Daily Archives: October 16, 2020

2020-10-16: News Headlines

Ahmed Abdulkareem (2020-10-16). Questions Surround Timing and Details of Trump's Recent Yemen Prisoner Exchange. mintpressnews.com Like many aspects of the war in Yemen, and of US elections, many questions surround the freeing of two Americans in what may be one of the largest prisoner exchanges in modern history.

Staff (2020-10-16). Dark Money & Barrett Nomination: The Link Between Big Polluters & the War on ACA, Roe & LGBT Rights. democracynow.org During confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island opted not to ask the judge any questions. Instead, he gave a 30-minute presentation on how right-wing groups, including the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network, use dark money to shape the nation's judiciary. We air excerpts from his presentation and get reaction from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Staff (2020-10-16). Deeply Troubling: Kristen Clarke on How Rush to Confirm Barrett Endangers Voting & Civil Rights. democracynow.org The Senate confirmation hearing for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett ended Thursday with Republicans on the Judiciary Committee scheduling a vote on her nomination for October 22, with a full Senate vote to follow shortly thereafter — less than two weeks before the presidential election, in which the Supreme Court could play a decisive role. The right-wing judge's confirmation looks all but assured, after four rushed days of questioning in which Barrett refused to state her position on abortion rights, gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, climate change, and even if…

MEE staff (2020-10-16). Israel bans Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf from entering Jerusalem, Gaza. middleeasteye.net Israel bans Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf from entering Jerusalem, Gaza | Israel has imposed a travel ban on Assaf, revoking his entry permit, which he earned as an UNRWA ambassador | Fri, 10/16/2020 – 12: 12 | Palestinian "Arab Idol" winner Mohammed Assaf described the Israeli travel ban as "a continuation of the policies of oppression" (AFP/file photo) | Israel has imposed an entry ban on Mohammed Assaf,…

ACLU (2020-10-16). Photographer Josué Rivas on Indigenous Representation. aclu.org This week and in recent years, a growing number of states and cities across the country celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day. It comes as an important corrective after decades of celebrating the "discovery" of the Americas by Christopher Columbus each year. We know, of course, that no such discovery happened — what did happen was colonization, and centuries of subjugation, murder, disenfranchisement, and displacement of Native Americans. As we reflect on our history and on the stories that have been too often excluded, we consider the importance of not just what stories get told, but of who gets to tell th…

Urooj Alavi (2020-10-16). ICE is Trying to Deport My Husband While I Treat COVID Patients. aclu.org I work as a registered nurse in an intensive care unit in Southern California. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I've been working alongside my colleagues as we try to save the lives of the sickest patients and comfort their families. The hours have been long, and we have all seen more than our share of sorrow., , Fortunately, for most of the pandemic I had my husband to lean on. It was comforting to know that while I was in the unit, he was at home caring for our two young children and that when I came home he would be there to support me., , That changed in July, when ICE detained him during a routine check…

Staff (2020-10-16). Federal judge certifies class-action suit against US Treasury for not providing prisoners stimulus checks. therealnews.com The Trump administration was ordered to stop denying billions in pandemic relief to 1.4 million prisoners.

Staff (2020-10-16). The arrest of a cop watcher shows injustice is the American way. therealnews.com Disabled free speech activist Blind Justice has been held in solitary confinement for a failure to appear charge, while George Floyd's alleged murderer Derek Chauvin's was released from prison…

Randall Scott (2020-10-16). Chester County, PA activists hold "Skate for Black Lives" event. liberationnews.org Dozens came out to Skate for Black Lives on October 10 at the skatepark in Downingtown, Penn. The event was organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Chester County Stands Up. Attendees brought handmade Black Lives Matter signs to show support for the national uprising against racism. The event was planned after skateboarder …

MEE staff (2020-10-16). Amnesty urges participants at W20 Saudi summit to speak out for human rights. middleeasteye.net Amnesty urges participants at W20 Saudi summit to speak out for human rights | Rights groups says G20 women's summit is chance to hold Riyadh accountable for its treatment of women's rights activists | Fri, 10/16/2020 – 18: 17 | Loujain al-Hathloul, Nobel prize-nominated activist, has allegedly been tortured while in prison (AFP/File photo) | Amnesty International has urged participants at this year's Women 20…

Vijay Prashad (2020-10-16). Bullets are not the seeds of life. mronline.org Bullets, as Mahjoub sang in prison, are not the seeds of life. The answers to our misery are so obvious, but they would cost the minority who control power, privilege, and property; they have a lot to lose, which is why they hold on so desperately.

