Archive for the ‘Good Things’ Category
Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2015
Posted by Charles II on September 23, 2015
In recognition of a career distinguished by meticulously researched investigations, intrepid questioning and reporting that has challenged both conventional wisdom and mainstream media, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will present journalist Robert Parry with the 2015 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence during a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 22, 2015.
Parry is known for breaking many of the stories related to the Iran-Contra affair while working at The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He received the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 for his work on Iran-Contra at the AP, where he broke the story that the CIA had provided a manual to the Nicaraguan Contras (“Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare”) that outlined ways to build support for the Contra cause and carry out political assassinations.
In 1985, he was the first to report on Oliver North’s involvement in the affair and along with his AP colleague Brian Barger, was the first to describe the Contras’ role in cocaine trafficking in the United States – stories that led to an internal investigation and a congressional inquiry. Parry also was a 1985 Pulitzer finalist for his work.
In the early 1990s, Parry made several documentaries for PBS’s Frontline on the October Surprise allegations about a plot to influence the outcome of the 1980 presidential election between incumbent Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Former Nieman Foundation curator Bill Kovach, chair of the advisory committee that oversees the annual award, said, “Robert Parry has for decades been one of the most tenacious investigative journalists….he has created a unique news website to replace disinformation with facts based on deep research.”
Parry sacrificed his career to report the news. I hope that people will sacrifice a few dollars to support Consortium News, which continues to deliver real news to a nation starved for it.
Posted by Charles II on September 20, 2015
Posted by Charles II on September 2, 2015
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian:
Pope Francis has opened the door for women who have had abortions – an act considered a grave sin by the Catholic church – to be absolved if they express contrition and seek forgiveness from their priest.
“The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented,” the pontiff wrote in an extraordinary letter that was released by the Vatican on Tuesday.
“I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal,” he added.
The order, which temporarily allows all priests to grant forgiveness to women who have elected to have an abortion and profoundly regret the procedure, is part of the church’s jubilee year of mercy, which begins on 8 December and runs until 20 November 2016.
Maybe they could extend the jubilee to just do what’s right all the time. But this is a big step forward.
Posted by Charles II on April 22, 2015
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we continue to mark Earth Day, we end today’s show with a new report that finds at least two people working to save the environment were killed each week in 2014. In total, the group Global Witness documented the murders of at least 116 environmental activists last year. Three-quarters of them were killed in Central and South America.
AMY GOODMAN: The report is called “How Many More?” It looks in detail at an activist who stood up to a mining project in one of the deadliest countries and survived. Her name is Berta Cáceres, and she is another winner of this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize. This is Berta Cáceres describing how she helped organize indigenous communities in Honduras to resist a hydro dam on the Gualcarque River because it could destroy their water supply.
BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] In more than 150 indigenous assemblies, our community decided that it did not want that hydroelectric dam.
NARRATOR: Berta filed complaints with the Honduran government and organized peaceful protests in the nation’s capital. As her visibility increased, she became a target for the government.
BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] We denounced this dam and were threatened with smear campaigns, imprisonment and murder. But nobody heard our voices, until we set up a roadblock to take back control of our territory.
NARRATOR: For well over a year, the Lenca maintained the roadblock, withstanding harassment and violent attacks. Tragically, Rio Blanco community leader Tomás Garcia was shot by the Honduran military at a peaceful protest.
BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] Seeing this man murdered, the community became indignant, forcing a confrontation. The company was told that they had to get out.
PROTESTER: [translated] We have 500 people here, and we are Rio Blanco comrades. We will defend Rio Banco, and we will not let them pass.
BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] And that is how Sinohydro left Rio Blanco. But it cost us in blood.
AMY GOODMAN: Honduran activist Berta Cáceres, who won the 2015 Goldman Prize, as well. For more, we’re joined by Billy Kyte, campaigner for Global Witness, author of their new report, “How Many More?
AMY GOODMAN: Can you tell us a little more about the 2015 Goldman Prize winner who we just played a clip of, Berta Cáceres, and her significance and what she’s doing in Honduras?
