Romualdez estimated that 30 percent to 40 percent of the population has since left.

On Friday afternoon, the city will begin constructing a tent city outside an indoor stadium where hundreds have been staying since the storm, Mr. Romualdez said. He expected the tent city to eventually house 1,000 to 2,000 people.

“When we start building the tents, we will put other families to join in that tent community,” he said. “It’s a way we can monitor medical needs and nutrition. We have to put them in communities that we will establish all over the city.”

Mr. Romualdez reacted sharply at a news conference Friday to a question portraying the rescue effort as chaotic. “There’s no disarray in the coordination,” he said. “There are problems in resources. We lack resources. There’s no problem in coordination. I think the national government knows as well as we do that we lack in terms of logistics.”

The experience of the Red Cross volunteers highlights the overwhelming tasks facing aid and rescue workers here. They face huge obstacles just getting here and bringing in supplies. Access to the neighborhoods of Tacloban and surrounding villages is snarled by roads that are damaged, flooded and filled with mud and debris. Security worries continue, though Mr. Romualdez said Friday that he thought order was returning.

The continuing demands for every human necessity — clothing, food, water, shelter, security, sanitation — have left aid workers pulled in all directions. Some of those who came here in hopes of saving people are now faced with clearing up dead bodies.

Ms. Fumar, who works in Tacloban, at the library of the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College, was in Metro Manila registering for graduate school when the storm hit, and she made her way back with the Red Cross. Her task now is to take photos and document the bodies retrieved on the beach.

At 7:45 a.m., the volunteers found their first corpse, a man, near a wharf that once housed the Pier 3 restaurant. The restaurant has disappeared, its shell sitting in the water.

The restaurant’s food wasn’t that good, said Giussa Alvero, 26, but people “came here to drink.” Ms. Alvero, a volunteer from Tacloban, was in Manila at the time of the storm, applying through work agencies to work in Canada as a nurse. She, too, joined up with the Red Cross to get back to Tacloban, wanting to find her family.

“It was a surprise for me to be doing this work,” said Ms. Alvero, who is counting the corpses that have been found. “On the first day I was crying when I saw the children because I have a son.” En route to Tacloban, Ms. Alvero learned that her family, including her 1-year-old son, was safe. She has yet to see them.

The beachside where they collected bodies once had a children’s park, a gymnasium and a botanical garden. On weekends the government would shut down the street. Joggers would run along the beach road, children would play in the park and families would hold barbecues.

“Just imagine the trees are green, and during a full moon, you could see it over the bay,” said Ms. Fumar. “You could say it’s a romantic area.”

The trees of the botanical garden are now shorn of their bark and many branches by the force of the storm and the scouring of the debris that rushed back to the sea after the storm surge. In the children’s playground, the trunk of a cement elephant is broken off, while a cement pig and zebra were tossed into the sea.

The second body was found at 8:05 a.m. It was that of a man in his underwear, his bloated body covered with long, deep cuts. His hands were frozen over his stomach, his mouth open as if in one last cry of pain. The third was found 15 minutes later, and was that of a woman who appeared to be pregnant. A black-and-white dog sat next to her body, watching as the firefighters pried her corpse from the sand and put it in a white body bag.

Then they stopped to rest for a moment, sweat pouring down their faces from the heat of the sun and their protective smocks. They smoked cigarettes that they held with twigs to avoid burning their latex gloves.

Alex Trinidad, a 30-year-old United States Army veteran from the city of Santa Cruz, in the Philippines’ Laguna Province, pulled off his smock to reveal an array of tattoos: Medusa on his left thigh, a Japanese mask on his right and the name of his ex-wife in Arabic on his right bicep, which he had done while serving in Iraq from 2007 to 2009.

He said the destruction he had seen was “worse than Iraq.” A university student studying business administration, he joined the Red Cross relief effort after seeing the news of the storm. En route he collected phone numbers of others heading to the disaster zone, and over the last day, he had been receiving texts from people who had traveled to more remote areas seeking help.

“We need manpower,” he said. “We have food here, aid, but if you don’t have people, no one is going to distribute.” When people text him asking for help, he has to reply that he is on corpse clearance duty.

“I wish I could say, ‘Help is coming. I’m on the way,'” he said.

But those involved with the aid effort say progress is being made.

“In the last 24 hours, there’s been a huge difference from when we got here,” said a United States Army sergeant, Major Lee Cash, part of a joint task force in the southern island of Mindanao that came to Tacloban on Monday.

The group spent the first few days at the airport “just trying to organize chaos, because that’s what it was,” Sergeant Cash said. But improvements in the flow of flights into the airport allowed the soldiers to push on into the city center, where they were trying to investigate conditions ahead of the expected arrival of more American forces.

“Everyone says: ‘The Americans are here. We’re taken care of.’ That’s not the case,” he said. “We can bring in big ships and helicopters but it’s the Phils and the N.G.O.s are doing all the work,” he added, referring to the Filipinos and nongovernmental organizations.


Rick Gladstone contributed reporting from New York.


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 15, 2013

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of a southern island in the Philippines. It is Mindanao, not Mindano.
 
 


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10) Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan destruction aggravated by capitalism
Thousands killed and 11 million affected by the strongest storm ever
Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong)
November 14, 2013
http://chinaworker.info/en/2013/11/14/5053/ 
Typhoon Haiyan (‘Yolanda’ in the Philippines) has caused destruction on a massive scale. This storm was three times more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,400 people in the United States in 2005. Winds that ripped into the eastern Philippines on Friday 7 November were as fast as a bullet train – up to 275 kilometres per hour. The energy generated by this massive storm was 10 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Most deaths have been caused by surging seawater, some waves reportedly as high as a two-story building, with similar effects to a tsunami, flattening houses and drowning hundreds of people.

The confirmed death toll is 2,344 so far, and the government has lowered earlier estimates of 10,000 fatalities, but the true scale of the disaster may not be known for weeks. More than 11 million people are affected and around 673,000 displaced according to the UN. The scale of the humanitarian disaster – with shortages of food, drink and shelter – is colossal. The risk of outbreaks of disease is high, with corpses strewn around and contaminated water supplies. Health experts say 12,000 babies will be born in the disaster zone in the coming month.

The Philippines, with its 7,107 islands, is the most disaster prone country in the world. It is hit by around 20 typhoons every year, as a result of its geography, surrounded by great expanses of warm water that fuel the build up of tropical storms. Typhoon Bopha killed more than 1,100 people last year. In October, the island of Bohol was struck by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that claimed 222 lives, the deadliest in the Philippines for a quarter century.


A ship washed ashore in Tacloban

The areas worst hit by Haiyan are the islands of Samar and Leyte. In Leyte’s capital city of Tacloban there are reports of corpses hanging from trees and piled in heaps in the streets. Some towns in Leyte province have been almost completely destroyed. There are reports of widespread looting of shops and armed clashes between security forces and armed groups. The President Benigno Aquino III has hinted that martial law may be declared in the province.

Man-made factors

The ruling elite, as in all such catastrophes, tries to win public support and deflect criticism by appealing for unity in the face of adversity. There are many heroic examples of ordinary people helping each other, as in other disasters, which is a natural human instinct. At the same time, political and economic mismanagement, and the capitalist elite’s plundering of resources, have clearly magnified the scale of this disaster.

Poverty, poor quality construction and inadequate infrastructure have all made matters worse. As has man-made climate change, which increases the ferocity of cyclones and other extreme weather phenomena, although this is harder to quantify. The country’s remote provinces have too few roads, which hampers relief efforts. The Philippines has the lowest proportion of paved roads in the whole of southeast Asia. It also ranks bottom for electrification.

The makeshift nature of many houses had no chance against such a force of nature while pictures show solid mansions of the rich still standing. A third of Tacloban city’s homes were made of wood, and one in seven had grass roofs. The city’s population has tripled to 221,000 people in the past four decades, but infrastructure and investment have been neglected. The mayor of Tacloban, Albert Romualdez, is the nephew of Imelda Marcos – the late dictator’s widow.



This is the legacy of imperialism and capitalism in the Philippines, with capitalist global agencies like the IMF and WTO steering the country’s economic policy for decades, allowing a small super-wealthy elite to monopolise its resources. The Filipino capitalists are well known as the most corrupt in the region. The issue of so-called “pork barrel” politics has recently triggered big protests in the country. Many of the country’s former presidents (like Marcos, but not only him) were notoriously corrupt. An investigation is currently ongoing into several senators and former congressmen for stealing public funds through a system of phony NGOs in order to extend their power bases.

This means that although the economy is currently growing faster than China’s, with quarterly GDP growth of 7.8 percent, the benefits never reach the most needy. This is the law of capitalism!

The Haiyan disaster has of course caused millions of anxious phone calls from the legion of overseas Filipino migrant workers, whose remittances are the main buffer between their families at home and absolute poverty. They number over ten million, more than 10 percent of the country’s population of 92 million.

US pivots into the Philippines

US Imperialism, which lost its military bases in the Philippines in the early 1990s, has been quick to jump into this crisis. The Pentagon has ordered several navy ships from Japan and Hong Kong into the disaster zone including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington. This seems like a show of force rather than real assistance. The US military, which two years ago unveiled a military ‘pivot’ to Asia, is hoping to derive strategic advantage from the disaster at the expense of the Chinese regime, which has clashed with Aquino’s government over disputed “territories” – actually rocks – in the South China Sea (called the West Philippines Sea by the Philippines government). At bottom these disputes are about oil and energy reserves. The US is pushing for a new military treaty with the Philippines, which could see its troops re-stationed there, and this is a major factor behind its response to the Haiyan disaster.

Climate change

It is clear that more destructive outbreaks of extreme weather can be expected given the link to climate change. Global warming caused by the build up of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, widens the gap between sea and air temperatures, which in turn leads to the formation of cyclones. Rising sea levels increase the risk of flooding putting tens of millions more people at risk especially in Asia.

Haiyan struck just days before the Warsaw Climate Conference got underway, the latest in a string of UN climate meetings that have mostly ended as complete and embarrassing failures. “What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness; the climate crisis is madness,” said Yeb Sano, the chief representative of the Philippines at the conference.

He stunned other delegates by announcing a hunger strike, until there is “meaningful progress” towards a climate deal. If he is serious, he should start planning his funeral, because unfortunately the leaders of world capitalism are not capable of finding a real solution – they would need to abolish their toxic economic system. That is not on the cards, and therefore the task falls to the rest of us, the mass of ordinary working people, to build a mass socialist movement to rescue the planet from capitalism.



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11) Michigan Homeowner Charged in Woman’s Death
By and
November 15, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/16/us/michigan-homeowner-charged-in-renisha-mcbrides-death.html?ref=us

DETROIT — A suburban Detroit homeowner was formally charged on Friday with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Renisha Marie McBride, a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face with a shotgun as she stood on the man’s porch in the middle of the night nearly two weeks ago.

The defendant, Theodore Paul Wafer, 54, was also charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony at his arraignment Friday afternoon. His lawyers waived a reading of his charges.

One of his lawyers, Mack L. Carpenter, pledged to mount “a strong defense.”

The shooting in Dearborn Heights almost two weeks ago has stirred racial tensions both in Detroit, a mostly black city, and in its whiter suburbs, including Dearborn Heights, which sits just across the city line.

Much remains unclear about what happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, when Ms. McBride, who was black, crashed her car and hours later ended up on the doorstep of Mr. Wafer, who is white.

Ms. McBride’s relatives have said they believe she had come to Mr. Wafer’s house seeking help. Mr. Wafer has told the police that he believed Ms. McBride had been trying to break in.

Though the case has been compared to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager killed last year in Florida, the Wayne County prosecutor, Kym L. Worthy, said at a news conference Friday morning that “race is not relevant” to the prosecution’s case.

Ms. Worthy said that on Nov. 2, Ms. McBride had knocked on the exterior screen door of Mr. Wafer’s home in Dearborn Heights around 4:30 a.m. About three and a half hours earlier, Ms. McBride had been in a car accident some six blocks away. Tests have subsequently shown that she was legally intoxicated.

Witnesses said that after the car accident, Ms. McBride was bleeding, appeared to be disoriented and walked off into the darkness before returning, then walking away again. Neighbors said they called 911, but by the time the police and an ambulance arrived, Ms. McBride was gone.

The prosecutor said that there was no sign that Ms. McBride had sought to gain entry to Mr. Wafer’s house, but that he had opened the front door and fired a shot through a locked screen door that struck Ms. McBride in the face. Ms. McBride was not armed.

“We do not believe he acted in lawful self-defense,” said Ms. Worthy, adding that prosecutors had decided to charge Mr. Wafer “based on the facts and the evidence.”