RT (2020-10-16). 'Most brazen media suppression in US history': Republicans go after Twitter over censorship of NYPost's Biden bombshell. rt.com Suppressing several stories critical of Democrat candidate Joe Biden amounted to election interference and an illegal political contribution, the Republican National Committee said in a complaint to the election watchdog FEC. | The party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, accusing Twitter of illegally interfering with the 2020 US presidential election through its muscular censorship of a handful of articles that appeared to expose Biden's son Hunter's dodgy business dealings with Ukrainian and Chinese entities. | Twitter's unprecedented blackout, which blocked all sharing of link…

Peter Koenig (2020-10-16). Yemen — Prisoner Swap and What May be Behind it. globalresearch.ca Background | The fourth batch of Yemeni detainees has arrived the in Sana'a as part of the largest prisoner swap between the country's warring sides. The residents in the capital received 112 prisoners after their plane landed in the Sana'a international …

Staff (2020-10-16). Barrett Is Poised to Become the Most Radical Right-Wing Member of Supreme Court. truthout.org During her Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Amy Coney Barrett refused to say that voter intimidation is illegal, that armed poll watchers are intimidating, that voter discrimination exists, whether the president could deny someone the right to vote based on race or that Congress has a constitutional duty to protect the right to vote. | She refused to affirm that Medicare is constitutional; that married couples should not lose their right to contrace…

ACLU (2020-10-16). Make an Informed Decision: Where the Presidential Candidates Land. aclu.org Everything we've fought for is at stake in this election. Our right to protest a broken system, our right to equal treatment at work, and even our right to vote. It's up to us to decide what comes next. The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates, but we do want to give you the information you need to make informed decisions. It is crucial that you study where the candidates land on the issues. See below for the presidential candidates' positions on key civil liberties issues. | IssueJoe BidenDonald Trump | Police Reform: Pledged to help hold police accountable for shooting unarmed people and other miscondu…

Peoples Dispatch (2020-10-16). Houthi rebels and Saudi-backed Hadi government begin prisoner swap deal in Yemen. peoplesdispatch.org The two sides had agreed to a prisoner swap deal in Switzerland last month, involving 1,081 prisoners, including 15 Saudi nationals. The deal is being implemented over Thursday and Friday…

Candice Bernd (2020-10-16). Texas Is Limiting Ballot Drop-Off Locations. Activists Are Pushing Back. zcomm.org "Education has been key to part of the success of our campaign. We're trying to educate people on every single thing that we possibly can that could happen that falls under the guise of voter suppression"

_____ (2020-10-16). Priest Sentenced To 33 Months For Protesting Nuclear Weapons. popularresistance.org Fifteen supporters in a carefully Covid masked and distanced courtroom witnessed Father Steve Kelly receive a sentence of 33 months today. After a 20 minute delay to get the telephone conference line working and properly muted 160 people listened in to the proceedings on the audio link. | Fr. Steve's sentence falls in the middle of the proposed guidelines and will likely allow his release from the Glynn County Detention Center where he is presently being detained 30 months after the action.

_____ (2020-10-16). Activists Mobilize To Help Incarcerated People Get Stimulus Checks. popularresistance.org For months incarcerated people and their families heard conflicting messages about whether they were eligible to receive the pandemic stimulus payments provided by Congress as the Trump administration attempted to block prisoners from receiving their checks. Last week a federal judge slammed the administration with an order to provide the stimulus relief, and now advocates across the country are working to ensure low-income people caged in state and federal prisons can apply for the much-needed federal aid as deadlines loom.

Labor Video Project (2020-10-16). Jail Uber/Lyft CEO's: Workers & Unions In Rally in SF at Uber World HQ. indybay.org Hundreds of workers and trade unionists rallied at the world HQ of UBER in San Francisco to oppose their $200 million ballot initiative to undercut AB5. | UBER, Lyft and other gig workers spoke out about their conditions.

