Abortion Ban in Northern Ireland Likely to Worsen Mental Health Crisis

Northern Ireland (Conversation) – Northern Ireland is one of only two regions in Europe where abortion effectively remains illegal (Malta being the other). This is a confirmed breach of human rights – one that threatens to deepen the mental health crisis of women in Northern Ireland. Abortion is not allowed in Northern Ireland unless the life of the mother is in danger. There is no access to abortion in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormality. Under the current law, woman have to declare suicidal intent in order for abortion…

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‘Bludgeon Won’t Work With China’: Beijing Warns US of ‘Irrational’ Tariff Policy

(Sputnik) – “The US side is used to using a bludgeon but this won’t work with China, such irrational behavior will not solve the problem,” the ministry’s spokesman Gao Feng told reporters. In a tit-for-tat approach, the official said China would be forced to retaliate against US taxes with “harsh response measures” after Beijing announced 25-percent duties on $50 billion worth of US imports after a similar move by Washington. Moreover, China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman has told Reuters that Beijing would take action to defend its interests and that “US unilateralism will ultimately damage the ineterests of its own workers and…

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Technology is Both a Weapon and a Shield For Those Experiencing Domestic Violence

Australia (Conversation) – With growing recognition that domestic violence can be perpetuated using technology, there has been an increase of news stories that focus on how abusers use it to coerce and control victims. For example, when a man stole his ex-partner’s laptop so he could monitor her private Facebook messages. Or when a husband installed a GPS tracking device in his daughter’s doll to monitor his wife’s whereabouts without her knowledge. But there’s also considerable potential for victims to use new technologies to hold abusers accountable. Technology as a…

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Why people choose to stay in areas vulnerable to natural disasters

(JR) – In the anticipation and aftermath of natural disasters, those in their path face difficult choices: To stay, or to leave? To relocate, or to rebuild in areas prone to the risk of property damage, which is predicted to become more acute as climate change progresses? Storms are particularly threatening weather events, according to a report issued in 2015 by the United Nations, which found that over the span of 20 years, they accounted for 40 percent of global weather-related deaths. Research indicates that massive floods, projected in the 1970s…

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On a bridge over the Rio Grande, immigrants seeking asylum wait for a chance to enter the U.S.

Rio Grande (TT) – On Sunday and Monday night, 22-year-old Marcos Samayoa slept on pieces of old cardboard on a concrete sidewalk. He was perched above the Rio Grande, surrounded by a small pack of strangers on the international bridge that connects this Mexican border city to Brownsville, with his dusty green backpack and an old pair of sneakers. A few yards away, on the Texas side of the line, three Customs and Border Protection agents watched. It had been a long journey from Samayoa’s hometown of Mazatenango in southwest Guatemala….

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Spate of anti-protest bills target social justice infrastructure

(Sunlight) – When Colorado public school teachers rallied in Denver this spring to demand better school funding and retirement benefits, two fed-up GOP legislators had a novel idea: Why not pass a bill to fire the teachers and send them to jail? The legislation introduced by state Senator Bob Gardner and Representative Paul Lundeen would also have nullified any union contract between a district and striking teachers. Gardner and Lundeen withdrew their bill in amid public outcry. But their bid to defang unions reflects the new face of the conservative…

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Playing This Board Game will Challenge Your Ideas About Refugees

(Conversation) – When immigrants come to Canada, they have to quickly adapt and they have much to learn. Many of them need to learn a new language and a new culture. The Canadian government defines integration as a two-way street. Newcomers strengthen the Canadian economy by bringing diverse perspectives which can lead to better workplace outcomes, innovation and strong community connections. As an educator working with newcomers for the past decade, I have seen a need not just for newcomer education (such as language classes, settlement services and community orientation)…

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Why Domestic Abuse and Anti-gay Violence Qualify as Persecution in Asylum Law

United States (Conversation) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently upended decades of U.S. legal precedent by asserting that women fleeing domestic violence will not generally qualify for asylum. To do so, he challenged the principle that women victims of domestic violence are members of a “particular social group.” This phrase – “particular social group” – is critical to the work of immigration lawyers like myself. It allows us to argue that women, LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups face specific kinds of persecution based on who they are. If left…

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The rise of resistance and resilience to tear gas

(WNV) – All around the world people invent, adapt and share techniques for resilience and resistance to tear gas. In doing so, they care for each other. They transform this weapon into a collectivizing tool. There is a growing transnational solidarity of tear gas resilience, aided by social media and mobile technologies that help protesters circulate relief remedies, gas mask designs and grenade throwback techniques. Displaying what social movement researcher Gavin Grindon has called “grassroots cultural diplomacy,” these tips are tweeted from Greece to New York, from Palestine to Ferguson, from…

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The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters

Chicago, IL (ProPublica) – Even before thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Chicago to speak out against President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year, city police were watching. Recently released police and city records show that officers combed through social media posts and opened a formal information-gathering investigation into the protesters. Then, throughout that day — Jan. 20, 2017 — police and top aides to Mayor Rahm Emanuel closely tracked the movements of protesters, from when they boarded trains and buses in their neighborhoods and continuing through hours of rallies and marches…

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