“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”
— Thomas Jefferson December 20, 1787
❖ “Egyptian army secures state TV studios”. Update: “Supporters of Egyptian president say military coup is underway”. Update: The Egyptian military has moved into key sites in Cairo”. Update: “Egypt state news agency says transitional period to be followed by presidential, parliamentary elections.” Update: “Travel ban imposed on Egypt’s President Morsi, Brotherhood members”. Update: Morsi’s gone.
❖ “Egyptian military leaders have assured the Obama administration that they are not interested in long-term rule following their toppling of President Mohammed Morsi”.
❖ Yes! “Amazing Human Shield Forms Around Women Protesters In Tahrir Square”. Photos.
❖ Finally: “West demands more progress from Afghanistan in return for aid: Meeting in Afghan capital billed as first step in ‘paradigm shift’ under which Kabul must deliver real progress in return for aid.”
❖ “CIA drone strike in Pakistan kills suspected militants: Government condemns missile attack on building near Afghan border said to have been used as unofficial sharia court.” 16 people killed.
❖ “A Turkish court has canceled” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s building project on Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
❖ The US Army just opened “Caserma Del Din, the new home of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team” in VIcenza, Italy which cost $310m.
❖ “Eurozone crisis: Portugal sends stock markets tumbling: Threat of Portuguese government collapse . . .”
❖ “France has called for the trade negotiations between the US and the EU to be put on hold for two weeks in the wake of Guardian and Spiegel revelations about American eavesdropping on its European allies.”
❖ “International credit card donations to WikiLeaks are flowing again after an Iceland court ruling forced MasterCard’s and Visa’s local agent to process payments”.
Money Matters USA
❖ California Pacific Medical Center (part of Sutter Health) in San Francisco wanted to build a 550-bed hospital and huge medical office building, which meant closure of a well-established community hospital. California Nursing Association, community groups, and labor joined together and fought back.
❖ “Edward Snowden misused his right to digital access and has created problems that outweigh benefits of public disclosure, the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has said.”
❖ “A joint EU-US expert group will investigate the alleged US spying on EU officials and report its findings in October”. The EU Justice Commissioner “called the surveillance ‘a wake-up call for us to advance on our data protection reform’” and warned “There could be no EU-US trade deal without mutual trust.”
❖ “Merkel under fire as Germany seethes over NSA spying: With September elections looming, German opposition members are asking: What did the chancellor know, and when did she know it?” Deep concern reportedly “across the political spectrum.”
❖ Greenwald: “James Clapper, EU play-acting, and political priorities: Fixations on denouncing Edward Snowden distract, by design, from the serious transgressions of those who are far more powerful.”
❖ McClatchy: “Hints surface that NSA building massive, pervasive surveillance capability” (beyond just the huge building in UT). Interesting quote from an NSA spokesperson: “NSA does not ask its foreign partners to undertake any intelligence activity that the U.S. government would be legally prohibited from undertaking itself.” Wonder what that is.
❖ “U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement“. So, while the NSA is diligently tracking telephone calls, email and website use, the Postal Service is diligently tracking snail mail.
❖ WI has a new pledge, the “No Climate Tax Pledge” or the “Koch Brothers Protection Pledge” which is opposed to “any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue”.
❖ Fascinating list showing the numbers, percents and dollars relative to unemployment, legislative actions negatively affecting the situation, and outcomes for NC.
❖ “U.S. Border Agency Lets Other Units Use Its Drones“. It loans them to “a variety of domestic law-enforcement agencies and has considered equipping them with ‘nonlethal weapons’”. Just a matter of time.
Health, Homelessness & Hunger
❖ “A new study found drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock in the noses of industrial livestock workers in North Carolina but not in the noses of antibiotic-free livestock workers.” Staphylococcus aureus, folks.
❖ Hopeful news! Two males who’ve been infected with HIV for many years underwent bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers. The two now have no detectable levels of HIV in their bodies, even though they’re no longer on retrovirals.
The War on Women
❖ “More than 1,900 people signed up to testify about proposed abortion restrictions before a Texas House committee”, but Republicans have made up lots of rules so far fewer will be allowed to participate.
❖ AZ Sen. John McCain (R) wrote Attorney General Eric Holder (D) slamming DOJ’s “Efforts To Curb Rampant Campus Sexual Harassment As Violating Free Speech.”
❖ NC state senate Republicans managed to tack “a number of anti-abortion measures, potentially closing all but one abortion clinic in the state”, onto a bill dealing with the application of foreign laws, including Sharia law. UPDATE: “Hundreds of abortion rights advocates have flooded the halls of North Carolina’s Legislative Building to oppose” those measures.
❖ What it takes to ensure that women can obtain a medical procedure essential to saving their lives! Ireland is near to approving a bill giving access to abortion for women whose lives are in danger otherwise–but it’s still being opposed.
Planet Earth News
❖ The world’s navies are killing whales. “Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows: Studies are missing link in puzzle that has connected naval exercises to unusual mass strandings of whales and dolphins.”
❖ “The EPA, whose mission is . . . ‘to protect human health and the environment,’ has approved Monsanto’s request to allow levels of glyphosate (Roundup) contamination in your food up to a million times higher than have been found carcinogenic.”
❖ Long Time Gone. Speak out . . .!