Michigan’s “self-defense” act states that a person may use deadly force if “the individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.”

Mr. Wafer’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 18. Civil rights activists said the shooting in Detroit recalled the cases of Mr. Martin and Jonathan Ferrell, a black man who was shot to death by a police officer in Charlotte, N.C., in September when he sought help after a car accident.

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12) A Marijuana Stash That Carried Little Risk
"About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it. ...The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case 'adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,' the report showed. ...The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being 'openly displayed.' If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it. "
By
November 14, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/nyregion/a-marijuana-stash-that-carried-little-risk.html?ref=nyregion

Walking down Eighth Avenue a few weeks ago, I made sure my backpack was fully zipped shut. Inside was a modest stash of pot, bought just an hour or so earlier. A friend knew someone in that world, and after an introduction, then a quiet, discreet meeting, I was on my way to the subway. Never before had I walked through Midtown Manhattan with it on my person. There were four cookies in vacuum-sealed pouches — “edibles” is the technical term — and then a few pinches of what was described as “herb.”

The innovations of Michael R. Bloomberg as mayor are legion, but his enforcement of marijuana laws has broken all records. More people have been arrested for marijuana possession than any other crime on the books. From 2002 through 2012, 442,000 people were charged with misdemeanors for openly displaying or burning 25 grams or less of pot.

I wasn’t sure about the weight of my stash — although a digital scale was used in the transaction, I didn’t see the display — but it didn’t feel too heavy.

Still, I wasn’t about to openly display or burn it.

IT turns out that there was little to fret over. While scores of people are arrested on these charges every day in New York, the laws apparently don’t apply to middle-aged white guys.

Or at least they aren’t enforced against us.

“It is your age that would make you most unusual for an arrest,” said Professor Harry Levine, a Queens College sociologist who has documented marijuana arrests in New York and across the country. “If you were a 56-year-old white woman, you might get to be the first such weed bust ever in New York City — except, possibly, for a mentally ill person.”

About 87 percent of the marijuana arrests in the Bloomberg era have been of blacks and Latinos, most of them men, and generally under the age of 25 — although surveys consistently show that whites are more likely to use it.

These drug busts were the No. 1 harvest of the city’s stop, question and frisk policing from 2009 through 2012, according to a report released Thursday by the New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman. Marijuana possession was the most common charge of those arrested during those stops. The few whites and Asians arrested on these charges were 50 percent more likely than blacks to have the case “adjourned in contemplation of dismissal,” the report showed.

Now, having a little bit of pot, like a joint, is not a crime as long as you don’t burn or openly display it. Having it in my backpack was a violation of law, meaning that it is an offense that is lower than a misdemeanor. Pot in the backpack is approximately the same as making an illegal turn in a car. Taking it out and waving it in the face of a police officer or lighting up a joint on the street would drive it up to the lowest-level misdemeanor.

How was it that all the black and Latino males were displaying or burning pot where it could be seen by the police?

The answer is that many of them were asked during the stops to empty their pockets. What had been a concealed joint and the merest violation of the law was transformed into a misdemeanor by being “openly displayed.” If these were illegal searches — and they very well could have been — good luck trying to prove it.

LAST year, the Bronx Defenders, which represents poor people in criminal court, tried to have suppression hearings in 54 cases involving marijuana possession. In such hearings, the police officer would have been required to testify about the circumstances under which the marijuana was found. If it was the result of an illegal search, the judge could have barred the use of the evidence.

But not once did the hearings go forward: missing paperwork, officer’s day off, the drip, drip of wasted time. On average, each case required five court appearances, and stretched over eight months. Most of the charges were dropped or lowered to noncriminal violations.

The process itself was the punishment, and it was inflicted almost exclusively on blacks and Latinos.

Michael A. Cardozo, the chief lawyer for the city, is eager to get an appeals court to throw out the findings of fact by a judge who ruled against the city in a lawsuit over the stop-and-frisk tactics. Mr. Cardozo appears to believe, mistakenly, that losing a lawsuit is going to damage the legacy of his patron, Mayor Bloomberg.

Undoing a lawsuit will not unstain this history.

As for me, the pot got to a couple of people who might need it to get through some medical storms. It’s too risky for me to use: I already have a hard enough time keeping my backpack zipped.


Email: dwyer@nytimes.com

Twitter: @jimdwyernyt

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13) C.I.A. Collects Global Data on Transfers of Money
By and
November 14, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/us/cia-collecting-data-on-international-money-transfers-officials-say.html?ref=business

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials.

The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete.

Some details of the C.I.A. program were not clear. But it was confirmed by several current and former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is classified.

The data does not include purely domestic transfers or bank-to-bank transactions, several officials said. Another, while not acknowledging the program, suggested that the surveillance court had imposed rules withholding the identities of any Americans from the data the C.I.A. sees, requiring a tie to a terrorist organization before a search may be run, and mandating that the data be discarded after a certain number of years. The court has imposed several similar rules on the N.S.A. call logs program.

Several officials also said more than one other bulk collection program has yet to come to light.

“The intelligence community collects bulk data in a number of different ways under multiple authorities,” one intelligence official said.

Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the C.I.A., declined to confirm whether such a program exists, but said that the agency conducts lawful intelligence collection aimed at foreign — not domestic — activities and that it is subject to extensive oversight.

“The C.I.A. protects the nation and upholds the privacy rights of Americans by ensuring that its intelligence collection activities are focused on acquiring foreign intelligence and counterintelligence in accordance with U.S. laws,” he said.

Juan Zarate, a White House and Treasury official under President George W. Bush, said that unlike telecommunications information, there has generally been less sensitivity about the collection of financial data, in part because the government already collects information on large transactions under the Bank Secrecy Act.

“There is a longstanding legal baseline for the U.S. government to collect financial information,” said Mr. Zarate, who is also the author of “Treasury’s War,” about the crackdown on terrorist financing. He did not acknowledge the C.I.A. program.

Orders for business records from the surveillance court generally prohibit recipients from talking about them. A spokeswoman for one large company that handles money transfers abroad, Western Union, did not directly address a question about whether it had been ordered to turn over records in bulk, but said that the company complies with legal requirements to provide information.

“We collect consumer information to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and other laws,” said the spokeswoman, Luella Chavez D’Angelo. “In doing so, we also protect our consumers’ privacy.”

In recent months, there have been hints in congressional testimony, declassified documents and litigation that the N.S.A. program — which was disclosed by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor — is not unique in collecting records involving Americans.

For example, the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents related to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the provision that allows the government to compel companies to turn over business records for counterterrorism purposes. After the government declassified the N.S.A. phone records program, it has released many documents about it in response to the suit.

But the government has notified the A.C.L.U. that it is withholding two Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings invoking Section 215 — one dated Aug. 20, 2008, and the other Nov. 23, 2010 — because they discuss matters that remain classified, according to Alexander Abdo, an A.C.L.U. lawyer. “It suggests very strongly that there are other programs of surveillance that the public has a right to know about,” Mr. Abdo said.

In addition, a Justice Department “white paper” on the N.S.A.’s call records program, released in August, said that communications logs are “a context” in which the “collection of a large volume of data” is necessary for investigators to be able to analyze links between terrorism suspects and their associates. It did not say that call records are the only context that meets the criteria for bulk gathering.

In hearings on Capitol Hill, government officials have repeatedly avoided saying that phone logs — which include date, duration and numbers of phone calls, but not their content — are the only type of data that would qualify for bulk collection under the Patriot Act provision. In a little-noticed exchange late in an Oct. 3 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the N.S.A. director, appeared to go further.

At the hearing, Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, asked General Alexander and James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, a sweeping question: “So what are all of the programs run by the N.S.A. or other federal agencies” that used either Section 215 of the Patriot Act or another surveillance law that allows warrantless wiretapping of phone and emails?

General Alexander responded by describing, once again, the N.S.A.’s call records program, adding, “None of that is hid from you.” Mr. Clapper said nothing.

Then, moments later, General Alexander interjected that he was talking only about what the N.S.A. is doing under the Patriot Act provision and appearing to let slip that other agencies are operating their own programs.

“You know, that’s of course a global thing that others use as well, but for ours, it’s just that way,” General Alexander said.

In September, the Obama administration declassified and released a lengthy opinion by Judge Claire Eagan of the surveillance court, written a month earlier and explaining why the panel had given legal blessing to the call log program. A largely overlooked passage of her ruling suggested that the court has also issued orders for at least two other types of bulk data collection.

Specifically, Judge Eagan noted that the court had previously examined the issue of what records are relevant to an investigation for the purpose of “bulk collections,” plural. There followed more than six lines that were censored in the publicly released version of her opinion.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have been trying to gain more information about other bulk collection programs.

In September, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and an author of the original Patriot Act, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asking if the administration was collecting bulk records aside from the phone data. An aide said he had yet to get a response. Even lawmakers on the Intelligence Committees have indicated that they are not sure they understand the entire landscape of what the government is doing in terms of bulk collection.

Senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently sent a classified letter to Mr. Clapper asking for a full accounting of every other national security program that involves bulk collection of data at home or abroad, according to government officials.

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14) Caught in Unemployment’s Revolving Door
By "The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent."
November 16, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/business/caught-in-unemployments-revolving-door.html?hp&_r=0

On a cold October morning, just after the federal government shutdown came to an end, Jenner Barrington-Ward headed into court in Boston to declare bankruptcy.

It took weeks to put the paperwork together, given that her papers and belongings were scattered across the country — there was a broken-down car and boxes of paperwork in Virginia Beach, clothes in Colorado and personal possessions at a friend’s house in Somerville, Mass. She managed to estimate her income — maybe $5,000 last year, but maybe half that this year — from odd jobs. Soon, she would officially have nothing.

It has been a painful slide. A five-year spell of unemployment has slowly scrubbed away nearly every vestige of Ms. Barrington-Ward’s middle-class life. She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades. She is now broke and homeless.

Ms. Barrington-Ward describes it as “my journey through hell.” She was laid off from an administrative position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008; she had earned about $50,000 that year. With the recession spurring employers to dump hundreds of thousands of workers a month and the unemployment rate climbing to the double digits, she found that no matter the number of résumés she sent out — she stopped counting in the thousands — she could not find work.

“I’ve been turned down from McDonald’s because I was told I was too articulate,” she says. “I got denied a job scrubbing toilets because I didn’t speak Spanish and turned away from a laundromat because I was ‘too pretty.’ I’ve also been told point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ And the two times I got real interest from a prospective employer, the credit check ended it immediately.”

For Ms. Barrington-Ward, joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans.

The long-term jobless, after all, tend to be in poorer health, and to have higher rates of suicide and strained family relations. Even the children of the long-term unemployed see lower earnings down the road.

The consequences are grave for the country, too: lost production, increased social spending, decreased tax revenue and slower growth. Policy makers and academics are now asking whether an improving economy might absorb those workers in time to prevent long-term economic damage.

“I don’t think we know the answer,” said Jesse Rothstein, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But right now, I think everybody’s worst fears are coming true, as far as we can tell.”

Soon after we first talked in October, Ms. Barrington-Ward left her sister’s house in Ohio, where she had crashed for six weeks, and went back to Boston and filed her bankruptcy paperwork. She contacted a headhunter. “I’ve got to get a job,” she said. “I just have to.” She had two job interviews lined up and her fingers crossed.

Long-term joblessness — the kind that Ms. Barrington-Ward and about four million others are experiencing — is now one of the defining realities of the American work force.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3 percent, down from 10 percent four years ago. Private businesses have added about 7.6 million positions over the same period. But while recent numbers show that there are about as many people unemployed for short periods as in 2007 — before the crisis hit — they also show that long-term joblessness is up 213 percent.

In part, that’s because people don’t return to work in an orderly, first-fired, first-hired fashion. In any given month, a newly jobless worker has about a 20 to 30 percent chance of finding a new job. By the time he or she has been out of work for six months, though, the chance drops to one in 10, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Facing those kinds of odds, some of the long-term jobless have simply given up and dropped out of the labor force. So while official figures show that the number of long-term jobless has fallen steeply from its recessionary high of 6.7 million, many researchers fear that this number could mean as much bad news as good. Workers over 50 may be biding their time until they can start receiving Social Security. Younger workers may be going to school to avoid a tough job market. Others may be going on disability, helping to explain that program’s surging rolls.

Stan Hampton, 59, a veteran of the Iraq war, is now earning his associate degree. But he has not had a job since returning from active duty in 2007, and is now living in an apartment complex for veterans near Las Vegas.

