North Carolina under suspicion of voter suppression with new ID laws


 

RT America | February 4, 2016

New laws across nearly 20 states might make voting for many more difficult. They include a number of voter ID laws in North Carolina that critics say are specifically used to target black and Latino voters. RT’s Simone Del Rosario reports on the controversy.

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Retired General, Ex-CIA Chief David Petraeus to Receive No Further Punishment


David Petraeus. (photo: Reuters)
David Petraeus. (photo: Reuters)

 

Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali | Reuters | Reader Supported News | January 31, 2016

.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has decided not to impose further punishment on David Petraeus, a former U.S. military commander and CIA director who admitted sharing classified information with his mistress, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The short letter was sent by Stephen Hedger, the assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, and the decision is in line with an Army review.

Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA in 2012 after it was revealed that he was having an affair with his biographer, Army Reserve officer Paula Broadwell. When he pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information, a court document signed by Petraeus and prosecutors said that in 2011, Petraeus illegally gave Broadwell access to official binders.

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Will the 2016 Primaries Be Electronically Rigged?


Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik | Truthout | January 27, 2016

“You’ve heard the old adage ‘follow the money.’ I follow the vote, and wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that’s an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to … make bad things happen.” — Steve Stigall, CIA cyber-security expert, in remarks to the US Election Assistance Commission

Primary election rigging in the coming weeks and months is all but assured if American voters and candidates don’t take steps to prevent it now. Evidence that US voting systems are wide open to fraud and manipulation should be taken seriously in light of the unprecedented high-stakes elections we’re facing.

Not in recent history have American voters been presented with such radically polarized candidates, forcing a crucial choice for the direction of our future, and possibly upending long-established centers of power.

It’s no secret that US primaries have been tightly controlled by the two ruling parties, usually to the benefit of their favored candidates. If this internal manipulation (some might call it rigging) is not publicly condoned, neither is it loudly condemned.

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Bernie Sanders: “I am Angry”


Scott Galindez | Reader Supported News | January 25, 2016

 

n Clinton, Iowa presidential candidate Bernie Sanders responded to Bill Clinton and the Wall Street Journal. A Wall Street CEO said that the markets are unsteady because Bernie Sanders has become a viable candidate for President. Bernie said it was a good thing: “We are making Wall Street nervous.” Former President Bill Clinton said Bernie was angry, Bernie agreed telling the crowd the American people are angry and listed the reasons.

Environmental Racism: Critics call Flint crises a civil rights issue


 

RT America | January 25, 2016

Joining RT’s Lindsay France to discuss the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is journalist, activist and Global Health Corps Fellow Jaimee Swift, who says that Flint is not an isolated incident. “The physical environment is not exempt from institutional racism and prejudicial environmental actions and policies that disproportionately affect the black community,” Swift says.

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The Big Money in US Prisons


Bulletproof vests, riot gear and batons are all on display at the American Correctional Association convention in New Orleans. (photo: Eric Markowitz/IBT Media)
Bulletproof vests, riot gear and batons are all on display at the American Correctional Association convention in New Orleans. (photo: Eric Markowitz/IBT Media)

 

Eric Markowitz | International Business Times | Reader Supported News | January 25, 2016

he salesman stood outside the prison bus, inviting people inside for a brief tour. Those who obliged marveled at the steel “containment” cages, the bullet-resistant windows and the high-tech onboard surveillance systems.

The price tag for such a vehicle? About $580,000.

This bus, along with hundreds of other products and services, are on display this week at the American Correctional Association’s annual winter conference in New Orleans. According to the event’s organizers, it has become “the largest gathering of corrections personnel in the United States.”

While the conference offers several dozen educational workshops and panels about reforming the criminal justice system, the trade show on the convention center floors offers a peek into the sprawling private industry around incarceration. In many ways, it’s just like any other trade show: Men and women stand by their companies’ booths, wearing polo shirts adorned with their logos, handing out free pens, tote bags and brochures.

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Same-Sex Union Foes To Pay Up


Zoe Tillman | The National Law Journal | January 25, 2016

States on hook for $13.5M in legal fees.

<b>TAB:</b> Lawyers who challenged same-sex marriage bans have earned millions in fees. TAB: Lawyers who challenged same-sex marriage bans have earned millions in fees. Diego M. Radzinschi 

Twenty-five states that unsuccessfully defended same-sex marriage bans in federal court have agreed or been ordered by a judge to pay more than $13.5 million in legal fees to the challengers.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor—striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act—opened the floodgates to lawsuits challenging state marriage bans as unconstitutional. There was a flurry of litigation in federal courts leading up to the high court’s decision in June in Obergefell v. Hodges declaring a national right to same-sex marriage.

The legal bills have steadily come due.

Payouts to plaintiffs’ lawyers, who largely represented their clients pro bono, so far ranged from $4,500 to $1.9 million. And there’s more to come. Fee petitions are pending in four states, including a $2 million request in Tennessee. In other cases, the lawyers are still fighting over how to apply Obergefell, delaying a discussion about fees.

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The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis


Flint, Michigan. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Flint, Michigan. (photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

 

Rebecca Leber | New Republic | Reader Supported News | January 24, 2016

Michigan’s governor has borne the brunt of the blame, but there’s plenty to go around.

 

ichigan Governor Rick Snyder in recent weeks has come under intense pressure over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which was precipitated two years ago when his administration, in an effort to cut costs, changed the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The move led to a dangerous increase in lead in the water supply; just 5 parts per billion is cause for concern, especially for children, but Flint’s tap water has had five times that amount. And yet, officials insisted until late last fall that the water was safe for its 100,000 residents to drink.

In response to a public outcry, Snyder has released nearly 300 pages of emails that reveal how poorly state agencies responded to the slow-moving crisis. But while Snyder, a Republican, and his appointees have borne the brunt of the outrage, it turns out the Environmental Protection Agency fell down on the job, too.

Donald Trump, who’s promised a “tremendous cutting” of EPA funds if elected president, said this week the agency is “really guilty of” the Flint “horror show.” For once, Trump is not entirely wrong.

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Women Muzzled in US Media’s Coverage of Reproductive Rights


Women may make their voices heard in street protests, but not so much in mainstream media. (photo: Reuters)
Women may make their voices heard in street protests, but not so much in mainstream media. (photo: Reuters)

 

teleSUR | Reader Supported News | January 24, 2016

Men’s voices dominate the reporting around issues such as abortion rights, contraception, and family planning.

 

en apparently have more to say about women’s health issues than women do, especially in the media.

According to a new study, men have written 52 percent of all articles relating to reproductive rights in the U.S. Women journalists, on the other hand, only penned 37 percent of these articles.

“When it comes to stories about abortion and contraception, women’s voices are systematically stifled – as writers and as sources,” said Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, which conducted the study.

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