How Washington Unleashed Fossil-Fuel Exports and Sold Out on Climate

United States (TexasTribune) – Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s keynote speech at the World Gas Conference in June opened with a marching band and ended with an exhibition by the Harlem Globetrotters. It was a spectacle befitting the industry symposium, which kicked off with a reception featuring a violinist perched on a pedestal in a 20-foot-long dress and trumpeters bearing ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips banners on their instruments. “We’re sharing our energy bounty with the world,” Perry gushed from a stage at the Washington Convention Center. “I wish I could tell you the entire…

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The Violence Against Women Act is Unlikely to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence – Here’s Why

United States (Conversation) – The Violence Against Women Act, the federal government’s signature legislation aimed at responding to domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking, expired at the end of September. Legislative wrangling over the act’s provisions led to the expiration. This was not the first time controversy has gotten in the way of extending the legislation. Originally passed with strong bipartisan support in 1994, a previous reauthorization ran into problems as a result of disputes involving protection for Native Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of violence, and…

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How “The Wall” Could Kill a Texas City

Texas, United States (TexasTribune) – Molly Ferguson was 14 when she met Miguel Rodriguez Vasquez at a quinceañera in Mexico. Ferguson isn’t from Mexico — she’s lived in Presidio, a small Texas border town, all her life. And for Ferguson, that means she’s essentially lived her whole life in Ojinaga as well, the Mexican city right across the shimmery green-brown Rio Grande. That night, at the quinceañera in Ojinaga, Rodriguez asked her to dance, and this year, nearly a decade later on a warm July evening, they married. It might…

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Migrant Money Could be Keeping Nicaragua’s Uprising Alive

Nicaragua (Conversation) – Protesting is now illegal in Nicaragua, according to President Daniel Ortega. The Central American country has been embroiled in deadly political turmoil for months. Demonstrations that began in April against an unpopular social security reform quickly transformed into a broader movement aimed at ousting Ortega, Nicaragua’s authoritarian president. Up to 450 people have since been killed, including a 16-year-old boy caught in the crossfire between government forces and demonstrators on Sept. 23. The growing number of protesters arrested and charged with terrorism led the Inter-American Commission on…

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Nepalese Citizens Fight Against Impunity with the “Rage Against Rape” Campaign

Nepal (GV) – Following the gruesome rape and killing of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta in southwest Nepal in late July 2018, shocked Nepalese citizens have launched the #RageAgainstRape campaign, sparking nation-wide conversations about violence against women in Nepal. अन्याय र अत्याचारले सिमा नाघ्यो, हामी सडकमा आउन बाध्य भयौं । देशैभरी प्रदर्शन होस्, पोखरा चुप बसोस् । यो त मिल्ने कुरै भएन । आज पोखराले गर्जेर न्यायको पक्षमा बोल्यो । यो एक्यवद्धताले नयाँ आशा दिएको छ । जनता जागेको बेला मात्र हुन्छ बृहद भेला ।#JusticeForNirmala #RageAgainstRape pic.twitter.com/Z3LIe0fKNP — दोस्रो दर्जाकी Mira Dhakal (@dhakalmira) September…

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Melania Trump’s Pith Helmet is Not Just a Hat

(Conversation) – Sometimes a hat is just a hat. But not when it’s a pith helmet worn by a white politician visiting Africa. Pith helmets are relics of colonialism and its big game hunting tradition. So why would Melania Trump wear one? On a solo tour of Africa, the United States first lady stopped in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Egypt. She went on safari. The pictures of her in a pith helmet and looking rather inscrutable went around the world. Although the first lady said: “I want to talk about…

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Challenge Populism: Re-inventing the World Togethere

World Wide (Conversation) – Democracies in the world are being rocked by a new wave of populism. Many scholars correctly analyse the flaws in populist discourse and practices. Populist politicians stoke fears and hate, exacerbate divisions and stereotypes, and distort facts to serve their warped vision of reality. Proclaiming the goal of giving the power back to the people, they actually undermine the mechanisms of political deliberation and representation, while curbing judicial and media independence. In a nutshell, under the illusion or pretence of embodying “the people”, they capture power…

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VIRGINIANS SHOW THE REAL FACE OF POVERTY

Virginia (OW) – On a recent night in Richmond, Virginia, speaker after speaker came forward to talk about the multidimensional reality of poverty. The setting was a hearing held by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “I’ve been working for years as a professional and I don’t earn a living wage,” said Joyce Barnes, a home health care worker based in Richmond. “It hurts. It hurts so much.” She described how she gets no sick days or vacation days, and can’t take a day off to spend with…

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‘Bystander Effect’ and Sexual Assault: What the Research Says

United States (Conversation) – Sexual assault, pushed into public conversation by the #MeToo movement, once again dominates the U.S. news cycle. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations that he sexually assaulted professor Christine Blasey Ford, a former high school classmate. The allegations have led to a number of important questions regarding victim testimony, the veracity of memory and the justice system in America. However, as social scientists who study sexuality and violence, we found ourselves asking a different question: Where were Kavanaugh and Ford’s classmates during this alleged incident?…

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Diesel Therapy: The Torture And Punishment Of Reality Leigh Winner

US (PT) – For over a year, 26 year old Reality Leigh Winner remained in the same Lincoln County jail in Georgia. The rural facility became a bleak, though familiar reminder of an impending court appearance this August. Since being sentenced to 5 years in prison under the Espionage Act, Winner has been shuffled between multiple facilities. The former National Security Agency contractor and Air Force veteran faced up to 10 years for allegedly leaking documents related to Russian involvement in the 2016 election. The documents in question were to The…

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