“I’m just trying to hang on until my retirement kicks in,” he said, though he stressed that he would still look for a job. “I have not been in jail or prison, nor am I an alcoholic, drug addict or gambling addict. I am simply old, unemployed and out of money.”

To answer the question of whether the improving economy might help people like Mr. Hampton and Ms. Barrington-Ward, economists often phrase the question as “Is it structural or cyclical?” Cyclical unemployment is temporary, caused by a slack economy. Structural unemployment stems from a mismatch between what businesses want and what workers offer. You are a car mechanic, for example, but the economy needs programmers.

If long-term joblessness is cyclical, a growing economy should bring people back into the job market. But if structural factors are at play, the concern is dire for the whole economy, with a normal unemployment rate “significantly higher than what has been achieved in the past,” said Janet L. Yellen, the presumptive new Federal Reserve chairwoman, in a speech this year.

Right now, most economists argue that unemployment remains primarily cyclical. Ben S. Bernanke, the departing Fed chairman, made this point last summer, adding that an unemployment rate in the 5 percent range — an indication of a healthy economy — was still obtainable. Growth simply hasn’t proved strong enough to spur businesses to hire all the people who want jobs.

Economists come to this conclusion in part because there is no evidence that the long-term jobless are accumulating in any one industry, which would be a signal that the economy needs to move workers from, say, manufacturing into nursing. Long-term unemployment has hit workers young and old, of all industries, races and backgrounds. But the long-term jobless actually tend to be more educated. And long spells of joblessness have hit black workers especially hard, as well as single parents, the disabled and older workers.

With time, however, even people with desired skills can become “structurally” unemployed. Longer spells of unemployment become harder to explain away. Jobless workers’ skills can atrophy. Job seekers find it harder to appear eager. Wounds become scars.

After she lost her job, Ms. Barrington-Ward lived off her 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Two years ago, she had to give up the house she shared with friends outside Boston. She cannot get Medicaid because she does not have a fixed address. She has no car to get around. She does freelance “intuitive” readings, similar to psychic readings, and web production work. A jobless friend committed suicide.

She tries not to let those strains show, but she describes the experience as wearying. “After working since I was 15, I have nothing to show for it,” she said.

“She’s brilliant,” said Allyson Hartzell, a longtime friend with whom Ms. Barrington-Ward is currently staying. “She gets up in the morning. She has her tasks. She’s always working on her personal projects, trying to generate money. She goes to job interviews. She keeps herself in shape.”

Ms. Hartzell continued: “I think it’s emotionally difficult to handle so much rejection, and I think others sometimes feel she needs to justify why she’s in the position she’s in.”

Economists have long thought that the strain of unemployment, plus the erosion of skills and loss of contacts that naturally occur, helps explain the “structural” unemployed in a nation’s work force. But new evidence shows that bias plays a much larger role than previously thought. Some of the long-term unemployed might never find work because businesses simply refuse to hire them.

In a recent study, Rand Ghayad a Ph.D. candidate at Northeastern University, sent out 4,800 dummy résumés to job postings. Those résumés that were supposedly from recently unemployed applicants with no relevant experience were more likely to elicit a call for an interview than those supposedly from experienced workers out of a job for more than six months. Indeed, the callback rate for the long-term jobless ranged from just 1 to 3 percent, versus 9 to 16 percent for newly unemployed workers.

Unemployment becomes a “sorting criterion,” in the words of a separate study with similar findings. It found that being out of a job for more than nine months decreased interview requests by 20 percent among people applying to low- or medium-skilled jobs.

In dozens of interviews, the long-term unemployed described discrimination as being foremost in their minds, though at the same time they said the experience of joblessness had changed them.

Robin Hastey, 53, who lives in Cornwall, N.Y., lost her job in 2009 and has not found steady work since. Her husband went through a spell of unemployment, but eventually found a job that paid half of what he made in the 1990s. They are deeply in debt, she said, estimating that they have about $100 in their bank account.

“We look older,” she said. “I’m not as cute. People aren’t as forgiving. When I was young, you could ask stupid questions and people would hire you anyhow. Now, you’re just a crazy old lady. There’s a lot less forgiveness in the marketplace.”

Still, the slack economy remains the primary culprit behind all the pain in the labor market, economists say. “We’ve got to be doing everything we can,” said Professor Rothstein at Berkeley. “That means direct hiring”— with the government providing jobs — “employment tax credits, just about anything you could think of.”

But the government is now doing the opposite. The mandatory federal budget cuts known as sequestration took as much as 60 percent out of unemployment checks this summer and fall. And, as of this winter, the federal emergency program that extends the maximum number of weeks of jobless payments will end, though the White House is pushing to extend it again.

Some fear that it may already be too late to prevent long-term joblessness from permanently scarring the American work force and broader economy. International Monetary Fund researchers estimate that the level of structural unemployment has increased significantly since the recession. And striking new Federal Reserve research shows that the scars from the recession have knocked the economy off its long-term growth trend.

For the long-term jobless, there is little to do but hope and wait. When I visited Ms. Barrington-Ward in November, she was planning to produce a show for Somerville Community Access Television. Unemployment itself consumes a lot of time. “I’ve been in seven states over the last five years, living with friends and family,” she said. “I usually stay somewhere for three weeks maximum. People want me to leave but don’t want to ask me to leave.”

She never got a second interview for one of the two positions for which she applied. She wrote a detailed plan for and had phone conversations about the other job, this one at a web start-up. She offered to work on a consulting basis. The company told her that it would go with a temp.

On a cold evening in Somerville, she sipped a mocha she had bought with a coupon. She had not given up — not quite. But she was disappointed that jobs hadn’t panned out. Again. “I just know I’m not going to get another full-time job again,” she said. “It’s just so hard.” She had to leave her friend’s house soon. She did not know where she would go.
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15) Growing Clamor About Inequities of Climate Crisis
By and
November 16, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/world/growing-clamor-about-inequities-of-climate-crisis.html?hp

WARSAW — Following a devastating typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines, a routine international climate change conference here turned into an emotional forum, with developing countries demanding compensation from the worst polluting countries for damage they say they are already suffering.

Calling the climate crisis “madness,” the Philippines representative vowed to fast for the duration of the talks. Malia Talakai, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, a group that includes her tiny South Pacific homeland, Nauru, said that without urgent action to stem rising sea levels, “some of our members won’t be around.”

From the time a scientific consensus emerged that human activity was changing the climate, it has been understood that the nations that contributed least to the problem would be hurt the most. Now, even as the possible consequences of climate change have surged — from the typhoons that have raked the Philippines and India this year to the droughts in Africa, to rising sea levels that threaten to submerge entire island nations — no consensus has emerged over how to rectify what many call “climate injustice.”

Growing demands to address the issue have become an emotionally charged flash point at negotiations here at the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which continues this week.

“We are in a piece of land which is smaller than Denmark, with a population of 160 million, trying to cope with this extreme weather, trying to cope with the effect of emissions for which we are not responsible,” Farah Kabir, the director in Bangladesh for the anti-poverty organization ActionAid International, said at a news briefing here.

With expectations low for progress here on a treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, widely seen as having failed to make a dent in worldwide carbon emissions, some nations were losing patience with decades of endless climate talks, particularly those who see rising oceans as a threat to their existence.

“We are at these climate conferences essentially moving chess figures across the board without ever being able to bring these negotiations to a conclusion,” Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, said in a telephone interview.

Although the divide between rich and poor nations has bedeviled international climate talks for two decades, the debate over how to address the disproportionate effects has steadily gained momentum. Poor nations here are pressing for a new effort that goes beyond reducing emissions and adapting to a changing climate.

While they have no legal means to seek compensation, they have demanded concrete efforts to address the “loss and damage” that the most vulnerable nations will almost certainly face — the result of fragile environments and structures, and limited resources to respond.

The sheer magnitude and complexity of the issue make such compensation unlikely. The notion of seeking justice for a global catastrophe that affects almost every country — with enormous implications for economic development — is not only immensely complicated but also politically daunting.

It assumes the culpability of the world’s most developed nations, including the United States and those in Europe, and implies a moral responsibility to bear the costs, even as those same nations seek to draft a new treaty over the next two years that would for the first time compel reductions by rapidly emerging nations like China and India. As a group, developing countries will within a decade have accounted for more than half of all historical emissions, making them responsible for a large share of the continuing impact humanity will make, if not the impact already made.

Assigning liability for specific events — like Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines with winds of at least 140 miles an hour, making it one of the strongest storms on record — is nearly impossible. It can take scientists years just to determine whether global warming contributed to the severity of a particular weather event, if it can be determined at all.

Many negotiators here have pressed to create a new mechanism that effectively accepts the idea that the results of climate change are irreversible and that the countries that are hit hardest first must be compensated.

“We’ve reached a stage where we cannot adapt anymore,” said Ronald Jumeau, the United Nations representative for the Seychelles, who is his country’s chief negotiator here. He noted the devastating effects not only of extreme storm events, but also of creeping desertification, salinization and erosion that could result in financial losses and even territorial issues that the modern world has never had to face.

“This is new,” he said. “This is like, ‘The Martians are landing!’ What do you do?”

John Kioli, the chairman of the Kenya Climate Change Working Group, a consortium of nongovernmental organizations, called climate change his country’s “biggest enemy.” Kenya, which straddles the Equator, faces some of the biggest challenges from rising temperatures. Arable land is disappearing and diseases like malaria are appearing in highland areas where they had never been seen before.

Developed countries, Mr. Kioli said, have a moral obligation to shoulder the cost, considering the amount of pollution they have emitted since the Industrial Revolution. “If developed countries are reasonable enough, they are able to understand that they have some responsibility,” he said.

How to compensate those nations hardest hit by climate changes remains divisive, even among advocates for such action. Some have argued that wealthy countries need to create a huge pool of money to help poorer countries recover from seemingly inevitable losses of the tangible and intangible, like destroyed traditions.

Mr. Jumeau noted that Congress allocated $60 billion just to rebuild from one storm, Hurricane Sandy, compared with the $100 billion a year that advocates hope to see pledged to a Green Climate Fund by all nations. The fund, intended to help poorer countries reduce emissions and prepare for climate changes, has remained little more than an organizing principle since its creation in 2010, its fund-raising goals unmet.

Others have suggested a sort of insurance program.

The United States and other rich countries have made their opposition to large-scale compensation clear. Todd D. Stern, the State Department’s envoy on climate issues, bluntly told a gathering at Chatham House in London last month that large-scale resources from the world’s richest nations would not be forthcoming.

“The fiscal reality of the United States and other developed countries is not going to allow it,” he said. “This is not just a matter of the recent financial crisis. It is structural, based on the huge obligations we face from aging populations and other pressing needs for infrastructure, education, health care and the like. We must and will strive to keep increasing our climate finance, but it is important that all of us see the world as it is.”

Appeals to rectify the injustice of climate change, he added, will backfire. “Lectures about compensation, reparations and the like will produce nothing but antipathy among developed country policy makers and their publics,” he said.

Juan Pablo Hoffmaister Patiño, a Bolivian who represents the alliance of developing nations known as the Group of 77 and China, said the issue was not so much about assigning culpability for the looming climate disaster as doing something to help those nations hardest hit.

“Trying to assign the blame is something that even scientifically could take us a very long time, and the challenges and problems are actually happening now,” he said in an interview here. “And we need to begin addressing them now rather than identifying who is guilty and to what degree. We can’t make this issue hostage to finding the responsible ones or not.”

Meanwhile, global emissions continue to rise. A report this month by the United Nations Environment Program warned that immediate action must be taken to reduce emissions enough to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels. That is the maximum warming that many scientists believe can occur without causing potentially catastrophic climate change.

The current global turbulence, consistent with what scientists expect to happen as the climate changes, is already taking a toll.

As the hundreds of diplomats and advocates assembled for talks here, Justus Lavi was waiting for rain in Kenya. The wheat, beans and potatoes he planted on his farm in Makueni County sprouted, but the rainy season brought only two days of showers, threatening to ruin his yield.

In northern Somalia, Nimcaan Farah Abdi’s 10 acres of corn, tomatoes and other vegetables were ruined as violent storms swept the Horn of Africa. A typhoon last weekend in nearby Puntland killed more than 100 people, a disaster overshadowed by the far more destructive one in the Philippines.

“My farm has been washed away,” Mr. Abdi said. It was the second year in a row of unusually heavy storms to have destroyed his livelihood, leaving him uncertain about how he will provide for his six children. “God knows,” he added, “but I don’t have anything to give now.”


Steven Lee Myers reported from Warsaw, and Nicholas Kulish from Nairobi, Kenya. Justin Gillis contributed reporting from New York, David Jolly from Paris, and Mohammed Ibrahim from Mogadishu, Somalia.


