The Department of Justice announced that 6,000 federal prisoners will be released between October 30 and November 2, some to halfway houses. They are eligible for release due to changes in sentencing laws made retroactive by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. More prisoners will be released in the coming months and years.
Jesselyn McCurdy, Senior Legislative Counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, had this comment: ?Today?s announcement is nothing short of thrilling because it carries justice.
The International Monetary Fund?World Bank Annual Meetings will take place in Lima, Peru this year from October 9 to 11. This is the first time these meetings are happening in Latin America in over 40 years. Peru is the poster child for the World Bank claiming ?success? from its neoliberal policies and reforms, which the Bank is promoting to the rest of the world.
The Saudi Arabian Government has warned that people could face execution for tweeting ?rumours,? according to the state-backed Makkah Newspaper.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgrades global growth forecasts and warns of rising debt levels in "emerging" economies in its newly released World Economic Outlook report. The report lowers growth forecasts in low-income and developing countries from 6% in 2014 to 4.8% in 2015. The IMF releases the report twice a year before its Spring and Annual Meetings. This year's joint IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings begin this week in Lima, Peru.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement reached today comes as the result of over five years of negotiations and poses an extreme threat to free expression online, and poses an extreme threat to free expression online.
At first, the House tried to close down the CDC's entire, $46 million National Center for Injury Prevention. When that failed, Dickey stepped in with an alternative: strip $2.6 million that the agency had spent on gun studies that year.
Dickey proclaimed victory?an end, he said at the time, to the CDC's attempts "to raise emotional sympathy" around gun violence. But the agency spent the subsequent years petrified of doing any research on gun violence, making the costs of the amendment clear even to Dickey himself.Without public policy research, public policy becomes much harder to make. That was a simple formula understood by the NRA when it started pressing for defunding of gun violence research. It's worked almost completely. The ban was initially applied just to funding for the Centers for Disease Control, so some funding was still available through the National Institutes of Health. Until 2011, that is, when Congress extended the ban to the NIH. "If there is no research, it is harder to make suggestions for policy reform," said Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. "And if you have a vested interest in stopping policy reform, what better way to do it than to choke off the research? It was brilliant and it worked. And my question is how many people died as a result?? So, too little, too late on the regrets, Mr. Dickey. The blood of all the people killed and maimed by gun violence isn't exclusively on your hands, because god knows there's plenty to go around. All the same, he has a message for current lawmakers: "I?d tell them there is research and then there is research. And I would point to this little [highway barricade] fence and say that research has done some good."
The $612 billion bill also restricts the administration?s ability to transfer suspected terrorists out of Guantanamo Bay, authorizes lethal assistance to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels and extends the ban on torture to the CIA.This vote was 72-36, but that doesn't necessarily reflect a willingness on the part of Democrats to override a veto. Particularly when the veto bait really starts kicking in, including their intention to try to defund Planned Parenthood through the reconciliation budget mechanism. The impetus behind this seems to be largely trying to keep the Republican House together. In this post-Boehner climate, Republican leaders are eager to show the base they are fighters. They want to prove to restive and angry conservatives that they too are restive and angry, but that their shared ideological priorities cannot be advanced so long as a Democrat is in the White House. GOP leaders muse privately that some high-profile vetoes make it easier for them to compromise with Obama on big-ticket, legacy-shaping legislation. That's assuming that Obama has any desire at all to work with Republicans on legacy-shaping stuff. Considering how they've obstructed his key long-term legacy?the federal judiciary?that doesn't seem too likely. So mostly it's about base politics. It's a plan that will certainly shore up the Obama-hating base and keep the House safely in Republican hands, but how it helps Republicans in a general election in winning the White House or retaining a Senate majority.
So God is murdering our children because they don't pray enough and is causing hurricanes because gay people have too many rights these days, but when it comes to interest rates and dividends and oil spills and layoffs and American hedge fund managers hedge fund managing the world economy four feet into a six foot grave, you'll not hear Lou Dobbs offer up a peep about divine intervention in those cases. Because if he used those theories in his "business" analysis, he'd be off the air before the first commercial break.
Still, for Mr. Obama the accord could be a legacy-making achievement, drawing together countries representing two-fifths of the global economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia, into a web of common rules governing trans-Pacific commerce. It is the capstone both of his economic agenda to expand exports and of his foreign policy ?rebalance? toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia, after years of American preoccupation with the Middle East and North Africa.What's next? The U.S. Trade Representative will now work out the final language in detail. Once that is completed, President Obama is required to tell Congress that he intends to sign the agreement in 90 days. The document will then be available for the public to scrutinize. Sometime in January, the president will be able to sign the TPP, but he cannot submit enabling legislation to Congress for another 30 days after signing.
So, no sooner than February, he could use his "fast-track authority" to get the deal set for a vote. Passage only requires a simple majority, and the agreement cannot be amended or filibustered. TPP supporters in Congress, dominated by Republicans, might speed the whole process through before the election grabs everybody's attention.
