As of Monday, that's no longer a concern. In its newest trafficking report the State Department upgraded Malaysia from Tier 3 to Tier 2, a move that would circumvent Congressional efforts to block the nation known as a hotbed of sex trafficking and forced labor from participating in the compact until substantive reforms were made.
The State Department?s 2015 report reads almost exactly like last year?s with a few words changed, the way middle-school students avoid plagiarism for book reports. But they allege that, while ?The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking? it is making significant efforts to do so.?
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2012?Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $9.80:More than 100 House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to raise the minimum wage. Rep. George Miller's proposed legislation would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over three years, 85 cents per year, then link it to inflation, so that raising it wouldn't have to be a giant political fight every few years. Tipped workers, who haven't seen their $2.13 minimum wage increased since 1991, would get 85 cent raises until the tipped minimum was 70 percent of the full minimum wage. "Anyone who works hard and plays by the rules should not live in poverty. Yet 47 million Americans now qualify as the working poor. Raising the minimum wage helps families make ends meet," Miller said in a statement accompanying the bill. If you work at the current minimum wage for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, with no time off at all, the $15,080 you earn puts you $50 below the poverty threshold for a family of two. That?and the fact that many minimum wage employers keep workers at part-time levels?is why so many working people are forced to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid and other aid programs. It shouldn't be controversial to say that if you work, you shouldn't be poor. But to today's Republican Party, that counts as a radical statement. Tweet of the Day
Weird that the two jobs that most commonly use the word ?serial? are ?entrepreneur? and ?killer.?? Lisa McIntire (@LisaMcIntire) July 27, 2015 On today's Kagro in the Morning show, David talks about the New Yorker cover, and the positive, and negative it promotes. Greg Dworkin discusses the complicated 2016 race, candidate polls (and how 2016 is unique) , the Iran Deal polling, and how Dumpster Fires attract the media on the run up to the caucuses and debates. David goes into intricate analysis of the Congressional Review Act, the upcoming GOP gambit to resurrect the repeal of Obamacare, what concepts would be considered germane, and the process and probability of the Nuclear Option. Chris Christie invites random guy to run for president so he can debate him. Find us on iTunes | Find us on Stitcher | RSS | Donate to support the show! High Impact Posts ? Top Comments ? The Evening Blues
The perception of animation both in film and television has shifted somewhat over the past two to three decades. Things like the successes of Pixar, the trend of anime becoming a bit more mainstream, the films of Hayao Miyazaki getting critical recognition, the popularity of Family Guy and South Park, and a show like The Simpsons, which is genuinely considered by some one of the best TV series of all-time, has given the medium credibility among the audience and media.
I bring all of this up because many might have a hard time believing animated TV shows about an anthropomorphized horse who's a washed-up actor, and the journeys of a burnt out drunk and his grandson through dimensions and universes are among the best out there ... but they are. And both have just returned for their second seasons.
Continue below the fold for more.
In an Atlanta suburb this past weekend, Melissa Alford (a black woman) and her family were hosting an outdoor birthday party in Douglasville, Georgia, when a convoy of seven large pickup trucks donning Confederate flags interrupted the party and pulled into the grass. The occupants then called them niggers and threatened them with violence, according to multiple eyewitnesses, who also stated that the men actually flashed guns at them:One of at least two cellphone videos from the incident shows Douglasville police officers holding back a group of black men and women as at least seven pickup trucks drive off. The trucks? white passengers wave as the Confederate, American and military flags mounted on the vehicles flap in the air. .
?This is a child?s birthday party,? one woman in the crowd can be heard saying.
A second video shows the trucks gathered on a grassy area, and the N-word can be heard. A woman who shared the video said the trucks were on her property and their passengers were armed and threatened to ?kill y?all [N-words].?Video can be viewed below.
Well, no point in trying to explain what happened. The real point is that people haven't stopped shooting themselves or others accidentally, and I never stopped keeping the list of the times they did it. Had the publication continued uninterrupted on a weekly basis, this would have been GunFAIL CXXXI. So, let's get right to it for the week, then, shall we?