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16)  The Shame of American Health Care
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/opinion/the-shame-of-american-health-care.html?hp&rref=opinion

Even as Americans struggle with the changes required by health care reform, an international survey released last week by the Commonwealth Fund, a research organization, shows why change is so necessary.

The report found that by virtually all measures of cost, access to care and ease of dealing with insurance problems, Americans fared poorly compared with people in other advanced countries. The survey covered 20,000 adults in the United States and 10 other industrial nations — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, all of which put in place universal or near-universal health coverage decades ago. The United States spends far more than any of these countries on a per capita basis and as a percent of the national economy.

For that, it gets meager results. Some 37 percent of American adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick or failed to fill prescriptions in the past year because of costs, compared with 4 percent in Britain and 6 percent in Sweden. Nearly a quarter of American adults could not pay medical bills or had serious problems paying them compared with less than 13 percent in France and 7 percent or less in five other countries. Even Americans who were insured for the entire year were more likely than adults abroad to forgo care because of costs, an indication of how skimpy some insurance policies are.

When Americans got sick, they had to wait longer than people in most of the other countries to get help. Fewer than half were able to get same-day or next-day appointments with a doctor or nurse; one in four had to wait six days or longer. (Only Canada fared worse on both counts.) But Americans got quicker access to specialists than adults in all but two other countries.

The complexity of the American insurance system is also an issue. Some 32 percent of consumers spent a lot of time on insurance paperwork or in disputes with their insurer over denials of payment for services they thought were covered.

The Affordable Care Act was created to address these problems by covering tens of millions of uninsured people and providing subsidies to help many of them pay for policies; by setting limits on the out-of-pocket costs that patients must bear; and by requiring that all policies cover specified benefits. Americans are understandably frustrated with the Obama administration’s failure to produce a functioning website. President Obama’s erroneous statements that all people who like their current insurance policies can keep them — not true for many people buying insurance in the individual market — has added to anger and misunderstanding. The reform law, however imperfect, is needed to bring the dysfunctional American health care system up to levels already achieved in other advanced nations.

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17) Inland, No Aid for Survivors of Typhoon
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/world/asia/inland-no-aid-for-survivors-of-typhoon.html?ref=world

JARO, Philippines — Even as a major international aid effort has begun to take hold around the coastal city of Tacloban, the situation grimly differs just a few miles inland, where large numbers of injured or sick people in interior villages shattered by Typhoon Haiyan more than a week ago have received no assistance.

Well away from the coastal storm surge areas where most of the death toll occurred on the Philippines island of Leyte, the picture is still one of utter devastation — in this case from Haiyan’s record winds. Mile after mile along the inland roads, particularly in the east, practically every home looks as though its roof had been ferociously clawed off.

Coconut palm forests were torn apart, with vast swaths of trees snapped off about 15 feet above the ground. Falling trunks crushed or knocked holes in houses and huts alike.

But while international relief workers in bright blue or red vests and Philippines Department of Health workers in orange vests are now scouring neighborhoods up and down the coast, they are nowhere to be seen in the interior.

Doctors, mayors and local council members in six inland towns and villages here on Leyte Island all said Sunday that their citizens had received no medical treatment or medical supplies and no food, water or tents from the international assistance program. They also had not received any medical assistance from the Philippines government; although town governments had received sacks of rice, village governments had not.

All of them said that with the exception of a handful of people sent to hospitals in Tacloban with clearly life-threatening injuries, most people with typhoon-related lacerations and other injuries were being sent home with little or no care. The inland areas lack doctors and have few if any antibiotics, antiseptic, gauze, or other medical supplies.

All of them also said that they were seeing increasing rates of fever and diarrhea, which they attributed to large numbers of people drinking contaminated water and living in now-roofless homes that offer scant protection from the periodic heavy rains over the past nine days.

Raul Artoza, a 49-year-old local council member in Macanip village, which is under the administrative authority of the town of Jaro, said that he had never seen so many children come down with fever as in the past few days.

Nobody has a thermometer in the village, nobody has taken a child to a health care worker of any sort and no aid has arrived from the Philippines government or any international group since the typhoon, he said.

“We’re just putting leaves on their foreheads,” said one of his neighbors, Milagros Macanip.

Rosalina Doyola, a 22-year-old who completed a university degree in accounting last year, sat in a clinic in Santa Fe on Sunday morning, missing two chunks of her left calf each long and deep enough to put an index finger in lengthwise. She was hurt nine days ago by flying debris and has only received iodine solution as a topical antiseptic, plus inexpensive oral antibiotics, with no attempt at suturing her wounds.

“We were escaping from our house and I was hit by an iron roof; maybe it was the church’s roof,” said Miss Doyola, adding that both her brothers had been injured by stepping on nails since the typhoon, but that her two sisters were fine.

Virginia Anoya Macasaet, the 51-year-old midwife who has run the clinic for many years, said that she had no formal training in wound care. She said that she had initially put gauze on Miss Doyola’s wounds nine days ago but later changed her mind.

“We bandaged it, but it smelled bad, so we left it open,” she said.

Mrs. Macasaet and Miss Doyola both expressed surprise when told that German and Belgian medical aid groups had opened free field hospitals just three miles away in coastal Palo. An ambulance was parked in front of the Santa Fe clinic and available to take them to Palo, and gasoline has become available again in the past couple days after disappearing from sale for a week after the typhoon.

Mrs. Macasaet mentioned that flying debris during the typhoon had also gouged out the left eye of a 9-year-old girl and that she had been sent home with little care. She asked that the mayor, who was standing nearby, be told that the town’s ambulance should be used.

Oscar Monteza, the mayor of Santa Fe, a town of 20,000 people, said that “hundreds” of people had been injured by flying debris during the typhoon. He said that his main priority with the renewed availability of gasoline was to fix and start a generator to produce electricity, but he later agreed to authorize use of the ambulance.

Miss Doyola was fortunate to have received oral antibiotics for more than a week, although they were inexpensive ones to which many bacteria are resistant. Rosaura Diola, the registered nurse who runs the main clinic in downtown Jaro, said that she rationed patients to only three of the 21 tablets they need to complete a weeklong course of antibiotics. Medicine is in such short supply after the typhoon that patients must figure out for themselves how to obtain the rest of the tablets needed to complete treatment, she said.

The clinic typically performs 70 obstetric deliveries a month, but lost its roof in the typhoon. Its upstairs is now open to the heavy rains, although the very damp downstairs still provides partial shelter. Asked how the clinic operates at night without electricity, Mrs. Diola shrugged and said, “There is moonlight.”

Clinics elsewhere are even worse: The clinic in Buenavista village is deserted and has no roof and no windows and such a completely gutted interior that it would be completely unrecognizable as anything other than a long-abandoned building were it not for the sign still labeling it as the village clinic.

All of the towns and villages visited had been without electricity since the typhoon, as temperatures have swung between sweltering heat and sometimes cool breezes after rain. In all of the towns and villages, tetanus vaccines are either out of stock or nearly so, and the few vaccines still being injected had been quite warm for more than a week; pharmaceutical guidelines call for them to be kept cool for full potency, although warm vaccines may be better than none.

Ricky Carandang, a presidential spokesman for the Philippines, said that aid shipments had begun to all town governments on Leyte Island, and these governments were responsible for passing on shipments to village governments. He expressed concern upon being told that village leaders in places like Macanip and Buenavista said that they had not received any relief, not even food, adding that, “We will look into these reports and take appropriate action.”

Inland towns and villages tend to have fewer people and far fewer dead than coastal cities hit by the storm surge. Catalina Agda, the mayor of Tunga, an inland town of 7,000, said that there had been only one typhoon-related death there, caused by a falling coconut tree, and 75 confirmed injuries. Santa Fe had 10 confirmed dead and Jaro had 13, local officials said.

But the extreme damage to housing, coupled with a tendency of inland residents not to go to a clinic when they are injured or sick because of an awareness of the limited medical supplies available, make it likely that injuries and sickness are more widespread in inland areas than anyone on the coast realizes, local officials said.

After town officials in Santa Fe were told of the assistance available in nearby Palo, the ambulance was to take Miss Doyola, the 9-year-old girl and another person there for help. But their fate was still a mystery on Sunday night.

Thomas Laackmann, the medical team leader based in Palo for International Search and Rescue Germany, a nonprofit group based in Duisburg, said that he did not know what became of the 9-year-old girl. But he had seen Miss Doyola’s leg and been concerned that her injury was potentially life threatening. He said he had told the Santa Fe ambulance crew to take her to the Australian field hospital at the Tacloban airport. But as night closed in, and curfew took hold in Tacloban, medical officials at the hospital said they had no record of her arrival.


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18) Fuel Removal Starts at Japan’s Crippled Nuclear Plant
By
November 18, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/world/asia/fuel-removal-starts-at-japans-crippled-nuclear-plant.html?ref=world

TOKYO — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant on Monday began removing nuclear fuel assemblies from a storage pool atop one of the site’s blown-out reactor buildings, a delicate yet critical operation that could help reduce risks at the plant.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company released frequent updates about its progress on Monday, when it extracted four of the 1,533 fuel assemblies that lie in a pool of water at the plant’s No. 4 reactor.

That reactor, along with three others, was heavily damaged by hydrogen explosions in the early days of the accident, triggered by the enormous earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.

The state of the No. 4 reactor has been a particular concern because all the fuel at the unit, which was shut down for checks when the crisis hit, lies inside a spent-fuel pool that is perched on the damaged reactor’s upper floors. Experts had warned that leaving the fuel assemblies atop a structurally compromised building was extremely dangerous.

Over the past months, Tepco has focused on devising a plan to place the fuel assemblies in a steel cask, which will be lifted out of the water and transported by trailer to a more secure fuel pool on the ground. To prevent the nuclear fuel assemblies from overheating, engineers must keep them covered with water.

On Monday morning, workers carefully lowered the cask into the spent fuel pool. They then used a crane to extract the first fuel assembly from racks inside the pool and transferred the assembly into the cask. By Tuesday, engineers will transfer 21 more fuel assemblies into the cask before they lift it out of the water and onto a trailer.

Naomi Hirose, the president of Tepco, called the start of the work at the No. 4 unit a milestone in a cleanup and decommissioning process that is expected to take decades. Tepco hopes to finish removing fuel from the No. 4 reactor pool by the end of next year.

“The extraction process represents the beginning of a new and important chapter in our work,” Mr. Hirose said in a statement.

But Japan’s nuclear regulator has pointed out that the process also poses some risks. If damaged or left uncovered, the fuel assemblies could overheat or emit large amounts of radiation. Another difficulty is that engineers could have trouble extracting the fuel assemblies from storage racks in the pool, which is strewn with debris that might cause some assemblies to jam.

Lake Barrett, a former United States nuclear regulator involved with the cleanup after the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, said he had been invited by Tepco to review its contingency plans and found them thorough. Even if assemblies got jammed, for example, Tepco engineers could ultimately use underwater cutters to free them, he said in a telephone interview. “I’m not trivializing what is an important operation. And yes, there’s small debris on top. Several of the assemblies will probably get stuck,” he said. “But it can be dealt with. The technological safety risk of moving the fuel is very, very low, and I believe they’re ready to go.”

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19) Top U.N. Official Warns of Coal Risks
By
November 18, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/world/top-un-official-warns-of-coal-risks.html?ref=world

WARSAW — Most of the world’s coal needs to stay in the ground if greenhouse gas emissions are to be held in check, the United Nations’ top climate change official said Monday in a speech to coal industry executives here in Poland, one of the most coal-dependent nations on Earth.

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, told industry officials here that they were putting the global climate and their shareholders at risk by failing to support the search for alternative methods of producing energy.

“Let me be clear from the outset that my joining you today is neither a tacit approval of coal use, nor is it a call for the immediate disappearance of coal,” Ms. Figueres said at an industry conference timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the United Nations climate body. “But I am here to say that coal must change rapidly and dramatically for everyone’s sake.”

Ms. Figures reminded the executives that the 195 members of the United Nations climate treaty agreed in 2010 to hold the rise in global temperatures to below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, from preindustrial levels, and she said that continuing along the current path would make reaching that target impossible.

Ignoring that mandate, she said, poses a “business continuation risk” to the coal industry that it cannot afford to ignore. “Like any other industry, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your work force and shareholders,” she said. “And by now it is abundantly clear that further capital expenditures on coal can only go ahead if they are compatible with the 2 degree Celsius limit.”

