BERKELEY (KTVU and Wires) – Friday is the third day of a student sit-in against tuition increases at UC-Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall. The students have been sleeping there and say they won’t leave until their demands are met.
The students issued their set of demands early Thursday including a no vote by regents on a proposed tuition hike.
Raj Bhargva, a student spokesman, also asked that all charges be dropped against 21-year-old UC Berkeley student Jeff Noven, who was arrested on Wednesday at the regents meeting in San Francisco….
by Christina Sarich
Why won’t Fox, NBC, CNN, or ABC cover the TPP? These media empires (even Facebook has boosted news feeds of the top 100 media outlets, owned by only six mega-corporations to control public opinion) have decided that the public should be kept in the dark about ‘NAFTA on steroids’ so that biotech corporations can completely take over ‘free-trade’ with Pacific Rim nations.
You likely haven’t heard of the TPP or Trans Pacific Trade Agreement for this reason, but it hasn’t slowed the rising opposition to its sinister ‘fast-track’ plans among our elected officials, which would bypass many of the legal requirements for a normal trade agreement, and allowing the implementation of TPP with minimal debate. More than 550 groups, representing millions of people, have urged President Obama to vote against the TPP, but so far, those requests have fallen on deaf ears.
The US government touts the TPP as “an ambitious, 21st century trade agreement” with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. “When complete, TPP will unlock opportunities for American workers, families, businesses, farmers, and ranchers by providing increased access to some of the fastest growing markets in the world.”
by William D. Cohan
By now, most Americans are familiar with the sad story of Aaron Swartz, the self-styled “hacktivist” and political organizer, and the Justice Department’s terribly ill-conceived prosecution of him, in which it claimed that Swartz repeatedly violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in 2011 when he downloaded without authorization millions of academic articles from JSTOR, the digital library. On January 11, 2013, facing a plea bargain that would force him to spend six months in prison and plead guilty to thirteen felony charges, Swartz committed suicide in his Brooklyn apartment. He was 26 years old.
Now the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, is once again at the center of an ill-advised prosecution, except this time a private corporation is using the law against working journalists and their sources.
The proceedings in this little-noticed case, which has alarming implications for press freedom, were set in motion a year ago in a federal court in Rochester, New York, when an entity known as NXIVM Corporation (pronounced nex-ee-um) filed a civil lawsuit against two journalists—Suzanna Andrews, a contributor to Vanity Fair, and James Odato, of the Albany Times Union—and a blogger, John Tighe, creator of the now-defunct “Saratoga in Decline” blog. An examination of the court filings reveals the lawsuit to be a thinly veiled attempt to retaliate against journalists for writing accurate but hard-hitting stories that were critical of NXIVM and the strange behavior of its principals. In the same lawsuit, NXIVM also sued two of their sources—Toni Foley (formerly known as Toni Natalie) and Joseph O’Hara—but did not sue either Condé Nast, Andrews’s deep-pocketed employer, or the Hearst Corporation, which owns the Times Union. (The conclusion that NXIVM is being retaliatory is bolstered by the fact that it also sued fifty-nine unnamed “John Does” but only named Andrews, Odato, Tighe, Foley and O’Hara.) The case remains in the procedural stage but if NXIVM prevails, an unprecedented new front will have been opened in the war against the press in this country.
by Jon Queally
Those are the calls being voiced in the streets of London on Wednesday as thousands of students marched for publicly-funded (“free”) education nationwide. The protest was also billed as a direct challenge to austerity cuts to higher education imposed by the conservative government led by David Cameron.
Organizers said the march is just the beginning of “a major wave of action” ahead of the nation’s next general election. “We are determined,” the students said in a joint letter, “to build a movement too big to ignore that puts free, accessible and public education back on the political agenda.”
In a tweet, the anti-austerity group UK Uncut declared, “No cuts! No fees! No debt! Education is a right not a privilege. The students are back on the streets demanding #Free Education.”
by Max Blumenthal
AlterNet has learned that an amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have forbidden US assistance, training and weapons to neo-Nazis and other extremists in Ukraine was kept out of the final bill by the Republican-led House Rules Committee. Introduced by Democratic Representative John Conyers, the amendment was intended to help tamp down on violent confrontations between Ukrainian forces and Russian separatists. (Full text of the amendment embedded at the end of this article).
A USA Today/Pew poll  conducted in April while the NDAA was being debated found that Americans opposed by more than 2 to 1 providing the Ukrainian government with arms or other forms of military assistance.
If passed, Conyers’ amendment would have explicitly barred those found to have offered “praise or glorification of Nazism or its collaborators, including through the use of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, or other similar symbols” from receiving any form of support from the US Department of Defense.
Fracking to be allowed in largest national forest on US east coast
- Federal plan permits drilling in George Washington National Forest, Virginia
- Decision overrides opposition from Virginia’s governor and campaignersand please note: The industry lobbyists won….It is also home to the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers, which feed into the Chesapeake Bay. The estuary is amid a multibillion-dollar, multistate restoration directed by the Environmental Protection Agency.Besides fears that drilling and its waste would foul pristine mountain streams, opponents have also argued that the trucks, wells and other infrastructure that would come with gas drilling are incompatible with the forest’s primary attractions of hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, tourism and its abundant wildlife. The forest includes a section of the Appalachian Trail and attracts more than 1 million visitors annually.
In September 2014, the Intact Forest Landscapes initiative, made up of organizations such as Greenpeace and the World Resources Institute, reportedthat since 2001 Canada has led the world in deforestation, despite being overshadowed by reports of the forests in Brazil and Indonesia. With only ten percent of the world’s forests, Canada now accounts for 21% of all deforestation in the world. Surges in oil/tar sands, logging, and road expansion have been the major contributors to the destruction of Canada’s forests. According to Stephen Leahy writing for the Inter Press Service, Canada and other countries’ deforestation deposits more CO2 into the atmosphere than does all of the world’s transportation machinery.
Canada’s large wild forests are crucial to the survival of many animal species such as the whooping crane, black-footed ferret, and woodland caribou. The benefits of these large areas of wilderness are not limited to habitat for animals. These places also serve as reservoirs of water, filters of air, producers of oxygen, absorbers of carbon dioxide, and sources of food and wood. “While forests can re-grow, this takes many decades, and in northern forests more than 100 years,” Leahy reports. “However, if species go extinct or there are too few individuals left, it will take longer for a full forest ecosystem to recover – if ever.”
by Brad Friedman
Election officials in St. Louis County, Missouri were repeatedly warned by local Election Integrity advocates that a plan to supply enough paper ballots for only 15% of the electorate at polling places on Election Day there would not be enough, according to emails obtained by The BRAD BLOG.
The emails, sent well before Election Day, expressed concern and doubt about “enough paper ballots at every polling place on November 4th to cover all of the voters who would like to have one,” as one of advocates wrote to the Democratic Director of Elections in St. Louis County.
The warnings were ignored, the missives suggest, and, as reported by local media, the result was a widespread shortage of paper ballots on Election Day 2014 at sites throughout the county, including in the embattled city of Ferguson, MO. Throughout the county, the shortage of ballots resulted in long lines and voters who were turned away or forced to vote on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems which the county has long encouraged voters to use. Some precincts were required to stay open at least an hour after the normal closing time in order to accommodate those who were in line to vote before the close of polls at 7pm local time.
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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- Massive protest fails to halt tuition hikes at UC
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