The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of theaggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning.
While there other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none have engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?
For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East andUnited States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.
People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined, following a number of high-profile case of abuse on Twitter (AFP Photo/Damien Meyer)
London (AFP) – People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined on Sunday, following a number of high-profile cases of abusive and threatening behaviour on Twitter.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “This is a law to combat cruelty — and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob.”
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.
That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which “commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana,” according to Brookings’ Wells Bennet.
The U.S. response to this tension has thusfar been to call for more “flexibility” in how countries interpret them. This policy was made explicit in recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, who last week at the United Nations said that “we have to be tolerant of different countries, in response to their own national circumstances and conditions, exploring and using different national drug control policies.” He went on: “How could I, a representative of the Government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?”
In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange talks to Sophia Lierenfeld who found herself at the annual pumpkin festival this year in New Hampshire as riots broke out. She wanted to know how in this random situation with only a cell phone what she could do to be an independent journalist and break the story.
Last month at Farm Aid 2014, I was lucky to meet Phillip Barker, a Black farmer who, like many minority farmers, lost much of his farmland as a result of discriminatory lending practices by banks and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, Phillip and his wife Dorathy farm the 20 acres they were able to hold on to in Oxford, North Carolina. Their farm is one of two Black dairy farming operations in the state of North Carolina. They also operate a nonprofit organization, Operation Spring Plant, which provides resources and training to minority and limited resource farmers, including a program that introduces young people to farming and provides youth leadership training. Phillip said one of his goals is to provide tools for the next generation and to help young people “come back to the farm to understand the wealth of the land.”
“Wealth of the land.” That’s a powerful phrase.
Phillip believes the next generation must see a sustainable livelihood from the land, but the wealth he refers to can’t be measured only in dollars. It is measured in the experience of working on the land, tending the soil, and caring for the animals and crops that grow from it. It’s measured in the ability to be independent, to feed himself and his family. It’s measured in the way he and Dorathy sustain and strengthen their community. It’s measured in being rooted to a place and passing something valuable to the next generation.
KEENE, N.H. —After a brief calm, riots near the area of Butler Court in Keene, New Hampshire, flared up again Saturday night.
Dozens of rioters threw objects at police and set fires near Blake Street around 9:30 p.m., as police officers wearing riot gear pushed the crowd back.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, Keene police say they fired pepper balls into a crowd of hundreds around the Butler Court and Wincester Street areas to diffuse the riot. Rioters threw glass bottles into the crowd and tore down street signs.
NYPD Lt. Jennara Cobb was fired two days after her Bronx conviction for leaking information to fellow cops in the ticket-fixing scandal, sources told the Daily News on Saturday.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton signed a termination order for the 38-year-old lieutenant on Friday, according to sources.
Cobb was convicted Wednesday in a nonjury trial of official misconduct and other charges, and faces up to a year behind bars at her Dec. 4 sentencing. The head of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association remained optimistic that Cobb would get her job back.
onsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado.
Monday was the latest deadline for candidates and committees to report campaign contributions and expenditure to the Secretary of State’s office.
Monsanto’s contribution is the largest of the most recent reporting period from Sept. 11 to 24. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds.
The No on 105 committee has raised almost $10 million through Sept. 24, with Pepsico and Kraft Foods also giving more than $1 million each. The group begins running TV ads against the initiative this week.
Lavoro was arrested in May of this year when his neighbor reporte4d a “strange smell” emanating from his apartment. Rather than knocking on his door and asking what the smell was, the neighbor called the police. The police arrived, searched his house (probably illegally) and found that Lavoro had been making pot brownies.
Because Lavoro used hash oil to make the brownies, instead of marijuana, the state used the entire weight of the brownies – about 1.5 lbs. worth – to determine the amount of drugs possessed. Sugar, flour, and brownie mix all counted as drugs in the eyes of the law. This made the charge against him a first degree felony and if convicted he was set to serve five years to life.
October 16, 2014 – This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.