Ms. Figueres was speaking at the World Coal Summit, called somewhat incongruously by the Polish government to run at the same time as the 19th meeting of the United Nations climate conference. Poland relies on coal for more than 88 percent of its electricity, and the government has roiled the European mainstream by spurning efforts to slow the use of the fuel.

Godfrey G. Gomwe, chairman of the World Coal Association’s energy and climate committee, responded in a speech that, with “1.3 billion people in the world who live without access to electricity,” the questions of climate change and poverty reduction could not be separated.

“A life lived without access to modern energy is a life lived in poverty,” said Mr. Gomwe, who is also chief executive of the mining company Anglo American’s thermal coal business. “As much as some may wish it, coal is not going away.”

The answer to coal’s carbon pollution problem, Mr. Gomwe said, was investment in higher efficiency plants to reduce emissions, with the developed world helping poorer countries if needed.

Environmentalists criticized the very existence of the coal summit. Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an American advocacy group, called the summit “a distraction.”

“The summit’s focus on continued reliance on coal is directly counter to the goal of these climate negotiations,” Mr. Meyer said in a statement, “which is to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Every year countries come together at these negotiations to find a global solution to climate change, and yet our host is embracing a chief cause of the problem.”

Delegates to the United Nations conference began meeting here last week to chart the road toward a global agreement, planned for a 2015 meeting in Paris, to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which technically expired last year. Discussions are focusing on the details of process, as well as the thorny questions of how the developed world can help poor countries cope with a warming planet, both financially and technologically, and questions of historical responsibility for global warming.

The climate meeting draws thousands of delegates and activists, who use it as a forum for networking and criticizing countries they consider barriers to an enforceable global treaty. In a departure from recent climate meetings, the Americans are not being portrayed as among the chief villains, in part because President Obama appears sincerely committed to reining in greenhouse gases and helping poorer countries adapt. Environmentalists’ wrath is now more directed at Japan and Australia, who are seen as backtracking on earlier climate-friendly policies.

Japan on Friday retreated from its previous emissions target, saying that the loss of its nuclear power base in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe had caused it to revise its outlook for clean energy production.

Australia, meanwhile, has taken an increasingly cool approach to the question of global warming, keeping its environment minister home to work on legislation to repeal a carbon tax enacted by the previous government.

“All the Americans have to do is stand next to the Australians and Japanese, and in the current climate, they appear as the leaders,” Ria Voorhaar, a spokeswoman for the Climate Action Network, an alliance of environmental organizations, said.

Separately, in Beijing on Monday, the president of China, Xi Jinping, told former President Bill Clinton that climate change policy and energy were among the areas where their two countries should cooperate more, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported.

“With the shared efforts of successive leaders of both countries, Sino-U.S. relations have been built into a skyscraper,” Mr. Xi told Mr. Clinton. “Both our sides must continue our efforts, and add building blocks to Sino-U.S. relations.”

Mr. Xi said: “Our two sides have been enhancing cooperation in politics, economics and trade, at a people-to-people level, and in other areas, and we should respond together to challenges such as climate change and energy security.”


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20) Extension of Benefits for Jobless Is Set to End
By
November 17, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/business/extension-of-benefits-for-jobless-is-set-to-end.html?ref=us

WASHINGTON — Unless Congress acts, during the last week of December an estimated 1.3 million people will lose access to an emergency program providing them with additional weeks of jobless benefits. A further 850,000 will be denied benefits in the first quarter of 2014.

Congressional Democrats and the White House, pointing to the sluggish recovery and the still-high jobless rate, are pushing once again to extend the period covered by the unemployment insurance program. But with Congress still far from a budget deal and still struggling to find alternatives to the $1 trillion in long-term cuts known as sequestration, lawmakers say the chances of an extension before Congress adjourns in two weeks are slim.

As a result, one of the largest stimulus measures passed during the recession is likely to come to an end, and jobless workers in many states are likely to receive considerably fewer weeks of benefits.

In all, as many as 4.8 million people could be affected by expiring unemployment benefits through 2014, estimated Gene Sperling, President Obama’s top economic adviser.

“Historically, there has not been a time where the unemployment rate has been this high where you have not extended it,” Mr. Sperling said in an interview. “Why would you not extend now, when you’re dealing with the nearly unprecedented levels of long-term unemployment coming off such a historic recession? This would be the wrong time to do it.”

Democrats are pushing for an extension of the emergency insurance program as part of the broader budget talks designed to avert a repeat of the government shutdown in October. But negotiators in the House and Senate are discussing a relatively small deal focused on replacing or altering the sequestration cuts, which would probably not include an extension of the jobless program.

Both Republicans and Democrats are skeptical that even such a small deal is possible given how divided the parties are.

Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington and chairwoman of the Budget Committee, “clearly supports the policy, is interested in doing it and is hopeful there will be a path in this budget conference,” said a senior Democratic aide with knowledge of the discussions. “She will continue to work with Republicans to see if it’s possible in this deal.”

Republican aides declined to discuss the talks. But Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House budget chairman, “is committed to finding common ground,” said William Allison, a spokesman. “He hopes both parties can work together to cut spending in a smarter way.”

Congress initially created the federally funded unemployment insurance extension in 2008, as a way to combat poverty and to help unemployed workers get through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Congress has repeatedly extended the program since then, with the Congressional Budget Office calling it among the most effective forms of government stimulus.

But with each extension, legislators have haggled over the program’s cost and over how many weeks of benefits the government should provide. Extending the current program through 2014 would cost about $25 billion. The program has cost roughly $250 billion so far.

The end of the emergency program would come as the economy is improving, if slowly. Employers are now adding jobs at a pace of around 200,000 a month, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.3 percent.

But weakness persists beyond the headline numbers. About four million Americans have been looking for work for more than six months, and the share of the working-age population with a job has declined over the past year.

In part that is because the government has slashed spending even as private businesses have picked up their hiring. Sequestration forced federal agencies to enact sudden budget cuts this year. And a number of recession-era programs beyond the emergency jobless aid program are ending. This month, for example, an expansion of the food stamp program expired.

The left-of-center Economic Policy Institute has estimated that the expiration of the emergency jobless benefits program would reduce job growth by 310,000 positions next year because consumers over all would have less money to spend. Michael Feroli, chief United States economist at JPMorgan Chase, has estimated that it would drain about four-tenths of a percentage point from first-quarter economic growth.

Already, about 2.5 million unemployed people who have not worked in six months or more are receiving no federal jobless benefits.

Those include Jonathan Galliher, a 31-year-old computer programmer in Chicago who is living with family and freelancing while searching for a full-time job. “For a long time, I felt like I didn’t have any momentum,” he said. “It has been difficult. I spend my days sitting at home, working and not really seeing a lot of other people. That kind of isolation is not good for people.”

The odds of finding a job once out of work for a long spell are slim — about 1 in 10 during any given month. That has spurred hundreds of thousands of workers to simply drop out of the labor force, with long-lasting economic consequences for those workers and for the country.

“When I go for an interview and I get asked, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ ” said Nancy Copeland, 56, who lives in Kansas City, Kan., and is looking for a job in medical billing. “I’m made to feel like it’s the Sunday night before a term paper is due, I’ve known about it for months, and I just started on it Wednesday afternoon and now my mom is asking me why I waited so long.”

 
 


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B. EVENTS AND ACTIONS


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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND

ONGOING CAMPAIGNS



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U.S. Court of Appeals Rules Against Lorenzo Johnson’s
New Legal Challenge to His Frame-up Conviction!
Demand the PA Attorney General Dismiss the Charges!
Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied Lorenzo Johnson’s motion to file a Second Habeas Corpus Petition. The order contained the outrageous declaration that Johnson hadn’t made a “prima facie case” that he had new evidence of his innocence. This not only puts a legal obstacle in Johnson’s path as his fight for freedom makes its way (again) through the state and federal courts—but it undermines the newly filed Pennsylvania state appeal that is pending in the Court of Common Pleas.

Stripped of  “legalese,” the court’s October 15, 2013 order says Johnson’s new evidence was not brought into court soon enough—although it was the prosecution and police who withheld evidence and coerced witnesses into lying or not coming forward with the truth! This, despite over fifteen years and rounds of legal battles to uncover the evidence of government misconduct. This is a set-back for Lorenzo Johnson’s renewed fight for his freedom, but Johnson is even more determined as his PA state court appeal continues.

Increased public support and protest is needed. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson’s freedom is not only a fight for this courageous man and family. The fight for Lorenzo Johnson is also a fight for all the innocent others who have been framed and are sitting in the slow death of prison. The PA Attorney General is directly pursuing the charges against Lorenzo, despite the evidence of his innocence and the corruption of the police. Free Lorenzo Johnson, Now!

—Rachel Wolkenstein, Esq.
   October 25, 2013

For more on the federal court and PA state court legal filings.
Hear Mumia’s latest commentary, “Cat Cries”
Go to: www.FreeLorenzoJohnson.org for more information, to sign the petition, and how to help.

 

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Two important weeks to support the Iraq War whistleblower

Some dates you just don't forget.

Chelsea Manning
Three years ago, in October of 2010, WikiLeaks shocked the world when it published the “Iraq War Logs,” a comprehensive database which contained thousands of records detailing abuse and corruption during the war in Iraq. These documents were revealed by Chelsea Manning, who has been sentenced to 35 years at a Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, prison. The documents that Chelsea Manning revealed via WikiLeaks uncovered crimes that were committed by both the Iraqi government and the U.S. military with the knowledge of top Pentagon officials.

They describe how thousands of innocent Iraqis were targeted for their religious or political beliefs, then detained and tortured in prisons operated by the Iraqi government. These same documents reveal acts in which U.S. soldiers abused and killed Iraqi civilians, and have yet to be held accountable. The documents even revealed to the public how U.S. forces helped teach the Iraqi military interrogation methods that have been banned by the UN as torture.

For the sake of the millions of civilians and the thousands of soldiers who have suffered in this unnecessary war, we ask that you remember the date that the public gained access to this information and take action to support Chelsea and her goal of bringing transparency to government. You can do this by contributing a letter to the official application for clemency that is being sent to Convening Authority Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan. He is one of two people with the power to free Private Manning now, along with President Obama. There is precedent for convening authorities to reduce or eliminate the sentences of soldiers in cases where they have been convinced that the court martial did not deliver justice.

Given the numerous injustices in Private Manning’s case, we believe that Major General Buchanan should demonstrate leniency: Manning was imprisoned for three years before trial (including one year of solitary confinement); motives of conscience were not considered as an important factor by the judge; shockingly, the prosecution was even allowed to change their charge sheet after presenting their case.

Please follow these guidelines to write a letter. If you have already done so, please encourage at least three of your friends to do the same.

For those looking to take further action, we encourage you to organize a letter-writing party, which you can register on the Events Section of our website. All letters should be scanned electronically and PDF versions should be sent to nathan@bradleymanning.org by November 1.

As we remember the tragedy of the Iraq War, in many ways made clearer by the release of the war logs themselves, we must seize this opportunity to show support for PVT Manning and her work to bring much-needed transparency to international relations. Only through working together with adequate information can people of the world prevent history from repeating.

Thank you for your support.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Pvt. Manning's legal fees! Donate today.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38591

COURAGE TO RESIST
http://couragetoresist.org
484 Lake Park Ave #41, Oakland CA 94610
510-488-3559
 

 

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Please sign the NEW petition for Lynne Stewart.

Your signature will send a letter to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels and to Attorney General Holder requesting that they expedite Lynne Stewart’s current application for compassionate release. The NEW petition is at https://www.change.org/petitions/new-petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-support-compassionate-release

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

Free Lynne Stewart: Support Compassionate Release

By Ralph Poynter, Brooklyn, NY  
http://www.change.org/petitions/free-lynne-stewart-support-compassionate-release
Renowned defense attorney Lynne Stewart, unjustly charged and convicted for the “crime” of providing her client with a fearless defense, is dying of cancer while imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Texas.

Your action now can lead to her freedom so that she may live out her remaining days with the comfort and joy of her family and those closest to her, including her devoted husband Ralph Poynter, many children, grandchildren, a great grandchild and lifelong friends.

The conservative medical prognosis by the oncologist contracted by the prison is that Lynne Stewart has but 16-months to live. Breast cancer, in remission prior to her imprisonment, reached Stage Four more than a year ago, emerging in her lymph nodes, shoulder, bones and lungs.

Despite repeated courses of chemotherapy, cancer advances in her lungs, resistant to treatment. Compounding her dire condition, Lynne Stewart’s white blood cell count dropped so low that she has been isolated in a prison hospital room since April 2013 to reduce risk of generalized infection.