BILLY KYTE: Well, she’s an emblematic case. I mean, she’s a very courageous activist. She fights for indigenous rights, but also women’s rights, as well. Her leadership in COPINH, indigenous network in Honduras, has been inspirational for many, many people. She’s suffered threats against her life. Two of her children have had to flee the country because of these threats. She continues to receive threats. Even recently, she received attempted plans to kidnap her. And despite this, she still struggles on with the fight to protect indigenous areas and the rivers of the Rio Blanco community.
Berta Caceres was one of the strongest resisters of the 2009 coup. She is a real winner.
Posted by Charles II on April 6, 2015
Image from HuffPo
Alan Yuhas, The Guardian:
The New York parks department on Monday removed a large bust of Edward Snowden that was installed in a Brooklyn park, shortly after covering it up with a tarp and thwarting the artists’ stated intent “to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies”.
The Snowden bust still stood at Fort Greene Park’s Prison Ship Martyrs monument, atop a single Doric column. But it was wrapped in a blue tarpaulin, as city workers debated what to do with it.
The monument stands to the memory of 11,000 prisoners who died in British captivity during the Revolutionary war.
The bust, about 4ft tall and resembling both Snowden and former White House spokesman Jay Carney, was wrapped up by two park employees before noon, hiding the face and column but not the eagle statue that stands at its foot. A park ranger removed a plexiglass stand with Snowden’s name that had been placed at the base of the column.
The Brooklyn-based artists also wrote that they hoped passersby would “ponder the sacrifices made for their freedoms”.
“We hope this inspires them to reflect upon the responsibility we all bear to ensure our liberties exist long into the future,” they said.
What a beautiful protest.
Posted by Charles II on January 22, 2014
Sydney Brownstone, Co-Exist
In the future, leather shoes won’t come from cows. They’ll be manifested out of petri dishes, or in green chemist Richard Wool’s vision, divined from chicken feathers, flax, and soybean oil.
Over the past two decades, Wool has figured out how to turn chicken feathers into computer processors and soybean oil into John Deere tractor parts. His latest project aims to capture the attention of catwalk watchers: Wool hopes to commercialize a new kind of breathable leather that’s made without the environmentally destructive chemicals.
The Blacksmith Institute, a nonprofit environmental think tank, regards pollution from leather tanneries in Hazaribagh, Bangladesh, as one of the top toxic threats in the world.
Posted by Charles II on November 6, 2013
Experts on domestic surveillance admire Wheeler’s ability to connect current revelations to past mysteries. “You’ll read through these dense documents, and it’s about one thing; but she’ll find a clue in there to something we’ve all wondered about on something else entirely, and the last citing of that issue was five years ago, and somehow she still remembered,” said Barton Gellman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter late of The Washington Post who has worked with Snowden to break stories on the NSA this summer. “She’s indispensable now with the NSA story, which is endlessly complex.”
Marcy Wheeler getting recognition is a Good Thing.
Posted by Charles II on October 10, 2013
This news is a little old, but I hadn’t heard it. David Heitz, Healthline:
A blood test developed by researchers at Duke University can predict with tremendous accuracy whether someone with, say, pneumonia has a viral or bacterial infection, even if it’s a previously unknown strain.
The test, described today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, could someday help stop the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics to patients who have viral infections.
In the most recent experiment, 102 subjects with viral and bacterial infections, as well as healthy control patients, arrived at a hospital emergency room and were given the blood test. With about 90 percent accuracy, the test returned the proper diagnosis in just 12 hours.
In larger studies set to begin as early as this flu season, scientists will look at ways of paring down the number of genes the test analyzes and reducing the test’s turnaround time to as little as one hour.
Posted by Charles II on October 2, 2013
XE.com has picked up Bonddad and his trusty sidekick, New Deal Democrat. Bonddad:
About a year ago, I received a communication from the website XE.com who wanted to add economic commentary to their website. We exchanged a few emails about the possibility, but the negotiations slowed at the beginning of the year. Over the last few months they picked up again culminating in our signing contracts with them to provide content. And the best part is we’re finally getting paid! On top of that, they have over 14 million hits per month on their website, so our visibility will increase. And we’ll eventually be doing podcasts. I’ll be doing one/week that focuses on international developments while NDD and I will be doing a bi-weekly podcast on the US economy.