Michael Barajas, The Texas Observer (2020-10-16). Texas and the Long Tail of Voter Suppression. thenation.com Texas and the Long Tail of Voter Suppression…

Matt Bernico, Chauncey K. Robinson (2020-10-15). People's World Podcast: Trump's Depression economy, organizing at Amazon, and voter suppression. peoplesworld.org Welcome to the inaugural episode of Beyond the Page: A People's World Podcast! Beyond the Page is a companion podcast to the award-winning publication People's World. With every episode, we'll take you deeper into the topics covered at PeoplesWorld.org. Our program brings you in-depth interviews with journalists and activists on the most pressing stories in …

Jeffrey St. Clair (2020-10-15). Bully on the Bench: the Legacy of Scalia. counterpunch.org The mythologizing of Antonin Scalia began only a few hours after his leathery heart stopped beating in West Texas and Satan swept his soul to the 8th Circle of the Inferno, where corrupt barrators are imprisoned for eternity. Here, strapped to a sparking electric chair, Scalia's torments will be supervised by the demon Malacoda, who, Dante informs us, regularly "makes a trumpet of his ass."

Lawrence Wittner (2020-10-15). Memories of Voter Suppression. zcomm.org I wonder how Republican leaders can live with themselves when they betray the most basic principle of democracy. Of all the things they have done during their time in power, this is surely one of the most despicable.

MEE staff (2020-10-15). Kurdish-led forces release hundreds of prisoners in northeast Syria. middleeasteye.net Kurdish-led forces release hundreds of prisoners in northeast Syria | Those released were Syrian citizens who had served at least half of their sentences, says co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council | Thu, 10/15/2020 – 18: 27 | Earlier this month, Kurdish authorities said they planned to release all Syrians from al-Hol camp and relinquish any responsibility for foreign nationals held there (AFP) | Kurdish-l…

MEE and agencies (2020-10-15). Yemen's warring parties start massive prisoner swap. middleeasteye.net Yemen's warring parties start massive prisoner swap | Saudi-led coalition and Yemen's Houthi rebels agreed to exchange 1,081 prisoners in Switzerland last month | Thu, 10/15/2020 – 14: 55 | Freed Yemeni Houthi prisoners line up on a red carpet upon their arrival at Sanaa airport on 15 October 2020 (AFP) | Hundreds of fighters in Yemen have begun heading home after a massive prisoner swap b…

MEE staff (2020-10-15). Egypt: Prisoners begin mass hunger strike against abusive treatment. middleeasteye.net Egypt: Prisoners begin mass hunger strike against abusive treatment | Inmates at Tora's Istiqbal jail are demanding an end to harsh disciplinary measures, say rights groups | Thu, 10/15/2020 – 10: 47 | A policeman stands guard at the Tora Prison Complex, in southern Cairo (AFP) | Detainees at one of Egypt's most notorious prisons have gone on hunger strike in protest against ill-treatment, several rights group…

Ali Harb (2020-10-15). Saudi minister defends kingdom over Khashoggi murder, Yemen war. middleeasteye.net Saudi minister defends kingdom over Khashoggi murder, Yemen war | Foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan also accuses jailed women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul of 'serious crimes' during visit to Washington | Thu, 10/15/2020 – 22: 38 | Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan defends incarceration of women's rights activists (File image/AFP) | Less than two weeks after the second anniversary of the mu…

ACLU (2020-10-15). At the Polls, Episode 5: Why is Voting so Inaccessible to People with Disabilities? aclu.org Voters with disabilities make up the largest minority voting bloc in the country, but too often, voting is inaccessible. It's a bigger problem than it may seem: One in four American adults has a disability and 45 percent have a chronic illness, including health conditions that impact their ability to vote safely during a global pandemic. , , In this week's episode of

news.un (2020-10-15). Invest in rural women, help them build resilience to future crises, urges UN chief. news.un.org Rural women play a critical role in agriculture, food security and managing land and natural resources, yet many suffer from "discrimination, systemic racism and structural poverty", the UN chief said on Thursday.

news.un (2020-10-15). Rights experts urge UAE to halt repatriation of Yemeni nationals. news.un.org The repatriation of 18 Yemeni nationals previously held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, should be halted, as their lives could be in danger, UN-appointed human rights experts said on Thursday.