Under the 1984 Sentencing Act, upon a prisoner’s request, the Bureau of Prisons can file a motion with the Court to reduce sentences “for extraordinary and compelling reasons,” life threatening illness foremost among these.

Lynne Stewart’s recent re-application for compassionate release meets all the criteria specified in guidelines issued by the Bureau of Prisons in August 2013.

These “new guidelines” followed a searing report and testimony before Congress by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. His findings corroborated a definitive report by Human Rights Watch. Inspector General Horowitz excoriated the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the restrictive crippling of the compassionate release program. In a 20-year period, the Bureau had released a scant 492 persons – an average of 24 a year out of a population that exceeds 220,000.

Over 30,000 people of conscience from all walks of life in the United States and internationally took action to free Lynne Stewart following her first application for compassionate release in April of this year.

Among those who raised their voices are former Attorney General Ramsey Clark – who was co-counsel in the case that led to Lynne Stewart’s imprisonment, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, Father Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Ed Asner, Daniel Berrigan, Liz McAllister Berrigan, Richard Falk, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Cornell West, Dick Gregory, Alice Walker and Bianca Jagger.

They along with thousands of individuals and organizations, such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, directed letters, phone calls and public declarations to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.

Dick Gregory has refused all solid food since April 4 and his remarkable moral witness will not end until Lynne Stewart is released.

We call upon all to amplify this outpouring of support. We ask all within our reach to convey to Bureau of Prisons Director Samuels his obligation to approve Lynne Stewart’s application and instruct the federal attorney to file the requisite motion for Lynne Stewart’s compassionate release.

Please sign this new petition and reach out to others to sign. The letter below will be sent on your behalf via email to Charles E. Samuels, Jr., Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Telephone calls also can be made to the Bureau of Prisons:
(202) 307-3250/3262.

http://www.change.org/petitions/free-lynne-stewart-support-compassionate-release
Write to Lynne Stewart at:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX  76127

or via:
www.lynnestewart.org


What you can do:
Demand Compassionate Release for Lynne Now!

Write and call:

President Obama
The White House
Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1111

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
(202) 353-1555

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
(202) 307-3250/3262

Write to Lynne Stewart:
Lynne Stewart #53504-054
Unit 2N, Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX  76127

Write to Lynne Stewart Defense Committee at:
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information: 718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759
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Kimberly Rivera

Imprisoned pregnant resister seeks early release for birth

  • Print
495 supporters from around the world write letters in support of clemency application
By James Branum and Courage to Resist. November 4, 2013
Fort Carson, Colorado – Imprisoned war resister PFC Kimberly Rivera has submitted a clemency application seeking a reduction by 45 days in the 10 month prison sentence she received for seeking asylum in Canada rather return to her unit in Iraq.

The request for clemency was based on humanitarian reasons due to pregnancy. Unless clemency is granted, Private First Class Kimberly Rivera will be forced to give birth in prison and then immediately relinquish custody of her son while she continues to serve the remainder of her sentence.

Unfortunately military regulations provide no provisions for her to be able to breastfeed her infant son while she is in prison.
Fort Carson Senior Commander Brigadier General Michael A. Bills will be making a decision on PFC Rivera’s clemency request in the coming weeks.
PFC Rivera’s case made international news when she was the first female US soldier in the current era to flee to Canada for reasons of conscience. After a protracted struggle through the Canadian legal system, she was deported back to the United States in September 2012. She was then immediately arrested and sent back to the Army to stand trial.
In an interview with Courage to Resist  on the eve of her court-martial, Rivera said, “When I saw the little girl [in Iraq] shaking in fear, in fear of me, because of my uniform, I couldn’t fathom what she had been through and all I saw was my little girl and I just wanted to hold her and comfort her. But I knew I couldn’t. It broke my heart. I am against hurting anyone… I would harm myself first. I felt this also made me a liability to my unit and I could not let me be a reason for anyone to be harmed—so I left... Even though I did not fill out the official application to obtain conscientious objector status, I consider myself a conscientious objector to all war.”
On April 29, 2013, PFC Rivera pled to charges of desertion. She was sentenced by the military judge to fourteen months in prison, loss of rank and pay, and a dishonorable discharge; thanks to a pre-trial agreement her sentence was reduced to an actual sentence to ten months of confinement and a bad-conduct discharge.
Kimberly Rivera has been recognized by Amnesty International as a “prisoner of conscience.” She is the mother of four children, ages 11, 9, 4 and 2.
Kimberly Rivera’s request for clemency was accompanied by 495 letters of support, written by family members, friends, as well as members of Amnesty International from 19 countries.
“We have many organizations to thank for the outpouring of support for Kimberly Rivera, including Amnesty International, Courage to Resist, the War Resisters Support Campaign of Canada, Veterans for Peace and Coffee Strong,” said James M. Branum, civilian defense attorney for PFC Rivera. “We also want to recognize the tireless efforts of local supporters in Colorado Springs and San Diego who have taken the time to visit Kim in prison as well as to provide important support to Kim’s family in her absence.”
While the official clemency request is now complete, supporters of PFC Rivera are still encouraged to continue to speak out on her behalf. Letters in support of PFC Rivera’s clemency request can be sent directly to:
Brigadier General Michael A. Bills
c/o Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
1626 Ellis Street
Suite 200, Building 1118
Fort Carson, CO 80913
(fax: 1-719-526-1021)
Supporters are also encouraged to sign an online petition posted at:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/752/756/678/free-a-pregnant-war-resister/

Photos: Top-Kimberly with husband Mario during her court martial. Middle-Kimberly in Canada prior to being deported. Bottom-Courage to Resist rallies outside Canadian Consulate, San Francisco CA, prior to Kimberly's forced return.
Initial press release by The Center for Conscience in Action, an Oklahoma City-based organization dedicated to the intersection of peace, conscience and direct action. CCA’s Legal Support Project provides low and no cost legal representation to military service members seeking discharge on the grounds of conscience.
For more information or to schedule an interview about this subject, please contact James M. Branum, lead defense counsel for PFC Rivera, at 405-494-0562 or girightslawyer(at)gmail(dot)com. Consolidated Brig Miramar generally forbids inmates from doing interviews with the press, but you are welcome to see if an exception can be made by contacting the Brig Public Affairs office at 858-577-7071.
Additional case updates will be posted at couragetoresist.org and freekimberlyrivera.org.


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 SAVE CCSF!













Two campaigns that need funds – Please donate!

AnthontyMataforCCSFGuardsman
Cartoon by Anthonty Mata for CCSF Guardsman

DOE CAMPAIGN
We are working to ensure that the ACCJC’s authority is not renewed by the Department of Education this December when they are up for their 5-year renewal. Our campaign made it possible for over 50 Third Party Comments to be sent to the DOE re: the ACCJC. Our next step in this campaign is to send a delegation from CCSF to Washington, D.C. to give oral comments at the hearing on December 12th. We expect to have an array of forces aligned on the other side who have much more money and resources than we do.
So please support this effort to get ACCJC authority revoked!

LEGAL CAMPAIGN
Save CCSF members have been meeting with Attorney Dan Siegel since last May to explore legal avenues to fight the ACCJC. After much consideration, and consultation with AFT 2121’s attorney as well as the SF City Attorney’s office, Dan has come up with a legal strategy that is complimentary to what is already being pursued. In fact, AFT 2121’s attorney is encouraging us to go forward.
The total costs of pursuing this (depositions, etc.) will be substantially more than $15,000. However, Dan is willing to do it for a fixed fee of $15,000. He will not expect a retainer, i.e. payment in advance, but we should start payments ASAP. If we win the ACCJC will have to pay our costs.

PLEASE HELP BOTH OF THESE IMPORTANT EFFORTS!
Checks can be made out to Save CCSF Coalition with “legal” in the memo line and sent to:
Save CCSF Coalition
2132 Prince St.
Berkeley, CA 94705
Or you may donate online:  http://www.gofundme.com/4841ns

http://www.saveccsf.org/

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16 Years in Solitary Confinement Is Like a "Living Tomb"
American Civil Liberties Union petition to end long-term solitary confinement:
California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard: We stand with the prisoners on hunger strike. We urge you to comply with the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement.
Sign the petition:
https://www.aclu.org/secure/ca-hunger-strike?emsrc=Nat_Appeal_AutologinEnabled&emissue=criminal_justice&emtype=petition&ms=eml_130719_acluaction_cahungerstrike&af=k%2FxKX1cIRdoonPVmvnAfAit8jzOCulLOnCX4AAFljff%2B%2BVOdOHNe6CKwl7glWQSjSakzXt53zF%2FodPf00T3rRHlglO3tjEA6DcMSLJRlTbfVBHAizX6uOxoSy5%2FbP93EBFj5xi6Lwm3RWHjmDOZDARHLBSl1rqTr07kLhONZrnU1UIIgPs0P%2FXQ%2BJL3reyE8%2BoiI1nlfPZPBVhbfYxUzMQ%3D%3D&etname=130719+CA+prisoners+hunger+strike&etjid=946739
In California, hundreds of prisoners have been held in solitary for more than a decade – some for infractions as trivial as reading Machiavelli's "The Prince."

Gabriel Reyes describes the pain of being isolated for at least 22 hours a day for the last 16 years:

“Unless you have lived it, you cannot imagine what it feels like to be by yourself, between four cold walls, with little concept of time…. It is a living tomb …’ I have not been allowed physical contact with any of my loved ones since 1995…I feel helpless and hopeless. In short, I am being psychologically tortured.”

That’s why over 30,000 prisoners in California began a hunger strike – the biggest the state has ever seen. They’re refusing food to protest prisoners being held for decades in solitary and to push for other changes to improve their basic conditions.

California Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard has tried to dismiss the strikers and refuses to negotiate, but the media pressure is building through the strike. If tens of thousands of us take action, we can help keep this issue in the spotlight so that Secretary Beard can’t ignore the inhumane treatment of prisoners.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Solitary is such an extreme form of punishment that a United Nations torture rapporteur called for an international ban on the practice except in rare occasions. Here’s why:

The majority of the 80,000 people held in solitary in this country are severely mentally ill or because of a minor infraction (it’s a myth that it’s only for violent prisoners)
Even for people with stable mental health, solitary causes severe psychological reactions, often leading people to attempt suicide
It jeopardizes public safety because prisoners held in solitary have a harder time reintegrating into society.

And to add insult to injury, the hunger strikers are now facing retaliation – their lawyers are being restricted from visiting and the strikers are being punished. But the media continues to write about the hunger strike and we can help keep the pressure on Secretary Beard by signing this petition.

Sign the petition urging Corrections Secretary Beard to end the use of long-term solitary confinement.

Our criminal justice system should keep communities safe and treat people fairly. The use of solitary confinement undermines both of these goals – but little by little, we can help put a stop to such cruelty.

Thank you,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team
P.S. The hunger strikers have developed five core demands to address their basic conditions, the main one being an end to long-term solitary confinement. They are:

-End group punishment – prisoners say that officials often punish groups to address individual rule violations

-Abolish the debriefing policy, which is often demanded in return for better food or release from solitary

-End long-term solitary confinement

-Provide adequate and nutritious food

-Expand or provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates

Sources
“Solitary - and anger - in California's prisons.” Los Angeles Times July 13, 2013
“Pelican Bay Prison Hunger-Strikers' Stories: Gabriel Reyes.” TruthOut July 9, 2013
“Solitary confinement should be banned in most cases, UN expert says.” UN News October 18, 2011
"Stop Solitary - Two Pager" ACLU.org




What you Didn't know about NYPD's Stop and Frisk program !
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rfJHx0Gj6ys#at=990

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Egypt: The Next President -- a little Egyptian boy speaks his remarkable mind!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeDm2PrNV1I

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Wealth Inequality in America

[This is a must see to believe video...bw]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QPKKQnijnsM

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Read the transcription of hero Bradley Manning's 35-page statement explaining why he leaked "state secrets" to WikiLeaks.

March 1, 2013

Alternet

The statement was read by Pfc. Bradley Manning at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O'Brien at Thursday's pretrial hearing and first appeared on Salon.com.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/bradley-mannings-surprising-statement-court-details-why-he-made-his-historic?akid=10129.229473.UZvQfK&rd=1&src=newsletter802922&t=7

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Call for a Compassionate Release for Lynne Stewart:
Attorney General Eric Holder: 202-514-2001
White House President Obama: 202-456-1414
Bureau of Prisons Director Charles Samuels: 202-307-3198 ext 3

Urgent: Please sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart
http://www.change.org/petitions/petition-to-free-lynne-stewart-save-her-life-release-her-now-2

For more information, go to http://www.lynnestewart.org

Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
??Federal Medical Center, Carswell
PO Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127



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You Have the Right to Remain Silent: NLG Guide to Law Enforcement Encounters

Posted 1 day ago on July 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a nonviolent movement for social and economic justice, but in recent days disturbing reports have emerged of Occupy-affiliated activists being targeted by US law enforcement, including agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. To help ensure Occupiers and allied activists know their rights when encountering law enforcement, we are publishing in full the National Lawyers Guild's booklet: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. The NLG provides invaluable support to the Occupy movement and other activists – please click here to support the NLG.