My top story for the week has to be the Lancaster, Ohio, enthusiast who showed up to "guard" the Armed Forces Career Center recruiting station in his local strip mall, and then accidentally fired his very awesome-looking AR-15 into the parking lot pavement. I note that the weapon was very awesome-looking in order to give a little background to what happened here. See, it seems that the gun had an admirer in the crowd, who asked if he could "take a look at" it. It was in the process of unloading the weapon to make it "safe" to hand over that the accident occurred.
But gun enthusiasts would like you to note that our hero did everything right, here! After all, he followed the rules which say that you never hand a loaded weapon over to someone else, and that when unloading it, you keep it pointed in a "safe" direction, in this case, the ground. Excellent job!
However, he did forget one of the key rules of using your firearms to actively guard something, which is that if someone asks you if they can "take a look at" your weapon, the correct answer is, "No, I am guarding something." Seems like that would have saved us a lot of embarrassment here.
There were probably a lot of things that could have avoided the rest of the week's trouble. None of the old patterns have changed since the last publication of GunFAIL. Of our original 38 incidents (keep in mind that the numbers are subject to change as new reports come in), fully 21 involved people who accidentally shot themselves or a family member, and 17 of the 38 incidents involved children as victims, ranging in age from 3 to 17. In fact, kids were the ones who pulled the trigger in 12 of this week's reported GunFAILs. As for the rest of the old, familiar patterns, this week's reports speak for themselves, below the fold.
First, Ronald Reagan came to the U.S. Treasury and tripled the national debt, but Mike Huckabee did not speak out. Then George W. Bush came and nearly the doubled the debt again, but Mike Huckabee said nothing. But when Barack Obama inherited the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, the Fox News host said never again:Huckabee gave a speech to the National Rifle Association. He spoke of how, at Israel's Holocaust museum, he looked over his 11-year-old daughter's shoulder as she wrote in the guest book, "Why didn't somebody do something?" Then he said, "We cannot afford to be a generation that leaves our children with nothing but a huge debt and the very erosion of the freedoms that our founders and our fathers died and gave us so valiantly. And that's why I say, 'Let there never be a time in this country where some father has to look over his daughter's shoulder and see her ask this haunting question: Why didn't somebody do something?'" Then as now, Jewish organizations like the Anti-Defamation League were horrified. When Abraham Foxman of Anti-Defamation League decried his grotesque analogy as "highly inappropriate," Huckabee lashed out: "Foxman's remarks are not only factually wrong, but they are hurtful to me personally in light of my unequalled friendship with members of the Jewish community, and I ask Foxman to retract his statement as publicly as he issued it, and apologize for his lack of accuracy in issuing it and for the harm done by attacking the very strongest advocates for the Jewish people and Israel." Head below the fold for more on this story.
"In most of those states what they did worked but in Alaska it doesn't," he said. "In Alaska they had an impotent system."
As evidence, he cites a commercial AFP ran during the Begich-Sullivan [Senate] race featuring a woman describing how Begich's positions hurt her family.
"Senator Begich didn't listen. How can I ever trust him again?" she asked.
But the woman decrying Begich turned out to be an actress from Maryland, and that didn't play well in Alaska, where it drew considerable media attention.
"Alaskans know she is not Alaskan and never voted for Begich in the first place and it's a lie," Hackney said.Hackney believes that the AFP ad might have actually helped Democrat Begich, because people were so pissed off at being lied to in the ad. The kinds of tactics the Kochs like to deploy just don't go over well in states like Montana and Alaska, which pride themselves on having a unique, and strong, identity. They also have not just a distrust, but genuine loathing, of outsider political groups. "Alaska is really good at having world-class oil, world-class mines, world-class fisheries," explains Dave Stieren, a conservative talk radio host in Anchorage, "and we're really good at growing our own, world-class crazy political movements." That's an understatement.
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