_____ (2020-10-15). Solitary Confinement Increases Risk Of Premature Death After Release. popularresistance.org A recently published study of people released from North Carolina prisons confirms what many have long suspected: solitary confinement increases the risk of premature death, even after release. Personal stories, like those of Kalief Browder's isolation and subsequent suicide, are canaries in the coal mine. Underneath seemingly isolated events, researchers now find that solitary confinement is linked to more deaths after release from prison. These preventable deaths aren't outliers; in the U.S., where the use of solitary confinement is widespread, an estimated 80,000 people are held…

commondreams (2020-10-15). HHS Must Release Billion Dollar Coronavirus Vaccine Contracts, Public Citizen Lawsuit Says. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Waleed Ahmad (2020-10-14). Prisoners and the formerly incarcerated demand the right to vote. peoplesworld.org There are 1.5 million people currently serving sentences in the United States. Only about 20,000 of them—those in Maine and Vermont—can vote. The ability of formerly incarcerated citizens to vote after their release, meanwhile, varies widely among the states, with some indefinitely stealing a convicted person's right to vote until they earn a pardon or …

Hajira Asghar (2020-10-14). 81 Days on hunger strike: Movement grows to free Palestinian political prisoner Maher al-Akhras. liberationnews.org A rally gathered in Ramallah this week in solidarity with Maher al-Akhras, a Palestinian political prisoner who after 81 days on hunger strike is now feared to be near death. The 49-year-old father of six was arrested by Israeli forces in July. Al-Akhras' lawyers have put forth several appeals to Israel's High Court for his …

ACLU (2020-10-14). What You Need to Know About Orleans Parish District Attorney Candidates. aclu.org The election for Orleans Parish district attorney on Nov. 3 is a historic opportunity to shape the city's priorities on racial disparities in sentencing, prosecutorial practices, bail reform and help end mass incarceration. The next DA can create a fairer, more equitable criminal legal system and champion reform., , Make informed decisions. Make sure you know where the candidates are on key civil liberties and civil rights issues. | Orleans Parish District Attorney Candidate Dashboard: | IssuesArthur HunterKeva LandrumJason Williams | Decarceration | Pledges not to prosecute marijuana po…

Joe Piette (2020-10-14). Vietnam refugee leader arrested for protesting ICE crimes. workers.org Nancy just after being released from jail Oct 9. Philadelphia — Nancy Nguyen, Executive Director of VietLead, a Philadelphia-based Vietnamese refugee organization, was handcuffed and arrested Oct. 8 as she was changing her one-year-old baby's diaper in her Philadelphia home. Her arrest involved the cooperation of several federal and . . . |

Zero Hedge (2020-10-14). Facebook Bans Ads Questioning Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines. globalresearch.ca Mark Zuckerberg has clearly had enough of being hauled in front of Congress and hectored by a gang of senior citizens and listening to the head of the ACLU slam his company as a vessel for violent hate speech. Because …

Dale Ho (2020-10-14). Let People Vote: Our Fight for Your Right to Vote During 2020. aclu.org 2020 has been an unprecedented year in many ways; a pandemic during a presidential election being one of them. Not unique to 2020, however, is politicians' and states' systematic efforts to suppress voting and disenfranchise Americans. But the ACLU, along with our affiliates and partners across the country, have been hard at work defending your right to vote. This year, we have won 27 victories in 20 states and Puerto Rico that will safeguard the voting rights of millions of Americans this November. Together, these states are home to more than 154 million Americans and wield 247 votes in the Electoral College.

Staff (2020-10-14). Activists Are Mobilizing to Help Incarcerated People Get Their Stimulus Checks. truthout.org For months incarcerated people and their families heard conflicting messages about whether they were eligible to receive the pandemic stimulus payments provided by Congress as the Trump administration attempted to block prisoners from receiving their checks. Last week a federal judge slammed the administration with an order to provide the stimulus relief, and now advocates across the country are working to ensure low-income people caged in state and federal prisons can apply for the much-ne…

Jill Richardson (2020-10-14). Voter Suppression in a Pandemic Election. commondreams.org Our electoral system is riddled with policies that amount to little more than voter suppression. (Photo: Shutterstock) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/shutterstock_1707095401-980×654.jpg

commondreams (2020-10-14). G20 Fails to Release Developing World From 'Debtors Prison', Despite Suspension. commondreams.org ______________________________…

Pip Hinman (2020-10-14). Rally calls for freedom for 'Mandela of Kurdistan'. greenleft.org.au Kurds and their allies are demanding the release of Abdullah Ocalan — "the Nelson Mandela of Kurdistan" — who has been imprisoned by Turkey since 1999, reports Peter Boyle.