We strongly encourage all Occupiers to read and share the information provided below. We also recommend you enter the NLG's national hotline number (888-654-3265) into your cellphone (if you have one) and keep a copy handy. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact the NLG or a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide for Law Enforcement Encounters

What Rights Do I Have?

Whether or not you're a citizen, you have rights under the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives every person the right to remain silent: not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government's power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government's power to conduct surveillance. The First Amendment protects your right to speak freely and to advocate for social change. However, if you are a non-citizen, the Department of Homeland Security may target you based on your political activities.

Standing Up For Free Speech

The government's crusade against politically-active individuals is intended to disrupt and suppress the exercise of time-honored free speech activities, such as boycotts, protests, grassroots organizing and solidarity work. Remember that you have the right to stand up to the intimidation tactics of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials who, with political motives, are targeting organizing and free speech activities. Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others' rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all. The National Lawyers Guild has a long tradition of standing up to government repression. The organization itself was labeled a "subversive" group during the McCarthy Era and was subject to FBI surveillance and infiltration for many years. Guild attorneys have defended FBI-targeted members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican independence movement. The NLG exposed FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics that were detailed during the 1975-76 COINTELPRO hearings. In 1989 the NLG prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of several activist organizations, including the Guild, that forced the FBI to expose the extent to which it had been spying on activist movements. Under the settlement, the FBI turned over roughly 400,000 pages of its files on the Guild, which are now available at the Tamiment Library at New York University.

What if FBI Agents or Police Contact Me?

What if an agent or police officer comes to the door?

Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.

Do I have to answer questions?

You have the constitutional right to remain silent. It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to consult an attorney. Once you make the request to speak to a lawyer, do not say anything else. The Supreme Court recently ruled that answering law enforcement questions may be taken as a waiver of your right to remain silent, so it is important that you assert your rights and maintain them. Only a judge can order you to answer questions. There is one exception: some states have "stop and identify" statutes which require you to provide identity information or your name if you have been detained on reasonable suspicion that you may have committed a crime. A lawyer in your state can advise you of the status of these requirements where you reside.

Do I have to give my name?

As above, in some states you can be detained or arrested for merely refusing to give your name. And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious or more hostile and lead to your arrest, even without just cause, so use your judgment. Giving a false name could in some circumstances be a crime.

Do I need a lawyer?

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from law enforcement. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are considering answering any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any interview. The lawyer's job is to protect your rights. Once you tell the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer, he or she should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any investigator who visits you, and give that information to your lawyer. The government does not have to provide you with a free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG or another organization may be able to help you find a lawyer for free or at a reduced rate.

If I refuse to answer questions or say I want a lawyer, won't it seem like I have something to hide?

Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you and others. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used or manipulated to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not to talk is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Keep in mind that although law enforcement agents are allowed to lie to you, lying to a government agent is a crime. Remaining silent is not. The safest things to say are "I am going to remain silent," "I want to speak to my lawyer," and "I do not consent to a search." It is a common practice for law enforcement agents to try to get you to waive your rights by telling you that if you have nothing to hide you would talk or that talking would "just clear things up." The fact is, if they are questioning you, they are looking to incriminate you or someone you may know, or they are engaged in political intelligence gathering. You should feel comfortable standing firm in protection and defense of your rights and refusing to answer questions.

Can agents search my home or office?

You do not have to let police or agents into your home or office unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. Interfering with a warrantless search probably will not stop it and you might get arrested. But you should say "I do not consent to a search," and call a criminal defense lawyer or the NLG. You should be aware that a roommate or guest can legally consent to a search of your house if the police believe that person has the authority to give consent, and your employer can consent to a search of your workspace without your permission.

What if agents have a search warrant?

If you are present when agents come for the search, you can ask to see the warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away. Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer. You do not have to answer questions. Talk to a lawyer first. (Note: If agents present an arrest warrant, they may only perform a cursory visual search of the premises to see if the person named in the arrest warrant is present.)

Do I have to answer questions if I have been arrested?

No. If you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to assert your right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer right away. Do not say anything else. Repeat to every officer who tries to talk to or question you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. You should always talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions.

What if I speak to government agents anyway?

Even if you have already answered some questions, you can refuse to answer other questions until you have a lawyer. If you find yourself talking, stop. Assert that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer.

What if the police stop me on the street?

Ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, consider just walking away. If the police say you are not under arrest, but are not free to go, then you are being detained. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing if they have reason to suspect you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, "I do not consent to a search." They may keep searching anyway. If this happens, do not resist because you can be charged with assault or resisting arrest. You do not have to answer any questions. You do not have to open bags or any closed container. Tell the officers you do not consent to a search of your bags or other property.

What if police or agents stop me in my car?

Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you are driving a vehicle, you must show your license, registration and, in some states, proof of insurance. You do not have to consent to a search. But the police may have legal grounds to search your car anyway. Clearly state that you do not consent. Officers may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.

What if I am treated badly by the police or the FBI?

Write down the officer's badge number, name or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers. If you are injured, seek medical attention and take pictures of the injuries as soon as you can. Call a lawyer as soon as possible.

What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury subpoena if I don't answer their questions?

A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to court and testify about information you may have. It is common for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk to them. If they are going to subpoena you, they will do so anyway. You should not volunteer to speak just because you are threatened with a subpoena. You should consult a lawyer.

What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?

Grand jury proceedings are not the same as testifying at an open court trial. You are not allowed to have a lawyer present (although one may wait in the hallway and you may ask to consult with him or her after each question) and you may be asked to answer questions about your activities and associations. Because of the witness's limited rights in this situation, the government has frequently used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about activists and political organizations. It is common for the FBI to threaten activists with a subpoena in order to elicit information about their political views and activities and those of their associates. There are legal grounds for stopping ("quashing") subpoenas, and receiving one does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of a crime. If you do receive a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The government regularly uses grand jury subpoena power to investigate and seek evidence related to politically-active individuals and social movements. This practice is aimed at prosecuting activists and, through intimidation and disruption, discouraging continued activism.

Federal grand jury subpoenas are served in person. If you receive one, it is critically important that you retain the services of an attorney, preferably one who understands your goals and, if applicable, understands the nature of your political work, and has experience with these issues. Most lawyers are trained to provide the best legal defense for their client, often at the expense of others. Beware lawyers who summarily advise you to cooperate with grand juries, testify against friends, or cut off contact with your friends and political activists. Cooperation usually leads to others being subpoenaed and investigated. You also run the risk of being charged with perjury, a felony, should you omit any pertinent information or should there be inconsistencies in your testimony.

Frequently prosecutors will offer "use immunity," meaning that the prosecutor is prohibited from using your testimony or any leads from it to bring charges against you. If a subsequent prosecution is brought, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that all of its evidence was obtained independent of the immunized testimony. You should be aware, however, that they will use anything you say to manipulate associates into sharing more information about you by suggesting that you have betrayed confidences.

In front of a grand jury you can "take the Fifth" (exercise your right to remain silent). However, the prosecutor may impose immunity on you, which strips you of Fifth Amendment protection and subjects you to the possibility of being cited for contempt and jailed if you refuse to answer further. In front of a grand jury you have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, although you can consult with a lawyer outside the grand jury room after each question.

What if I don't cooperate with the grand jury?

If you receive a grand jury subpoena and elect to not cooperate, you may be held in civil contempt. There is a chance that you may be jailed or imprisoned for the length of the grand jury in an effort to coerce you to cooperate. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, which can be extended up to a total of 24 months. It is lawful to hold you in order to coerce your cooperation, but unlawful to hold you as a means of punishment. In rare instances you may face criminal contempt charges.

What If I Am Not a Citizen and the DHS Contacts Me?

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been renamed and reorganized into: 1. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); 2. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and 3. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three bureaus will be referred to as DHS for the purposes of this pamphlet.

? Assert your rights. If you do not demand your rights or if you sign papers waiving your rights, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport you before you see a lawyer or an immigration judge. Never sign anything without reading, understanding and knowing the consequences of signing it.

? Talk to a lawyer. If possible, carry with you the name and telephone number of an immigration lawyer who will take your calls. The immigration laws are hard to understand and there have been many recent changes. DHS will not explain your options to you. As soon as you encounter a DHS agent, call your attorney. If you can't do it right away, keep trying. Always talk to an immigration lawyer before leaving the U.S. Even some legal permanent residents can be barred from returning.

Based on today's laws, regulations and DHS guidelines, non-citizens usually have the following rights, no matter what their immigration status. This information may change, so it is important to contact a lawyer. The following rights apply to non-citizens who are inside the U.S. Non-citizens at the border who are trying to enter the U.S. do not have all the same rights.

Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any DHS questions or signing any DHS papers?

Yes. You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained, and you have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention. You have the right to have your attorney with you at any hearing before an immigration judge. You do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney for immigration proceedings, but if you have been arrested, immigration officials must show you a list of free or low cost legal service providers.

Should I carry my green card or other immigration papers with me?

If you have documents authorizing you to stay in the U.S., you must carry them with you. Presenting false or expired papers to DHS may lead to deportation or criminal prosecution. An unexpired green card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, Border Crossing Card or other papers that prove you are in legal status will satisfy this requirement. If you do not carry these papers with you, you could be charged with a crime. Always keep a copy of your immigration papers with a trusted family member or friend who can fax them to you, if need be. Check with your immigration lawyer about your specific case.

Am I required to talk to government officers about my immigration history?

If you are undocumented, out of status, a legal permanent resident (green card holder), or a citizen, you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration history. (You may want to consider giving your name; see above for more information about this.) If you are not in any of these categories, and you are being questioned by a DHS or FBI agent, then you may create problems with your immigration status if you refuse to provide information requested by the agent. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the agent that your lawyer will answer questions on your behalf. If answering questions could lead the agent to information that connects you with criminal activity, you should consider refusing to talk to the agent at all.

If I am arrested for immigration violations, do I have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge to defend myself against deportation charges?

Yes. In most cases only an immigration judge can order you deported. But if you waive your rights or take "voluntary departure," agreeing to leave the country, you could be deported without a hearing. If you have criminal convictions, were arrested at the border, came to the U.S. through the visa waiver program or have been ordered deported in the past, you could be deported without a hearing. Contact a lawyer immediately to see if there is any relief for you.

Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?

Yes. Non-citizens arrested in the U.S. have the right to call their consulate or to have the police tell the consulate of your arrest. The police must let your consulate visit or speak with you if consular officials decide to do so. Your consulate might help you find a lawyer or offer other help. You also have the right to refuse help from your consulate.

What happens if I give up my right to a hearing or leave the U.S. before the hearing is over?

You could lose your eligibility for certain immigration benefits, and you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a number of years. You should always talk to an immigration lawyer before you decide to give up your right to a hearing.

What should I do if I want to contact DHS?

Always talk to a lawyer before contacting DHS, even on the phone. Many DHS officers view "enforcement" as their primary job and will not explain all of your options to you.

What Are My Rights at Airports?

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal for law enforcement to perform any stops, searches, detentions or removals based solely on your race, national origin, religion, sex or ethnicity.

If I am entering the U.S. with valid travel papers can a U.S. customs agent stop and search me?

Yes. Customs agents have the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.

Can my bags or I be searched after going through metal detectors with no problem or after security sees that my bags do not contain a weapon?

Yes. Even if the initial screen of your bags reveals nothing suspicious, the screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.

If I am on an airplane, can an airline employee interrogate me or ask me to get off the plane?

The pilot of an airplane has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot's decision must be reasonable and based on observations of you, not stereotypes.

What If I Am Under 18?

Do I have to answer questions?

No. Minors too have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police, probation officers, or school officials, except in some states you may have to give your name if you have been detained.

What if I am detained?

If you are detained at a community detention facility or Juvenile Hall, you normally must be released to a parent or guardian. If charges are filed against you, in most states you are entitled to counsel (just like an adult) at no cost.

Do I have the right to express political views at school?

Public school students generally have a First Amendment right to politically organize at school by passing out leaflets, holding meetings, etc., as long as those activities are not disruptive and do not violate legitimate school rules. You may not be singled out based on your politics, ethnicity or religion.

Can my backpack or locker be searched?

