‘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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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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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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Re-Evaluating Charity: Help Palestinians Through Zeki Learning

I first learned about Zeki Learning from a cousin of mine who currently lives in Jerusalem about a year ago. Back then, it was still called “A Child’s Cup Full,” a non-profit created to provide employment opportunities for refugee women in Palestine.   My cousin interacts extensively with refugees in the West Bank and came across CCF’s operations in one of the remote villages.  My cousin was really excited about CCF’s work, because unlike the vast majority of non-profits operating in Palestine, CCF was run by a Palestinian woman in America, and actually…

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Fracking linked to increased rates of STIs

(JR) – Fracking is linked to increased rates of sexually transmitted infections in Ohio, according to research published in PLoS ONE by academics at the Yale School of Public Health. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, uses pressurized liquid to penetrate deep into rock and extract natural gas. The practice is controversial, and often met with opposition by residents in communities with planned fracking projects. In May 2018, residents in Colorado protested a proposed project near a school in Weld County. They expressed worries about safety and the environment. Research points…

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Protests in Georgia call for justice in teen murders

(EAN) – Protesters gathered in central Tbilisi the evening of May 31 after a high-profile murder case resulted in an acquittal and suspicions of official impunity. One man’s battle for justice for his murdered son has turned into a major challenge for the Georgian government, with top officials facing mass calls for their resignations. Thousands gathered in central Tbilisi late in the evening of May 31 and blocked traffic on the main artery Rustaveli Avenue after a high-profile trial ended without a conviction. The protesters decried a Georgian justice system…

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Who are China’s political prisoners? A human rights assessment, 29 years after Tiananmen

“Police attention: No distributing any unhealthy thoughts or objects.” A trilingual (Tibetan – Chinese – English) sign above the entrance to a small café in Nyalam Town, Tibet, 1993. By John Hill. CC BY-SA 3.0. Written by Pong Lai The 29th anniversary of the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations is approaching. On June 4, 1989, Chinese army forces repeatedly opened fire on a student-led movement demanding freedom of expression and political reform away from corruption and single-party rule. At the time, the Chinese Red Cross estimated that 2,700…

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US Policy Forcibly Separating Children from Parents Is Inhumane

(HRW) – Since early May, the Trump administration has separated over 658 children from their would-be-immigrant parents at the US border under its unjust and cruel new “zero tolerance” policy. This policy sends parents into detention and prosecutes them for the crime of entering the country illegally, while their children – including infants and toddlers – are taken into government custody separately and alone. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said separations would be a “tough deterrent” for hopeful immigrants coming to the United States. That’s a truly shocking…

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Cuba’s parliament now has three black vice presidents. How come that didn’t that make the news?

(GV) – On April 19, 2018, the Republic of Cuba swore in former university professor Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez as its new president and the 9th Congress of the National Assembly of People’s Power—the country’s supreme body of government power—elected a new Council of State. But the euphoria and uncertainty surrounding a supposed “Cuba without Castros” and related matters have eclipsed another major development: the presence of four Black leaders who will be part of the new government through 2023. Black Cubans make 10% of the population but their representation in circles…

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Primary voters aren’t that different from general election voters

(JR)  – Voters who turn out for primary elections often are characterized as party extremists responsible for nominating candidates with ideologically extreme views. But a new analysis finds that these voters may not be much different from those who participate in general elections — although they do seem to be more interested in politics. Election reform advocates frequently argue that changing the primary process could reduce political polarization. The forthcoming study, from researchers at George Washington University and the University of California, Los Angeles, offers insights about the men and…

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