But that process could be held up if the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees decide to propose changes before the enabling legislation is submitted. And those proposals for changes won't come solely from Democrats. The final concessions produced an outcome that irked certain corporate interests. For instance, Republicans "have warned that provisions on tobacco, currency policy and high-tech medicines that fly in the face of congressional directives could lead them to oppose the long-awaited agreement." That could cost Republican votes on the agreement. Thus, committee proposals as well as requests for additional information could mean there will be no congressional vote until after the November 2016 election.
The war of words over the agreement is well underway, as you can read below the fold. You can join us here in urging your member of Congress to reject the TPP.
Democrats and voting rights supporters more generally aren't letting up on Alabama's decision to close 31 driver's license offices shortly after putting a voter ID law into effect. On Monday, Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell released a letter calling on the Justice Department to investigate the move. Following that, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer linked Alabama's move to the need to restore the Voting Rights Act:?The Voting Rights Act was born from the bloody actions in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, and since the Supreme Court struck down one of its most important protections ? the federal Justice Department?s ability to prevent discriminatory rules like Alabama?s photo identification requirement ? our democracy has been weakened," Hoyer said in a statement Monday evening.
In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated the formula determining which states ? which, at the time, included Alabama ? were required to get "pre-clearance" from the federal government or a panel of judges before implementing changes to voting practices. The case itself originated in Alabama. There is speculation that Alabama stalled on implementing its photo ID voting law until the Supreme Court weighed in on the provision. Alabama's photo ID law was passed in 2011, but not put into effect until 2014.Republicans, of course, are standing in the way of restoring the Voting Rights Act. Because they don't like voting rights.
And the mayor of Columbia, who has said he believes damage "will probably be in the billions of dollars," is bracing for more trouble.
"We aren't close to being out of the woods," Mayor Steve Benjamin said Tuesday morning, adding that even more dams in the area could be in danger of breaking or being topped by water. "We still expect the water to start coming down from the upstate, coming downhill to the midlands."Gov. Brown signs right-to-die bill: In a rare personal message, California's 77-year-old governor provided insight into his deliberations before deciding to sign a bill allowing terminally ill Californians to legally take their own lives, reflecting on religion and self-determination as he weighed an emotionally fraught choice.
Gov. Jerry Brown, a lifelong Catholic and former Jesuit seminarian, said he consulted a Catholic bishop, two of his own doctors and friends "who take varied, contradictory and nuanced positions."
The Shootings are not Senseless, by GeekwhispererMilestone! More guns than people in the U.S.: It's tough to know exactly how many guns we have in the United States. Most estimates of the number of guns in the U.S. use federal tallies of the firearms manufactured, imported and exported by U.S. gunmakers. A 2012 Congressional Research Service report published exactly one month before the Sandy Hook school shooting put the number of civilian firearms at 242 million in 1996, 259 million in 2000, and 310 million as of 2009.
If that 310 million number is correct, it means that the first year of Barack Obama's presidency was an inflection point: It marked the first time that the number of firearms in circulation surpassed the total U.S. population.N.J. Republican bails from legislature race after his book of anti-gay and other rants surfaces: Republican Anthony Cappola resigned from the River Edge, New Jersey, city council Friday after his 12-year-old book "Outrageous!" surfaced. The book, filled with grammar and spelling errors, says gay people should keep their "sexual preferences" ''behind doors like normal people do." He labeled Asians as bad drivers and demanded that breast-feeding moms "put it back wear in (sic) came from!!!" Cappola says he isn't the same person that he was 12 years ago and he offered a nopology saying he was sorry if he offended anyone. General alters story of hospital air strikes for the fourth time. The strikes killed 12 medical staff and 10 patients and injured 37 others, five of them critically: [General John] Campbell reiterated that Afghan forces had requested US air cover after being engaged in a ?tenacious fight? to retake the northern city of Kunduz from the Taliban. But, modifying the account he gave at a press conference on Monday, Campbell said those Afghan forces had not directly communicated with the US pilots of an AC-130 gunship overhead.
?Even though the Afghans request that support, it still has to go through a rigorous US procedure to enable fires to go on the ground. We had a special operations unit that was in close vicinity that was talking to the aircraft that delivered those fires,? Campbell told the Senate armed services committee on Tuesday morning.Trump fabricates claim that Indians are "extremely proud" of "R*dsk*ns" team name: The most recent survey of people verified to be Indians found 67 percent of them think the name is offensive. ?It is hardly surprising that a candidate who labeled Mexican immigrants rapists and calls women 'pigs' now says he wants the NFL to continue slurring Native Americans," the group [Change the Mascot] said in a statement. "Donald Trump joins some of the NFL?s ignoble fraternity of billionaires who sit in their office suites and owners boxes happily spending their fortunes denigrating people of color.?
[Jeb] Bush also said the name was not offensive even though prominent Indian activists, dozens of tribes, nearly every Indian organization have called it racist, dehumanizing and derogatoryOn today's Kagro in the Morning show, David Waldman & Greg Dworkin round up 2016 headlines & polls, plus TPP news and the latest in the gun debates. The Benghazi committee is crumbling, and Carly Fiorina's at it again, this time with a non-existent "Fiorina Foundation." Find us on iTunes | Find us on Stitcher | RSS | Donate to support the show!
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point