There Is More Than One Religious View on Abortion – Here’s What Jewish Texts Say

United States (Conversation) – Alabama’s governor signed a bill this week that criminalizes nearly all abortions, threatening providers with a felony conviction and up to 99 years in prison. It is one of numerous efforts across the United States to restrict access to abortion and challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide. Six states have recently passed legislation that limit abortions to approximately six weeks after the end of a woman’s last period, before many know they are pregnant. Although the laws have…

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The Brown v. Board of Education Case Didn’t Start How You Think It Did

United States (Conversation) – As the nation celebrates the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, the case is often recalled as one that “forever changed the course of American history.” But the story behind the historic Supreme Court case, as I plan to show in my forthcoming book, “Blacks Against Brown: The Black Anti-Integration Movement in Topeka, Kansas, 1941-1954,” is much more complex than the highly inaccurate but often-repeated tale about how the lawsuit began. The story that often gets told is that – as…

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Charging Asylum Application Fees Is the Latest Way the US Could Make Immigrants Pay for Its Red Tape

United States (Conversation) – The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, only Australia and Fiji charge fees to would-be asylum-seekers. But making…

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Safeguarding Women After Disasters: Some Progress, but Not Enough

World Wide (Conversation) – Hundreds of Mozambicans were killed and thousands made homeless recently by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth. Almost immediately, there were reports of a sadly familiar story: women being forced to trade sex for food by local community leaders distributing aid. Globally, international organisations appear to be grappling with the issue more seriously than before. Yet reports about sexual exploitation keep coming. How does the aid community strategise to protect women’s safety in disaster situations? Over the past 15 years, I have done research on sexual exploitation of…

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VETERAN JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST BILL WEINBERG ON GEOPOLITICS AND THE LEFT

Jae: Could you introduce yourself for those unfamiliar with your work? Bill:  I’m a 30-year veteran journalist in the fields of human rights, indigenous peoples, drug policy and war. I’ve reported widely from Latin America and am the author of Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico, about the Zapatistas and related movements. I’m struggling to finish a follow-up book about indigenous struggles in the Andes. I was news editor at High Times magazine in the ’90s, and continue to cover the drug war beat for Cannabis Now magazine. I was a…

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Silicon Valley Giants Collaborate With The US Government On Venezuela

United States (CJ) – Whenever you speak out on a public forum against internet censorship, like the recent Instagram/Facebook banning of Louis Farrakhan, Infowars, and several right-wing pundits, you always offend two major political groups. The first group are the power-serving authoritarians who identify with the left side of the political spectrum; they argue that it’s good and right to trust Silicon Valley plutocrats to regulate political speech on giant monopolistic platforms. The second group are the capitalism cheerleaders who believe there’s a free market solution to every problem; they argue that these Silicon…

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Marijuana Legalization – a Rare Issue Where Women Are More Conservative Than Men

United States (Conversation) – Surveys show that on issue after issue, women are more liberal than men, save for one: Men are more likely than women to support the legalization of marijuana. Americans are becoming more supportive of marijuana legalization each year but the gender gap remains a constant: While 68 percent of men now support marijuana legalization, only 56 percent of women do. What’s behind this gender gap? We suspected mothers might be a key driver. In our book “The Politics of Parenthood,” we were able to show that…

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How Tribes Are Harnessing Cutting-Edge Data to Plan for Climate Change

United States (Yes) –  The village of Taholah on the Quinault Indian Nation is just a stone’s throw from a pebbled stretch of beach pocked with the tiny holes of razor clams. The town is wedged between Washington state’s rocky Pacific coastline and a hillside of towering cedar and Douglas fir evergreens. It’s been the home of the Quinault peoples for 12,000 years. And for the last 50-odd years, the home of tribal member Larry Ralston. Back in 2008, when Ralston first learned climate change would cause sea levels to rise,…

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Sudanese Women Are Using Social Media to Trade – and Break Gender Barriers

Sudan (Conversation) – The role of women in the recent protests in Sudan has attracted a great deal of attention. This is because women who try to have a prominent public role in the country face criticism and can be accused of neglecting their family duties. This was particularly true after the introduction of Sharia law and Sudan’s public order laws in 1983. These laws shaped gender norms and defined the position of women in Sudanese society. But the rise of social media – and the use of smartphones – has…

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