School officials can search students' backpacks and lockers without a warrant if they reasonably suspect that you are involved in criminal activity or carrying drugs or weapons. Do not consent to the police or school officials searching your property, but do not physically resist or you may face criminal charges.

Disclaimer

This booklet is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.

NLG National Hotline for Activists Contacted by the FBI

888-NLG-ECOL

(888-654-3265)

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Free Mumia NOW!

Prisonradio.org

Write to Mumia:

Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335

SCI Mahanoy

301 Morea Road

Frackville, PA 17932

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rachel Wolkenstein

August 21, 2011 (917) 689-4009

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL ILLEGALLY SENTENCED TO

LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE!

FREE MUMIA NOW!

www.FreeMumia.com

http://blacktalkradionetwork.com/profiles/blogs/mumia-is-formally-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-w-out-hearing-he-s



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"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against

Censorship" book

https://www.mecaforpeace.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=25

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Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana

state prisons must end

Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action/justice-for-albert-woodfox-and-herm\

an-wallace

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WITNESS GAZA

http://www.witnessgaza.com/

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Write to Bradley

http://bradleymanning.org/donate

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P3OXML00s

Courage to Resist

484 Lake Park Ave. #41

Oakland, CA 94610

510-488-3559

couragetoresist.org

"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289

830 Sabalu Road

Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends

Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/update-42811

This is also a Facebook event

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=207100509321891#!/event.php?eid=2071005093\

21891

Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning

has been defending and supporting our Constitution." --Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon

Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson

Project Director, Courage to Resist

First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq

Please donate today.

https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=38590

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly

becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to

make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might also be interested in

supporting GI resisters.

http://ymlp.com/forward.php?id=lS3tR&e=bonnieweinstein@yahoo.com

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The Battle Is Still On To

FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610

www.laboractionmumia.org

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT! FREE KEVIN COOPER!

Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper

Chronicle Editorial

Monday, December 13, 2010

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/13/EDG81GP0I7.DTL

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's

death row!

http://www.savekevincooper.org/

http://www.savekevincooper.org/pages/essays_content.html?ID=255

URGENT ACTION APPEAL

- From Amnesty International USA

17 December 2010

Click here to take action online:

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/index.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&\

b=2590179&template=x.ascx&action=15084

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

http://www.amnestyusa.org/iar/success

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):

http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/uaa25910.pdf

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Short Video About Al-Awda's Work

The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's

work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown

on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l

Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected

over the past nine years.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl

Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial

support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to

http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html

and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

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D. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:

[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website:

http://bauaw.blogspot.com/ or bauaw.org ...bw]

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Exceptional art from the streets of Oakland:

Oakland Street Dancing



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NYC RESTAURANT WORKERS DANCE & SING FOR A WAGE HIKE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_s8e1R6rG8&feature=player_embedded

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On Gun Control, Martin Luther King, the Deacons of Defense and the history of Black Liberation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzYKisvBN1o&feature=player_embedded

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Fukushima Never Again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU-Z4VLDGxU

"Fukushima, Never Again" tells the story of the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns in north east Japan in March of 2011 and exposes the cover-up by Tepco and the Japanese government.

This is the first film that interviews the Mothers Of Fukushima, nuclear power experts and trade unionists who are fighting for justice and the protection of the children and the people of Japan and the world. The residents and citizens were forced to buy their own geiger counters and radiation dosimeters in order to test their communities to find out if they were in danger.

The government said contaminated soil in children's school grounds was safe and then

when the people found out it was contaminated and removed the top soil, the government and TEPCO refused to remove it from the school grounds.

It also relays how the nuclear energy program for "peaceful atoms" was brought to Japan under the auspices of the US military occupation and also the criminal cover-up of the safety dangers of the plant by TEPCO and GE management which built the plant in Fukushima. It also interviews Kei Sugaoka, the GE nulcear plant inspector from the bay area who exposed cover-ups in the safety at the Fukushima plant and was retaliated against by GE. This documentary allows the voices of the people and workers to speak out about the reality of the disaster and what this means not only for the people of Japan but the people of the world as the US government and nuclear industry continue to push for more new plants and government subsidies. This film breaks

the information blockade story line of the corporate media in Japan, the US and around the world that Fukushima is over.

Production Of Labor Video Project

P.O. Box 720027

San Francisco, CA 94172

www.laborvideo.org

lvpsf@laborvideo.org

For information on obtaining the video go to:

www.fukushimaneveragain.com

(415)282-1908


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1000 year of war through the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiG8neU4_bs&feature=share

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Anatomy of a Massacre - Afganistan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6BnRc11aug&feature=player_embedded

Afghans accuse multiple soldiers of pre-meditated murder

To see more go to http://www.youtube.com/user/journeymanpictures

Follow us on Facebook (http://goo.gl/YRw42) or Twitter

(http://www.twitter.com/journeymanvod)

The recent massacre of 17 civilians by a rogue US soldier has been shrouded in

mystery. But through unprecedented access to those involved, this report

confronts the accusations that Bales didn't act alone.

"They came into my room and they killed my family". Stories like this are common

amongst the survivors in Aklozai and Najiban. As are the shocking accusations

that Sergeant Bales was not acting alone. Even President Karzai has announced

"one man can not do that". Chief investigator, General Karimi, is suspicious

that despite being fully armed, Bales freely left his base without raising

alarm. "How come he leaves at night and nobody is aware? Every time we have

weapon accountability and personal accountability." These are just a few of the

questions the American army and government are yet to answer. One thing however

is very clear, the massacre has unleashed a wave of grief and outrage which

means relations in Kandahar will be tense for years to come: "If I could lay my

hands on those infidels, I would rip them apart with my bare hands."

A Film By SBS

Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

April 2012

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Photo of George Zimmerman, in 2005 photo, left, and in a more recent photo.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/02/us/the-events-leading-to-the-sooti\

ng-of-trayvon-martin.html?hp

SPD Security Cams.wmv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WWDNbQUgm4&feature=player_embedded

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Kids being put on buses and transported from school to "alternate locations" in

Terror Drills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFia_w8adWQ

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Private prisons,

a recession resistant investment opportunity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIGLDOxx9Vg

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Attack Dogs used on a High School Walkout in MD, Four Students Charged With

"Thought Crimes"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wafMaML17w

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Common forms of misconduct by Law Enforcement Officials and Prosecutors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViSpM4K276w&feature=related

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Organizing and Instigating: OCCUPY - Ronnie Goodman

http://arthazelwood.com/instigator/occupy/occupy-birth-video.html

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Rep News 12: Yes We Kony

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68GbzIkYdc8

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The New Black by The Mavrix - Official Music Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4rLfja8488

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Japan One Year Later

http://www.onlineschools.org/japan-one-year-later/

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The CIA's Heart Attack Gun

http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/assassination-studies/the-cias-heart-attack-g\

un-.html

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The Invisible American Workforce

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

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Labor Beat: NATO vs The 1st Amendment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbQxnb4so3U

For more detailed information, send us a request at mail@laborbeat.org.


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The Battle of Oakland

by brandon jourdan plus

http://vimeo.com/36256273

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Officers Pulled Off Street After Tape of Beating Surfaces

By ANDY NEWMAN

February 1, 2012, 10:56 am

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/officers-pulled-off-street-after-ta\

pe-of-beating-surfaces/?ref=nyregion

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This is excellent! Michelle Alexander pulls no punches!

Michelle Alexander, Author of The New Jim Crow, speaks about the political

strategy

behind the War on Drugs and its connection to the mass incarceration of Black

and Brown people in the United States.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P75cbEdNo2U&feature=player_embedded

If you think Bill Clinton was "the first black President" you need to watch this

video and see how much damage his administration caused for the black community

as a result of his get tough attitude on crime that appealed to white swing

voters.

This speech took place at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem on January 12,

2012.

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FREE BRADLEY MANNING

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/national-call-in-for-bradley

I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding

the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused

WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People

platform on WhiteHouse.gov.

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may

decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or

similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or

agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice

system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of

Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the

specific case raised in this petition...

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about

Bradley:

BRADLEY MANNING "BROKE THE LAW" SAYS OBAMA!

"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be

charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the

President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with

a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-

Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at

fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political

action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfmtUpd4id0&feature=youtu.be

Release Bradley Manning

Almost Gone (The Ballad Of Bradley Manning)

Written by Graham Nash and James Raymond (son of David Crosby)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYG7yJpBbQ&feature=player_embedded

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Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVGqE726OAo&feature=player_embedded

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School police increasingly arresting American students?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl-efNBvjUU&feature=player_embedded

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FYI:

Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are

plotted visually and audibly on a world map.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9lquok4Pdk&feature=share&mid=5408

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We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to

choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are

suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay

and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1

percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?

OccupyWallSt.org

Occupytogether.org

wearethe99percentuk.tumblr.com

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

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We Are The People Who Will Save Our Schools

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFAOJsBxAxY

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In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the 44-Day Flint Michigan sit-down strike at

GM that began December 30, 1936:

According to Michael Moore, (Although he has done some good things, this clip

isn't one of them) in this clip from his film, "Capitalism a Love Story," it was

Roosevelt who saved the day!):

"After a bloody battle one evening, the Governor of Michigan, with the support

of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, sent in the National

Guard. But the guns and the soldiers weren't used on the workers; they were

pointed at the police and the hired goons warning them to leave these workers

alone. For Mr. Roosevelt believed that the men inside had a right to a redress

of their grievances." -Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story'

- Flint Sit-Down Strike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8x1_q9wg58

But those cannons were not aimed at the goons and cops! They were aimed straight

at the factory filled with strikers! Watch what REALLY happened and how the

strike was really won!

'With babies & banners' -- 75 years since the 44-day Flint sit-down strike

http://links.org.au/node/2681

--Inspiring

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HALLELUJAH CORPORATIONS (revised edition).mov

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws0WSNRpy3g

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ONE OF THE GREATEST POSTS ON YOUTUBE SO FAR!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C-qIgbP9o&feature=share&mid=552

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ILWU Local 10 Longshore Workers Speak-Out At Oakland Port Shutdown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JUpBpZYwms

Uploaded by laborvideo on Dec 13, 2011

ILWU Local 10 longshore workers speak out during a blockade of the Port of

Oakland called for by Occupy Oakland. Anthony Levieges and Clarence Thomas rank

and file members of the union. The action took place on December 12, 2011 and

the interview took place at Pier 30 on the Oakland docks.

For more information on the ILWU Local 21 Longview EGT struggle go to

http://www.facebook.com/groups/256313837734192/

For further info on the action and the press conferernce go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3fE-Vhrw8&feature=youtu.be

Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org

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UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

19 November 11

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8485-uc-davis-police-violence-add\

s-fuel-to-fire

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AdDLhPwpp4&feature=player_embedded

Police PEPPER SPRAY UC Davis STUDENT PROTESTERS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuWEx6Cfn-I&feature=player_embedded

Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CZ0t9ez_EGI#!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTIyE_JlJzw&feature=related

*---------*

THE BEST VIDEO ON "OCCUPY THE WORLD"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S880UldxB1o

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Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0pX9LeE-g8&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrvMzqopHH0

*---------*

Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tu_D8SFYck&feature=player_embedded

*----*

Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest

were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoiisMMCFT0&feature=player_embedded

*----*

Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAfzUOx53Rg&feature=player_embedded

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ7aU-n1L8&feature=player_embedded

*----*

WHAT HAPPENED IN OAKLAND TUESDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 25:

Occupy Oakland Protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlPs-REyl-0&feature=player_embedded

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R27kD2_7PwU&feature=player_embedded

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpO-lJr2BQY&feature=player_embedded

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqNOPZLw03Q&feature=player_embedded

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

http://www.ktvu.com/video/29587714/index.html

Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown

Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMUgPTCgwcQ&feature=player_embedded

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU4Y0pwJtWE&feature=player_embedded

Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStWz6jbeZA&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY8isD33f-I

*---------*

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA48gmfGB6U&feature=youtu.be

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjKZpOk7TyM&feature=related

*---------*

#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of

Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziodsFWEb5Y&feature=player_embedded

*---------*

#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street

By adele pham

http://vimeo.com/30146870

*---------*

Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yULSI-31Pto&feature=player_embedded

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FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!

http://www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/index.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmS4kHC_OlY&feature=player_embedded

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and beautiful...bw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE3R1BQrYCw&feature=player_embedded

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson

*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)

Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVuGwc9dlhQ&feature=player_embedded


*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*---------*

Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand

Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.

"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."

"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse

Sharkey, Vice

President, Chicago Teachers Union

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSNUSIGZCMQ

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Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E7h-DNvwx4&feature=player_embedded

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