The 2020 BLM Uprising Lives On in Houston’s Struggle Against Police Violence

The demonstrators repeatedly chanted “Oh sh*t!” outside the Texas District Attorney’s Office. These were the words spoken by Houston police officer Shane Privette after he just killed 29-year-old Jalen Randle. Just moments prior body camera footage also picked up Privette’s chilling declaration, “He ain’t gonna live to leave this neighborhood.” That protest on May 27, and many others like it, demanding “Justice for Jalen” have been called by Jalen’s father and mother, Warren Randle and Tiffany Rachal, with the grassroots support of Pleasantville, a historically Black neighborhood in Houston, where Jalen had lived with his family. “It’s overwhelming,” Randle told…

$35 Insulin Caps for Medicare Patients Is Not Enough

Originally published by Prism. The sky-high cost of insulin is causing adults in the U.S. with diabetes to ration their medication. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with Type 1 diabetes need about two-to-three vials per month, which could total up to $1,000 or more. For those working to make ends meet, paying up to $300 a vial is near impossible, pushing people to either take less insulin than normal or skip a dosage entirely — putting their lives at risk. Though President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which caps the monthly cost of insulin…

Biden Administration Offers Weak Response to Israel’s Right Wing Shakeup

At the beginning of November, when Israel and the United States held elections within days of each other, it seemed clear that the pull in opposite directions embodied in the disappointing showing for the American far-right and the strong showing for their Israeli counterparts portended tension in the “unshakeable” alliance between the two countries. Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t even formed his government yet, but already we are beginning to see how that new government will make things difficult for the White House. And the early indications from Joe Biden’s administration indicate a continuation of the weak responses that have characterized his…

DOJ Won Antitrust Victory by Arguing Publishing Merger Would Harm Top Authors

Antitrust is having a moment. From both the left and the right, politicians clamor for new tools and enforcement to maintain a spirit of competition in the U.S. economy. While many focus on Big Tech, one of the Biden administration’s first big swings in a more aggressive antitrust enforcement regime took aim at a decidedly un-techy industry: book publishing. In a sealed ruling issued on Oct. 31, a federal judge sided with the government and blocked the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. While the country’s attention was focused on the midterm elections, Judge Florence Pan unsealed…

Chilean Indigenous Activist Says COP27 Promoted Devastating Mega-Projects

The Global North’s scramble for energy-secure futures dominated the COP27 last week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Corporate and mining lobbyists promoted high speed trains, lithium car batteries, hydrogen mega projects, and wind farms to transition from fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions while Indigenous activists resisted those same projects which are already causing irreparable environmental devastation and worsening climate change. The myth of “clean energy” has long been a guiding logic of the UN climate conference. COP27 illustrated not just a tension between financial strategies which environmental activists say are pointless, such as net zero carbon trading, but a battle…

Biden’s Student Debt Relief Program Is Now in the Hands of the Supreme Court

More than 40 million lower-income people burdened with student loans are still waiting for clarity about how much they will owe and when their next payments will be due, as the Supreme Court decides if it will rule on whether to allow President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program to proceed. The loan forgiveness program, which Biden announced in August, is under attack from six Republican-controlled states, which sued Biden, his secretary of education and the Department of Education on September 29 in an attempt to block the program. A federal district judge ruled against the GOP-led states, but the…

Abortion Protected Democrats in Midterms, But Democrats Won’t Protect Abortion

These midterms were supposed to be a red tsunami. But due in large part to the anger at overturning Roe v. Wade and support for reproductive rights, there was hardly a red ripple. The Republicans will likely take the House by a tiny margin, and the Democrats will retain — or maybe even expand — their majority in the Senate. The Democrats successfully positioned themselves as a vote for reproductive rights which, as these elections showed, are at top of mind for many people. Across the country, including in red states, ballot initiatives indicated support for abortion, and after inflation,…

Greenwashing Governments and Oil Companies Turned COP27 Into a Climate Disaster

The international climate talks in Egypt — the 27th Conference of Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27 — have become a dystopian nightmare: Oil companies, dictators and greenwashers captured the process more effectively than ever. But there is hope: Alliances are taking shape — between civil society, scientists and labor — that aim to break the fossil fuel companies’ deathly grip on climate policy. Corporate Capture This year’s United Nations climate summit, which ends on November 17 at the luxury Sharm el-Sheikh resort, is the first to which oil and gas companies were invited…

Inequality-Fighting Ballot Initiatives Won Big in the Midterms

Americans are sick and tired of seeing CEO pay and billionaire wealth in the stratosphere while working families are struggling with soaring costs. This election day, voters in several states used direct democracy to do something about it. They voted to hike taxes on the wealthy, raise wages and build union power, help ordinary people afford basic necessities, and tackle the problem of big money in politics. Massachusetts Hikes Taxes on the Rich Sixth time’s a charm. Massachusetts fair tax advocates had tried and failed five times since 1962 to undo the regressive flat income tax rate embedded in their…

The Largest Political Donation in US History Took Place in the 2022 Midterms

Despite GOP-orchestrated voter suppression and the disenfranchisement of many voters, tens of millions of people exercised their right to vote on November 8, and the 2022 midterms did not usher in the more widespread and acute breakdown of the democratic process that many had feared could occur. There were no reports of major violence at the polls, for example, and majorities of voters in most states repudiated the election deniers who sought control over state election apparatuses solely to ensure that they could produce GOP electoral college victories even if the electorate had rejected such outcomes at the polls. Yet…

Egypt: World leaders at COP27 must call for release of Egyptian-British activist at risk of death

Responding to continued fears over the fate of detained Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who has been on hunger strike in prison since April and started refusing water on 6 November, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “The Egyptian authorities have cruelly and stubbornly refused to release Alaa or even to share any information on his well-being or exact location with his family, even though his mother has for the past three days waited at the gates of Wadi al-Natrun prison in […] The post Egypt: World leaders at COP27 must call for release of Egyptian-British activist at risk of death appeared first on Amnesty International.

Worsening Climate Change Could Make It Harder to Vote

Originally published by Prism. Twenty-seven days before the 2018 midterm elections, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida panhandle and devastated tens of thousands of homes and buildings, displacing families and forcing the closure of multiple polling locations in eight impacted counties. The polling place consolidation led to a 7% decline in voter turnout that year, which was roughly the equivalent of 13,800 ballots going uncast in the election, according to analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice. Climate change means that extreme weather events like hurricanes are becoming increasingly frequent and devastating due to both their intensity and the…

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