Paul Craig Roberts (2020-10-14). White Americans Are More Demonized Than Jews In Nazi Germany. thealtworld.com After 55 years of special privileges and special pleading for black Americans, where do we stand? Integration has failed. Black Americans, or more correctly, those who speak for them, want black-only towns, black-only college dorms, black-only dining halls, and a black national anthem. Except for the black anthem, that's what they had a half century ago prior to "affirmative action." | How is it that when blacks demand segregation, it is not racism? | As Lawrence Stratton and I demonstrated in our book The New Color Line (1), racial quotas were strictly prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Nevertheless, the l…

Staff (2020-10-13). A Rigged Judiciary Leads to Rigged Elections: Ari Berman on Barrett Hearings & GOP Voter Suppression. democracynow.org Amy Coney Barrett's involvement in the court fight over the 2000 presidential election, when she was a member of George W. Bush's legal team, shows she is willing to bend the law to benefit Republican candidates, says Mother Jones reporter Ari Berman. "That's what's so disturbing about Amy Coney Barrett, because that's exactly what President Trump wants to do right now," says Berman. "He wants a justice who will rule his way on the vote count, no matter what the facts or the law actually says." Berman also looks at challenges voters are facing nationwide as early voting is underway from Georgia to Arizona, where…

Staff (2020-10-13). To Decolonize Indigenous Lands, We Must Also Abolish Police and Prisons. truthout.org The movement to decolonize Indigenous lands is intimately connected to the movement to abolish police and prisons. As the idea of decolonization is discussed among wider circles, we must recognize this interconnectedness, especially in the midst of a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement that calls for the defunding — and, in fact, the dismantling — of police. | Both decolonization and abolition are not simply seeking an end result. Instead they are continuous creative processes: an ima…

ACLU (2020-10-13). The Race for Arizona State House District 23. aclu.org The outcome of the race for the House in Arizona District 23 could determine important policies during the next legislative session., , If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion could become illegal in Arizona. , , Eric Kurland pledged to support legislation that keeps abortion safe and legal. John Kavanagh and Joseph Chaplick pledged to vote to prohibit abortion care except in rare cases. | IssueEric, KurlandJoseph, ChaplickJohn, Kavanagh | Has pledged to support legislation that keeps abortion safe and legal. | Yes | No | No | Source: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Candida…

Shatha Hammad (2020-10-13). Love that transcends prison walls: Palestinian women tell stories of defiance. middleeasteye.net Love that transcends prison walls: Palestinian women tell stories of defiance | In Palestine, relationships thrive despite years-long separations and physical barriers | Tue, 10/13/2020 – 10: 52 | "Thirty eight Eids passed without Abdel Karim," Jinan Samara said after reuniting with her fiance, Abdel Karim, 18 years later (MEE/Shatha Hammad) | Abdel Karim Makhdar and Jinan Samara sit side by side o…

ACLU (2020-10-13). The Race for Arizona State House District 20. aclu.org The outcome of the race for the House in Arizona District 20 could determine important policies during the next legislative session., , If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion could become illegal in Arizona., , Judy Schwiebert pledged to support legislation that keeps abortion safe and legal. Shawnna Bolick and Anthony Kern pledged to vote to prohibit abortion care except in rare cases. | IssueShawnna BolickJudy SchwiebertAnthony Kern | Has pledged to support legislation that keeps abortion safe and legal. | No | Yes | No |

Source: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona C…

Aranxta Calles (2020-10-13). San Diego protesters stand in solidarity with Denver activists against police repression. liberationnews.org On Oct. 10, members of the San Diego branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation organized a rally in solidarity with the anti-racist organizers arrested under false charges in Denver, Colorado. The organizers are facing decades in prison simply for leading the struggle for justice for Elijah McClain. Different organizations also came out to …